Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter revolution

It seems like everywhere you turn these days you hear about Twitter. This craze has been building for some time and Twitter is poised to became the next killer app of the computer world. You may be asking what the heck is Twitter? Well I'll try to sum it up as briefly as I can.

Twitter is a real time messaging service that is very simple and it operates over multiple platforms. Each message or "tweet" can be up to 140 text characters and it answers the basic question of what are you doing. You can follow the message streams of others on Twitter or they can follow you. The whole application is quite intuitive and I find it much less cluttered than Facebook. I won't tell you that Twitter will change your life but I find it a fun thing to do.

I signed up last week so I could follow the ADAPT national action which just wrapped up in D.C. You can read more about ADAPT in last week's post. Anyway it was quite impressive to get updates from the front lines and get live pictures from the protests. I was able to send words of encourage to my ADAPT brothers and sisters while they fought for me and countless others. Sure would have been harder to keep up this seamlessly on Fadebook or via email.

Getting on Twitter is easy and you can be up and running in just minutes. I'd encourage you to give it a try and let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter @ markboatman


Saturday, April 25, 2009


If you'd like to make a donation to Montana ADAPT please email


Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm one of a multitude of people who have survived terms of imprisonment in America's nursing home system. We have had to fight very hard for our freedom and our stories are all too familiar. Worsening of a disability, loss of funding, relapse of a mental illness, pressure from doctors or family, an accident or lack of community supports are all reasons why many of my brothers and sisters have been into institutions.

The institutional system is bleak in this country but there is hope for a better day. ADAPT is a national grassroots community of advocates fighting for community based care instead of nursing home/institutional care. ADAPT is currently working for passage of the Community Choice Act in Congress. The Community Choice Act would revamp the long term care system and put the emphasis on care being provided outside the walls of an institution. An individual needing care would be given a choice of where they want to live and receive services. I'm hoping that this vital bill will be passed by Congress this session.

ADAPT is holding their Spring action from April 25-30 in Washington D.C. Our dear Missoula friends Bob & Marsha are attending and we are with them in spirit. Bob & Marsha along with many other ADAPTers are holding a Fun*Run to raise money for the important work they do. It will be held in the Upper Senate Park and I hope the weather cooperates.

I'll be making a $30 pledge and I challenge my friends and family to meet or beat my donation. You can make a pledge by visting and you can select ADAPT Montana to receive your donation. This will help Montanans like myself to attend national actions and support ADAPT's vision for community care. I thank you for your support!


Friday, April 17, 2009


Things are back to normal here in Missoula and my leg is back to 99% I'd say. I went to the university on Monday to meet the medical director and discuss my academic reinstatement. The meeting was a mere formality and I'm officially a college student again and I couldn't be happier. I'll be taking American History over the summer and it will be a big class to get out of the way.

Registration for next fall was this past week and it looks like I will have a good schedule. I'll be retaking my journalism classes along with a Biology Lab and Public Speaking. The best part of my schedule is that I will only have to be on campus Monday, Wednesday, & Friday and that is fine by me. This will leave me plenty of time to study and keep up. That is unless I procrastinate and I'd never do that :-)

The flooding of '09 in North Dakota rages on and it's been affecting my hometown. My mom sent me pictures of the water levels today and it is almost beyond belief. The reservoirs protecting Jamestown are at record depths and will be activating the emergency spillways this weekend most likely. I'm keeping positive thoughts for the people back home and know the good fight goes on. This is certainly a winter that is one for the ages.

I'll leave you with a video featuring the 88 year old mayor of Mississauga Ontario Hazel McCallion. She's a kick and boy we could use more politicians like her. Keep on truckin' Hazel!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The War

I've been an enthusiast of Ken Burn's cinematic works ever since I saw The Civil War in high school. That film was an incredible look at a war that almost permanently divided America. I was drawn in by how Burns covered this historically important event and there's no doubt that this experience developed my passion for history.

Burns is a visionary storyteller and is a master at assembling interesting facts & stories that most people have never heard of. I purchased his latest film The War and it has not disappointed. The War chronicles the transformative Second World War and how it affected every single American in the 1940's. What has really struck me is how this entire country pulled together and sacrificed to battle the forces of evil. Could this happen in today's United States? I have doubts about that.

This film is not a glorified endorsement of war but rather a honest look at moments suspended in time. You can't do this topic justice without showing the negative events that also transpired. One of the saddest things in this film so far is how this country treated it's citizens of Japanese decent. It gives me shivers at witnessing how hysteria led to these people's rights being trampled. It is a tarnished moment in American history that hopefully won't ever be forgotten.

I'm not a person who generally thinks war is an appropriate method of conflict resolution. But in WWII, I think it was something that had to be done. The evil that was afoot back then was something that had to be stopped and unfortunately it came with a heavy price. There will always be those who will debate if any war is ethical but I believe there are rare moments like WWII where it's imperative to act. I'm sure those who survived the Holocaust would agree.