Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Last Day

Sunday Al Posted by Picasa

Its the afternoon of the last day: five days plus two weekends just like that. Oh well, I am ready to get back to some structure and more life experience then happens at a stay at home vacation. I have missed my workmates and the daily train trips. I m ready to get back.

I spent the whole day at Mark and Kristy's what a great day. I wish Mark has been able to be present he was working. We had been invited all summer to use their complex pool. We had Auni this weekend and she was dieing to spend some time with her cousins and so we did th pool. Auni and the cousins swam all day. I took the time to read. We id not get a lot done round the house but some times you have take time for yourself. We came back watched Michale and City of Angels our current favorite movies/ I dressed and got out of the house early. D as reading the paper and Auni and goal was to keep her asleep as long as possible. I went over and go the neighbor out of his paper and waited his time for a couple of hours. I am lucky to have such a good neighbor as I do in my Buddy Albert. Al is so patient with me I cannot believe it. He just sits there and listens t m. Today I was all wound up about couple of entries in the Sunday obits. There was one in particular which fascinated me; a local surgeon who had lived his whole life in this State. Graduated high school in this city, Medical school at th local university and I presume, internships and residency here too since th obit did not go out of it's way to leaving area to get these item accomplished. The Doc was accomplished spending a lot of time—a major portion of his life in the local reserves in spending time in Desert Storm—he was like a chief medical officer over a certain area. Aside from being a reservist the guy seemed to lived a perfect life, died kinda of young for surgeon- medical type. I could not help or want to read between the lines. I wondered who wrote or even payed for the obit, a loaf document as obits go. It seemed to be a great Reader's Digest version of the guys life. But many used cars look good sitting on the lot it when you look under the hood that the get really interesting. Same way with obits, scratch the surface and read between the lines for real entertainment on Sunday morning.

D and Auni are going to the movies shortly,something about penguins, I cannot spending money for me to go to a movie about penguins . I have some computer work to do, images to download and edit and some reading to get in before the end of the vacation. There maybe some weather activity this afternoon and that would be a great way to end the day.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Vacation : Day Three

Some times I despise myself Posted by Picasa

The heat has returned and the sore throat is gone. The cold front pushing its way trough during the night. Actually we had the window open and the temperature dropped quite a bit by morning. Quite comfortable. The first inklings of fall. I still have yet to feet the breaking of Summer's back: that one specific instance when you feel the season loosing it's hold and slipping away. It does not mean the days will be cool to cold—infarct, there will be more days of heat maybe unbearable heat but still the summer is waning. The nights are just a bit cooler, the darkness comes earlier and the laziness of summer is replaced by a building anxiousness of the seasonal change and onset of Autumn. I felt the first breath of seasonal change. As you can tell I am becoming bored—not insanely bored yet; if I had another week to go then maybe. I think it would be worse if I was out camping, traipsing all over some foreign country. Weekends is about the best I can do, after 48 hours I am ready to get back o the old grind.

I actually slept in till 8:00 amazing. I got dressed and when over and visited with Albert for an hour. The vacation is winding down. Tomorrow is Friday then the weekend then back to work on Monday. Life goes so fast. I did too more movies today with D: The Island , The Wedding Crashers­.

The Island was wok but not out standing and the second was a bore. I even like “chick flicks” most of the time even the dumb ones but Jut could not get into this one. I would no recommend it even with the boobage factor. I am just glad the movies were free. Two movies in one day sure eats up a day.

There is some talk about taking in Stealth tomorrow. This would get us our fill of movies till the next national holiday maybe even all the way till Columbus day.

One interesting event at the movie. Two mother brought the infants kids into th movie to the The Wedding Crashers. Both moms were young, very young. I have to admit I was a bit pissed at first . I thought to myself, great! “Who brings infants to a movie?” I was being selfish and judgmental. I despise myself some times. The group actually turned out OK, a little crying and a little bit of roaming. One of the kids was actually about two and he was everywhere. There must have been twenty people in the auditorium it was basically deserted. I mean what can I say? People probably say the same about me when the see me coming to the theater, “ Oh great! Here comes one of those crips who gets in free” So, I was a better person when I put everything into perspective. Here were these two chicks just wanting to take in a movie. So, they drag along their kids—hey, poor single moms need a life too. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be or them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Window on the East Posted by Picasa

Vacation Day II

Unbelievable! I think I am getting a sore throat of ear infection. This morning when got up and swallowed a sharp, jabbing pain shot through my throat on the left side. The pain also reached up to what I perceive as my ear canal. The pain is intermittent off and on when I swallow. I have this strange belief system built round JalapeƱos peppers. I have been eating these peppers all year long and I have not been ill. I have been traveling in the coldest conditions, the wettest conditions and I have been OK—nothing healthy as a horse but I stopped eating the peppers about four or five days ago and all the sudden I am hurting. It's just not fair. I am sure I'll be down in a couple of hours but we should see. I ate a bunch of peppers for breakfast with my burrito and hopefully they will kick in soon.

The next home remedy I well try is to go out and sit in the sun and try to bake the crud out of my system. Again, I do not know how effective this is but I am a believer and I can be sick in be or sick in the sun. I choose the sun. I am also trying to read a hundred pages in my novel today and I can achieve this by reading at least ten pages every hour. If I were to get feeling better I might even try sneaking in a movie or two but this is doubtful.

The image I have posted today is of my work station by the front room window. I have few of the street infront of our house, good light and a broadband connection. This workstation is a little cramped but cozy just the same. Well, I must go and read and gargle or something.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I think I hate vacations but I am taking my vacation regardless. I donot take vacation I will loose a bunch of hour, days,weeks, if I DONOT TAKE IT.I have of course built up so much time by never taking vacation because, frankly, most of the time I would rather be working. I guess I am blessed because I have a job I like and I work with folks that I like. Hey, donm't freak because I used the term “blessed”. Blessed is a cultural idom built into me from th local Utah culture. So, today is the first real day of vacation and I have till the first of August. Yesterday was the state –I don't count that because everyone got that off. Today is real. I went with Di this morning to the MD's office, had breakfast at the Hospital cafeteria Then to D.I. For clothes and to see if other things I have been looking for a while had come in...they had so I got th turntable. I have been waiting for a turntable to come in with a needle which works—I now can start transferring my vinyl to hard drive and from there to disc. If I can figure it out I should be pretty busy. So, I got this stuff, the came home. Dianne is sleeping

Next I went out to the garage and started cleaning up a couple of “leaf Corners' you know the place where the wind stashes leaves and other junk till you clan it out. I worked on the project until I started see , what I thought was wolf spiders” and other “jumpers” I did not want to contend with. I guess I need to get over to Earnst or Lowes and get the “bug Bomb”and nuke the place.

So what do I wish to accomplish the rest of the vacation? I want to finish the novel I am currently reading, do some drawing and catch a couple more movies. Then I can get back to work and finish the summer. I would like to work on some writing...finish a couple of the short stories I have been working on for months. This is one of the reasons I do the blog. The blog keeps me in some sort of writing form.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Going Downtown Posted by Picasa

Saturday night

We did fireworks last night just Di and me and it was great fun. Concerned that Di’s back was an issue we decided to wait ‘till later and take the train into the city for the event. Galavin Center, no charge and the fireworks culminated a day long cultural festival. It was a perfect evening, none of the storms forecast showed ns the night was pleasant in the mid 80’s. We were both shocked in that we were the only ones riding the train till we got closer to downtown.

Saturday night downtown was calm, a bit sedate but OK. A person would think on a Saturday night anywhere, and on a holiday night with warm temps, live bands and people mingling there would be more tension and a bit faster pace. I guess the fact the whole plaza was a no alcohol zone may have something to do with it. I am sure there was much more action little further North in Boise where Jaialdi 2005 is going on. It was nice though, lots of different cultures were represented. When Di and I got there was Salsa bands playing a lot of milling bout. I have to admit there was dancing on the plaza and all seemed to be having a good time; lots of strollers, and kids with those glow stick like hoops and circles and parents looking a bit tharn. At this point in the even everyone was waiting or the fire works which were suppose to start at 10:00 pm but this was not to be. A number of folks had parked their vehicle on the parking terrace directly under the “blast zone” the area where the fireworks were to explode. They towed the cars which seemed to take for ever—people did not mind. The bands filled in the time and when the bands were not playing local DJ’s from area stations filled the air with radio babble thinking they were doing some sort of verbal crowd control. Now, that I think of it I don’t think I saw any of Salt Lake’s Finest , they seemed to be conspicuously out of sight. I saw a couple security(rent a cop) but they were more interested in eating then crowd control.

The fireworks were finally launched, I was surprised at how close to the ground the fireworks actually explode. They lunched the fireworks right in the dead center of downtown so the viewing area is surrounded by local buildings for what goes for “sky scrapers” in Salt Lake and many of the fireworks the exploded not higher then many of the buildings. The show itself seemed short and a little lite but hey the show was free, we took public transit and we enjoyed ourselves. The entire plaza population vanished as the smoke cleared following the finale. No lingering or anything just gone and then so were we.

Today is the 24th of July-A major event for Utah—sorta of the state founder’s day. However, it will not be celebrated today except in worship services around the state. Tomorrow is the official celebration: parades, races, picnics and more fireworks. I am off work for the rest of the week too. I really don’t like vacations but I force myself to take time off and on but I think I will enjoy this time. So, anyway, Di and I are going to wait a good part of the day catching up on movies at the free movie theater.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bank Robbers Can Justifty Robbing Bank

As you can see I am busy charging my cell phone . I am at work and the phone will more then likely only be used for personal calls and it is my personal phone. There is a huge outside chance that I may well use the phone for office needs .i.e. I may be out on the system and Call Cecilia to see if I have had any calls or that I may just leave from the meeting or project I happen to be at to go home. This has happened more hen once and I will use my cell phone to notify the office folk of my intentions. Am I bad??

This truly one of those gray areas we all we all discussed in some lost Sunday School class or Ethics 101. The perfect crime, the scenario: would you commit the crime if you knew you would never, ever get caught? What is the line we cross that conflicts with our established mores: using the company phone to make personal calls “Hi honey. Do you want me to pick anything up on the way home from work?” “ Hi Mom how are you doing today? Do you need anything are you alright?” How about “ High John, it’s been a long time—I saw your name in my email thought I’d give you a call…”

I get confused…since I spend so much of my time here it seems like home and many times I am doing office work at home and that feels natural too. So I begin to treat my office as an extension of my home. There is so much work I do at home and away from work which I am never compensated for I can talk, or write surf a few minutes as long as I get my prescribed work done. Am I turning into the bank robber? Is this how the big contenders get started, one phone call then another phone call, then a company vehicle over night, then a gas purchase on the company plastic then all the sudden your are the CEO for Enron. I got busted a couple years ago because I suckered into a deal from the local Sam’s club. I got a piece of mail here at the office saying everyone at the office was eligible for a free Sam’s Card!! I dutifully drug a sign-up sheet round the office and got a couple of other folks interested in signing up to join. I sent in the money and never thought of the incident again until a couple of years later. There was a lot of trauma at the office one of the employees, a good employee was being set up. There was some stress over how she fit in with the rest of the staff and they definitely wanted her gone. An audit was performed—outside goons were brought in from the head office ad guess what? The Sam’s Club Card affair surfaced. The employee in question moved on to another position in the organization far, far away and I was asked to reimburse the organization for the 24 dollars the membership cost. It was a pretty scary ordeal the whole audit thing but it was a true learning experience in Business ethics and morals( or lack) but I digress maybe I should just charge my phone at home, just to be sure.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Train Snob!

I have turned into a train snob! I rarely use the busses on our public transit system. I use the train every day in and out of the city. I am fortunate in that the majority of my meetings are close enough to one of the train lines I can use the train to get to meetings. There are still places in the city that are far enough away from the train line that forces me to have to use the “Fixed route system”. Fixed route or the buses would not be so bad if there were not run by humans. Like yesterday when I went up to visit my buddy Lori at the Regional Medical Center this was all done by bus. One bus completely passed me by, didn’t even slow down. I was sitting right out at the bus stop and “swish” the bus swooshed by. If I had been a cartoon I would have looked like the turtle passed by the hare, I would be spinning from the bus passing. In the old days when I was riding the “fixed-route” services like I ride the train service now, I would have gotten the bus number and would have been able to atleast report the driver but alas, I did not have anything to write on and I tried to read the bus number but to no avail.

Having said these disparaging remarks I do have to admit the “fixed Route” service in North East end of the city is impressive. Three routes service the hospital area I was in. This hospital is the old Holy Cross affiliate in this city. The Catholics are in the minority here but they had their own hospital from the very early days of the territory/state. So the hospital is built in one of the oldest, best settled and more exclusive part of the city. Broad tree lined street, beautiful century plus stone and brick homes which are still imtact—have not been cut up into apartments. Not far form this area is the beginning of the university district. Here you have home or building which once were stately homes but have been carved into university housing. Many of the homes have been transformed into “frat” and “sort” houses, bed and breakfasts and the like. But the homes round the hospital are nice. I have to admit the bus service up there is different then the same service system in the valley—far less spooky, angry and homeless just looking to survive. The buses are newer up here and air conditioned and best of all since everyone up here has a Mercedes, Jag, BMW etc no one rides the public transit service except “help”, Earth Firsters, some high and jr. schoolers and that is about all and the drivers will actually dialog with you. I finally flagged the bus down, it stopped and I rode down to the valley floor. I was able to cruise the rest of the way back to my office without having to access a regular bus. Boy, do I have to re-evaluate my values…I am beginning to slip.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A friend in Need....

Yesterday I was called by my buddy Lori. Actually her son called( which I thought weird) and told me to hold on for Lori…then Lori came on the line to inform me she was in the downtown hospital on the Rehab floor. This person has Cerebral Palsy (CP) which has affected her speech to a certain point. You have to pay attention closely when she is speaking. I could not tell if she was pissed off because I had not visited her or what. Either way the call was brief telling me which hospital she was in and what her room number. I got the point that she needs attention in the form of vistors. I next called my other buddy, Julie who works at the same place where Lori to find out what has been happening and sure enough Lori has been in the hospital a couple of week but that all she knew…no one there had been up to visit either. Lori was lonely. I of course did the Seinfeld thing assuring Lori she was not alone and I would be as soon as possible and hung up the phone.

I don’t know if I was pissed that she called me and quasi demand I pay attention to her or at myself for having to endure guilt for not paying better attention to my friends. I had a hour coming for lunch I did not take last Friday when I covered phone over lunch at my office then I stroked on genius! I could talk to the social worker at the hospital in my official capacity—drop off some brochures and call the whole event “Outreach” Cool!! Now I had a plan. I got my partner to take lunch early and she came back and I took off. My bus connections were pitiful but I eventually got right up to the hospital. I found Lori and She was so glad to see me or probably anyone I was beside myself. I have to admit I felt pretty good and not guilt. We talked and she needs some of the materials which may be on the website I maintain. I can also make some contacts and try to get the rest of the items she is going to need to transition back into her home. Lori is alone now, recently having gone through a divorce, I cannot imagine the stess of having to return home to an empty house with little supports. Her daughter will be coming back from N. Carolina to live with her in a couple of months. Actually looked pretty good and was only weepy a couple occasions. Dianne and I are going back to visit with her again soon. Dianne has the same disabling process Lori has but not as debilitating …yet. I need to apply some pressure to her office to go up and visit as well.

Yesterday I was called by my buddy Lori. Actually her son called( which I thought weird) and told me to hold on for Lori…then Lori came on the line to inform me she was in the downtown hospital on the Rehab floor. This person has Cerebral Palsy (CP) which has affected her speech to a certain point. You have to pay attention closely when she is speaking. I could not tell if she was pissed off because I had not visited her or what. Either way the call was brief telling me which hospital she was in and what her room number. I got the point that she needs attention in the form of vistors. I next called my other buddy, Julie who works at the same place where Lori to find out what has been happening and sure enough Lori has been in the hospital a couple of week but that all she knew…no one there had been up to visit either. Lori was lonely. I of course did the Seinfeld thing assuring Lori she was not alone and I would be as soon as possible and hung up the phone.

I don’t know if I was pissed that she called me and quasi demand I pay attention to her or at myself for having to endure guilt for not paying better attention to my friends. I had a hour coming for lunch I did not take last Friday when I covered phone over lunch at my office then I stroked on genius! I could talk to the social worker at the hospital in my official capacity—drop off some brochures and call the whole event “Outreach” Cool!! Now I had a plan. I got my partner to take lunch early and she came back and I took off. My bus connections were pitiful but I eventually got right up to the hospital. I found Lori and She was so glad to see me or probably anyone I was beside myself. I have to admit I felt pretty good and not guilty. We talked and she needs some of the materials which may be on the website I maintain. I can also make some contacts and try to get the rest of the items she is going to need to transition back into her home. Lori is alone now, recently having gone through a divorce, I cannot imagine the stess of having to return home to an empty house with little supports. Her daughter will be coming back from N. Carolina to live with her in a couple of months. Actually looked pretty good and was only weepy a couple occasions. Dianne and I are going back to visit with her again soon. Dianne has the same disabling process Lori has but not as debilitating …yet. I need to apply some pressure to her office to go up and visit as well. Post script: I found when I called Julie when I got back to my office that two of the office fact had indeed gone up this very day. I must have just missed them as I left. Cool this will help Lori alot. I only wish I had gone up sooner.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Very Long Day

It’s been one of those Mondays which never seems to end. The ride in to work on the train was quiet and tedious. When staff finally did get in there was never ending discussion of a conference they all attended over the weekend—actually, there was another staff which did not attend her husband had open head surgery which got her out of attending. Then there was the never ending staff meeting which started an hour later then usual because all the State vehicles had to be ferried back to the State parking lot. The staff meeting lasted nearly to lunch time and most of the staff meeting’s content was a rehash of the earlier rehash of the weekend conference. Then I warmed up my lunch from yesterday’s BBQ then back to work on my writing up of the Quarterly advisory board. I take notes during this meeting then render minute’s from the notes. Usually I take better notes and try to do the minutes or the minutes outline the same day as the meeting so I have a fair memory of what really took place. Not so, for this meeting. First the notes are skimpy at best and then I have been putting the writing off cause I know the amount of work this will take because the notes are so poor. This dilemma is really sort of a Catch-22 but I have been struggling with them all day between phone calls. I think I am about half done. I know I am going to have to do some “call backs” to see, if what I have authored is the same as what they think they may have said. Just stuff.

My partner went to lunch and never came back. She called a few minutes ago indicated she was exhausted an she just could not come back...would I OK? Sure no problem. It's a slow day so what the heck. I had toyed with the idea of leaving at 4:00. I worked through lunch Friday when I was holding down th fort all by myself. So, I geared down for the long haul and focused on the minutes. My office has a toll free”800” number to be able to take disability questions statewide. Since the office our organization is located in is also a statewide office and they have access to the 800 number and recently( with in the last year) has started using the number as their own...rather their consumers have started using the number. What this means is that my partner and me are becoming the phone receptionists for the office. Again, this used to not bother but lately it's becoming a bit annoying especially when I am involved in a real call. A nuisance other office call comes in and we have to put our call on hold and pass the other call along. It's all a pain. Then the real receptionist is all over the office and I start getting the regular calls too...a very long day.

On the train home is another guy I know in a wheelchair, a head injury survivor. So, I am exhausted, siting on the train wanting to read my book but am compelled to communicate with Rex who has a great challenging communicating. I have to totally focus on what Rex is saying so when I reply he knows I really understood what he said. I was lucky and he existed after just a couple of stops. I got a couple of pages read and rolled home in the sun. I had my 25 cent hat and I was cool in all matter s of the word. I

hope to get some sleep tonight, the end of a very long day.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Living is Easy

It’s a tad cooler today—should only be in the 90s; make being out in the direct sun much more bearable. Anakah spent the night which meant there was the mandatory run the A&W for kids meals, floats and KFC. I broke ranks and got hot dogs. We had coupons so the dogs were 75 cents a piece. A word of warning though getting hotdogs at the A&W is always risky even more so at closing. You know hey have hat those tube steaks on the drill since 2:00 p.m. But Anakah thinks this ritual is special so we do it. It’s Summer hot. Even at 9:00 pm the temperature is still 90 degrees. It’s still light outside the lot lights are on at KFC and folks are just “summer hanging” I can see how Anakah would like our late Saturday excursions out.

Then back to the house for DVDs, usually some version of Shrek, Monsters Inc., or Finding Nemo. I was surprised last night they had Homeward Bound . I elected to work on the computer then crashed.

I just got back from the market doing the weeks shopping. I wish I could work up the energy to rant but is just too hot. I could not believe how many things were up high to the point there was no chance in hell I was going to be able get what I needed independently. I have to remember everything I want then tell the cashier to please get the following items. They always look at me like I am from another dimension but, invariable shrug their shoulders and send the adolescent bagger or run themselves. This time the cashier took off. One industrial size can of jalapeno peppers, one seedless watermelon and bags of ice. A good sized line was forming behind me. I know a lot of thought—who came later—what is this wheelchair guy holding up the line for? The people in line behind me usually do not say anything (it’s my invisible power) and if the do it’s like what kind of help do I need or the great standby “Is everything alright or do you need help?” The natives were calm today and I exited with out incident. I just had to have verbal intercourse with Julie, the aging baglady( no pun intended) who must work every Sunday because she is always there when go. I know she is there because he husband must have died or just dumped her and she is making ends meet. Julie is fascinated by either how fast my chair is or my lift equipped van or maybe (terror) me. I cut “our” conversation short by informing Julie I had to get home before my ice melted. She seemed to understand this need and left after shoving everything in the back of van.

It’s Sunday afternoon not quite 3:00 still to early to start the charcoal for dinner. I have had a good sized flank steak marinating for two days—I also picked up a package or chicken breasts at the market. This should keep us going through out the week. We have a statewide holiday a week from tomorrow. Summer is here and the living is easy.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Just a Mtter of Time

The heat continues to bare on me each day as I return from work in my slower then it could be chair. That's OK though I don't mind. I froze a water bottle today and I was cool as a rule. What was interesting though as I got off the train and rounded the corner and crossed the street and started my journey the six blocks to home I noticed a Coke can in the road. The can looked perfect as I came up on it just laying there in the road. I wondered for the first time 'what if there was a bomb in the can?'. I guess I have been thinking bout the events of London more than I had thought. It may have been the heat or the week or what ever I was half expecting the can to explode when I passed the can. The can did not explode. It was just a can of coke can thrown from a vehicle when the user was finished. But, the can could have been a bomb just that simple if there was a “sleep” cell in my neighborhood. Earlier this week I noticed a person carrying what looked to me like a ruck sack- a rucksack which was full of something. I really wanted to ask the guy to show me what was in his bag. I have become hyper vigilant. So, my entire trip home I thought how easy easy it would be for terrorists in the USA to strike—so many fat and full targets from which to choose. The pendants say that more strikes in the US inevitable, just a matter of time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Yesterday was our organizations celebration of the 15th year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That huge piece of unfunded legislation which was to make a better, more accessible world for people with disabilities. The event was small and broadcast on the Internet. The usual

Panel made up of local disability advocates, employers and ADA coordinators facing an audience of folks with disabilities usually from the major disability agencies: independent living center, transit authority, DD Council. There was even a member of the local press, young, female laboriously taking notes the entire event. The reason I lead off with this even of yesterday is to exhibit the irony of my lunch experience today.

The city is hot, boiling unforgiving sidewalks scorch feet of those forgetting or who do not have shoes. I needed to get a bottle of water that I can stash in the freeze to solidify for the long hot trip home this evening. The only place I can get some bottled water is down on main street. There is a little Rite-Aide drug store there. So, I bolted at lunch to get to the drug store to get some water. It just so happens that up the street from the drug store is an inter4sting Deli called Gandolfo’s. I will try to get an image of this place tonight when I Trax home. I have heard a ton of good things about this little deli This deli is up a mighty flight of stair—totally inaccessible but that is OK. There is always Reasonable Accommodation. I came to a stop in front of the place, it was just after 12:00 so there was plenty of traffic of folks going up the stairs to a perfect lunch.

I decided not to use my “I am disabled and deserve to eat at this place face” and use my “I am an OK guy with a disability just trying to get some lunch and I am welling to go half way” face. I stopped three different people who were just starting to climb the stairs:


Hey? Would you tell them there is a guy in a wheelchair

Down here wanting to order

Blue button down with tie

Uh…sure no problem.

They assured me they would do the request and that was the last I heard of it. I waited a half an hour and no one ever came down to take my order. I was getting hot and pissed. I finally called the place with my cell( which I should have done at the onset). The girl I got on the phone was perky and cool and more then happy to bop down the stairs to take my order. So what happened to the three nit wits who said they would take my request forward. Did the just forget, I can see that once but three times? Did they think “Oh well, he is not my problem” or did they think I would just get tired of waiting and leave. Not me I was going to get my due. I called I ordered and I got my sandwich and tore back to the office because by then I was running late. I was about 15 minutes late by the time I got back to the office.

A.D.A what a joke! ADA is often held as the holy grail for people with disabilities. How many gimps actually really knows what the document says or even cares until they get written up at work, passed over for a promotion or passed by a bus. I hear their requests everyday. True. I know I could launch a law suit or try to do so but I know I would get shot down by a “reasonable accommodation backfire”. In this case courts (if the case got that far” would say there are a number of other Gandolfo Deli’s round this city all accessible to wheelchair using patrons. I know this, but I work downtown, I want to eat downtown when I want to take myself out to the deli and I am willing to let them come down and serve me, downstairs, under the window happy just to be served.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I Used to Live Here

When I first moved to this city I used to live here in this little house. The house was perfect: one bedroom, intercity surrounded by trees. Downtown, just on the “good side” of the street big old houses cut up for university housing. This picture is a very recent image. When I lived there the house was nice but a bit dilapidated but very livable. The place was totally accessible for me. I was working for the Independent Living Center, batching and the place met my needs. No yard, nothing but concrete perfect for a guy in a wheelchair. This was twenty years ago now much has changed. I still like to get by the place and see how it is doing. I used to park my old Buick by the side of the house there and role up to the front. I remember one time in the middle of winter, I had been out parting with friends and came home. I was not drunk but had had a couple of drinks. I parked my car and was getting out—mind you, I had a folding manual wheelchair then. I would put the chair in behind the passenger seat and scoot across to the drivers side. So, when I would exit I would scoot over open the door the reach back and push my wheelchair out, lock the brakes and transfer into the chair and be on my way. Well, on this particular night, or morning. I did this procedure. But when I went to make the transfer, I don’t know what happened, but the wheelchair slid out from underneath me! I of course fell right on to the cement. The night was cold and dark but the sky was clear. I think there was snow on ground—that’s why the chair slipped. I did not feel cold though and just laid there. The time was after 1:00 in the morning. I kinda hoped that someone would walk by and see if I needed help. I could not yell because with a paralytic diaphragm I could not get enough strength to really yell, so I laid there. I had an epiphany that night as I laid there staring at the universe. I knew how people died. They just let go—anyone could do it under the right circumstances. They just let go. I knew I could just let go, not say another word or do another thing and let the gentle kiss of death brush over my body, close my eyes and be gone. I would be one of those little articles in the morning Tribune: Disable Man Found Dead Beside Car Frozen. It would be that simple. But I could not do it. Though freezing to death occurring to me I just did not see it happening to me right then. So, I dragged my self into a sitting position then over the next hour or so dragged myself back into the Buick and drove to where my wheelchair landed up pulled the chair back into the car and drove back to the parking space and tried again, this time doing it right. I went in to the little house and crashed in my nice warm bed. I think about that event from time to time and wonder what it will be like when it is the time to let go. I was amazed then and amazed now to know that we have a choice.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I Hate Wearing Hats

My DI Hat Posted by Picasa

As a rule I hate wearing hats the brim of the head piece always blocks my view and is joust annoying—so, I just don’t wear them. Well, that’s not completely true. I well wear those “English” type hats. I wear them back wards and think I look cool. I can honestly say that I do wear caps to hide the fact I am bald. I found out a couple of years ago that wearing caps, hats keeps me either warmer in the Winter and cooler in the Summer. I cannot believe how much heat is dissipated through the head. Anyway, I have been with out my van because of the wheelchair lift off and on for a month now. Dianne dropped the van off the first of the week to have the beast safety inspected, it was finished on Friday, and I had enough over time hours worked that I could leave the office a lunch. I had a meeting “out” then I was on my own. My goal Friday was to get my vehicle, then drive over to DMV and get the tags for the plates and go home. I took the train down to 45th South station leaving; me to go the rest of the way ( 3 blocks) in the power wheelchair. By this time the outside temp was hitting 95*. The was not unbearable but it was not pleasant either. I finally buckled and stopped off at the DI( Deseret Industries, local faith based , second hand store.) I found a great hat for .25. I was pleased and did not care at this point for the comfort and protecting the cap gave. I arrived at the shop with little issue, looking good in my new hat. I got the van and was on the road again. The lift still does not work properly but I can get by till I can get a new(er) one. ( I have a plan working now which should address this issue in the short near future. I will tell you more of this shortly).

The heat was intense by the time I arrived at the DMV. I was moving in slow motion, drinking bottled water I have stashed in the van and making sure I am presentable. I double-checked to make sure I had the safety inspection forms and anything else I needed. When I arrived in the building I was pulled aside by the RAC (Rent A Cop) wearing a glock! I was not sure what to think but the guy was smiling like I had just won the sweepstakes. I just wanted to “snake” the line, get the tags, and get gone. But smiley was not going to let that happen.


Hi welcome to Department of Motor Vehicles—are you renewing your plates or registering a new car.


(with great caution)

Ah, I am just renewing my plates.


That’s great sir—just follow me over to booth 4. April will be back from lunch in five minutes and will get you taken care or…can I get you anything while you wait?

Normally, I would have resisted such attention but the line for “renews” was long maybe even hours long. This jump o the head of the line stuff offends me but then again I am not stupid. So RAC pushes me right to the front of booth 4. I am know I am sitting there looking like an idiot but there I am. I wait for about three minutes then Judy comes over and informs me that she is not April but she can help me and does, and soon I am out of there. I have never had such attention from the DMV. I can only assume it was my hat.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It’s Time

I have had to make a decision. I have to get another lift for my wheelchair van. My current lift is ancient and has reached it’s limit of repair. I am hoping I can take it to my brother and he can “mend” the lift yet another time and keep me going but I doubt Carl is going to be able to provide another miracle. I am finding that my power chair is not enough. I was able to make the presentation this week and I can continue to make presentation round the city as long as where I am going has adequate public transit. I am running into more and more obligations which are either after hours or out of city making it impossible to get to in a power chair or independently. I have a dinner I am supposed to attend Saturday with the Russian delegation . The dinner is at a private persons home and is way over on the west side. I am not going to try to get to the dinner via UTA and I was hoping my van would have been repaired and ready to use when I made RSVP on Tuesday. I will probably miss the dinner now.

I have been putting out feelers all day. I am looking first for a used lift to replace the existing lift in my van. I hate to do that but I cannot in any way afford a new lift $5,000.00 installed. I have called the old stand-by folks Mobility Solutions. They are doing great business and seem to have some leads on some good used product. I have also spoke with some folks I know who work with the State and they may have some programs which might help a little too. If I can get a loan with zero or low interest I might opt for a new lift. This would be best but I am not going to hold my breath. Either way, I am going to have to do something, Hey if any of you know of a free wheelchair lift let me know.

The good news though, is the van has passed inspection and I just have now to get the beast licensed. The van runs great looks good and if nothing else we have ramps in the van if we need to pull the lift and use the ramps with the manual chair. So there are always options.

It’s hot now, ninety degrees easy. I love it though. The chair is working very well, I have about come to grips with the lowered speed convincing myself that having the added torque is a worthwhile tradeoff. I am still having issues with the batteries which will not hold their charge long enough to let me conformably cruise the city with the confidence I would like. The tech is due out tomorrow. He will bring a new set of batteries( if the batteries come in) and change out the old ones. Then we’ll see how will this address the battery life issue. I still would feel the most comfortable with the on board system

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

There's a Tension in the Air

It’s hot out there today campers…in the upper 90* probably even hotter once the rays are bounced of the concrete and traffic of the city. I am using my old chair today because that chair has the onboard charger and I trust it. I know I will get home tonight following my -afterhours presentation at the ALS group at All Saints Episcopal at 6:00 pm. I have contacted the authority and have printed the specific routes needed to make the meeting. I should be OK. I have done no checking as to when the meeting is over but this All Saints id fairly central and I should be able to find a bus going “In bound” easy enough.

Can you sense when there is something strange happening or about to happen. I think I can or like to think so. This was the feeling I have had all day today. You know it is my quarterly board meeting and I have been fretting about this meeting all month of June…actually I always do. Anyway, I think I have been so worried about the meeting that I did not sleep as good last night as I wished that I had. Today is the first working day coming off a national holiday maybe that’s why there’s so much stress in the air. I was at the bank over lunch (Internet banking had gone down so I went in person) There were two lines waiting for service. There were two people in the line next to mine each one giving the teller grief about items the tell requested like forms of ID. IT was just stupid stuff too. One old fart did not want to give his picture ID when the teller asked for it to verify the account. He played this weird game:

Teller: Great Mr D. Can I just see a form of I.D.

MR D: Why do you need to see a form of ID/ I am just transferring from one account to another of my accounts.

Teller: Yes, I know but we need to see a form of ID Do you have a form ID with you?

MR D: Yes,

Teller: Can I see your ID

MR D: No…

This went on and one and finally the teller caved and preformed the transaction. Mr D really had some interesting skills at defeating questionable systems. He was rather good. One could tell he was useds to getting his way. The other guy was some early thirty something—and someone who had been doing quite well at the investing game—you know the kind of gamewhich has you hawk all your credit cards and sink the money in to fast money and try to make more money then you invested to pay back your credit cards…this young guy was full of himself and never came into bank in person. He was forced to today because of the INTERNET being down. He is really limited on personal skills. He was being forced to jump through a bunch of hoops to transfer his money from one account to another and also being forced to show ID. He balked at this and other requirements, verbalizing many time that if he has to go through this hassle each time he does business at this bank he is going to pull his money out and walk. The poor teller finally gave up on the guy and had him speak to an older, male bank officer…everyone was happy after that.

It have sensed a tension all day I have felt this tension. I think I will be glad for tomorrow.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July

The temperature is 90* outside on the deck where I have been cooking literately and figuratively for the past two hours. The cook out was small mainly for my benefit. Everyone is out doing other things or being ill. That is all right. I enjoyed myself. Dianne came out and folded clothes. I cooked dogs, sausage and chicken tid bits and listened to NPR. I am beginning to shy away from NPR on national holidays because all you get is historical footnote about the holiday or tear jerkers about the latest causalities in the Middle East. Today was not bad but Sad story about service woman Cpl. Holly Charette. Who died June 23? That was sad. Therefore, I have enough materials for breakfasts and dinner these coming weeks. I have even been good about homework. I worked on statistic I will need for tomorrows quarterlies meeting and I Also have struggled all weekend on the website I do for my buddy Mack. I am all set for the week. I wish I had better numbers for the meeting but I will get by. I even called my other buddy Mac who is now residing in a long term care facility in North Carolina. Mac is 73—I used to practice a weird form of psychology at his clinics more then 20 years ago. Wow, that is hard to believe. Alice his wife died a couple of years ago and he has been slipping to the point the kids intervened and brought him to the boarders of the great South. Mac had been living in Nampa Idaho where he ran a children’s clinic for a bunch of years following his retirement from Idaho State School and Hospital. That is where I met Mac more then 30 years ago. I was there doing an internship in Behavior Modification. Much of this story is chronicled in a volume named C.M.A.T. Community Medical Assistance Team. A short lived project rendered by VISTA volunteers, some Born Again medical types (not me) and college drop-out (me) and a lot of returning Viet Nam vets looking to establish them selves as something medical but they were not sure just what (see the Medix history which I still hold on to as the beginning of the Nurse Practioner programs of today) and lots of grant money which was flowing like water from stones stuck my Moses’ rod. I call Mac when I can get a hold of him. We were good for each other I owe him a lot. It is too bad no one will ever read CMAT. The novel was not bad for someone right out of the chute. I had the rough draft done but lost in the back of a green Chevrolet when an old X decided to steal back her vehicle. I have never had the ambition to sit down and rewrite the piece. I had better hurry up though ho know when your time is due and I am on the streets a lot now. Mac does not spend much time in his room, this is good, but he has given up trying to figure out his cell phone. His phone will ring to the nursed station if he is not there. Sometimes they will go fetch him but most of the time I elect to try to get hold of him another time. There is hour difference between us and I get him in the later evening when I am coming home on the train—this works.

I seldom do fire works too much bother and I want to have some sleep behind me before the meeting in the a.m. So, more quiet to night. Happy 4th.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm Bull in a China Shop Posted by Picasa

Pier 1 Beware Posted by Picasa

Blocking my path! Posted by Picasa

500 Words for a Saturday

I spent the late morning and most of the afternoon driving my new power wheelchair allover the neighborhood. I was given directions by the tech who looked At the chair yesterday to charge the chair all night then drive the chair till you run the battery down then they might see where the problem lies. So there I am out on the tarmac in 90+ degree weather driving all over south Murray. I wonder to the PC Club, the video store, CompUSA then I cross the street and travel East a couple of blocks to my brother house the over to the Mall and cruise round inside for a while, actually a pretty long while. While I was cruising round some of the smaller “strip” malls I ran into one of my current peeves. This peeve is merchants who move their wares out onto the sidewalk blocking it for someone using a wheelchair. I have to back track till I find a curb cut or ramp to the street level then go round the obstacle and get back on path. I captured an image of such a access violator “grrr”. I should send the image to Murray City and see if the city would cite the owner for an access violation! I saw this happen at the Mall too especially Sears with their lawn mowers lawn furniture and all manner of other junk just to raise my ire.

The battery Life indicator showed I was indeed sucking down the juice. I stopped in at ShopKo and got the alcohol. Then I stopped at Pier 1 to start my Christmas shopping. Actually I am looking for ideas for gifts for this Christmas season. I figure if I start now this will greatly lessen my stress level d come out with some pretty decent gifts come December. I finally did get home but by then my power indicator lights were flashing on the last space meaning battery failure was imminent. All this time I was truly unconcerned. The tech told me to do this. The tech even assured me that if I should truly drain the batteries I could just call and they would come out. In fact the tech said this would be ideal because then they would be able to see where the power drain was. So I was out there trusting. I got home with blinking lights, actually one light blinking. I called the shop and I get a recording. THEY WERE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAY!! This ment to me that if indeed if I had drained the chair out one the street I would have been in a world of trouble but I was too hot to even get pissed off. I was just glad to get home to my central cooled house and lots of water. So now I don’t know whether I should charge the sucker up or wait till Tuesday and let them test it as is. The tech is coming to my office so I shall have to charge up to get in to work. That’s ok, though because it the chair will have dissipated enough power to show that that batteries are just not holding a charge the way they are supposed to.

Friday, July 01, 2005

What A Difference A Night Makes

I thought sure I would be feeling more exhausted then I do. I was thrashed last night plain and simple. I really wanted to have the newsletter posted by the first. I did but the posting was not until this morning. I DID get the document posted but I still have some work to do on the page before I can let it go. I must move the last newsletter to the “Archive” page and update a couple of the other pages. What a trauma though it seemed none of my software worked correctly as will as I was being challenged by all of my hardware. The new machine does not have software I need but the zip drive works most of the time and the lap top has the software=dream weaver, but did not have a working ftp and the zip drive on that system is very flakey almost useless. Then the drive has gotten itself wedged in the zip drive and will not disengage. I finally hung the project up last night and went to bed.

This morning when I got up I found that Dianne needed a ride. She had her license suspended because of the meds she has been taken…I did not know..and she really needed me to take her to her Doc’s so the doc could sign the document needed so DMV could reinstate her driving privileges. I was freaked at first because I felt I really needed to get to the office and finish polishing the data for Tuesday meeting. This especially traumatic since I will not have Monday in office to do the last minute things. I ended up staying home this morning and driving Dianne round (made great husband points) then she dropped me off at the office so I could get the work on the data which is needed but I also decided to back the work on a floppy and work on the stats this weekend. Dianne indicated she would assist with their clean up. Dianne is quite good at this. I now have a few hours left in the office before I head for home to meet with the wheelchair technician, who is supposed to be by 4:00 p.m. I m feeling much better today then I did last night. I might even enjoy this holiday weekend.