Help provide shelter to a fellow heathen

Daniel Samuelson, a disabled atheist steampunk author whom you might know as Luarian on comments or Teh Tweeters, is in a bit of a bind with regard to making his rent. I’ve long said that we atheists need to be far better at taking care of our own when each of us finds ourselves in need.

As you can see in the video, I’m kind of between being homeless and not being homeless right now. I paid rent to live in the place I’m in this month and it’s the first time I’ve had a room in over two years. I am also disabled, as you can hear, and I am unable to work anymore. This leaves me with very few options for doing anything to support myself. While I have applied to Social Security for support, I still haven’t heard back on this decision and, even if it’s successful, it could be months before I get my benefits and it could be over a year before they could find a place for me to live. The HUD lines are, essentially, closed in Orange County and there are no other systems for disabled people to get rental support here.

Except for you. That’s why I’m reaching out – with a little bit of help, I can pay this deposit and no longer be homeless. My partner is paying for my rent but she can’t afford the deposit being asked for. I already have a fifth of my goal met by a variety of awesome people, but it will take more. It’ll take more donations to be sure, but it’ll also take more sharing, more conversations, and more discussion. It’ll take all of us working together to pitch in a little bit to do a big thing. My health and wellbeing suffer every day since as my disability has grown to affect me more, I have been unable to deal with it effectively due to being homeless. With a little bit of help, you could make my life infinitely better.

Please, consider pitching in $5, and please share with your friends on your favorite social networks. I need all the help I can get, and I appreciate everything everyone has, and will do, for me.

~ Danny

If you have some spare scratch, consider throwing it Daniel’s way.

Help send me to Women In Secularism? *GOAL REACHED!*

Update: Made it! Any further donations will go to helping someone else get there, likely through the Surly Grants program. Cheers!

I hate fundraising for things other than charities. I hate that I do not make enough money that I could pay my own way to these events. But I’m going to swallow my pride and hold out my hat, because I really want to be at WIS this year, given their fantastic lineup.

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Gameathon: You did good, and you should feel good!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ecstatic with how the gameathon went. Despite the technical glitches and scheduling issues and having to cut it off about 2.5 hrs before our predicted end time (oof), it was still ridiculously successful. We got more guests than we were expecting and often had to double, triple and quadruple up. We got more donations than we were expecting, raising a total of $523.89 each for Women In Secularism and Camp Quest, and covered all expenses necessary to start this up so I’m not even in the red! Yes, seriously, I was a bit pessimistic at first, thinking nobody would show or donate and that we weren’t going to make enough to cover those expenses. I was fully prepared to have to eat the cost just to have something to give to CQ/WIS. But as it stood, we had enough to cover all the major expenses and plenty to give to both charities.

And the fun we had! If you missed the broadcast, it’s all still available here, and I plan on pulling chunks of it out to put on Youtube for easier access. I curb-stomped JT repeatedly at Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, though in fairness his internet was basically horrendous throughout the whole event (despite them sending someone out to fix it). He got his comeuppance when he played Contra on the NES and got to Stage 4 on the default three lives — he’s a beast. And despite my immense experience with Megaman, he beat me handily a few times when we did some stage time trials . I played some Bible games to show the audience the kind of crap available for the NES from Wisdom Tree, Jodi played some Toejam and Earl, we did some three-player Ninja Turtles (albeit briefly), we each played a few games that we’d never seen before (including Ninja Baseball Batman — which is awesome!).

Then there were guests. Ed Brayton made a surprise appearance, Glendon Mellow hung out for a while, Russell Glasser was a good sport and visited twice — once on Saturday afternoon and once on Sunday morning shortly before we threw in the towel. Stephanie Zvan made a yet-unmet challenge: find proof of the existence of an Atari II (or thereabouts) Taipan! clone called Shanghai (and no, not the Mahjongg Solitaire game). James Croft visited to give us a rousing speech… or two. Though both of which may have been lifted from other sources, come to think of it. I met a bunch of people for the first time, like Lauren Lane and Lux Pickel. And we introduced Brianne to the concept of emulation and she was absolutely ecstatic to play as Yoshi in Mario Kart and drive into a wall repeatedly.

This is going to happen again next year, without question. But it may have to happen with JT and I in the same place, if the internet is going to be any near as recalcitrant next time around.

And none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you all, so very much.

Not to get your hopes up…

… but JT Eberhart and I were chatting recently about the possibility of staging a 24hr classic video gaming marathon via UStream or similar, to raise funds for some good causes. The two of us, playing video games and shooting the shit about religion and skepticism and the various topics intersecting with for TWENTY FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT (minus food and bathroom breaks), all while soliciting your donations. We’d be splitting the proceeds between Camp Quest and sending students to Women In Secularism 2.

I don’t have a date, though we’re going to try for Hallowe’en-ish (or probably a weekend thereabouts).

I don’t have a list of games, though we do have a few good ideas, including TMNT: The Arcade Game, River City Ransom, Bubble Bobble, and Kirby Superstar – The Great Cave Offensive.

I have exactly one confirmed-lock guest for an hour of chat time, and three people I’d like to ask.

What do you folks think?