What’s going on?

Awareness. Let me say a few thing. I have IBM Disease and worked in IT professionally for 20 years but supported the places I worked with IT since 1982 and messed around with Commodore and Apple iiE.

So I am a computer savvy person with IBM disease. I think that is an ironic oddity in these times.

But, back to awareness. I am aware that I am different today than I was when I was 18, climbing Mt. Rainier and hiking all over Washington, fly fishing in more lakes than I can remember, being a volunteer firefighter in Bothell, working at Pay’n Save, dating a girl who I am still friends with and founding to WWU in 1979 after giving up a job offer to be a professional firefighter for Bothell.

I learned I had Long QT just before I went to college, learned it could be deadly, lost two brothers in th 90’s to it and almost lost my daughter and sister to complications from the defibrillators we have in our bodies.

Type 1 diabetes runs in our family and the two brothers and my sister have it. One uncle has it and even though he was not expected to live a long life he has.

I learned to drive in an Oldsmobile 442 with him.

Dad died from lung cancer probably caused by Agent Orange when he served in Vietnam fighting a war so unpopular and despised that even today Vietnam veterans are often treated poorly. It has gotten better.

Mom died a couple of years ago from a stroke. It was pretty sudden and makes a person aware that life can be fragile.

My life has changed. I have two beautiful daughters from a marriage that was wonderful until it wasn’t.

Now, I am aware that I am in a relationship that is so unbelievably good that it feels like a dream.

I’m aware that I cannot do what I used to do but I am also aware that, at age 66, that I am getting older and life changes for all of us. It is how we live our lives that makes us aware of how lucky we are.

I am sitting on our deck watching birds, squirrels and the trees while drinking coffee and writing a sappy Facebook post.

But I am also aware that I can do things. I can be kind, grateful, polite and use my talents to change things while accepting what I cannot change and letting the rest go away. I’ve been around alcoholics my entire life and learned the lesson above well.

I didn’t cause or do anything to deserve anything bad that has happened to me nor did I do anything or deserve to get to do the good things in my life.

It is just life. When I became aware that life happens and how we can change things by our attitude and actions it got better.

I can do many things very well and I have changed how I do things that are difficult for me. I even ask total strangers for help in stores or wherever.

So, fight it and frustrate yourself or change what you can and live a happy life, screw the rest of it.

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Kicked off a flight

In November 2022 we were removed from a flight from Seattle to Bellingham because my chair weighed 21 pounds more than the allowed limit.

This did not sit well with me and I have been campaigning for changes ever since. I think we should be allowed to fly in the cabin with our chairs. It’s time our chairs and our bodies are never treated like cargo ever again.

See https://www.king5.com/article/travel/wheelchair-weight-accessibility-alaska-airlines-bellingham-seattle/281-5ae0ac48-b627-4faf-95c7-4eab86c9ba50 for my latest salvo in this campaign.

I am not alone. See https://www.allwheelsup.org for their efforts.

Let’s get this done.

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Covid is no joke.

After spending six days in the hospital I was discharged on November 22. The pneumonia made me very weak but the excellent care helped me recover.

We’ve been home and being very careful but are starting to think about venturing out.

We did make a claim on our travel insurance and we’re very surprised to get all our money plus incidental expenses back for the final two cruises. The small investment for insurance paid off.

Resting and fighting off pneumonia.

Stay safe!

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It’s been a while

We were diagnosed with Covid on November 10, had to figure a way home, Miami instead of Fort Lauderdale, get to Miami, get on the plane, get to Seattle and then get pulled from our Seattle to Bellingham flight because my power chair was 20 pounds over the 399 pound weight limit.

They were very sorry but we still had to take a wheelchair taxi home and did not get home until 4:30 am.

Every complex rehab power chair is probably at risk of not being allowed to fly on Alaska due to the weight limit.

I spent six days in the hospital with pneumonia and am home now.

Folks, Covid is real. It still infects people and is dangerous to those of us with compromised immune systems.

We had to cut our cruising short and have spent hours working with the insurance company to get reimbursed.

Please be careful. Cruise ships are dangerous.

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Well, gosh!

We both tested positive for Covid and have been in isolation for three days.

After some serious thinking we have decided to not continue cruising.

We have been fully vaccinated and have both boosters yet we get Covid. Are we ever going to beat this virus?

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Cartagena, Colombia

The port has built a beautiful restaurant, store and wildlife sanctuary right at the entrance and no more than a quarter of a mile from the ship.

Today’s ramps were the best yet and a pleasure to use. I’m going to share photos now. When visiting this port make sure you visit the birds and animals.

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Half Moon Cay, Oranjestad and Willemstad

Half moon cay looked beautiful…..from the ship. This was a tendered port where only those passengers who could walk several steps and negotiate a step were able (allowed) to use the tender.

But, like I said it was beautiful.

Half Moon Cay

Oranjestad was much easier this time. The ramp was nice and the little bit of wind helped cool us off.


Willemstad, Curaçao ramp was a little steep going out so I suggested they lift the ramp and extend it. They did and getting back on the ship was much better.

Willemstad is a cute town with a pontoon bridge that swings open for boats and closed for pedestrians. We enjoyed our visit and the sights were beautiful.

Did I mention there was a fort?

Our next stop is Cartagena, Colombia and a short walk from the ship is a small salt water aquarium fed by the sea as well as wild macaws in the trees. I’ll let you know how it is and what we encounter.

Our room, an ambulatory accessible room, continues to be the best fully accessible room we’ve been in.

Since showering is a problem, a chair was provided but is unstable, I had a haircut and a sea salt exfoliation. They gave me a $50 voucher so I think a pedicure is next. Ruby is also going to have a pedicure. I may also have a manicure.

This cruising life is great.

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Hello Fort Lauderdale

We stayed on Eurodam, had to change cabins but no problems experienced.

I’m sitting on the top deck looking out a window, sitting in the sun and enjoying Florida.

Pardon the knees, best I can do.

We leave in just a bit for our western Caribbean and partial Panama Canal cruise. New place, new faces, lots of fun.

We just learned a tour group of disabled individuals are on board. We’ve been invited to their first meeting. It’ll be nice to have more support as we navigate the barriers placed in front of us.

Subscribe for updates.

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Aruba and beyond

We were able to get of and back on the ship without any difficulty. The crew did a great job.

Aruba is a friendly country and bills itself as “One friendly Island”

Keller Williams let us use their Wi-Fi. This was great since the ship has blocked the ISP for my email.

Now comes a customs visit in Fort Lauderdale, a room move, our third, and the second leg of our adventure- the western Caribbean with a foray into the Panama Canal with cruising around Lake Gatun. This cruise is 11 days and ends with two nights in a nice Hilton Hotel after which we go on our third cruise to Key West, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and a couple other places before ending up in Fort Lauderdale on November after which we begin the Amazon River cruise which ends December 17th. We come home the next day.

Our excellent neighbors are taking very good care of our home despite the storms.

More to come in a couple days.

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Well, it happened!

We got off the ship in Puerto Quetzal, toured the town (vendors) and saw some iguanas.

As we came down the ramp into town I commented on how steep it was.

On the way back to the ship I encountered difficulties with the steep ramp. There was a carpet to make it easier. It did not. Then they thought turning the carpet over would make it easier. It did not. Then they thought carpet further up the ramp would make it easier. It did no but I did crinkle it up nicely.

I tried five or six times. And I said the ramp is too steep. They wanted to carry me and push the chair up in freewheel mode. I said no.

They wanted to transfer me to a manual chair, push me up and freewheel my chair up. Nope.

After each suggestion I said they needed to bring their spare portable ramps down and lengthen the ramp to make it less steep.

The staff said they had no other ramps. I said we’ve seen them. They are portable and about six feet long and will work perfectly.

We don’t have one. Finally a more senior staff person and another more senior staff person showed up and told the deck staff to go get the Alaska ramp.

Then I went up the ramp.

I also spoke with the senior officer in charge of ramps and he agree that the extension will be used anytime the ramp is as steep as it was today.

It took almost an hour to resolve what could have been taken care of in ten minutes.

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