donate.goodwill.org is a Goodwill site that shows the benefit of donating common items to Goodwill. Over the past year, I’ve been working hard to declutter our house, and the widget at this site gives additional incentive. For example, a working computer gives someone eight hours of training.
Charity Navigator – Help the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake has a list of highly rated charities and tips for giving to make sure that your money goes to helping disaster victims rather than scammers and con artists.
I was shocked the other day to read the other day that only 38% of Americans could give blood if they wanted to. The CBS article Number Of Americans Eligible To Give Blood Overestimated By 60 Percent explains why. When I started donating in college, I think they asked potential donors about seven questions, including about how the donor was feeling that day. I think there were several dozen questions that I answered to today before I donated. Without working at a place with a regular visit by a blood bank, I hadn’t donated in four or five years. With my new job, I now drive past a hospital with a blood bank four days a week, so I decided to schedule an appointment there. I am pleased to report that the juice and chocolate chip cookies were very good.
This morning, the Gazette reported
The intersection of Powers and Old Ranch Road now tops the cityâ€™s list of the 25 most dangerous intersections while many hot spots from the past year saw fewer crumpled cars and injuries.
This is an intersection I drive past several times a week, and I thought it looked extremely dangerous from before it opened. Powers looks like a limited access highway at that point, and there is very little warning that there is at grade crossing with a signal at the top of the hill. In addition, the drivers on Old Ranch do not have good visibilty to see the traffic that might be approaching on Powers. I wonder if this report will lead the traffic engineers to consider some risk mitigation like flashing lights on Powers to warn of the intersection.
I had heard about Freecycle some time ago, but there didn’t seem to be an active local group. A few days ago, I checked again, and found that the Freecycle yahoogroup for our area had grown to 800 members.
Freecycle started as a way to exchange goods that were no longer wanted and keep them out of landfills. In our abundant society, people frequently discard things that are still useful, or would be to someone else. I take a lot of our discards to Goodwill, but I didn’t think Goodwill would welcome a short cord of firewood.
Since we hadn’t used our wood stove for several years, and finally sold it last summer, we didn’t need the firewood. Worse still, the firewood was stacked along our dog run fence, and two of the local dogs had discovered that it made a perfect ramp allowing them to jump in and join our dogs, which also gave them access through a dog door to the mudroom. (This was especially annoying since these dogs were chewers, and we didn’t have the mud room policed for dogs that chew. I try to keep the chemicals in the mud room secure, but don’t normally have to worry about the rest of the room.) We put up some mesh to keep the dogs off the wood, which worked but made the area even more of an eyesore. I had thought about putting a sign offering the firewood out on our road, but hadn’t gotten around to it.
Freecycle asks that your first post to the list be an offer, so I offered the firewood on Wednesday afternoon. I had over ten responses in twenty minutes. After a little correspondence with the first responder, I had arranged for her to come and pick up the firewood on Thursday afternoon. She and her two children arrived promptly at the arranged time, and it took us less than an hour to load the wood into her cargo van. I had no idea you could fit so much into one of those big vans.
Freecycle accepts posts about almost any legal item except for firearms, alcohol and tobacco. You are also allowed to post an occasional “wanted” item, and the one that amused me most was someone requesting a size 10 blue evening gown. The request was fulfilled the same day.
Everyone over the age of four or so knows how to tie shoes, right? However, a few days ago I learned about Bunny Lacing from Marn at Marn’s Big Adventure. This is a way of tieing the laces on athletic shoes so that the heel is better anchored within the shoe. I tried it, and it works. It isn’t even particularly difficult. (Read down a bit in the entry to find complete illustrated instructions.)
Since I am the Official Keeper of the Household Adhesives, I have a small stash of Crazy Glue in my office. I seem to be Crazy Glue Challenged, so I rarely use it. Jack doesn’t seem to have the problems that I do with it. Each time I try to crazy glue something, I end up with it all over my fingers, and frequently without even having fixed the item that I was attempting to repair.
This time, my goal was to stick a pin back to a pedometer since the clip had broken. The contents of the tube exploded as I punched a hole in the end. (This may have been a result of the altitude. A lot of things packaged at sea-level expand at 7200 feet.) I frantically wiped the glue off the items on my desk with a paper towel, and transferred a great deal of it to my hands. I then attempted to fix the pin back to the pedometer, and succeeded in gluing the item to the desktop instead. At that point, I gave up, and went and sat in the corner. I would have sucked on my thumb but it was covered with Crazy Glue.
I knew from past experience (lots) that Crazy Glue would wear off in a day or two, as the skin cells shed off my fingers, but decided to use Google and see if there was a quicker way to rid myself of it. At How to Clean Anything, I learned that Crazy Glue can be removed by finger nail polish remover or acetone, its active ingredient. I keep acetone on hand to transfer laser jet printing for my eraser carving, and sure enough, it works like a charm to get rid of that unique dead skin feeling.
I threw away the pedometer after I pried it off the desktop. I can’t face taking its mangled little corpse back for a refund at this point.
Last week, I was driving my Suburu when the check engine light came on. Since the auto shop we use is close to Jack’s work, he took it in for me on Monday. I kept my fingers crossed that the repair wouldn’t be too expensive.
The result? I didn’t fasten the gas cap securely the last time I filled the tank, causing a sensor to detect that the vacuum that should have been there wasn’t. The shop charged us $0 for this information. So, if your check engine light comes on in your Suburu, check your gas cap. It can’t hurt.