Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe

Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Leaving Treadmarkz in the Astral Plane

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by Treadmarkz,

Greetings! Alright folks, I appreciate your support, and the comments I’ve received from you on the issue’s I’ve raised thus far. And I will continue to write on this blog, hopefully venturing into new uncharted waters on topics relating to disabilities.

But this blog is unable to contain another topic which I really want to write about. So I want to let you know I have expanded to another blog, rollingwithVishnu.wordpress.com  in which I will wax philosophical. Its a bit deeper, more esoteric, WAY less sarcastic, but hopefully just as meaningful.

I understand that to many of my readers, it will not be for you, and I respect that. If so, I hope you will continue to follow and contribute to treadmarkz.wordpress.com and appreciate it for what it is.. Thanks, and take care of yourselves.

Going Wheelchair Shopping

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by Treadmarkz

Some time this week I am going shopping for a new chair. I got my prescription from my doctor. The chair I am in is definitely not fit to last another winter. I used and abused it this summer. I think all of that running around, along with the pressure of my job, have given me high blood pressure. Not really high, but higher than normal. I found that out when I had my appointments. Weird. I just wanted to get a prescription for a new chair and I found that out.

By the way, the doctor barely looked at me and started writing out the prescription for the chair, so I don’t know why I had to spend the time.

I Am Being Haunted By My Own Blog

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by Treadmarkz

I like to keep an eye on the stats for my blog, which postings are hot, am I going to have a bigger month than last month, etc. And when I see a posting from long long ago getting hot again, and its not because of a Stumble on StumbleUpon, it’s nice to see. But this has got me scared.

I had a posting earlier in the year when I was trying REALLY hard to just quit drinking soda altogether. I was doing really well too. I went almost a quarter of a year cold turkey. So I wrote up a story about the benefits one could gain from avoiding carbonated beverages, especially the disabled. All of a sudden this posting has come back with a vengeance, and I don’t know why, but I think it is trying to tell me something, so I have set myself an ultimatum. Quit drinking soda again. And I have given myself a cutoff date: October 15. Not to be self-righteous, but just because I know that all of the reasons I mentioned in that posting were very good reasons to quit. I will keep you posted.

PS: The earlier posting can be found below by it’s working title, “Soda Jerk.”

Rocking Out For Spinal Cord Injury Research

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by Treadmarkz

The other day I was thumbing through a rack of old LPs at a kiosk on the St. Vital Mall in Winnipeg, and I found a stack of Beatles records that for some reason nobody had snatched up yet. I didn’t waste a moment in deciding to buy the LP version of “Magical Mystery Tour”, “Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl” and “Yesterday…and Today.”

As if this wasn’t enough for a Beatles fanatic like me, I found out after the fact that all proceeds from purchases made at this kiosk were to go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. A little piece of cosmic serendipity, possibly. I wish I could say I bought the records because I wanted to make a benevolent contribution to the Reeve cause, but that is simply not true. But I am glad I bought them.

I am in a wheelchair with a spinal chord related disorder myself so I had a pretty good idea what the Reeve Foundation was about, but I looked into it a little more last night. I am not going to go into the issue of Spinal Cord Injury research too much, but regardless of your opinion on the controversial issue, what they are doing at the Reeve Foundation can only lead to some good coming to those whose lives have been changed to an indefinite degree by their injury.

Take a look at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation by clicking HERE. I’ll be adding it to my blog roll soon.

How To Get Paralympics Coverage On Your Computer, In Color and In Motion

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by Treadmarkz

I have often heard disabled people deplore the lack of televised coverage of the Paralympics (and by the way, WordPress, Paralympics is a word even if your program underlines it in red when I type it). Even though the Paralympics are every bit as competitive and spirited as the Olympics, and share the same venues as the Olympic games, and the event was advertised on the cups at McDonald’s, the biggest fast food chain in the universe…and yet we do not have comprehensive coverage on network television. Evidently they are watching it in Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), which goes to show how lacking things are in the States, comparatively, in terms of being progressive and all-inclusive.

By the way, if the Chinese government did not want disabled people in their country to be spectators at the Olympics, how the Hell are they coping with the Paralympics, what with all the cripples now swarming into Beijing? How can China justify fielding teams themselves?

But I digress…

While I still haven’t found any thorough coverage of the events on TV, I have found a site where you can watch 8 hours of coverage every day of this year’s Paralympiad. (That’s a word too, WordPress). Check it out by clicking HERE. The 2008 Games are already in full swing starting September 6th. You’ve got your ticket!

“Tropic Thunder” and the War Over Words

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by Treadmarkz

I have not seen the new Ben Stiller/Jack Black comedy “Tropic Thunder” but friends have been urging me to comment on the whole hub-bub the movie is creating over the word “retard”. Though I haven’t seen it, and though I am not a “retard”, I am in fact a “cripple”, I feel that the same basic principle applies to my situation. I feel that the people behind most of the “protests” of this movie are “non-disabled” people who are just full of righteous indignation. It looks good to protest things like this.
Further, I think people take things like the use of the word “retard” in a movie way too seriously. It is not directed at a single person is it? Well it is, actually but a movie character, and from what I understand, what is being attacked in this movie is actors who try to play “mentally handicapped” characters as if they really understood what it is like to be “mentally handicapped.”

Sure, movies like this may affect the way people see “mentally disadvantaged” people, or whatever the “correct” term is these days. But if you are worried about it, then make it your goal to show people who you really are before they get the chance to make that judgment on you. That is everybody’s mission in life, so its not just disabled people or any other minority who have an extra burden. It is everybody’s goal, one way or another, to put their best face forward. Damn a movie. Let’s make sure we are remembering that we don’t live in “Movieland”. We are people with individual personalities that do not fit into the mold of a stereotype. So, unless you actually do fit these stereotypes they shouldn’t bother you.

And lastly, I’ve said it before, but if we can’t say “retard” and we can’t say “cripple” then we can’t say “four-eyes”. This is a slippery slope, this issue of words we can’t use. Near-sightedness and far-sightedness is, in fact a disability so if we can’t make jokes about the mentally and physically disabled then there are a whole long list of other people we can’t make fun of. Think about it so I don’t have to present the list.

What Would America Be Like For the Disabled Under McCain? Here is a Preview.

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by Treadmarkz,

I saw this video on another person’s blog so I just linked to it because I think it is important to people to see this. Click the link and then play the video that comes onto the screen. I think it is telling of John McCain’s attitude toward the disabled and the issues we face. Listen carefully to what the woman in the video is asking and of course to McCain’s response.

The woman is asking McCain to support a bill giving disabled people more complete freedom of choice when it comes to public housing.

Surely I don’t expect him to say yes to everything he is asked, just so he looks good to as many people as possible, so I respect him for being honest. But he shot down the legislation the woman referred to, and then was not very specific about alternatives. Did not give the issue a lot of time. By “continue to upgrade the Americans with Disabilities Act” I just wonder, for whose benefit will these “upgrades” come?

Treadmarkz’s Paralympic Delusions of Grandeur

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by Treadmarkz,

I’ve been away from my blog for a little while. I’d like to say that the reason is that I am training for the paralympics, but alas, I have just been whiling away the dog days of summer. My wife works days and I work afternoon-night. So I find things to do, and I have put on a lot of miles doing it. It usually revolves around going to get lunch or snacks or drinks. I may not be training for the paralympics, but I know I’ve put on at least 28 miles in the last several weeks, the equivalent of a good old fashioned Olympic marathon.

So you’re probably thinking “What do you want, a medal?” and my answer is…well…yes.

How To Run a Smear Campaign on Your Blog While Cutting Out the Self-Deprecating Nonsense

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by Treadmarkz

“Mindless nonsense”

“a blog about nothing”

“rambling, incoherent fluff”

“pointless yammering”

We’ve all seen them. They are taking over the blogosphere. Self-deprecating blogs written by bloggers who attempt to set themselves apart from the pack by insisting, right out in the open, in the title of their blog that they have nothing to say.

Unfortunately I think the whole mad cycle begins with WordPress itself. If you are a WordPress blogger you will remember that when you started your blog, before you gave it a proper title, the subtitle read “Just Another WordPress Weblog”, something like that. Some people have chosen to keep that sub-heading. Generic, lifeless, non-committal. Bloggers may start their blog with high hopes of putting on display their original opinions, concepts, and points of view, only to quickly find that they are just one of millions. And it quickly turns them negative. Why?

I mean, sure, we aren’t necessarily aspiring toward professional journalism here, but at least the goal should be credibility. Or at least to have a concrete point. This is not to say that these people actually are without a point or lack “something to say”. But these titles do not help convey that. Not at all.

God knows I am as self-defacing as the next guy in my everyday dealings with family, friends, etc. But this… I’ll give you an even better example. I saw a blog posting one time with the title “Don’t Even Bother Reading This.” You know what I did? I didn’t read it.

It reminds me of the “negative campaigns” that U.S. Presidential candidates are often accused of running against each other. Only in this case, bloggers are using these smear tactics against themselves. If you are going to do it, I say why not do it to smear your competition? To bring into question the credibility of a blogger who runs a blog similar to yours?

For example, on this blog, I usually discuss a wide variety of disabilities, usually focusing on issues regarding those of us in wheelchairs. So, suppose I decided to run my smear campaign against “Disabilities Blog X”. In that case, I might say “Disabilities Blog X: They haven’t got a leg to stand on.”

It would take something much better than that, I am sure, but you get the idea. And, no, that slogan would not be self-deprecating just because I am in a wheelchair myself. I am merely using what I know about my competition and spinning it to my advantage.

How about “Disabilities Blog Y: At Least It’s Not Mindless Rambling Rubbish Like Disabilities Blog X.”

Well now that I’ve shown you the way, stop smearing yourselves, and get out there in the blogosphere and play to win! And, you know, don’t go making any enemies, for God’s sake, but set yourself apart from the rest

A Chance to See How the Disabled Other Half Live

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by Treadmarkz

I recently wrote a posting imploring disabled people in Canada to let me know they were there and that they were reading “Treadmarkz”. This led me to look at the rest of the map and realize that my readership in Russia is almost zippo. I was doing some research to see what topics I could tackle to try to reach out to my Russian disabled friends. That led me to a great blog that really sums up everything that I’d been attempting to do with the Canada posting and the planned Russia posting. It is all about what its like to be disabled…outside of America.

I added it to my blog roll and I’d like to direct your attention to it. It is called “Outside America.” Give it a look. For those of you who are in the States, it will be eye-opening I am sure. And I guess for anyone on the planet it may be eye-opening to see how the disabled live in any other country which “Outside America” covers. And it covers a lot of ground, I can see. Check it out, in my blogroll on the right.