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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Trouble is spelled with a capital T September 21, 2009 10:48 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
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Just in case you’ve ever been reading here and thought to yourself, "my coffers are overflowing! I should help Reality Me out on hosting expenses, meals, band fees, text books, and such." I’ve revived the old donation button in the sidebar. Just saying..this would be a good time and much appreciated!

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Can you donate some antlers? June 22, 2009 12:40 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Of Interest, Philanthropy, Religion / Spirituality, Touchy Subjects
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The Center for Peace is in need of some new antlers for their sweat lodges. The Center for Peace is located in Seymour, TN and people travel from all over to visit.

We offer many opportunities, such as: Visionary Dances; Sweat Lodges; Fire Ceremonies; chanting/drumming gatherings; young people’s ceremonies and activities; Core Shamanism; Huna Shamanism; Vision Quests; teachings on drumming and working with fire; workshops on various topics such as numerology, fire walking, Druidic traditions, sound healing and chanting, shamanic studies, and many more; initiation ceremonies; supporting ceremonies in the local, regional, and international communities; and a safe, family-like environment to grow in. [Source, CenterforPeace.us]

If you have a set of antlers that could be used to say pick up a football and move it and are willing to donate them, they would be very useful to the Center for Peace.

I personally have attended several sweat lodges at the Center for Peace. Mostly recognized as a Native American tradition, non-Indian sweat lodges can be found in the fifth century BC. My personal experience has been that a sweat lodge is a ritual of spiritual cleansing not limited to a particular belief system or religion. The attendees has always been a diverse crowd religiously as well as professionally. I have met artisans, lawyers, philosophers, educators, land developers, environmental activists and others at the sweats. I believe the Center for Peace is yet another East TN treasure that few may know about. If you are so inclined, I highly encourage you to experience an activity at the Center for Peace.

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McCain’s Fallback Career – Comedian October 17, 2008 3:52 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philanthropy, Politics, Publishing, Touchy Subjects, United States, Video
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McCain also got some good laughs at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner:

I haven’t found McCain’s closing yet although ABC has a 13 minute version of John’s performance but they don’t provide the ability to embed and the quality on my machine is painful to watch like ABC had their mics too hot. Be sure to watch Obama’s Fallback Career – Comedian.

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Obama’s Fallback Career – Comedian October 17, 2008 7:41 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Philanthropy, Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
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Obama roasts McCain at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner:

Obama’s closing remarks:

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Get your free bus pass! April 28, 2008 10:46 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Activism, Environment, Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects, Transportation, Travel
, 2comments

Multimedia messageI learned something today. Every time you buy only $10 worth of groceries at Kroger, they will give you a free bus pass for KAT! Simply go straight from the cash register to customer service with your receipt and get a one use bus pass that is valid for 7 days. So you never ride the bus. There is no bus stop convenient to you blah blah. Why would you do this? Many churches accept these bus passes to include in their food pantries. Naturally you have to act quick since the pass will expire a week from purchase. Of course, you could use it as an excuse to experience Knoxville’s public transportation. Go to the mall and take the bus for its full loop. You might learn that the bus is convenient for getting from West to downtown for special events. You could even tape the tickets to a bus stop sign. Someone will use them and be grateful. Kroger is encouraging green. Take advantage of it!


Is $1000 for someone else not worth YOUR time? October 7, 2007 10:15 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Activism, Blog, Love, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Publishing, Touchy Subjects
, 2comments

I am really enjoying participating in The Problogger Birthday Bash Darren Rowse and Lara Kulpa have put together. I do find it a little troubling that when they offered a prize of $1000 to your favorite charity it only generated 24 qualifying entries! Now turn it around. Instead of offering a decent sum of money for someone else, offer a $20 gift certificate for yourself and they got 724 comments! (not all of those would have been qualifying but I’m not going to count). Granted, there was a prize in that post which could have gotten you $500 for yourself but winning any other prize did not disqualify you from entering the charity giveaway. Every single Problogger reader should have entered the charity giveaway!

Ok. Let me get off my soap box and add in a little rationality.

  1. The money for self contest required no effort, just a comment under the post itself with as little as one word in it, so it makes sense that the number participants would be far greater.
  2. We assume that every reader of Problogger, due to its subject matter, has a blog BUT that could be a false assumption; ergo, the participation in the money for self would be higher.
  3. Not everyone is into charities. And that’s ok. So the participation in the money for self would be higher.
  4. The charity post required a little substance and effort. Unfortunately, effort and substance do knock a lot of people out of the game. Therefore, the money for self would be naturally higher.

All that said, it does make sense that some of the other contest posts would generate more comments. But only 24 valid entries for giving $1000 away to a meaningful cause?! Surely we should have done better than that! Karthik shares my sentiment.

Life is a participation sport. Get up! Participate! Be active in your community. Vote! Go to school board meetings. Pick up trash. Bring a shopping cart into the grocery with you instead of leaving it in the parking lot. Say hi to your neighbor. Hug someone daily! Volunteer your time. Leave a legacy. Make a difference!


I want Problogger to give STAR $1000 October 7, 2007 8:44 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Contest, Cool Sites, Of Interest, Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
, 7comments

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame and Lara Kulpa are busy giving away $54,000 for the Problogger Birthday Bash. FreeMoneyFinanace.Com has agreed to help them by giving $1000 to the favorite (US tax deductible) charity of a person who blogs about it and has their post linked by from Problogger by 9am Sunday Oct 7, 2007 (50 minutes from now).

I would like Problogger and FreeMoneyFinance.com to give $1000 to Shangri-la Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR). $1000 will cover more than half the cost of a class of 4 riders for 1 session.

STAR’s mission is to foster personal growth and achievement by providing educational, recreational, and physically challenging therapeutic experiences using horse related activities for persons with disabilities.

Our oldest son, Tommy, has Asperger’s Syndrome. We blog about it at Asperger Teen. Tommy has lived a life of being told "never." He did not speak until about age 3. At age 6, we were told he would never read. At age 10, we were told he will never function in society and to lock him away in a home. The nevers go on. Tommy has surprised the world today is a well-rounded, good natured, polite 17 year old. If I never announced his Asperger’s, no one would ever guess. He has succeeded were many expected him to fail. We have STAR to thank in part for that.

Tommy rode with confidence!Tommy’s success comes from the incredible support system that surrounds him. Shangri-la Therapeutic Academy of Riding is an important part of this support system. STAR has nurtured his love of animals, given Tommy confidence, and really helped his social skills. Tommy is now hoping to go to college to study in vet school!

As an independent consultant, I have broken many of the rules required for success. As such, we live with constant cash flow problems. Without STAR’s Rider Sponsorship Program we would not be able to participate. Whenever possible, I try to encourage donations to STAR because I believe in the program and by encouraging donations I feel I have giving back where they have helped me. I do not have the means to give directly. Whenever possible, I give my time to help STAR through efforts like our Blogathon blog. I have seen many more than just my son touched by their love. It is difficult to drive through Knoxville and not see a license plate with a reference to STAR or see someone wearing a STAR t-shirt. Their success and growth can only continue through the generous donations by people like Darren Rowse, Lara Kulpa, and FreeMoneyFinanace.Com.

Please consider STAR for the $1000 charity giveaway. Thank you!


Free Gas! September 27, 2007 11:13 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Touchy Subjects
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I am big on doing the right thing. At the park Saturday night, someone left some trash on the ground. As I left, I took a moment to place their trash in the trash can. A small effort on my part. Yesterday we pulled into Weigel’s to get some gas. Cathy and I both noticed that the pump handle/hose had fallen off one of the pumps. I parked on the other side, got our gas going, then walked around to the other side and hung it up. As I turned to return to my side of the pump, it bleated out, "Please pay the cashier!"

Now I’m not typically naive but this one caught me off guard. I know people steal gas but it has never been in my face before. Frankly I never thought about the process. I stole gas once by accident. We went to Disney World in Dec 2000 and in north Georgia we stopped for gas. I thought my father-in-law paid; he thought I paid; About the Tennessee border we realize no one paid. We made a couple of phone calls and paid with a credit card over the phone. Of course, I fully expected a state trooper to pull us over before we ever hit the border! So I assume the process of stealing gas is to pump the gas, neatly put the hose away, and squeal tires as you make your escape. Apparently the real process is to pump gas, and not the lowest octane! This crook went medium grade. Only do half a tank. This crook pumped $24.95. 16 gallons right now runs about $35. And the important step! Do NOT return the hose/handle to the pump because that signals the cashier that you are done.

When I told the cashier about the drive-off. She looked up, shrugged, declared "looks like someone did drive off," then explained "it happens all day long." All day long! What kind of society is this?! I can appreciate desperation and bad luck but never could I imagine having to steal. I wonder if they steal because they are trying to get ahead, if they steal out of desperation, or if they steal for the thrill. It is amazing how many organizations exist to help people. CAC will help pay your electricity. Fish will bring you food. Churches will step up. There are many others but none really publicized. I wonder if these thieves feel out of resources and do not know where to turn, or are they just bad people? Maybe it is not enough to donate time and resources to these organizations. Perhaps we need to do a public service by informing the communities about these organizations.

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Help the cause! July 29, 2007 7:36 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
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Please drop by our blogathon site and have a look. I would certainly encourage you to sponsor us and I believe you can do that for 48 hours after the 9am end of blogathon 2007 comes in an hour and a half. Any amount of commitment is welcomed and helpful. If you do not want to donate money, donate a second of time to leave some comments on the posts. The comments are greatly appreciated. There are other ways to help STAR including checking out their wish list. Thank you!

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To do and not to do July 28, 2007 11:04 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Philanthropy
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What I should be doing: Programming frantically.

What I am doing: technical support, software updates, hardware troubleshooting, air conditioning repair, pressure washing, stump removal, fund raising for STAR, socializing, and jumping whenever Cathy shrieks.

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Blogathon Starts in 1.5 hours July 28, 2007 7:42 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
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Blogathon 2007 starts in an hour and a half and if the AC isn’t doing a better job, I might just have to follow-thru on Cathy’s naked blogging threat just for comfort! It is not too late to sponsor our cause. We will be blogging at least every half hour for the next 24 hours (plus 1.5) at our group blogathon site. Please come comment and cheer us on.

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I need sponsors quickly! July 25, 2007 5:40 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
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Last year Cathy, Barry, Jay and myself had a blast raising money for Farm Aid with Blogathon 2006. Cathy has participated in Blogathon several years. This year I thought we were taking off. I was mistaken. Thank you Barry for inspiring us this year. I like the cause.

Star has done an incredible service for Tommy. Star has a waiting list. It took us 3 years to get accepted into the program and I have heard of some folks waiting 7 years. Once they complete their indoor arena, they will be able to double capacity and reduce the waiting lists (as I understand). Please support us by making a pledge for this Saturday’s (in 3 days) Blogathon! You can follow our 24 hours of blogging at http://domesticpsychology.com/blogathon/.

sponsor me

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Do something for your blogger January 8, 2007 3:37 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Philanthropy, Publishing
, 3comments

I saw a great post over at Digital Media Minute titled "Top 6 Ways to Tip Your Favorite Blogger"

  1. Click their "dontate" buttons
  2. Buy them an item from their Amazon Wishlist
  3. Send them an iTunes Gift Certificate
  4. Get them a Flickr Pro Account
  5. Buy something for yourself through their affiliate advertisers
  6. Send them an E-Card

Read the post for details on each item. Really good suggestions!

Cathy suggests a different, less materialistic, approach.

dontate button

Button created for AT per his request.


Give Free Hugs – Get Harassed By The Man January 6, 2007 3:40 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Love, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics, Touchy Subjects
, 1 comment so far

You know.. I could see apprehensive people thinking "this perv is looking for a cheap feel" or "what a creative way to get a date" but the guy isn’t doing either. He is genuinely giving love. Watch the video and see the smiles he brings. The joy. The bonding and community. Then, in response, our society tries to take him down. Douse the good. Make a negative from a positive. But there is hope and the community rebounds and gives back what Juan Mann started. The community gives love and where Juan Mann first supported them and brought them up, they in turn help him. It’s a good watch.

Read the story behind the serial hugger Juan Mann.

Juan Mann (pronounced one man) is a play on words, but the hugger insisted his rules included no names, no phone numbers, no relationships and no dates. [Source]

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Giving hope and prayers November 7, 2006 8:21 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects
, 1 comment so far

Newscoma mentions "It seems we are all sending each other hope these days." It does feel like everyone is going through something. Maybe it is our smaller world. Twenty-five years ago, the world would not be following a family’s fight for life in Oak Ridge. Maybe it would get a brief mention on local news but certainly not the world wide attention it has received.

I need hope now it ways that I cannot/will not discuss. But my troubles are put is such proportion by GAC’s battle between life and death. I feel selfish even thinking of myself.

Last night I had to put gas in the van to get Tommy to STAR. The lady on the other side of the pump swiped her card repeatedly until finally a booming voice came across the speaker declaring, "pump one still says declined." She speaks out to the air to cover the embarassment of the announcement to the world, "I’ll try my debt card." A wrinkled hand lifts a different piece of plastic. I wanted to swipe mine and say, "filler ‘er up on me" but I had to say a prayer that I didn’t get declined as I swiped for my own gas. The poverty trap sucks badly. Once you get in it is very hard to get out. As I move away from consulting and back into regular work, my budget (money and time) is going to include something to help save a family from poverty. Our economy is rotten.

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