1. Give Blood. Yesterday, I gave blood for the first time in a long time. They made it easy by setting up a mobile unit at my gym. I got there early so I could be among the first to get in and get out. I should have been giving regularly and I'm not sure why I haven't. Years ago, after my Peace Corps service and some travels in which I was taking anti-malaria drugs, I wasn't eligible to donate. But that was ages ago. Anyway, it's a good thing to do and I'm glad I went in. I plan to make it a regular thing. In Virginia, contact Virginia Blood Services.
2. Give Money. There has been news this week about the financial condition of the American Shakespeare Center. They need to raise a sizable amount of money in a short period of time, thanks to state budget cuts. Since attending productions at ASC's Blackfriar's Playhouse is my main entertainment outside of reading at home, I'm very concerned about this. I sent them a donation in December and will probably make my 2009 donation sooner rather than later, but I hope the word is getting around that our community needs this organization to remain healthy. Getting more people to come out and see the shows would help, too.
3. If a tree falls . . . The winds were really howling a few days ago. At one point I heard a loud noise--the dog heard it, too--and I even went to the porch to see if one of the trees in my yard had fallen. Since I couldn't see anything, I chalked the noise up to my neighbor's regular target practice (although in that wind, shooting probably wasn't wise). On our New Year's Day walk, though, Bhikku and I came across what might have been the source of the noise. A huge sycamore at the edge of my lower pasture had fallen. It was mostly dead, so the fall isn't a surprise. It fell across the creek--I'm trying to imagine how I can turn it into a bridge--and the crown of the tree flattened a bramgle that had been about 9 feet tall and virtually impenetrable. Now--except for the branches of the tree--we have a path through that part of the creekside land. The brittle crown shattered, too, so there's a lot of small broken branches lying around. Interesting stuff.
4. Clutter. I spent New Years Day--apart from that walk--cleaning my office. I had piles on my desk and also several document trays stuffed with paper--insurance forms, political documents, etc.--and now all that is straigtened out and the excess is gone. I also got the backup battery set up for my computer's UPS, I got Office 2007 installed on both the laptop and the desktop, and I feel like I'm ready to roll!
5. Little things. I drive a Saab. It's a '96 that I bought new. I like it and it's in reasonably good shape. It has a remote door lock function on the key fob and after 12 years the battery on the fob died. (I had two fobs and the battery on the first died awhile ago, but I've been using my backup since then.) I figured there was a battery inside but I couldn't figure out how to open the thing, until yesterday when I Googled "Saab key fob battery" and found others with a similar problem and a couple of helpful souls offering tips. It still took me awhile, but I finally got the thing open, then I opened the original fob, and now I'm ready to replace the batteries. It's a little thing, but it feels good!