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I am not a news person. I rarely, if ever, watch the news on TV, and I definitely don't use the Internet to search out news. So, when I read about this week's topic in [ profile] therealljidol I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do. With 2008 being an election year, I could write about that, but I know even less about politics than I do about regular news and figured that it would be extremely obvious from my writing. I live in a city full of ... interesting ... things to talk about, but again, I'd be faking my way through. It was [ profile] brucetola who solved my problem by suggesting that I write about something I do know about -- something that I live with and use on a daily basis, both personally and professionally. And so, something that I've written about before, and will no doubt be writing more about in the future, the innovations of advancing technology.

Last weekend was the annual Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA conference. It has always been one of my dreams to attend one of these conferences and be surrounded by tons of "geek toys" and things. So far that hasn't happened, but I'll keep dreaming. This year, as always, many new things were announced. One announcement though really stands out to me as an incredible breakthrough in technology. The press release came out on January 31st, announcing the formation of a new not-for-profit organization.

I'd like to do what I tend to do best for a moment, and give you something to consider. Think about your average day. How much time do you spend on the computer? Do you use your own computer, one at work or school, or even a public terminal at a library or Internet cafe? Regardless of where you use the computer, I'm going to assume that the majority of you are very dependent on your mouse to navigate. So, what happens when your mouse stops working? It's happened. So what are you going to do? Now, on this day in question, (it's a really terrible day), not only does your mouse stop working, but your monitor starts doing really strange things. Those pretty little colorful icons that you're so used to clicking on disappear, and you're left with a very blurry completely unreadable screen. So now what? And no, giving up on the computer and/or buying a new one is NOT an acceptable option. Welcome to my world. If you can imagine not having your mouse, and your monitor being so blurry that you can make nothing out other than random colors, you're able to imagine how the computer is for me. Up to this point, this has made the use of computers more limited to those of us who are blind -- not because the technology hasn't been there because it most definitely has -- but because that technology is, in many cases, priced so far out of range that many can't afford it. For those that do have the technology, they're limited to very few machines because the technology is a software program installed on each computer. We've never really known the freedom of walking into a library or Internet cafe with our friends, sitting down at a computer, and going online -- until now.

The AIR Foundation was created to start bridging that gap when it comes to accessibility by saying that, "Accessibility is a Right". Using the program System Access to Go, created by Serotek, AIR has begun to offer for free, the ability to make most Windows-based PCs accessible. (Note: clicking on the System Access to Go link will cause your computer to start loading a demo of this software.) There are some exceptions to this, (firewalls, no sound card or speakers on a public terminal, things like that), but overall the concept of this, and the realm of possibilities that it opens are incredible!

My goal, and what I do on a regular basis, is to see that those who want it can have the knowledge and skills to use computers, and to get the most out of their assistive technology. Whether it be one of the two "leading" manufacturers, Freedom Scientific or GW Micro, or a brand new organization like AIR, I want others to be able to enjoy the fun, (and frustration), of using a computer. Any tool that makes it easier for me to achieve this goal is one worth utilizing. I, for one, look forward to the future, and the new innovations that it will bring.
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It's Thursday night, and the deadline for LJ Idol is looming over me. What am I doing? Everything but writing. I'm washing dishes, debating whether spicy Italian sausage would make a great supper for myself, checking the never-ending stream of email that I get, and, of course, the most important thing of all, talking to [ profile] brucetola. Okay, so the Italian sausage didn't happen, but that's a "blind moment thing" for another entry. So, this week's topic for [ profile] therealljidol is to talk about my most annoying habit. I promise, I will get around to it. But first though, I have a couple of stories to tell you.

When I was in school, (okay, let's face it, and even now), I was incredibly bad about finishing assignments. I'd be doing something and it'd be going along all right, but then I'd find something else that was more interesting and my current whatever would be abandoned for the something new. I figured that what I was doing could wait and I'd get back to it later. The problem was, later just kept getting later and later, . And then I'd forget about it completely. I'm sure this gave my teachers and parents more than their fair share of grey hairs.

In late 1995, not long after I'd moved into my first apartment, I was listening to the radio. For whatever reason, I'd always wanted to be one of those people who called in and got to have their call played over the air. On this particular morning I was getting ready for class when they announced that it was National Procrastination Day I figured that on a day like that I'd give it a try. I called into the station and pretty much begged them to put me on the air. I said that I was always putting things off, and that I'd make the perfect spokesperson for this absolutely wonderful holiday. I think the thing that finally convinced them to put me on the air was when I said that I was the queen of procrastination. The DJ that I was speaking with said that if I was the queen then he was the king. I obviously was putting things off since I was supposed to be getting ready to catch a bus, yet I was at home, talking on the phone. I got my fifteen seconds of fame that morning though, and was thrilled to have the chance to record that radio clip. The tape of this is still around here, but I have no clue exactly where.

Now that those stories are out of the way, I think it's time to get around to the point of my entry. So, my most annoying habit ... Oh wait!!! I thought of something else to write about ... Okay, okay. So my most annoying habit just happens to be procrastination. There!!! I got it out! My motto has often been why do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Believe me, this has some rather undesired consequences, and you'd think I'd actually learn, but I haven't. I think I'll put this on my list of things to do, but at the moment, it's just going to have to wait. I've got an entry to post.
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It was June of 1990, and I was thirteen. School was out for the summer, but the upcoming eighth-graders attended a once-a-week band practice session during the summer so that we could work on proper procedures for marching since we'd be marching in our first parade that summer. I'd always looked forward to doing that, so I didn't want to miss these rehearsals. There was one problem though. With both my parents working, I had a ride to school, but I didn't have any way to get back home again. The school was about a mile and a half from my home, and the only option available to me was to walk.

As a blind person, learning a route from point A to point B can take a lot of time and practice. I'd been working with an Orientation and Mobility instructor for several months, and I was pretty confident that I could do the walk from school to home on my own. I grew up in a town of about 10,000 people, and the town itself was still kind of behind the times in many respects. We had sidewalks in the downtown areas, but where I lived we had no sidewalks and I had to walk in the street for part of my route. Despite this fact though, I was willing, I was confident, and I was ready to go.

The school was a rather old building that had no air conditioning, and in the June heat, even in the early morning, the building felt like it was about 150 degrees with the humidity being at about 200 percent. You could literally feel the stickiness on everything -- from the brick walls of the school to the highly over-varnished wooden chairs that we all sat on and, in many cases stuck to after long periods of time. Summers in Wisconsin; even northern Wisconsin, can often be quite hot and humid.

Because of my transportation problems, it had been arranged that I would get my individual flute lesson on the same day as the regular band rehearsal so that I wouldn't have to go to the school more than once a week. This was great, accept that it meant I'd be carrying my flute, my music book, and whatever else I needed for that day. Why I didn't think of using a backpack of some kind is beyond me.

I am a cane user. I use my cane in my right hand, and it moves in an arc back and forth across my body at about the width of my shoulders. This allows me to check for obstacles that are in front of me. Because the cane rarely ever loses contact with the ground, there has to be a way of checking for other things that aren't on the ground such as signs or tree limbs. Typically this is done by holding the hand without the cane out in front of you at about head level so that the hand and arm hits the object before you do. Because both my hands were full, this just wasn't happening.

About halfway between school and home was a Dairy Queen. It was on a really weird angled corner, and it was this corner that took me the most time to learn to manipulate. I don't exactly remember all the details now, but I do know that they have since rebuilt this particular corner. There was a parking lot right off of a street that was fairly busy, and an extremely narrow passage between this parking lot and the street. In the middle of the passageway was a pole. I'd gotten pretty good at maneuvering this area, but it was definitely more difficult while carrying things. Once I got past this area though I knew I was home free and the rest of the route, (accept for climbing the hill that we lived on of course), would be simple.

So, on this particular day, I had just made my way around the pole, although I think I may have bumped it a bit on my way by. A couple seconds later there was a car beside me and a man was calling to me. He introduced himself as a police officer and asked me if I was okay. I told him that I was fine and thanked him for stopping to check on me.

All the way home though, I tried to come up with a way I could twist the story to make it more entertaining. The story I came up with, and still love to tell to this day, is this.

While walking by the Dairy Queen on my way home I got stopped by a cop. He gave me a warning for violating pedestrian laws. I was walking two miles an hour in a mile-an-hour zone.
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I first started blogging, (okay, I created my first blog), in January of 2004. My reason? I saw someone else's blog and I thought it looked fun. At the time though, I knew nobody else who was doing it so I wrote one entry and then let it drop until September of 2005. At that point, I knew a few people who were doing it so it became fun, and something I could share with others. Looking back over my entries from my beginnings until now I can see some definite differences.

My first entries were pretty much just little things. Funny stuff, (or at least things I thought were funny), and just rambling about anything and everything. I really didn't disclose anything personal about myself because I knew that (on Blogspot, and then later on Word Press), my entries were open to the public, and I really had no desire to put my entire life on the line for the world to read.

By the time I joined up full-time with Live Journal, I'd met several other people, and I'd started writing more things about myself. I still felt though that what I wrote about should be available to anyone, so I wrote only the things that I wouldn't be embarrassed about if they showed up in a Google search down the road. I did discover the filter options pretty much right away though, and figured that it'd be nice to see how they worked. I created a filter and began writing a series of entries about a situation that I was in at one time. I never did finish that series, but it was great to be able to write about it, know exactly who was reading it, and to get feedback on it. Admittedly, I based a lot of my filter criteria on what others wrote about in their LJs. If I was given the opportunity to read something that I felt was of a personal nature, I figured that if I was being trusted, they could be too. For all intents and purposes, this worked out really well.

Since that time I've created several other filters. To me, it's not so much that I'm afraid of offending others with what I say or how I say it, it's just that I want to protect myself. The things I write are important to me. I want and need to know that the things I'm writing about are staying exactly where I put them.

Late last year I felt that my trust had been violated, when some things that I'd said came back to me in a way that was completely unjustified and unfair. This caused me to re-evaluate the way I used LJ in so many ways. Sadly, my entries have most likely reflected this. Where I used to use LJ as a way to keep people updated on my life, in so many ways I feel that I've lost that freedom now. Yes, I still use my filters, and I update when I have something to say, but I don't know if I'll ever feel as free here as I once did.

To me though, LJ is so much more than a web site. It's a place where I've met many awesome and interesting people, and gotten to know people in a way that I just don't think would have happened otherwise. The best thing to come out of LJ though is getting to know [ profile] brucetola. He has become such an integral part of my life in so many ways, and I feel that LJ gave us the opportunity to get to know each other as friends even before we ever talked or met in person. Despite the interesting times, to me, it's all worth it for that alone.

Although the way I journal has changed over the past several years, I've really enjoyed the opportunity to meet all those I've met, and to read all the entries that I've read over the years. I've seen people's happiness and excitement, disappointment and sadness. I feel like I've been a part of the lives of others, and I'm honored that I've been allowed to share all these things. I've been able to share my thoughts and feelings as well, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
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"Sticks and stones
Will break my bones,
But names will never hurt me.

When I’m dead
And in my grave,
You’ll be sorry for what you called me!"

Author unknown

I've always hated this rhyme. It's one of those things that kids say, but if you actually stop to think about it, it's terrible. Sticks and stones may hurt, they may leave bruises. But words and names, they leave scars that may never go away. For some, it's easy to just let these words roll off of them and dismiss what was said as someone else's way of making themselves feel better. For others though, the way others perceive them is important.

When kids are small, most times differences are interesting. Kids are drawn to those who are "different" because they want to know more. By the time these kids make it to middle school, these differences become reasons for ridicule and isolation. Think about the non-athlete who is always being picked last for a team, or the student who always does well in school who is treated badly because they always seem to have the answers. In turn, these kids may feel that they need to find someone whom they can take out their own frustrations on so that they can feel better about themselves. It then becomes a sort of pecking order, and where you are on that ladder makes all the difference.

For five years, fourth through eighth grade, I attended a public school in my home town, or close enough. I experienced the way kids change as they grow older. In fourth grade, my special equipment, my braille books, the braille labels that were put on each student's desk along with their print nametags, these things made me interesting. Two years later, these same types of things set me apart as different, and they became sources of problems between me and the other students. Even things as simple as the way I dressed or wore my hair became reasons for kids to tease me. Even now, I have a really difficult time hearing people tell me that they like my hair or that I look nice because I can't forget being told that in school only to hear the kids laughing about it when they thought I couldn't hear. Some people might try to tell me that much of this kind of thing happened twenty years ago and that it doesn't matter now. The truth is that, no, maybe it shouldn't matter now, but it does. The way others see me, the impression that I leave them with, is incredibly important to me.

As a teenager, the fact that my peers were also struggling, confused, and trying to fit in really never crossed my mind, or if it did, it was just to think that it probably wasn't true. Looking back though, I can see things a bit differently, but it doesn't take away from the things that were said to me. I'm sure there isn't a person reading this who can't come up with at least one time in your life where you were hurt so deeply that even now you still think about it. And sadly enough, I know that there's a chance that I've caused this to happen to someone else. I will never claim to be blameless.

I think though that the Sticks and Stones poem, had it been written today, would be a bit different.

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
And cause a lot of strife.
But words and names are even worse,
And those scars may last for life.
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Best friends. They're the people you talk to, the people you confide in, the people you trust. I personally have considered many people to be my "best" friends over the years. From the time I was little, I had friends who I thought would always be around. We made plans that we were going to grow up together, go to college at the same place, and live together in an apartment. At eleven, eighteen seems so far away, and anything's possible.

I met my first really "best" friend when I was six. I was starting first grade, and the first words out of her mouth that morning were, "I'm seven today." Seven! Wow! To me, this was the coolest thing ever, especially since my birthday wouldn't be for another four months and it seemed like an eternity. She and I were constantly together after that for the first three years I was in school. Having gone to a residential school for those three years, I lived in a dorm. On and off, she was my roommate, and it was rare that you'd see one of us without the other.

By the time I got to fourth grade, we were both brought home to our local school districts, and although we kept in touch for a while, we soon just kind of drifted apart. We came together again later when we started high school, and occasionally we still communicate even now, but I feel that it was that time in early elementary school that really kind of set the scene for the future.

In fourth grade, I found a new best friend. We were both new students that year -- she was from Arizona-- and because we were both new we were sort of drawn to each other. I remember her coming up to my desk on the second or third day of school and giving me her phone number. From that point on, I think the phone became one of my all-time best friends, but if I'm not mistaken, we're supposed to talk about people here, not objects.  We were both kind of shy, and so I think we were drawn to each other for that reason as well. I only attended that school for one year though, and when I told my friend that I'd be going to another school for fifth grade she was really disappointed. Because I was attending a different school, we had different schedules. I got a longer summer vacation, which, at that age, means everything. I called her up on her first day of fifth grade with the intent of asking her how school had gone. I think that was really my first indication that she didn't like the fact that I wasn't with her. She didn't want to talk about school, and actually practically bit my head off when I asked about it. Things settled down after that, and by the time I got to sixth grade she and I were back in the same school again. I think by this time, she and I had sort of started to drift apart a little bit, although we still talked, hung out, so on and so forth. She'd made friends the year before though, and it was like I had to start over again in many ways. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades are difficult for any kid, and fitting in becomes not so much a want, but a necessity. Even the smallest differences set kids apart from each other, and having a social circle pretty much sets the mood for the entire year. I wasn't one of the "cool" kids anymore. The exceptions that were made for me in school due to my large books, the equipment that I used in class, just the fact that I didn't do things the same way my classmates did them; all these things became cause for problems with the other students rather than something neat and different. It became harder to figure out who was and who wasn't my friend. During my seventh grade year I hung out with a person who seemed like she wanted to be my friend, yet she often did things that, when I look back on them, weren't things that a friend would do. I think I let things happen though because I was so desperate for friends. Sadly, this is a pattern that has shown itself again and again over the years.

The summer I was thirteen, I met someone while I was at camp. She and I were together for about 4 days, but it was as if we'd known each other forever. We shared so many common interests, from music to favorite authors, things like that. For the next few years we saw each other for two weeks at a time while we were at camp, and the rest of the time we communicated via phone or letters. No matter how long we went without talking, we were always able to pick up right where we left off. It's been eighteen years since we first met, and she and I still keep in touch today. We've both grown, changed, and have our lives, but we're still friends. We're living in completely different states, and we don't have as much time to talk these days, but, just like when we were kids, when we do talk and see each other, it's like time hasn't passed at all. To me, this is a true friend. A true friend, in my opinion, is someone who you know is there even if you don't see that person all the time, someone who you know you can count on during both good times and bad to be there, even if it's not physically, and to just accept you regardless of who or what you are. To me, there is a difference between a true friend and a best friend, although in many cases they may be one in the same.

Over the years I've definitely had several friends. Some have been closer to me than others, but each person that I've come to know has left me with memories. From my very early friendships to those that I've made more recently, I've discovered new things about myself, and about others. I've made mistakes and tried to learn from those mistakes. But the one thing I've noticed is that despite everything, best friends come and go, but a true friend will stay around forever.
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In thinking about this entry there were several ways I could have gone. I thought about telling an embarrassing story about myself where believing something that I read and tried as a medical cure caused me incredible discomfort, but then I decided that I just wasn't going to go there at the moment. I thought about creating my own urban legend to see if I could get anyone to believe me, but then I figured that I probably couldn't come up with anything real enough to actually sound possible. Then I started reading other entries, and I got some other ideas. Hopefully, I'm not doing something that someone else has already done.

Many have written about the email legends that are passed around over and over again, and the wonderful Snopes website that helps to clear up these interesting stories. But, in addition to the written stories, many legends have been written about in music.

Take for instance, the song Deck of Cards done by Tex Ritter. This is a song that has always interested me, simply because of the words. Feel free to click on the link to read the words, but to summarize, a soldier, after being on a long march, attends church services. The soldiers pull out their prayer books, however this particular soldier has only a deck of cards which he pulls out instead. He is brought before the martial for playing cards in church, and explains how one deck of cards is a bible, a prayer book, and an almanac. However, as you can see by reading the words at the end, it's pretty obvious that this isn't a true recount of a story since Tex states that, "I knew that soldier". Given the timeframe, it would seem that this just isn't possible. But the words are good, it tells a very convincing story, and it makes people feel good.

There's another song that, while it has actually been confirmed to be true, tells an amazing story. Christmas in the Trenches, sung by John McCutcheon tells the story of the 1914 World War I truce between England and France for one night. This song, copyright 1984, does an incredible job of describing something that has happened only once. If you can get the audio, there is a version where John talks briefly about the song, how it came to him, and an experience he had after writing it. Without facts backing the authenticity of this 1914 Christmas, John's song could very well have also gone down as being an urban legend.

It is important to know the difference between truth and, let's call it exaggerated truth for the sake of argument here. In my first example you can see how the story told makes sense, it sounds good, but most likely just isn't. The second example is a true story, even if it's being told by someone who wasn't there and couldn't possibly know, but somehow managed to create an incredibly powerful description anyway. Urban legends have been used for centuries to entertain, and they definitely do, as long as the story doesn't cause harmful things to happen to those who take it seriously.
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I've never made it a secret that I just don't follow the news. It doesn't interest me, and in fact, tends to bore me much of the time, so when this topic came up in [ profile] therealljidol I knew it wasn't going to be easy. This week's topic is to pick a current event, link to it from this entry, and then write about it and how it affects me. Since I don't do the news, I've decided to take this into another direction a bit. What I've chosen may not necessarily be a current event, but it's an on-going problem that I've actually written about before, and it definitely does affect me.

The topic I chose is one that's especially high on my "don't do it" list. This is a letter written to Dear Abby concerning 5 teens who were killed because the driver was using a cell phone to text message while driving. Yes, for my regular readers, this is another cell phone thing. SMILE! I suppose that I've kind of got a double standard when it comes to the use of cell phones and driving, and this may make me sound pathetic, but I've got to say it anyway.

I rely on other's driving so much for my transportation, and every time I get into a vehicle, I'm trusting that person to get me to and from my destination safely. If I know the person, and if I'm comfortable with that person, I trust that they'll be safe with me. However, when it comes to taxis and people that I just don't know very well, I feel completely different. Okay, so here's another story.

About five and a half years ago I was living in an area that had really gone downhill. I decided that I just had to make a Wal-Mart run because I needed some things. Everything went well on the way there. I got my shopping done and called my cab to go back home. The cab pulled up and I got in. The driver was in the middle of, (I'm sure), a very important conversation and couldn't be bothered to hang up his phone while driving. The area that I was living in had some really weird street numbering, and there were a couple of them that were kind of named the same; for example, we had 15th Street and 15th Place, and had to pass them both to get to 14th street where I lived. The driver, apparently more caught up in his conversation about whatever, saw the street sign for 16th which was a lighted intersection and started counting streets. He pulled up in front of what I assumed was my home. I paid him since that's pretty much the expected thing to do when one rides in a cab, and got out. Immediately he pulled away. It was then that I realized that I was most definitely not in front of my home.

So, here it is, probably close to 8:30 at night, I was alone, and I had absolutely no idea where I was. I had my cell phone, but how do you make a call to someone telling them that you have no idea where you are? Milwaukee isn't a small town after all. As I stood there, trying to figure out what I was going to do, a lady came up to me and asked me if I needed help. I explained the situation to her and she told me where I was. I would have been perfectly happy to walk home on my own, but she offered to walk me the extra block to see that I made it home safely.

This incident could have been avoided if the driver had taken a few minutes to pay attention to his surroundings and to the fact that he had a passenger who was relying on him to be accurate. If I'd been able to see the road signs, and/or the houses in that area I could have called him on his mistake, but I was literally completely dependent on him. I reported the incident to the cab company, but they don't have any kind of policy about drivers on cell phones. What worries me is that this driver could have done this again, and the results may not have been so good. I often wonder if anything would have happened to that driver if I'd been hurt because of his negligence, but I somehow have my doubts.

So, as much as there are those that I trust to be on their phones while driving, there's one thing above all else that I'd love to say to anyone who'd listen. The ability to drive is a privilege. It's a privilege that I think most people don't even think twice about. Cell phones have made our lives so much easier in so many ways. Unfortunately though, the combination of driving while talking and/or texting is incredibly scary, both for passengers and even pedestrians. Wisconsin doesn't have a law about using cell phones while driving, but if they did, I honestly think that I'd be in full support of it. If you're a driver, stop and think for a second, is this call absolutely necessary for me to make right now? And, most importantly, if I make this call, am I going to be less likely to pay attention to my driving? Lives are so much more important in the long run than the date you're planning for later this evening. Is it really worth it?
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As I sit here, contemplating what I'm going to write about for LJIdol week 3, I can't help but think about where I am today, and at this very second. Currently, I'm sitting here in my recliner, wrapped up in a blanket cold because I'm too completely stubborn to turn on the heat, despite the fact that I don't even have to pay for the stupid thing. I'm writing this entry with my keyboard on my lap; a keyboard that has no cord. My computer, which is sitting on a table on the opposite wall is accessible to me through the means of a program that takes printed material and puts it into speech so that I can hear what my computer is doing. Alternatively, if I were so inclined, I could use a braille display that would show me one line at a time, which allows me to not only hear what I've written, but also to read it tactually so that I can more easily check for errors. Okay, let's face it. Even the computer itself, a device that has come so far in the last several years is an incredibly large part of my life.

Technology. It's all around us, in the cars that you drive, the microwaves you use to heat up last night's left-overs, to the stop light that you hit when trying to cross that street. It's everywhere. And, when you think about it, it's really incredible. It's incredible because it's helped so many different types of people achieve their dreams, their desires, and just live. Without my computer and all of the software and hardware that I have and use, not to mention Al Gore's invention of the Internet so many years ago, I would not have met so many people from so many different places. I love to write, but I'm probably the world's worst letter-writer. Okay, so maybe I'm not the best email writer either, but believe me, I'm even worse when it comes to paper letters.

In addition to the social aspect of technology, there's also the more practical side, that four-letter word that we all hate to utter in polite company-- work. Technology has allowed me to work in the technology field, a job that, without all these things I use, would never be possible.

I'm reminded of a time about eleven years ago. I was nineteen, and I wanted to get a job. The job, if I remember right, was a data entry position. I had what I thought were decent computer skills at the time, and I was confident that, if given a chance, I'd be able to do a good job for this company. After walking into the building to apply and receive the immediate interview, the woman said to me, "You can't work here. We use computers." By law she had to give me the interview, but even then, I knew I didn't have a chance at the job. The one thing I did say to her during the interview though was that I knew that if I were just given a chance, I could prove myself to be capable of doing the work. About two weeks later, the same job was posted again.

What this taught me though is that you can have all the technology in the world and have people who just don't realize the potential that it can offer. Back then the technology was much more limited than it is today, but in my mind, I was the absolute best candidate for the job. Three years ago I was offered a job in the very field that I was told that I'd never be able to do; working with computers.

I am incredibly thankful for the technology that has allowed me to work, communicate, and have fun all at the same time. I honestly feel that this technology has done so much to help me in my life. I'm sure that if you took a look around you'd be able to see all the ways that technology has impacted your life, even if in only very small ways.
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Hey everyone. Well, this is the entry where I'm supposed to tell you all to
go and vote for me in the polls. I'm not going to do that though since I
chose to use one of my bye weeks. However, I do want to wish all of those
on my Friend's list good luck this time around! Hopefully, next week's
topic will be a little easier. SMILE!
kittytech: (Default)
Hi everyone. I've made my entry in LJ Idol. I would appreciate it if you would go to this link to cast your vote. Remember, every vote counts, especially yours. Thank you so much.
kittytech: (Default)
I've never felt so old as I did this morning when I read through our topic
for the week. Okay, so I'm truly not old, but 30 years of memories are a
lot to sift through to find "that one". From past experience though, I've
discovered that these topics pretty much offer us the ability to go in many
different directions. Given this, I've decided to expand on this just a
bit. Rather than writing about a memory that I actually have, I wanted to
write about a story that my parents love to tell. I don't really have any
memory of it myself, but I can absolutely see this happening.

As a child I really liked to climb. I had absolutely no fear of falling,
and the higher up I was the more I liked it. I'm quite a bit more cautious
these days, but I think in many ways I still like to climb. The age
difference between my oldest sibling and myself is twelve years. So, when I
was three, my oldest sister was fifteen and working on what all teenagers
want at that age; their drivers' license. A very common question around our
house was often, "Dad, can I back the car out of the garage?" Any chance to
be behind the wheel of the car was incredible.

At three, I of course wanted to be as cool as my older brothers and sisters
in any way possible. This meant making up homework assignments, (never mind
the fact that I couldn't really read at the time), pretending from time to
time that I had zits that needed treating, and of course, the never-ending
driving issue.

One day, my dad was doing some work out in our garage. I was out there with
him for whatever reason, and I got it into my head to ask him that one
burning question, "Can I back the car out of the garage?" Of course, for
many reasons, this was never going to happen in a million years, but I
didn't know that, nor did I probably even really care. After being told
that, no, I wouldn't be backing the car out of the garage, I found other
things to do to occupy myself.

While walking around the perimeter of the garage, I came across a ladder
leaning up against the wall. This ladder was calling to me, telling me that
I just had to climb it and see where it went. Being the incredibly
wonderful good-listening three-year-old that I was, I just had to listen to
that ladder and do what it said. A few minutes later when my dad realized
that I was too quiet, he asked me where I was. "I'm here", was my response.
He looked around and didn't see me. Again, he asked me where I was. Louder
this time, I said, "I'm here." He continued to look around and was still
unable to see where I was. So, for the third time, he asked me where I was.
Completely frustrated by this time, and apparently very indignant that he
couldn't find me I said, "I'm up here!!!!!" That's when my dad finally
looked up and saw me happily sitting on the rafters above the garage.
Apparently I wasn't concerned about falling or anything. I assume that I'd
crawled around up there exploring for a while, but I can't confirm this. My
dad was able to verbally guide me to the ladder and back down to the safety
of the ground.

My climbing continued to get me into interesting situations, (all supervised
after that), like the time that my dad was doing some repair work on our
roof and let me come up with him so that I could see for myself how the roof
of a house was constructed. Despite the fact that it was sloped, I didn't
fall, which is pretty obvious considering the fact that I'm sitting here
writing this today. I just found these kinds of things absolutely
fascinating, and it helped me to understand more easily what people were
talking about when it came to houses, and, as I got older, other things as
well. I think I had a lot of very interesting experiences, everything from
getting under foot during general house repairs to experiencing
pottery-making and wool spinning at local fairs. All these experiences, and
the ability to get to touch things, really gave me a greater understanding
of things around me, and how things work. Believe me, I'm much more
cautious now, and don't go climbing into unknown areas anymore, but I still
have that yearning for new experiences, new challenges, and new thrills.
kittytech: (Default)
It has often been said that a picture paints a thousand words. When
pictures are meaningless though, words take on a whole new dimension and
value. I am a lover of words, and always have been. As a blind person,
words were always my way of doing what many people did with colored pencils,
crayons, or paints. in my own little way I wanted to be able to paint
pictures with words, and help people to imagine, through my writing, the
same kinds of things that people say they can get from pictures. From an
early age, I talked incessantly, and, unfortunately to some, very quickly.
Today, this is still true.

As a lover of words, to me, it goes without saying that I am also a lover of
books. As a child I was always being read to, and when I got old enough to
read on my own, I think it was rare to see me without a book. I feel very
strongly that reading helped me to discover my love for writing. Writing to
me is therapy, relaxation, and freedom. Through stories, poetry, and now,
just writing random things here in my LJ, I feel that I have been able to
express myself beyond anything I could ever have done just by talking to

Just because I happen to love words doesn't mean that I always get them
right. While trying to sound at least halfway intelligent, I've managed to
make some pretty hilarious mistakes, both in writing and in speech. It is
for this reason that I've discovered that one doesn't always have to use big
fancy words to get their point across or to write well. To me, it's not
necessarily all about the words that are used, but it's the way those words
are used that truly makes a good writer.

Throughout the next several months as we progress through the weeks and the
topics, you will continue to learn about me, my thoughts, my opinions, and
hopefully a lot more. I want to wish everyone who signed up this season
good luck, and I hope to get to know many new people through this
kittytech: (Default)
Hey everybody! Yes, the time has come, and I'm ready for the challenge.
It's time to sign up for everyone's favorite LJ game show, [ profile] therealljidol, and as I said earlier this year, I fully intend
to sign up! I've been waiting for this, and the time has finally arrived.
I saw what [ profile] johnmill79 and [ profile] imafarmgirl, and later on
in the competition, [ profile] agirlnamedluna were doing, and it really got
me excited for this. So, within a few weeks, expect to see at least one
post a week aside from my regular rambling. The topics will vary, and if
they decide to get into any political stuff I'm completely and totally going
to crash, but I can't wait for this to happen! It's going to be great!!!!


kittytech: (Default)
Caroline C

May 2015

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