Monthly Archives: March 2012

R.I.P. Andrew ‘AKfortyseven’ Wordes

Andrew Wordes

I often get a bit more emotionally involved than I ought to with many of the subjects I tackle, but with this one that was published in the American Daily Herald this morning, I was in a seething fury as I researched and wrote it. The subject, Andrew ‘AKfortyseven’ Wordes was someone a lot closer to my own life than those I usually discuss, and his story that ended on March 26 when he apparently took his own life rather than be evicted from his home had too many parallels with mine. The City of Roswell, Georgia had for years engaged in what I can only call an ongoing criminal conspiracy to ruin Andrew and take his property, and at the end Andrew took the only remaining action he evidently felt was available to him.

The story really resonates with me for another reason…in 2008, after pretending there was nothing wrong with me for almost a year and a half, when the disability determination people at the Social Security Administration finally acknowledged my disability I was within two weeks of losing my own home, as I’ve talked about here and summarized on one of my earliest Herald articles.

What would I have done if the foreclosure and eviction had proceeded…if the government hadn’t quit its pretending that I was healthy and able to work, instead of conceding the reality of my situation: barely able to walk, even then hobbling around with a four wheeled walker, penniless from more than two years without income, even unemployment insurance income, and sick with worry and fatigue?

What would I have done if that last knock had come on my door?

I honestly can’t say.

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Nothin’ Says Spring Like Airsoft!

Yeah, no kidding, it’s a gorgeous day out there, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to grab some juice, print up a few targets, and make a lot of holes in ’em!

In the good old days, I’d drive out to the Cheatham County firing range, set myself up with a soft drink and a milk carton full of .22 Long Rifle cartridges to go with my Ruger Mark II pistol, and spend a few happy hours plinking at targets, empty soda cans and the like. Simple pleasures for simple minds, I know…

I got into airsoft shooting some years ago when I was still using a walker. I couldn’t drive out and brave the uneven ground at the range, so that was out. I tried a CO2 revolver, but it just wasn’t the same experience, and the gas cartridges and pellets weren’t that cheap. Then I discovered airsoft.

It’s a fun sport, some careful shopping got me a couple of inexpensive but well made guns and I was off to a good start. Now, you can pick up a simple spring powered gun for under $20, but those are seriously cheesy and I wanted to do it right, so I chose all metal gas blowback pieces that I liked. They have very close to the same heft and feel as ‘real steel’ firearms and work with the same type of Browning locked breech mechanisms wherein when you pull the trigger a measured burst of gas is released, propelling a 6mm plastic pellet on its way and also operating the slide, unlocking and tilting the barrel as it moves rearward, then forward to chamber a fresh round. The slide even locks open after the last pellet is expended just as a real firearm does!

Some folks don’t do their research and use what’s referred to as ‘green gas’ as a propellent that comes in a dispenser about the size of a can of hairspray and retails for about $15 apiece. No way, that’s much too pricy for my taste. It turns out the stuff is just plain old propane with some silicone oil and scent added. Avoiding this money sink is simple: a one time purchase of a metal adapter with a reservoir for that silicone oil is about $22, then you can use the bigger one pound cans of propane available from any store with a sporting goods section instead…instead of spending $15 for a small amount of gas, you can then get about five times more propellant for only $3-$4…and one can will last for weeks. Likewise, if you buy bags of the 6mm plastic pellets in higher quantities, careful shopping can set you up with thousands that end up costing only a penny or two each.

There’s a lot of fun to be had with this sport, from simple plinking like I’m doing to going all out and joining a club or organization that skirmishes out in the country with machine guns and sniper rifles. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to murdering some innocent pieces of paper with my WE Tech .45 target gun!

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The American Daily Herald Launches a New Promotion!

Lately I’ve been talking with Dennis and Denise Behreandt a fair bit about this freedom quest of mine. They’re the publishers and editors of the American Daily Herald, a class act and a journal in which I’ve been proud to publish my essays and who in fact were among the very first along with Becky Akers to see some potential in my writing when they offered me the opportunity to join their other terrific columnists at the end of last summer.

They’d mentioned they were enthusiastic about helping me promote this blog and my efforts to get my liberty back, so I thought I’d be seeing something shortly, but today when I dropped by and saw what they’d done it simply knocked my socks off! Not only are they visibly supporting my project, they’ve put their money where their mouths are, offering discounted advertising space to donors. That’s so far above and beyond what I imagined, I’m speechless…which, seeing my normal wordy tendencies, shows how impressed I am with this magnificent gesture.

Have a look at the new promo for Get Glenn Mobile! at the site:

American Daily Herald

Dennis and Denise: You two are the best. I’m mighty proud to work with you and the Herald, one of the finest online resources around, and one that’s clearly going places! I look forward to many good times to come, especially once I can get freed from my confinement to better advance the cause of liberty out in the community!

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Happy Anniversary?

Wow, it slipped my mind, but just over 6 years ago on March 16 2006, I was diagnosed with MS.

I guess I can’t be all that surprised, I was already well on my way in my headlong plunge down the rabbit hole at that time.

Tell ya what…the sooner I can get mobile again, the sooner I can escape that particular dark place. Still working on some promotional help, it’s slow going but I know it’ll pay off in the end once my liberty is restored!

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Some Motorgliding To Inaugurate Spring

I enjoy writing essays on current events and critiques on U.S. policy as much as anyone, but if I keep my face in that stuff too much along with the unpleasant effects of being so limited in my range, my mind threatens revolt by going absolutely bonkers.

Thank goodness the spring weather’s arrived. The past couple of winters have been a bit more difficult to deal with; being not only dependent on my wheelchair for movement but cooped up in the house for months at a time tries the sanity…I confess there might have been some baying at the moon forthcoming if the weather hadn’t changed.

It’s still a touch chilly around dawn, but certainly not cold enough to stop me from resuming my dawn patrol expeditions to do some flying with one of my micro aircraft on my lap at the parking lot I use about a mile away. Today after months of casting wistful glances at the Nine Eagles box in the corner of the living room, I took the little Sky 500 motorglider my friend Karen made possible for me as a Christmas present along, fired it up, and gave it a toss into the light morning breeze.

What a fun little aircraft! Sailplane flying would probably bore the adrenaline junkies out there, but it suited me fine today. I had a handful of the little cells that power the Sky…they set me back a whopping five bucks plus another eight added for a wall charger for them when I ordered my present…and that gave me over an hour and a half of flying today. Some people disdainfully scoff at the hobby, but these aircraft are far from toys. R/C flying involves my old professional skills to do it well, it’s therapeutic by making me use my weak hand, and I’ve found few activities that can match it for taking one’s mind off real world problems.

The tiny Sky 500 performed better than expected, climbing well under power and showing a surprisingly flat glide with power off at altitude. It was nicely responsive, dealing well with the gusts and chop that had picked up toward the end of my session. It’s hard to be certain, but I swear I found some patches of lift where the plane gained height even with the motor off…the goal of motorless soaring for models and their full size counterparts.

Today’s outing has whetted my appetite for more soaring. Since I no longer have a car payment to make, I do believe I’ll allot the $70 or so for this plane’s bigger brother, the Sky Surfer, as my next addition. While I’m at it, it might be fun to obtain one of the inexpensive keychain video cameras that are popular these days to get some aerial video.Between the planes I enjoyed last year and these new ones, I’ll have a great diversion from fundraising, blogging and column writing for months to come!

While I fervently hope that I’ll be able to drive long before next winter, I’m grateful to this hobby…it’s a true sanity saver!

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Is Obama Never Satisfied?

If renewing the PATRIOT Act, contributing to and passing the disturbing and vile NDAA, and signing the First Amendment-killing H.R.347 were not sufficient, on Friday without fanfare Obama issued a new executive order, which as far as I can gather, declares that he and the government now control absolutely everything, no matter if it’s peacetime or during a ‘national emergency,’ whatever that is…I thought America had been in a permanent state of emergency for lots of years anyway…and now seems to have granted himself or one of his minions the power to impress Americans into labor or military service during a crisis. Of course, the wording for what constitutes this condition is flexible enough to cover just about anything from Lindsay Graham developing a hangnail on up, so I bet it won’t be long before the edicts begin issuing from Mordor-On-The-Potomac to try out this fun new legislative toy at the expense of us Mundanes.

Since I already wrote about this on the Don’t-Tread-On-Me site, I’ll just link to it. Say…I seem to recall writing recently here about ‘interesting times’ I saw forthcoming. Sheesh!

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Another Iron In the Fire

This is getting interesting…and fun!

I was recently invited as a contributor to Chris Duane’s site Don’t Tread On Me, yet another venue in the liberty movement for discussion and sharing opinions. I’m indebted to Chris, the creator of the wonderful 50-part video series The Greatest Truth Never Told that discusses the mess America is in really well…it’s one of the most painless ways I’ve seen for those who haven’t yet woken up to take the Red Pill.

After a couple of days spent lurking to get a feel for the site, I made my first post today. Thanks to Chris for providing one more solid point to get the word about liberty out, as well as increase awareness of this blog!

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Another Step Closer

As I mentioned in my last post, I arranged for Freedom Motors, the outfit that performs the X-WAV conversion on vehicles including the Honda Element I own, to send a sales rep in a converted Element to my home so I could look it over and interact with it, necessary to be absolutely sure it’s the right vehicle for me with my Quantum 614 power wheelchair.

Yesterday afternoon, right on schedule, a bright green Element festooned with Freedom Motors advertising pulled into my driveway. Andrew, the pleasant representative from FMI driving her, removed the right front seat and readied the little SUV for me to try.

I was delighted to find I could drive my power chair aboard, rotate it and be ready to go on my first try. I’d had a slight concern that my 614 with its long wheelbase might have difficulty negotiating the Element’s cabin, but my worries proved groundless, and the automated ramp and doors closed with no trouble at all.

I haven’t driven it yet, but the few questions I had have been answered. Rather than using the wheelchair in the left front drivers’ position, I’ll park it on the right side, raise the chair’s left hand armrest, and slide the few inches into the driver’s seat. Owing to my limbs’ weakness, this will take some practice, but as you’ll see in the video of the demonstration I’ve posted, there are no obstructions to hinder me and the action is similar to the sideways movements I use daily to position myself and transfer from my bed to and from my wheelchair. The only additional equipment I might need is a smooth transfer board to slide on if any difficulties arise, but I doubt even that will be needed.

It is possible to use the wheelchair to drive from, but it turns out that’s an additional $2500 modification for the device that secures the chair to be fitted and installed, and would require my going to Michigan for the fitting, since every chair requires individual attention to assure it’s exactly right for the user. No, thanks…I’ll slide over!

The one additional expense I hadn’t counted on is the relocation of the manual emergency brake, which is currently on the floor and very much in the way when I’d be transferring. Apart from relocating it, the brake will be actuated by a solenoid operated by a pushbutton, so I won’t have to worry whether I’ll have the hand strength to operate it. The $650 expense is a minor issue; if once the fundraising goal is met I come up short by that amount I can easily finance it if need be.

I’m excited, the X-WAV is everything I thought it would be, and the electric automated ramp and doors mean I won’t have any trouble trying to operate them with a dominant left hand and arm that have lost most of their function.

Well…all systems are go. I can proceed full speed ahead with fundraising for my cause with no lingering worries that this is just the right vehicle to regain my mobility.

I’m dreaming of the day when I can safely drive again without the hazard of falling that I still face every time I have to go out to get to a doctor’s appointment, and that keeps me from driving at all for any other purpose than that. Being able to take my wheelchair with me will restore so much of my life that was taken away when MS disabled me to this point, from being able to move about a park, shop at a store or dine out at a restaurant. I’ll be able to get out in public to cover events for the essays I write for the American Daily Herald, interview members of the public along with politicians and officials, and best of all, help Dr. Ron Paul’s campaign for the 2012 presidential election…IF I can get some assistance to publicize this project and get the word out to all those people I know are out there ready and willing to contribute the small amounts that in large enough numbers will Get Glenn Mobile!

Please help speed that day’s arrival by donating what you can and telling the people in your life…friends, family, coworkers…about this project. We’ve come a long way since this blog began in August, and there’s still a way to go, but with your assistance I’m confident that it will come sooner rather than later.

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Call Me Crazy

And many likely will, but I decided to quit acting like a sniveling coward and proceed as if I really am nearing the event horizon that I hope is out there and that I could rapidly be closing on with this fundraising blog.

I contacted Freedom Motors and arranged for one of their representatives to stop by tomorrow with one of their demonstrators, a Honda Element that’s had the X-WAV conversion I need for my own Element. This will be doubly helpful, first because I can make myself 100% sure I’ll be able to use it with my Quantum wheelchair rather than 99% sure as I am now, and second, so I can get some photos or perhaps some video of me in the chair interacting with the vehicle.

Despite my writing, both here and for the American Daily Herald, and despite my Krip Kam videos, I get the sense somehow that some people out there, particularly those who I’ve requested some assistance from in publicizing my cause, aren’t convinced that I’m in the shape I am, or that I really am trying to get my own Honda converted. Some pics or video demonstrating that I am as real a deal as I’ve maintained might do that.

There are interesting things happening. None of the people I’ve contacted since Dr. Woods’ publicity boost in January have agreed to help…or indeed even acknowledged my contact letters…until yesterday, when Chris Duane, author of the marvelous 50-video series The Greatest Truth Never Told, did reply to me, not with an endorsement video, but a letter offering me author status on his expansive Dont-Tread-On-Me blog, the better to get the word out about this project, while contributing work of my own that might be helpful to others. That’s a very generous gesture, kind of like handing me the keys to his castle!

I’m also awaiting word on another publicity help request I’ve made, one that if granted could help raise the remaining funds needed to modify my own vehicle in short order.

There’s always a downside, naturally. Seeing and touching, maybe even driving the very machine that I need to get my life back will make it pretty rough when the Freedom Motors rep has to take it away, particularly if my latest request for assistance is refused.

Such is life, and those are the chances I have to take if I’m serious about actually living again, rather than just existing…which is pretty much what I’m doing now and have been for the past several years.

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Success Is One Step Closer!

I’m delighted to report that the Editor in Chief of the American Daily Herald, Dennis Behreandt, has offered to not only endorse but actively promote this blog and my cause. This begins with a link to Get Glenn Mobile! in the ‘Friends and Partners’ section of the Herald’s home page, which now appears with an entirely new look after a major site upgrade over this past weekend. Dennis tells me that he has more planned as well, and it’s beyond gratifying to see such enthusiasm!

This is a significant step forward for the blog and its goal. The Herald’s endorsement marks the entry of another impressive ally in the cause, along with Dr. Thomas Woods’ own endorsement of January 11 that evoked such an encouraging response on that day, both in the number of new viewers and donations accepted. I’ve been trying to convince others either directly or peripherally involved in the liberty movement to add their endorsement, and it’s been an uphill battle. Not only is my reputation as a legitimate essayist only beginning to emerge, but since I’m engaged in fundraising here I’ve met with a great deal of skepticism from many I’ve contacted…frankly, most treat my letters contacting them as they would spam from any other unknown origin, probably suspecting that I’m attempting to defraud the public in the name of a frivolous or illegitimate cause. Most have not even deigned to return my letters with a note of refusal, in fact.

This is neither wholly unexpected nor unwarranted, after all, everyone is all too aware that fakers, frauds and ne’er-do-wells infest the internet just as they do the 3-D world. I cannot place any blame on people for being unwilling to promote any cause in which they don’t have full confidence; they have a responsibility to avoid directing their fans, followers and admirers toward anything even slightly questionable. This is actually a welcome attitude, and will certainly be an advantage at some point…those of you who know me are aware that I’ve described my situation with complete accuracy, my need is as pressing and critical as has been detailed, and that I value honesty, integrity and consistency above all else as necessary attributes.

Once a potential ally recognizes these as solid truth, I’m confident that their support will be as strong as is their resolve to look out for their followers’ interests, and that kind of support is priceless…and well worth the efforts to win them over.

I have and will continue to compose my requests for aid in publicizing the blog as politely and in as nonthreatening a manner as possible, of course, and with the backing of those whose faith in me that I’ve earned like Dr. Woods and now the American Daily Herald I’m sure that before long I will see success in securing more vitally needed publicity to raise awareness about my cause and ensure its success.

I’ll tell you what, when the tipping point is reached, the results will be nothing short of spectacular…I can’t wait to see that day!

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