Jun 30 2011

>Roselle Is Gone

>I just heard this a couple of days ago.

Everybody and their brother’s cousin’s sister’s uncle has heard the story of Michael Hingson and his guide dog Roselle, and how they not only got out of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but how they helped others too. Well, she has passed away at the age of 13. Reading that little obit for Roselle made me cry.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s his story. It’s a short version, but all the other ones, just, had way too much blind guy sap for me to stomach.

May you have many socks to steal wherever you are, Roselle.

Jun 30 2011

>How Much Is That Doggie On The Street Corner

>Brad sent this. It’s 100% true. Carin and I have had a lot of strange things happen to us out in the world, but never this.

He also says that the story is much better in person, and I agree. It’s hard to do things like this justice in writing, but he did fine and it’s still pretty amusing.

Here we go again with the weirdness that is a part of so many of my days.

I was walking home last Friday from work, and a guy came up to me and asked me if I wanted a Shih Tzu.

While I was trying to figure out why on earth someone would want to give away a dog on the road to a person they don’t know from Adam, he proceeded to inform me that the dog’s name was Bubbah, he is 8 years old, not fixed, and he has only been bitten by him three times.

Naturally, the first thing I say is, so, he was broken once then? It took a minute, but he did get it. I told him that I didn’t want his dog, but thanks anyway, and I went home.

I haven’t seen either of them again, so I don’t know what became of good ‘ole Bubbah. Did he stay, or did he go?

Jun 29 2011

It’s Me! Remember Me?

I’m feeling all frazzled so maybe if I ramble, I can unfrazzle myself. I’m sitting here, time’s going tick tock, and my brain is screaming at a fever pitch “You have so many things to do! Do them! Do them now!” At the same time, an equally loud voice yells “But you either don’t have an idea of how to do the things you want to do, or you don’t have the will.” Both sentiments are completely true. But the war between them is consuming bunches of my energy.

Because this thing is such an epic, I’m going to put headings in it. That’s how freakin huge it is.

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”

That’s going through my head this week, as something has gone horridly awry with my Trekker.

I was happily sleeping out on the couch when I heard it. “Beep…beep…beep…” That was the tell-tale sound of my external speaker saying “Hey nitwit, my battery is crazy low. Do something about it.” But it was already pplugged in, had been for days. So what the hell was wrong?

I got up to investigate. Maybe the splitter had just come loose. Nope. Maybe something had gone wonky with the power bar. Nope. Maybe the splitter had gone bad? Nope.

So here I was staring at this unit wondering what in the name of all that’s holy was wrong with it. The consensus from the trekker support list was that something had gone south with the charger. It’s possible, since I did get this unit well-used. But here comes the fun. How do you get a new charger for a device that has been discontinued by the manufacturer?

Everyone said I should do two things: 1. get all the specs on the transformer box written down and ask for a charger just like that, and b. test the voltage being transmitted through the charger and see if it’s changing or less than what it should be.

Both of these tasks require eyeballs at the current moment. I have heard that some time ago, there was a talking multimeter that was available up here, but hell if I can find it. And although I could scan the box with KNFB, if it made any errors, I could seriously damage my trekker if I gave the wrong specs.

So…does anyone know where I could go in Guelph to have the voltage tested out of the charger, and maybe have them read off the specs so I could make sure I get the right stuff?

In the meantime, I am GPSless, and I’m realizing how much I had come to depend on it, especially with all this guelph remastering going on. And every day I don’t fix it, I get madder at myself. I am supposed to be resourceful. I am supposed to be able to figure this crap out.

I’m The Stupid Sometimes

Back when I was a wee little kid, for some reason I can’t remember, they put me in the gifted class. I don’t feel gifted. I mean, I consider myself to be pretty smart, but gifted? Cmon now. I’m not Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking or other people like that. I dunno. Maybe the smartest thing I did was figure out what date any day falls on during the year because I couldn’t stand braille calendars. But I don’t think that qualifies me as gifted by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, one day the teacher walked into the room and gave us a quiz…and it was really goddamn hard! It was full of obscure sports questions and stuff. By the end of it, I was just praying for one question, just one, that I would be able to answer. I began to sink deeper into my chair. I started celebrating any time I got anything right. I started wondering just what part of school I slept through to miss all this stuff.

At the end of it, he asked us all how we did. None of us did very well. He then said, “Now you know how it feels to struggle in school.” Well, I have revisited that quiz in two contexts: building a website, and putting shoes on a baby!

Ok, let’s start off at the place where you know how much knowledge I had of websites. The only websites I have either run or assisted with are an eeny weeny homepage I built off the U of G’s server as a class project, and this blog. As for the website, you know the type. Hi. I’m me. Here are my hobbies. Oh, there’s a picture. Want a list? Have a list. How about some bold and italics. I’m a baby code monkey learning about HTML back when HTML was, like, the only way to make a website.” And of course there’s this blog. But really, I just wrote code inside the post, and spleerched code into places on the template as directed by people who belong in classes for the gifted. So, this was a whole new league for me.

The first thing I noticed was Holy hell, I have a lot of admin panels. I’m used to like 1, you know. But that isn’t the way things roll anymore. I bought the domain, after driving the poor folks at Skynet Communications absolutely fucking insane. To their credit, they never let me know I was driving them insane, but I’m sure I was. I just know I was, considering the barrage of rock-stupid questions I asked them. I’m sure they were internally second guessing the assumption that I possessed neurons.

“So I have an account,” I said to myself. “Where do I put the stuff?” Seriously. I thought the client panel was somehow the gateway to the stuff-putty uppy panel. Yeah, right. Then I got the happy email, with a link where I could access the admin panel. “Yea! Stuff putty uppy panel!” Er, how about no? You silly insect-brain, this thing just gives you the chance to build a website in whatever way you want. It doesn’t know you want WordPress. “Oh, me install WordPress? Right, how me do that then?”

As I sat there, staring at the screen, I felt like I used to feel in the dos command days when I would enter a command wrong and I would get greeted with the “Bad command or filename” message. Yeah, ok, so, where to now, boss?

And that’s when they told me what was abundantly clear. “Hey there. That heading that says software? Look under there.” They were super nice about it, but well, I thought at that exact second, you could hear the ocean if you walked up close to me.

And that’s the funny part. Once you feel stupid, it’s a vicious cycle. All the previously smart things you used to do escape you, and you sink into a deeper pit of stupid…which makes you feel more stupid…

Once I found it, I managed to install the damn stuff in the wrong spot, even though it was written right where it would go if I would stop for a second and, er, read!

Once I fixed that, things got easier, but holy hell, I spent more time that day sitting around waiting for answers, where if I had just, ya know, tried a little harder, used that supposed gifted brain of mine, I might have solved the problem my damn self.

Now on to baby shoes. One day, I was down with the huppy and his mom. It was time to put his shoes on, and the huppy’s mom was busy doing something. So I thought, “Ah! I’ll just slip his cute little shoelets on his cute little footlets! How hard could this be?”

Harder than I thought!

I took the first shoe, and eventually figured out that it was the right shoe. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to get it facing the right way so that heel went to heel and toe to toe. Plus, it was a sandal, and suddenly I couldn’t tell one end from another!

I thought to myself, “It’s a shoe, a goddamn shoe. Ya know, a shoe? You put shoes on every day? How the hell hard could this be?” I sadly never succeeded in this task, and huppy’s mom had to rescue me…rescue me from putting on shoes of a baby! I so totally fail.

So I really need to do something that makes me feel smart again, because I’m sick of feeling like the stupid.

Hold On To Your Hats, Qwitter Users

Ok everybody who uses Qwitter who still lives under a rock and has not heard the news, let me tell you about it. I’ll even break it into teeny chunks so you might be able to understand it.

Twitter is changing something to do with the way Twitter clients access direct messages.

Because of this, until the Qwitter devs write a fix for Qwitter, you ain’t gettin’ no DM’s after tomorrow through Qwitter.

This is not something of their choosing.

You have alternatives. EasyChirp, your phone if you can text, I’m sure you can find something.

It will work again once the devs stop unbuggifying the fix they are building.

Until then, deal. Find another way to get DM’s. Do not bitch. If you want to help, send money, or if you have code brain, help.

And Qwitter Pro does not exist. They are attempting to be humorous, although I find their brand of joke not so funny, especially since I heard that they think nothing of stealing other people’s code and branding it as their own.

Ok. Aaa. Now that that’s out of my system, I feel better.

Oh, and for all the people who say the fix isn’t all built and ready to go because the developer is being a lazy prick, chew on this a while.

Yeah! So, on top of going to school and making Hope and Qwitter, he’s dealing with that. I’m feeling burned out and I’m not doing nearly as much as he is.

And on to one of the reasons why I’m feeling a might frizzle fried.

Access Recreation Day was great. Steve captured some super awesome audio. Now, I’m down to manhandling the larger files into something digestible. And thinking about the task is enough to make my brain make cool sizzling noises.

Ug. I dread editing. It’s not the act of editing that makes me go yuck, it’s the act of snipping out portions and not making it sound like Laurence Olivier advertising for Diet coke.

And then the voice in my brain that likes telling me which kinds of useless I am today tells me to shut up, because I could be editing the Audible Otter, a yearbook on cassette that the school for the blind did, back years ago. They didn’t have fancy shmancy digital recorders and cutecy wootcy editing programs. They! Had! Tape! So shut up, get off your butt and finish the job you started.

And that is the large pile of brain splat that’s on the menu. “But what about Trixie,” you say. Oh, she gets her own pile of brain splatter. You just brace yourself.

Jun 29 2011

>The Walk To End Good Will

>I really, reeeeeeeaaaaaaly hate this kind of garbage. It’s one of the things that keeps me away from making donations to a whole lot of charities.

Lorna Robinson wants to walk with her cancer survivor daughter in the 2 day Weekend to End Women’s Cancers fundraiser in Calgary this July. Her daughter raised $2000, while Robinson herself managed to raise $500. Pretty good, eh? I’d say it’s more than fine, but then again I’m not speaking on behalf of the greedy scumbags at the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the organization putting on the event.

The foundation requires that anybody, and that includes people pushing wheelchairs, raise a minimum of $2000 if they plan on walking the whole 2 days and $1250 if they’d like to tag along for 1. It doesn’t matter if your daughter had cancer or even if you’ve volunteered your time to the event in previous years. No money, no walky. And if you do walk, we’re billing your credit card for whatever hasn’t been raised. Oh, and there’ll be none of this refunding the donations you’ve gotten up to this point talk either, thankyouverymuch.

Foundation spokesperson Lee Elliott says that yes, everybody has to raise as much money as we tell them they have to, but it’s all for health and safety reasons, you see.

“If we had thousands of other walkers, walking along side supporting them – and that could be the case when we make an exception – then we can no longer ensure the health and safety of people along that route,” she says.

So let me make sure I’ve got this right. If you don’t arrive with large wads of cash in hand or paid in advance you’re a security risk and may die, but once you’ve fed the beast, you’re fine? Uh-huh.

She also denies that the foundation said it would bill anyone’s credit card, but since we’re dealing with an organization that won’t let you participate in something but will take your money anyway, I’d be surprised if nobody said that to this woman at some point.

It disgusts and offends me whenever I see charities like this one that feel they can set rules like this and truly believe they’re entitled to as much of your money as they want. If you’re in a position to be that demanding, how hard up can you be? Or maybe you’re too hard up and need to get some of those administration costs down.

The idea of charity is everyone giving what they feel they can, and then what’s given gets distributed to those who truly need it. It’s ok to run a charity a little bit like a business, but only in the sense that you don’t want to be losing money hand over fist. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, should be getting rich off of charity work. And no charity has the right to tell anyone what they have to give. Whether each person raises $2000 or $20, you take it and be happy that you have money you didn’t have before. For some people, $20 is a huge gift. Yes, Alberta Cancer Foundation, I said gift. You know, one of those things that people don’t have to give you, but do because they care. And if you notice, the people who demand more and more gifts are the least likely to get them once they aren’t cute kids anymore. Keep it up, and you’ll find yourself in that boat eventually.

I hope the Robinsons get to walk, but if I’m them, I’m not sure I want to bother. These people don’t deserve another dime of my money or a minute of my time after the way they treated my family.

Jun 29 2011

>A Heated Battle Over Rent Money

>When we lived in our old place waaaay back in the days when Steve’s laundry basket was stolen and drunks came for an unintended sleepover, we used to joke that the owner of our building was a mobster. It’s a good thing we were never late with rent. Otherwise, this may have happened to us.

I guess the landlord, Jonathan Steinberg, and the tenant, Ronald Rohde, lived in the same house and the tenant was late with rent. So Steinberg splashed rubbing alcohol over Rohde’s boxer shorts while he was still wearing them and set them ablaze. Luckily, Rohde got the shorts off before he was on the receiving end of a severe scrotal scorching, but still!

Eeek! Listen, Rohde, move! That’s my advice to you.

Jun 29 2011

>Retirement With A Chance Of Politics

>I don’t watch the local CTV news that much anymore, but after this week, it won’t be the same when I do tune in.

another member of the people you expect to be around forever group isn’t going to be around forever after all. After 42 years, Dave MacDonald is retiring. He plans on entering politics and says he’s got some other things he wants to do as well.

42 years is a long time to hold any job, especially one in broadcasting. It’s a little bit crazy to think that he’s been doing the weather in the same place 11 years longer than I’ve been alive and that not only did I grow up watching him, but my mom did, too.

I’d wish him good luck in his political endeavours, but I’m pretty sure he’s running as a Conservative candidate so my brain won’t allow it. But I do hope he enjoys his retirement, he’s definitely earned it. We’ll miss you, Dave.

Jun 25 2011

I Only Have One Word. Headnova

Ug. The things people can persuade others to believe. The latest ridiculousness is an email stating that calls received on cellphones from certain numbers which appear in red when they call will cause the recipient’s brain to hemorrhage.

I think my head just exploded, but not because of any cell phone call from any number coloured in red.

Do people honestly believe that a. certain numbers would be written in red when they come in, and b. that their cellphone could produce frequencies at the right volume that blood would burst from its vessels and flood their brain? Honestly?

I think that these days, anyone could dream up a hoax and someone would believe it, who would then spread it to someone else, who…

Jun 25 2011

So Was The Tank His Chrisco Hamper?

Well, it looks like we know who was hanging out in the toilet tank, and it wasn’t our old, er, buddy. We now know that his name is Luke Chrisco, and he’s really, really, really weird. Where do I even begin? He wants to be a porn star. He calls himself a worshipper of women. So that’s what he was doing in the tank there? He romes around from festival to festival offering massages. He sometimes sleeps in a cardboard box because the greyhound station smells funny. He also offers himself as a male escort.

Yup, definitely very very weird.

Jun 25 2011

From The Mile High With Himself Club To Damn Near Rock Bottom

This Kyle Pearce thing is quickly moving from the ha ha, the dude masturbated on an airplane zone into I legitimately hope he can get the help he needs because it’s kind of sad territory.

After he bonded out of jail, he was ordered to live in a halfway house and undergo some mental health assessments. But he may not be spending much longer there for a variety of reasons.

According to a memo from Garret Pfalmer, a senior probation officer, Pearce has repeatedly been “engaging in misconduct” during his month-long stay at Independence House. Along with “associating with female residents” at the coed facility, Pearce has been disrespectful to staff and “is either abusing his medications, or he is providing them to other residents.”

Among other alleged misconduct, Pearce has abused prescription medicines, gone AWOL from the halfway house, and got into a physical altercation with another resident. Additionally, during an appointment last week at a medical facility, a nurse caught Pearce “attempting to steal needles, syringes, and alcohol pads.” He also apparently filled fraudulent prescriptions at a Walgreen’s pharmacy.

prosecutors have filed a motion to have him removed from the home and sent back to prison, but no hearing has been scheduled yet.

Jun 25 2011

>"Nice Jacket." "I Know, And It Was A Real Steal!"

>This is one of those cases when I’m not sure a trial is necessary.

46-Year-old Stephen Kirkbride was hauled into court on a shoplifting charge, accused of stealing a pricey waterproof jacket from a sporting goods store. Ok, so he started out being accused, but the case quickly turned from a who done it to a he done it when he arrived to profess his innocence while wearing the evidence.

Store manager Deborah Robson said: ‘I pointed the jacket out to the police officer and he seized it straight away.’

Kirkbride, of no fixed address, told the court that he had picked up the expensive coat, which had large tear marks where security tags had been removed, from a charity shop.

‘It was damaged but I thought it was a bargain,’ he said.

Kendal police constable Jose da Silve Neto had already confiscated the two-part coat’s inner fleece from Kirkbride’s previous address at Town View Fields, Kendal, after CCTV footage showed the defendant taking the jacket from Sports Direct on February 3.

However, police had not been able to find the gortex outer layer until the defendant wore it to court.

Kirkbride said he had picked up his courtroom attire ‘from a friend’s house’, although he refused to reveal the person’s identity.

Crown prosecutor David Duke said: ‘You’re making this up as you go along, aren’t you?’.

Kirkbride’s lawyer tried to use the who would be that stupid argument, but since the answer was staring everyone in the face, it was unsuccessful.

Kirkbride’s next court appearance is scheduled for July, and I’m sure the authorities will have an outfit picked out for him.

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