Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Paint A Room, While Sitting on your Rump

I hear that necessity is the mother of invention; for us, necessity took the form of poverty.

We are fixing up our home, with the plan of putting it on the market in the Spring. For different reasons, Mike and I both have difficulty standing; we thought we could never do it ourselves; so we got a couple of bids to paint the six rooms we need to paint.

Yoikes, painters are expensive! Immediately after recovering from the sticker shock, we decided that we were going to become DIYers. However, there was no way we could do it the traditional way. With no other choice, we adapted the job to fit our abilities.

We just finished the living room, dining room and hallway today; and are struttin' like peacocks over our new neutral-so-buyers-can-see-their-own-stuff-in-the-room “Cincinnati Hotel Taupe” walls.

Picture of an office chair with a plastic drop cloth over it.We also thought there may be others who might not think they can paint their walls, because they use wheelchairs or cannot stand for any length of time... Hence, this blog on how we did it.

I use a scooter for mobility (my new power chair is in the pipeline—can't wait); it's not conducive for painting at all, so I used our office chair. To ensure that it stayed clean, it got its very own drop cloth. It slid around the house nicely while I was painting. I do have the use of my legs; so, I could just push off in any direction with ease. I do think that power chair users who cannot push off, could use their chairs, just as easily. Unless you are really really really neat, drop cloth cover it too.

It took us about three weeks to finish the job. That is probably longer than it would take most people. Among my list of medical conditions, I have chronic fatigue. Mike has to baby his back since his surgery in June. We could only work on the project a couple hours, every other day (sometimes 3 days would pass before we got back to it). Here's how we did it:

Room Prep

  • I moved the furniture... in my office chair. I pulled out the small pieces, turned my office chair around, touching the furniture and pushed it backward to one end of our living/dining room.

  • When we finished one area, I'd push it back the same way.

  • Power-chair users could accomplish these tasks much easier.

  • We did need a little help; taping the tops and down the sides of windows and doors about a foot. The rest we could reach from a chair. We were able to tape off baseboards, and ¾ way around the windows/doors while seated.

Photo of paint brush duct taped to a stick, and two paint rollersPainting

  • Supplies: You will need the traditional paint supplies, paint, drop cloths, a cut-in brush and a roller (we also used a mini roller, which was good in small spaces). The adaptive technology you will need is a long-handled broom stick handle. Make sure the roller brush holders have a place to screw the broom handle. And, of course, beer.

  • We used a canvas drop cloth to protect the floor from spatters, drips and beer spills; because you will knock over an open one with your chair; I personally guarantee it. The chair moved easier on canvas than those thin plastic dropcloths. Don't buy a canvas drop cloth at the hardware store. Go to a fabric store (Jo-Ann Fabrics). I found canvas in the bargain bin; it was less than half the price Lowe's wanted for a smaller size. Who cares if its edges are raw and not sewn, its a freaking drop cloth! A vinyl tarp might work well too, if you have one.

  • Applying paint from the baseboards to over our seated heads was easy and required no accommodation, except of course that we were on our rumps.

  • Once we could no longer reach, we attached a broom handle to the rollers and duct taped the brush to another. We did all the roller work in a section first; then used the cut in brush for the corners and around the windows. I was surprised at how easily the high work was. Note to self: Use much more duct tape on the paint brush, or use two screws to attach the paintbrush to the handle.

Photo of Cilla in the hallway, using the paintbrush to paint the ceiling and wall near the ceiling.Trim

  • We are going to have crown molding installed in the living/dining areas, (HGTV says it adds value to a house and I believe everything the Channel tells me). For that reason, we did not have to paint all the way to the ceiling.

  • However, in the hallway, we just painted the ceiling the same color as the walls—no need to tape off that unreachable area at the ceiling.

  • I even painted the smoke detector, since I could not get on a ladder to take it down. It was old and looks much better painted.

  • Painting around the hallway ceiling light was time consuming.

  • We needed help removing, then putting the light cover back on after we painted around the light.

That's pretty much it. The rooms look great. Photo of Cilla using the roller on the broomstick, painting low, under a window.Three down, three to go. But now I feel very confident we can do it, be done by Spring. Hope “springs” eternal that we can a reap a small mint, in a depressed market ,and another family will continue the history of our current, lovely cozy home. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

No Purchase Necessary

That small print will get you every time. Mike and I went through the drive through at McDonald's and asked for a Monopoly game thingy. The sweet young thing at the window said, "You didn't buy any of the premium items, so you aren't entitled to a "no purchase necessary" Monopoly thingy.

We, as nicely as we could told, her we just read the sign, at the drive up ordering place, that the first three words under the Play Monopoly ad are "No Purchase Necessary." Poor girl, went back to the manager, who handed her a piece of paper. She, in turn, handed it to us.

In a size 7 font was the following:To receive a game piece without making a purchase, mail a legibly hand written, self-address stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage and a return address (first and last name, street address, city, state and zip or postal code) to [address listed]. Do not send any... comments or questions to this address...

In even smaller print it reads: two game pieces (a total of 4 game stamps) will be mailed in response to each mail-in request that complies with the requirements of the official rules, while supplies last. Mail in requests including both outer envelope and SASE must be hand written. Outer envelope must include a return address in the upper left hand corner that matches the requestor's street address... and that's the simple directions. If you happen to live in Vermont, it is three times more complicated.

Then in all caps on the front side in large lettering is the pharse "No Purchase Necessary". I nearly peed my pants.

I just heard on Keith Olberman that Ohio McDonald's employees received a letter saying they had to vote republican... And they should, afterall, we need people in congress who are willing to keep the term, NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, mean the exact opposite.

I can't blame the folks at the store. They don't make the policy. And, It's not just McDonald's; it's generally accepted corporate policy to lie to those who enrich them.

Please vote in your own best interests on Tuesday, rather than voting to enrich the corporate giants.

Cross posted on my Facebook page.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WTF: Too Disabled to Fly?

I just read an article that said Johnnie Tuitel, a guy who has already flown over 500,000 miles, is now suddenly too disabled to fly alone. Johnnie is 47, has CP and uses a power chair for mobility and lives in Grand Rapids, MI. Apparently, the gate attendant believed he would be a risk to other passengers. If he wanted to fly, he would have to buy another ticket for a “caregiver”. Evidently, he was able enough to get himself to West Palm Beach, through the airport, through security, and to his gate alone, but poor Johnnie can't fly. Why I oughta...

On the other hand, I'm not too crazy about disabled inspirational speakers; but hey, it's a living. Johnnie has trademarked himself as “America's Pioneer Handicapitalist”. [Oh, wait, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.] I would be tempted to discriminated against disabled inspirational speakers; but, that's not why Johnnie didn't fly.

Johnnie was already seated when a U.S. Airways ground attendant forced him to leave the plane, just before it left the gate from West Palm Beach Airport in Florida. He was on his way to the National Self Advocacy Conference in Kansas City to speak. He missed the gig. Two days later he took another flight, but missed his session at the conference. So, of course, he didn't get paid. Bummer, but you can expect that when you enable capitalist companies to discriminate against you.

Tuitel said: “I was raised to believe I could grow up doing what I wanted to do and it didn't lead me to any entitlement. By them denying me the ability to fly, I couldn't do my job.” More about that later. He also stated, ”Second of all, the people that made the decision are not medical doctors.”

The ground attendant's rationale: “If something were to happen, Tuitel would be unable to help himself or anyone else.” US Airways said the ground attendant had been following airline guidelines for disabled passengers.

Valerie Wunder, on behalf of US Airways said: “The airline requires that the passenger has to be physically able to assist himself or herself in the event of an emergency. If the passenger cannot, the airline requires that someone else travels with the passenger who can provide assistance in the event of an emergency.”

The Problem with Being Inspirational

Tuitel was dissed for sure. His rights were violated. He was humiliated and suffered a financial loss because of discrimination. Tuitel said he was not going to sue the airline.

Earlier in this piece I quoted Tuitel saying, “I was raised to believe I could grow up doing what I wanted to do and it [being disabled] didn't lead me to any entitlement.”

Entitlement, man, is the name of the game!

Johnnie, If you tell people to pull themselves up, work hard, be like Johnnie, you can do anything if you try hard enough; you deny the systemic discrimination that thrives in the world against people with disabilities and other minorities. You can't say, it does not exist. You cannot ignore it and strive to climb over it. It's you against society. You, as an individual, will always lose; just as you did with US Airways.

The only reason he was able to travel through an airport unescorted is because our people broke that barrier down. Every accessible place he goes to, is there because our people made it accessible for him. The only reason he is an entrepreneur, is because our people demanded the right.

The only way to overcome baseless discrimination is to demand what you are entitled to. The only way to do that is to ORGANIZE against the mainstream and demand your rights. You can't charm your way, or speak your way, or ask politely for your birthrights. You must demand them; because, baby, US Airways, or CitiBank, or McDonald's does not speak to people with disabilities best interests.

We can hope US Airways will become more disability friendly, but they won't; unless we barrage them with demands that they do. Frederick Douglass taught us well when he said, “Power concedes nothing without a fight”. To begin the barrage visit: and start complaining!

I also hope Mr. Tuitel stops being so damned inspirational and starts advocating and organizing others to demand their rights as a class of people who deserve them, instead of individuals who can achieve their rights if they try harder, on their own. His dedication to upholding capitalism, despite capitalism denying him his rights, means he's part of the problem, not a solution. We can take a lesson from the gay/lesbian community... gay marriage will happen in the US, not because capitalism said, "sure, let's do the right thing."

Second of all, if most medical doctors had to make the decision about whether or not Johnnie could fly, little Johnnie would be institutionalized.

UPDATE: 8:00 PM. U.S. Airways agrees to discuss policy changes with West Michigan man they booted off flight for being 'too disabled to fly'

Dedicated to Mike Ervin, who got me off my ass to start blogging again! Thanks Mike.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm just like you... I don't think so!

Updated: 10-11-10, 3:45 pm

Christine O'Donnell's newest commercial says, “I am not a witch. I'm you... I'm just like you.” She's trying to separate herself from her Bill Maher moment when she said, on camera, that she dabbled in witchcraft. I'm not like her, I'm not a witch (apologies to witches).

This is the same Delaware Tea Party Republican Senatorial candidate, who said she has top secret information from Chinese missionaries, that China has a plan to overthrow the U.S. It would be rare indeed that missionaries would be privy to China's long term world domination “strategery” plans. I don't buy that.

O'Donnell believes that masturbation equals infidelity. Nope, I do not buy that either.

So, if O'Donnell is not me; who is she like? Well, this newest political ad did remind me of someone. Her name is Linda Tripp.

She also said “I'm just like you” during her 15 minutes of infamy. Linda was the phoniest of best friend to Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton's intern girlfriend.

Tripp befriended Lewinsky only to learn more about Lewinsky getting cozy from then President Clinton, and profit from it. She convinced Lewinsky that she was helping, supporting, and looking out for her (Lewinsky's) best interest. Tripp tape recorded all of Lewinsky's phone conversations, urged her to hold on to the “stained” dress (rather than sending it to the cleaners as Lewinsky planned) wore a wire, went shopping for a publisher, and had leading conversations with Lewinsky almost daily, among other offenses against human dignity. She committed the ultimate betrayal of friendship, and her actions were as flagrant as a school yard bully.

Clinton and Lewinsky behaved stupidly. Tripp behaved despicably. Among all the infidelities, tricks, manipulations and lies related to the matter by many people; Linda Tripp's lack of a moral compass was glaring.

The response to Tripp's unfaithful, duplicitous, and nonexistent friendship was swift, brutal and on target. After a few days of being hounded by the media, She made her, “I'm just like you” speech.

The overall amorality that O'Donnell and Tripp share is that they will do anything, and say anything, to get what they want. They are NOT like most people, who are decent, loyal, and truthful. I hope Delawareans will remember that on election day.