Monday, January 26, 2009

Launching Day delay

Oops! Yesterday, I seem to have run into a minor hurdle with my PayPal account, which I'll use for accepting, processing, and tracking online donations:
PayPal appreciates that you have chosen us to accept payments for your organization. Upon review of your account it has been found to be accepting donations on the following website:

Non-profit and charitable organizations are asked to provide information so that we may ensure the legitimacy of their accounts. Although you are a for-profit business or are fundraising, we would like to ask questions regarding the collection of donations.

It may take about a week to resolve, so will delay the official launch of this effort until next Sunday. So, I beg your patience, dear readers and those future Donor Hall of Fame inductees among you who prefer to donate online. I should be up and ready to go shortly!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

T-1 to Launching Day

After a week of building or modifying the e-infrastructure needed to support my fundraising and communication plans, I'm one day away from launching day. This involved setting up this blog, updating my PayPal account, and creating a donation widget that permits and processes securely online payments. Several steps remain, including the development of outreach plans for local businesses, friends, and family who do not live online like the rest of us. Will I succeed in raising $10k? Stay tuned. We'll find out together.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Washington D.C was completely abuzz this week in anticipation of the inauguration of Barack Obama. The city took on a very positive vibe, with locals and visitors taking to the streets to express their excitement about the new administration. Although very cold, the weather didn't stop ~2 million people from flocking to witness the swearing in, some of whom participated in this bizarre pre-inauguration ritual in Dupont Circle the day before.

Addendum: Here's the ultimate in Spot-the-Politico (StP), one of my favorite local games, next to Country-Spotting with diplomatic license plates (you know, AF = Japan, YR = Russia, VJ = Brazil, etc.). In this episode of StP, you'll get extra points for spotting Kucinich, Clarence Thomas (asleep?), Newt Gingrich (miffed?), John Kerry (well-coiffed), and Jedi Master, Obi Wan Kenobi (5 rows back from Souter). Sorry, no points for finding W (smirking) or Scalia (what's with that cap?). Please to enjoy. Warning: Time Sink Potential = 10/10.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Registered at last!

I returned from Seattle to find my formal registration packet and an acknowledgment of my initial deposit! Signed forms are due back within a week or so. Since all donations ultimately will be made in GBP, the free fall of the currency relative to the dollar makes it very tempting to forward-fund the minimum needed to participate. We'll see what the home office thinks.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Off-road training?

So, since getting an M-class endorsement to ride in MD 3 years ago, I've put about 20k miles on my 1997 BMW R1100RS road bike.

I've not ridden offroad in many years, and only then on mountain bikes. So while I know about feathering and trail braking, weighting the outside pegs on off-camber trails, and the joys of the endo (demonstrated here), gaining some offroad training before the ride will be critical.

Unfortuantely, off-road training centers are hard to find. BMW has one of the few schools on the East Coast. There aren't many other options.

And then there's the question of what to use to learn to ride offroad. Over the Xmas break, I developed a respectable addiction to checking eBay listings for second/third hand, dual-purpose, 450 - 650cc BMWs, KTMs, Hondas, Kawis, Suzukis, or Yamahas. I mean, I'll need to practice on something, right? Cripes, here it comes again -- the euphoria, the sweats, the shakes. Must ... change...topic....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Registering for EA2009 continues to something of a nightmare for we non-Brits. In short, it has taken over 10 calls and several weeks just to get the information needed to get registered. All of my e-mails seem to be routed straight to the circular file cabinet, calls to HQ introduce me to a cheerful yet clearly disorganized crew, and countless calls were needed to the organizer's own bank to correct erroneous mailing or account information needed to transfer funds internationally.

After much back and forth with my bank, I finally succeeded in doing what PayPal or others would have required only 5 minutes to accomplish. I'll have to "om" my way through this stage. Patience is not one of my strengths. Breathe in, breathe out...