Blogathon 2008

Blogathon 2008 has kicked off and it is in full swing. As I sit here right now, I’m watching Dances With Wolves with Duane as he prepares to make post number nine or ten. To be honest, I’m getting pretty sleepy that I’m not sure where he’s at in terms of numbers.

Rual is here as well, firing away like a rabbit, making post after post with ease. I guess that’s easy for a guy who has a mind wrapped around academia. I recall those days, but it’s more common to find myself wrapped up in computer network cables and a brain full of code due to the number of projects that I have going on.

That’s pretty much why I’m not doing Blogathon this year. I like being the moral support and supplier of caffeine to the troops, aside from the occasional guest post for various Blogathon folks.

Rebecca has been working hard to get this years Blogathon organized, and you can see a list of the participants here. Duane has taken things one step further and created a RSS feed for all the Vancouver bloggers that are participating in this year’s fund raiser.

I admire there efforts and determination to make one post every thirty minutes for 24 hours. Trust me, if you think blogging, or even writing for that matter, is hard, you haven’t experienced Blogathon.

Also, if you feel like you want to contribute, think about making a donation to any of the bloggers and their charity of choice. Comments are great, but the real reason these people are sacrificing their weekend to blog nearly nonstop is to raise money for a good cause. It’s not just for the sake of being geeky.

Filling in for Rebecca at Skate for a Cure 2008

Silent Auction While Rebecca was in Toronto for her major TV appearance on Quiz The Nation, Skate for a Cure 2008 was going on back here in Vancouver. As the website can tell you, “Skate for a Cure is a fundraising event providing participants of all ages the chance to skate on the home ice of the Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place, helping raise funds to find a cure for childhood cancer.”

Basically, if you help raise money, you get to participate in the group skate on the ice at GM Place on January 20, 2008 (I know I’m late to post about it, but better late than never). Even more, you get to meet a player if you raise past a certain level. There is also a silent auction for lots of cool things like air hockey tables, memorabilia, and other assorted prizes.

J.J. crashes the boards Since Rebecca was out of town, I took her place for the event. I didn’t have any skates, so my plan was to just hang out with Tracey and, fellow Crazy Canucker, J.J. With my new camera, I figured I just shoot some photos, get a little free swag, and enjoy the atmosphere. Imagine my surprise, and more so Rebecca’s later on, when I was told that we’d be meeting Trevor Linden[wiki] that day.

Apparently Beck raised beyond the $250 dollars, all through her blog, to get a picture taken with her favorite, all time Canuck player. Which is amazingly great… if she wasn’t in Toronto being on a nationwide, CBC television show at the exact same time.

"Don't worry, you won't fall..."

J.J. and Tracey on the ice. You can hear him saying, “Don’t worry, you won’t fall.” They both skated beautifully, no matter if J.J. did almost run into the motor for the big, inflatable thing when crashing into the boards to spoke me out.

Nothing says love more

Not sure who this couple was, but this is what I expected to see more of on the ice. Couples skating hand in hand, Endless Love playing on the speakers, etc. Instead, there was a creepy version of Ronald McDonald on skates with Moj from TEAM 1040 telling people on the P.A. how much time they had left on the ice. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun, but just a touch on the less romantic side.

My shot with Trevor Linden

Not to rub it in, but this was a pretty cool five minutes. I almost missed the opportunity simply because we didn’t know that Rebecca raised the money for this to happen. With some slight encouragement from Tracey, J.J., and the volunteers, I ran up the stairs to see if it was too late. As I went to shake his hand, one of the umbrella light stands of the photographer’s setup crashed into me. Trevor had just put his hand out and said, “How you doing?” All I could say, falling just shy of connecting that handshake, “I’m under attack!”

As we take the photo, I tell him that my wife is going to kill me. “Aw man, she wouldn’t do that, would she?” Yeah… yeah she would. I explained how she was in Toronto and couldn’t be here today. I also said how she would be really bummed about missing out on this opportunity, and I was pretty spot on. “There’s always next year, right?” Absolutely.

You can see all the pictures that I took from the event on Flickr.

Trying to Raise A Reader

Yesterday morning, Rebecca and I ventured around downtown to see what Canucks players we could mug for a photo during the Raise A Reader event that the Vancouver Sun put on. For those unaware, this is an event in which you donate money to people giving away copies of that day’s edition of the Sun in hopes of helping the fight against illiteracy. A great cause for sure, and we’ve been planning on this day for about a month. Last year it caught us off guard, so we made sure to mark it down this time around.

Raise a Reader Day: Hank is going to kick your a$$!
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

Basically, to get a picture or signature from the various players that were stationed around Metro Vancouver, you have to make a donation. A stellar idea, and we snagged a few. Hank was super nice, but a little stiff. In fact, I think he looks like a cardboard cutout here, but that’s cool. He can still play hockey better than I ever could. Also got a snap of Rebecca with Kevin “Boom Boom” Bieksa, but we bypassed Byron Ritchie and Rick Bowness. Nothing against them. We were just on the move.

Raise a Reader Day: He squeezed back
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

Still, the best image from the morning was this one that I snapped.

Fin is insane!

When I pulled out my camera, Fin saw me and gave me this great pose. I swear he must have had a liter of coffee before suiting up for the morning. How he does it, I’ll never know.

Raise a Reader Day: Fin is nuts!
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

When my parent’s first visited Vancouver, we took a ride on one of those exact, same trolleys. Some dude dressed in an orca outfit with smoke spewing out the top of his head never found his way on our tour, and it makes me want our money back. I could only imagine those out of town folks, namely Americans, who had no clue who or what was jumping on board with them and going straight for the driver’s seat, proceeding to lay on the horn like there was no tomorrow.

Fin is trying to work the trolley

We also walked by the Vancouver chief of police by the Hotel Vancouver. There were numerous police and fire personnel all over the place, and they are just as much as important as the hockey players around the city. They might not score as many goals, but they’re still important folks in my book. Overall, I think it was a pretty successful morning for the Raise A Reader campaign.

Blogathon 2007 I wanted to make a point to let everyone know about Blogathon 2007. Not only is it a good cause to take apart in, but Rebecca is stepping up to the challenge this year. We watched Alanah and Yvonne go for it the last time around, so we know what it takes. Unfortunately, I have to work that day, otherwise I’d probably be taking part as well.

The goal of blogathon is to blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours (this year being July 28th). The most validating part of the concept is to get people to sponsor your marathon of bloggery. Each blogathon site will have a donate/sponsor button and a charity of choice selected. As you read and enjoy the plethora of content hopefully you will be inspired to donate. Last year I donated to Canuck Place and received a tax receipt along with warm fuzzies. The blogger never processes your money or sees your transaction, it all goes directly through the charity.

This year I’ll be blogging from 6:00 am Saturday July 28th until 6:00 am Sunday July 29th. I will be awake (because that’s a part of the challenge) and fully interactive with commenters and sponsors. My charity will be the Surrey Food Bank, and I’ll put up a nice little badge and link when the fun begins. Until then, stay tuned, the post category will be ‘blogathon’. Who knows how silly things will get at 4:00 am Sunday morning with me running on no sleep, tethered to my laptop. [miss604]

You can follow this link to make a pledge to her efforts.

It should be an interesting experience. I know that if I were to be doing this, I would be supporting the Angelman Syndrome Foundation for my nephew Zach, probably the sweetest little boy that you’ll ever meet. If anything, I’ll be popping in on Rebecca’s effort with more information on the condition.