Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for December, 2006

On holidays

Posted by shannonclark on December 24, 2006

I am sitting, enjoying a nearly perfect cappuccino and a freshly made gingerbread man (probably made earlier today) in one of my favorite cafes in San Francisco, Ritual Coffee Roasters. Today I waited for my sister’s gift to me to arrive, which it has not, so it will, I hope, arrive on Tuesday. My gift to her arrived for her enjoyment only a day late, but it did arrive earlier today. My parents are celebrating Christmas (well my father at least) in Chicago, my sister and her finacee will be in NYC, though how much of a celebration I don’t know. Her store in the lower east side of NYC has been very busy and this along with Valentines Day is her busy season (She is an amazing jewelry designer and owns her own studio and store).

While I waited here in line a woman who was waiting was eying my gingerbread man, we chatted a bit about it, her comment, a very San Francisco influenced comment, was “Too bad there don’t have a secular humanist version”.

I am not a believer, so perhaps my ancestors on each side (though far back on my jewish side) may be rolling in their graves, but I do appreciate the value of holidays and celebrations – living alone in a new city, I feel each of them more acutely than before. In the past I have spent most holidays with my parents, often bringing friends with me (occasionally even girlfriends). This may be one of the first times in my life when I do not go home or otherwise celebrate the holiday with family.

But to an extent I, at the rather old age of 32, feel perhaps it is time for me to start forming my own traditions and rituals (or lack thereof), though I certainly wish I were doing so with another by my side.

My thoughts of late have only partially been on the holiday – I have had a few ideas for gifts for my parents – so far without much luck – but mostly I have been working on a new project. This new project will be launching in just days (I hope) and I will be writing much more about it in the days, weeks and months to come. As part of that I will be writing more on a new blog for the new company, as well as I hope articles about my experiences on a few other blogs. In the months to come I hope this new venture (on which I am working with a partner) will turn into one of my main sources of income, will take me on travels across the country (and perhaps the world) and in general chart a course for me in 2007.

As a result my other blogs, including perhaps this one, may only occasionally be updated, In the next few days I hope to make a full revamp of – at a minimum cleaning it up and updating the content, at the best linking it tightly with my other activities and ventures.

Meshforum will also, I hope, have some major announcements in the next few weeks. I am starting to pencil in a few dates as my initial focus – will next be contacting a select group of speakers and venues to find the best fit. I’m looking at some options in early June at the moment as the most likely time for MeshForum 2007.

This year I’ve bought myself a few small presents – the DVD for Firefly which I had managed to never yet catch (great, I missed out by waiting this long to view it), a really nice new wallet, a couple of new pairs of jeans that both fit and are comfortable (and a bit stylish even), a new haircut. All little things but adding up to improving my general enjoyment of life. Amazing how getting a well designed new tool (my wallet for example) can make you wonder why you waited so long.

I have also donated in a small way to a couple of causes I really support. I’ve given to Creative Commons, The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), and to Architecture for Humanity. After I balance my books for the year, I hope to also make a small donation to Hope Street Group.

So, no matter your holiday – or if you, like me are just working on finishing tasks for 2006 – have a great time over the next few days, celebrate life and your loved ones, give back to the world, and pause for a moment and do something for yourself as well.

Posted in geeks, meshforum, San Francisco | 1 Comment »

Joinred – today is World Aid’s Day

Posted by shannonclark on December 2, 2006

A quick post, a few months back I blogged about the Red Independent issue which I admired. Today (Dec 1st) is world Aid’s day, and once again the Independent is running a “Red” issue, along with many other activities by other companies. Google, in a highly rare move for them, has placed a link to on their home page (the first time at least that I can recall that they have linked to another website from their home page).

I have been lucky, so far in my life Aids has only touched people distantly connected to me, no one in my close circle of friends has (that I’m aware of at least) been directly impacted, though many people I know have devoted a lot of their energy and efforts in helping how they can (a few friends have charities they have founded that work with Aids orphans in Africa).

That said, I know that my whole generation has been deeply effected by AIDS. Unlike earlier generations, we have a distinct assocation of unsafe sex = death. And while many people clearly have lots of partners etc there is also this looming sense that somehow sex and sexual matters are not free or easy.

I applaud all of the businesses and their customers who are supporting the Project Red products and activities, though as many have pointed out, if you have the disposable funds then you may also (or alternatively) support AIDS charities directly and not just via purchasing products that indirectly support those charities. Though, if you are going to spend the money anyway then they are attractive options (certainly if I were going to buy an 8gb nano I’d very likely buy the Red Nano all else being equal).

So if you can today donate, buy a product or help in what ever way you can. Yes, there are many issues facing our planet, but AIDS, especially in Africa, is one of the more pressing ones – and one that we at least now have ways to treat, though not yet ways to cure.

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