I know we talked about waiting, but I just can’t.I’ve been back in Iraq for two months, and something has to give.
I need fabric. I need yarn. I need needles, and thread, and buttons, and cool zippers. I need tractor prints, and ones with pineapples, and that awesome shade of green that makes the yarn seem like it’s made of moss.
I know we have been talking about August as the timeline for IBOL3D, but we need to start a little bit early.
Some other time I’ll tell you how this came to be. But let’s talk turkey. Read carefully – things have changed this time around.
I’ve got 10 things to tell you about IB♥L3D. Just ten, I swear.
1. A unit here has asked for ~500 bundles. So, this time around, I need to open the spigot of bundles and then turn it off as we get close. You’re going to hear me ask you questions about what you’re putting in the mail. Rest assured — I am no stickler for details. As with hand grenades, close counts. ~500 is around 500, not actually 500. Please bare with me on this.
2. Same deal as always — leave me a comment here on the blog, and I will email you back with the address. I’ll also include some wit and wisdom, some amusing anecdotes maybe, but certainly some guidelines and helpful tips and links to more information. I want you to succeed, so that initial email from me will have bunches more than just the address.
3. The mail isn’t coming to me this time. We’ve actually put into place the means for it to go straight to the right place. What does that mean to you? If you put in jars of jam, or a totally awesome and home-made IBOL shirt, or a tub of ice cream, I won’t be the one seeing it because I won’t be the one opening the boxes.
4. 500 is a lot of boxes. Really, it is. I moved a few thousand of them by hand in IBOL 1, and rest assured — it’s going to take a lot to reach this goal. Send one bundle, send 10. We’re surging in 500 now, and we’ll do more later in the year. (Is this an excuse to go shopping?)
5. Help me — help spread the work. I’ll soon post a flier, to hand out to friends and family and guild members and people on street corners. You twittererererers can start throwing out the #IBOL3D and #IB♥L3D hash mark now, too. And Facebook, too — no, I won’t help water your crops, or topple the level 835 mafia don, but I will make available photos and other goodies that you’ll be able to use to spread the word.
6. I may be slow to respond. I may even miss one. Bear with me folks — I am in Iraq. My service to the Army is a bit consuming these days, and there are some trips I’m scheduled to make. So, if you leave a comment, I will try to get to it the next time I am conscious and in my room. If it’s been a day or two, that might be OK. If more than that, look to see if I am silent here on the website. If I’m silent here, too, it probably means I’m on the road. Out of thousands of emails and comments, yes, I may miss one or two. I’m trying.
7. I hope you will contact you local newspaper or TV station. Invite them to your guild meeting when you all get together to build your bundles. It’s a local good news story, and it’ll help spread the word. I’ve done a couple of magazine interviews lately, with one already online (and due to hit the streets soon) and the other one — which is going to blow you all away — hitting the streets in April or so. 500 bundles is a sprint — the big IB♥L3D, for Ramadan, is going to be a marathon in comparison.
8. Have I told you how excited I am that we’re doing this again?
9. If you look to the column on the right, there’s a small section marker Email Subscription, and a button below is that says Sign me up! Yes, you can get new email postings emailed to you. All the fun, all the good times, all the great jokes, delivered right to your in-box. But wait, there’s more! If you’re on Facebook, well, IBOL is too! Now you never have to miss a single funny thing I say, because it’ll come to you direct.
10. And have I said thank you yet? No? Thank you. Thank you for taking part in IB♥L. Thank you for all the kind emails and the nice things you’ve all said. Thank you for all of the words of encouragement. Thank you for the cards and the coffee, the chocolate and, yes, the cool home-made t-shirts. Thank you for helping me pursue this crazy idea of bringing together our greater families, in an effort to help each other. Thank you. It can be a bit terrifying to step out and try this again, but there is great comfort in knowing that so many stand ready with the net to catch me.
OK, I think I’ve said enough. It’s Saturday night, I’m back from a late night run through the cold and rain, and I may actually be able to get more than 6 hours of sleep tonight. So, I’m going to bed. If things go poorly, my wife will see this tonight and email me. If things go well, when I wake up, there will be hundreds of emails asking for the address. Here’s to a peaceful sleep, huh?