Special Days

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Yesterday was World AIDS Day. In Vancouver, there were services and campaigns to help raise awareness [AIDSVan]. Around the world, nations and communities marked the day, whether it was by handing out red ribbons or massive public demonstrations.

…The need for additional treatment and prevention programs, health officials say, remains staggering. The global pandemic has killed 25 million people since the first case was reported in 1981, with 40 million currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. [CBC]

For the sick and the less fortunate these special days once a year, mustn’t be enough but they must help in some way. If even to educate and remind others that there is suffering.

This morning I went to Safeway to get some breakfast items. Outside there were 3 young girls with a woman, handing out cookies and coffee cups (coffee was inside). Today is Safeway’s Food Bank Day. I’m unsure if it’s just this location, but they were encouraging food and cash donations and in exchange, offering warm beverages and baked goods. At the checkout I realized I didn’t have any cash (just debit, per usual) so they said I could round up my bill and donate the remainder to the cause. I wasn’t anticipating to donate anything today, but I’m glad I did. Although one would think it would also help to hand out those baked goods and warm beverages in the DTES.

What I’m not glad about is a woman placed her order on the conveyor belt then told me to go ahead of her as she dashed off to collect more items around the store. The clerk then ran up everything so I had to let him know what was and wasn’t mine. He removed her items from my bag (and my bill).

As I’m sitting at home typing this John calls from the kitchen “Fruitcake?!”. Yeah, apparently the clerk forgot about the other woman’s $8.99 fruitcake that he scanned and put in my bag. I feel pretty ashamed that my donation is now overshadowed by the nine dollars I apparently shelled out for this fruitcake. I’ll try to find a way to make things right this afternoon.

Getting Our Moose On

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Northern Voice (aka Moose Camp) is ready and set for February 23 & 24 2007. Darren Barefoot made the registration announcement today and would like some input from all those in the blogging community – especially all the fine folks who wish to attend this “learning party”:

The conference, at UBC this year, will run for two days. Registration is open until Feb. 20th, 2007 and speaker submissions are open until December 1st, 2006. It seems to be very interactive and they’re always looking for feedback.

John and I will try to attend this year.  We would really like to especially since, from our experience (at Barcamp, Metblogs meetups etc.), there are a lot of great people in the Vancouver blogosphere,  Unfortunately, it just happens to be the Friday/Saturday before our 1 year wedding anniversary. Just how geeky do we want to be? hmm… we’ll see.

The Cloud Room, Up in Smoke

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The Cloud Room - Hey Now NowMy morning routine consists of taking the bus or walking to work, listening to another one of those bands that John‘s got me hooked on. For the longest while, it was definitely these guys, The Cloud Room.

We’ve got permission to play them on the podcast (so of course, we have [RadioZoom]) and I’ve mentioned them a couple times in various posts. They were all set to release their sophomore album in the near future until an unfortunate event this month:

Last night frontman J came home to his Williamsburg apartment, only to find that his belongings had been destroyed by a fire.

The band was working on their new tunes in J’s apartment, so all of their gear was destroyed, along with the Mac computer that contained the recordings. Amps, guitars, new tracks, plus all of J’s personal items and clothes went up in smoke. Oh yeah, and yesterday just happened to be his birthday. [TheTripwire]

The band was touring this year with Muse, across North America this summer and we were just waiting for them to add a Vancouver date. Due to this major setback we can’t expect to hear anything new for a while, and that’s really a shame.

Click the image (above) to watch the video for the single Hey Now Now.

21st Century Living

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I’d like to think that we do our part throughout the year to help those less fortunate or at least donate our time (since we don’t have much money) to help others. You could say that John and I do that every weekend and I suppose doing all those fun runs (Run for the Cure, Run for Light, Science Fair Run [miss604]) also help out, but of course the need is much greater than any of that combined.

My office usually signs up for the YWCA Adopt-A-Family program [YWCA]. Last year we gathered clothing, presents, money and food for a single mother and her children. This year we’re participating in Basics for Babies, a program via the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.[FoodBank]

Basics for Babies supports families coping with the challenge of raising a young infant by providing them with needed food, formula and diapers. The program receives the generous support of the JRfm and Unforgettable 600 am Basics for Babies campaign with additional support provided through Save-on-Foods. [FoodBank]

The Union Gospel Mission, which supplies warm clothing and hot meals to those in need is also looking for your support and has a “ways to give” section on their website [UGM]. Christmas hampers, clothing donations and serving meals are just a few ways to get involved.

And for the 19th straight year, local radio station CFOX will be on location at Superstore taking your cash and non-perishable food donations as a part of the Santa Fox Food Drive. This is what sparked a blog post last year [miss604]. I figured the theme of the post (minus the moments at the dentist) was a good idea. A roundup of links to give you that extra nudge, in case you wanted to show some support this holiday season and didn’t know how.

There are so many ways to get involved this Christmas, as it is the spirit of giving – although we usually completely forget about these acts mid-summer when support is also needed. For those of you familiar with the title of this post (being a Matthew Good song) you can guess what I’m getting at…