December 30, 2004

On Being a Blogging Daddy

I believe that this blogging habit is good for me, it keeps me writing (and therefore thinking), it records what I'm doing and thinking about right now so I can have the chance to look back on it in the future and see how I've changed, and it forces me to remember things. I've come to realize that I have a pretty bad long term memory. I don't know how it compares to other people, but if we all remember as poorly as I do, it's an amazingly lucky thing that we have historians (and phonebooks, archives, photo albums...)

I have only specks of memory from before college, which makes my siblings seem hundreds of years away. I used to have a grandmother, my mom's mom, but all I remeber are pictures, and butterscotch candies. That's no good, that's not enough to keep my brain happy, and I don't want to lose more. I don't want to lose this time with Marion, it's just too precious. I remember it all right now.

I remember before she was born, when we looked the other way during the ultrasound so we wouldn't accidentally find out which sex she was. I remember not having any real sense of whether she was a boy or a girl, and knowing more than I've ever know anything before, that I would be overjoyed either way. She waved at us that day, just as we were finishing up with the ultrasound.

I have the day she was born in my mind, like it was just a few days ago, yet it seems like such a different time. Keleigh and I were such different people, we lived a very different life. Marion came to us on May 31st, born into the water and into my hands. I still cry every time I think about that. I owe my wife so much for trusting me with such an important duty, such an honor. I love them both even more because I was able to catch Marion, to help in my little way to bring her into the world.

The early days of her with us, our baby-moon, are still with me too. We didn't have to go into work, didn't have to bother with getting groceries, or doing the laundry, or any of the trivial things that make up life. We had help, and we had our daughter. She actually didn't even have a name until the morning of June 1st, just Little Princess No-Name.

And I will not lose these days. I won't lose today, when she fell asleep happy, smiling at her daddy, and smiling at the world. I'm so lucky to have the chance to be with her as much as I am now, and I'm not going to let this time fall away into the broken pieces of my brain. My daughter, my baby daughter, will be with me forever, even when she's a 'big girl'.


December 29, 2004

Stinking Fantasy Football

Again.
And again.
And now, by popular demand, again.

Yes my good friends, I have lost in the championship game for the fourth consecutive year. You'd think that if my team was good enough to get to the final game in my fantasy football league for four years straight, that I'd get lucky enough to win one (even just one!) of the games.

As it turns out, my Anchorage Iceballs lost to the Boston Massacrez (owned by my friend Matt Boettcher) with a score of somewhere around 107-66. Drew Bledsole, Ahman Green, Marvin Harrison and company just could not compete with Sean Alexander, Tony Gonzalez, and LaDainian Tomlinson (what did his friends in elementary school call him? LD, LaDain, Lada?).

It's sad really, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I hope this isn't a symtom of my overall management system, because if it is I really shouldn't be in charge of anything.

Next year, we're looking at using an online fantasy football website, probably Fanball.com. This should make it easier for all of us, especially when doing the scores, as much of the process is automated. Next year, I'm sure I'll have a good season, and I might even make it to the final game, which I'll lose, pitifully. Who needs fantasy football...stinking game.

December 27, 2004

First Christmas, Christmas Firsts

As the world gets ready to go back to work after the holiday weekend, Marion and I ready ourselves for a new week of adventure. Being a professional daddy means that I don't get vacation days, but it also means that my work-life doesn't smash my brain cells against yet another form to fill out, or pamphlet to edit, so I don't need as many vacation days. Holidays do give Keleigh back to the family, and we certainly appreciate that.

The worst of this teething session appears to be over now, with Marion now sporting two fully functional bottom incisors. Wasting no time, she attacked an apple I was eating yesterday:



She literally chomped on this apple (no skin) for about 15 minutes, and this from the girl that refuses to eat the applesauce that I made for her (and I didn't put some crazy spice in it, it's just mushed up apple). Keleigh received a babyfood processor (ie. small blender) for her birthday, and that day we made some fresh applesauce. Today I might mix up some avocado for her, although I'll let her just gnaw on the whole avocado first.

In order to see if other things might be as tasty as the apple, Marion decided to sample my guitar:



Now, she also likes to listen to me play the guitar, which is great because it gives me extra incentive to practice. She has just about figured out that if she runs her hands across the strings they make noise, so I expect that she'll want to do that a lot soon.

I really do love this guitar, and I'm lucky that it fell into my hands when it did. I bought it for $365 in 1998 or so (the guitar was built in 1976), and it's given me more than $365 in value. I fear though, that it may one day finally collapse, as there are tiny stress fractures along the neck, and on the front of the body. This guitar has a special place in my life, and the day that it dies will be very sad. I just can't imagine buying a new guitar. I'm happy to see Marion get a chance to interact with it (and to have pictures), because I know that one day this guitar won't be around. I don't think it's on it's last leg now, but I'm worried about it.

In the realm of gifts, I received another thing to add to my 'SuperBelt'. You know, like Batman has the belt with handcuffs and all sorts of useful devices, it appears that being a stay at home dad does the same thing.



I've had the phone, so that's not new, and the blue stopwatch came when I needed something to time the labor for Marion's birth. The baby monitor (the big white thing) is on me when she's napping, and the new addition is the pedometer. You see, I have this crazy obsession with tracking things (gas mileage, visits to this website, and so on) and the pedometer gives me the chance to track how many steps I'm taking each day. What could be more fun than that? I could make a graph showing steps taken in the week, and find the average, and the standard deviation, an the median. This is gonna be great! I'll try not to update you about this process too often, as I'm sure that it's completely boring to just about everyone else.

Something that isn't boring, however is Marion's (s)Care Bear Book:



Okay, I must admit that the pocket knife didn't actually come with the book, but it fit so well in his caring little paws, he just seemed to need it more than I did. Scary little bear, I bet they just let him off probation. That's why we didn't see Care Bears for so many years, they were in jail, serving time for their crimes against humanity, and now that their sentence is up, they're back to their old tricks.

December 23, 2004

Clean Up Time

In the hopes of having people over for Christmas celebrations, we're cleaning the house today. I haven't been able to care for Marion and keep the house all clean this week, so we have quite a bit to do. Nothing that our Consumer Reports Best Buy Vacuum can't handle, that and some Formula 409 (which we still call 'Windex' for some odd reason, we've never actually purchased Windex).

There's something really great about having a freshly cleaned house, and I would have said that even before I was a full-time dad. Desks cleared, floors vacuumed (no more tree needles), and bathrooms shining...yeah, that's the good life.

Now, it might be that no one comes here for Christmas, both because of the drive (an hour to an hour and a half, depending on which side of the family you're on), and because we just got about half a foot of snow. It's really beautiful, but our street still isn't plowed, and we have to go get some groceries. Tricky business.

December 22, 2004

Diplomacy Tourney

Things are looking good for me in my email Diplomacy tournament (what is Diplomacy?). Throughout this third and finial preliminary game I've been around sixth or seventh place, and you have to be in the top seven to get into the championship game. The most updated standings actually have me dropping back to 11th place, but that's one season before my (hopefully) big step forward in the current game. After this part of our game, I should move from 73.5 points to 90 points, which will put me right around sixth place again. I'm feeling pretty confident that I can win this current game, which should get me into the championship.

Honestly though, while I'd love to play for the tournament win and I'd be dissappointed if I didn't make it into the final game, I feel great about my success already. This is the first Dip tournament that I've been in, and I never expected to be this high in the standings. I've learned a lot about how I play the game, and I think this will really help me to be better in the future. And, it's certainly nice to know that I can hold my own against seasonsed email Diplomacy gamers.

It is making me hungry for a face to face game, with a real board and real people sitting on real chairs. I hosted a game at about this time last year, and I hope that I'm able to put one together sometime in the next month or so, once some of the holiday rush dies down. I have a lot more people on my invite list, so I think we can get 7 people together to play, maybe we'll have two games going on at once, although we'd have to find a new venue. My house just isn't set up for 14 people trying to find a quiet place to talk.

December 20, 2004

All Sorts of Crazy

First Crazy: I've got to come clean about something. I've been using steroids. I use them to improve my ability to hit a baseball really far. Well, okay maybe not, I've actually only been using them since this morning, to combat the allergic reaction that I've somehow had.

It's not pretty, but it's not terrible either, I have an allergic rash on my left ear, and on my left cheek. It actually skips the area where my beard is, which makes me believe that I should be hair-face-man, in order to protect against this in the future. Just a bunch of bumps and redness, not too itchy except on my earlobe.

I must have had a reaction to something/one that I came in contact with last thursday (as that's just about the only day that I got out of the house), at the Mothering Arts gathering. Some child probably had organic-monkey-ass-flavoring on their hand, and they touched me. Bah, serves me right for leaving the safe confines of my home.

Second Crazy: Kira hurt her leg, apparently a sprain or twist of some kind. She's still playing like a crazy kitten, and doesn't express any pain when we touch the leg, so I don't imagine that it's too serious. Keleigh's sister is going to check it out when she next sees her, as she works at an emergency vet clinic.

Third Crazy: Marion, my darling daughter, is seriously teething. Last night there weren't any teeth, just white bumps on her lower gums, today we're feeling jagged edges of enamel. It's pretty exciting, but it also means trouble. She's uncomfortable, so she doesn't sleep as well as normal, and she has absolutely no tolerance for the car seat. With Christmas traveling coming up soon, we're having to decide just how much it's worth to have her screaming for hours at a time (and, really, nothing is worth that). We'll see how things move along.


December 18, 2004

Reading of Fatherhood

I went to the library on Thursday to take back H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and Others (which was dissappointing), and I picked up three books about fatherhood. One book stood out because it was entitled something like Men Write About Fatherhood, and I thought it would be great, because I also write about fatherhood, and I've been thinking about the different ways that I could do more writing about my experience.

As it turns out though, this book appears to be fathers writing about how they thought their fathers were distant, and how they never really wanted to have children. Now, isn't that a pick-me-up? Maybe as I get further into it there will be some more positive essays. I certainly hope so.

The other two books deal with the fathering of daughters, which is a topic that ranks pretty high on my list these days. I'm sure that part of my concern about being a good father to my daughter comes from seeing the relationship (or lack thereof) that my sister has with our dad. They've just never connected in a good way, and I really hope not to repeat that. He's a good guy overall, so it shows us that even good guys can be unsuccessful at fathering, so we have to be careful to learn how to father.

Speaking of fathers, my dad seriously needs to get a computer. I believe he's the only person under 65 to not have one, and it's cramping his style. How can he see cute pictures of Marion if he doesn't have a computer?

December 16, 2004

Rainbows

It was such a beautiful day yesterday that Marion and I went for a walk. I bundled her up in the wrap, and we set out around the neighborhood. She slept most of the way, but that was partially the point. I imagine that we were a strange sight, as she was completely wrapped and covered with my coat. I had my left hand up in the coat, and she was holding on to my pinky. So, here's this strangely-pregnant looking one armed man walking down the street in the winter, mid-day. Yeah, we were a strange sight.

After the walk, it was meal time, so I broke out the rice cereal. She was too distracted to eat though, because of the rainbows that the prism was spinning around the room. Desperately cute.



December 15, 2004

Monetary Goals

I'm going to set a goal for myself. I'm going to try to bring in $50 in December, and then $75 in January, and $100 in February... I don't know where I'll stop, although it'll probably just be wherever I find that either I don't need any more, or I can't seem to make anymore.

You might ask, "Jeremiah, you don't have a job, are you going to be mugging people?" I would answer that I have no intent to mug people, but if it comes to that, you might want to watch your wallets. The plan is to come up with little ideas that can make money, and I'm on my way there already. My brain is always doing this, trying to figure out a way that I can earn some (rather easy) cash, even before I left my job. Now though, without a job, there's some added importance.

Here are some of the ways that I'm thinking about, and/or implementing:

GoogleAds on OpenAppleDumb - This has already begun, and I'm pleased to report that I think it's working wonderfully so far. It's not much money, but if you could click on one of the links over to the left every time you leave this page, I would really appreciate it. If everyone clicks, it really adds up. I think I'll set a monthly goal for clicks, and put it over there for everyone to see. That way, you can see the click count go down, and we'll all have a sense of accomplishment. It won't be automated, but I'll try to update it at least once a day.

Babywearing classes - Many of you have seen the way that Keleigh and I carry Marion around with us, both in the black sling and the red wrap. It's such a convenient way to carry babies, and everyone benefits from the close connection. Well, every time that I'm around parents of young children when I'm wearing the wrap, they ask how it's done. So, I'm thinking that I can offer one hour tutorials to parents for around $10. The New Moon Midwifery has a 'Mothering Arts' group that always has women with new babies coming to it, so that would be a great way to meet new 'clients'.

eBay selling - I've already started this too, but so far I've only made about $10. Not really as much as I was looking for, but it's a fine start. I'm going to sell off all of the junk that I have lying around, and then I'm gonna start looking for things to buy and resell. If I can find things selling for low prices that tend to get higher prices, I'll buy them and then relist them for a profit. I've done some research into this, and I'm going to start slowly, but I think I can bring in a good amount of money with just a little time spent when Marion is napping.

Those are the three main things, and I'll probably just keep doing those. I've also thought about offering to do oil changes or body work on cars, offering myself as a gift-wrapper, proofreader, web-maintainer, or pretty much anything else that I can do from home while Marion is napping. If you need anything like this done, feel free to contact me. I'm a jack of all trades kind of guy, and that's good as both a father, and as just some guy who does odd jobs.

(Hey, don't forget to click on the GoogleAd, I mean it.)

December 14, 2004

Crazy eBay Parents

I was up again last night, as Marion has turned from sleeping-just-fine baby to I-don't-sleep-in-bed baby. Fun for the whole family. So, what does a sleepy dad do at 3am? I go downstairs and as Marion sleeps in the sling, I browse eBay. It appears that other parents don't just browse eBay, they actually use to to bring about family changes...by 'selling' their baby. (Did you know that the 'baby' category is under 'Home & Garden' on eBay? Seems like an odd place.)

I sent this desperate parent a message, asking if the item that they had for sale would help me stay up even later, as I already was up into the 'wee small hours' of night. They wrote me back, and have since asked for advice on what might be keeping her child up. I really don't know if I'm the guy to ask, as I really don't know why Marion is waking up.

Pretty crazy though, to strike up a parenting conversation at 3am, with an eBay listing.

Maybe I'll post an auction for answers to sleepless nights, once I find them.

I did get Marion to nap quite easily right now though, which is a very good thing. She's tending not to want to nap unless she's in the sling, and that's no good for my shoulder. Today though, she's on the couch (and I'm right here watching her).


December 13, 2004

Soon to Be Selling Out

In the next couple of days, I hope to make some changes to OpenAppleDumb. The first big change is a host-swap. The University of Michigan has been kind enough to provide a home for my website for the past year and a half (since March 3rd of 2003, in fact), and I am very grateful for the service. With my resignation from a university position, they no longer need to provide this service. While they don't take away your web space and email setup right away, it will likely be sometime in the near future, and I don't want to be cut off without having some kind of backup plan.

As an aside, I'm getting a very Pump Up the Volume feeling here. This is some cool pirate website, and I'm lettin' the man pay for it while I talk about how difficult it is to be a Christian Slater high-school geek from another town. Yeah, that's cool.

So the point is, I'm going to be changing hosts. I'm hoping that everything will work wonderfully, and there won't be any downtime, but it's possible that things won't go perfectly. During the switch (whenever it does occur), I'll publish to both the new host and Umich, in order to be safe.

For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, you really shouldn't notice anything different. Just make sure you're typing in (or your bookmark is linked to) www.OpenAppleDumb.com, and not something like this www-personal.umich.edu/~jleeum/. The Umich account will be going away soon, OpenAppleDumb will not.

The second big change is where I'm selling out. Hopefully it won't be too bothersome, but if it turns out to be a pain, I'll change back. I'm going to install Google's AdSense into my page in order to (hopefully) both pay for the new web hosting, and bring in some extra cash for full-time dad adventures.

No pop-ups, no image banners, nothing too annoying, I can assure you. Google is an impressive company, and they've offered the chance to advertise in an unobtrusive way. There will simply be a small list of text links in a corner that you can click on. Every time you click on a link, I get a portion of the money that the advertiser pays to Google. I'm not sure how much it is, but I'll let you know as we move on.

Hopefully I can convince you to have pity on me, and you'll click on one of the links each time you visit (even if you don't go to the site, or even care what it is). Add this to the money that I'm bringing in from eBay, and any other crazy idea that I get, and maybe I can line Marion's diaper with cash.

December 10, 2004

Best $8 Ever Spent on Cardboard

Now, I've spent quite a bit of money on cardboard in the past, as I was really into baseball cards for about two years, back in middle school, and then in high school we played Magic: The Gathering, and I spent way too much money on cardboard cards for this game. Yesterday though, I put them all to shame, and bought a very simple cat scratching thingee from Petco.

Yes, $8 on a bunch of cardboard stuck together. That's a lot of money for stinking cardboard. I expect that the producer makes a pretty darn good profit on these, as it can't cost more than about fifty cents to make it. So, in a sense, I got ripped off, but that would only be taking the material into consideration. There is a much greater benefit.

Kira likes to scratch the couch in our front room, and while she hasn't done much damage, it really angers me, and over time it would damage the couch. I'm not a fan of damage to couches, especially couches that were purchased new when we bought our house.

Well, I've tried some 'solutions' to help Kira stop this habit, but haven't had any success. I built a scratching post, and she didn't scratch it. I put sticky things all over the couch, and she just ripped them off. I sprayed anti-cat pheromones all over the couch, and she fell in love with it. She's a strange beast.

Now I have a solution, or so it appears. When Kira starts to scratch on the couch, I say 'No', and then I put her on this cardboard thing. She actually scratches, and I tell her she's a good girl. I think this is gonna work out.

Yeah, it's $8 for cardboard, but it's also $8 to keep my completely insane cat from scratching the couch that she loves so much.

December 09, 2004

First Visitor

You know you're a real full-time dad when someone comes over to visit during the day. Marion and I were lucky yesterday, as our first visitor was Seanna, a good friend from the University. While the visit was short (and, really, first visits should be short, because they might also be overwhelming) we had a very good time, and we're looking forward to more visits.

My plan is to have one visitor per week, as I know that it'll help me to keep in contact with adults, and it'll help Marion to feel comfortable with new faces. Once I've been doing this for a while I'll feel more confident, and more able to go out to visit people, but for now I think I'd rather people came to us.

We do have an adventure planned for today though, outside of the house. The New Moon Midwifery has a weekly get-together in their office called 'Mothering Arts', where a group of mothers (and every so often a father too) get together to talk about parenting. Keleigh had gone to the group for a while after Marion was born, but couldn't continue attending because of her work with iDL. I'd stopped by a few times, and attended some events put together by the group, but this will be the first time that I've gone alone.

I'm looking forward to it, because I'm sure the women will be very encouraging, and they'll be happy to see Marion again. I also know that one of the ladies that often attends has as stay-at-home husband, and I'd like to get into contact with him. It would really be good for me to have another like-minded dad to be able to chat with. I can't really imagine that right now, but I'm sure it's going to happen, I'm sure over time I'll become friends with another full-time dad.

Oh, and yes, I am up at 3:20am. Marion decided that she needed to wake up just about every half hour, and that's no good for anyone. She sleeps much better when she's in the sling, so I've taken her downstairs for a little bit of blogging. Crazy girl.

December 07, 2004

Father's Log: Day One

We had a great time yesterday, and I hope that it's a preview of the years to come. There was fun to be had, diapers to be changed, bananas to be eaten, and all sorts of marvelous adventures. I learned some things, and I'm sure that I'll continue to learn as we progress further into the adventures of daddy-ness.

1. When Marion is having bananas for lunch, do not change her clothing until after the meal.

I just hadn't considered it. It's not a big deal, but it's unfortunate that Keleigh's first day of coming home after work showed Marion at her messiest, and with her...well, this leads us to point #2.

2. If child is not happy with clothes being put on her, and when you get the onesie on, it happens to be on backwards, don't worry.

It's not like I've never put her clothes on her before, but for some reason (I blame this particular onesie) I put this one on backwards, and so Keleigh came home to a drooly, banana-y, backwards clothes wearing child. Yes, it was a good day.

I guess I'm just kinda laid back, and really, is it going to be that bad if she has her clothes on backwards. I mean, at this age, the clothes are almost symetric, and she certainly didn't seem to mind. Only fight the real battles.

And day two begins. My hair dye is coming out very quickly, and I'm not very pleased about it. I don't have a stockpile of dye, so I'd have to go and actually purchase more if I wanted to do it again, and that means spending money. Now, hair dye isn't expensive (about $1 per application for me), but do I really want to spend the money? I'm pleased that I got the chance to dye, and I may or may not repeat.

Marion's napping now, and hopefully I can get her back to sleep when she wakes up in 1/2 hour (that's her normal cycle). Things to do, books to read, dinner to think about.


December 06, 2004

Blue Men and Bananas

Today officially marks my first day as a full-time father. In just over one hour, my 'normal' workday at the University will start...without me. And at just about that time today, I'm going to take a nap. Now certainly, being a daddy isn't just about taking naps at 8am, but it'll surely be a nice way to start things off.

Marion, being the six month old that she is, had her first taste of solid food (well, smooshed) this weekend. We decided on a banana, because we didn't want the preservatives of mass produced babyfood to be part of her first go at eating solids. We also figured that since both of us like bananas (and even Kira likes the peel, crazy cat), that it was a good first choice. Keleigh and I recorded it with our camcorder, and I intend to post a segment of video once I figure out how to use our video editing software. She did well, considering what a very different thing this must be for her. I won't say too much, because I'm hoping to get the video online soon, but rest assured, there was a mess, and there was some banana consumed.

Speaking of starting things off, I got my new father-lifestyle started on Saturday by going back to an old hairstyle, and I had a fine time.



Back when I had to get a 'real' job, I stopped dying my hair blue, and now that I don't have to interview (at least not for a profession), I'm going blue again. I'm not sure how long it will stay, but I feel like I had to prematurely stop dying my hair, so it's nice to have the chance to go back.

It's so much fun to watch people squirm when I don't fit their stereotypes about blue-haired men. I may be a punk, but I'm one of the least offensive people you could meet, and that's just not part of having blue hair, or so people think.

I've also started to post things on eBay again, as I hope to bring in a little bit of cash from that. Feel free to bid on things, here's what I currently have listed.

So, it's (m)onday, and I'm going to do a lot of fathering today.

December 02, 2004

Up All Night

I'm up late tonight, thinking about tomorrow, thinking about Monday. Should Monday still have a capital 'M', I mean, now that I don't have to drive to work, is it really going to feel like a Monday? I mean, I'll notice, because Keleigh (bless her) will get up early to work, but it won't have the same harshness that it has for the past four years that I've been in the 'career' field.

I'm up late because Keleigh needs the sleep. She's doing so much more work than I am, and with Marion's habit of waking up every couple of hours (unless, that is, she's in the sling) it's tough for her to get the rest that she needs. Keleigh deserves rest, and I'm going to help Marion sleep longer, so Keleigh can get that rest.

I'm up late because that's the kind of person that I am. I've worked the night shift in a bunch of different jobs (not careers), and I've always enjoyed it. The world runs differently with the lights out, and the people that are up think differently. Just listen to some overnight call-in shows on AM radio, you'll know what I mean.

I'm thinking about tomorrow, my last day as a student advisor. I'm ready to be done, but there are certainly things that I'll miss. I really like working downtown, where I can take a walk at lunch, and look at all of the buildings, and watch the masses of people. I really enjoy watching people, and thinking about what might have brought them right-here, right-now. It'll be tough to do this with Marion, because I'll have to worry about nap timing, and feeding, and keeping her warm on walks. I'm sure I can do it every now and then, but I won't have the chance to take a walk downtown on a whim. I'm losing some of my freedom, but I really am getting much more.

On Monday, I won't have to drive 20 minutes to get to the street where I park, and I won't have to worry about having three dollar coins to drop in the meter. I'm giving up staff meetings, .5% raises, broken staplers, shared printers, parking tickets, and voicemail. I'm getting so much in return; hugs, diapers, smiles, teaching, learning, talking, and loving. It's the best trade I've ever been a part of.

I'm going to miss work, probably about one every month, but I'll never need to regret the choice that I made to give my love (and my time) to my baby girl.

The Bees are Paid For

Good people, the beekeeping project that I talked about in the last post is fully paid for! I'm so happy to have been a part of this, and I'm very proud of the OpenAppleDumb community.

Maybe we can get some pictures of the beehives when they go up, that would be great!

If you donated, and would like to be given a personalized 'thank you' on this blog, send me an email jlee (at) openappledumb.com, or post a comment below, and be sure to include your name.

Congratulations on a job well done, and for helping to bring Bees to Bolivia!

December 01, 2004

December is for Giving

A soon-to-be-no-longer-my-coworker used to be in the Peace Corps, and she was talking about the many projects that this fine government program. It really does appear that this is a good way to directly help people that are in need.

This is a major concern for many American donors, we just don't know what the money that we give goes to, and we really don't feel like we can be assured that our money isn't being sidetracked. We don't want to find out that of our $10 gift, $2 went to administration, $5 were skimmed off by Haliburton, $2 were lost to regional warlords, and the one dollar remaining made it to the people that actually need the money.

So the Peace Corps set up this great website where you can see the individual project proposals, how much money is needed, and they set up an easy online credit card payment system.

Since December is a giving month, and a time that we should all be thinking of ways to help others, I thought that I might be able to use OpenAppleDumb to do some good. With the power of numbers, we're going to get together to help some people in Bolivia.

They need $268 US dollars in order to purchase beehives, and the assorted things that you need in order to do some beekeeping. The community is supplying $70 to the project, so they only need $198 more, and I think that you can help make this happen. I know that just over 20 people read this blog on a regular basis, and if we all can send $10, the beekeeping supplies will be headed to Boliva. These people can then sell the honey, which will greatly improve the local economy.

So, we'll be able to help people, and we can say that we, as a group, made a difference for these people. It's $10, add it to your holiday spending budget, or borrow a movie or two from the library instead of renting. It's worth it.

$198 dollars my good friend, and this we can get some beehives for the people in Bolivia. I'll try to keep you updated about the status of the $198 dollars.

Read the proposal! Entre Rios Beekeeping Project
Give them your $10, it's easy!