Monday, February 28, 2005

I am anomaly!


Marty pushes the wheel Posted by Hello

I am anomaly! I love Mondays and especially Monday morning! I like the feeling of shaking off the weekend, flexing my muscles and getting into” the mix”. I have a mental image of Monday mornings. I envision the wheel of industry slowly begin to move, having stalled during the weekend but not completely stopped. The American industry never stops just slows down but on Monday I feel industry start cranking up, very Ayn Rand. I have noticed that each day has a specific feel. I wad moved this morning, while on the train, top consider writing a poem to each day trying to capture the feeling of each or at least the days which strike the most if having their own personalities. Do not get me wrong, this is not a rip off of the pizza commercial for “two for Tuesday”. I have had these feelings for the days of the week for a long time.

I just called the shop where I have my van. They have not started working on the vehicle yet but indicated they would get it running shortly. I would like to have the vehicle by the end of the day but we will see. I am sure the cost will be hundreds it always is, oh the price of living independent disabled. I have sill to get a bus pass for March, which begins tomorrow I, fear the month may be coming in like a Lion.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

People just wear me out

Sunday Night--

I never know whether to be depressed or angry at how inaccessible homes are. I mean, I guess was pretty damn lucky in that when I twisted thirty years ago and put in a wheelchair. Our house was on all on one level with one small step going to my parents room: no big deal for me. My dad did what he had to, he built a small ramp to that level; then ripped out the doors to the bathroom and my home was livable and accessible. We did not of visiting much so this was not an issue either. I never really noticed the unvisitable of other peoples home till my kids moved out, got married and no we have to go to their houses for birthdays, Christmas, easter and various dinners throughout the year. I can accept this to a point but what really bothers me are family members who own their homes and have a family member who is in a wheelchair and has to should, visit their homes from time to time and elect never,NEVER, even consider to make their homes accessible—even when this could be done with unrealities ease(no pun intended). I mean, if they have been holding out for the past thirty some years for a miracle then they better wake up and smell the postum, I AM NOT GOING TO WALK ANAGIN IN THIS LIFE TIME! So, when ever I go to visit one of these homes I have to be carried up the front steps and am trapped in the house till I am lifted down at the end of the dinner or the event and if if their place does not have an accessible bathroom I had better have my bottle (affectionately know as the Toxic Waste Vessel (TWV) for short). Why is this??? You would think if they (your able bodied family member) really wanted you to visit them they would at least consider a ramp or something. Then, if you choose not to visit your considered the family grump or isolate. People just wear me out.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Saturday night

Saturday night

Broken Lift Posted by HelloI need to hustle if I want to get something posted to day. I took off about noon to go see about getting another memory card for the camera. I figured Office Max might be a good place. I heard a rumor that Office Max(OM) had zip drives on sale and every once in a while OM has some pretty good buys. I got the router at OM and the router has served me well. I would be close o ShopKo and that too would be worth seeing what they had in the line of memory cards. OM was a wash they had nothing I needed but i was surprised when in ShopKo they in fact had 64 MB memory cars and and a knowledgeable guy who really gave me some insights and re sured me I would be OK. So with memory card in had I went back home. When I go home I deployed the lift with out issue and when I started down the lift gate I was on started listing, frightening so. I stooped the gate and found, I could no longer lift the gate up and each time started lowering the gate it made ugly sounds and listed more. I was stranded half way up and half way down, a cruel joke for sure. I did not have a jacket on just my long leave but I was getting chilly. I sat there for some time hoping someone would drive or walk by I could snag for some one came by. I finally, in desperation called my brother Carl, in hopes that he would be home and come and save my sorry but one more time. Carl has really been great saving me over the years. Luckily I had my backpack with me and I had the cell in the pocket. I made the call and caught him just leaving the house for one of his grand kids basketball games. He dropped by.

The first task was getting me and my power chair off the lift gate, what Carl was able to do get a big piece of plywood and we were able to lower the gate just enough to actuate the security lift on the end of the lift which prevents me from rolling off. This made for a steep but doable ramp. Carl got me off and zoomed to the basketball game. He came back about an hour later and we were able to get the lift folded up so we were able to shut the doors of the van. Now I will have to get the van to Paraquad sometime soon to get the stupid thing fixed. It just never stops. I should be in a hurry but I am not. I can drive my power chair back and forth to trax and get back and forth to work. I will have to get the van repaired ans I guess the sooner the better.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Another Friday afternoon

Clock Watcher Posted by Hello

Another Friday afternoon and I am the regular staff still in the office—the boss is still here but I have heard she will be existing soon too…I also heard in the same rumor that I maybe excused myself at 1500 hours. I will not fight that decision. What do four-day weeks always see longer then regular five day weeks? I know I do not work any harder in the 32 hours then I work compared to the 40 regularly labored. Its not that I over worked myself on Monday, which was the holiday, either. So, what is it? Still, its over now and I’ll pack up in yet another hour and head out on the train. I have to remember the keys—yesterday I left them on my wheelchair in my office. I was lucky Dianne was home, but she was not expecting me early so she was in the back of the house deep in bath while I pounded on the door looking like Fred Flintstone in the opening credits of the cartoon named the same. I finally called with the cell phone and Dianne came dripping to the door and let me in.

I hate change!! I know this is a sure sign old age but I am, once again, railing NPR because the local affiliate is changing the schedule—AGAIN! Kcpw LIKES TO SAY THEIR subjects have all kinds of control over “their” own public radio station. It’s just little things I should be past letting bother me. Now it’s FRESH AIR, I really enjoyed the program when it was on at 2:00 pm, right before ATC , when ATC started at 3:00, this was a perfect time, this greatly helped the afternoon pass away to five. Then a about a year ago, KCPW, switched Fresh-air from 2:00 to 11:00 a.m. This was irritating but I learned to cope, now ATC STARTS AT 2:00—I HATE THIS! ATC at this time does not seem right, the show is sufferable at this time but what used to make me feel the say was almost over now tell me there is still a long afternoon a head to yet endure. And, worst of all Fresh-Air now, Fresh-Air is going from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm so”you can unwide” with Terry Gross. I’ll never watch the show at that time because that is during my commute and even later, I am doing other stuff in the evening…I’ll never hear the show again. I just may pull my funding next time fund raising time rolls round.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Picture Day

3rd Grade--Campus School 1959 Posted by Hello
This is a picture of my third grade class—1959—can you pick me out? Hint front row.

They’re shooting a PSA (public Service announcement) in the room just outside my office door. The –PSA will highlight one of the programs offered by one of our programs. This event is of course being treated with great glee by office staff. There is only four of us here today due to illness and other office related issues. The coordinator of the People First program is bringing in about 15 consumers with developmental disabilities (DD) who are part of that program. This means that chaos will run the office all afternoon. Outside, it’s very spring like; Spring fever has not, as yet, set in but I can sense it’s coming, plus its Thursday. I doubt little will get done this afternoon. In fact, I worked through lunch, so I might “jet” about four if all goes well. The “shoot” today is most welcome as any change is welcome within institutions, not necessary permanent change but change which significantly juggles the day to day flow of the office. Maybe, I might even get a role in the PSA this has been the talk if staff cannot get the 15 needed consumers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Morning Train

Morning ride Posted by Hello

You cannot tell it from this image but there is daylight creeping into my morning commutes—this is truly welcome as I eagerly gather each hint that Spring is on its way. I made good time this morning—up and dressed by 5:15, I dallied working on my laptop computer. Now, for some reason, the zip drive will not function. I cannot get the system to recognize the device nor can I get the Iomega device to eject the zip cartridge—the latter issue is more dismaying then the first. I probably will hae a go at the drive tonight with a knife of screw driver. I was working on the lap top last night getting rid of some programs, spyware and stuff and I am wonderering if took off the Iomega programming. I cannot image doing this but who knows. Toward the end of my session I was getting careless because I wanted to be done in time to catch he beginning of “House” he Fox series I am addicted to this Season. However, I did make good time even though I dallied.

Currently Reading: Maus

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's a Funny Thing...

Gwen Posted by Hello

Its funny how people enter and leave your life. This is something, more often the not, I have little control over the best you can do or I can do is to make the best of the moment—you all have probably noticed, I am carrying my digital camera and now I a taking at least one image a day. So, anyway back to Gwen, Gwen, is this blind women who catches the train, in the morning, at the same station as I. We are both disabled so we have to enter the train at the top of a “mini-high block” an elevated platform which is just high enough to allow people in wheelchairs, or who may need assistance boarding the steeply stepped train, to board the train straight from the highblock. The train operator must unlock his/her door and manually unfold a “bridge” to cover the stairs of the train so the wheelchair can come aboard. This is where I met Gwen. Some times when I am late and “running for the train and Gwen is there, I can usually make it because they will have to do the boarding procedure; this will usually buy me enough time to access the ramps and get in line behind Gwen to make that train. We have talk a little, since I work with people with disabilities in my day job Gwen has often had questions for me, especially regarding housing and sometime a regarding employment options, which might be available. I sensed Gwen was not happy here along the Wasatch Front. Not, only is Gwen, a person with a disability she is also a minority. I don’t think any minority is really happy in Utah. Gwen is cool a little laconic and sardonic—she is a person you don’t mess with; Gwen watches out for her self. She has told me how today she is just three days from the plane to take her home to San Diego where Gwen’s fiancĂ© waits. They way things go, I rarely catch the same train at the same time in two days. I had thought a number of times I want to start taking pictures of the folks I ride the train with—start my train collection. I have been a little timid to start asking folks if I could capture their image. But, I also realized today when Gwen, once again, stalled the train long enough for me to board, that if I did not get the image today I will most likely have lost my chance. So, I did it, I got the picture. I am glad I did I wish Gwen the best of luck and hope she finds the employment and life she could not find in Utah.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Camera parts Posted by Hello

The Battle Never Stops!

Man, being a consumer takes so much energy. I just get worn out. I am a State employee which means because today is a national holiday today is also a State holiday `which is alright by me. So, rather then just blowing off the day, watching TV, messing with the computer I decided to go down to the wheelchair store and start the process for another powered wheelchair, whi8ch I know will be a battle in and of it self but thought I might as well begin the process. So far so good on the beginning of that project. We have yet to make our proposal to our insurance carriers. I expect that battle to be mighty and fierce; that battle looms off in the near future. I purchased a wireless router then in February I took it back and exchanged it for a Logitech web cam. I brought it home and found out the cameras image quality was abysmal, and the speaker quality was nonexistent . I found an old Intel webcam I has laying round and downloaded a new set of drivers and now the Itel works like a champ. BUT, I will have a non working , to my satisfaction, web cam I could use somewhere and some time. One problem though, I let the boxes, the Logitech cam came in get thrown out. I however, saved the receipt of the return and exchange. I just happened to have one of those heavy plastic bags laying round that another piece of equipment came in and it felt and looked official. I really wanted to exchange the cam for another hub or some media but I figured I would see what I could get away with.

I got to CompUSA about 11:30 and I could not believe the line people to return things. I felt like it was the 26th of December but warmer. I ended up wandering round looking at camera, printers and mother board but most of all waiting for the lines to thin. The people behind the counter looked raged and shell shocked. I finally got in line powered forward and put on my best pathetic geek face. I reached up to the cashier with my little plastic bag of broken toys and she just looked at me and sighed.

Cashier from Hell

We can only accept items returned in the box the item left in.

Where is the other receipt?


I know. The box got thrown away before I could save it, besides I did not think the camera was going to be defective. I

I exchanged this item for a router i purchased earlier and this

was the only r3eceipt they gave me.

Cashier from Hell

You can only exchange it for th exact same item if you do not have the box. You cannot exchange it something else of equal



That's great, I just need a camera that works. (Seeing this was

the best I was going to get, I just wanted to get a working camera and run.)

So the Cashier from Hell then huffs round the counter, and literally snags a poor benighted staff nerd and tells him to run back and get another Logitech web cam. I sense him resist. The Cashier from Hell's well is decidedly stronger and she prevails. He cannot find the product. I am OK, if this had been a work day lunch break, I would have been getting pissed but as it is I have the time. I turn off my chair to conserve my juice. Finally the Cashier from Hell (CFH) huffs and marches back to isle 18 and find the box. Then she does this really weird thing. She takes the new box, pulls it apart and takes out just the camera part and puts my defe3fctive camera back in its place. I brought all the other parts back with me, the stand cords etc. I thought she put this stuff back but when I got home a couple of hours later and decide to tech the camera, the stand the camera perches on and hangs nightly on the lap top is gone. I know it was in the original bag of parts I brought it. And there is nothing else's which will work to hang it on. This camera works fine it is just not stable. So, now after dinner I have to saddle up and head back out. Why is everything a battle?

Mom update: Mom had the surgery this morning. I heard from my sis this afternoon all went well.

PSS—round two with CompUSA. I dragged my butt into the place tonght after dinner and everything went smooth as silk.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Princes Anakah

Princess A. Posted by Hello

Anakah spent the evening last night. Ani comes over with her little suite case: two changes of clothes, assorted stuffed animals, hand puppets and videos and Cs for the evening. Dianne picks her up at Bridget and gamines and usually hits the super market so we have a fresh supply of chips( three different kinds, BBQ, regular and cheese chips. We had home made hamburgers for dinner which were great. Dianne and Anakah settled down and watched “The Little Rascals” tapes and I busied myself on the computer. I tried to find Mark ,Shelly or James to IM but no one was on line. So, I goofed round checked some of my favorite websites and blogs. I am finding since I started blogging I surf blogs much more then I used to. I also keep tabs on a few specific blogs. I caught on those and the went to bed and read.
Ani and I were up fairly early this morning. Dianne slept in—this morning is when I took the princess pictures. Ani has her princess dress she loves to where when she comes over. Its a quiet day, Dianne is cleaning the house and working on the printer which is having major issues. We have been trying to save money and refill our own cartridges which, today has been having less then stellar results. We may have to make a run to CompUSA before the day ids out. We are making a memorial picture to Cinnamon.
The day is over caste, wet and chilly. A perfect day to stay inside and work on the house. Once the Spring weather starts our time inside seems limited.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Saturday Morning Sears Creep

Wet floor Posted by Hello

Last Saturday not a lot got accomplished because had to wait to wait at home till the Sears guy came out for a fridge repair. We have a mongo side by side with ice maker. The water form the ice maker is plumbed in from a waterline under the house, of course, up through the floor and into the fridge. We noticed water on the floor a couple of weeks ago so we started the process of calling the Sears people, setting up the appointment and having them come out for the repair. The whole process is a pain in the butt but is what you have to do when and if you don't have the hands or the ability to do it yourself. I don't this ability. So, I expect some hassle but I can deal with that to get the item repaired, after all, we purchased this service. So the guy comes out and after a lot of finaggling moved the hue box away from the wall exposing the bac of the machine and sure enough there is a pin hole in the copper tube rising up from the floor. He readily fixed the problem. Before he leaves, I ask him if he would turn the water back on so we can begin making ice again and using the ice. He would not turn the water on citing, a company regulation forbidding Sears folks from going under houses, a pain in th butt and I had to get by son in law to turn the water back` on. I figured if this was the extent of the inconvenience we had to experience getting this issue cleared up this was acceptable. We had ice by Sunday.

Wednesday evening Dianne notices there is water forming under the fridge again. I am pissed and grumble but get on the phone and schedule a man to come out Saturday morning, this Saturday morning do it all again. I am amazed that we were able to get it all scheduled again with no hassle what so ever. I am even more proactive and assertive telling the operator I am in a wheelchair that I have not been able to get under the house to shut off the water the repair guy would have to do this. She said this would be fine.

So today the Sears shows up, a older guy but seems fairly competent. He pulls the fridge away from the wall takes one look at the back and says he cannot do the work.

Reapair Guy
That's copper tubing you have got there

Yeah? So?
Repair Guy

We cannot work on copper tubing. They (sear) won't let us. You are going to have to get a plumber to do that.

What!! What are you talking about? The guy who was here last week did not have an issue with the copper tubing.

Repair Guy

New, guy. Must have been a new guy.(packing up his tools, carefully putting his flashlight between his big wrenches.) We never tough copper tubing. Policy.

(With hope and dismay)
But, you could replace that copper tubing with plastic tubing?!
Repair Guy
(This guy would be in total character if he was chewing on a match stick or a stock of ors) definitively will not let us replace copper tubing with plastic tubing, safety concerns. But, you're going to` have turn off that water. It's going all over the floor.

Yeah, I can't walk I am not blind(hoping to make a point.) Can you at least turn the water off?

Repair Guy

Where's it at ( the shut of) in the basement?


We don't have a basement, just a crawlspace out in the garage.

Repair Guy

Can't do it. Can't go under houses. But you better get that water off.

I realize at this point this guy was “out of there” . Nothing I said or did was going to get anymore work out of this jerk. So now , I have to get the water turned off—I called my son who is coming over to turn off the water. Then I have to get the copper tubing replaced with “ fridge copper tubing”. The Sears guy says, that's what I need, Refrigerator copper tubing. “You can get it at Home Depot.”

It's Saturdays, I 'm siting by my front window typing on my laptop. The sky is a gray and it looks like it's going to snow.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Writers Guild

The Guild Posted by Hello
Today is the Writers Guild. The Writers Guild a group of three people, one full fledged writer and two aspiring writers who meet quarterly at a local restaurant to go over their work, socialize a little and break up the monotony of everyday life. Jerry is the real writer, he works for one of the local daily’s. He actually writes and gets paid for writing and he gets things published independently. Jerry has connections. Jerry is, probably, our sole claim to a more public and famous life style. I first met Jerry years ago; he was working with the local Art Access program instructing a writing class. The three of us continue to meet long after the class has dissolved.

Lori is one of the aspiring writers. Lori is such a believer. I respect that of and love that about her. Lori believes in her fellow man and that society can be saved. Lori used to work for the, above mentioned, Art Access program. Lori would make reality of her dreams in the local art world. Lori organized the writing class where I met Jerry, she also was the driving force behind the 2nd West Acting Company. A small acting company made up of folks with disabilities. The acting company evolved from an acting class Lori put together with Art Access. Lori was also the editor of the Art Access journal “Desert Wanderings” a great way to get published. Between Jerry and Lori I have been able to get myself published a number of times.

Then, of course, there’s me, sometimes, writer, playwright and supporter of Lori and thru Lori supporter of the arts. I am the real rough, ruff(?), these other two tolerate me and I appreciate their tolerance. We meet—usually once a quarter. The whole idea is to force ourselves to write, to create to move ourselves ahead. I frighten myself when I don’t have anything written at the time of our lunches: in these cold dark moments I face the possibility that maybe I am not a writer that maybe I am just along for the meal and to pretend I am a writer.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Small Things

Just makeing the train. Posted by Hello

As I have indicated before, on good mornings I drive my Jazzy power chair up to my train stop, I bet it is about a mile the trip is 6 Salt Lake blocks. Mind you it is my understanding that Utah blocks are some what larger then usual city blocks..something to do with Brigham Young’s thought process when laying out the county in the “old days.” So I figure it’s about a mile or so. The trip is not bad and not too dangerous. Dianne has my chair will marked with reflective tape. I bet many people in the dark morning hours think I am a URO (Unidentified Rolling Object). Well, this morning I crashed out of the house about 0625 and headed full bore to the stop. I have to cross the tracks about mid-point at 5900 south then it is straight shot to the train station at 6400 south. I am traveling North-bound into the city. I have found that the South-bound train passes comes into the station on the South track eight minutes before my train arrives. So when I am bounding South on 3rd West and the South bound flashes past I know I have eight minutes before the next City bound train arrives. So today just as I cross the RR tracks the train passes Southbound. I start my “One, one thousand, two, one thousand…” . The morning is still dark at this point in time. I have to keep an eye not only on traffic from the rear but oncoming traffic as well. Luckily, I am out early enough there is still very little traffic of any kind. I have the road to myself—I fly pass the industrial shops, cross the bridge hugging the side lane—I refuse to use the sidewalks on the side of the bridge they are narrow, very narrow and greatly slows my progress. At the far end of the bridge I am at “6, one thousand”. I am pleased. I have clear view down the tracks at this point and if the train is on it’s way you can see the lights way off in the distance. You have about three minutes when you can see the first light of the approaching train. At “ thousand thirty five. I fly over the tracks again at the train station—I know I can make it at this point in time. I make it. I make the train Northbound. It’s a little thing I know, I know there will be another train if I don’t make it—but I DID make it…it make me think back when I could run I mean physically run and I would run all the way to John Cantrell’s house to catch the bus about a mile and a half across at least of acres of pasture. I was winded, cold and my side often hurt but I made the run with out stopping and I made the bus. That was 40 some years ago, I have been in my chair 40 years this coming July. For some reason the feeling is the same…

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fam to Fam

Desert on desk Posted by Hello

It’s Family to Family day at the office. Family to Family or Fam to Fam is a program our office sponsors which trains family members of people with disabilities into advocates for their people with disabilities. It’s a good program but the best part is, the office always buys lunch for the group and there is usually leftovers which means staff eats too! Today it was a taco bar. Not, my favorite but I will not turn the taco bar down; I heap up the salad and get a taco and stop there. I did take to desert today to( see image). So, I have to admit the taco bar was ok today. If it had been a potato bar, I would have had to go out somewhere. It was OK.
I had to present at today’s meeting. I have to be careful, because when I start speaking and get rolling I can talk all day so I become hyper vigilant watching people faces to how bored, how amused or upset they are becoming. My direct supervisor was sitting in the crowd and this has an impact on me. I wish I was beyond this but I got by. Everyone smiled, asked some good questions, gave some examples of how good we are and that was that. I had a pile of hand outs to pass out and that took the pressure off me as the audience looks over their brand new pile of resources. The weeks half over. It’s now down hill to the weekend, a holiday weekend

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Move the Damn Hose

a.m.snow for this morning's commute! Posted by Hello

Today’s storm came in last night just as I was leaving work for the train station. The rain was falling but not bad, just a gentle mist. I had my parka and my hat on. I was OK. Directly east of the Delta Center is construction—Larry Miller is building a huge parking facility for his “Dental” center”. I say them but thought I could negotiate them, so it is kinda my fault, but the construction guys had these giant 4-5 inch in diameter water hoses draped across the sidewalk. I was hoping the hoses were empty or low but they were full, I was able to get the front two tires of my power chair over the hose but that was all. I was immobilized right there with the rain failing threatening to turn to snow and my train was about to leave. Of course I could not get anyone to here my whistles, I was right at the entry way to the construction pit and everyone who was working were working in the pit. I struggled and whistled for 15 minutes until a cement truck pulled into the gate. I looked pathetic enough the driver hopped out and gave enough lift to the power chair I was able to get over and on my way. I really was not worried I wouldn’t get out of this problem , and there is always another train; I just was pissed that here was just one more barrier and one I bet I’ll have to deal with for the next year until they finish the construction of this project. I guess I’ll just have to travel to the train stop on the other side of the street. Change is so difficult for us old guys.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Cell Frenzy!

Posted by Hello

I just finished paying my phone bill—my wireless phone bill. What a trauma. I don’t know how or why but I can never get my passwords and /or ID’s to match when I go to pay online. Invariably, I end up calling the service line and the “ voice” politely and happily takes my money.

I am so terrified of loosing passwords and Ids and then eternally being locked out of my account I have done unpardonable. I used the same password across the board on ALL my accounts. I know this is stupid but I have lost too many accounts do to not being able to remember a password. I tried writing each one down but that failed me when I would loose my wallet or book or password. So, I am living on the edge one password for nearly all my accounts. I get by. I have not been violated yet (Nock on word). It’s too bad thee is not another way to keep this information available for accessing in time of need but I guess the big issue is to just bight the bullet and be responsible and figure out a safe, adult way to protect my passwords yet have them readily available in times of need.

Really, I should just get rid of the service. I hardly use the service. I have the cheapest plan available. The cost will increase soon when I have to update my service because my technology is so old. I have to get a TMD(?) phone or what ever—the one I have is so old I can never get replacement parts for it. I think cells are a young people thing. I use it for emergencies like locked out of the house, flat tires or if I am running late. I try to force my self to use my “minutes” but it is too difficult to talk that long. So, now, I must upgrade spend more a month and still hardly ever use it.

I drove the van to the train station today—supposed to be this major storm for the return trip. I know I caved—at least I did not drive all the way in to work.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Back in the World

Sunday Bread Posted by Hello

Just back from the market , I m deep into Sunday activities now. I often do the family shopping. Dianne is chained to the pc-desktop doing home work. I find the best way to keep out of her hair is to do the grocery shopping. This makes me look good plus I have total control of what he have for meals and I can spend some money and have some interaction with civilization. It is on these forays into the community I get the sensation the world is slow turning—actually pretty damn fast-- into the new week. The weekend slowness I feel on Saturday shopping is replaced with with a slight urgency that the new week is coming and I had better be getting ready. So there I am in line at the check out. I have all my stuff in the cute little lap basket,heaped with stuff—I know the price will be under thirty dollars. It seems it's always under thirty dollars. Some law of physics at work: eggs, one loaf of bread (wheat), milk(one gallon) someday s a roast or chicken or some other meat product( usually from the “meat throwaway”, fruit usually bananas, bag of apples and or oranges and grapefruit. I have, of late, also been purchasing a gallon of orange juice. And, that is the shopping for the week. Thirty dollars= two people seven days. Interesting. So there I am a women and I enter the check-out chute at the same time....I do the gentlemans thing(after checking cart. She actually really had less then 12 items. Three maybe four items plus one ham. I figure what the hell this will be fast. She had been playing indoor soccer dressed in her white soccer togs. She reached in her cart producing a the small ham:

Soccer chick

This did not have a price on it. If this is going to be a long big deal I don't want it. Ok? None of these had a price on them.

Check-out Chick

Oh, that's OK. I can just get Brenda to check out the price.

Soccer Chick

(Rolling her eyes at me, blowing a waybang out of her eyes” Just check the other stuff. I have to get going. I don't need the ham. Really.

(Long silence as the registers in the other lines ring up order after order—Blonde bang is blow up again. Thirty seconds seem like eternity waiting in line. Brenda radios in)

Was that turkey ham or just ham?

(Puffer lets out another jet of breath. I am fascanated by the hair which pops up again. I figure I had better do something TO DEFUSE the moment before the soccer chick explodes)


Was it cold out there playing soccer?

Soccer Chick

Oh, I play indoor. We had two games this morning. There isanother this afternoon but I am not going...

Checkout Chick

Theres Brenda. That'll be $6.00. (Stuffing the ham into the white plastic bags.

Soccer Chick

Six dollars—I should get this for free for it not being labeled and having to wait.

Checkout Chick is deaf by this time. Soccer blows the hair up one more time grabs the recipe and leaves. It's always the person in front of me.

Yup its beginning to feel like Monday.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday Night

This a late post but I wanted to get something up for today. I was just abut ready to post something earlier when Shelly called and I IMed her for a long while. Now, looks as if Mark has just tuned in. He and Jazzy talked for a half hour or so. I cannot believe how nice instant messaging is. I am fortunate to have both kids linked in. Mark is not far away just a couple of blocks buy Shell is in another state. Saturday night, we are warm at home. Anankah is here for the night, she and Dianne are fixing shepherds pie for dinner and a sleep over. So, dinner, dishes then no doubt video or “go fish” or some other game for five year olds.

My Mom Posted by Hello

I have done little this Saturday: cleaned out the fridge and worked in my computer room. This will be one of those weekends we just get by on the way to Spring or at least the next national holiday. President’s day is just over a week away. I am bracing up though. We heard from mom today—definitely breast cancer. She is scheduled for a mastectomy this coming Friday. Mom seems to be taking the news well. I hope she is OK. She is 93. I suppose she has had a good run. Mom is full of life still but I think she is ebbing. I hope she has little, pain.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday Afternoon

Cars disapesring from a Friday afternoon parking lot. Posted by Hello

It’s Friday afternoon and the office is becoming deserted. I am here for the duration. I am very dependable I have always been dependable. I come to work early and many time leave late. It’s not that I am committed or a workaholic I just am. I like my job I guess. I can get to my job by train and there is always another train home so if I am a little late getting out of the office I am OK, no big deal—if I did not have the train I would not feel so generous with my time. My office sits off of the Conference room and the conference room is being used this afternoon for training. I am basically locked in my office till the training is over which is another hour before the next training is started and will run till about 5:00!. I feel isolated from humanity and the world maybe better said, would be insulated. I have my phones but there are few calls Friday afternoon. I think people with disabilities, like all folks with low-income- feel that if they cannot get their needs met by Friday, and for sure Friday afternoon they had best just wait till Monday. This might be different if this Friday was closer to the beginning or the end of the month but this Friday is right in the middle so last minute crises are a low probability. The front desk person just called to inform me she is leaving for the day; going home ill. The calls have been switched back to me. I am now in control of “comm.” traffic for this organization. The clouds are graying there is rain forecast for tonight I hope I can get home before the sky opens up.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

We Sold Our Souls for Thirty Places to park

Checking out the parking. Posted by Hello/

I just got off the phone with another disgruntled consumer consumer with a disability fussing and fuming about how they were violated by able bodied folks parking illegally in “disable parking slots”. Again, I am a person who has a disability and I drive, occasionally, a lift equipped van and I use “designated “ parking areas when I can even though, I no longer support the concept of “designate”, “disabled parking” I gave up on the whole idea years ago when I realized that having “ disabled plates” was some sort of a status symbol particularly if you were old and or over weight. Doc s out there, across the nation, were signing disabled parking applications for any patient who paid their bill. I no longer had to worry about able-bodied people abusing the parking spaces and never being a space open, now I could not find a space because all these folks with “marginal” disabilities had glommed onto their little disability placard or plates and were not going to turn them loose till the mortician pried it out of their hands. So, I stopped using them, sort of, I am not stupid. Generally, depending on these parking spaces is useless and frustrating. Designated parking is essentially useless. If a space is open I’ll use it but most of the time I am in my power chair and I can cruise to the market or where I am going with out issue. It’s too bad, because designated parking was one of the few pieces of “currency” people with “real” disabilities had. Social currency. Designated was something, which gave you substance and credibility. Hey, I feel my callers pain but get over it. If I had my way I would get rid all of the designated parking areas and mandate all parking spaces be accessible, you know, large enough to accommodate a van. Then if people, anyone, wanted to park right next to the door they would just have to “shark” for a place line everyone else. So much for my rant on designated parking—one of these days I’ll give you my rant on how UTA’s Trax system has screwed people with disabilities accessing their trains.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

My Buddy Mack

Mack being cool. Posted by Hello
Dr Mack Gift is coming over to my office today. You might remember Mack as the Director of the Utah Mental Health Association. He is also my buddy. This guy is too cool for words. Mack was part of the beat culture in Ogden and Salt Lake back in the fifties—yeah, there really was beat culture here. The dude has a number of poetry books out and is still involved teaching at the University level. He does not have a personal website but should as a vehicle to spread his poetic word about.
Mack let me do the MHAU website. He is one of those guys who really believe in the little guy, the under dog –you know, people like me. Mack is supposed to drop by the office today to borrow my digital camera for some items he wants to place on the Association website. I cannot believe he has not purchased a better digital by now and continues to borrow mine. But, I do not mind, it forces us to be together. Well, scratch that, Lissa his associate just dropped by to pick up the camera. Oh, I’ll just have to try harder to keep to keep the contact fresh.
Keeping the contacts fresh! You think this would be easy with friend and even family, especially nowadays with cell phone, unlimited messages, instant messaging and web cams and broad band connections but still if I do not work at contacting folks I will go months if not years without communicating with some folks—folks I should be communicating at least weekly if not daily. There is no excuse except life tends to get in the way...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Beware the "Click" it "Clicks" for Thee

My Jazzy power chair is beginning to make funny noises again from its transformer box, the box where the joy stick resides. It is beginning to click, you know electrical clicks, annoying clicks that used to not bother me but now do. The last time this happened the wheelchair started to engage itself in gear and try to power itself. Well, I got this fixed fast, actually when I took the chair into Magic Rest the Tech visibly palled as he watched the chair click and try to engage itself. The fix cost me a 100 bucks AND THAT IS CAUSE I PLEADED POVERTY and pathetically whined. They found some loophole that reflected my chair just being under warranty enough to cover most of the programmer box charge…it would cost over $1000.00. Perspective makes everything feel better. I live in constant fear of the chair engaging at the exact wrong time: sitting on my van lift in the up position, or even worse, engaging as the Trax trains roars past making one of those stupid obituaries every wonders about “ Murray man drives power chair into on coming train”. So, I guess it’s time to make the appointment and see what my insurance will do for a new Jazzy. But, I will take this old chair in and have it looked at to make sure it’s still reasonably safe.

Construction between my office and my train station--this is showing yesterday's snow... Posted by Hello
The sun is out today---yesterday’s snow will go fast.

Monday, February 07, 2005

A Wet Heavy Snow

Posted by Hello

Snow fell during the night, a wet heavy snow. I thought about plowing threw the snow all the way up to the Trax station but I reconsidered and elected to drive the van to the station and train in from there. I did take a moment before I left and shoveled a path for Dianne and clean a little snow off her vehicle. I was in my power chair and the effort did not seem like work. It was fun playing “Joe Bulldozer.” I little later the usual by the time I got t0o the Delta Center, plows had been out for a good while and snow was piled up and slushed—As I was piloting along the side of the road there was more traffic then I was used to. I forgot about how the snow and slush will “fan tail” out from the cars as the rush past. The plows had pushed snow into the driveways making it stack pretty high, not a problem for today but tomorrow there might be a problem depending how much melt and freeze happens today and tonight. But then tomorrow ,unless more snow falls, the street should be clear and dry with the plows and chem-trucks working all day today. I should be OK, I might go out at lunch and make sure I have a drive way cleared out—but if it snows, and snow is forecast till tonight at 11:00.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sunday Morning Musings

It's one of those Sunday mornings that you get the feeling the Spring WILL get here eventually. There are clouds and possible rain and snow showers forecast for this evening. I will be surprised if anything really develops. But, it feels like spring regardless of rain or snow. I have to get in gear though, and get some things done out in civilization: fill up the gas tank, exchange the router I got a couple of weeks ago for a camera for the laptop. I want to do this early in the day to be sure to be home if weather does develop. Home making “Monday noises”: folding clothes, washing dishes, putting away dinner and getting ready for ready for Monday and the week.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Lo the miracle worker. I have been slaving on the network problem I have been messing with all week and behold, I the middle of an on line call with my kids the big computer Colossus came to life with it’s internet connection and right now I have both systems online and operational!! I have no idea what I did, and I still cannot get get Colossus to recognize Guardian but I feel this is a great step forward. Mark indicated he might be able to stop by later today and see what we can find. It would be nice to have the systems be able to communicate with each other but just to be able to access NET at the same time is what I really wanted.

<>James has started to blog, as mentioned in an earlier post, check out his blog it’s great <>

Friday, February 04, 2005

Don't You Just Hate It...

The lane on the far S.W. side of the picture where that car is about to turn is where tis event happened. Posted by Hello
Don’t you just hate it when you are going along minding your on business and someone, out of the blue says something rude to you and you are either in a setting which will not allow the appropriate retort or the offending party in and out before you can respond. Well, that exact scenario happened to me this morning on the way into work. The morning was still quite dark as I had just gotten off the train and had crossed the street in my power chair and was heading to my office. Many times I travel down the side of the street, facing traffic usually well off to the side in the bike lane. I travel the street when I can staying off the sidewalks. The cracks and the spaces between the sidewalk squares bounce me round and beat me up so bad it is just worth my time to ride the shoulder of the street. Think about it, city streets are always repaired, cars have to ride on them and John Q is never going to let bad streets affect the smoothness of his travel. So I travel on the street too.

Well, like I said this morning, I as in the dark traveling South on 300 South and I am in the far lane, everyone else is OK with be but someone decides to get in my lane whi8ch is cool, I just motor to the far side of the street, hugging the curb waiting for the impending vehicle to pass. Well, I am sitting there and then vehicle pulls up, the creep in the passenger side lowers the wind and says” You know you are really ignorant ?” The vehicle kept on moving of course and I was two of three seconds down the road before I realize I had even been “dissed”. In the old days this would have really affected my day but thank God, I am 54 and I can let it go and get on with it. But still it would be great to have be able to immediately respond to the insult.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Just a Birthday

Boy, I got a little melancholy on yesterdays blog—birthday what do you expect? The office was great! Cecilia was fantastic! She brouhght in a real present a smokeless griller for cooking healthy on your table top, shrink, thin meats and veggies.This is too cool something I can really use. Cecila also brought doughnuts and Dr Lozano brought cinnamon rolls she had made. There was also a veggie plate—I rarely if ever gotten this much attention from office mates. A very nice day.

Mark A. and Jasmine called and wanted to do lunch so so I figured why not. Cecilia agreed to cover the phones and I split for the train going East up to 800 East and 400 South Chuck-arama . I was amazed every old person in the south End. I forgot how big a senior magnet the “Chuck” is. The whole place is a clichĂ© but fun. We talked, enjoyed the baby who was sleeping but woke soon after we ordered. Mark made a hat for me which is great looks good an is one of a kind. Brooks called before class in the evening and that was cool and I appreciated that and Shelly called from a Medford Mexican Restaurant where She and James was celebrating Corrine’s birthday who has come down from Eureka, CAN Northern Cali. I heard from everyone by days end Oh I missed Charlie but Ol' Char is pretty involved right now. We stayed home last night, a cold night, Mark came over and we worked on the computer networking project. We are getting closer and closer. Who knows, maybe by this weekend I will be completely networked.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Life's Been Good to Me So Far

2 4 6 8 Posted by Hello

I am fifty-four today and I cannot believe it—where does life go? I clearly remember the days passing, the traumas, bliss, days of work and days sheer boredom but put all those days together and you have a life my life! Two kids, four kids six kids I have, depending on the way one looks at the family, naturally shaken not stirred. I love them all and how each member fits into my life. Each kid is a different tapestry each bringing in a color and weave specific to themselves. I love the colors and the end results. Fifty-four and I am lucky enough to have a mate, a partner friend and wife who loves me and puts up with me just the way I am and that’s a lot. I love you Dianne, there I said it publicly in my blog—it is doubtful anyone will read this but still it is public and out in front of the INTERNET world. I am fifty-four I have a job, a mortgage a family and a life. I can drive have a van but I choose to use the train most days..but I have a choice, I have little pain, physically—it is getting worse each year but manageable and livable. I fell only three times last year—nothing broke--my transfers work most of the time and I can still do all my own ADLs but Dianne cuts my hair.

“Life’s been good to me so far”*

*Joe Walsh

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I feel so Hitchcock. Posted by Hello
Don’t you just hate that?! I was hot, I was cranking away to day’s installment when I hit some key and everything vanished. I do this about once a month, not so much anymore—thank god! What really irks me when this happens is that invariably I was working on a piece which was turning out to be the best piece I have every written and I can ever write the same piece as good or as fluid. I used to fret for hours trying to either find the lost file, or portions of praying I had the auto-backup feature on—I usually did not or racking y brain trying to recreate the piece as good as I thought it initially had been know that the subsequent was not even close not because I am trying too hard. So, Now when I loose a fie I am working on. I try to shrug it off and start right back again writing as furiously as I can, but this time, creating the file and backing it up every five minutes regardless of my production rate.

Not much time today, busy. I have lunch with Kerry at Ho Ho’s then working on putting together a presentation on video advocacy for People first due the middle of the month. I got the revelation during the night…since this is a consumer advocacy training piece let them do the work. So, I will develop the outline for media advocating the have the consumers form teams and develop and cut their own PSA’s, make their own contacts and do their own follow-ups. What better way to learn??Special thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s broadcast—it was fun. Great website James keep up the good work. I am looking forward to more posts of your photography! Please email me your blog address. I need it on email the I’ll have it.