May 202014
 

Given the news that Minneapolis will be hosting a Super Bowl in 2018, I’m wondering how much my place could fetch on Airbnb for that weekend. My guess: quite a bit. I’m located within walking distance of the new stadium (currently under construction) and the airport is easily accessible via light rail. My kitchen isn’t terribly well-stocked, but that’s a small price to pay for location and a decent Wi-Fi connection. This may be the ticket to funding a European trip or paying off a chunk of a car loan.

What are my readers’ experiences with leasing out your place to strangers?

Apr 032014
 

I’m currently debating whether to purchase a new van. My 1999 Dodge Caravan still runs well, but 15 years is a long time to hold onto a vehicle. I worry that it could suddenly fail without warning, forcing me to scramble to find a replacement. A new van would be a significant expense ($45,000-$60,000), but I might qualify for some assistance via a Medical Assistance waiver. I’m also fairly certain that my next van will be a Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. The Dodge has been generally reliable, but its hunger for new parts began rather early in its lifespan.

Of course, I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can reasonably afford a new vehicle. For most people with disabilities, an accessible vehicle is a luxury item that is too expensive to even contemplate.

Mar 262014
 

Kevin Featherly, friend and fellow Humphrey Policy Fellow alumni, recently wrote a profile of me that appeared in Politics in Minnesota. It’s behind a paywall, so I’m linking to a PDF in case you’d like to read it. Technically, I don’t have permission from the magazine to reprint it, but I’m hoping my charm and good looks will keep the lawyers at bay. I also tried to reformat it as webpage, but that induced way too migraines.

Anyway, here’s the article. Kevin makes me sound much smarter than I really am.

Feb 062014
 

I consider myself a hearty Midwesterner who doesn’t hesitate to venture outside on an icy cold morning. I have walked to class on days when the wind chill was -20 and the sidewalks were clogged with snow. But this winter has tested my fortitude. Temperatures have barely nudged out of the teens for the past month and the copious snowfall has rendered the landscape a blinding white void. Other than the commute to work, I don’t think I’ve left home since early January. I’m pretty sure my broadband usage for the past couple months rivals that of a good-sized Bulgarian town.

The weather is certain to moderate soon, but I would like to at least see Her without risking frostbite or a spinout on the highway.

Of course, I reserve the right to complain in a few months that the excessive heat and humidity is keeping me indoors.

Dec 202013
 

I have some vacation coming up next week, which may allow for more frequent blogging. Assorted MNsure-related issues have come to dominate my corner of the bureaucracy, leaving me more inclined to park myself in front of the television rather than attempt to compose a blog entry when I get home. Lazy, I know. But I’m hoping to post a few Year in Awesome entries over the next week that will highlight my various pop culture obsessions of 2013. I may even share some thoughts on the recent whirlwind events surrounding MNsure.

In the meantime, perhaps one of my UK readers might like to send me this Union Jack Dalek as a Christmas present. Or I could just pay you for it. It would be a nice addition to my geek shrine.

Nov 272013
 

I hope all of my readers enjoy a wonderful Thanksgivukkah tomorrow. I’ll be enjoying some football and mashed potatoes while doing my best not to splurge too much on the Steam Autumn Sale. As ever, I’m grateful for your continued patronage and forbearance. I’ll post again on Friday to accompany your noshing on leftovers.

Oct 312013
 

I’m a little sad that we don’t have more kids in my building. I have so many ideas for costumes that would totally freak them out.

Enjoy your Halloween.

Oct 282013
 

A friend and co-worker died suddenly a couple weeks ago. Like me, Kelsey had spinal muscular atrophy; we first met back in 2006 when she interviewed for a job at the Department of Human Services. Kelsey was smart, funny, and adventurous. She was thrilled when she was elected as a Minnesota delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We didn’t get to talk as often after I changed jobs, but we still found time to hang out in my office and talk about work, finding decent help, and all the inexplicable things able-bodied people do in our presence.

As happens too often to people with SMA, Kelsey contracted pneumonia and she didn’t have the strength to fight back this time. Her friends and co-workers demonstrated overwhelming support for both Kelsey and her family; a final testament to the person she was.

I will miss her. And I have a renewed appreciation for my own continued presence in this world, however tenuous it may be. Farewell, Kelsey.

Sep 242013
 

The popular Where Bloggers Blog tumblr is a photographic journal of places where–well, you get the idea. And here’s my blogging space:

IMG_0098

 

The desk has been with me for nearly 20 years, a gift from my parents when I started law school. And there’s Spock on the middle shelf, looking down on me with mild disapproval (particularly when I procrastinate my blogging because I’m looking at…well, never mind).

Sep 102013
 

The designers of portable ventilators really need to do a better job of anticipating the various environments in which their products can function. As I was leaving the CHVRCHES concert at First Avenue last night, I noticed that the vent was alarming and showing a cryptic VENT SERVICE REQUIRED message. I felt fine and wasn’t too concerned, but it continued to alarm during the walk home. The vent  seems to be functioning normally today; I suspect that the heavy bass at the concert might have caused the freak-out. Considering that my old tank of a vent never glitched like this, I’m a little disappointed. If this vent thinks I’m going to stay home every night listening to archived Hearts of Space episodes, it has another thing coming.

 

And you really should see CHVRCHES live if you can. Not many bands can do electronic pop well in a live setting, but these Scots sounded great. And they should only get better once they have a deeper catalog of songs.

Differences between Medicaid