Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ex-soldiers to paraolympic champs?

What a cool way for a country to honor their disabled vets by recruiting them to be Olympians:

With inclusion at its heart, London will transform lives - Times Online

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blade Runner

Interesting debate. Man with no legs, runs on carbon fiber limbs. Does that give him an unfair advantage over abled body runners.

Zuza Fun » Disabled runner too able

Oscar Pistorius is the guy's name. There is a wikepedia entry on him.

NY times did a good story on him. He does not see himself as disabled, and he has his sights set for the 2008 summer olympics.

"Still, the question persists: Do prosthetic legs simply level the playing field for Pistorius, compensating for his disability, or do they give him an inequitable edge via what some call techno-doping?" --excerpt NY Times

An open letter from Oscar's prostetist.

Oscar is a first class athlete in my book.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

At the Fair

This morning after we went to E's school to take care of registration, we decided to go down to the Oregon State Fair.

Since getting our scooters in 2002, we have gone to the state fair every year but one.

E likes the rides, Jodie likes to look at the vender booths, I like to look at the animals.

I like the fair, but it seems like a bigger money drain every year we go.

The rides. This year it was 40 tickets for $20. Sounds like a good deal, until you see that most rides require 7 tickets --- that's $3.50 per ride! E likes the tilt-a-whirl and the bumper cars.

In the past I have gone with E on a couple rides. Today I was not feeling like going on rides, but I did go one round with him on the bumper cars. I did not want to be an all out party pooper!

I got into my car alright. I noticed that my knees were up against the small steering wheel. I was not sure how I would do steering, but I managed to get around fine. I use a steering know when I drive our van, so a small wheel with no knob is a challenge. The sterring wheel moved freely, and I was able to one-hand-it by spinning the wheel with my left hand across the top.

I was able to run into E a few times...and he ran into me. We had fun.

The ride was over. Everybody was out of their cars and and off the floor. I was stuck in my car. One of the young guys running the ride came over and asked if I needed a hand.

Such a disabled moment!

Of coarse I needed a hand, but his hand was not going to get me out of the car. E came back. Even though he's not real big, I feel more security with him because he knows the kind of help I need. After some struggle, I was able to unfold my legs, stand up, lift my legs up and out of the car, and get out.

My pride takes a dive again...but I had fun with my son on a ride.

We then went to the vendors. We started outside. The outside vendors were not crowded. E had some money to spend and it was burning a hole in his pocket! He bought a new wallet to hold all of it.

I saw a pillow I liked, one that would provide neck support. Jodie asked "How much?"....$99....No thank you!

Jodie likes to look at everything...she does not buy a lot.

We then went to the vendors inside this large hall. I like to see what they have in there and all the cool demonstrations, but I hate the crowds! Scooters, wheelchairs, strollers and people everywhere! People stopping to look at stuff, trying to get around them, while people are trying to get around us. Some of the aisles are really narrow, and some people's patience is really short.

E wanted to buy wood carved tank. It was beautiful...but costly No E. "But!" No, no and no! Being a parent is so hard sometimes! A little later, we came across a "String Thing"...pretty cool! We let Eric get one. It cost much less than the wooden tank.

I saw a rubber broom that looked really cool. Eric said we could use it for the van...well, we could....but I did not want to party with another twenty.

We then went for some food. Deep fried Snickers or Twinkies anyone? I almost tried, but I chickened out.

We made the trip through the barns to see the cows, horses, sheeps and goats. We saw a dog show. We heard a guy singing everything from old rockn'roll to country. If you have never heard The Big One, you need too. Confederate Railroad does a version....probably is their song.

Jodie waited in a long line to get ice cream for her and I; I took Eric to find a snow cone.

It was a good day at the fair!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Afternoon at Walmart...

We are doing more of out grocery shopping at Walmart these days. I know it is not a good thing to do per my union -- poorly paid workers with few benefits - but we save a lot of money there.

Lot's of other people must feel the same way, because it is always so crowded!

Jodie and I take our scooters. E pushes the shopping cart. We are like a train.

If you have gone to Walmart, you know that certain areas of the store are very crowded, and other areas are very open.

Most of the grocery aisles are very crowded. Jodie is usually in the lead, E in the middle, and I am behind. I try to stay as much out of the way of other people as I can. I am timid. Jodie is bolder -- she has all the rights to be there as anyone else.

Jodie is right, of course. But I get antsy when people are behind us, wanting to get around us, but they can't. My inclination is to do everything I can to get out of the way. Jodie does not care -- she is there and they can wait.

Some people get mad and start cussing. Some people wait patiently. Some people push and shove their way through.

I always feel funny when someone wants to get an item, but we are blocking their way. I move ahead, or stay behind a bit so that we are not so close together. My favorite thing to do so that we are not too close together is to split off onto my own venture to go get something or look at something.

People have such razor thin patience anymore. I always wonder why people who are in a hurry go to Walmart. It's crowded --- the aisles, the checkout lines.

Even so, I hate to be in the way.

Live for the Possibilities

A very nice sermon regarding accessibility:

Live for the Possibilities

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another cool ride....


I want one...

I am tired of googling.

When is this coming to the States? How much?

Honda Worldwide | 4-Wheel Scooters

Trying out the scooters

Today we went to All in One Mobility. We hat a clip missing on our lift. Kind of hard to explain, but it would cause a arm to come off and the lift to not work. A very kind service man took a look at it, then ran to the store to pick one up and replaced it for us. Cost was nothing. These guys are great.

While we were there, Jemal let us test ride some scooters. We found one for Jodie to test ride. Jemal had E try it. I teased "He doesn't have his license yet." Jodie was siting in the van. I had E drive it out to her. Jodie rides her scooter to work, a mile away, every day. This bad boy would get her there in style. Jodie did not like the height or the feel of it, but it would be priceless to see her support staff watch their office manager riding in on this chopper of a scooter.

I drove it back in the had a lot of power!

Jodie and I test drove a couple scooters. We are not quite ready to buy. Our two Pride Victory's are getting worn, and in the shop more and more. Jemal let E ride a power chair...he had way too much fun with that!

Later in the day we went to a cruise in of old cars in Gresham. The were raffling three scooters, the non-mobility types. One was decorated for the U of Oregon Ducks, one for the Oregon State Beavers, and one was plain.

E won the plain one! We could not believe it! We are now proud owners of a "Vega" scooter!

Thank you Jemal for your kindness!

Thank you Gresham's Rockin' Around the Block for such a great prize!

A good day...

Friday, August 10, 2007

China's disabled children are sold into slavery as beggars | World | The Observer

So, how did China earn the privilege of hosting the 2008 summer olympics?

China's disabled children are sold into slavery as beggars | World | The Observer

That could have been me...had I been born on the other side of the world.


Beautiful lady -- inside out

After school activities is so important for kids.

Eva Longoria Blog News: Eva Longoria Opening School For Disabled Children

I played chess, did computers, Spanish club. Finding activities that I could do with non-disabled kids where my cerebral palsy did not get in the way was so important to myself esteem.

God bless you Eva...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

First cell phone commercial - 1989

Pretty cool!

Thank you

Chris Fonseco - very funny

Chris Fonseca

I saw Chris on TV a long time ago. Such a treat!

Independent Living Technologies

An impressive catalog of products to make our life easier...

Independent Living Technologies

New Talllest Building - Burj Dubai

For fellow boys (over 40) who still find this stuff cool...

Burj Dubai Official Website

The website is gorgeous! As a rookie designer wannabe, I find this impressive. The music is a bit annoying.

66 elevators...10,000 tons of cooling per hour...250,000 gallons water per day...20 mph elevators...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

South Korea helping Ugandan disabled

There is good news out there.... Uganda: People With Disabilities to Get Sh3.4b Centre (Page 1 of 1)

U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team...

I didn't know that these guys wer practicing cool!

U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team Runs Gates and Wickets at Mt. Hood :: First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine :: The ski and snowboard world at your keyboard

Jodie use to ski with a "ski bra" that kept her skis apart. She's told me the story of calling out to her partner "My bra is slipping!"

I was on skis once at Laurelhurst park. Snow was on the ground in Portland, so it was a good place for a first lesson. Unfortunately, I dislocated my knee a few days later and could not continue the lessons.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Blind golfer....

Very cool story. Golf by feel, not sight.

Blind golfer Suleiman Rifai goes to the driving range. | Tours & News |

Determined teacher and student.

Disabled enough for a disabled parking placard?

During our recent venture to California, the topic of disabled parking placards came up a couple times.

One night we went to Red Robin for dinner. There was nowhere to park; we were considering going elsewhere. A parking attendant -- I think that was his job -- saw us searching. He directed us to park along a curb by the dumpster. He explained to us that in California that if you have a disabled placard that you can park along any colored curb except for red. He told us that a few years ago that he was hit by a car and that he was layed-up for months, only recently landing his current job.

When we went places with family we were staying with while our car was getting fixed, we brought our disabled placard. Cindy told us that the disabled placards were a hot issue down there because so many people had them, and they perception was that any of the people who had them were not disabled, but were cheating to get the parking advantage.

The issue is causing a lot of rage in California, as in this blog entry. 1 in 16 Californians have the disabled placard...that seems like a huge amount!

Sacramento Bee columnist Anita Creamer inspired this blog entry with her August 3 column (registration required - sorry). The issue is people with non visible disabilities (like back problems) having to explain to non-disabled people who want to know why they are using a disabled placard with no apparent disability.

I feel sorry for people with invisible disability. My cerebral palsy is very obvious; nobody ever questions whether I am disabled. I have also had disk pain...that can be debilitating.

When I am in the car and drive up to disabled spot, I have has people watch me until I get out of the car, as if they want to make sure I am disabled. They watch me until I get out of the car and start walking. Our new Sprinter van has a rear lift that you can see through then rear windows, and our last van had a rear outside lift, so people usually get a clue from that that I am disabled.

Sometimes it seems that the elderly feel that the spots should be reserved for them. I get looks from disabled drivers searching for a spot and I am about to get out of the car.

I don't spend time worrying about disabled parking cheaters. I always figure they must have a reason. I have no time for a witch hunt.

I did find humor one time years ago at Beaverton Mall. Two handicapped parking spots. One of the vehicles was a very small sports car, and the other was a pickup that was jacked up 5 feet off the ground. It seemed humorous to me, as I wondered how a disabled person could get into either vehicle.

I do get frustrated when I go to WalMart and cannot find a disabled spot to park in. It is not really for a lack of disabled spots -- they have a ton of them. They are just always full!

Before Jodie and I got together, I did not have a disabled card. I didn't really want one. I could walk. I never wanted to take a disabled spot from someone who might be worse off than I.

With Jodie, and a few more challenges myself, I now regularly use the disabled spots.

Maybe someday there will be a disability rating system. Different colored cards for the more severely disabled, matched to the best parking spots.

What a fun witch hunt that would create!

Workers needed...Malaysia looks to the disabled

Malaysia has a severe labor shortage. One of the goals to rectify this includes looking into putting mire disabled to work:

"Under-employed resources need to be actively investigated and developed for inclusion into the workforce, especially as Malaysia has a relatively small workforce. These include jobless youths, women, part-timers, older workers and the disabled. "

Expert views on how to mitigate talent shortage in Malaysia

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New online disablity community coming

This sounds exciting.

Disaboom - - About Us

Being disabled is not tragic, but it is always a new challenge.

On our recent trip we discovered a variety of accessibility when it comes to hotel rooms. Jodie needs bars to get in and out of the tub. Some places have it, others don't. We probably won't be traveling for awhile, but when we do, we would like to find something to take with us that would help Jodie get into any shower we end up at.

Is there a portable bar system?

Disaboom might help with that kind of information.