Thursday, March 31, 2011

Change Day

Ep Tau

Tomorrow Is April first, April Fool's, someone's birthday I am sure and Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Change Day—one of two days during the year when the the local transit authority—bus company—makes adjustments to routes and more importantly when route drivers take over their new routes. Sort of like a transit musical chairs. The drivers are sort of like the low-men and women on the totem pole in the transit universe, which is actually pretty stupid since the drivers are the face of the agency for most of the public and for many of the public the only face of the authority.

Not that it matters but the drivers are union for the most part but being has not helped their plight too much. The driver system is a seniority system driver who have driven the longest has best shot at the prized route and times. It seems the UTA is all about split systems. New drivers are on the low end of the food chain the must suffer through a 'split work day. The drive may have a ten hour but that day will have two parts mornings from 6:00 to 10 and then have a four or five hour break and drive again 2:00 to 8:00 in the afternoon and evening. The work week will also be split one day on and one off then three days, or two days and another day off and another day and for those drivers driving 8 hour shifts their days get really crazy. I guess through out the year drivers have the option to bid on selected pieces of work and of course routes which might be more desirable to spousal and family life. But that's the way their system rolls, the longer you work at the authority the better the pie is. So anyway twice a year the customers has to also deal with “Change” some routes actually change, usually service is reduced by dropping actual bus stops or in some cases suspending service or routes entirely. JI suppose there has been instances where service has been restored but I have not heard of it direct or from n actually customer and then there is the (of late) constant fare increase and the newest way to scalp the passenger is the fuel surcharge the immediate “stick it to you” UTA management uses to raise fairs every time the middle East raises the price of crude.

But this all happens on “Change” Today, I said goodbye to our morning driver who has been driving my morning bus since last “change”. This driver is a South Sea Islander, Tongan. This bus is an early bus, it is the first bus on the route in the morning, beside me there are between four and five other riders this early riding to the train. This driver—I don't really know his name something like Ep'Tau. This driver is always happen, warmly welcomes you on his bus ad gives the customer the benefit of the doubt letting one use the excuse “the cat ate my bus pass” once but lets you ride. Since the wheelchair station is right by the driver we have talked a lot—he watches out for me crossing the street if I'm late and driving my power chair on and off the ramp of the bus. He even took my direction as I had to talk him through fixing my power chair one morning when the chair stopped working all the way in the back position.

But he is moving on “ Change”:the only constant and now I have break in another driver...groan.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Conference Chicken

Today I participated in a panel discussion for a local airline, a one hour cog of a larger wheel and on Saturday I participate in another panel for the same group but with different folks. Today we presented to about seventy 'above wing” staff who might have reason to interface with folk with disabilities; tickets sales, boarding crews and baggage folk. Today's efforts was culmination of a couple of weeks work. My boss pulled me aside and asked me to put together these panels which I was able to do fairly simply. I know the folk and I made the calls and got the commitments straight away. One blind gut, two pretty involve people with CP, two spinal cord injuries and a little person and each one is gregarious as hell. I really did not think of that when I got their agreement. I just wanted the panel populated as soon as possible

There were four of us on today's panel, my boss, me, Andrew and Everette. Andrew is thirty something and has a good case of athetoid CP, he uses a power chair for mobility and gets round the city and county very well. He is also highly verbal and very bright and works as a legal advocate. He travels a lot for someone who is as involved with CP as he is, Everette is an Assistive technologist for the state center for the blind, me = Mr I&R for disability questions and my boss who is director of the local DD council and she also travels a great deal with fold who are DD. We spoke for an hour to a packed room. We each gave a small bio and then opened the panel up questions. One of the participants sort of monopolized the microphone but I think no one cared, this was easy duty and a free hot lunch.

The lunch was hot and tasty: grilled chicken breast over a rice pilaf with lemonade or ice tea, hard rolls with butter balls but no desert( which I thought kinda of strange ) but not a big deal. When I set up the panel I specifically asked if a meal was included for the panel participants which they were happy to provide. Some times for people with disabilities , a hot meal is the best one can hope for. The airline lady had to get back to me but in the end the caved and we got out chicken on rice. I did not think much of it but two of the panel participants went out of there way to thanks me for lunch which kind of shocked me. I just thought the event was fun and got me out of the office and a hot meal even if it was Conference Chicken.

We do it again in Saturday, my boss and me and with the other disabilities mentioned. She be good weather, Spring weather with temps I the low 60's. Again, it should be fun—I think I'll take the train—Hum I wonder what kind of Chicken will be served.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have been trying to locate someone from my past for a couple of years now. Since Face book has come on the scene I have been able to locate a number of folks I thought I would never be in contact with again. One way I have done this little it of detective work is to think of someone we knew in common, a friend or family member and search for them and maybe they will lead me to the person I am searching for.

Dennis is on of the guys I grew up with, he was strange like me but only a lot smarter. Dennis was a year older, socially inept but Ok to hang round. I have been trying to get hold of him for years to no avail—So yesterday I remembered a couple brothers in the same ward as Dennis and I and maybe they might be in contact with Dennis. I was pleased when after I entered their name into the FB search engine their pages with images and everything popped up. I cannot believe I had not tried to contact Norman or Duncan before. Of course they barely resembled them selves as I remembered, but they still lived in the same city, same high school so they had to be the same. These kids were first generation English and this was the time of the Beatles which made them that much more cool. I was not close to either but I knew who they were.

So I was surprised when I got the message back from Norman that”he should know me but tell him more.” At least he responded even if he barely remembers me. I have sent back more biographical detail and we'll see. I think getting to know Normal will be fascinating he had definitely changed as have I but maybe just maybe he can lead me to Dennis .

Monday, March 28, 2011

I think I am ready to work

Its the flux period of Spring—that time when any kind of weather may show up—like to day there has been rain, sleet snow and of course, snow; the only season not showing is summer. No, warm to hot temps. I have been sitting at my desk freezing all day. I left my FBI hat at home but luckily I had an old scarf laying round and I have been wearing that all day like a little old women from Russia.

I am pleased to announce that it looks as if I am good to go for another year! My boss emailed staff last Thursday that one of the State hold out got funded better then anticipated and looks like they will be funding me another year. I spoke with my boss this morning and she assures me the the heat is not off just turned down a little, which is OK—I think I am ready to work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Feel A Little Bleached

I really do want to make a long juicy post but I am just too tried right now. I have been out in the elements all day busing and traxxing going to and from meetings. A cold wind has been blowing and there has been intermittent snow flurries and for the most part I have been fine but I am feeling just a little bit bleached.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today has been a crush!! A typical Monday, with enough stuff going wrong that the whole days seems in jeopardy. I am having a battle with the medical center where i take my rehab services. I have been trying to get some prescriptions changed it the process has been nothing but pain. i just hung up the phone again with them and we are going tto get the scripts aent through again but th process is driving me nuts!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Tony was back in my office Wednesday, this was the second time this week. Tony wanted some support to help him try to keep his apartment which he rents through one of the local housing authorities. He wanted some help to fill out his annual housing authority document indicating he was who he is a mentally disabled, low-income person who is scarred shit-less of the System. The system which. I sadly, am part. As most of you know, I am an information and referral specialist. I tell people where to go: people with disabilities who need services to survive I am the System.

Tony wandered into my office, first a couple of years ago,and that visit was simple, I referred him to some housing options and some other options like where to get food stamps and where to get food boxes. You must realize, I DONOT DO CONSUMER SUPPORT!! Consumer support is something social workers, housing coordinators and support coordinators do—not me. I used to do that, and I don't like doing that—I was a housing coordinator for the independent living center in Salt Lake City. I tried to empower my consumer as much as I could trying to get them to do their own work as much as possible as being “independent as possible”. Really, I just don't like doing this one to one stuff—getting 'real' with the people. It's just too messy. So, Monday of this week when he walked past my window I knew Tony was going to come into governor's council office and then they would send Tony in to me, and sure enough that is exactly what happened.

Tony lives on subsidized housing, the Feds basically pay 2/3s of Tony's rent. Apartment owners and land lords love it. One of the most widely used programs is called “Section-8”. Section-8 is easy and in many cases guaranteed money. The money goes directly to the property owner and everyone is happy. But once year the property must be inspected by the Fed to make sure the Consumer and the Fed is not being taken advantage of. In many way the process is traumatic to the renter. He is usuall y notified with a document left hanging on the front door t their apartment or slid under the door—traditionally these folks have learned paper taped to their doors or slid under those doors is 'bad news' never 'good news', their world is going to get messed up one way or the other.

Tony is in his late forties or early fifties, most likely a candidate for mental heal services if not being developmentally disabled. Actually, I think Tony is pretty bright, but has been trained by the 'system to act a dumb as possible. On the initial visit of the week, I looked at his document, a pretty standard piece of Apartment crap which management wants filled out. The document is pages long with lots of print ans spaces to be filled in and signatures to be written and then returned. Tony needed help filling out document—which I was not the person to assist. I sent him to the Housing Authority, IL even the Community Action Program. The first visit of the week I spent a half hour with him and sent him on his way.

Tony returned on Wednesday clearly agitated and once again filled my office with presence and aroma. No one wold help him and he had to get it done or they would kick him out. Why couldn't the world jutst leave him alone—he I not going to be responsible if they pushed hi too far. I took the document read through it and noted the document had to be filled out and returned to management by the end of Friday. Tony had just a little more then two days to fill out the document.

Wednesday, I was under the gun, my boss had returned to work a day a head of when I thought she was and I was still reeling from the Intervention! I had phone calls to return and new calls coming in I was swamped. I did not need to do client support on this of all days. But if I did not do it—it, was not going to get done and sometimes you have to do what you don't want just to get by.

The document was simple, EZPZ, but the ore I sat with Tony and helped him answer the questions and check the appropriate boxes the angrier I got thinking of how stress this was on Tony, and me in the day when I rented and seemed to always be getting 'notes' on y front door. I remember how returning home from work on a Friday afternoon getting such a note would wreck my entire weekend. But we got the task done—I even made a copy for tony instructing Tony to keep the document somewhere safe to 'spring' on the land lord(manager) if the original he turned in should mysteriously come missing,

Tony thought having a backup was great! In an instant Tony had become empowered, in a small way had be able to take a little control over his life. Tony had learned something which evened the playing field just a little—he had a chance.

Tony was a little bit different when he left my office, he still smelled, had three days stubble on his face but Tony was a little bit stronger. Tony was going to save his apartment and live there another year—even if we wanted to go 'month to month'. I am sure I will see Tony again, sooner then later. I did something I knew better then to do—I “fed” the animals and if you feed the animals enough they always come back.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Icredible Vanihing Me

Yesterday when I went back to the coffee machine to get my second cup of coffee I was ambuhed into a work intervention--you know: an intervention where people who care deeply about you get you alone, usually surrounding you and then confronting you with'straight' talk till you do the correct thing.

I have been charged by the boss for a couple of months to come up with a plan which will re-invent me and my job so my funding agenciees will flood back to me and give me large amounts of money. I have not come up such a plan because I don't have anything t sell the agencies which would want to make them buy back into to our program. I could try to old razzle dazzle , which is basically 'smoke and mirrors' selling the vendor something which just is not there. I sorta have an issue with that. The boss then charged one of my office mates to assist me. This person is incredible and highly motivated sort of "Rah Rah" but I have alot respect for this person. I pretty much avoided her as well as Frank, money guy in the office , ho also, got the assignment to talk to and reinvent me and that is what brought about yesterday's
intervention. I tried to passive aggress my way out of the event no go. I finality agreed to try doing it there way was doing a surrounding state survey to see what they are doing for the ame sort of project I am involved in. I learned some things of interest most of which is that i doubt i will be working here after July and I really am not all that worried which is a little puzzling to me I think I will still be employed...just not here.

so the boss is back her trip today and still nothing has happened--I think we are all just waiting till the end game starts when we find out just how much money, if any, the legislature left which makes me feeel more and more invisible.

Monday, March 14, 2011

All Day Long

Its been a long ten hours but I have been here all day an I am a bit worried that i have been on my butt too long but we'll have to see but the day has been a little exciting. Over lunch the Front desk person came back reporting there tons of cops at the Apartment house(building ) next door so I had to go check and sure enough there were. I did not see Coroner's unit but the Speial Crimes Unit was there so something bad went down.

It's almost time to go home and there is so much daylight left I cannot believe it!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Buy Me Buy Me Buy Me

It's been a pretty good weekend all things considered. I have been being good being in bed a lot of the weekend and giving the butt a good rest but i was up a little. We even went to breakfast with Anakah and later BARNES AND NOBLE. I am amazed at how many kids were there with parents on actual book quests, even more interesting was to see how many kids were putting on the 'BUY ME' pressure on the parents to buy more books then initially agreed upon. I used to see this behavior in the toy isle or the candy isle at the market but never at the book store...very interesting. Remember turn the clocks ahead!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Up a Little Down a Little

I am changing my lifestyle. I am not sure that I like the change but slowing down a little and taking care of my of my skin is a lot better then having the be down for months and having to endure surgeries to try to combat the ravages of skin breakdown.

Friday I had my DDS(Division of Determination Services) Advisory Board meeting not a bad assignment--the lunches range from hot to cold but they are usually good--I have even grown to accept the potato bar. I even like the sandwich bar we had on Friday multiple cuts of meat and really great breads to choose from not a bad lunch. One of the members to the board is a quadriplegic fellow from Logan, Utah--a very forthright academic who takes his job very seriously. His quadriplegia is much more involved then mine but his involvement downs not stop him one day I'll write more about Gordon. Gordon is really is really a piece of work. Anyway over the winter months a and now with the cost of everything especially fuel escalating Gordon and others from the Logan have been joining the meeting by telecommuting of one sort or another. Friday he informed the rest of the Board that he was going in for skin surgery Monday. It seems that Gordon has a major skin condition or butt sore much worse then mine. The surgery to do a 'flap' a procedure where a flap is manufactured from the patients body and sewn over the wound in hopes of curing the wound taking monsterous amounts of time in bed and a significant amount of risk to the patient. Gordon has been through a couple of these surgeries--I do not envy him and appreciate what he is facing by what i have just experienced even though what I have experienced is 'nothing ' compared to what Gordon is. I hope all goes well for Gordon and that Gordon can rejoin his life in six months or so.

So yes I am changing my life style--more pressure releases and time down in bed--every day maybe. Today all wounds have healed and I want to keep them that way...closed. so more trips to the Doc, weight releases, better equipment and a commitment to being well. Good luck Gordy!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Easy Does It

By way of explanation as to why I have not been posting the past couple of days is my continuing saga of the butt. I am really trying to be more proactive, adult and self supportive and that end I have been leaving the office early—all week. Last week I felt and DD informed me that I was experiencing some skin breakdown: a wound had barely appeared on my but and no matter what I did—except get off my butt—the wound just would not go away. So I have been getting off my butt when ever I can with the hopes the wound will heal swiftly. I was in bed pretty much all last Sunday and I have been leaving work early each day to scurry home and hop into bed. Really, this is the most committed to heading off pressure I have ever been.

I hate bed rest right up there with dental specifically root canals. I don't know why but, there is just something about waiting a loosing day, week or life just laying around. And I'll do what I must to avoid anymore down time then I need. But I have been being good an so far the result have been favorable. The wound I have been combating are all but healed leaving the wound site tender and I suspect vulnerable. Hopefully next week I will experience much more “up-time”. And that I what has been happening...I have not posted from the office since I knew I a running shorter days I had to get things done. I did not post from home because I was going straight to bed once I got in the door so there was no time to work at my home lap top. Luckily I have a good novel and I have been able to devote lots of time to reading.

So the wound I closed but I am still taking it way easy—Just want to stay up in my chair longer and enjoy the Spring which is finally breaking into the areea.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

All Summer Long

Yesterday was sunshine and and warm temperatures; this early Spring weekend. The day was not THAT warm but warm enough to drive me out of the house and toward the garage and to look at the mess of a wood shop that I keep there next to the house. I hope to be able to spend more time out in the garage this Summer making sticks and sawdust. I was in the garage looking for my tools and wood product to make a couple of hooks to help me in my feeble attempts to live more independently then I have as of late.

I, at one point in time, had twenty or thirty hooks made and ready for sale. The sales never came and I used the hooks as gifts, prizes at various private non-profit fundraisers and ofcourse assists, to me a person with a disability, to easier live my life. I have written of this before but by in large the reason the hooks came to be was to have an excuse, for me, purchase tools and collect wood scrap. But to surprise I have gone through almost all of the hooks I turned and sanded. Now, I need more hooks and that means I have to access my garage wood shop.

To me the first acceptable weekend of my wood season is always filled with frustration and hope and I venture out to the garage. I hope to just get out intothe garage an do some prep work but I have come to expect that being able to get in and start working will be impossible—at least three national holidays, family and friends visits associated with those holidays has caused items to be moved to the garage for storage or until the holidays run heir course. I hope I will be able at lest get to the far corner of my wood bench, the corner of the wood bench where I have the vises mounted and tools I use the most scattered: the hand saws, power drill and various rasps, files and sand paper. If I can get to the end of the bench I can do th basics like vise-up and cut sticks the lengths I want to start working on The garage I open however this Spring is chaos. I have to begin a constant slow burn of pressure to family for assistance in getting this handed to me or plugging in that till I have my space accessible to thee point where I can turn a rough piece of oak, poplar or pine into a hook. Some time I tun up the heat a little more then others but I have to be patient and remember there will always be another weekend. My goal this year though is to start early in the hopes of getting out early and enjoy my garage wood shop all season long.

Some day I am going to have heat in the garage, The garage will be cleaned out to the point where I will enter and start to work. Someday I am going to use the 220 outlet in the garage for something productive and I am going to have power outlets ALL around the garage so I will have power anywhere I need it..Oh, yeah I am also going to have power always on to the garage—day or night.

But yesterday I got out there and saw what I have to do. I got a couple of the last hooks moved them into the house, one I'll take to work the other I'll use round the house but soon, a couple more weeks I will be out in the garage making sawdust an happy feeling...all Summer long.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


I think I had better more explain the “RIP” quote post I uploaded yesterday. It all started last week when I could not not boot my computer, here at the office, when I came in the morning. I did not think too much of the issue since I was busy with some other projects. but I was a little irritated since I was not able to track my data. So by late Wednesday so last week I had had enough frustration and I did open up a ticket with State Information Technology (IT), which means I make a call to the “trouble line” an usually with in an hour someone calls me back and asks some question and if they cannot fix the issue they will send out one of the IT people, who usually doe a good job of finding the problem and getting me back in the game of work. By ten o clock the next morning, Cindy, our tech support person was out and went through the whole bit,”as the system plugged in”, “Are th drive free of materials” and on and on all the things I have learned may prevent my computers from booting up over the year and none o these thing worked.

Cindy had been watching me go through the boot up process over my shoulder and what she saw interested her to the point that I knew I needed to power up my chair and back away from the system Cindy was taking the challenge. With me safely out of the way Cindy dived into the ritual of saving the system. Was using all her secrete signs and codes on the little computer, and nothing seemed to work. Cindy worked the little CPU over for about thirty minutes and announced she was going to have to “bench it” meaning she was going to have to physically take the system over to her office where I guess things are set up for the heavy duty work: brain surgery. Cindy did assure me that something was definitely wrong and she feels the hard drive may have crashed. Really, this did not alarm me too much, I really did figure that if Cindy could not figure out what how to reboot the system surly she had a way to access hard drive and harvest data I have been compiling for years. I really, Cindy is state IT they can do anything computer related. So my little HP was headed to CPU hospital and I found out later to CPU heaven.

Luckily I have a back up system, literally a back up system, in fact, I have two, I have a little Compaq which was used by Tory—or the other operator—before she left and I also have the lap top we got a couple off years ago but has only been used for broadcasting our INTERNET interview show. So the lap to is basically new and one of the better machines in the office. Cindy plugged in the Compaq and I was back in business sorta. A computer like shoes or glasses is something a person has to get used to, especially a computer. Each system is different and doe things their own way and since we though the computer switcheroo was only temporary I did not think to have the printer installed or the “Groupwise” ( State- E-mail system) configured to work off this computer, my stored passwords are gone and my bookmarks too!! I can access my State e mail if I come into the Groupwise via the INTERNET and I can at least read my emails and write emails but I cannot access my “Address books” I can store appointments to the calendar and other little things. Late Thursday Cindy called and let me know that my CPU had “pass on” the hard had crashed and there was nothing she could do and could not access any of the store data but her supervisor had ordered some special software and the supervisor wanted to try to glen some of the data if possible.

It was late in the day on Thursday my Friday so I figured what the heck I'll wit till monday to get back up and running and maybe if they can save some of my number I'll be OK.

This has been a busy week and I have had meetings away from my office forcing me to spend a good bit of time on public transit and I was half expecting to get back from my meetings Tuesday to have resolution to my issue but no Cindy, I called left a message and a little before closing Cindy called and let me know that her supervisor's “hail Mary” had indeed failed and my little HP was indeed flatline and we just better move on.

So here it is on Thursday and I am waiting for Cindy to show up and we can do th grand switch to the laptop, install Groupwise the way n it is supposed to be and , yeah, Cindy was all “let's get you a docking station for the lap top, she thought she had some laying round from employees who have”moved on”. I have calls in for her and hopefully she'll turn up later today. I really need to get some work done—this waiting is getting real old.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

RIP little HP

Seriously. I AM going to write again soon but not today--things are just busy right now and FB and Twitter is the best I can do right now. I am trying to get anew system or working system at my office--my hard drive died with NOTHING retrievable...lets have a moment of silence...tip little HP !