- First, the most important one: Preeclampsia Fundraiser. My sister works for the Preeclampsia Foundation in Florida and every year they host a promise walk, just like those cancer walks we've all been on. Pre-eclampsia is basically a condition during pregnancy where a woman's blood pressure rises to levels dangerous for both her and the fetus. Although there are some known risk factors, it can develop with absolutely no warning. Even with modern medicine pre-eclampsia is dangerous (sometimes fatal) to both parties and generally leads to early labor induction (with all of early induction's risks) when it is caught. Besides labor induction, there is currently no treatment or prophylactic available. The participants try to raise some donations themselves, so if you could help out with even $15, you would be doing a great thing!
- Second, a fun link: Suvudu's Final Cage Match of 2011. Alright, so this is for sci-fi and fantasy geeks like me, but here's the scoop anyway: Suvudu runs a cage match of dozens of sf/f characters from different series each spring. Each match also features a write-up of how the judges think it will go, but the winner is determined by an online voting poll. The tournament is single elimination and eventually results in a final showdown: this year, Quick Ben from Steven Erikson's Malazan series is pitted up against a favorite character of mine: Vin from Brandon Sanderson's awesome Mistborn series. You (yes, you!) can go vote for who you think would win in a fight between them; no registration is needed and you can only vote once, so no annoying reminders from me either. And if you like me at all, you'll vote for Vin! ;-)
- Lastly, an everyday life link: Thoughts on Tipping. I think that pretty much sums up what I think on the subject (especially about auto-gratuities). I will add two thoughts: one, a party of 6 is not a "group", even though I've observed more restaurants lowering this number. It would be more effective to have a policy of "8 adults" or "more than two checks". Two, when out with a large party, we let a waiter or manager know (before ordering) that tips will be higher if they are not automatically included; otherwise, they will get the 18% only or (if the tab includes the "suggested" tip and we can adjust down), 18% will be the maximum they get for great service. This has worked the majority of the time, both to get rid of the "auto-tip" and getting us wonderful service.
Alright, off to do some quick homework and my beginning of the month financial update. Then tutoring, class, a volleyball game, and hopefully back here to write that debt payoff month post.