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

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?