Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas. This is always such a wonderful time of the year. The spirit of peace, goodwill, and giving to others is in the air. If only this spirit could last all the year. I get great pleasure in the giving to others. This year, as I have been doing for the last few years, I donated to Toys for Tots. I like the the thought that the toys I donate will brighten the Christmas for children who may otherwise receive nothing. It is even more important in these hard economic times when the need is greatest.

The spirit of this season encouraged me to commit a random act of kindness. I cleaned out my closet to get rid of clothes I no longer wanted or needed. I had a nice, warm jacket and some shirts, and decided to give them to a needy person. Whenever I went out in my van, I looked out for a homeless person to give them to. I could not seem to find anyone. But, yesterday, Ernie (my nurse), and I pulled into a parking lot along the San Diego waterfront to wait till my brother's plane arrived at Lindbergh Field. As we pulled in to the parking lot we spotted a homeless man walking along the waterfront. He was all alone and was talking to himself. I had found, my recipient of my random act of kindness. Ernie, and I approached him and asked if he Add Imageneeded a jacket and some shirts. He said yes and we handed over the clothes. He was so grateful and couldn't stop thanking me. My small gesture was a big deal for him.

He was down and out with no permanent place to live, and living out of motels. We listened politely to his paranoid story that the government was after him because he was an assassin. Even though his story was crazy, we stayed a little while longer to listen to him. We took away some off his loneliness for a brief time It felt good for him to have someone to talk to. I felt great the rest of the day knowing that I had helped a person in need. It may have been a small gesture, but it brightened some one's day. That made it well worth it.

I would encourage all of you to commit a random of kindness, no matter how small a gesture it may be. It is a great feeling and is part of the spirit of giving of this season. But, all through the year this spirit should be encouraged.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Josh Winheld 1978-2009

Today I received some sad news. Josh Winheld, who I got acquainted with on the internet group, DMD Pioneers, lost his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy today. I didn't know Josh as well as others did, and chatted with him on the internet only a few times, but I did read many of his postings to the group. He was kind, upbeat, and didn't let his disability get in the way of enjoying life. Any time a DMDer is lost, it is a loss to all of us with DMD, and is a reminder of our own mortality. The wish for a cure for DMD also becomes even stronger. It is a reminder to all, not just those with DMD, to love and enjoy life while you can, for you never know when your time is up. Josh is now at peace. My thoughts are with his friends and family. He will be missed by all, and has left a positive impact on all who knew, or were acquainted with him.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I hope all my readers in the United States had a great Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving was spent at home with the family. The best part of this holiday is spending time with my family. It is also a time for reflection on things that I am thankful for. Here are the things that I am thankful for: my supportive family, my good friends (online and off), my in-home nursing care (most especially Ernie who has taken care of me for fifteen years), that I live at home and not in a nursing home, the adaptive equipment that allows me to use the computer, my accesible van which allows me to get out in the world, my power wheelchair which allows me to get around, and my ventilator which has extended my life.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Here is an amusing sign, which I found on the blog, A Stellar Life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miramar Airshow

On Friday, October 2, I attended the annual air show at MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar for the third year in a row. It was just as thrilling this time as the other times. There is always something exciting about the roar of jets overhead. As usual, the show was full of amazing aerial acrobatics. I didn't see every performance, but the ones I did see were well worth it. Among the performances I saw were, The Oracle Challenger, The Red Bull MIG jet, a legacy flight of an F-16 fighter jet and the P-51 Mustang fighter plane from World War II, The Patriot Team whose jets trail red, white, and blue smoke as they perform their stunts, a helicopter that performed some amazing stunts, such as loops (I had never seen a helicopter able to do loops, and have never seen one able to go upside down), and the AV-8B Harrier jet. It is always a sight to see a jet fighter take off and land vertically. But, the headliners of the show are the Navy Blue Angels. They put on another spectacular show. The excitement builds as the Blue Angels start up their engines and then start their slow taxi in pairs past the viewing stands and then they take to the skies with a roar. As usual, their performance was a spectacular demonstration of great skill and precision, The planes fly so close together at times that it appears that they might crash into each other or touch wingtips. It is an awe-inspiring sight to see the Blue Angels. I look forward to seeng them next year.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dave Matthews Band

On Saturday, September 12, I saw Dave Matthews Band in concert at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Chula Vista. I have been a big fan for years, but this was my first time to see them live in concert. My seats were very good. They gave me an unobstructed view of the stage. It is great that they accomodate their wheelchair-using patrons very well.

The opening act was Switchfoot, a band out of San Diego. I had heard of them before, but had never heard any of their songs. They turned out to be a pretty good band. They performed a lively set which was well worth watching. During the opening act, the seats were sparsely filled. A lot of people were more interested in the main act. After Switchfoot left the stage, the seats started to fill up with eager fans. As we waited for the show to start, a large white sheet was hung from the light rigging. It hung down in front of the stage. Once everything was set up, the lights went out, and an incessant roar of cheering fans filled the air. The lights came on and the band members took the stage. As the band members took the stage, their distorted silhouettes were visible behind the sheet like shadow puppets. They started to play the opening notes of Funny the Way It Is, and with the first drum beat the sheet ripped away. The crowd went wild. After that they played, Spaceman, Don't Drink the Water, Proudest Monkey, Satellite, Shake Me Like a Monkey, Lying In the Hands of God, Seven, Crash Into Me, You Might Die Trying, Why I Am, Lie In Our Graves, Squirm, Alligator Pie, You and Me, Jimi Thing. They left the stage, and then came back for a three song encore of My Baby Blue, Grey Street, Time Bomb. They played almost all the songs off their new album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, but they also played a good number of songs from their other albums. They played one great song after another. The two and a half hours just zipped by.

The performance was energetic and upbeat from start to finish. Dave and his bandmates enjoyed performing for the fans, who enjoyed the performance as well. They are a band that loves to play together. They complement each other well. Dave Matthews unique vocals and acoustic guitair along with the awesome violin playing of Boyd Tinsley, powerful drumming of Carter Beauford, and the rhythmic bass playing of Stefan Lessard makes for a great sound. They were joined by a fine group of touring musicians: Tim Reynolds on electric guitar, Rashawn Ross on trumpet, and Jeff Coffin on Sax. Jeff was filling in for LeRoi Moore, a founding member of DMB, who died last year. It is a shame that I never got to see him perform with the band. But, Jeff did a fantastic job filling in. At one point he played an alto and a tenor sax at the same time. They did some great jams and Boyd had some great violin solos. The band is great on their albums, but they are even better live. It was a memorable concert and they are a band I would like to see again.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. "

Bob Marley

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Alan Adams 1966-2009

This morning started off on a sad note. I received news that my friend, Alan Adams died last Wednesday in the hospital. Alan, like me, had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that has taken away so many people. This news rudely slapped me in the face with my own mortality, and has increased my wish for a cure. It also shows that you must take every day as it comes and to enjoy life; because you never know when that bell will toll for you.

I met Alan, five years ago, on the internet in the group DMD Pioneers. We would chat on Yahoo Messenger, or talk via the internet. Sometimes we would play on-line games as we talked. Often, we invited a fellow DMDer, Jeff Petrie to join us in the fun. I never met Alan in person, since he lived in Pennsylvania. He was humble, kind, good-natured, and had a love of life. I always enjoyed talking with him, and he was glad to talk to me. My thoughts go out to his family on this day that he was laid to rest. It was great to have known you, my friend. You will be missed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

41st Birthday Party

Last Saturday, July 11 was my forty-first birthday party. This year, I decided to keep it small, and simple. I just invited close friends and immediate family. It was a low-keyed affair. We hung out around the pool at my parent's and my house, socializing and having a good time. My best friend Alex painted a portrait of me with oil paints in twenty minutes (check out his blog post about the portrait). It provided an interesting diversion as my guests watched the portrait take shape. The final product was very good.

As I sat there visiting with my friends and enjoying the day, I felt blessed to have the friends and family that I have. Everyone truly enjoyed spending the afternoon in celebration of another birthday. Sometimes the simplest celebrations are the most enjoyable. My fortieth birthday party was so wonderful that there was no way it could be surpassed. Everyone still has fond memories of that day. In homage to last year's celebration, the cake was decorated with butterflies (a reference to the release of monarch butterflies at last year's celebration), and said Happy 1st Anniversary of Your 40th Birthday. Towards the end of the party, my niece, Dallas sang a song for me from the swimming pool (an interesting choice of venue). That was very thoughtful of her and a special touch to end off an enjoyable afternoon. A nice day spent with my family and friends is the best present I can ever receive. Everybody left the party in good spirits. A sign of another wonderful party.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

41 Years Old

Today I am forty-one. For most people forty-one is just another birthday, but to me every birthday is a milestone. When I was first diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy around the age of six, the doctors didn't expect me to live past my mid-teens. Thankfully, they have been proven wrong. So, every birthday for me is a celebration of life. Here's to life!

Monday, July 06, 2009

4th of July

The annual Fourth of July parade in Rancho Santa Fe is always a nice way to celebrate the holiday. This year was no exception. It seemed like the whole Ranch was there. The community really gets into the spirit of the day. There were many people in red white and blue lining the sidewalks on either side of the main street, Paseo Delicias. Many people were also waving flags as the procession moved along. The singing of the National Anthem was the signal for the parade to start. As is customary, the procession was led by the Marine Corps color guard, then the fire engines of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department with sirens blaring rolled through. After was the procession of classic cars, tractors, children on decorated bicycles and other modes of transportation, and people riding horses. My niece and nephews took part in the parade. My nephew, Stetson was with his Cub Scout troop riding a skateboard. In some of the cars were some of our politicians: our Congressman, Brian Bilbray; Assemblyman Martin Garrick; County Supervisor, Bill Horn; and the new Sheriff of San Diego County, Bill Gore. After the parade everyone gathered on the village green for food and music by an orchestra playing patriotic music and other American Standards. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon. The whole event has a small town feel to it, and brings the community together. Events like this remind me why this is a great community to live in.

In the evening, my sister and brother-in-law came over with my niece and nephews for a nice dinner outside on the sun deck. After that, I watched the annual Fourth of July concert from Washington, D.C. Since I wasn't able to go see fireworks, it was nice to see the fireworks over Washington, D.C. on television. It is not the Fourth of July without fireworks.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

15 Year Anniversary

This month marks fifteen years since I was trached and vented. Being trached and vented gave me a new lease on life. If I didn't decide to have this done, this would have been the fifteenth anniversary of my death. Choosing life was a no-brainer; I wasn't ready to cash in my chips just yet. At twenty-six, I still had a lot more living ahead of me, and a lot to live for as well. Being trached and on a ventilator has it share of challenges, but it sure beats the alternative. No matter how tough things can get, I never for a moment regret my choice to live.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Quotes

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

Maori Proverb

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is another joke I found on the internet.

An elderly woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist, "Paint me with diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby broach, and Rolex watch."

"But you are not wearing any of those things," replied the artist.

"I know," she said. "It's in case I should die before my husband. I'm sure he'll remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for the jewelry."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rancho Santa Fe School Pre-Demolition Reunion

1. The group shot in the amphitheater. 6-3-2009
2. The ICM
3. The LGI
4. Dr. Rowe, me, and the time capsule 6-6-2009
5. The amphitheater
6. Elementary School classrooms
7. Elementary School classrooms
8. The trees
9. Elementary School classrooms
10. Elementary School classrooms
11. Teachers. (L-R) Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Jacobsen, Mrs. Bohrer, Ms. Miano (Mrs. Spaulding), Dr. Rowe, Mr. Spivey, Mr. Myers
12. Mrs. Spaulding and me

Rancho Santa Fe School, where I attended from Second through Eighth Grades (1976 to 1983), is in the process of being demolished to make room for a larger, more modern school. The elementary school, built in 1955, and the Middle school, built in the early 1970's, served the community well. But, as the student body has grown in recent years, the old school was no longer adequate. It is sad to see it go, but the fond memories of my days there will remain.

With the news that the school would soon be demolished, my sister, Bibbi (RSF School class of 1978), the alumni director for the school, decided to plan a reunion of alumni and past teachers. Within ten days she was able to round up alumni and teachers for this memorable event.

On Wednesday, June 3, my sister organized a photo shoot of mostly alumni and teachers who still live in the area, to appear in the local paper, The Rancho Santa Fe Review. Before the photo shoot, we gathered in the gym (spared from demolition), for a school assembly to mark the end of the school year and the end of the old school. The alumni and teachers were introduced to the student body. It was nice to see my niece, Dallas, and nephews, Sterling and Stetson (RSF classes of 2013, 2012, and 2015) among the student body. After the assembly, we gathered in the amphitheater for the photo shoot. It was great seeing the different generations of students gathered together along with past teachers. The oldest alumnus was Mr. Clotfelter who attended the school in the 1930's. My niece and nephews were among the present student body in the photo. My brother, Bill (RSF School class of 1980), was down from San Francisco, to be a part of this photo shoot.

On Saturday, June 6, the much anticipated reunion was held on the grounds of the school. There were about two hundred people in attendance. This reunion was also an occasion to unearth the time capsule, buried in 1976. Since it would be covered up by the new school, the time capsule had to be recovered.

The time capsule was the idea of Mrs. Spaulding, who had students fill it with mementos from 1976. The box was filled with argon gas to preserve the contents and was buried in a spot near the flagpole. A plaque was placed over it to mark the spot. The plaque had since disappeared, so people who were present at the burial had to go by memory to try and locate it. With the help of workmen with a backhoe and shovels the area where the time capsule was thought to be buried was dug up. They kept digging and digging, but there was no sign of the time capsule. It looked as if it wouldn't be found. They dug up another spot and found something. It was the time capsule. The metal box, wrapped in black plastic, was lifted out of the ground. The plastic was unwrapped and the box was revealed. It was a little rusty, but was still intact. In the excitement many people wanted to open the time capsule then and there. But, it was decided to rebury the time capsule on the grounds of the new school, and have it unearthed and opened in 2026 as originally planned. Hopefully there will be another reunion at that time.

After the unearthing of the time capsule, everyone continued to mingle, and reminisce. It was nice to see so many smiles and happy sounds. Everyone was given permission to spray paint messages on the walls of the school.

It was great seeing so many of my old classmates. Many of them I haven't seen in many years. It was nice to reminisce about the good old days. Not everyone was as recognizable all these years later. It was good that everyone had name tags. Being that I was the only student in a wheelchair, it was not hard to recognize me. It was also great to see some of the teachers there. The teachers in attendance were Mrs. Spaulding (now Donna Miano), Mr. Spivey, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Jacobson, Mr. Myers, Mrs. Bohrer, Mrs. Sumida, Mrs. Stumm. Of course, no reunion would be complete without our beloved principal, Dr. Rowe.

Dr. Rowe, who is still going strong at eighty and is just as genial, was the heart and soul of the school. He remembered all the names of the students, cared about all the students, and always had encouraging words. I remember him telling me, "Go get 'em, tiger!" Despite my disability, he treated me just like any other student. This made me feel accepted and like I belonged. I also have memories of his blue VW Bus. After he retired, the school was renamed R. Roger Rowe School. A much deserved honor for a special person.

As I drove around the school, it brought back many memories. I was struck by how much smaller the school looked. It was as if it had been shrunk. I visited my old classrooms and other parts of the school. It was hard to believe that in a matter of days it would all be reduced to rubble and would only exist in my memories and in photographs. As I visited my old class rooms, I could still remember all the names of my teachers. Second Grade, Mrs. Seaman; Third Grade, Mrs. Watson; Fourth Grade, Mrs. Pierce; Fifth Grade, Miss Brugman; Sixth Grade, Mrs. Jaffari (previously Mrs. Watson); Seventh and Eighth Grade, my homeroom teacher was Mrs. Spaulding.

All of these teachers had some impact on me in some way or another. They all treated me no different than the other students. I got in my share of trouble. I could be quite feisty at times. I remember in Fourth Grade getting upset at Mrs. Pierce and throwing a pencil at her. The pencil missed her, but boy did I get in trouble. Of all my teachers though, the one with the most impact on me was Mrs. Spaulding.

Mrs. Spaulding was one of those teachers that you don't forget. She made learning fun and encouraged us to do our very best. She truly cared about her students. Her teaching of history contributed to my love of history.


Hanging out at the IMC (Instructional Media Center). I believe Mrs. Flood was the school librarian, later to be replaced by Mrs. Rau.

Hanging out with my very best friend, Danny Zappia (R.I.P.) He was my constant companion, protector, and helper. I remember before I got a power wheelchair, he would push me everywhere in my manual wheelchair. Sometimes we would zip around the school. One time as we were racing around campus, we wiped out. He picked me up, put me back in the chair, and we continued on our way. Danny moved to Virginia in the middle of Seventh Grade, where in March of 1982, he and his sister, Karen died in a car accident. I also have fond memories of hanging out with my other best friends Sandy Schaefer (now going by the name Alex), and Peter Wilmans (Class of 1982)

I remember getting my first power wheelchair in Fifth Grade, and the freedom to scoot around the school without assistance. It was also a form of transportation for my friends who would hitch rides on back of my chair.

School dances and school plays in the LGI (Large Group Interaction). I remember dancing in my power chair until the battery got low. I never ran over any girl's toes. A band called the Pin Stripes performed at some of our Seventh and Eighth Grade dances. I remember my sister playing Daisy May in the school production of Lil' Abner.

I remember all the school assemblies, award ceremonies, pep rallies, and campaign speeches for the school elections in the amphitheater.

I remember in Sixth Grade running for school Secretary. I wrote what I thought was a great speech and practised until I thought I had it memorised. I was so confident that I went out to the amphitheater in front of the whole school without my notes. I got to the podium and forgot the text of my speech! I came up with some lame speech off the top of my head. I was so embarassed. In seventh Grade, I ran for Vice Prsident. This time I had my speech notes and gave a good speech. I remember losing to Hillary Sammis by a slim margin. David Hillman was elected president. Though I lost both elections, it was a great experience.

The Halloween Carnival. They had a parade through town of all the kids in their costumes, game booths, a cake walk, and rummage sale. I remember the Brue family having some of the most creative costumes.

The Seventh and Eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. in 1982 with Mrs. Spaulding. The highlight was meeting President Reagan in the White House.

The Christmas Sing at the Inn, where each class sang a different Christmas song to the accompaniment of Mr. Frees on the Piano. I remember it was outside on the front steps of the Inn. It was also freezing out there.

The opening of the computer lab in 1982. It was equipped with the high-tech Apple II computers. The computer teacher was Mr. Casillas.

Eighth Grade graduation at the Garden Club. I remember rolling down the aisle with Tricia Giacomini and being careful not to roll over the hem of her gown.

After graduation in 1982, I went on to attend Torrey Pines High School. Though I have good memories of my years in High School, they are nothing compared to my memories of my seven years at Rancho Santa Fe School. Those were some of the fondest years of my life. I hope the students in the new school have just as fond memories.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."

Scott Hamilton

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while you could miss it. "

From the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is another joke I found on the internet.

A police car pulls up in front of Grandma Bessie's house, and Grandpa Morris gets out.

The polite policeman explained that this elderly gentleman said that he was lost in the park ... and couldn't find his way home.

"Oh Morris," said Grandma, " You've been going to that park for over 30 years! So how could you get lost ? "

Leaning close to Grandma, so that the policeman couldn't hear. Morris whispered, " I wasn't lost ... I was just too tired to walk home."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sunday Quotes

Here is my quote for Sunday. It's a day late, but no less inspiring.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."

Dalai Lama

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a joke I found on the internet

Doctor: I have some bad news and some very bad news.

Patient: Well, might as well give me the bad news first.

Doctor: The lab called with your test results. They said you have 24 hours to live.

Patient: 24 hours! That's terrible! What could be worse? What's the very bad news?

Doctor: I've been trying to reach you since yesterday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today we remember the men and women in uniform who have died fighting in the service of the United States. We especially remember the 5000 men and women of our military who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether one agrees or disagrees with these conflicts, our men and women in uniform deserve all the honor and respect we can give them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."

African Proverb

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Jokes

Instead of a joke, I have posted this funny picture I found on the internet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Quotes

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.

Author Unknown

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a joke I found on the internet.

Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court. In court the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe.

"Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?" said the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the...."

"I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question." "Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'!"

Farmer Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road...."

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side.

I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me.

He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."

Helen Keller

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a political joke I found on the internet.

A bus load of politicians were driving down a country road, when the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer's field.

The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went over to investigate. A few days later, the local sheriff came out looking for the missing politicos, saw the crashed bus, and asked the farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The farmer said, "I buried 'em all... out back."

The sheriff then asked, "Were they ALL dead?"

The old farmer replied, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them politicians lie."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


On Sunday I went to see Seal in concert outdoors at the Valley View Casino in Valley Center. My seats were very good. They had a raised platform for the wheelchair seating, which gave an unobstructed view of the stage and was above the heads of the spectators. It was nice not having people standing up and blocking my view. They get high marks for accommodating the wheelchair using concert goers.

The concert started off with Peter Cincotti, a musician I had never heard of. He was pretty good, although most of his songs sounded similar. He performed for about half an hour. By the time he was finished, the audience was getting anxious for Seal to make his appearance. When he finally appeared the crowd went wild. The women in the audience had double the exuberance. During his performance, a crowd of adoring women fans were massed below the stage. They were reaching up to grab his hand whenever he bent down to reach down to them. I thought they would pull him off the stage and into the audience.

He put on a fine performance, that was energetic and upbeat. Throughout the performance people were dancing to the music and just having a good time. I felt myself moving to the music in my limited way. If my head and feet move to the music , I know it is good. I almost felt like taking my chair for a spin and join the dancers, but a couple of smashed toes would not have made me too popular.

He performed a lot of his well known songs such as Human Being, Crazy, Future Love Paradise, Kiss From a Rose, A Prayer For the Dying, Love's Divine. He also performed some songs from his latest album, Soul. The songs were covers of other artists songs, such as A Change is Gonna Come, I Can't Stand the Rain, It's a Man's Man's Man's World, Here I am (Come and Take Me), Knock on Wood.

He was well worth seeing. I came out of the concert feeling upbeat and with the songs still playing in my head.It was an enjoyable way to spend an evening.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven't done badly. People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining."

Stephen Hawking. Interview with The Guardian (UK) September 27, 2005

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a joke I found on the internet.

Late one night, a burglar broke into a house he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say: "Jesus is watching you!" Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again. "Jesus is watching you," the voice boomed again. The burglar stopped dead again. He was frightened. Frantically, he looked all around. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot. He asked the parrot: "Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?"

"Yes", said the parrot.

The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, and asked the parrot, "What's your name?"

"Clarence," said the bird.

"That's a dumb name for a parrot," sneered the burglar. "What idiot named you Clarence?"

The parrot said, "The same idiot who named the Rottweiller Jesus."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Inspirational Bloggers

Diane from the blog, A Stellar Life, awarded me with the inspirational blogger award. Thank you Diane. I have passed on this award to these deserving blogs.

Journeys from a wheelchair

To my fellow bloggers: Pass this award on to bloggers that you find to be inspirational.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll."


Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a joke I found on the internet about modern art.

Visiting the modern art museum, a lady turned to an attendant standing nearby.

"This," she said, "I suppose, is one of those hideous representations you call modern art?"

"No, madam," replied the attendant. "That one's called a mirror."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Quotes

" Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."


Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a joke I found n the internet.

An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any interest in his paintings on display at that time. "I have good news and bad news," the owner replied.

"The good news is that a gentleman enquired about your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death. When I told him it would, he bought all 15 of your paintings."

"That's wonderful," the artist exclaimed. "What's the bad news?"

"The guy was your doctor..."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it."

Chinese Proverb

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here's a joke I found on the internet.

A man goes to his doctor and says, “I don’t think my wife’s hearing is as good as it used to be. What should I do?”

The doctor replies, “Try this test to find out for sure. When your wife is in the kitchen doing dishes, stand fifteen feet behind her and ask her a question, if she doesn’t respond keep moving closer asking the question until she hears you.”

The man goes home and sees his wife preparing dinner. He stands fifteen feet behind her and says, “What’s for dinner, honey?" He gets no response, so he moves to ten feet behind her and asks again. Still no response, so he moves to five feet. Still, no answer.

Finally he stands directly behind her and says, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” She replies, “For the fourth time, I SAID CHICKEN!”

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Jokes

I thought that this joke I found on the internet would be perfect for the start of the baseball season.

Two old men had been best friends for years, and they both live to their early 90's, when one of them suddenly falls deathly ill. His friend comes to visit him on his deathbed, and they're reminiscing about their long friendship, when the dying man's friend asks, "Listen, when you die, do me a favor. I want to know if there's baseball in heaven."

The dying man said, "We've been friends for years, this I'll do for you." And then he dies.

A couple days later, his surviving friend is sleeping when he hears his friend's voice. The voice says, "I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there's baseball in heaven."

"What's the bad news?"

"You're pitching on Wednesday."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

Helen Keller

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Jokes

Here is a funny joke I found on the internet. Enjoy.

A policeman pulls over a driver for swerving in and out of lanes on the highway. He tells the guy to blow a breath into a breathalyzer.

“I can’t do that, officer.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m an asthmatic. I could get an asthma attack if I blow into that tube.”

“Okay, we’ll just get a urine sample down at the station.”

“Can’t do that either, officer.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m a diabetic. I could get low blood sugar if I pee in a cup.”

“Alright, we could get a blood sample.”

“Can’t do that either, officer.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m a hemophiliac. If I give blood I could die.”

“Fine then, just walk this white line.”

“Can’t do that either, officer.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m drunk.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

President Obama's Comment

President Obama's comment on the Tonight Show last week comparing his bowling game to the Special Olympics, though not funny, is not the end of the world. He could have used a better analogy of his bowling game than the Special Olympics, but it was not done to deliberately disparage anyone or done out of mean-spiritedness. It was an attempt at self-deprecating humor on his part that fell flat. He realized his error and apolgized to the Special Olympics. But, this story is turning into a tempest in a tea cup. Now if he said, he bowled like a retard, or did something akin to Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's related movements, then I would be upset.

This is an opportunity for the Special Olympics to publicize what they are all about and to dispel misconceptions about the atheletes. President Obama's comment reflects the common misconception that the Special Olympics are for atheletes that aren't that good. Since he is not a very good bowler, he used the Special Olympics as an analogy. It was an honest mistake. The disabled community has to stop being so thin-skinned about some comments about the disabled. I think we should be in on the jokes, as long as it's not done to disparage, mock, or denigrate people with disabilities. It is time to get over this comment and move on to more important things, like the economy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower".

Shigenori Kameoka

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More on Cerrie Burnell

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the controversy over Cerrie Burnell's arm. In response to some parent's complaints that the sight of her incomplete arm would scare their children, she didn't get angry, but instead saw it as an opportunity to educate people about disability. Here is an excerpt from an article about her that appeared in the Daily Mail.

I don't deliberately try to make people confront my disability, but
nor do I try to hide it. This is me, and I am neither ashamed nor embarassed by

Of course, this criticism is upsetting, but I did not feel it was personal
criticism of me. I don't feel angry towards the parents, and if anything I'm
pleased that all this has opened up the debate. It can only be a good thing that
parents are using me as a chance to talk about disability with their

People need to be represented more honestly in the media, especially when
there is so much emphasis on the body beautiful, plastic surgery and this
obsession with trying to look like celebrities.

When you are not used to seeing normal people, let alone disabled people,
then anyone like me is going to create a stir. I think it's really time to start
changing perceptions.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Jokes

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, “This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies — two in the front seat and three in the back - eyes wide and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?”

“Ma’am,” the officer replies, “You weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”

“Slower than the speed limit?” she asked. No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly… Twenty-Two miles an hour!” the old woman says a bit proudly. The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that “22″ was the route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask… Is everyone in this car ok? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time.” the officer asks.
“Oh, they’ll be alright in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119.”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now."

Joan Baez

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Jokes

A young sailor was sitting in a bar having a few drinks when he looks over and sees a pirate. The pirate has a wooden peg leg, a hook for a hand, and patch over his eye. Unable to resist, the sailor asks, “How’d you end up with a peg leg?”

“I was swept overboard during a fierce storm,” says the pirate, “and a bloody shark bit off me whole darn leg!”

“Holy cow!” said the sailor. “What about the hook, how’d you get that?”

“Me crew and I were boarding an enemy ship, a fierce sword battle ensued. One of them cut me darn arm!”

“Absolutely incredible!” gasped the sailor. “And the eye patch, tell me how you got that?”

“A bloody seagull dropping fell into me eye,” replied the pirate.

“Umm, you lost your eye to a seagull dropping?” asked the sailor, astonished.

Embarassed, the pirate answered, “It was me first day with the hook.”

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Controversy over Cerrie Burnell's Arm

Last month in the United Kingdom. a silly controversy erupted over Cerrie Burnell, a co-host on a children's television show. Some parents were upset at the use of her on the show. They were not upset at anything she did or said, but the fact that she has a visible disability. Cerrie has a short arm which stops at the elbow.These parents felt that the sight of this would frighten their children and perhaps give them nightmares. These are probably those same parents who move their children away from a person with a disability in public. They are sending the unenlightened message to their children, that a disability is something to be ashamed of, to be feared, to be hidden away. Instead of shielding their children from disabilities, they should be exposing their children to disability, so that they can grow up with a better understanding and respect for people with disabilities. Children are curious by nature and want to know why a person with a disability is the way they are. Instead of squelching their curiosity. they should be encouraged to learn about people with disabilities. Education and awareness about disability is important to erase misconceptions, stereotypes, and just plain ignorance about disability. When I am out, children will ask what happened to me. I tell them with a smile and in a way they can understand. Most times, the children accept it and go on their merry way. It is my hope that I may have instilled in them a respect for those who are different because of a disability, and see that people with disabilities are not to be feared, or to be shunned. The television station should be applauded for putting Cerrie Burnell on the show, and those parents who are against her should be ashamed of themselves.

Sunday Quotes

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

John Lennon

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Jokes

So there's this man with a parrot. And his parrot swears like a sailor, I mean he's a pistol. He can swear for five minutes straight without repeating himself. The trouble is that the guy who owns the parrot is a quiet, conservative type, and this bird's foul mouth is driving him crazy. One day, it gets to be too much, so the guy grabs the bird by the throat, shakes him really hard, and yells, "QUIT IT!" But this just makes the bird mad and he swears more than ever. Then the guy gets mad and says, "That's it. I'll get you." and locks the bird in a kitchen cabinet. This really aggravates the bird and he claws and scratches, and when the guy finally lets him out, the bird cuts loose with a stream of invective that would make a veteran sailor blush. At that point, the guy is so mad that he throws the bird into the freezer. For the first few seconds, there is a terrible din. The bird kicks and claws and thrashes. Then it suddenly goes very quiet. At first the guy just waits, but then he starts to think that the bird may be hurt. After a couple of minutes of silence, he's so worried that he opens up the freezer door. The bird calmly climbs onto the man's outstretched arm and says, "Awfully sorry about the trouble I gave you. I'll do my best to improve my vocabulary from now on. "The man is astounded. He can't understand the transformation that has come over the parrot. Then the parrot says, "By the way, what did the chicken do?"

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Jokes

A blind man, with a seeing eye dog at his side, walks into his local grocery store. He walks to the middle of the store, picks up the dog by the tail, and starts swinging the dog around in circles over his head.

The store manager, who up until this point thought he had seen it all, thinks this is quite strange. So he decides to find out what’s going on. The store manager approaches the blind man swinging the dog and asks, “Pardon me. May I help you with something?”

The blind man replies, “No thanks. I’m just looking around.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"For me, survival is the ability to cope with difficulties, with circumstances, and to overcome them."

Nelson Mandela

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Jokes

Jim and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Jim suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled Jim out. When the medical director became aware of Edna's heroic act he immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as he now considered her to be mentally stable.

When he went to tell Edna the news he said, "Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged; since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of another patient, I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness. The bad news is, Jim the patient you saved, hung Himself with his bathrobe belt in the bathroom. I am so sorry, but he's dead." Edna replied, "He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Quotes

" Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Jokes

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard,"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

"Come here quick," said the boy, "you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls."

The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk." When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me..."

The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord." Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done."

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the boy on the bike.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Quotes

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

Helen Keller

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Jokes

Today I am starting a new feature on my blog called Friday jokes. Every Friday, I will post a new joke. I hope today's joke gives you a laugh, chuckle or smile.

An Irishman's been at a pub all night drinking. The bartender finally says that the bar is closed. So he stands up to leave and falls flat on his face.

He figures he'll crawl outside and get some fresh air and maybe that will sober him up. Once outside he stands up and falls flat on his face. So he crawls home and at the door stands up and falls flat on his face.

He crawls through the door and up the stairs. When he reaches his bed he tries one more time to stand up. This time he falls right into bed and is sound asleep. He awakens the next morning to his wife standing over him shouting at him. "So, you've been out drinking again!!" "How did you know?" he asks. "The pub called, you left your wheelchair there again."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

On-Line Dating

I have been in the on-line dating scene for a while now, but have had no luck yet. The woman that will sweep me out of my chair--figuratively speaking--is yet to be found. She is out there somewhere. I have to keep this hope alive. If other disabled people have found love, there is no reason that I can't. Being a man with a major disability, and in need of much assistance, can be a deal breaker, and some women can't get past the disability and see me for the person I am. But, this is not always the case. It is too easy to blame it on the disability completely. It may be that she just isn't that into me for other reasons, such as no common interests, a lack of chemistry, we live too far apart, or other reasons. I can't take a poor me attitude. I will either be lucky or unlucky in my pursuit, but it will not be because of a lack of effort on my part. I hope to succeed.

The woman I want to meet is someone who would be able to see past the disability and love me for who I am. Someone who would be friend, companion, confidante, and lover all rolled into one. Someone to spend the rest of my life with. Don't get me wrong, I have met women on-line, but they just want to be friends. I have no hard feelings about that. That is their preference. Of coarse, she would be caring, compassionate, and loving enough to not mind helping me out, but I am not looking for a nurse, that would a selfish reason for finding someone.

Before this, I always wanted to find someone, but I didn't put too much effort into it. But, now that I am Forty, I want someone to share my life with. I'm not getting any younger. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't put more effort into it ten years ago, and wonder if I would have been with someone by now, but this is idle speculation, and I resist these thoughts. What is past is past. I have to think of the here and now and keep my hopes alive.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I can't believe that 2009 is here. It seems that 2008 zipped by. Since it is a new year, it is time to look back on my life in the past year.

On the health front, 2008 was a very good year for me. Last year I had no problems with trach obstructions, as I did in 2007. For that, I am thankful. Also, a visit to the cardiologist and an echo cardiogram revealed that my heart was in good condition, despite the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. That put my mind at ease.

This year marked two significant events in my life. June was the fourteenth anniversary of me being trached and vented. This is always one of the most important events in my life. It represents my new lease on life, and the reason why I am still here to write this. In July, I reached a big milestone in my life: I turned forty. I celebrated with family and friends with a Spanish-themed party with flamenco dancers, a singer, and guitarist. It was a great way to celebrate my entrance to the forty something club, and most importantly, it represents yet another victory over Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

In the area of entertainment, it was a good year. In April I went to the Honda Arena in Anaheim to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It was a great show. In May I went to the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Chula Vista, to see The Police in concert. It brought back memories of the 1980's, and after all these years, they still sounded good. In July, I saw Chris Isaak in concert at the Valley View Casino on the Indian reservation near Valley Center. He put on an enjoyable show. In October, I attended the Miramar Air Show, at MCAS Miramar in San Diego. It was great seeing all the awesome flight demonstrations, especially The Blue Angels who put on an amazing show.

The most unique event of the year occurred in February. I attended the Dinner with the Pros in, a charity dinner and auction, attended by athletes from the NFL, MLB, PGA. LPGA. I enjoyed meeting athletes, such as Junior Seau, Drew Bress, Phil Nevin, and David Wells, among others. It was an enjoyable evening, and for a good cause: to help troubled teens. I was able to attend thanks to friends John and Holly Carney, who organized the event.

The most interesting event last year, was going to the exhibit, A Day in Pompeii. It was a fascinating exhibit about the life in the ancient Roman city buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The artifacts unearthed from the site, as well as the body casts of some of the victims buried in ash from the eruption, brought the past alive.

The only negative note in my life last year, was my close call with death in September. This occurred when my trach was accidentally pulled out and I stopped breathing. Thanks to the paramedics and the medical staff in the E.R., I was kept alive.

As usual, Thanksgiving and Christmas were enjoyable times spent with my family. That is what the holidays are all about.

In Memoriam

Cody Namesnik 1978-2008

A fellow DMDer, who lost his battle with pneumonia. He was a kind, and good-natured person. I never met him in person, but knew him online and chatted with him. He is still missed.

Michael Martin 1930-2008

A dear family friend. He died peacefully in his sleep. I miss his wit, interesting stories, kindness, and the visits. It was a privilege to have known him.