Day 55: Boxes and Blue Cookies

Today I’m in the city, doing some gruntwork and manual labor with people I consider to be family.

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If you want to see a high-class organization in action, the 6th floor of this building is a good place to start.

The Make-A-Wish folks grant wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses. That’s what they do, and they’re really good at it.

I had a life-changing opportunity to work with them a few years ago on a special project.

Ben (who’s now a tall teenager) is a very smart guy whose wish was to develop a video game where the player fights cancer cells, to send back to kids who were still in the cancer treatment center he had just gotten out of.

Make-A-Wish got us together (with some help from my muse), and gave us all the support we needed to finish the project. As families go, they’re a good one.

…so obviously, when I get an email from Tim (the Volunteer Manager) asking for a few folks to help moving boxes in the wish lab, I’m there.

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Some of their volunteers are former wish kids, giving back.

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When we’re all done, I could swear I smell cookies. It turns out the Make-A-Wish offices actually have a special cookie oven (I kid you not). Tim is making a fresh batch as a thank-you for the volunteers. See, some grown-up wishes get taken care of too. That’s the kind of place this is.

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Dedicated cookie oven in the office. Genius.

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Chocolate chip with little blue Make-A-Wish mystery stars.

Random assertion: A kid can be a role model to a grown-up. That’s allowed.

Steganographic data: 1864/4.0

Published in: on July 12, 2008 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Day 13: Gargoyles, Scientists and Cookies

First thing this morning, I got a surprise phone call about buried ships.

Leigh works in the Maritime Library archives. He had heard that I was looking for information on the Niantic wreck, and called to say that he actually has everything recovered from that ship. Tools, supplies, even the champagne (which he says he has not sampled). He’ll be able to show them to me in a couple of weeks.

Next person I talked to was my grandmother, who moved to SF from Scotland when she was little. She said “I could have told you they were there. They taught us about those buried ships in school.” She’s one of the reasons I keep this journal.

After some productive reading time (in the park with my eyes closed), I walk to two of the most brilliantly strange shops in the city.

The sign says oddities, and it doesn’t lie. This is Paxton Gate, my mom’s personal favorite. They don’t allow cameras inside, because photos don’t convey the coolness of this place. You just need to see it.

Shop #2 is Borderlands. If you like science fiction, fantasy, or horror, you need to visit this place. Alan is the owner, and he’ll see that you aren’t disappointed. The staff is great, their recommendations are spot-on, and there is an entire wall dedicated to H. P. Lovecraft books (one of which was written by my best friend Hans). Ripley the Gargoyle Cat is a local celebrity. When I stopped in on his birthday, there was cake.

After that, the afternoon is spent doing careful study of the waves in Pacifica, a town about 10 minutes away.

Later tonight, my muse and I have a meeting with a bunch of scientists in a secret location. I’m in charge of bringing dessert, so I make a batch of the house special. It’s similar to my mom’s recipe, except that I use more chocolate chips than anyone ever should.

The meeting location was so secret that we nearly didn’t find it. Nearly. Stories were told, new inventions discussed, and many cookies were eaten.


Vik, Karl, Nick, and the Muse. Four of the smartest people I know.

Random assertion: Very little harm will ever come from giving someone a cookie.

Steganographic data: 1874/5.0

Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 am  Comments (6)  
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