Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Am I a Monster?

It's going to be one of those days if not weeks where there seems to be a lot of pressure going down at the office. It is a snow/rain day today as this area struggles to shake off the hold of Winter and break into Spring. It is snow/rain day and I have meeting out in the community and so I will be riding bus and train trying to make my meetings. The big issue for me is not the weather as much as whether I will have the power I will need to get from point to point. I should have gotten batteries Saturday or Friday but it is just too much work—I will get the batteries when I can no longer get from point to point.

The first thing I did once I get in from the train ride downtown to my office was, actually after I got in and talked to Frank, made and got coffee was to plug my self in to my office charger to make sure I had the power needed for my trip to the train station. The who time I kept an eye to the window watching the hurly burly black clouds rolling in from the West. Rain and snow was coming down at different time of the morning and by the time I took off for my meeting. There a light rain falling as I got to the train stop but soon turned to snow and heavy snow for a few minutes once I was at Central. The snow came and went in waves and I got covered more then once with snow but really I was not that uncomfortable. I made good time and had more then ample power. The meeting was a joke but joke meetings are not a surprise. I really tried to be part of it and I kinda think I looked the part. But these folks I doubt are going to give me any funding. And I doubt they are really going to get their project very far off the ground before they run out of funding or time.

Back at my office I am dry and plugged in charging again for my return home—the clouds have parted a bit but continue to hang round and threatened me and other transit users. The afternoon buses has picked up their pace and the home bound traffic is building. The meeting at my office have ended and I got caught myna master degree candidate from India and a low-talker on the phone who I could not help in the least except to inform him there were no more options for him to consider and he will have to deliver some sort of game plan for his problem of no acceptable housing, emergent housing. sometimes that is the best I can do is to tell the caller there are no more options as I see it—does that make me a monster? Does it make me a monster that I don't seem to care that this caller has no more options and I don't know what he will do tonight—but seriously there is just so much I can do.

I suspect I will run into more precipitation before I get back home.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Friday has turned into an outing day—Fridays we pick up one of the grand daughters from school and following her pick up we usually head out to lunch in spite of the fact that Ani has already had her lunch at school—lunch is for Dianne and myself. We usually like to sty in the neighborhood if there is nothing larger on our agenda for the day—we harbor this belief it is important to keep our dollars in the neighborhood or city. I have noted the past couple of weeks we have defaulted to the local Village Inn.

The Village Inn (VI) is OK, good food, good service (its a place where the waitress calls everyone”Hon”, “Babe” or some other term of endearment. The menu is OK, anything good is offered after five o clock but breakfast is served all day with lots of coffee and a place whee old folk go. I would just as soon go somewhere else but DD and Ani like the place and it's close to home. I just hate going to all thee places where I am the Old Guy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Prep and Air Force Imagea

Getting ready for Easter Sunday and dinner, washing, mopping, dusting and picking up, maybe more later but for now here are some images from the info fair recently held at the air base.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

yes Sir,Clear Sir!

It's always weird being on any kind of military establishment, for me. Being on post is such a experience. Uniforms, structured speak and good posture. This was was where I was all day yesterday at the information fair. This was the event I have been dreading ever since I got sucked in to doing it. I ha a table last year at this event so I kinda knew what I was in for but it WAS an all day event.

Not that the day was a cursed day but I should have realized the day would be challenging when I went to load up to drive to the air force base and I could not gt the automatic doors on my van to open. I have learned that when the door is stuck like this if I can get someone to push from the inside of the van out, on the door, the actuator arm will become unstuck and the doors will open. O, I had to return to the house an wake DD nnd have her push on the door an soon I was on my way north to the Air Force Base. Luckily I did not have any problem driving North, in fact I found the experience somewhat refreshingly stimulating. Since Utah has spent on much money road construction the past couple of decades the drive North has become much more bearable.

The next challenge I face was actually gaining entrance to the base. One of the things asked of everyone participating in the event was driver's license numbers and copy of and just who would becoming from your organization. Still when I pulled up to the sentry and he challenged me for my drivers license he wanted me to “park of there and step out of the van” at which point I let the man know I use a wheelchair for mobility and it would be a lot quicker for him to take my license and check against his records in the guard shack. Of course this is what he did and everything shut down on the on my lane and the cars began to pile up behind me. Eventually I was allowed on base and surprisingly I drove right up top the officers club. Amy had brought my small box of items up earlier, setting up took minutes and soon I was scouting a cup of coffee. To my amazement there was not coffee to be had at the check in and registration –only in Utah—I cannot believe I was the only to make such a request. But, there was a little restaurants not far from my building called Runway Ruby's and for she they would have a cup of joe and they did but guess what they were not immediately wheelchair accessible! Unbelievable. There was on door which had just one very small step which I was sure that my chair could negotiate if I could get to it but this was a two door entrance and only one door was open and it was too narrow for my chair to pass through both doors would have to be open. I had to flag down an airwoman exiting the building and have her go advise staff I was out front. One of the waitress' came out and eventually we got both door open and I entered got my Starbucks and returned to my table.

The only other issue I had was lack of power for my chair—the batteries are bad BUT I started out with a full charge and I figured I had enough power for the day. Wrong—by lunch (chicken ) I was dangerously low. And had to remain stuck in one spot all afternoon! Anyway I finally made it back home without being stranded—enjoy images from the airforce!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Wild Blue Yonder...

Tomorrow I am at the Air force Base all day taking part in an information fair. You know one of those events where every vendor who wants to sell something to people in wheelchairs or people who serve folk with disabilities i.e. sell stuff to ... congregate to see what's new. The air base is about fifty miles away and I have to be there about 7:00 o clock to set up my table. The problem I have is I really do not have anything to give away. Sine budgets have been so severely slashed I have not been able to replenish my trinkets and goodies I usually use to entice people to my table where I an then pounce and sell them on my program. So, today, with the help of our office administrator we made some pink brochures to pass out plus my business cards and that it.

I have done this gig before--I do it because my office mate, Amy is kind of in charge of it and she want to be sure that vendors attend....so I am there. Essentially all day--I leave at three to drive back to Salt Lake and maybe I can at least return calls and send out the email for broadcast Thursday. Sorry if I do not sound enthused...I'm not

Monday, April 18, 2011

What , Me Dead?

Saturday was a pretty good day for being cold and wet—slept in late and watched 127 hours—what a drag of a movie. I m still trying to get my head around the movie and the guy who got himself into the predicament he did: really cut your arm off. I suppose but the only one who would do something like that is someone dumb to have done everything else leading up to the event. 127 was so intense that DD and I had leave the house to unwind from the movie since we had to get the movies back to Redbox this was not a problem. It was then, going outside that we realized that even thought the sky was gray it was not really cold, actually the day was pretty nice so off we went to enjoy a Spring day.

We received a page of coupons, earlier in the week, for a place called Culvers, a fast food joint I had not seen in this area before the place looked pretty good. There is only one Culvers in Utah right now and it I located out in the West Jordan area and that where the Deseret Industries (DI) where DD wanted to explore so we figure we'd kill two birds with one stone. Culvers was Ok, not earth shattering as I had hoped. I was really hoping to find one of those family run old time hamburger joints where they still throw the hamburger buns in the hamburger grease and toast the bun in the hot oil but no such luck. Culvers looked like—and tasted like just the newest fast food chain to invade the State with homogentic fast food although I must admit the Culver basic burger was a shade more tasty then other like burgers n the area but I am still searching. The meal was OK but we both agreed we would never traipse all the way to West Jordan or the burger unless we were going over for another reason.

The West Jordan DI is one of the Churches mega DI's with all kins of junk to choose from and the place is a magnet for low income, and lower middle class from all over the Valley. Multiple languages, and kids fill the building—the toy isle is one giant free for all nursery. There are toys all over the floor mixed in with toddlers and pre-schoolers. There are about fifteen Hispanic, cowboy booted, cowboy hatted males lounging in the furniture section having some sort of a meeting lots of smiles, head nodding ad laughing as they wait for their wives wonder through the different DI departments. It seemed every aisle was crowded especially the book section ( where I usually migrate), every where I turned I was crushing someone's foot, hand bag or infant. I had to escape. I did a quick search for DD to let her know I was heading for the van and for her not to worry when she could not find me when it was time to leave.

The temperature has actually warmed a bit I found as I made my way to the van. The clouds had parted and sunlight was making its way to earth. My van is while so if I park myself next to my van and get not only the radiant heat but also the heat bounce of the van, refractive heat:perfect. So, I bundled my hood round my shoulders and tipped my chair back closed my eyes and listened....I heard voices of people walking by to and from the store, doors opening and especially slamming shut. I even head sea gulls wondering round above me and then I think I drifted off to sleep until my arm was jerked by some Latter Day Zionist asking if I was OK. I HATE BEING WOKEN THIS WAY. And responded that I had been OK until she woke me. I never say stuff like that but I did my comment was laced with irritation.

I guess I could have been in trouble—did she think I was dead or something? The good Samaritan huffed her way back to the store and I tried to get comfortable again but my moment had passed. I righted my chair and headed back into the chaos—thinking not a bad Saturday.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Rest off the Stoy

He bank folk said they were going to call me back when they notified someone at my branch but since Dianne and had planned on going out anyway an stopping by the bank on the way to pick up Anakah and we did. The problem was solved swiftly and of course the error seemed to be me. It seems I have my checks direct deposited in to my account and the account I have set up is a money market account which I then have to go in and move the funds over to 'Checking” its a bit of pain but I have gotten used to it over the years. The issue is or was that I have to leave at least once cent in the account or the computer shuts the account down when all the money is moved out or “zeroed out”. So I had my money just sitting somewhere in my account but I could not see it. The bank lady moved my funds to checking and reopened my account and al id good. I am just glad I found the problem before I was bouncing all over town—this was a close one. And that is the rest of the story.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Where's The Cash??

So, i go to transfer funds from my money market to checking and there is no money in the account--some home my money Market has been closed and my deposit is sitting at the bank and not where it needs to be working and making it safe for Dianne and I to use our checking account--so now I am waiting for branch bank to call and get this worked out--this is a real pain in the butt--more later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saving My Bacon

Why is it the harder one focuses on a task the more difficult the task becomes? We had another “Save Meadowlark's job” meeting last Thursday and it was decided that I would once again rebirth my self and make my office something the rest of the State want's to be part of. We continue to look toward technology for this saving grace. There continues to be interest in the semi-weekly broadcasts –the interview show I have been doing. We now have more then sixty filmed and in the archives. I like doing the interviews the producing and management is getting somewhat tedious but I keep turning the shows out.

One of the results of last Thursday's meeting was I am to produce a series of five minute shows illustrating :”how tos” for people with disabilities. This sounded pretty interesting and something I thing I could do, might be fun and even valuable to some of our funders. Something we could put together then host on You Tube or other INTERNET self video publish provider—there are tons. Anyway I got the task with first product to me examined tomorrow Thursday. I of course did nothing on the project until yesterday except think about the project. I actually changed to the topic which was how to work with Vocational Rehabilitation to how to get a designated parking plate.

I was alone for most of yesterday here in the office—the main Council held its monthly meeting in some remote corner of the state leaving me and Amy to host the office which means basically me since Amy is out in the community a great part of the time. The staff was gone Monday and Tuesday so while I was alone I decided to use the quite and private time to begin filming the first project. I am going to film this project with a cam corder or with my little red camera and then edit the takes and put the whole mess together. So, I have started with the camera on the lap top and
Movie Maker which came bundled with my lap top. The process is slow going and now with staff back in the office the going maybe be even slower still but I hope to have something to show. by tomorrow afternoon.

So, I truly believe this project will fun but be a lot of work and who knows, maybe just the thing to save my bacon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Heal! Damn You, Heal!!

I did it again, I spent nearly the entire weekend down, off m,y butt in bed trying to heal wounds before the wounds get so bad I wind up back in the wound clinic or worse in surgery for butt repair. I am sorry I am so focused on my rear and how much time I am spending off of it---it's just my wounds seem to be foremost in my life at present. If my skin is not right I am not right which means I am in pain and/or worse having to miss work, go to the doc's, hospital etc. And seriously I am not a boob, I do not believe I am hypochondriacal.

Even though I did spend a of of time down I di manage to go out to breakfast on Saturday and spent some time watching watching Ani an Dianne play pin pong at the Murray Rec Center where I did something stupid (which I figured out later). I was bored and playing with my cell phone and put as my update atone point Help! I am being held hostage at the Rec Center. Really not thinking anything of it but about fifteen minutes later I started getting responses from folks asking if I was OK. Only then did I realize the words written could have be misconstrued as a desperate cry for help or assistance!! I quickly sent a note indicating I was OK and for no one to worry, there were no rampaging gunmen at the Murray Rec Center.

But this weekend was a good weekend to be down, clouds and snow fell , what felt like , non stop through the weekend. I cannot believe I actually went out but I did. I ave been sitting for six some odd hours and I can tell my skin is taking a beating, I am lifting, tilting in place and thinking light and hoping this coming weekend will be better then the last...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Conference Afternoon

Snow fell during the night, a lot of snow, at least eight inches of snow and the looks cold and un-inviting outside my front room writing window. Snow fell all morning too but now the skies are bluing up in patches, the snow has stopped and the snow is beginning to drop off branches and telephone lines in clumps as the birds sing and look round quizzically wishing they has a hand to scratch their heads. Yesterday, running up to this Spring storm the temperature s high as 74 degrees: the ground is warm ad so is the street pavement and the sidewalk concrete so the snow ,of course did not stick on these services. The snow is melting fast as the day's temperature races up to the low fifties. Spring in the Rocky mountain states.

It's Conference weekend in Salt Lake! It's World Conference. The sheep from all over the world gathers this weekend for meetings, shopping and eating like they cannot any other time of the year. The meander round don town Salt Lake City Temple Square between sessions. Bulging bellies in ill fitting clothes wander aimless downtown, clutching their scriptures looking for cheap food outlets. I usually avoid this scene at all cost but yesterday I found myself downtown, through no fault of my own. I had agreed to be on a panel for Skywest airlines a couple of weeks ago, actually, I got into this whole panel thing because of my boss. Skywest called on her to put this panel together and she in turn put the touch on me. I was charged with putting together panels one on Wednesday and the other on yesterday( Saturday). Skywest has had their employees in the town all week, thousands of people doing conference from 8:00 to 5:00. I ended up getting six other folks with disabilities to populate the panels. Of course, my boss bailed for the Saturday panel but that was all right. I had negotiated with Skywest who agreed to feed my people which I figured was only right for these folks many of who are low-income, giving their time and expertise. My Saturday session got out at 1;00 PM and the LDS Conference was already on their lunch break and I was astounded. The sheep were or should I say cattle were meandering without shepherds or cowboys. The majority had a distant lost look on their faces, I tried to avoid eye contact eyes which seemed to be searching for a prophet to lead them to a promised land of fast food, which would feed them, make them happy and allow them to return to Temple Square and into their place for the two clock session. By this time of the day I just wanted get as far as downtown as I could—I threw my power chair in gear and escaped to the train station heading South.