Today I was thinking about where to send some more money for hurricane relief and was thinking about sending a donation to Save the Children. However, I read an article on WestportNow.com that said Save the Children has no experience with disaster relief in the United States so is providing relief by setting up play areas and after-school programs for evacuee kids. Or planning to. It wasn’t clear.
Huh? Kids need food and shelter and a sense of security above all—and after-school programs are not going to cut it, not right now. If Save the Children can’t provide disaster relief for kids in the US because the US crew is not experienced in doing this, maybe they should bring in staffers from places where they supposedly have had success providing relief and let them do it. When I was an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn (I taught in a very rough neighborhood), there was not one kid who could play if his or her life was in turmoil, he or she was hungry, terrified, or wrenched from their family or living in a shelter. Didn’t happen.
Since it’s obvious Save the Children doesn’t know what to do, I decided to send more money to an organization that does: Americares. They have a bit better rating than Save the Children does, anyway, according to Charity Navigator. The Red Cross hasn’t impressed me much since there were so many questions about the 9/11 donations and there are too many reports on TV about the Red Cross being as scarce as FEMA—whether it’s because they’re overextended or disorganized, I don’t really know. Americares is a Connecticut organization and I’d like to believe I could head to Stamford to find out what’s going on.
Dan Goodgame wrote a special report on the Katrina aftermath of his hometown Pascagoula, Mississippi, published on WestportNow.com (Goodgame now lives in Westport, CT). Complete with horrific pictures of the damage.
Goodgame went down to Pascagoula to help his mother and other family members begin the process of cleaning up. Much of Pascagoula suffered significant or complete destruction after it was hit by a 20-foot tidal surge. Goodgame writes about what residents there are doing and lists the supplies and skills that they desperately need, from cleaning supplies and tarps and gift cards to people who know how to put up drywall. I would imagine this list is the same or similar to all of the Gulf towns and cities hit by Katrina.
I have been wondering what’s been going on in the towns other than New Orleans, how they fared, how they’re coping, what they need. It’s sad that there isn’t better news. I don’t think we’ll know the true extent, physical and economic, of the damage Katrina wreaked for a couple of years.
Oh, please, I hope Rita fizzles out.
So busy that only yesterday was I able to look through all the email that’s been accumulating. Yesterday, Stanley and I took a break. I wanted some good apples and he wanted an apple pie, so we went to Silverman’s Farm in Easton. It was busy busy busy—but not as busy as I’ve seen it before. Probably because the leaves haven’t turned yet. At any rate, we got apples, cider, and Stanley got his pie.
Sad thing about the pie, though. It was marked “apple,” but it turned out to be a peach pie. Stanley was disappointed—nothing like setting your mind on a piece of hot apple pie and having your tongue burned on a piece of peach. But, he said, “I’ll just have to eat this anyway [sigh] ... ” (He gave me a bite—it’s pretty good pie.)
Then we stopped at Balducci’s for some decent cheese. We’ve been working so hard we decided to indulge ourselves a little. Heck, maybe we’ll win the Powerball next week (yeah right).
SO WHAT"S BEEN KEEPING US SO BUSY?
We launched TWO websites last week! First to get launched was Footnote Journal. Footnote Journal publishes a database of information gleaned from the footnotes of 10K filings (annual reports filed with the SEC), in this case, focusing on tax and pension information. The editors compiled this information for 900 publicly traded companies and are offering it as a standalone product or a two-year subscription.
The editors of Footnote Journal wanted a very simple ecommerce solution—and they didn’t want it to be PayPal as they believed it would not be as appealing to their high-end clients as one with that isn’t generally associated with eBay. The toughest part of the whole project was finding a merchant account provider that would accept digital goods as the product. It may have been easier if the editors were going to provide the product on a CD or something more tangible (to the merchant account providers, that is!), but the whole idea is to provide clients with the information they need as quickly as possible and you can’t get much faster than pay and download. The logo was designed by Victoria Chave of Chave Design (New Haven).
Launch number two was Rarities Fashion, a site which sells women’s silk, taffeta, and velvet apparel and accessories hand made in Vietnam. The owner discovered beautiful clothes made in Vietnam when she traveled to Hanoi to perform in a concert. Eventually, she decided to make them available to women in the United States by launching a website.
We decided to take a break and catch a matinee today. Oh good, it starts at 4:30, we can catch that one easily because it’s at the theater about a mile away. Quick save of the stuff we’re working on, take the dog out for a pee, turn on Animal Planet for her to watch as she mopes, fill the cat’s food bowl, and we’re off. (Things are never completely simple.)
I forget how or why it came up, but Stanley mentioned that he wants to go see Dr. Lomnitz, his cardiologist, soon. Oh god oh god now what? And why is he telling me this now, when it’s too late to call the office and schedule an appointment?
Stanley said this week he’s started having this weird missed heartbeat, one that he can feel, when he’s not exerting himself. Like a thunk, he said. Which is one of the things we were told to watch out for after his surgery. “Call your doctor,” boldface, underlined. Ok, we’ll put in a call to his regular doctor when we get home—even if Dr. Horn isn’t around, there will be someone on call who can tell us if this is urgent or not-so-urgent.
Meanwhile, we made it in time to see A History of Violence. I didn’t know what to expect—some of Cronenberg’s stuff I really like (Spider), some of it doesn’t work at all (eXistenZ). History of Violence, I think, is superb. I’d heard a bit about the plot, saw that it is getting decent reviews. (Cronenberg kept a video blog—for what’s it’s worth.)