Friday, May 29, 2009


I am just amazed! I have been searching all morning for images of a Camp I used to be sentenced to as a kid and I can find no images anywhere on the INTERNET! I have looked everywhere I can think of but no luck. I have a couple of resources I want to use and we’ll see what happens.

Years ago a year or so after my accident, my parents were contacted by the Idaho Easter Seal society, who wanted to know if I would be interested in attending a camp for kids with disabilities located on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, The camp would be for two weeks and I would be flown to Worley Idaho where we would be driven the rest of the way to the campsite. The camp was staffed by physical and occupational therapy students from Washington State University and pre-OT and PT student from University of Idaho. Though it was never said an I only surmised decades later that the real reason for the camp was not all for the joy of the kids, which I am sure THAT was a major reason for the camp but also for a form of respite for the families of these kids with disabilities. What ever the reason I was heading out.

Remember , I inherited my disability, from a motor cycle accident when I was fifteen. I had gone through rehab and returned to school and I really did feel like Stranger in a Strange Land. I was already pretty cynical about life and even though I was excited about the prospects of this thing called camp I had to maintain my “tough” attitude by more then once insinuating I was fort everyone else’s benefit but mine. Two years post injury I had really only one other friend in a wheelchair that I had any real contact and he was more cynical then I. Eugene Diffendaffer was a work of art, a guy who I could only tolerate in small amounts but that is a story for another blog. This trip would expose me to a host of others in wheelchair, canes and other types of disabilities I had no experience with what so ever.

Camp? What the hell was camp anyway? I had never experienced any kind of camp. We were not “camp’ people. I had never experienced such a thing, I had heard of camps where rich kids were sent but this was not in MY universe. So, my first plane ride, ever was a board a mid-sized prop airliner. TV cameras and families at Boise International Air terminal rolled and more then one camera flashed as Easter Seal staffs separated us from our families and hustled us off to a corner of the terminal checked, some interviewed and get ready for the flight. This was more gimps in one place then I had ever seen—e4ven in rehab. There were lots of kids with Cerebral Palsy, blindies, and spinal bifidas and other disabilities way out my ability to categorize. If I remember right they just lifted us out of our chairs and carried us to our seats, strapped us in and we were gone.
(This is kinda fun…I will write more later on Camp Easter Seal especially when I get some images to go with the storey line). So this was a relatively big operation and cannot find any images of the event or place. I m going to open a Face Book group on the camp…soon. Stay tuned you’ll see and it will be glorious.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Books are Good Medicine

I stayed home yesterday due to having a about of what I think was food poisoning. The day before, Monday, I had prepare a breakfast of scrambled eggs, onions and mushrooms—a great holiday meal.

Dianne had also been working in the pantry where we keep our meager collection of food storage and to or dismay had found many of the cans had bulge and in some cases exploded and drained. Over the past ten or so years we had heard muffled explosions in the house but had never pinpointed their origins and had never suspected the eruptions had come from our food storage. So Dianne had removed the remain cans, and cleaned the messes made over the years and now we were using the oldest cans we could find first. Looking back I don’t know how rock solid an idea this was. However, there was this small can of salsa which surfaced and needed to be used because if there ever had been an expiration date on the can that date was long past.

The mushroom, scrambled looked great as we sat down to eat on Sunday morning and opened the salsa and generously slathered the eggs with the salsa—Dianne did not and breakfast was great; later that day, however nature summer me to the bathroom where I remain for the rest of the night until I went to bed, exhausted. That was how I ended my holiday weekend. The night was worrisome and no accident occurred but little sleep had either so I elected to stay home. I have the ‘sick leave’, Tuesday there was nothing I knew was happening and the boss was scheduled to out of town until Wednesday so why not?

Yup, yesterday, I stayed home. The storms of the day before had blow away and not yet hot the day was pleasantly dry and warm. By noon I felt my stomach settling down to the point where I could trust being out in public away from my accessible toilet. I had my power chair charged all weekend long and had not gone anywhere. I was also without a book to read and I had wanted to get to B&N all weekend long and hadn’t so I decided to head-out. Dianne was busy in the bedroom with the cleanout project.

Purchasing a book usually takes m at least three hours buy I impressed myself by laving the house purchasing TWO books and getting back in less then three hours. I looked at the book bargain tables and saw a couple of “coffee-table” books I would like and I might get someday. I asked some questions but in the end I got a “Stephen King and a William Gibson” . I caught the bus up to B&N but instead of waiting for the next bus I decided to power on home which I did and then spent next number of hours sitting in the sun, reading and letting my stomach settle and get my mind ready for work today.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Holiday

The morning was cold, gray and rainy when I got up. I made coffee then breakfast, or part of the breakfast and settled in for a nice quiet pre-Memorial Day Sunday. About 3:30 of 4:00 the clouds parted and the sun began warming things and I decided to go head with my cook out. It was a small cook out just Dianne and myself; everyone else is busy or out of town and all of that I good. I did baby back ribs, dogs, one chuck steak and some fish. We also had corn on the cob.

Around 5:30 the clouds started to regroup, the temperature dropped and winds picked up. Everything was done except the ribs which we brought in, wrapped up and stuck in the oven for the rest of the evening while we ate and watched re3corded movies till bed time. I still need to get to a bookstore but have picked up an old Stephen King I have laying round and that works.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I am trying, I am really ` trying` but I failing to update my blog daily as I did for almost two years. I even have things to say and I intend to do the updates but I end up letting the blog go. I am also finding that if I do not blog early in the day I tend to feel too tired to blog later in the day when I am more worn. I have been thinking about this and I have notice3d a disturbing pattern with some of my favorite bloggers and that pattern is : they are not blogging as much either!!

I think there is an insidious virus sweeping the nation/planet, one which will put the Swine flue epidemic to shame or at least place the SW in it place of marginal impact at best. I call this virus the FBB (Face Book Bug). Dooce, The Underwear Drawer, Lynnie’s Take to mention a few I regularly follow all show signs of lapses and in some cases long lapses. I mean, these guys have risen to the level of professionals, they have authored books, been on national tv and have stared on many local rock and roll morning shows. Face Book is the culprit plane and simple. I feeling the virus acting on me constantly, I get up un the morning and flip on my laptop and check for updates and notification—if I have any I check them out and in many cases respond right there and then. I write and send and feel I have met my days obligation or writing on the “bigger” screen. I cannot really say about the national and international bloggers I follow, but I do know a couple of other bloggers very personally. I see them at work and see them ignoring their talent and responsibility to update their blogs instead they use their talents on short, violent blasts of thought, usually aimed at one person or personal pain and still not feeling like they have treated their angst only increased their pain. Too bad. They have so much to write. I miss them.

Hey, don’t get me wrong I cannot throw any stones. It’s the twenty-third and I have only 11 posts so far for this month when I should have twenty-two. I am sliding, I feel myself sliding into blog mediocrity but better blog mediocrity then to blog apathy. I Face Book, I admit it. In fact I went there just now and when I got to my page I had found a couple of notifications and I checked those notifications out and then I wrote responses and in an instant I had been there 15 minutes! But, I am going to fight this virus, there is probably not cure, after all it’s a social network, and I wonder if that is the same as a social disease. So, I will write daily, if not my committed 500 words, then anything, which will keep me writing, I will write early. But I doubt I’ll write before I FB—for I have the FBB!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alone Again Naturally

The runaway bus called “Recession” finally came barreling down my street and hitting pedestrians I know including me. Yesterday the director called my partner into the office by clearing her voice (the director’s) and saying, “I have been dreading this and had hoped…” and then the door closed but I knew what was going down. ‘ Chapman, my faithful partner was getting mowed by the Recession bus, she was being down sized, laid off, RIFed , shown the door, or let go. No matter what you called it she is “gone baby gone” after June 30th, the end of our funding year. The monster recession which has, up to now been just a boggy man on the 5:00 news, has suddenly become very real as the State continues to cut millions of dollars out of crucial programs serving folks with disabilities and people who are low income. I lost one of my major funders, a forth of my budget was cut this year! I heard this, I saw the paperwork and numbers on how these cuts would affect my program but it did not sink in due to the fact the money I am operating on comes from yearly grants and I am still working on last year’s money and I will not feel the lacerating cuts until July 1. Guess what that is now less then 40 days away! The boss had top tell Chapman that “it’s been nice but you’re done here after the end of June.”

Then it was my turn, the bus stopped at the ends of the block slowly turned and then got me in it’s headlights, as I smiled at Chapman who was exited the bosses office , and headed into the office for my employment reality check. The bus was gaining speed as the boss closed the door and we small talked and she came to the point. Chapman was gone, a short timer and that I was going to take a hit too. I was caught in the metaphorical headlights but “jumped” at the last moment and was just nicked by the fender of the of the oncoming, out of control financial monster. I may be reduced just a few hours a week, my benefits well reman in place and I will continue having somewhere to come every morning of the work week.

The boss and the bookkeeper continue tumbling numbers and playing with the financial puzzle trying to come up with a better scenario. Hopefully keeping the pay check as viable as possible. Chapman has already started interviewing for other positions. She did a phone interview today one I think she will probably get and in the long run come out a lot better then if she had stayed here. I am going to miss Chapman and her incredibly, provocative and interesting life and her daily update of the dastardly deed of her late great husband and her quest for the perfect mate. And as the song says, I am again, “along again naturally

Monday, May 18, 2009


Heat! I love the heat. It’s over 90 degrees out there in Salt Lake City right now, probably even hotter on the tarmac, but its wonderful. I am wearing my blue short sleeved shirt for the first time today. Dianne laid the shirt out for me—and I do have to admit, I was a bit chilled when I headed out the front door this morning at 5:45 but I was OK.

As I said , I had a meeting across town this morning at the Buffmire building and I took the bus over. I should have thought this out but there were all kinds of colorful folks on the bus hading West today. There was a whole gaggle of prison/jail release women occupying the buses back seat. They sounded like a flock of magpies in locust trees and it seemed that with every stop we made heading West another X-offender boarded my bus. They were having a good old time in the back seat. The driver seemed a bit intimidated and I cannot say I blamed him. After all a vocation of bus driving is not worth getting shanked for the way to Redwood Road for telling the passengers in the back to settle down.
The magpie flock got off at Utah Plasma Services(UPS) which seemed to be a joke among these perky sisters as they were getting they’re buy in for the week”.
Following their departure the bus was tombstone silent for the next couple blocks when I broke the reverie by announcing my stop. Of course the driver had forgotten he ha ‘tied’ me down so he had to go through the whole motion of unbuckling himself, coming back to me and then undoing me which he had me tied down with two straps—the driver taking me home used four straps and that was a real core getting me free.

I noticed as I was being lowered to the street level that the chorus of freed magpies had been replaced by as many Hispanic magpies all rattling away about this and that. It was great to be riding the buses again to make actual work related meetings and enjoying the temperature and the ride. Old folks, minorities of all sorts, and teenagers flocked on and off the bus at all stops. The driver talking into a microphone which may or man not work announcing stops and trying to be part of a conversation he had not been invited to of two passengers sitting right behind him.

A glorious day, three or four hours away from the office, use of public transit, being part of giving away more then $400,000 and a free lunch and best part all on the clock.

The forecast shows the weather to be clear and warm to hot all week, even into the weekend, and this weekend is a holiday weekend not that I have anything specific planned except just sitting on my tree covered ramp and reading.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lazy S

It’s finally hot and I am in my element: T-shirt and shorts and usually bare feet but not to day for some reason. I put shoe on this morning when I was dressing and have not got round to taking them off. Not Much happening today, a lazy Sunday, washed some dishes and have spent most the time Face booking and reading. I am just about finished with Diamond age and want to finish it and get on with my reading life. I have dallied way too long on this one.

Yesterday we went to a ball game of one of our neighbors kids—the event lasted half of the day. I had my book and Dianne had Ani and we just hung out at the park. Earlier Anakah and I went to Beans and Brews. We had a good time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love Hate!

I hate my van! But I love my van too. I know that sounds weird and seems a contradiction and it IS weird but its true I have a love hate relationship with my vehicle. I hate to depend on the piece of crap because its not dependable. The vehicle plays games on us and if I had any kind or better alternative I would dump the beast in an instant.
This morning I had an appointment with the wheelchair shop to have some tweaking done on my new, getting old fast, Quantum. I was going to drive in by myself but I was afraid that transferring into the drivers seat of the van from my chair then transferring back when I got to the shop would result in my de-pantsing; loosing my pants on my transferring back into my chair from the drivers seat see to happen to me now more and more as my transfers become worse and worse. So, I woke Dianne up to drive me into Magic Rest.

I had stayed up too late last night watching the season finale of Gray’s A. So I was running late this morning. I had an eleven o clock appointment an I was just finishing my pants on at 10:30 and Dianne was just getting going to but had gone out to the van and started the vehicle; at a quarter 11:00 she told me to go and get into the van so we would be ready to go as soon as she finished which would be minutes. I knew something was wrong, desperately wrong when I got onto the wheelchair lift and pushed the toggle and the motor immediately died. I road the lift up to the van anyway figuring I would be able to get down if the van would not start—the lift being a ‘gravity’ down lift and sure enough when Dianne did come out to the van and try to start the engine there was no juice. I HATE THIS VAN THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS. I was bout ready to call it a day right then and there but there was a giant Qwest truck running round the neighborhood for one reason or another and Di flagged the driver down and with in five mi nutes the guy was negotiating the truck into position to give us a jump.

The driver, lets call him Juan, a Hispanic gentleman with some English speaking challenges and kept looking at us like “what are these gringos up do”. He wore wrap round sun glasses, a salt and pepper beard and a cool construction helmet. He was slow moving but definite, methodically deliberate. He was not going to be rushed and if we expected his help it would be on his grounds. Juan did a marvelous job and with in minutes we were jumped and on the road. I would never have flagged down a truck like Dianne I am still amazed that we pulled this off. Anyway we got to the appointment and Brent treated us great and got things tweaked on the chair and back on the road. Dianne had stayed in the van with the engine running so as not to have to ask for a second jump.

The van acted great for the rest of our trip, we stopped for lunch at our favorite restaurant and later stopped at the van conversion shop where we had the lift put into the van. We have checked everything else we had to rule out the lift and it’s electrical circuitry as well. The boys there spent a good hour checking things out and found nothing, as I knew they would, I was thrilled we got home. I loved my van for bringing us home, as I do each time the vehicle gets us back home safe…it just those time it just decides to sit there and do nothing but mock me and all those time I just hate it and I would roll away from it in a second if I could…

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cutomer Service

I really am not trying to be all gushy and all but I am really getting impressed with my durable medical sales-guy, Brent. I have been getting worried as I use my power wheelchair more and more and I have had to do quiet a bit of “tweaking” to the chair to make it just right for my needs.

The other night Brent was over at my house, actually at my house, after hours making sure that I got what I needed. When my chair arrived the cushion which came with my chair was actually too small for seat of the chair. I chose to use the cushion however, I needed to use the smaller cushion in order to continue going to work and try to get on top of the butt wounds. And sure enough cushion came in and he brought it round and changed it out at my house! Brent then began busying himself with other facets \of the chair. He ruminated at me sitting on the new cushion indicated that he still was not happy with the weight distribution on the mega cushion and wanted to see if there was something else he might try.

Brent next adjusted my footplate. The footplate on this new chair is way small and my feet have had major difficulty staying un the foot plate. However, when Brent was over he adjusted the plate so the plate tilted up a little and sure enough I think the tilted footplate has prevented my feet from slipping off, so I am not having to stop every couple of hundred feet during my journeys to replace my feet on the foot plate.

I was also not pleased with the back to my new chair when the chair first arrived. I thought I would have difficulty transferring from my manual chair to the power chair in the morning after I have completed dressing but I accommodated and I relearned my transfer technique and now have little problem. But I did ask Brent to order a smaller back and he did but since I have can transfer no, and I sort of like the feel of this broader back when I articulate my chair back I have not pressed the issue. But nor Brent wants to change out back this Friday morning, feeling the change out will have a positive effect. I am welling to go this route. I have come to believe Brent really does know what he is talking about.

So I guess what I am saying is I am just amazed at the amount of good service I have gotten with this new chair. Other chairs I have purchased, I really have felt I was on my own the minute I rolled out of the dealership. Oh they have honored their warranties well enough but nothing I have been super impressed over. I have been in sales and I felt I have also given good service but I have never given the kind of customer service I have gotten from Brent. But maybe Brent is cultivating customer loyalty—cause I know where and with whom I am going to order my next chair from…my buddy Brent.

Monday, May 11, 2009


You know what is weird for me is to appreciate the vastness of the INTERNET, how deep the information well goes and how universal sea of information is as that sea laps just about on everyone’s reach one way or the other. For example today I go off on a tangent researching my grandfathers name. I wondered what would happen if I googled his name with a church I know that grandfather was affiliate with at one point in time. I did not find references I wanted associated with the 3rd Ward of Boise Stake but soon I was looking at other items to do with Boise stake and names I had long forgotten. I was intrigued at how much great information is out on the NET just waiting to be found and used one way or the other. I was fascinated to see how the old third ward was carved from the Second, and to know the actual conference and Representative who was brought in from Salt Lake. I was disappointed that I did not find any mention of Grandfather Harker during my hasty search but I did find references to Grandfather during his time in Cardston, Alberta, Grandfather’s parents who were huge sheep people in Canada and to some degree in Utah. That is until a severe winter storm killed jus about all of their flocks. Then I was sidetracked to a Boise architect, Ronald Thurber, an old religious instructor of mine. One of the only instructors I had any respect for. Thurber was different just about anyone I knew. I swear I thought for the longest time on was from San Francisco—Ron was cool and laid back and forward thinking for an instructor in the Boise Seminary system of the early 70’s. I guess Ron is still alive try as I may I could not find an obit for the guy so maybe I’ll call him relive some old times.

I googled cousins and others I could bring to the front of my brain. we are all connected now , more so then ever before. Some become frightened at the amount of information out “there”I don’t…I kind a of like it. My Grandfather is alive and well, not bad for being dead for over thirty years.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I have spent all day reading grants but I just finished and now I feel the burden lifted. The grants this year were ok but nothing spectacular. A number of grants were the same as last year with just new cover pages and time lines:no thinking or creativity at all. To these I said "No". One guys asks for $100,000. each year. I have denied him the last couple rounds but he always gets the money. I will reward new and interesting ideas, repeaters I just say "no!". may be someday it will make a difference.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I should be doing homework i.e. the IOTI grants and writing the materials for the USOR project but I seem to be doing everything I can not be doing the things I should. Today, I just seem to be freezing. The day looking nice but it cold and a chilly wind is blowing--maybe tomorrow. More avoidance behavior has rendered another film clip of the scene in yesterdays post but this one in the morning darkness.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Different Road Taken

My house lies almost smack dab in the middle of two train stations—I am about six blocks to each station. About three weeks ago the transit company started making a spur to the West side Traxx lines a multi-year expansion project which I think is just great; a line allowing folks on the “West side” of the valley the blessing of public transit. The only draw back is the spur is taking off at my train station. That point where I board and get off the train each day. Actually, I can still get off the train and board the train from that station, if I wish, I just cannot get there along my old path of travel. Sidewalks are ripped up as are the streets four about three blocks of my trip making the path totally un-useable.

So about three weeks ago, in stead of turning South to my usual train stop, I started turning North, which takes me past the back of my house up and over this huge over pass which actually crosses the Interstate. I have always really wanted to take this route by was kind of chicken. In my old power chair, the chair was so that I did think I had the patience the motor. Then there was the huge overpass. I just did not give my little chair credit. And since getting my new chair I have never considered the challenge of motoring to this train station until the started construction on the spur. Turning North instead of South was hard for me that first day of going to the new station but I did it and I was pleasantly surprised to find there is much less traffic at this time of day then the other direction. This lack of traffic allows me the opportunity to spend almost my entire trip in the street, on the pavement free of the nasty cracks and bumps which can send my entire body, especially my right leg into spasms—but that is fodder for another blog.

When I take off in the morning the day is new and so is the charge in my batteries. I am able to tear down the street in the back of my house at 8. MPH—which doe not sound too fast but is fast enough for me. When I get to the over-pass the gravity, I suppose, cuts my forward motion down to 7.5 MPH but I was surprised at how snappy the chair carried me over the railroad tracks. One I am on the down side of the over-pass I have to be a bit more careful because my speed now generate to up to 8.5 if I press forward full bore . When I finally reach the bottom of the overpass I come out on the parking area of the train station. Comparatively speaking, there are few cars in the parking lot this time of day and I am greeted by this huge, gentle slope which rides me right down to the train ramps.

What is really weird, I have always believed this route was the longer of the two, especially with the over pass but now I do not know. It seems I get to the North station quicker the when I would travel to the North station. The overpass bothers me, I don’t know why but I have sort of have a love hate thing with coming down the other side. I am sure the stress is just tearing the guts out of my motors but I have not really seen any diminished performance in my vehicle yet. The only irritation I really do have is that the new chair seems hard on my body. I have to get some things adjusted on the chair and I have an appointment on Saturday at the wheelchair shop and then, maybe this trip will be a bit more pleasant but in any case this road taken has made all the difference.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I literally spent all weekend working on the proposal, minus a couple of hours tending to the wife and dog. Lilly was over all weekend and she survived and we survived but I did no get a single moment to blog. I really do feel bad. maybe after this week I cn get back to some normalcy in my blogging.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day

I love this schedule, being off each Friday making a perpetual long weekend. It’s a nice morning this morning fast becoming noon for a May 1st. I wish I could enjoy the day and weekend more if I did not have home work. I have the proposal to do or try to do and I also have grants I need to read and grade. Luckily, the weather , this weekend, will not be spectacular but the day looks nice now. Plus we have dog head Lilly coming over to spend a day or two while her parents are the Grand Canyon. Lilly should be gone by Sunday night.

We are also aggressively battling a wound outbreak on my butt. I will need to be laying more, taking off the weight, off the wounds. I did speak with my wound professional yesterday and he said, that I could stay up if I used my power chair and used the ‘tilt’ function a lot. I hate these wound.

Thanks Mark A., we did not get the lawn mower as we had talked bout yesterday but Mark A. came over and got the old mower running and did the compete lawn , front and back; a perfect job. Thanks, Dianne and I are hoping to get out to Home depot today or sometimes this weekend and get the mower Home Depot has on sale. Purchasing a lawnmower may just be the big spot in my weekend.