Archive for March, 2012

Chock Part XII

Friday, March 30th, 2012

On Tuesday I was with my wife at the

Farewell Match of the Frankfurt football player Birgit Prinz.

She has been FIFA player of the year several times and scored 128 goals for the German national team. The match was great, but until I got there…

The organisation of a wheelchair ticket directly at the German Football Association (DFB) proved to be quite difficult this time. So far I had made only very good experiences during the women’s world cup (see older blogposts).

After my first e-mail with the ticket order apparently ended up in the digital nirvana, it worked out a little better with e-mail number two.

Well, apparently you have to see it sportingly. Such an e-mail doesn’t harm, but doesn’t necessarily help either…

Now the whole event approached rapidly… 3 or 4 days!

I had not received a confirmation if I can pick up my ticket at the box office until the moment when I hit the road to the stadium.

On the matchday I also tried to find out by phone where I could possibly park my car because my e-mail inquiry wasn’t answered either.

When I drove to the stadium I was hoping that an admission ticket would be deposited at the box-office for me, and the parking thing was still not clarified. I knew about the bad parking conditions there.

At some stage I didn’t care, I picked up my wife and drove directly to the entrance of the stadium. It was quite busy there!

Although I didn’t have an admission ticket, not to mention a special parking admission, the very kind marshals actually found an adequate parking space next to the OB vehicle of the regional broadcast station on which I could transfer easily into my wheelchair. Thanks again from this side.

Why the German football association as organiser of the event didn’t create a designated handicap parking area, they probably don’t know themselves. At least 15 wheelers were in the stadium. Where did they park?

If now no ticket had been deposited at the box office, or I hadn’t been able to buy a ticket, even a weekly dosage of my medication wouldn’t have calmed me down.

I got an envelope at the box office in which not only my ticket, but also a VIP parking admission was inside. A little too late, but as a proper German of course I laid out the parking permit in the car ;-)

 

Then in the stadium I actually would have needed my mountainbike tyres for my wheelchair, because the main stand currently consists just out of small homeopathic pieces and some rocks.

Luckily I had a ticket for the opposite stand, which was there ;-)

It was a great farewell game and I am a little sad that Birgt Prinz is quitting her active career.

When I was back home I read an e-mail from the German football association where all my inquiries about ticket, parking… were answered.

The e-mail was sent at 16:45 h, kick off 18:00 h.

The staff member was already at the stadium at this time as she wrote, and I totally uninformed on the road!!!

What a pity that I haven’t met the lady ;-)

I could inquire at the German football association if they wouldn’t sponsor a smartphone for me so that I can be always up to date online about my ticket status.

Translator BL

 

Eigude Shame Part XXIV

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

At this stage I would especially like to thank my wife, who consistently takes many great photos without which this blog would never be possible in this way.

The long and winding road that leads to election!!!

I live in Frankfurt/Main near the “Riedhof“ primary school.

Since 2008 I visit these premises regularly for local, federal state and Bundestag elections… (see older blogpost).

The accessibility of the polling place was specially disclosed on my polling card.

For years there was a mobile “do-it-yourself wooden ramp” placed at the right school entrance, which according to my perception slightly exceeded the regulated 6 degrees and bridged two steps of a stairway.

I am asking the electoral assistants since years to forward this deficit to the appropriate positions.
I know that there is a wheeler who has to use this ramp regularly.

On Sunday we citizens were supposed to elect a new mayor in a run-off election. Thus I could undergo the ramp test for a second time this year.

Each election has a certain charm for me, if something might have changed in the meantime. This is a good reason to vote ;-)

2 weeks ago at the first ballot my wife noticed immediately that the ramp on the left entrance had to bridge just one step.
The ramp was somehow different, something had changed…???

Actually there was something different, but somehow it still wasn’t any less steeply, or am I misled???

I asked my wife once again to take photos!

When I compared the ramp pictures with those from a year ago, even I was once speechless.

A real specialist has sawn through the ramp horizontally so that it fitted on the one step of the left entrance of the school.
Have a look yourself, although the ramp is shorter, it is steeper than before.

If the person who shortened the ramp or let it shorten has converted the ramp according to the latest mathematical conclusions which I am not aware of, and if today the angle of 6° is something different than during my schooldays, I don’t know.

Just yesterday I came to the conclusion that nobody can be accused for the steepness of the ramp. Angulations like e.g. calculations with old uncle Pythagoras exceed the subject matters of primary school.

If the city of Frankfurt would be engaged one day in the scientific fundamental research of calculating wheelchair ramps, I am hereby offering my help.
I would immediately provide my old set square free of charge.

Are we going to help the city of Frankfurt together with the calculation of the ramp length???

Word problem for you:
To bridge a 90° steep step of 25 cm height measured from the ground, to allow wheelers the civil right to get to a polling place by themselves, a 1,2 m wide ramp shall be built.
How long does it have to be if the angle of elevation must not exceed 6°?
Please disclose calculation method.

Post your calculations as comment, or as usual to rollinator@eigude.de

Maybe I will forward these calculations directly to the Frankfurt electoral office ;-)

Translator BL

 

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks Part XLX

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

As a man you have already evolutionary determined a technical gene. What was in Stone Age the then high tech marble stone axe with polished oak wood grip, is today the 60 inch 3D television with Dolby 16:1. The new shooter console is probably more modern than everything what the German army owns, and of course not to forget the refrigerator with WiFi and integrated ice cube dispenser where you can pre-select the shape of the ice cubes directly with the tablet PC from the couch from an individual CAD file.
In the end it is very simple, if the man is not capable to do he calls for technology…!!!
I am not alluding to the bedroom.

Subject today: Golf!!!

Except that I drove a VW Golf for 12 years I didn’t have much to do with the lawn sport of the same name, I was once playing hockey.

If you are not able to stand any more as wheeler the shot at the club house on the golf court can get a bit difficult. The variant that 2 strong caddies lift you up for each shot seems possible, but I think that the guys will slightly flag after the 12th hole. So technology is called again. For this case there is the

Powergolfer!

The Powergolfer is a well motorised, very flexible electric scooter with a stand-up fuction, similar to my standing chair (see older blogpost).

You are buckled up with legs and belly, beamed up until standing, and hits on the innocent golf ball like all the others.

Here the constructor explains in person how this is working.
Unfortunately I could not undergo a self test due to my broken leg not healed yet. I was nevertheless convinced. It is a great technical aid for golfing wheelchair users.

The Powergolfer is also available with small modifications as I call it Powerfisher. However successful draughts of fish cannot be guaranteed.

In the integrated trunk there is enough space for a tool kit, with which the Powergolfer also turns into a wheelchair service vehicle. The hand bar on the side, pimped with a golf ball, is also usable as mounting and repair hammer.

Because of the standing function of the Powergolfer I had to finally surrender after a hard fight in the direct battle with my Minitrac.

On my inquiry if the Powergolfer would also be available with sickle bar I got the answer if I would like to have it… nothing seems impossible!!!

More information and video under www.powergolfer.de

I doubt that the health insurance will cover the acquisition costs of the golf wheelchair, but for next birthday present, why not… ;-)

Translator BL

 

Chock XI

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

I am used to quite a bit as wheeler and am usually under the impression that nothing can really distract me. Now it’s about time again.

Good that I can’t run out of my flat screaming loudly.

If you once listen closely you get really aware how often it is “beeping” in one day from somewhere.

There is the beep for critical program termination of Windows, the dead battery of a mobile or wireless phone, a new e-mail, or the washing machine or tumble dryer asks to peg out the laundry immediately.

The egg boiler declares the eggs suitable for Easter, the garbage truck is somehow always beeping, everybody knows about the light still “on” at a car, and when backing with your own car the beeping sound is only predominated by the sound of the back light when you are driving against a road sign.

Additionally I can offer my deep freezer with extremely loud changing beep if it feels too warm, and my standing chair (see older blogpost), when its batteries are dead.

Even the well-known primary school bell now has a “beep, beep”.

Furthermore we don’t want to forget the phone beep for a call, SMS, MMS, WKW, Facebook and the 1000 hertz which the microwave produces when the Ravioli are hot, etc. etc. …

With all the beeping you don’t even notice when your own body is beeping. Eh…

This morning 08:46 h I got for the first time aware of a beeping sound in my bedroom. First I had one of my beloved smoke detectors under suspicion which friendly, but determining call attention for a battery exchange.

For those who are now finally of the opinion that the Rollinator should go into drug rehab should be said that my body at the moment produces every two hours an about 2 seconds long beep, type “Meeehp!!!” in absolutely fine surround sound. I would even hear it naked alone in the sauna.

The answer is quite simple:

My medication pump implanted in my belly is running low on “fuel”!!!

(see older blogpost)

My alarm day was recorded incorrectly in my PC. I would have an appointment at my doctor on Thursday to refill my pump which currently doesn’t really help me on!!!
According to my records my pump is supposed to be beeping since three days.

I’m curious if I can find a kind filling station… ehhh… doctor tomorrow!

Fill ‘er up 600 €

Translator BL

 

Sport News Part II

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

The sun beds in the Mar y Sol in Tenerife at the pool are extra high for us wheelers so that it is easier to transfer.

But because constant hanging around on the sun bed can lead to permanent back disorders I decided to perform some complementary training.

After the training match of the Swedish national team in wheelchair rugby (see older blogpost) the sports hall of our hotel was available for us tourists again.

The idea of my mates to play wheelchair hockey I found quite appealing.
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away… or roundabout 25 years ago it was the last time when I had a hockey stick in my hands.
At this time I was playing hockey at the club SC 1880 Frankfurt until the last youth age class. Back then of course with real wooden sticks.

The plastic sticks were not heavy at all with about 200 g. But there it was again, the challenge: How to play hockey when you are not able to hold the hockey stick because of the paralysis of the hands as quadriplegic.

The first attempts to bind the stick onto the arm with bandages and theraband did not lead to the desired success.

With black duct tape a match overlasting

Hockey stick-hand-arm-adaption

could be achieved. I was quite satisfied with the result, and the wheelchair hockey match was fun.

After the match there was actually only one loser, my skin…!!!

Wheelchair hockey is excellently suitable for permanent hair removal ;-)

Translator BL

 

Feedback on the shinbone fracture part II

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Whereas for a pedestrian the growing together of the bones after a leg fracture without surgery is assessed with roundabout 6 weeks, it is around 6 months for us para-/quadriplegics. This is related to paralysis, blood circulation etc.

After the fracture of shinbone and fibula in early September a plastic leg orthosis was my permanent companion.

I have reported extensively about the fracture, hospital stay,…(see older blogposts), then you know the complete story.

As self-confessed football fan of Eintracht Frankfurt I got of course the special edition Frankfurt.

leg orthosis type: direct re-promotion

In the complete time during which I was wearing the orthosis Eintracht didn’t lose a single match. I am closely connected to my club and sit out almost everything, but eventually I wanted to get rid of the orthosis.

Just in the moment when I slowly began to do without the orthosis – how nice… -, a match was lost. The re-promotion was at risk!

I wasn’t sure, was it my fault???

What next… should I have to wear the orthosis until the German championship title 2013???

Yesterday I didn’t put on the orthosis the whole day and was worried that Eintracht wouldn’t lose the match.

Of all things the opponent was Rostock. There was an occasion in the early 90s, I don’t want to remember this match… (translator’s note: 20 years ago Eintracht lost against Rostock on the last matchday of the season and thus didn’t win the German championship title.)

Rostock : Eintracht

1 : 5

The spell was „broken“ and the fracture will heal soon!!!
The orthosis is standing well next to the closet and is only put on when needed.

For the championship celebration 2013 I voluntarily put on the orthosis again.

Translator BL

Addendum to Eigude Shame XXII

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I have reported on 26.01.12 (see older blogpost) how I was fighting against windmills similar to Don Quixote.

My windmills were just wheelchair tickets for

Sunrise Avenue,

in the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt (an event hall), which basically shouldn’t have been a big challenge.

I didn’t let up for months and amongst others wrote directly to the band asking why I was ignored??? I am still waiting for a message on their part… so be it…!!!
Meanwhile the concert was sold out!

In the meantime I wasn’t keen on going/rolling to the concert any more although eventually the desired object was lying in front of me.
Yesterday the day had finally arrived, the concert moved a little into the background, I was rather curious if I would be the only wheeler, and how possible other wheelchair fellows got their tickets.

I already saw a couple of wheelchair busses on the parking lot, which made me hope not to be the only frequent driver.

The guys from the Red Cross accompanied me with the lift to the first floor (see older blogpost).

They told me I should go directly to the wheelchair tribune, there were already some wheelers there, and it could get a bit tight. I was also told about the difficult ticket organization.

It was “organized excellently”. A very strong employee of a security company, he made me fear with his figure, pushed me up an extra steep designer ramp, probably there was a sculptor at work, on a small tribune.

The tribune wasn’t big, even for us small people. In the end it was fully occupied with 13 wheelchairs. Later I saw two wheelchairs which were not standing on the tribune and wouldn’t have fit onto it either!!!

I don’t know how many more fellow wheelers were standing in the audience, but the companion had to stand among the pedestrian crowd due to lack of space.

For rehabilitation purposes I have to admit that the guys on stage in front – although they can’t write e-mails – are real stage hogs, and I have seen/heard a great rock concert.

After the concert as usual it got a bit cramped in the crowd. On a bistro table in the crowd there stood a giant with estimated shoe size 46. I dared to struggle through the crowd with my wheelchair exactly where he stood.

He didn’t bother to take his splendid foot out of the way by only 5 cm and send a contemptuous look downwards.

I looked up, grinned and said to him:

I will make myself small!!!

Then he took the foot away ;-)

Translator BL

Crazy Flash XIII

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Creative Wheelchair Icons

Self-driver or Non-pusher

Seat for Headless

Proud holder of the Wheelchair Swim-again Seahorse Swimming Award

(see older blog)

Therapy Table Loser

–42–

Test Driver

Cheery Wheel Blade Skier

(see older blog)

Professional Apple Juice Tester
Pavement Cleaning Service

Human Rear Drive
Foot Brakeman
Longlife Wheelchair Performance Test
Backward Flyer

If you have other nice symbols e-mail as usual to rollinator@eigude.de

Training and Test Week Tenerife Part II

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Readers who are following my blog know that I was travelling to Tenerife in February for the sole reason to test extensively the modifications and offroad suitability of my Minitric with its new

Tractor Tyre Traction Technology

(see older blogpost)

Exactly one year ago I had purchased the Minitrac over there so that it was running in its home stomping ground again for 12 days.
The Minitrac never showed any difficulties with the hilly landscape of the volcano island yet.

Solid ground, also with stones to a reasonable extent, is manageable quite well for the Minitrac with its special tyres so that hiking trails in the alps should not be too big challenges either.


(Fake!)

With its two new batteries of each 12 V /52 AH you don’t have to worry about distances of easily 25 km.

Rides on the soft sand beach are not possible, the Trac is too heavy, the wheels would spin.
If you urgently need a full-body exfoliation I recommend to drive with the Trac into the sand of a nudist beach and apply full throttle, the flinging sand will do the rest ;-)

The special feature from Swisstrac and Minitrac is that you can move up and down curbs which is still possible with tractor tyres.

Because of the new tyres, the rather friendly-appearing Trac suddenly has got a rather grim appearance which has the additional positive effect that each pedestrian looks a bit puzzled and immediately takes a safety distance in order not to be overrun by my rolling offroad power box.

A cross design on the instep of the foot doesn’t seem to be currently in fashion.

Of course the Minitrac was tested in civilization as well. Due to the rather big turning circle shopping in supermarkets and department stores is a bit inconvenient. The rear exit of the supermarket uncommonly has an 8 meter long tiled ramp with 20° gradient which of course I had to test. Also this ramp could be managed without human push from behind the wheelchair.

A great camouflage, in this row of children’s fun rides I don’t really stand out :-)

In a special area of the beach promenade almost all of the floor tiles were broken so that I was glad that I had also equipped my wheelchair with mountainbike tyres for the test week.

The Minitrac has passed the tests with flying colours, and additional planned modifications can be realized. Firstly the headlights which were damaged on the return flight will be replaced.

I will still report about the battle Minitrac vs. Powergolfer in Tenerife!!!

No Comment..!!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

When I was watching the fine art of women’s beach volleyball (of course out of sporting interest only) from the beach promenade in Los Cristianos in Tenerife, two elderly ladies came by and addressed me in English. They wanted to give me such an Anglo-Saxon information brochure.


The women are playing on the left field ;-)

I had a specific presentiment and said to the ladies that my English is not the best. It turned out quickly that the ladies were German.

Because I stood next to a small wall and they blocked my escape – I didn’t want to drive over their feet with my harnessed Minitrac – I got involved into a little chat with them.

Finally they gave me a German brochure about stressed and overworked physicians… eh…!!!

Well, since my accident 2007 I am quite familiar with this subject, but mainly from the perspective of a hospital bed during the ward round.

Just another two years, and I will know more physicians than there are beer brands in Germany.

By taking a closer look into the information material I had to grin a little about the up-to-dateness, have a look yourself:

Unbelievable but true:

Edition January 2005,

At that time I was still pedestrian!

(Translator’s note: German readers immediately recognize “Awakening”, the magazine of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany)

Well, strictly speaking the first edition of the bible wasn’t published yesterday either!

Translator BL

Perceived two hundredth handicap parking story

Monday, March 5th, 2012

One of my regularly visited supermarkets is the HTI and the do-it-yourself-store IBO (or something like that…), with a big shared underground parking lot.

There was not a single designated disabled parking place, so that I made it to my “mission” to change it over the years and to go on people’s nerves a little bit.

You don’t make yourself necessarily popular in a highly frequented parking lot if you put your car on two parking places at the same time. Then you quickly have a nice modern stripe pattern from a key in your car paint, or you are declared to be a woman.

A service counter in a supermarket is something quite nice.

Since 2009 I am asking every couple of months, how about a disable parking spot down there?

Exceptionally I didn’t take out the big “cudgel” but started the project “let’s see who has the greater staying power” with an inner smile.
I was irritated a little by the permanently changing staff at the service counter, I always heard that there was something in progress… the facility manager etc…!!

Last time the service clerk immediately got her boss, she remembered a wheeler with the same request.

About a year ago I incited a rolling fellow whom I met in this parking lot to bother the service staff as well a little bit.

When the boss came he told me he knew the problem, there were difficulties with the owner because designated disabled parking places would decrease the total amount of parking places in this underground parking lot.
Yeah, sure, I wanted to leave the cudgel in the sack and didn’t want to talk about laws and directives.

I already kept an eye on a special parking place all the time.

The boss immediately liked the idea to declare this parking place to a disabled parking place and wanted to take care of it.
Well, let’s wait and see, I’ll be back ;-)

On Friday I was again in this underground parking lot after around five weeks and was happy to have found quickly a suitable parking place.

After the groceries I took a photo of the possible future disabled parking place.

When I took a closer look to the pictures on my PC yesterday I almost couldn’t believe it, there is actually a wheelchair symbol hanging on the wall.

I couldn’t see a floor labelling, but we are starting from scratch. I am curious if I will have the pleasure to park on this VIP parking place this year, or if I only get upset about disabled parking place occupiers.

I keep you up to date!!!

Click on tag Handicap Parking to read other nice stories (will be translated step by step).

Translator BL

 

Wheelchair Rugby

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

 If you are sitting in a wheelchair and in addition to your legs also your arms or hands are handicapped it doesn’t make much sense to play wheelchair basketball.

There is a sport where it is possible to let off steam nevertheless:

Wheelchair Rugby,

previously also called Killerball”.

As a player you probably feel a bit like in a bumper car on a fun fair in your childhood.

The objective of the game is, similar to American Football, to bring a ball with the wheelchair from one side of the field to the end zone (“key”) on the other side. An offence has to be finished within 40 seconds.

Every team has 4 players, and it is really getting rough.

I was lucky to watch wheelchair rugby on highest level in the new sports hall of the hotel Mar y Sol in Tenerife (see blogpost below).

The Swedish national team who is the current European champion was in the same hotel for a training camp for the Paralympics 2012 in London. 3 Canadians were with them as “sparring partners”. (The Swedish coach is Canadian.)

On the hand rims of the sport wheelchair tyres there is black resin for a better grip, similar to pole vault. After the first training the sports hall was inaugurated, the new parquet floor had some black stripes. With a photo of this “sports art” you would probably be overwhelmed with awards at the next “Documenta” (translator’s note: yearly exhibition for contemporary art in Germany). Allegedly the stripes could be wiped away later. What a pity.

There was training in the morning and matches in the afternoon.

The match lasts for 4 x 8 minutes.

You could still hear the colliding of wheelchairs in the 3rd floor of the hotel resort. The special sport wheelchairs virtually consist of dents and were already often welded.

Sometimes a good defence, i.e. frontal with the wheelchair against the opponent, reminds of mountain goats in the alps at rutting season.

Click on the picture to see a Video!

Unbelievable how fast you can get with a wheelchair…!!!

Every now and then a rollover of a player in the wheelchair and some burst tyres of course belong to Killerball… erm… wheelchair ruby.

The game is characterized very much by tactics.

If 2 players out of 4 players e.g. block an opponent there is space to throw the ball to a team mate (there are only four players), who possibly makes it then to the end zone. Perhaps the blocked one is “standing” 2 meters tall, catches the ball and passes it on, everything is possible. More handicapped players are defenders and place themselves in the way of the supposed centre forward. They have a kind of basket in front of the wheelchair which is suited for blocking and as “battering ram”.

The complete course of the match changes in seconds and is endlessly exciting.

Boom-Bang and a little bit like chess, what do you want more as a man ;-)

The matches were led by a quite decisive female referee bravely without steel-capped shoes.

I can recommend to everyone to watch wheelchair rugby at the Paralympics. I hope that the matches will be broadcasted although Germany according to my information is not qualified as 6th of the European Championships.

Translator BL