Friday, December 31, 2010

Museum of Natural History

The days have turned cold bitter cold but guess what? The coldest, and snow filled day we elected to drive up to the University of Utah and attend a play of sorts at the University of Utah's Museum of Natural History. Dianne had gotten a “deal” earlier in the year but the “deal” had the stipulation that the pass be used by the end of the year—literally the end of the year- December 31m 2010!! So, we bundled up and met Bridget, Gabe and Anakah at the university.

I had not wanted to go to the natural Museum probably because it is the museum, see it once and that is that—the bones are not going to change. The museum may add more displays but in the end the displays or just old bits of history of history dressed up and marched out for display and perhaps worst is the museum experience is all commercial. I see commercialism all through the experience,from they got Dianne to purchase the ticket for five to the “five pencils” for a dollar. It's all hokey. Anakah had come over earlier in the morning and went with us up to the University.

As we got closer to the university i noticed the snow began falling as the closer we got the more heavily the snow fell. We found parking--Dianne let me off in the middle of the street and then parked the van in a narrow parking slot--this way of parking was the only thing we could do. We linked up with Gabe and Bridget and went inside. As dry and boring as the natural might be I must admit I do love the building the museum is located. Turn of the century 20th century) architecture with huge rooms and mysterious hallways and doors. I was a little concerned as to the level of juice I had in my batteries. I cannot figure out when to plug the chair in or to run the batteries down as far as possible. So, I really did little ranging at the exhibits I think Bridget saw this and came over and began working on me to become more involved in the process. Bridget encouraged me to be funny and more animated by having me turnto my sarcastic nature as we wandered round the exhibits and found exhibits we could stage making me look the victim of the museum of natural history. i must admit I was totally surprised how will the girl handled me.

Dianne had specifically arranged this outing so we could see some sort of play or reenactment--we sat in front of where the 'stage was going to be and at the proscribed time, what looked like a lost theater arts major began making all kinds of noise and began a one man show--that is not quiet correct there were a couple of prop, a dinosaur and a mask of a dinosaur and much audience participation, kids acting out the part of a host of smaller dino's. I though the actor,at first was major camp and really bizarre but must confess that as the presentation proceeded was astounded at how much energy this kid put into his performance. Everyone loved him. The event was great and the trip was great managing to get me out of the house and into the pubic enjoying life. I doubt I would want to inflict this on Mark A. and/or Jasmine--but I actually Jasmine would actually enjoy the event. Next time I should ask them if they would want to attend. We went to the Shang Hi Cafe afterward and had a great meal--I was watching my power indicator slipping closer and closer to zero. But, I made it home, just barely--Anakah and Dianne made brownies, cocoa and an apple pie--it turned out to be a pretty good day. Thanks Dianne

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I finally ventured out into the world yesterday—snow is forecast and I wanted to get enough done so I would not have to go out again until I have to return to work on Tuesday. Michelle and Dustin gave us some giftcards to Borders Books and since I have not had anything to read holiday I was getting somewhat desperate. I have also needed to get a new 'point and shoot' camera since I rolled over my last camera, over a month ago and with Christmas being over and having let my bank account rest a couple of days I figured it was time to spend some money on myself. I also needed to go to Sears to look at gas range tops. The gas top range is another blog post entirely.

The basic idea was sound but what I neglected to consider was yesterday was smack dab in the middle of the Christmas holiday and I guess everyone else wanted to spend their gift cards too. The stop at Borders went quick I got new Iain Banks,SF, which will get me through January for sure. I picked up the latest copy of Parabola for Dianne. Then to Sears. I found a parking space quick and easy enough but when I got inside I felt the chaos immediately. A constant low-range roar met my ears, teenagers wandered in packs looking like bored, lost vampires. Mother with stroller usually with two or more waifs in tow, some screaming, crying or just whining. I had to dodge kids and there as I made my way to Sears. There was also seniors in this group, people even older then. Some walking, some shuffling and some had wheelchairs of their own. I weaved in and out finally getting the giant department store.

Appliances” were on the second floor and so were “Electronics” I noted as I pushed forward to the elevator and sure enough there was a family, multiple generations, which looked like zero to infinity. The looked t me and invited me to ride up with them in their elevator. I graciously but cautiously as the most senior family member, an ancient, local cultured conservative with perfectly coiffured silver haired who cracked in poor taste disability oriented comments as we lifts to the second floor. I ignord the old bat and bolted as soon as the door opened Kitchen Appliances. It took forever to find someone to assist me and they were of little help. I ended up being directed to the Sears website( which I could do a heck of a lot more comfortably from home) then over to electronics and actually purchased a small Kodak, point and shoot which should be fun till I roll over it. I had to leave as soon as I could—I was becoming more and more afraid of the Mall people, they were every where I had to go.

It took me for ever to find my van but I was soon home excited to have my new book and a camera to play with—it finely felt like Christmas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yule Update

My last day of work was Wednesday, with the Holiday falling on Saturday, I had to use a day of work to enjoy the part of the weekend I would loose since the State has the day off the working day bwfore the holiday when the holiday falls on the weekend and since we already enjoyed having Friday off as part of of our regular three day weekend we then got the a day before the Thursday. I chose Thursday and I should be off work until January 3rd all this next week.

I have not done much over my days off except cook, deliver Christmas gifts and do grocery shopping to be sure we had food in the house we would needed and wanted for Christmas Eve and Day. I HAVE watched too much television and not read enough but I am going to make up for this this next week...I hope. I have not drunk to excess not once not even a nip, as yet. I have eaten, however, a lot of fruit cake soaked in rum which may count to my alcoholic this holiday season.

Perhaps the most significant event I have experienced this season in rekindling my association with my mother's sister Elaine, who I distanced my self—not on purpose—from after my mom's death. The visit wasn't long but Dianne and went to her home with gifts,smiles and good cheer. Elaine looked great, as always, quiet, gracious and sophisticated. I was good and minded my P's and Q's. We left promising to have a meal together soon following the new year. The next most significant event we,learned last night at mind-night when Bridget called to inform Dianne and Me that the fetus she has been carrying is a boy!! I have to cave into the excitement wondering what having a grandson will be like. After so many granddaughters a grandson will be something new, and close—life, I think will change having a new grandchild round the house.

I have been dong a little more art since my vacation started. We are watching Anakah over the school holiday break. Anakah and I painted, Thursday when she was over, did some reading and went out to lunch. Anakah was was home Christmas Eve and over course we were over in the morning Christmas to watch her and to open our gifts. Gabe and Bridget put together great breakfast. The rest of the Christmas day we spent at the house watching recorded television programs. I did get Scrooged watched and a host of Bio's other recorded. I do want to get by a Redox and get some some movies to watch. Today, I have been cooking a little for breakfast but I intend to fix something serious for dinner. We cooked a roast Christmas day and with the left-over I want to make enchiladas. I have downloaded a recipe I found on the NET and I anticipate a good dinner. This is the update—pretty droll I know but tomorrow's post I hope to be better another Christmas story, something real, true and Christmassy. Oh and today snow is falling as I type. Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Booty

One more day till I am off for my Christmas/Solstice winter holiday. After tomorrow I will be out of the office until January 2nd,2011! This is way too long especially for a call center with one operator but the time between holidays generally is nearly dead and if things really did get busy I could come in for a few hours in the middle of the week and return calls.

Today was the last day all then staff would be in the office so we had our office “holiday” party: we went round the corner to a restaurant, which was way over priced but nice to be out with staff for a holiday fling. Those who are giving gifts are also giving them today and I did mine...I gave out small tea cups I purchased at the Chinese market we went to on the weekend. I was surprised art how well the gifts were received. I by the same token got some pretty nice stuff a stocking from my Ala mater BSU, some giant pine cone and mini multi purpose tool—actually pretty neat stuff.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Miracle

No excuses except that it is Christmas and I am having difficulty staying focused long enough to write something. I kinda feel like a little kid during Christmas and I feel I am just too full of the season and its true!! Every year I sit hear at my phone line and am lucky to be part in someway 'Christmas Miracles' all over the Utah area-some of the miracles are more grand then the others but I feel they are all miracles. Sometimes it some one who gets their water or power turned on—unexpectedly, or their rent paid or a wheelchair found. Its not like everyone gets a miracle but the miracle does happen and many times I am lucky enough to be a past of the miracle in some small way.

Last week was the Christmas party put on by the Utah Independent Living Center (UILC), an organization I was part of for over ten year when I first migrated to the Salt Lake Valley. The UILC

is a good, no, great organization serving folks with disabilities. I cannot quite remember when I first did the deed but for one reason or another I began playing Santa Clause at the Center's Christmas function. I usually am paired with a “Mrs Clause” another employee of the Center and together, provide the back drop to holiday images. Over the years Kim, part of the Center staff, or sometimes Al or someone would operate a Polaroid Instamatic camera, taking images of the visitor with the Clauses and a few seconds later the little camera would spit out a developing snap shot: instant Christmas happiness. Verifiable proof that they were worth something, that they were,period. They sat with Santa and it did not matter that this Santa was in a wheelchair and sounded like he was making fun of the whole photogenic episode, somehow they managed to dressed up and leave the house, apartment of living center for a meal and a holiday gala and the, by god, had the Polaroid to prove it.

I am old and cynical and perhaps I am not the best choice for Santa anymore but the folks rt the Center keep asking and I keep saying yes—it's a two hour gig and a lunch thrown in along the way. In years past we have bartered for good the Center had usually tires for my manual wheelchair, which were usually bald and thread bare by the Christmas party would roll round. But, the Christmas party is a great place to touch base with to touch base with a lit of old customers/consumers I have served over the decades—those still alive anyway and truth be told every year the number drops a little but I am still surprised to who is still among the living.

The Christmas miracle happened to me this year!! I mean I have been the recipient of my far share of miracles and some have been pretty spectacular as my miracles go but this years was special. I had gotten to the Center early enough to have gotten the proffered lunch and changed into the Santa suite and roared out into the crown when the song Santa Clause is Coming to Town and took my place next to Mrs Claus and started the picture taking and I was pleased to see Mary Lou and Tom,and the folk from the Deaf project and others. I was getting restless, I grew to thinking of how much longer I had to sit there with the itchy beard, smiling under beard smiles no one would ever see. Then it happened , my Christmas miracle, some little kids—and I mean little under five or so, still true believers. These kids were off spring of consumers or employees. This little girl marched right up in front of me held her arms up for me t lift her onto my lap... and I did and then she started rattling off what she wanted and she was positive I was going to bring. But I was touched with Christmas then and there for a split second, but that was all it took. She was so she sure I was he that he was be me for a short millisecond of time I melted and felt the holiday spirit wash over me.

My cynicism has returned, well not all of it, I know the miracle happened to me this year and I cannot forget it and I am charged to make sure I spread the cheer when and where I can all for a short , short time I was Father Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It's funny what gets a person thinking. This morning as I was riding the train into work I was trying to catch a few extra winks of sleep as I sat with my eyes closed and them train rocked and thrashed itself down the rails. I opened my eyes at once set of especially rough rocking and pushed my glasses back up my nose the rocking had gotten so severe I had nearly lost my glasses. I was being watched by a young, university blonde who smiled at me when I caught her staring at me. I pushed my glasses back up upon my nose and closed my eyes and rocked back into twilight.

I believe I started wearing glasses when I was in the 3rd grade, at least I can see the little glasses holder, which threaded on to the belt and snapped shut supposedly holding the glasses secure. When I first got glasses I needed them only for reading. I could see just fine without them. Glasses were not traumatic for me. I was not saddled with nick names like four eyes, or squint or anything like that. The problem I remember most was keeping a pair for over a year's time with out loosing them.

Our small farm sat back off the main road about an eighth of a mile, a huge hay field separated out house from the bus stop which we cut through each day. I don't exactly remember but seemed I would run between fifty or seventy yards and have to jump a ditch and then another distance of about the same and jump another ditch and finish about twenty- five yards, crawl under a fence and be at the bus stop. We could only use the field to cut through after the hay season was finished or if the fields were used that year for corn, when the corn was finally harvested, until, then we used to have to walk the road which was a great deal longer way to get to the stop. Come Fall I was all about running the field.

I cannot remember how many times I got home and would reach for my glasses to find the container empty and I knew that I had some where in the gigantic field lost my glasses.

Once the irrigation stopped flowing at the end of the Summer the field would turn tan and yellow as the alfalfa went dormant. My glasses were brown or black making them almost impossible to easily see. In the fleeting daylight I would retrace my steps, or what I hopefully thought were my steps and leaps and usually to no avail. Then having to tell my mom who always seemed to take the event in stride. I was really surprised I did not get yelled at more then I did. I even prayed at times, falling right to my knees and really believing that when I finished with my prayer I would open my eyes and the glasses would be right there...they seldom were. It would take a week or so but eventually Dr Florenz would grind me another set and I would be careful for a couple of weeks bu eventually I would loose those too.

My eyes have deteriorated over the years and now I wear glasses all during my waking hours. I have not lost a pair in years. But I could remember running across Johnson's field this morning as I was coming in on the train—nodding in and out of conciseness—remembering days of running on cold December mornings, along long time ago.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Dianne

Hey I am really am trying but I just not been able to keep blog updated, even during the weekends and usually those are the day I can get so of my best blogging don't know if the season is the problem or staying away from the computer because Dianne and I are doing too much stuff either out of the house or watch video captures or Redbox.

Like this weekend about he only thing I did with the computer was to writ my friend's weekly letter, update my Face Book account other then that We washed dishes, cooked—I did some fun cooking and watched a couple films and TV stuff. This is not good, my life is passing me by and I am lost in the Red box—Rd box is nice though to always have current, good movies and only a dollar a shot and sometimes even less or free. /why I have even let free coupons expire since I could not use them in time. Maybe it is because Dianne has been taking me to the train station in the morning because of the poo weather and I have not been having the adventures I have when I power my chair up to the bus stop. I did end up taking my chair in to have my castors replaced. $200.00 just like that and during Christmas but I sound better and the ride is even better as well.

So, today I am in for a half of a day. It's Dianne's birthday and I chose to give her my four hours of time the governor gave me for Christmas. I cannot think of a better gift then time. So we are going to have the afternoon together and make spaghetti for dinner.

Of note I got a weird email from my cousin that my morose and sick which does not sound good at all so I better make some time for /aun Elaine or I am going to be missing her for ever. I gotta fly...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


OK just a few lines to let people know I am still alive but just not posting like I should, and it not that I have nothing tom say because things have been happening and I have even been busy. I should make it a point to write every morning as soon as I get into work , signed into the network and have my coffee in hand-it seems if I do not then I am too tired by the end of the day and in some cases the morning. Today is not different except it is still morning and I'll have at least a paragraph to post today. In truth? I truth I am writing because I don't want to do what I need to do and that is to mess with the data from my program before my boss gets into work hi afternoon—she has been gone all week but today she is back and I had better have my numbers.

So I could write about Dianne driving me to the train station every morning, or the ARDC meeting I attended yesterday are the fact I have destroyed another digital camera!Buy I don't have time I gotta jump my numbers---pray for me!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Spring Fever!!?

It's amazing what one week will do. The snow, which I groused about last week, is melting and melting quite fast—at the rate it is melting the huge piles of snow will be gone by the end of the week. I am sure, however, that by Thursday s new storm will roll in and the temps will drop and we'll be back to winter. What's really weird is I actually feeling like I have a bit of Spring Fever—I'm slow, dull given to long gazes out the window at the rain, warm rain falling slowly digesting the snow replacing the yuletide spirit with dead on Spring fever. Hopefully this too shall pass.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Snow Grief

I just got back from meeting out in the city—really just one but I bussed all over the city to get there in the cold, gray inverted Salt Lake City. I have this meeting every other month. Its a board of director meeting and the past year or so we have been having the meeting at a building a couple miles from my office and not served that well by public transit. Actually, it just seem like it is not served well but there are two bus routes which get me within 100 feet of the building the meeting is held. If I really try I can get to the meeting with in 45 minutes—I don't know why it just bugs me that I have to go all the way over there because the judge is in a wheelchair---so am I am. The judge chooses to use a manual chair.

I'm grousing because I had to travel a snow encrusted transit system today. Actually, I was pleased in that I I did not become marooned in snow drifts or ice flows not once.

I think I am also a little mad at myself because I was stupid. I was trying to catch the bus I needed to et to the meeting on the wrong side of the street and I know I must have missed two buses before a stopped infront of me and I asked the driver when th bus I needed (the 220) would be by...””Oh “she says,” you need to be on the other side of the street. You want the 220 outbound.” “Grrrr” I crossed the street and got the bus I needed in 10 minutes but I waited more then an hour in the cold winter air.

The meeting was OK but because I was late the kabobs were cold but edible==I was bout 20 minutes late. I had used much more power then I had planned in getting to the meeting and I could tell I was getting low and I would be dangerously low on power by the time I got back to the office if I did GET back to the office. (I really need to re look at figuring out a way to drag a charger along with so I could charge at times like this. But I made it tired, cold and worried bout my chair and getting home. I OK, I have charged for almost 90 minutes and I am back to 97% but that is quick charge and not deep but it should been enough especially if Dianne picks me up at the train station.

I have included with today's an image of my morning bus stop it's covered with snow and ice and not usable by a person using a wheelchair. The bus driver had to park in front of the drive way to the dealership because the snow was so bad. I spent 30 minutes calling the mayors office and sending him emails about the situation-- maybe something will happen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another Snow Story

Monday's are getting more and more difficult for me to negotiate unless I do major pre-Monday morning preparations. The snow had been falling all day Sunday. I had actually been out earlier in the day and shoveled the ramp with the help of my neighbor. But the snow continued to fall not heavenly, just steadily but there were hours during the fall I would characterize as “heavy”. Either way I had Dianne drive me up to the train station—I could never had made the trip up to the train station myself. In fact when I did get to the Planetarium Station ( downtown Salt Lake) I got stuck in the snow no less then three times. The environment this morning was deadly downtown. Street were being plowed huge city dump trucks throwing literally tons of snow, slush and grunge into huge “rooster tails) clearing the streets but plugging up the curb cuts to thew sidewalk till the next thaw. Even at this point even if I cold gotten onto the sidewalk I still would have been stranded since no sidewalks had been cleared this morning in Murray or downtown Salt Lake.

The Planetarium Station basically off loads its folks in the middle of the block in the middle of the street. The transit customer (me) then has to cross a set of railroad(Trax tracks) to the cross a street to get to the sidewalk. This morning there was so much snow on the railroad tracks I had to cross I got immediately stuck right on the center of the tracks—luckily there was not a training coming but one would be coming very shortly. Luckily for me there was a good Samaritan who pushed me over the tacks and out onto the street which I crossed but then dove feet first int the pile of snow in the access cut away to th sidewalk and again luckily for me the same Samaritan was still somewhere behind me and pushed me up to the sidewalk which luckily had been snow-blown and I was OK till I got to the intersection across from my office where again there were mounds of snow. I knew there was no way I was going to get through the snow drifts filling the curb cuts...however I did notice the intersection crossing the street the other way had less snow in the curb-cut do to more homeless has crossed making their way to the shelter and morning breakfast. I got out onto th street where the plows have been clearing, I watched the traffic closely and when the lights turned sprinted in my chair, fish tailing all the way to the other side and there as the same problem. There was no way I was going to be able to break the snow piled in curb cut but if I could travel up the street to the, IN THER STREET I could get to the drive way to the sidewalk in front of the office and get to my place of work. Luckily it was five minutes to 7:00 a.m. And there still was not a morning rush, for a host of reasons, so if I watched the lights again and waited I should be OK,. I waited like a sprinter waiting for the starters pistol to sound, a couple of stacks of cars passed and then came a significant break in traffic and off I went almost spinning a dough nut and fish tailing, again like a crazy man. I made it but had to pull up short, again because if the amount of snow and I piled in the curb cut and realized even if I could access side walk it would do no good since the sidewalk to our office which sits sort of in the middle of the block had not been cleared-there was snow way I was going to break that kind of snow—but if I could stay in the street and roll down the center of that street I could make it to the driveway. Again I had to watch the lights sand wait for the cars to pass and at the right time I sprinted hoping if a vehicle did appear behind me they would see the reflective eyes on the back of the chair.

The break in traffic came and I was off. I came up to the drive way say lot of the snow had been mashed down from early arrivers but there was still quite a lot of snow which not but if I could hit the drive at full speed I could do it. I did it. I hit the driveway full blast. I rattled my teeth but survived the bump, stayed in my chair and made it to dry sidewalk.. I made it—I was a couple of minutes late but into to work. I should be OK going home..There is a jazz game tonight and people look to have been working on the walks all day—Dianne said she would pick me up at the station tonight and no more snow I forecast for th rest of the week—now to survive the cold....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RedBox Sunday

The promised snow finally moved into the valley and has been snowing all day which is fine with me since for the snow to fall the temperatures has to warm up a little. The temperatures have been quite cold all week long so cold in this area that people actually got spooked and started shutting down schools, universities and even places of work. My boss actually sent me home last Tuesday which I thought was a little bit over reactionary. But today the now started to fall. I have shoveled the ramp with the help of my neighbor this morning and now the ramp looks as if it needs to be shoveled again and the white stuff is still falling, not heavy but steady.

I just returned about an hour ago from returning the Redbox movies I rented yesterday. I really like the whole Redbox experience, renting the disc for just $1.00(usually) being able to return the rental to any of the Redbox outlets which in my area are three and the fact I can return them anytime in the twenty-four hour period. If there is a draw back it is one does have to return the rental the next day. Returning the item does not seem an issue when rented but comes the light of a new day and even though returning the product is not a big is.

So in today's snow storm I had to do the deed.--actually I could have saddled up and driven the van toc the 711, Micky D's or market but seemed like too much work and Dianne volunteered to drive me to one of those locations which again, seemed a little over kill just to return and deep down I think wanted to risk the adventure of driving my power chair up to the 711, in the snow to see if I could actually successfully navigate the neighborhood in this kind of snow. I had a full charge and the will, so why not?

The plows had been working the snow fall all morning,I had noticed which I think I a double edged sword: the streets would be cleared down to the pavement but the plows push huge quantities of snow into then drive way and curb cuts making getting into and out of the street almost impossible. But I felt the snow was still new and slushy and as long as I kept full head of steam I should be able to doze my way through and the fact that this is Sunday traffic would be limited unless I got caught in the time church lets out and the local Mo heard stampedes home to their roast beef and mashed potato dinner. Dianne bundled me up with stocking cap, yellow winter coat and gloves and out I blasted. I went down to the neighbors, who I know does an extra good job of removing the snow from his driveway into the street and I was gone. I immediately noted the snow was deeper then I had anticipated even on those part of the streets the plows had graded. I slipped and slided but kept forward momentum and soon I was at the 711 my closest Redbox. There to my disappointment and concern the Box was “Out of Order making necessary to cross State street.

State street the main drag through Murray and well traveled was clear but wet and I realized none of the sidewalks had been clear of snow add to this the piles of snow caused by the plows I was getting a little spooked. The only was I was going to be able to get to McDonalds was to travel a half a block North and enter through the DRIVE THRU driveway. I sat in the middle of the street and waited for the light to turn green then bolted cross the State street. I blasted through the embankment caused by the plows and I good. In a few moments of slipping and fishtailing I made it up to the door and as in side. I fed the DVDs into the Redbox and warmed up a bit and then bolted for home.

I noticed as I on my gloves and adjusted my cap under my coats hood that my wheelchair's power level was at 79 percent—I had used far more power then I had anticipated, the snow depth ate much more power then I thought and I did have my cell phone so if I drained out of energy I could call and Dianne could rescue me if needed.

But I made it. Wet and a little chilled and with 60% of my charge I plowed through to the neighboor's drive way and was home free. Al was still out clearing snow from his driveway and we chatted for a moment and then I cruised home and up the ramp( which needs cleared, again) and into my warm home to begin turkey chili and finish the rest of my holiday weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow Snot

I lagged just a few moments this mis morning as I was getting ready to go to work. It snow and snowed over the weekend leaving ice flows of snow snot every where. Snow snot? Snow snot is boogers, clumps of snow which has hardened into ice. Usually, these boogers are left on sidewalks which have not been cleaned of snow and left to melt and then refreeze making the sidewalk useless for wheelchair travel until scraped or thawed—the place where snow snow gathers are driveways where the drive way meets the road. These driveways are rarely cleaned by the home owner and are often great spots for snow plows to dump plow full of snow. The homeowner then just bashes through the snow pile leaving two narrow tire troughs and the rest of the snow usually turns to ice till the next thaw.

Usually these small ice flows do not bother me. I usually find away round them one way or another and get to where I am going. This morning I just just dawdled it seemed. Frigid air moved in behind this weekend's storm forcing me to be sure I had adequate clothing. This weekend Dianne repaired my heavy weather jacket from last year—she zipped in the liner which irked me at the time. The reason this irked me is any thing which closes the inside of the jacket makes it difficult for me to pull the jacket over my head. I also dawdled getting the things I needed for work, lunch, crackers, letter to Mac and then pulling the jacket and gloves on, finding my hat and getting situated in the powerchair. This all took more time then I thought but I still thought I would get to the bus stop in time even if I had to flag the bus down while madly cross State. What I had not counted on was the ice. Bridget and came over yesterday and cleaned the driveway and my wheelchair ramp but nor the driveway to the street—no one did but my neighbor who does everything perfectly and I was counting on this and sure enough when I got to Al's driveway it was clean and dry—it took me seconds out of my way but got me out into thw street and on my way to the bustop. As long as I stayed in the street I was OK—I ran into lot of rough ice as I crossed the great church parking lot on m way to State street but nothing unmanageable. I crossed State street with little problem but one I got on the sidewalk I had an issue. No one had cleaned the sidewalks and there was just a narrow path where pedestrians had broken snow the day before. I was fortunate in that the bus stop is right by the driveway and I was ale crash through the ice flow to get me onto the sidewalk but I was not going to go much further from there.

It was weird I got to the bus stop just a few minutes later then I knew the bus usually comes. I was close enough time wise that I should have the bus coming and I know if the drive saw me he would board me—worse case if I was too late still should have seen the vehicle but I saw nothing northing of the bus stop so I was hoping against hope that the bus had not come—I was wrong. I must have been much later then he clock on my power chair indicated. I waited for thirty minutes for the bus—the wait was cold but not to bad, I was bundled but really, I am going to have to be better prepared for Monday mornings from now till Spring..more snow is called for tonight!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Tag up and Go!"

April Motley died last weekend, April was 51 and where April was not one of my best friends she was a friend, in that constellation of people of people I had shared something unique—one of those folk who for one reason or another always kept showing up in my life. I believe April was part of my Karass, the term Vonnegut coined to denote a group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God's will. Now I don't know about God's will but we seemed to keep running into each other.
I first met, really met April when I was one on the principals of the
2nd West Acting Company; a class put together by another friend Lori B. and myself and held at the Utah Independent Living Center, where I worked at the time. Actually Lori was the real drive behind starting the company and I really think she populated its actors with April, myself and a few others who could not say “no”. April wrote one play I know of but was always ready to be part of the play of scene. April and I were local political activists. April because she actually wanted to be, because sher believed in the causes she put herself on the line fore—where I was on the line for the paycheck first and the commitment second. April was a believer.

Over the first years of the acting company's life the company moved from the independent living center to Art Access. It was during this time I learned that April was also an artist fabricator sculpting in metals. She had numerous creations in shows of Art Access and the annual Christmas sale of that organization. I believe one of April's specialties were kaleidoscopes—beautiful hand crafted pieces which were works of art to look at as well as through. I would characterize April's art as being 'high end'. I would have loved to see her do her art full time to the point where she would have been able to support herself with her craft but I don't she she was able to have ever gotten enough exposure for her pieces to sell plus April was caught in the American tragedy of being a creative, energetic women with a disability in America. She was penalized by the benefits system which she was forced to survive on—it was difficult for April to have enough raw materials to to keep her product line current with demand.

April's passing has had a significant impact on me. April died of heart failure. A massive heart attract, in the night, as she slept. I am older then April was by nine years. I am a person, also, with a significant disability who is not in the best of shape with some major self defeating even life threatening habits I need to correct to stretch my time on this dust ball as long as possible. As I wrote on my friend Jerry Johnston's Face Book, this morning, it's time to 'tag up' on base and play it safe a few days before sealing the next base of life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Late for Supper--

You know, sometimes when you walk or roll into a situation you just know something is going to happen—you may not know what it is or just how big it is going to get but you get a feeling such was the scene last night on my UTA bus waiting to go home.

My commute home has started earlier then usual when the boss told us to “go home”. In the early, dark November evening getting cold, the wind was building and it seemed the best thing to do was be on the way home. By the time I had got my computer shut down and shimmied into my red jacket I was only getting away fifteen minutes earlier then usual but still I just might catch the early train. There was a ball game last night so I decided to catch my train at the Energy Solutions Arena and goggle at the people for a few minutes. I was surprised when I did get to my station in Murry that I was early but not early enough to make a difference. There was my regular bus and my regular driver just earlier. I was just getting there at the beginning of the “wait cycle”rather then getting there a the end of the “wait cycle”. Still not a problem—I would just relax the 20 minutes all good.

As I said earlier, you can just tell when someone is going to be trouble, it's an energy, an aura or maybe just a weakening of the Force. This invisible cloud of negativity surrounds them. I felt this immediately as an older women—maybe in her late 40's to mid 50's climbed on to the bus and demanded when the bus would be living. The bus operator responded “20” minutes and the passenger was not happy but did not say anything further just collected her self and too a seat directly across the isle from me and started making cell phone calls. The first was to her bank—which turns out was her destination yesterday early evening. The time was about 5:50 PM and she found her bank closed at 6:00 PM and she was on the bus going to the bank to put enough money into her account to, hopefully keeping some checks she had outstanding from 'bouncing'. This lady was a 'loud talker' and she was putting nit all out there—her name, her account number and even her phone number as well as the address as she directed the bank employee. However, I did relax a little when I did hear the conversation which made since of her demand f when the bus would be leaving. I sat back and enjoyed her phone conversations wondering if I should be writing down items like her account or phone number...too obvious.

The coach I was in was warm and cozy as I dozed waiting for the last train in the cycle to arrive and the driver button us up and leave. When finally the driver boarded the bus to head out there were maybe seven folks aboard, chatting, laughing, texting and calling and like me dozing. The driver mounted his perch and engaged the transmission and we pulled away from the curb heading for Street. We had just pulled out of the 'bull pen' and were on city street still going relatively slow—I bet we were not even going twenty mile an hour when th driver slammed on the brakes of the bus and veered over to the right shoulder of the street. My powerchair was strapped in to the tie-downs jet I was pulled hard to the right. I just held on being jolted awake. The negative lady the talker was actually thrown from her seat and slammed into the buses bulk smashing her eye into the unforgiving steel of the bulkhead releasing a torrent of blood an angst. It is still strange to be me as I saw this event happen out of the corner of my eye—we weren't going that fast but she just sort of flipped over and hit her face. I think she may have been sitting on the edge of the seat in just a way that stopping the bus that fast just kept her in motion.

A pedestrian had stepped infront of the bus and the driver reacting slamming on the breaks and veering to the right curb. The talker screamed,” WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!!” The driver shields up “ yelled back I had to stop a person stopped infront of the bus. Talker: “Oh?.” Blood cascaded down the talker's face dazed and confused—she was not going to make the deposit tonight that was for sure. The talker was still on the floor with her had to her new wound. Finally handed a pile paper towels to “Stander”, a lanker gabber who had been visiting with the driver while we waited the twenty minutes, to hand to the bleeding talker. The Talker swabbed and there was blood but not a gusher.

Not that everything slid in to slow motion at the time of the accident but everything sure felt as if it did following the event. Talker was asked is she wanted to o to the hospital “will it cost me?” “No” the driver said it is probably best for you to go but the para medics should be soon and we'll see what they say. “OK. I just can't go to the hospital if I have to pay.”

The para medics finally showed up, the accident took place right in front of the Inter-mountain Hospital Complex, better know as his o just the Death Star. Less then 200 hundred yards away maybe 500 by ambulance. The para medic indicated it was probably a $1000.00 ride...again Talker asked and said he was—Ok she would go if it did not cost her anything. The ambulance took her away, running “silent” with lights flashing. Still we sat there—statements had to be taken from all on board the bus plus the driver hat to wait for supervisors to show up with risk management monkeys: more questions and statements.
I got home an hour later then usual, Dianne was worried but I had called the bus, the rain held off and we ate chicken breast with hominy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's kinda a weird but a couple of years ago I first began to notice that many people with disabilities, particularly those with spinal cord injury(SCI) spoke of the date of their injury as their second birthdate. Like I said I thought this was a little strange but I guess I too have began thinking about the incident which forever changed my life—I think, over all, for the best.

What do you call this date? Maybe a “crip-date” 'D-date' or even “C-Date? '”D” of course would stand for 'disability' date and C would be fore “Change” what ever you get the picture. For me that date ifs July 16, 1966, Saturday some time around three thirty in the afternoon. The day had been a typical Idaho July day, hot and dry. I was fifteen, I had my daytime drivers license and access to my brother Yamaha 80 cc motorcycle. I owned a perfectly good 55 cc Yamaha “step through” but much I chose to use my brother's bike because that bike was m,ore powerful, looked better and brother was a thousand of miles away in North Carolina. I had found I could turn the ignition with a metal finger nail file. This was also the first year I actually began working—working for someone other then my parents—which mean a lot. I had two regular lawn mowing jobs( which I used th cycle to buzz back and forth to) and I was two days into my first “real” job 20 + hours a week cooking chicken and everything else at a KFC in Boise Idaho.

The afternoon on my D-day. I had just mowed a lawn across town from my house and had sprinted home to change into my white clothes to cook chicken for the rest of the day. I was scheduled to start at 4:00 and work till close of operation. I was running late and did not take time to bathe or anything. My feet had been stained green from mowing the lawn in my barefeet—the feet were covered by fresh white socks., my favorite white tennis shoes ( my only tennis shoes and I really like them), my only pair of white levi's and white( old church shirt). I really liked the out fit because the white rally off set my tan or made the tan stand out. I really wasn't late for work but I was excited to get to the job my buddy Charley Ainge had got me. The job was new, working away from home on my own and really begin to start making my own money—no more asking, asking asking—boy was that thought process wrong.

I came up to the intersection of Boise Avenue and Broadway. I was in no hurry shift did not begin till 4:00 I still had thirty minutes...lots of time. I know I looked both ways before I pulled out onto Broadway heading North. I was hit by a South bound Senior driver exceeding the speed limit, the limit was 30 MPH. I was hit almost broad side throwing me back and striking my head on the windshield cracking my skull and bruising and pinching my spinal cord: instantly paralyzing me for the rest of my life.

The other day I was scanning some documents on to my hard drive and came across an article documenting my “D-Day”. I posted the article to my FB and have been at the responses I have gotten—you know “challenging” “brave” or bad the image made these folks feel for me, having lost so much. This was not the intent of the posting—I just did not have many other meaningful images from my adolescent life. I am OK and doing just fine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Suday Afternoon

It's cold out there in the world. Not bone chilling sub-zero cold but just enough and add to that gray low hanging clouds with a threat of rain or snow later this afternoon that I just do not want to leave the house until tomorrow morning at five minutes to six when I renter the world driving my chair up to the bus stop and head into work. Tomorrow morning I well be ready for the cold, dress in layers, a hood and my gloves. But not today and I should go out to the market to get the items we need, milk, fresh fruit, butter, deli meat, croissants and potato chips. We will survive on frozen food and can good and cable.

It's early Sunday afternoon, the end of a holiday weekend for me. I was off Thursday to celebrate veteran's Day we did not do anything except hang out—Friday I had to go into the city for a board meeting. The meeting is two hours long and they serve a lunch—a potato bar this—I used to hate potato bars—I saw potato as hot lunch cop outs but I have began to like the potato bars more and more as I smashed potatoes, in the foil, drench them with sour cream. I stay away from all the things like the chili, mushrooms, olives and what ever management deems will make a low budget meal appear more then it is. I was reminded as I entered the board room that I was to be the major portion of entertainment for the day's meeting. I was to give an overview of one of the programs that I sit on the advisory board and not that it matters but I was one of the players who got the project off the ground. I surprised myself and those present I pulled it off giving something like 20-30 minute presentation. I do wish I had remembered and had been a little better prepared.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Make the Money Flow Stop Please!!!

Last night as I was leaving work—I was a little rushed as the fellow I work with Frank, who typically leaves an half four before I do was encouraging me to leave early so I might beat what looked like a mighty terse storm. I engaged my chair and reversed away from my work area and as I did I perceived what sounded like a little 'zip' followed by clank,pop and grinding noises. I could not figure out what was wrong and and Frank and I puzzled over noises for a bit but I did not seem to be experiencing any negative affects to my chair experience except acoustically. So I headed off into the night and got home with out incident.

This morning's ride into work was also with out incident except a lot of noise so much more Frank was concerned as I clanked into the office. I did call my main wheelchair tech who advised me to get in as soon as I could but did not sound concerned—Josh just told me to come in for the “ten minute quickie”. But by mid-morning Frank had me convinced I needed yo get down to shop as soon as I could before the whole chair just shivered and fell apart. By11:30 am I was gone on an early lunch busing down to Magic Rest. I had a bit of a concern regarding the charge of my battery—I should have plugged in and charged as soon as I got to work but did not. So I was keeping an eye on my charge indicator thinking I would plug in once I got to magic rest.

I was able to get to MR sand Josh readily indicated that it was a bearing in my caster but I needed all four wheels replaced= $200.00. It\ the cost of life never stops and Of course the change out could not have been done today—the casters will have to be shipped in meaning I am sure I will have the sound of death for at last the next two weeks. We at least ordered the parts in and now the wait begins. We checked as long as I was there and Of course insurance is not going to touch the cost at all—so I am on my own.

Th first of the week I had Dianne remove the construction vest—you all remember last year when the construction guy took off his reflective vest and draped the vest over the back of my chair as a protective device since I was on the road so much in the dark. I really did not like the vest but Dianne thought the juster sweet and another level of safety never hurts. But the vest was literally a rag by the end of the summer. Dianne was even more concerned with nothing back there now so she pulled out her trust roll of reflective tape and had her craft eyes for the back of my head rest. I'll try to post an image shortly.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Burros of the Apocalypse

Its a short week, a holiday week, even if it is one of the “smaller” holidays it is still a holiday. Veterans Day! No work for me , banks, Federalies and most other governmental entities; add on the three day weekend already enjoyed by State of Utah workers and I am looking at some substantial time off. It's not that we will do anything other then maybe go out to eat somewhere along the way, get a couple of Red box, cook and hopefully spend some quality time on the computers. I have sent for some animation software I hope will help me with my Burros of the Apocalypse (BOTA) project. I don't know where I want to go with this project but it is sort of fun and something that could occupy my time over a long holiday weekend.

Hopefully this will be a slow week for the office. I did my broadcast last week since our holidays falls on Thursday of this week and really I am almost done for this year. One more broadcast in December and that should do it.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


The wind is howling as a winter storm approaches, this looks to be the firs real storm of the winter season but until the storm get here(tonight by the weather guys account) the wind is whipping everything outside round the house and doing a number on all trees with any kind of leaves at all. We set the cocks back an our, actually the things like cell phones and computer set themselves back. /we still now have to wonder wound the house and turn all the other time pieces back.

A couple of weeks ago Dianne contracted with an attorney to work on our case with the banks. I knew this would throw Dianne into research mode( at which she is excellent) and would start asking that I start printing documents at work to bring home for her case—and this request because we currently don't have printer up to task which is going to be placed on it, I decided we needed a better printer then what we are using now. Remember last Monday's post talking about the issue with the HP 6510 I picked up last week? This is where the new printer project remained until yesterday. The reason I had waited an entire week do gt this accomplished was that I had managed to get a similar printer we have hooked to my laptop working to the point where we could do some printing but was difficult at best and besides we had this brand new system just starring at us, mocking us. So yesterday we collected all the pieces of the printer: the printer itself, software, receipts and documentation and crammed all into the Styrofoam, plastic wrap and box as best we could and hauled the whole mess back to Best Buy.

Over the years I have brought a lot of stuff back to the vendor for one reason o another and had learned unless one has all these items in place and on hand the “return” can go very poorly and even when one has all the items needed the retailer often fights the 'return' nightly. But pleasantly, we were surprised at how smoothly the exchange went. We even found we could upgrade to this year's model, a wireless model no less, for the same price. We did this exchange later in the day and by the time we had returned home we were exhausted and we decided to veg for the remainder of the night catching up on some recorded television.

This morning we finished setting up thee printer, went to breakfast and came home and finished the project. It took an hour and we had to struggle a bit to get the desk top to recognize the new equipment and we had to settle on a USB connection rather then the wireless but it is now printing away and all are happy. We still plan to get Mark A over someday soon to see if we cannot get the wireless to work just because we can. But now we can print, I don't have to use the office equipment and I have my laptop to myself and all is well.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Toilet From Hell

Heat vent from Hell in the ceiling of the accessible men's restroom

I love my “window on the west” I can sit and watch the world go by on Third West all day long. I see fire engines, ambulances an missionaries all day long and even in the past presidential motorcades and elephants. I love my window. My window just might be the best perk of my job however, there is one draw back, because the window is exposed to the outside, naturally the outside cold seeps into my office all winter long. I finally got a small space heater which runs continually from late October to Early April and aside from the small roar and worried looks from Franks when he dares to enter my office I survive the winter just fine. But as nice as office seems to be—there is that spot under my computer area, next to the window wall that the heat never quiet seems to get—my office cannot compare to the heat which wafts over me each time I enter the 'mens' restroom.

We share common restrooms with the rest of the building which is OK with me especially since we are currently the only occupants of the building. The restrooms are right across the hall from our office and sit in back of the elevator which has the “out of order” sign taped to the front so supposedly no one will use then elevator as the upper floors are being renovated for then Chinese who are supposed to move in sometime—the Mexicans left a couple of months ago now. And there is no heat in the foyer except what ever bleed out heat happens when doors to the bathroom or our offices are open. The heat in the restrooms is wonderful—it is like they are the bathrooms from Hell! This annotation is not fair since it makes the restrooms sound like they are horrible and they're not, least not the men's. These are the restrooms from hell because of the huge amounts of heated air flowing into rooms.

I must confess with the advent of the winter's 'heat storm ' in that room I would consider moving my office in there except then I would loose my view. At my request a couple of years ago building management took out the commode partition changing the restroom from a urinal and a toilet with the toilet having a wall and door when management put in the grab bars or access and then repainted and tiled the whole room, making the room bright, accessible and pleasing large.

I even got a mirror down low so I can check my self before leaving the room to be sure I am not dragging any trains of toilet paper behind me as I leave. There is even a lock on the door for added privacy. This is more then I deserve I readily admit—maybe the beautiful restroom from hell is the result that at different points of the month populations of disability in this building swells either way I end up being the winner—lucky me...its about time.

Monday, November 01, 2010

To Print of Not to Print...

The weekend came and went as weekend tend to do, and even though I am committed to squeeze all I can out of my weekend I tend to just sit ad let the days creep by and then on Sunday night a I watch the nine o clock news I wish I has done more.

Dianne has been struggling with her case against the bank and credit card insurance companies and needed multiple copies of document she has either prepared or images of pay stubs,invoices and utility bills. The printer We have been using is a little HP we got a number of years ago and has worked like a champ till last Summer when part on the machine just wore out—it actually still printed just fine but the supporting machinery wore out. I purchased a printer, which was just like the printer I use at the office a HP oFFICE jET 5610—his was a floor model so I got a deal and received everything in a giant plastic bag and went home and put the whole mess in the closet and forgot about it for months. Dianne had found a way to coax the old printer to work just enough to meet her needs and I went out and purchased a smaller printer to hook up to my lap top in the front of the house which worked just and since I got the HP 5610 for the desk top which Dianne uses I got me another HP small computer for less then 70.00 which worked great for my needs: printing word documents not so hot on images though. This worked fairly well until a couple of weeks ago when I needed a printer and a copier(scanner) so I finally de-bagged the 5610 and hooked it up and it worked great.

All last week Dianne has been amassing huge amounts of data of which she needs hard copy and has been askig me to make copies at he office to bring home. There was is an issue with my 5610 about it not being able to print Open Office documents.( I have sensed remedied this) I don't have an issue with this except for the time involvements and not doing right. I just want Dianne to have all the supports at home that she needs. Therefore after work on Thursday evening Dianne and I went over to best buy and purchased a new, in the box, HP OJ 6500 series printer ( cabled model I did not see the need for wireless). We got the machine home and tried to hook it up the next day and Of course we did not have the equipment we needed bu we did not know it then—the machine just could not find the printer. Dianne is hammered for time and she needed to focus on the writing so I put the new printer on hold and focused on the my lap top ( which does not have Word and there could not print the OO (Open Office) documents. I eventually drug out my older Toshiba LP and actually got it up and running and able to print the materials Dianne needs.

The rest of the weekend I either cooked, worked on my system or supported Dianne—it was a quiet weekend and a wet cold one but enjoyable all things considered. I just wish we could have got the printer operational.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week End Ready

It never fails it's a broadcast day and a day I want to be sure I get to the office on time, if not a bit early, and the arm, the complete arm of my wheelchair falls off. Dianne has been working especially hard putting together a case and I know stayed up late last night and needed the sleep but I needed her to get up and get my “amputated” chair arm and see what could be done until I could get into work and haven, at least Frank look at it. I vaguely remember the last time this happened I did almost the same thing—drug the stupid part on my lap, on the train into office and Good old Frank put me back together again.

I did make it to the office without falling out of my chair—I am sure I looked pretty stupid holding the arm of my power chair on my lap looking and feeling like an Uzi sub-machine gun. I am surprised I was not rushed when I boarded the train. It took Frank a few moments to recall how we re-assembled the chair the last time but we finally got the chair together after which I scampered across the hall and finished putting myself back together since finishing dressing without the left arm of my chair is challenging. Today of all days is important that I looked at least a little presentable since it is a broadcast day. If I did not have the chair reattached I would look like one of those listing old post polio crips. But we fixed the arm and I did the broadcast and even made my meeting away from the office. I am ready for my weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going home

I talk off and on about the INTERNET broadcast I do called Access Utah Now. A twice a month broadcast originating out of my office her at Access Utah Network. I feel I have been doing pretty good and have more the forty broadcasts under my belt but I have just about use up the obvious easy targets for interviews. Now, as I venture into year three I am having to dig a little to find organizations or people to interview. I put out a pleas the other day for folks interested in being interviewed to get in contact with me. So, I was intrigued this weekend when there was a message on my Facebook page from the coach from one of the local wheelchair basketball teams asking if his organization would be appropriate for such as interview. I answered message with a return message indicating that I was interested possibly doing and interview and left my number and requested that he give me a call.

I just got off the phone with Larry, the coach local ball team, who seems like a nice enough guy. We talked, I explained the show and how broadcast and I think basically sized each other up. I was not sure if I could this show. I have not been a huge fan of this team too much over the reasons, I think because they often considered the flashy, elitist team. The wheelchair team is directly affiliated with the local professional basketball team. As I understand it this team even has sort of tryouts, and real sponsor ship.

I worked for a long while in his city for the Independent Living Center and the ILC also supported a basket ball team of their own and Of course many of the members of this organization were fellow who, for one reason or another did not make it on the team elite. The street wolves were a rowdy, rag tag group of people with spinal cord injuries who backed down from no one or group. They were/are some what legendary. I had a number of pretty close friends on that team they made sense to me for the most part, even their self destructiveness to a certain extent. Many times players who started on the street wolves or Utes team would be cherry picked to the high end team.

I have to admit I kind of neglected the whole disability sport thing as much as I could choosing to focus on a couple of the”out bound” type organization. These organizations seemed safe and middle of the road but in speaking with th coach this morning I began considering interviewing this area of disability sports—why not just as I don't slant the interview or beat anyone up. I can also do another group of sports figures who have been generating some positive press. Murder Ball. A very completive and aggressive sport. I wonder how it would be to interview one of these guys. A little spooky but interesting.

Luckily, I will not be doing any of these interviews now until after the first of the year. Again I don't want confrontation as much as I want enlightenment. But maybe I am asking too much.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Finally I'm back, yesterday afternoon Dianne and I were on the NET with our respective systems and suddenly we weren’t. We were getting the dreadeed “cannot find the page” or “you are not connected...” What was happening? Neither of us were doing much more then just “net surfing”. The great Wasatch Front is currently being washed over by a number of cold and wet storm systems. I kind of suspected the problem lay with our carrier and not with the systems, router or the connection. Dianne did however call our carrier and then for the next forty-five minutes worked with the tech support idiot who led her on numerous trip between the desktop in the our computer room and the garage where the “box” to the INTERNET lives. Sanchee or what ever the guys name had Dianne plugging and unplugging cord to the computer , router or 'box' and nothing she did got us back up. The called ended in frustration and an appointment for Monday afternoon between 12:00 and 4:00 pm when some professional nerd will come over look and do something minor and say—“there you go fixed.” and walk a way. We spent a nice quiet night in...actually even before the nice night in we made oatmeal, raisin, cranberry and walnut cookies. I have been craving homemade cookies for the longest time. Following the cookies and some reading time I threw together a fried rice dinner which turned out OK , not stellar but OK for sure and great for a Saturday night.

This morning I made bacon and eggs not bad. I cook the whole package of bacon and then use the bacon the rest of the day and week to nibble on or for meals like BLT s. Sometimes this bacon may be the only thing I have for breakfast, which I grab as I head out the door for my morning bus.Cleaned the kitchen a little following breakfast and then found I was able to connect to the NET but Dianne has not be able to connect as yet. I even charged up my old Toshiba laptop in case I need to use it a bit. I used the older system for quite a while yesterday when Dianne was trying to reestablish out connection. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed using the system. I have found the old Toshiba has a firewire plug. Mark and Jasmine were over briefly on Friday afternoon and he told me the newer Toshiba lapptops did not have this feature. I want to use my old Sony DVD camera to run some broadcasts from home for the other show I am considering producing.So I may just use the older lap top exclusively to produce Meadowlark's World.

The rest of today I plan to make soup ,later on in the afternoon, read some in a new book I started yesterday and work with a video file I am currently trying to down load. For some reason I AM connected but the connection is mosterously slow. Maybe the tech will find something.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Please--play with me...

I new it was going to be a long ride home on the bus when I boarded and informed the driver where I needed to get off and a small voice across the is pipped up”That's my stop too” like we were cousins or something. The owner of the voice did not look too weird, tall unshaven but basically OK dressed, he looked like a worker coming home from a day at the grind.

I pretty much leave my office the same time each day, ride the same train with the same
driver: I'm consistent. I know my surrounds ,usually all the time no matter where I am. So I was a little taken back when the guy chirped up about getting off at the same stop. But oh well; stranger thing have happened. So I returned to my book, a book I would like to finish sometime this week if at all possible. Then I heard, “I live on Emerald Isle. Do you know where that is at?” Argggh, and open ended statement with a question mark!! Do I answer or pretend I did not hear or just be pretentious and just ignore? Why do I have to have so many questions at the end of the day when my butt hurts,I want to get home and just me left alone? Maybe if I just respond with terse one or two word statements the guy will get the point to leave alone.

The guy, I am sure, is developmentally disabled, one of those who can pass for normal, lives in the community with supports, maintains a job and for the most part is socially acceptable and rides on buses, the same buses as I. The guy is also a 'low-talker' some one who mumbles and you cannot tell if he or she is talking to you but you don't know so you ask before you have time to think better and before you know you are engaged in a full-blow conversation you did not want be in. Well he snagged me twice but I was able to deftly disengage. Somewhere along the line he has learned that he can get a lot of attention with his low-talking. Well after being snagged twice I ignored him as he trolled for attention The second snag, ” hey, do you smoke? I am out of smokes until Thursday. I knew I was being scammed and went silent . He managed a few more snags other travelers before our bus stop. Just before we downloaded he tried one more time,” He do you have twenty-six cents?” he managed before the bus drew to our stop. He raised up his over sized (gallon) Mountain Dew mug. I could get it full if I had twenty-six cents. Actually, if I had not been totally packed up, I even had all the pockets on my backpack zipped, I would have flipped him a quarter or even a dollar, since I usually have wadded up piece low denominational currency in my pocket for just such circumstances-- buy not today. In fact I replied as I got of the bus. “I probably saved your life”. I am not even sure he heard me. He dismounted the bus first walked a couple of feet down the street on his way to the Emerald Isle turned and waited for me to come down the ramp like we were going to walk home, together, like old friends.

Not tonight, I hit the sidewalk with my joystick pushed all the way to the max. I cut hard to the left taking me on to sidewalk which led me to the parking lot of the stake center, I cut through the church parking lot each evening, by myself. I looked back to make sure he was not following—he was not-- he was just standing there like a little kid wishing for something the big kids had...quite possibly ...a life

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's early, dark and overcast this early Monday morning. I am waiting for my coffee to drip and get my day and week started. The days now, feel like Fall. I want to stay in wear socks and read or if I go out migrate to the local coffee shop( in my case Beans and Brew) get some coffee and read the free underground newspapers, write in my carry journal, sketch and try to be cool. Especially if there is rain. I have been threatening to take on of my laptops with and use the free wi-fi but have not had the complete motivation o action as yet.

This weekend was much busier then usual with the visit from Brooks—who came down from Washington to participate in his friends wedding. A shame though, Brooks was sick as a dog for the whole time he was traveling. The actual wedding took place in Boston where Brooks was before stopping off in the Salt Lake area. H was in the city for about a week but was so ill he could not enjoy any of his time with friends and family. In the time Brooks was here we went out to et twice and had an evening at our home when local family came over for Ribs and Gumbo by Gabel which were excellent and conversation which was even better. The dinner was Saturday night and Sunday we had our farewell breakfast at the local IHOP an then Brooks was off to Vancouver.

I did manage to have sometime to myself Saturday morning—Dianne and th girls wen to Thriller. I read in the driveway and then powered up to State street to the KFC and I also go some leather gloves for the upcoming old morning powering up to the bust stop. Friday we lunched at Morelia's( Brooks pick) and Mark and Jasmine joined us and that was fun, good to see Dave and the Morelia crew. It I always good have a reason to go to morelia's. I got my new cell phone when Mark an Jasmine joined us for lunch:Casio Exilim C721

The Exilim C721 seems to be a great little cell—the phone is military grade and seems like the cell will be rugged enough to with stand me and all my turbulence. I really like the camera feature what little I have used the cell so far. The seems heavy but feels right in my hand. The camera seems very good as well. So begins a new week a week which I think the weather will change and I hope my options increase. I seem t have rambled enough.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Broadcast day! Funday then the weekend and a new cell phone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Next ?

And then there four. Last week another member of our little work group slipped away. She was 'let go' a victim of the financial down turn, a general cut back of State dollars. A case of soft money just drying up over time. It's always sad to have to say ' goodbye' even under the best of circumstances but when a person is doing a great job to let them go because there is just no money is a shame but it's real.

We did the open house for this person—she was and has been quite active in the local service community. We had the staff special lunch and in stead of going out somewhere special we “ordered in” and had a pretty good lunch and time and then at last, I stopped by her office and said goodbye—I had to leave the office early to participate in an open house across town which would have me out of the office for the remainder of the day.

I had visited with my officemate earlier and she seemed OK—she is working on her advance degree which is “drilling” her hard and I have been amazed at the amount of work she has produced here at the office while at the same time being demanded for a colossal amount of work for her classes at the University. She told me she had some money coming into her from her family and she had also put some money away—so she would be able to devote almost full time to her academics which I think will be blissful for someone like her. I did note that she was still paying close attention to “positions listed” on the State roster. So she is still looking. I am not worried about her because she is one of those folks who always seems to land “on their feet.” She has enough professional work under her belt and local repetition that she is going to be able, I think to just about call her own shots as she needs to. I would not be surprised to see her settle down into some teaching slot at one of the academic institutions in the valley here or maybe even the national game if he desires. Either way she'll do good.

Now our little office is down to four and a person who works out of our office but is not an official member of our staff. Its a good staff and I believe we work together well all things considered. I am not rally part of that staff, or not have been but over the past couple of years in an effort to “save” my position, I have had to have more and more financial help—as my funding streams have dried up-- so in a sense I AM becoming more and more 'them' which I guess is good but which will not help me if I cannot find replacement money...I very well could be next—I probably am—its just a matter of time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This is an early image from my new coming collection Burros of the Apocalypse. I don't know where the project is going but is fun dabbling with it right now.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I suppose by now you have all noticed that I have taken down the video of the Open House I had on over the weekend. For one reason or another the segment would not load properly offering at best just the audio portion of Friday's event. The segment would also load automatically when the blog was dialed into and just start running. I would prefer that the viewer be able to start the segment at their leisure. I am also a little nervous about the amount o time which the feature runs and noting is happening, specifically me wondering round in front of the camera doing nothing. So I am going to have to do some major editing and boiling the four hour event to maybe one hour. When I get that document done I'll post it again and see if i can get to run correctly.
Big week, company coming, boss back in the office and Broadcast thurday!?

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Today is cooler, way cooler but it is Saturday and it feels great and I have been doing a lot of cooking, breakfast, helped with some bean and bacon soup and just cleaning the house in preparation for company which will be coming next week. I guess our company will not being staying at the house but I am sure will there will be some home visits and entertaining. Our company, is Brooks,our second son, now lives in Portland is coming to Salt Lake for his best friends marriage. Brooks will be here for a week or so and has not been home for a couple of years and has lots of friends and places to visit. We are excited and hope to see him as much as possible.

Thursday, I had to be at an open house, the open house was work related and I had an information table and since I do not have much advertising materials I decided to use my and let the camera run for as long as the camera will. Here is a link to that event I did not get the whole event but three or so hours—let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Like Blood On the Water...

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a cartoon like on Who Framed Roger Rabbit or any other piece of animation where the main character is swirling round a drain just waiting to get sucked down and disappear. As many of you all know who read this blog with any regularity is that I work for a State agency, funded by four ( or rather I used to be) separate State of Utah agencies. As the economic down turn has ravished State agencies especially those agencies who fund me/my program, they in turn have, either , reduced their grant or cut the funding stream all together. So little by little I am becoming invisible or about ready to go down the drain.

At the beginning of this granting year my one remaining main funder informed us that they most likely would not renew the grant this coming year which means that quite possibly, I would/will be out of this job and into dire straits come July 1. So I am scrambling. My direct supervisor is scrambling and the CFO is scrambling to find a funding stream which will keep me here at this office or any office. As the Baby Boommers age more and more money is being deployed to aging agencies and programs which serve this population. Directors all over the Utah area swimming in the State and private non-profit sea waiting for grants top be dropped into the water, like sharks. Recently a couple of grants have been released one actually funded at 200,000.00 dollars for three years; talk about blood on the water. I went to meeting today to cover for my Boss who is out of town on vacation. I went with my friend Frank who is our financial man. I kinda of knew this project was going and I knew my boss was acting as my/program advocate I just did not know how far along the project was and how my program was being written into the project. I think I have had the option to know more but have really kept a low profile. Today, was enlightening kind of energizing. We might get a small slice of the bigger pie—it may be a slice large enough to keep my project going for a couple of years but who knows.

What I saw today was encouraging, but nothing definite, not by a long shot. There were a lot of players at the table some like me and my program a lot and others not so much and many who do know anything at all about whom we are or what we do. I was felt I was being thrown back into the “shmooze” talk, talk, talk, smile, smile smile and kiss a whole lot of butt. Don't get me wrong I can kiss butt right along there with the best of them—I mean come on I AM a State employee. I just have not have to in a long time. So there I am, back up on the big screen of life running in the opposite direction of the water plunging down the drain, just being a cartoon...just being me.