Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tired from Moving & Trying to Enlighten with Twittervism

Times are still busy in life these days. Staying late at the office to handle the huge volume of business that occurs this time of year, including helping an individual here and there with figuring out which insurance policy to get. The whole thing gets a little stressful because so much needs to get done, but everyone wants the attention that they need because dealing with the December 15th deadline really stresses them out. So yeah, fun.

In the meanwhile, we still have loads of boxes that we have to unpack at home. . .and I'm not the mastermind behind figuring out what goes where. I help where I can, but at a certain point, my trying to help will only get in the way and cause more trouble than its worth.

Weekend laziness hasn't helped, either, but when the body wants to chill out and lay around, it wants to chill out and lay around. This apartment gets much hotter than the last one, too, so I've been finding myself a little more worn down than usual. But it's all overall exhausting in the long run. Someone mentioned to me that moving can be one of the most stressful things that can occur to a person, even if it's just down a level and across the hall.

Seriously, though, changing all these addresses has become something of a pain, especially credit cards. I have no problems with bank and investment accounts, just change the address on the website then boom, all set. Credit cards, though, I'm finding that I'll need to call them to change the address. I figure this has a level of urgency, too, since it could possibly affect my credit score and stuff.

I expect no one really wants to read about my travails in moving, though, and wants to hear something about my views on politics, culture, literature, etc. I don't have the energy to put together any deep analysis or anything, so I'll just provide a stream of Twittervism below.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

A Lexdate and Some Twittervism

Good evening, folks! No substantial update other than the slush reading has ended. . .for now. I still have some work to do for the day job CE credits. I've read everything that needs reading, just have to finish up the exam. I plan to answer the questions in the book during the mornings this week then do the online exam over the weekend. I'll come back in full force afterward.

Working on these credits really only takes away twenty minutes to a half hour on weekday mornings from writing. Those small periods of time add up, though, so I've missed out on a bit of writing accumulation. This weekend especially made me miss the frequent writing. Sunday morning, I wrote a scene that had emotions welling up and had me close to tears. Damn my allergies to my own writing.

In other news: The Wife and I have signed a lease on the apartment down one floor and across the hall. It provides a little more space (including a pantry and especially in the kitchen), some nice quality hard-vinyl floors that we thought were laminate, and upgraded appliances, including a dishwasher, which we currently do not have. Plus, since a new building had gone up right next to ours destroying the amazing view that we had, we'll get a better view.

We get the keys on the Friday after Thanksgiving and have about a week to move. Exciting but also a bit anxious about the whole thing.

I enjoyed "free reading" today instead of reading the slush. The fact that reading something nonfiction as relief reading discomforts me a little, but I'll take what I get. The same goes for jumping back into my RSS feed, which includes my Twitter feed interspersed with blog entries and news articles.

Give me a little time to ingest some material and inspiration and to generate some rage and other emotions, then I should get back into the rhythm of things again. I still owe you a little bit more about my campaigning for Pawar, at least the contemplation I've done on it. The ideas for the entry won't change that much but coming out the tail end provides some perspective. Plus I want to somehow get back into the fray again, though entering the hibernating winter season with who knows how cold the weather will get here in Chicago, I might find myself contemplating more than engaging in affecting change.

In the meantime, check out some Twittervism:

If you like what you see here and in the past and want to free me up for more, support my endeavors by Buying Me a Coffee!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Decompressing After Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico Contest and Resolving All Chicago Auto Donation Snafu

A disclosure on my contest for hurricane relief of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands: I felt uneasy about the part where I said that I would keep any surplus of funds raised over matching donations submitted by readers. I also felt guilty conditioning donating the base funds on readers donating and submitting their receipt and argument. Based on these two feelings, I decided that I still needed to donate.

Which meant that I had to do what I wanted to transfer onto my readers by throwing this contest: choose an organization to donate funds. Yes, I went to some effort to avoid making a decision on my own. Apparently if I wanted to get something done, I had to do it myself.

I decided to follow the latest thread in my thinking and feeling on politics and development: as much as possible, go to the people who would receive the aid to see what they need, as I remember a story told once at church and a story in Uncanny Magazine that I keep going back to: "The Ache of Home". I feel there should still be a bottom line ethical/moral line (see my opinion on the issue of politicians catering to the economics of the White Working Class vs Identity Politics), but I think this thread has a lot going for it. I plan on ruminating on this topic in a later entry based on my trying to understand a book comparing Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine.

I don't know anyone who lives in Puerto Rico so that doesn't help. Based on what I've heard on the radio involved in on the ground relief, I didn't have any spare clean underwear or the wherewithal to get clean underwear to send somewhere, and I didn't know where to send clean underwear.

My best resource turned out to be a Puero Rican woman friend who had posted a lot about the disaster and at least one link for figuring out where to send donations. They linked to the New York Times article "How to Help Puerto Rico and Other Islands After Hurricane Maria". The article provides a bunch of good resources, some of them direct links to an organization or crowdfunding campaign and some of them to a more general website to do more searching and research.

I used two resources the article provided:

After acclimating myself with the website and two clicks later, I found on HIPGIVE the tax-deductible crowdfunding page for Hurricane Relief Fund for Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Florida. It doesn't do anything for the US Virgin Islands, but I'm short on time and like anything in the world, sometimes we just have to choose.
I donated the base $50 I budgeted for matching. I based my decision on donating here on where I started in the search: send the money to people who probably have the best idea of what the people on the ground need (and accept that with my limited time and cognitive energy, I can't aim for perfection).

The Webpage led me to believe it was the last night to donate, but per the Webpage at the time of writing this blog entry, it still has 5 days and 8 hours left to raise money. At this point, they've raised $135,748 out of $150,000 from 741 donors. They just need $14,252 to reach their goal. In the days of crowd funding, that's not much more, so head on over here and donate!


I called All Chicago a day or so after posting the latest accounting of my donations for 2017 when I mentioned that All Chicago hadn't charged me for September. The person in charge of this processing was out of the office that day, but they took message and would get it to the processing person/accountant for a call back ASAP.

This person got back to me the following week, notified me that it was a mistaken techno glitch, gave me options, and asked me how I wanted to settle it. I told her that I still wanted to make the September donation and that it was OK to double charge me on the October withdrawal. A few days later, they charged me double that amount, and now all is settled. Yay!

That's it for now, Neighbor. Thanks for reading. Have a good day, take care of yourself, then go out and do what you can to make this world a better place for us all.

If you like what you see here and in the past and want to free me up for more, support my endeavors by Buying Me a Coffee!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

No One Participated in My Contest to Help Aid in Relief for Puerto Rico; Donated Anyway

No one participated in my contest to help aid in the Relief for Puerto Rico. I donated, anyway. More on this later.

If you like what you see here and in the past and want to free me up for more, support my endeavors by Buying Me a Coffee!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Life/Project/Contest Non-Update & Twittervism!

Per the usual these days, not much to report these days on the project and real life activism. It's work and chores these days with occasional socializing and getting away to make sure the the TiVo doesn't get too clogged up.

Not much to report on the contest to benefit Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria that I introduced here. Deadline to act on it is still Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:59 PM. No entries to request a matching donation have been entered, neither has anyone submitted any donations to increase the matching funds above the base $50. Help me help Puerto Rico and the US Virigin Islands by participating!

And now some Twittervism since I don't have any essays in me:

If you like what you see here and in the past and want to free me up for more, support my endeavors by Buying Me a Coffee!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Contest to Help Provide Relief in Puerto Rico and/or US Virgin Islands & Charitable and Political Donation Accounting

I've been dealing with a lot of chores and other work with little exposure to new ideas or framing of ideas. I haven't even done much in the world of social media or working through my RSS feed, which some might welcome, but I like that kind of stuff. Most of my stimulation of thinking and ideas has come podcasts, which I've done a lot to catch up on, including changing to a longer bike route and foregoing morning NPR during funding drives and repetitive stories.

Some progress has been made in plowing through some Uncanny Magazine slush, but I can only speak for myself.

Whereas I've provided that minimal update (I also saw a preview screening for Professor Marston and The Wonder Women - plus on the sex positive and the portrayal of intolerance of the times but somewhat mixed feelings on the first parts regarding the portrayal of the power dynamics between the professor and student), I've decided to make this entry an accounting of my political and charitable donations since I last did so.


Before doing so, though, I want to set up a contest based on my neglect of the Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands Hurricane Maria relief initiatives. I have no good excuse. I will, however, run a short contest to try driving up some donating and help me decide where to put my money with your help.

I have a tendency, so I'll try to maintain the spirit of my conception while keeping the rules simple:

  1. The contest will end Wednesday, October 25, 2017

  2. I will budget a one-time $50 as base matching funds to an organization that works to provide relief to Puerto Rico and/or US Virgin Islands, preferably both, criteria provided in a later rule

  3. I will increase that budget by an amount equal to how much money I recieve via ko-fi via my homepage at ko-fi. If you want to send me money for reasons unrelated to this contest, earmark the funds as "non-contest". Without the earmark, all funds donated until Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:59 PM will go toward matching funds budget

  4. I will match funds going to one or more organizations based on the following criteria:

    1. I won't put the funds toward the Red Cross or any other organization that I know has some tarnished reputation for how much actually goes toward relief vs administrative and other non-relief costs

    2. The organization that receives the most donations from you, my readers, will receive the most matching from me. I will donate either my budget or the amount donated by you to the same organization, whichever is lower. Even if your donations go higher than my budget, my decision will be based on the most value of donations to an organization will receive my highest preference

    3. If there is are ties as to what organizations have received the highest donation(s) from readers, I will then base my decision on two other conditions: the best reader made argument for the organization and the organization that strikes me as the most worthy, all by my own judgment

    4. If there is anything remaining in my budget after making a match, I will then match donations to the next organization that meets the rules above. I will continue through this process, matching budgeting funds to reader donations until my budget equals 0

    5. If my budget is more than the total amount donated by readers to relief organizations to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for Hurricane Maria, I will pocket the remaining funds for myself

  5. To enter your donations and organization into the contest, screen shot your confirmation or receipt for donation then e-mail it to me as an attachment, along with your agument for why this is the worthiest organization for matching funds to If possible, please block out any routing, account, credit, or debt card numbers. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE ANY EXPOSURE TO YOUR BANKING OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION!

  6. After the contest deadline, I will post the results of where my funds went and a list of organizations and the arguments for these organizations. If you don't want me to publish your argument, note that in your e-mail when you send it to me. I will default to not posting any personal information, including online handles or aliases, unless you expressly ask me to post it along with any online or personal information that you would want to have posted alongside your argument

  7. Let's make this a successful and fun contest!

If you like what you see here and in the past and want to free me up for more, support my endeavors by Buying Me a Coffee!