Large Babble-Fest Comin’ Your Way

It’s been a little while since I’ve talked about whatever I wanted without a singular focus, and the mood struck me to do it, so here I am.

Mother Nature is a miserly old witch this year. She gave us a short summer, and then, right on schedule, brought the fall! There is something in the air that says summer ain’t comin’ back. I don’t know what it is. I was hoping that if we got a late start on summer, it would make up for it somewhere. It isn’t looking like it. I had to break out the jeans, and that made me sad! But last night, even though we were wearing jeans when we went out to dinner, we still sat on a patio. How weird is that?

Trixie is not pleased with the weather either. She’s put on her wacky behaviour hat again, like she does when the weather changes and she’s not happy about it. I couldn’t figure out what was up with her, and then I thought about the weather. I think she’s showing her disapproval. Trix, I don’t control the weather knob. You can stop taking it out on me. Really. I don’t like it any more than you do.

I think I might be able to finally get that picture of the heap of dogs under the table at Applebees. When I do, I’ll put it in the reunion post. I can’t believe that was a year ago. But every couple of weeks, a mailing list I’m on sends around a thing about our photobucket page. I tried to go look at it, but pretty soon crashed my computer. So I asked for someone to send me the infamous picture. I hope to have it soon, hopefully before I’m done composing this post!

Last weekend, the blog went silent and the template changes went unfinished. Why? We were both gone. We each went home to see family. The reason I scooted home was my dad’s stepdad turned 90. Woe! That’s a big one! I remember when people turned 90 when I was little. They seemed impossibly older than me, and if they were a relative, they were a distant one. Now I have a grandparent hitting 90.

It was a small gathering, just family, but I think all had fun, including Trixie. I had to chuckle because people kept coming over, and somehow talk of Trixie would come up and they’d say “Oh and you left her at home?” Nope, she was just sleeping so quietly beside my chair that they didn’t even see her! I felt sorry for my cousin’s twins. they’re about 3, and I guess they’re afraid of dogs. But because Trixie wasn’t barking or jumping, they were cool with her.

speaking of those twins, last time I saw them, they hardly said a word. Now they’re talking full sentences and they’re just too cute! One just couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of a greyhound bus. He kept asking me to describe it in more and more detail. “Is it a school bus? Bigger than a school bus? do lots of people ride it? How many? It drives for a long long time?” What a cute little guy.

Trixie really settles in well at mom and dad’s house, and god does she love mom and dad. They tried to sort of sneak up on me at the Greyhound station where they picked me up, but they were swiftly busted by Trixie squirming to get up from between my legs and looking in every direction. As she followed mom, she wagged furiously.

It was a quick weekend, but I’m glad I could make it home. Not everybody hits 90.

I also found out some sad news when I was home, and a sad statement on human insensitivity. I found out that one of our neighbours was fighting, and losing, a battle with cancer. I didn’t know him very well I’m sad to say. all I knew was he farmed and he had a big tractor and would sometimes blow the snow out from the end of our lane. Oh and his daughter became a teacher.

Anyway, he had been moved into the hospice, so that didn’t say a lot of good things. But some of the visitors who came to see him, instead of lifting his spirits, may have broken them. Instead of simply saying that they were hoping for him, or asking him if there was anything he needed, they began to preach to him that he was dying, and that he should make an effort to see his kids. He was trying to keep a positive attitude, and every time this would happen, he would cry.

Um, guys, I don’t think the guy needs to be told cold, hard facts. I’m not saying they should say things like “Chin up, we’ll be going fishing next summer,” but telling the guy he’s gonna be pushin’ up daisies by the end of the month is not going to do him any good. The only one who should do that is his doctor, and only when he thinks he needs to know this stuff, but nobody else. And I don’t think he should be asked to make efforts to see people. It should be *them* making the effort to see *him*. Well, I guess they were right, he didn’t have long, I found out he passed away a few days ago. But it doesn’t make what they did any better. Not that I want to blame people for someone’s natural death, but the words they said to him certainly couldn’t have helped him to keep fighting. People, think of what you’re saying. If you don’t know what to say, just zip it and be a supportive ear. That is far more beneficial than you’ll ever know.

My Trixie retirement dreams are taking a different tone. The other day, I dreamed Trixie had gotten old and it was her time to retire. I came home with a new dog. Her name was either Lisbeth or Elizabeth. I don’t know why my brain chose that name, but that was her name. Come to think of it, wasn’t there a girl in “Old Yeller” named Lisbeth? Eek! What was my mind trying to say? Anyway, I would go places with the new dog, and Trixie would look at us, all pissed off that she wasn’t going. Next I was cramming boots on the new dog’s feet, and Trixie seemed to take pleasure in watching this. Then, as I did these things, I thought about how I’d need to right another edition of Trixie’s brain where she would write down how she felt about this new member of the family. When I woke up, I thought “god, I’m dreaming about the blog!” I’ve come to accept the retirement dreams since somebody’s always retiring their dog on the mailing list I’m on. But the blog?

I heard something that bugged me a lot. This woman who is on the city’s advocacy committee for the removal of accessibility barriers was making casual conversation about stuff, and it came up that she knew someone who had low vision. This sentence issued from her mouth. “Oh she does so well. She gets around really well and she doesn’t need a dog or a cane!”

Um, so what are you saying? Are you saying that because I need either a cane or a dog, I do not do so well? The only reason she doesn’t have a dog or a cane is because she still sees enough to not meet planters and poles with her face and she can still cross the street straight. It has nothing to do with doing better or worse than me.

This is why so many people who lose their vision refuse help and opt to fall down flights of stairs rather than use a goddamn cane. Not having a cane is not a sign of “doing so well”. Either you have enough vision to get buy without one, or you’re in denial and you’re going to break something if you keep it up. believe me, using a cane looks far more dignified than having a black eye because you fell off a curb you didn’t see.

I guess this double bugs me because she’s on the advocacy committee I was talking about. I know we’re all going to have ideas about different disabilities, but I didn’t expect to be judged with the same ignorance as I get from the general public. I guess I expected a little more wisdom.

And here’s another one of those things that someone said that bugged me. I was getting on a bus to come back to Guelph, and the customer service dude was helping me put my luggage underneath and get on the bus. Let me say right now that he was awesome. As he was leaving, he told me the driver’s name. I thanked him. Then this is what I thought I heard the driver say to him. “did you not get her ticket? Do your job!” this was immediately followed up by “Ask her her name…” and “Don’t worry, I took sensitivity training, I know what to do.”

I beg your pardon? First of all, you must have a problem with me if you will not ask me directly for either my ticket or my name. Second, I think the sensitivity training failed. If it had worked, you wouldn’t proclaim that you took it as if it was hard for you. You would have taken it to heart and become a better person for it. Hopefully you wouldn’t have needed sensitivity training because you would have treated all your passengers with the same respect. I can see how sensitivity training might help you quickly learn how to do sighted guide, or how to help a person with hearing difficulties, just to make things a little easier for passenger and driver, but you shouldn’t need it for the *sensitivity* aspect of it.

When the customer service rep asked me my name, I gave it to him, and I told him to inform the driver that my ears and mouth work fine, and if he has any further questions, he can feel free to ask me directly. I assured him I wasn’t mad at him, but really, what was the driver going to do after the bus left the station? He couldn’t keep calling on the customer service guy. the customer service dude had a good laugh, and I was glad.

Thankfully, the driver was pretty good to me for the trip, hopefully because he heard what I said, but what was up with that little exchange at the beginning?

I keep forgetting to write down a funny thing I saw between some kids in our apartment building. Somehow one of them got talking about God. At one point, she said “I like god. God looks nice. He has long hair and a beard.” I think she’s talking about Jesus, but anyway. Then another kid said “You’ve seen God?” to which the other kid said “Yeah! He’s in a picture in a book that mom reads to me!” I chuckled to myself.

I’m definitely weird. I know this has been illustrated again and again, but here’s another reason. Steve likes to listen to the radio shows done at F4W Online. I don’t know what started it all, but people have started making drops for the shows. They’ll take pieces of songs and either splice bits from the show or bits of wrestlers talking into them and make goofy funny drops. then the songs get played on the air. I thought some of these were so awesome that I thought “damn it, I’m going to make some myself!” I dont’ even like wrestling, but I’m making wrestling-related drops.

Ideas come to me out of the clear blue sky. I’ll be grooming the dog or sitting at a restaurant eating or checking my email when bang! An idea will fall on my head. Sometimes Steve gets ideas, but I end up making the drops. I don’t know why.

there’s nothing cooler than watching the little drop form. As it comes together, I have this horrible tendancy of laughing like a crazy hyena. I don’t know why.

so far, I have made 10 drops. So if you listen to the shows and have heard “I just Called to Say I’m Done Gus,” “Can’t Touch Gus,” “All I Really Need is a Song in my Ass,” (don’t ask) “Baby Beluga with Khali in it,” “I Got Satchel Ass,” “all You Need is Ass,” “Sheiky Poppins,” “Oats and Beans and Khali Grow,” one I called “Jan-Ass Joplin,” or “Oh Lord It’s hard to be Sheiky,” then those are mine. I know the first three have played, but Steve’s a few months behind in listening to the shows so I don’t know about the others. I’ve even gone so far as wishing I had a sound editor capable of multitracking just because some of my ideas need a multitracker. I’m definitely a dork.

Here’s a small update on the Meetup saga. Now that Meetup has come around, FS is the one dragging their heels. the man who I’ve been speaking to finally said “Uh, we don’t usually investigate this much into a problem. I’ll have to talk to management.” Dude! You don’t even have to pay! They’ve agreed to give you a coupon! And considering that each user of JAWS pays $1100 Canadian outright to get it the first time and either $300 or $500 each time they want a software maintenance agreement, we pay significant dough and deserve a little effort. Listen, FS, there are other access solutions out there, and I’m due for an SMA when JAWS 11 comes out. I could just weigh my options and choose another one, you know. You’re not the only kid on the block and you have to realize that.

I do realize that they do try and keep up with the times on the development end of things as far as keeping up with applications. It just burns my butt that when I ask for a little support, I get nada. Add to that that I’m not the average user of a website and designers of sites love to say “Ask your screen-reader developer” when I have a problem with their site, and when I do, I get refused. That leaves me pretty much out in the cold and I shouldn’t have that happen when I pay good money for JAWS.

On a happier note, holy crap people love Jonathan Parker. Ever since Steve put him up, we have been utterly hammered with searches for the fellow. They’ve even been driving “Jonathan” and “Parker” way higher in our list of top keywords. You go, guys! Some like to state that he’s a loser, some want to see his Facebook page, some mention his age, and some…can’t spell. For the record, robbery needs two b’s and Parker needs the r at the end. But everyone who searched for “Jonathan Parker Robery” and “Jonathan Parke” did manage to get here anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter, at least not for searching him out.

And I think that’s about it. Holy thought novel, Batman! Hope it wasn’t too long or boring or both.

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