Monthly Archives: March 2012

Houston Symphony

If you live in the Houston area, and haven’t heard the Houston Symphony, consider it now. Their playing of Elgar’s Enigma Variations last night shouted, “World Class,” and besides that it is a classy group. You won’t hear better anywhere in the world, and nothing beats actually feeling the music both inside your soul and in the reverberations from the bass that you can feel in the seat of your pants and your feet. Then there was spectacular and beautiful Hillary Hahn who opened the concert with a Prokofiev  violin concerto that used unimaginable percussion cued in to the second. Of note was the frame of huge hanging chimes that required the musician to sit atop a ladder-like structure to strike the pipes. A live orchestra is a visual treat, too, and, after a while, you choose your favorite players to watch.

I started my close up player-watch last summer when I went to Herman Park to pick up free tickets to Miller Outdoor Theater orchestra concerts there, and I discovered that the orchestra rehearses about that same time the morning before the evening concert. Eventually, I went early and got to hear the music many times.

Music has many powers: it’s good for your body, it’s good for your soul, and besides, it makes a good date. Mine loves taking me there.

New Mobility – try it

Haven’t seen it yet, but my new Quick Look Book for volunteer emergency responders has an ad in the online version of New Mobility.  I also enjoy reading the beautiful, pictured and good paper copy of  New Mobility for persons who are active wheelchair users. It’s also a good source of information on living a full life with other disabilities. Even the big ads give me information to know what is happening, who is making it and how to get it. I was once featured in their Verbatim section that gives stories about what other people are doing while using a wheelchair. If you have arthritis, multiple sclerosis or other impairments, you might want to take a look at a sample to find out if it is a good resource.

QR: What is it?

Just spent several days with the chair of the United Methodist Taskforce on Disability who taught me quite a few things. Ya’ll know I could stand a mountain of learning. Probably most of you already know about QR code, but I’d never heard of it. Best I can figure is it is like a bar code with art – not lines but embedded code that let you put your iphone up to the cute little square and instantly connect to a website. People put QR code on t-shirts, papers, posters, etc. It’s like shorthand for getting to where you want to go. The trick is you have to have an app on your phone that lets you read QR. I haven’t visited the app store yet to find out if it costs, so I’ll keep you posted, or you can comment back and educate me.

Birds and Beings

Sitting on the porch of our Hill Country cabin watching nature at its best with birds all over the place welcoming the day. A great blue heron has a great habit of stopping off on a rock protruding from the Guadalupe River where he waits for the morning catch to swim by for his breakfast. Cardinals are in great plumage, and the Egyptian Geese who live downstream and the wood ducks come up to our island for whatever it is they eat.  I wish I could live by the water, so it could work its magic, calming effect.

This week I hosted the chair person of the United Methodist Disabilities Task Force who was attending conference and holding audit meetings, and I got to tag along.  I was impressed by so many dedicated persons who work to help the persons with disabilities have camp and worship and educational possibilities. The chair person is from Spokane, so we had some good and some bad weather for her making a change from her dry and cooler climate.  Three days were sunshine that encouraged the bluebonnets to spring forth. We drove to Kerrville then went back to San Antonio. I’m packing up to drive back to Houston where I have lots of work waiting for me.  As you know, when you take a week off, it means run to catch up, or, in my case, wheel on #4 to catch up.

Did I mention catching four rainbow trout in fifteen minutes?

Ramps’nthing Press

Several people have asked me how I came to start Ramps’nthings Press, so here it is.  Disability materials, although important, do not make much money as the sales are limited, so after trying to sell them, I concluded failure and branched out on my own. First, I had to agree that I would not make any money, so if I broke even, it is okay.  Second, I had to have an organization to put them out there, one that sounded like what it really is. Finding a name was not as easy as it sounds as so many domains and names and logos are copyrighted. I came up Ramps, but it had to be more so I added the “things”. My friend K. said I needed a picture of it for a logo, so Homer Caravjal (the greatest graphics designer in the world) developed one that says it without words.

RP’s first book was Get With It Spencer about a rooster that needed glasses and kept crowing at the yard light. Then came Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders: A Guide to Aiding Persons with Disabilities.

Ramps’nthings Press has several things in the almost-finished department including a book of participation stories, another Quick Look book, and a book about change. Just for kicks, I may put my collection of skits and dramas out there, but it needs to be free or at cost.

On other front of ramps: I just bought another small suitcase ramp to use at my den door, replacing one built by a carpenter that is too rough and too steep. It is great to have so much helpful equipment available, and this will make my riding much smoother.