Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa'
I hope you are enjoying loading your sleigh and getting ready for your big trip tomorrow night.
I know it's kinda late but I thought I better get my letter to you fast.
I know you are busy right now but hope you can remember a few things for the Big Dawg this year.
1. Give everyone the ability to believe in your magic for another year.
2. Give Nash the gift of continuing to believe in his abilities and to dream big audacious dreams and to achieve them all.
3. May those that are sick feel better.
4. May those that frown again smile and let loose a deep belly busting laugh.
5. Give me the strength to be a better Dad, husband and person.
6. Give our nation the belief again that all men are created equal.
7. Give the power to those that are not with us anymore the ability to watch over us on Christmas morning and know they are still loved and remembered.
8. And finally Santa let everyone that reads this note know that WE BELIEVE and hope all their Christmas wishes come true.
Your Humble Elf
Jeff....aka - Big Dawg...aka - Nash's Daddy
P.S. Have a safe trip Santa and when you are relaxing in Key West next week beware my brother in law will be there.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Dave

It's Dave's birthday over at Chewing the Fat. You can click on his blog on the left side of my blog.

It's a great place to read awsome tales of individuals making a difference. And if you go over please take the time to read...So This is Christmas.....

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Well it has been quite a week or so around the BigDawg ranch. Dealing with the loss of our good friend Annette, sorting out travel plans for Mauzy, my schedule while Mauzy is out of town and now thoughts and prayers needed for my Step Dad who is in the Hospital.

Well today Life got put back in alignment for a few hours anyway.. I was one of the parents that attended Nash's 1st grade field trip to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum. We are very lucky to have one of the best Children's Museums in the United States right here in Indy.

Well the delight and thrill of 1st graders playing in the museum today reminded me about what is important in life. A few hours of fun, knowledge, excitement and friendship. It was the most fun I have had in awhile.

Peace Dude!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Our dear friend Annette passed away early this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her friends.

Interesting that as I wright this blog entry Meet the Press is on with Mit Romney talking about Religion. Well here is what I want to know today.....

Why a loving god would allow a lady who never smoked to get lung cancer and die at such a young age leaving a great husband and two wonderful young boys behind. I always here the same answer.....he has a better plan, he knows best.....

Well somebody explain that one to me because I can assure you today that makes absolutely now damn sense.

Annette we will miss you deeply.....

Peace Dude!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just a reminder!

Please keep sending positive strenght to Annette and her entire family.

Peace Dude!

Indiana has lost a patriot of civil rights issues including those with disabilities!

I was lucky enough to meet with Congresswoma Carson and her staff on the Hill. I can assure you she and her staff were always welcoming and prepared on your issues whether in person or on the phone.

1938 - 2007

Congresswoman Julia Carson dies

By Mary Beth Schneider
December 15, 2007

U.S. Rep. Julia Carson died at home this morning following a battle with lung cancer. She was 69.
Carson’s death comes just weeks after she announced the cancer, which she had beaten before, was back with “terminal vengeance.”
Two days later, she said she would not seek re-election to a seventh term in 2008, saying her time away from Congress would be “a time to weep and a time to laugh,” and she added, “a time to heal.”

But Carson, who was first elected to Congress in 1996, never healed.

“Who knows the future, who knows god’s will,” she said in the statement announcing her decision not to run again. “I want very much to return to Washington and continue representing the good people of Indianapolis with my vote. I can only request your prayers that I might gain the strength to continue my service.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels' office said tentative plans were under way to have Carson’s body lie in state at the Rotunda in the Indiana State House. Daniels ordered that flags be lowered today until sunset on the day of her burial. Calling was tentatively scheduled for Friday, with the funeral service on Saturday.

Former U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs, who was Carson’s friend and mentor, said he was called about 9:45 this morning and notified she had died at her home about a half-hour earlier.

“I loved her and she loved me,” Jacobs said, his voice cracking. “She was my sister.”

He last saw his friend Friday, he said, and was able to kiss her goodbye.

About a week ago, Jacobs said, “when she still recognized me, she started silently signalling with her right hand, waving it toward her. I bent down — closer, closer, closer — till I was next to her face. And for the first time ever, she reached up and kissing me warmly on the cheek. I knew exactly what she meant. She was kissing me goodbye.”

Now, he said, people will realize the contributions she has made that she never boasted about before, and what he called “a really prodigious career of that huge brain in that cranium.”

“She was a pretty modest person,” he said. “She didn’t say much about her enormous accomplishments.”

Among those accomplishments, he said, were welfare reforms as Center Township trustee, before she succeeded him in Congress.

“Her welfare reforms did not break one child’s heart,” he said.

Instead, he said, she teamed up with former U.S. Attorney Virginia Dill McCarty and “when she found a welfare cheat, she didn’t just take off the rolls. She sued them to get money back for the taxpayer.”

Daniels called Carson “a lioness.”

“There was determination, and resolve, and genuine conviction in Julia, but never meanness. And she was such fun. It was rare to leave her presence without a smile. And after the sadness fades a bit, we’ll still have that. I know I’ll think of her often, and always with a smile.”

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said Carson “overcame much and accomplished much, and devoted her life to helping other people do the same.”

“She was elected to important public offices, but never forgot who she was, where she came from or who she was there to serve. She had a great sense of humor and a great sense of style, both of which are all too often lacking in public life.
“She has left a great legacy and I will miss her.”

Sarge Visher, who ran Carson’s first campaign for Congress and had worked with her since, said Carson was “proud of every single person she was able to help, even a little bit. Those were almost invisible, but we’d hear about them over the years. I don’t think she was interested in building monuments to herself, but instead doing things fundamentally Christian.”

Before heading to Congress, Carson served in the Indiana House of Representatives for two terms and was then elected to the Indiana Senate, where she served until 1990. Carson then filled the post of Center Township trustee until she went to Washington.

A steadfast Democrat, Carson opposed President Bush’s request for authority to wage war in 2002. In 1999, she won enactment of a measure that awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights figure Rosa Parks.
In 1991 and 1974, she was named by The Star as Woman of the Year.

Carson’s death comes after she took a medical leave from Congress in September after complaining of leg pain and fatigue.

In her last public interview broadcast on Nov. 5 on the WTCL-AM program, “Afternoons with Amos,” Carson expressed frustration over her health problems. “I’m breathing and I feel fine,” she said. Her voice did sound shaky, though, and she had coughing spells during the interview.

“I’ve got bronchitis real bad now and I hope to get over it,” she said, “but you don’t ever know.”

Her health had been an issue almost from the day she was first elected to Congress.

In January of 1997, she took her oath of office at Methodist Hospital where she was recovering from a double-bypass surgery.

The surgery kept her at home during the early days of the 105th Congress and she missed 41 of the 640 floor votes that year.

After winning her sixth term last year, she proclaimed, “People thought I was too sick to run. I’m not too sick for anything.”

A special election would be held to choose Carson’s successor.

Potential Democrats who might run for her seat include Andre Carson, who is Carson’s grandson. Republicans who have said they will run for the seat include state Rep. Jon Elrod and probation officer Wayne Harmon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Need your Help Gang!

Ok for those that know me or read my blog know this is an unusual post. But I am asking anyway....

If you read my post below you know I talked about friends. Well I have these really neat friends from Canada. They are the best people you could ever meet. Some of you may know who I am talking about. My friends have a blog but I am not asking you to go there. I am only going to ask you to take 1 minute for me today....I don't care what your religion is or if you don't have one.....I am going to ask you to do what you need to.

I am asking each of you to take one minute to send as much energy as you can to Tom and Annette. Annette has just returned home from the hospital and does not have much time left with us on this earth. They have two amazing boys and one happens to have Down syndrome. Yep, if it was not for that pesky extra 21st we would probably not know and love these dear friends.

So, whether it's a prayer, a thought, a chant, a toast or a comment on this blog...please take just a moment and send as much strength and energy you can spare the way of my friends so Annette will have the energy to sit with her men and hold them and love them until the time comes. May we give Tom all the strength and energy we can to get through today, tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.

I know I am asking allot of you for folks you may or may not know but just do it. Send that energy they need it right now and it will be that one Christmas gift you can give just because.

Ask all your fellow bloggers to help


Peace Dude

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Meme

My wife the infamous Mauzy just reminded me that I was supposed to Tag four people to answer the questions...

But hey it's my gift to you my reader...


Peace Dude

Tagged with a Christmas Meme

My good friend Kei has tagged me. It's a good thing Kei and Robert are such very good friends or I would not grant them a bye for being Patriot Fans.....

So here we go.....

What is your favorite thing about the Holiday Season?

My favorite thing about the Season is watching Nash really be into Christmas. He totally is into Santa now, he gets the whole Baby Jesus story, and when he woke up the other morning and we had 4" of snow on the ground....he yelled up the stairs as he run up that it had snowed. He came to my side of the bed and said Daddy, get up it snowed....Daddy get up Santa was here I have to open gotta love it.

What is your favorite Holiday Memory?

Favorite Holiday Memory....hmm...Ok there are a few. My favorite childhood memory was Christmas at my Grandparents house. When I was little I thought their house was huge. My grandparents had 4 boys but one died in a farm accident so it was my dad and my two amazing uncles. From those three boys my grandparents has 16 grand kids. So every Christmas we all went to their house on Christmas day. Some how we all packed into that house and it never seemed crowded. We ate and played and laughed and the best thing was my grandfather always got a case of Coke in the little glass bottles and it was on the front porch. What a treat it was to get an icy cold little Coke from the porch. Then before we new it the red car pulled up and here came Santa to pass out the gifts. I could not believe he was so happy after such a long nights work but was always so thirsty. He had to head to the kitchen every few gifts for a sip thru a straw of a big glass my grandfather had for him. I was about 13 when I realized the glass was full of Bourbon and Seven-Up. How I wish Nash could have experienced one of those Christmas days....but my grandparents are gone, but every time I get the chance to drive by their little tiny farm house I chuckle and wonder how we got all those people in that damn house...

Another favorite memory was the first time I spent Christmas in California with my Mom and Step Dad. I needed to go get something for them so I drove my Step Dads car with the sunroof open and the windows down as it was in the mid 70's and thought to myself now this is the way Christmas was meant to be....but now I am glad to be back in Indiana.

Another Favorite was when I lived in England. I lived in the small village of Uppingham, which is about 2 hours north of London. I was never their for Christmas as I always flew home before the big day. One night a year they had late night shopping where all the store keepers dressed in Dickens era clothing. The streets were filled with Carolers and vendors were selling things like jacket potato's (baked potato's to us yanks) and when everyone was done we met and closed down The Vaults...The BEST PUB IN ALL OF ENGLAND! Jon I hope you somehow get wind of this and know the picture of the Vaults still hangs proudly in my den and I am sure you have never recovered the financial loss of my moving back home.... Cheers Mate!

And last, now my favorite memories change every year as I watch Nash enjoy the season.

What is the best gift you ever gave?

I am not sure about that.... but I am sure my family could answer that one better.

What is the best gift you ever received?

I get them every year when I receive cards from friends from years gone by that I hardly ever see. I hope each of them know how much their friendship still means. And now to add to that we get all these cards from our friends in the DS community and the T21 board and sometimes I have to ask Jan....who the hell is

What is your secret Holiday Wish for this year?

My secret wish for this year is that everyone in the world would learn to once again believe in the power of Santa....and know that the power of belief in a dream can change the world. And I believe in the dream that some day Nash will believe in his Dreams and accomplish everyone of them....and instead of people saying wow....look at what that young man with Down syndrome has done...They would all smile and say...I had no doubt Nash would accomplish that.....

And if the Carpenter from Nazareth had written this I believe he would close with...


Saturday, December 08, 2007

DADS Update

Hey Everyone'

Sorry about the post below and the links not working. Not sure what I did but can't seem to fix it by editing the post. Instead I am going to add all the links to the side of the page so they are always there and update as needed.

Peace Dude.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

USC Football

Well if you know me you know I am a Notre Dame fan, so if I am putting up a link and a post about University of Southern California Football is must be damn good.

Check out USC's Special Assistant to the Head Coach..

Coach Carrol you are a good man. Now hire this young man as a fulltime member of your staff and lead the way on creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

This may be the only time you will ever hear me say...GO TROJANS!

Peace Dude

It's getting close!

Barack Obama Logo

Monday, November 19, 2007

Update on DADS!

As many of you know I am one of the founding members of DADS. Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome is the group we started just 6 years ago. We have 14 chapters in the US and 3 overseas. That is at least what we know of, they keep popping up everywhere.

Our Mission is to assist and support thru fellowship and action, the fathers and families of people with Down syndrome.

Here are some link to some of our chapters. Take a look. If you would like info on starting a chapter in your area please email me.

Founding DADS- D.A.D.S of Indiana

Virginia D.A.D.S

D.A.D.S of Minnesota

D.A.D.S OK- forming

D.A.D.S NSW Australia

Middle Tennessee looking for DADS

Miami Valley Ohio DADS

D.A.D.S Illinois

Madison Wisconsin D.A.D.S

Peace Dude

Nothing like a football story!

Saw this article today about Jordan Kidder and thought I would pass it on so everyone can read it. Just click on Jordan's name see the article. The story was written by Mitch Albom of "Tuesday's with Morrie" fame.

Thanks for sharing Mitch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Sorry I have been so missing from updates. I promise to get back on track in the next few days.

It was not that long ago that one of our fears was Nash would not get invited to many birthday parties because he was born with Down syndrome.

Well on top of everything else in my schedule keeping me from posting, I am off to take Nash to birthday party number 2 or 4 this month.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Time Flies!

Thursday night I took Nash to a party. It was at this new place here in town that has those huge bounce houses and slides. I think all the boyz had a really good time.

At one point I was watching Nash go flying up this ladder like thing up to the top of one of the bounce houses and then fling himself down the slide with the rest of his buddies.

It was about then that I got a shit eating grin on my face. Ok now admit it you all know exactly what kind of grin that is. It's kinda proud, kind silly but must of all it's kind of a "I told you so" smile. Why the grin?

Well I was thinking back to when Nash was born and all of the fears I was filled with. All the medical info saying he could not do this and that. I spent much time wondering if Nash would be able to do this or that. He had to have Physical Therapy for low tone and all this stuff to help him with his delay's. I worried....would my son ever be able to hold himself up, walk, run, jump, play ball. Would he this or that....would his x-ray be ok so he could ride a horse...oh it was...ect. Many of you know what I am talking about.

Back to the grin....The grin came from the standpoint that Nash physically is doing great. He walks, he runs, he jumps, he tackles and some things he is not supposed to do. But more importantly he had played T-ball and just finished flag football within the regular leagues.

And this party was the celebration of the end of Flag Football Season. It was Nash and the rest of the GUYS from the team. They were running, jumping, flipping, climbing and more. There were no be carefuls, Nash can't do this or Nash can't do that and no looks from any see he had won them all over during the season. I mean hey he completed one of the three completed pass's all season and loves playing center and can even long snap.

So here was inclusion at it's finest....Nash was having a great time and Down syndrome was never brought up....he was just one of the guys! And no one paid attention one way or another.

How damn cool is that.

Peace Dude.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick Update

Hey Everyone

Sorry I have been missing in action. Life has been hectic with re-joining the for-profit world...ahh how I missed it.

And then to top it all off it's Buddy Walk weekend here in Indy. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 people here tonight and 70 some tomorrow. Many from the blogger world. Oh the stuff my bride gets me into.

More to come later...


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Follow up post

Ok, one of my readers discoverd the answer to my top ten list by using Google.

It was simply the top 10 countries with the highest per capita rate of firearm related murders. I was more then a little surprised with the company we keep and those that seemed to be way down the list.

That was all just an interesting statistic to ponder.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Anybody want to guess?

Anyone want to guess what the following top 10 list is about. Take a long look at the countries and the statistics and make a guess.

#1 South Africa: 0.719782 per 1,000 people
#2 Colombia: 0.509801 per 1,000 people
#3 Thailand: 0.312093 per 1,000 people
#4 Zimbabwe: 0.0491736 per 1,000 people
#5 Mexico: 0.0337938 per 1,000 people
#6 Belarus: 0.0321359 per 1,000 people
#7 Costa Rica: 0.0313745 per 1,000 people
#8 United States: 0.0279271 per 1,000 people
#9 Uruguay: 0.0245902 per 1,000 people
#10 Lithuania: 0.0230748 per 1,000 people

Follow up post to explain in a few days.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Who would have thought!

Sorry its been awhile since I have posted anything. Life just got in the way of blogging... But sometimes that is a good thing. As I reflect on the last couple of weeks there are some interesting things that have happened.

1. Notre Dame lost.
2. Michigan lost.
3. Bill Belichick was caught cheating.
4. The Colts Win
5. Notre Dame lost.
6. Michigan lost.
7. Hillary says she is not a Lesbian.
8. Nobody is sure if Barack Obama is black enough or white enough.
9. I think Barack is just perfect and exactly what we need.
10. Nash lost another tooth, this one right in front.
11. I left Janus to return to the for-profit world.
12. Notre Dame Lost AGAIN.
13. Michigan won and my two favorite teams are ND and who ever is playing Michigan.
14. Charlie Wies can't call a play that the defence can't tear apart.
15. Maybe Charlie needs some of Bill's video tapes.
16. I started my new life at Conor-Patrick.

And as usual I am happy with my decesions and have no regrets.

Who would have thought!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Return of Subliminal Advertising!

Well I was sitting on the couch last night watching Hannity and Colmes on Fox News which seems to carry more pharmaceutical company ads then any other network on television....hmmmm...opps I digress....anyway.

As I am sitting there I see the second ad for a drug that has taken on a new side effect that I heard for the first time on another ad over the last couple of weeks. It really got me thinking.....sorry Kei I know I am going to make your head hurt on this one.

Well I have figured out the whole damn thing......

You see the advertising folks that Big Pharma are using are dressed up hippies from the 60's. If finally makes sense....subliminal advertising at it's finest.

As you all know if drives me crazy that the FCC and the rest of our government won't let us see TV ads for Wild Turkey, Beefeater's Gin, Jose Cuervo Tequila and Marlboro Lights...but they will let us see the names if they produce a malt liquor or we are welcome to see an ad from every drug company.

But what really gets under my skin is what I determined to be these Ad's marketing lines to the side effects they had to tell you about.....I mean who wants to sign up for a drug that.....causes

Nose bleeds, high blood pressure, dry throat, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea?

Not me.....well the dressed up hippies got wise and said "Hey Dude, let's bring back subliminal advertising"..... the hippies will get it and head to the doctor....

you are thinking but Big Dawg what do you mean.....

let's look....

Erectile Dysfunction : Two people sitting on a mountain side in two old cast iron bath tubs looking out over the sunset holding hands.... At home Hubby stands up yells into the kitchen: "Hey Moon Baby look they are promoting an ACID trip, look at those colors.....

But wait there is more.... what use to be my favorite: " if you have an erection lasting more then 4 hours please call your doctor". Now this time Hubby sits down and thinks about Woodstock and free love and tried to remember if Moon Baby was there"....but hey I better get some of that....

But I have a new winner......they have topped themselves. I first heard this a couple of weeks ago and laughed out loud but now I have heard it for the second time on another drug ad. It has to do with two drugs for restless leg syndrome. Now I am not going to name the companies or the drug cause they would love that but you can find them on Google.

But this is what really got the side effects that they always run thru at the end of the ad they say....."if you get desires for compulsive gambling or sexual activities please contact your doctor". What! I was amazed the first time but shocked the second.....

But now I have it all figured's the dressed up Hippie thing....

Cause you see when the old hippie husband saw the ad.....he stood up and yelled " Hey Moon Baby.....gotta run by the doctor in the morning and then we are going to Vegas Baby"......

So we have come full more drinking a little whisky, smoking a little weed or doing a line from the weekends gone by....just stop by the doctor and pick up your totally legal and television advertised recreational drug...

Now this really just cracks me up!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So why is it?

Well let's have some more fun with why....

Why does my dog pee in the woods but poop in my front yard?

Why is it the company never loves you until you leave?

Why if there is only one god are there so many religions?

Why is it if you are supposed to go to bed and night and get up in the morning I always want to stay up and night and sleep in the morning?

Why is it a company can have its best quarter of overall growth and revenue but because it did not meet the expectations of some 32 year old MBA Wall Street analyst who has never had to make payroll the stock goes down?

Why is it I prefer Diet Mt Dew over Diet anything?

Why does football mean one thing here and something totally different in the rest of the world? How are we ever going to sort out the whole world if we can't get this straightened out?

Why do we think we can bring peace to a region that has been at war for centuries?

Why is it we have never ever seen a news anchor come on the nightly news and say...Everything in the entire world was great today, have a nice evening and join us tomorrow?

Why do we really need 500 channels on cable?

Why do American companies build cars in Mexico?

Ok head hurts.

one last question...

When will we live in a world where people are only judged by the content of their character?


Monday, September 03, 2007

Why can't we talk politics anymore?

There are more political shows on television and radio then ever before. With all this TALK why is it no one can talk anymore? All we do is see who can YELL over the top of the other.

How will we ever accomplish anything in this country if we can't have a conversation about both sides of an issue without yelling, screaming and name calling. It happens at all levels of politics today.

Why is it if you don't agree with the Bush Administration you are Un-American or a traitor?

Why is it the Democrats have gotten the power they wanted so bad in Washington DC yet they have accomplished nothing other then getting on TV for more name calling?

Why is it that if you are on the left George Bush is Satan?

Why is it if you are on the Right all liberals are America Haters?

Why is Ann Coulter famous?

Why are Rudy and Arnold Republicans?

Why is it the Senator responsible for the most bi-partisan legislation in the history of the Senate is Ted Kennedy?

Why is Rush Limbaugh right?

Why is it cool to talk about global warming and tell us all what we should do while running around the world in Suburbans and private Jets?

Why is it ok to still not have children with disabilities included in their home school classrooms since IDEA mandated it in 1975?

Why do we think our form of government that is not working real well here right now is what every place in the world should duplicate or be isolated or invaded?

Why is the country split almost 50/50 on abortion yet 90% of prenatal tests resulting in a positive for Down syndrome terminate? Are they all abortion rights left wingers that get the test? Hmmmm....I don't think so.

Why is it Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels can make comments like the Indiana Legislature has "Car Bombed" his agenda and no one is outraged?

Why can Indiana outsource a $1Billion contract for Services to Mitch Roob's (Secretary of FSSA) old company and everyone says there is no conflict of interest?

Ok....that is my list of Whys for today. I look forward to your thoughts.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Friday and Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Wow, I am so happy our 3 day weekend is here. I really needed it. Kinda like my mini vacation between jobs even though I have two more weeks before the big change....anyway.

I want to have some fun with the Tales over the next few weeks. I want to talk about some companies I really like....some I don't like at all......I want to ask some crazy WHY

Why is it Wild Turkey can't advertise on our TV airwaves but I have to be told every 10 minutes if I experience an erection lasting more then 4 hours I should call the doctor? Why...somebody please tell me why!

And then after we have some fun I am going to start taking a look at our elected officials and their stance on issues related to individuals with Down syndrome and thier families. I am going to praise them or roast them and then make my endorsements based on my thoughts and your comments for out next elections from local school boards to the oval should be fun....and will be fun to see who picks it up and I hope you all help.

So until the next post


Saturday, August 25, 2007

What the heck is going to college about today?

A recent article in the local news has made me wonder about the point of going to college today.

Their are so many things you learn in college in and out of the classroom. I sometimes think I learned as much if not more about life and leadership from being a member of the football team (Go Oilers) and Fraternity (TKE RULES)then I did from classes. But everyone is different.

But hey college today is a must. You must go, you must fork over all the cash you have and you must borrow, borrow and borrow some more because the cost of higher education has increased more then any other item in our economy. I have been gone awhile but I hope the quality of our educators have increased accordingly and not just thier pay...but I doubt it.

But I read with interest that one of our local State Universities had an organized police crackdown on the first weekend of school.

That first weekend over 70 students were arrested and maybe even have had the course of their futures changed forever. Well you ask...what were the arrested for?

Some for drinking beer.....oh my!
Some for smoking grass.....oh no!
Some for uhm...fornicating in gosh!

Now I know we are supposed to obey the laws and and I am not endorsing anything here but nor am I judging anyone.

But I have just one damn question......if you can't go to college today and drink some beer, smoke a little reefer if you want to try it and maybe have a intimate relationship with someone...what the hell are you going for?

Now I now there are some folks out there that were angels in school and never did and never have done anything they were not supposed to but I am sure glad they did not have this raid on my first weekend on campus.


It's time for a change!

It's amazing how I can remember back to the day Nash was born with such clarity. I can still remember the first time I saw his face and then counted his fingers and toes. Everything was where it was supposed to be and he was perfect in my eyes and still is today. But just a couple of hours later the term Down syndrome became a permanent part of our lives. Not a good thing, not a bad thing just a different road then I had imagined.

At the time I was working in my dream job as VP of sales for one of the largest packaging machinery companies in the country. I has worked my way to the top of a field that I really loved. Well life has a way of throwing you curve balls. After a roller coaster ride of the economy and changes we ended up back in Indiana.

I had decided to try to make a difference and dove into the not-for-profit world with a trade association and that led me to the opportunity to be CEO of Janus Developmental Services, Inc.

On the road to that position I was lucky enough to be part of the group of 7 fathers who met one night for dinner and kicked off a group that is now known as DADS. The group continues to grow and make a difference in peoples lives everyday but of late I have not been as involved as I would like.

The past couple of years have been fast and furious. The world of providing services to people with disabilities is intense and full of red tape and bureaucracy that I had never imagined. We as a team, yes Janus has the most amazing team of dedicated staff I have ever seen, have accomplished more then I thought was possible. But...

The many things I would like to see happen get bogged down by the Federal government, The State folks, and as much as I hate to say the providers themselves who have long ago forgotten that our job is to create opportunities for the people we serve. All their time seems to be spent on trying to get more money for the work and less time on actually creating success full outcomes for the work we do. As proud as I am of the things we accomplished we should have been able to do so much more but the system is not designed that way. And I truly believe that the supports and services that individuals and their families want now and in the future have little to do with what providers are offering and the system pays for. It all must change and change it will!

With all of that said I have recently made the decision to head back to the for-profit world as a partner in Conor-Patrick Insurance which is a commercial insurance agency here in Central Indiana. Ultimately it was the best decision for our family. I can't wait to get started in this new chapter of life.

It also will give me the opportunity to get back to some of the things I really love.

1. Getting back involved in DADS and actually making it to our monthly meetings.
2. Helping to fund raise for the Indiana Down syndrome Foundation, DADS and NDSS.
3. Becoming the parent/advocate/lobbyist in the disability community I want to be without having to bite my lip as the CEO of a provider that the state might punish for my words. Oh, I am going to have so much fun rattling some cages on the local, state and federal level.
4. And maybe just maybe getting involved in politics.

I will be helping the board and Janus make a successful transition in every way I can as I really love that organization but it's time for a change.

Peace Dude.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sorry I have been AWOL!

Hope everyone keeps checking in from time to time as I have not stopped blogging but have just had a roadblock of late.

More to come soon...I will update the blog this week with an announcement of some changes.

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bama Breeze Tour 2007

Well for all of us in Central Indiana summer is over! Jimmy was in town last night for his Bama Breeze Tour 2007 and it was great.

We headed out for a quick bite and a couple Margarita's on the way and then off to the show out at Deer Creek (a.k.a Verizon Music Center) Music center which is here in the town we live and may be the best outside venue in the country.

The mood was great, the people were wild and fun and the music was the best. Got to hear the new stuff and most of the old stuff with everything in between.

Make sure you check out Margaritaville Online for all the latest info on Jimmy and his beach empire. I will put in a little plug for Landshark Lager it is truly a good beer and look forward to enjoying a few more soon. So if you like Corona I think you are going to love Landshark.....

Well I just blew out my flip flop cause I stepped on a pop top so I better fly...


Monday, July 16, 2007

I Recieved a Special Award, now it's my turn!

Well the one thing I never expected was to receive an award for this crazy blog of mine....I rant, I rave, I am blunt.....who would have thought!

Michelle at Elliot's Expeditions awarded me with the "Blogger Reflection Award".

This award should make an individual reflect upon five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and who have provided a Godly example. In other words, five dear bloggers whom, when you reflect upon them, you are filled with a sense of pride and joy...of knowing them and being blessed by them.”

This is what Michelle had to say about me.

Okay, I have to add a special dad to my list. Jeff at Big Dawg Tales is one heck of a daddy. His mission is to educate and he states that his dear boy, Nash, is his “hero.” And look out when it comes to people first and accurately appropriate language when speaking about those with special needs and/or disabilities. Jeff has it all right and I pity those who try to tell him otherwise! What more needs to be said. I do think that his wife, Jan, is a very special person as well. Nash is blessed to have such extraordinary parents.

Thanks Michelle, I feel very honored to be selected by you.

Ok, now I hate to say it but that all sounds a little mushy for me. So let's say for my awards it is going to be people that have impacted me in the bloggisphere.

So reach over grab that seat belt...firmly attach it into the buckle and hold on we go.

My first winner is one of the first bloggers I found. Kim Ayres at "Ramblings of the bearded one". My friend Kim also is the father of a wonderful daughter who happens to have Down syndrome. He is also a gifted writer of which I am not. He always shares thoughts and ideas that will make you sit back and think about life as we know it. I look forward to the pint we will share in Scotland some day.

My second choice is Brother B at " Down Syndrome Life" . B. Strong also happens to be a father of a daughter with Down syndrome. B. has been a strong source of belief and reason in a world so filled with neither these days. As I have traveled with him down this road less travelled I consider him a friend I have not yet met in person but hope to soon.

My third award winner is Jan from "Mauzy's Musings". Ok now this is probably cheating since she is my wife but I think her blog is really awesome and I know how much time, effort and thought she puts into it. I also think the pictures of a certain young man named Nash are way too cool.

My fourth award goes to Dave Hingsburger at "Chewing the Fat". Dave's blog has to be one of the best most informed places I have seen on the net. Dave, thanks for being who you are and sharing your beliefs with us all.

My fifth award goes to ....drum roll please.....

Our good friend Nicole at "All 4 My Gals". Nic and Joe are without a doubt two of our dearest friends in the world. Not matter what the deal, no matter where we are we always know they are there for us. We are really lucky to be so close with this whole family. I feel like the Uncle Big Dawg the girls never had and they wish I would go away, well except for my little Marley Bob who totally understands "Peace Dude".

Thanks for providing such inspiration. Following are the rules for you guys:

1. Copy this post.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they’ve been given the award.
5. Place the award icon on your site


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. I thought I would share just a couple of thoughts before I head to the lake and open my first Cold New Castle Brown Ale.

1. I wonder if it is not time for another Tea Party.
2. Don't you love the fact that our leaders today are so damn smart they know what our founding fathers meant when the wrote the Constitution.
3. It's time for all new Elected Officials or at least enough to change things up a bit.
4. I think the two party system is a bust.
5. Get out of your chair, register, pick you candidate, believe in them, campaign for them and get the heck out and VOTE!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

I wonder what they are thinking?

In this day and age I really wonder just what the hell our elected officials are thinking. In Washington they spend all their time writing subpoena's, talking over the top of each other or giving some complete and total arrogant obnoxious blond named Ann Coulter a national stage.....

Here in Indiana we have quite a few issues going on. We are finishing a new mega football stadium for the Colts, crime is on the rise, cigarette tax just went up a buck, gas prices are all over the place and property taxes in Indiana just went up around the state from 34% to 200% depending where you live.

But our Governor the infamous Mitch "I worked for GW" Daniels....famous for saying the Legislature just "Car Bombed" his plans....what was he up to this week while these major tax issues were released? Oh, besides raising some obscene amount of money to get himself "RE-Hired" as he likes to call it....but never heard of anyone paying mega millions of dollars to get a is what he was up to:

Meet the latest Hoosier: Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson, host of the CBS television show "The Late Late Show," is a Scot who has applied to be a United States citizen.
But while he is awaiting citizenship, he has been seeking honorary citizenship's from all over the nation.
Last week, Indiana became the latest to try to claim Ferguson. Gov. Mitch Daniels sent Ferguson a letter, which Ferguson read in part on-air, declaring the talk show host "an honorary Hoosier."
Said Ferguson: "I've never been hoos-ed before." Even with the Scottish accent, that's pronounced "hoojed."
In the letter, Daniels said he was extending the honor "because of all you've done for us in Indiana."
That surprised Ferguson.
"I've never been to Indiana," he claimed.
But Daniels had the photos to prove otherwise.
One showed a giant-headed Ferguson standing with Daniels, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and a guy Ferguson described as "some rich dude." That would be Jim "Rich Dude" Irsay, owner of the Colts.
"Can't wait to see you on the next trip," Daniels said in his letter. "We'll stop in Gnaw Bone for the best tenderloin sandwich you'll ever have. Best wishes on your quest for citizenship -- legal and otherwise."

And I thought Republicans were opposed to immigration?

So that is what "Our Man Mitch" was up to this week!


Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Friday Night Movie Night!

What a long week this week has been. But hey it's Friday night!

Wow how things have changed, long gone are the days of coming home and putting on my jeans and boots and starting that big black shiny Road King and heading down the highway for some wind in my face. Stopping in at Maggie's on Michigan where all the real Indy bikers hung out to have a cold one with our friends...and the weekend revolved around "The Bike".

Now Friday nights go like this......

Have had all I can take at the office and head out at 4:00...load Seger in the Van (ya the Golden goes to work everyday with me) and go pick up the Dude (aka...Nash). Find out he had an awesome day and they had been having water fun all afternoon...nothing like 15 soaked kids. So we get his stuff together and load the van back up......did you notice I said VAN.....ouch that hurts....I always have driven trucks.....Jeeps and Suburbans were my choice but I did have one Ford Expedition but I hated it.....anyway....Yes I drive a Chevy Van....and for those of us from the 70's I can assure you nothing you are thinking happens in Chevy Vans anymore so get over it....

So we call momma (aka Mauzy) and divide up stops on the way for the ranch. Nash and I pick Blockbuster as our stop. I tell you I have ridden a Harley all over the US and England, Ireland, Scotland (home of the famous Kim Ayres), Holland, Germany and France....ok you got me...had to ride thru Belgium to get to France....but there is nothing quite like going to blockbuster with a 6 year old. So half an hour later after paying for 4 movies and 4 re-stocking fees from the last ones we returned late we were headed for home.....

Now it's Friday night movie time ....everyone is in their shorts and favorite t-shirts and soon the table downstairs will be full of chicken nuggets, chips, burgers and pop corn. And we can start by watching Nash's two academy award winners....Santa Clause one and two..........

And my big choice left over from the old days.....should I wear the t-shirt from Hog's Breath Saloon or Fat Boy's Rule.....

So what's my point in all of this.....Absolutely is good, just different then it use to be and different then I planned....but if I had to choose between heading down the highway with the wind in my hair or watching a movie with Nash.... I will hang with Nash.....

Does anybody know if the new Dressers come with a DVD player in the sidecar?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chris Benoit Tragedy!

I had only been loosely following this story of WWE Professional Wrestler Chris Benoit's Families awful murder/suicide. I thought to myself, what a tragedy and I can never understand why or how people can do this. I have watched with intrigue as the media has already made this issue all about "Roid Rage". Then I got really upset when Fox News discussed tonight that the Benoit's son was their RETARDED SON!

Well needless to say I raised right up on the couch for a number of reasons.

1. First I bristled at the reference to "retarded son". Actually I more then bristled and for those that know me know I am a "Pit Bull" when it comes to person first and appropriate language when discussing individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. And as I usually do I picked up the phone and called FOX News to let them know my displeasure and encouraged them to contact The Arc of The United States to learn more about properly reporting on individuals with disabilities.

2. The constant discussion of "Roid Rage"! Is there abuse of steroids in sports? You bet your ass there is. And if you think it's stopped in any sport due to testing then you are kidding yourself. Steroids control sports from the high school level all the way thru professional sports. Let's face it you don't grow 6'7 300 pound offensive lineman in Iowa from eating corn on the cob. So let's get over the fact that my god this man may have been doing steroids....I am sure he was! I played football in college and was around "JUICE" all the time. I have seen "Roid Rage" and some of the effects but bottom line there is no real information about long term results and the effect on individuals. A perfect example is Lyle Alzado died from supposed steroid abuse and Arnold Schwarzenegger become Governor of California. So I hope the media can dig a little deeper on this issue.

3. Then I sat back down and was quickly overcome by a pit in my stomach. Could this be more about their son then the other issues they were discussing. I did some quick research and discovered that this young man had Fragile X syndrome. What I found was that Fragile X is the leading cause of inherited mental impairment (what I refer to as intellectual disability and some may refer to as mental retardation). The pit in my stomach got a little bigger and I knew I needed to come share some thoughts or I would be awake all night.

As I sit here I wonder what caused this man with so many great things going on in his life to commit this tragic act? Was it related to drugs? Was it related to alcohol? Was it related to marital problems? Or was it something to due with how his son's disability was effecting him or his family?

What I do know is the one regret I have from when those original 8 of us started and made it an D.A.D.S.acronym for Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome is I wish we would have made it non disability specific. It works very well the way it is but this pit in my stomach tells me I wish I would have been there for this man. I have no idea how the other wrestlers around him where with his son, I am sure they were great but did they understand...I bet not. I am sure they understood the pressure of their career's and marriage etc but add the disability of your loving son and the fact that he inherited it from have no idea if this had any ting to do with the decisions Mr. Benoit made over the weekend and I never will.

All I do know is life is tough, careers are tough, marriage is tough and a very high percentage of marriages that include a child with a disability end in divorce...a way too high number....

Some how we have to reach out to other DADS and let them know that no matter whether it's Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X or (fill in the blank) we are out here man...reach to us....lean on us...let us carry you for awhile if we need to....but we are here....we are bonded as brothers in a fraternity we never set out to join. We understand it....We get it....

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Benoit family tonight.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

State waiver system frustrates families of disabled

There was an interesting article in today's Muncie Star and Press about the Indiana Medicaid Waiver here to read the article.

I thought there was some interesting things in this article. Here are my comments on a few.

1. For 22-year-old Chris Eldridge, who has Down's syndrome, six years is how long he's been on a waiting list for one of the state's developmental disabilities waivers.

Response: Here in the US the proper name is Down syndrome, you would think a reporter could get it right.

2. The waiver is what his parents, Tom and Connie Honn, need to ensure Eldridge is cared for by the state when they die. It's also the document he needs to work full-time at Cannon Industries, the industrial division of Hillcroft Services, East Central Indiana's support services agency for the developmentally disabled.

Response: No wonder people are confused. First of all the waiver gives the individual the funding for services now and throughout their lives. There are many other items like a "Special Needs Trust" that lay out a families wishes on their child's life after they are gone. I would not just leave it up to the state.

The other issue that bothers me a great deal is that the waiver is a document that someone needs to go to work. This is absolutely false. If someone wants to go to work they can make that transition on their own, they can apply and receive services thru Vocational Rehabilitation which will fund the support services they need to find, be trained and be success full at the job they choose. What they missed is the Waiver is needed for Cannon Industries to get paid to offer services at their SHELTERED WORKSHOP. Now if that is what the family wants that is fine but the only thing the waiver does is get Hillcroft paid from the state. That does not prevent the person from attending Hillcroft for services...they can start right away but the family would have to pay privately for these services. Plenty of info left out of this section.

The article goes on to talk about many things the State of Indiana is going to do this and do that....under Governor Mitch Daniels administration we have heard lots of talk about more funding for waivers, improved quality and better services....What is Mitch Roob at FSSA's famous line....Better...Faster...Cheaper....or if all else fails we will give a big outside contract to one of our buddies to see what they can do to make money....

Someday individuals with disabilities and their families will unite and realize that together we could be the largest voting block in the United States and instead of always fighting for funding for IDEA, NCLB and Medicaid and Waiver services we could actually start putting together a plan that works.

Ok, if there is any elected officials out there that read this and say Ya, ya but what is the plan. Drop me a response and I will get you my contact information and I will be very happy to sit down and explain a plan that will work.

Let's get organized, let's get out and vote and let's get involved in policy making and stop all this frustration.....


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Let's talk Politics!

Hey, sorry I have been awol for so has been crazy and work is even crazier...

Anyway some of you will know this and some of you will not but I use to ride motorcycles as my passion and hobby. Last one was a beautiful black FLHPi...for you non Harley people that would be a touring police bike converted to a RoadKing ....well those days are gone and I had to find a new passion....well it became politics and legislation. Just love that crap....

Well I am now going into my political mode and starting to talk about politics in a big way....

So here we go....The AAPD...The American Associaiton of people with disabilities along with some other national disability groups issued surveys to all the candidates for President. The results are interesting click here scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the responses.

Oh ya, when you get down there you will see very few have answered.....Hey RUDY? Hey HILLARY? Hey NEWT and FRED...if you are running.....This stuff is important to me...much more important then debating abortion...same sex marriage....Supreme Court litmus tests ect.....So fill the thing out so I know where you stand...

Right now I can say I am really looking at Senator Obama....he took the time to answer the questions.....and he definatley has someone on staff that Gets it!

More to come.....if you are not registered to VOTE...please do....the one and only requirement from my stand point to be an American is to register and cast your vote for who you believe always amazes me the people well arrive in this county half naked on boats.....almost die in the desert or the back of a semi and those of us that are citizens by birth don't bother to vote.....come on folks...


Monday, May 28, 2007

The Gentleman from Scotland!

Well what a weekend it was. Rain and strategy wins the Indianapolis 500 and a true gentleman wins the race. Dario Franchitti was victorious for Andretti/Green racing. After much back and forth and a three hour rain delay it was a real race to the finish.

I think what impressed me the most from the win is how truley happy Dario was to have won at Indy. I was also so impressed with the sportmanship and friendship of the entire Andretti/Green racing team. Growing up in Indiana I have always been an AJ Foyt fan and my all time favorite phrase was Andretti's car is beginning to slow....

But as I have watched Micheal Andretti become and owner and a driver and seen him build a true TEAM I have been impressed. While I will always have a spot in my heart for AJ Foyt and his team I think I am slowly becoming a fan or Marco, Tony, Danica and of course Dario.

Great job to the entire team, you make all Hoosiers proud....

Also great job to Casey Mears for winning the 600. I will always be a Stewart fan but it was nice to see if Smoke could not hold the lead to see a first timer and a Mears win on Memorial Day...

Great weekend for racing.....


Saturday, May 19, 2007

How I come up with Names.

Ok B Strong called me out not long ago about my dogs name. You see when we knew our puppy was born and we needed to come up with a name we had many on the list. But alas we could not decide....but we had just received our tickets to the up coming Bob Seger concert (see my post about the concert below). Well we kicked it around for a few minutes and Seger it was.....and his nickname around the neighborhood is Seger Bobby.....what can I say..

OK, this is where I will probably get into trouble....

Before we had Seger and before we had Nash we got a new puppy that was a beautiful black lab...we got him as a puppy also and with out hesitation I named him Rudy after the movie Rudy of Notre Dame fame. Love the movie, respect the man and I have been a huge ND fan all my life....Ok here it comes...

If you talk to Mauzy she will give you all kinds of stories about Nash's came from the poet Ogden Nash.....we grew up like Crosby, Stills and Nash....oh ya Young was in there for a time also....But the truth is I was always a big Miami Vice fan so when Don Johnson starred in Nash Bridges I was hooked on that show also. I mean how could you not....Don Johnson, Cheech Marin and a yellow Cuda to boot. Well I decided during the name search that Nash sounded like a great name for a middle linebacker for the Irish. Mauzy was not sold for a long time....but as we progressed thru the pregnancy I kept calling him Nash and Nash man until one day it finally stuck and she started calling him Nash also......and for those the know the Nash really fits him......just the other day we were leaving school and he looked at one of the other girls and said....Hey baby....

Oh ya, and to top it off...we signed up for 1st grade flag football today...

Peace Dude.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Boyz will be Boyz

Well I did not laugh at the time but it is kinda funny now.

Yesterday Nash, Seger ( or 6 month old puppy) and I are at the office for our Saturday morning check on things. I decide we are gonna head out and decide to go hit the restroom before we go.

As usual I make Nash go also. So off we go into the men's room and Seger decides to join us.

So Nash and I are in the restroom taking care of what we need to and Seger looks around and thinks......hey I get it....

AND PEE'S all over the floor.........

I guess Boyz will be Boyz


Prenatal Testing!

There once again has been much discussion about the latest prenatal testing guidelines spurred by an article in the New York Times. I am not going to link the articles or any of the posts in this post I am just going to share some thoughts as the very proud father of a son with Down syndrome and the husband (happy mothers day Mauzy) to a contributor to the gifts book....

1. Prenatal testing for Down syndrome to me is not a Pro-life or Pro-Choice debate so why does everyone try to lump it in there. It is also not a Right or Left debate. If 90% of positive tests are terminated do we believe those 90% are all Pro-Choice left wingers....I doubt it...Politics is always just a convienence....

2. Don't presume anything about meor my son because he has Down syndrome. DS is only one part of what makes up my son and his personality. And don't presume I am a raving cheerleader for Down syndrome....I am not....but what I am is one Big Mean Dawg Champion for people with Down syndrome. We often remind people that we call the group we Started Dads Appreciating Down syndrome because most of us agreed we hate it a little before we learned to appreciate it.

3. I always love the comment from people when they see Nash and I together.....ohh...he is so cute and they are always so happy....REALLY? Come on over and spend a dinner hour with me when he does not want what's on his plate. People with Down syndrome have the same range of emotions as all of us...

4. Don't ever call me a Saint or refer to how great I am because you could never handle having a child with ds. Give me a break....I am no Saint and no one knows what they can handle until it's put on your plate.......

5. If you don't know that individuals with Down syndrome learn very well just differently and can attend college and hold good paying jobs ( I know some that make more money a year then I do and I am not hurting) don't preach to me......ask some questions and learn.....

So with a few comments I am done.....the debate will roll on and it will be all about Pro-life and Pro-Choice, Religion and Atheist (geez, like that has not caused enough wars) and the Peter Singers of the world that think the world is only for the wonderful elite like themselves....

As for me.....Nash and I are gonna celebrate Mothers Day with his mommy and call his grandmothers.....then we are gonna mow the grass on the John Deere....and after that we are gonna do whatever we feel like and Down syndrome will not run thru my head again until I get back on line..............


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In Indy the Month of May is Special

The month of May in most places brings the thought of spring and flowers and the upcoming end of the school year. But here in Indiana it's something much more special.

When you say it's the month of May here Hoosiers know you mean the track is open. Yes it's Indy 500 time. While the "Grand Daddy" of them all may not be as spectacualar as it once was when all of open wheel participated in the race.Bump day was acutally a day where people were giving it everything they had to get into the show. And F1 Divers like Nigel Mansel came here to race at Indy.....but it is still oh so good....

As a kid growing up in Indiana the Indy 500 was a huge deal and to this Indiana kid it still is. I will always remember my first race at the track and my favorite number 14 AJ Foyt winning the Race. This year we celebrate 50 years of AJ being part of the 500 as a driver and an owner. And to throw even more nostalgia into this years race Little AL is racing for AJ....WOW.

I know today car racing is different then it was in the day.....NASCAR is the big event and I love that series and attend the Brickyard 400 every year to root for Tony Stewart in the number 20 car who is from Indiana and started his big career at the brickyard in open wheel. But the Indy 500 is where it all started for many the race fan.

I think the one time I was truley home sick in my entire life was in 1990. I was in my first year of a 4 year work stint in England and had not been home since Christmas. I got to watch the race live thanks to Sky TV and it was great. But during the opening ceremony when Jim Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" I really felt so far away from home.

So with all that said and as the big race draws closer on Memorial Day weekend I know that when Jim Sing's "Back Home Again" I will take a moment to remember that feeling I had when I was in England and know I was not near as homesick as our Hoosiers in uniform around the world are today. I will look to the sky and hope that each one of them can come home safely and once again hear those famous words " Gentlemen and Ladies, Start your engines".

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm not a buyer, I'm a seller.......Not today!

Forget my current title of CEO at heart and soul I am a salesman. I started my work career working for my Dad in the restaurant business and then started my career as a professional in sales after college. And not to sound arrogant but I am pretty darn good at it.

Jan always gives me grief about the fact that I never ever get sucked in by the sales pitches the she would fall for if I was not there. As an example I am one of those people that would go to a hard sell time share promo for the freebie and actually enjoy watching them try to close me. I know I am weird.

Well that all flew out the window today when I picked Nash up from his afternoon Kindergarten class. We had been notified that they were taking pictures at school for the class graduation cute. Well we have already had class pictures taken twice this year and a family portrait. I told Jan lets just choose to let them take his picture for the class but we won't send any money for more. All is cool....right.

So I cruise in to pick up Nash today and on our way out the lady from Teddy Bear Portraits asked if I wanted to look at Nash's pictures. I said that we only had his picture taken for the class picture. She said I know but we went ahead and took some so we could give Nash this free gift (you see she heard me call him Nash). At this point she handed Nash a really cool art apron with his picture on it for him to use in class. Then she whipped out a whole group of sheets of pictures including the ones above.

Well bottom line when it was over I paid $95 for an art apron but got some really great pictures for free.

What a sucker.......

Peace Dude!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Daddy gets busted!

I remember back when we were first told that Nash had Down syndrome and one of my fears was that Nash might never be able to speak clearly enough so people could understand him.

Well as Nash has grown(he is 6) we have seen his speech become amazing by our definition and speaks very clearly (when he wants to) and his pronunciation seems to get clearer all the time. And what always amazes me is his correct usage of words and phrases.

Well tonight was one of those. I am not proud of the fact that I can use some pretty colorful language at times. No excuses here I am guilty of saying things I should not say but I do make a concentrated effort to not use that colorful language around Nash but let's face it at times I do.

So tonight as Jan is coming home we all (Nash, Seger and I) head to the garage to meet her. As Seger decides to boogie out the garage door Nash looks at him and says " God Damn it Seger".

Yes Daddy gets busted by his little imitator one more time.

Peace Dude!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tony Soprano politically correct?

Who would have thought that of all people.....well OK Tony Soprano is just the lead character in the HBO series the Sopranos.....would use politically correct person first language.

I have to admit that I am a huge Sopranos fan and of all people I probably would have expected him to use the "R" word. I would not have liked it but I would have probably let it slide. But an interesting thing happened last night. As Tony was talking with the son of his murdered captain Vito, little Vito was having all kinds of issues at school. They did not really say what had transpired but Tony raked little Vito over the coals because the girl that he did something to was "Developmentally Disabled". Now I have no idea what supposedly happened nor do I probably want to know but I thought wow that surprised me.

All these people that use and throw the "R" word around as a regular part of their vocabulary and Tony Soprano uses pretty correct language. I am impressed. Maybe Rush Limbaugh and his entire class at The Limbaugh institute for Advanced Conservative Studies should consult with Tony on the proper use of the English Language and that you don't always have to offend to get ratings and afford your Cigars.

Peace Dude!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why is it?

In recent months and weeks it seems that the media Moguls have decided what people can say on the air and not. Here are some examples of out of control behavior that got most what they deserve.

1. Micheal Richards of Seinfeld fame got booted out of comedy for using the "N" word at a comedy club....He should have.

2. Don Imus got his final punishment for using a group of words I have no idea why our how he even came up with....

3. Now the record Moguls are starting to look at HIP HOP lyrics....

4. Today Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote a commentary on CNN about people repeating the use of the "W" word. He also talked about using the "N" word and the "f" word.

All of this quite accurate in my opinion. The other thing I agree with completely with the Don Imus issue, it is not right for people on radio and TV to pick on people that have not entered public life. Don Imus has done some great things in fund raising and I am sure he will be back soon but he messed up. But others seem to get away with it

But here is what I don't understand. Why are all these things not appropriate but the "R" word gets thrown around like it's no big deal. The "R" word is the shortened slang version of Mental Retardation a medical diagnosis. Comedians use it all the time and everyone laughs,Rush Limbaugh has used it and nothing, people use it in the office every time they make a mistake or do anything else that they can find a reason to so they are retarded or that is so retarded. It drives me nuts.

Yes I am your average middle aged white guy but I happen to have a son that has Down syndrome which is classified as mild mental retardation and it really gets under my skin. And of late some Comedians like Chris Rock have actually said they have Down syndrome. Saturday Night Live actually had a skit referring to someones father as having Down syndrome. Now I am just one guy but I can confirm that I use to watch Saturday Night Live and I always liked Chris Rock but neither has to worry about my tuning in to any of their stuff in the future. Hey I know they don't care but I do.

Talk about a group of individuals that have not entered public life, have not done anything to be singled out. If the fine ladies of Rutgers can't defend themselves (which I think they did a fine job on their own)with out the help of the media and Rev Sharpton and Rev Jackson I wonder when the Rev Jackson and Sharpton will stand up against the "R" Word? Let's not forget that Down syndrome and Mental Retardation know no racial bounds.

Ok, I am done and am getting down off my soap box.

In the words of my wonderful niece.....PEACE DUDE!

Monday, April 23, 2007

How much is enough?

The 2008 presidential race is in full swing. Fundraising is at an unbelievable level with mega millions of dollars being rasied to wage mud slinging on a whole new level. How many millions are we going to see wasted on negative ads, so called non connected groups spending millions for the campaigns so the campaigns and the candidates can deny deny and deny one more time. What could we do with all those millions of dollars wasted on attack ads?

1. Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilites Education Act?
2. Fully fund No Child Left Behind (or just dump it)?
3. Actually help fund Medicaid waivers around the country?
4. Fix the issues at Walter Reed Hospital?
5. Give half the condidates a million dollars to go home and never speak in public again?

As for me I am paying close attention to Rudy and Barack and waiting to see if I can cast a vote for someone that will actually get in office and make things happen with out all the bickering, fighting and name calling that has become the way of politics in Washington, state and local politics.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Johnny The Bagger

If you have not seen this incredible story that now has been turned into a training seminar please click the link below. Being involved in helping individuals with intellectual disabilities find employment I sometimes try to get people to think out of the box about jobs and not just shoot for the obvious ones like bagging groceries. But in this case I needed to think out of the box a little bit because John went to work bagging groceries and changed a company and is helping to change others all over the country. To see the story click here.

To see and hear more about the story and training program visit Barbara Glanz's website. I had the opportunity to hear Barbara speak a few years ago and she is an awesome individual.

I hope you enjoy.

New Look

I am putting together a new look for the blog. I hope to start posting quite a bit more in the future. The blog is going to take a bit of a turn as I am going to start posting allot more about politics, disability issue and the changes that I believe the states and also the disability service industry must make to truly supply the supports and services individuals need to live, work and play independently in our communities.

See you soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bears vs. Colts

As I sit here preparing for the Super Bowl today I spent some time reflecting on how I got to where I am today. When I was born my parents lived in Rensselaer Indiana which happened to be where the Chicago Bears held their spring training every year. There was a little pizza place in town where my parents and their other teacher friends use to hang out. During spring training this was also a favorite hang out for some of the Bears. My mom and dad always tell the stories of me being bounced on the knee of players like O'Bradovich, Butkus, Piccolo and Ditka. How could I be anything other then a Bears fan.
I spent most of my life as a huge Bear fan as most people in Indiana were at that time. I have spent many a game inside the confines of Soldier Field watching our beloved Bears. Win or lose it was a great game especially those years when the Central Division was known as "The Black and Blue Division".
There will always be the 1985 Bears and all the regular guys that made up that football team. From Jimmy Mac, Richard Dent, Danny Hampton, William Perry and everyone's favorite Bear Walter Payton. Most of us can still remember the shock when the news broke that "Sweetness" was no longer with us.
So as you read this you may have come to the conclusion that I am decked out in Blue and Orange today but I am not. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Chicago Bears but I will not be in their corner today. Why you ask?
Will my love for the Bears stopped the day my Bears fired Da Coach. Mike Ditka was and is one of my hero's in life and in sports and was exactly the kind of coach the Bears needed. Not to dwell on the fact I was livid after the firing. And decided soon after to become a Saints fan when Iron Mike found his way to New Orleans even though Nash was born in Chicago. But also at that time my family moved back from a stint in Chicago back to our home here in Indiana. My wife Jan took me to the Colts and Saints game at the RCA Dome to see Coach Ditka lead the saints. Inside the Dome that day I made the decision it was time to move my loyalty to my home town team. And I became a true blue Colts Fan. Year after year of late we have felt the disappointment of not make it to the big show but today we are there. I think it was only two weeks into the season when I made a comment at the office one day that my worst nightmare may come true this year if the Colts play the Bears in the Super Bowl. Well here we are and just a few hours away from the big game. It will be a great game in Miami today and I really think I will be happy no matter what happens in the game today.
I think there is a bit of pride no matter what happens today knowing that one of the gentlemen in sports Tony Dungy is in the Super Bowl playing against his buddy Lovie Smith. These two men have proven that it's the really the make up of your character not the color of your skin that determines your destiny and I am very proud that I get to enjoy both these men's teams in the game today. We need more Tony's and Lovie's in this world today. And I believe that up above us today the man that truly brought us this beloved Game George "Papa Bear" Halas is proud to that Lovie Smith one of the first African American coaches brought HIS team to the Super Bowl.

As for me I am wearing Colts gear from head to tow ready to root for my team but deep down inside I will be proud no matter who wins or loses today.