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

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Yesterday morning at work I got an email from a slightly computer challenged cohort from another branch needing technical assistance. She told me that a coworker was assisting her too.

When I was done, I told her to tell TROUBLE "hi" for me.

She wrote back something like "I think you are being tongue and cheek. She is a good friend of mine, but she can be a pain sometimes."

I wrote back "Total T&C! She is a dear."

Made me think of our human condition - the better the friend, the bigger the pain in the times.

...and, be careful with the T&C!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Too much commonsense

A very nice idea to use the disabled to help train on disabilities and special needs. No doubt that these teachers-to-be will be all the more richer when they reach the classroom for the time they have spent with Wilson.

Why does such obvious commonsense elude us so much?

The world's problems would be solved if we all and just thought things through and talked.

"I'd always thought that if I am going to teach a class about a group of people that I should have a member of that group teaching it with me," she said. "It's really about having representation of a minority group that doesn't get heard or seen very much."

Man with cerebral palsy helps teach special-ed course - The Denver Post

Saturday, April 24, 2010

To my "Jan's Clan" family

I sent this out as a broadcast through the Jan's Clan website, but in case you don't get that:

Hey guys...

This is Troy...web wiz behind the the Jansclan website.

Jansclan is built on the "ning" social web platform. That's as technical as I am going to get...see...that was painless!

The company behind "ning" is not making enough $$ off the cheezzy ads on the side, so next month they want to begin charging a monthly fee. $4.95/month I think.

Not many of us are using the site any more.

My suggestion is that we let the ning site die, and that we start a Facebook group for jansclan. Most of us are on Facebook now...even the geezers among us.

The biggest loss I see are the 660 photos. Facebook has a 60 photo per album limit. I cannot seem to find if there is a limit on the number of albums.

Can we start over with a Facebook group page?

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Ah...the Petke boys!"

We hired a pitching coach for Eric. Four check his form and give some tips. His parents and brother goes to our church.

Tim Petke was a pitcher in the Angels organization. He is giving personal lessons now. His website is

Wednesday night I took Eric over to Portland Lutheran HS to meet Tim. Mike, Tim's brother, is a science teacher there.

I think Tim wasn't looking for a 6'1" kid to be the 14 year old he was going to meet. Mike thought Eric was a sophomore. He played catcher as Tim instructed Eric, and his hands were stinging from Eric's fastballs. Tim was impressed with what Eric knew, and his eagerness to learn.

As we were leaving, an older coach saw Tim and Mike..."Ah...the Petke boys!"

I imagined Tim and Mike way back when burning up the baseball fields, or raising heck at school.

Probably a little of both.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Watching Eric's game from afar...

I have blogged about Eric s baseball team playing against David Douglas before. No coaches were ejected tonight...pretty dull on that front. We won 22-1. The battle tonight was finding an accessible place to watch.

Jodie and I have more accessibility challenges than last time we were there.

Jodie is in a power chair now...not quite full time, but close. I am using my scooter more. Needless to say, we did not crawl through the fence to get to the field this time. We were sitting outside the fence, kind of in someone's side yard. We would have moved if we were asked, or submitted to police if arrested. We were about 50 ft or more from the game.

Jodie was yelling her fool head off for all the kids on our team, as she always does. She was also testing the new leg lifting and reclining features that were added to her chair today.

We had to go over some uneven, soft ground to get to our viewing perch.

I headed for the van when the game was over. Jodie was stuck; she waited for Eric to help her.

Cars were parked in all different angles on this narrow road...getting to the van was a trick! I got to the van and there was a truck parked too close to the back; not enough room to let down the lift. A mom from the other team went to find out whose truck it was.

Turned out it was Byron's, Tucker's dad. Tucker is a classmate of Eric's. Byron came and backed the truck up, then he ran the lift and helped me get my scooter in the van.

Eric was having trouble pushing Jodie over the soft ground. Byron started to help push. It was a Rockwell moment: Byron got Jodie's chair going, Jodie's legs were bouncing up in the air. She went faster and faster, with Byron hanging on to the back of her chair, with his legs flying as they tried to keep up!

Jodie and I try not to make other people deal with our disability. It's our cross and we try to bear it with grace.

But more times than not, God laughs at our stubborn independence and makes us see that we are part of His cast of characters, an d not the other way around.

God does not make hard stuff go away. My cross is your cross, your cross is my cross.

We are God's cast of characters.

The babes and me work...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Christian singer outs herself

I am proud of Christianity Today for running this article.

Jennifer has a new album coming out May 11, "Letting Go". I am not familiar with her music, but I just listened to her song "A Little More" on zune. I like her sound, and I look forward to her album.

I'd like to think that christian radio would pick her music up, but she does not think it will happen.

I admire her openness and candor.

She will be in Portland on April 27 at the Aladdin.

Is our Christian tent big enough for Jennifer? In my mind, it is.

Jennifer Knapp Comes Out | Music | Christianity Today: "So why come out of the closet, so to speak?

Knapp: I'm in no way capable of leading a charge for some kind of activist movement. I'm just a normal human being who's dealing with normal everyday life scenarios. As a Christian, I'm doing that as best as I can. The heartbreaking thing to me is that we're all hopelessly deceived if we don't think that there are people within our churches, within our communities, who want to hold on to the person they love, whatever sex that may be, and hold on to their faith. It's a hard notion. It will be a struggle for those who are in a spot that they have to choose between one or the other. The struggle I've been through—and I don't know if I will ever be fully out of it—is feeling like I have to justify my faith or the decisions that I've made to choose to love who I choose to love."

Amanda Knox...what do you think?

I don't know why, but I have been intregued by this story since the beginning. I don't think she is the same little girl mom and dad sent to Italy for school, but neither do I think she is the beast that Italian prosecutors think she is. I have been hoping for more information to come out in her appeal to clear things up.

Are the prosecutors on an unbridled vendetta here?

I just don't know.

What do you think?

Amanda Knox Prosecutors Now Want Life Sentence - ABC News: "The Italian prosecutors who sent American college student Amanda Knox to prison for 26 years filed an appeal of the case today, asking the court for a tougher sentence."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prayers for Poland...

Click the link and check out Andrew's "Face of the Day". Marta, daughter of the Polish President who died in the plane crash, along with her mom. Raw grief...very moving:

Face Of The Day - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Monday, April 12, 2010

We want a number ten!

Jodie and I are attending a computer testing session in Salem this week.

We found Jack in the Box on our Garmin and headed there.

We went through the drive through. I shut our diesel rig off to give the order taker a better chance to hear Jodie giving our order from the passenger side. We each picked a combo number to keep it simple.

The gal got Jodie's order easy enough, but she could not seem to get mine. "We want a number ten!" Jodie said over and over. The number ten we saw on the menu was a sourdough chicken combo. It sounded like the gal was repeating "number ten", but then listing a bunch of stuff that was different from the number ten I was seeing.

I finally told Jodie, "You know what? I will eat it...whatever it is, I will eat it."

Curly fries, double bacon cheeseburger, deep fried mozarilla sticks, jalipanos and two egg rolls...

Enough fat to bring down the Titanic!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Date Night

Jodie, Eric and I went to meet Brad and Lori at the theater to see Date Night yesterday. We were late, as usual. We did'nt see Brad or Lori. We thought they might already be in the theater, or they would find us.

We went in. Jodie was in her power chair, I had my walker, so we sat down front. Brad and Lori were not in there.. A guy came in and was looking around. I thought it was Brad.

"Hey Brad!" I said. It was Brad, but it was Eric's former band teacher. Weird moment!

I went out to the lobby. Brad was there looking for us. They were watching the same movie in the theater next to ours. I'm sure they were in the right one for the time we had set.

it was a good movie, but not as great as we had expected from the comedic duo of Fey and Carroll. The best comedy was subtle, when they weren't trying so hard. Good chemistry there.

We went to Old Chicago afterwards. It was a fun evening.

And no, we did not take someone else's reservation...;)

Monday, April 05, 2010

We can!

I can become more than I can become more than you are...

Yes, we can:

Seth's Blog: Accepting limits

And isn't it even worse to write off a person or an organization merely because of what they are instead of what they might become?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter thoughts from Googlinggod...

He is Risen: Where Will We Meet Him? | Googling God: "When that invitation comes to you, will you be brave enough to believe that Jesus can transform you? Will you be brave enough to throw away what is comfortable to do something that is unknown? Will you be able to say “Yes” not in a silly or superficial way, but in a way that asks yourself to look more deeply at your relationship with God and others and asks yourself what is it that God is calling you to become? What is God asking you to transform in your life?"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Journeys, goals and miracles

Today I helped my mom and stepdad move a dresser and a queen bed to my sister's place. My contribution was our big rig -- I went along for the ride. We went for lunch afterwards to Foster Burgers, another great find of my sister's boyfriend. Fabulous burger and shakes if you ever get the chance to go.

On my way home, something very frightening happened. We have a curve on one of the streets just down from our house. You need to slow down and watch to make sure an oncoming car is not going to fast and crossing into your lane.

I was slowing down. I saw a lady walking a large dog on the sidewalk on my right. As I was going by her, a smaller dog...a fox terrier I think, came running from across the street. I could not possibly stop that fast. Our van sits very high. Eighteen inch clearance...I don't know.

The dog ran under our van. He ran between the tires and out the other side. Our rig is 8500 lbs. I would not feel it if I hit the dog. I slowed and saw the little dog greeting, attacking, or whatever, the bigger dog. I don't think they knew each other...just a little dog on the loose.

I was shaken when I got home, very thankful for a tragedy averted. I wondered how that little guy cleared four tires of our monstrous van doing 25 to 30 mph. It was a miracle he made it through unharmed.

I think there is a lesson here. How many times have I obliviously run under a moving van, totally unaware of the present danger, for an elusive and meaningless goal?

You are right...too deep. Be thankful for tragedy averted.

Goals can be good, but take care, and enjoy the journey. Goals can turn out bad. Appreciate the
miracles that save us.


I don't need this...

...but I want one...

iPad Lines Around the U.S. [PICS]