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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Kids frightened...or enlighened?

Support pours in for one-armed host.


Teach your kids differences are ok...don't complain.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stimulus breakdown by state

I was surprised when I heard that out of the $787 billion stimulus package, Oregon was only getting $747 million...less than one percent.

It is low, but not as out of whack as I initially thought when looking at the per capita numbers. Even so, we are fifth from the bottom in aid per capita.

The Wall Street Journal has a great breakdown:

Monday, February 23, 2009

HDTV dive...

We made the dive...we now have a 21st century in our family room...and it's beautiful!

Buying it was not so beautiful.  It was like buying a  car, my sensibilities temporarily left me, and I forgot how to say "no".

When I left the big box store, the price I paid was nearly double the TV's price.   Thank you Mom & John for help getting the money back.

Watching the Academy Awards last night was way more incredible than it use to be!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feel good...

...local story of the year so far.

17 losses...but still winners!

Help us all

I struggle with this.  We could use help ourself, but won't qualify for this.  If we are becomming a socialist state, shouldn't we all get help?

How effective all that will be is an unanswered question. No plan can change the fundamental economics of a bubble deflating or an economy stalling — of overpriced homes returning to more-reasonable prices and out-of-work homeowners not having the income to make mortgage payments. What this plan does offer, though, is a series of targeted interventions designed to help specific groups of borrowers, and by doing that to hopefully limit the knock-on damage caused by foreclosures, both to neighborhoods and the overall economy. "This will help some people who deserve to be helped," says Joe Gyrouko, a professor of real estate and finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "But will this stop the decline in housing prices? No."

Best bang for buck...

Huffington Post found this piece.  Makes sense to me...all this money should leave us with something to show:

Energy efficiency is surely the lowest hanging fruit in the quest to satisfy our national energy hunger (and to cure our addiction to oil)—household energy use totals about 22 percent of our nation’s total energy consumption, much of which is senselessly wasted through poor design and construction. And of the easy to reach fruits of efficiency, the very easiest to pluck might well be the weatherization of homes, which Amory Lovins, efficiency guru and founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, once called the “oil field in our attics.”

Retraining investment bankers

It's easy to blame them for the economic meltdown. NYC expects to lose 65,000 financial service jobs. That's a lot!

One of the biggest concerns is the shrinkage of the capital markets subsector, which contributed much of the profits the big banks reported during the last boom. Capital markets, which New York dominated, includes the selling and trading of stocks and debt, like the subprime mortgages that fueled the housing bubble.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Smartphones for the classroom?

E would love this!

Industry makes pitch that smartphones belong in classroom - International Herald Tribune: "Some critics already are denouncing the effort as a blatantly self-serving maneuver to break into the big educational market. But proponents of selling cellphones to schools counter that they are simply making the same kind of pitch that the computer industry has been profitably making to educators since the 1980s.

The only difference now between smartphones and laptops, they say, is that cellphones are smaller, cheaper and more coveted by students."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy 1234567890 Day, Unix Geeks | Maximum PC

Happy 1234567890 Day, Unix Geeks | Maximum PC: "Stop a stranger in the street and ask them what today is and they'll most likely answer 'Friday the 13th.' But if someone tells you it's 1234567890 Day, you can bet they're a Unix geek. That's because at precisely 3:31:30 PM PST today, Unix clocks will read 1234567890."

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Lincoln never gave up: Abraham Lincoln and Failure

Thank you Wheelie...

For another interesting blog find:

WHEELIE CATHOLIC: Things you can expect when you write a blog

googling god

...but I'm no longer in my 20's or 30's.

OMG!...I'm getting....

Obama support from Maine

How Maine's GOP Senators Are Key to Obama's Agenda - TIME: "But what makes Snowe and Collins more powerful now is that they, along with Specter, are nearly the last survivors of a once common species of moderate Northeastern Republican. As the GOP's center of gravity moves to the right, the Democratic majority has fewer and fewer potential crossovers to choose from. That gives each woman enormous leverage in a Senate Republican caucus whose leaders cannot afford any defections if they are to sustain a filibuster. Both sides know that the math on any close vote is likely to come down to Snowe and Collins."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I was in the jury pool for this...

Jury acquits Portland bicyclist of resisting arrest - "A Multnomah County jury has thrown out charges that a 31-year-old cyclist resisted arrest after he rode by a Portland police officer without stopping, despite the officer's orders. The cyclist claimed it was dark, and the officer was dressed entirely in black.

The jury took two hours today to determine that the 'Rev.' Phil Sano, a well-known member of Portland's bicycle community, was not guilty of the misdemeanor."


The J-Walk Blog: New Soft Drink From India?: "Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? India's Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink made from cow urine."

Forget the bailout...thinking outside the box

Thomas L. Friedman: The open-door bailout - International Herald Tribune: "'Dear America, please remember how you got to be the wealthiest country in history. It wasn't through protectionism, or state-owned banks or fearing free trade. No, the formula was very simple: Build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat.'"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

E shoots...E fights for the ball!

Legitimacy to the new media...

I am a HuffPo junkie.

Obama and the Huffington Post Question Spark More Questions - TIME: "Change in Washington comes in increments, and a door was cracked open on Feb. 9 when, in the first official press conference of the Obama Administration, the President took a question from a reporter who writes only for a Web outlet. Admittedly, said outlet was the Huffington Post (or, as it is called for short, the HuffPo), so the reporter was unlikely to throw a curveball. Nevertheless, the President, and with him the whole White House media shop, has crossed a Rubicon of sorts, acknowledging the equivalent legitimacy of an unapologetically unobjective media outlet, which lives nowhere but the Internet and which didn't even exist four years ago. (President Bush took questions from a 'Jeff Gannon,' but he was later found not to be a real Web journalist, nor a real Jeff Gannon, so he doesn't count.)"

Lunch worth the bang?

Man Accidentally Shoots Himself In Hospital

Yes, Judge, I drive

I served my County yesterday. Jury duty.

This is the second time I have been called. Four years ago I was on a week long trial.

Taking my scooter on a Max train downtown, finding a place to park it in the juror pool is all outside my realm of comfort.

I was called to a courtroom to be vetted for a trial. Answering the basic questions: "My name is Troy Wittren...I am a Title 4E eligibility specialist withe child welfare...I have a BS degree from Oregon State...I live with my wife and son..."

I sense that the people in the courtroom don't expect to hear any of that from me, the disabled guy in the scooter.

They forgot to ask if we drive. I raised my hand that I did. A little later the Judge asked my directly, "Sir, do you drive?"

"Yes, I do."

I should have said "Just google 'Troy Wittren jet white'."

Probably would have been contempt of court.

I was not selected for the jury.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Even the Best of Friends"

Old song, I know, but a classic.

I can't get enough of it.

It wasn't 100-0...but it could have been...

E's 7th grade basketball from Portland Christian played another private school on the westside the other day.

Jodie and I got there early, before the boys arrived on the bus. A large campus, like a small college. We were wandering around in Jet White trying to figure out where to park. A groundskeeper was driving a mule, or a rig like it. We asked him where the gym was. He told us to go back to the entrance and take the road to the right. He decided to turn around and lead us.

There was a small parking lot behind the gym...with a perfect disabled parking spot for Jet White. He waited for us to get out so he could point us to the right door. Very nice guy...saved us a ton of walking!

We went into the gym. We watched the other team warm up. I told Jodie "These kids could beat our kids in a college bowl, but not on the basketball floor."

"Shh!," Jodie said, as if I was going to jinx the game for our boys.

Our boys did one full court press before our coach called them off. We made out 20 points in the first quarter as the coach had wanted I think

The other team scored 4 in the first half. We were cheering for the other was hard not too. I think our early aggressive defense scared the other team. They could not make a basket. It was kind of sad to watch.

In the second half, our boys were told to pass the ball five times before taking a shot. Our boys played very soft for much of the game.

52-6 was the final score. Of note: E went to the free throw line for the first time this year, and he was thrilled to have made one of his shots. He also played very strong in the post, and he scored 13!

On our way out, one of the coaches praised E's play, and said that the team had done their best to avoid the "Texas" situation.

We figured so.

Are we socialists now?

Interesting thought. Expanding government as the economy shrinks? Spending more money to fix problems caused by spending too much money. Will it work?

We Are All Socialists Now | Newsweek Business | "The Obama administration is caught in a paradox. It must borrow and spend to fix a crisis created by too much borrowing and spending. Having pumped the economy up with a stimulus, the president will have to cut the growth of entitlement spending by holding down health care and retirement costs and still invest in ways that will produce long-term growth. Obama talks of the need for smart government. To get the balance between America and France right, the new president will need all the smarts he can summon."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Governor not rattled by blind-man humor - International Herald Tribune

When is the world going to understand that disabilities are not for woosies?:

Governor not rattled by blind-man humor - International Herald Tribune: "More nuanced is the case of the health care attack commercials that began this week, paid for by the state health workers' union and the association of hospitals. It goes after Paterson personally, and conspicuously includes a plaintive appeal from a blind man wearing sunglasses and sitting in a wheelchair. 'Why,' he asks the governor, 'are you doing this to me?'

The inclusion of this man, Juan Pietri of the Bronx, led to acid suggestions in some newspaper articles that the governor's critics were exploiting his blindness. Definitely not so, said representatives of the union and the hospital association.

Through them, Pietri issued a statement of his own asserting that 'nothing could be further from the truth' than to say he was put in the commercial to highlight the governor's disability.

To the relief of those groups, Paterson himself said he had 'absolutely no problem with their ads' and rejected any notion that they had hit 'below the belt.'"

TARP accountability...

TARP Oversight Report - TIME

Why doesn't the government give me $100,000 with no strings attached? I would stimulate the economy. Unlike the banks and other financial institutions who got the bailout money, I would write down how I spent the money.

Free accountability...does not make sense!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama addresses all people...all faiths...

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama prays for 'God's grace' to fill the 'space between us' - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency: "'Whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.' The Torah commands, 'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.'

' In Islam, there is a hadith that reads 'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.' And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists.

'It is, of course, the Golden Rule -– the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.'"

"Buy American" --- It's no longer that simple

Why Europe Is Fuming About the Stimulus Package - TIME: "The provisions might protect U.S. jobs in the short term, but the E.U. says they would hobble global trade, a key motor for the world economy. John Bruton, the E.U. ambassador in Washington, has described the measures as 'setting a dangerous precedent, and 'neither the right or effective response to the situation.' German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that 'past world economic crises showed protectionism would be the completely wrong answer.'

Similar measures to 'buy American' have been adopted or considered in Argentina, China, Indonesia, Ecuador, India, Russia and Vietnam. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, warned on Feb. 2 that any go-it-alone route would foster a spiral of retaliation. 'Today we run the risk of sliding down a slippery slope of tit-for-tat measures. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said 'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,' ' Lamy said."

MTV - Must see...

Tom Shales - TV Preview: MTV's 'How's Your News?' Gives Disabled Reporters Spotlight - "As viewers are invited to laugh with the reporters rather than at them, the non-disabled people who appear on the show have fun with them rather than make fun of them. Contrary to typical dramatic depictions of 'special' souls in supposedly sensitive movies, these disabled folk have senses of humor even about their own situations and circumstances. They are in on the joke; they are telling the joke; they are part of the greater joke being played on us all."

"Special", "inspirational", - not! I need to see this show...

MTV...What channel is that? I'll have to ask E.

I'm getting so old!