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Honing the Edge

Y’know, I quit hanging out in chat rooms and message boards for folks with multiple sclerosis quite a while ago. Don’t get me wrong, they can certainly be an asset for the newly diagnosed looking for helpful information and answers for some of the questions they may have about their affliction. I found them helpful myself in the early stages of my attempt to acclimate myself to the new and limited life I faced.

After a while, though, these places started getting me down. Why? Well, I found that more and more I encountered an atmosphere of resignation common to too many of the people I saw there…having lost many of the abilities they’d been accustomed to in their healthy days, they allowed themselves to be diminished to an (for me, anyway) unacceptable level of inactivity, incuriosity and overall lethargy…a level of simple existence rather than living that I felt was an unhealthy environment for me. To virtually live in a chat room, doing nothing but mouthing the same platitudes about ‘fighting the good fight’ and other hackneyed phrases would be anathema to me. After a while the talk came to seem as meaningless as the chatter of magpies on a telephone wire, and the aforementioned platitudes, complaints and endless blather about inconsequential matters just got on my last nerve.

People that know me are aware that I’m one of those who means to live despite the limitations put on me by this disability. I keep up with the things I’ve enjoyed and am still able to do . I have my small radio controlled flying models, airsoft shooting and of course writing to keep my mind busy, though only the latter is available year round owing to the cold weather of winter.

When I finally escape this confinement, I intend to be as sharp as I can be. I’ll be driving again, flying larger and more complex model aircraft, handling and shooting real firearms and more, and I have no intention of letting my reflexes and situational awareness deteriorate. I can accept the things I can no longer do, but I’ll be damned if I allow those I still can do to be diminished or lost.

The very best therapies to exercise those skills are found in gaming and simulations. Using them regularly keeps me up to speed, no doubt in my mind. Laugh if you want, but I started gaming at the same time I got my first PC in 1997 and considered it helpful even then for staying in good mental shape.

It was a pretty serious setback for me a few years ago when my dominant left hand lost almost all function. With that I lost a big piece of who I am…I’ve been into first person shooter combat sims all along but was suddenly unable to fight in them. I was never some über gamer as you’ll find in CAL, the Cyber Athletic League, but I was pretty far from casual and even headed an online combat clan. When I realized I could no longer use a mouse and keyboard together, a necessity for FPS games, I thought it had departed my life for good.

Enter the Android. I’ve talked about how useful my tablet is in terms of creativity and productivity, but it also excels at games and sims with its quad core Tegra CPU and advanced video hardware. Simple point-and-click adventure games don’t begin to challenge it, but it absolutely shines when running a flight sim like X-Plane 9. In game purchases of additional aircraft are only a dollar, so I can keep my piloting skills current for next to nothing. Recently I added a Cirrus sailplane, and can now practice aerotowing (it came complete with a towplane) and soaring with the sim’s great flight model. Incidentally, one of the nicer features of Android games in general is their very low cost, with many good ones offered free of charge, so a careful shopper can wind up with quite an impressive library of games and other apps for very little cost.


For an activity requiring split-second timing and reflexes, it’s hard to beat automotive racing apps like Mini Motor Racing, a bit cartoony with its caricatured automobiles but a serious sim nontheless, or the near-photorealistic Need For Speed: Most Wanted.


Screenshot_2013-02-25-15-56-09 Screenshot_2013-02-25-15-57-25

But the creme de la creme for me is being able to play my beloved FPS games again. True, I’m having to learn a whole new skill set to move, shoot and look around using an intricate dance of the fingers of my good right hand, but it is so worth it to have my favorite type of gaming back in my life! I may never excel at the shooters, but I’ve dusted off my old gaming name, ‘Gunloon,’ and one of these days you might just see me online again. For now I’m content to duke it out with the zombies in Dead Trigger…but you never know!

Screenshot_2013-02-18-04-09-51 Screenshot_2013-02-25-13-41-52

I don’t know exactly when I’ll be free of confinement, but you can bet I’ll be ready for that day when it arrives. I hope you good folks out there will help it come sooner rather than later, so as always, if you can spare even a small amount, donations to Get Glenn Mobile! are always very much appreciated!

Bitcoin Donation Address: 1N9FWbFhTQrmTTQwMYYMBoc4ymdXBKSg5L

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Wonder of Wonders

Lately I’ve found that I’m writing more…and more frequently…primarily Facebook discussions and blog posts here, but my resolve’s been firming and I’m finally composing a new essay for the opinion column maintained at the American Daily Herald as well, one long overdue by any standard.

That’s a very good bit of news; I’ve succumbed too frequently to the lethargy and lack of ambition I feared woud arise from my prolonged confinement here. When the days are as grim, gray and cold as they have been recently compounding the problem, my output’s been woefully low. It’s really gratifying to want to write, and to have fun doing so, when that good feeling’s felt as if it were ebbing away from me as the months passed.

Perhaps I’m finally reaching an equilibrium in my life that balances my regular personality and habits against the limitations brought on by multiple sclerosis and the subtle but very real effects of the prolonged confinement I mentioned. I hope so, even though much is still missing from my life owing to my inability to get out and about, I mean to live my life with as much satisfaction as I can attain. Complementing that is my yearning to be as productive as I’m capable of being; I’ve remarked many a time that one of the most frustrating and annoying aspects of my affliction is how drastically it’s reduced my reserves of resources that let me be productive. I firmly believe being able to make useful contributions to the world in one’s own unique way is one of the very best paths to happiness for anyone, and it’s especially critical after radical life altering experiences, including the onset of disability as in my case. Besides, I’ve recognized all along that disability is almost devilishly clever in sowing unhappiness and despair in peoples’ lives and my native mile-wide stubborn streak balks loudly in rebellion to that sort of negativity.

Look for a new piece soon in the Herald, with another in my to-do list to follow it. My publishers at the journal, Dennis and Denise Behreandt, have seemed to enjoy my book reviews there, but this time I believe I’ll tackle a music review for a change. When liberty activist and friend Dan Hagen suggested I review his recently released album The Journey I resisted at first, reminding Dan that apart from having  just about zero musical talent myself, that subject is not one in my area of expertise and I don’t have the knowledge base to discuss musical details competently, he replied that my lack of expertise could actually be an asset here. Since everything I have to say in a review will be by default in layman’s terms, I might be able to communicate my thoughts to a wider range of readers. We shall see soon enough!

Also, my thanks to good friend Jason L. whose thoughtful response to my last post about my reawakened interest in food and my getting some needed implements to accommodate my disability was to send me a duplicate of the cool Vic Firth pushbutton grinding mill I talked about along with a pound of coarse pink Hawaiian sea salt to stoke it with. This is some seriously tasty stuff, and I really appreciate your generous act!

Since spring’s still a ways off, I won’t wait for it to celebrate life as well and usefully as I can to defeat those winter blahs. I’m grateful for the thoughts and support from my friends and hope to meet even more new ones with time, hopefully including readers of and contributors to this blog. This is the beginning of my fourth year of housebound confinement, and I ask that you take a moment to donate whatever amount you can comfortably spare to my fund to help make it the last!

Bitcoin Donation Address: 1N9FWbFhTQrmTTQwMYYMBoc4ymdXBKSg5L

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The Meat of the Matter

While mobility is my primary goal at this point, I’m always happy to find ways to recover other things in my life taken from me by MS. I’ve mentioned how liberating the acquisition of my Asus tablet PC’s been (I haven’t even begun talking about the restoration of my ability to play FPS combat games again using the Android paradigm!), but occasionally I’ll find something that will add another piece to the puzzle.

This week saw one of those somethings. Among other cognitive issues the flavor of multiple sclerosis I have brings, a particularly annoying one was the loss of almost all hunger signals telling me I’m hungry for the past several years. Yep, that means never having an appetite, a sore blow to my normally sensualist/hedonist appreciation of life; I’ve had to recognize I needed to eat by the logy, vague thinking and gloomy attitude that accompanies it.

Well, for whatever reason I’ve been hungry again for the past few weeks, actually enjoying eating foods I like and experiencing those missing hunger signals again. When my mom got a wild hair recently and ordered some steaks from Omaha Steaks, I decided I’d like one…it’s been years since I’ve indulged. Part of the reason for this is the lack of hunger signals I’ve mentioned but there was another reason, a dealbreaker until it was addressed: I’m left handed and my left hand’s lost about 90% of its function. Cutting up a piece of food is an exercise in futility. Try it sometime and you’ll see…there’s no reliable way to do this using one hand (especially with your non dominant, or weak hand!)…it was obvious I’d need a new adaptive aid to be able to do it.

A quick search introduced me to rocker knives, and it was soon clear that one of the better ones is available from good old Amazon inexpensively: the Alaskan Ulu Knife. It’s made in Alaska, looks attractive with its laminated wood handle and base and appeared likely to fill my need, so I jumped on it at just twelve bucks.


This thing’s a marvel of low tech! I found I could almost effortlessly cut a piece of steak with precision. The mass of the blade pins the meat down and won’t allow it to move, while the curved blade doeas the cutting as you rock it forward or back.

While shopping, I looked at pepper mills I could use one handed. While Peugeot makes a lovely electric mill, the cost at above $90 wasn’t suitable. I soon found that for table use, I could do a lot worse than the Vic Firth stainless steel mill:

I’m pretty sure it’s American made, and solves the problem. I must have caught a sale, it only cost me $11.75, but as you see that’s more than doubled since I ordered it. If the price comes down again I’ll probably grab another for grinding sea salt, I like it so well. If you have a relative or friend who’s been limited by age, affliction or injury,
I highly recommend both of these items to make a real difference in their ability to enjoy life.

Now, I’ve read any number of accounts of disabled people like myself who simply resigned themselves to eating food they could manage with conventional utensils. I can’t understand why that should happen in this day and age when a few minutes’ researching will solve their problem as it did for me. Yet again we see how the market is always there to fill a niche created by consumers’ need or desire…a postulate the Keynesians never have understood and probably never will!

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Lucky Number


A happy New Year, all!

2012’s come and gone, and we’ve seen some pretty impressive progress over the year made with this fundraiser…over $9000 raised is not a bit shabby!

A year ago I was still trying to establish this blog and project in its legitimacy, credibility and visibility. It’s certainly come a long way since then, and I’ve been delighted by peoples’ response, both those who contributed so generously to the fundraiser as well as my friends who went to the trouble of making all the great endorsement videos to help raise awareness of my cause with the public.

Besides this, I’ve been writing my opinion column  for the American Daily Herald, though lately my output’s been dismally low with so many factors working to siphon my limited energy off. Besides the physical limitations my MS has bestowed on me, the exceedingly low energy resulting from my central nervous system running so inefficiently is one of the most infuriating aspects of the disorder.

I’m still doing online broadcasts with my partner Donald Rutledge in our Freedom Finders show, though we’ve had to move to another network owing to the Truth Finders Network owner allowing the site to decline. We can now be found at WeROAR, an excellent site operated by the very competent April Reigne. Thanks for the opportunity, April (hopefully we’ll get the broadcasting software issues resolved quickly), we’re really pleased to join the WeROAR family!

Assuming we solve those annoying software glitches, you can catch the show live at WeROAR on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 9 PM Central time to 11PM Central.

As I’ve detailed before, these days I’m learning to work in the Android system since my mom thoughtfully provided me with an Asus TF700 Transformer Infinity tablet PC as an early Christmas present. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that by the holiday’s arrival the tablet was living up to its Transformer name with the addition of an Asus  docking keyboard. It’s a great complement to the Infinity, turning it into something like a tiny netbook.

This unit surprised me since I’ve found that while the Android OS is still developing and can be a bit clunky sometimes, it really can do most of the things a desktop PC can do. I’m composing this entry using it, and can do so from anywhere in my home or even outside in the driveway using the WiFi connection from my wireless router. That’s mighty liberating, believe me, and I’m excited to know that once my mobility’s been restored, I’ll be able to publish on the road using any open WiFi connection!

With the dismal winter weather and the holidays behind us, this is the deadest part of the year. I’ll be ready for spring, though, and I’ll be doing everything I can to increase this blog’s visibility so we can make 2013 a lucky number indeed, the year that sees the completion of the goal to Get Glenn Mobile!

Bitcoin Donation Address: 1N9FWbFhTQrmTTQwMYYMBoc4ymdXBKSg5L

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A Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Time sho’ do fly, don’t she?

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, my second Christmas entry here. While the project’s going well so far, I definitely do not want to make it a regular event.

I’m a lot further along then I was a year ago, since its inception Get Glenn Mobile! has collected nearly $10,000 in donations, between a third and a half of the funds needed to reach the goal. So, while I’m delighted at peoples’ generosity so far, like one of those obnoxious PBS fundraiser/nag programs, I need to remind the good folks out there that we still have a ways to go before I’m sprung from prison.

I’m thankful my home’s in decent shape and in no danger from the bank scams that have cost so many so much. I’m grateful my mom’s not trying to survive in Mordor-on-the-Potomac (AKA Washington, DC), and I’m profoundly thankful for the wheelchair-accessible taxi service that I can use rather than trying to board my Honda when I do have to go out…I spent too much time dreading the next outing and having to face the increasingly likely possibility of a nasty fall or worse.

Even so, I’m still pretty much a homebound prisoner and I really would love to escape that. My little sojourn to the Music City Liberty Fest in November was a wonderful time, but it also served to give me a good solid boot to the rear to keep my motivation high to get the word out about this project and finish it for good and all.

To those of you who’ve already contributed, you have my gratitude and the only thing more I’d ask is that you tell a friend or two about me who you think might be interested in moving the cause along. For those who have yet to  donate, I hope you’ll consider dropping even a small amount into my fund and perhaps help spread the word to that friend or two.

My best wishes to all of you out there for a healthy, happy Christmas (or holiday of your choice that pleases you) and a prosperous and freer New Year. There’s much to discuss about what’s going on in our world and you can bet I’ll be doing just that as I continue with my opinion column at the American Daily Herald. The marvelous folks there have warmly welcomed this noob writer’s contributions for nearly a year and a half and it’s a real honor to work with them!

I’m doing more broadcasting via podcast these days, but I gotta tell you I’m about burnt out trying to make the Truth Finders Network since its founder abandoned it this summer. Happily, we have a friend and ally in our great colleague April Reigne and her liberty-centric We ROAR! site who’s amenable to continuing the Freedom Finders show I co-host with the worthy Donald Rutledge, so look for us there on Wednesday and Thursday nights beginning at 9PM Central time. Sgt. Rutledge has an uncanny knack for getting some awesome guests and we always have a fine time…drop by and visit if you like!

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone out there, and please remember: every dollar donated to Get Glenn Mobile! brings me that much closer to regaining my own liberty, and with your help we can get it finished this year!

Bitcoin Donation Address: 1N9FWbFhTQrmTTQwMYYMBoc4ymdXBKSg5L

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Wow, I can hardly believe it’s been a month since the Music City Liberty Fest, and I’ve barely written a thing. Apologies to those who’ve been following my exploits…I haven’t been slacking, and I sure don’t have writers’ block. It’s a combination of unusually low energy on my part, an extended pain cycle, and my need to take a deep breath and do some thinking.

Right now I’m doing a writeup and photo gallery of the MCLF, uploading some new YouTube videos and in general gearing up to get behind a new push for public awareness of my situation in hopes of getting the fundraiser really rolling again. I have to admit I’ve been a bit discouraged by the limited progress this last Indiegogo made, but that’s just bumps in the road that I anticipated from the first…I mean, come on, I’m trying to raise a significant chunk of money on a strictly voluntary basis, of course it’s going to take time and it won’t be easy.

So, yeah, I’m still very much here and anxious to get into more regular productive activity. Besides my project, there are a lot of significant developments in our world, and I sure feel the need to be involved with more regular discussions of them. These are seriously nutty times we’re living in and there’s much to talk about. Now is not the time to slow down!

Bitcoin Donation Address: 1N9FWbFhTQrmTTQwMYYMBoc4ymdXBKSg5L

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Music City Liberty Fest!

I was one happy camper lastSaturday.

I spent the best ten hours or so I’ve experienced in ages, and I can’t say I’m surprised. As I wrote earlier I’ve been watching this project from its inception, through its planning and finally as it came into being,  and there are few things I have such an affinity for as a gathering of hundreds of people who are lovers of liberty, from those with a straightforward interest to the entrepreneurs, academics and artists whose lives revolve around the pursuit of freedom.

I started this entry a couple of days ago but only now find myself with enough energy to finish it.  Yep,  that’s the consequence of being deluged with the mountain of new data to process I encountered along with the physical exertion required to get through the event… but I don’t regret a moment of it!

Now,  I’ve only begun but you can expect to hear a bunch more about this as I find the resources.  I took many photos and videos on Saturday and discovered the weak point in my plan; the camera in my new tablet doesn’t much like low-light situations like  shooting a stage in  a darkened auditorium and many shots just weren’t up to par. Doesn’t really matter since lots of people with suitable equipment were shooting along with me at every turn and anything I might need to reference has probably been covered by someone else.

For now, here’s just a taste of the amazing talent presented for our delectation at the Music City Liberty Fest…there will be lots more to come and much to talk about!

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Help…Abducted By Somalian Pirates!

I haven’t done much constructive lately since I’ve been kind of busy the past several days. Truth to tell, I’ve been learning to use my early Christmas present my mom insisted I have as a tool for helping both my writing and promoting my cause at the upcoming Music City Liberty Fest, a spiffy Asus Infinity tablet.

It should come in awfully handy to play all the endorsement videos on YouTube my friends have made for me, along with taking good quality photos and video. I can do all the stuff I’ll need to reflexively now, without fumbling around. Never can tell when a great photo or video opportunity will come up, right?

Apart from that, I’ve been thinking about the reactions I’ve seen from some readers. I suspect that much of the time they just can’t get why I need this vehicle modification to get my life moving again. Often they’ll advise me to get some inexpensive beatermobile I can’t use since getting into the drivers’ seat from the rear would be impossible with my utterly unreliable balance. Others offer the good advice of dietary change…which isn’t going to happen until I get out myself; the nice woman who does my light housekeeping and marketing is only familiar with big name stores and wouldn’t have the time for an extra shopping trip every week.

No foul here, it’s difficult for healthy people to even imagine, much less understand how screwed up my body is thanks to MS. But how to convey the message in a simple and effective analogy?

After some thought, the obvious hit me: if folks can’t grasp the nuances of disability, an alternative model is to think of me as being abducted and held for ransom. By Somalian pirates. There’s no reasoning or arguing with them and the only way to secure my escape from the 3.5+ years of confinement is to raise that ransom and pay off these scoundrels.

Somalian pirates are desperate characters, justly notorious for their rapacious ways, and I’m afraid there’s just no other way to get out of their clutches than to pay them off.

So if the whole disability thing is too alien a concept for comfort, just think of it as a situation where I’m being held captive until the Somalian pirates get their due. We’re close to the halfway mark, won’t you good people get me out of this bind? Would you want to be at the mercy of a rogue like this?


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The Music City Liberty Fest: Don’t Miss This One!

liberty fest

My friend Dan Hagen had some thoughts earlier this summer while we discussed the headway the liberty movement was making and how infectious the desire for freedom clearly was for so many Americans, as evidenced how thoroughly and speedily an event like Paul Fest had overshadowed the RNC in Tampa. It isn’t much of a leap from that to wanting to see more events like it all across the country (as lots of people have) celebrating and promoting liberty as vigorously as Ron Paul has so ably demonstrated is so good so but since Dan has the soul of a producer along with his musical talent (entirely a good thing, I think), he wasted no time in delving into the nuts and bolts of what it would take to make one happen right here in Nashville.

I don’t have the time to detail all of the wonderful and talented people who jumped on board the project without having to think twice, not to mention I’d end up kicking myself for every single person I neglected to list.

Yep, a total cop-out on my part, but when you see the impressive number of people involved with the development of the Music City Liberty Fest just on their Facebook page I think you’ll understand why I’m not going to tackle the subject. In the couple of months since I heard the first rumblings about it, the Music City Liberty Fest has developed into a solid venture. I’ve been privileged to assist in this by writing some copy for the Facebook page and helping with the editing and composition of the official press release to alert the public of the approaching event and I can tell you that this promises to be a real spectacle.

The Music City Liberty Fest was shaping up to be just the sort of happening that’s been a bittersweet thing for me in recent years, one that I’ve been delighted to support while simultaneously lamenting my inability to attend because of my small radius of movement…the issue that led to my beginning this blog and my Get Glenn Mobile fundraiser. I’d never hesitate to do all I could to let people know about great events…it’s just the right thing to do…but I confess it’s been a bit painful watching each come and go while stuck in my home here.

Not this time.

Imagine my happy surprise when Dan phoned me the other day to let me know that the Liberty Fest team had arranged for a disabled-capable taxi to bring me to and from the event, something I really can’t budget for on my own (and of course would not spend any of my donated funds for; they’re sacrosanct and will only go for the intended purpose of modifying my Honda) and had expected I’d have to miss. This is perfect on several levels, besides attending something I’m really interested in for the first time in years myself, it will break me out of the rut I’ve been in and hopefully also be an opportunity for me to raise some awareness of my situation and accelerate the fundraiser to secure my release from this long confinement.

Take a look at the latest flyer…with this lineup of musical artists and speakers, the Music City Liberty Fest is truly a can’t-miss celebration of liberty! While you’re at it, won’t you please drop a donation of any amount you can comfortably part with in my Indiegogo campaign to help restore my own liberty?

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I should account for my lack of posting lately…I’m trying to stay active but the last few weeks I’ve been working a new regime in for my pain drugs. I have more flexibility in the amount I use thanks to my pain management specialist and that means it’s up to me to determine the best balance of dosage. Too little and the constant moderate pain makes it mighty difficult to get anything productive done, while too much puts me a bit out of it, again making it tough to get anything done. I’m getting close, though, and appreciate the doc’s faith in my ability to judge what works best for me.

I’ve also been somewhat baffled at the public awareness level of the project since my first Indiegogo campaign expired. I’m not going anywhere and have NOT abandoned this personal liberty project…its success is my only escape from the limbo my life’s been in for so long. I’m perfectly aware that no one owes me a thing, but experience shows that when that awareness level is high, a percentage of new readers are inclined to donate.

Between the drug regime integration and the current lull in forward progress with the fundraising, I confess I’ve fallen into a funk. I don’t expect it’ll last long. It’s annoying and counterproductive, and I just have too much to do to allow myself to get bogged down. I’m more anxious than ever to escape; election season is fast approaching and I’m sure it would be good for me to get out, to better gauge the mood of the public in these crazy times and follow up topics I’ve examined in my writing. The extended confinement’s messing with me as well and interfering with progress, I sleep too much and experience some most unwelcome lethargy that has nothing to do with the prescription drugs I use to manage pain.

Screw that.

I’ve seen slumps before and I’m sure I will again. Apologies for the current one, but I’m working on it, you’d best believe!

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