kittytech: (Default)
I don't think I've written about this here yet, so I figured I'd take a bit of time to talk about this.

Tomorrow evening, Tom Sullivan will be performing here in Fargo. (Note that the web site is full of flash content and is really annoying. I really like the song that plays though once the page comes up.)

Ever since I was about eight years old and my teacher played the book "Tom Sullivan's Adventures in Darkness" for my class, I've been absolutely fascinated by Tom. This particular book was written for kids, and focused a lot on his time in a residential school for the blind, and other parts of his life. I think I was drawn to him because, at that age, I could really relate to the residential school stories, and he just seemed like such a cool guy to me.

Later on, I read the adult version of his autobiography, "If You Could See What I Hear". It's the same story, but, I think, with much more detail, and written for adults.

Even though I'm not really much of a dog person, I also read The Leading Lady, where he talks about the incredible bond that he had with one of his dog guides, and the very difficult decision to retire her when she started losing her vision. I think part of the attraction of this book for me was that it was co-written with Betty White who I knew best from her time on The Golden Girls. I thought it'd be neat to read something that she'd written as well, and I really thought the book was great, (although I scanned the hard-cover edition with some incredibly old technology back in 1995, and I'm sure I missed a lot).

Just recently, I read another book that Tom wrote with Betty, Together, which is apparently his first attempt in the fiction area. Although some parts of the book are based on truth, (like the dog that the main character gets), much of the story is still fictional. This was one more book that I really enjoyed.

In addition to the books, Tom appeared on several episodes of Highway to Heaven, and an episode of M*A*S*H where he played a newly blinded soldier. A movie, If You Could See What I Hear, is based on his college years.

But, back to the present. Tom will be here in Fargo tomorrow night giving a free benefit concert, and I have the opportunity of being able to attend. From what I understand, he'll be performing for a while, and then interacting with the audience. I can't imagine actually having the chance to meet him personally, but I won't deny that it'd be really cool if it happened. But, this is something that I'm really looking forward to. Although Tom's activities and things that he's done have caused some interesting discussions in the blindness community, and many feel that he sensationalizes much of his life, I still really think that tomorrow night is going to be an incredible experience.
kittytech: (Default)
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I've met a lot of people on LJ that I wouldn't have met otherwise, but there's one person in particular that stands out in my mind.

I first saw [livejournal.com profile] masterofmusings on tech email lists probably around 2003. I saw his name, saw his posts, and had a lot of respect for this guy who didn't hesitate to say what he thought even when his view wasn't very popular. We sent the very rare off-list email; I wrote him about a caller ID question that he had, he responded. He took over list moderation of a very large list. I wrote him to say that I was happy he'd taken the moderation because I'd seen his moderation on a previous list and liked his way of handling things. When I got my Bookport, he gave me a great suggestion on rechargeable batteries.

Then, in the summer of 2006 I received a message from Live Journal informing me that "cokedrinker" (I believe that was it, but maybe it had an underline), had added me to his friends list. I was pretty much blown away. I just couldn't believe that this guy, who I felt was respected by many, found me interesting enough to want to read my blatherings and stuff. I added him back. A few months later he changed his username to "Brucetola", and I really liked that one.

For the next year, I read his entries and felt as though I'd been drawn into his life. I saw a man with an incredible sense of humor, but who also had a different side; a side that I never would have gotten to see on a mailing list. I was hesitant to leave comments, especially after one day when I said something and thought that I'd upset him with a comment that I'd left. There were just some entries though that I felt I absolutely had to comment on, so I did. Through his entries, I saw a man who expressed himself well, and who wasn't afraid to talk about how he was feeling even if those feelings weren't things that most guys would admit to. I truly admired him for that because it had to take a lot of guts to be different.

Then, last year, he posted an entry about wanting to learn how to set up custom friends groups. I'd been doing that practically since I started on LJ, so I offered to help him, but I requested that he add me to Windows Live Messenger if he wanted the help. I didn't want to do anything without him making the first contact because I just still couldn't believe that this guy thought anything more of me than a casual reader-type person. He added me, and we started chatting very occasionally on Messenger. This was about June of 2007, and in July, two big things were happening for me. A, the anual ACB (American Council of the Blind Convention, and the final Harry Potter book was being released. Both of these things were big to me. During the convention, I got to see first-hand the brand new, yet-to-be-released product, the Victor Reader Stream. I knew from Bruce's Messenger tag that he was also interested, so pretty much immediately after getting to play with it I messaged him and told him all about it. I thought it was neat that I was able to give him information that he would find interesting. Weird maybe, but that's just how I felt. Harry Potter was another thing entirely. I'm still trying to convince Bruce that he should give the books a try, but it hasn't happened yet. But, there was something happening that day with him, and for the life of me I don't remember what it was. But, he said that he would have messaged me and chose not to because he didn't think I'd want to talk to him because I was reading Harry.

August 5 marked the day we first talked through voice. I was terrified, and apparently he was too, but what we thought would be a ten minute conversation turned into something just under 6 hours. I was so impressed by this person!!!! He was someone that I truly could call a friend now because we'd connected, and I was excited about the prospect of getting to know him even better. Being in two different countries pretty much insured that we'd never meet in person, (or so I assumed), but he was someone I could talk to, someone I felt extremely comfortable with.

A week later I went into the hospital and nobody knew what was wrong with me. We talked for a few hours before I went, and he told me a really wacky story about being from the 27th century and coming back to this century. He was making it up as he went along, but his goal at that point was keeping me focused, and it worked. He took the next day off from work so that he could be with me in the hospital, over the phone. I can't even begin to express how much that meant to me; this person that I knew, yet in so many ways didn't know, and yet it was obvious to me how much he cared, and how concerned he was for me. When I had to go for tests I kept thinking about him and I wanted to get back to my room so that we could talk.

After being released I wondered if I'd made a mistake by going home alone since they still had no idea what was wrong with me. Through those first days at home though, Bruce's patience and support made such a difference to me. I still just found it so amazing that he stuck by me, and I really didn't understand it.

It only seems logical to me that this kind of thing brought us closer. There was something about the whole hospital thing that created an incredible bond between us. But we were both starting to feel more for each other than friendship, and we were fighting it. The timing just wasn't right. I guess though that timing just doesn't play into things much though in certain situations. Something happened that made us realize that we needed to talk openly about how we were feeling. It wasn't an easy conversation because we knew how we were feeling, but we were afraid that the other person wouldn't feel the same. I was afraid of losing an incredible friend.

Well, as it turned out, we had nothing to worry about, and we got everything out in the open. I suppose the rest is history. It's been a long road, and it definitely hasn't always been easy, and just before we met in person for the first time last November I think we both wondered if we'd lost our minds. But, that first meeting showed us a lot, and I am so glad that we took that first step.

If it hadn't have been for Live Journal, I don't think that Bruce and I would have ever been anything more than casual emailers. It's hard to believe that all of this started a little over ten months ago. And, if I had to do it over again I'd do it in a heartbeat. I've continued to get to know the most incredible, the most special, the most loving man on the planet, and every time I don't think I can love him any more, I do. So, thanks, LJ, for giving me this opportunity. It's changed my life.

My Day

Mar. 15th, 2007 05:51 pm
kittytech: (Default)
Well, today was definitely better than yesterday. I'm feeling better for the most part, and tomorrow's Friday. My memory came this morning and I put it in. I discovered why they require pairs of sticks though, and after looking at the configuration of the system it makes more sense. I was still having some major problems, but I think many of them have been resolved. Without going into anything that would get me in trouble, I installed a private beta version of JAWS over the top of an existing version and discovered that it was just easier to uninstall and start from scratch. So, we'll leave it at that. SMILE!

I recently discovered yet another rather interesting food product that I thought I'd share with you guys. I love potatoes, pretty much any way. Some company, (I don't have a clue which one though), developed French fries for the microwave. I was admittedly rather skeptical of these since the microwave tends to make things get really soggy, but I figured it wouldn't kill me to try it once. The box says to put them on a plate and nuke them for 4 minutes. Well, I don't know what power they're using for their tests, but in our 1250 Watt microwave 4 minutes really toasted them. Jim likes them that way though so he ate those. I chose to put mine in for only 2 minutes and they came out much better. They actually tasted great, and were definitely not soggy. I suppose with everyone working so much now the convenience foods are getting more popular so they're really trying to improve them. I want my next big kitchen purchase to be a deep fryer, but at this point I really don't have anywhere to put it so I think that's going to have to wait until I earn my first million and move into a mansion. Yes, I'll share with all of you! SMILE!

I was surprised to see that [livejournal.com profile] brucetola decided to step down as the moderator of the Blind Tech email list, but I'm honestly not surprised given the way things have been going lately. It all goes back to what I was saying about lists last night, and being a moderator is never an easy job. Since I created the Wisconsin ACB list three years ago I've been moderating that, and there are times when people have argued with my decisions, both on and off list. What makes it even harder for me is that many of these people are my friends, and I hate to have to tell them to stop something or whatever, but it's got to be done. It's just too bad that we lost a moderator who wasn't afraid to tell people to follow the rules, and take action against those who wouldn't. I for one am sorry to see him go.

I ran Ad-Aware this afternoon and it found 49 items. It amazes me how fast that stuff gets onto the system, especially since I stick to the same sites most of the time. Oh, and I was excited to see the post in the LJ News community about the fact that they're thinking about opening up permanent accounts again in a couple of months. I'm really hoping to be able to get one of those limited accounts when they become available. It'd be nice not to have to pay yearly.

Well, I'm hungry, and I think I've rambled on long enough here so I think I'm going to go find some food. I'm participating in a survey tonight regarding blindness and race. For some reason, there's a misconception that blind people aren't prejudice just because they can't see. In fact, I remember back in Las Vegas at the 2005 ACB Convention when one of the people they got to pray at one of the daily sessions actually said something about how our entire group was nonjudgmental because we were blind. That really stuck with me because it's just not true, as much as we'd probably like it to be. Our opinions are based on pretty much the same criteria as anyone else, accept that we can't see them. I like to think that I have an open mind about most people, but I will never claim to be perfect, (at least not in public SMILE), and I've been known to say things that some might consider to be uncool. So, I think this could be interesting tonight. If anyone's interested in doing this as well, please send me an email at tazcat at livejournal.com with your email address and I'll have this guy contact you. I think he's looking at people who have been blind since birth, but I would imagine that's not all he's looking for.

As I was proofreading this entry, I got an email. I'm starting to get spammed from my email link on my page, so it's going to be removed PDQ. I HATE SPAM!!!!!!!! And yes, I'll admit that publicly if asked. SMILE!

Okay, I said I was going away, and this time I am. Later; maybe after the survey to tell you all how it was.
kittytech: (Default)
I had to post one more entry tonight. I just finished eating and now I'm sitting down to let everything settle. I'm absolutely stuffed, but there's enough for at least one more meal for the two of us so that's good.

Something kind of strange happened though just before I was ready to serve the food. I had the sauce on my favorite burner, (front right), the pasta in the strainer in the sink, and the timer had just gone off for the biscuits. I turned off the oven and reached in to get the pan with the biscuits. As I pulled them out, for only about the second time since we moved in here almost four and a half years ago, the smoke alarm went off. The weird thing is that there wasn't any smoke that we could smell. It was kind of odd. Everything tasted good though, and nothing was burned. So the reason for the smoke alarm is a total mystery. At least it was nice enough today that we had a couple of windows open and we put on the ceiling fans and things to get rid of whatever the problem was.

This incident reminds me of a story that I just have to tell, so sorry guys. I had literally just turned nineteen, and was living in my first apartment. It was a total dive, but it was mine. It was one of those efficiency apartments with a bedroom/living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. I also had the added benefit of a very large unheated storage area that doubled as an additional freezer that winter. My oven was gas, (which in itself sort of scared me at first but now I absolutely love gas), and in between the two sets of burners was a built-in griddle. I was absolutely dying to try it because I thought it would be really neat. So, on a January morning, only about two months after I'd moved in, I was in my pajamas in front of the stove with a bowl of pancake batter, and a friend sleeping in the next room. My plan was to wake her up with the smell of fresh pancakes. Well, things didn't quite go the way I'd hoped they'd go. I discovered that flipping pancakes wasn't as easy as it sounded. As I fought with the partially cooked batter, trying to flip it, I started to lose track of what I was doing, and where the stuff was that I was supposed to be flipping. I was bound and determined though that I was going to make pancakes. Just as I was getting ready to try flipping things again, the sound of my smoke alarm scared the crap out of me. I completely freaked out. I turned off the griddle and asked my friend, (now wide awake), how to turn the stupid thing off. She had no clue. So, in my stocking feet and pajamas, (I did at least have the sense to grab a jacket I think), I ran down the stairs, out into a very cold January morning in Wisconsin with snow and ice and into the business that was below me and asked them how I was supposed to turn off my smoke alarm. I can only imagine how much I drove those poor ladies crazy in the few months that I lived there, but they were great to have around. They just calmly told me to wave a dish towel under the alarm and it would stop. So, I ran back upstairs where the alarm was still shrieking and grabbed the only thing I had; an extra-long oven mitt. It worked, and the alarm finally shut off. Then the realization of the situation hit me, and the embarrassment came full force. I'd walked into a public place of business with my pajamas on, no bra, and, well, it was just really embarrassing. Over the next few months before I ended up moving out because my landlord was a total jerk I had many other experiences, but none were anything close to that one. I learned a lot from that first apartment though, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Eleven years later I'd like to think that my culinary skills have improved, along with my ability to cope with the situations that come up when there is a problem. Now, when I look back on that morning in 1996 I can laugh at myself. It was just one of those things, but I'll never forget it either.

So, that's my little ramble for today. I just happened to think about it and thought I'd share. In other news, I keep forgetting to tell everyone that my tax returns are in, and safely stashed away for this summer. I'll be able to sit back and laugh at all the people who are frantically trying to get their taxes in on April 15th as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight, and I'll be happy knowing that I've all ready been a good citizen for paying my taxes early. SMILE! Later, everyone!
kittytech: (Default)
It's definitely been a lazy day today. I pretty much spent the morning on the computer trying to catch up with emails and other stuff. I've watched a little TV, (pre-recorded stuff since there never seems to be anything good on regular TV), and snuggled with Taz and Cally for a while. Thursday night there was apparently a water mane break across the street from the building, and they've been working like crazy to get it fixed. Our water supply was interrupted briefly yesterday but so far it's been holding steady since. The down side to this is that I was awakened at 6:50 this morning to the sound of a jackhammer and other loud obnoxious noises. One of the few days I have where I can actually sleep in and I can't. That didn't exactly make me happy.

I listened to an audio file that talks about the features of the new Book Port. I don't have the link in front of me at the moment, but if people want to hear it I'll go search for the link. And, Tuesday night is the night on ACB Radio's Main Menu when we'll hopefully find out more new stuff. I just hope it's released by the time the ACB convention happens because this is going to be my one big purchase of the year. I know, call me a nerd, especially since my current Book Port isn't even a full year old yet, (Next month I will have had it for a full year though), and it's working just fine. But, having extra features is what I'm all about.

I've got hamburger thawing out for tonight's supper. Since I never seem to have time anymore to fix a real meal, I wanted to do something different tonight. I'll be making spaghetti, and then a friend and I found a biscuit mix made by Bisquik at the grocery store the other day. It's for garlic cheese biscuits, and if you've ever had the ones from Red Lobster, you might be extremely interested in these because they're pretty much the same thing. I made a package the other day and I'll be making the last pack tonight. I'm going to have to find more of these things! And, they're so easy to make. Just in case anyone finds them and wants to give it a try, all you have to do is preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the contents of the package with 1/2 cup of water and stir until it forms a dough. Grease a pan and divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces and bake for 10-13 minutes. It honestly can't get much simpler than that. SMILE! [livejournal.com profile] kl1964, I know you're always up for new food ideas.

One other thing I wanted to mention. If you're a member of the Blind People Community you've all ready seen this, but if you're not this might be new. Apparently there's an organization that's trying to produce braille and large print labels for different products, and they want to offer the labels free of charge. If you want to read more, fill out their survey, or request a pack of free labels, go to the Labels for Literacy site and see what they have to offer. I thought it was pretty neat.

Well, I think that's about it for now. I need to go check on the meat and see how it's doing and then see if I can figure out what I want to read from my CF card in my Book Port. Later everyone!

Stuff

Mar. 9th, 2007 08:09 pm
kittytech: (Default)
Okay, so it's been a while since I've posted. I've actually got an entry that I'm working on, but it's not ready to be posted yet so I'll do something a little bit more general. There's a lot of stuff that I've been wanting to write about, but as usual, I'm probably not going to remember it all. SMILE! But, I've got potatoes in the masher, so since I've got time, here I am to at least try.

It's been a rather interesting week overall. Not terribly busy, just different. I've had time to relax, a little anyway, and to do some maintenance things with my journal. For anyone who's not reading me on their friends page, you'll notice the new look and feel. Hopefully it's not too confusing, but I really like the way it's working right now.

The push for spring is definitely starting to get strong. This has been a really cold March so far, (Not that we're all that far into it but still), and this weekend it's finally supposed to start warming up at least into the 50s, so I'm really looking forward to that. I know, those of you who have nice weather are probably laughing at me right now, but I don't care. SMILE!

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] imafarmgirl I placed my first order on Pet Food Direct and the stuff should arrive on Monday. I can't find big bags of the Iams with Hairball control that we use for Taz and Cally, and we were having to constantly get more food. I found a nice big 20-pound bag and some new toys since we have this really bad habit of crunching all their favorite balls under our feet. So Monday will be a nice day for the kitties.

Back in January when I went to Florida, I was looking for something interesting to buy as a souvenir. What I found wasn't exactly a Florida thing, but it was definitely something that I've found useful and extremely beneficial. At the Orlando air port one of the many shops they have sells Crocs. Crocs are, for anyone who doesn't know, the most amazing shoe ever created. Okay, so that's strictly my opinion, but apparently it's shared by hundreds of people around the world according to the testimonials on the web site. Visually they're apparently not the most wonderful looking in the world, but I bet you'll never find a more comfortable shoe out there. They're made out of what almost feels like rubber, but it's not. The last time I went in to see my doctor I mentioned the pain that I've been having in the heel and arch of my left foot. They said that it was most likely plantar fasciitis and told me to purchase heel pads and/or arch supports for my shoes. After using these for a while I discovered that this stuff is really pretty pointless, and actually made things worse in some cases. I kept buying new shoes hoping that I'd eventually find something that was cushiony enough to make me feel better, but after a couple of weeks that didn't work either. So, this brings me up to the present. I purchased the Crocs and put them on in the air port because I figured they'd be easier to slip on and off while going through security. There are many different styles of Crocs, but the main idea is fairly standard in each style I think. It's a shoe that has a strap that can either go back behind the foot or be flipped up on top out of the way. Some of them have an open toe, some are closed. My pair has a closed toe. So, I put them on and we started walking toward the gate. The first thing I noticed was that they were extremely comfortable even though they don't look like they'd be all that comfortable. Then I noticed that the constant pain that I had while walking wasn't there. It was literally completely gone. I don't get it, especially given the design of the shoe, but it's true. For the first time in months I was able to walk faster and without feeling like I wanted to rip off my feet. It was great! The problem was, I was leaving warm weather and going back to snow and cold. I dealt with it though, and for the entire trip my feet felt great.

I've been wearing them pretty much non-stop for the last several weeks and, unlike previous experiences, these shoes are continuing to amaze me. I can definitely feel the pain when I walk around without them, and last week I put on tennis shoes for a couple of hours and could definitely tell the difference. I can walk a lot more now and I was surprised today that I was actually able to run up and down stairs today without my feet calling me all kinds of really nasty names. Last week I went up to the web site to purchase a second pair and was surprised to see a kind that said they were specifically designed for people with Plantar Fasciitis. I purchased them and they came tonight. They seem a bit firmer than my original pair, but just as comfortable. And, even though they're still a closed toe, they have some ventilation holes that help them breathe. I got them in black, and I intend to wear them for work if I can possibly get away with it.

See, I knew this would happen. I can't think of the other stuff I was going to write about. I guess I can just post this entry and keep working on the other one that I've been working on. It's one of my topic entries, but I'm hoping that this one will be interesting to people, especially since it was kind of inspired by one of you. So, I guess this is it for now and I'll post again later when I remember what else I was going to talk about.
kittytech: (Default)
It's almost 5:00 PM and I've shut my phone off just a little early. It's been a long day, not overly busy, just long. I had one of my headaches that I haven't had in a while, and it was making things really difficult. I forgot to put my pain pills back in my purse after I got back from Florida, so I didn't have anything I could take while I was out. We had sun today, and it was glaring off of the snow which really made things bright, and that only made things worse since I'm all ready light-sensitive. I did my K-NFB Reader presentation despite the pain, and we started driving back. On the way we decided that we were hungry so we stopped in at Noodles for lunch. I had their buttered noodles with chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms, along with one of their really soft, large Snickerdoodle cookies. I absolutely love that place but I don't get to go their often. So when I do get to go it's definitely a treat.

When I got back here I took some pain pills and attempted to do some work. It wasn't happening though. My head was hurting and I was feeling kind of nauseous. I figured it was time to go lay down. I had one of those eye masks that you can put over your eyes that are supposed to help you relax or whatever. In my case, it also blocks out all light. I stayed in bed, trying not to move, for about two hours. Cally came up and cuddled with me and did her share of purring. I got to spend a little quality time with my current book as well which was kind of nice. Finally I felt good enough to get up and finish a project that I was supposed to be working on this afternoon. It's nice to have that out of the way, and to have that head ache gone!

On the way home, we were listening to Wisconsin Public Radio. They started a program where someone reads a book over the air. The book they were reading today was Marley and Me by John somebody-or-other. They were starting Chapter ten, so I missed quite a lot, but the book sounded great. Has anyone read this all ready? I looked on Web Braille and the book doesn't exist. I checked Audible, and although the book is there, and read by the author, it's abridged, and I don't want abridged. I don't have a Bookshare account so can't check that resource. But, I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd try audio from my regional library, but they don't like me these days because they say that I have too many books out so they won't let me get any more. I'd like to know what these books are that I still have, but whatever. I'll find a way somehow, even if I have to go out and buy the book and scan it myself!

I now have my UPS tracking number for my PAC Mate. It's on its way home! It's too soon to get an arrival date, but I'll either have that later tonight or tomorrow morning. So, that definitely made my day.

The top 24 have been selected for American Idol now, so the public takes over from here. There's someone from Wisconsin on this year, and although it's not one of the two people they showed in the original Minneapolis audition, she's in the top 24, so I'm obviously rooting for her. Her name is Gina, and I think it's going to be interesting to see how far she goes. At this point, she seems very snobby, kind of the "I'm better than everyone else" attitude. However, I think that's going to change as time goes on. Before next Tuesday I need to go through the list of people in the top 24, watch their videos, and read their profiles so that I can make my lists again. It really helped me to have people's information in front of me while they were performing so that I could keep things straight in my mind. I also need to program the VCR because all the programs I set are finished. If I could I'd just set it to record everything, but since the dates and times are so weird it's not really possible to set up an actual schedule without putting each night in its own slot. And, I can only go three weeks in advance since that's all Zap2It will show me at one time. Oh well, it works.

My PowerPoint class went well last night. Now I need to prepare for my next session on Monday, but there really isn't much to do there since I'm going to be using my hand-out that I use in my Word class when talking about how to create outlines. We covered the first two ways to create slides, and now we're going to cover the third. Once that's done, the fun will start. Animation, sounds, colors, pictures, you name it. It'll be great!

Well, I think that's about it for now. Oh, I've all ready put my votes in for this week's LJ Idol, but it looks like [livejournal.com profile] imafarmgirl and [livejournal.com profile] johnmill79 are both safe this week anyway, but it's still neat to be able to follow this. I'm seriously thinking of entering next time if they offer it again. It might be kind of fun, and I haven't really done any serious for-real writing in a long time. We'll see.

Okay, so this time I'm really going to go. More later, maybe.
kittytech: (Default)
Wow! What a week! It actually seems to have gone really fast though, and tomorrow's Friday all ready! Things are really picking up for me, and next week is going to be nuts. I spent most of Monday morning creating a form that's going to be going on our web site. Microsoft Word forms DO NOT convert to HTML, just in case anyone wondered. So, I coded pretty much everything manually, with a little bit of help from Arachnophilia, which inserts a lot of the tags for me so all I have to do is fill in the information. Unfortunately, I can't use the latest version because it's inaccessible, so I'm using an older version that seems to be a bit on the out-dated side, so not all the form tags are set quite right, and I've still had to do a lot of stuff manually. The sad thing is, I kind of like this work. It sort of helps to make the time go by fast. The biggest problem this week though has been that they're starting some construction really close to my window, and the debris is being dumped even closer to the window. So, it gets so noisy that I can't hear my computer or talk on my phone, which sort of makes me a little less productive.

Monday afternoon I was out reinstalling software and configuring a computer after a virus got through and caused this person to have to do a reformat. Good job, AVG nice to know you aren't catching all viruses. SMILE!

Tuesday I was supposed to go on a road trip. Snow, slippery roads, and just plain nastiness stopped that from happening so I stayed around here doing stuff, oh yeah, it was an evaluation intake form and some other stuff. That night I went to Crawdaddy's which is a place where they have really super good Cajun-type food. I'm not into seafood in the least though, so I avoided that like the plague, but I ended up getting some really great stuffed mushrooms that were stuffed with spicy sausage, (I can't remember what it was called), and those were absolutely fantabulous. My main course was pepper bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin. It was thick, juicy, and extremely flavorful. It came with garlic mashed potatoes, and carrots. I normally don't like carrots, but as carrots go, these were actually kind of good. I didn't eat most of them, but I did have a couple. I also got to have several of their fried potatoes, which were basically thick slices of potatoes very well seasoned. It was all great. I've had a taste for spice lately, and whenever I have the opportunity to get something that claims to be Cajun 99 percent of the time I'll try it to see if it truly is spicy enough. And, most of the time there's absolutely no kick to it at all. I like spice, but it has to still have flavor, or else it's just not worth my time.

Yesterday I was preparing for a couple of presentations. Things got so noisy though that I ended up saving everything to a thumb drive, grabbing my laptop, and heading into another part of the building to work. I let people who needed to know that I wouldn't be able to answer my phone, and told them they could get me on my cell. Then I was out of here.

Today I worked with a high school student on using JAWS on the Internet. I got to spend three hours working with him, and I'd like to think that it went well. They want me to come back for one more half day, so I think that's a good sign, huh? Tomorrow I'm on the road again doing a K-NFB Reader demo, and then most likely when I get back from that I'll be finishing up the web form.

Monday and Tuesday of next week are going to be long, and it'll be interesting to see how things go. I might be extremely bored too, but who knows. A couple of weeks ago I did an on-site evaluation for a guy who's been trying to find a job for a long time. He got the job, and starts Monday. I'll be going there for two days, both to install software and to be around when he starts training on the software since I had to do some work to get it to be useable. It should be interesting. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I've got appointments that will take me all over the place. Friday I'm going out of town for a retreat as part of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. So things are going to be crazy!

Anyway, I'm sitting here now eating a pizza pretzel, and thinking that it'd be really nice to go curl up in bed where it's warm. So, I'm out of here for now! Later gators!
kittytech: (Default)
Yes, two days of this week are behind me, and tomorrow, since I'll be in the office all day, the time is going to go by really fast. In the morning we're going to have our traditional staff meeting where we talk about the clients that have open purchase orders and things so that we know where everybody is. Plans for the afternoon may have changed a little. I'm either going to do Magic, or else I'll be talking to a couple of people about the Focus, (my absolute favorite braille display of all time), and a couple of other products. Personally I hope it's the multiple products. I could go on forever about some of this stuff. SMILE! I am SUCH A NERD!!!!!!

Thursday is going to be kind of interesting. In the morning I have to set up and configure a desktop system for someone. This means that I need to figure out exactly where I'm going to put the thing since I am completely out of long Ethernet cables, and can't string something from the router into my office. Laptops are easy since they pretty much all have wireless these days. So, I'll be setting that up in the morning on Thursday and I think this particular client is getting Window-eyes. Once that's done I get to go see one of my repeat offenders. SMILE! I've worked with this guy on and off for about two years, and lately I've been putting him at the end of the day because I know that he's one that I won't want to strangle while we're working, and he's a great way to end a long day.

Friday is going to be absolutely nuts! In the morning I've got to go deliver the computer and start training the person on how to use it. It's supposed to be from 9:00 AM until 12:30. Then I have to try to get a cab and go across town to work with another guy. The good thing about this guy is that if I'm late he's not going to be upset with me. I hate being late for these appointments though, but sometimes it's unavoidable, especially when I'm relying on public transportation. The big question for Friday though is, where exactly am I going to fit in lunch; and, what am I going to be able to eat on the go? I've had too much lunch meat in my life so cold sandwiches just don't really do much for me. SMILE! I wonder if they make things that will heat up automatically when you breathe on them. And no, I'm not referring to ice cream. SMILE!

So, my week may have started off slow, but it's definitely going to pick up. Today actually went pretty fast. I finished sending out my mass email, and if I have to write "Important Information About JAWS and Windows Vista" one more time I'm going to scream. Oh wait, I just did write it again. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!! It became so repetitive after a while. I had an Excel spreadsheet with about 450 names and email addresses, and I had to take between ten and fifteen addresses at a time and send out the emails. But, since I was copying the addresses to the clipboard, I couldn't keep the body of the message there, so I had to go from program to program to get the information I needed. I was absolutely thrilled when I got that done! I still haven't gotten in touch with the person that I need to talk with for the second evaluation, and I guess that's probably not going to happen since the evaluation is supposed to be on Thursday. GRRRR!!!! Oh well, what can I do?

Tonight on American Idol they let a sixteen-year-old girl from Texas through. For some reason, I always find myself cheering for the younger contestants there. I think it's so cool when the younger people get on, and I always want them to do well. Kelly Pickler from last year is still one of my favorites, and I heard a song of hers not too long ago on Sirius Channel 61. I supported her up until the end, and I'm glad that she still is doing something with music. Anyway, this girl they let through is kind of the opposite of Kelly. She lives in a small town, but she's completely into the big city stuff. I really thought she sounded good, so I hope she goes far.

Well, I guess that's about it for now. I want to have a chance to read for a while before I go to bed. Oh, I packed up my PAC Mate this evening to get it ready to go out via UPS tomorrow. At least I've still got my braille display though, and I snapped that onto the BX that I have, so that much is good. Hopefully the turn-around time won't be too bad, and I'll have it back sooner rather than later. So, I'll catch everyone tomorrow or whatever. Bye for now!
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I've got a lot to say today I think, so there's nothing else to do accept for write.

First, congrats to [livejournal.com profile] johnmill79 and to [livejournal.com profile] imafarmgirl for remaining in the LJ Idol competition. At the risk of sounding just a little bit biased, I read the entry of the person who won this week, and it looked quite a bit similar to [livejournal.com profile] imafarmgirl's entry which was posted days before, but I'm only a innocent bystander so I probably don't know much. SMILE! This week's topic looks like it could be a lot of fun though, so good luck in advance!

I wrote the other day about how much I like Saturdays. Well, if Saturdays are the best day of the week, Mondays have got to be the absolute opposite. This morning definitely did not get off to a very good start. It did improve some throughout the day, but this morning was definitely interesting.

I woke up around 6:30 after having a dream about me and someone at a meeting that we go to every once in a while. In the dream I had to get up like every five minutes because my bladder kept hurting, and this person, for whatever reason kept coming into the bathroom with me. I don't know why, maybe it was because of something she's got on her blog right now. But anyway, it was driving me nuts because we were missing the meeting, and no matter how often I went I never felt any better. So, I woke up and realized that the reason I wasn't getting any better in the dream was because I seriously had to go for real. I hate it when that happens, but I've had dreams like this before. Maybe some day I'll tell you all the story of my potty training dreams. SMILE!

So anyway, I took care of things and went right back to bed. It was still early, and it was just way too cold so I didn't want to get up. While laying there listening to my Book Port, Taz came up to snuggle, followed shortly by Cally. Taz likes to lie on top of me a lot of the time, and I was laying on my right side, so he was on my left, and Cally was in her usual spot on my feet. I was getting nice and warm, and really getting relaxed when Taz started the puke dance. Yes, he was still on top of me while this was happening, and no, I didn't let him stay there. Once he started jerking and making his puke noise I made him get off the bed. Unfortunately this meant that he was going to puke on the carpet. I figured it'd be okay; I'd wait for Jim to get up and let him know about it so that he could find it before I actually got out of bed. Well, as it turned out, when Jim got up, (he was sleeping on the couch because he's been having some hip problems and it's more comfortable on the couch), he was apparently also cold so he went immediately into the shower instead of coming into the bedroom to see if I was awake. I knew it wouldn't do any good to yell because he wouldn't have heard me. So, I picked up my laptop, which I've been keeping by the bed lately, and went online. I took care of some stuff there and then realized that it was time to actually motivate myself. But, Jim was still in the shower. I figured that if Taz had left a mess it would most likely be in the middle of the floor rather than against the wall, so if I stayed close to the wall I'd be fine. Wrong. With my bare feet, which were all ready cold, I managed to step directly into his cold puke. Not exactly a good way to start things off.

I didn't want to get out of the shower. It was so warm, and I figured I could just stay there all day and I'd be perfectly content. Unfortunately, this was not an option, but it would have been nice. The heat is really hard to adjust in this apartment, so I really don't like to mess with it. But, because of the cold, even the cats were uncomfortable, so I had to turn up the thermostat some. I had my space heater going pretty much all day, and I pulled some peppermint hot chocolate packets that were left over from my birthday party and made us hot chocolate. While we were getting ready to eat lunch, Jim got out a bowl of the Campbell's Ready-To-Serve Soup bowls. He opened it, and somehow the thing leaked all over, including the floor. He's opened tons of those and never had a problem. Let's not mention the fact that he had just mopped the floor yesterday. So, he wasn't happy.

I got a lot done today work wise though. I got one of two pre-evaluation calls done, (the other person hasn't called me back yet), and I've started working on a mass emailing that I was asked to send out regarding JAWS and Windows Vista. I was supposed to have an appointment tomorrow, but the guy that was supposed to drive me cancelled for the second week in a row. I feel bad for the guy I'm supposed to work with, especially since I have his ZoomText 9.0 upgrade sitting here, and he doesn't get it until I can get to his house.

Speaking of ZoomText, I've got a lot of work in front of me for tomorrow. Wednesday we've got an all-day staff meeting, and I'm supposed to teach a couple of the staff members Magic. It's really not going to be that big a deal since the commands are so close to JAWS, but I need to get it installed and configured on my laptop, and then spend some time with it just to refresh my memory on some of the stuff that I'm going to be asked to demonstrate.

I have about 300 and something more people to email as well, plus the second evaluation, so tomorrow is going to be busy. Hopefully I can get through everything so that once Wednesday comes around I'll be ready with Magic, and done with all the other stuff that needs to get done. When I'm not doing all this stuff, I've got to work on getting our web site updated with some new products. Yikes! SMILE!

My PAC Mate is going back on Wednesday. I'm definitely going to miss it, and even though I do have the company BX, it's just not the same. And I still can't get Yahtzee to work. I guess I'm going to have to completely uninstall the program and associated stuff and start completely over. Oh well, if nothing else there's always Jawbreaker. Talk about a mindless game, but it sure is addictive. SMILE!

Well, I think it's about time to find something for supper, so I'm going to go for now. More later.
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I'm looking for feedback again. A few days ago I was talking with some friends about things, and someone mentioned that I don't talk about my past much. He said that he thought my background was interesting, and that he thought others might like to read it as well. He suggested that I post it here for people to read. I started writing it yesterday, intending to post it here as an entry. However, it's currently almost 7 single-spaced pages in Word, and I've still got more to write. I think it's an interesting idea, since, although I've got people reading, many of you probably don't really know all that much about me, and I thought it'd be a good way for people to get to know me better. But, given the length, I'm sort of re-thinking my options here, and before I go too far I wanted to get others opinions. Anonymous readers can participate in this too I think, so please, give me some feedback.



[Poll #915624]
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I was sort of putting off updating because I was waiting for some information, but since I still haven't gotten it I'll just post anyway. I know, it's after 10:00 and I normally am in bed by now, but we're starting to get some of that nasty snow, and Jim's stuck at a friend's house waiting on a cab to get home, so I'm kind of staying awake until I at least know that he's gotten his ride. He's been waiting for over an hour.

One week from today I'll be in Florida! Given this sudden weather change, I think the timing couldn't possibly be better. yes, it's only a couple of days, but it's still a change from ice, cold, and snow. I even hate writing that word here. It's one of those 4-letter S words that I absolutely hate to say. SMILE!

Yesterday I had planned to go shopping in the morning for new clothes. Unfortunately, (or maybe it was fortunate, I still don't know), I kind of got really involved in a Sudoku game and couldn't put it down. So, I didn't get out of here until the afternoon. The entire day just flew by, and I couldn't believe how fast it went. I ended up going to Kohls which is kind of like a really upscale Wal-Mart. I had great cab service on the way there, and I got some great help in the store itself. I picked up some new clothes for work, so now I guess I'm going to have to wear them. SMILE! I still refuse to wear skirts, so everything I got I can wear with nice pants. Skirts and dresses are most definitely not me.

Today I finally found a book to read on Overdrive and since I only get 7 days for each book I check out, I've pretty much spent the day reading that. I picked True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. This is the same guy who wrote The Notebook, which I started reading and have never gotten around to finishing. But, I've heard that everything he writes is good, so I thought I'd give it a try. I got caught up in the book from the first paragraph, and it's been a good read. it really helps that the guy narrating has a decent voice. I know it probably sounds crazy, but if I don't like the narrator of a book, I can't read the book, and I don't care how good a book it is. I can't listen to books at twice their normal speed like some people, so the narrator is important to me. There's a sequel to True Believer called At First Sight, and I think I'm going to have to go and put a reserve on the book.

Speaking of putting a reserve on the books, here's a really weird thing. The books are downloadable from the Internet. So, you'd think that it wouldn't matter how many people had the book at the same time, especially since they're set to time out after a week anyway. So why then, do they only allow one or two people to download the book at any one time? It makes absolutely no sense to me. I guess that's why I'm not working in a library. SMILE!

Well, I have more to write about, but A, I'm getting tired, and B, I'd really like to wait until tomorrow to write about my next thing. So, I guess that's it for tonight.
kittytech: (Default)
Well, today should be a really cool day. I'm going to a meeting, but we're going to have some fun too. Every year we have this Christmas party, and get a massive turkey dinner with all the fixings. There's also a fund-raising auction and people bring all sorts of baked goods and other treats to be auctioned off, and the proceeds go to the organization; that is, the soon-to-be new Wisconsin affiliate of the ACB. This year I've made two pans of the brownies that I've written about in previous entries. I found a set of disposable pans with lids in the shape of Christmas trees, and I used those pans. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, when removing the first pan from the oven I accidentally crushed the bottom a little. I hope it won't make people think it's not good. I've got some bows that I'm going to put on top, and there's my contribution.

I did get the Olympus that I wanted for my birthday, (yes it's early, but we've never been able to wait for the actual day anyway), so I'm going to be bringing it with me today to capture some of what promises to be a great day. And, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] johnmill79 who posted an audio link on his journal and inadvertently gave me an idea for a place to actually post my audio, I'm going to be able to share this audio file with all of you too, if you're interested in listening. And now that I've got a digital recorder, I guess I can't put off that promised Podcast much longer either, huh? SMILE!

In other news, since I've been so bad about updating, everyone that I knew who was pregnant this year has given birth. I've gotten to actually see two of the four babies in question, and they're absolutely adorable! I've got pictures, but I won't be posting those to the web since I don't have permission from the parents to be doing that. Let's just say though that one of the babies was two weeks old when I held him and he was the tiniest little thing! At the time he was under 7 pounds, but he's gained since then, and those little hands and feet were just too cute!!!!!! He was born on Thanksgiving and I got a phone call not too long after the birth. I love holding babies, and I must have a way with them because 99 percent of the babies I hold fall asleep on me, and always seem content. I'm always up for baby-sitting jobs too. SMILE!

Well, not too much else is happening. I'm working like crazy, and have only one more week to go before a long weekend. Three days more of work and then another long weekend. You gotta love the holidays!

Well, I think I'm probably going to go for now. We're going to go get on the bus in a little under an hour, and I want to load up my Book Port with some extra audio stuff since we'll have about a two-hour ride ahead of us. Later everyone, and if all goes well you should have some audio sometime tomorrow!
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I don't really have anything earth-shattering to write about tonight, but I don't have anything else to do so I figured this would be a good way to pass the time.

I was supposed to go work with a client today, but I woke up feeling kind of queezy, so I called to reschedule. After this week it's been kind of nice to sit and sort of regroup.

I did go out for a little while this morning though. With the 2006 election fast approaching, and my decision to vote in a national and state election for the first time in my life, I wanted to go take a look at the Auto-Mark accessible voting machine, which is what the city of Milwaukee has chosen to use for their machine. I had no problems figuring things out. The buttons were well-defined, labeled in braille, and the instructions and speech were clear. There was a button to turn off the screen, so I was able to go through the entire process alone. I even wrote in both Jim and myself just to see how the write-in process worked. Of course it was completely fake, but it was still a really neat experience, and I'll really be able to do this voting thing independently on November 7th. I've said several times that I don't get into the politics thing, but I think it's time for me to get involved in the voting process at least. And, the talking machines are something that I've wanted for a very long time, so feel that it is extremely important that they get used.

I came back here and ate something, checked a couple of email messages, and went to lay down for a while. I had a headache, but it was kind of a weird one. It wasn't bad, but it was pretty much my whole head which was kind of weird. Usually my headaches are pretty much in one specific area, but it felt like someone was taking my head and squeezing it. It was really strange.
I got up a couple of hours later and started going through emails again. While I was doing that, the phone rang, and it was the intercom ring. I couldn't figure out who'd be coming to visit, but it turned out that it was UPS. Yes, my wireless card is here!!!!!! Needless to say, I was quite happy about that. I tried it out right away, and then tried my old card one last time to make sure that it was truly dead, which it was. So, that card is now gone, replaced by my new one which works perfectly. I decided that it was time to reinstall Active Sync on my computer so that I could sync things on my PAC Mate, and I wanted to be able to use remote desktop again so that I wouldn't have to be chained to my desk, especially since I wasn't feeling well. So I got that set up, and pretty much the rest of the day until now I've been sitting here in my recliner with Cally, reading emails, blogs, and whatever else I feel inclined to read.
I have absolutely nothing planned for the next two days. I'm going to do whatever I feel like, and most likely very little of it will involve the computer. I'll do what I normally do, but I want to take a break from heavy-duty work for a couple of days, and hope really hard that next week goes better than this one did. I'm booked up for the entire week too. Monday I'm on the road, Tuesday I've got a client in the morning and I have to go back to the dentist in the afternoon to have my impression redone. (Don't ask, I can't answer.) Wednesday I'm in the office for most of the day. Thursday I'm on the road again, and Friday I'll be working with the guy I was supposed to work with today. Then, sometime in the next couple of weeks I've got my end-of-the-year review, where I'm hoping to get some good news, (coming soon since we're still working out the details).

Anyway though, that's my life as it stands at this precise moment. I'll write more again once I've got something new, or remotely interesting. Bye for now.
kittytech: (Default)
I'm trying to kill some time so thought I'd post another entry this morning. Unfortunately, I've got speech turned off and my braille isn't really tracking right, so I've got to just sort of wing it. Hmm. Maybe I'll check my braille settings first? Nope, they're right. And, now it's tracking again. I see, it's because I'm typing too fast. Oh well, it's working so who am I to complain?

So anyway, it's finally Friday. I am soooooooo glad of that for several reasons. The biggest reason is that I'm just plain tired! A couple of weeks back, [Bad username or site: :coke_drinker @ livejournal.com] wrote about taking Melatonin in order to get his sleeping schedule back to normal. Well, I think I'm going to be trying that tonight. For no apparent reason, I'm not sleeping well, which then makes it really difficult to work when I'm tired. Pretty soon I'm going to start giving people3 incorrect commands and that's going to mess up not only me but them too. GRRR! So I'm going to get some of that today and see how it works. I'm kind of interested because I've heard that you can have some really weird dreams when you take Melatonin. Maybe I'll be able to write some entries about the dreams if they're not too weird. SMILE!

So I was going to write about that, and now that I'm done I don't know what else to write about. I'm planning on having a boring weekend, although I do need to work on the rest of my hand-outs for my current class. I did manage to get some things embossed yesterday though, sol that's a good thing. I guess then I'll go and do something productive. Maybe I'll make a couple of phone calls or something. I'll write more later if I have anything interesting to say. Oh, and any mistakes in this entry are intentional. Okay, so they're not, but I can't proofread right now since I'm not at home and can't use speech. Byue for now!
kittytech: (Default)
So here I am again. I've had kind of a busy day, but it hasn't been bad. I figured that I'd use some time today to catch up a little on some things that still weren't done for next week. I finished one of the two laptops, (accept for the activation of Duxbury, which requires human intervention apparently, and the upgrade activation of Magic, which is going to require a different authorization number). Then it was time to get my own laptop updated. I installed JAWS 7.1, which I hadn't installed on my laptop yet, and upgraded K1000 to the latest update. I also had to install a scanner driver for Wednesday's presentation since I'm not using my regular scanner.

Speaking of the presentation, I just received a PowerPoint presentation that I'll be using for visuals. I actually never even thought of providing visuals, but now that I think about it, I suppose it would help, considering that I'll be presenting this program to a group of sighted individuals.

It's really kind of weird. I'm working on a Sunday, and it really doesn't feel like work, but when I do the exact same thing during the week it's a completely different feeling. It must be purely psychological, but I still find it interesting. Oh well, at least it's not phone calls. I hate those!!!! SMILE! I don't hate getting them, but I hate making them, if it involves trying to sell something.

So, the week's schedule for anyone who may or may not care. Monday, 8:00 AM I'll be doing a very brief demonstration of the Book Port for someone who is interested in learning more about it; (non-jobrelated, this is just because he's interested). 10:30 I'll be doing an install of JAWS and K1000 for a client. 1:30, give or take, I'll be getting my hair cut. It's an off month, so I don't have to worry about the color this time. 4:00-4:15, I need to set up the computer lab for Skype so that I can make it easier for the person who will be teaching the class for me because... 5:00 dinner meeting to discuss the K1000 presentation and work out final details. 8:00 give or take, rum and Coke time! SMILE! And that's just Monday.

Tuesday I was supposed to be training someone on their KNFB Reader, but they cancelled. So, instead I'll be doing some last-minute preparation and configuring one last laptop, and then I'll be doing my make-up class from last week. Wednesday is the presentation. Thursday I'll be delivering the newly configured laptop, setting it up and then providing training, followed by the final Skype class. Friday I'm doing an all-day installation/configuration of a ton of equipment followed by possible training afterwards, depending on how taxed my brain is. Then of course there's laundry and packing for my trip. Saturday, instead of sitting around relaxing and packing, I'm going to be going to a meeting. There's a possibility that we will be voting on some bylaw changes that will change the organization for the Wisconsin ACB affiliate, and there's no way I'm not going to be there when that vote happens. I've been pushing it since the beginning, and I want to see it actually happen. Then of course, we all know what next Sunday is! We're going to go to the train station early, partly because they told me I needed to be there an hour early, but partly because we want to see what's available in the gift shop, and [livejournal.com profile] voyagerjc absolutely loves trains so he wants to be around the station. A couple of years ago for Christmas I gave him the perfect gift. He loves trains, and he loves Coke. So, I found him a train that was marked up with Coke things. It has a music box in it that plays "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke", so it was absolutely perfect for him. He still has that thing. SMILE!

Wel, I think that's about it for now. I've got to start our supper pretty soon; (not that we're having anything really spectacular; chicken tenders and French fries), but it'll still be good. Later everyone.
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I've had an interesting, yet good, weekend. I leave next Sunday but I'm not going to have any free time during the week so I started getting some things together last night. The person I'm going to see wants to see what new music I have, so last weekend we went through and I wrote down all the CDs that she wanted me to bring with me. Well, after going through the list, I decided that there was absolutely no way I was going to carry all that with me because it would just be way too heavy, so I decided that it was all going to go onto my external drive. Well, 103 disks later I think I have all the things she wantd. I couldn't have done it though without the help of [livejournal.com profile] voyagerjc because he all ready had some of the stuff on his hard drive, but also when it came to the actual extraction he did some and I did some. Two computers got the job done a lot quicker than I would have been able to do it alone. All I know is that my 250 gig external drive was one of the best investments I ever made almost a year ago!

So, after doing that last night and this morning, I decided that as long as I had the drive connected it was time to back up my downloads folder and get that updated as well. That didn't take all that long, and once it was done I packed up the hard drive in the camera case that I bought for it, and it's ready to go; I think.

This morning I attempted to install a new program to catch spam messages in my email. Unfortunatel, for whatever reason, the program didn't want to play nice with JAWS. I did a restart on JAWS and the program came up but there was no speech and no braille. Oops! I rebooted--JAWS worked fine. Unload JAWS and reload it--JAWS is silent. Okay, so what's the deal here? I suspected a couple of things. I first decided that it was time to uninstall and reinstall JAWS, thinking that something had gotten corrupted. Well, that didn't work. I deleted my user settings to see if I had made a change somewhere that caused a problem. Still nothing. So, I decided to just uninstall the spam program and be done with the whole thing. That did it. Everything's back the ay it should be again. This really bums me out though because I really need to find a decent spam program, and this one did exactly what I wanted it to do. GRRRRR!!

For the last two days we have had absolutely wonderful weather. We've been able to turn off the air conditioner and open some windows, which makes Taz and Cally happy, and it gets rid of the shut-up feeling that places get when they've been closed off from the outside air for a while. We've got the ceiling fans going and it's nice and cool in here. This is one of those days though when I wish our windows didn't face north because we'd get some nice sun if they faced west or east. We have one east window, but that only lets in the sun in the morning. Oh well, it's still better than nothing. If I could get wireless outside this building I'd actually go sit outside for a while and be out in the air. No wireless though, so I think I'm going to stay in here. The joys of living in an apartment.

Anyway, I think I'm going to spend the rest of my day watching my soap for the week and mellowing out. I'm waiting for some new books to come in for me to put on my Book Port, and I've got two Audible credits that I plan to use so that I have plenty of reading mateial. I haven't seen too much on Web Braille lately that really interests me. Maybe something will come soon.

Well, I think that's about it for now. Maybe you'll hear more from me later, or even tomorrow.
kittytech: (Default)
I thought I'd write something new today, but at this point I don't have too much to say. I'm enjoying the weekend, and being absolutely lazy. I watched TV for several hours this morning, and I plan to do some major catch-up on podcasts this afternoon. I'm massively behind, and i really need to get some of this stuff off my hard drive.

[livejournal.com profile] voyagerjc and I were both hungry and had absolutely no ideas for something to eat so I went yet again with the traditional stand-by; burgers on the grill. I keep a bunch of frozen patties in the freezer pretty much all the time these days for days like this. Tonight I'm going to try a new recipe I got. Apparently it came off of a Bisquick box several years ago, and it's called Impossible Cheeseburger Pie. I'm going to try it tonight and if it turns out I'll post the recipe here. If it's anything like the crock pot lasagna I did before though I think it's going to be great. To me it sounds like a pot pie, but the recipe says that it comes out like the consistancy of quiche. So, we'll see what happens. Either way though it's something new, and I'm really in the mood for something new right now.

Well, there's not too much else to report at the moment. I just wanted to let the world at large know I still exist since I haven't posted a public entry in a couple of days other than the stuff I put up about the pizza and the thing I put up this morning. So, I'm going to go for now. Later.
kittytech: (Default)
Well, I'm back. I know I said that I'd try to do some voice posts, but this has been a really busy weekend, and by the time I was in a position where I could record a post I was just too tired to do it. So, here's my weekend.

I'm happy to say that yes, my week most definitely did improve. The Pac Mate training went well, and we headed down for the reunion from there.

On Friday, Snowflake, her mom Snowmom, [livejournal.com profile] voyagerjc and I spent the afternoon helping to get one of the dorms ready. We set out sheets and towels on the beds and put up name signs on the doors. Poor Snowflake had to run all over campus I think to find sheets and blankets because there weren't too many to go around, so between the four of us we managed to get things ready to go. Jim wanted to stay in the dorm, so we got him set in his room and then went up to registration. I on the other hand, have had way too much of dorm living even for a couple of days, and the idea of institutional mattresses, public showers, and roommates just didn't appeal to me so I stayed with Snowflake in her new house. I don't regret that decision at all.

So we got registered, and then I hung around the auditorium for a while to see if I could find anybody that we knew. We chose not to pay for any of the meals that were being offered other than the banquet, so Jim went out in search of a McDonalds or something. I continued to sit in the auditorium looking for people until he got back. After eating I had my first fast-paced rehearsal with the orchestra for the variety show that was held this afternoon. I had gotten my music in advance, but admittedly I really didn't have as much time to work with it as I would have liked, and after the first frustrating night I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get things figured out, especially since I'd be missing the Saturday morning rehearsal because of other commitments. I'll get to all that later though.

So after rehearsal I was all ready starting to suffer from a bit of sensory overload. As a kid the size of the campus and the fact that several areas still don't have air conditioning never bothered me, but it's amazing how eleven years can change things for me. SMILE! So, by about 8:00 I was getting really warm, tired, and overwhelmed by the noise. Did I ever mention that I'm not a big fan of crowds? SMILE!

Well, we left a while later and I pretty much went to bed right away. We were back at the school by about 7:30 AM the next morning, and I started working on getting things ready for the exhibits that we were going to be showing. I'm glad I started working on that early because there were a couple of really minor problems that were easily resolved, but I'm glad we had time to work things out. So from 9:00 to noon I, along with others from Freedom and three other organizations demonstrated different high and low-tech products. We ended up getting quite a lot of traffic, which I think surprised a few people. During these exhibits Jim went out again to get us our lunch which we ate in Snowflake's classroom. Sorry, Snow if you smelled A&W food during the afternoon. 1:00 was a brief, (and I mean seriously brief), private session to work on my music. This ended up being rescheduled because of lack of time, but the intent was good, right? Then we had the business meeting. During the meeting we elect new board members to office by written ballot, elect delegates to the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired and do any other business that needs doing. This time it included some bylaws changes. We started off though with a roll call. I really like this because they go down the list of everyone who registered, and if you're in the meeting you answer with the year you graduated. It's really interesting to see how far back people were there, and the age range is amazing. So the meeting ended at about 4:15, and the first bus to the banquet was supposed to leave at 4:30. Now, I really wanted to be on this bus, and I didn't want to wait around for the second one so I went into one of the bathrooms and changed my clothes. That's one thing that I typically don't like doing either because there's something about changing in those cramped little stalls that just doesn't do it for me but it all worked out.

The banquet turned out to be one of the highlights of my weekend. Pretty much by virtue of who we were with on the bus and by mutual consent, our table of 8 included Jim and myself, another Jim that I've known since I was in first grade, Snowflake, a guy I graduated with and his girlfriend, and two other more recent graduates of the school. We were a pretty lively group, and it got even more lively as the night progressed.

Before I continue though I need to back up a bit. On Friday afternoon Jim and I decided to purchase a strip of 6 raffle tickets. The strip I got was numbers 0025 through 0032. I wasn't exactly thrilled about such low numbers because from my experience the people who bought later always seemed to be the ones who won. So I figured that it would be a donation to the association and I left it at that, although I decided I would buy another strip of tickets at the banquet, which I did. Unfortunately, I was even more unhappy with those numbers, 0007 through 0012. Apparently they weren't handing out the tickets in any particular order. Okay, so it was another donation; I've never been lucky with these kinds of things anyway.

So we got our food. I had ordered chicken cordon Bleu. when it came, I was a bit surprised to see that it was covered in gravy. I'd never heard of that before. In addition to the meet I also had green beans and some sort of rice. Oh, and I had half a strawberry too which was awesome. Despite the fact that the chicken wasn't what I had expected, I thought it was still quite good, and everything else was really good. And, unlike many banquets I've been to, they didn't skimp on the food either. I was sitting between the two Jims, and they had both ordered steak. Unfortunately, one of the people at our table got up at the wrong time and they took his ticket without giving him a plate. He managed to get another ticket somehow, but unfortunately, there was some sort of problem with the meals and he didn't actually get his food until the rest of us were done. There were one or two other tables in the same position though so he wasn't alone. At least he did get to eat, but it was definitely later.

One of the events held in the morning while I was doing the exhibits was a back-to-school thing. A few of the teachers came in and made short speeches about themselves, and the people who attended were told that there would be a pop quiz later in the day. So, this happened during the banquet. One of the questions just happened to be about Snowflake though, so I knew the answer, and was the first one to get my hand up. I won $5.00 for getting the answer to the question.

Finally, just before the bus was supposed to start taking people back to the school they did the drawing for the raffle. It was a 50-50 raffle that brought in $600. They decided to divide the $300 up into three prizes of 50, 30, and 20 percent of the remainder of the money, which came out to $150, $90, and $60 prizes. They decided to start with the $60 prize and work their way up. They read the number and it was nowhere near any of my numbers. Then they went for the $90 prize. Again, the number was nowhere close, and my theory that the higher numbers always win was holding true. Then came the $150 prize. I was sitting there reading my numbers and I heard 025. I think it took a couple of seconds to register that they'd called my number, but when it did I yelled. I was completely shocked! So, a couple of us decided to celebrate and we waited for the second bus to take us back to school.

When I got back I went for the final individual work for our orchestra piece. I wasn't completely comfortable with it by the end of the night, but I felt a heck of a lot better about it than I did on Friday. I decided to go up to the radio station that they had set up at that point, and I actually got to say some things on the air. The guy who was doing the live work asked me some questions about a commercial that my class did back in 1994 that I still had. We have kind of an audio newsletter-type thing that gets handed out every three years at the reunion, and I gave them that commercial and information about it so that they could include it. So, he was asking me some questions about that and about the process that was used to create it. At that point it was after 10:00, and I was getting pretty tired. Not too long after I came back downstairs though, Snowflake was ready to go so we went home for the night.

This morning we were back on campus a little after 7:00. It was raining, which was kind of a bummer, but it did seem to cool things down a little. It's been a really warm and humid weekend, so it was kind of nice not to have the blasting heat, even if it was only for a little while. We had our final orchestra rehearsal and then I had a board meeting where we elected officers for the next three years. I chose to take the next hour or so and just sort of mellow out.

Finally it was time for the variety show, and then we headed for home. I love to go on trips, see other people, and just have a good time, but as much as I like that, I always enjoy getting back home too. The cats were happy to see us, and I spent part of the afternoon snuggling with them before I decided to come in here and write up this entry. I'm tired, and would absolutely love to go lay down, but if I do I know I won't sleep tonight and I really want to get my brain back on schedule, so I've got to wait another 2 hours. I'll figure out something to do in the mean time. Hey, how about checking email? No, I've got a better idea. How about playing blog catch-up? I like that better. I haven't had any way to read email or blogs since Thursday morning, so I think I'm going to spend some time reading through those. Of course, a few of the blogs I read probably won't be updated either since they were in the same place I was in. That's about it for now though.

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Caroline C

May 2015

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