Monthly Archives: March 2012

Kilroy/T.K. was here…

Once again, the Internets have come through big time!  For some reason, recently I was thinking about how my father would scribble his version of the “Kilroy was here” image in various places, and his explanation for the drawing.  This image and story has always struck me as funny and I had to confirm this information.  As it turns out, there is a dedicated website for everything you could possibly want to know about “Kilroy was here“.  Practically everyone associated with the World War II generation is familiar with this story, and it was definitely part of my father’s consciousness.  He even had a cat named “Kilroy”.

Later that same afternoon, I was delivering some homemade kimchi to my friends Alejandra Ospina and Nick Dupree, who live in lower Manhattan.  Alejandra and Nick are a more than interesting couple and both are very computer savvy!  By way of explanation, Alejandra seems to be everywhere all over the Internet and is an administrator/liaison for an online community called GimpGirl; Nick is a cartoonist, writer and student, who creates his art using a trackball mouse and Photoshop software to publish his work online at superdude.org

T.K. was here

T.K. was here

This visit started me to think about how I used to draw quite often and it sparked a creative urge related to the aforementioned Kilroy.  Apart from the artistic component, I am compulsive and I wanted to see whether I could dip my toe into visually creative waters once again.  So as to not to bite off more than one can chew, all I wanted to produce with my first computer drawing effort was to change “Kilroy” to “T.K.”.  In a way, I had a head start with this effort because I had already “borrowed” the “Kilroy was here” image and then converted the image to a bitmap file. From there, I inserted the graphics file into a Microsoft FrontPage document and inserted the “T.K.” by figuring out how to draw lines and move them around.  Next, I took a screenshot of my progress and then opened it up in the primitive “Paint” program to save it in a JPEG format.  Finally I went back to my photo editing software to crop the image. Talk about an absolutely crazy computer work around effort…!

In the end, this whimsical project was a lot of fun.  If you are wondering, being self aggrandizing is far underrated and figuring out the different steps in this process was an interesting exercise.  Everyone should do something creative every day creative…!

Recent hiatus

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than four months since my last posting.  During that time there was the frenzy of the holiday season, but also, I had some nagging medical problems and I had to take care of the most difficult experience of my life when my father, Neal E. Small, passed away on January 7, 2012. 

 

Neal E.  Small was a proud and loving father to me and my sister Lucy and, in addition to (or despite) being an attorney, he had many interests beyond the law.  Among his eclectic list of interests were: everything nautical, history, writing, politics, poetry photography, painting, tools and woodworking, science and engineering, inventions, etc.. In short, he was a Renaissance man.

 

As I have explained to people recently, my father was my biggest champion, supporter and best friend.  Particularly for people with severe disabilities, the relationship between a parent and child is especially strong and it definitely was between my father and me.  Hopefully in the near future I will have time to properly describe our bond.

 

In the meantime, I have been gradually getting back into work and have been participating in a national systemic advocacy issue by encouraging people to “Tell the US Department of Labor to work with the Disability Community!“.  This effort is part of a national campaign to submit comments to the US Department of Labor in explanation of our opposition to these regulatory changes.  For further information, take a look at the background information provided by the Center for Disability Rights

 

Back in December, the Obama administration proposed amending the US Department of Labor regulations concerning home care workers. Under the current rules, home care workers are not subject to the ordinary overtime rules. This is called the “companionship exemption” to the Fair Standards Labor Act. The regulatory change that the US Department of Labor is considering is to eliminate the companionship exemption; workers would then theoretically be entitled to be paid overtime pay for everything over 40 hours per week. 

 

However, basically every state and local government is on the verge of bankruptcy, so the prospect of home care workers actually getting paid overtime is a pipe dream at best.  If these regulatory changes go through, what will probably result is an unofficial cap in the hours that a worker can put in per week.  On a personal note, two of my personal care assistants will have their pay reduced.  Thank you Pres. Obama!