Amazon Smile: Donate to Charity for Free

Author: ABG  //  Category: Grab Bag
I started using AmazonSmile about a month ago and thought I would share it with you. It is a pretty easy and free way to support any charity of your choice when you shop with Amazon. I currently support the Muslim Center of Middlesex County (MCMC) but you’re able to pick any registered charitable organization and have Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchase price to them.
The only thing you have to do is make the purchase through smile.amazon.com instead. The website will look exactly the same, with the same products and prices but a portion of your order will now be donated to charity instead.
A screenshot of the age is here:
amazonsmile
amazon smile pic

‘Carry On’: Why an ESPN Producer Left Her Job

Author: ABG  //  Category: Sports

I’m not sure why this didn’t publish when I wrote this a few weeks back but I’ll do it now unedited.

This story is already a few weeks old but if you haven’t yet, take a moment today to read this wonderful story, watch the entire video (about a 20 minute segment) or do both. It is about an ESPN producer who covered a story in 2009 about two friends (one blind, the other without both of his legs) but then never let it go as she decided to leave ESPN to be an integral part of the two kid’s lives.

Probably the best line of the entire for me was “the one with no legs, being carried by the one who could not see.”

ESPN Passport: The Games I Have Attended

Author: ABG  //  Category: Math, Sports, Technology

Anyone who knows me knows that I love stats. One of the more underrated sports related stats website has to be ESPN Passport. It is an awesome service provided by ESPN that allows you to archive all the sports events you have been to (and even watched from home) and spews out stats about how the teams have done in those games. They show a win-loss record, active winning or losing streak and how the teams have done at home and on the road in the games you saw them play. Over time, they have added medals which you can earn if you attend events and the team goes on a winning or even a losing streak.

Full link to all the stats available here on Google Drive.

Here’s a look at some of the stats for my events: (Note: I only log the games that I have attended in person)

I am certain that I missed a couple of games that I attended in person but of the 38 games I have logged in so far, there are 10 teams that I have never seen lose (3 of them I have seen on more than one occasion):

New York Mets: 3-0, 2 games at Citi Field (vs. Yankees and Chicago White Sox) and one at Rogers Center
Seattle Mariners: 2-0 (both in the same stadium but once when it was SkyDome and one as Rogers Center)
West Virginia Mountaineers (CFB): 2-0 (both at High Point Solutions Stadium)

The following teams are 1-0: Houston Astros, Cincinnati Bearcats (CFB), Fresno State Bulldogs (CFB), Buffalo Sabers, San José Sharks, Miami Heat and Syracuse Orangeman (CBB).

The most frequent teams that I have seen are by far the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees:

Toronto Blue Jays: 6-9 record, 5-7 at home and 1-2 on the road (all road games at Yankee Stadium)
New York Yankees: 8-5 record, 5-3 at home and 3-2 on the road (all road games at Rogers Center)

List of Arenas with record of home team in brackets:
SkyDome/Rogers Center (5-7)
Old/New Yankee Stadium (5-3)
High Point Solutions Stadium (3-4)
Citi Field (2-0)
Izod Center (2-1)
Madison Square Garden (1-1)
Air Canada Center (0-1)
Rutgers Athletic Center (0-1)
TD Garden (0-1)
Citizens Bank Ballpark (0-1)

Stats by Sport:
Major League Baseball: 23 games
NCAA DI Football: 7 games
National Hockey League: 4 games
National Basketball Association: 3 games
NCAA DI Basketball: 1 game

Finishing off with the medals page, I have six in total which include easy ones like checking into your first event, posting comments and attending a game on a holiday. However two cool ones that I have is “Zero Hero” which is attending a game with a shutout (I just got at the Mets/White Sox game) and “Doubleheader” which is attending two games in one day. I got that one on October 27, 2007 by watching a college football game between Rutgers Scarlet Knights and West Virginia playing a game at noon and then heading over to Madison Square Garden to see the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers play at 7pm.

 

Keeping In Touch

Author: ABG  //  Category: Sports

Anyone want to play a game of tag?

 

Also in an unrelated note, yesterday was the 20 year anniversary of the famous Jimmy V speech. If you have never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while go take a look below:

An Immigrant’s Perspective

Author: ABG  //  Category: Grab Bag

 

Say it’s 2245 you are the first from your family to immigrate from the US to China. The American economy is crumbling, you are underemployed, and you want your children to actually get a good education and have career opportunities, so you move to the economic and cultural center of the world – China.

It’s likely that I might have to spend most if not all of my money to do this. So you pack everything you own, you get there and you are broke. What next? The first thing I would do upon arrival is find other Americans who have come before me. I hope that they can show me how they got settled and help me do the same. Maybe this means letting me, my wife, and our children sleep in their basement for 3 months, or teaching us how to shop in a Chinese supermarket with only English or letting us copy off of their immigration / tax / work forms because we don’t know what they hell they say. And certainly show us how to get them into school.

Next, I ask them what they do for a job and if they can help me get one too. I am a lawyer in the states, but I don’t give a shit what I do in China as long as I can get my kids into a good school and make sure that they can do whatever they want. So, I ask Frank (he changed his name to ? because no one over here understands these crazy English names). Anyway, I ask ? where he works. He tells me that he has a pizza shop called Cowboy Baseball Mountains (for some reason a combination of 7 “American” words have to be in all pizza shops). Anyway, he says I can work there while I learn Chinese (which is really difficult because I only work with other Americas), save up money, and am able to move out of his basement.

So I get to work. And I work my ass off. I don’t give a damn, I’ll work 25 hours a day if I have to. I am not about to move my family half way around the world and then let them down. Eventually, I am able to save up enough money to move into a new place. Luckily another American family I knew just moved up to a bigger house and knew we were looking for a starter. It was great, because I’d be screwed if I had to a look for a place in chinese on the market.

A couple of years go by and my kids are doing great in school. They speak Chinese better than they speak English now. Which is great, seeing as I still don’t speak a lick of it because I’ve been making, selling, and delivering pizzas this whole time with ? and some asshole named ? who just moved here from Texas. Luckily my kids help me translate anytime that something unexpected comes up.

A few more years go by and I have finally scraped together enough money so I can stop working for ? and I can finally start my own thing. You know what I am really good at? Making pizzas. I’ve made 10,000 pizzas over the last 10 years and I’ll be damned if I don’t make the best crust and the tangiest sauce this side of the Yangtze. Also, ? showed me how to run the business and told me he would help walk me through the start-up. This is going to be great. I can’t wait to open Cadillac Swamps and start working for myself. However, I have to spend most of my capital in starting this place up. So I ask my son and daughter (who are in high school now and are really embarrassed of their round, blue eyes, which breaks my heart because god they look just like their grandmother’s eyes) to help me until I can start up the restaurant. My wife works there too. I say works there to be nice, it’s more like we live there. But hey, we are together and making it work. If we all stick together we can really make this place a success.

A year or so later, I get a call from my college roommate. He tells me his brother Jason just got fired from his job and is through with the US and is determined to come to China. I tell him to have Jason give me a call. I can help him out. Hell, if he and his family need to crash in my basement for a few months that is cool with me. And don’t worry about a job. I’ve got him covered.

I know I haven’t posted on here in forever but that was a nice post on what it’s like to be a U.S. immigrant in China in the year 2245 so Americans can better understand what immigrants in their country experience. It was a post on reddit which you can read here.

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