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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Leonard Pitts gets it right

The McCain fan who wasn't mugged |

Ashley Todd's bizarre story fits into that paradigm of paranoia and white guilt as snugly as a jigsaw puzzle piece. Some of us wonder what motivated her, but I think we should be saving our curiosity for the people with the egg on their faces.

I don't care why she told that lie. I am curious why they were so ready to believe it.

Stem cell on ballot

On the Ballot Tuesday in Michigan, The New Face of an Old Dilemma -

As a Christian (if only a Lutheran):

God gave us brains

God gave us science

God gave us embryos

God is love

God gives us hope

So, where do I stand?

Happy Halloween from The Boss

Bruce Springsteen News:

Does chocolate prevents cancer?

Top 5 Halloween Myths Debunked - Yahoo! News

I still don' know what they were thinking...

Growing Doubts on Palin Take a Toll, Poll Finds -

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Call Me Crazy

Lee Ann Womack, ever since I saw her sing "A Little Past Little Rock" on a country music awards show about 10 years ago, I have been a huge fan. She was very pregnant and had to be uncomfortable, but she delivered the song with style and grace.

Her singing is wonderful, but I think her song writing is genius.

Listen to her new album here - Call Me Crazy. It has really been pulling me out of a funk. Beautiful voice, beautiful lyrics. Sad, reaching the bottom, looking up.

"Either Way" is a haunting tune. A cheating husband..."I'm past the point I give a damn"..."you can go or stay, I won't love you either way." Pained honesty.

"Solitary thinkin'" has a bluesy country beat, so good for the soul.

I love her voice, and her lyrics are always a step above the rest. I really like "I Found it in you"--"everyone needs a reason to live..."

"If these walls could talk they'd pray" --- has there ever been a better line for a country song?

"Everything but quits" with George Strait. George has more country hits than anyone. Here is another one.

"The King of Broken Hearts" is classic country...could have come out 30 years ago.

"Live every moment as if it is the last one..." the chorus of "The story of My Life."

"Last Call" is the song on the charts...."I bet you're in a bar...because I'm always your last call."

Country music..."White man's blues"...Lee Ann is the queen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A day away from work....

Yesterday Jodie and I stayed home from work. We had a guy from Sears come to fix the dryer, a crew come out to put new gutters on the house (the back gutter had fallen off), and I took Jet White in for a oil change.

Our rig needs a oil change every 10,000 miles. I had gone a bit over, and a red light was coming worried me. The guys at Timberline Dodge treated me wonderful yesterday. One of my biggest frustrations with my disability is that people don't always take me to be an intelligent person by the way I carry myself.

Yesterday I was treated so well. They offered to get my scooter out of the van. I said that I didn't need it, but thanks. One of the guys walked me to the waiting room and asked if I needed anything. He even came back later to check on me.

I felt very respected.

Sitting in the waiting room, the tv was playing the 700 Club. The had a story about John McCain and his feverish last week pitch for the presidency. The lady I was sitting by broke the ice by saying we don't need 4 more years of what we had the last 8. She has a daughter in college who is studying psychology and wants to work with kids.

After she left, an older lady with white hair came into the waiting room. She pulled out a folded paper with the rectangle squares...her mail-in ballot. A guy from the shop came in and offered to turn the channel. I was so thankful to see that lame infomercial about buying foreclosed homes be turned off. The lady commented that she was not a fan of daytime tv. The guy asked me "What channel?" I said "2"...until I saw Martha...then I said "No, how about 8?" Regis & Kelly...much better.

I came home and the crew came to put up our new gutters. Jodie and I watched the season finale of "Madmen"...we are hooked on that show.

The new gutters look great with our new vinyl siding that we got a year ago. The dryer got fixed.

I spent the evening researching the differences between the three major stock indices - Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500. I learned that the S&P is really a better indicator of how things are going because it is calculated on a percent basis, whereas the Dow is figured on a dollar basis. I am still learning. Wikinvest and Google Finance are two sites where I am learning a lot. I want to learn more aboout mutual funds.

I will never be a financial wizard. This stuff is more complicated than my brain can handle. It's just nice to learn as much as I can.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Negative campaign ads

I heard this on NPR yesterday, a story about the guys who are the voices behind the negative campaign ads.

Very telling and humorous..."part of the democratic process"....and he's got two kids in college. Negative ads evokes more emotions than positive ads.

Worth a listen!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sign of the times

This image of a Japaneese broker crying says so much.

Our eyes should go beyond our earthly treasure, yes, but we work hard and it hurts to see it whither.  A time for extra patience and kindness with each other.

Forget about the $400 haircut

I forgot about how the $400 haircut was the begining of the end to the Edwards campaign.  How will this affect Palin?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disabled in Japan...getting to know disability

Access all areas: camping trip offers no-holds-barred insight into disability

Immersing disabled with non-disabled to learn and see what it's all about to be disabled.  Camping is a "little inconvenient" as the author says.  

There is a lot about me that you would learn about me if you were with me for 24 hours.  

I love my coffee.  All my coffee mugs have lids.  

I drink everything through a straw.!

I kill too much time on the computer.  I can't button a shirt without a small buttoner tool, which I have misplaced.  

Buffets are hard for me...I just don't have good enough balance to carry a plate accross the room without spilling, and if I get a twinge in my back, forget it!   

This doesn't mean I can't do anything....I just do everything differently.

A couple gems from the article:

At Bar in the Dark, my first problem was how to get my beer safely into a glass without it overflowing. I settled for putting my grubby finger over the rim of the glass and waiting for it to get wet. I asked the barman, who was blind, what he does. He said he could tell when his glass was full by the weight.


But the biggest change is in the mind-set of the able-bodied, he said.

"Able-bodied people in Japan are beginning to think of people with disabilities not just as 'the disabled,' but as human beings who can do something for society."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palin breaking from McCain

Palin wants a federal ban of gay marriage; McCain wants the states to decide for themselves.

Looks to me that Palin is giving up on the old guy and looking to her own presidential run in four years.

"Smartest Guys in the Room" ?

The Enron debacle is eerily similar to the current Wall Street bailout.  Financial black magic, unbridled greed, all under the guise of deregulation.

The documentary, "Independent Lens" Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, is well worth watching.  I watched it via Google Video the other night.  Not for kids.  Suicide in the opening scene, and the "F" word (what they were doing to us) throughout.

I was particularly sad to see how happy our local Portland General Electric employees were when their stock were converted to Enron stock.

One of my heroes

A very big endorsement for Obama from a very big man.

I would have voted for Collin Powell if he ever survived the brutal nomination process.  A principled man, he was to straight forward to make it through that brutality.

I am very happy to see he will have a place in the Obama White House.

Best Dad? Best son!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Manzanita in October

The Oregon coast is beautiful year around, but October is a time of extra beauty down there.

Nice picture from stepdad John.

Sarah Palen...

Sarah Palen ("e" instead of "i") is a courtesy clerk at the Safeway where we shop.  She hit the big time...she made it onto Fark (Oct. 19).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

John Cleese....Presidential race better than any Monty Python episode

John Cleese (part 2): Obama, Biden & Fox News

Economy trumps racism?

Interesting piece out of the Politico showing that economic concerns might trump people's racist views in the upcoming presidential election.

So much for campaign finance

Obama opted out of the federal campaign finance system, and it is showing in a big way.

I am amazed that the GOP is so flat footed this this time around.

Interesting observation:

But the Wisconsin Advertising Project says that since Mr. Obama wrapped up the Democratic nomination in June, 54 percent of Mr. McCain’s advertisements have been completely focused on attacking him, roughly a quarter have mixed criticism of Mr. Obama with a positive message about Mr. McCain, and 20 percent have been devoted solely to promoting Mr. McCain.

In the same period, the study found that 41 percent of Mr. Obama’s advertisements had been devoted solely to attacking Mr. McCain, one-fifth mixed criticism of Mr. McCain with a positive message about Mr. Obama, and 38 percent were solely devoted to promoting Mr. Obama.

Ignorance is more blissful...

...But I want to know what's really happening.

Thank you, Jack, for the heads up on this blog...

...I think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I shut it off too soon...

Boston was losing 7-0.  Ellsbury is a fellow OSU I like Boston.  Even though he is warming the bench right now, I still like Boston.

I could not stand to see them lose the pennant last night.  I turned the game off after 6 innings.

This morning...the news...what a comeback!

Can Laura talk to us

Not to offend you, Mr. President, but on days when you speak to us to calm us down about the ecomy, the stocks go down.

Could Laura give it a try?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Uh...Uncle Sam...I'm not dead

This honorable vet has a tougher mission than he had as a marine:  proving he's not dead!

“My wife and I, we believe that God won’t give you anything to handle that you can’t. And if this is one of His ways of testing us, well so be it.

“Everything is done for a reason, and I just like to find out that reason, and maybe who did it,” Ehrgott said with a smile.

McCain/Obama poll

I found this poll on the BBC.  Click on all four polls...very interesting.

We watched the debate last night.  Jodie summed it up perfectly - "Nothing new."

I like how Gail Collins puts it:

This is one of the reasons why the last few weeks of a presidential campaign tend to be so awful. The candidates are gearing their remarks to people who have managed to completely ignore nearly two years of news about the 2008 elections. In the end, it’s always all about the ones who play hard to get.

Google phone is coming

As a huge Google fan, I have been following the news about the new Google phone that is coming out.   The NY Times has a good review.

I love the idea of having more access to my gmail and my google calendar...and news.  $55 per month does not seem to bad.  The biggest plus is that it would make E insanely jealous.

But I don't know if my Troy fingers could navigate it...and I don't need another hole in my wallet.

Even so, the look on E's face (Dad's got a cooler phone than me!) would be priceless!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Voting for a slave in the White House?

"I'm not voting for a N"...

"Dad," E said, "he used the 'N' word!"

I was stunned.  I was hurt.  I was sad.

Recess talk about the election among seventh graders.

E is one of few democrats at his school...or "Democrap" as a classmate so nicely put it.

Jesus was for the poor.  Democrats are more for the poor than Republicans.  Yes, the poor should pull themselves up by their bootstraps...but we need to provide the bootstraps.

Talking about  race is hard for all of us.   To me, the spirit behind the words is more important than th words themselves.

E told his friends that "they" have been here as long as we have.  His friend said "Yes, but they were slaves, and I'm not voting for a slave!"

Race is a factor in this election.  The NY times has an article today about how the young (college age) see it.

Sadly, another factor is ignorance.

Obama is a good man.  McCain is a good man.

E said one of his classmates said she prefers McCain because he has more experience.  I told E that that is a respectable opinion.  

But to judge because of the color of skin...not in this Democrap household!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Christian faith is not free

Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee

I confess, getting up early to join my brothers and sisters at Resurrection Lutheran on Sunday morning does not always seem as appealing as staying home with my coffee and my Sunday paper.

Once there, my thoughts turned where they should be, I cherish the freedom we take for granted.

Yesterday I imagined that the economy was on all of our minds before worship began. Pastor Al preached about the wedding banquet.

Priorities are so hard to keep straight. Economic woes not forgot, but put in perspective.

Keeping the faith: Fighting the urge to stay home vs. fighting to stay alive.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain and Palin at odds?

Palin on the attack...McCain bracing for honorable defeat?

Palin eager to run for president in 2012?!

Troopergate report

An interesting summation from Time. Palin administration was "amateurish".

McCain/Palin statement on the matter:

“Today’s report shows that the Governor acted within her proper and lawful authority in the reassignment of Walt Monegan. The report also illustrates what we’ve known all along: this was a partisan led inquiry run by Obama supporters and the Palins were completely justified in their concern regarding Trooper Wooten given his violent and rogue behavior. Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact. The Governor is looking forward to cooperating with the Personnel Board and continuing her conversation with the American people regarding the important issues facing the country.”

Did he say $60 trillion?

Kim Komando brings us this video of the day - a segment from last week's "60 Minutes" explaining what has brought down Wall Street: The Shadow Market. From a faulty mathematical model, to flat out greed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good news from Iraq

Maybe we wouldn't be so focused on this if we focused more on this:

Palin's Vendetta

Do we want another "gate" (troopergate, Watergate, whatevergate) elected to be the heartbeat away from that 3 a.m. call?

The Troopergate report is due out today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No more emailing while drunk

Googles...what will the think of next?

I would like a way to retract email with Google, and timed delivery.

His eyes scare me...

My goodness Jack, his eyes scare me!

You were right about Goldman Sachs.

The great American sell off. A time to be sarcastic, a time to be sad.

I am a bit frightened, for ourselves and for our kids. Do we have a clue to what we have done?

Debt gets us into this mess, debt will get us out?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Campaign issue(?)...Disability

I have not heard much from the candidates on what they would do for the disabled, except the stuff about Trig Palin having Downs Syndrome.

Patricia Bauer, my favorite source for disability news, dug this piece up from the Huffington Post.

The Obama plan to empower Americans with disabilities versus Americans with disabilities for McCain.

A plan with substance versus a testimonial?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thirteen years ago...

Thirteen years ago right this second (about 7 pm), God smiled and out family of two became a family of three.  

Jodie had called me at work at 4:45.  She felt strange, but didn't know why.  Her arms and legs had spasms, but she did not feel pain.  I went home immediately.

Jodie's sister came over to the house and she drove us the the hospital in Oregon City.  We figured it was a false alarm, but it wasn't.  Jodie was hooked up to the monitors and they went bonkers. The nurses were amazed.  The kept asking Jodie "You can't feel that?"  They were amazed.

Nancy, Jodie's doctor, just happened to be on call that night.  A C-section had been scheduled for Friday.  On Monday Nancy was mulling over whether Friday was too soon.  This was Wednesday, two days early.

Nancy came in and told us "We are having this baby tonight!"

There was a roomful of us in the operating room when E was born.  Besides Dr. Nancy, there was another doctor or two, some interns and some nurses.  Extra hands, in case they were needed, and a learning experience.   

I remember one of the other doctor's protesting having me in the operating room.  He said, "Why don't we invite people on the street corner to be in here?  Everyone else is!"

"He is the baby's father.  He stays!"  Nancy insisted.

I sat at Jodie's head in the operating room.  It did not take long for E to be brought out.  The umbelical cord was cut.  The clearing of his lungs, that first cry.  

Thirteen years later it is a birthday party at Laser Planet with eight buddies from school.  Laser tag, pizza, more laser tag, cake, then a few video games.  A perfect birthday for a newly branded teen.

A strange coincidence, thirteen years ago on the eve of E's birth, OJ Simpson was acquited in the murder of his wife.  I remember the verdict being cheered at my office.  Everybody cared and everybody had an opinion.  I wasn't cheering.  The night of E's birth I stayed in the hospital with Jodie and E.  Watching Nightline, I remember the pundits all weighing in on the OJ verdict.

Forward 13 years.  Another OJ verdict.  Kidnapping and robbery.  Guilty.  The difference now?  Few people care.

Thirteen years...

Triking under the influence...

I rode a trike all through college.  Ias not until after I graduated that I got my license.

Did I ever do this?  I don't remember.  I know I never got caught.

Kim Komando

I am a Kim Komando fan.  Her radio show is not available where I live, but I read her tip of the day, cool sit of the day, tech news of the day, all sent to me by email.  I also recieve her weekly newsletters.  Kim simplifies the technical stuff --- a Reader's Digest to the tech world if you will.

I  just started looking at the video of the day. much time to kill...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Believing in the kids

A neat story about one of the wonderful foster parents that serves Oregon's overstreches, underfunded network of foster homes.

I work in the office, Dept. of Human Services, my nose in policy and killing trees.  It is heartwarming to read a positive story of what it's all about.

Biden, Palin, Nicy Nice

I watched the VP debate last night, and I was  mostly paying attention.  I was eating my Taco Bell dinner,  then surfing the net...and checking the score for my hooooo!

To me, Palin seemed to be reciting everything from short term memory.  It looked like she was reading, though I'm sure there was not a reader board out there.  When they had to volly responses back and forth, her's was just a repitition of what was just said...I mean, it wasn't as smoothly disguised as new info, the way most politicians do.

Also, I was surprise on the points they agreed on, particularly no gay marriage, but rights for gay couples.  Rather than hammer each other on  the smallest of differences, they were overly anxious to agree and go on.

The polls show Biden the  winner, but I like this from the Christian Science Monitor that says Palin did well by not having any "Katie Couric" moments.

I heard a commentator say last night that Palin played well to people who already like her, but did do much to reach the uncommited voters.

After the debate, Biden and Palin seemed really warm to each other when the shook  hands.  Whate were the saying?  I thought it was a nice touch.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Dyslexia in the genes?

University of Oxford researchers have found that a variant in a person's genes may be a cause of dyslexia.

Jodie has dyslexia.  Therapy and concentration has helped her overcome it.  I think I may have a form of dyslexia.  Not sure, but I have trouble slowing down when I read.  I skim everything, and my comprehension is not the greatest.  I would think that the parts of our brains that caused us to have cerebral palsy might also play a role in dyslexia.

The researchers do not tie dyslexia to other mental impairments:

"However, it's important to note that this is only true for reading ability and not for IQ, so it doesn't appear to be connected to cognitive impairment."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nice fit

Interesting notes on the moderator for this week's VP debates. Gwen Ifill has a broken ankle, but the show will go on.

The Right is yammering about her book coming out how the civil rights movement has cleared the way for the success of "post-racial" politicians.

Legend has it that Palin won an important high school basketball game on a broken ankle.

Could there be a more perfect moderator for Thursday's debate?