Saturday, June 30, 2018

Almost Al

I don't have many paraplegic friends and I don't have many male friends and even less paraplegic-male friends. Alan Kimball or more affectionately known as Almost Al for his skills on the basketball floor. I've known Almost Al for almost 30 years or the entire time I've been in Utah. I'm surprised I even know Alan at all. I first met Alan when he came to work at the Independent living Center as the Recreation Executive or as we referred to Alan as the Rec-Exec.

When Alan first joined our staff it was a bit of a newbie. I think it only been out of rehab for about two years. He was a member of the local Pack of Paras– – This is what I referred to as a local group of paraplegics which kind of ran in a pack. They played very hard and they partied very hard. I was amazed at how much they partied. This pack of Paras have/were their own basketball team. The team was called the Wheeling Utes and were basically made up of players who could not play for the local professional team wheelchair spinoff the Wheeling Jazz. (The story of the battling wheelchair teams is fodder for another post for another point in time.) Alan is a major sports head. Allen is major male. Al is blue-collar and almost country. Al was employed employed at the time of his accident Wherein he broke his back. Allen drove a big rig beverage truck I think the one of the local beer affiliates. He loved his work and I think he still mourns the loss of his job.

Over the years, like myself, Allen has had numerous wives or relationships. For one reason or another we are kind of bonded and see ourselves brothers. As a rule paras generally don't really hang with quads and other disabilities. The paras put up with us to appoint but if you can't dribble a ball are play tennis then you are not part of the club. I'm proud to be one of the quads that Allen's chooses to hang with. Alan has recently fallen for a Canadian babe with a disability. I am quite happy for the both of them. They were in town this last week and actually tracked me down and came over to department for a visit. I was astounded but totally pleased. It's nice to be remembered. We talked and enjoyed each other and promised to stay in touch. Julie, the name of Allen's friend from Toronto, is still living in Toronto until she can get her papers in order and perhaps even more importantly for ICE to get their heads out of their ass so she can get a green card. Until then these two are doing a long-distance courtship. Actually Almost Al has just returned from three weeks in Toronto and I know he was there for a bit even before that. And I think for sure, you'll be going back in Julie cannot get a green card and permission to immigrate. I wish them the best of luck.

I don't know if we well Stay in touch over the next months and years. I would like to think we well but it's hard to say that this point in the game. But speaking of games, I won't be playing tennis anytime soon but just the same sometimes I feel, just a little, part of the club.

Friday, June 29, 2018


My van haunts me and actually I don't know if haunt is the right word perhaps I should use the word mock. Either way van sits out in the parking area challenging me. It's legal and is ready to go I just don't have a way to go anywhere with it on myself. I still am very interested in the vehicle am a little concerned. The vehicle has not been started since the reunion a couple weeks ago. I'm really afraid that the Vehicle needs to be started soon or the battery well completely discharge and be unusable until I can get a jump on whatever. I've been kind of hoping Mark Anthony or someone else might stop by and I get them into cranking the beast over.

Today I ran over to the cousins and drop off a beverage container you left in my vehicle when he last worked on it. I have to pass my van each time I go out to the bus stop and I feel the van mocking me. I really want to start the motor charge the battery. But I've been intimidated to the point that I think that the battery is already dead. Finally this morning I went out to the bus stop I realized that got my cell phone and went back to the apartment and on my return took a deep breath rolled over and toggled switch which opens the side doors to the wheelchair lift. They worked! Not only did they work with the perky there is a lot of juice left in the battery it felt like.

On my return from the cousins I decided I'm going to see if I can start the van myself. Of course this will entail be accessing the van and then transferring to the drivers seat and turning the vehicle on. I have not transferred from my power chair to the seat of the van since before my neurosurgery's. I don't know, I don't know if I can do all this stuff. I opened the doors to the van brought down the lift. I rolled onto the platform and lifted myself up to the van floor level. I powered the driver's seat back, I raised the seat and I lowered the seat and I turned the seat to face me. I noted with concern that even with the drivers seat raised to the limit It was only about equal to the power chair seat. The transfer into the seat would be easy that's just gravity but going back to the power chair that would be the challenge. I did not feel comfortable doing this maneuver by myself. (I don't know I'm really ready for this). I'm telling myself I'm going to hold off on doing the transfer until I can get someone to spot me with this process. Excuse excuse excuse!

I have to get my drivers seat safety belt working the way it's supposed to. If I really did try to get my drivers license I would have to take state drivers test. I know having a working safety belt and being able to use the safety belt independently is one of the first things they check with a disabled driver. I need to work on my transfers to make sure that I can install confidence in who tests me. I really wanted to transfer and put the key in the ignition and crank the beast over and charge the battery today just be sure the vehicle's ready, if and when I need to use it.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

On Being Naked

I was going to title this blog On Being Naked. I have an image in mind, And images me about two years old, naked holding a club. I thought I should check to see if I use this image before, I'm sure that I had but I want to be double sure. I did a search on the word “naked” and I was abashed at how many returns I got or postings I have done that included the word naked. I clearly am overly focused on the lack of clothes especially when I am the one without the clothes and yes that image that I had in mind… On the first posting rendered. I was a little dismayed mostly because I got a fairly decent image of me last night out on my patio – – naked.

It is wonderfully hot days of summer and as I've written numerous times nothing begs nudity like Summer's heat. I previously documented running naked at the river, February 7, 2007 posting. My older brother and myself and our two best friends, found a cabin which was actually a small pier Probably for launching small craft in the river ran high at another point in time. The remains of the cabin were over a pond which was serviced by backwaters from the river which now flowed a half to ¾ mile north of the cabin. I was just a click on the link and read about our adventures as naked runners along the banks of the Boise River in the late 50s or early 60s. Another one of my best friends sister used to sunbath naked in their yard very close to the twin Bridges over the Ridenbaugh Canel in South Boise,the heat of the summer. One of my best summer experiences was at a satrday night party in my new apartment complex (the Broadway to the). I don't remember how but I was dragged up to the second floor overlooking the swimming pool. Toward the end of the party just like in the movie a perfect 10ran down the pool, Stripped off her clothes swam for at least 20 minutes. I was in bed.

Last night as I visited/texting with my friend Lori, I sat at my computer make it with the door to my patio open as always is. I am fortunate to have some exposure to the park built on a berm which affords me maximum privacy. I also have a lattice over my iron railing around my patio guaranteeing even more privacy but the beauty is I turn the lights off in my apartment been sent out on my patio on hot summer nights enjoy the freedom and pleasures of the summer heat. I really enjoyed this exposure during the rare blusterous summer storms with great Winds been wonderful displays of lightning. For brief moments I feel totally at one with nature. We visited briefly about how we were no longer young and could no longer offer visions of “beauty” that we had once enjoyed. We are now much rounder and heavier and basically older. This of course is not stop me my second wife love to expound about how I always thought I looked great no matter what condition I am in and you know what? She's absolutely right. I don't care what other people think about how I look – – I know I look good enough for me and I'm my own best judge.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The New Legions

Against my better judgment I suited up and went to the direct monthly meeting over at the Housing Authority of Salt Lake County. And been contacted earlier by a friend of mine was also a DRAC member in fact she was on the Board of Directors for DRAC. She was contacting me to let me know that she was resigning from the Board of Directors and in fact DRAC itself. I was not surprised I've spoken with her last week to see if she was coming to the meeting today. I wanted to make sure I had a comrade in arms but alas I did not. Sherry has her own reasons for her resignation and I certainly will not second-guess what I know she was somewhat uncomfortable with the way DRAC is being operated. I think, I to assume make a decision of how I want to continue interfacing with DRAC.

It seemed I spent the whole course of the meeting refusing to take on assignments with this new project they are involved with raising money for not only that ADA celebration I think DRAC in general which is okay but not for me. I am really quite impressed with some of the members and the zeal they've taken to raising funds for the projects. As I've mentioned before the methodology is a bit draconian but it seems to be working and they are happy with themselves. I kind of feel I need to keep with the organization until after this ADA birthday thing passes even though I really refuse to get involved. In fact I was beginning to feel a bit guilty because every time a request for volunteers run out someone actually volunteered me for a project and I would have to verbally refuse the volunteering. So when the director of DRAC asked for someone to take notes of today's meeting I halfheartedly raised my hand and volunteer. I took notes, this is a failing of mine. My minutes are somewhat can be a little OCD. I tend to get caught up in the militia. I will try not to let that happen with this project. Who knows maybe if I can submit such a poor rendition of the notes/minutes Bill have somebody else do the minutes next time.

I know I look like a jerk, and really I am kind of one for not being more involved with the DRAC folks. However, I really must admit they're doing a great job! The folks I really thought losers (and I still think they are kind of) are really focused on contacting these businesses, private nonprofits and agencies in the community to see if they want to clash money to DRAC. I really believe these folks are doing a great job in bringing attention to the above indicated as to their accessibility to everybody in the community and especially people with disabilities. In 20 better job than I could ever do. They have new people coming in to each meeting. These are the new legions these are the ones who can bring change these are the ones to set a new mark for accessibility in our community.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer In The City

The hot weather is back and I am pleased. I had better act pleased as much as I talked about how upset that I was when I low-pressure system came through and lower the overall temperature by at least 20° . Once again my standing Tuesday morning meeting was canceled due to lack of funding. New funds will be released in July so I'm sort of on vacation until the new fiscal year in July. I still have meetings going on in fact I have one tomorrow afternoon. Since I have the time and the day free I decided I would go down to Utah Develop mental Disabilities Council or UDDC . The Council business sponsoring entity for the First Chapter program. Readers will remember that something happened to the coordinator of the program, Debbie, and Debbie is no longer with the program.

With Debbie gone I'm the closest thing to a leader for our First Chapter group. There are four other First Chapter;s operating by the Council but interestingly other programs are actually hosted by someone from the hosting library. Supposedly, our hosting library, West Jordan Library, is short-staffed and that is the reason Debbie and myself ran this group. The First Chapter group If organized correctly has been mean coordinator and assistant to help the coordinator and to step in if something should happen to the coordinator. I am that person. I decided I would use the time that I had this morning to go on into the city and the office and pick up the bag of books. First Chapter provides the books for the readers which has to be brought to each week's reading. I've had to actually do this, fill in, a couple of times and it kind of awkward dragging these books with me. However, I am happy to now be filling in and doing my part. Today that is picking up the books which are be used Thursday in the group. It's a little premature to pick up the volumes two days ahead of the meeting but I'd rather be dragging these books around for two days that have to scurry around getting everything squared away on the day of First Chapter.

I still have not found what happened to the first coordinator, Debbie. Amy, this kind of my best friend at the Council now. Amy doesn't really work for the Council she works for the University of N. Utah Way. Seems like she's had an office there forever because Amy isn't true maverick. I doubt that she could keep her job issues on campus but Amy doesn't excellent job and is the best advocate for DD students in Utah probably anywhere. I tried to get Amy let me know what was going on but that was a no go. Amy's to professional or she just doesn't care which is cool either way that's Amy and you've got to love Amy.

Amy and I talked for a long time with the door open. The office is small if anybody want to hear us they could we did not have anything to hide. Before leaving I dropped in on Amy the new director of Utah Developmental Disabilities Council. I once again reinforced my offer to help the Council anyway possible to get past this particular issue. The new directors named Libby, I like Libby I think she will do well. She kept asking me if I was going to do the group on Thursday and I assured her I was she seemed totally surprised. I don't know why after all is that not why they suck me into being part of this group? Looks like I'll be hosting the group, on my own, for the next four weeks probably through the month of August. That's okay with me with no other place I rather be on Thursday afternoon then posting the folks at First Chapter tearing into the next bunch of pages.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Bag Of Chips Nothing Fancy

Friday was the resident appreciation picnic here at the apartment complex. Last year I really wasn't sure what the event was all about. This year however I am little bit more in the know, I know the people better this year many have become my friends. I trust the management cannot make this a dorky event. I really wanted to participate space entry my part. Typically management will provide the meat product I. E. hamburgers and hotdogs and residents will bring an item of their choice as indicated by a sign up sheet.. My favorite go to item at a picnic is of course potato chips. I love potato chips! I love really good potato chips.

Saturday night, you will remember I went to the market in search of my prey: potato chips. I think it only fair that I should reward myself with a bag chips for me and then one for the resident picnic. I want to be sure to get the best possible. I go to brand here in the West is always been Clover Club. I think if you search Clover Club you'll see a number of references in this blog to my chip of choice. I did not see any Clover Club right off I did not spend all night at the market so I grabbed a Lays product, Wavy chips(Lays answer Clover Club's Crinkle chips to and I grabbed a bag of vinegar chips also a Lays product, a rare indulgence.

I didn't even head over to the market till after 9:30 PM, so it was late when I got home. I purchased some real beef baloney from another market earlier in the day and I was excited about an all baloney sandwich was a side of chips in this case vinegar chips and I'm hoping the vinegar would be very stout. I popped open the bag of chips and inhaled, there was a bit of a vinegar sour odor not as much as I would've liked but who's being judgmental? Then I hazard a taste. Then disappointment. Not only was the vinegar flavor missing but the chip itself was almost soggy! There was a bit of crunch and not what you would expect from a brand-new bag of chips. I popped in a couple more chips trying to make a fair judgment but the more than I the more I realized one reason or another these chips were almost foul. I checked the date on the bag which was well within time limits. I did not eat another chip. Enjoy my sandwich but not nearly as much as I had anticipated. The hour was late and my butt hurt I needed to get off my butt. I was going to return to chips but not that night.

Sunday morning was a good morning. I think okay breakfast but was anxious to get across the street in return by bag of chips. I trade there a lot, the Fresh Market. I roll into the market by the manager explained the situation she says just to trade the chips out, which I did. I decided to hedge my bet and I found a bag of Clover Club vinegar chips grabbed the bag and was gone. I got home and tested my purchase and at least the chips were crisp but the flavor was almost absent. I couldn't believe it but that was okay. The are righteous enough for a bologna sandwich.

The Wavy Chips are okay crisp and salty,, acceptable. I wish I had purchased two bags of the same chip. I will stick with what I know , next time a good thick, salty chip that's all… Nothing fancy.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Delight

Don't tell anyone but yesterday at the food bank I got a frozen filet mignon. I think I was beginning to frustrate the volunteer who is handing out food items. I just Kept refusing I wish you an offer like canned tomatoes or canned corn, canned beans, brownies, milk that is past its expiration date. Finally she reached into her freezer pullout this little fist of filet mignon and a huge family sized pizza frozen as stiff as a board. The filet mignon looked really interesting and I went home and threw it in the freezer. The huge family sized pizza is basically a cheese pizza which is okay because it is something to work with.

Another one of my guilty pleasures is pizza. I like hot pizza, I like cold pizza, I particularly like pizza that's been left out all night maybe even a couple days if the pizza lasts that long. I had an onion of course and I was fortunate enough to score a very righteous green pepper. I needed hamburger and a can mushrooms. I know most people would prefer real live mushrooms either sliced or whole doesn't matter to me. Fresh mushrooms are okay just a little overrated I would just as soon have little bitty canned mushrooms to do the job quite nicely. I was going to write briefly about my historic family square pizza – – mostly set on a cookie sheet but on review of past posts I see have covered that piece twice. Suffice it to say pizza is my comfort food. I did a recreational run last night to the market across the street and got the items I needed for the pizza plus a bag of popsicles.

I decided to keep breakfast simple this morning and opted for a banana and an apple and fresh coffee. With the energy I say I lost into washing my clothes after which the public pizza from the refrigerator no longer frozen – – floppy and a challenge to handle but I got the plastic wrapped pie onto a pizza pan and was surprised at how easy the plastic came off the dough. I had already chopped a can of olives, one onion and one green pepper. I partially cooked one hamburger patty and then combined everything on the pizza crust. The result was heavy but incredibly exciting. I cranked up the oven and surprised when I opened the oven to put the pizza and the smoke alarm did not go off. (I still have my resident advisors phone number in my speed dial program smoke alarm goes off) The directions for cooking a frozen pizza is 13 to 15 minutes but I always end up cooking the thawed product 20 – 25 minutes. At 20 minutes I checked the pizza and declare that it's done this before the smoke alarm erupts and I call the RA. I then wait for the cool down. I understand it is an exercise in patience but it's easier, safer and quieter if I wait until the pizza cools the point where it's easily handled.

I don't know how many frozen pizzas were donated to the food bank but I'll never turn a frozen pizza down. I now have quick and easy meals for the better part of the week to come. I also caught the filet mignon because it roll out the freezer and thawed and I cut the other hamburger patty from the packet I purchased for the pizza. Meals for all week!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Waiting In Line

Just back from Food Bank Saturday. Food bank today was okay but not stellar but am indeed grateful for what I was granted today. I got the food bank early well earlier than usual. I usually end up getting there about an hour into their two-hour time. I was wondering if I went earlier then I usually do would the waiting line be any shorter.. Oddly enough I don't think the time when one arrives makes a whole hell of a lot of difference. Maybe a little bit, there is only three or four people ahead of me but I arrived at least 15 minutes early so I still had to wait that time to my waiting.

I'm always amazed at the caliber of conversation happening in the lines waiting for food. Today there are more women and kids been usual I thought. I at first thought by the lack of conversation that no one knew each other but I was wrong. One of the women noted the other looked tired and asked how she was. The tired looking woman had been up all night in her car. She'd gone to help someone and when she was done to car would not start. She did not want to leave the vehicle unattended in that neighborhood and she spent the night keeping vigil on her vehicle. She could not get anyone on her cell phone to help her. She was tired and it shows. Two others when, one lady was a bit older but looked quite well taken care the other possibly older than the first was quite hammered it looked like she'd been through the mill just twice. I was astonished when after a few minutes the hammered when begin their tail of numerous trips to the various medical clinics for chemotherapy. Two endoscopies and babysitting a friend who was at stage IV cancer. I was even more astonished to find the two older women were sisters. The blonde lady in front of me had been very quiet then she to enter the conversation and she knew the two sisters! This blonde at all about having car problems which kept her up all night as well.

It's hard to tell how long the line is. People standing in line often accompanying others in the line. So what might be four people ahead of you could only be two if the other two are there to assist the other person in line. Was kind of weird to me is a process at this food bank where people can leave their baskets, containers even suitcases which they bring to collect their food. They can leave their article there in line like a marker then leave to do something else. I suspect many goal sit in their cars. It's just disconcerting. Today for instance one young person walked out and got herself at the of the line. Nobody said anything except eyebrows shot up. Then, this other woman who had never seen before start explaining the kids actions by saying she invited the adolescent women because last week this woman had come down on the adolescent for cutting in line but turns out the adolescent had a good reason. So this week the woman was letting the adolescent cut in line and confessing their shortcomings with the adolescent the week before. I try not to get upset which I did okay, I had a book to read in the adolescent was kind of cute but I'm sure there's a lot more of the story that I was hearing. My experience is been if I get bent out of shape I'm usually embarrassed when I hear explanations. I think it was just best just, to turn my head and wait in line.

Friday, June 22, 2018

On Pulling The Trigger Twice

There was a story on NPR's Story Corps this morning about a mom, who being abused by her husband had killed him with a handgun. She shot him twice twice and of course, the guy died . The piece moved me because, I understood why she shot twice, why she pulled the trigger the second time after the first. She wanted to make sure the abuser stayed down. You have to do its the first and perhaps only rule of bully survival. We have to make sure that when you retaliate you do so with a vengeance and retribution so significant the bully forever leaves you alone . One of the best examples I have seen in literature of this was in Ender's Game where Ender retaliates against his bully and kills him.

Sorry to say I have older brother who is a bit of a bully growing up. We are friends now and I appreciate our friendship but growing up it was kind of frustrating and frightening. I think on a primal level I knew about this scorched-earth policy of retribution towards your aggressor but I really never had the full commitment to pull this bit of self protection off. I think I feared that I would not be able to achieve the ferocity needed to establish this kind of resolve. Many times I tried only to aggravate the beast to the point where the retribution visited on my person would be intolerable. I don't know if my brother would have killed me had I finished the job of beating the snot out of him to the point where he would leave me alone from that point forward. Actually, I knew deep down I would have to kill him to bring about that kind of security. Saying that actually happened there be no security for me I would punish myself for committing this final atrocity. Interestingly in the piece on NPR's the one daughter never spoke to her mother again following that night when mom assassinated dad out of self-preservation. The daughter now understands and appreciates the action her mom had to take to self-preservate and wishes she had been able to communicate this to her mother.

I don't know what so intrigued me about this Story Corps so much. I don't know that was the description of the event or the fact that the storyteller went out of our way to indicate she pulled the trigger twice on the weapon she used. In the telling of the story the communicator does not say the reason for the second shot was to make sure the perpetrator did not get up but I certainly fully understood the rationale of the second pull. And truly appreciated the courage that wife/mother exhibited to pull the trigger a second time.

Just a quick aside – – I really like Story Corps, I've actually been on Story Corps, I supposedly have my recording archived at Story Corps Central Washington DC. I'm lucky I have a copy of the interview with my friend Marty Blair because I've never been able to find it at Story Corps... Just saying.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Stepping Up

The only constant is change, this is one of my favorite mantras. Thursdays are becoming my busiest day of the week and I like that. I like that a lot, being busy, feeling like I'm doing something, something relevant maybe something important . Coffee group this morning was okay however I am getting tired of paying a dollar a week for less than exciting treats. Today it was cake made by the English woman. I'm sure that it was great I was just hoping for more maybe something with some protein. I should not complain the whole coffee event is pretty lightweight. Really, the only reason I go because coffee group balances out my day on Thursdays. I feel fortunate in that I was able to pump my 50 minutes of the arm bike before getting ready for Next Chapter.

I got to the library as usual about 40 minutes early. I take the time to sketch, go through the used books and CDs and videos and just hang out. I was surprised when five minutes to the time of group that the project coordinator had not shown up. By 4 o'clock ,time of the group, she's still not showing up but the group members were. I turned there was Libby coming towards me with a big smile. To be truthful I did not really recognized her but I did recognize the big bag over her shoulder, the same bag Debbie usually slings in with. Libby is the new director for the Developmental Disability Council. She's young compared to previous directors but she seems committed to the project. She says hi to me and informed me that Debbie has quit in such a way that there's a lot more to the story. It is clear that that Libby wants the group to go forward does not really know how to do so. Finally, it's my time to shine. Seems like all my time the group until now has been training for the now. Even when I took the group for the week that Debbie was gone today felt different today felt like my group. I stepped up and helped Libby run the group, really run the group. Luckily, it was a smaller group than usual with one of the care centers not showing up in a couple of the other members. There there was four or five of us and really fairly decent readers. We zipped around the circle quickly. Everyone got a chance to read at least twice. Of course, everyone wanted to know where Debbie was an Libby was straightforward the group just what they needed know. I was kind of impressed at how well the group took Debbie's absence and announcement that Debbie was not coming back. I was kind of amazed that the group seemed somewhat collectively relieved.

Before Libby took over as director of DD Council she was just off the staff. Debbie actually thought that she was going to get the directorship but that did not have I don't know if that had something to do with her abrupt leaving the office and her position. Libby seems to be doing a good job transitioning into the director. I really wish to support her and her transition anyway that I can and I told her such. Told her she needed me to come and help answer the phones, or whatever I can do to help out just a call. Not to be Machiavellian but it would be nice: some part-time work or something. If nothing else I told Libby I would be happy to take the group next week by myself when Libby informed me she would not be able to make it. That's cool that's why I thought they want me for the job. It would be nice to get a couple blocks though if not I like this group the guys really are trying hard and their reading really well. I just hope I can measure up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

See Me!

One of the ways management communicates with us residents at the apartment complex is by posting small bills on the side of your door. I find these messages a bit disconcerting. It's not quite as bad as the “see me” message I would get on the bottom of the test paper but never as nuclear as a court summons left on the door by a Sheriff making a little extra money. And yes, I have experienced both.

It's that time of year the complex is changing the filters out expecting a lot of use of the air-conditioning system as the summer begins to heat up. Supposedly heat up but each time we get a couple days of temperatures in the 90s we get thrown back into lower temperatures in the 70s. Actually quite confusing for an old fart like me list for the heat of the sun. I was going to try the out of my unit when the guys came by to put the new filters in. In fact I was out of my apartment down at the front of the building checking my mail them to in the installers came up to me as they were headed out to lunch to let me know that they would be back later and would stop in all I was there. They had been by earlier than I had not been around or had not answered the door and they want to make sure I'll be home.

I have a closet furnace which doubles as a air-conditioner during the summer. The system losing a closet in the corner of my living room and is really quite hard to get to because I have my computer set up in my little desk in that corner. It's kind of embarrassed last year when they came by had a finagled the wires in the bookcase but they did it no problem and it it just as good a job this year. I don't know I did not see them. If I can arrange my time I like to pump my arm bike for about an hour between 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I listen to Terry Gross in Fresh Air. I like Fresh Air, Ms. Gross does a great job on her interviews at least everyone else thinks she does a great job – – I think she's okay with taking me a long time to get used to her but I like her show even if her method of interviewing is sometimes quite awkward. I should not criticize she has a job and a show and is getting paid for it and I I do not and am not. And of course as I was pumping my bike I hear a knock on the door. I have allowed for the knockers “come in” and sure enough they do. They can see that I'm strapped to my bike pumping would tell me not to do anything but work out they'll get to work and they did. Less than five minutes they were gone and I didn't lose any arm time.

I have to admit I'm impressed with the apartment management. The actually change the filters twice year went to the fall before the heavy use of the furnace overwinter and in the spring with the heavy use of the air-conditioning system over summer. I wonder if they've noticed that I don't even have my system turned on. I leave it off all summer that I can. Sometimes, I will have visitors and I will actually crank up the system bring the temperature of the apartment down while they're here. I also do this for my cleaning woman I work hard to keep her happy because she does a great job.

The weather guy tonight promised it would be in the 90s tomorrow which excites me. I'll be out of the tarmac in the afternoon in the heat of the day. I look forward to the evening when the days heat will linger as I listen to the night outside my window.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

First World Seniors

I went down today to check on Ann, the Service Coordinator, a.k.a. social worker, here at the apartment complex. They don't call Ann “the social worker” but her degrees in social work and she works with folks to iron out their problems one sort or another… if it looks like a duck… it's most likely a duck. I know that and has been well couple of weeks now ever since her vacation. It's not like I needed to talk to Ann today except just to visit but I'm a little concerned as to her well-being. Ann is the Service Coordinator at other buildings in the system departments owned by Utah Nonprofit Housing. The Service Coordinator is here only on Mondays Thursdays and Fridays.

I stopped by Jennifer's office, who is the building manager, she and Ann seem to be pretty tight – – they are management, they get paid to be here. Jennifer told me she's not sure but and has been pretty sick ever since she got home from her vacation. Jennifer also that today Ann is supposed to be in Magna but she would check to see if Ann was in to work today. I shook my head and just said “yeah, sounds like first world problem”. Jennifer narrowed her eyes at me just briefly but I felt the glare. I think she thought I was saying that Service Coordinator deserves to be sick because she went on vacation because she could go on vacation because you have a job, a good enough job that lets her go on vacation so much vacation that she goes a couple times a year which is great it's just too bad to get sick every time she goes on vacation. I hope Ann gets better soon I Mr. miss Ann.

“Sounds like the first world problem to me” is one of my current favorite jabs at the system. I'm fortunate enough to be straddling the “system divide” right now. I have a van which is licensed and runs – – I do not have a license to drive. I am self-pay on my attendant care and I'm able to make it from week to week with just three visits per week. (Last night I was visited by my former home health person, Gail. She's quite elderly yet continues to work nearly full-time as a home health person and I think she's pretty good. She has recently started providing home health services some of her clients “under the table”. She really has to do this because your agency does not assign her enough work to meet her bills. I made a mental note to myself to find how much he charges on the sly, and might be interested in having her shower me over the weekend, the long stretch of time where I go to shower from Friday to Monday. Many times over the summer I think I would appreciate a quick shower. If I can find the right price I might consider a shower if it would boost Gail's local economy. How much would YOU pay for shower?

This morning house outside playing with a mirror I found on the sharing shelf was outside by the dumpsters flashing anybody or anything that aided in the air and Kathy came out in her power chair. We spoke briefly Kathy was upset about being banned from the senior center bus service because they enjoyed her feet a number of months ago and now she's banned from that service for their mistake. She said she got the double whammy because you have Medicaid. Suffice to say this is a long story. I told her she should use public transit the mainline bus. She did not know she could, she did not know she could get on with us. I assured her she could and should. I doubt that she will, but she might. I hope I have not created a monster. Kathy deserves as much transportation but she should get or can get. Right now It does not know she can even get on the bus… She will shortly. Riding the bus or more specifically not writing us is Kathy's first world problem I truly hope she can solve their first real problem

Monday, June 18, 2018

Resistance Is Futile

One of my great frustrations is having something, something that I really need and not being able to find the item. This happens to me more than I would like to admit. Today I've spent a good portion of my time trying to get my hands on one of my SD cards. I have three or four SD cards that I have collected over the years from my cell phones and tablets. I know that I have them, I had them when I left the house in Murray. I haven't needed them really until the last few weeks when I started trying to install applications on my tablet (which I purchased when I lost or had my tablet stolen last year. The tablet is a small version of what I was used to and I didn't pay attention to the fact that it had a relatively small internal memory. Anyway a couple weeks ago when I tried to install the application the tablet would not let me. The tablet informed me that in order for me to install another app I would have to delete another application already on my system. I did not have that many applications of the tablet. Then I remembered if I had an SD drive and more specifically a microSD drive I could actually store applications on the microSD and even run the applications from there allowing me a lot more freedom to install applications on my tablet. I do not seem to have this issue with my cell phone however having a microSD on my cell phone certainly cannot hurt.

And methodically went through the top three drawers of my little cabinet. This daylong project started out as a way to kill some time until meeting my writing friends at the village in for an early lunch. When I returned from lunch request for the microSD drives continued with a vengeance.

The exercise was not totally futile. I found one of my favorite pens, scotch tape and shipping tape (the shipping tape I could have really used last week when I had to return a box of catheters). Three books I found which I thought for sure I had lost – – I tend to lend things out and then forget who I lent them to. One of the books was a volume by Lawrence Ferlinghetti who I really wanted for a project that I involved with. So those in this regards my day was a success. However, there was collateral damage, with me there is always collateral damage. As I methodically sifted like an archaeologist through each drawer I just seem to breed chaos with everything that I touched. I have since little surface worked with but I had to pull things off the desktop that I hadn't stopped them into various shelf space above my work area. Of course items seem to just leap off the shelf but I would stick the items. I console myself by saying this mess is just situational this will pass but I find what I'm looking for. And it well even if I don't find the media I'm searching for. In fact, I'm already making plans to go to Walmart to see what it is the card might cost. I briefly looked on the Internet which is a smart way to go or at least the least expensive if I had the patience. A trip to Walmart with you great excuse to get out of the apartment. I might even go tomorrow.

It seems like I fight chaos constantly and lose. I would like to think I could keep a semblance of order in my living space but maybe I just have to realize… Resistance is futile.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Flash Back

Do you ever wish that he had a time machine? I know you can't go back and change things all that stuff about quantum physics and time travel. But would it not be great to be able to go back in your own history and just watch your history unfold? I would. The time I'd be most interested in would be the three years before my accident just as I was becoming an adolescent. The earlier years were okay and kind of fun.

I played a lot of Little League baseball growing up not necessarily because I wanted to but because my friends all played baseball. The team was made up of course all my friends from whatever grade I was in the summer. Myself and my best friend John lived in rural Boise. We lived quite a ways from the city, at least a couple of miles. The rest of the team members all lived in town and we practiced at the East junior high baseball diamond. Five days a week usually practiced which meant riding my bike all the way in to East been practicing. It was a long ride. In the early days I wrote a JC Higgins one speed and later inherited my older brothers Schwinn 10 speed. That's like my mit over the handlebars and pump into town. I put the past the old Holcomb school and on the Boise Avenue, past the twin Bridges then passed Greenwood Circle, past the Food Fair market(it used to be Dells market) then test Garfield school where we turn right on Broadway and pump past the Broadway bar (Danny Barlett's dad owned and ran the bar) past Fred's and Hawkins Take-home, as the Circle K Tavern across the Boise River Bridge, past Clover Club potato chip factory in coast into the baseball field. The ride in was actually quite a long pump. We practiced for about two hours sometimes three then reversed the trip.

There was a section between Greenland Circle the food fair market that was very rural nothing to pasture or hayfield on each side of the road. Midway between these two points on one side of the road was a huge stand of rosehips. On the other side of the road was a number of wild trash trees with wild shrubbery at their base. For one reason or another these rogue pieces of vegetation were targets for all kinds of litter. I don't know why but we found more than one pack of cigarettes on our home treks home. Other great finds included Playboy magazines and other treasures of soft porn. Other kids most of regular bikes back and forth by John and I did why they didn't find these treasures leaves me perplexed. These finds almost made the bike trips worthwhile.

That was 50 years ago or more. The only thing that remains is the curve in Boise Avenue. So much development has taken place over the decades none of the rich rural flavor remains. I spent a couple of hours with Google maps and the “satellite” feature which allows you to actually see the area given me a view of what the journey looks like now. I wish I could find a Google map that could take you back in time and see what the world looked like then. Every once in a while I do a search to see if somebody has put together images taken from another time been spliced together to render views of days gone by.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Springs Last Saturday Night

Last weekend, over the weekend I gained maybe 3 pounds just over 1 kg! Could've been three steaks at the Golden corral or the brunch with my little sister on Friday or maybe the after-hours get-together at my brothers were there were snacks, sandwiches and other treats the chickens are coming home to roost and they are all roosting on me. I hate gaining weight.

I've done some poor on Weight Watchers that my own health person, Dana, taking back her books from Weight Watchers. Retrieving the books is probably as well, I really was not using them anyway. Weight Watchers is just to threaten. I guess I'm going to do anything it will be with just watching caloric intake and limiting myself to 1800 cal or less a day. The hundred calorie diet has been the most successful thing I've done regarding weight loss. Now I just have to get serious stop putting things in my face. I think I will continue my food journal anyway. I become more conscious of caloric intake when I journaling my intake during the day. Having said all this I was now confess that tomorrow Father's Day Mark Anthony is taking me to breakfast around 8:30 AM. So already I continue my self-defeating behaviors. Perhaps I can be more focused and following the breakfast. Funny though, I was texted this evening by my cousin the owner of the mechanic shop to make tacos and other Mexican delights tonight and wanted no I would like some. I can hardly say no. So tomorrow around 2 PM Scott is bringing over a delightful Mexican dinner. I've got to make some decisions and one of those decisions may be that I'm just not cut out to be a dieter. We shall see. When the reunion over I have the whole summer look forward to losing weight. Perhaps I can get involved again with the wellness program at the University of Utah or even the one they are trying to get going at Intermountain Medical. I am even considering the possibility of pushing my manual chair again a couple times a week. I don't know if that would burn calories are not. Dana says not to work out more but to eat less and I'm sure that Sage advice.

I spent the day just goofing around the apartment. I had a good time I actually made some hooks I sawed and I drilled. I used the dowels that I picked up at Lowe's last week and one of the hooks that I got from Home Depot. I'm pleased to be working again with the wood. I even talked to Mark Anthony about using the van to pick up some sticks to use for hooks. I like the dowels but not as much as I like the throwaway wood. I washed clothes and could semi-breakfast. I opened the food bank ham I got a couple weeks ago and the little ham is pretty good. I even had a ham sandwich this afternoon. I do like to eat.

I know I'm just rambling on Saturday night. It's not as hot as it has been and I do miss the heat, there's Rascals in the park playing heavy beated music. The music is deceptive and makes it sound like there's a real bad over there a real happening I rolled over and check it out earlier tonight was just a group of folks having a picnic, at Pavilion, with a fairly decent sound system and that's all.Will

Friday, June 15, 2018

About Face!

I believe I have spoken/written about being an exhibitionist before in this blog but I just did a cursory search found very few references towards exhibitionist are exhibitionism. I'd like to think that at one time I was a shy guy – – in fact I still do believe in some regard that I am. I am shy until I feel comfortable in the surroundings that I am in. I was raised in a dogma which tended to give the shy person the opportunity to overcome this dubious disability. Everything from praying in public, speaking in public in front of large groups of people i.e. congregations of the ward. Performing in skits in front of the selfsame ward. I have one time even studied the accordion, the big accordion the 120 base accordion, and at least once a year having to perform in front of a crowd. So I suppose over the span of my life I have worked the shyness out.

I have often maintained that if you are a person with a disability you had better not suffer from shyness. Quadriplegia in particular is a somewhat exhibitionary disability. You cannot bathe yourself, you cannot dress yourself and if you have a wardrobe malfunction you have to get somebody else to correct the malfunction regardless of the personal nature of that malfunction. Of course, there are different levels of quadriplegia I been a partial quad. I can do, actually, a lot of stuff thank goodness but still there are things I cannot and I must rely on someone who is more able-bodied and me. More than once I have had to disrobe or have been disrobed for one reason or another in front of a group of folks I had no idea what was happening. For example, I often wear pants that are larger than I need for the convenience of dressing and using the restroom through the day. One time when I was crossing the street but I was still using a manual wheelchair I fell out of my chair and of course my pants felt my knees exposing everything (I do not wear underwear). Three women were across the street with me actually stopped and assisted me back in my chair. They were most gracious and pulling up my pants. He smiled at me and went on their way. I've had to just accept the fact this is my life

I have talked before about the fact that public transit buses only have only to wheelchair stations, meaning they can only carry two people in wheelchairs in the tiedown positions. These stations are parallel each other on opposite sides of the bus. When one of the stations has a chair locked down that chair compromises the ability of a new chair coming on board to turn around and back into the station to be tied down. I started telling drivers or asking drivers to let me know when there is a wheelchair person on board when the bus pulls up to me. This will allow me to back on to the bus or access the bus backward allowing me to access the wheelchair station more conveniently and in some situations coming on the bus backwards is the only way that you can access that station and be facing forward. As more and more people who use wheelchairs for mobility are showing up on the bus this is becoming more and more an issue. In fact recently I have just elected to tell the driver to secure me in the wheelchair station backwards. This is somewhat intimidating since I have to face the rest of the passengers for the duration of my bus trip. This would not be easy for shy guy. Oddly enough the drivers have not had a problem securing my chair this position which is somewhat surprising. I have really considered working up a routine in doing stand up/sit down comedy from the bus trip. I doubt this will happen.

I took this image on today's trip felt a little odd doing so from a privacy standpoint of the other riders but then I thought what about me? I'm having a face you all so I guess all works out in the wash. There is no more privacy and perhaps that's best.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

First World Problem

Even if I had my license, my motor vehicle operator's license, I doubt that I would really drive my van more than use public transit. It's really hard for me to use my van. Perhaps if I did not have to transfer from my power chair to the drivers seat I would use the van more. Perhaps if I enjoyed driving in heavy traffic or risky traffic I would use my van more but I don't. I'm not really tried transferring from the chair to the six point power seat of my van. I don't think it would be all that difficult but I haven't done so since my operations. It's not like I have to do any lifting per se, through the magic of hydraulics I can always maneuver my point of transfer higher than where I'm transferring to allowing me to use gravity as my friend making the transfer. I worry a bit about decubitus or pressure sore from the friction of transferring. Then there is the problem of remaining upright while driving. Again gravity can be your foe or your friend in equal portions. More than once when I tried to make a turn and was not braced accordingly I tended to go with the flow and gravity pulled me over. I have been lucky that no traffic was close by and this occurred. My unstable driving could have resulted in very serious consequences.I don't know how many times I have dreaded having to drive home after a full day of work or recreation or whatever and having to drive. I'm tired and exhausted and it's all I can do to get home.

I never have any of these issues if I'm a passenger on a UTA bus or light rail car. If I am using public transit all I have to do is get myself to I busstop or transit station and wait for the bus or train. I don't have to worry about traffic, traffic lights if I have enough gas to get home or to my destination or of my battery will be charged when I get to the van late at night after a night out. Aside from a derailment of the light rail or the heavy rail I'm save on public transit. My ride on public transit is essentially free with my paratransit pass. I do not have to worry about insurance, payment of any kind, maintenance and a place to park. There really is no contest but like a fool I am working towards getting my license reinstated. I am paying over $100 a month insurance, every month! I am worried I don't have enough gas in the vehicle. I am worried that I will not drive the vehicle not taking the battery charged. I have a host of first world problems and worries. If someone walked up to me on the street and asked me to buy my van would I sell? Yes. In a heartbeat. I don't know how actively I'm going to try to market this vehicle but I'm going to try to get rid of it. When the time is right hopefully a buyer will appear.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Previously on Meadowlarks Mind… I have always wanted to use that introduction which I think was made famous on “24” Fox's great gift to the world. Anyway previously I just registered my wheelchair van for duty and got the insurance secured and actually had been ferried back and forth to various activities of the recent reunion. The big white van is now part in that solitary space at the apartment's secured parking area where the big white van will set until I can get a driver than when I need one. For a host of reasons it only makes sense that I secure my motor vehicle operators permit i.e. drivers license. I'm gearing up for an arduous task. I don't test well as it is and I don't know if I will not only need to take the written exam but I would also not be surprised if I must perform a practical are driving exam as well. So, to that end, I decided to begin the process. In order to kill some time on Monday before my lunch with my friend Dennis I decided to take the bus out to Utah Department of Safety, Drivers License Division. I was surprised I always thought drivers licenses came through just Utah DMV. Wrong! Any time I have to deal with drivers license issues I must contact Drivers License Division.

The atmosphere was still cool trying to bounce back from the cold front which wandered through the region on Sunday. The morning was cool but not uncomfortably so. I think 47 out to the driver's license bureau. I had never got there on public transit and was not quite sure where the Bureau was. I of course had been there before but Dianne had driven that have paid much attention. Now I was. Drivers License Division much like Social Security administration is one of the great denominators. Nobody gets out everyone has to go through those doors if you want to drive. Midmorning and already business is booming at the division. I did not want to have to take a number and go through the line just to get a copy of the drivers manual. That's what I wanted was the drivers manual so I can begin boning up on what I needed for the examination. I looked all around cannot see a stack of pamphlets that typically was the drivers manual. I could not believe this, today not even publish a manual anymore except on line? It would not surprise me. I had found what could've been an online manual but didn't seem to be just parts of the manual's like teasers. Surely there had to be drivers manual. I finally summoned up a bit of courage and rolled up to the end counter behind which what could've been some level administrator and undercover law enforcement official having a great conversation no doubt about their weekends.I asked him about the drivers manual they pointed out a counter but nobody stood and there was a pile of (what looked like to me)magazines. I rolled up and snatched a copy of the top “magazine” and sure enough it was a copy of 2017 – 2018 Utah Driver Manual .The manual was as big as the bloody magazine! Published on cheap newsprint, there is a bunch of pages to deal with. Is going to be challenging.

To say that I was intimidated would be an understatement but I rolled up the document stuffed it in my pack exited the room looking like I had found exactly what I was looking for. Waiting for the 47 to take me back to the community college I leaf through the manual. At the end of each section they give you a couple of simulated questions I guess like you would see in the examination. Some I got some I did not. My home health person Dana has become somewhat of a confident are sounding board and I told her about my experience. She told me that I should just have taken the test and I passed great had not passed no problem learn from the mistakes and take the test again. In fact, she said, the test is open book! You are allowed to make two attempts a day. I understand that these are limited (for the Examination)You test till you pass! How civilized is that? I'm still going to read as much of this handbook as I can then take the tests. I don't know why I'm even doing this. I really don't know or think I'm going to attempt driving again but, you never know. I can see myself doing so in a pinch. I would not mind having a second form of identification and I understand my insurance might be less if I had a valid drivers license. Plus, I would love to have my own license picture to share with friends went out drinking and the conversation turns as it always does to “wait till you see what I look like in my license”.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lunch With Dennis

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

I was pleased today, the heat is finally coming back to the area following that cold low-pressure front which wandered through the region following the reunion. I was also kind of excited because my friend Dennis from my old ward and I had a lunch appointment this afternoon. The vigilant reader will remember couple years ago that I had another meal with Dennis, the first ever. Dennis is a friend from my youth actually he was quite a bit older that I, in fact I was a close friend was his younger brother, Kim. Again, the vigilant reader will remember that I was quite deflated following the lunch when Dennis sort of offered me a business proposition. I wrongly read is desire to get together solely as an opportunity to make a sale. I was wrong and I was also surprised that Dennis actually read the blog posting which was less than flattering, and he called me on it. Amazing. I'm glad he did.

It's great about Dennis is that he's old enough to give me a total different perspective of how I grew up and how I saw things versus how things really were in many situations. He knows things about my family and many the people I grew up with that I had no idea. Dennis is an operator. Dennis is an honest and benevolent Trump. Dennis has that personality of taking a problem in wrestle that problem down Until the problem shouts “uncle”. That is how he has always had to live his life. Like me Dennis came from a huge family with limited funds. Dennis's life has been a struggle But is finally getting on top of it and is nearly debt-free… Something to be admired.

We talked a long time – – we went to a buffet, the Chinese buffet. I really don't like buffets or actually I really do like buffets but there is just way too much food. But I like the food today I shouldn't of eaten is much as I did. I'm sure I set my weight loss challenge back considerably. The conversation was excellent however. I have to be careful my friend Dennis works for himself in sales and in sales everything counts especially time. It took a couple calls while we ate and visited I hope the sales turn for him. Dennis deserves that. He works very hard. I want to stay in contact with Dennis I don't know how often we can get together like this but if nothing else we can stay connected through social media. Dennis is become quite a social media aficionado. He is scrapper the always has been. He was one of my idols growing up. He wrestled for Boise high school and he did very well. I look forward to wrestling myself at Boise I when the time came but life is the great trickster and the only mats I saw after July 1966 was rehabilitation mats. I didn't even get to go to Boise high school which is been one of my dreams growing up – – I was forced to go to the crosstown rival Borah but that is a blog for another day.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Red Bush

One of the things I like best about my apartment complex is my apartment place that. I guess is there is a back to this building my apartment would be as far back as one could get. I'm in a total end of the hall. That means of course that outside my front door in the door that leads to the outside and the back parking and the back gate which leads to Redwood Road and 217 busstop. I also use that sidewalk to go south to the little coffee shop called Twin Peaks and some other shops across street. In order to access this gate exiting our property one must travel down a sidewalk from the door to the gate and vice versa.

It's kind of weird I've noticed since I live at the back of the apartments very few people actually use gate on the bus stop for that matter. Particularly in the winter I noticed this back walk did not get much attention from the was snow. This is been ongoing education process I found since I moved in. I complained after the first snow. I patiently waited a day (I really had no desire to be out in the snow anymore than anybody else did. The snow fell on a weekend and I was content to lay low in my nice warm apartment cooking, watching videos and watching the snow. I thought it was a little weird that the snow guys plowed the parking lot but didn't shovel this snow off the sidewalk. I just figured this was the weekend and they felt the parking lot was more important. However Monday came and nobody worked on the sidewalk and by Tuesday the snow stuff and not been removed. If you desire you can read what happened to me when I tried to push myself or my power chair through the snow to the bus stop so I could get my meeting. It's in one of the blocks from the winter months October or November something like. Anyway the point I'm making is that no snow was removed I complained they did actually pushed the snow shovel down the middle of the sidewalk and called it good. I really had to complain and be somewhat obnoxious. Eventually, the grounds crew came back and did a good job. I figure that is okay the snow is gone what else could be a problem?

You got a love spring at least I didn't I really enjoyed the return of nature and of things growing. But what I'd not noticed so much last year as this year the red bushes which line the sidewalk all away from the ramp onto the sidewalk and out the gate. These brushes just kept growing and soon the branches were sticking out blocking my use of the sidewalk. The branches themselves did not totally impede my use of the sidewalk but certainly an irritant in some cases scratching my arms and depositing the red leaves all over me. The lease I did not so much as the branches sticking out scratching. I reported this to our manager she seemed very interested and said she would tell the maintenance guy, Richard, and he'll get right on it well for five days went by and nothing happened. I was getting irritated. This is when I actually felt the video at the front of this post. It got the job done. I really want to blame Richard but in Richards defense he had put the request forward to the grounds people, the company in apartment complex contracts with. That took another day or so but they trim the bushes back.

I suppose it sounds like a little thing, branches sticking out over the sidewalk, I think if I had my way I would suggest that they even build a ramp up to the sidewalks that end of the walkway right before the gate and not have to worry about branches growing out over the sidewalk. I've noticed that folks who do use the gate and can walk cut across the parking lot anyway they don't use the sidewalk so is pretty much just me. Anyway, I've got clear access to all the way to the gate all the way to a bus stop and that's freedom.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Back To The World

I think my brain make the day a transition day to safely move me from family reunion mode back to real life mode – – whatever real-life is. I conveniently put a lot of things on hold using the reunion as a great excuse. I mean who can argue my noninvolvement in various projects and programs which are ongoing when I use as my excuse “I've got family reunion this weekend”. I certainly left the feeling that I would get back into “work mode” on the completion of the reunion. I sensed the tension yesterday and this morning as I ponder the new week beginning tomorrow.

Foremost on my plate is what my going to do regarding DRAC in my involvement with this organization? Once again, DRAC has taken a turn that I'm not totally in favor of been I don't really understand completely my anxiety or hesitation to become involved. I don't have a problem with becoming involved with direct confrontation. I understand direct confrontation, how works, nonviolent direct confrontation is what we practice – – supposedly but as DRAC as begin preparations for the ADA birthday/celebration in July and I have become uncomfortable with Being asked to dissipate and activities which involve asking/demanding funds from various organizations private and private nonprofit. I'm not sure why we are doing this except for raising funds to assist in putting on the event in July. I suppose it's not really demanding funds as much as it's just (supposedly) asking if they want to assist in the participation of the ADA event. As I write this out, I have lowered my anxiety level, remembering we are just asking these agencies to contribute. However, in the planning meetings, I have gotten the impression that the funding request is a little bit more intense. I don't know if I have actually heard but I sense that if they don't comply DRAC could force their hand by direct confrontation/demonstration. The case in point I'm hearing right now is that there is a local private nonprofit agency, which services many folks with disabilities recreationally and that they have not acquiesced to to our requests And now it sounds like preparations are being made to transport a number of DRACsters up the canyon for some type of confrontation. I don't know almost sounds like the bordering on extortion. Once again DRAC my becoming a bit more extreme even for me.

DRAC has been on social media all weekend long, its members have been targeting storeowners and other folks that meet the public and presented them with either $50 or $100 “pledges” for their participation in this Americans With Disabilities Act birthday party. I have been amazed with the zeal that many people have exhibited in delivering these requests. As of this writing I cannot see myself delivering any of these documents. Maybe I'm just scared, which might be, I've always hated asking people for money. I plan to support DRAC in their direct confrontation if and when they get back into the direct confrontation mode but might back away from what is happening currently. Regardless of what I choose to do I have to do something. The family reunion is over and so is my excuse.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Reunions End

Image may contain: Faye Shull, CarlandJean Smith, Mark L. Smith, Leah Smith, Irene Kraft and Paul H Smith, people smiling, people sitting and outdoor

It's kind of weird just because the reunion is that the park adjacent to my apartment complex I said I have the feeling that I'm the host. I know that I'm not in fact I don't even think the other people think I'm the host but I kind of feel responsibility to make sure this thing goes up right for some reason. I don't eat anything really getting except the banana and the little coffee I made yesterday which is left. I knew we would be eating a lot during the day at the reunion. I cannot remember and I was not sure when the gathering would be today. I knew it was going to be a lunch so at least by 12 noon people are going to be around. Well try to keep myself busy and the best way I thought would be to go to the food bank and do my usual Saturday run through the program. I knew going to the food bank would take a significant amount time just because the weather was good today so a lot of people yet meeting that the waiting line would be significant. For every second I actually worried but my family would think if they saw I was using the food bank then I dismissed the idea from my head. Whatever rationale I'm using I don't care what they think that I use the food bank.

I also figured that the second I got mine from food bank I would see people start arriving and that's what happened. Paul was there not long after I got the food bank looking for a place to park you not see me but I saw him. He called but I was able to get the phone. I probably had to wait almost an hour to get through the line at the food bank.

I was confused and a little disappointed because when we adjourned yesterday after dinner discussion was held and it was decided that we would do fried chicken cold fried chicken in the fixings from one of the big box stores like Costco. And the rationale was if we only had prepared food no one would have to be saddled with meal prep. Of course, when the food arrived it was fixings for cold cuts sandwiches, special bread buns and croissants. Plus potato salad, chicken salad your typical cold cuts beef turkey and ham. Lots of bottled water and ice. It was a nice spread but someone had to cut of the vegetables and prepare the food for eating. I hammered on not too badly but I was a little disappointed. It just occurred to me as I write this but perhaps it was the expense of the chicken versus cold cuts. I remember I did this last year.

We visited, play some games, the young people played volleyball and some bean bag toss games. It seemed everyone had a great time. And of course people tired out and took the break electing to regroup in the evening for more talking at my brother's place – – typically we have another meal Consisting of leftovers from the previous meal. The meal and the discussion is nice. A little sister who had lunch with yesterday's always the first to leave – – she had a plane to catch – – she is so exotic and she was gone. That set the mood of impending separation. The event was near conclusion. We yammering on into the night, the sun set in the night critters came out. Carl turned on the outside lights and we talked until everyone was yawning and we knew it was time to break and get ready to go. Pictures were taken hugs were had and farewell said. My brother loaded me up to my van and drove me back to the apartments. It's late, I'm tired but I'm glad we had another event. I heard one person say let's do it again next year but I did during seconds… Perhaps that's best.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The Gathering

It seemed to me the only thing I had to do today was purchase insurance For my vehicle that I've worked so hard this last month and bring up to legal status.I had to do this, get a vehicle insured before 6 o'clock when the family gathering was to settle down for dinner at the Golden Corral, an all you can be joint the family seems to tolerate pretty well. My sister was flying in from Boise and we had worked out a deal where we are going to meet up for brunch around 10 o'clock or whatever she got and then got her vehicle rented. I wanted to have this done out of my hair by the time my sister called. We are going to have lunch at the restaurant just up the street from my apartment complex, place called Dees.
Every time I called the insurance agency American Family I got immediately cycled to their answering machine. I started around 8 o'clock and by 930 I've still not gotten through. I was hoping this office was not one of those in putting ten-hour days was closed on Fridays.

My sister and I went to brunch and had a great conversation. We had breakfast at several cups of coffee and I sent her on her way to my brother's place and I went back to work on ensuring my vehicle. I finally got through to the office over the lunch hour working with Denise. Since they were not going to be the shop that ensured me sending me to a general pool called “The General ”. I had to supply the general as well as my insurance group locally that I had title for the van so I had to send a picture of the title which I did. The process was a bit intimidating I have to admit but I got through, I had to develop a “my policy online domain whatever” and got insurance cards printed. I'm legal start to finish. I'm ready.

My brother Paul, stop by at 6 o'clock and we got in my van and off to G C (Golden Corral). I'm never ready for this place. I'm always amazed at the amount seniors who come here and now I am one of them. Everybody scatters to the areas they like best. I gravitate towards the steak grill. I just wanted one piece of steak but I wanted the server to cut up my steak into either finger strips or bite-size pieces. The guy was great but didn't understand very much English. They kept piling steak on top of steakUntil I stopped him telling him I just need one state cut up which he did left the other steaks on my plate. I shrugged my shoulders and said “ why not?”I got two small spoons of mashed potatoes and some great brown gravy and when piece of broccoli on top of the pile and called a dinner. This was the most protein I have had In a great while. Really not too bad. I had some fairly decent berry pie and that was that. I cannot imagine the amount of food Golden Corral.

Following dinner my brother drives the over to my brother's home in Murray. It is really cute my brother built up has from the driveway where my van is parked in the back patio but we all sat and visited for an hour or so before we broke up for the night. We are online for tomorrow started around 11 o'clock at the park across the street from my apartment complex for the main event. Assignments are made was going to purchase what for the meal and munching for the afternoon following the lunch. We fly off the cuff now not a whole lot of planning going on. We stop at Walmart or Cosco and get the whole meal fried chicken, roles, watermelon, potato salad and something to drink and that's going to be it, after all it's not about the food to about conversation and taking every chance we can to know each other a little bit better before time runs out on all of us.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Big Hat

I know you all probably get tired of hearing this but it is true, this is my time of the year! It's dry and it's hot and probably dangerous for someone with my disability with less than great body heat cold regulation but still I love the weather and the perfect weather for being out on the system and getting around on public transit. The only drawback is that this weather also brings out so many people from all walks of life many of those folks being low income or no income. I think many of these folk flock to the train and other public venues with severe air-conditioning as a respite from the heat of the day. Sad to say many of these folks are people with disabilities and many times I have to chide myself for being less than even a human being with these poor folk.

My whole career, my whole working career has been about information and providing information to people who need it. When I worked with Breakaway, Inc. I have been gave information about to the folks house trying to sell wheelchair vans to. When I became long-range planner at Dawn Enterprises, The major portion of my job was to provide information to individuals and communities, cities throughout southeast Idaho regarding disability options. In my career with Utah Independent Living Center where I was Community Resource Coordinator, again I researched, developed and provided information on disability needs as well as support for families dealing with disability issues and finally when I was manager at Access Utah Network (agency of the Utah state system) my full-time job was providing information to callers on disability questions. I ended my career working for 211 which was all about information and referral I know this kind of stuff.

I was on the train today heading into the city to pick up books for my First Chapter book group. I was tired and I was hot and I really didn't want to be disturbed. I was settled into my wheelchair station for the trip into the city and on the next stop in mind a person with a disability entered the train with a goofy hat and dangerously happy,she a big bag But could've been clothes or paperwork For her next go round with social service providers of one sort or another. She was looking around to make contact with anyone she could annoy . I took efforts to avoid eye contact at any cost;and another person Who entered with her pushed a the cart with what looked like everything she owned on the cart This one had a feral look in her eyes. The person with the cart was definitely homeless and had an attitude with which I didn't want to communicate . Sad to say, I wanted to be left alone on my trip down town. The two women crowded onto the other disability designated seating areas and begin our trip into town.

I swear we're four minutes into the trip when the lady went to have turned to the feral looking woman and asked her how her day was going. I felt myself grow rigid – – the homeless woman glared at the hatted woman and let off a series of words in the language that I swear came from a scene from either Rosemary's baby or the Exorcist. Big hat smiled at her and said are you homeless? Feral backed away and said something else in this weird language but blinked her eyes two or three times – big hat once again asked her if she were homeless and needed help. Feral blinked again and all the sudden the feral look vanished, her eyes softened and she spoke again in an accent that was either from the Caribbean are perhaps South African or something and responded that she was homeless and responded to the question with “thank you sister”. It was like this person was hiding behind the eyes of the feral person, homeless, probably hungry and most likely frightened.

I was astonished when Big Hat began referring this person to agencies and programs designed to help exactly who this person and needs she had. I was blown away. I was impressed and ashamed that this person took upon herself to be a one-man/woman information referral system that was perfect in nature and delivery. This person was truly her sister's keeper and she did it perfectly. I would say I saw miracles today where for one reason or another these two were met to meet and they did in goodness was done. I was just a witness in a poor witness that. I spoke with Big Hat a little after that. We are getting off at the same station. I was catching a bus and she was going over to the big hospital where she started off telling her favorite tale of everything that was wrong with her and how this hospital was going to help her get better. She helped the person she needed to an now was Slipping back into her hypochondria and search for the perfect professional will help her with the diagnosis and her own medical miracle to get her back in life… If she wants it.