Monday, September 22, 2008

Outdoor School

Portland public schools have been running
an outdoor school program since 1966. It's
tons of fun, or so I've heard. Mention it
to a person who attended Portland public schools
in 6th grade, and they all say, "Oh! Outdoor
School is so much fun!" The kids spend 5
nights in the woods. Every 6th grader goes.
My daughter goes next month.

Yesterday there was an orientation at the camp-
site. It was basically for the parents to see
where their kids would be for 5 nights. I was
extra thankful for my iBOT because I could
not have toured the place without it. The
paths were gravel and sloped, but the iBOT
handled it with no problems. The dining hall
had a step. Again, no problem for the BOT.

I would not have gotten a look inside the
cabins without the BOT because of the

Check out the view. (Also would have been
inaccessible without the iBOT.)

On clear days, you can see the beautiful Mt.

Lucky kids! I didn't grow up in Oregon, so
I never went to Outdoor School. I grew up
in rural WI, and we never did anything like

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Biden tells para to stand up

This is hilarious.

I bet Biden feels like an idiot. He shouldn't
though. That kind of thing happens often. I
thought he handled it pretty well.

McCain stole my bot.

What a jerk.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Comment from a reader

The following is a comment left by an iBOT user.
I wanted to put it "out here" because I think
it's valuable information.

I use an iBot in the mountains of Colorado at 10,000 ft where there's no pavement or sidewalks. On the plus side, the 4wd function is outstanding for accessing places off road, off path and when there's snow, mud, sand, obstacles, etc. The standing function is great for taking walks with friends, reaching high and for viewing over objects (I've used it to get an unobstructed camera angle at times), but don't use it in a public place if you want to be left alone - it's a real attention getter. Most stairs are climbable if there are handrails and your PT has certified you to use them, or if you have a trained assistant along. Very fast in standard mode - 7.8 mph.

My gripes: No suspension - traveling over rough ground can be jarring. Pneumatic tires - no option, I'm just waiting to catch that nail or large thorn when I'm far from home. Joy stick too sensitive - very hard to move slowly and smoothly, especially on rough ground. Tight spaces are a no-no in balance or 4wd - the computers and gyros will try to compensate for external forces - not good. Stairs are scary - never had a problem, but I avoid them when I can. You need to practice often to keep confident. It is not invincible, I have been stuck in 6 inches of snow. It has got to have grip - in all functions. Last, I wish the footrests could be adjusted closer to 90 degrees. They can't because of the large front casters.

In my opinion, the gripes are minor inconveniences compared to the benefits. The iBot will go places and do things that absolutely no other chair can. That being said, I'll still use my power assisted manual chair most often. It's more comfortable, smaller and keeps me more active. Hope this helps.



Thank you Brent! I agree with every thing you said.

First day of school

My daughter started her first day of Middle
School today. I was waiting out front with
her and her friends for the bell to ring when
a few buses pulled up and kids and more kids
piled off the buses, completely surrounding me.
In my manual chair, I would have gotten a bit
panicky.... everyone towering over me....
backpacks in my face. Thank goodness I was
in Balance Function.

One important thing to remember, turn the speed
to 0 in situations like this. My joystick was
bumped numerous times by backpacks and other
typical Middle School age kid actions. Like
OMG, someone could have bumped my joystick and
I could have totally ran over that guy who looks
just like Joe Jonas!