Category Archives: Uncategorized

Not My President

January 21, 2017, Trump’s first day in office. I refuse to call him “President Trump” as I do not believe he represents not only my values but the values of the majority of the American people. I find myself thinking a lot about what it means to live in a free open country where people can freely speak their mind and make their own decisions.

During the run up to the election, the things that came out of Trump’s mouth troubled me to my core. I understand that a lot of Americans are frustrated with the state of the economy, especially in the heartland as people continue to lose employment and have a reduce livelihood. However, can we truly sit back and feel like we are in a free nation when the leader of the country spouts anti-sematic rhetoric, is proud to have the support of the KKK, degrades women and people with disabilities, and tries to take away the rights of women to make the decisions they see fit for their lives and their bodies?

Trump ran an election on fear mongering and racist tactics that I struggle with on multiple levels. This country was founded by immigrants and is made great by the immigrants within its boundaries. A leader who demeans races, religions, and people with disabilities is not only hurtful but extremely scary. I find it hard to answer my 10-year-old daughter’s questions about how a candidate for the presidency can lose when an overwhelming number of people supported her, but also how somebody who voices the things that Trump continues to spout is chosen to represent of the values of our country.

My wife and children—along with millions of others across the country—took part in the Women’s March to voice their concerns over the recent election process, and to stand up for the disabled, the oppressed, and women everywhere. This is not only a concern for America, but the world over. Countries from around the world took part in these marches within their own communities—showing not only their support but also their concern for the direction of the United States.

With all the negativity that is currently plaguing our great country, I recently found myself among people who have truly made this country the great place it is today. I don’t mean presidents, elected members of government, or your local representatives. I had the privilege of spending time with some of our country’s veterans who sacrificed for the privileges we have today. Oregon Adaptive Sports sponsors an annual event called Heroes at Sisters where we honor our disabled veterans from the Pacific Northwest by helping them and their families have a weekend on the snow learning, relearning, or experiencing snow skiing for the first time. What better way to honor these veterans than by helping them enjoy freedoms that we able bodied citizens take for granted.

One of the disabled veterans recently told me that being on the snow in the adaptive equipment is truly the only time that he feels free and no longer disabled. As we spend time together on the snow, we realize that politics be damned and we are all after the same thing—freedom, respect, dignity, and inclusion. I am honored to have spent the weekend with the true heroes of our country.

 

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Day 4 of Our Trip to Yellowstone National Park and Tristan’s 9th Birthday.

Day 4 of Our Trip to Yellowstone National Park and Tristan’s 9th Birthday.

Today is the 4th day of our adventures. We met up with our friends Angela, Ben and Hayden yesterday near Hailey, Idaho, and traveled the remaining 5 hours to the West Yellowstone KOA in convoy. When we arrived, we got checked in and set up camp — at which point the 3 kids were anxious to go swim in the indoor pool. They have a beautiful log cabin which houses the pool and hot tub. After a long evening of catching up, we all crashed for the night.

Today was Tristan’s 9th birthday. Where has the time gone, it seemed like just yesterday that he was born. We started the day with breakfast and presents. After which we headed in to Yellowstone National Park where we saw elk and moose and headed to Old Faithful. It was the first time for the kids and me. There are some amazing sights and scenery. We saw Old Faithful blow twice while we walked around and looked at the smaller geysers, hot springs, Old Faithful Lodge and information center. The kids got to spend a little money in the gift shop and generally enjoy the area.

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When we left the park, we came back for a little R & R and swimming in the pool. Tristan also wanted to rent the KOA bikes, which he totally enjoyed. After which we went into West Yellowstone for dinner at an old 50s dinner where we ate burgers and drank milkshakes, all in all a good time for the boy. Given that we had not seen much wildlife in the morning we decided to drive back into the park for another look. We saw a bison on the side of the road, which then proceeded to walk down the center of the lane. This sealed the day for Tristan. All in all I think he had a great birthday!!

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Happy Trails

Nomophobia, Fear of Being Without a Mobile Phone.

We live in a world where computers are everything; we cannot seem to get through the day without them in some form or fashion.  Whether it is a laptop, desktop, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Droid, MacBook, etc., we have become addicted to these electronic devices that were supposed to save us time by increasing our efficiency and independence.  There is also a new medical term for those who cannot seem to put them down: “Nomophobia, Fear of Being Without a Mobile Phone.”  All this to say, we feel the need to be connected.

So what do you do when you are not connected? Do you have more than one device for a backup, borrow a friend’s, or just survive? That was the situation I was in a few weeks ago.  My laptop stopped recognizing the CD player.  I had put this off for some time as I was unable to fix the issue myself and knew I needed to take it in for repair.  It finally came to a head when I really needed to use it, so I took it in.  I felt like I was parting with a good friend and was constantly waiting for the call to come pick it up.  After two days I was able to pick up the computer.  I suddenly felt a little more complete.  Once I got the unit home, I powered it up to ensure the problem was fixed. It was a relief, or so I thought.

But when I went to open ITunes to sync my iPod, I got an error.  This was a new issue that was not present when the computer went in for repair.  Even with the error, iTunes opened and I connected my iPod.  Things still seemed to be working fine.  Once the iPod was synced, I went to use the iPod.  I noticed that all of my music and movies had been deleted.  OMG!!!

I had to take it back to the shop.  After four days it was determined that the registry was corrupt and the computer needed reformatted.  If you have ever had to have this done, you know it is like starting back with a new computer. You need to reload ALL of your software and set up all of your settings.  Luckily the store recognized their error and backed up all of my programs and restored them for me.  All-in-all the computer was gone for another eight days.

Luckily I was able to use my wife’s spare computer (yes, we have a spare).  All in all we have 5 laptops and two iPods that connect to the internet in our house for two adults.  Our son uses one of the laptops for school work occasionally.  Even with all of these resources in the house, I still felt disconnected and frustrated as my primary machine was missing.

These machines that were supposed to save us all this time have become the things that consume our lives.  They get used at work, and then we come home and go straight to the computer to see what we might have missed on the drive home.

Is this our new reality? Am I the only one that feels so connected to my electronic devices? Even when traveling we look for places where we can “CONNECT.”  It’s amazing that life actually happened prior to computers and the Internet!!!!

Warranty Repairs Complete

Today we got the trailer back all fixed and hopefully better than new.  All of the electrical issues stemmed from a loose power lead on the back side of the circuit panel. The main feed wire was loose and making intermittent connection, thus shorting out and blowing the breaker.  The CD player was also covered under the warranty.  They replaced the entire stereo unit with a brand new one.  The kitchen window that blew open on the freeway was due to a faulty latch that was replaced.

Overall we are extremely happy with the dealer and the warranty that was included with the trailer.  So far Oregon West RV in Creswell, Oregon, has exceeded our expectations not only on the sales side but also on the repair side. John and his team have been excellent.

On Friday we will put it to the test.  Rachel, our 5-year-old daughter, and I are going for a solo camp night close to Eugene.  It will be a great opportunity for a little one-on-one time and also try out all of the repaired features.

Happy Trails