Please donate to help with relief to the survivors of this devastating Tsunami/earthquake disaster! These links will take you to reputable sites for trusted donations:
American Red Cross
Well, I survived Thanksgiving. Mom hasn't been feeling too well, lately. Age, arthritis and a fair amount of traveling this last year has caused her to feel like an old lady lately, rather than her young 85 years. So she didn't head off to Florida this year with some of the family. She decided to relax and stay home...to endure my cooking. Since, where mom is is where the family wants to be, we had some additional family over this year, too. But we all survived each other's company<smirk>...and I was able to relax some the next day.
Which makes me think of those folks who get up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving to go run a few miles in some Turkey Trot race. Or worse! You people who grab the family and head out shopping at sunrise the day after Thanksgiving! Okay, don't get me wrong. I actually admire you for your traditions. It's pretty cool that you can get your group organized, pack up and head out in search of seasonal bargains and cheer. Maybe I'm even a bit jealous that your family has their act together in this way and that you have such a cool family tradition. That's really neat.
Although the only place you'll find my butt...after hours of holiday house cleaning, cooking, entertaining and dishes...is planted firmly in my bed! Thanks...but I'll just watch you all on the news reports later in the day. As with any holiday...my idea of a good one is not to run around shopping, sightseeing and seeing how much activity I can cram into a day. I prefer to relax on my holidays! My idea of a vacation is to plant myself on a beach and do as little as possible. Ahhh...yes, that's shear bliss.
But the holidays do mean that there are a lot of traditions and commitments you must deal with. Dig the tree and decoration boxes out of the shed or take the family out to find the perfect tree. Hunt out all those family traditional holiday recipes. Can't sit down for dinner if someone forgot to make gramma's noodle casserole!
And, of course, another seasonal tradition is that we're all forced to be nice to each other! I must say that it was kinda nice heading out in the masses the day before Thanksgiving to do a ton of grocery shopping...in a sleet snow storm!<sigh> No really...it wasn't that bad because the weather here in Chicago was just so miserable that day that everyone was taking it in stride. As I stood in the checkout line, looking like a drowned rat, watching it snow sideways, people were just giggling in line and cracking jokes. It was so bad...we just had to laugh to stay sane. So it was kinda fun.
Along with being nice to each other at this time of the year comes the fact that we all try to do something extra special for someone to make us feel better. I suppose we figure that the karma of doing something nice for someone else will help us survive our own family gatherings? Although, it's also a time when we're gathered with our own families...trying to be nice to each other...when we think of those who are alone at this time of year, or who haven't been as lucky or blessed as we have in our lives.
We miss the loved ones who aren't with us...we think about those who could use a little help...we are thankful for all that we have and I believe many of us get a real need to share the wealth to try to put a smile on someone's face...someone who might really need a little extra cheer. So we give money to charities...we donate our time...we buy presents for strangers in need...and we worry about those left out in the cold.
One of the articles I wrote this month was a rabid rant about a web site who sponges money from people who need technical support by making them pay for answers. That's not a bad fact in and of itself...but many of those answers that they are charging for are simply links to free content on the web...such as to many free articles right here in TechTrax. Oh yeah...I'm steamed about that one!
But after thinking about it...I realized, yes...we DO give away tons of valuable information here in TechTrax. WOW...you people are so lucky to get all this great info and entertainment each month...for free!<smile> So I decided that I AM going to make you pay for all this free information! Yup...I'm going to ask you to return the favor for all the wealth of information and entertainment you've ever received from this magazine...by going out and doing something nice for someone else this season...with TechTrax in mind.
No fair doing what you might normally do this year, like sending money to an animal shelter, a health charity or playing Santa and saying that this year it was in return for all you've learned from us. NOPE! I'm asking you to do one new thing...and do it as payment for all the free stuff you've gotten from us each month over the years!
If you need suggestions...I'll be happy to provide some...
* Right now there are many soldiers trying hard to survive in unfamiliar situations who are providing services to their country. And I don't just mean about all the US soldiers in the middle east. No matter what country you are from, there is someone out there working hard to keep you safe. Whether it is a soldier, the police, a firefighter...or all those security canines whose mission in life is to sniff out bombs or find lost people.
* There are many homeless, hungry people who could use your help.
* There are many homeless, hungry pets who could use your help.
* There are many people...elderly, mom's, dad's, kids...who are suffering from some terrible illness who could use a smile or some flowers to cheer up their day. Or even better...more money to find a cure.
* See this link for more of my own personal suggestions: http://www.mousetrax.com/Pets.html#Help
So here's the deal folks. I'm asking you to stop and think. If you've ever found anything useful here in TechTrax...if we've ever made you think...if we've ever solved a problem for you...if we have ever taught you a skill...if we've ever made you smile...it is now time to pay up!
Send a few bucks to someone in need! Send flowers to a stranger or lonely neighbor who could use some cheer. Bring food or gifts to a stranger. Donate some extra time to a charity or holiday drive. Do one EXTRA thing this year...just because we asked you to give back.
And when you do accomplish this task for us, we'd like to hear about it. So please use our Feedback form to tell us what you've done to return the favor for what we've done for you. Just add "HOLIDAY PAYBACK" in the feedback form subject line. Then provide us with a few details about who you helped or what you did in return. Next month I HOPE we'll have tons of great feedback and we will post a special article to document all that our readers have done to make life a little better for someone else this year.
Sure, this idea might bomb...but I've got high hopes that our readers are better than that and that we can make a little difference.
And to those of you who do follow through and do something...from the bottom of our hearts...we THANK YOU!