Time for my annual "Please give money to charity to motivate me to exercise" event!
( SUMMARY: Donate to my bike ride for charity; and then read the wacky letter below. )
As many of you know, in keeping with the traditions of my people, each spring I do something incredibly stupid. It’s what brought my forefathers and foremothers across the ocean ( “Look, dear — the snow is mostly gone. Let’s get in leaky boat and sail for points unknown!” ). Back in college, I and few friends decided to head south for some sun — but, eschewing the popular spots like Florid( “too many bikinis” ) and the South Padre Islands ( “too many Texans” ), we decided to head for the Grand Canyon. “It’s grand! It’s canyon!” And, as it turns out, It’s frequently still covered in snow in March, being in the high desert! Years later, I believe it was another spring when, while helping Lorettload her luggage onto the Amtrack train to go visit her family, the train left thestation with me still on it, and didn’t stop until Oakland, where I got to negotiate my way back to the south bay well after midnight.
Ah, good times. Which brings me to the present. Once again, I will be riding my bike in the NapTour de Cure, fundraiser of the American Diabetes Association to “raise money to bring us closer to the day without diabetes.” I had to go actually lookup uptheir slogan, because what I usually say — “it’s ride for diabetes” — turns out to be somewhat confusing because folks think suddenly I’m encouraging diabetes, which is kind of not the purpose. Truthfully,I’m not exactly sure what the connection between moderate-distance bike riding and diabetes ending-sooner is, but perhaps they think that if they keep me far, far away from the nice scientists in the labs with the test tubes who actually cando stuff about problems like this that it can’t hurt, and the fact that I cajole bunch of my friends into donating money probably doesn’t hurt either.
Now, as most of you know, I am not in great shape. Sure, I say this, but I have actual proof — I got on my bike this very morning, and took it into work, and let me say that it did not go terribly well. I have about fourscant weeks to get myself into good enough shape to bike 50 miles. Luckily, I have Maureen biking along with me to call 911 if anything goes awry. But, suffice it to say that this ride is, like many things, not the smartest thing I’ve decided to do.
So, now comes the point where I’m suppose to convince everyone to give, and give big. They have this webpage of tips of stuff we can mention to try to tug on your heart-strings and wallet-strings, and you can find someof the stuff if you click on the link below and then start clicking around, but trust me — lots of it is the kind of stuff that once you’ve watched it will make you all sad and stuff, because this diabetes thing is not good thing. Then, at this point, I’m suppose to say something really uplifting and everything and then you’ll feel better and I’m tiny part of that, and then you chip in some cash, and everything is all good.
But, I’m terribly with the uplifting stuff. So, I’m forced to go different way. I’m going to appeal to your desire to stick it to me and / or to your hatred for big companies with more cash than you.
See, this last fall Apple announced that it was going to start matching charitable giving, up to $10k per employee per year. Apple has oodles of cash, I’m told — they don’t let me see it, or anything — and apparently Appleneeds to find some way to get rid of it. I do not have oodles of cash, but I’m not doing terrible either. So, here’s the deal. I am going to match, out of my own pocket, half of what everyone donates towards my ride here, and I’llthen ask Apple to match my match. That means, effectively, that every dollar anyone donates to this ride will turn into $2 donated to the ADfor diabetes, half from Apple and the other half from me. If you donate $100, I’ll also donate $50and Apple will donate another $50. If you donate $20, I’ll donate $10 and Apple will then match another $10. It’s just like that gift matching during pledge breaks on public television, except I won’t email you every 20minutes for three weeks about it. ( And, if you happen to have employee matching of your own contributions, you can then ask your company to match your donation, and it’s tripled. Woo! )
Sadly, there’s limit. I am not Tim Cook wealthy, and Apple only matches up to $10k per employee, and I’ve already used some of that this year, but I’ve generally only raised few thousand dollars doing this so I think we’re covered. If this gets crazy and you people cumulatively chip in, like, $15k or so suddenly I’m out $7500, but I guess it’s for good cause.
See! I said I was doing something tremendously stupid this spring, and you’re invited to come along for the ride. Metaphorically, of course. Unless you actually want to come, in which case you should sign up. It’s fun.
So, if you’re interested, you can donate to my ride by going to
and click on the “Click Here to sponsor me” button. You can also send me check, or give me cash when you see me. Or, email me, and we can work something out.
PS: After this is all over, I’ll send everyone nice email, maybe with some pictures or something ( but, no video; it didn’t work well last year ) and let you know how it went.
PPS: Usually I write these letters with lots of footnotes, but I forgot to. Sorry.