Posts Tagged ‘Flickr’

IB♥L World Tour: Beaverton, OR

November 25, 2009

Imagine going to Mt. Rushmore and standing before the monument, only to have them speak to you.

Such was my day today. I got to spend the day with the family, and go to the Sew Mama Sew! Secret Lair, and have coffee with Terry Grant and Gerrie Congdon.


The walk and the tour

November 17, 2009

Just a short update on two not-so-important things.

The JDRF walk was this weekend. It was a fantastic event — they’ve been doing it on the island here for something like 16 years, and it’s evolved into a very smooth, well run event. We woke up that morning to rain — and a lot of it! — but it had stopped by the time we arrived for the pre-walk run and held off until after the walk was complete.

Thank you, for all that contributed in support of this. While I wasn’t able to meet my goal, I was able to help raise over $1000, helping Taylor’s team raise more than $8000 — far beyond their original goal of $5000! The wife and kids and I were talk of the 188 walkers on Team Taylor Kicking Diabetes — with TKD being the largest team to participate.

So, thank you. We had fun doing it, we enjoyed the morning and the great company on the walk, and we enjoyed being able to not only support Taylor and her efforts, but to help support research that will someday lead to finding a cure.

The walk, if you’re interested, started and ended in Kapiolani Park, looping around it and the (totally awesome) Honolulu Zoo. Here’s the map showing the location — yes, it’s right along the beach and yes, it is that awesome and beautiful.

Me, I loved the trees that lines so much of the route.

It helps that the view from the park features Diamond Head.

And if you’re interested, Taylor and her efforts have made the news locally here and here. Who wouldn’t want to report on a cute kid taking on an awesome challenge like this?

Now, about that IBOL World Tour.

This weekend, we’re flying to Oregon. Nothing like last minute details, right? Well, the Army was involved, so things tend to work out that way. The wife and maybe MIL and maybe even the kids and I are planning to go to Beaverton on Tuesday, 24 November — yes, just two days ahead of Thanksgiving. If you’re interested, we’ll meet at the Starbucks in Beaveton (11405 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, OR 97005-2929) [map] at 1400 / 2pm. I’m using my Google Ninja Skills (GNS) to ferret out where the Sew Mama Sew folks actually do their magic, in case they can’t make it to coffee. But, by all means, feel free to stop by their blog and leave a comment of “OMG! OMG! IBOL Tuesday is next week!” and help me flush them out from their secret lair. (I actually favored calling it IBOLapalooza.)

And stop two on the world tour will be 03 December at 1400 / 2 pm. The Mountain Quilters Cottage isn’t too far from where I’ll be hiding out, and they’re open something like 10 to 5 on weekdays. I figured we could just meet there and chat. If things get really out of hand, we can head on over to the Village Ice Cream & Sweet Shop, though we’d need to see if it’s still open (I heard that it’s up for sale). A little ice cream never hurt, right? Lake Arrowhead is a bit more laid back — I figure we can just play this one by ear a bit more.

Interested? Leave me a comment, or just shoot me an email. And by all means — help me recruit others to come and join in the fun. I think Happy Zombie said she’s make the drive down to Beaverton (probably just to sneak at peak at the SMS Secret Lair, if I can find it). Not sure who else would show up in Lake Arrowhead, but I do know that the shop is wonderful.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

September 17, 2009

This morning, I loaded the last of the bundles from my room and took them to the warehouse. The last ones that I loaded? Three of the earliest, and three of the prettiest (I think).

Last 3 Bundles

One of the things that sent me to the warehouse was a simple question: How many bundles had arrived from my home state of Hawai’i? Well, the answer is, a bunch. I did not try and go through them all, but there are easily a hundred there already, and I expect there will be more in the coming week as the surge arrives in response to the article in the Honolulu Advertiser.

How awesome are the boxes from Hawai’i? Well, a lot of them have this cool Aloha stamp, which I love, love, love. And some even get nice accents, like this:

Another Sunny Day in Hawai'i

But then again, a lot of the boxes have nice accents. Not too many with full-on doodles like this, but lots and lots and lots of them with things written on them.


I also took the time, since I had a little extra time today, to peek around some, to see what all there was to see. I could take and share 10,000 photos easily, of all the neatness in those ~3000 boxes. I’m going to share this one — I think it’s pretty darn tootin’ awesome.

Oh, Deere!

It’s probably good that this is an agricultural area!

The other thing I was looking for while I was there was the smallest bundle. For all the talk of heavy bundles, of people who send soooo many bundles, or the biggest bundles, I thought I needed to find the smallest one.

In one open box, I found this.

It's tiny!

But it was a bundle inside a bundle — so I ruled that one out. Very cute, though.

It came down to small padded envelope, and a small — the smallest — flat rate box. Now, they were about the same size, and I figured it’d be the padded envelope. I was betting on it being yarn. But no, it was pretty heavy.

I grabbed the box. Yep, lightweight. It would win.

I flipped the box over, to open it, and just at the last minute, I saw the customs form.

Content: men’s shirt

Whoa — men’s what?

So I opened it — and this is what I found:


You know, I thought that was the last straw. I really did. First it was the cards, the best wishes, the kind words. Now a shirt?

The two gals working in the warehouse, after taking the photos of me and as I was getting ready to leave asked, “Do you want to take the jam?”

I’m sorry – the what?

Yeah — someone took one of those large flat rate boxes and filled it with small jars of homemade jams.

Did I not explain to you all that I have a reputation to keep? I’m a stone-cold killer, folks! Now you’ve got me wearing a hand-sewn shirt — and handing out jars of really, really good home made jams. Blueberry, peach — it’s just not fair! I should handing out bandoleers of bullets, or some hand grenades, or sticks of dynamite, or angry ferrets or something. Not jars of jam that taste really, really good on an English muffin. That’s been lightly toasted. And consumed with some juice. Nomnomnom.

Maybe next time I’ll post photos of the contraband jam.

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

Well, that was a bad idea

September 15, 2009

I went to the warehouse today. Folks, we need to talk.

1. Right now, you do not want to play me at Tetris. I will win. I have packed bajillions of IBOL boxes into and out of the truck in recent weeks. I have it down to a science.

2. Let me see a show of hands — how many of you wrote a warm, heartfelt note to me and stuck it in with you bundle, before closing it up and mailing it? One, two, three, four — that’s what I thought. Apparently, nearly all of you did. It’s enough that you’re helping with this project — you didn’t need to go and get all flowery and mushy and thanky on me. I’m a hardened killer — I’m not suppose to be getting all choked up and stuff.

3. I did make it to the warehouse today. I said some very bad words when I walked into the warehouse. Some very bad words. For the first time in a long time, I was damn near speechless. Here’s a little of what I saw.

4. Here’s the view of my drive to the warehouse. You might look at this and think, “ugh!” I look at it and ask, “When can I go running again?” I run along this road, in the dead of night, a few times a week, and it’s an awesome little stretch of road.

Oh, and I totally almost forgot. You’re going to want to see this.

A quiet day

August 27, 2009

No new mail today. And that’s OK — I’m trying to catch my breath.

I think IBOL would be a full time job, if I had the full time to give it. I don’t. On a good day, I get maybe an hour before or after sleep, and sprinkles here and there sometimes. I’ve got a full time gig that has me working day and night. If I had more, I’d give me, but that seems to be the theme of this whole IBOL thing, doesn’t it?

I met today with my press guy. He’s back, after being gone a few days. He did not know about super secret project #1 — 150 boxes via Sew Mama Sew. I thought he was going to have to take a knee and catch his breath, when I told him. I had warmed him — never underestimate you all.

I also told him about SSP #2, and the warehouse. He’s starting to sense that IBOL is a really, really good idea that is really, really catching on. He said he’d get back to me tomorrow. He has ideas, but needs a little bit to think about it — really, it’s likely he needs to absorb it all, since I did sort of ambush him with all this (he could not have seen this coming).

I guess it would be hard to anticipate this type of public response. On the day I set up this site, 10 people found it — and I bet most of them share the same family name. 30 posts and ~900 comments later, the site has had over 31,000 visits. The busiest day was Monday — when Sew Mama Sew went live with their online bundles (there were over 3800 visits that day). Oh, and Sew Mama Sew “sold” their 150 bundles in about 48 hours, apparently to people from all over the world.

I have not been able to even come close to tracking the # of people who are sending bundles, for a couple of reasons:

1. You’re sharing the address amongst yourselves via email.

2. People are sending 2, 3, — up to 12 boxes.

I’d like to think that one comment left on the website would more or less equal one box enroute here. But no, that’s not even close to being true – one visit to the website, one comment left, does not equal 1 box headed this way.

So, yeah. Press Guy (can I just call him PG?) is trying to wrap his head around all this. The outpouring is wild enough, without looking at the sheer volume of stuff headed this way or the very amazing way this is all being done quickly and via the web (blogs, twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc). When SSP2 hits, we’ll all gasp. If mainstream American media catches on to what we’re secretly doing here, we’ll all gasp, I’m sure.

IBOL — yep, it’s pretty darn tootin’ neat. Keep it up, world. You’re doin’ good.

1st load, heading to the staging area

August 25, 2009

I told them to bring a big truck. Do they listen? No.

This load is going to go stage. Delivery maybe late this week — not sure yet.

Do you see your bundle?

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.

Top cover

August 21, 2009

[UPDATE: I almost forgot! Yes, the new moon was seen, signaling the start of the month of Ramadan.]

Nineteen more bundles today. 19 bundles, and a new pair of running shoes. It’s true — I’ve become a woman. Who knew I would be so excited to get fabric and yarn in the mail, and a great new pair of shoes?

Anyway, the news of the day — besides the 19(!) boxes that arrived — was that I picked up some top cover for this project. In other-than-Army-speak, that means I informed my boss and he acknowledged that he now knows I am doing this. He also (jokingly?) acknowledged that I am just slightly off my rocker.

What are you trying to do, he asked, single-handedly defeat the insurgency in this province?

No, sir, I responded. Three provinces, and I have a lot of help.

Why did I have to let the cat out of the bag? This may well involve helicopters. No, there won’t be bundles thrown from low flying helicopters, but probably some flights to move stuff to others provinces here in the north. I can hide bundles in my room, but I can’t really hide a request for air support.

Before I go, I just wanted to acknowledge two special groups who are playing a key role in this project. The first are those of you out there who are translating this into other languages, and spreading the word that way. Here’s Norwegian (I love your blog, BTW), and here’s French (I love your blog, BTW) as two examples (and here and here for translated versions).

Lastly, I’d like to give a big shout out to all the IBOL Kittehs out there who are working overtime, inspecting all these boxes before they go into the mail. This entire thing would not be possible without your support. You are an all-too-often unsung hero, working out of sight, kneading bundles of fabric, layering them in cat fur for extra protection on the long trip here, and, I’m told, sometimes throwing up on them because, hey, you’re cats and that’s what cats do. So, here’s to you, IBOL Kittehs — thanks for doing what you do.

~package inspected and approved by Sam~

~package inspected and approved by Sam~

Well, this didn’t take long

August 17, 2009

The bundle on the bottom is from Mrs. IBOL Guy. I was expecting something from her early on, as she was in on this project before it even had a name.

That pretty, wonderful, beautiful bundle on the top? Yeah — I have no idea who it’s from. I mean, sure, there’s a return address and a name, but it’s not from anyone who left a comment here, or anyone who contacted me.

And I think that’s totally awesome. Want to know the best part? They included a little note on the box, too.