What I’ve been up to…

I’ve been relatively quiet lately…  here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Working!  I tallied up the total number of vacation days I’ve used this year.  The total was 4.  That’s right, I’ve only had 4 days off of work this whole year.  How sick is that?  Well, I plan on remedying that over the next couple of months (more news to come).  Other than that, work itself, has been going relatively well.  Still lots of changes, but I feel relatively safe right now.  By safe I mean, that I have been busy as hell working a lot of different projects.
  • Commuting!  Up until last week I had been commuting to Chicago by train and bicycle.  It’s been great.  I feel less burnt out when I’m done with work.  I feel a little more motivated to actually go to work each week.  And that’s why winter has me worried.  The colder it gets, the less likely it is that I’ll be able to commute by bike.  Which means that I’ll need to start driving again.  Let’s just hope that gas prices stay low this winter (yeah right!).
  • Volunteering!  I have been volunteering time to two community organizations.  The Bike Project is a bike collective in Champaign-Urbana.  It gives people a chance to learn how to fix their own bikes and to build their own bikes from donated used bikes.  They also do things like give away bike lights, build bikes for underprivileged kids and other organizations.  I also volunteer a little time at WEFT, 90.1, a local community radio station.  Champaign-Urbana is blessed with several community radio stations.  My “job” at WEFT is to open the new Rock, Indie Rock and Pop music that comes into the station and get it ready for the on-air folks.  It’s a simple job, but it does afford me the opportunity to listen to a lot of new music (some of it actually decent).
  • Gaming!  I still play D&D every week.  I play in a game in Chicago and one in Champaign-Urbana.  I also play some board games here and there with Liz and her school friends.  I would love to play more board games, but oh well…  you can’t have everything.
  • Politics!  I’ve been really sucked into the elections and the campaigns.  I read a lot online and as I mentioned in a previous post I’ve done a little phone calling.  Go Obama Go!
  • Fostering!  Up until last week, Liz and I were fostering a rescued Bernese Mountain Dog.  Carly was adopted last week by a family in New Jersey.  I had to drive her up to Chicago so she could fly to New Jersey to meet her new family.  Carly was a real sweetheart, and I think both Liz and I will miss having her around.  If you’re wondering about Kiko.  He’s just fine.  🙂

And that should get you up to date on what’s been going on lately.  Watch for another post about what’s coming up!

–sam

I voted, and you can too!

This is just a reminder that if you didn’t get a chance to vote early…  you should exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, November 4th.  I won’t tell you how you should vote, but I will tell you how I voted.

I voted for Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.  He wasn’t my first choice, but I’ve come to believe that Obama not only has what it takes to be President, he is smart enough to surround himself with people that actually know how to run a government.

As for John McCain…  there was a time when I respected him for more than the sacrifices he made for this country.  This campaign has revealed him to be a poor choice for President.  I still respect him, but I couldn’t vote for him.  Oh…  you thought I wasn’t going to mention Sarah Palin?  I believe she has proven herself to be unfit for any position outside of Alaska politics (and even that’s a stretch).

For the last couple of weeks, Liz and I have hosted calling parties to help mobilize Obama supporters in key swing states.  In 2004, I did a lot more for Kerry than I have done for Obama.  I wish I could have done even more both in 2004 and this year.  If you haven’t done much of anything thus far during this election cycle, please consider doing something… anything that might help:

  • If you haven’t already given money to the Obama campaign, please consider doing so.  Even $5 is helpful.
  • If you haven’t considered doing some phonebanking or canvassing, again, please consider doing so.  Getting one more person to vote… just one… can make a difference.
  • If you have some free time on Tuesday, November 4th, please consider volunteering your time and your car to help drive people to the polls.  Again… even one extra vote can make a difference.

You can find out about opportunities for donating, phonebanking and volunteering at http://www.barackobama.com.  But even if you can’t do any of that…  do the one thing that everyone can:  VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Burma Action!

The situation in Burma is getting heated. Liz and I have been supporters of the opposition movement there for several years now. We both hope something good can come out of the current crisis, but it is far more likely that the military junta will stay in power… unless we can convince our leaders to urge China to action.

Let’s face it. Words from the UN or from anyone that isn’t China won’t mean much to the military junta that “governs” Burma. Call your Senators. Call your Representative. Call the President. Urge them to put pressure on China to use their influence on the military junta to stop the current violence before it escalates to something like the 1988 massacre.

President — (202) 456-1111
Senator Richard Durbin — (202) 224-2152
Senator Barack Obama — (202) 224-2854
Illinois State Representatives — http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml#il

If you’re not in Illinois, you can look up your Representative here…
http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html

And you can look up your Senators here…
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Here’s a petition from MoveOn.org to urge Hu Jintao to action… http://pol.moveon.org/burma/o.pl?id=11318-7851556-iT6CBi&t=3

Finally, here is a link to the Campaign for Burma website…
http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/

Thanks for listening…
–sam