Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

If you’re like me and you have *cough* almost finished *cough* your Christmas shopping but haven’t found that thing for me yet, not to worry. My list this year is brief as always.

I have enough things right now, and I’m able to feel quite Christmas-y without accumulating more. I’d much prefer that you simply make a donation to a charity of your choice. Send me a note to me telling me to whom and presto, you’re done!

My own personal charity favorites are as follows:

American Diabetes Association. My Dad has diabetes.  I haven’t talked with him for over a year, but I still love him, and hope to reconcile with him.  If diabetes gets him, I won’t have that chance.  So it’s kinda selfish, but hey, if they cure diabetes everyone wins, right?

Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF is a nonprofit group working to protect digital rights.  It’s doing good work to reform copyright and control the effects of DRM.  For a lot of the online work I do, the EFF is on the side I’m on.  Who knows—they might bail me out some day.

Vancouver Feline Hospital.  Not technically a charity, but I think it’s a wonderful place to be able to take a cat, and the vet there, Dr. Nicky Joosting, has been especially compassionate when treating Lukaska, and in keeping Aimee healthy.

Here’s a personal “charity” I support—I have a friend name Solveig who lives in Montana. Solveig is a sweet, cheerful, always laughing, special kind of person who’s one of those people you meet once and remember forever.  She also has Cystic Fibrosis.  She’s a single mom and she’s raising a wonderful little girl, but her medical condition makes it hard for her to work—she’s a little weaker than most of us, and she also has to spend a lot of time (and money!) in doctor’s offices and doing special exercises to keep her lungs clear enough to breathe.  Solveig’s incredibly brave but has been dealt a very different hand, and I like to help her out, especially at this time of year.  If you’d like to help her out this holiday, contact Susie and she’ll send you details on how you can make a real difference in Solveig’s life.

Oh, I almost forgot: Alzheimer Society of Canada. (Hey, if you can’t joke about it…) Again, this is a disease that’s affected many people I know: a family member, a good neighbour, an just recently an old family friend. It’s a disease that’s especially cruel because of the way it hurts those around the afflicted.  The deep irony is that not only does it rob one person of memory, it robs those around them of good memories as well, because of the long duration and wasting effects it has.  Ultimately, i’ve found it becomes harder and harder to remember the person as they were in their health, and that’s the biggest tragedy of all.

So, that’s my list.  Feel free to substitute your own charity—these are suggestions, not absolutes.

I have been told that it’s hard to give me a donation “instead of a real gift”—but for me, these donations are real gifts, treasured and appreciated more than any material possession.  But I realize it’s not very “21st century” of me, and if you just gotta give me something else, please make it something intangible and consumable, like a restaurant gift certificate, a batch of cookies or movie tickets.  Or just invite me over for dinner—that’s a great gift in and of itself.  And above all, have a happy holiday.



 
 

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Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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