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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Name that decade - The Boston Globe

The "You Decade"...I think the name will stick. The terror of
9/11 affected us all in some way. Facebook has really connected me with family and friends whom I have not seen for years. I follow people whom I never met through their blogs.

9/11 terror made connections more important. This is a good piece:

Name that decade - The Boston Globe: "On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the planes, and the towers, and the people fell from the sky. The terrorists’ plot was pre-computer age in its conception - a set of box cutters, a term in flight school, coordination, patience, and perhaps the sense that we were all looking away just before it happened. Indeed, the attack was a crisp, cold slap, just as we were revving up to a decade of collective attention deficit. The terrorists’ ruthlessness was a sharp reminder that they were not as entranced as we were with our views, our interests, or our lives."

No more furlough days for me?

My position with the state is federally funded:

The Seminal » Judge Rules Arnold’s Furloughs Are Illegal: "These are employees whose salaries (and the benefits they administer) are funded by federal money or state set-asides and therefore are not subject to the general fund’s being held up by the legislature — but Arnold furloughed them anyway and refused to hear appeals. This slowed disability reviews as well as processing of special federal assistance administered by state employees. In some cases, it has led to reduced federal payments to the state, an absurd situation when the Governor is asking the federal government for more than eight Billion dollars in emergency budget-balancing assistance."

Getting around in slush

A snow event two days ago left us with slush to contend with yesterday. Jodie's sister, Denise, helped us get to our van.

We got to Jodie's office. Lots of icy slush. I had to go out to run our lift. I was afraid. I broke my arm once falling on ice.

Lucky for us, Joe, the security guy, met us. I was able to tell him how to run the lift. Jodie backed her new power chair onto the lift like a pro. First time! Her dyslexia makes it interesting....this way way...your other right...

Then I drove to my office. Very little slush.

We made it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Practicing at the mall

Eric, Jodie and I went to Clackamas Town Center last night so that Jodie could get some driving experience in her new power chair.

Being the day after Christmas, the parking lot was filled with non-moving lines. We didn't know if we would ever find a spot!

I haven't test driven the power chair yet, but Jodie and Eric both say that it is a lot different then driving the scooter. Eric has been loading and unloading it from out Sprinter van so far. I will need to learn to do it. Eventually, Jodie wants to be able to drive it on and off of our van lift herself.

Jodie plans on using the power chair at work, at church, when we are out and about, and, eventually, at home.

Jodie did really well driving the scooter at the mall. She just needs practice to build up her confidence.

Special Christmas Eve delivery for Jodie

From Jodie powerchair

The real "Rainman" was more interesting than Hoffman's version

Did Dustin Hoffman exploit the rainman? After his death this week, his father makes a startling accusation | Mail Online: "By 14, he had completed the high school curriculum four years ahead of schedule, but it was not until he was 18 that he got a job, managing the payroll for 160 people, a task he performed in a few hours a week without even a calculator."


"Surprisingly, his father told me Kim once had a girlfriend, whom he met through a group for disabled people. She suffered from multiple sclerosis, so was largely confined to her home, 35 miles north of Salt Lake City.

"But every month Mr Peek senior would take his son to meet her, and they would go to a restaurant and then the cinema.

"The relationship wasn't physical. 'I think he was interested in females and respected them, but he never showed any sexual feelings about them,' says his father. 'He wanted her to get out and have some fun.'

"His son had a strong sense of duty, and his own moral code, he adds, recalling what happened when he was entered in the 50-yard dash in the Utah Special Olympics, aged 19.

"'He was racing against two guys in wheelchairs and as he approached the finishing line he looked back and saw their chairs had got tangled together. So he went back and pushed first one, then the other opponent, through the ribbon before crossing in third place.'

"He may have received only a bronze medal, but he won the most important prize for this act: the special sportsmanship award."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Rockwell for Christmas

We went to Jodie's sister Pam's for Christmas Day.

A fun time with family and friends.

Presents we open. We were snacking and the chiefs in the kitchen were getting dinner together.

Nice, calm, uneventful.


A knock at the door.

It was friends Joyce and her boys.

But wait...they were followed by three dogs. Dachshunds.

Big dogs Vinny and Jesse were already there.

I was thinking "Joyce brought a bunch of dogs to the party...that's interesting..."

The dogs came running upstairs...and they were running everywhere.

I heard a loud "Oh shit!" from the kitchen. They weren't Joyce's dogs. Joyce thought they were our dogs. Pam knew whose dogs the dogs were.

The guy next door breeds Dachshunds. They had gotten out of the backyard. The neighbor was away from home. Mandy called him, and he came right over.

Joyce and all the kids raced outside to gather the dogs that were still loose. They herded them into the bathroom until the neighbor came.

Now for the Rockwell picture: Jodie had been holding one of the dogs. She let go of the dog so our niece could get him. The dog ran in a circle. Brit was running in a circle. At one point, I swear, Brit's feet and all four of the dog's paws were off the ground.

A Norman Rockwell picture. A Christmas to remember.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas wish


Stepdad John has been out of work for going on a year.

He worked as a manager of a documentation department at a high tech place...ECO' change orders...John is a master of those.

John has a master's in systems analysis.

John has followed man y leads so far. He is willing to learn something new.

All this "jobless recovery" talk is weird.

Santa, I'm just asking for leads.

Thanks Santa!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Christmas to me is Jesus in a manger. Christmas to me is God entering humanity, a reminder that He loves and cares for us.

The Santa perpetrated by the stores getting us to buy, buy, buy, is questionable.

The Santa who came to my family's door when I was a kid...he was real. We were having a huge Christmas Eve party like we always had. He asked to see me! The first year he came, mom and dad did not know who he was. The next day, a guy came to the door. He was driving a "Armour Meats" truck. Neighbors across the street had asked him to stop at our house.

Santa came and saw me on Christmas Eve for quite a few years. We would move; he would find us. Mrs. Santa was by his side, until one year we heard she succumbed to cancer.

When I first started to go to church, I saw Santa and anything to do with him as an attack on the true meaning of Christmas.

Now I wonder if there is room for us to be the "Santa" to other people, and for us to allow others to be the "Santa" to us this time of year.

Christmas to me is Jesus in a manger. Christmas to me is God entering humanity, a reminder that He loves and cares for us.

Christmas to me is also the love of God working its way through me and you.

Santa made me feel special every year he showed up to check up on me.

Lets try to make each other feel special this season.

We see this star coming home at night

A wonderful local tradition:

Gresham tradition keeps on shining

Of mice and us?



I don't get "the war over Christmas":

The J-Walk Blog: Leave Christmas Alone

Friday, December 18, 2009

Toys for Tots

The child welfare branches in Multnomah County pick up their Toys for Tots donations for our kids in care. I helped get my branch's list together.

Nice to see Michelle O involved with this too:

How Michelle Obama Turned Around Her Image -- Politics Daily

Prayers for our kids in care...and their families (bio, foster, adoptive, guardianships...)

Peace and joy to all!

Makes sense to me...

You did this to us...we'll do this to you.

The wheels in DC go 'round...the bus goes nowhere:

GOP Blocks Funding Troops - The Daily Beast

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three decades after his injury, quadriplegic hunter takes aim� Standard-Times

I'm not a hunter, or a gun person....but this is an interesting story:

Three decades after his injury, quadriplegic hunter takes aim� Standard-Times: "It has been three decades since Cap last fired a gun — on Nov. 3, 1979 — and he remembers it as if it were yesterday, mainly because of what happened the next day: a high school football game, a head-on tackle and a neck injury that left him a quadriplegic and robbed him of hunting, one of his lifelong passions."

The King and Martina - Blue Christmas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jeff and Jennie's Adoption Journey

The funnest part of Facebook is catching up with old friends. I followed the links and found this beautiful story:

Jeff and Jennie's Adoption Journey

Jeff and I were roommates at the "mansion." I remember when Jeff chopped the half gallon of ice cream in half...and we each took a half.

Jennie came along to out Campus Ambassador's Christian fellowship group. Jeff's heart was caught...and he was domesticated.

Now they have two beautiful kids, Felipe and Andrea.

A beautiful family.

God is good.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We all know guys are wimps...

Football is for women:

Fighting Fillies play for the love of football | Portland News - –

I have days like this...

I don’t know how you do it @ Terrible Palsy: "So, to summarise, it is the additional stuff that keeps me up each night wondering why things can’t be easier. Why we can’t live in a perfectly accessible world where people give bags over to people making purchases, where people don’t make comments on children sitting in strollers or the age of kids that can’t walk. Where saying he has cerebral palsy is just enough for someone to go, say no more, you don’t need to explain anything – no judgements here."

Let the stereotyping begin


Beck Compares Tiger to O.J. - The Daily Beast

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Temps in the mid 90s

My college buddy Wes (most memorable moment, a ride is a 4x4 cadalac...door 4 feet off the ground), was in Ironman competition in Western Australia. Temps in mid 30's...celsius. I did the conversion...mid 90's F.

Looks like he placed 81 in his division.

Good job Wes!

Crawford and Vernay win at Ironman Western Australia �

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No service dogs allowed on lift buses?

We had our run-in with Trimet 19 years ago when a driver refused to take one of Jodie's crutches so she could get on the bus. Here's another interesting one:

Disabled woman: TriMet discriminated against me | - News
- Portland, Oregon
| News
: "PORTLAND, Ore. - A disabled woman said Monday TriMet discriminated against her because a LIFT driver wouldn’t allow her to board with her service dog, which caused her to miss an important surgery."

"Happy meal" banned?


Spain Considers a Ban on Selling Fast Food with Toys - TIME

I'm not "right"...I'm never right

Ok...I'm outed...I am not a "righty"...but I do like Huck. I listen to his radio show at lunch, since he took over the time slot of the great Paul Harvey and his "the rest of the story."

Huck leans toward the center. I like his words of wisdom. I find it sad that this might bring him down:

Huckabee White House Chances Look Slim to None After Police Slayings -- Politics Daily

Not funny...just strange...

Former Miss Argentina dies after plastic surgery - "Solange Magnano, 37, died in a hospital after being transferred from a clinic where she underwent an elective surgery on her buttocks on Wednesday, the agency reported."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sosa's choice -- not just cosmetic - Leonard Pitts Jr. -

So...where's the ointment to take away my disability?

Sosa's choice -- not just cosmetic - Leonard Pitts Jr. - "``Your column on Sammy Sosa's skin cream use is off base and sends a wrong message. The issue is the man's character -- not the color of his skin. Your column seemingly assumes he lightens his skin color out of shame and fails to recognize that he may simply be doing it out of vanity or his own sense of personal style. Plenty of fair-skinned people use skin-darkening creams, sun baths, tanning beds for that purpose and the only criticism leveled at them is vanity and stupidity for ignoring skin cancer warnings. The same should hold for Sammy."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Has the decade really been this bleak?

Eric went from 4 to 14...lot's of baseball, basketball games...Jodie and I are still working and getting around...we now have scooters...our mutts, Bonnie & Clyde guarantee never a dull moment at home.

Lot's to pray for...for sure...but my glass is over half about yours?

The 00's: A Decade from Hell - TIME

Bailout for Santa?

Thank you for this one Leissa:

Even Santa Wants a Federal Bailout | Small Business Trends

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Wave

I got my invite to Google Wave this morning. I sent Eric an invite.

Now I need to figure out what it is...

I'm breaking German law

I love Google Analytics. I can see how many people are looking at my blog, what posts are most read, and where they address.

Yes, I am snoopy!

Achtung! Google Analytics is illegal, say German government officials

Monday, November 23, 2009

A "Troy" moment...

A prayer of faith to accept myself as I am and others as they are, a swift kick in the butt, and a piece of chocolate...and I'll be over it.

I went on a job interview today. Probably one of the least favorite things to do. I get nervous. My cerebral palsy acts up. My mind goes blank.

I love my current job, and I love the people I work with. 20 years in with the State, the challenge of a new job, and a pay raise I have gone years without is a draw.

I studied the questions, then was escorted to another room for the interview. I felt comfortable with my answers. I tried to give focused answers without rambling too much. The three ladies who conducted the interview were very gracious.

After the interview, I was escorted to another room for a written test.

When I got to the room, there was a sheet with questions, a small stack of typing paper...and three pencils.


A like a deer caught in the headlights...a "Troy" moment.

There are reasons I learned to type at age 7. My hands are shaky and my handwriting not very legible.

I should have asked for accommodation right then, but I thought I would give it that good ol' college try.

I made my way through the test. As I did, I realized that the endurance that I use to have for handwriting was gone. I have been using the computer for years...I just have not had to handwrite anything.

When I was done, I realized that my best effort would probably not be at all legible to my testers. I alerted them to that, and accommodation has been made.

I need to be more faith in myself to feel more comfortable when I interview, a kick in the butt to ask for accommodation when I need it, and now...I need a piece of chocolate.

A bull in a car? Bull Transported by Automobile

If you are getting a disability check...

...stay off HGTV:

Working for HGTV Lands Designer in Hot Water for Insurance Fraud - UnBeige

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Are you good without God??...millions are"

Atheists’ ads ride TriMet buses

I suppose I should be offended by this message that will be appearing on local buses this month.

I'm not.

But neither am I paying the $5,900 to have the message put on the bus.

I don't think we cherish freedom of thought anymore.

The funny, or sad, thing is, is that if I were to pay the $5,900 to get my message on the bus, it would probably be rejected or protested: "Smile - God loves you baby!"

Our baby boy...

Conservative porn?

Let's call Trump...he'd know what to do:

Prejean Calls Trump for Advice - The Daily Beast

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Twenty years ago Gary hired me. I typed a lot out of the bucket...before caseworkers had computers.

Gary use to say he hired me for my "flying fingers"...all 15 wpm worth.

My flying fingers hit the wrong keys sometimes. Last week I came up with: Rganks...

Made me laugh...

Karen puts it well....Palin is taken serious because she's hot...

We are that shallow, folks...get over yourselves:

Karen Spears Zacharias � Ugly up: "I don’t resent that she’s pretty, I replied. Nor do I think people ought to “ugly up” to be taken seriously. What I resent, what bothers me is knowing that sometimes people — men and women but more so women — are afforded credibility and respect and all sorts of advantages just because they are good-looking."

I unfriend you...

2009’s Word of the Year - The Daily Beast

Cast Offs: British Reality TV's Disabled Survivors - TIME

A reality show about the disabled to show that we are as f...I mean messed...up as everyone else...hmm...

Cast Offs: British Reality TV's Disabled Survivors - TIME

Sarah Palin Rates Obama Job Performance a 4 Out of 10 -- Politics Daily


Sarah Palin Rates Obama Job Performance a 4 Out of 10 -- Politics Daily

Monday, November 16, 2009

Restful day...

Stayed home all day yesterday. Caught up with our shows - Good Wife, NCIS, NCIS LA, Mad Men season finale. Also watched a couple shows of Jeff Dunham, ventriloquist/comedian...very funny day.

A couple games of chess...forgot who won.

Popeye's Chicken spiced up the day.

OSU Beaver's #19...Rose Bowl bound?

Going Rogue

Looking forward to Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue".

I mean, she can see Russia from her house...and, well, she is so HOT!

Might be an interesting read...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I took third...bad Dad!

I took third place in a jr. high chess tournament, quad play. Three kids...I was a sub.

Eric took fourth.

Bad dad!

I know...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Glee" Wheelchair episode shows why we fight on...

I had never seen the show "Glee", but after seeing a tweet from Glenda about the subject matter, I decided to watch.

The big controversy is why disabled actors aren't used for disabled role. It does bother me, considering there are probably many disabled actors who could us the employment:

"Glee" Wheelchair Episode Upsets Disabled: "For them, the casting of a non-disabled actor to play the paraplegic high school student is another blown chance to hire a performer who truly fits the role."

The line of the show for me was when the the coach of the Glee club tries to encourage the team to raise money needed to rent a bus that would accommodate Artie's wheelchair. The team does not see the need at first. His dad can take him...he takes him everywhere. The team leaves the room and the coach apologizes to Artie for their reaction.

Artie's response is priceless. It summarizes disability awareness, or lack thereof:

"It's okay...they just don't understand."

If you are disabled, you know what I mean. Acceptance of status quo is how we survive. If we fought every injustice and every barrier that we run into, we would have no strength or sanity left.

We pick our battles. Backed into a corner of despair, sometimes we fight. It kills us inside to rock the boat, to not be the smiling inspiration that people admire us for.

We lose many of these battles. The barrier or injustice is seen as minimal, or too expensive, by the people who have the power to fix it.

Some battles we "win"...but really, everybody loses. A fix is made, but the experience is killed for everyone. A meeting is moved from a nice place that 97% of the people could get to, to a plain, maybe undesirable place that everyone can access...but do they want to.

The battles that are truly won are those where "they" really do "understand".

For this I commend the episode of "Glee" last night. All members of the glee club and the cheerleading squad were asked to spend 3 hours a day in a wheelchair.

It led the kids away from the extremes of ignorance and pity, to what should be the goal of all of our human interactions - patient understanding.

Jodie's followup with Dr. Molly

I took Jodie in to see Dr. Molly for a followup visit regarding the tightness in her shoulder. Years of walking on crutches has taken a toll. Her motion has gotten real limited...but using the power chair that is coming will help. Getting older with cp is not a very big issue in this country yet Dr. Molly said.

I asked for her take on the health care bill: "CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cool story...

A paralyzed superdog lifts spirits of sick kids - Miami-Dade - "He gets just close enough on his wheelchair for the children to pet his forehead or stroke his coat.

Lance, a 5-year-old dachshund, is a therapy dog at the hospital, where he has been visiting children since he became a patient.

``We decided to turn his situation into something good,'' said Caio Stinchi, Lance's owner, who lives in Coconut Groove."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Calling all knitters in Portland area

We are in need of mittens, scarves and hats for the kids in State care...foster kids...

The group of ladies who use to provide these items is no more.

If you knit, crochet, or can otherwise provide these items by Dec. 12, please contact me..fb, twitter, or click here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Just show me the way around it..

We were rocking at church yesterday...

YOU DON'T HAVE TO MOVE THAT MOUNTAIN LYRICS by Trisha Yearwood: "You don't have to move that mountain
Just help me Lord to climb it
You don't have to move that stumblin' block
Just show me the way around it"

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Using her ability to help others

I don't know about other people with disabilities, but I know that I get set into a routine. I have adapted my life and my job to my abilities. Change makes me nervous, but not this lady:

Mid-career change to nursing a happy switch for disabled woman | Health and Fitness - - - "Brigitte Folds, assistant nurse manager on H81, says that a few patients have expressed concern about having Lewis take care of them because of her disability. Other patients are too sick to notice. But most are welcoming, she says.
'They almost look at her as an inspiration, which I think is really cool,' Folds says."

This will be me...

...walking in on my own funeral:

Dead wrong: Man attends own funeral after mix-up over body's ID -

Friday, October 30, 2009


Got an email at work yesterday. The medical review field was not updated on my audit case. Oops. I started investigating. The medical field is supposed to update automatically when the IV-E field updates. I looked up other cases, none of the medical fields have updated. I will write a macro today...then be click clicking all day...

I was pulling out of work yesterday. I go out on a small side street to get to Powell. People were crossing to get to the bus stop. This young dude started jumping and flailing in front of me, as if I was going to hit him. I wasn't that close!

Did I: a. run him over; b: honk; c: sit and look dumb...making sure my doors were locked?

Nice seeing Lu Anne for lunch at Pizza Barron. Anyone looking for a kids rocker, or need and upholstery work done?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


audit. Secretary of State auditing IV-E statewide.

IV-E is federal funding that reimburses costs the state pays for kids in foster care.

I am a IV-E specialist...and one of my IV-E cases is going down to Salem for audit next week...along with a foster home provider file and the 8 volume case file.

Most of my work goes unseen and unreviewed. Every three years we have the big federal audit. In between we have SOS audits, and some internal audits.

I don't mind having my work reviewed, but it is nerve wracking. The initial determination was done by someone else. I went back and did a little clarification. The fewer things the auditors have to figure out for themselves, they better.

Dry, I know...but hey, it's my day job.

Do chimps grieve? - Boing Boing

Do chimps grieve? - Boing Boing: "This incredible image was shot for National Geographic by Monica Szczupider, and shows chimpanzees at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon. They're observing as the body of an elder troop member named Dorothy is taken to burial. She died at 40 years of age, which is pretty old for a chimpanzee."

A sad tale from the war...

The war condolences Obama won't send | The Stump - - "Current laws prevent transfer of mental health information from active-duty military to the reserves, so Chance's commanders did not know of his previous struggles. Last June, troubled again, he sent his parents a dire e-mail, mentioning suicide. Jannett recalled: 'I spoke to Chancellor the night before he died for about four minutes. And as always, he wore a really tough exterior. ... But what he did tell me that night is that he was going to have a very long, difficult day. His conversation was quite brief. Normally he would say that he loves me, and he would say goodbye. But this time he simply hung up.'"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Clydester...what happened?

Five dogs.

Bonnie and Clyde. Dachsun/Yorkie mixes, brother/sister. Our dogs...owners of the house. They allow us to live with them.

Shadow and Skeeter. Lhasa Apsos, old men, brothers. Jodie's Mom's "Boys".

Vinny. A bounding big Lab mix. Mellow around all these rugrats. Jodie's sister Denise, and her son Vance's, dog.

Last night at the water dish Clyde yelped, Vinny freaked, and Shadow got out of the way. We don't know what happened. Vinny may have accidentally stepped on Clyde. He was a bit skittish for awhile.

Five dogs.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pastor Rog reflects on decision to stay and serve...and health care

Koine Community in Portland.: Memorial Gardens: "Our friends who went to Canada face no such predicament. They could change jobs anytime they wanted. No concerns about loss of health insurance. Not an issue. No matter what happens in the future, they will never be denied health insurance coverage, never face the prospect of bankruptcy over health care costs. I remember when their first daughter Claire was born in the mid 70's. It cost them a buck-fifty to buy a nursing bra for Susan. That's it."

Full house!

We have house guests. Jodie's mom and sis, and their three dogs, have moved in with us for the time being. They are transitioning living situations right now. Nephew is staying with a buddy's family.

We have a bed in the living room, and a air bed in the family room.

Prayers for the continuing transition would be greatly appreciated...but we are making it quite fine!

Friday, October 09, 2009

According to the Teleprompter's Blog, not everyone is happy...

...but I think Obama rocks!

Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog: That's Nobel-Prize Winning Teleprompter to You ...: "Lady M is thrilled, because a check for $1.5 million comes with the medal. While Big Guy was hoping to use that check to break ground on his Presidential Library on the South Lawn of the White House (oops, did I just let that out of the bag?), Michelle says she wants to use that money to 'stimulate the economy a little bit.' That $1.5 million means they can actually go out on a date night and pay for it themselves instead of the taxpayers!

Of course, there are some hurt feelings around here this morning. Big Guy had the Secret Service up in Chappaqua check in on President Clinton to make sure his head hadn't exploded at about 4 am this morning. Al Gore apparently has locked himself in the closet again and they can't get him out. We're hearing there's this weird whirling sound down in Atlanta near Martin Luther King's grave. Joey B. seems kind of sulky during the morning briefing, because he assumed since his name was on the 2008 campaign bumper sticker, he should get half the prize, too. And apparently Poland and the Czech Republic just unitlaterally surrendered to Russia."

Jean is a survivor!

Thank you Pastor Roger for sharing the news. So much joy; such a lovely picture:

Koine Community in Portland.: Happy Anniversary!: "One year ago today, October 8, was the pits. Jean was flat on her back, unable to turn her head without becoming dizzy or ill, unable to eat, unable to even think about rising from bed and trying to stand or walk with double vision and absolutely no strength.

Today, loved by God and us, she is well and whole again. But her recovery is no more miraculous than each successive breath and heartbeat that we take for granted. The seeds of God's love and life are planted in us and all around us. May we daily bask in this grace and give thanks."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"Crippled Kids Walk With Jesus, Lefty Journos With Satan"

My internet is slow...when I can, I want to examine this painting.

"Handicapped child" on the right side..."the good guys"??

Crippled Kids Walk With Jesus, Lefty Journos With Satan | Mother Jones

Interesting thoughts on disability out of Pakistan

I confess...My first thought of Pakistan..."Isn't that where Bin Laden is?"

Yes...perhaps...but also brothers and sisters battling life out:

DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Disabled by society: "Disability is being redefined in a social rather than a physiological context. Sociologists and human rights activists now place the onus on society to make the necessary structural changes for enabling persons with disabilities to realise their full potential and make a contribution to the state."

Hee hee...

#662 Fixing your wedgie when no one’s looking � 1000 Awesome Things

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I think it's sexy, Woman...

...Not the guy...but the chair.

I know you are worried. It is a transition, but it will make life easier.

God has brought us this far...He will carry us the rest of the way.

We went to the fitting appointment yesterday. Six to eight weeks, the power chair will be here.

Detroit's move to India

Sad for our economy...happy for their's:

India Ford | Automobile manufacturing

Monday, October 05, 2009

Uh...we live here...

Saturday, Jodie and I were getting ready to go shopping. We had cleaned out the van. Jodie was in the van making her way to her seat. I was loading her scooter.

A lady drove up and parked by our mailbox. I figured it was someone for our neighbor. Living on a culdesac, parking is kind of weird.

I was on our lift, and I noticed the lady was at our door. I called over to her "Can we help you?"

She still seemed determined to knock on our door. Jodie tried to talk to her, but the car window was up and the door was closed. Jodie had to holler to be heard.

The lady was looking for (we are trying to remember the name), we thing, "Janice".

We told her that nobody by that name lived here.

She went back to her car and got on her phone.

This reminded me of a time when a gutter salesman argued with me about wanting to talk with the owner of the house, refusing to believe I was he.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One leg...and a handicap of three...

True inspiration:

Manuel de los Santos will realise dream at St Andrews - Times Online: "He will be among some of the biggest names in the game and a smattering of showbusiness celebrities and, as well as St Andrews, will play at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. Ask him what he thinks of that and his grin could power the national grid. “I cannot believe it,” he says. “My dream has come true.” Put simply, De los Santos has become an inspiration. Now 25, he plays off a barely believable handicap of three, can hit the ball 260 yards through the air and, perhaps most surprisingly, refuses to use a prosthetic leg. He walks, with the aid of crutches, between shots and will not countenance the use of a buggy. “It’s a sport,” he said. “I’m an athlete. I walk.”"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cherryhilll Drive

The founder of Sunshine Pantry got her start on Cherryhill Drive. My family lived there when I was a kid. Neat to see that such a great organization got it's start there:

Sharon Straus, Beaverton's ray of sunshine, is honored by governor | Washington County News - – "Straus started the pantry 28 years ago in her garage on Southwest Cherryhill Drive. But its success in drawing needy families led to problems with parking and garbage. At least one neighbor complained"

Thank you Oil Can Henry's!

This is not a paid commercial, just a thank you for good service.

Our rig, Jet White, is a diesel Sprinter. When we first got it a couple years ago, we took it to our local Oil Can Henry's for an oil change. They did not stock the oil filter needed for our rig, but the manager told us if we went and bought one they would do it for us.

We were getting ready for our California trip, so we really wanted to get the oil change done. I had to go to a few auto parts stores to find the filter...even then it had to be ordered. Oil Can Henry's did the oil change. We were thankful they did the oil change for us, but after that we found it easier to just go to the dealership.

Lately we have had to have our headlights changed...each one, a couple weeks apart. The manager at Oil Can Henry's asked me where I was going for my oil changes and how much I was paying. He offered to order the parts and do it for less.

Last night Eric and I stopped and they did the oil change for us.

Way more convenient.

Thank you Oil Can Henry's.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sometimes I think the world would be a better place if...

...every non-disabled person experienced time in a wheelchair:

Disability changes the view | The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.: "Getting this wheelchair through that festival was like being shoved around while sitting on top of a barbecue grill.

After about 20 minutes, I started to wonder whether caramel apples were worth navigating through pieces of gravel the size of a Ford Festiva. (They are.) Or whether the opportunity to sit and watch a group of people pop Beano before tucking into bowls of ham and bean soup was worth the approximately 15 minutes it took me to get to the top of the hill where they were sitting. (It wasn’t.)

Here’s the surprising part: Despite the wheelchair challenges I encountered – including hitting a pothole and getting tipped out of the chair like a bag of manure – this was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had at the festival."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Time for "the chair"?

When Jodie and I were kids, therapists, teachers, doctors, our families...everyone, pushed us to use every ability we had to overcome our disability. Jodie had many surgeries as a child so that she physically walk with crutches. Doctors told her to keep walking as long as she could. Use the ability or lose it...push, push.

Her doctor said that the tightness caused by her type of cerebral palsy would creep up from her legs to her upper extremities as she got older. Jodie has been feeling it start to happen, but has been trying to deny it. Now, the doctor and the therapist are saying it is happening. It is time for Jodie to look at using a wheelchair.

Jodie and I have been using scooters for about eight years now, mostly for shopping and when we are out and about. Also, Jodie has been using her scooter to get to work when the weather is nice. We are a mile from her office. It is a nice scooter ride for here when the weather is nice. It also allows her the freedom to leave work when she wants rather than waiting for me to get there. When she gets to work, she parks it in the basement and she walks with her crutches to her office.

As an office manager, Jodie is on her feet a fair amount of the day. Well, that is about to change.

The doctor is sending Jodie a prescription for a power chair. The power chair will allow her greater mobility in tighter spots, such as her office.

We don't know yet if Jodie will need to use the power chair at home. Out home is a one level ranch...beyond that, accessibility is questionable. The hallway is narrow, as are the doorways. Neither one of us were thinking about scooters or power chairs when we moved in here in 1998. Our thought has been to look for a more accessible place when our son grown and out. Maybe a condo...we're not sure.

Readers of this post who aren't disabled might be tempted to feel sorry for us. Readers who have been in a chair for years might say "Welcome to our world!"

Jodie is worried that surrendering to a power chair is an act of "giving up."

I look at my own ever increasing instability on my feet and I realize that I could some day be facing this transition as well.

I see it as facing our mortality. Not mortality as in death, but rather in the weakness of our human shell. A bummer? Perhaps. A chance for growth of spirit? I think so.

The glass half full.

Disability is not for wimps!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Moo & mouse

One of my favorite blog reads is following the adventures of Moo from Down Under as written by his dear Mum.

In this post she is trying to find a mouse that Moo can use for the computer. She tries the end, Moo figures out what works for himself.

I can relate because of my battle with the mouse. I can use a mouse, once I get the settings right. I bought a track ball. It really did not work for my.

The mouse I use for my netbook has a short in it, so I am back to using the trackpad. I am doing pretty good with it.

This is a great post:

Mice @ Terrible Palsy

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Mad Men" and disability

Jodie and I started watching the award winning AMC drama "Mad Men".

The current season does not seem as good as last, but we continue to watch to see what happens.

If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is set in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the early 60's. Part of the genius of the show is the extent they go to to show the history and attitudes of the period...the ism's...racism, sexism.

Well, this week they got to disablism.

It was pretty corny how they set this one up. A drunk secretary driving a John Deer tractor through the office. She ran over a guys foot.

At the end of the show, the execs are mulling over the fate of a guy with one foot.
"The man is missing a foot. How's he going to work? He can't walk." And, the kicker, "The doctor said he will never golf again."

It made me laugh to think how crazy it was back then that the thought of disability was worse than death. I think back in the 60's most people felt that way. I think a lot of people still feel that way to some degree.

I tried to find a video clip of the scene, but was not able to. Thank you Media dis&dat for this text version:

Media dis&dat: "Mad Men" gets real with disability: "Joan: I'll bet he felt great when he woke up this morning. But that's life. One minute you're on top of the world and the next some secretary is running over you with a lawnmower.

Don laughs.

The three British executives enter the hospital waiting room.

Saint-John: I'm heart broken.

Don: It's a terrible tragedy.

Harold Ford: One that surely could have been avoided. Mrs. Harris, thank you for your quick thinking.

Lane Pryce: You may have saved his life.

Saint-John: Such as it is. He was a great account man. A prodigy. Could talk a Scotsman out of a penny. Now that's over.

Don: I don't know if that's true.

Harold Ford: The man is missing a foot. How's he going to work? He can't walk.

Saint-John: The doctor said he will never golf again.

Harold Ford: I'm afraid we'll have to reevaluate our entire strategy (referring to the reorganization of Sterling Cooper.)

Saint-John: Lane will remain here permanently."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't read previous post!

It was written for therapeutic purposes get my juices flowing again.

I have a terrible case of blogging constipation!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Checking in

A couple weeks, a couple job interviews. I like my job...and my IV-E percentages are high...but sometimes I feel ready for a new challenge.

No new job yet. I really need to hone my interview skills!

I like the challenge of putting together websites, but I have not been successful at it when it comes to satisfying customers. People generally don't know what they want...and my success has been creating websites they don't want!

My hope, though, is to parlay what I have learned into a job that requires the skills I have learned. One of the jobs I applied for involved Joomla cms.

Joomla is a open source cms...a content management system. It is a nice framework for building websites with many bells and whistles. I had success using Joomla until my websites started getting hacked! I made it through two or three hackings. People would add malicious files to my websites, or they would insert malicious code into my files. It came down to weeding through my files, directories, and mysql databases to delete the bad stuff.

Not easy!

I tried, but was not successful, in figuring out how to properly secure my websites. An overly secured site does not come up at all...underly secured are easily hacked.

I want to learn how to back my websites up. I also want to find a webhost I can afford. All these webhosts have low monthly costs...but they require you to pay for 1, 2 or 3 years at once.

I have been using the free stuff - Google Sites, Google Blogger, Google App Engine. The first two are very easy and non-technical to use, but the coding is not very ADA compliant, and the customization options are limiting.

I have been looking at wordpress lately. The free version does not seem to let me adjust the font. If I can find a decent webhost at a good price, maybe I will give it a shot.

I will see...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The "Bailout" admiistration

This bailout makes sense to me. Restructuring newspapers as nonprofits.

If traditional news sources were to disappear, the internet would become one giant blog.

Don't get me wrong, I like blogs...but we need to preserve the "Fourth Estate", the "hard news". Whether that really still exists is debatable.

Even so, I support efforts to keep it alive.

Obama Considers Newspaper Bailout - The Daily Beast

Now, how about a "Troy bailout"?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Football hero with CP...who never was able to play

Commentary: Fan gets town's special tribute - "The whole town had fallen in love with him. All of the quarterbacks who had ever thrown touchdown passes in that stadium, all of the linebackers who had ever made jarring tackles, all of the field goal kickers who had ever won games for Logan as the scoreboard clock ticked down ... and the place was renamed for the boy who could never run a single stride."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Unemployed to homeless blogger

A great rags to work modern economic tale:

Blogging begins turnaround for homeless woman -

Check out Brianna's blog, The Girl's Guide to Homelessness. Most of us are never too far from this. Rather than letting it keep her down, she learned about homelessness, wrote about it, and became a resource on the issue.

Be sure to read "Where it all began":

In July of 2008, my corporation had mass layoffs. The economy was beginning to crumble, and the auto industry was the first to be affected due to the skyrocketing prices of gas. Over 280 out of 500 employees were laid off, and I was among them. The company that I worked for was enormously kind and fair to each and every one of us, and compensated us well with a severance package, so I was OK for a while. I did some temp-to-hire work for an environmental engineering company for a few months, but they ended up having layoffs right before Christmas 2008 and again I was out of a job. Since then, I have been searching for employment without success. I am on extended unemployment benefits, but I prefer actual work. Salaries have been slashed by at least 20% (often more) so I have no hope of making what I used to, but that is to be expected – I’m in good company, at the moment it’s a status symbol simply to have a job at all.

Initially, the idea of this terrified me. Here is a summary of the commentary that first ran through my head: This would never happen to me. I am not the kind of person that lives on the street. I have a life, I have friends, I have a dog, I have stable employment and residential history, references, education, skills, talents – I have worked hard all of my life to ensure stability for myself. How did this happen, HOW CAN I DO THIS?!?!?!?!

I suppose greater horrors than this can be imagined, but this would be high on my list of unimaginable horrors. The strength and grace with which she dealt with this is a movie I would want to see.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Her smile melts Mum's heart

My cerebral palsy is a hassle at times, but when I read stories like this I am thankful for all I have, and I am thankful to God for giving each of us grace and strength to deal with whatever we have to deal with:

Daily Post North Wales - News - North Wales News - Severely disabled North Wales girl given new lease of life: "TEN-YEAR-OLD Kara Downie melts her mum’s heart when she smiles. For her “happy little personality” shines through a raft of severe disabilities, including an incredibly rare condition where large parts of her brain are missing.

The youngster suffers from Holoprosencephaly, a major defect of brain formation where, instead of normal brain tissue, the skull is swelled with extra cerebral spinal fluid."


The problem spurred Caroline to get in touch with Surrey-based charity React (Rapid Effective Assistance for Children with potentially Terminal Illness), who have now provided her with a portable concentrator which can be installed into the family’s mobility car.

Gov 2.0 ...why haven't I heard of this?

Eric calls me a geek all the time, yet this is the first I have heard about Gov 2.0:

Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase - Co-produced by TechWeb & O'Reilly Conferences, September 08 Washington, DC

It will be a platform to provide web services to government agencies and to private citizens:

I moved our website,, over to the Google App Engine, which is the same idea.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Give 'em hell Glenda!

Jodie and I were struck by this incident, as we could see this happening to us:

Do It Myself Blog - Glenda Watson Hyatt » My Response to Nurse Ratchet: "Both my husband and I have cerebral palsy and use power wheelchairs for mobility. Yet, we live independently, without any attendant care. We have done a fair bit of traveling without any companions. We work well together as a team, as a married couple, to problem solve and overcome any obstacles.

Saturday afternoon, once his nurse had supervised his safe transfer into his power chair, we mentioned to her that we were going down to the cafeteria for a drink and for a change of scenery. She flipped! She said my husband, who turned 50 today, couldn’t leave the floor without a relative. My husband explained that I am his wife. The nurse told him to wait for his parents, who are elderly. She continued that we would have to take the elevator and that, if something happened, I was “incapable”."

Help me help Kyle's sister...

I wrote about this tragedy last November:

Kyle was a special needs 12 year-old with autism. The father, Ryan, was overwhelmed with his son's needs, and apparently despondent his own issues. Ryan took both of their lives.

Last week I got an email from Kim Dutter. She is Kyle's sister. Kyle was a huge part of her life. She was away at college, her first year, when this happens.

Kim is angry at what her father did. She misses her brother, the sunshine of her life. She wants to see something done in Kyle's name to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.

My initial thought was some kind of legislation to provide more supports for families with high needs kids.

I just don't know. I am confused. The health care debate is showing how splintered we are as a nation in taking on one another's needs.

What can we do to honor Kyle? What can we do to comfort Kim?

My heart is heavy.

Prayers for Lyudmila

Lyudimila is a coworker I have ever met except through email.

Prayers for her and her family...such a sad loss.

Mother grieves son who died trying to turn life around |
- Portland, Oregon
| News

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Elephant ears and the Guv...

We went to the Oregon State Fair yesterday. Very nice website btw.

We make this trek every year. It is largely the same year after year. The best part of the fair, people watching, never gets old.

Eric likes the game booths...and the vendor booths, when he gets to buy something. Jodie likes window shopping the booths. I like to see the farm animals and the people who work them; rural Oregon is so far removed from my daily life.

We were in the exhibit hall. I was lagging behind. A guy in a nice rain coat said "Hi Troy!" Slight panic as my mind races to figure out who he was. A former coworker? Pastor Dave who we saw two days ago for the first time in 13 years? It was the later. His wife, Joanne, was there also. We remembered our wedding day 2o years ago.

I wanted to try an elephant ear. We bought one to split. We ducked into a building to escape the passing rain shower. I made such a mess! Cinnamon and crumbs everywhere...but it was good.

We then went and joined Governor Ted Kulongoski sing 'Happy Birthday' to Oregon...the finale to Oregon's 150th birthday. We were right behind him, by that guy you see behind him in the photo. I thought about hanging behind to shake his hand and say "Hi boss!"...after all, Jodie and I are state workers...but Eric was anxious to go.

We were damp and tired. The rain was not too bad...but it lasted awhile. Eric put his baseball cap on my head so I would quit whining...

Eric won a guitar by knocking down three plastic cups with his fastball.

Another year at the state fair...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Discovering Newport...and my limitations...

Two seagulls are outside on the roof beneath our window. We have the six inch slider window open for air. No air conditioning here on the Oregon coast. There usually is not a need...but the room is hot. Eric is worried the birds will fly into the room...but he just discovered a wire running the length of the roof, meant to ward the seagulls from the window we assume. Peace at last.

We met Pastor Dave for lunch. Jodie has known him since she was 10. Pastor Dave married us 19 years ago. Pastor Dave baptized Eric nearly 14 years ago. We had lunch at the Rogue Ales Public Brewery House. He was amazed by Eric's knowledge of history, war, politics and the Bible...and by Eric's height.

This morning we visited the shops on Newport's historic bay front district. After lunch we went to the Oregon Aquarium in the south beach district. In place of where killer whale Keiko use to live is a wonderful "Passages of the Deep" shark exhibit. You walk through the tank through glass tunnels...really neat.

Tonight we went to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. The view of the bay is great. Eric and I walked around and read all the interpretive signs. T`e lighthouse was already closed for the day, but we still got to take in the history.

We then drove up to the Nye Beach district. I couldn't find a good place to park. It is kind of hilly, and the sidewalks did not look roomy enough for our scooters, so we did not stop. We parked in the public lot by the beach. Jodie got out with her crutches, not taking her scooter. I didn't want to take my walker, but Jodie and Eric thought I should. Jodie and Eric wanted to take the paved path down to the beach.

A humbling experience for me. Jodie was going to walk down to the beach. I knew I didn't have the strength to walk down. The night before I had the same dilemma at the beach by our hotel. The driveway down to the steps to get to the beach were so steep that I was afraid to go down. Jodie not only made it down the steep driveway, but she made it down the steps to the beach.

I went back to the van and got my scooter. The path got steeper and steeper. I was afraid of being able to make it back up. Eric said he would push me back up if he had to.

Fearful of walking down hill. Not enough strength to walk a long path. Not use to seeing Jodie have less mobility issues than myself.

Things are changing...

Smell that salt air...hear the sea lions

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Computer duster

I sent Eric into the store last month to buy a can of computer duster. We had some keyboards to clean.

The clerk would not sell it to Eric because he was not 16. I found it curious.

Now I see it is a cheap high...the middle school drug of choice.

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

What is a CV

India CVs | India Job Market

...a curriculum vitae...okay, I knew that...

Bold moves by ELCA

Just a few years ago we had a discussion of homosexuality and the church during a Sunday school class. I never thought I'd see this day come. I applaud this move, though I know many will not.

Lutheran Group Eases Limits on Gay Clergy - "After an emotional debate over the authority of Scripture and the limits of biblical inclusiveness, leaders of the country’s largest Lutheran denomination voted Friday to allow gay men and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as members of the clergy."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thanks DHS...

The Oregon Dept. of Human Services hosted a conference for their support staff..."First Face"...featuring this wonderful lady as keynote speaker:

Robin Rose Training & Consulting

Got me thinking about drinking more water, taking deep breaths, and eating more complex carbohydrates.

My coworkers kindly told me yesterday that the m&m's I was munching are not complex carbohydrates.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

But the ticket was in there!

I took Jodie to her therapy appointment, since her scooter is still in the shop.

It is tricky parking our oversized Jet White in the skinny, extremely angled spaces, but I manage.

Jodie validated the parking ticket inside. When we drove out, I put the ticket in the machine. I have trouble reaching down from our tall van...with my shaky hands...but I got it in there.

The machine spit the ticket out!

I fumbled around...I dropped the ticket.

I backed up, walked up and got the ticket, drove back up, tried again.

Police action was happening outside the gate. There was a 'help' button...but real guys don't...

I got the ticket back in the slot...and the gate opened...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Naked domains not allowed

I just, this weekend, moved the website it made for Jodie and I over to Google App Engine.

I am thrilled because it took me a lot of brain power - getting familiar with the python programming language, figuring out the Google app engine sdk, learning the eclipse programming platform.I am thrilled because it took me a lot of brain power - getting familiar with the python programming language, figuring out the Google app engine sdk, learning the eclipse programming platform and Django templating. This training wheels site was a huge help.

Anyway, I can now create and host customized websites on Google for free!

Anyway, now I am trying to get to go directly to my new site. The terminology they use for this - 'naked domains' - made me laugh:

Google App Engine General Questions - Google App Engine - Google Code: "Due to recent changes, App Engine no longer supports mapping your app to a naked domain. If your domain registrar supports URL redirects, you can redirect from to e.g or
For instructions on how to configure a redirect for your Google Apps domain, please see the Google Apps FAQ on URL forwarding (redirection)."

Motorcyle parked in disabled space?

Eric and I went to the movie theater yesterday to see "GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra." Nothing to do with the GI Joe dolls I remember from my youth - but hey, I'm old. Good guy movie though; lots of action.

When we were leaving, we saw a guy on a motorcycle park his bike in the disabled space beside where we we parked. It seemed odd, I thought, but I have learned to not to judge too quickly.

The guy got off his bike and went and sat on the bench in front of us. He reached down to his

"Hey Dad!" Eric said, "he has a prosthetic leg!"

God bless him.

I was telling Jodie about him. She wanted to know where he hung his disabled parking card. We have gotten dinged before for not having ours visible. He had a special disabled license plate.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

They can agree on something!

The Associated Press: Sharpton, Gingrich push Obama's school reforms

We need to see Obama passion

Op-Ed Columnist - Republican Death Trip - "The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.

So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away."


"What’s still missing, however, is a sense of passion and outrage — passion for the goal of ensuring that every American gets the health care he or she needs, outrage at the lies and fear-mongering that are being used to block that goal."

These Netscape guys never go away

Goody...a new browser to play with:

RockMelt: Netscape Founder Backs Facebook Browser

Weiner dog race

We should enter our Bonnie and Clyde:

Video | Seattle Times Newspaper

Small car cruncher

Check this out: Save the Planet with a Small Car

These ultra small cars frighten me when I see them on the road. Not that I am a bad driver...but a mishap between our Sprinter and one of these guys would be ugly!

Vulture Restaurants: Serving Up Clean Carcasses, Free of Charge - TIME

Caring for the vultures...God's creatures as well:

Vulture Restaurants: Serving Up Clean Carcasses, Free of Charge - TIME

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Thank God for 'headroom'

Thanks Pastor Rog:

Koine Community in Portland.: "Will we ever be better imitators of God than God?

But we were never called to be better than God, just what we can be. And, as the British would say, there's a lot of 'headroom' there. In other words, opportunity to be better mirrors, clearer windows."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

MercyMe's call for prayer

Their song "I can only imagine" is one of my favorites. A sad accident...please pray for the families involved.

MercyMe involved in a fatal car accident.: "The band released a statement:
'MercyMe would like to express their incredible heartache over this horrible accident. They are praying for the families of all who this will affect, and are asking others to please pray as well. The band and crew sustained minor bumps and bruises, however their hearts are heavy. They appreciate the concern they have received from people all over the world.'"

Beauty controversy

Cambodia's Miss Landmine controversy | GlobalPost

I don't see the disrespect in this...willing contestants celebrating life as is.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jodie stranded....the boys to the rescue

Jodie drove her scooter to work today, even though it has been stalling on her. She does not like to drive my scooter..."my feet can't touch the floor" she says.

Eric and I were getting ready to leave. Eric's phone rang. Jodie was up to the next culdesac around the corner from us. He scooter stalled. I was glad it was there and not further along her way. We had plenty of room to park and load the scooter.

Later, Jodie called the shop where we normally take the scooters in for repair. Our thought was to leave the scooter there Saturday for it to be looked at on Monday. Under new management, they told Jodie they charge $55 a day to keep the scooter. Car shops don't even charge that!

We called All In One Mobility. The gal said it is probably the batteries. They don't charge space rent for scooters waiting for repair. She said some places do, but she thought $55 was high.

Being disabled is not cheap...

Nest of twenties...

Mouse has a more secure nest than me:

Mouse builds nest egg in ATM with $20 bills

There has to be a compromise

In the health care debate, there has to be a middle ground. I don't know if we will get there.

We want choice. We want low cost or no cost. We want everything...and for the other guy to pay.

It does seem like cooler heads need to prevail, but in our all or nothing political world...I don't know that they will.

"Obamacare" could decide the outcome of the next election.

...And the "let's find a better plan" crowd

Health care reform: A better plan - "Yet today's ruling Democrats propose to fix our extremely high quality (but inefficient and therefore expensive) health care system with 1,000 pages of additional curlicued complexity -- employer mandates, individual mandates, insurance company mandates, allocation formulas, political payoffs and myriad other conjured regulations and interventions -- with the promise that this massive concoction will lower costs."

The health care debate is getting fierce

You have the 'socialism is coming!' crowd:

Town hall meeting on health care turns ugly - "Hundreds showed for the meeting at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, some carrying signs railing against President Obama's proposed health care reforms. Hundreds more were not able to get into the meeting room."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Another day...

Yesterday...another crazy day. My blood suger was low. The "Mountain Man" anouncement came. I went back to visit Mt. Man Andrea. We solve the world's ills in ten minutes you know. Mini macaroons...not bad!

By afternoon, my brain had faded. Reviewing IV-E for three kids on one case. Two kids on one set of court orders, the other on another. The last permanency orders gave us "reasonable efforts" to "develop" a permanent plan. I checked my notes, with my cohort, and with Salem. "Develop" does not work for RE. I need to find orders that give us RE. I need to figure out the timelines to see when IV-E needs to be turned off. My brain was overloaded.

Eric and I stopped at Safeway on the way home. Jodie needed cookies for a potluck at work. She also wanted jojo's for dinner. Eric and I could not figure out that request. More evidence to Eric of what I have been teaching him about the irrationality of...never mind. We bought the cookies and the jojo's.

The night before, Jodie told Eric and I that her scooter was starting and stopping abruptly on her way to work. I drove it around the block to see if it would repeat the behavior. It did not, but it was running rough. We think it was all the dried cherries on the tires. There is a cherry tree shedding cherries on the path that Jodie takes to work...she can't avoid them. Eric removed the
rear tires and put Jodie's scooter on blocks. He put the holder for Jodie's crutches on my scooter so Jodie could use it to get to work.

We got home. Jodie had called McCann's to have her scooter looked at. Eric was kind of upset that Jodie had made the appointment to take the scooter in before he had a chance to clean the dried cherries off the tires. I figured it was upsetting for Jodie to see her scooter up on blocks.

I cleaned out the van. Group lunch tomorrow, and people sometimes want a ride in out big rig, Jet White.

Jodie got home. We all three searched but there was no sign of her jojo's anywhere!


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Focus on solutions

Private business funded, college kids with time on their hands--making a difference:

“It’s not hard. It’s tiring, but fun and enriching, because you’re in contact with the families, you have lunch with them, they participate in the construction, and we create really strong bonds with one another. We are one of the few institutions people trust, because they realize that we don’t expect anything in return,” said volunteer Sofia Wielandt, 21.

Can volunteers shut down Chile's slums? | GlobalPost

A favorite college memory of mine is an adventure filled spring break trip with my Campus Ambassadors group -- Disneyland, Chrystal Cathedral, San Diego missions minded church, watching kids play in a Tijuana dump where they lived, visiting a orphanage, a real taco truck, and staying with a San Fransisco pastor of a El Salvadoran church. Also, eating at a soup kitchen.

Kids need these that when they are older, like me...and their hearts and minds are more rigid...they remember...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Nice to see...

PROF & COP A 'HIT' - New York Post: "'I offered to get his kids into Harvard if he doesn't arrest me again,' Gates laughed."

Begs the questions: Media play? Who will cash in? Who will campaign for who? Who might run?

Do I need a second cup of coffee?

Friday, July 31, 2009

A beer with Obama

Whether or not this will be the "3 a.m. phone call" of the next presidential election cycle remains to be seen:

Obama More Bartender Than Mediator At Beer Summit -

Even so, I wonder what I would talk about if I had a chance to have a beer with Obama. I'd like to think that my agenda would shrink compared to the enormity of his.

Mr. President, is there anything I can share with you from my point of view that might sharpen your own?

Any idea what you might say?