Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good Books and good deeds

I've always been consistent in not giving money to beggars, but I'll usually donate to buskers (homeless or not) who impress me, I often donate to established charity campaigns, and I try to donate blood when and where I can (which reminds me, I should really visit the blood bank again soon).

Sometimes I question my choices when it comes to giving back, and I know I don't do enough for the world on a daily basis.  Knowing that I have taken more international flights than a great many people gives me carbon guilt.  The fact that I've gotten used to the comfort of air-conditioning in hot countries does the same. 

So when I was reading the Oxfam newsletter that arrived in my inbox today, I was happy to be reminded of the fantastic service that Good Books provides.  They have over 2 million titles (books, audiobooks, and music) at reasonable prices, ship internationally for free, and all profits go directly to Oxfam.  They promise no mark ups, and ship from both the UK and the US.  It may sound too good to be true, but through their volunteer work and generous sponsorship, you can donate to a good cause (or many good causes) by doing something you probably do once in a while anyway.

If you're reading this post, I propose two things:

1) Suggest a book or CD (or more than one!) for me.  I have been starved of new music and haven't been reading enough lately, and I have decided to buy at least a few titles from Good Books.  If your recommendation is persuasive enough, I'll go with it!  If I get them all shipped together, it will slightly make up for the environmental cost of shipping, right?

2) Order something yourself, or as a gift for someone else.  If you were going to buy books or CDs online anyway, consider checking out this service before you use your usual one.  The NZ dollar is still down, so it might work out to be a similar price, and you'll get that warm fuzzy feeling for free (not to mention the delight of no added shipping costs).

Looking forward to getting some suggestions!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I feel all special...

Lovely Cassie wrote a blog post (at least partially) about me on her super-fantastic blog, A Normal Day.  It makes me feel all special.  Plus, she likes my iccint.  Gold stars for Cassie!

Cassie and I lead the kind of lives where it's possible for us to run into each other (and Carla!) on a glacier.  We can't forget that these lives are awesome.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things I'd never say out loud, but that I've already told strangers on the Internet

For the first time in ages, I can read the Facebook feeds on my RSS reader - that is, people's status updates, notes, and posted items. 

Status updates I've been keeping up-to-date with somewhat through other means, and posted items seem to be a lot of YouTube videos which I can't watch, sadly.  Some of them actually look interesting.

I thought that the notes thing would be more fruitful.  I regretted not being able to post comments directly (I suppose if something really caught my eye, I could look up the note on my phone and make a comment that way, but, honestly, that's a lot of bother), but then I took a look at the actual contents of the feed.  On first glance, the vast majority of the notes posted seem to have been of the 'random stuff nobody knew or ever ever ever needed to know about me' variety.  On second glance, I realised that a few of those contained 'random crap generated by the internet that is only incidentally related to the author' instead.  My mistake. 

Sure, it's easy to do one or two of these things, and they usually only take a few minutes (I've done a couple myself, but let's pretend that that was for research purposes), but when I have everybody's all corralled together, crowding out poor little blog posts and stray creative thoughts, they become a bit overwhelming.

I know it's not my place to make comment on the state of the Internet, and God knows I should do more productive things with my own time, but I just wanted to say thanks to the people who are actually generating somewhat original content of their own accord. 

But ignore me.  I'm just becoming an Internet grinch because of communism.

In cheerier news, dogs are as smart as toddlers when it comes to taking a hint.