Posts Tagged ‘APO’

The Warehouse

September 16, 2009

They got more bundles in last night. The timing was perfect — 4 made it past the mail folks and were in my office, and they spent the day as the footrest for my incredibly swollen sprained ankle. So, for the four who sent these exact ones (and they were good study, heavy ones, too) – thank you, on a very personal level.

I owe you all some photos from the warehouse. I think most of you saw the video from yesterday. I apologize – I got photos of 4 of the 5 clusters of boxes. Cluster #4, for which there is no photo, is also the ones with the cutest IBOL box ever, which, it turns out, was made by the daughter of an old friend (that’s on Facebook, BTW).

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3

Cluster 5

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It’s time we had a little talk

September 11, 2009

When I started the project, I didn’t know how big it would get.

Or how it would spread across the web. Or the world.

Or how many people would take an interest, and volunteer to participate.

Or how many people would actually send a box.

Or how many boxes an individual would send.

Or the total amount of boxes, or their volume, or their weight.

Or when they’d arrive.

Or how I’d actually distribute them.

I also did not have permission from anyone to do this.

All I knew was that I had an idea, that it seemed like a good idea, and that I probably needed to act on it.

And so I did.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I spent time with my mail folks and the warehouse folks. I worked it out with my mail folks that any boxes coming to me would be delivered to the warehouse — if lots of bundles started to arrive (for some crazy reason), it just made sense to be ready and to have the IBOL’s go right to the warehouse. The warehouse folks had received the first few boxes mailed directly to them by then — maybe 80. I had received the other 414 or so total at that point, had given some out to a couple of local units, moved others to the warehouse, but still had about 80 in my own room.

On Monday, I moved some of mine to the warehouse, and posted photos here.

Tuesday, I got one in the mail; the warehouse got none.

Wednesday, I got one. The warehouse got 357 more in the mail.

Thursday, I got none. They got 365 more in the mail.

Today, I got my Sports Illustrated, but not my Hot Rod. I was kind of bummed. I was really hoping the new Hot Rod would arrive. I mean, after all, the new Sports Illustrated had arrived — shouldn’t Hot Rod arrive, too? Oh, and the warehouse, they got 697 bundles in the mail.

The urban legend is that 11 pallets of mail were flown in yesterday, six of which were for IBOL. I had two soldiers separately tell me that one.

I have not been to the warehouse since Monday, but I am told that there are a few over there now . Received to date? 1921, between what’s come to me and what’s gone right to the warehouse. So, there’s probably 1600 bundles at the warehouse right now.

And I thought 50 boxes was going to be a pretty good indicator of success.

Honest to goodness, between all of the passing of information in emails and in guilds and that crazy email from the Houston folks and the Sew Mama Sew stuff, I have no idea how many people have mailed boxes, much less how to estimate that.

I have no idea how many actual boxes are en route, or how to even begin to take a guess at that. Honest to goodness, I had a wonder lady explain to me in an email today that she put 19 bundles in the mail. Nineteen! And if you think that’s unique, I could probably rattle of the names of a half or full dozen more people who have mailed over 10. This is some crazy scary math, even trying to extrapolate this stuff out (~2600 comments, maybe minus 100 for non-requests of the address; 150+ from Sew Mama Sew; the Houston email went to maybe 50,000+ people; there are probably 36 to 60 guilds or groups that shared the address…)

Does your brain hurt now, too? Yeah, this is what I am dealing with — in and around my day job. Which also makes my brain hurt.

I have two good-sized units that are lining up trucks and pick up dates, and seem to think they’ll be in a position to deliver tons of IBOLS — which, if the boxes really do average out to 7 or 8 lbs per box, and there really do turn out to be 3000 to 5000 IBOLs, there really are going to be tons of IBOLs to deliver.

How does one distribute something like three to five thousand bundles? Very carefully, I suppose. It’s a bit like eating an elephant — figure out what size bites you can take, and keep eating. I’ve got plan A, and a plan B. I’ll spare you the details, but will try to get and share some photos. Not sure when I can get to the warehouse, either — I’ll see what I can do about tomorrow.

More later — I need to go sleep. Apparently, it’s Patriot Day (not to confuse anyone) — where did August go? Seriously, I need to work less and sleep more.

I’ve said thank you about a half a billion times, right? Make it half a billion and one — thank you.

8 September

September 3, 2009

Folks, putting stuff in the mail on Tuesday is just fine.

Oh, and first boxes (45) arrived at the warehouse today. 77 showed up on my doorstep, too.

I was suppose to do a phone interview tonight. I’ll try again after I sleep and run a little bit. Local paper from Honolulu.

Did I say the 7th?

September 1, 2009

IBOL Guy is a complete idiot.

The 7th is an American holiday. Yes, someone had to actually tell me that – I am that out of tune with the world. And yes, I had to guess and no, I was not successful in guessing (though I did rule out Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Obamarama Day).

So, yes — get stuff into the mail not later than the 8th if you have to. I, of course, would prefer everything to be in the mail earlier — I’ll sleep better that way. But I know that this will surely be “Binge Shopping for IBOL” weekend and I certainly would not want to damper than in any way, shape or form.

Who else needs to know

September 1, 2009

So, here we are – a week out from the mailing deadline.

Who else needs to know?

Whom haven’t you contacted about IBOL? To whom have you not sent the link? Who, in 10 days, would be upset to learn about IBOL and that they’d missed their chance to participate?

We’re at that point where we need to be thinking about these types of things. If so-and-so were to find out right now, would they participate and would they have enough time to participate?

And remember — there’s that newer mailing address. It does not have my name in it. If you’re still using a mailing address with my name in it, well, email me and ask for the newer one that goes right to the warehouse. The new one makes reference to IBOL – Population Donation.

Did you notice?

August 31, 2009

The count went up. It went up a little bit.

So, who won?

Going to bed now. Insanely tired from long day at work and carrying a lot of heavy boxes.

It’s the No Mail Contest here at IBOL

August 29, 2009

I really feel for the mail people. No mail for us today. They have to be swimming in IBOL boxes down at the mail room. I bet they’re cursing me something fierce.

How many boxes do you think will arrive when the spigot gets turned back on?

Leave your guess in the comments. Winner(s) will get…. Shoot, I have no idea.

First batch, ready for pick up

August 24, 2009

I think that’s called a double bed. And yes, it’s stacked, front to back, and mostly 5 high. That’s 70+ bundles on the bed, and a 7 or 8 on the floor awaiting some minor work before they’re ready.

Here’s my improvised workstation, and below is what it looks like in use.

It’s like opening birthday presents, every day.

OK, a few comments before I go to sleep (because I am really running late on that, and am going to be tired tonight!).

1. You all cheat. Why are you all trying to make me cry on a regular basis? I thought I said no cards with nice words and stuff. Didn’t I say that? Yet still I opened box after box, with note after note. You people are going to be the death of me, when I shrivel up here in the desert and die of dehydration from crying. I’m a big mushy push over, and these notes are just too much.

2. You all lie. Don’t try and tell me that these bundles have a value of $10 — my wife quilts, I know what this stuff costs. “Oh, these 8 yards of kaffe print? Maybe $12, total. A little more since I threw in these scissors.” Oh, please. You might fool the post office folks, writing that on the customs forms, but you’re not fooling me. A lot of you have sent some really big pieces of some really AWESOME fabrics. Add to that what this stuff will do? You should write the little infinity symbol there instead.

And thank you. I may be late getting to sleep, I may be grumpy later, but I am in a damn good mood. That was a lot of work, prepping these bundles of pick up later today, but wow — that’s one awesome collection of IBOL’s. If no other bundles arrived ever, I’d still be thrilled with this project.

Sew, Mama, Sew

August 23, 2009

But really, Whoa, Mama, WHOA!

As you may recall, a while ago I asked on this site if anyone was in the fabric store business. I wondered who was in a position to build bundles at or near cost.

Why? There are people out there in this world, like most all of my guy friends, who would probably be willing to support IBOL but who don’t have a stash into which they can raid. How could they, too, easily help with this?

The answer? Sew, Mama, Sew has set up this site. Anyone can visit the site, use their credit card, and push bundles of love this way. [UPDATE: She blogged the details, here]

Iraqi Bundle of Love
For your contribution of fifteen dollars we will send one Iraqi Bundle of Love to US soldiers who will distribute the bundles to Iraqi families and sewing co-ops. One bundle will include:

* 5 yards of new fabric
* 16 sewing needles in a case
* 32 pearlized pins on a wheel
* 1 tomato pincushion
* 1 pair folding scissors
* 1 150 yd spool white thread

The cost of shipping is included in the price!

So, I think this is about the coolest thing ever. EVER. $15 for 5 yards of fabrics, plus others goodies, shipping included, from Sew Mama Sew. And they have enough to do 150 of these.

150. Remember when I thought 30 bundles was going to make this project a success?

I kid you not — this takes my breath away. This has been SSP1 — Super Secret Project #1 — and in the works for a few days, but it is still amazing to see it online and working. Please feel free to help pass this news around, and please feel free to swing by the Sew, Mama, Sew blog and leave them a comment. Pass it on Facebook, send it on Twitter.

Whoa. Just whoa. If SSP2 turns out half as amazing as this, I’m going to see a medic to give me CPR.

The week in review

August 23, 2009

IBOL Kitteh - Dis yarn don't go in dat box!

This week has probably brought 10,000 visitors to this site. Yes, that includes repeat offenders, er, I mean, visitors. Still, though — that’s some traffic. My inbox, I am thrilled to say, has been chock-full of comments from folks asking for the address and / or asking questions. Which is pretty darn-tootin’ cool, as I see it.

Speaking of which, I think there are two things I am going to try and focus on this week. OK, three — since one thing is to make the first deliveries.

Theme 1 for this week: humor. I joke about how this started with a vision of bundles that would be measures in tens, but now it’s probably going to be measured in hundreds. Please don’t think that this is work for me. I’m having a ball. Sure, there’s a lot to do, but I still get to sleep at night, I still get my two meals a day. I make it up to the laundry drop off every few days. But it’s a lot of fun. The absolute funniest was a customs form on one of the bundles that arrived. The form has a place where it asks what to do with the package if it’s undeliverable. The sender wrote, “Give to local Iraqi police.” So, look for the funnies this week.

Theme 2 for this week: bigger is better. Some of the bundles that have arrived have been filled with giant ball-thingies of yarn (yes, I realize there’s a technical name of them, I just have no idea what that is). Well, some are just plain stuffed, too. And some of the pieces of fabric have been really big. I see these things, and the little gears in my head start to spin. Small things are good, but big is better.

Oh, and if you’re worried that the rapid growth of this thing is getting to be too much, don’t. I have a few back-channel discussions ongoing with some real-heavyweights about just how big this thing can get, but really, I’m committed to this. You do not need to worry about it — we will take care of this end.

Two Three last things. Bundles from the US, in the flat rate boxes, seem to be taking about 10 days to get here. Traffic to the website, and folks looking to help, increased significantly starting last Friday, a week ago. So, if the weather holds, it should rain boxes late this week, I think. I added a running count to the top right corner of the column to the right (look up top over here —>), so you should b able to check in and see how it’s going.

I have a press guy now. Really. So, attention mainstream media, leave a comment and I will put you in touch with my media guy. Apparently, photos and text and even TV are possible. I don’t know if the Army will pay for me to take a business trip, to be a guest speaker at your Sock-a-palooza or national quilt convention show thingy, but I can certainly put you in touch with the guy to ask. Why am I even mentioning this? Yep — you guessed it, I’ve had inquiries.

And I got an owie.

Apparently, training for a marathon, in the dark on a near-moonless night, after midnight and in the desert, should probably include the active use of a flashlight, not the passive use of a flashlight. I busted up the knee, and sprained an ankle. But I went on to run 7 more miles, just with a slower pace than normal.

Until then, have some more kitteh.