There Is Much To Be Learned Here. About The Law, About Customer Service, And About How To Truly Help

None of this should be happening. There’s little excuse for not knowing as a business owner that service dogs are allowed in your establishment in everything but very specific, extreme circumstances. But none of this should be happening either.

Others have shown up to the restaurant parking lot, just to see the place in person. One couple said they planned on calling in a food order and not picking it up. On social media, people are encouraging others to leave negative reviews.
On Yelp, at 3:30 p.m., the restaurant had 81 reviews. Of those, 58 of those were posted after Wednesday evening.

Yes, Joe Public. I know you’re mad. And I get that you have the best of intentions here, trying to stick up for this poor guy by making the owners lives as difficult as they made his. But for the love of god, please stop. You’re not helping. This is not the kind of support that disabled people need or want. I’m telling you this as a disabled person myself.

In my life, many of you have tried to “help” me when it looks to you like things are going wrong. Sometimes it’s very much appreciated. But honestly, a lot of you have no idea what you’re doing. You make scenes where none need to be made. You yell at the wrong person. You yell at the right person but for the wrong reason. You dish out terrible advice like you’re some kind of expert on me. And at the end of it all you’ve only made things worse and then I have to deal with the consequences. Sometimes that can be as simple as explaining to a waitress or a cab driver that I’ve never met you before and that you’re pretty far out to lunch, actually. But other times it’s much worse, coming in the form of somebody who maybe could have learned something positive taking away the lesson that disabled people are even worse than they thought and are something to be feared, avoided and even resented.

If you don’t like what you saw at Milton’s, don’t spend your money there. And by all means, make sure people know why. But this fake negative reviews and not picking up orders business isn’t at all productive. Don’t stoop to their level. Punch up. Spend your Milton’s money on a donation to an organization that helps people get supports they need to better their lives. A school that trains service dogs for autistic people is a good example in this case. And use the time you won’t be spending in their dining room to find ways you can help out constructively in the community. You shouldn’t have to look far.

Being an asshole is easy. It might even make you feel good about yourself for a minute. But if you really want to do something that’s going to make a difference, put in the work on being an ally.

In the video, the man is heard saying the dog is his service animal.
On Wednesday evening police attended Milton’s Grill & Bar on King Street East in Kitchener in response to the incident.
The video is 4:30 minutes long and shows a man being confronted by two other men telling him to leave. At times, the men are seen grabbing and even dragging him by his feet. His dog stayed largely out of the frame.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” the man is heard saying in the video.
“Yes you have. You’re f-ing disrupting my business,” one of the men replied. “You’re trespassing.”

People can be heard in the background calling for the men to stop touching him. “Just leave him alone.”
It’s unclear what occurred between the two parties leading up to the start of this video. The Record has reached out to members of the family of the man who was told to leave, but has not heard back.

Wake UP, Methew

You may read many funnier things today, but the description of how this fellow was discovered hit me the right way just now.

“On Friday, September 17th, Matthew Williamson, 37, was charged with Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Vehicle (UBEV) and Theft of Property 3rd Degree. Pleasant Grove police officers transported him to Jefferson County Jail where he made a signature bond and walked out. Less than two hours after leaving jail, Williamson stole a car in Hueytown and hid it in Pleasant Grove. On the night of Wednesday, September 22nd, an unknown person broke into the concession stand at the Pleasant Grove Athletic Complex, taking a large quantity of snacks . The next morning Williamson was found asleep in the Athletic Complex press box amongst piles of chicken fingers, chips, candy, and meth. He admitted the burglaries and the car theft and on Friday, the 24th he was transported back to the Jefferson County Jail.”

Psychological Warfare

Before I let Gill take over and talk about her great uncle, I just want to say thank you to everyone who fought and died on behalf of our country, and I’m sorry that our various governments haven’t always had your back. Many of you did and saw things that no person should ever have to do and see, and there is no excuse for you having to keep fighting once you get back home for the help you need and deserve. If we’re going to hold you up as heroes, we should be treating you that way.

Just because the war ended doesn’t mean the nightmares stop.  Referred to as shell shock after WW 1, what we now know as PTSD was never spoken of. 

Dark Shadows Looming

Sargent Robert {Budd} Hewgill was my great-uncle, and I have spoken of his contributions to making the world a safer place many times, but did you know the war took a psychological toll on him?  He was older than many of the men in his unit, and developed a rapport with these young men fresh off the farm or just out of high school.  Though in his early thirties, the men under his command referred to him as “dad.”  Sadly many of the young men would not make it home.


When my great-uncle marched home to a hero’s welcome in January of 1946, he had that post war hope.  So what did he do?  He did the prescribed things of the era. Marry his sweetheart, start both a business and a family, and live the prosperous post war dream.  Unfortunately, the war had changed him. Once lively and up for a good laugh, now quiet and somber.  I can only speculate that he carried with him the thousand nightmares of young men wounded or never to return.

Thank You Note

I didn’t get the chance to really know you, but from what mom has told me you were a wonderful person.  I hope you found rest somehow.  God bless you Uncle Budd.

Loud Person Writes To Newspaper, Apparently Doesn’t Read It

Oh hey look, everyone. It’s Steve, getting irritated by another dumb ass antivaxxer.

New restrictions violate privacy
I have a question about targeted COVID-19 restrictions.
What authority does a random person, with no credentials, hired for minimum wage, have to demand personal health information and identification from anyone just going about their daily lives?

I believe what you meant to say was “I have a stupid, insulting question about targeted COVID-19 restrictions,” but be that as it may.

The answer is a simple one. They have been given that authority by the Ontario government. The same Ontario government that gives some of those same under-paid workers you don’t appear to think much of the authority to ID you for all kinds of reasons. Making sure you are of legal age to buy cigarettes and beer, for example. As for the personal health information part, let us not forget that the province also has a hand in the same school boards that require you to show proof that you have immunized your children against a host of diseases that should probably include COVID, if we’re being honest.

What really is the goal to end the pandemic, herd immunization or herd mentality?

The answer to this one is also fairly simple. Yes. Yes, we should aim to immunize the herd. And yes, it sure would be easier to find ourselves in something resembling a post pandemic life if the stubborn, vocal minority of said herd would change its mentality to one that’s going to help us all reach that end.

Carol Swick,
West Lorne, Ont.

Thanks for writing, Carol. Now please go get vaccinated.

Changes In This Release Include You Just Hitting The Damn Button Already

I just downloaded six app updates for my phone. Do you know how many of them gave me a good idea of what I was getting? One, and even it was scant.

I’ve been noticing a trend toward useless release notes in the last couple of years at least, and I really don’t care for it at all. I don’t know why it’s happening, but it can stop any time now.

I read the notes for every update I download, because they can tell me a lot. Did they fix a problem I’ve been having? Is there a cool new feature I’m going to want to try? Should I think twice before I go ahead because something flags me that things may not all be well in Voiceover land if I do? I don’t know any of these things anymore, because 95% of the time all I get is vague junk like “various bug fixes”, “updates to make the app faster and more reliable”, “small fixes” or even “fixed bugs, took the afternoon off.” If I want to save myself the aggravation of stumbling headlong into all kinds of digital hell, I have to hope that some poor bastard who already has was nice enough to share his findings in a place where I happen to see them in time.

If you’re an app developer and you want to know how release notes are supposed to be done, take your cues from WordPress or Twitterrific. For god’s sake don’t be an Uber or a YouTube.

Doug Ford Just Had A Great Idea From Five Years Ago

It’s nice that Doug Ford has decided to raise Ontario’s minimum wage to $15 an hour (it would have been a whole lot nicer if he hadn’t cancelled the very same thing almost four years ago), but his stated reasoning for doing so now makes no sense.

But the premier defended his previous pro-business stance of opposing a $15-an-hour minimum wage, saying it is “apples and oranges” due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone’s been facing a challenge in the last 20 months,” he said, insisting “things were a lot different in 2018” when he repealed his Liberal predecessor Kathleen Wynne’s law that mandated a $15 minimum wage as of Jan. 1, 2019.
If Wynne’s initiative had not been scrapped by Ford, the minimum wage would now be about $15.75 an hour.
“We’ve been in the trenches with the front-line workers. We’ve been in the trenches with the labour leaders,” the Progressive Conservative premier said.

What exactly is “a lot different” from a worker perspective since 2018 is kind of a mystery. Life didn’t magically become unaffordable for low income Ontarians when the pandemic hit. It was bad then, and it’s worse now. Worse enough that $15 isn’t going to mean a whole lot. It’s something, but what it most certainly is not is anything someone can reasonably be expected to live on. To be fair, the $15.75 those people would have had by now under the Liberal plan had Ford not decided to be an arse harp back then isn’t either, but it would have been more than what they’re getting now.

What’s different now from the business perspective is a little more obvious. Many of them have a lot less money to work with. Closures and capacity limits will do that sort of thing, which makes this a hell of a time to spring a surprise increase on them, Doug. I don’t say that as an excuse not to do it. I’m merely pointing out that the only thing that’s truly different now is the season. It’s election season, you see. And this is quite a blatant example of a party buying votes with other people’s money.

Doug Ford only has to care about underpaid workers until next June. After that, it’s back to business as usual. And you only need to look back to 2018 when things were somehow so much different to understand what that means.

Everybody Should Absolutely Be Vaccinated Maybe I Guess, But I’m Not Going To Tell You What To Do. Just Promise Not To Kill Anyone, Ok?

And now, I give you the latest dumb decision that the Ford government is going to have to walk back in a few weeks, hopefully before it has the chance to spectacularly fail.
Ontario won’t force vaccines on hospital workers because of potential for staffing shortages and surgery delays, Doug Ford says

What in the fuck is wrong with you people? This is a question not only for the PCs, but for all of the province’s unvaccinated hospital workers.

I’m not going to sit here and say that having some concerns about staffing levels and the ability to perform surgeries in a timely manner is a completely ridiculous thing, but don’t try to tell me that allowing irresponsible, antivaxx employees to roam free in buildings full of sick people is a better alternative. It isn’t. Let’s not forget why we have a surgical backlog in the first place. It’s because of COVID. The same COVID we’re still wrestling with and that has mutant friends now that can do more damage more quickly.

Hopefully the hospitals will do what Ford won’t and impose mandates of their own. I think most will. But yet again, Ford’s inaction and nod to the antivax community that’s most likely to vote for him in 2022 is putting lives more at risk than they ought to be.

Ontario won’t force hospital workers to get COVID-19 vaccines because it could lead to staff shortages or surgery delays and will instead leave the decision to individual medical institutions, says Premier Doug Ford.
The move was met with disbelief by health experts and opposition critics, who have called for mandatory vaccines for hospital staff. Why, they asked, are nursing home staff required to get their shots, but not those working in hospitals who also care for vulnerable patients?
“This is a complex issue,” Ford said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, noting he wrote to hospital heads across the province asking for their input on the possibility of a mandate.
“But when the impact of the potential departure of tens of thousands of health-care workers is weighed against the small number of outbreaks that are currently active in Ontario’s hospitals, I am not prepared to jeopardize the delivery of care to millions of Ontarians. Having looked at the evidence, our government has decided to maintain its flexible approach by leaving human resourcing decisions up to individual hospitals.”
The Ontario Hospital Association — which had the support of 120 of 141 institutions in calling for a mandate — said it is “disappointed” and that the province “cannot afford to let its guard down” after fighting COVID-19 for almost two years.

The Watchers Don’t Want Watchers Watching Them, And It’s Hard To Blame Them

We rely on ads to keep the site running, but I’ll never get angry about people using ad blockers. Hell, I’ve used them too. Paid for them, even. It’s not great for your favourite websites, but it’s a problem that the online advertising industry and even those websites to a degree have brought upon themselves. Scams, pop-ups, those creepy banners that follow you everywhere and always seem to know what you’ve been looking at, ads that try to sneak unwanted and malicious software onto your system, pages so clogged with ads that it’s all you can do to look at something with a screen reader because your focus keeps bouncing all over the damn place every time something loads,your computer being rendered nearly unusable until you can manage to get the browser closed for the same reason, the frightening amount of information a lot of companies collect about you…I could go on. All of those are absolutely valid reasons to install one, and if you do, that’s cool with me. Maybe think about putting us on your allow list if you like us, but whatever.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not ad blocking is for you, here’s something to consider. Agencies like the CIA and NSA, outfits that know a thing or 12 about aggressive and flagrant misuse of personal data, are apparently using the hell out of it for a lot of the same reasons the rest of us are.

Lots of people who use ad blockers say they do it to block malicious ads that can sometimes hack their devices or harvest sensitive information on them. It turns out, the NSA, CIA, and other agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) are also blocking ads potentially for the same sorts of reasons.
The IC, which also includes the parts of the FBI, DEA, and DHS, and various DoD elements, has deployed ad-blocking technology on a wide scale, according to a copy of a letter sent by Congress and shared with Motherboard.

The news highlights the continued risk from the online advertising ecosystem. Some hackers leverage how adverts are delivered to send target devices malware. Data brokers and potentially intelligence agencies can leverage the ecosystem to gather information on devices and by extension people, sometimes including their physical location. The IC taking steps to protect itself from the dangers of the advertising ecosystem shows just how malicious it can be.
“The IC has implemented network-based ad-blocking technologies and uses information from several layers, including Domain Name System information, to block unwanted and malicious advertising content,” the CIO recently told Wyden’s office, according to the letter.

Maybe it’s time I install one again. Anyone have any suggestions? As long as it’s easily manageable with a screen reader and plays well with Firefox, I’m all ears.

This Is My Shitbit. It Connects Via Pootooth

For specific people under specific circumstances, these health analyzing smart toilets could be a huge help. But as a generally available consumer product? I’ll pass. It would be great to have an easy method to assist with the tracking and treatment of a chronic condition so that maybe you would have to tromp to the lab less often, but that’s about where the benefits end.

What use is there, for instance, in having your toilet tell you that you eat and party like a college boy? If you are at all self-aware, you know that. Ditto for suggestions that you maybe aren’t moving around enough. You know whether or not you went for a run today. This sort of lifestyle prompting from a bowl in the wall doesn’t accomplish much beyond contributing to people’s weird health anxiety. Nobody you knew ever mentioned 10000 steps until they all got fitness trackers. Now half of them figuratively live and die by that stuff, getting all twitchy when it starts looking like they might not hit the arbitrary goal of the day or staying awake at night fretting about the disturbing results they’ve been seeing on the sleep monitor.

And what is it going to mean for medical care? Everybody’s already Googling everything and then either bothering the doctor about it or sending themselves to the hospital by sucking down Javex and horse paste. Having the toilet track your family’s every movement is only going to give those people more ammo and make it harder for the rest of us to get the time and attention we need.

All of this and we haven’t even touched on the privacy implications. A lot of these internet of things devices aren’t exactly secure. But even if they were, it would solve virtually nothing. We still have a host of other issues here. Where are these reams of data going? Who has access to it? If your toilet company is sold, how does that change your relationship? Are these things going to start popping up in workplaces? Other public settings? Different people are going to have different privacy standards and different motivations. What are they tracking? Why do they want it? And if everyone’s deuce hoop is as unique as some of the people in this article here seem to think it is, what does that mean for me in terms of employment, life insurance, police investigations, all that?

Sometimes there’s a reason why the design and function of something hasn’t changed in a couple hundred years. Maybe it’s just not worth it.

Panasonic launched a smart toilet in China that tested urine and tracked body fat. This year, at the influential annual Consumer Electronics Show, the Japanese manufacturer Toto announced its “wellness toilet” – a concept, but something it is working on (it previously developed a toilet that analyses urine flow). Its sensors – including one for scent – would aim to detect health problems and conditions such as stress, but also make lifestyle suggestions. In one image provided by the company, it envisioned the toilet sending you a recipe for salmon and avocado salad.
Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine have been working on technology that can analyse faeces (including “stool dropping time”) and track the velocity and colour of urine, as well as test it. An article this month in the Wall Street Journal reported that the researchers have partnered with Izen, a Korean toilet manufacturer, and hope to have prototypes by the end of the year. In order to differentiate between users, the researchers developed a scanner that can recognise the physical characteristics of whoever is sitting on the toilet – or, in the words of the researchers, “the distinctive features of their anoderm” (the skin of the anal canal). Apparently, your “analprint”, like your fingerprints, is unique.
Vik Kashyap says we are ready for it (well, perhaps not scanners – in Stanford’s study of user acceptance, “the least favoured module is analprint”). Kashyap’s company, Toi Labs, has been working in the smart toilet space for about two decades and has a longstanding interest in gut health (he successfully treated his own ulcerative colitis by ingesting parasitic worms). He has seen other companies’ attempts at the smart toilet fail, but he thinks now may be the time. Not only has it become normal to track our data through wearables such as an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, but we are also less squeamish. Kashyap puts this down to the surge of interest and research in the microbiome and our gut health, including poo, which “has made this topic less of a taboo”.

TWBlue TWBlew Up, But It’s Fixable

I’m not much for Twitter anymore, but I still keep a client on my phone and my desktop for the times I do feel like playing with it, in case someone talks to me there and to keep tabs on what a few people are up to. One of those clients is TWBlue, obviously.

A couple of days ago, the thing absolutely flipped its shit. A few days before then, something would pop up occasionally saying that someone had blocked me and that it was going to remove that person’s tweets from my timelines. I would press ok and go on my way, after spending a couple of seconds wondering who the rat bastard was and what he thought I did, of course. Later that day, I happened to see another person tweeting about the same thing happening to her. I started to realize that this was likely some sort of error and not legitimate blocks since neither of us had ever seen it before and now we were getting it repeatedly on the same day. I put it out of my mind after that, but then Wednesday’s aforementioned shit flipping occurred.

I saw the block message, hit the ok button, and then promttly saw it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And…ok, let’s hit this bad boy with the task manager, because it ain’t stoppin’.

With that taken care of, I got on with life and gave it no more thought. It only came back to mind when I had to reboot the system to install some updates. That’s when I noticed hey, TWBlue didn’t run like it’s supposed to. That’s odd. I tried starting it a couple of times, but nothing would happen. I eventually deleted its folder in AppData and tried again. It ran, but only to a point. I got as far as the we’re going to take you to a website to start the account authorization process, but no further. I wasn’t taken to a website. It just sat there in the new account dialogue, waiting for one of us to blink. I guess I blinked first, because I wound up closing and uninstalling it.

Which brings me to today.

One of Carin’s Facebook friends posted something asking what in hell was wrong with it. This was the first Carin had heard of any problems, so she asked if I knew anything. All I could say was “oh, so it’s not just me then?” That brought me to Google, which brought me here.

Long story short, a series of development decisions and other circumstances have meant big changes to the software. Big enough that it can’t gracefully update itself. You can go here to get the new one.

Remember to uninstall the old one before you try doing anything with it, though. If you’re anything like the other person I’ve helped along with this, installing over top isn’t going to work. In fact, if you’re like me, even after installing the new one you may have to run %appdata% and delete the folder again. When I first installed and tried to run it, it just sat there doing nothing like the old one did. But after deleting that folder and trying again, things are humming along as good as they ever did. I had to authorize my account again, but that only takes a few seconds when the website that’s supposed to open actually does.

Now that you’ve gotten that fixed, why not use your new powers to give Carin and I a follow? I don’t say much and she says even less, but you’ll get links to all of the new posts and sporadic bits of other stupidity, so it may or may not be worth your time.