28 October 2013


I'm a lousy fundraiser.  Years ago when I participated in the March of Dimes, my Big Sister did all the work running around her office getting people to donate 25¢ per mile.  It's been so long I don't even remember how long the walk was.  This past weekend, I put in a lot of mileage, mostly on bicycle, to raise fund for the Michael J Fox Foundation.  I did it all with the smartphone app Charity Miles.  Normally it's 10¢ per mile for cycling and 25¢ per mile for running or walking, this past Saturday and Sunday, thanks to Medtronic, it was $3 per mile for any of the three activities.  Charity Miles already did the running around getting sponsors like Medtronic.  My part was just run, walk, or bike, something I already enjoy doing.  Easy as pie!

It's much harder to get people to donate money but I'm giving it a shot.  Maybe all this new-fangled social media thingy can make a difference.  I would like you to consider giving to Gary, as explained below:


Although I am usually charitable, I'm doing this fundraising work for Gary partly for personal reason.  Shell Marz, the Lead Organizer and Gary's cousin, is an old friend from an old job who helped me land my current job.  It's only proper that I donated some money to the cause, but the goal of $5,000 is still elusive.  If you enjoyed my blog, whether it be the GPS art, the occasional portrait, the sonobes, some witty puns, or whatever, may I suggest donating something for Gary?  It does not have to be a lot, a lot of something small will add up.  Of course, if you can afford it, by all means give a lot.

25 October 2013


The business world seems to highly value multitasking.  I love efficiency too but most of the times multitasking just doesn't work.  Like walking or driving while texting.  Just plain stupid, sometimes even deadly.  But I make an exception for Charity Miles, the smartphone app that tracks distance for walkers, runners, or cyclists, and get sponsors to donate money to charities x cents or dollars per mile.  Sometimes I walk with Charity Miles while listening to audioCD - walking, fundraising, and "reading" done simultaneously.  The standard fundraising rate is 25¢ per mile for runners and walkers, or 10¢ per mile for cyclists.  However, through a wonderful arrangement with MichaelJFox.org and Medtronic, for most of the month of October, and into early November, it's $1 per mile for all three categories of long-distance exercises.  Even better, for Saturday 26 October and Sunder 27 October, it's $3 per mile whether you walk, run, or bike!  If you are like me, love long-distance workout but a bit tight on money yet want to donate to charities, Charity Miles is the app to have.

For my part, I've been logging many miles on behalf of MichaelJFox.org via my daily runs.  During the week, it's only a few miles each early mornings, but on weekends I had more time to log five or six miles each day.  I even made the GPS art below, although I must say that the path was drawn with my Garmin GPS watch and not with Charity Miles app.  Thank you, Medtronic, for sponsoring the challenge to raise $100,000 for MichaelJFox.org by November 3!

10 October 2013


For a technically-inclined person, I don't personally have the latest and greatest gears.  For the cell phone, it was only when my family was expecting our first child that I decide to own one.  It was useful for the few false alarms.  Next, when broadband access started to become more readily available, I was still poking away on a dial-up modem.  On a desktop computer!  Even if I wanted to, DSL was not available to my area any way.  DSL finally did arrive, followed by FiOS.  After a while, the supposedly faster speed is lost on me.  Not that I mind, as everything seems to be pretty smooth.  I don't do movies or any heavy-duty stuff, so speed is not an issue.  The tech life is extra nice when you compute wirelessly, but things are even better done on a smartphone or some mobile device.  The form factor makes all the difference.  No need to boot up and wait for the device to be ready.  Still, for two years my mobile computing was limited to the range of my home's WiFi.  Outside the house, I had to rely on public WiFi or my meager 200-megabyte-a-month data plan.  It is really puny but believe it or not if you limit your activity to emailing, some Facebooking, an occasional photo upload, you really can survive each month with 200 MB.  That all changed a few weeks ago, when I finally took the plunge.  It was time to get a new 2-year contract so the big family opted for a big family plan with 10 GB to be shared by the seven phones.  I can finally do all these while out in the world:

  • renew Brooklyn Public Library materials, to avoid late fees
  • take the latest Daily Poll on SwagBucks.com and earn a point or two
  • enter MyCokeRewards as soon as I finish drinking
  • approve the many membership requests Newtown High School of Elmhurst group in Facebook has been getting lately
  • use Google Map to find places, I have an aversion to the dedicated Garmin Nuri GPS
  • get the latest news

Exciting, isn't it?  What else can I do to recuperate the monthly access fee?

01 October 2013


Happy October!  New month, new fitness challenge!

You may recall that I participated in some Facebook event in which participants aimed to run or do some kind of exercise every day of the month.  For October, my new-found friend Jessica made me co-host of the event, at this link


Without warning, October arrived and I didn't promote the event much.  It didn't help that I started a new job that has an early start time and usually runs late into the evening.  Still, as co-host I went the extra mile and got up at 5 AM to put in a 3-km run, far fewer than my usual 8 km, but something is better than nothing.  I am not sure about tomorrow yet, as sunrise starts later and later and the weather is so cold that early in the morning.  Perhaps with more people joining the event I'll be more motivated to do my part.

Look forward to more people in the event!