Monday, March 30, 2009

visit me on ideafirehose and campbellenergy!

I had to put Glowplugger to sleep. Please visit my idea page at and my company blog at

I will love you long time.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama opens the gates

For eight years, I have felt like I was crazy. Not just your normal wackiness kind of crazy, but "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" kind of crazy. It often seemed like I was running around telling people that 2+2=4 but the people shook their heads, patted me on the head and said "silly Aaron, we all know the answer is 5". ARGH.

After the election this past Tuesday, I had a hard time putting into words the feelings I was having. Then it hit me. I am in fact not crazy.

I am trying to let that feeling penetrate the deepest reaches of my mind, soul, and body. I am not crazy, and neither are my friends and family. I am not alone in thinking that the "trickle-down" economic system is fatally flawed. I am not alone in thinking that intelligent people would govern us better. I am not alone in thinking that science is important to learn and teach. I am not alone in thinking that diplomacy is the first action, not the last, when dealing with other countries. I am not alone in thinking that religious fundamentalism is dangerous and not an effective antidote to other people's religious fundamentalism.

I am not alone in thinking that the environment is to be protected and conserved rather than pillaged and plundered for profit. I am not alone in thinking that the color of your skin does not indicate the kind of person you are inside. I am not alone in thinking that public humiliation and baseless character assassination is a poor political tactic. I am not alone in thinking that we really can get along, and that the USA can once again innovate and change itself, if dedicated people truly apply themselves.

I feel like Obama's election has opened up the gates of reality long closed. I am currently blinking at this blinding light, breathing in this new fresh air, wondering what's next. Again, like I've been unjustly locked up in an asylum for eight years and have finally been let out of the gates to freedom. Thanks Barack. I owe you one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Friends, Colleagues, Family and Community,

Campbell Energy LLC is officially open for business!

As some of you already know, I had previously spent 2 years as a sales consultant at University VW/Audi. After realizing that although University has a good reputation for being eco-friendly, I needed to pursue my right livelihood in the energy conservation world. Promoting high-mileage biodiesel-compatible Volkswagens put me in contact with a number of excellent people in the alt-energy world. More importantly, for three years now, Elise and I have been performance-upgrading our own home. We were always thinking, “We wish there was a person or a company that could help us make prioritized decisions on which energy-efficiency upgrades to do”. A half-dozen single-skill contractors gave me conflicting advice, leading to the epiphany that my calling was being a Residential Energy Consultant. Thanks to everyone who supported me in that decision.

I think what separated me from other sales consultants at the dealership was my dogged honesty with clients. I told people what was going on behind the scenes, gave people space and time to make decisions, and gave them more information with less pressure. This kept me sane, knowing I was truly helping people make good decisions in the short and long term.

As an EPA Energy Star certified energy consultant, I will continue my policy of honesty and integrity, showing people how they can reduce their utility bills, make their homes healthier and more comfortable while directly saving the planet.

Another great benefit from working at University VW/Audi was meeting Dylan Chalk of Orca Inspection Services. (He runs a carbon-neutral business and was down-sizing his truck to a VW Jetta TDI.) He nearly single-handedly pushed me into the energy conservation field, telling Elise and I heartbreaking stories of energy and resource wasting that he sees every single day as a home inspector. He, in turn, pointed me towards Brent Foster of Northwest Infrared. Brent is haltingly straightforward in his work as a Level II thermographer, telling people right then and there what he sees with his thermal camera and how you can fix most residential energy-wasting issues with "a bucket of mastic and some backer rod". Dylan and Brent are my boots-on-the-ground energy mentors, and I recommend them both without hesitation.

As for my own work at Campbell Energy, it's pretty simple: I take a deep look at your home and show you how to make step-by-step prioritized energy upgrades. With my three years' personal experience analyzing and upgrading my own home combined with my Energy Star and NAHB training, I can pinpoint your home's energy issues. It's essential to do a full in-home analysis to get a thorough picture of what needs to be upgraded, repaired, or replaced. Just as important, I show you how to operate your home in the most energy-efficient way possible. You might be surprised how much energy (and money!) can be saved simply by tweaking your behavior just a little bit, in targeted ways.

Finally, I can help you make some big-picture decisions that will dramatically lower your carbon footprint in ways you may not have previously imagined. I sum all of my in-depth analysis up in my report and give you a blueprint of steps to take to put you on a path to energy efficiency not just in the short term, but throughout your and your home's life. Dylan Chalk calls it giving people HOPE: Homes On a Path to Efficiency.

On that note, I invite you all to RSVP to my first seminar where I will be detailing who, what, where, why and how people can get incredible value, savings, and actual happiness from my energy inspections. It's going to be a fun and information-packed two hours showcasing the nitty-gritty of my work, with time for people to ask specific energy conservation-related questions at the end. Want to know what to do with that 10-year-old 80% efficient gas furnace? Concerned about how to cool your home during our global-warming summers? Wonder how to discover where you have missing insulation that can rob your home of heat this winter? Want to find out why your gorgeous recessed lights might be vacuuming out your wallet this Spring? Come to the seminar. It's free, and I guarantee you will learn something you can take home and use to reduce your wattage, lower your carbon footprint, and be happier at home.

My official website should be up soon, but nearly all the basic information you might want to know about Campbell Energy is contained in this email. Please RSVP to the event so we can plan for comfortable seating and eating:

Campbell Energy Seminar

Saturday, October 25th
1:00pm to 3:30pm
Duwamish Co-housing Common House
6000 17th Ave. SW
Seattle, Washington 98106

If you are planning on bringing a friend or interested colleague, remember to let me know in your RSVP email. I look forward to being of service and appreciate your continued support.


Aaron Campbell, Energy Consultant
Campbell Energy, LLC

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Blogger vs Blogger

it's been on my mind recently, so I'll share it:
I have two blogs, this one and my IdeaFirehose. The Firehose was supposed to be just for ideas. This was supposed to be my thoughts. Ideas, it turns out, are also thoughts.
What's a Gen-X'er to do?

I think I'm going to merge the blogs. Since I was able to prove I can pull off 4+ ideas per day for 60 days, I think that experiment has run its course.

I do like the Firehose more than I like the name "Glowplugger" so I'm pretty sure that's where I'm going to keep blogging. I will look into the concept of putting all the posts from Glowplugger into Firehose, but until then, I will be simply posting my thoughts AND my ideas there.

A fond farewell to Glowplugger, long live Glowplugger!

Friday, April 11, 2008

World Peace Update

World Peace is coming along nicely. Looks like my 3 step process is holding water. For those who missed it on my IdeaFirehose Blog, here it is:

#1. Really like and respect yourself.
#2. In doing #1, you'll likely discover your Right Livelihood, that's #2. Figure out what you love to do best and make that your Service.
#3. Do that service for yourself, your family and friends, your own neighborhood.

Yup, that's it. If we get cracking on the above plan, and enough of us do it (and gather together somehow), World Peace will flourish.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

World Peace Incorporated

Up all night last night, thinking my favorite thought: We really could have world peace, in my lifetime. But how can I help?

I thought some thinks and thinked some thoughts and realized that "World Peace" suffers from very bad PR and less than effective management. Since nobody in particular is running the World Peace Campaign, it also has a pretty lackluster business plan. Seriously. Mission, Vision, Values are pretty well in hand, but what about economic projections on the 1, 2, 5 and 10 year marks? What about logos, branding and marketing? What about target audiences and demographics? What about organizational health and management effectiveness based on good implementation of a great game plan? SYNERGISTIC OFFICE MEETINGS FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! Okay, we can cut the corp-speak, but the rest of it is serious.

As a member of the steering committee for world peace incorporated, I think we really need a few good top level planning meetings and some tangible deliverables by Q4 of 2009. Let's do some brainstorming in the meantime, shall we?

So, the BHAG is pretty clear, world peace by 2020. That's more than doable, but it does require that we get our acts together before then. One of the keys will be to prove with some serious statistics and research that Peace is Profitable. That's one major marketing thrust this year. Economic woes are deeper than most can remember right now; with a huge trade deficit, massive jumps in home foreclosures, $110/barrel oil, major layoffs and underemployment, we've got to really make our case that we can provide financial results in short order.

Taking a page out of Barack Obama's playbook for a moment, we should really focus on the hope and dream of peace while making sure people get the picture about how much work needs to be done by every single person on the planet. That's our target audience, really, every living person on Earth. They need to hope again, they need to have faith again, they need to realize they are not alone in struggle and that when they join together they can accomplish seemingly impossible things. When Obama announced the millionth donor to his campaign, I thought, "people sure will put their money where their hopes are if they really believe". That's where we need to be, folks. Lots of subscribers with a lot of hope.

The marketing campaign is a tricky one. Now that we've incorporated World Peace, given it a position as umbrella support for all the other peace organizations, we do need to make sure we've got a solid brand that won't turn people off. "Give Peace a Chance" was a great marketing strategy, but it's a bit passive in this day and age. We need a campaign with more bite, a solid foundation of success, and results-driven action. I've toyed with some motto ideas that I'm not sure would fly: "PEACE OR DIE" says what I mean, but has a sort of threat implication. "PEACE SELLS BUT WHO'S BUYING?" was used during our last campaign by a small group of Tibetan Monks called "Megadeth" so we can't use that if we want to stay fresh. I'm leaning towards "PEACE WILL MAKE US ALL UNIMAGINABLY WEALTHY", but it needs some cleaning up. Anybody can chime in here, okay people?

On to logos and street-cred branding: FUBU already has a lock on the concept of collective (albeit somewhat reflexive) action, so we need something like that but stronger. Visually, the original Peace Logo that we thought worked so well in the 60's turned out not to be that motivational to the working class. The Hammer and Sickle was certainly working class-0riented, but we know where that went... Perhaps we need a nice new elliptical logo or a Helvetica-level font. I'm partial to Star Trek font myself, but the Roddenberry estate won't let me use their kerning. I'll need some suggestions by next Monday at noon. The printers are waiting for the proofs.

Our online presence is all over the map. Buddhists and B'hai' websites aside, we've got to get some top-level domain action going. A solid website will be essential to the corporation's visibility, so let's get our best people on this. We'll need innovative design, interactive localized content, some cool Web 2.0 social networking tools (natch!), and I'm really excited to have some mobile app interaction as well. Let's make sure we've got the language people cracking on the localization, and whoever is in charge of the cyrillic stuff should come and see me about ideal font sizes. Listen to your project managers and we'll get this thing up by Q1. If World Peace is to launch on time, we'll definitely need a global contact setup, anyone familiar with the so-called "series of tubes"?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things I don't like doing

  • detailed management oversight
  • organizing people who don't know what they're doing to get a project done
  • repetitive tasks that require no creative input
  • being dishonest
  • jogging in the rain
  • losing soccer matches in inclement weather
  • being bored
  • disappointing other people, letting people down who rely on me
  • watching inefficiency
  • watching people throw stuff away that could be recycled
  • being misunderstood
  • being called a hypocrite (even if I am sometimes)
  • being responsible for my plants dying due to underwatering them
  • starting a project that I don't finish
  • breaking people's hearts
  • watching my new baby cry
  • not having my technology work as it should (calendar in my iphone!)
  • getting tachychardia (panic attacks)
  • having a messy desk/house/car
  • getting traffic tickets
  • underperforming
  • ....