Long Weekend Audio: I Like Traffic Lights…

Last Updated on: 27th October 2023, 08:18 am

Thank Monty Python for the title.

Well! Aren’t we the audio crankin’ machines? We decided this one would have a different twist on it. We decided to take you, the loyal vomiteers, on a walk with us. We’d never done this before…and it kinda showed in the audio quality. Most of it is pretty listenable, but there are some parts where…ow ow ow ow ow! Stream+need to raise voice over traffic=clip clip clip clip! So…do not listen on headphones, I don’t think so. We’ll do better next time…namely, place Stream on left shoulder. By the way, Shane? How did you carry your stream on your routecasts? I need pointers. I tested it before leaving and it sounded fine. I forgot the part where I need to raise my voice to be heard over the traffic din.

We decided to demo an audible pedestrian signal, or the blind guy chirp chirp lights as lots of people know them. We thought we’d clear up some confusion, as well as show the differences between two types of chirp chirp lights. We also thought we’d drop into Tim Hortons just because it’s nearby, and pick up a couple things at the store on the way home. We turned the recording off when we were in the store just because really? do you want to hear “I’ll have a smoothie. Yes debit. chinga linga loo, thank you!”? That’s boring.

We split this bad boy into two smaller parts. There’s part 1, the trip to Timmie’s, description of the lights and how blind people cross streets, talk about the new Tim Hortons bigger drink sizes, and other babble. You don’t hear it, but Trix got called a cute dog by some random passer by. As we arrive at Tim Hortons, Steve asks again what constitutes a yogourtless smoothie? It has been written, but we felt like talking about it. That bit is about 23 minutes long.

In part 2, which lasts about 25 minutes, on our way home, we talked about how poor Steve got hit with a giant allergy attack, how we didn’t get to ask what a yogourtless smoothie would look like, and how Steve thinks ice caps are disgusting. I happen to like them, but he thinks they’re ick. This made us decide we would do our questions not as one cast, but as the mood struck us to talk…and it was time to talk about the differents between Canadian and American iced tea. And, since we were answering that question, we went in to the whole milk in a bag thing.

Because you can find everything on the internet, here’s a history lesson on the milk bag, and a video explaining how to pour milk from a bag. The video isn’t too blindy friendly, but it basically echos the description that we gave in the cast. I just thought it was funny that someone made a video about this.

I have also learned something. This milk in a bag thing only starts in Ontario and moves east. Westerners get mad if you accuse them of drinking milk in a bag. In describing the different sizes of milk cartons, I start singing Good Luck to the Barleymow. Now you can enjoy a much better version.

As we walk down the street yammering about milk bags, I have a question for folks who live in the UK that came up. I was talking to Torie on Twitter, and somehow crossing streets came up, and she said that over there, they have to wait for an all quiet, cross at a zebra crossing, hit a beep beep light, or wait for assistance. The idea of walking with the parallel traffic is not safe. Is this true across all of Ireland? Can other blind folks explain this? Frankly, the idea of not being able to go with the surge is about as weird to me as Americans find buying milk in a bag.

And we arrived home with our stuff, Trix drank furiously, and we signed off.

So, I hope you can enjoy this clippy cast. I apologize again for that. Hopefully we can learn and do better.

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  1. I’m in the UK, and as a new guide dog owner, have become fairly intimate, if you like, with all kinds of road crossing. I can’t comment on Ireland – after all, it is a separate country (apart from Northern Ireland)!

    There are zebra crossings, yes, and I don’t like them at all. All you have is a beacon on both sides of the road that flashes, which of course is not exactly blind friendly. The crossing has no controls for pedestrians, so really it’s all down to listening like crazy and trusting to luck you’ve heard the traffic accurately. There are no traffic lights for drivers either. The law says that if you are obviously crossing the road, like you have your feet on the crossing, the drivers should give way for you. Yes, well, they might or might not.

    Most of the crossings near to me are, thankfully, better than that. Some have audio beepers for when it’s supposed to be safe to cross, and at that point, drivers should be seeing a red stop light. Sighted pedestrians can see a green walking man.

    Some don’t have audio, and they will have, instead, a rotating cone underneath the button that is still when it is not safe to cross, but moves when the red stop lights are showing for drivers. They’re great when they work. A couple of them near to me don’t work, and that makes those routes a bit hazardous.

    There is a junction or intersection in my area where 3 roads come together, and there is a complicated set of crossings for us pedestrians. They are so close together that if those crossings were all audio, they’d be very hard to tell apart, so I’m glad there are tactile cones there instead.

    Some crossings have both audio and tactile elements, which does make life easier. There aren’t many of those, though.

    The newer type of crossing is called a pelican.

    I don’t like asking sighted folks for assistance unless I’m desperate because they don’t have as much worldly wisdom about life on the roads as I and my dog have, or at least that’s my experience up to now. I’ve been told a few times, “That driver is waving you on”. Yes, well, that’s no comfort, is it? I’d rather work it out for myself if at all possible. Drivers who wave at guide dog owners might mean well, but not have too many brain cells.

    1. Good. It seemed a pretty bleak description. I’ve never heard of those cone things. Sounds neat. So do you have stop lights for traffic that have no tactile or audio? And in that case, do you just listen for traffic and go when the right stuff is flowing?

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Those cone deals sound interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that.

    Oh, and drivers waving on obviously blind people is a worldwide thing. It even happened to me in the town where the school for the blind is.

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