Archive for November, 2010

Rampway to Heaven

3 3 Comments
Rampway to Heaven

Click to enlarge

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember the end goal of an advocate or activist action. In the heat of the moment, when all the chips are on the table, it’s hard to keep it about the objective and not the fight. Perhaps it’s our competitive nature or just emotions gone wild, but the death of so many activist actions seems to be when they become more about fighting the fight than righting a wrong or making things better. To make matters worse, some people become intentionally difficult or abrasive in hopes of escalating the situation, thinking that’s the best way to get what you want.

If we could offer once piece of advice to aspiring activists out there is to not look at things like Rhett does in this comic–don’t wish for conflict or escalation. Approach every advocacy or activist action with the exclusive goal of making things better–not just winning the fight.

And today, Kate’s wearing an outfit from the lovely Homerun Ballerina.

Rampway to Heaven

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember the end goal of an advocate or activist action. In the heat of the moment, when all the chips are on the table, it’s hard to keep it about the objective and not the fight. Perhaps it’s our competitive nature or just emotions gone wild, but the death of so […]

Read More

Robo-linebacker

1 1 Comment
Robo-linebacker

Click to enlarge

Growing up in Port Elgin, there weren’t a lot of accessible sports opportunities for Jeff. While youth with disabilities who live in bigger cities, like London, have several options for adapted team sports, those fortunate enough to live in the rural world with few peers in wheelchairs are largely limited to individual sports like wheelchair racing or swimming. Given his lack of physical strength, most individual sports were out of the question for Jeff, leaving him out of luck. Being the loving (and abusive) sister that she is, Trish wouldn’t let Jeff sit at the sidelines and feel sorry for himself, often involving him in unorganized team sports like street hockey. As it turns out, Jeff and Trish soon discovered there were certain advantages to having a big clunky wheelchair. Sure, Jeff wasn’t going to be winning the scoring race, but given that his scooter filled almost the entire net he was a born goaltender. Good luck scoring on that goalie, kiddies.

Sometimes it’s not what you cannot do, but what you can do…when competing against children in a 400lbs electric wheelchair…

Also if you didn’t understand the punch line, check this video out here, specifically around the 2:20 mark.

Robo-linebacker

Growing up in Port Elgin, there weren’t a lot of accessible sports opportunities for Jeff. While youth with disabilities who live in bigger cities, like London, have several options for adapted team sports, those fortunate enough to live in the rural world with few peers in wheelchairs are largely limited to individual sports like wheelchair […]

Read More

Movin’ home to London, Ontario

1 1 Comment

For the last few years, Jeff has hosted all of his websites with a company based out of California with limited success. While the space was adequate and the prices right, the tech support was awful and he was tired of all the long distance bills from waiting on hold for hours on end. Ultimately, we really wanted to support a local webhost with our business, especially if it meant better customer service. Over the past week or so, Jeff has been working with the unbelievable staff of Orpheum Hosting Solutions (a local London hosting company) and we’re proud to announce Cripz is now and forevermore will be hosted by Orpheum.

We just wanted to take a second to thank Derek and Mike from Orpheum for going ABOVE and BEYOND the call to get everything set up. They say on their website that Orpheum has “unrivaled support,” and our experience absolutely speaks to this statement. Jeff has never had a hosting company take such a personal interest in getting everything up and running, including LOTS of handholding when transferring over databases and setting permissions. Derek and Mike genuinely care about the customer and we fully endorse them as our webhost of choice.

If you need hosting and you want to shop locally, look no further than Orpheum Hosting Solutions–they’re competitively priced and will take care of you like no other. That’s a Cripz Guarantee.

And no, we didn’t get paid to say this–we legitimately love those crazy guys over at Orpheum and if you get some hosting from them, you’ll understand why!

For the last few years, Jeff has hosted all of his websites with a company based out of California with limited success. While the space was adequate and the prices right, the tech support was awful and he was tired of all the long distance bills from waiting on hold for hours on end. Ultimately, […]

Read More

The Real Issue

1 1 Comment
The real issue logo

Spoiler Alert: it's poverty.

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend a public discussion on poverty as part of the Real Issue Conversation Series at the London Foodbank. The Real Issue is an innovative campaign being run by several organizations in London to generate a frank and honest discussion about poverty in our city. The discussion tonight was thought provoking and engaging, with some particularly inspiring and creative ideas from James Shelley about integrating support systems within our everyday life rather than segregating the Haves from the Have Nots.

Now I need to take a second or two to rant. Feel free to wander away now if you please.

While the focus of the meeting was to try developing creative solutions, it’s the more philosophical piece that’s left my brain clunking along for the past two hours. Cheryl (of VortexVisual fame) started the night off with the hardest question of all: why does poverty exist?

I’ve been thinking about this all night and, in my mind, I think one of the key factors is competition. Modern western society has marched boldly forward under the mantra that competition solves all. Without competition we’re told innovation would stagnate, advancement would stall, markets would collapse and the communists would win. From a young age, we’re shown that competition is a good thing. For example, sports are fun because sometimes you win and that’s what we all want to be, winners, because winning is “success.” But as we move off the school yards and into office spaces, it becomes harder to tabulate the winners and the losers but we must subject ourselves to this ranking because it’s all we’ve ever known. Money gives us a quantifiable way to differentiate people, but how do you represent that? Well, the most obvious way is through materialism. So we spend and spend and spend, buying products to peacock our winning ways to all who will watch or maybe just to prove to ourselves that we’re winners. If to earn money is to be successful and, ultimately, to win, then to live in poverty is to lose and no one likes a loser. To make matters worse, things like Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (welfare, essentially) are seen as being “unfair,” because those of us not on State support have to work hard to make money and prove we’re winners. Those who are on OW are seen as leeches, draining on the system and getting a free ride. Notice how many articles you see in the paper about people scamming the system or getting rich off panhandling? Know how often it happens in real life? I think what really bothers us is that it’s not a fair fight against someone is getting stuff for free. Having said that, anyone that’s ever tried to live on OW knows that NO ONE willingly decides to live that life. No one.

And what about the politicians? Why don’t they step in to end poverty? Again, competition; they want to win the next election and who can blame them when the only way we talk about politics is as a horse race and not intellectual discourse. Yes, every election must end with someone winning and, by inference, others losing, but these thoughts of win/lose have become the dominant paradigm of politics. Debates become boxing matches, not exchanging and comparing ideas, because newspapers can sell that–they want jabs and low blows with winners and losers because that’s the story we’ve been telling ourselves since our time on the school year. Is that really politics? Is that the truth of city hall? Is it just about winning? Personally, I don’t think so, but that appears to be the dominant perspective. Call me crazy, but I’ve always thought the point of politics was to represent the will of the people and work together to make our community a better place.

That is the true definition of “winning.”

So do you want to know how I think we need to tackle the problem of poverty? The first step is to stop competing with each other, let go of these win/lose paradigms and start working together like decent human beings!

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend a public discussion on poverty as part of the Real Issue Conversation Series at the London Foodbank. The Real Issue is an innovative campaign being run by several organizations in London to generate a frank and honest discussion about poverty in our city. The discussion tonight was thought […]

Read More

Highlights You Won’t See on Sportscentre

1 1 Comment
Highlights You Won't See on Sportscentre

Click to enlarge

Presented without comment…because we’re tired. Work and school are taking up a lot of time right now, but we appreciate you takin’ the time to stop by and see what the gang is up to this week!

Presented without comment…because we’re tired. Work and school are taking up a lot of time right now, but we appreciate you takin’ the time to stop by and see what the gang is up to this week!

Read More

Movember

1 1 Comment
Movember

Click to enlarge

Isn’t it sort of weird that we have “disabled” sports teams? While we understand the need for Special Olympics and Paralympics, theoretically speaking, it seems strange that we’ve developed leagues for people who are lacking ability. Isn’t the point of sport, at it’s core, to celebrate ultimate ability? Of course, we’re not advocating for the end of all disabled sports, but rather, advocating for MORE specialized leagues! Fat people sports? Short people sports? Sports for people whose legs aren’t symmetrical? We think there’s a huge growth potential here. It always upsets Jeff though when he hears about disabled athletes who are good enough to compete with the “big kids,” but they’re blocked for some unknown reason (meet: The Blade Runner)

Anyway, like Griff, Jeff is debating whether or not he should grow a dirty ‘stache for Movember. The biggest barrier is his complete and total inability to grow a mustache without looking like a sex offender.

Also, Kate’s outfit today is from the lovely Kansas Couture, who also had an absolutely fantastic Halloween costume.

In other news, we’ve seen some good growth on our fanpage but we need more (always mooooore) so if you can take a second or two and invite a friend or two that’d be great!

– Jeff & Clara

Movember

Isn’t it sort of weird that we have “disabled” sports teams? While we understand the need for Special Olympics and Paralympics, theoretically speaking, it seems strange that we’ve developed leagues for people who are lacking ability. Isn’t the point of sport, at it’s core, to celebrate ultimate ability? Of course, we’re not advocating for the […]

Read More