Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stuff

Dearest Blog Readers:

Every now and then I feel that I need to do some blog business. This seems to be an appropriate time. I've three things to mention.

First, I do appreciate readers sending me links to disability news, I read each and every one of them. This keeps me up to date with what is going on. I would ask though that these links not be accompanied by a demand that I write about the particular topic. Rolling Around in My Head is not a news blog. The notes often refer to my having an influential blog and an responsibility to get a certain message out. I never know what to do with these emails. I write this blog as a hobby, I do hope to inform, inspire and sometimes even infuriate readers ... but it is, after all a PERSONAL blog. I get, as I've said many times, no payment and I offer no endorsements or advertising. I'm just writing a blog. Recently some of my emails have become downright hostile and threatening. I'm told I don't care. I'm told I'm irresponsible. One reader said, 'How can you write cute stories about that (Bleeping) Ruby when there are real issues like XXXXX to be discussed? How do you live with yourself?' I guess I live with myself just fine, maybe because I don't write nasty emails to strangers demanding things from them. So please ... send links for information, if it catches me in a moment where I want to write about it I will. But I can't force a blog out of your story if it isn't in my fingers. Too, could you be polite when you write me? It may surprise you, but I do have feelings and can get stung by angry words from angry strangers.

Second, I've been wondering if the blog is beginning to run it's course and I've begun to have discussions about winding it down. I'm still writing regularly and I try to write things of interest but other than for the occasional blog post, the responses have really slowed down I get around a one percent comment rate over a month long period. I will admit to sometimes feeling resentful ... 'I put all that energy into writing that on a night that I was tired and my writing is met with mammoth indifference.' I must say I have some regular and wonderful commenters. I need to say that the only reason there still is a blog is because of you folks. Without your encouragement I'd have given up. So, I've asked before and I'll ask again. If something strikes you, a word or comment would be nice. It does make the world of difference to me. I realize I have no real right to ask anything of you, but, here I am asking anyways.

Third, if you have any ideas as to how I can bring more 'spark' to the blog, please let me know. Would you like more 'what would you do' blogs, would you like more polls, would you like more anything. I am open to ideas. So send me an email and let me know you're idea. Again, be kind in your emails. (I've had some pretty nasty one's these last few days.)

So, sorry about this kind of post, but I do need to address you all every now and then. I try to keep it to a minimum.

Ta, all.

73 comments:

CL said...

I have found the discussions on posts that ask "what would you do" to be very interesting, and I think it's because when readers are invited to consider a certain question, they are happy to share their ideas. You certainly have a large audience of people who are happy to comment when asked, and more questions would probably continue to generate more responses.

I think people are less likely to comment on personal posts that don't contain a discussion question because it feels a little bit weird to jump in and start sharing thoughts on your stories when they are so personal. And when I read something that affects me, I often don't have anything to say right away other than "wow, that was touching / sad / offensive / brilliant" and most people don't bother to leave those comments. Maybe we should all remember that even when we're not really adding to the discussion, just commenting to acknowledge that we enjoyed or were affected by writing can be appreciated by the author.

CL said...

I should also say that I only discovered this blog a couple of months ago, but I have really enjoyed your writing. The stories have also given me a lot to think about. I certainly don't feel like you're obligated to keep sharing with us if you ever feel burnt out and want to stop, but I appreciate the blog and look forward to the posts.

Mandassassin said...

I read and enjoy your blog every day. I very rarely comment, however, as the whole chronic pain/fatigue/brain fog thing tends to rob me of the impetus to do so. I just wanted to let you know that, for me at least - and probably for a number of others, not commenting isn't an indicator of a failure to be engaged with or be grateful for your work.
I appreciate you! :)

Zoe said...

Yikes! That's really sad that someone would write you such a nasty email -- and about Ruby, too! I personally love hearing about Ruby. I like thinking about how we as a society can raise children to be accepting of disability and diversity, and hearing what a great job Ruby is doing makes me super hopeful.

I'm also someone who reads your blog all the time and doesn't comment as often as I know you would like. (guilt!) Again, I'll try to do more. What I read here means a lot to me.

Brooke, said...

Dido to all that has already been said :) I look forward to new posts each week and would really miss it if you were to stop. I quite enjoy hearing about your day to day adventures, it helps us all to know you're just like the rest of us :) I will try and respond to your posts, but like someone already said, I don't always know what to say at the time and don't really want to waste your time either by just writing "that was insightful" or "that was heart warming".

Please keep writing :)

Brooke & the canines from ruled by paws

http://ruledbypaws.blogspot.com

B said...

a lot of us are touched but don't comment... doesn't mean we're not getting anything out of it.

Aeryn said...

I've recently started reading the blog, and I'm really enjoying it.

I really like the stuff around bullying / communication / assertiveness / listening / inter-personal interactions.

I don't always comment (fibrofog), but I do get a lot out of it. ^_^

Jan said...

Dave I do read your blog daily but don't comment all the time. I work with families who have sons and daughters with all kinds of disabilites and often send a link to your blog to many of them. Much of the feedback I have received has been very positive and many have said that what you do aroung bullying and teasing is reassuring for them. I love the blogs about Ruby. I also enjoyed the video blogs that you did. Keep up the great work. I don't know what my day would be like if it didn't start with reading your posts.

Kristin said...

Honestly Dave, I think your blog is pretty perfect just the way it is. No one sparkles 100 % of the time and I love that you balance serious posts with cute, happy stories about your family.

As for comments or lack of them. Sadly, that is typical across the blogosphere. On a really good day, I get comments that equal about 1 to 2% of the people that either open my blog or read it in their Google reader. I write for me and as long as my writing makes me happy, well, the comments are just icing on the cake.

I do hope you continue to write for many, many years to come because I know I have become a better person through exposure to your blog.

theknapper said...

please keep writing....I'll comment more....whatever it takes!

Rachel said...

Hey Dave,
I read your blog often. Not every day, cause life gets too crazy. And I read it on an RSS feed, so it's not always quick or easy to comment. But I should more often -- I've learned a lot from you, which I value. And I link friends to your blog quite often.

One thing I enjoy -- book and film discussions, both as they relate to disability topics, and just general interest. Quite a while back you wrote about a book -- Thread of Grace. I couldn't read it at the time, but I put it in my Amazon wish list, and eventually got around to it. It was excellent, and I ended up reading a couple of other titles by the same author.

From there, I noticed some book reviews @ Amazon that I believe were by you? (if not, the guy has a similar writing style and outlook) which led me to some movies and books that I might not otherwise have come across. I've always intended to drop you a line and let you know that I appreciated those "introductions".

RST

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

While I can understand your discouragement I will add my voice to the please don't leave us chorus. I enjoy your posts and find them thought provoking. Your perspective makes me think and your humour makes me laugh. I often refer my students to your blog and read them posts in class. I enjoy reading about Ruby - an amazingly wise child. I did enjoy the book clubs and would participate in another.

It amazes me that people send bloggers mean and demanding emails. It would be a shame if they robbed us of this opportunity for dialogue.

Colleen

Joyfulgirl said...

what horrible emails. I hope you hit the delete button on them.
I don't understand why people can't move along to another blog/site if the one they are currently reading upsets them so much - and why instead they send vile emails and expect you to change for them. Incredible.

I feel I shouldn't even have to say the obvious that I, along with others, totally love the Ruby posts and just can't believe anyone could comment in such a hateful way about that wonderful girl. We all need hope and joy and any story with a mention of Ruby brings both.

I do hope the blog does not wind down completely-it is really life-affirming and life-changing for so many people.

I have always been amazed that you can manage to blog almost every day on top of your full time work and perhaps one change that we could all live with is one new blog post a week. This may be less onerous for you and also make us all appreciate the post more and take more time to comment on it during the week-long hiatus before the next one.

Tamara said...

I know I should comment more, but I do read frequently.

I really don't understand why people who read your blog would push you to write about one thing or another. I don't read it expecting your blog to change the world. I read it because it generally makes me think - often gives me a new perspective, sometimes strengthens my own.

Didn't you first intend to just write for a year? It's a lot to do a daily blog, but you have a lot of wisdom to impart.

My personal opinion is that you should blog because you enjoy blogging - not because people are reading or commenting.

If you don't enjoy it or it's tedious, then you should stop or take a break.

We'd all miss you, but I think this should be a labor of love, not a chore.

I hope you love blogging too much to quit, though - :-)

Mitchell said...

Your writings mean a lot to us who support people with disabilties. It sparks ideas as well as gives alternative ways to look at this world. It is important but I too feel that a blog is intended to meet many needs including those of the writer to express their hopes, fears, ideas and frustrations. Writing is a very personal undertaking and in the end you alone will decide what makes the most sense to you. Thank you for your time, energy and stimulating ideas.

Leslie said...

Love your writing and would be very sad if you stopped. That said - I think you should write about what you feel like writing about and when you feel like writing. I comment rarely, partly because what you write often moves me so deeply that I'm without words to respond. Also I read you first thing in the morning and am emphatically not a morning person so writing a coherent response at that hour is iffy at best.

I believe that what you post is important and worthwhile and I am filled with admiration for your writing and you. I can't imagine the gall of sending you rude demands to write about anything in particular - good grief!

Andrea S. said...

I always feel a little mixed when I see these appeals (and not just from Dave, from any blogger) for more comments.

On one hand, as a writer myself, I can understand the need for feedback, for affirmation, for some connection to the audience and some sense of their reaction (did they like it? did it make them think? did it move them?). And sometimes I feel guilty for not leaving comments more often even though I know it means a great deal.

But I also think that sometimes bloggers (again, in general, not just Dave) become unrealistic in their expectations. Getting comments from about one to two percent of your readers seems fairly standard, as Kristin says. Even years before blogs existed, back in the days when "internet" meant "email and usenet news and this newfangled thing called ftp" when I started participating in email discussion lists, on a typical mailing only about 1-2 percent of the subscribers seem to actually participate on a given day. So it's not just in blogs that people are quiet

There are all kinds of reasons why people may remain silent and most don't really have anything to do with the author or how the person responded to the written work. The person may be tired--just alert enough to read and absorb but not quite alert enough to generate a fresh thought. A person may be so profoundly moved that they are left without any words to wrap around what they are thinking or feeling and may need to process it for many days or weeks before they know what to say. By which time, the blog has moved on to other things. A person may have already left comments several times in the past week (and not necessarily even on the same blog) that were among the lines of "I can't think of anything to say but wanted you to know that I'm paying attention" ... well, there are only so many ways you can say that. I suppose you could use a stock phrase, "Hi, I'm here, I read it, I liked it" over and over but that would feel so fake.

Maybe you need to think of it as if you're giving a presentation ... not every audience member is necessarily going to participate in any of your role plays at all, there's always going to be some people who are too shy, or who is so overwhelmed with new ideas to process that they're just not ready to do anything other than just thinking silently to themselves, or whatever. And even if half the people participate over the course of a day-long workshop, not everyone is going to raise their hand volunteering themselves for every activity or every opportunity to say something. It matters to you less when it is an audience you can see because even if a certain portion of the audience never says a word at all, or only volunteers for a few things instead of many, you can at least see their faces and know they're attentive and thinking hard, and that gives you the reassurance you need to go on.

I think a blog readership is the same: just because we aren't all of us squirming in our seats with our hands in the air wanting to be called upon right!now! doesn't mean we aren't "listening" (reading) attentively.

Dave, you have lots of regular readers ... that right there says a heck of a lot about what people think and react to your writing even if we don't always say it every day or even every month, even if some people never say anything at all. Can you picture us in your mental audience, eyes fastened on your face, thoughtful looks on our faces, following attentively? The people who aren't saying anything right now? For most of them, that's exactly what they're doing.

Ruti said...

Your blog makes me think so much about power and how not to abuse it.

Sometimes I have a lot of power and it's hard to know if I'm doing right by people -- and I'll have more in the future.

I think the things you write make me a better, more respectful, and less dangerous person -- or at least, they make me think about it and try and keep trying.

If you stopped I would miss your blog a lot because many many people notice the problem but I think you're the only blogger who regularly talks about how to address it practically. Thinking about principles isn't enough without thinking about how to act according to them and doing so.

Laurene said...

Hi Dave,
I read a lot of blogs, but rarely comment. Yours is usually one of the first I read each day. I started reading because I wanted to hear perspectives from a someone very different from me, but I've learned that we are not so different after all. I like to read your stories about Ruby and about details of accessibility. When I'm in a hotel or restaurant, I often think to myself, would Dave be able to come here?
Thank you.

Celine said...

Dave,

Yours was the first blog I ever discovered, the first blog I read every morning without fail and the reason I decided to start my own blog a few months ago.

Your writings about advocacy and accessibility inspire me to work harder in my job and my life to really make a difference. Your writings about friends, going out for tea and hanging out with Ruby remind me that the little things in life are often the biggest.

You need to do what you need to do but, if you chose to take a break from blogging, this lady will most definitely miss her daily dose of inspiration.

Celine

PS Looking forward to meeting you in person tomorrow.

liz said...

Since I am temporarily able-bodied, I sometimes feel like me adding anything to the comments would be intrusive to the discussion. Your blogs are always meaningful to me, and I read daily...but I generally only comment if I've been moved to cry or laugh out loud or like that.

liz said...

Since I am temporarily able-bodied, I sometimes feel like me adding anything to the comments would be intrusive to the discussion. Your blogs are always meaningful to me, and I read daily...but I generally only comment if I've been moved to cry or laugh out loud or like that.

Gina said...

As commenter #23, most of what I want to say repeats what has already been said ... The Ruby stories are wonderful, the posts when you are searching for ways to address problems are good for my head - I read your blog daily (and have for years now).

I suspect that there are many of us out here that find your writing both supportive and thought provoking. I don't mind breaks at all - if you need 'em - take 'em. I hope you don't find this to be a grind and I really would like to encourage you to do whatever you need to do to re-energize and get back to enjoying the process and the people that you speaking to -

Thank you!

Becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becca said...

Wow. What a real shame that people have to act like that when just doing what you do (as opposed to catering to the demands of others!) makes such a huge difference in people's lives. Those kinds of comments/e-mails would seriously demotivate me. Your blog has inspired so many people, brought about some real change, and provided insightful, heartwarming, entertaining and moving stories. Some people can be so ungrateful. I, too, have been reading all of your posts, but don't often comment, and for that, my humble apologies. Just know that we *are* all out there, reading, learning, enjoying. I hope you continue to do what you do, write what you write, as *you* feel the desire. This is *your* blog - you don't have to answer to anyone else, and that's what we love about you. :-)
THANK YOU!!!!

Faery said...

I can't believe that someone has had the audacity to speak about Ruby in that way. How do THEY live with themselves having said that?? How can they expect you to treat ANYTHING as being more important than your family. I'm absolutely disgusted with this person!

I work with for a disability charity and a large part of my work is about raising awareness in the community. Sometimes the people in your stories remind me a lot of situations facing my own service users and your blog can often help me to understand a situation, or try a different idea or make me think about my own actions inside and outside of the workplace.

I also love to read about Joe and about Ruby. It reminds us that you are a real person and not just a 'disability blogger'. You are not defined by your wheelchair. You're entitled to write about any aspect of your life - if other people can't always relate to that aspect then they should at least respect your right to talk about it.

I have a little girl a similar age to Ruby so your stories about her always make me smile. I think that knowing that the next generation are being taught understanding and tolerance is just as important as anything else you write about.

To cut a long comment short though - Thank you x

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,
I enjoy the blog just as it is. A surprise every time.
It would sadden me if you stopped altogether though. My husband wrote a humour column for many years (for our local newspaper) and the column wasn't daily. He used to suffer terrible pains to come up with ideas. I cannot imagine what you must go through to write something every day of such good quality. What about taking a summer hiatus and doing a weekly blog, just to see how it feels? one of your many fans, Maggie

Alison Cummins said...

A very à propos post on the science of blogging comments:
http://scienceofblogging.com/are-comments-worth-the-trouble/

Kasie said...

Please don't stop!
You make a difference!

Jami Davis said...

I read your blog every day and occasionally I've printed one and read it out loud to my staff. I don't comment much because I'm usually reading at work and don't take the time to do it. I'm not moved to deep thought by all your entries, but sometimes I'm touched so deeply that it's on my mind all day. I don't understand why people feel entitled to demand things of you--too bad they don't turn that energy on to fights for world peace or bringing about a barrier-free society. That said, I'd miss you like crazy if I couldn't read you.

Susan said...

Dave
I love you blog and I promise to comment more. As I don't have a disability I sometimes don't feel qualified to comment but you always make me think and hopefully learn something!
Please don't stop telling us Ruby stories - she so totally gets it - I hope my little boy will grow up like her. I was trying to think what word should have been used to describe Ruby (instead of bleeping) and it must be inspirational as are your posts.

Thank you
Susan

krlr said...

Please don't leave! I just started reading you a couple months (?) ago but I always think I should read the archives & introduce myself before I start commenting - some wierd carry over from the 1800s, in "seeking a formal introduction". Anyway, love your posts.

And I think you could have immense fun with the angry letter writers, a la 27bslash6.com

Cheryl said...

Another reader checking in with a comment as asked for. Your blog is the ONLY one I read every day, and I'd miss it.

I agree that the request for comments is unrealistic, however. I read books and newspapers, and I don't generally reply to those writers, much less on a daily basis. Maybe I'm not up on blog etiquette, but it wouldn't even occur to me to comment every day. I don't mean to be implying that I don't care. Sorry if that's what it seems.

Someone on the Other Side of the Lake said...

I've left comments now and then, but not often, because I don't have a personal stake in the issues you discuss; I visit to broaden my horizons, and because i like the way you write. I enjoy Ruby stories. I like Joe stories, too. I find design for accessibility interesting, even if I don't expect to implement the information. Do I NEED to know what you think about those things? No, but I value your opinion. If you keep writing, I'll keep checking in, and I'll try to remember to say hello more often.

Princeton Posse said...

Dear Dave, Please don't stop writing your blog. It is a real inspiration to me to do/be better. I have a copy of your blog "I saw you" (Dec "09) in my desk and think of it often. It makes me cry everytime I read it as it was very similar to a dream I had. I like the "what would you do" blog and enjoy the feedback from your wise readers. I also love hearing about your family and friends. Take heart, spring is coming.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
As a young social worker, I read your blog every day and find that it inspires me when I feel that my work is useless or that I am not doing enough. Because of your posts, I do speak out when my friends or colleagues use the 'R' word, take on diminishing attitudes, or don't take action to make changes against ableism. I also have become more responsible in my own work. I like the 'what would you do', hearing about Ruby, and all the stories you tell. Keep it up! People do read, use and enjoy your material! I am sorry to hear you have been getting negative emails. I hope this stops. Good for you for asking for what you need and making it clear what is not acceptable.

cmbg said...

Hi Dave! I've only commented a few times over the past couple years since I found your blog.

I don't like bells and whistles and gimmicks in a blog. I like small observations (or occasionally big ones) and slices of life. And basic hope, despite occasional discouragement. And I love your blog!

A while back, I was all depressed about Internet news, among other things. I decided to stop reading most of my usual news sources and blogs for a while, but I made a favorites/bookmarks folder called "Happy Places," and I put just a few links there. Yours was the first. Your observations always make me smile or cry -- usually both at once. You help to renew my faith in the goodness of humanity. Invariably, repeatedly, over and over again. Thank you for that. :)

cmbg said...

Hi Dave! I've only commented a few times over the past couple years since I found your blog.

I don't like bells and whistles and gimmicks in a blog. I like small observations (or occasionally big ones) and slices of life. And basic hope, despite occasional discouragement. And I love your blog!

A while back, I was all depressed about Internet news, among other things. I decided to stop reading most of my usual news sources and blogs for a while, but I made a favorites/bookmarks folder called "Happy Places," and I put just a few links there. Yours was the first. Your observations always make me smile or cry -- usually both at once. You help to renew my faith in the goodness of humanity. Invariably, repeatedly, over and over again. Thank you for that. :)

cmbg said...

(oops, it looks like I posted "repeatedly, over and over again." I apologize for that! lol...)

sunshineandchaos said...

Hi Dave,

i found your blog a few months ago and enjoy it immensely. I am always enlightened by what you have to say and by points of view that I don't experiece myself.

Someone else has already mentioned about taking the summer off, I believe, and I think taking some time off may be the thing for you to do. As you said, this is a personal blog so you do it by choice. Perhaps taking a vacation, as you do from your job, may help bring some perspective to any changes you may want to make. You may find you enjoy the outlet blogging gives you or you may want to reduce the number of days you blog. Again, it's your choice.

As for the delightful Ruby, I find the stories you write about her enlightening and wonderful to read. It's obvious she has many around her that love her and that she loves back. I wish everyone could grow up having that.

I hope you continue to write your blog, but you must do what is best for you.


Maureen

Mer said...

I read your blog regularly but don't believe I've ever commented. I truly do enjoy your posts though and it has opened my eyes to different issues in disability than those limited ones exposed to me by my little boy with Down syndrome. Keep writing!!! :) You're great!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh! The Blog Carnivals! I really like those.

wendy said...

Dave,
Yours is the only blog I read. I read it faithfully and am never disappointed. I used to comment periodically but, for some unknown reason, my home computer has started to do weird things when I access your blog from it (probably some virus in my computer that gets triggered, I don't know...I work with people, not technology). I've been reluctant to comment from my work computer but I have been reading.

You need to know that, when faced with tricky situations, I often ask myself "what would Dave do?"

I love your stories...all of them. Anyone who wants to tell you what to write is way out of line. The blog is yours. You can write about anything you want.

Still here, in Ottawa.

Amanda Forest Vivian said...

Please don't end your blog Dave, I love it so much & it's been so important to me as a disabled person and as someone who thinks & writes about anti-ableism.

Juliet said...

As a TAB person, I don't really feel I have much to say. I really do appreciate the opportunity to listen, though. Please don't wear yourself out if your heart isn't in it, but I honestly have really learned a lot just from reading your blog for the past few months. Personally, I most enjoy the narratives of your day as they help me recognize my own able-bodied privilege and empathize/advocate better with others. Regardless of whether you stop now or continue for years, I really do appreciate what you've put so much time into creating.

LVS G'MA said...

love your blog! i'm just not one to comment much. i have linked people to your blog and they have all said how much they love it also!
hope you continue to write, i enjoy my daily dave fix ;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave
I understand if you want to take a break or are a bit tired.
I just check my all time favourite post (Wednesday, October 18, 2006)POCO HOR and realised I have read each and every post you did since early 2006 when I first found CTF on the web!
My son Robert was two years old then, he is now almost 7! He had Down Syndrome.
Your posts have informed me, madened me, inspired me, made me cry, made me laugh, gave me much food for thought in the last five years. I am very grateful to you for what ever you post!
Thats what I love the most is not knowing what you will be writing about each day!
I do especially love the ones where you talk about your workshops, and the impact they have on adults who take them.
I love those when you challenge yourself and others view of the world of disabilty. I love the one when you got the reply from the actor who used the r word!
I love the ordinary ones where you describe a night at the opera, or an afternoon tea with friends, your relationship with Joe and Ruby, ..ah sure I love them all Dave!

But if its time for a break, its time for a break! Do let us know what you decide!

And thank you for opening your heart and your life experiences in this blog...It makes a BIG difference for me advocating for my son with DS in Dublin, Ireland.

Love....Linda (LinMac)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Wow. Thanks for all the comments. I have had a busy day at work today and was not able to log on so I was quite surprised. I do wish to say, though, I was only 'wondering' about the future of the blog, I had no immediate plans on stopping. I wrote the blog after a blistering email about what I write and what I don't write. I decided to write about that and thought, why not go whole hog and mention my desire for more contact from readers. I guess I got that. Thank you all for the affirmations!

little.birdy said...

I read regularly and enjoy it! I am a speech language pathologist, fresh out of grad school, and I work with middle schoolers. I was in a class when one student called another "r" word and had a total ph man what would Dave do moment. I wasn't the teacher and was not in charge of the class. I wasn't sure how to react without drawing attention to myself and the student with a disability whom I was working with and totally disrupting the lesson. So what would you have done?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I try to read your blog every day. Sometimes I laugh sometimes I cry sometimes I get downright angry at the situations you describe and inspired by that I try to effect change in my little part of the world.

I am privileged to have made my career in the field of supporting people with disabilities and I often share your writing with my colleagues. Support staff and their administrators can get very focused on doing the best they can at their daily jobs and your insights often bring them out of that for a valuable learning moment.

I apologize for not commenting as often as you deserve. Just as you feel writing this blog, I feel that reading it is a hobby - I do it because I enjoy it. The bonus moments are when I can bring something back to my work life. I like all of your stories: the personal, the official, the work related, the calls to action, every little bit. I do not feel you have any particular responsibility to write about one topic to the exclusion of all others. I am impressed with the freedom you feel to share as much as you do about so many aspects of your life! It makes for a well rounded reading experience:)

So why don't I comment more often? Pick one: lazy, can't believe anyone needs to read what I think, afraid to be exposed publicly, etc. Most often I feel you have said it well and I don't need to simply agree and sound like a silly follower.

I will try to change. I like your writing and hope you do not stop using this forum. Books are great but it is this sort of ongoing/what will he talk about today type of adventure that keeps me coming back for more.

Cheers,
Cheryl

coffeetalk said...

Dave, I will admit that yours is the only blog I read. I work in the developmental services field and have attended many of your trainings over the years. I pretty much think you are a rock star and feel totally inadequate to add anything to what you write. Your posts always give me something to think about and take back to my workplace and try to get others to think about. Your Ruby stories are wonderful as they demonstrate, nine times out of ten, the automatic, inclusive thinking of children and remind us that we all used to be that open-minded and accepting. I hope you will continue sharing your wisdom. Thank you for your perspective. Have a great day.

Moose said...

The simple truth, in my unhumble opinion, is something I've said here time and again: This is your space.

You wanna write? Write.
You don't want to write? Don't write.
You want to write about a particular subject, whether it has to do with the usual topic? Write about it.
You want to quit entirely? Quit.

Do what you want.

Rule One: People Are Idjits. Nitwits. Twitbunnies. Asshats.

Nobody has the right to dictate to you what you do and don't do here. NOBODY. There is no reason for you to have to put up with that crap. This is why The Internet Gods created Mr Delete Button.

So, again, in my unhumble opinion, don't worry about jazzing up the site. Don't worry about whether people care about your content. Don't worry about whether there IS content.

Just do what you want to do. It's your space, and it belongs to nobody else.




Crap. Now I feel like frikkin Yoda... :-)

kmilyun said...

I will de-lurk to let you know I read, I enjoy, you make me think about things - sometimes in a new way.

jan

lisa said...

Dave,
I am sorry I don't comment too often any more. But, I read your blog every single day and often recommend it to people I think will appreciate it, especially those new parents of children with Down Syndrome, although I am not sure they are always ready to hear it all. I would be sad if you stopped blogging, I was so happy to find that you had a blog after seeing you at a TASH conference many many years ago.
And we all love your Ruby, I am sorry for whoever was rude about her.
Lisa

Robyn said...

I'm mom to an amazing 6 year old Seth who has a developmental disability. This time has been a journey of figuring out what this means to our family and how we want it to fit that into the definition of who we are. You have been invaluable in helping us to continue to make this a big part of the picture, not the whole picture which is how I want it to stay. I'm sorry I'm not a very good commenter but you are so far reaching and I don't think you have played out your writing in anyway. I've only just found you! (Plus, I really love Ruby!) Thanks so much Dave!

Susan said...

I LOVE your blog but I never comment. I didn't realize how important comments were to you.
Anything you write about, I thoroughly enjoy. Do you ever get to New England? I'd love to meet you and attend one of your "events".

Kristine said...

Holy comments, batman... You asked, and apparently, received! Let me just add my voice as one that would be extremely disappointed if this blog stopped. I read religiously, and wouldn't change a thing. I love the "snapshot" quality of your blog. Your posts tend to focus on one tiny moment from your day, and then savour all that it was worth. And whether it's a poignant message or a simple smile to be found in that moment, it's always something that I can relate to in some way. You put many important disability awareness messages out there into the universe, but you also put something delightfully human, yourself, I guess, out there. And that's probably why your words carry such power. It's easy to ignore/forget a message, but not a person. Even though I don't actually know you, your blogs aren't filed under the "something I read" part of my brain, but the "something a friend told me" part. Your blog also gives me a sense of community in the disability experience, and I thank you for that. I've had SMA and the wheelchair that comes with it my entire life, but it's often been lonely, and I'm constantly exploring and rediscovering what disability means to me and to society. Your words have helped me along in that ever ongoing process.

I'm really shocked that people would say such rude things in the emails you mentioned. I hope you'll ignore them, and not let their voices haunt you when you sit down to blog. I want my Dave uncensored. :)

Noisyworld said...

As you may have noticed there's no way to shut me up once I've found your blog :D (This goes for real life too, when the pain's not got me down, you can't even get away if you're deaf as I can sign!)

I can't believe someone's been that horrible about Ruby, the girl's a credit to the human race.

I know how people feel about not wanting to just say the same things as the comment before, I wish there was a little thing to press after a comment to say I agree with this person, you'd find there were loads of people reading and thinking but don't want to clog the page up with more of the same! Maybe we need to start a petition to Blogger for this lol

I'd love you to carry on as I've recently found you, but if you don't feel you are getting anything from it, either give it up or make it a weekly blog with a round-up and perhaps deeper ponderings as you look back on things, I'm sure we wouldn't mind ;)

annette2 said...

Hi Dave

I don't know anyone else like you and it's great to hear about how you are doing, work, issues and personal. When I think of you I see you rolling down Yonge Street in a heavy snow, passing the bad bleeping driver.

Annette

mp said...

I love your blog and read it almost everyday! A lot of times you write things I think but just can't put into words as wonderfully as you do. My favorite posts though are the ones that aren't about something I've thought of before. Your unique perspective on certain ideas/situations/moments makes me think and grow. Thanks for the blog! I hope you keep it up :)

Rachel said...

Dave, you rock, your blog rocks, and Ruby rocks. If I ever have a niece I hope she's half as awesome as Ruby. How could you not post about her? The way she sees things straight on, not having been conditioned yet by society, is glorious. And adorable.

I read you every day. I enjoy your perpective, including on the few things that we (somewhat) disagree on. You get me thinking! How awesome is that?

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I read your blog exclusively on a daily basis, other blogs I check sporadically.
I not only read, but usually post a quote (properly cited, with blog site) in my Facebook.
As stated a number of times - but I will add my voice to; I love the Joe and Ruby stories, but the daily grind and how you get through is just as interesting to me. I apply what I can to my work, and try to live my life using the pearls of wisdom you gift. I usually do comment, but always feel insignificant and not worthy to add my voice to yours. So, I love, but I lurk.
Hope you feel better and thank you.

Lianna said...

I don't leave comments regularly, but I do read your blog. I think it is terribly sad that you have received emails demanding what you should and should not write about -- as well as insulting your personal family. That makes me very angry for you.

As selfish as this will sound, your perspective has helped our family immensely. I hope that you do decide to keep on blogging even if it is once per week, even!

I often question the value of personal blogging myself. I'm so sensitive that negative comments put me in a tailspin for days. But that one email or comment from someone who says thank you to me because of something I've wrote makes this whole process worthwhile and meaningful.

I think the nature of what you write about will always attract a balance of positive and negative perspectives. But in the big picture of "Rolling Around in my Head", I think your perspective is one of the building blocks for progressive change for people with different abilities.

I hope you keep blogging.

Nathan Dawthorne said...

Why dont you see if you could do a local cable show?

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I read your blog every day and I'd miss it teriibly, but I'd survive. This is your blog and you should write whenever you feel like it about whatever subject you want. No one is forced to read it! If someone doesn't like it, then why in the world don't they just stop?!?

Debbie

Anonymous said...

please continue to blog as i have just began to follow you after attending a break away with my company. i have enjoyed the comments and info very much...you are making my life better and in turn the people around me...thanks so much...Beth

Anonymous said...

First, I hope you feel better soon!

Your blog is so polished (in a good way) that I think of your entries as small meditations ("devotionals" in some communities, possibly even "koans," at least to us who don't know what koans are...)

You not only frame issues, advocate, and educate in your column, you also model health-ful responses to issues. You show me what vast and appropriate anger/wrath looks like. But you show how one can confront an issue, but not let it ruin your day (motel swimming pool, locked gate at grocery store). And then (kinda scary) you ask what we might do in a situation).

I think that is one way Rosie fits in. You are "just" talking about your family and what you do together. No big deal, but it also makes me see how being more inclusive might work with my family (ages 1 to 82).

When I read your entries I tend to mull them over. I find I need to think about them, and let them settle. Alas when I comment, thinking goes out the window because I am so busy trying to pass for brilliant.

You note clued me in that hey, it is ok to just make a comment that I really like your work (and stay up past midnight so I can read the next day's comment).

So, thank you.

brettac

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm late to this party, but write what pleases you, when it pleases you. And thank you for all that you have shared, especially the Ruby stories.
Sharon

Cynthia F. said...

Please keep blogging Dave! I read every single one of your posts, sometimes in batches depending on how busy things are, sometimes on a mobile phone that doesn't let me post a comment.

I know we have never met but I consider you a friend and nonprofit-sector colleague.

When I was in a jury selection pool recently and they asked how we would feel hearing testimony from a person with intellectual disabilities, I cited your blog as having helped prepare me to be able to listen respectfully and take that person very seriously.

I never stay silent any more when I hear the "r-word."

Now when my 3-year-old son notices someone in a wheelchair, I say "that's what gives that person independence, so they can go to work and school and be with people they love and love them." Now when I find myself next to a group of people with intellectual disabilities at a museum or cultural event, I interact with them like I would with any other fellow patrons - e.g. ask them what they think of the art and listen carefully to what they say.

Since reading your blog I am way more aware of bullying and have a lot more strategies to respond and help rather than be a useless bystander.

You have changed my understanding of disability and opened my eyes to the ways in which those who are different are casually treated as less than human.

I probably comment once a month. But you have had a profound effect on my life! If your life would be better without doing the blog every day, then of course you have to decide what's right for you. But please don't EVER think you wouldn't be missed. And Joe too.

Martha said...

Please don't ever shut your blog down! It makes my morning to wake up and read what you have to say! I don't comment very often, but I carry what you say with me as I go about my day. It reminds me of why I changed my course of education and future employment. I can only aspire to write as well as you and make the kind of impact you do on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I read your blog regularly. I find inspriation in what you write. I would find it a shame if you stop blogging because you have and continue to change the world. You give your blog meaning by writting about disability and how it really is. So please continue blogging, it means alot to everyone, even if we don't comment all the time.

Thanks for all you do
Nikki ( USA )

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

Sry can't type long, my hands HATE ME!

I absolutely love your blog Dave. I admit I haven't been reading it everyday like I used to, but I do read them. I like the way you weave your words. You are an inspiring, graceful and sometimes blunt when blunt is needed! :)

It's sometimes hard to read your blog for me because due to debilitating medical problems I have had to stop working with the wonderful people with developmental disabilities that I worked with and love very deeply. so reading reminds me of them. I still go volunteer to cook for my old work house once a week, which brings me a lot of life.

I can't believe people send you such horrible comments! I guess part of it is people feel less inhibitions when they are on the Internet. People will type things they would NEVER say to your face!! But even if that is the case, there is absolutely no excuse. It's just a cowards way because they know that if they said something like that were others can see it, they would get oodles of the kinds of messages they themselves send out.

Ok that is my quota 4 typing 2day. I have more thoughts but I'll write them down in another comment or two later on.
Hang in there!
REformed girl

Melissa said...

Hi Dave, first I'm disappointed to hear about the nasty and demanding emails. Those would put me into a funk too.

I read your blog frequently, often in batches, but I don't always comments and for that I am sorry. I know that I love comments on my blog and know that comments are important to others too.

your posts have meant so much to me, and they often pop into my head. Especially the one about the young person who said they don't have Down syndrome all the time.