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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Welcome to Buck-a-Hit Day, e-Hat, and Comment Contest

Welcome to the fourth annual Buck-a-Hit Day on this blog.

First things first. By visiting this site today, you have caused me to give $1 to a charity that feeds or shelters needy people here in Oregon. The Mrs. and I will give another $1 for every additional unique visit to the site before midnight tonight (as determined by SiteMeter, or if SiteMeter goes down, our server's stats), up to a maximum of $1,000. Once again, our charities are the food pantry of St. Philip Neri Parish; and Daybreak Shelter for homeless families. But this year, we're splitting the donation with a charity to be selected by one of you, our readers. (Read on.)

While you're here, we're passing the e-Hat, asking you to join us in giving. Beyond the thousand bucks for a thousand hits, we'll match up to $500 donated by readers, with the proceeds being divided equally between the Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon Chapter of the Children's Heart Foundation. Just click on the hat below to make a contribution -- no amount is the wrong size:

Not only will we match your contributions up to $500, but if reader donations make it to the $500 level, a reader known to the internet as Mr. Fearless will kick in another $500 to the Oregon Food Bank. And so each dollar you give today is worth at least 2 dollars, and possibly 3 dollars if donations run high enough.

That brings us to the next point: If reader donations to the e-Hat today should make it past the $500 level, another reader, Greg M., will match the additional contributions, up to another $500, with his dollars going to the Oregon Chapter of the Children's Heart Foundation. And so if enough readers contribute enough dollars, we could wind up donating $3,500 to charity.

Together, we gave just half that amount last year, and so our goal this year is ambitious. But hey, why not shoot for the stars?

If you'd like a receipt (contributions are tax-deductible for you deduction-itemizers out there), just leave a note with your donation, or email me here. Be sure to include in the note your name and address, and the amount you've contributed.

The last (but not least) item of business is the Comment Contest, a new feature. Readers are asked to submit a comment relating to the winter holidays -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever. The author of the best comment (as chosen by our top secret selection committee) will get to designate which section 501(c)(3) charitable organization gets $250 of our donation. So be witty, be pithy, be smart, be deep, be moving, or just be good, and if you're the best, you'll get to steer $250 of ours to your favorite charity.

A tech note here: Our web host informs us that the comments feature of our blogging software, Movable Type, can hog memory on the server. If that becomes too much of an issue today, we'll shut down the comments feature and ask readers to submit their comments by e-mail. Unless and until we are informed of a problem, however, you're invited to click on the link to "Comments" on this post below. Please leave a legit e-mail address (it won't be published or publicized) so that we can be in touch if your comment is the winner.

Regardless of whether you donate or comment, thank you for coming by today. If you are a newcomer, I hope that you will look around the site a bit (the archives are on the left sidebar, if you're interested), and come back again another day. And please don't hesitate to get out the word to others who may want to visit and give. (One last thing: I may be changing the time stamp on this post from time to time throughout the day, to keep it up on top of the main page.)

UPDATE, 9:45 a.m.: We have reached 736 hits, and there's $315 in the e-Hat already, for donations of $1,366 so far. Thanks, readers! Just $61 more of reader contributions and we will pass what we gave last year. Plus, we are just $185 away from our first big match. Your $1 gift is worth $3 if we can reach that level. Please give. No amount is too small.

UPDATE, 10:29 a.m.: WOO HOO! We have made our first match goal of $500, and so Mr. Fearless will give an additional $500 to the Oregon Food Bank. There's $520 in the e-Hat, people -- very impressive. Thank you! Now Greg M. is matching every additional dollar contributed, up to another $500. Let's make sure we take him to the limit! Meanwhile, the hit counter for the day stands at 852, for total donations of $2,372 so far. Let's go for the $3,500!

UPDATE, 11:25 a.m.: We received our 1,000th hit of the day at 11:15 a.m. -- record time. Thank you for coming! And the e-Hat now stands at $579.90, for total donations so far of $2,659.80. Let's keep going with the Greg M. match, toward our overall dream goal of $3,500. Just $420.10 more of reader contributions to go.

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: The e-Hat donations are up to $694.90, and so our total donations for the day are up to $2,889.80. We're working our way toward that $3,500 goal, and it's looking good. If you haven't already done so, please chip in and keep the ball rolling.

UPDATE, 5:12 p.m.: The e-Hat total is up to $754.90 now -- better than three-quarters of the way to our goal of $1,000 worth of donations from readers. Our total donations for the day so far, including Buck-a-Hit and matches, is $3,009.80. Can we make it to $3,500 by midnight?

UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: The money in the e-Hat total is now at $824.90, and that means our total donations for the day so far, including Buck-a-Hit and matches, is $3,149.80. We've got a couple more hours to go, but to reach our dream goals of $1,000 in the e-Hat and $3,500 total contributed to charity, we still need another $175.10. Can you help? It's all for good causes.

UPDATE, 11:48 p.m.: We made it!

Comments (45)

. . . and the first shall be the best.

God bless you and yours this Merry Christmas. I dropped my coins in the box. Here's to going above and beyond whatever goals have been set.

I offer up a holiday haiku:

Six days left to go.
My shopping is still not done.
I'll cheat with gift cards.

You are an inspiration for some of us bloggers. I freely acknowledge that I borrowed some elements of your idea to create another form of "buck-a-hit" and matching contest over at my own site. It makes like much more enjoyable than simply writing the checks and sending them off in the mail. There's a definite sense of community involved in getting reader participation. Thanks for the idea. Have a wonderful holiday season and say hi to all those folks over at St Philip Neri, my wife's and my original parish, until we moved too far away to make it regularly. We're now denizens of St. Clares.

Happy Holidays from Portland Metblogs. Great cause.

Thanks, 'boi!

Hey, don't be shy with the comments, folks. Last night someone started things off on this thread with a link to this very R-rated clip. I pulled it because it did not set the right tone. It's definitely NOT WORK SAFE.

I'd like to offer a controversial little wish to all people of all faiths (and even of no faith):

Peace on Earth, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas!

I just emptied my PayPal account into your hat. All the money that I earned selling crap on e-bay is now in your coffers.

Good Luck!

Here's wishing you all a season filled with cheer and peace. We'll all start our fitness regimes on January 2nd, right?

Congrats, Jack. Good job.

I don't use PayPal because they have some huge security issues but.... I am sending Oregon Food Bank a check today (I was doing it anyway).

The only identity theft problem I've ever had started when I mailed a paper check...

I don't use PayPal because they have some huge security issues

No, they don't. They've processed well over $15 billion.

I personally raised over $180,000 for Katrina relief via PayPal, and they were awesome -- cutting their fees in half and moving the money directly from the PayPal account to the Red Cross (without having to move it through my checking account, which would have been a nightmare.)

The only security issues are related to non-PayPal scammers sending phishing emails. But you'll get that stuff in your inbox regardless of whether you use 'em or not.

Okay, just threw in my contribution (financial, that is...)

As for comments, well...I'm all out. We're in the 'if it's Tuesday, it must be Hanukkah' mode here today at the nominally-Christian mother's house. But later this week? My jewish children will head to their Jewish father's house for Christmas.

Anyone have a recommendation for a good therapist? My kids are sure to need one someday...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the house and the tree. Our daughter Abby always enjoys it as well, especially as she gets older and can help (she's 4). But this year we have yet to get the tree up since we're in the middle of moving from SW Gresham to NE Gresham. With the snow and ice we've had out here since Friday, it sure has made moving slow.

Merry Christmas. I, for one, will be having a very modern holiday. From Portland to Chicago to see dad for 4 days, then to SF to see mom for 4 days. I am 28 and still splitting holidays. One things remains the same, though: the spirit of giving to those in need and those I love will travel from Oregon to the Midwest to California, undaunted by the airports and the airplanes.

Thanks for your generosity...

Thanks for everything you do for us normal people, and bringing important, and sometimes not so important, issues to our attention.

I've sent my donation.

Thanks for doing your part for charity, and helping others do the same.

I'm in Louisiana, celebrating Christmas in the Big Surreal. Don't have any wise comments of my own, but there's a post-Katrina Night Before Christmas floating around down here that I thought some people might enjoy...

'Twas the night before Christmas and in the Faubourg
At the edge of the crescent, no creature stirred.
Under the shroud-like blue plastic from FEMA
That flapped in the wind in the wake of Katrina,
Nothing was hung by the chimneys with care
Since chimneys and roofs were no longer there.
The houses, abandoned for trailers or Texas,
Were circled with watermarks, branded with Xs,
And in them no sugarplums danced in kids' heads,
For no little children slept snug in their beds
On this night before Christmas in Faubourg-St John
Where time had stopped dead, while the world carried on.

The rest is at:

But the ending is nice, and it offers thanks to all those who offered aid and succor during the last year:

To all those who took in our downtrodden folks,
Or ferried them out in their flat-bottom boats!
To Tennessee… Texas… Jackson… Atlanta…
Our Baton Rouge brothers … and Lou-i-si-ana!"
I notice no Rudy steps up as their leader,
Yet something unseen guides this flock of believers,
A force that transcends rich or poor, black or white,
A light that can steer this brigade through the night.
In a twinkle they've finished the last of the ale
And they hoist their equipment, their masks and their pails:
"On, Comet! On, Borax! On, on Spic 'n Span!
"Come (Yule) Tide and Cheer! Come, All, let us plan!
Up, Mildew! Off, Mold! Out, out, Toxic Waste!
Come, Shout! Away, Wisk! Come, let us make haste!
To the top of the water mark! Up, past the stair!
Let the City that Care Forgot know that we care!"
Then to Lakeview, Gentilly, Chalmette and the East,
Away they all marched to a Zydeco beat.
Ere they rose past the tarps, I heard a voice say
"Merry Christmas-and Laissez les bon temps rouler!"

Great thing you have going Jack, I dropped a donation "into the hat".

A thanks and a tip of the hat for bringing back Buck-A-Hit Day this year. You are inspiration to us all.

As for a holiday-related comment/anecdote, well, the family and I made one of our annual trips down Peacock Lane last night. Several of the residents have stepped up their displays this year. One house has a new Peanuts set-up in the front yard. A family that lived up on Belmont has apparently relocated. They brought along their massive collection of holiday decorations with them.

But most interesting and curious of all is a "naughty" display featuring characters from the 60s-era Rudolph stop-motion specials. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but the house's Abominable Snowman has two bright pink lights for nipples and two others for his, er, "boy parts." I guess it was cold out there last night but maybe they should give him a scarf or something to cover those up.

I saw you did this last year - very holiday of you!

May I suggest a unknown charity to you:

Parents of Autistic Children of Oregon (POAC of Oregon - http://poac-or.org). Currently filing for nonprofit status (if approved with help of attorney can accept charity up to 2 years before approval of nonprofit status.

We are hoping to send one or more teachers to training for Direct Instruction teaching methods this summer. Direct Instruction is a proven effective method of teaching reading, math, spelling, and writing to children with disabilities and typical children and has been around for decades.

The cost will be minimal as the training is put on by a nonprofit in Eugene, OR and so travel and hotel will be nominal or up to the scholarship recipient. In return, the teacher provides training to other teachers and parents.


Done. Great idea. Great charities.


My favorite song this time of year. See? We really CAN all get along... Happy Yule

[b]The Christians and the Pagans[/b]

Amber called her uncle, said "We're up here for the holiday
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay"
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three
He told his niece, "It's Christmas eve, I know our life is not your style"
She said, "Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and it's been awhile"

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, "Is it true that you're a witch?"
His mom jumped up and said, "The pies are burning," and she hit the kitchen
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, "It's true, your cousin's not a Christian"
"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere"

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
And where does magic come from, I think magic's in the learning
Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, "Really, no, don't bother"
Amber's uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father
He thought about his brother, how they hadn't spoken in a year
He thought he'd call him up and say, "It's Christmas and your daughter's here"
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve saying
"Can I be a Pagan?" Dad said, "We'll discuss it when they leave"

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold


May I suggest a rousing chorus of Oy Vay, Maria.

Jack, Thanks for all the great work this year. That recent post about New York City was one of the best things I ever read on the Internet. It's amazing how much human spirit you manage to put into a computer monitor.
Here's wishing you the best in 2007.
--Bill McDonald

Being godfry, I'm doing my damnest to ignore everything theistic. I kicked in for the good causes here and wish everyone a well-lit and warm solstice and that the coming year will be sol-ful.

In homage to your charitable spirit and the hope that the New Year and the new Congress might offer some much needed change of course across the land, let me offer up the following oft ignored verse from "America the Beautiful:"

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!


pass the hat with bog
for the good of portlanders
don't tell emily


Christmas at jack bog's blog
His readers gather 'round the yule log
We give of our blessings to charity
Because sometimes here niceness is a rarity
Now who's gonna spike the egg nog?

Whatever....there's always 2007.

Festivus for the rest of us! ;-)

Hope your holidays are grand, Jack, and hope that the buck-a-hit is a huge success.

There once was a blogger named Jack
Who liked to make wise and to crack
But just today - this one time
He asks for nickel and dime
Hence the needy have more than a snack.

There is an art to a good limerick and I suspect I have not quite the style or wit necessary - but I may get points for inspiration!! Thank you. Jack for all of your efforts to keep us a little more wary and much more informed.

The earth has turned on its axis
To a time when giving's a practice
Oh, the feeling that comes
When donating large sums
Is better than paying our taxes

May God continue to bless your efforts -

I dropped something in the Salvation Army Kettle in your honor.
Not only don't I do PayPal, I don't even do credit cards.

At this time of year, humility is a critical character trait. So I will refrain from giving the BRILLIANT comment I have in my mind.

And if you believe that...

My holiday memory is also a shameless plug for my charity-of-choice.

My older brother is mentally ill and has been, at times past, homeless on the streets of Portland. As such he has taken advantage of many of the social services available in Portland.

One year, when he wasn't homeless but nearly so, I had picked him up for the trek to our parent's house for holiday cheer. He had already made the rounds at a couple of places to fill his belly and get some gifts from the generous people of Portland. He implored me to stop at Pioneer Courthouse Square on the way to Sherwood in order to partake of the Christmas Feast provided by the Girl Scouts. Given that we were on a way to a Christmas feast of our own, I didn't allow it, but that memory stuck with me.

I was both very thankful that there were such services out there for him, and very aware of the fact that come holiday time the services were much more available than at other times of the year. And so as much as I love charity at the holidays, I work hard to make sure it lasts throughout the year.

The one organization that did the most for my brother during those lean times was Sisters of the Road, which is one of the most fabulous grass-roots organizations I know of. So that is where I would ask for the last bit of funds to be directed. And, although I can't find evidence of it online at the moment, I believe they've got a match program or two running through the end of the year, so that could turn that $250 into even MORE money.


I dropped something in the Salvation Army Kettle in your honor.
Not only don't I do PayPal, I don't even do credit cards.

"...Not only don't I do PayPal..."

Dude, if you ain't gonna give, at least get your grammar in order.

Hey, chumps, give it up.
Less than 3 hours left.
(or is that fewer?)

Merry Christmas!

or else

and by the way,

If you're interested in putting the Oregon Food Bank and other charities out of business, how about donating some change to causes that might just help do that!

For instance:




apologies to JK.

Can't resist a good haiku challenge:

Two bits in the hat?
'Tis the holiday season...
Make it a whole byte!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a prosperous New Year to you Jack, and to all your readers!

-- David

I couldn't stand that extra $.10 just waiting to be donated - I pitched a little into the hat to help even things out a wee bit.

Happy Holidays.

Season's greetings everyone. Thanks for the inspiration, forum and great reading material.

Jack, if you email a mailing address I'll kick in the last $175 or whatever it's down to now. It'd be in the form of a check as I do not have a credit card.

And unless there's a foundation that can help Ricky Ragg, I'd pick the Salvation Army.

I love ya, man!


I'll kick in the last $175 or whatever it's down to now.

Bill, I am happy to say that we have reached the $1,000 goal for the e-Hat. I have a post coming up about this in a minute.

thanks Jack Bog
for your giving
love yer charity.

This is such a wonderful idea. The world will benefit from more examples of people using the internet to do good.

As for a good holiday observation, I can think of none more appropriate than one submitted to our latest Holiday Love and Madness newsletter. May even we children of 'older age' know the wonder of anticipation, this season and the whole year through.

"Most of us, when we reflect upon Holiday memories we look in the deep recesses of our mind, and begin to hear the joyous sounds of our childhood, the smells of the Yuletide kitchen, and the sights of family members past. This holiday I am looking forward to Holiday memories yet to be.

This year I am not only spending it with my two children, who have been my "raison d'etre", but with my fiancé and her two children, both infants. This year will be a blended holiday. This will be a Christmas to gap years and generations. You see, twenty years ago I dated the girl who would, decades later, become my fiancé. And now we can share this day of rejoicing with a teenager longing to be an adult, a "tween" caught in between the childhood dreams of Christmas and the commercialism of Xmas, and two infants yet to see the pageantry, majesty and wonder of Christmas.

So my Holiday memory this year is not a longing of Christmases past, but a longing for Christmas yet to be."

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