Year in Review--writing style

It shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone  that the  entries in thnis blog have been limited this year mainly because I have focused on mainly the baby poems\ this year. Together I wrote four of them, including  one for my neice's blessing back in April. It seems the momentum continues and the idea of  seeing my Facebook friends announce the birth of their bundles of joy provides instant material. In return I e-mail them a poem, which keeps my skills sharp. The main plan was to use them as examples to get some paid material.
As for poetry in general, I have been struggling, but m,anaged to pen "Four Golfers" . This is an ode  to my father and his golfing buddies that I composed on a day dad didn't come home from playing golf until after dark. The realization that the slightest inkling of an \idea needs to come out as soon as it can.
The easy thing to do is blame lull in both this blog articles and everything else on an interuption in living. I was going to outline this interuption but that's not fair because people I love are involved and I don't want t o hurt them. That was  my  excuse for NOT  writing because I was trying to deal with these new living arrangements the best I could and posting every little thing on a blog would have cause a bigger rift in an alreaady tense situtation. When I found the urgedf, I simply posted q uick quips to Facebook, even deleted a couple of status updates when  I calmed down.  So I am glad cooler heads eventual prevailed
The biggest project came in the middle of the year when ALPCA President tapped me to headup a wheelchair display project for the Orange Grove  Center down in Tennessee. That was accompanied by an article in Exceptional Parent Magazine. I actually got to meet th e head of t he center when I went out to Hershey in October. That called for a blog entry
It now comes down to this blog.  I looked over my 2011 entries and have at least one entry a month.  I started out 2012 the same way but it fell by the wayside by April and picked it up  again in October, in which I though I would end the year strong on here, that didn't happen the way I wanted. The months I DID  write, I had multiple enteries. Some of them I later deleted  because I started them and saved them, then decide the didn't warrant publishing. So my writing resolution for 2013 is to get  AT LEAST two entries here a month/. Which isn't difficult for me, I just have to focus and devote  the effort to sign in and write something, ANYTHING
Here's to more witing in 2013!
Happy New Year


Where does she find the time

If you have been reading this blog for the past few months you might have noticed I added a blog called Love that Max by Ellen--Max's mom. Max was born with Cerebral Palsy on December 4th, 2002, Ellen explains Max's Story the only way loving mother could...from the heart. I imagine my own mother jealous t hat another woman finds the time to blog while raising a son with CP and a younger daughter. My mom had three boys and that was a lot!! This may sound cruel but I sometimes have to chuckle because I can picture my mother going through the same things as Ellen whil I was growing up. Come to think of it my mother's middle name is Ellen, strong name for strong women.
I first stumbled on the blog a few months ago and have been hooked euver sense. To put a cliche on it I feel I really know Ellen AND Max and would love to meet them. (You can insert the eerie Internet stalker music now) Well maybe not MEET them but reading Ellen's blog often makes me reflect. Max turned 10 yesterday, I remember when I was 10, arlight mayb e not exactly bu t I understand what lies ahead for Max and Ellen, the good and the bad.

I wish the Internet as we know it now exsisted when I was growing up. It makes it easier for mothers like Ellen and folks like me to share what they're are going through and find people going through the same thing "Love that Max" has been an inspirat\ion, not only as someone with CP, but as a writer as well. I am starting to take a look at this blog. While I'm not all of a suddenn going to dedicate it to my life with Cerebral Palsy, I am going to try to find a way to incorporate it a bit more into this blog..


Christmas music hits the repeat button

Ok I am going to try to not sound c ompletely ANTI-CHRISTMAS MUSIC but I thinkm most would agree it does get out of hand. I had friends tell me some stores start in with the music right after HALLOWEEN, which is completely insane in my opinion. The radio stations and the stores go completely overboard and play thesame fifteen or twenty song over and over, makes me want to barf. I know exactly what song is being played from the first few notes not even. Remember the TV show "Name that tune"? Well you have to wonder how many more winners there would be if the show just played Christmas music? I can tell you everybody would win, if they celebrated the holiay or not it would matter. C The problem I see is that the war on Christmas does indeed have a point, I don't agree with the point, but thaqt's another issue. The problem I see is they can't go into any store or the mall without being blasted with Christmas music everywhere trhey go. There are a select few songs that get played constantly that would drive anybody insane. Topping the list is that stupid Mariah Carey song "All I want for Christmas is you" it makes m e want to down a few hefty glasses of egg nog and just pass out. It's the only song that I can't get out of my head. Sometimes I think that songs like that commercialize the holiday evenm more than any kind of TV ad for the newest toys or gadgets. I can understand some people saying I'm a Scrooge, but if they're saying Christmas comes once a year and it's a seasonal thing, I have to ask why. I have to wonder why they only play patriotic songs are only actually plasyed on Memorial Day or Fourth of July. I don't want to ban Christmas music, I just want to delay it for a few more weeks


Hoboken EMS affected by Sandy

It's not everyday I get to help my brothers and sisters in emergency services so when this post started floating around Facebook I decided to download it and throw in on Bergenscanner. Then after some thought, and realizing the blog was being neglected, it seemed like the right thing to do. Many don't realize even though Hoboken is a city the EMS down there is all volunteer. My times in Hoboken can be traced back to their Saint Patty's Day Parade. Yes I have been to a few of them, luckily I have not needed the EMS any of the times. Although I always see them racing to a scene every time I visit th e city. My cousin also lives there so I have to know she'll be taken care of if anything happens. There are a lot of people supporting the shore towns, I figured it might be better to support a cause a little, After all I have had plenty of people support me over the years, it's the least I can do to thank them! Send donations to: Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps P.O. Box 1368 Hoboken New Jersey 07030 or donate through their website: http://www.hobokenems.com


A note from J.D. Adams

It's not everyday I get a chance to highlight someone else's comments on my blog. Fellow ALPCA Heartland Region President J.D. Adams posted the followng status on his Facebook page. The message was so heartfelt I decided to repost it here. I will have my own write-up in the coming days.

In roughly 5 hours there is going to be a License Plate swap meet starting...you say big deal, right? Yeah J.D., you've gone to a hundred plus of these things....but this one, which I'm not going to be able to attend, is a little different....This one is being held in Allendale, New Jersey....My fellow Regional President Justin Mattes and fellow ALPCA Garden State Board member Marco Tramelli havebeen scrambling to get this one put together so the "Show will go on!" I stress out enough when a meet has small weather problems, talk to Fenzloff before Dunkerton and you'll understand, but I can't even imagine what these guys have stressed on for these past two weeks and then to come out of this and put this Regional Meet on, even with another weather event going on ...it says a lot for your Region and it says a lot for you, Justin and Marco.....As Heartland Region President and your friend. I wish all the best for a "Barn Buster" of a meet and that it goes off flawlessly... Our thoughts and best wishes are with you all.....

J.D. Adams - President, The Heartland Region of the ALPCA


4th Annual ALPCA Garden State Region Meet

I posted this to the listserv and thought it would make a great recap to post to the blog!!!

Not even a Nor' Easter earlier in the week nor a minor table storage could stop the little meet that could from coming together in Allendale, NJ. For the second year in a row members from as far away as California assembled at the Guardian Angel Church for a full day of trading tin! Plate trading was hot and heavy, conversation ranged from reports of storm damage to the convention next June in Reno. By 9 am the usual crowd was busy trading Andy Bernstein was showing off his newest graphics for sale(I picked up a new Alabama wheelchair motorcycle plate) while Ron Ridolph was busy collecting donations for our annual auction. Jason DeCaesare was documenting everything on camera while his cousin and newer ALPCA member Nate Miller was acquiring a few jems for his fledgling collection. Also in attendance was former President and ALPCA Hall of Fame Member Dick Yourga who graciously donated a Connecticut wheelchair plate for r the Orange Grove Display down in Tennessee. I would say the long distance award goes to Nador Thor who flew in from California, seconded by Lee Madigon who drove in from Chicago. Unfortunately we missed a few familiar faces including Dave Kuhen and Bill Dickerson from New England as well as Long Islanders George Barnes and Jon Lebowitz with his mom. Special shout out to Ralph Bannano who worked an overnight shift on the CSX, caught a few winks just so he could make an appearance!!!b Although given gas prices and road condition surely put a damper on the attendance.. For the second year a group of us, including co-host Marco Tramelli, traveled down the road to the Allendale Bar and Grill. We were warmly greeted by the owners, the Kunish brothers, who lost their father a few months ago. Drinks flowed and hot meals were served as we talked over future plans, including the possibility of moving the meet to a more central location in New Jersey. There are all kinds of plans in the works say tuned. I again want to thank the 49 members and guests for another great meet and look forward to seeing you next November Yours truly in New Jersey Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748 ALPCA Garden State Region President


We aren't all offended equally

I never understood or will understand Ann Coulter's use of the word "retard" to reject the thesis of a obviously very smart man, namely the President of the United States. To be honest though I'm not surprised, she's provactive, she's is dying for attention and s he'll stoop down to any level to diss President Obama. Just like Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, or any othe left-wing nut did to President Bush when he was in off ice. I was offended because once again while racial slurs and objectionable sexual labels are considered very taboo in this day of political correctness, the outrage isn't the same when people with disabilities get mocked. There isn't an universal condemning of the langauge like there is when the "N-word" is hurled at black people, or people of different faiths are called by the inappropriate terms. The "N-word" is beeped out of TV the word "retard" is openly used even in over the air broadcasting. While it is offensive, to me as a person with a physical and not a mental disability being called t he "R-word" IS WORSE BECAUSE IT'S A LIE.
That's what separates it from all the other slurs. Nobody would call an openly gay white man the "N-word" or a person openly practicing Judism a "rag head" because it's not offensive to them in a way that automatically calling a person with physical challenges and/or emotional issues the "R-word". It is also almost never accepted. Usually the racial or ethnic slurs come out during times of conflict when the offending party is trying to cause emotional pain as either a offensive or in most times defensive attack in a verbal argument. The "R-word" is commonly used when someone screws up or is deliberately acting like a complete ass. That's why it's accepted and that makes it more offensive.
Disabilities are universal everyone has them, whether you are Black or White, Muslim or Jewish, Male or Female. Unlike race or religion, they DO at times, make us believe and feel inferior. Not just for the moment the offending comment is made, but people with disabilities continue to doubt themselves.. I often call people with disabilities the minority of the minorities. That's because we ask for and get the least amount of attention. When's the last time you saw a Congressional staffer or a White House intern in a wheelchair or being guided by a seeing eye dog??
The comments made by Ann Coulter are offensive to folks with disabilities and need to be condemed by everybody. Someone with a disability needs to inform her it's NOT ok!!


Hershey Report

Below is an e-mail I sent to the PLATES Listserv last Thursday while out in Hershey. It was the second time I took the Amtrak train out to Harrisburg and then the Dauphin County Paratransit from the train station to the Giant Center next to Hershey Park
I have hijacked Rick's laptop to check my e-mail and log onto Facebook, figured I drop a note. First let me assure folks the train ride out and the ride on the paratransit bus went very smoothly!! I managed to get the same driver as last year and the lift didn't breAK. People have remarked about the weather I concur PERFECT~! I have been cruising the fields with a light breeze. Yesterday I met with Dr Rader, he again thanked the club for its efforts turn the dream of a wheelchair run into a reality, WE STILL NEED CONNECTICUT. I also lined up another article deal Plates have been plenty but there's a noticaable drop in overall attendance from previous year. The usual suspects have made appearances Roger, Marco, Gerry, et al. Dick Yourga is doing his thing promoting ALPCA. Chuck Sakryd has been spotted with his ntrademark backpack. Jeff Francis is wandering the fields looking for bulk. As for me a few additions to the collection. On a less-plate related note, Hershey installed a new radio system since last year which I have been exploring Well off to bed another long day tom orrow Justin Mattes ALPCA#6748 ALPCA Hershey Correspondent


A Cayman Island surprise

Well it all started at the convention in Erie, Pennslyvania I John Ferguson setting up his him setting up his table with the lastest non-passenger plates from the Caymans. I saw everything but a wheelchair plate, which John explained is one of the rarest types to obtain on the Island. During our discussion he smiled and said he'll keep his eyes out. He then saw my display I brought to the convetion entitled "Route 66 by Wheelchair" and knew it just wasn't a display, it was to make people away of folks with disabilities. John and I became close friends and exchanged e-mails. When the convention in Texas rolled around the next year John convinced my parents if they allowed me to get ther4e on my own, he would keep an eye on me. Well despite a few minor bumps in the road, a diverted plane and a lost and then found cellphone among them, John and I had a blast! After the convention he and I continued to converse via e-mail.
A few weeks ago John just sai d in a passing e-mail to keep an eye on my mailbox and today it came, a Cayman Island wheelchiar plate!! I can say this it was definitely worth the wait@!


Alabama: At Least We Aren't Mississippi
Alaska: 11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!
Arizona: But It's A Dry Heat
Arkansas: Literasy Ain't Everything
California: As Seen On TV
Colorado: If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother
Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, Only With Less Character
Delaware: We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water
Florida: Ask Us About Our Grandkids
Georgia: We Put The "Fun" In Fundamentalist Extremism
Hawaii: Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum, But Leave Your Money)
Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes ... Okay, Maybe Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Good
Illinois: Please Don't Pronounce the "S"
Indiana: 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free
Iowa: We Do Amazing Things With Corn
Kansas: First Of The Rectangle States
Kentucky: Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names
Louisiana: We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, That's Our Tourism Campaign
Maine: We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
Maryland: If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It
Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's (For Most Tax Brackets)
Michigan: First Line Of Defense From The Canadians
Minnesota: Ten Thousand Lakes ... And Ten Trillion Mosquitoes
Mississippi: Come And Feel Better About Your Own State
Missouri: Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work
Montana: Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, And Right-Wing Crazies, But At Least Our Cows Are Sane!
Nebraska: You're Not In Kansas Anymore
Nevada: Hookers and Poker!
New Hampshire: Go Away And Leave Us Alone
New Jersey: You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!
New Mexico: Gila Monsters Make Excellent Pets
New York: You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney ...
North Carolina: Tobacco Is A Vegetable
North Dakota: We Really Are One Of The 50 States!
Ohio: Don't Judge Us By Cleveland
Oklahoma: Like Texas Without The Money
Oregon: Spotted Owl ... It's What's For Dinner
Pennsylvania: Cook With Coal
Rhode Island: We're Not REALLY An Island
South Carolina: Remember The Civil War? We Didn't Actually Surrender
South Dakota: Closer Than North Dakota
Tennessee: The Educashun State
Texas: Si, Hablo Ingles (Yes, I Speak English)
Utah: Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
Vermont: Yearrgh!
Virginia: Who Says Government Stiffs And Hillbillies Don't Mix?
Washington: Help! We're Overrun By Nerds And Environmentalists!
Washington, D.C.: Wanna Be Mayor?
West Virginia: One Big Happy Family ... Really!
Wisconsin: Come Smell Our Dairy Air
Wyoming: Where Men Are Men ... and the sheep are scared !!!

Found these at http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/holybook/jokes/mottos.html


Mike Adams,WA2MWT,SK

Mike Adams,WA2MWT, Ramsey's OEM Coordinator, passed away earlier this week. Besides being a friend, mentor and all around great guy he was a member of the 10-70 Repeater Association. The 10-70 Board decided to publish a few tributes to Mike Adams in their newsletter, but I missed the deadline. So I decided to put it on this blog instead. May Mike rest in peace

My friendship with Mike Adams started the way most of my current friendships have started.......through e-mail. Mike had stumbled upon my website by doing what countless others h av e done, searched for frequencies for towns in Bergen County. Of course he already had the frequencies for his hometown but wanted to listen in to different towns in the area. He e-mailed The original exchanges back and forth gave us a chance to get to know each other better. >At the same time David Kozinn started a mailing list for Northern New Jersey police scanner enthusiasts, I was the second member, Mike joined the group shortly after. I didn't know it then but over the next fifteen years Mike and I would share some good times together
It wasn't long after Mike and I started e-mailing privately, in one of the e-mails I had mentioned my grandfather had built the Howard Johnsons in Ramsey. Mike immediately recalled a few stories where he visited the restaurant and even met my future mom a few times. We immediately began exchanging e-mails on a fairly frequent basis. Like he did with countless other people, Mike encouraged me to become involved in emergency communications. He was the first person who said I had the determination to get my license. After a few weeks of studying, I went down to a VE session and passed my Technician test.
Mike then invited my down to the Ramsey EOC to see their radio setup and meet the other members of the Ramsey OEM. He introduced me to the group and made me feel like one of the group from the first time I walked into the basement of Ramsey Borough Hall. Over the years since I have participated in a lot of events with Ramsey OEM. From Field Days to the famous January VHF Contests, Mike has always been there to lend a helping hand.
Throughout the years Mike and I had some very good conversations. I only recently found out before he became director of Ramsey OEM Mike was a guidance counselor. A job fit for him because he was so easy to talk to about anything on your mind. Even though he was easy-going, Mike as took every conversation he had to heart. He was the one everybody went to when they had a problem. No matter what was on your mind, Mike was always t here to help you figure it out.
I will miss Mike very much< I know I am a better person for have known Mike. His laughter, quick whit and desire to always help other people will never be forgotten. Justin Mattes,KC2GIK

Mike Adams Obiturary


2 One-day road trips Part I

Sometimes travelling realitively close to home is better than travelling far away. Jason DeCaesare, a fellow plate guy, photography buff, computer whiz and all-around great guy, decided to break in his new car with a road trip to Woodcliff Lake to pick me up. Our plan was focused (forgive the pun)on photography. I never actually took a trip into the city, or anywhere specifically for taking pictures compared to Jason who takes these trips on a fairly regular basis. Jason, like myself, is advid fire buff! He has literatelly thousands of images of firetrucks, from the FDNY to Ohio to everywhere in between. So one of the goals of the trip was to shoot some of the local departments. Jason picked me up early Saturday morning and we headed into Rockland County NY where qwent around to the different firehouses, all volunteer. The firefighters at the Nyack fire department where great, not only did they allow us to look around the firehouse, the pulled their trucks out so we could shoot them. We also toured their firehouse and snappened some shots! After that we made o ur way to a few other firehouses around Rockland County!! Jason and I looked at each other jand said we should head into New York City, so we made our wa y down to the West Side hiway. During the entire trip we wound up having unbelievable luck, something Jason seems to have everywhere he goes. Our tour took us past Hook & Ladder Company #8 which we all know was used for the exteriors for Ghostbusters. I always kn ew it was a real firehouse, but never knew the exact location, even though we didn't stop to shoot it, it was very cool to see. As we went through the Lincoln Tuneel, Jason of course had to play the theme sonmg to the Sapranos. We made our way home to Woodcliff Lake and a chinese food dinner!!!!

Rockland County Pictures