Rant of the Day.

Okay… so if you follow blog. I haven’t written in it for a long time, so I don’t really expect anyone to read this but…what the hell is this? I can’t say that I’m mad; it’s pretty much expected at this point. Regardless of that it has me thinking, “What the fuck?”

So as I was saying, if you follow my blog you know a few things: I’m physically disabled, I also blame the system for the reason why it is beyond difficult for me to find a job. Then I had to have surgery because I broke a bone in my hip and got six screws and a plate put in my body, due to this I can’t walk…I mean, I can’t really walk in the first place, but it’s harder to do.

Anyhow, I had two jobs in the last 11 years, one of them for 5 years and the other for a year and a half. So…that’s a lot of time that I spend looking for employment and end up severally depressed after every interview, if I’m even lucky enough to get one. Do you know how much discrimination disabled people encounter when trying to find employment? Fuck the laws, I’m glad they made laws…but they only go so far! Employers can not hire you based on this or that. And you know what? You can’t prove it, but you know it, and it depresses the fuck out of you. And when you tell people, no one fucking believes you; and the very few who do can’t do shit about it.

All they can do is promise you a job in Nebraska, so you pack up your whole live and move 1,600 miles back to a state that you were born in, but you’re an adult now. As much as I can say, “I was born in Nebraska,” I became an adult in western Washington State. Then when you move back to Nebraska this job that was promised to you never fucking happens, and the person that promised him that he would give his son a job…well, he comes out to understand that his boss, well he is an asshole too and just said that to get a brilliant fucking mechanical engineer to work for him until he pretty much ignores anything with his son’s name in it.

And that is why my parents moved back to Washington State and four years after we left Washington State we returned to Oregon.

Speaking of that, I don’t have to pump my own gas anymore. And yes, there are disabled buttons to ask for assistance at gas stations, but they don’t do shit; and if they do you have to sit there and wait for an employee, that might not want to help you in the first place, to make you feel like a second-class citizen.

Anyhow…

Because of the fact that I held onto my first job for 5 years and a few mouths in change I qualify for Social Security Disability Income. And you know what, I’m glad it’s there; because if it wasn’t my life would suck more that it does now.

At the same time I hate being on public assistance, not only because of the fact that they don’t pay you more than 50% of the poverty line, but it makes me feel like I’m not doing something to contribute to society. But to be totally honest republicans make me feel bad because of it, now wait…before you get pissed let me tell you why.

All those times that you hear some republican on the news say something along the lines of, “These people are lazy, all they do is sit home at collect their welfare checks.” Or you know those meme’s on Facebook comparing the food in the fridge of someone on public assistance compared to the food in the fridge of a full-time worker. No, we do not have more food than you. It might seem like it, but that picture is forcing you to look at a narrow perspective. And those comments… how do you think that makes me feel?

And you know what? You might be that person that says, “Well you’re disabled, so it’s different.” But the media doesn’t make us feel that way.

I more or less feel like a piece of shit for being on public assistance; and like I said, I’m glad it’s there. But I don’t want to be on public assistance. I deserve to feel like a…person.

And every time I see one of my friends on Facebook making a lot of money, with a lot in saving, with a nice house; it honestly makes me feel like…society is holding me down due to my disability.

And I have a kid…do you have any idea how bad I feel that I can’t pay his child support? I don’t want to be, “That father,” lucky for me his mom is pretty cool and apparently his step-dad makes a fuck ton of money. I get to see my kid, and have lately since he moved back to Washington State and I moved to Oregon. But, regardless of that; there is a part of me who still thinks that my kid is going to grow up to hate me because I wasn’t there for him.

Anyhow…now that I told you that, let me tell you this…

Every year, “We,” get a letter from Social Security that tells us that are benefits are going to increase due to the increase in the cost of living. Sounds great right? Kinda. But wait, I got some shit to tell you, and I might be telling you too much, but in this context I feel like I need to.

In 2018 my, “Income,” will increase 2.4% from $884.00 to $905.00.

So what, you’re telling me that federal inflation is 2.4%? Great, do you know how much an apartment in or around anywhere in the country costs? Sure, I might be able to afford an apartment in goddamn Wyoming where the minimum wage is $5.15. Federally it’s still $7.25. Guess what, it’s $11.25 where I live.

People making minimum wage have a hard time paying rent as is, and even if I lived in Wyoming and worked 40 hours a week at minimum wage that’s still $824.00 a month, assuming they withhold 23% of your paycheck for taxes that’s only a take home pay of $634.48. Do I want to move back to the Midwest? Fuck no.

Let’s apply that same math based on the federal number and the Oregon number.

Minimum wage is $7.25 which goes to say that your gross pay is $1,160 but your take home is only $893.20.

If minimum wage is $11.25 and you worked 40 hours a week your gross pay would be $1,800 with a take home pay of $1,386.

So…if you’re interested look up the cost of apartments in Portland, Oregon. Then add your car payment, car insurance, cell phone, food, internet, gas… and then… if you’re one of those who says, “It’s easy, you just got to live on a budget.” Go ahead make a budget, fuck that, you won’t even be able to do that because rent will be 90% to more than 100% of your income.

So, thank you. Thank you Social Security for that 2.4% increase, you’re saving my life. And if you’re saying, “Go find a job you lazy asshole,” first of all, I’m trying and you must have not read the first part of this article.

And…fuck if i misspelled something. I might fix it at some point.

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What If…

A few days ago I was eating breakfast at my parents house in the 253 (Tacoma, WA area) before I got in my car and headed back to the Portland, Oregon. My dad, he is a republican and has this tendency to bring up conversations that you don’t want to really be part of. He also has an issue with people playing sports, in America, not standing for the national anthem so let me write a few things down, in no particular order, before I get onto the topic of way I started this post in the first place.

The first time the National Anthem was played at a public sports event was during the 1918 World Series held by the Major League Baseball. According to a quick Google search Major League Baseball was established in 1869. So not taking the mouths into account, just doing basic math, that’s 49 years without singing or even standing for the National Anthem. It was only sang by the military two years prior in 1916 under the order of President Woodrow Wilson.

Jackie Robinson, the first black athlete of the MLB didn’t play under the MLB until the year 1947. So doing basic math again, that’s 29 years that we sang the National Anthem before black dudes were able to play on the same field as white dudes. On a side note, the Negro National League was established in 1920, so that was 27 years before he was allowed to go over there.

By reading an article from ESPN, it sounds to me like the National Anthem stuck around because of the fact that it drew a larger crowd. So if you’re like me you’re asking yourself is it because people liked it, singing a song that made people feel unified; or is it because the MLB wanted more money due to ticket sales?

Since I’m doing this, the NFL was founded in 1920 in the state of Ohio.

Onto another point which will lead into my main point…

I’m part of a group on Facebook where all its members listen to the same podcast out of Seattle. Most of these members are from the Seattle area, and by the Seattle area I’m talking about a 50 mile radius around the city of. Some of the other members used to live Washington but since then moved away to other states such as Nebraska, like I used to; Iowa, Arkansas, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, so on and so forth. The ongoing motto of the podcast is to ‘stay positive’ and we all seem to not only joke around and have fun, but show support for other members regardless of political or religious differences, and this environment creates very few arguments.

A few days ago, one of the most known members of this group shared an article from Sports Illustrated about how Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks did not stand for the National Anthem. This post has generated 67 comments over the span of 3 days, many of those comments having subcomments. I even have a few comments on said post, and even though I was not trying to fight with anyone; it just…there was a reason to even though I think I stayed pretty neutral.

So let’s jump back, or forward, to eating breakfast at my parents house, I got into a discussion with my dad; my family always yells at one another even if we are not fighting. From the conversation I found out that my parents also have arguments with my dad’s sister-in-law; the wife of one of his two brothers, or two of his three nephew’s; the three sons of one of my dads five sisters. I found this out just based on hearing my mom say, “Just shut up Bill, you’re talking to a brick wall; it’s just going to be like talking to Dan or Becky.”

These family members are from Nebraska and never lived outside of the Midwest, they never lived in parts of the country that tend to be more democratic based on population size and how different one person is than the other and the idea that you have to learn how to coexist on a rock that is floating, in a pattern, though space.

My dad thinks that our current President, Donald Trump, is a fucking idiot; well hey, I do too! Even though he is a republican he is more moderate than he may think, he is not one of those 33% that live in the Midwest and thinks everything Donald Trump does is a gift from God.

At one point during the fight I got my dad to say, even though he kinda disagreed with me, “Yes, he has that right, and I will fight for that right,” my dad used to be a Marine, “But I still think it is disrespectful. But you’re right Daniel, I would not want to live in a country that forced its citizen to sit or stand.”

My mom thought me and my dad were fighting, but no, we were just yelling at one another. We didn’t really start fighting until he asked me, “Why did he sit, what was his reasoning?”

I quickly, without a thought, replied by saying, “He sat due to something that he thinks is a injustice, the mistreatment of black people.”

From there the conversation kinda ended, I kept saying “Okay,” at one point just to avoid a fight.

I get my use of metaphors from my dad and for whatever fucking reason he was comparing black people to tigers saying, “You’re right, police need to be better but at the same time I can’t really blame them; when you deal with tigers attacking people everyday and then you find a tiger you’re going to be on edge expecting it to attack you.”

This is kinda where I zoned out and started saying, “Okay.”

My mom ended the conversation when I said, “God dammit dad, he didn’t approach a tiger, he approached a god damn domesticated house cat who told the officer that he was getting his wallet out of his back pocket; and he fucking got shot!”

So with the idea of this posting on Facebook and the conversation that I just had with my dad, on top of the conversation that I had last week I ended up with a thought in my head as I was driving south on I-5.

“What if I didn’t stand for the National Anthem? Would it be assumed that I can’t because I’m in a wheelchair? How would they know that I was choosing not to stand, is it just because they assume that I can’t? What if I wanted to raise awareness because people who are physically disabled have a extremely difficult time finding employment. What if? Would people even be talking about it?”

We have laws in place, I know this, a place of employment can not legally discriminate against me, but you know what? It happens! Do a large majority of people believe me when I tell them that finding a job when you’re physically disabled is extremely difficult? No.

All of the discrimination is unintentional, it’s not like the hiring manager is going around and telling me I’m less then a human because I’m in a wheelchair.

But guess what employers? We feel that way even though you don’t have any intention of doing so, and maybe you do, maybe you are an asshole; but there are ways around that law, some of you know this and you are an asshole, some of you just say no based on this or that but either way you still make handicapped people feel pretty god damn useless.

So because of the idea that I can’t speak on your perspective, lets throw myself under the buss.

In high school, even though I could walk at the time, I was still disabled; my disability is not going away. Unless they come out with a cure, which they were supposed to happen ten years ago. Regardless I was in a wheelchair at that time and my education was based on the field of science and technology, engineering to be more specific.

During my sophomore year of high school I took a drafting class, that as you would expect started out using things like pencils, paper, table, t-squares, triangles, scales, eraser shields, so on and so forth. That then moved into AutoCAD. In my junior year I moved high schools and more or less ended up taking the same class with a different name. For my senior year of high school I could not take the same class over again, so I more or less ended up being a teachers assistant in the same class that I took the year prior.

At one point I got yelled at by my teacher saying, “You’re supposed to be helping these kids, not doing their work for them.” I’m sorry, most of these kids were taking this class because, “It’s an easy A man,” and when you’re trying to explain to a kid to type ‘@34.25<270’ and they act like you’re talking a foreign language it’s easy to just be like “Here, I’ll show you,” but then you get trapped in a moment of, “I’ll just do it for you, because I don’t want to get pissed because you can’t.”

After graduation I went to college and obtained my Associates in Mechanical Engineering Design. I spent two and a half years in a land of…taking my son to daycare, going to school where I studied mechanical blueprints, trig, geometry, physics; for 8 hours a day, picking my kid up from daycare, and then being yelled at my his mom.

I have extensive knowledge in blueprint design, I can’t necessarily tell you how to build a bridge that is supposed to hold 100 tons, and I might have to brush up if you ask me, “If I have a truck that weights 2,000 pounds and is going 40 miles per hour up a hill with friction and a 35% incline and I’m towing a 2,000 pound boat how much will it slow me down and how long will it take for me to get to the top of the hill that is in another 50 feet.”

After that I started a job that was not an engineering type job, but was related in the field of such and gave me experience in the manufacturing/production environment. I held onto that job for 5 years before I was transferred to Seattle and realized that the drive was too much and I could not do it anymore.

While I was employed at that job I went to school…again, got my second Associates in Machining and Manufacturing Technologies, my main goal of getting that degree was to become a CNC Programmer, but then you got the idea that the vast majority of employers will not hire a CNC programmer if said person was not a CNC operator beforehand. That was the beginning of my downfall with that company, I more or less started a job that I could not physically do at the speed that they were asking, and they kept asking me to speed up so much that I got into this mode of doing stupid shit, scraping parts, and asking a ton of questions that I already knew.

And my walking has became worse since that point in time, so while I may not be able to run the machine I can tell you how to setup the machine, load the program, set the Z, set the offset, how to takedown, and I can even tell you what N76G01Z-0.625F1 means.

But does that matter to employers? No. Because my job as a CNC operator was a failure, why? I don’t know if they care. On paper they see this, they don’t care if I know how to program the part being made, the history tells them differently. And I don’t want a job in CNC anything, I’ve done that before, don’t want to do it again.

I’d rather produce a 3D model based on a customers 2D blueprint and hand it to the machinist and say, “Make this shit.”

Then you got the idea that people make assumptions. And that is the downside of being in a wheelchair. You don’t know what I can or can not do, and it’s illegal for you to even ask.

Part of me blames America too, where the fuck do you get the idea that I’m going to sue your company because I fell down or whatever? Oh yea, people do that; but I’m not an asshole. Do you know that? If you give me a job and I stand up with the idea that I might fall over and I do fall over, that is on me, it’s my fault. Now, I’ll sue you if you made me stand up, but if I could do the job without standing up, and I make the personal decision to stand up; I’m not going to sue you because I made the choice to and fell down.

But does it happen? Yes, people sue people over stupid shit all the time. Look at out president, cough cough.

The thing that pisses me off about that is…the negative stereotype plays a lot into your assumption. And while you sit there making assumptions about things that you don’t know or even understand; I’m sitting here being depressed day in and day out because you’re not the only one making those assumptions, everyone else is too. While you sit there I’m taking money out of your pocket, and sure you could sit there and say, “You fucking lazy bastard, stop taking my tax money,” but that’s your fault, it’s your fault that your paying me just to live.

It’s not like I’m not trying to find a job, it’s that all you fuckers make assumption that…you can’t legally make, but can you? And do you? You can make up reasons not to hire someone, sometimes you don’t even need to make shit up. There are a lot, a lot of jobs that I can’t physically do, I get that, but I’m not trying to apply as a patrol officer either.

You’re legally supposed to provide accommodations, but that is a slippery slope and I don’t think people understand that. A chair, fine, if you have to spend $20 on a chair so I can sit, fine you figure I can make that money back within X amount of time. But if you assume, and what happens when you assume? You make an ass out of you and me. When you assume that you need to spend more then it costs to employ me, you wont employ me. And we come back to the negative stereotype that surrounds people in wheelchairs.

Do you know me? Do you know what I can do? Oh that’s right, you can’t ask.

After that job I was giving an under the job table helping my dad. At that time my father was the senior design engineer at a company in Nebraska, and that is why I moved back to Nebraska in the first place. My dad did not know how to use Solidworks, but he knew that I did, he also knew my educational background; based upon that he gave me a job that I could do from home, a job that I could start at three in the afternoon and do until four in the morning if I wanted to.

I talked about this in a previous post, but to summarize it I moved back to Nebraska to take a job at said company. My dad only took the job because they promised to give me a job. By the time I moved back the government shutdown was in high gear, the job never happened, and every time my dad mentioned my name to his boss, he boss would straight up walk away and act like I didn’t exist.

And that is why my dad quit his job and moved back to Washington State to take his old job.

But when he moved we had reason to stay, so we more or less end up staying in Nebraska for another three years. During that time I was lucky and found a job, that hired me after saying that they wouldn’t.

When I started working there I’ve heard a few times that I did a good job and they were happy that they gave me a job, which to be honest only made me feel like I was negatively stereotyped during my initial interview.

I kept that job for a year and a half before I was laid off due to a loss in customer base. During my employment there I ended up turning 2D blueprints into 3D models and then doing the reverse.

I spent my life focused on this, mainly because I knew I had to get a job that I could do from a desk. But the vast majority of the time, these people have worked on the floor for several years. Can I work on the production floor? Then we get back to my first job. Can I work on the floor? Yea, depending on the job. Do you assume that I can work on the floor? Most manufacturing jobs would make you assume that I can’t. Sadly, a lot of them are set up that way and they don’t even bother to ask if they could provide reasonable accommodations unless I have a golden penis that cums one hundred dollar bills.

After I got laid off from my last job…we were planning on moving to Oregon the year before, and due to her job and my job, the decision to stay in Nebraska was made about two weeks prior to me finding out that I was laid off.

So I found myself staying in Nebraska for another year without a job. At this point, I knew from previous occasions how hard it was to find a job. What do I do? I call social security to go back onto disability, and that, that was the most stressful month of my life. I didn’t know if I was going to receive money again by the time my rent was due. I didn’t get any word from anyone about anything. I just sat there worried until money popped into my account without any notification.

I was trying to find a job. Under the rules of Social Security I can work part time for under X amount of money per month, in gross pay, and Social Security still gives me something.

But are you aware how hard it is to find a job, yet alone a part time job when people assume you can’t physically do the job that you’re applying for?

I lived in Lincoln, NE at the time so let assume that there are 250,000 jobs and at the time the unemployment rate was 4.8%, so by doing simple math 12,000 jobs. If you figure that half of those jobs are part-time that take your 12,000 down to 6,000. Then you take into account that I can’t work fast food, I can’t stock shelf’s, I have no customer experience experience, what can I do? That takes the number 6,000 down to about 600. Then you got to account for all the people that can either physically do shit or have better qualifications.

Do you know how much Social Security Disability pays? Do you even care? I assume it’s different for everyone. Let’s assume that you have a full time job that pays you $11.87 an hour, sounds good right, a gross pay of $1,900 a mouth; not great, but that is livable for most poor people; and fuck, there are a lot of poor people in this country. If your monthly gross is $1,900 your take home pay is roughly $1,463; that goes to say that every other Friday you’re taking home $731.50.

Now take that number and instead of getting it every 15 days, you get it every 30 days. How the fuck are you supposed to live on that? Now of days a good 95% of the apartments charge rent over $731.50, so I can’t even pay rent; much less car insurance, car payment, gas for said car, cell phone; what do you expect me to do, get a land line…it’s 2017 people.

So, I need a job, I want a job, do you know how depressing it is to sit here and eat food, go to the store, play Fallout 4, or write a 3,365+ word blog post? I want to feel like I’m contributing to society somehow. Not only that, but fuck, I don’t want to live with my fiances parents either.

That’s easy Dan, change career paths. It’s not that easy! What the hell do I do? My life is surrounded around the idea of engineering, and yes; there are more things I can learn, but still. It’s not like I’m going to take a job that I can’t even do.

So if I was in the situation where millions of people could witness me sit down for the national anthem is it okay just because you assume that I can’t stand? If I made the choice to sit would you know that I’m sitting based on the fact that I’m already sitting and you assume that I can’t stand?

If I wanted to use that as a vehicle to raise awareness to an issue that I deem is an injustice would people even be talking about it?

I used this metaphor once, and I’m going to use it again. That’s the problem Colin Kaepernick is dealing with; it’s like he used a 1998 Toyota Super as a vehicle to raise awareness about how cars don’t get enough gas mileage, and the vehicle worked; it made people all around the country talk. But a year later people are still fighting over the type of vehicle that he used and instead of getting engineers involved to figure out how to reduce gas mileage you got a bunch of people arguing about muscle cars, SUVs, trucks, vans; and why that vehicle is better. Everyone, or most, forgot what the fucking issue was about.

So if I sit during the National Anthem would people care? Would they make an issue about it?

Disabled people, in 1990 the A.D.A. was formed and did a lot to protect us, but does it do enough? There are ways to get around it, and employers use them all the time rather they intend to or not. Discrimination against disabled people happens everyday, might even happen right in front of your face; and you don’t even know.

Perspective; when is the last time you saw someone and thought, “I wonder what their life is like, and if I was faced with the same issues could I overcome it?”

I’ll end this post by asking a very basic question. In this country we have the 1st amendment; that being said we have the freedom to sit or stand for the flag and that same freedom grantees that no one is going to force you do to what they think you should do. Some people might say, “Yea, well standing for the flag is a sign of respect.” You know what, you’re right; but at the same time exercising your right to make a choice on the matter, is also a sign of respect.

Sit or stand, I don’t care, do whatever makes you happy; but think about what you’re saying before you say, “That’s disrespectful.” Is it?

You have that freedom, is it not respect to choose either of the two based on the fact that “they” gave you the freedom do make that choice?

 

 

 

 

 

Proud of Thy Self.

Okay, so before I get into this let me give you a little background. I used to have a job located in Auburn, WA. During my employment there I had a coworker who became someone who I had to train, this individual frustrated the fuck out of me.

To this day I remember the day he tried to take a pad off of a die grinder without holding the shaft stationary. It was like he was trying to unscrew a nut from a bolt without holding the bolt, so all he was doing was turning a object in circles and not making any progress other than looking like an idiot who probably shouldn’t have that job in the first place.

I also had another coworker, who I talked to, but didn’t really care to hang out with.

Throughout the years the second coworker, who no longer lived in the same state as me found me on Facebook just based on the fact that he and I liked the same radio station/Facebook page. He commented on one of my posts on their page, it caught me off guard but was cool nonetheless.

Getting back to the first employee I mentioned, on the day I said, “If he doesn’t want to pay attention and at least pretend that he is learning something, I’m not going to try to teach him anything.” I said it in anger, and I probably shouldn’t have, he was a nice kid who was more than willing to do his job, but didn’t seem to grasp at the most basic idea.

This guy is Facebook friends with the other guy. After I stopped caring to try to teach him and just told him shit without any explanation they moved him to the other side of the shop; same department, different area. So guy 2 ended up training guy 1 and therefore ended up as friends on Facebook.

I typically never add coworkers to Facebook until I don’t work with them, I don’t want them to know too much about me.

As soon as guy 2 found me on Facebook, I get a friend request from guy 1. Whatever, I don’t care, it’s not like I’m trying to avoid him. And I come to find out that he now lives in Oregon, and at that time I was about 1 year away from moving to Oregon.

Fast forward to August 5th, 2017; I share something on Facebook about how it’s cool if you rape someone, kill someone, get in a fight the requires police action, hit your wife, or do copious amounts of drugs when you’re in the NFL  but if you sit down you’re the worst player in the history of the NFL.

So…A conversation with guy 1 came out of the woodwork, we will call guy 1 ‘Steve.’ While it was a fairly short conversation, I was proud of myself for being so clear and concise with my way of thinking. I will refer to myself in the third person, kind of. I will even edit his comments to appear as is he knows how to use words properly.

Steve: This post is so stupid. So you’re okay with people in America not standing for our flag that your founding fathers fought for?

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you know what I’m talking about so I’m not even going to share the picture. But if for some reason you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll let you know if you ask.

Daniel:Yes.

Like…really, you’re going to ask me that? After the initial “what the fuck” moment I added onto it by saying…

Daniel: Since when did they not have the right to choose not to stand?

Which sounds kinda weird because, I feel like, the word ‘not’ creates a double negative.

Steve: If they are living in the U.S.A., playing an American sport, they should show their respect to our country and its military.

Okay, so I wasn’t really going to fight him there, that…while related that was not my focus, but I was getting ready to go this road if that is where he wanted to go.

So I asked a basic question.

Daniel: Do they have to?

I figured, if you’re going to go down the route let’s try to figure out why you’re not okay with it.

I leaned that when you talk to someone who has an opposing view to yours it’s a good thing to find out where they are coming from. Hopefully force them to look at themselves instead of just telling them why they are wrong.

Steve:No body has to do anything but people have the right to lose respect for that person who won’t even show respect to their country

He more or less said what I was hoping he would, but man…a right and a freedom are two different things. While I can see a connection between to two it’s not like they stood up in 1776 and say, “Now hear this, it is your right as an American citizen to loose respect for people.”

But that did make me take the question to its next logical point.

Daniel: And the other crimes are okay?

To which he responded just as I hoped.

Steve: No they are not okay, look at O.J. and Arron Hernandez; they are in prison and because of it don’t have fans anymore.

At this point I asked myself if he knew what was going on it the world but that is beside the point.

I go onto say…

Daniel:Okay, so yes, while people have the freedom to dislike whoever, for whatever; it is massively skewed. He has the freedom to not stand because of what he deems to be an injustice. It just bothers me when all these people loose their shit because he remained within the guidelines of the law without being violent or hostel while trying to shine light on an issue that needed more exposure.

Before he could reply to that I said… But in terms of keeping the conversation in-line he said…

Steve: There are other ways to shine light. I just think it’s very disrespectful to our country and our men, they fought for our country so he can play football and he won’t even stand and show respect.

But before I replied to that I said…

Daniel: Now, if you stand for a country who is doing something that you don’t agree with, is that freedom of speech or expression? Who is the fucked up person in that situation?

I was not expecting a response from that, I just left it as something he can ponder. But I did reply to his last statement by saying…

Daniel: They fought for you to have freedom, the freedom not to.

He ended up liking that comment. I could tell he wasn’t trying to fight, neither was I.

Steve: That’s true. I just feel it’s a matter of respect.

Okay, so I took that, his definition of respect a little bit further. It was also my last comment.

Daniel: Okay, so…choosing to act in a non-violent manner about something that you disagree with is a sign of respect. Choosing to not stand is a sign of respect. They, if you want to call it that, they fought for…I could totally do a research paper on why we separated from Britain. Regardless, not standing; which is your freedom based upon a right that all American citizens have, is…showing respect. 

You have the freedom to, therefore exercising that freedom is showing respect for your country. A country and “the men” who gave you that freedom, the freedom to make a choice without being killed and vilified for doing so.

Now, blindly standing because it was beaten into your head as a kid… does that show me that you fully understand the freedom that you and all Americans have?

Are they standing because they choose to or because they were told to? And is that freedom?

And that’s that, I was actually proud that I was able to speak my point of view without sounding like an idiot who was just shouting meaningless words. And…now I’m going to go get out of my wheelchair and play Fallout 4.

Maybe I’ll get a little “some some” if I go hang out with my fiance for a few minutes.

Should I Change Names?

I just spent the last two and a half hours outside reading chapters 28 and 29 of The Walking Dead: Decent. Then when I realized I was going to begin reading the 6th book, hoping to get the 7th on my birthday; I figured I might as well post a posting that I never post.

I’ve been legally allowed to go to a store and purchase up to one ounce of marijuana, and posses up to eight ounces in my residence for about 3 weeks now. Have I? No. Because really, finding a fob is more important. And I’m an adult, I can choose one over the other. Apparently companies that choose to can still drug test for THC. Which doesn’t really make seance to me.

I understand that you don’t want someone to be drunk at work, but they can not legally fire you for being shit faced off hours. That being said, if I want to smoke pot when I get home and don’t work for the next 2+ hours, I should be able to.

And senate bill 301 in Oregon, which I just literally found out about might make that a possibility.

But that is not the post of this post.

The 402 (Lincoln, Nebraska) that became a 253 (Puyallup, Washington) when I was 14 years old and turned back into a 402 area code when I was 29 years old has just developed into a 503…apparently Portland has two area codes either a 503 or a 719. Should I change the name to my blog?

I’m only 150 miles south of my friends and family and I’m okay with that. It’s no longer 1,625 miles and a two hour difference. If I want to call my friend at 7pm, it’s fucking 7pm. I no longer have to be like, “Well it’s 11 here, so it’s 9 there.”

For the most part I love being back in the Pacific Northwest. There are things I can complain about, but all in all they are small things that can be fixed.

I no longer have to worry about 2 inches of rain in one hour or tornado’s. No, we got volcanoes and earthquakes. And an earthquake, unless you’re around a bunch of tall buildings without current engineering standards you’re fine, it’s not like the ground is going to split and you’re going to fall into it.

And volcanoes, If one goes off in my lifetime, well I guess I’m fucked; but I don’t see that happening.

Tornado’s, now you can live in Lincoln and be like, “Oh we’re fine,” But when you have a unfurnished basement of dead cockroaches and no cable TV that shit fucking sucks. Especially when you’re in a wheelchair and can’t easily get down, or up, a large set of stairs.

And I made this post with nothing to say, so…I bid you adieu…I’m going to go play Fallout 4.

Wasting Time

You ever hear someone ask you, “Why do you listen to talk radio, that is so boring.” Well, no, no it’s not; you just haven’t discovered it.

When I was a kid, my dad was the typical older guy who listened to classic rock. At the point in my life I listened to rap, and only rap; everything else was dumb. As I got older my musical tastes have spread to places that I wasn’t looking at before. Now a day at the age of 33 I like…see, everyone classifies shit as whatever the fuck they want it to be. To put it very simple I opened myself up to rock: classic rock, metal, heavy metal, alternative, blah blah blah.

I can list the bands but then you’d be stuck with a pointless post full of band names.

I still listen to rap, it is still my favorite; but I have so much more now.

As my dad got older I came to find out that all he did was listen to some kind of talk radio, talking about something. And as I get older I’m starting to understand the mental stimulation that comes with that.

I mean I still listen to music, I love music; but here in a few days I’m going to spend 3 days in a car. On day one I’ll be driving from Lincoln, Nebraska to Laramie, Wyoming; a total of 492 miles (or 792 kilometers). On day two I’ll be driving from Laramie, Wyoming to Boise, Idaho; a total of 690 miles (or 1,111 kilometers). On day three I’ll be driving from Boise, Idaho to Portland, Oregon; a total of 430 miles (or 692 kilometers).

That comes to a grand total of 1,612 miles/2,595 kilometers.

That song? Oh I’ve heard that song before, hundreds of times. Podcasts and/or talk radio make it much easier to sit on the road for hours at a time. Time flies by a lot faster when you’re using the excuse of driving as an excuse to hear what they’re going to say next.

Regardless of what cell phone companies claim, when you leave a city in the Midwest you also loose any 3G connection, and based upon that I bought SiriusXM radio just for this trip, which I’ll have to cancel here in about 30 days or so.

If I have the internet, I don’t really care about Shade45, Octane, The Bridge, or Faction Talk; but it’s going to come in handy over those 3 days of car travel.

And on that note, I think talk radio also calms people down. I’m one of the only people I know who can be comfortable sitting on South 167 from Auburn, Washington to Puyallup, Washington and spending the next one and a half to two hours traveling 25 miles.

The Men’s Room, KISW, look it up.

Your Handicapped Perspective of the Day

Yesterday I went to the store to buy my fiance a card and roses; partly because it was sweet just to do it, and partly because I needed to offer an apology for the events that took place the night before.

At this point you might say, “What did you do?” It does not matter, it’s not the point of this post; but just to satisfy your curiosity I got too drunk and ended up throwing up on the carpet.

I’m one of those people in a wheelchair who actually goes outside and does shit. Like I’m known do to. I went to the store and after picking out what I wanted to buy I realized that I left my wallet at home, so I put the items on hold to go home and get my wallet.

Which more or less means that I already put my wheelchair in my car, but now I got to transfer it two more times then I wanted to. So at this point I would have to put in/take out my wheelchair a total of six times.

Can I do it? Yes? I don’t mind doing it. The only reason I don’t want to is because it adds about 20 minutes to my trip that was not supposed to take that long in the first place.

It was a nice day yesterday in southeast Nebraska. Sunny and warm, but not that humid; kind of reminded me of Washington Summer’s in a weird way. When I came home to get my wallet I had the task of getting out of my driver seat, using the side of the car to help me walk to the trunk, taking my wheelchair out and assembling it, going up the ramp into my house; and by the time I got my wallet I had to do all of those steps in the reverse order.

I get home, I got to the back of my car, took out and assembled my chair. Just as I sat in my chair and wheeled myself over to the ramp that takes me to the front door of my house and I hear, “Do you need any help sir,” to which I said, “No.”

This guy sounded like he was offended that I said, “No.” Look man, I’m doing something that I do many times a day. If I had that much trouble getting into my own house don’t you think I would live somewhere else?

I’m very active, as far as someone in a manual wheelchair is considered. I hear, “Do you need any help,” more times in a week than most people do in a year.

I understand that you want to be nice, as part of me appreciates that you want to be nice. The other part of me however hears that so much that it gets annoying and makes me think that you’re someone who assumes that those of us in wheelchairs are not independent and clearly can’t do anything by ourself’s.

I do this many times a day, I don’t need your help; and for you to assume that I need help with one of the simplest tasks that I do on a daily basis just makes me think that you’re an asshole who just wants to feel better.

Don’t you think if I needed help I’d be like, “Hey, can you help me please,” versus just getting unprovoked help that might not be needed in the first place?

That’s like me being somewhere and asking you if you need help walking. The first time it happens you might just think they’re weird for asking such an odd question, in my case you might even expect it; but being asked that multiple times a day is rather annoying.

If I needed help I’d ask. I much rather ask then having people assume.

I Feel Like Writing!

I’m the type of person who does not care if my friends use my wheelchair if I’m not.

Back in high school I was in yearbook production, I could also walk; it was not able to walk like most people think of walking, but nonetheless I was able to get myself from point A to B and back again without using my wheelchair.

One day I’m sitting at the computer using Photoshop to design one of the junior pages. I was not in my wheelchair, I was in the nice “school version” of an office chair because I deemed it more comfortable.

My friend Lance had to go interview someone, about something, and said, “Hey bro, can I use your pimp ride?” Which I didn’t care, “Yea man, whatever, just don’t be trying to go down a set of stairs or whatever.”

About 30 minutes later he came back to class and said, “Man, how do you guys do this, my arms hurt.”

About two weeks after that I was staying after school to work on the yearbook and Lance was with me, a few other students, and the teacher. School was pretty empty at this point, and once again I was not sitting in my wheelchair. When I had to go to the bathroom I decided I would just walk there.

For some reason the bathrooms are locked after school, which I didn’t know at the time; by the time I walked 50 feet in one direction, 150 feet in the other direction, and another 1,000 feet that same direction to end up going to the bathroom to just walk 1,150 feet back to class I opened the door to say, “Man, how do you guys walk, my legs hurt.”

And this leads into my topic.

My mom, who didn’t show signs of our disability until 1973 or 1974; at the age of 18, just got a manual wheelchair. Before that she was using a cane or one of those walkers with wheels on them. She was still able to walk, and still is; but as time goes on it is slowly deteriorating and you can tell she is having a harder time doing so.

Me on the other hand didn’t walk until I was 3 and pretty much had a wheelchair my whole life, 33 years later I’m on my fifth wheelchair and due to how active I am I see myself needing another one sometime around the age of 40.

I was able to walk in the past, but it was…different. I can still walk I suppose, but I need assistance with every step. Back when I was able to run, jump, and skip I still had a wheelchair even though I rarely used it. Around the age of 16 when I entered high school I more or less started using my wheelchair when I was away from home.

I had many years since then to figure out shit that most people don’t know how to do. Wheelie’s, opening doors, getting into my car, and toning my muscles to take me places.

So now my mom is asking me, “How do you open doors?” I can tell her, “You go up to the door until you can’t go any further, then put one hand on the door handle and keep your other hand on the wheel, roll backwards as fast as you car and swing the door open. Then take that arm that you were holding the door open with and use it to catch the door as is closes, use the door and your one arm to move though the door.” Or, “Go up to the door, crack it open, and slowly run into it until it opens to the point that allows you to push yourself though the door.”

But, I don’t know how much she will understand that. She has never done it before. It’s kinda like explaining how to swim when you only know how to stand in a pool.

And she doesn’t have the same arm tone that I do. I can go 500 yards on a sidewalk and not be tired, but I don’t know if she can; and hills, come on man, I can get up a 30 degree incline and understand the physics of weight changes and whatnot. I can even do the same thing on grass based on the fact that I know how to do a wheelie.

But she does not. Part of me wants to call her and say, “You need to go to the mall and just cruise, get your arm strength up.” Then going up a hill, I don’t know if she’ll be able to navigate that without falling backwards because she doesn’t know any better.

Then going down a hill, seems easy, but that too requires knowledge of how to stop, how to steer your chair at a fast rate of speed, and how to control each wheel if you lose traction. The breaks won’t do shit in that case, they might burn your hands and cause you to crash into whatever you’re not steering away from.

Like, I’m not there. I can’t take her to the mall and give her wheelchair lessons. My dad is a motherfucking genius when it comes to physics, but I don’t know how much he can help either. I’m 1,600 miles away I just can’t be like, “Do this,” and even when I do move to Oregon I’ll still be about 200 miles away.

Last night I told her, “Go to Youtube, that’s a good resource for almost anything that you want to know.”

I was on the phone with her when she said, “Boy, carpet is so much harder then wood.” Part of me felt good that she can finally grasp that understanding, and part of me was like “Well no shit.”