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Dear Santa: here's my wish list

Dear Santa: here’s my wish list

This time of year we’re bombarded with silly TV commercials trying to sell us even sillier gift ideas, ranging from Chia pets to underwear, potato chips and everything in between. This year, though, when I saw the ad for “the Clapper,” I thought, “hmm, that might actually be useful.” Wouldn’t  it be a kick to […]

Online shopping: what a gift!

Online shopping: what a gift!

It feels like a cyber assault these last couple of days every time I signed into my email account and find countless, screaming offers for CYBER MONDAY DEALS! BIG DISCOUNTS! FREE SHIPPING! ONE-OF-A KIND SAVINGS!  Whoa. How much online Christmas shopping can one person handle? As it turns out – quite a lot. But I […]

Tim Gilmer

Wheelchair Terrorist Alert!

Several months ago at the Portland International Airport, in the midst of a routine patdown, a second uniformed TSA employee approached and told me I had tested positive for explosives. Me?  Explosives? I knew it wasn’t my shoes because I tend not to ever wear them anymore, except when traveling. Could it be my underwear? […]

Things I'd Like to See: 7 Outrageous Inventions for Wheelchair Users

Things I’d Like to See: 7 Outrageous Inventions for Wheelchair Users

Some of these inventions for wheelchair users undoubtedly already exist, but I guarantee that some of them don’t (generally because they are outlandish or endearingly impractical), but each of them puts a spotlight on one of the small but troublesome dilemmas that plague my particular corner of the disability universe. I am guessing I am not completely alone. And the more small problems that get solved cheaply, easily and practically, the more time we disabled folk have left over for higher level functions.

The Wheelchair Front-Plow

A wide, V-shaped flexible plow that easily attaches to the front of your chair, like a snowplow but for light-duty use. Made of stiffened rubber or some durable, flexible but strong plastic, it would hug the ground and push all manner of objects in your path out of the way. It would have to be wide enough to direct items beyond the reach of your back wheels so you don’t crunch them on your way through. All those years of navigating a living room strewn with Lego pieces after the kids went to bed would have been a lot easier with this implement. A corollary design might have brushes, allowing you to sweep the floor like those drivable lawnmowers handle a field, and you would just make a long, systematic pass through your house to clean up.

The Back Hook Implant

Mike Ervin

Ervin: White Elephant Disaster

If I become a hoarder, it won’t be my damn fault. You can blame it on sick children. The little runts pulled a fast one on me by moving from their raggedy old hospital into a shiny new one. And never did anyone stop for one minute to consider how this move would affect me. […]

Raising a Ruckus: How to Get Ahead in a Wheelchair

Raising a Ruckus: How to Get Ahead in a Wheelchair

Let’s face it: Most wheelchair users are way too nice. We all want to do the right thing, be independent, be strong, never ask for pity or a helping hand. That’s certainly admirable, if, say, your goal in life is for people to say glowing things about you at your funeral. Someone might even record […]

Mike Ervin

Ervin: Pray for Nuclear War

Imagine the employment rate among cripples is still as God-awful low as always. It hasn’t improved much in the two decades since the ADA was signed. I’m very surprised by this. As I watched the ADA signing ceremony on the White House lawn that glorious day in 1990, I was sure that employers across the […]

Raising a Ruckus: Life in the Insultory

Raising a Ruckus: Life in the Insultory

To live life in a wheelchair is to be exposed to a constant barrage of insults, real and imagined. The problem with most of these slurs — some of them dating back to Helen Keller — is that they have been decried so many times that they have lost their sting, their ability to shock, […]

Mike Ervin

Ervin: Passionate Moderates of America

So I told my doctor I can’t sleep at night. And my doctor says, “Why not?” And I said, “It’s those damn lefty political magazines. I read them every night on the crapper just before I go to bed. I read about how the evil guys are screwing us all over, and I get all […]

Raising a Ruckus: Coming Soon: Gimp Apps

Raising a Ruckus: Coming Soon: Gimp Apps

If you use a wheelchair, the current Age of Man is techno-Valhalla. Because a group of brainiacs formed the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto back in the ’70s, we now live in an almost completely available iWorld — soon to include the iWristwatch — and are all now part of a big iBrain. There’s […]