Ringing a Bell For the Salvation Army

Shirley Temple as a Salvation Army Bellringer

Shirley Temple as a Salvation Army Bellringer

Well, I’m ringing a bell this year for the Salvation Army this holiday season.  It’ll be the 5th year I’ve done it in the last 6.  It’s not a great job but it;s better than nothing, it helps folks out this holiday season, and will hopefully put a few bucks in my pocket.  We start on the 22nd.

It’s going to be really bad this year and I have to admit that I’m a bit concerned. Wal-Mart is only allowing the bellringers outside their stores for a few days this season instead of every day like they did when Target stopped allowed the kettles. (But yet, no one is reporting on that.  Hmmm…) That’s a big chunk of change that the Salvation Army isn’t going to get.  There’s also five less days to rind as well this year.  Another big chunk gone.

But yet the Charlotte Salvation Army has something like three times the number of children signed up this year over last for their Christmas gift program.  And they’re still signing families up.  We do get some idiot bellringers who steal out of the kettles.  I wonder if they’ll ever realize that they’re stealing from little kids.

And yes, I do get paid. Have to admit that I’ve always been bothered by that as I wish I could do it for free but what money I do get really helps me out, gets me caught up on my medical bills, and gives me a bit of extra cash for the first few months of the new year.  We’re lucky to get maybe 4 or 5 local volunteer groups on Saturday every week that’ll handle 4 or 5 of those buckets.  Of course we have nearly a hundred every day for six days a week.  Without those who get paid, there really wouldn’t be any kettles out there and no money would get raised.  Necessary evil I guess.

If you would like to stop by and say hello, most days I’ll be at the Macy’s at South Park Mall here in Charlotte.  I’ll most likely be on the side towards Morrison Blvd on the back side of the mall.  Sounds like a rather poor location but I usually do fairly well out there.  If you feel like bringing by coffee, I won’t complain. (Cream and sugar please.  Carmel shots would be a plus. ) Have to admit that I’m wondering how I’m going to eat for the first week or so.  Not sure if folks remember but I live off a very small check that I get at the beginning of the month.  I won’t have any money for those first two weeks and, since I won’t be doing any volunteering, I know I’m not going to be getting any food from them.  Not looking forward to it.

The Shirley Temple picture is from here.  I wanted to use this picture but there’s a big old copyright on it with no permission to reuse. Oh well.  At the very least, I can link to it.

Looking For Guest Bloggers


I mentioned this in passing a few days ago but I’ll be pretty much AFK for about 5-6 weeks while I ring the bell for the local Salvation Army.  I’m looking for a few Guest Bloggers if anyone is interested.  By now, if you haven’t noticed, this blog is random quite often.

No money is going to change hands.  Sorry if that upsets you.  It’ll be a cool way to reach out to different folks and promote yourself if you’re interested.

Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Trying Twitter Yet Again


I’ve tried Twitter in the past.  I have to admit that I was scratching my head over some of “features” that didn’t seem to work for me.  And I grew very tired very quickly with the spammers over there.

But I’m going to give it yet another try.  Feel free to follow me:

Twitter Dr. Mike

edit: I probably should add something to the site as well.  I’m due a redesign one of these days.

reedit: Maybe we can get Jen to update once in a while.  I see Andrea needs no encouragement.

Arthur the Hot Dog Guy


As many of you know, I work with a number of area churches and organizations that assist the area homeless.  Recently, Van Miller, a columnist for Charlotte Magazine, wrote an article on one couple who I help.  Their names are Arthur and Debbie and I’ve been helping them since about 2000.  They come uptown three times a week and pass out upwards of 500 hot dogs, soda, clothing and supplies.  Arthur’s been doing it for about 16 or 17 years now.

The article is an interesting read.  I have to admit though that I take exception to characterizing all the folks who come out as having “hair [that is] unkempt, their clothes dirty, fingernails long, teeth brown.”  That kind of bothers me.  Yes, some folks are like that but far from all of them which is how I read the article.

There’s some pictures up in the gallery.  They’re all mixed in together though.  I’ll sort them if I have time tomorrow.  The photo I’ve included here is from the article. (My own pictures aren’t that good.)

Arthur, the hot dog guy

You Got Trouble at Dr. Mike’s

Not really.  Just a quick mention that we’re moving some accounts around this afternoon so stuff may not work right.  To keep you busy, he’s Conan O’Brien giving us his version of “Trouble” from the 2006 Emmy Awards.  I actually bookmarked this quite some time ago and have been looking for an excuse to use it.

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How Matt Mullenweg and Automattic deals with complaints

Wordpress censorship

WordPress censorship

Looks like I “offended” Matt Mullenweg a bit too much.  Write a pair of posts describing how they have ignored a long list of splog reports and I now have my wordpress.com account suspended and my posts in the support forums edited without permission.  But in addition to that, I’ve been blackballed by Akismet and it appears that my comments on wordpress.com are being trashed automatically. (A picture of that after the fold.  Guess I won’t be posting comments to your blog anymore, wank.)

What bothers me about all this is that it started on Matt’s end when I suggested that since most of the support forum volunteers were not going to be able to attend the first WordCamp, that it would be a great idea if Automattic would drop each of them a tshirt into the mail.  That way Matt and crew would show how thankful they were for the time and the work that they put in.  This, of course, didn’t fly over too well and since that point, many of us noticed a “cooling” of staff’s attitudes towards those who helped out.

There, I said it.  All this because of a lousy tshirt.  A simple gesture that would have taken at most an hour or two and would have meant a lot of some people.  Hell, the gallery folks sent me a tshirt for reporting an issue with their website. (I still need to blog about that.  There’s pictures here and here.  Yes, it was 6:30 in the morning.  It was early and I was tired and hadn’t shaved.)

Since that time, I’ve had Matt and others from Automattic lie about me, post insults, make light of my physical handicaps, and make light of my former relationship with my ex fiancee.  While he goes on and on about how approachable he is, he has refused numerous times to discuss how his company has acted towards me and has refused to follow up on the questions that I raised.

All this does prove three things though.  WordPress.com is not pro free speech, not pro customer service and fully believes in censorship.  Can’t wait for the next time Matt gets up on his soap box shouting out to the whole world how they support it so much.

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Most read posts for May 2008


Well, May, 2008, has come and gone and I’ve gone ahead and dug out the numbers.  Rather different numbers compared to the previous month.  Let’s take a look.

The most read post for the month is a collection of fan drawn Kim Possible artworks posted to DevianArt.  Probably should fix how the thumbnails look on that page someday.

Runner up is a link to a rather interesting collection of Mac Desktop Wallpapers.

Third and fourth posts in that list is a list of Dragon Magazines that you can download as *.pdfs.

Fifth post is our take on how Mediamax screwed over its clients.  Sixth is a link to an MSNBC article on hypermilers.  Seventh is a video from Family Guy of Peter singing the song Rock Lobster.

Eighth is where I was wonder which Happy Potter I should get: Go see the movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or get the new book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Of course at the time, I thought it was moot as we thought we could download the new Harry Potter novel.

Ninth post on the list was some more Kim Possible pictures posted to Deviantart.  Tenth was some Harry Potter artwork posted on deviantart.

Other posts of interest were:

Here’s a couple of my own choices:

Kim Possible’s Mission to Hell (I fixed the missing chapter 2 link)
Crash on Volturnus (I really should work on both of those.)

The most read post for the year so far?  The mac desktop wallpapers one.