Monday, September 25, 2017

Talkin about Service

So I gave a talk awhile back to a local Rotary Club. Went well. "Service above self" is their motto. I can relate.  

You see, I've had a lot of help from others along the way from family, friends, strangers and why even the state.  I give back by helping people find careers and jobs. We are all interconnected as we make our way through this thing called life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Arthrogryposis Stuff
About the condition I have and those still thriving with it.

Ward Foley 
The most Famous AMC'er of them all?


Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Let's have a closer look at Sam's universe, shall we? If you look back a few posts you will find Sam Fallen literally doing the Devil's work on child molesters, abusers and other less desirable types. He's more or less a good guy with all the powers of Hell at his fingertips. Don't forget he works for God. There is no need to get all upset or freaked out, these are just stories after all. I'd like to think there is a source of ultimate justice out there somewhere. Sam would agree, justice is up to us ultimately. There can be no apathetic by-standards here on Earth.



     Like all employees, I had to go see my boss for a review. Bill Barker lives deep in the Mississippi backcountry and that's where I had to go. Both he and I are given a lot of power in this world for the special work we do. Misusing that power leads to dark places, very dark places. Bill Barker and I work for someone else you may have heard of, Satan. Yes, that one, the Prince of Darkness himself. He also works for God as much as he does not care to admit it. We do more than just stir shit up. Our real role is justice. Offend God enough and he calls Satan, who calls Bill, who then calls me. Yes, there are those in the underworld who like to do evil shit just for fun, including Satan himself. But they can only go so far. My job is taking care of errands for Bill. I like my job too much to fuck it up. So reviews are never a problem for me. One nice thing about the Deep South is it's warm even in winter. I decided to take my bike, a 2016 Hayabusa with a custom turbo set up.
       A review for a job like mine can take several days. It had been a few millennia since I had seen Bill in person (we operate on different timescales), so I decided to show up a day early to catch up with my mentor and old friend. When we started working together, the Pyramids in Egypt were just an idea. In more recent times Bill had taken over an old plantation after the previous owner was killed in a freak farming accident. Be careful with those machines boys and girls. I zipped down the windy back roads through lush pine forests unconcerned about cops. They could not see me but a few felt a cold chill as I passed. I had worked this area before a few generations back. They were dark days my friends. A barking dog pulled me back to the present. There was still evil here, now a little more hidden. This was not my area. Somebody else would deal with it sooner or later. Bill had other ideas. I made my way up Bill's long driveway shortly after sunset.
       “You're early," Bill said as I got off the bike and took off my helmet.
       “Yes, but I brought Crown Royal," I answered.
       "I knew I could count on you to do the right thing, Sam. Come have a seat."
       Bill's human form was a large black man. On the plantation, his workers were all white. "A little throwback to dark times past," he called it. Few, if any, of his employees had any idea of the irony. History degrees were not their thing. Although Bill worked directly for the Prince of Darkness, he had a good heart. All of his workers had long criminal histories and could not get jobs anywhere else. Bill saw to it they learned several skilled trades and in time would send them on their way back into the world unlike this place's original owners. Other locals knew not to mess with Bill or his employees. Grim things could happen, very grim things. He had no worries from those who did not appreciate his special kind of irony. He beckoned me to a chair across from him. I sat down and cracked open the Crown.
       "Molly, bring two glasses of ice please."
       A moment later a small woman dressed in a white uniform with neck tattoos appeared and put the glasses down before us. Was it the greenish porch light or did she really have purple and pink hair? I wasn't sure.
       "Thank you," Bill said. She nodded and left. "A new project, she was one of the biggest coke dealers in the entire south east. Knows more about business than most MBA types. She can have a real future one day."
       "And speaking of the future what's mine look like?"
       "Gone to the dogs," he answered getting up.
       I watched Bill slowly go into the house. He returned in a moment with another tall glass of lemon aide. “Molly does not like cops.”
       I heard a car coming down the long driveway. Sure enough, it was a sheriff’s car.
       “Expecting another guest?”
       “You might say that. Sheriff Walton. I think he may have a little work for us.”
       The Sheriff looked the part, tall, clean, spotless uniform, and very white. He strode over and onto the porch. Something few people who knew Bill would do.
       “Have a seat, Sheriff. I’ve been expecting you.” Bill slid a chair back with his foot.
       “New hand, Bill?” He said looking my way. He may have looked uptight but he gave off good vibes.
       “Old hand, actually, very old.” Bill answered. “This is Sam. Sam, this is Sheriff Walton.” He had an honest, firm handshake.
       The Sheriff sat down and took a long drink of lemon aide. He was not the Crown Royal type.         
       “Gonna be a big show tonight. The Reverend Kyle Sheppard is putting on a dog-fighting tournament in the God Damn auxiliary building of his own church. Starts at 11PM. Seeing how he bought Judge Finley, I cannot go near it.”
       Bill filled me in. “Good ole Reverend Sheppard, real dapper guy. Owns a string of nudie bars from here to Atlanta, runs a meth distribution network all across the south and sponsors a Christian little league for orphans. Orphans he sometimes sells that is. And he likes dog fighting.”
       “You know where I’m talkin about, where his church is?”
        “I do. I do indeed,” Bill answered.
        “Fix it.”
         Bill nodded politely. The Sheriff drained his glass and left without another word.
         “Sounds like fun,” I said as the sheriff pulled out of the driveway.
         “He and I have an understanding. I ”fix” things he cannot. I was thinking you would join me on this one. I also had a feeling you would make it in time.”
         “I got an idea…” I said. Yup, there was only one way to handle this.
         The church was not far. So a little after 10:30pm we piled into Bill’s car, a blacked out 1976 Cadillac Limousine. We had no need of weapons as you all know them, a nice perk of being a demon. I was wondering how the good reverend’s flock felt about the use of the community building for such an event? Turn’s out he had several auxiliary buildings. The show, if you will, was taking place in one way in back of the church property, supposedly abandon. I had never seen so many redneck vehicles in all my life; rebel flags, gun racks, mud flaps and many all beat to shit. There would be a lot of KKK in the house tonight, which put a smile on Bill’s face.  We parked pretty far away among some trees. Bill saw a guy guarding the parking area and approached him.
         “Who the hell are you?” The guy asked.
         “Special Agent Barker,” Bill answered flashing a FBI badge. “We have no time or patience for little fish. Might want to let your buddies know there is gonna be a raid in about two minutes.”
          The guy’s eyes got huge and he darted in. Inside, there were just your run of the mill rednecks, some bikers and a few gamblers. None of whom had any desire for interaction with Federal types. We stood off to the side in the shadow of the building well away from the yellow light above the door. In a moment or two, people came running out making a beeline for their cars, trucks and bikes. But they were not moving fast enough for Bill. He made a small circling motion with his index finger and the woods around the place came alive with sirens and blue lights. This scattered most of the brave few who had remained behind in the building. All but the good Reverend Sheppard and a few of his closest associates. I followed Bill inside. One took a shot at us. I looked at him and he dropped the gun and started to run. With my mind, I froze him in place. Bill was focused on the Reverend.                        Reverend Sheppard stood in the now empty fighting ring with a few men eyeing Bill and myself unconcerned. He, after all, was a good and great man who operated above the law. FBI types were nothing new to him and certainly not anything to be afraid of.
          “Gentleman, you have ruined a perfectly good evening with your intrusion. You better have a warrant because I have lost my good humor.”
          “Mr. Fallen, proceed,” Bill said.    
           I stepped forward and Bill sat down in a near by chair.
           “Who do you think you are dealing with?” The Reverend asked.
           “You. And we are not the FBI. I work for that guy there," I said nodding toward Bill. "He works for God. Indirectly. Think of us as God’s cleaners.”
           “You men can go. We are here for the Reverend. Of course you are welcome to stay and share his fate.”
            His guards got the point, darting out the back door. Sheriff Walton could get them later on any number of pending warrants, charges or whatever. They certainly took the easy way out. Reverend Sheppard had stopped believing in anything other than himself a very long time ago. He laughed nervously as the last of his men fled out the back door.
           “What is this?” He asked.
            The building fell away and the three of us found ourselves in a foggy field of dead grass next to a forest of leafless trees. Deep growling grew slowly from behind me. Three massive, three headed dogs came into view from the fog behind me. Bill smiled, impressed. I stepped to the side, clearing the path for the predators of old. The growling and barking rose steadily as the creatures focused on the pray moving slowly forward. For a fat guy, the Reverend moved pretty good. Too bad the dark woods had more dogs just waiting. 

Bill found himself with thirty new dogs to care for on the plantation. No worry, it was good for employee morale. After awhile, the news moved on from the disappeared crime-boss / Reverend from Mississippi. I passed my review and Bill and I agreed to not wait three thousand more years before working together again.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Travel Abroad 2

Living here in the USA, handicapped people have two things going for them, The Bill of Rights and The ADA. For the most part, I have little fear of a 2AM visit from my local popo (police) and I can go pretty much anywhere. America is accessible. But as soon as I head out over either ocean, things change. Yes, I know Europe. You're accessible and the popo will most likely leave me alone. But the further east I go, the more dicey things get. So how can I get by? Easy, bring a positive attitude and a few Franklins (hundred dollar bills) for any "misunderstandings" that may arise. So far, a positive attitude is all I have ever needed and the Franklins wind up in the local economy. In my experience, people may not like the USA but they like Americans as individuals. Those of you who travel over seas and show your ass, (arrogant, bossy and close-minded) do the rest of us a favor and stay home. You are not helping. When I'm over seas in another country, I'm a guest. I act accordingly, open minded, polite and appreciative. These are things that transcend language and cultural barriers. I've never had a problem getting a little extra help when I need it. I don't overtly preach disabled rights but try to set an example. I hope people see me and think people with disabilities can do more than live as shut-ins. I don't like the idea of telling others what to do. After  all the ADA is not perfect and we still have a long way to go in the disability rights movement here.

Not accessible by wheelchair but I made it via a few friends and a motivated boat crew. If there is a will there is a way.

I don't demand equal rights here or abroad. Equal rights are NOT any government's to give like a piece of candy to a child. It is up to me to assert my rights through action and example where ever I am. I must be my own advocate and develop my own agency. This is what I was taught and try to do. For me, disability is a state of mind as much as anything. I think I can do it. I don't think I can do it. Well, both are true. I learned this somewhere. I think it was mostly from my parents. I had to be taught to think like I do. We are learning creatures after all. Enough of the me me me. I have to admit, I still need you.           

I need you to pass on this attitude to the disabled community, keep adding accessibility and pass me a twelve pack when I cannot reach it at the store. I ask you to see me as just another schmo, not a disability. I want you to remember, if you live long enough, you too will most likely be a part of the disabled community. You, not laws, make the difference. That has been proven to me every time I go overseas or just out to buy beer.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Travel Abroad 1

Traveling with physical disabilities is different. Still, like all travel, a good attitude is required. I recently traveled from North Carolina, USA to Hanoi, Vietnam. Coming back, I got to relive Friday twice! Cool how that works, simply cross the international dateline west to east. I walk at home and work but not the airport. Most of the time, the distances are too far. I'd still be making my way through LAX if I were on foot. This is a little about the airport experience.

On the way, I had my own wheelchair. This was good because I could get in and out of it with little or no help. It was comfortable and dependable (it later went places few wheelchairs have been before). When I got on a new plane, the chair would go below and be brought up for the next leg of the trip. This is important because different airports have different types of wheelchairs. I got a low rider once in South Korea and had to hold my legs up the whole time! I made it so what the hell. I do better on planes but I'm getting older.

From the door of the plane, I can walk to my seat. I board early and leave last. Works well for me. I did have to get help getting up from my seat, which was new for me. Older, heavier and weaker, no excuses. I hope that changes by my next trip. I'm working on that already. I still got up a few times on the trans-Pacific flight. Ya need to move around some. Siting 14 hours is just bad for you and your bladder will insist. It also breaks the time up. Beware! Big airplanes still have tiny bathrooms! I barely had room to stand and get the door shut. Turbulence takes the relief break to a whole new level. There's not much to hang on to. On that long flight I would not say I slept well but I cat napped  here and there. When the last leg of the trip was over, The wife and I breezed through security to her waiting family.

There will be more soon.
A new country... Stay tuned.          

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Living Independently

For people with disabilities who want to live independently contact-- 

National Council on Living Independently

To find a Center near you, go HERE.

It is important for people with disabilities to be able to live independently in their local communities if the wish to do so. Being institutionalized, marginalized, disempowered and condemned to a live in poverty can not be acceptable. I see organizations like the one listed above as essential to breaking the same old cycles. That's why I got involved. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Night Ride

Hi, I'm Sam Fallen and I work for the Devil. But... its not like that. The universe is a vast and complicated place. There is far more to it than your little 1300 cc brains can comprehend. Keep trying. You're so cute and entertaining! We demons get a bad rap. I still cannot get over how bad you treat each other from time to time. And I'm a demon? Look, I cannot go ape-shit and kill all the bad guys for you. Step up to the plate yourself from time to time.  If I even tried to do it all, that would be breaking far too many protocols. Who needs the paperwork? I mean, I would if I could but like I said, it's far more complicated than you can comprehend. Sometimes, I can make a difference, even in small ways.  It's not always about killing Nazis, pedophiles, abusers and other sickos. Sometime, just word of caution is all that's needed. 

I like my current job. I get to dole out justice "Twilight Zone" style, mostly here in the USA. During down time between jobs, I like roam around the country, checking out the people and sites. I mostly drive at night. After all I'm a demon, dammit! I can drive whatever I want. Here lately, I've been sporting a black Nissan GTR Nizmo. It's quite a ride! You should check one out sometime. Better yet, steal one! Now, I could power the thing myself but you know, protocols. So, I still have to put up with your fossil fuel bullshit (most of the time). So there I am blasting through the desert south-west, California bound, Metallica pumping, windows down, howling at the moon when the low fuel light comes on. That's not all that far in this rig. I cannot be too choosy. I pull into a little seedy roadside gas station. They are open 24 hours, lucky me. At least the pumps are from the 21st century, I can just swipe my card and not even have to go in. I avoid you guys when possible, nothing personal. My gas card is pretty cool, no limits or bills. Yes, being a demon has privileges. The good mood I had before quickly evaporated listening to some clerk-schmuck threatening to call the cops on a teen-aged girl sitting on the curb balling her eyes out. The kid had enough problems and he wasn't helping. Between jobs, I had nothing better to do. I strolled on over. 

      "Hi, Katie. It's Sam. I used to work with your Dad, Robert. Is this guy bothering you?"
      "No," she stammered. 
      I gave the clerk-schmuck a "you better get the fuck outta here before I beat your ass" look. Yeah, another demon thing that comes in handy from time to time. He got the point, suddenly remembering brownies were burning in the store or something equally as dire. No, I never worked with Kate's dad! But how would she know? I did know her name, Katie, and her dad's name was Robert though. It's a part of my job to know such things.
      "Kate, this a real nice place and all but that guy may indeed call the cops. Come with me and we'll sort things out. I know your dad and I won't hurt you."
      Without saying anything, she got up and walked over to my car. I opened the passenger door and she got in. I got in, hit the start button and eased back out onto the road going east. I know my new charge lives back in Missouri. Yeah, it's a little out of the way but what the hell. I got time. My new friend says nothing, just looking straight ahead at the desolate two-lane road. Like I said, I have time. Finally, she speaks.
     "What did you say your name was?"
     "Sam Fallen."
     "I don't remember Dad mentioning you before. Are you sure you worked with him?"
     "Yes, I'm sure. It was a contract assignment, only a few months. So, ah, what brings you out west?"
     "I'm still not convinced."
     I slow the car. "Would you rather walk? I don't kidnap people. You're free to go."
     "No, just take me to the next town."

     I accelerate back up to my previous speed. "Looks like we have 22 more miles."
     She remains silent. I know why she's here. I know all about the cool new boyfriend who offered adventure and excitement. She found out the hard way, all he really wanted was to pimp her out to movie-makers on the west coast for fun and profit. Wisely, she took her chances at a roadside gas station instead of getting back in the van with him and his buddies. Things were about to get ugly. I'll give the young man a little credit. He did not force (or let his buddies force) her back into the van. He wrongly figured she'd be calling begging for a ride in twenty minutes or so. That was two hours ago. This kid knew better. I thought about the sickos in the van and decided to let it go for now. They had not crossed the line yet. Kate was their first and more than one did not like what was going on. Harm kids guys and there is Hell to pay. I turned on Kate's favorite band, The The. Not my thing really but I wanted the kid to be comfortable. I looked over and saw her sobbing softly to herself. I reached over and squeezed her shoulder. 
    "You're safe now."
    Kate sobbed louder. I remained silent. She soon stopped and we rode on in silence. 
    "Where do you want to get out?" I asked.
    "I don't know mister. I have no money and no place to go."
    "Where would you like to go? I'll help you."
    Once she was in my car, she was under my protection and my responsibility. Anything happen to her on my watch and I'm back scraping feces off dungeon floors in the eighth circle of hell, no thanks.
    "Home," she answered at last. Back with her family, I was no longer responsible. It was up to them to look out for her. 
    "I'll get you there. Around daybreak we'll be near Albuquerque. I'll see to it you get on a plane home. You have had a long last few days. Try to get some rest."
    "You have no idea what my last few days have been like but thank you."
    "Don't assume what someone else may or may not know," I said as I flashed a few images from her last few days into her mind from mine. It was just enough to give her pause.
    "Are you a guardian angel or something?"
    It was all I could do to not bust out laughing. I barely pulled back into my lane in time to avoid a semi. I hope she did not see my expression. 
    "No, let's just stick with or something. Get some rest."
    "Thank you, Mr. Fallen."
    Soon she dozed off. Now, putting the kid on a plane was not all that hard but I did not want to screw around with this for the next several hours. Katie, with no id, did not help matters either. I looked into her mind and found where she lived. Bam! Let's do this. The GTR disappeared from Arizona. In a quiet neighborhood in Jefferson, Missouri I spun around doing a 360 degree turn. There was always the outside chance of merging with another car, pedestrian, dog or cat. I win that battle but oh, the paperwork! Katie woke up and looked around. 
     "Are we at the airport?"
     "You slept quite awhile. I didn't have the heart wake you."
     I rounded another turn and she knew where she was. The sun was just coming up. I stopped a block short of her house. 
     "Okay, this is it kid. I think you can make it from here."
     She hugged my neck. "How did we get here?
     "You slept right through it. This Nissan is rather zippy. Your parents and brother have been worried sick. Now go!"
     I leaned across her and opened the door. 
     "Is this real?"
     "Yes, now go on."
     "I don't know how to thank you, Mr. Fallen."
     "Easy, don't get into any more vans with strange boys, no matter how cute or cool they may appear to be."
    She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. "How about fast cars with handsome men?"   Katie climbed out, shut the door and looked at me for an answer.
    "Especially them." I winked my right eye. "So long kid. Keep yourself safe." 
    "You too."    
     “Will I ever see you again?”
     “I don’t think so.”
    I eased the car away and watched her in the rear-view until I turned back toward the interstate. She had a lot of fence mending and healing to do with her family but I knew she would be okay. I put myself a few days behind schedule but I have a very fast car, a credit card with no limits (or bills) and all the time I needed. 
    The moral? Take care of each other, you fuckers, I cannot rescue everybody.