The webcomics blog about webcomics

Hooray For Last-Minute Contributions

Yesterday afternoon, the contributions to four Houston-area charities for Hurricane Harvey-related relief stood at US$175. Overnight, additional donors brought that up another two hundo for a final total of US$375.

As it turned out, everybody who donated gave to the Houston Food Bank, so that is where my US$375 match went; by donating through my employer, another US$375 was matched, bringing the total impact to US$1125 in American cash money to help those whose lives have been disrupted, in both the short and long terms.

The Fleen Fight For Fungible Futures Fund wishes to thank Ben Cordes, Pierre Lebeaupin, Mark V, and multiple people that wish to remain anonymous. Based on HFB’s ratio of one dollar = three meals, you’ve been instrumental in ensuring 3375 people get something to eat. There’ll be more to do tomorrow, and for many days after, on all the atrocities that 2017 seems to be throwing at us¹, but for now you all get to think Today, I damn well did something.

Spam of the day:

Tower usually cylindrical in structure that can go up to 275 feet; made of fit in your files and folders

That’s a lot of files and folders.

¹ It’s even money we’ll be back here next week, thanks to Hurricane Irma.

Unpleasant Echoes

Update to add: My employer will be matching donations to the Houston Food Bank; if you want your effort to be tripled (you give $1, I match $1, my employer matches my $1, total of $3 donated), there’s the place to give.

It was twelve years back that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and that being some months before this here page launched, we didn’t talk about the impact it had on webcomics — a number of hosting and colo facilities were in the Crescent City, and they failed as the floodwaters rose.

Actually, we wouldn’t have spoken about that regardless, as Hurricane Katrina was a bad time for me personally; I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here, but my wife’s parents lived in New Orleans at the time, and we lost contact with them about 9:00pm Monday night¹. We didn’t hear back from them until the wee morning hours of Saturday. It’s a terrible thing, not knowing.

Anyway, they called us around 3:00am from a Red Cross intake center at an Army base in Texas (they got to ride in a helicopter!), and then their time at the phone was up. In the meantime, I found a hotel in the same city with vacancies, and when they got their next shot at the phone eight hours later and were still waiting their turn at processing (there were a lot of displaced people there), I told ’em to sign the We’re Leaving release, hop in a cab, and head to the Marriott. An hour later they’d had their first showers and hot food in days, and the luxury of talking to us without anybody waiting their turn.

We told ’em to stay there at least the weekend and were never so glad to get a higher than expected Visa bill that month. They did return to New Orleans, but only briefly to gather their things; they wound up in West Virginia, close to one of my wife’s sisters (the surgical nurse, which was helpful when their health later took downward turns).

Houston, and its metropolitan area, is much larger than New Orleans. It is not conceivable how many people will have to be rescued as the waters are — as of this writing — still rising nearly three days after landfall; it is not conceivable how many will have to be evacuated from homes and neighborhoods that are no longer structurally safe or provided with the necessities of life; it is not conceivable how many may never be able to return. Some of them were probably chased out of NoLa in 2005 and wondering which deity they pissed off to go through all of this again.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that there’s going to be a continuing need for help down in Texas; the immediate rescue-and-recovery will last for the next couple of days, but the rebuilding will take much, much longer.

Fleen readers have proven themselves to be generous in the defense of others, and I’m asking you to help once again. Material goods are not as helpful as cash, so any contributions to any of the local charities called out by Charity Navigator as being well-regarded, we’re going to match them until the end of Labor Day.

Those organizations are:

Remember: a lot of people that don’t evacuate make that choice because they can’t take their animals with them; add in the animals that have been separated from their people, and you see the need.

If there are webcomics down that you learn about alternate posting locations for, we’ll run a list; otherwise, let’s be patient, and let’s do our best to help².

Spam of the day:
Not today.

¹ Exactly twelve years ago tomorrow.

² On that note, there is a nonzero chance that FEMA may ask my town’s EMS to send ambulance and crew to Texas; it happened after Katrina. If that happens, I’ll be away. I trust you’ll deal.

It’s Supposed To Be A Webcomics Blog

I really didn’t think, when I started writing this blog¹ nearly twelve years ago, that I’d spend one particularly year wrangling no fewer than three philanthropical fundraisers for political disasters².

Looks like it’s time for round number four for the Fleen Fight For Fungible Futures Fund. The utter dearth of official federal response to Hurricane Maria, particularly in Puerto Rico, means that it’s time to step up again. There’s essentially no power systems, no water, no agriculture, no functioning economy on the island right now. So if you have it in your means (and I know, this is the fourth time I’ve come to you in less than a year), please donate.

Because of the uncertainty about which organizations are going to raise money and not spend it on the disaster they’ve promised/implied (lookin’ at you, American Red Cross), I’m deferring to America’s cultural conscience (and grandson of Puerto Rico), Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s been doing a lot of work rounding up info on reputable organizations to donate to. He’s put his trust in the Hispanic Federation and that’s good enough for me.

The need is acute right now, but this one is going to last a long time, so we’ll set a deadline of end of the month; send me a receipt of your donation before the calendar flips over to October, and I’ll match it. If you can provide me with suggestions as to organizations that are getting money/supplies directly to PR (and the US Virgin Islands, and everyplace else in the Carribean), I’ll add them here.

Spam of the day:
I’ve got to say, I’m pleased that I’ve not received any scammer spam purporting to collect money/goods for the Harvey-Maria confluence of weather crises. Maybe they have a conscience?

¹ Or got roped into it by Jon Rosenberg; tomayto, tomahto.

² Hurricanes and other large-scale weather events result in slow disasters that reveal the resiliency (or lack) of our systems and infrastructure. Collapsing dams, neighborhoods under water in floodplains, and petrochemical plants dumping their poisons into groundwater are absolutely situations driven by human decision (or at best, failures of imagination). Listen here for more.