Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Free Rides Podcast Guest

Living this spinal cord injury quadriplegic disability lifestyle for almost fifteen years now I have met a lot of interesting people and have had a lot of unique experiences. Late last week was truly another disability related experience for the books because I was invited to be a featured guest on my new friend and fellow quad Tiffiny Carlson’s podcast No Free Rides, which is a fun and edgy podcast for people with disabilities. Tiff lives in Minneapolis and is a freelance writer and blogger who is featured on publications like New Mobility Magazine, NM’s new blog Spin 2.0, and a fellow guest blog post writer on the EasyStand Blog. All in all she’s been in the blogger game for over eight years now and has an innovative website of her own that covers a variety of disability topics called BeautyAbility.com.

Anyway, Tiff’s had some pretty big name folks in the disability world on her podcast so it was cool and flattering just to be asked. We had a great discussion that covered a myriad of topics such as coping with disability, my career and job search, me starting the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association, movies, dating, etc. It was fun talking shop with someone else with a wealth of SCI-disability experience. So big thanks again to Tiff for the invite! We’ve already kicked around the prospect of me becoming a regular guest, so that should be cool.

So check out my No Free Rides podcast with Tiff if you're down!

I should also add that the dating post that I reference a number of times throughout the podcast is my most recent EasyStand Blog guest post.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Man’s Annoying / Aggravating / Interesting Access Picture of the Week

Minus there being no snow on the pavement due to a recent winter thaw, the two pictures below essentially epitomize my past winter experience. The first picture is of a huge snow pile that has taken up at least two whole parking rows in the parking lot of my local Target store ever since the epic, record setting blizzard that hit Minneapolis during the first week of December, which I griped about it a few weeks after it happened. As you can see, the pile still almost equals the height of two cars stacked on top of each other, and the crazy thing is that by the time I finally had a decent opportunity to snag a pic of it the pile had already melted quite a bit. But at that snow pile’s peak it was truly something to behold, and I might not ever see anything like it again either. Getting around and dealing with the snow in the winter time can be a regular pain in the ass for wheelchair users, but trying to get around this year was one of the biggest challenges of my life no thanks to the extra, unexpected, indescribably large amounts of snow like you see here.


This second pic is of the spot at Target that I park in as much as possible during the winter because it’s a stand alone spot away from the rest, and thereby minimizes the prospect of me getting parked in by people who park on the striped access spots I need for my van’s ramp because they “don’t see the lines” or “didn’t know” on account of the snow cover (always a convenient excuse). This particular parking lot seems to extra bad in that regard, which is an unfortunate lesson that I’ve learned a few times over the years. The irony of this pic, I suppose, is that this spot was left relatively unscathed after all the December snow dumpings and I parked there freely all winter, but after another unexpected storm dumped almost another foot of snow a few weeks ago it got nailed because there was seemingly nowhere else to put extra snow. Needless to say, I had to park somewhere else because the snow was in my way. I plan to contact the store to have it removed. Regardless, this pic is a great representation of how hard it can be to find adequate parking that accommodates a van with a wheelchair ramp during snowy Minnesota winters.