Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hodge Podge

Today, I have a whole hodge podge of neat, but unrelated items to share. So, in no particular order:

The first is a biggy. Dakbands are going silicone! Originally, I chose elastic instead of silicone because I thought it would be easier to exchange dakbands with people of different sizes. To a certain extent this is remains true, however, the silicone bands are cleaner, the numbers are lasered (so they don't wear off), they are hypo-allergenic, and probably stretch enough to suit most adults. We'll still offer them in various sizes, but they'll be packaged in sets of 4, instead of the current 8. They will still be same slim width - not sure about the colours. If you have any suggestions in this regard be sure to let us know.

Next big news is our new interactive map, coming your way soon. In fact it would be here now if my good friend (and programmer) hadn't just had a heart attack. Go figure!! Thankfully, he has some great doctor kindnesses to share (perhaps not the energy at the moment :) and is at home recuperating after a successful emergency angioplasty. Once he feels up to it, the mapping tool, will display the dakbands and their stories in a much more fun and user friendly manner. Even the Tag Cloud (I can hear your groans) is getting a spiffy new make-over. So stop by often to check it out,

Admittedly, those items were related. However, on a completely unrelated note, it seems the holiday season has begun in earnest. I generally refuse to acknowledge the season until the month of December, then without fail, it's suddenly two days before Christmas and I'm running around like a crazy person. To say that I'm a Grinch at heart (no pun intended :) is an understatement. I love the idea of Christmas, but I hate how far from the idea we've strayed. The excess most of us experience wears me down the more socially conscious and other centered I become. It seems at this time of year, more than any other, the gap between the haves and have-nots widens.

Last year at this time I had an experience that impacted me profoundly. I never shared the story because I was ashamed of how I handled the situation. But they say confession is good for the soul, so here goes.......I was grocery shopping, it was dinner time, it was the 23rd of December. It was cold, and the ground was snow covered. The grocery store was almost empty, which I was thankful for, wanting to just run in and out. As I sprinted up and down the isles I couldn't help but notice a family moving alot more slowly, and carefully than I, a mother and her two teenage sons. They were all wearing soleless, laceless, tattered running shoes, track pants that hadn't seen a washing machine in some time, and coats that really couldn't be described as 'winter'. There wasn't much in their cart, and they were choosing very carefully what was going in. As it turns out they were in front of me at the one check-out that was open, while a line-up formed behind me. The kids had begged their mother, in the candy isle, for a treat. She allowed each of them to pick one small bag of candy. At the check out, they were holding the bags of candy, no way that candy was going in the cart! The cashier rang in the groceries. The bill was $45.00. The mother handed the cashier two gift cards, just like the ones that needy families receive at this time of year. The gift cards totaled $30.00. Immediately, all these thoughts, started running through my head. I wanted to offer to pay the bill for them, but then I hesitated. Would I be embarrassing them in front of the long line of impatient customers? What would I do if she rejected my offer? In that tiny moment, the opportunity was gone. She took the boys and left. Leaving the groceries in the cart. She barely made it to the door when another clerk came and took the cart away. I'm not sure why I hesitated. I mean, I walk up to complete strangers and give them dakbands. The incident haunted me, effectively ruining the holiday season for me. This year I'm ready though. It won't happen again. I've purchased $50.00 gift cards and I'm going to lurk the local grocery stores from now til the New Year, giving them away whenever the opportunity arises.

Today I drove by a bus stop, and there was a young man, about 15 years old, waiting for the bus in a sweatshirt....Marks Work Wearhouse here I come.

Finally, to those of you who began Hanukkah celebrations yesterday, Happy Hanukkah!

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