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Road Trip!  
08:56pm 02/08/2013
Renegade Vagabond
We are currently on a fabulous road trip with jaylake and his family. First stop Oamaru. Now that we have been thoroughly cheesed, steampunked and penguined, we are preparing to head to our next stop, Kaikoura. Sleep now, for tomorrow we drive.
mood: exhaustedexhausted
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Friends Maintanence  
12:44pm 14/04/2010
Renegade Vagabond
Have made a number of deletions from friends list. If you were deleted in error, please let me know. Thanks
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10:37am 14/09/2009
Renegade Vagabond
Did some poking around at my friends list. Haven't posted much lately. It seems that this journal isn't as important to my life as it once was, but I don't want it to go stagnant, as I strongly believe it will be important again.

As you were.
mood: discontentdiscontent
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Blogging Against Disablism Day 2009  
10:25am 01/05/2009
Renegade Vagabond
I started out unsure about what to write, but I do believe it is important to write something, as most people don't seem to understand how disabled people get treated day-to-day. I've decided to go with the story of my last flight out of Wellington, as the treatment of disabled people in Wellington airport is the worst I have received anywhere in the world. And I've been in a lot of airports.

The critical point in the Wellington airport system is their insistence on transferring all disabled passengers to invalid chairs at check in. Let me explain about the invalid chairs. Most of the people I know who regularly use wheelchairs have chairs that they control themselves. For people who have relatively strong upper bodies, these are chairs with a low back to leave plenty of elbow room and grips on the wheels for ease of self-propulsion. For people with weaker upper bodies, these are usually power chairs with specialised controls making self-propulsion possible with parts the user has adequate use of (chin, hand, whatever, some of these things are just ingenious.

Anyway, back to the invalid chairs. Invalid chairs is my term for chairs with high backs, no wheel grips and no power. Once you are in one of these chairs, you are an invalid. You can't even get yourself to the toilet. The special thing about Wellington airport is their insistence on putting all disabled passengers in to these invalid chairs at check in. Any other airport I've been to will give you the option of using your own chair to the gate.

This doesn't seem to cause any problems for any airport not in Wellington, as once the disabled passengers had boarded early, there is plenty of time for a runner to get the chair to the luggage area. Since at the other end of the flight disabled people leave the plane last, my chair is usually waiting for me when it is my turn to leave.

The fact that Wellington airport id apparently alone in this policy, yet willing to argue it until your plane leaves is confusing to me. Can't they understand that taking away someone's mobility is cruel and infantising? Another problem I had at Wellington Airport is the refusal of the staff to speak directly to me. I was the one voicing perfectly reasonable arguments about not wanting to be treated like an invalid, but the standing person next to me was the one being spoken to , as if he was the one who had spoken.

New Zealand has a long way to go in the treatment of disabled people, and has a larger lack of consideration than anyplace else I have lived. Including Southeast Asia. If you would personally like to be part of the solution to this issue, speak to disabled people like you would speak to anyone else. Don't avoid them or speak in front of them like they aren't there. There are some very interesting and intelligent people out there you might otherwise miss out on knowing.
location: Alicetown, NZ
mood: busybusy
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Weekend Update  
08:31pm 08/03/2009
Renegade Vagabond
We had a grand weekend. We met up with many lovely people at Fidel's on Friday night, then we went out to dinner with rivet and rikan_feral. We did not, alas go to see the Watchmen movie with them, because as we were leaving the Satay Kingdom, we saw Brian, Mike and Sheri, husband, college buddy and Mother-in-law of luminel. We decided to hang with them and make sure everyone was doing OK.

Saturday started out on a down note, as vandals had thrown a rock through the rear window of our van. We got the window shop to wrap it up with plastic, then we were able to get the trailer and meet pombagira for her move. Much help was provided by vernacularity, snottygrrl, edm and ferrouswheel. There was much stair climbing, but everything got moved.

In the evening, danjite and I went without the boy to the Jackson Street Fiesta, which was very cool. We ran into many friends there, and we danced to Batcuda. Twice.

Not surprisingly, we woke up this morning with sore legs, but we didn't let that slow us down. We did the necessary stuff with the laundry and the groceries, then we were off to the Newtown Faire. It was nice, and there was Batcuda, but I liked the Jackson Street one better.

Now we are spending a relaxing evening together curing meat.

Hope your weekend rocked, too.
location: Alicetown, NZ
mood: happyhappy
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Busy, busy  
02:25pm 02/03/2009
Renegade Vagabond
I can't believe that I haven't posted for four weeks. So much has happened. Our Chinese New Year dinner was a great success.

My old friend Sharee came to stay, and was more the same than should be possible. No way could I keep up witth her, somehow I've gotten 20 years older, while she remains the same.

We went to KiwiBurn, where there was much princessing and setting things on fire. I especially love that, as the head volunteer fireman was going to be unable to attend the burn of the man, we had Burn, Jr. the night before, just for the fun of the firemen, who sat on top of their firetruck drinking beer and watching the flames.

Daniel was invited to and attended Kiwi Foo Camp, while Sharee and I drove around the far north looking at beautiful scenery.

danjite and I took part in organising, then carrying off a protest against New Zealand's new copyright laws which has proved to be at least partially successful.

We went to see Milk, which was very emotional for me, as I was present at some of the stuff in the film, and was quite molded by surrounding experiences.

Our dear friend luminel died, leaving our lives a little less sunny, as she was a truly positive person, and the type that it should not be OK to take away. (I had a lot of serious emotion around this as well, as it brought back memories of my long-ago best friend Kevin's untimely death before he hit 30.)

My son arrived from the US and is attempting to settle into a life of his own. I hope he stays here for a long time, but I have no idea what he will decide to do, as he is a determined dude.

As all of these things, and more, were happening, I kept thinking I should blog it, but I never did, as more experiences just kept rolling in. Now I have the time to blog about this stuff, as danjite and my boy are talking to the immigration dudes while I am sick in bed.

I get so bored when I'm sick, I want to do something, but I just don't have the energy to do anything at all.

Hopefully I'll be better soon, and off causing more trouble.
location: Alicetown, NZ
mood: sicksick
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09:46pm 13/09/2008
Renegade Vagabond
Tonight we had pumpkin soup, steamed cauliflower and grilled salmon on an onion focaccia with an avocado and cream cheese dressing. It was very yummy, but I think I may have done myself a mischief with my portion size.
location: Horokiwi, NZ
mood: fullfull
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08:49pm 26/08/2008
Renegade Vagabond
Early for you!

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Thank You  
11:58am 17/07/2008
Renegade Vagabond
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you from around the world for donating money to help our friend pay for health care. May we someday live in a world where this is unnecessary. I have a message from the friend in question:

So, um...

...I've been completely gobsmacked by the reaction to this post.

Honestly, A and I hadn't understood just how oppressively stressed out we've been about the COBRA situation until we asked for help. To use one of the tiredest metaphors out there, it's like a weight's been taken off our shoulders. No wonder I went a bit crazy on Saturday morning - it was sheer relief!

Like many cynical and introverted folks, I can barely begin to articulate how happy, surprised, touched and even bewildered I am. I wish I could dish up a heartfelt bit of eloquence, but all I can say is "Wow".

And thank you, of course.

As for danjite and me, well we literally had tears in our eyes in response to the giving goodness of you all. A heartfelt thanks to each of you, and we really couldn't have chosen better friends.
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Health Care Emergency  
09:02am 13/07/2008
Renegade Vagabond
Many of you know one of the reasons danjite and I chose to leave the US was to do with the health care fiasco there. We have a friend who is truly suffering for it right now. I know you are generous folk, so if any of you are willing to donate some dollars towards this cause, I will forward it directly to this friend in need.

I have reposted a bit of a post from her journal. She is currently seeking employment, having arrived at the end of her Unemployment Insurance benefits. Her husband is ill. Read for yourselves:

Landing on the Bottom of the Barrel.Collapse )

Should any of you fine folks be willing to help her out, please send whatever you can to our Paypal account and we will forward it on to her.

Thanks mightily for you kind consideration.

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