Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
You will notice I have embedded the entire 28 minutes or so of the broadcast not that the broadcast was good, in so much as how bizarre I tend to come across on the camera and how huge I look on camera. Dianne has some suggestions as to how or why this happened. we used a typical webcam for this project and it caught at this totally weird angle--trully this is what Dianne said. But, I am now dragging my DVD camera and firewire out of retirement. I think if we use these devices on the next broadcast the quality of the product will be much better. Actually, I must admit I kinda of liked the experience and I am looking forward to doing the next broadcast with great expectations. I still have to get to know the software on this website much better especially the chatroom aspects.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tomorrow is our first broadcast and we are not ready. I am going through with the plan anyway and I am sure we will learn tons but I will be hppy just to get the broadcast running nd have a few people log-on to the broadcast and to see how the system all works.
Bonnie and I went over to Office Depot(OD) this morning and found a camera which will work with VISTA . I VISTA but I am being forced to comply with Gate's change--I hve never really considered changeing from PC to Apple but today I am beginning to consider going to another system.
When Bonnie and I got to the OD is was closed and not to open for 30 minutes so we went to Barnes and Nobel to kill some time and I was able to find some more information about about thw books of David Foster Wallace, the writer who hung himself the middle of last month. B&N did not have the huge volume of his huge volume Infinite Jest but the volume was not in it's place. I will try to find it on the INTERNET maybe even order the volume and see how much the thing intimidates me.
When OD fifnally did open we quickily found the equipment we needed and retuned to the office and set up the camera an tried to figure it out. So now we have the camera set up but I am a little diappointed but I have some other ideas and we will have to explore those.
I f you want to see other test clips then go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/access-utah--now. If you want you can tune in to our first real broadcast tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. mountian.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
My office has become a political hotbed since my current boss has taken over a couple of years ago and that is cool. I like the office that way, this level of political involvement makes feel I am keeping in touch with the national scene. When I worked for Independent Living (IL) I felt I was on the cutting edge of all things political related to disability. Now I am working with an office atmosphere which is much more sensitive to developmental disability and not cross disability but still I like the daily tension the political decisions of our national leaders render and the tension and contempt to see and now how negatively these event will affect people with disabilities which to a degree equates to job security.
However, I am a pretty shallow duck and though I can be a political player on any level, local, state or national. I basically turn of the”juice” at five o clock or when the assignment is done, and pick up my “other” life. My boss, however loves the political scene, more then just work—she is into it following the national players like some follow movie stars live or national sport figures. This is really cool for the boss, because it gives her always something to do there is always some event happening or speaker coming into town or film and lecture to go. It makes me a little envious. Dianne has been getting deeper and deeper into the political spectrum as well. So when the boss started talking about Phil Donahue’s Body of Lies I perked up. Phil and company were coming to Salt Lake for a film and lecture in fact the film and lecture was part of a whole weekend lectures, other films and general activism. I told Dianne and showed her the hand out the boss had given me on Thursday as we waited in line to vote Friday.
Cool! I thought I was going to do some thing like the boss and become involved for free, just because I believed.
The lecture and film was to start at 6:30pm—by 3:30 pm we had voted, had lunch with my daughter Bridget and I was wasted. Dianne laid down for a nap and I just wondered round the house tying to nap in my chair but not being very successful. By 4:30 I had found the Medical channel was watching fat people loosing weight through the magic of medicine an money. Dianne was up and changed by 5:00 and getting ready. I was going to change into more “zippy” but decided to keep my weekend slacks and sweatshirt. I looked pitiful like a holes guy ducking into a film and a lecture(free) to get out of the elements an snag a few Z’s and maybe some wine if there happened to be a reception following. We drove the van into the city, I took a bit to find a parking place—It has been a while since I was really out in public after hours and needed a parking space. We walked a couple of blocks but go to the lecture just as introductions were being made and even though I m part of the Left and maybe even the Far Left. I forgot what the left looks like students, weirdo’s and radicals. In fact the disable seating was at the top of the seats and true to form there was a homeless guy, who looked just like the Uni-bomber. Even the Uni-bomber could not take it longer after about an hour into the film got up and grabbed his back pack and blanket and left the building. Dianne gave his seat the once over to make sure he did not leave any packages behind.
I had issues with Body of Lies, A film about the struggle of a vet wounded in Iraq a T-12 para who was just a boob. Phil seemed to makes as many mistakes a film maker could make in producing a film about a person with a disability. I can understand the need to “grab” your audience but use the old “gimp” in your face or rather “pathetic gimp” in your face trick.
The question and answer after ward was just as bad with all the folks who were out of the audience being abducted by aliens were lusting and fighting for the microphone to give the best personal Iraqi war story. Boy was I glad to get home. There is more today and even tomorrow but I might pass. I want to make soup.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I realized with a start at yesterday’s staff meeting that I had now process the stats for the first quarter of our physical year which ended in September. I have been so engrossed in trying to complete the Annual Report that I totally spaced the Quarterlies. So yesterday afternoon I was downloading the totals I could get off the pathetic call tracking software I use and tried to think of a way I could process the data into some sort of readable document before the next morning. I should have been on this task all three days of my mega weekend but the boss really talked me out of it saying I should enjoy my weekend time. Really, who am mi to argue? So I zipped the data in my thumb drive and headed home on the train, as I swayed on the train a solution, a simple solution came to me: I already have graphs built for the Annual Report, if I could sort out my raw data in the same way and then, all I would have to do is plug the data results into the graphs.
This is what we did and even that took much longer then I had anticipated but we did it and finally got into bed about 11:20 pm. So get into work and download the images and print out the quarterlies and I am home free.
So I drag myself out of bed , as usual, at 4:30 and get to the office with two and half hours before my meeting more then enough time except for some reason, when I bring up my images to print the images come out alright but they are in black and white! Not only did I save the filed to my thumb drive, but Dianne also sent the files to my State email account! None of the files would come up—however, on the lap top the files came up as they should. So we pulled all the plugs and tried to attach the lap top to one of the color printers but did not have the right USB extensions. It was Tory when she came in asked why we just did not print the color documents we printed off yesterday? Bing, Ding,Ding…my printer as well as FDB’s (front desk bonnie) had color printers which also act as copiers and the day was saved. We were printing right up to ten minutes before the meeting began. Everything came away looking good, making us look good.
Once again a bullet dodged.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Mark A was over yesterday, mowing the lawn and taking measurements to fix the over hang our ramp. It is currently in such disrepair that when the snow and ice come we have a horrible ice flow.
we have to get the repair done soon or we're in trouble.
Friday, October 17, 2008
It’s UEA—big conference for Utah teachers, school is out till Monday and Auni spent the night last night. She woke this morning to noises in the house. Auni woke at 4:30 am the usual time I wake up but lately I have been sleeping in until 7:00 or even 8:00 not today. Now, everyone is back asleep and I am up an I will be sleepy the rest of the day.
Dianne and I are hoping to vote today; see what this “early vote” thing is all about, get the deed done with and enjoy November 4th. I am too sleepy to write any more…maybe more later…maybe not.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The other call of the evening was much mlre truamatic, right after the eight o-clock hour, right after the begining of Heroes. My younger brother, Paul was on the line asking if I ha heard the news about Mom. I braced myself dor the worse: I knew she was eithe locked in near struggle for life, just holding on untill all the family could gather round as she let out the family mysteries or that Mom was already dead, the funeral was to be today or Wednesday anmd if we were coming could we bring some seven-up, funeral potatoe casserolle and a bag of jerky. I almost missed my dad's funeral because everyone thought someone else had called me. As it turned out Mom was still, indeed quie alive and doing well, so well, that she is moving back to Salt Lake the end of next week!!! Have the immediate family want to declare her incompentnent and the other half just says, let her go because she is going to do what she wants anyway, after all this is mom. Something is going on, and I am the last to know but that is cool. But it sounds to be that the deal has been made and details are all bnurt finished and Mom is South bound... again. This time to live with my mechanic and his wife( my cousins). The arrangement sounds dicey to me but they are all grown ups and family, I am just adopted and I wish them the best. there is a Rod Stewart song I wish I had access to which would make great background to this posting but I can't quite remember the song. All I know is I am loosing sleep...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
So today I have to write, It’s Sunday the last day of my three day weekend and I have to log some creative home-time. Tomorrow, I have to really start putting together the` “e-newsletter”. This project is sitting on my chest like a Stephen King character. So, I need to do the newsletter, the broadcast and the year end report and still do my regular job of answering phones, meeting consumers as they wonder in, and mixing with staff. This is stupid. I am hoping I can limit my pieces to 500 words or so. I think the first edition is going to be somewhat limited: just enough to introduce the newsletter, the broadcast and concept; and if I can pull all that off I will be happy and impressed with myself. So if I don’t get to the articles for the newsletter I cannot really do anything else. I wish I would have done it yesterday
Snow came last night the first real snow of the season and already the snow is gone but the snow was falling with a vengeance when I got up round 7:00 this morning. I made coffee and turned on NPR and made Sunday sounds and enjoyed the morning. Dianne still would not be up for a couple of hours so I occupied my self with a little kitchen clean up and preparation for breakfast. We shopped yesterday and one of the items we purchased was day old cinnamon swirl bread a small loaf just the size for French toast. I cooked the whole loaf using just 5 eggs. I roused Dianne out of bed just as I was finishing the last two pieces of toast- I wanted her to enjoy her French toast , fresh and hot. I had kept the coffee hot. Sad, the snow is all but gone now—there are traces here and there, on the van in the crevices of tree limbs. It looks as if the front yard pants have all survived even the elephant ears. It may be just my imagination but everything outside, which is supposed to be green looks much greener and much more healthy. I am sure just a prelude to a “killer frost” which is just round the corner—typical.
Lee the Asian Direct TV installer finally finished the work yesterday afternoon with the installation of bright, shinny Direct TV, cable and specialized programming 24 hours a day. Lee is an interesting little guy, a person from Viet Nam, his English is a challenge for me to understand. I even hung up on him the first time he called the house to advise us he was ready to come over and do the installation. I thought he was a wrong number. Even in person it is hard to follow what he is saying but one can if you totally focus on him. But he did the job having to return to the house three separate times.
I have to be careful now! I can waste a lot of time watching the tube. However, I am intrigued there seems to be a lot of features, I have to learn, which will allow me to enjoy the shows I really am interested in anytime I desire. This could be too cool. Still could be dangerous to my already seemingly limited time constraints.
Friday, October 10, 2008
My buddy across the street: Dan, also works for Quest, as a lineman. I doubt he has anything to do with installations but when Marty, the install guy, started scratching his head and making sound like, ‘I cannot find, the signal,’ or some such stuff Dianne starts using the “Dan card”to the point of calling poor ?Dan, who is out in the field, way out in /west Jordan, doing who knows what on some pole comes on line, a little guarded and Dianne identifies herself, the guard comes almost all the way down when Dianne passes the phone off to Marty, who actually does know Dan. Dan sis still on “speaker “ and his voice has becomes cautious, not sure what is going on—like we’re asking him to fix a race or throw a fight. Luckily, he is really to far away to intervene but actually can give Marty some good ‘intel’ regarding local quest-line connections. This process is slow going and I can tell Marty has some time pressures on him but he is being patient with both of us as they search for the signal and then the password. Marty finally found the signal and then the two wrestled with the issue of not being able to upload, ‘Qwest’s’ own security package—which I am not too worried about—it seems there is some sort of blocker on the big computer system. Again, I am really not too worried about security issues and my systems and connections—Dianne is much more concerned so I guess we are going to have to figure something out. Mark A. and Jasmine are coming over this afternoon and mabe we can figure something out then.
Its way cold today, we have not really started using the furnace and I don’t think we intend to until we are driven by biter cold, in an effort tom save money. I don’t think this decision has anything to do with the “meltdown” we have been conserving all summer and it just makes sense we would keep conserving in the winter as well. We saved hundreds this summer by not running the air conditioner and sleeping with cool wet clothes over our heads. I guess we just do the opposite now till spring.
The Direct TV guy just arrived and barely speaks English, a cute little Asian guy who I hung up on this morning when he called to verify the appointment—Imcould not understand him and I thought he was a Spanish speaker with the wrong number, boy was I off.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Our University like any major university is always in a flux of growth. I was somewhat familiar with the address the professor gave me and I of course down loaded a map from the INTERNET—which sort of gave me an idea of where I was supposed to be. Because of this presentation I drove into work today , so I loaded up in the van at 3:30 and drove up to the University( ten minutes East of my office) and promptly got lost. I was not as lost as I usually get—but when I get lost driving I have to do a lot of stopping, starting and turning round. Not only is there a lot of construction going on in section of the University but there is also tons of trees and brush and shrubbery in the area concealing any and everything! I pulled over and read the email again with directions and realized I was directly across the street from the Health Education building, so down to the “turnaround” switchback and get out of the van. I still had about three minutes, and when the elevator door open there was the proff , who had actually come down looking for me. She knew I would need some redirection of some kind.
I was supposed to be at the class at 4:30 and I basically made it on time. Disability Studies is a graduate class, I took provisions for 15 students and there actually only about 7-8 folks there and on is a someone from my office and the other is another guy in a wheelchair I have known for decades, a real super crip, at least this super crip actually has a job and works for a living. But still, I was not able to as radical as I usually am, but I radical enough—I ended up lecturing , non-stop for two hours before the professor sort of asked me to leave—but I just kept responding to questions. And telling “war stories” from My Life With Disability.
The professor walked me of the elevator and said I had done a good job, she judges how good a job by the length of time her students ask questions and seem interested. She also informed me that an honorarium also came with the job that she had neglected to tell me—so I guess I’ll claim these hours as vacation and enjoy the opportunity to get paid for talking about myself.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
The cold came last night, not the bitter cold which is yet to come in another four to six weeks but the first killer cold, the cold which puts snow in the visible mountains from my front porch and the death sentence on the leaves of my trees and the flowers in my front yard garden.
Ani had been over since Friday night and we had been busy watching videos, the same videos we watch every weekend she stays: Shrek, Men in Black, Toy Story, Drum Line. Ani brought over a library book and she and Dianne worked at sawing though the volume in the evenings before she went to be. We also went out to Lowes for paint for the ramp, breakfast at Denny’s and finally to Smiths to do a bit of shopping. The cold fronts were moving in as we shopping bring cooler temperatures and rain, light at first then heavy as we finished up but being out was fun and somewhat invigorating as we were finally facing the end of summer. I had kept my eye on the news and the weather which was forecasting a monster storm which turned out to be light in comparison to the reports. But wet and cold enough to feel good to socked into the house, warm with cooking and videos and family life.
The summer lasted long this year, I noted, each day as I rolled down my ramp in the mornings on my way to work, or up in ramp in the evenings as I came home, The flower and the leaves seemed healthy and acted like they would round for ever. There is a huge tree I pass on my way to and from the train station whose leaves have yet to even begin to turn—we have yet to experience a killer frost. This week though, I think I will see the change begin. The yellows and golds will begin working their way in from the ends of the tree’s long branches and soon the leaves will fall or be tugged by the autumn winds now as the wind surly will.
I have really enjoyed Dianne’s flower garden in the front yard this year especially the elephant ears. I have loved this plant as it sprung up in the spring and took color and shape through out the summer. The elephant ears are much more hardy then I would have imagined surviving the hail and intense winds of a couple of storms which blew through in late July and August. I worried after the ears in late-august when we turned off the sprinklers for the year. The ears began to droop and took me a while to realize the droop was because they were no longer getting the moisture the plants needed. UI rushed out with little water and we had a little rain and they perked up a little. I noticed this morning when I` looked out the ears had regained their freshness and looking green and healthy. This early Fall water is but a short reprieve however. The snow on the mountains says it all. The frost will come rolling in with a vengeance later this week or next or at the latest the week after and the beautiful elephant ears will be gone and the growing season will finally be gone for this year. We’re going to dig up the bulbs and see if we can bring back the ears for next year. I hope we can and I hope I will be round to se them.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Scott was the Permobile rep and he got here right at four and began down loading the chair he was going to show. Scott is a nice guy, young but seems to know his business and informs me the Street actually no longer speeds up to 7.5 mph which I think I need but he can trick out the model to 6.5 mph which is slower then I want but considerable.
Brent finally shows up and we talk. I think I have mad up my mind, now I want a C500 with the whistles and bell, recline seat and elevator.
This chair is going to cost in the neighborhood of $30,000! My insurance will cover 80% which will be bout $24,000 leaving the $6,000 my responsibility: that’s a lot of tacos. At this point I don’t know how I am going to do $6000.00 but the lads did not seem to care right now. Brent measured me again and about different features and what I used a powerchair for in my day to day life. But in the back of my mind I keep thinking about the six grand and the fact non of the new chairs will do the coveted 7.5 mph. It seems the Permobile has made the decision to “top” the speed at 6.5 mph for liability issues which may not be a bad idea but I still want the speed. Then Scott suggests that perhaps he can scour the country and maybe out there somewhere is demo, an older model C500, which still has the older faster motors and I would have everything I want. Not only would I get the speed that I want but I would get a significant reduction in price since the model is older. I was delighted and gave Scott the go ahead and Brent finished up the measuring. I am still cautious and I doubt they will be able to find what I need. I am also concerned about the seating system. The seating system would be new and this be something is would have to get used to. I’ll just have to see what happens and hope my luck holds.
I hate change.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
As a person with a disability who is trying to age in place ,i.e. live independently at home, my home and maintain a job, a regular job working regular hours( 40) per week. One of my worst terror is that something might happen which would force me to loose some of the independence I have clung to over the years of my life. These last few weeks as I have, once again, reentered the medical arena I have been come keenly aware at how much these medical folk can have an impact on your life if you let them.
Yesterday, I went up to University Hospital to have a “Doppler” done on my leg. I have had some swelling and coloration on y lower leg for some time and Dianne was becoming quite worried, I finally called my primary care doc and she was also concerned and wanted me to come in for this Doppler which she was hoping would show if I had blood clots in the leg and make sure the veins were OK. I was encouraged and relieved when the doc reported that everything looked good, no clots and venous was OK but I needed to consider wearing ted hose or compression stockings!?!! Right now as I sit and type these words I am physically repelled at the thought of wearing compression stocks. It is not so much as having to wear the socks, as much as having to have someone else put these socks on and then take them off. This is one thing I know I cannot do my self do to he strong elastics used in the socks for the very purpose of pushing the blood back to the heart. My doc also ants me to wear them 23 hours a day( one our they can be off while I do my hygiene routine) WRONG! I hate to see myself as the non-compliant patient but that is what I m becoming. I still have not taken the pills she prescribed, water pills, which are supposed to rid my body of extra water=means trips to the bathroom. Hey, I work for a living, I don’t have time to be hold up in the john every thirty minutes and I sleep nude, thank you very much, I don’t need rubber band socks putting the squeeze all through the night. But again the biggest fear is not being able to do these things by myself, independently. I am up at 4:30 am and have to be dressed, fed and out of the house by 5:45 am –I don’t have time compression socks! But this all whispers to me “you are getting old, your wearing out, you have to have someone help you.
I just struggled in the bathroom trying to get my pants back up after using the toilet—I rarely do use any toilet but my home facilities but every once in a while I am on my own out in the world. It took me an hour from start to finish but I eventually got my pants back up and myself half way presentable just barely and should do until I can get home. I am always surprised and pleased I can still these activities of daily living by my self but the day is coming when I won’t be able to and that day terrifies me.