Thursday, 11 September 2008

Each year on September 11th, an organization I am proud to be a part of called Cops On Top undertakes memorial expeditions to the highest points of the 50 United States. The purpose of the expeditions is to remember those law enforcement officers and public safety personnel who have lost their lives protecting ours.

Today teams from many states are again on the way to their respective summits. Those teams that are able will be calling in to the Cops on Top web site publishing systems with audio updates, which are published on the home page there. While not all locations will be covered due to conditions, many states' teams are underway. Once the teams have returned the site will be updated with photos of the events.

My friend Keith McPheeters, with whom I used to work as a police officer many years ago, wrote a thoughtful and poignant post recently about his experiences on September 11 Cops on Top expeditions. It sums up a lot.

We will never forget our colleagues, family members and friends who have been taken from us and from among us.



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Helping Others
Thursday, 11 September 2008 06:11:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 19 February 2008

favor_day Favor Day is coming on March 12th, and it's being organized on Facebook. Nothing quite like doing something simple and kind for someone else to make the world a better place. You should be a part - spread the word!

Here's how you celebrate Favorday -- on Favorday, March 12th, 2008, you do planned favors for people, just like you would plan on giving a gift to somebody for the holidays. Any kind of favor can suffice, whether its "I'm going to rub my girlfriend's feet" or "I'm going to clean my neighbor's garage" Favorday is for celebrating each other.

You can help by inviting your friends to celebrate Favorday with you!

By the way, I am on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584484571



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Helping Others | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 19 February 2008 13:09:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 09 October 2007

master_chief2 Attention all Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area peoples:

Drop everything, sign up right now (see details below), and meet me to play HALO 3 on two 50-foot ultra-hi-def video movie screens this Thursday (October 11th) at 7:00 p.m. just across from the Portland Airport in Vancouver at Cinetopia. Why? Because it will be the ULTIMATE Halo 3 event.

And you're guaranteed a win, because I will be there. Bonus. Heh.

YOU GET TO PLAY HALO 3 on two 50-foot ultra-hi-def video movie screens (like double 1080p resolution, beautifully up-scaled by some super-fancy equipment to make for an awesome image) and an awesome theater setting, reserved just for us - and the proceeds benefit the fight against diabetes. What more can you ask for?

Your donation of $25 (or more) at the door or will go straight to the America Diabetes Association. You can also pre-donate online and bring your printed donation receipt to the door. There's room for 120 people, so register today to save your seat(s)!

Click to donate!ALSO -- The first 10 people who let me know (in the comments and/or via email) that they have signed up (details of which are below) because they read it here - and then show up to play - will have their $25 donation matched by me. So let's make this happen! It's for a great cause and will be tons of fun.

And blog about this on your own site if you have one. Spread the word!

You need to sign up ahead of time so seats can be counted - so please do it now!

Here are the details:

  • When:  Thursday evening, October 11th, 7:00-Midnight (and yes, you can leave earlier if you want or have to, it's not Hotel California or anything)
  • Where:  Cinetopia - here's a map and their web site
  • Who:  Due to the content and whatnot, 18 and older, please
  • Register for this event at http://iammasterchief.com/ with the RSVP code "FIGHTDIABETES" (and just ignore the fact that the date there is wrong, and you won't get an email confirmation - if you see the PDX event after signing up, you're good to go)
  • You can donate online and bring your web receipt, or donate at the door (but either way, please sign up at the link above)

You can also read more about this event on Rich and Scott's blogs. Proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association (and Scott explains that quite well).

Business sponsors of the event include: Aivea, Robert Half Technology, Microsoft, the Portland Area .NET Users Group (PADNUG), the Software Association of Oregon, of course Cinetopia and others. A special thank-you goes out to all of them!



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Geek Out | Helping Others | Random Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 09 October 2007 09:30:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 23 August 2007

My good friend Scott Hanselman just published the latest annual installment of his Ultimate Developer and Power User's Tool List, which you can always see the most recent version of over at http://www.hanselman.com/tools. As usual, it's a great list of the many, many, many, many pieces of software and sources of information - big and small - that Scott has found make his life as a developer and power user better. I love this list and it's fun when he updates it. Look for the new items this year (there's like 50 of them) in red.

Also, while you are there, take a minute or two and contribute a couple bucks to Team Hanselman in the fight against diabetes. The team has an incredible goal of raising $50,000 to go to fighting the disease, and as of this writing is almost half way there. Every penny counts, so give what you can if you can. And get a tax deduction. Click here to donate.

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Geek Out | Helping Others | Tech
Thursday, 23 August 2007 17:23:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 13 April 2007

One of my favorite people in the whole world, Scott Hanselman, has launched a campaign to raise donation funds for Team Hanselman's goal of $50,000 in this year's Step Out to Fight Diabetes fund raising walk.

Last year, Scott's team raised around $12,000 on a goal of $10,000. This year Scott's pushed way ahead and has more than quadrupled that amount for the team's current goal. You can help! Go to:

    http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes/donate 

... and provide your assistance there. Here is what Scott has to say on his blog about the walk and the goal:

This year Team Hanselman, led by myself and my wife, Mo, who had this whole idea, will be walking to fight diabetes on Oct 20h, 2007. We have set a goal of raising US$50,000. Crazy, huh?

If only 2500 of you, dear readers, gave US$20 to this cause, we've met our Team Goal. If only 1000 give US$50, well, you get the idea. If you can't donate, that's OK. Post about this on your blog, spread the URL http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes or put some of our Diabetes "Flair" on your site!

Last year this time, there were over 5000 people subscribing to this blog (for the technical content, I assume) - this year there are over 14,000.

Let's see what we can do to add to the pot. There are more than 14,000 daily viewers of this web site, as well - so if there is anything you can do to help, even just a couple bucks, please consider making a donation!

Read more about the walk, Scott's own motivation and battle with diabetes, and get all the details at Scott's site.



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Helping Others | Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Friday, 13 April 2007 09:16:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 07 March 2006

MDA Lockup LogoMy good friend and co-worker Simon is being his typically great self, and has accepted the fact that he's going to jail for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This is a great chance to make a donation to bail him out (it's a tax deductible charitable donation, and if your company matches donations, even better! Hey Microsofties!). I've been locked up for MDA before, and my friends and colleagues have always come through for me and posted my bail.

And to all Corillian employees - I'm challenging you here and now to contribute!

Below is the information from Simon's campaign. I've already done my part and contributed to the cause - will you do yours? Even the smallest of contributions makes a difference, and it doesn't matter where you live or who you are. If you have any questions, let me know (email or comment here) and I'll get 'em answered for ya. Contribute as soon as you can - the deadline date is March 9th, just a couple days away!!

Mda_togetherThis year, I have the honor and pleasure of participating in MDA's Hillsboro Lock-Up 2006 to help "Jerry's Kids®". To reach my goal I need your help!

I'd like to include you or your company on my list of contributors who are helping me reach my goal. Your donation would help MDA continue the important fight against muscular dystrophy. Check out my web page by clicking on the link below. There you'll find all kinds of information about MDA, and be able to make your tax-deductible donation on-line using your credit card.

MDA serves people in our community with neuromuscular disease by providing clinics, support groups, assistance with the purchase and repair of wheelchairs, braces and communication devices, and summer camp for kids. MDA also funds research grants to help find treatments and cures for some 43 neuromuscular diseases that affect people of all ages, right here in our community.

I sincerely hope that you'll take the opportunity to support MDA.

Here's the link to donate!

On behalf of the families MDA serves, thank you!



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Helping Others | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 07 March 2006 19:04:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 11 December 2005

"They all hold signs."

Dressed in ratty clothes, one guy stood on a busy corner with a cardboard sign inscribed with an offer to give away free Linux CDs. As you can imagine, the number of takers was not all that many, nor was it a quick process. How do you think the people this man encountered acted?

It was an interesting day of observation and insight for the man, and the end if the story is - well, you should just go read it.

[via Digg]



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Helping Others | Random Stuff
Sunday, 11 December 2005 05:58:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 20 November 2005

Just read a blog post over at HinesSight (a great Oregon-based blog, by the way) called "I pick up a hitchhiker." You know that feeling when you read or see something and you can literally feel your stomach bottom out? You know, the one's that stop you in your tracks and show you that your little world is not so bad after all?

Yeah, it's one of those. Read it, and remember as you go through like to take the time to stop, to take a personal inventory now and then, and to do what's right and good.



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Helping Others | Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Sunday, 20 November 2005 15:49:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 24 September 2005

Stuck on StupidEvery now and then some random person or event comes along that deserves memorialization. Such is the case with Lt. Gen. Russel Honore and his words this past week when confronted with a gaggle of reporters. Honore and others (including the Mayor of New Orleans, who was having a hard time with the media crowd) were at a press conference (called by the mayor) in order to immediately get out the important word about the government's plan to evacuate people from the city of New Orleans in the face of yet another hurricane - this time, it was Rita.

But some of the reporters at the press conference were apparently still stuck on Katrina. The General was there to make sure they clearly understood their role in the situation. There's a time and a place for everything, to be sure - and that means there's a time for the media to ask questions, and there are other times when the message needs to be immediate, clear and loud in order to save lives and ensure peoples' safety. Unfortunately, there are many in the media who are all about conflict, not about helping people (regardless of what they say their motivations are). It's makes the former journalist in me scream at the TV. I hate it.

So - Thank God for people like Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. Here's his words, an audio file and a partial video of the interaction between him and the media:

Audio Attachment: 0920honorestuckonstupid.mp3 (1685 KB)

Video Attachment: stuckonstupid2.wmv (2957 KB)

Gen. Honore: And Mr. Mayor, let's go back, because I can see right now, we're setting this up as he said, he said, we said. All right? We are not going to go, by order of the mayor and the governor, and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?

Reporter: Where do they move on --

Gen. Honore: That's not your business.

Reporter: But General, that didn't work the first time --

Gen. Honore: Wait a minute. It didn't work the first time. This ain't the first time. Okay? If...we don't control Rita, you understand? So there are a lot of pieces of it that's going to be worked out. You got good public servants working through it. Let's get a little trust here, because you're starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay? What we're going to do is have the buses staged. The initial place is at the convention center. We're not going to announce other places at this time, until we get a plan set, and we'll let people know where those locations are, through the government, and through public announcements. Right now, to handle the number of people that want to leave, we've got the capacity. You will come to the convention center. There are soldiers there from the 82nd Airborne, and from the Louisiana National Guard. People will be told to get on the bus, and we will take care of them. And where they go will be dependent on the capacity in this state. We've got our communications up. And we'll tell them where to go. And when they get there, they'll be able to get a chance, an opportunity to get registered, and so they can let their families know where they are. But don't start panic here. Okay? We've got a location. It is in the front of the convention center, and that's where we will use to migrate people from it, into the system.

Reporter: General Honore, we were told that Berman Stadium on the west bank would be another staging area --

Gen. Honore: Not to my knowledge. Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center. Once we complete the plan with the mayor, and is approved by the governor, then we'll start that in the next 12-24 hours. And we understand that there's a problem in getting communications out. That's where we need your help. But let's not confuse the questions with the answers. Buses at the convention center will move our citizens, for whom we have sworn that we will support and defend...and we'll move them on. Let's not get stuck on the last storm. You're asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people. That's why we like follow-up questions. But right now, it's the convention center, and move on.

Reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time --

Gen. Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we've got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let's talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.

Time to print some bumper stickers... "Don't get stuck on stupid." Heh. It's not a new phrase - more like old made new again. But it's great, and appropriate.

Update: The Stuck on Stupid Blog. Heh...

(via RadioBlogger and The Political Teen)



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Helping Others | Humor | Random Stuff | Things that Suck
Saturday, 24 September 2005 16:12:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 11 September 2005

9-11-ribbonToday I once again had the pleasure of working closely with Cops on Top, a non-profit organization that undertakes mountain climbing expeditions to the highest points in the world in order to remember and recognized the sacrifice of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Today expedition teams from across the United States and Canada took off for their respective state or territory high points to remember the first responders who were killed helping others on September 11th, 2001. We've enabled the teams to dial in via mobile or satellite phones, and their audio blogs are posted to the Cops on Top climber's weblog.

Congratulations and thanks to all the police officers and their team mates who undertook expeditions today. As a former cop and someone who's seen the positive impact the Cops on Top program has, I can tell you it means a lot to many people.



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Helping Others | Personal Stories
Sunday, 11 September 2005 20:53:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 05 September 2005

Bill Whittle is an expressive genius. He has a way of bringing out common sense and putting things in perspective, for me anyhow.

Rather than race, rather than religion, this time Bill focuses at length on a concept we all need to think about: Tribes.

"Courage isn’t free. It is taught, taught by certain tribes who have been around enough and seen enough incoming storms to know what one looks like. And I think the people of this nation, and those of New Orleans, specifically, desire and deserve some fundamental lessons in courage."

There's no way to concisely describe what he's written - so go read it for yourself. Yes, it's long and there's some harsh language, but the message is clear. Whether you agree with Bill on every point is not nearly as important as whether or not you take the time to read.



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Helping Others
Monday, 05 September 2005 11:07:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Now that Hurricane Katrina has devastated the South along the Gulf Coast, Joel Comm, author of AdSense secrets and general AdSense guru, has launched ReliefSense.com - where you can donate your AdSense revenues to the relief efforts. It's not a collection site - it's a place where you can pledge to donate to the agency of your choice.

http://www.reliefsense.com/

Earlier this year, when the Tsunami hit, I joined a few friends in asking Google to enable people participating in their AdSense program to have a mechanism built-in to donate their AdSense revenues directly to tsunami relief efforts. I got some response from Google, but not what you'd hope for - they were not able to set anything up at the time (of course, they did have donation links right on the Google home page).

Google - Can't you please find some way to allow us to make donations directly through your AdSense program??? Here's a little history (more linked from these entries):

Joel's idea is great - and I have just signed up my pledge. But if Google could enable direct donations as well, it just makes sense that so many more people would find it easier to participate in helping.



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Helping Others
Monday, 05 September 2005 09:18:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 03 September 2005

MissingKatrina.comTextAmerica and NBC Universal have teamed up and created http://www.missingkatrina.com/ - which is a photo blog that lets people submit the names, pictures and numbers to call for people missing in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area.

Missing People From Hurricane Katrina - 1-800-774-0512

This site is here to help you find missing persons from hurricane Katrina.
If you have their picture of the missing person you can post it to this site in one of two ways:

1. Upload their image directly from your PC using the upload form below. Once you have uploaded an image your will be prompted to enter other information like their name, your phone number and your email address.

2. Email or MMS your picture to
callhome.123@tamw.com. Please make sure to put the missing person's name and YOUR contact phone number in the title or body of the email/MMS.

If you don’t have an image of the missing person or you can’t figure out how to upload or email in your information, then please call us at 1-800-774-0512 anytime between 9am and 9PM PST (7days). Our thoughts and prayers to everyone involved in this disaster. May you and your loved ones be safe.

And it is working. From one posted photo comes this followup:

Duoc and seven other Vietnamese were rescued late last night. They were transported to the New Orleans airport and are on their was to Houston airport where they can be flown home. I want to thank the owner of this site for the support they have given us.

September 3, 2005 - 7:04 am
And more success from another posted missing person:
E.J. is alive and well, he was bused to Fort Worth, TX and is at the red cross shelter For more info Email...
 
September 3, 2005 - 7:12 am
There are other resources on the web, as well, for people looking for loved ones:


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Helping Others
Saturday, 03 September 2005 14:47:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Do unto others: People are in need, and the Red Cross is spending money on hurricane disaster relief faster than it's coming in. Click below and give what you can. If you want to volunteer, contact your local chapter.

This is not just something nice to do - this is something we have to do.

     Redcrosskatrina



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Helping Others
Saturday, 03 September 2005 05:08:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 03 June 2005

Blogging is reaching new heights. While Scoble's blogging from the seat of an airliner with WiFi on a trip to Europe on his way to a geek dinner (sounds like fun), a group of 20 police officers and companion climbers are slowly but steadily audioblogging their way to the rugged summits of Denali in Alaska (20,320 feet) and Humphreys Peak in Arizona (12,634 feet).

Using a satellite phone in Alaska and mobile phones in Arizona, the officers are calling in to a special phone number at audioblog.com, which immediately posts their voice recordings to the Climbers' Weblog at copsontop.com.

Both teams will strive this weekend to summit the mountains as a memorial to honor the lives, service and sacrifices of police officers Eric White and Jason Wolfe, both of the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department. Officers White and Wolfe were killed in the line of duty on August 28, 2004, while searching for a suspect who had just shot another man in the chest.

The officers are members and representatives of Cops on Top, a non-profit organization of police officers and others who execute memorial expeditions to remember peace officers killed in the line of duty. The audioblogging technology enables the teams to document their progress in real time, and to reach the families and friends of those fallen officers who are honored on each expedition.



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AudioBlogging | Blogging | Helping Others | Tech
Friday, 03 June 2005 20:25:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 29 May 2005

A dedicated team of police officers is currently camped at 14,000 feet on Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley in Alaska. They are climbing the mountain in difficult weather on a memorial expedition, undertaken to remember the lives and sacrifice of two police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty last year while trying to apprehend a shooting suspect in Phoenix.

You can use the power of the Internet to track the progress of the team as they attempt to carry a memorial plaque to the summit of Denali at 20,320 feet.

The PODCAST feed with enclosures is available here. They are audioblogging the climb with regular calls using a satellite phone whenever terrain and weather conditions allow. Their audioblogged updates are automatically posted to the climber's weblog on the Cops on Top web site. The team hopes to summit the highest mountain in North America on or around June 8th.

The team is made up of members of Cops on Top, a non-profit organization of peace officers who climb the worlds highest peaks to remember fallen officers, to ensure they are never forgotten. The expeditions are made to support the families and friends of the fallen officers, as well. I have the privilege of serving on the board and maintaining the web site for the organization.

For more information and the latest expedition updates, visit http://www.copsontop.com/



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Helping Others | Personal Stories
Sunday, 29 May 2005 22:13:20 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Because this is important:

The Wireless Foundation and the membership of CTIA-The Wireless Association™ have partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to deliver AMBER Alerts to wireless phones.

AMBER Alerts

Statistics show the first three hours after abduction are most critical to recovery efforts. Recognizing that wireless technology can help galvanize more than 182-million wireless consumers to assist law enforcement in the search for and return of a child, CTIA- The Wireless Association™, its members and The Wireless Foundation are proud to launch the Wireless AMBER Alerts™ Initiative.

The wireless industry has officially partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) (NCMEC) to distribute AMBER Alerts to wireless consumers who opt in to receive geographically specified messages on their wireless devices through an AMBER Alert wireless messaging system.

Subscribers capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive alerts by registering at http://www.wirelessamberalerts.org or their wireless carrier's website. Users can designate up to five ZIP codes from which they'd like to be alerted in the case of an AMBER Alert activation.

[via Engadget]



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Helping Others
Tuesday, 17 May 2005 20:09:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 08 May 2005

DumpsterCollege students Craig Zboyovski and Jamie Berryhill have taken a old concept to a new medium, and actually it's a pretty cool idea.

Their web site, craigandjamiearepoor.com, tells the story:

"As the title says, we are poor. We need your help to be not poor, and you can do this by donating to our cause! Why donate to a charity when you don't know exactly where your money is going to? All proceeds given to us will be used, by us, to live the college life."

When someone donates $5 or more (PayPal is the main option, or they can choose snail mail), the pair creates a sign for use in a thank-you photo and posts it on their web site.

"The whole idea came from another Web site we were looking at," Zhoyovski recalled. "They were demanding money from people as a joke. That's when we both thought: Why not try it ourselves? We're both broke."

It seems to be working - they've made back the $40 they spent registering the domain name, plus another couple hundred bucks. Not too shabby for a couple of college kids.

I remember all too well what it was like when I was in school - Mac and Cheese and lots of potatoes and Top Ramen ruled my world. I discovered five bucks can go a long way in the right hands.

Perhaps the best part is the pair's promise to "pay it forward," to help some other college kids financially, once they get on in life and are able to do so.

By the way guys - next time there's no need to spend $40 to register a domain name - you can do it for under $10 nowadays.



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Helping Others | Random Stuff
Sunday, 08 May 2005 22:11:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 04 January 2005

Nick Bradbury has just made a donation of $8044.80 to the American Red Cross’ International Response Fund using the proceeds from all sales of his FeedDemon and TopStyle software during the last week of December.

Talk about awesome – This is terrific!



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Helping Others
Tuesday, 04 January 2005 20:36:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 03 January 2005

I serve on the board of directors for a non-profit called Cops on Top. It’s an organization that performs mountain climbing expeditions to the world’s biggest and most respected mountains in memory of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. The organization and its efforts are funded 100% by sponsorship donations.

Cops on Top is undertaking a memorial expedition to Kilimanjaro in Africa in just a couple of weeks, and is in need of a donated Pocket PC device, preferably an HP model, which the team intends to attempt to use in order to transfer data and images from the mountain via satellite telephone to the organizations weblog.

If you or someone you know is able to quickly donate the Pocket PC or funds needed to buy one, please contact me by commenting here or by sending me an email at greg@greghughes.net. I can also be reached by calling 503–970–1753. Donations are tax-deductible and we would gladly recognize the donation on the Cops on Top web site should the donor wish.

Thanks – Hopefully someone out there will be able to help!



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Helping Others | Tech
Monday, 03 January 2005 22:55:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 31 December 2004

Are you maybe a little reluctant to give money to the tsunami relief effort because you’re afraid it won’t be used wisely, or because the place you give to might turn out to be illegitimate? We all know that when terrible things happen, there are leaches who will do anything try to get your money fraudulently in the name of a good cause, and for some it makes it very difficult to know if you’re contributing to help people in need, or filling the pockets of some scam artist.

Fear no more:

Read the list of charities already researched as legitimate (not at all inclusive list, but a very good one to work from) at charitynavigator.org, and you’ll find a large number of places you can give that have been vetted and proven to be legitimate by that organization.

One very trusted organization that happens to be headquartered where I live (Portland, Oregon) is Mercy Corps, and you can donate through them online. You can even specify that your money be used for Tsunami relief.



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Helping Others
Friday, 31 December 2004 12:13:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 30 December 2004

Don’t let questions over how much is the right amount to give stop you from donating what you can. For people who are uncomfortable knowing how much is the right amount to give and could use some help.

India Together has posted a web page that helps you decide how much to give based on your annual income (regardless of where you live or what currency you are paid in).

It’s really a good approach. Of course, if you can’t afford what they suggest, give $5 or $10 – even that is a great help.

See IndiaTogether.org if you are trying to decide how much to give. If you need a fast and safe place to donate, look no further than Amazon.com – fast, secure, easy and a great place to help. Or read the list of charities already researched as legitimate (not at all inclusive list but a good one to work from) at charitynavigator.org.



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Helping Others
Thursday, 30 December 2004 21:41:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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From Mitch Wagner, writing at Security Pipeline:

“For Sanjay Senanayake, a documentary producer in Sri Lanka, the tsunami this week was the start of a sometimes-exhilarating, sometimes-horrifying adventure. He chronicled his travels through the disaster areas using mobile-phone text-messaging and blogs.”

Read the security pipeline article here, and read Sanjay’s weblog SMS and mobile phone entries here at the ChiensSansFrontiers weblog. It’s another very real real look at what’s happening.


Remember: Do whatever you can to help. If you have not yet given to support relief efforts, please stop and ask yourself if there is a truly good reason keeping you from doing so. Then click to a site and make a donation, no matter how small. It’s easy to give in many ways. It takes just a couple of minutes, and regardless of how much you can give, it will make a very real difference.

Recently Apple, Microsoft, eBay and PayPal all put up links to pages that let you find ways to contribute. You can also give through Amazon.com, and Google has a web page up with links to places you can give.

Make something happen – that is your part in this. We all have a role, and let’s all make sure we all do the best we can.



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Blogging | Helping Others
Thursday, 30 December 2004 21:15:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 29 December 2004

Eric Rice interviewed me Wednesday afternoon, to get just one simple blogger guy’s perspective on the blogosphere and the process of giving to the relief efforts needed so badly in South Asia after the tsunamis and earthquakes that have devastated so many people in that region. It was the AdSense donation idea that sparked the interview, but we talked about other aspects of the blogosphere and its collective reaction to the tragedy, as well.

Thanks to Eric for taking the time to do a podcast about something that’s very important: those things we can do now to help others in need.

Download the podcast (an MP3 audio file) from EricRice.com and see links there for a few places you can go to offer your help, as well.



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AudioBlogging | Blogging | Helping Others
Wednesday, 29 December 2004 22:30:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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My spirits were lifted this evening when I received this email from the Google AdSense Support team in response to the AdSense donation idea that Scott and I had – it’s just one step, but it’s a very positive one!

I know it’s not a trivial task for Google to put something like this in place, but I hope it happens, as do a number of others – It can make a very real difference!

<Fingers Crossed>


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 18:40:10 -0800
From: "Google AdSense" <adsense-support@google.com>
To: greg@greghughes.net
Subject: Re: [#18769680] AdSense donations for disaster relief - Google can make this easy - please read

Hello Greg,

Thank you for this excellent idea. A number of other AdSense publishers
have also brought your blog to our attention, and I have alerted the
AdSense team to your efforts.

As individuals, and as a company, we are committed to doing whatever we
can to assist with the tsunami relief effort. Google, as you know, has
recently set up www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html to aid our users who
are looking for more information and for ways to help, and we are
currently examining a number of other ideas.

Please know that I have forwarded your suggestion on to the appropriate
persons at Google, and they are currently investigating the feasibility of
such an endeavor. I will follow up as soon as I have more information on
this matter.

On behalf of the AdSense team, I would like to thank you again for
proposing this selfless measure and for your generous commitment to donate
your AdSense revenue to those affected by the tsunami.

Sincerely,

Ben
The Google AdSense Team




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Helping Others | Personal Stories
Wednesday, 29 December 2004 20:06:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Merill Fernando lives in Sri Lanka, a country that was very hard hit by the tsunamis, and he exchanged emails with me this evening after he took the time to send a few kind words in response to the little bit of help this weblog has provided. He has also posted on his weblog about what even a small contribution can do to help people in need. You should read it, especially if you think you can’t afford to give enough to help others. Even if all you have to give is a five bucks, Amazon.com will let you easily donate whatever you can afford. Merill’s site will show you how much just $1 will buy.

Again, we are calling on all bloggers who use AdSense to pledge to donate your AdSense revenues for December or whatever time you wish to the relief and aid effort. Merill pointed the idea out on his weblog and agrees that it is a great idea – so please contribute and contact Google to let them know you would like them to help make this happen by providing an AdSense administrative option to donate funds at the end of this month. Whether or not Google participates in this effort, I am donating my revenue check. Please consider doing the same.

Together we can make things happen – that’s part of the power of the blogosphere. Give now, post your thoughts and plans to your blog, and contact others that can make a difference and ask them to help.

If you’re looking for places to give, just go here. And thank your for doing your part.



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Personal Stories | Helping Others
Wednesday, 29 December 2004 01:57:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 27 December 2004

I have an idea, and a burning need to do something more to help those in need. I’ll email Google with this request, but I’m going to post it here, and encourage you to do the same thing on your site.

UPDATE: Google AdSense Support responded to this idea, and it’s at least possible!

I want all my AdSense revenue pending at the end of the year to go to help relief efforts in South Asia where the earthquakes and tsunamis have caused such devastation. If you use AdSense, I want you to pledge to do the same thing.

I think Google should make this an easy option for anyone with an AdSense account, and that they should do it in time for all of us to make our donations now, before the end of the year. It would be so easy for me to give that money to those in need, and Google can help many others do the same thing. Put a simple checkbox on the AdSense admin site that lets me choose to donate my AdSense funds. Do it for everyone.

Are you willing to donate your AdSense revenues? Comment here. Or post it on your blog or web site. Email Google and make it happen.

Scott Hanselman gave me this idea when he said he was thinking about donating his AdSense revenues. I had been thinking the same thing. Scott’s a good, kind person and I am willing to bet there are thousands more like him out there that would like to be able to do the same thing.

Hey Google people - call me if I can help make this happen. Seriously. My phone number is 503–419–6495. I have lots of time right now, as well as a little AdSense revenue to share. So, I hope you’ll help me help someone else. Anyone else who wants to help can call me, too. Make my phone ring.

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." -- Matthew 25:35,36,40 (NIV)

Update – Several bloggers have already posted and signed on to pledge their earnings to recovery efforts. I'll donate mine whether Google makes it easy to do through them or not - but it would be awfully cool if they can make it possible. Making it easy for people will mean more people will participate.

Also – Turns out there’s no better way to mark one year of blogging at greghughes.net than doing something to help others. Just realized it was one year of blogging here on the 27th… People, please contact Google and ask them to make this happen, and then post a link on your blog, and if you use adsense, I encourage you to join us in donating!



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Helping Others | Personal Stories
Monday, 27 December 2004 22:10:39 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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