Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn and Fall, Wheelchair Badminton, Squirrel Siblings and loot!

Fall has arrived, and the trees are sending the leaves down in bushels. Which make some kids happy. I am trying to remember that delight of seeing big leaves instead of automatically thinking “Oh no, this means every leaf blower in town will be on my block forever!”

Sound-wise today was extremely noisy. I did not know why as I had a medical appointment. When Cheryl came she said the Coho – the 50 year old tilt back and forth ferry had carried over the Olympic Torch. Not only that, because of the ‘political target’ it could make, the slow moving, waddling Coho Ferry was escorted by the US Coast Guard until Canadian Waters and then by the Canadian Coast Guard. I am not sure what the plan was because the Coho was built back in the days when LARGE amounts of steel was put into ships, enough to make those giant Caddies that go through brick walls seem wimpy. So was a speedboat supposed to hit it with explosives? Because of the Olympics? And would the Coho notice? Or was one of the cars aboard supposed to go off, and then the Coast Guard would what? Shoot all the potential suspects swimming toward the Coast Guard vessel? I am not clear on the logic of most things security related, like why U.S. citizens like Cheryl can come to visit me with a driver’s license but cannot as a CITIZEN of the US return to her country/gated community with one, but MUST have a passport.

Anyway, the torch arrived, and according to Cheryl, the ‘Torch Run’ of the Olympics (which is supposed to be about ‘amateur sports’ and not ‘whoring ourselves to media and corporations’ is the ‘RBC and Coca-Cola Torch Run” – because moving the Olympic Flame certainly can’t be done without sponsorship! So Coke and Royal Bank had been using this as several million in advertising having contests on who would run with the torch, and so the torch was jogged 300 yards, then lights the NEXT person, in order to get all the people in who Coke and RBC sold the spots to. AND then afterward, you can buy the torch you ran with. Surreal. I was about to make a joke about how probably Pepsi is sponsoring the Torch Run in Real World or one of the Virtual Worlds. But then I thought I should check to make sure that isn’t actually happening; since many big brands are now opening shops in virtual worlds (Yes, I realize how insane that last sentence sounded – are you being served in your Nike Virtual World shopping experience by penguins? Who knows? Does someone purple carry the torch with wings?).

Back to reality, after my last blog about heaven help those who try to stop me going to badminton, I got 30 minutes sleep, and then in the rain I rolled to badminton (I am not a political target either!). I ended up in my first game facing the badminton coordinator and one of the other very good players. But I was not daunted! In fact, here you see an early point where I am using one hand to push myself up onto my clothing guard while I reach for the birdie. This caused the wheelchair to tip over, but I HIT the birdie, pushed the floor with my fist and the chair bounced back as I called, “In play, still in play” and we went on to win the point. Most impressive for someone who has a 17% chance when trying to scratch their nose of hitting it.

When serving, the important thing is to serve LOW over the net so they cannot slam it back at you – this was a VERY good serve I managed, and Linda got it. I did confuse them a bit with my serves. And they came back at me and my partner. It was a match to 21 points. We were ahead, then behind then ahead. Here you can see me wheeling past after guarding the front and probably blocking a tipped in birdie, I seem pleased, or in concentration.

While in this shot I am about to send the birdie into the far back corner. The problem is that I can only be so many places, as I have a chair that does not move sideways, and the opponents learn to NOT hit to those places – very vexing. But I still got some hits in, here I moved back to cover my partner while he was serving and hit the responding hit (you can see the birdie at the VERY top of the screen, that bit of yellow) which I hit backhand to boot!
Well I played tough, or honestly by the end I was mentally exhausted and a little confused but I tried hard and we ended up losing 23-22 or 24-22, I am not quite sure, all I know is we were tied 21-21 and so could not finish but kept going. I like close games and this one was close.

After another game I wheeled home and then got too little sleep due to two cement trucks, a crane, two chainsaws and a few other handy noisemakers the next morning starting at 6:56 a.m. Ug.

Remember those two squirrel siblings I told you about. Well here they are. You see one is bounding toward Cheryl, while the other is finding and digging up where the sibling just buried the last peanut. Then, as the squirrel gets the peanut, you can see the other in the background, having found the last peanut is now eating it. Then they move aside so the happy sibling (the poor clueless one who you end up tricking to do your chores) goes around to find a new burying spot while they finish the peanut – then as the sibling bounds off to get another one, they dig that up too. Sad but oh so familiar.

I also got some postcard loot for the postcard project in Hawaii and on orders which finally came in – here is one of the Postcard Books that I have been looking forward to getting and sending out. I used to spend my hours as a youth in the old Pasadena Public Library which looked a lot like this one but a lot bigger (it had lions too outside). There was hard wood everywhere and the old card catalogues, and the information/answer desk where you used to be able to go and ask a librarian a question like, “How many moons does Saturn have?” and they would find the answer for you.

I also got this set of Escher cards which I can send out with little gifts or just as cards while the hand lasts. I like Escher because so much of it seems a metaphor for disability; the way medios think and work and so much in life. What doesn't go round and round in disability land?

Also here are some of the stickers we picked up at a store, I think just outside the Waipio Valley called Honoko. We have already sent out several of them (half?) on the postcards we did last week – about 30+ in number. I liked finding these touches of Hawaii and bringing them to the postcard, because when they are gone, they are gone. And that is the point of a postcard, isn’t it?

For those who are going trick or treating tomorrow, good luck. If you are in doubt whether to go trick or treating this is a little measure I use: If you are carrying a bottle of beer or liquor and take hits from it between houses, or have to put out your cig before asking for candy – you are TOO OLD! Sorry.


Neil said...

Good for you getting to badminton despite the Commercial Torch Parade. If we happen to win a big enough lottery, would you teach me to play badminton?

Love and zen hugs,

Victor Kellar said...

Don't get me started on the Olympics. Did you know that the torch will also be carried by CTV "celebrities", the network airing the Olympics in Canada? Yeh, long live amateur sport

I love autumn,my favorite time of year, though you reminded me I have a ton of leaves to rake up in the yard And with all the rain here, muddy dogs to clean up every time we come in the house, but I still love it

And hooray for badminton

wendryn said...

Woohoo! A good badminton game! And more squirrels - those are always good.

Sorry to hear the noise is so hard lately. Maybe tomorrow they'll let you rest a bit.

Raccoon said...

Yeah, about that... when did people stop using rakes? I mean, front yards where I am are 10' x 20' or thereabouts; it takes longer to dig out the leaf blower then grab the rake...

The Olympic torch relay is very political. What was it, three years ago, that the relay in France almost turned into a riot?

A good game, then. Keep the blood pumping.

I didn't go trick-or-treating, or dress up, but I had somewhere between 60-75 people show up. And most of them were pre-high school. I did do the whole opening the door, hand out candy thing. Because the legs on my wheelchair will lift up to where they are parallel to the ground, that's where I had candy bucket. And thanks to "Open Sesame," a mechanical door opener, I was able to open the door whenever the doorbell rang.

Heh. There was a group of high schoolers, seven or eight of them I guess, that had just rounded the corner to come up the ramp to my front door. I opened the door too soon... I guess seeing the door open without anyone standing there really freaked out the four or five girls that were there. I heard some of the loudest screams, aside from horror movies... And I didn't get to see them because they ran away too fast...

JaneB said...

Nice leaves! With you on the leaf-blowers though - I would love know why the University ground staff ALWAYS decide to blow leaves when I have a tutorial or have to make an urgent call (the downside of a ground floor office with a lawn view is the mowing, the leaf blowing...)

e said...

Hi Beth,

Good badminton! I have never played...

I'm always happy to see the squirrels here, and the postcards look interesting too.

Speaking of postcards, yours to me from Hawaii just arrived! Thanks and one is on its way to you.

I'm still looking for the Any DVD software you mentioned...and some of the DVD's you mentioned, too.
Take Care.

jypsy said...

I wanted to send you a link to my youngest son's Halloween costume but it would mean you'd have to endure the fact that Alex (who greatly appreciates your postcards!) is an Olympic torchbearer. He did whatever it took to be an Olympic Torchbearer and bought his torch and other stuff. Whatever your thoughts on it, Alex is thrilled and everyone who knows him is thrilled for him. His Olympic obsession is very old and runs very deep.

So to make it up to you, check out his brother's creation (Ben is also on the Autism Spectrum)

Dawn Allenbach said...

Library postcards. Is there anything more divine?

FridaWrites said...

That kid with the big pile of leaves is an absolute darling. That's the best kind of fun.

I had a little Obi Wan Kanobi (sp?)--his costume from two years ago fit, while last year's didn't! And I also had a pseudo-vampire--the makeup and teeth didn't work out as she liked, but she had all black and a cape, and purple and blue hair.