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17h30 UTC; SATURDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2013:
In any case, Your Correspondent deems it best to start this post off by sending his sympathies for the Philippine people and nation, especially such as have been adversely afflicted by the destruction of Cyclone Haiyan--the details of which are just now starting to emerge following an extended loss of communications with afflicted areas in the south-central part of the former American colony:
  • Philippine Red Cross sources tell NBC News (and, by extension, its Weather Channel affiliate) that at least 1,300 are known dead from its effects. (Official Philippine Government sources were claiming this morning that the death toll was at least 130.)
  • Some 800,000 people are in emergency shelters for the time being, especially with their houses likely having been destroyed; property damage is expected to be substantial, what with wind gusts exceeding 200 mph on occasion.
  • At least 1.3 million Filippinos are said to be in clear and present need of immediate assistance from Haiyan's effects.
For such wishing to make donations in aid of the relief efforts, cash such are preferred by relief agencies such as the Red Cross and The Salvation Army; the better to free up resources to purchase and warehouse relief supplies more efficiently. As for how to go about it:
  • American Red Cross: Freecall 1-800-GIVE-NOW, send a cheque or postal order to your local chapter (earmarking it for their Disaster Relief Fund), donate through their website, or give $10 by texting GIVE to 90999.
  • The Salvation Army: Freecall 1-800-SAL-ARMY, send a cheque or postal order to your local chapter (earmarking it for their Disaster Relief Fund), donate through their website, or give $10 by texting TYPHOON to 80888.
(If you plan to use the text-message donation facility, be aware that your carrier's usual charges will still apply; if you have a "prepaid" or "pay-as-you-go" plan, the donation will be taken from your available airtime balance.)

In case it's getting frustrating on your end to access Healthcare.gov towards the purchase of health cover, blame DDoS-triggering software such as this. More than likely developed by "Tea Party"-affiliated scientists and researchers with designs on essentially sabotaging Obamacare (t/n the Affordable Care Act) without any sort of proper replacement being offered, rivalling the sort of perverted science made infamous by crime and horror comics as were the target of "corrupting youth" complaints during the early to mid-1950's.

So much for the end of Blockbuster Video: You may have heard on the news where the last 300 company-owned stores (Blockbuster, at the end, was owned by Dish Network) and its postal-delivery video-rental service were being wound up, with closing sales likely ere Black Friday's shopping hordes arrive. But what you may not know is that there are still 50 independently-owned-and-operated franchisee locations trading under the Blockbuster name and stylee ... which will remain open.

Which is enough to wonder if Blockbuster Video is likely to stage a comeback on a franchised basis, following a possible hiveoff from Dish Network.

Otherwise, as the United States observes the Veterans' Day Long Weekend (otherwise known as Remembrance Day in the rest of the world, as in the end of World War I in 1918), Your Correspondent can't help but notice just how dreary things are as the last of the autumn's leaves are being stripped from the trees around his apartment. Meaning winter, inevitably, can't be all that far behind (but then again, "as November 21st, so the winter").... 

"Another small house is finished in the next block"
(to Engrishfy the closing remarks on every episode of the "slice-of-life"
radio series Vic and Sade through the years)

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