Friday, January 25, 2008

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

If you've read the comments here over the last couple of
days, you know that there has been some garbage spewed.
When the garbage spewer started commenting and leaving
the names of my friends so it looked like it came from
them, I decided to clean up the place. All the garbage
and anything related to the garbage is gone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interesting video

This doesn't have anything to do with the iBOT. I just
thought it was a very cool video.
Underwater Astonishments

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dork on a Segway

Uh, is this guy drunk or a complete idiot?
Putz' Segway Crash

Add to My Profile | More Videos

I so wish I knew how to dub over the two guys talking!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finally another person posting about his iBOT experiences

A friend sent me this link (thank you S!) -

3 out of 56 people voted no

I was just looking at my poll at the bottom of this page.
I see there are now 3 votes for insurance not covering the
cost of the iBOT. I'd love to hear from anyone who voted
no. Please share your thoughts. You can leave an anonymous

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More on traveling with the iBOT, + no gel in tires!

I spoke with IT about traveling with the iBOT. She said
they recommend removing the UCP and replacing it myself.
She said I should keep the UCP with me so that no one has
the opportunity to try to hook it up themselves. If it gets
plugged back in the wrong way, it's toast. She said to
remove the footrest. She said it's a good idea to bubble
wrap the armrests and seat to protect the vinyl. (She said
"leather" but I'm going to let my vegetarian self believe
that she meant to say vinyl. If anyone knows that it's
leather, don't tell me. I don't want to know.) She
said to bring along a spare set of tires and tubes. She
said it is okay to put the iBOT on it's side so that they
can get it in the airplane. She said that some airlines
tie it down, some don't. She said even if they do tie it
down, something could slam into it.

As for damage that they've seen, the biggest problem was
when someone goofed by plugging in the UCP the wrong way.
She said there has been some damage to the lights. The
power base was scratched in one case. Some flat tires.
Mostly easy stuff to fix. She said some people fly weekly
with it and haven't had any problems, and others have had
their entire vacation ruined because the BOT was unusable
due to getting damaged.

While it would be really nice to have the iBOT when I go to
Disney, I certainly don't need it there. If I took the iBOT,
I'd also have to take the charger, spare tires and tubes, and
my manual chair. What a pain in the ass. Also, the cost of a
wheelchair taxi is more expensive than renting a car. I can't
get my iBOT in a rental car, but I can get my manual in one.

So, I'm not taking the iBOT when I go. Although it's doable,
it's not worth it.

I'm bummed.

Now regarding putting gel in the tires. I posted the other
day about getting a flat. An anonymous person left me a
message asking why my tires were not filled with gel. They
also said something like, "Don't be so stupid next time idiot".
I talked to IT about this today. They said "DO NOT PUT GEL
IN THE TIRES!" If I were to do that, it would mess with the
balance and stair climbing functions. So there, person
who called me an idiot! Who's the idiot? Hmmmmm?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Change the way you see disability

A friend sent me a link to this website (thanks R!):

Check it out. It's pretty cool.

I had a bad day... bad news. So I didn't feel like calling
the airline to find out if they secure powerchairs when they
are in the cargo hold.

Also, I have a picture of the iBOT with the seat leaning
as far back as it will go. Maybe I will post it tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I may have given some wrong information. In an earlier
post I said that they airlines do not secure the chair
when it is in the plane. I just spoke to someone who
said they do tie it down. I'll have to call the airline
to find out for sure.

Also, I said that the backrest doesn't fold down much
at all. This is not true. It can fold down so that the
top of the backrest nearly touches the ground. Once I
figure out how do this, I will take a picture and post
it here.

I'm reconsidering taking the BOT to Disneyland. If I
do end up taking it, I will also take my manual chair.
That way if they do break the BOT, I'll just use my
manual until the BOT gets fixed.

More on trading legs...

Did you know that there are people who actually want to be paralyzed?

Copied and pasted from
Sean is transabled. His body image is that of an L2 paraplegic. He has been living pretty much 100% of his public life from a wheelchair for the last decade, but hasn't found peace of mind (and is unlikely to until he does become a para).

I am a wife and mother who has had BIID all my life. Since my earliest memories I have had a deep desire to be a paraplegic. For over 30 years I kept this a closely held secret until one day I just could not take it anymore. Now, I am telling all of you my story, because I know that somewhere there is another wife and mother who is confused about her strange desires and needs to know she is not alone.

Strange, huh? I'd be willing to trade legs and spinal cords
with Sean or Claire.

Or maybe I'll just steal Wallace's trousers.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Not taking the BOT on vacation

I've decided to not take the iBOT when I go to Disneyland.
Although I was really looking forward to being tall while
I was there, I decided it's not worth risking it. Airlines
damage powerchairs all the time. On top of often careless
baggage handling people, the chair does not get tied down in
any form after it has been loaded - which allows it to get
banged around should there be turbulence.

I'm disappointed. It's frustrating that people with
powerchairs should have to be concerned about something like
this. I find it odd that the airlines are not required to
at least tie them down. Sure, if they break the chair they'll
give you a loaner to use until yours gets fixed, but getting
one of those heavy, uncomfortable, clunky, over-sized chairs
like I had in 1978 is unacceptable. And although the airlines
would have to pay for the repairs, would the chair ever be
the same?

Someone who reads my blog left me a comment with a link
to this company: It looks like
it might be a good solution, but how could I transport such
a large container. And then I'd have the lug the thing to
the hotel and then back to the airport. Getting just the
iBOT to and from the airport would be a big enough hassle
in itself.

So I'm leaving the BOT home. In future trips I will possibly
risk taking it. It all depends on where I'm going and how
long I'll be gone. For example, if I'm going to Hawaii, I'll
take it because I'll want it for the beach. If I'm going to
Paris, I'll want it for the beautiful Pere LaChaise cemetery.
If I'm going to Barcelona, I'll want it to explore the city.
If I'm going to Africa, I'll want it to quickly get away
from the hungry lions. If I'm going to Asia, I'll want it
to get to the top of Mt Everest. If I'm going to Mars, I
might need it to run over and squash the little green
Martains who try to invade my body.

I actually have a solution to my problem. I was thinking I
could trade bodies with someone who had working legs. Any
volunteers? I wouldn't even turn down man legs. I'm also
willing to consider animals legs. I think zebra legs might
work well. Good height, nice markings. Oh, but then I'd
have to get zebra shoes, so nevermind.

Seriously though, I've been wondering if I'll ever get robot legs.
I'm sure some day there will either be a cure for paralysis, or
there will be some sort of amazing robot legs. I'm not sure if
it will happen in my lifetime, but it would be cool if it did.
I'm sure we're a long way off from that happening, but at least
there are people working on it:

I met a friend for lunch in downtown yesterday. We went back to
her office and while I was in Balance in the elevator I somehow
managed to get the back of my armrest caught under the handrail. It
nearly ripped the handrail off. I didn't check, but I bet it
loosened it. Anyway, the time it took to open on the 5th floor,
close, go up to the 10th floor, open and close, and then go back
down to the 5th floor is the amount of time it took me to get

One of my readers told me that he misses my photography. I haven't
been doing much photography lately considering the rain and cold,
but D in Rochester, these are for you...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A flat while in balance

I got a flat while in Balance today. It didn't tip
over or crash down into 4-Wheel Drive. It was completely
flat, but I could roll on it. Of course I rolled on it
as little as possible. And I did put it down into
standard and soon as I could, just to be safe.

I'm a little perturbed that I got another flat. This
is the second one I've gotten in the few months I've
had the BOT. Seems excessive to me, but then again,
I've never had a powerchair before so maybe this is

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 2008

Winter vacation is over. The kid is back in school. I
have time to do things again... like blogging.

I asked my daughter what the highlight of 2007 was for her.
She couldn't decide on one thing, but listed many. She asked
me what the highlight of 2007 was for me. It was, hands down,
getting the iBOT. More specifically, cruising on the sand at
the river with my daughter and my dogs.

A couple of months ago my sister suggested that she, my mom,
my daughter and I all take a little vacation together. We
decided on Disneyland/CA Adventure. I had planned on taking
the iBOT, but I'm a bit worried about the airline breaking
it. What to do, what to do.

I was in the store the other day, in balance, and a lady asked
me how I was balancing the chair like that. I told her I wasn't
doing anything, there are gyroscopes and computers doing it. She
said, "So is it specially made for the weight of your butt?" She
whispered the "your butt" part.

On Saturday I took my daughter to the pool because her friend
was having a birthday party there. A teenage kid said, "If I
ever get put in a wheelchair, I'm going to get one of those!"
I probably should have told him to start saving his pennies.

IT sent me a Christmas gift. It's a bag to hang on the iBOT.
I've been using it since just a bit before Christmas. It's
handy. I've been liking it. But the strap broke on it already.
I wasn't even swinging from it or anything.

I got my feet stuck under the dog treat shelf at the grocery
store, much like when I got stuck under the freezer door (earlier
entry). I thought the whole shelf was going to come crashing
down. I was able to tilt the seat position forward enough this
time so that I didn't crash down to 4-wheel. One of these days
I just know I'm going to inadvertently cause a scene.

And now it is time to BOT up to the school to get my child, which
means I will stop this entry full of randomness.