Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Pictures of Lucky

Here are some more pictures of Lucky. The bottom picture is Lucky with my mom's cat, Sassy. They are two partners in crime.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

San Diego Zoo

Yesterday I went to the San Diego Zoo with my nurse, Ernie. It is another one of my favorite places to visit in San Diego. This is a great time of year to visit since the tourist season has ebbed. It is hard to maneuver a wheelchair through the throngs of people. We started by going through the Monkey Trails exhibit. The exhibit shows the flora and fauna of the tropical forests of Africa and Asia. The highlight is the monkeys, of coarse. They are among my favorite animals. I enjoy watching them climb, swing, and frolic. We also wandered through the numerous aviaries to see the variety of colorful, exotic birds. Hearing the cacaphony of bird songs, and sounds is so peaceful and soothing. Another exhibit I always enjoy visiting is the orangutan enclosure. They are so amusing to see. Their antics always draw a crowd. It's as if they want an audience. I never get tired of watching them. They make me laugh. But they are also so smart. One was using a twig to get food out of a replica ant hill. That's how the do it in the wild. It is sad to know that their habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate. We may not see a future with orangutans living in the wild if this keeps up. We also saw the bonobos, sometimes called "pygmy chimpanzees." They are also fun to watch. One saw me and came right up to the plexiglas with a young one riding on it's back (See picture above) to check out this strange creature on the other side. I felt like I was the one on display. Lastly, I was able to see the Giant Pandas without the crowds. Usually I don't see them because the lines to view them are too long. They are beautiful animals which remind me of big, cuddly teddy bears. Of coarse their teeth and claws would seriously injure you. I look forward to seeing the new panda cub when he is old enough to be put on public display.
The zoo is another great place to get around in a wheelchair. They also have shuttle buses to transport disabled people around the zoo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

San Diego Wild Animal Park

Yesterday I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park with my nurse, Ernie. It is one of my favorite places to go. I like just to drive around in my chair enjoying the scenery and looking at the animals. I have a yearly membership so I can go as much as I want. It is always enjoyable for me to see animals, especially when they have room to move around. They recently added a new attraction called Journey into Africa to replace the old railway. Like the railway, the new trams drive around the vast enclosures so that the animals can be seen roaming about like in Africa. But, what makes the tram so much better is that it is fully wheelchair accessible. They have a ramp that I drove up into the car, and tie-downs for the wheelchair. It was a very smooth ride and enjoyable. I wasn't able to go on the old railway and always wished they would make it accessible. It is great that they made it possible for wheelchair users to enjoy the ride like everybody else. Another great thing they introduced is a shuttle bus to transport disabled people to and from the far reaches of the park. Overall, the park is very accessible for wheelchairs. They get high marks in my book. I look forward to my next visit.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jason Hinkle

I have a friend, Jason Hinkle, who is an aspiring documentary filmmaker. He has Friedrich's Ataxia, but this has not stopped him from pursuing his dreams or from enjoying life. He doesn't let his disability get him down. If disabled people are looking for a role model, Jason is it. He has made two short movies which can be viewed on his MySpace page at .

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Last Saturday, an unexpected bit of happiness entered my life. It was in the form of a cute kitten. I had wanted a pet and this kitten just arrived at the right time.

But, this is no ordinary story. It was serendipity. My sister and her kids drove to Oceanside to meet up with my father so they could drive together to go up to Newport Beach. My sister had to find a place to leave her car. The first place she tried to park she was told that she couldn't park there. After driving around, she finally found a spot on a street alongside the freeway. As my sister was transferring the kids and some things to my father's car she heard frantic meowing nearby. She dropped what she was doing and immediately looked around to find where the sound was coming from. She found the distressed kitten entangled in the vines on the wall dividing the freeway and the street. It appeared that someone had abandoned him. My sister untangled him and he purred as if thanking her for rescuing him. He turned out to be the sweetest little thing. My sister canvassed the local neighborhood, going door to door trying to possibly find the owners. She had no success. But, in one of the last houses she went to lived a kindly old women who had a couple of cats. She agreed to take in the kitten until the owners could be found. If not it would end up in an animal shelter.

The lady put up signs around the area, but there was no response. My sister decided to take the kitten so he wouldn't end up in an animal shelter. She couldn't really keep it, but she knew I wanted a pet. She sent her husband to pick up the kitten. It just so happens that I was visiting my sister when my brother-in-law arrived at the house with the kitten. I fell in love with the kitten right away. This was the pet I was hoping for. I agreed to take him home with me. It was an unexpected stroke of luck.

I decided to name the kitten Lucky because he was lucky to have been saved by my sister, and because it was lucky that he ended up as my pet. It is so enjoyable to watch him play. He sure is full of energy! It is also comforting to have the little guy sleeping on my bed. He is a friendly, good-natured kitten. He purrs when you look at him. He is content to be in a nice place with someone who truly wants him.