Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Overcoming Handicaps Part 2.

I attended a church in Illinois where we had three handicapped members. Two were overcomers, one wanted to be pitied. The first one had no legs. He left his in Vietnam. That did not stop him. He was able to drive, was married and had two children. His wife would take his wheelchair into the church for him. He took the steps himself. If there was snow on the ground he put a trash bag over torso so he wouldn't get wet and got into his van. The fact he had no legs was simply a challenge to overcome and he did it well.

The second member was mostly paralyzed, a condition he had had from birth.. He could move his hand enough to maneuver his wheelchair, but he could not feed himself, get in or out of the chair by himself, and could barely talk. He held down a full time job for the State Of Illinois doing graphics on computer, where he used a mouthpiece to punch the keys. Again his handicap did not stop him and he kept on going.

The third was a young man born with spina bifida. He was about 22 years old. He wanted everyone to feel sorry for him. A couple of times while taking a bath he intentionally scalded himself. That got him put in the hospital where he was, in his mind, center of attention. The last time that he did that he ended up getting more attention then he planned. He was placed in a mental hospital. I moved to Georgia before he got out of there so I am not sure if that helped him.

Sometimes we don't realize how good we have it. We complain about our little aches and pains, not realizing some would be happy to only have that. For almost 9 years I worked in a nursing home. I learned a lot from there, including an appreciation for the little things in life. I appreciate the fact that I can get up from sleeping and go to the bathroom by myself. Most of the residents where I worked couldn't do that. If you really stop to count your blessings, they are much more numerous than you realize.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Overcoming Handicaps Part 1.

My friend Jeff posted in his blog yesterday about going to the Indiana State Fair. He talked about a display of corn related accidents. I commented there about my Grandpa and I am going to expound on that here. My Grandpa only had one arm and half of the other one. He had been harvesting wheat and with the combine running he was checking the belt drive. He noticed a stalk there and with out thinking he stuck his hand in to grab it. Of course it grabbed him. He was all alone in the field, no one else was near. At that time Grandma was coming out of the house, about a mile away, to go to town. She swore she heard Grandpa call. He swore he never opened his mouth. She went to check on him and found him. She rushed into town to get the doctor. He was in a restaurant getting ready to eat. He immediately went out to the field. They had to get someone out with a torch to cut Grandpa out. His arm was too badly mangled to be saved and they amputated it above the elbow. He was fitted with a hook, the kind that if he turned it right it would open up and he could grab things.

Even though he had lost his arm he did not let it stop him. He continued to farm. He had a knob installed on the steering wheels of his car and truck. He lost his right arm so he had to learn how to do everything left-handed. He never asked anyone to feel sorry for him. He said anyone who did what he did was stupid. He knew better, but he did it. No blaming the combine manufacturer, or the doctor for not saving his arm, or anyone else. He did it and he lived with the consequences of his actions.

When my brother and me asked Grandpa what happened to his arm he told us he broke it off. It was easier than going into detail. That worked until I was 4 and fell off a sliding board, breaking my arm. When I came home the first thing my brother Steve said "He still got his arm." Grandpa made sure after that he told the full story.

Tomorrow I am going to talk about three other people I have known, two who overcame their handicaps and one who used his to get people to feel sorry for him.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wild Hair Mug Shots.

I earlier posted some mug shots that I found on of people with big smiles. Here are some where they are having bad hair days.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

eBay Winnings.

Last week I won an auction on eBay. I got these 4 cards. They are from the 1956 Topps set. My dream is to put this set together because it is the year I was born. Time will tell how far I get, but here is a start.

I would have placed the bid regardless, but having a Cub in it made it sweeter. Don Kaiser only pitched 3 years in the major leagues, all with the Cubs. His lifetime record was 6-15 with a 3.86 ERA.

Joe Frazier only played 4 seasons and was a reserve outfielder. In his four years he played with the Indians, the Cardinals, the Reds and the Orioles. He hit 10 home runs, drove in 45 runs, and had a lifetime batting average of .241.

Jim Brady only pitched in 6 games for the Tigers. He was a bonus baby which meant he had to be kept on the major league roster instead of going to the minor leagues. It really hurt his career. In 6 and 1/3 innings he gave up 20 earned runs. He had no decisions and his lifetime ERA was 28.42.

Bob Nelson
was another bonus baby and it also hurt his career. He played 3 years for the Orioles and saw very limited playing time. He only played in 79 games, hit no home runs, drove in 11 runs and his lifetime batting average was .205. He was out of the major leagues at age 20.

One other thing I received in the mail today was this book and a Supermarket Guru tote bag. I don't remember how I found this site, but I signed up for the weekly newsletter and have been getting it for some time now. One thing I enjoy is reading reviews of new products. In the most recent newsletter they reviewed the Hormel Completes line and stated they could be found in the dairy section. I am familiar with the product and it needs no refrigeration. I sent him an email telling him about the mistake. I received an email back from Phil Lempert thanking me for letting him know that. He told me if I would send him my address he would send me a tote bag. I did and when the bag arrived today the book was with it. Not only that Phil also autographed it for me. It made for a very nice surprise. Check out his website and if you are interested sign up for the newsletter. There is a lot of interesting information there.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rocky Balboa

I finally watched Rocky Balboa last week. In case you haven't seen it and don't want the ending spoiled, don't read any further. I will be talking about the ending. I watched the original Rocky in theaters and I loved it. I am not a boxing fan but I thought the story was very well done. The only complaint I had was I felt the fight was not quite realistic. I have not watched many fights, but I felt if they punched the way the did there is no way they could have finished the fight. I also felt that no referee would have allowed Rocky to fight the 15th round considering the way he looked. Those however, were very minor quibbles and I still loved the movie.

Rocky 2 on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment for me. It felt too much like a soap opera to me. It was enjoyable but not great.

Rocky 3 is my favorite Rocky movie. I liked the scene where Adrian basically kicked Rocky in the butt and made him realize it was time to get serious. The fight was almost anti-climactic and very well done.

Rocky 4 was another disappointment. It was too heavy handed for my taste. I got the message, the Russians will do anything to win and in the end the American will be triumphant. I did like Rocky's training methods, but not much else.

Rocky 5. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

That brings us to Rocky Balboa. When I heard that Sylvester Stallone was going to do both this movie and a new Rambo I wondered why. Did he just need the money? I can't judge the Rambo movie but this one far exceeded my expectations. Again, it is not a great movie but I felt it was better than Rocky's 2, 4, and 5. Rocky's motivation for fighting was believable.His never quit attitude was admirable. I fully expected him to lose the fight and I was not disappointed. The fact that he finished the fight was a theme borrowed from the first movie. The goal was as much to go the distance as it was to win the fight. In this respect Rocky succeeded. I had actually gone to the theater to watch this movie. About halfway though the film messed up. I had my money refunded. I wanted to go back and see the rest, but someone else was living with me at the time and she didn't want to so I never went back.

IMDB rating:7.5. My rating 8

Today's card is Jay Bell demonstrating a new way to go golfing. I don't think it will catch on.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Isn't It Cute?

All together now, ahhhh, isn't it cute. The problem is, when it grows up it will look something like this:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Cards

I not only collect baseball cards, I also collect non-sports cards. One advantage to non-sports cards is the sets are a lot smaller. 2008 Upper Deck set is 800 cards. 2008 Topps is 660. The basic Clone Wars set is 90. There are also 25 special cards. I am doing this post in the style of my favorite baseball card blog, A Pack A Day. What makes a good non-sports pack? If you are dealing with baseball cards, a good pack will contain star players and players from your favorite team. With non-sports, a good pack will contain stars of the movie, special cards, or cards that you need to finish your set. For Star Wars a good pack will have Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Won Kenobi, or Yoda. Lets see what we get.

A good start. The first 18 cards of the set are character cards. This is standard for most movie sets. Usually card 1 will be what the movie is and card 90 will be a checklist. This movie is all CGI so those who disliked Hayden Christensen's acting should be pleased. He is not even doing Anakin's voice.

The back of each card describes a little of the movie. I have not read them yet because I don't want to spoil the movie for me or anyone else who is reading this. This is card number 57, so this scene takes place in about the middle of the movie.

This is a new character introduced in this movie. She is Anakin's padawan.

Here is something I have never seen in a pack before. This is card 1. As you can see we have Yoda, Obi-Wan and Anakin. What I have never seen before card 1, card 2, Anakin, and card 3, Ahsoka all in one pack. The mathematical odds against that are high, but here it is.

Another seen from the movie, card 51 again from the middle.

Count Dooku returns and he is voiced by Christopher Lee. More from the middle of the movie, this is card 47

Again a scene, and another oddity. This is card 46. With 90 cards in the set it is odd to have two sets of consecutive numbers.

This is the back of card 1. I figured it was safe to show that and give you an example of what the backs look like. How does this pack rate? It is a good one. We have Anakin on 2 cards, Yoda and Obi-Wan on a card, and a card of Count Dooku. However, I did not need any of these cards so it was a little disappointing.

The rest of the cards I am going to show are examples of the special cards.

There are 10 animation cel cards. You can't tell from the picture, but when holding the card the background is opaque and it is a cool effect. I have 3 of these cards.

There are 10 foil cards. Again, the picture doesn't show it well, but the card has a metallic type of surface. I have 6 of these.

This is a motion card. You can't tell from this but the card has a 3-D effect. When you turn it it moves and gives you the effect of a light saber fight. From seeing these cards, I am really looking forward to this movie.