February Donation: Child's Play

This month's donation goes to Child's Play Charity. Child's Play charity is an organization that comes close to my heart as it is based out of one of my favorite hobbies, video gaming. In short the Child's Play Charity donates video games and other toys to hosptials so children in those hospitals can get a way, if for just a little bit from the stresses and complications associated with their hospitalization. 

Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.

Child’s Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital’s wish list and send a gift.

Child’s Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. These donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.

The Child's Play Charity has also received heavy support from Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tyco and to date has raised over $3 million to get toys and videos games into hospitals for children. Overall I think it is a great charity with a great cause and it really has shown that the people in the video game community can mobilize to support a cause when called upon. 



Motorcycle H4 Relay Install

Well I got the H4 relay installed this morning. Took a lot longer than it should. The basic thing that I needed to do was just remove the gas tank, then run the new line from the battery to the headlight assembly. Of course something unrelated to the relay install threw me off. After disconnecting the gas tank I had a slow but persistent drip coming from the primer nozzle on the fuel tank. I don't know why this thing was leaking as I just rebuilt the damn petcock in October. Well that led to me having to drain the tank so I didn't get gas all over the garage. That was the longest part of this whole process.

Once I got the H4 relay installed it was just a matter of moving in reverse. The relay kit has the relays set inside the headlamp housing so I think later this summer i will replace the standard three pin connector with posilock connectors to get some more free space in there. 

My troubles didn't even there of course. After getting the bike fully assembled again it wouldn't start. It would turn, just not over so I knew I didn't jack up the battery connection. My guess is the engine was flooded or something or perhaps empty from sitting for the past couple of months. After about thirty minutes of messing with everything I finally got it to turn over and run. I let it run for quite a while just to flush itself out. Turned it off and it started back up again with no problems. Overall a decently smooth project.

February 2012 Reading List

It has been a while since I have posted one of these reading lists and I thought it is time to post an update as to what I have been reading. The biggest book on the docket for the past several months has been Three Kingdoms Romance (or Romance of the Three Kingdoms). This is an ancient chinese folklore tale that covers the time period during the fall of the Han dynasty and is considered to be one of the four great chinese classics. I have been laboring on its four volumes since September of 2011. Thank the heavens for the Kindle version as it made it much easier to read.  It broadly lays out the conflicts of this time period and intersperses it with a bit of magic and demons for good measure. Overall it was a pretty good book for being over eight hundred yeas old. If you think Game of Thrones has a lot of characters, this thing had literally hundreds. 

Since that book took up so much of my time I have actually not read a ton of other books. I listened to the audiobooks of both Heat Wave and Mockingjay. Heat Wave was simply not a very good book and Mockingjay was a fitting end to the Hunger Games Trilogy. It is a pity that I just cannot stand the main character in those books. 

I also got a start on the Books of Skyrim (Download Link). This is a collection of all of the books found in the Skyrim video game. Someone on the internet kindly put them all into an ePub file. I have to say that they are pretty good actually and hey, they are free. 

For the months ahead I have several real paper books to get through. I just started Born to Run this past week and I also have sitting on my shelf Manovationals, Arabian Nights, and the Complete Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (plus a dozen more books sitting on my Kindle).