Gotta Go. Bone’s Dead

Never lie to your doctor. If you’ve somehow managed to lose a phone cable up your dong, just say so. Any embarrassment you may suffer will almost certainly pale in comparison to the week of unnecessary pain you’ll go through while they try to figure out why they can’t find the headphones you said you swallowed.

Doctors have removed a phone charger from an Indian man’s bladder after he inserted it into his penis.
Speaking to CNN, Guwahati-based general surgeon Dr. Walliul Islam said the man initially came to his hospital claiming that he had swallowed his headphones.
After five days of using laxatives to no avail, the doctors performed an endoscopy but were still unable to locate the headphones. However, the patient continued to complain about stomach pain, prompting the doctors to perform surgery.

It was only during an X-ray that doctors discovered the real problem: a two-foot-long (about 0.61m) mobile phone cable lodged in his bladder. To get there, Islam says the cable was inserted via the urethra, the tube that leads from the penis to the bladder.

You can see some photos in this Facebook post from one of the surgeons on the case if that’s a thing you would like to do.

There’s No Good Answer To This Question, So That’s A Strike

I like Cash Cab as much as anyone. It’s fun to play along with. But why in the name of god are they showing it on the Sci-Fi channel? Yes, they ask some science questions, but it’s still almost as ridiculous a stretch as CSI and Big Bang Theory being on Discovery because they’re shows about the lives of fake scientists. I think someone needs to take Bell’s specialty channel privileges away until they remember how to use them properly.

Tuned Out

I don’t understand why anyone would need this Tuned app that Facebook made for couples, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because I’m a crusty old arsehole this time. I, a normal person, just can’t grasp much of the appeal.

A space for your love story

A private space where you and your significant other can share everyday expressions of love and celebrate your past, present and future together. Creatively express yourself, share your mood, complete a fun challenge and build a digital scrapbook of your special memories.

Please note, users must be 13+ to use Tuned. Currently available on iOS only.

Be Present with each other.
– Set your moods so you can stay tuned in to how you’re both feeling throughout the day without even having to ask.
– Exchange notes, voice messages, cards, custom stickers, and music to effortlessly show your romantic side and connect with your partner on a deeper level.
– Take Tuned Couple’s Challenges to learn new things about each other and have some fun together.

Celebrate your Past.
– Reminisce on all your shared artifacts and milestones
– Turn your favorite memories into a celebratory highlights video.

Look Forward to your Future.
– Add important dates in your relationship (like birthdays & anniversaries).
– Create shared lists for all your small, special moments (like bucket lists, date night ideas, and inside jokes).

Ok, so maybe those highlight videos might be kind of neat. Would be fun to look back at now and again. If nothing else they might save whoever gets tasked with making the nice slideshow of memories that’s going to play on a loop at your funeral some time, which is certainly considerate of you. But the rest of this? Your boy is totally lost.

Knowing someone’s mood without having to ask? Dude. Asking is the whole point. That’s one of the ways you really get to know each other. Talk about how you’re feeling. Build some trust and some openness. Hear things that maybe you don’t want to hear. Sure, now and then it might be nice to know if you’re about to walk into hell, but you’re still going to be served better in the long-term by marching in there and facing it down than you are by using it as a way to know when to avoid somebody who might be PMSing or whatever you’ve decided in your mind must be going on when you see the sad or angry signal.

Sharing little digital notes and inside jokes? That’s called a text. They’ve been around for a while and have proven fairly popular.

Voice messages? iMessage can do that, and it comes standard on the iOS device you’ll need for Tuned. It can send those text things, too. Ditto for the stickers and the photos, although putting those together into a shared scrapbook is kind of ok assuming you don’t already have one of the other half million apps that does that. Perhaps I’m not the guy to ask about photo sharing apps what with the blindness and such, but I know they exist.

If you want to share music, just text a Spotify or YouTube link. They make it pretty easy.

Date night ideas? If you must keep track of them digitally, make a spreadsheet.

Reminders of important dates? Do you not have a calendar or reminders app? If not, is your phone even modern enough to use this Tuned business?

Take Tuned Couple’s Challenges to learn new things about each other and have some fun together? Not only does this seem like a surefire fight starter the second one of you gets a “totally obvious” answer wrong, but again, you could just talk. If you want to add another dimension of fun, go out and do stuff while you talk. It’s amazing how well you’ll get to know each other the more you do that. I say this as someone who has been with the same person for literally decades. It works.

This is little more than a mishmash of stuff that already exists and other stuff nobody needs, not to mention yet another way for Facebook to worm itself even deeper into your life. Hard pass from this guy. I’m far too busy being fulfilled by actual conversations.

Uh-oh Uh-oh Uh-oh Telus

If you’ve registered to be notified by text message when there are COVID vaccine appointments available and have heard nothing but a combination of silence and chatter from your friends about how quickly they were able to book their own times, this may be why.

The region is asking Telus customers who preregistered for a vaccine appointment with the Region to reregister if they opted to receive communications via text messages and have not yet received a notice.
This includes people who use other phone service providers, such as Koodo, that operate through the Telus infrastructure.
The region’s Vaccine Distribution Task Force says it confirmed Friday that although text messages about booking appointments had been sent, Telus had been blocking them from reaching people.
This was “due to the perceived volume of texts being sent,” according to a release from the task force.
“Once notified of the problem, the block was immediately removed by Telus,” the release continues.

“The Region of Waterloo is not able to determine which Telus users did not receive their notification as the booking system indicated all messages were successfully sent,” says the release.
“Any Telus users who preregistered for the vaccine and haven’t received notification to book an appointment are asked to preregister again.”

iPhone And Windows Sounds, The A Cappella Edition

Here’s a minute and change worth of a cappella renditions of iPhone sound effects because hey, why not?

The group is called Maytree, they’re from South Korea, and their versions are hilariously accurate. They even made me jump and cringe when the damn alarm went off even though it’s the middle of the afternoon and I’m very obviously wide awake, or at least as wide awake as someone who sleeps the way I do ever really gets.

And yes, there’s a version for Windows sounds, too. It’s not as long, but it’s just about as good.

Did Somebody Say McBlenderFace?

Tempting as it might be, you probably shouldn’t throw a blender at a complaining customer, even if she may have started it by tossing a wrong order back at you. She also shouldn’t have had to wait nearly a half hour for a corrected one before things got heated, but none of this is an excuse for anything else that happened here.

Britany Price went through the fast-food chain’s drive-thru in Colerain Township on Sept 22, WLWT reports. However, when she received her order – cheeseburgers and Happy Meals – it was incorrect.

According to surveillance footage, Price is seen going into the store for assistance and waiting nearly 25 minutes to be helped. Eventually, Price goes to her car to get the food and demand a refund.
The situation escalated when Price came back into the store with the food, which she began throwing at the manager.

The manager retaliated and threw a blender from behind the counter. The blender struck Price’s face and knocked her to the ground. In the footage, Price is seen struggling to get up after the blow.
“I wanted to get some Happy Meals and some cheeseburgers and that was a very unhappy day for me,” Price said to WLWT.

And there may be plenty more unhappy days to come, as there looks to be surgery to repair a shattered cheekbone and broken nose on the horizon.

The restaurant’s manager is no longer the restaurant’s manager, the restaurant confirmed in a statement which should come as no surprise to anyone, including our freshly unemployed friend.

No charges had been filed in connection with the incident, but a civil suit has.

You Hitting The Curb Means I Fixed It

There’s an old saying that goes you can’t legislate common sense. Neither, it seems, can you appoint it to the bench. Just ask the Michigan judges who ruled that a tire rotation was completed by a mechanic even though said mechanic missed the very important part of the procedure where you tighten all of the lug nuts so that one of the tires doesn’t cause an accident by falling off of the vehicle two blocks down the road from the damn shop. All right, maybe don’t ask the judges. They don’t seem like the sort of folks who have good answers to things. They can, however, look things up in a couple of dictionaries, which is how they determined that although it may have been done negligently, the repair was technically performed. This all seems a bit like a doctor being hauled into court, saying “your honour, we did perform the heart surgery, we just forgot to stitch him back together,” and winning. If the ruling stands or the law in question (the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act) isn’t changed to clarify what the word perform is supposed to mean, shops all over the state just got permission to do sloppy, potentially dangerous work. That’s bad.

MVSRA, adopted in 1974, declares that a shop cannot charge for repairs that are not performed.
It also says that a mechanic or body shop employee cannot “make, either written or orally, an untrue or misleading statement of material fact to a customer.” Nor can it hide or omit a material fact “that the customer could not reasonably know, if that omission tends to mislead or deceive the customer.”

The dealership asked at trial that the judge not apply MVSRA, claiming it had completed the tire rotation even if it didn’t do a bang-up job. The trial judge instead agreed with Anaya that by not replacing all the lug nuts, the mechanic had failed to perform the repair.
To Anaya’s benefit, Boonstra and the other appellate judges agreed with the trial judge that MVSRA applies to passengers and not just drivers.
To Anaya’s detriment, the judges looked up “perform” in two dictionaries and concluded that the term “generally refers to completion of an action according to an established procedure; the term does not imply that the action has been completed properly, successfully, or without mistake.”
“To accept the trial court’s interpretation,” Boonstra wrote, “would essentially turn every incorrectly performed repair into a violation of MVSRA.”

Please Don’t Swing On The Hydro Lines, Say Officials To People They Think Might Somehow Understand Words

I’m not sure what the stupidest thing I’ve done while drunk is. Not because I’m usually too far gone to remember things like that, but because generally speaking I’m not the kind of person who does a lot that could be classified as seriously, terminally dumb.

For instance, it’s rather unlikely that you’ll ever find me intentionally swinging on or around live power lines.

“Of course not,” you say. “You are an adult man, not a 7-year-old boy.”

“Yes,” I reply. “But that distinction doesn’t always matter, apparently. Sometimes it’s shockingly hard to tell the difference between the two.”

Hydro workers in Kingston, Ont., are telling adults something they never thought they would have to: Don’t swing on or near power lines. 
Staff with Utilities Kingston got reports this weekend of people swinging on poles and near lines at a large unsanctioned street party during Queen’s University homecoming weekend.
Jim Keech, president of Utilities Kingston, said they heard from residents and even police who were concerned someone was about to get badly hurt. 
“The police actually did call into our operations centre with the same concern to see if it would be possible to turn the electricity off,” he said. 

Annual homecoming parties in Kingston are a regular problem, but Keech said this has never been an issue before.  
He said they do education programs for small children, but never would have thought they had to make this case to grown-ups. 
“You’re talking about young adults here and I am quite surprised people would do that,” he said. “There is not a lot of common sense here and it could quite easily kill you.”

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. I’m only assuming that these people were drunk, I don’t know it for a fact. They could have been sober, but come on, be serious. I mean there’s just no way…right? Please?
  2. This story is pre-pandemic, so a gigantic street party is not in itself a cause for outrage/concern unless you live in the area and aren’t a fan of annual imbecile night.

I Got My First COVID Shot!

“I need vaccination, vaccination, vaccination…”
and I got it! My first shot anyway. Yup, this afternoon, I got my first COVID vaccine.

You might be wondering why the heck I was able to get a vaccine right now. You didn’t think I was quite that old yet. Well I’m not, but I have medical conditions that cause my immune response to be not as vigorous as it should be, so I was able to get in. I was considered among the high risk group for this region. I know every region has its own ideas about who gets prioritized, but I was able to get one here.

The whole process has been pretty easy. There were definitely some hurdles, but not nearly what I thought there would be. The registration form was pretty good. I wish they had associated the labels with the form fields, but I could figure out what was what and get registered. I did that last weekend. I figured I would be waiting at least four to six weeks, so I sat back and whistled my happy waiting song.

To my total shock, I got a text message on Thursday saying I could book an appointment! I was so excited that I scrambled to the webpage while I was listening to a presentation. I’m a terrible human. But all that scrambling was for naught because the website thwarted my attempt to book. First of all, they imposed a 7-minute time-limit. Aside: Seven minutes feels like a very random number. How did they figure out that folks in KW need seven minutes to book their appointments? Apparently people in one other town need five minutes, and people in another one need ten! Who went around from town to town to make that decision?

I probably could have been able to pull off the time limit but one of the fields, the one for my date of birth, was an inaccessible datepicker and I took too long figuring out that it was inaccessible. So I called the number and after waiting for about a half-hour or so, I got connected to a very nice man who got me all set up. To my shock once again, he was able to book me in for Sunday afternoon! And no, it wasn’t at the Achoo People site. This one was at King and Victoria. If I had been working at the office, I could have walked there.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d been hearing lots of blind people worrying about how they were going to navigate a mass vaccination clinic, so I was imagining problems. But everybody was super helpful and it ran like a dream. I did arrive slightly earlier than they expected, but they were forgiving, and told me it was all good. One of the first volunteers was a little confused by the presents of Tansy, but she got over it and things went off without a hitch. The staff guided me from station to station, filled out the screening forms and took me into the place where the vaccination was given.

After asking me some questions about what group I fell into, whether I was allergic to any medications or foods, whether I was allergic to a couple of ingredients in the vaccine, and whether I had a tendency to keel over after getting needles, they gave me the shot. It was the Pfizer one if anyone’s curious. The nurse was super nice and never made me feel like she was in a rush.

Then they took me to an area where I was supposed to wait for 15 minutes. They asked me if I had a way of checking the time and I said I did, so they marked that down on the little slip. At the end, they took me over to the checkout desk where I got a paper showing I had been vaccinated and when I would be coming back, along with a sheet explaining what side-effects are probably nothing to worry about and what side-effects need medical attention. The info was basically ordinary stuff like if you have a wee headache, take a pain killer and have a snooze but if you’re convulsing, you probably should get thee to an ER. As for when I come back for the second shot, July 25 is a good day.

The only other slight weirdness was as I left the exit door and asked where to stand to call a taxi, they said taxis can’t come in here, I would have to go around the building and find the taxi area. Luckily, one of the volunteers was headed that way with someone else, so we walked there together.

So here we go. I’m on my way to not having to be so afraid of this stupid virus. I know I’m not able to be wild and free just yet, but after a couple of weeks, not everything I do has to be so much of a giant risk assessment.

Bye Bye, Farewell, You’re Leavin’.

More and more often, I’m seeing these screen-reader accessibility overlays. They promise better accessibility for screen-reader users. At best, they do nothing. At worst, they make things worse. I saw one at Mastermind Toys that was making it virtually impossible to shop there. If they didn’t have a chat function, the Seppa-Tebby-Tebby nephew wouldn’t have gotten his birthday presents. The companies who make them claim that their overlays will make a website accessible, and well-meaning webmasters think this is the fast-track to making their websites compliant with accessibility-related legislation at the very least. But they don’t, and people need to stop using them and start doing the work to fix their sites. Wanting an accessible web by 2025 is a great goal, but slapping a few lines of code in your header and calling it done is not the way to get there. All that does is make it so users who complain can’t get any traction because the company has a response of “We put in screen-reader support, what more do you want?”

If you run into them and wish they would go away because they’re not helping, now there’s the AccessiByeBye Chrome extension.

If you use a screen reader and have been prompted to press a hotkey to turn on some website’s screen reader mode, you’ve likely encountered the category of website add-ons known as accessibility overlays. There are several accessibility overlays, including AccessiBe, AudioEye, EqualWeb, MaxAccess, TruAbilities, User1st, and UserWay.
We know that while these overlays are supposed to make websites more accessible, they’re actually annoying and often counter-productive. That’s why we made AccessiByeBye, a simple and free extension for Chrome and compatible browsers, that blocks them all.
Just install AccessiByeBye into Chrome or a compatible browser, and those pesky overlays won’t bother you again. There’s no catch. We don’t collect your web browsing habits or other personal information, and the AccessiByeBye extension won’t slow down your computer. If you ever decide you do want one of those overlays, it’s easy to turn off the extension at any time.

Just for fun, I installed the extension and went back to Mastermind Toys. It was still inaccessible as hell, which is sad because it was pretty accessible back in November, but there were a lot more buttons visible to me. They were not labeled, but I might have been able to figure out what they did and I might have had more ability to get what I wanted out of the site eventually. The accessibility overlay had just hidden them from me. And, with or without the overlay, information about whether shipping was available was still inaccessible to me, along with who knows what else. So Mastermind Toys feels warm and fuzzy about their accessibility overlay while it still goes on having an inaccessible website. By the way, Mastermind Toys, if you ever want me to buy from you again through your website, never get rid of your chat box. Those people worked miracles, figured out what the site was trying to tell me, and made it so I could buy stuff. If you take that away, I won’t be shopping there again until you fix your site because it’s a smoldering disaster zone. This breaks my heart because your toys are friggin amazing!

Accessibility is not a checkbox, a one and done, a line of code. It’s something that needs to be built in from the ground up, and maintained by your developers as part of their job. If you do it from the beginning, you will find the cost to be minimal and the process to be easy. These accessibility overlays need to go, and that’s why they’re gone from my Google Chrome, at least.