Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I receive a call today from a customer who tells me that she works in the entertainment business and gets paid only in cash, which is part of why she didn't file taxes... Well yes, I would imagine that line of work doesn't exactly come with a W2 and a health plan. Needless to say it was an educational experience to say the least.
The second part of the story is less amusing but still interesting. A 79 year old lady called me and I spent over thirty minutes trying to convence her that if she would simply pay the user fee to get into a monthly payment plan that she could send us $25 per month as opposed to the $157 she was sending in via her SS check. When we finally succeeded in bridging the communication gap she was practically turning cartwheels for joy. Nice to know it's the lady as a gender I struggle to communicate clearly with. :)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Overall a most interesting experience. Don't think it will replace the steak and stress relief program I currently have running, but I am very glad to have had the experience.
I was also amused to be called Eeyoreish by a friend this week. Although I think of myself as being more Tiggerish, or perhaps Owlish, I fear that now and again Eeyore does indeed describe me well. (On a side note I have been having heated arguments with family and friends for the last few years about Eyore's coloring. Imagine my delight when I found the wiki linked above proving that victory is mine. Glooting? Me?)
Work continues a pace. Making it through in a fairly good way, and starting to get a handle on the job. Looking at hosting a New Year's Eve party at my place and of course prepping for the annual holiday known as the date of my birth. :)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sick - Shel Silverstein
'I cannot go to school today, '
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more-that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is...Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play! '
Thursday, November 18, 2010
"If this insane policy of appeasing terrorists and granting them American constitutional rights to be tried as quasi American citizens continues, the cost
of this failure will pale in comparison to the cost of the failure that will undoubtedly yet occur as a result of this ruling," he said in a written statement.
"Terrorists now have incontrovertible evidence that they can exploit the American justice system and they will use this knowledge to train new terrorist
recruits and manipulate their cases if and when they are caught."
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Alas I appear to have some liberal tendencies- i.e. sushi and imported beer, but am comforted by the red meat.
Hope you find this as entertaining as I did.
For those that don't know about history ... Here is a condensed version:
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deerin the mountainsduring the summer and would go to the
coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beerand the invention of the wheel.The
wheel was invented to get man to the beer.These were the foundations of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity
into two distinct subgroups:1. Liberals 2. Conservatives.Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture.Neither
the glass bottlenor aluminum canwere invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close
to their brewery.That's how villages were formed.Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This
was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement...Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives
by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal
men eventually evolved into women. They became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention
of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democraticvoting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided. Over the years
conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass for obvious
reasons.Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef
well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone
levels than their men.Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented
the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Budor Miller. They eat red meat
and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters,rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police
officers,engineers, corporate executives, athletes,members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives
who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide
what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when
conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.Here ends today's
lesson in world history!
It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.
A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers
and to more liberals just to piss them off.And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self..... I'm going to have another beer.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Victory will be mine, but I question if it will be so for the country as I interact daily with people who don't want to pay their taxes. We will see I suppose. In the meantime there is Gin, iced coffee, and beautiful women to fill the void.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Although some days in the service I feel like I am beaten up and drained of all life I am glad to be working, and am happy to have the opportunity to work. I trust that with time I will get better at my job of tax collector, and pray that in the end it might glorify Christ.
We will see how it all goes, but it is nice to at least have the chance to work.
A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. Then, he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00. When the postal authorities received the letter to "God, USA," they decided to send it to the President. The President was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill. The President thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank you note to God, which read:
Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that
for some reason you sent it through Washington DC...And those jerks took $95.00 in taxes.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The fact that this behavior is defended at all disgusts me. Let the irresponsible rant and moan all they like about mean things like the interest rate and requirements to follow through on their commitments, but they should have enough respect for others, and more importantly for themselves, to not try and destroy what they cannot have.
This shows, if indeed more proof is needed, of the need for the thought of Ayn Rand in modern America.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Overall, I think the national mood is for fiscal sense, and I look forward to that being put forth in future laws.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I will be posting updates on Twitter, Facebook, and here throughout election day. Please consider voting Republican as I view the GOP as the best hope for fiscal sanity.
Looking forward to what the polls yield. Here's to the constitution and core American values.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Do you remember trick-or-treating on Halloween when you were 5 years old and some high school kids jumped out in scary costumes? No doubt you screamed,
sent your candy flying and ran home.
Taxpayers sometimes experience similar feelings when they’re notified the IRS is auditing their taxes. Truth is, we don’t wear scary masks; we don’t jump
out and say, “Boo!” In fact, we’re doing our very best to make the audit process (and customer service in general) professional and not frightening.
In a new series of educational videos, “
Your Guide to an IRS Audit
,” a string of vignettes explains the examination process. The videos walk taxpayers through a typical audit from start to finish. They can see firsthand
the experience is very straightforward. SB/SE is at work creating a similar series to explain the collection process.
But we can’t rely on videos alone. We are each accountable to our own customers. We must explain the actions we are taking and ensure our customers are
treated with respect and understanding.
If you know someone who has been contacted by the IRS for an audit, send them the video links on IRS.gov. While they still may consider an audit unsettling
– maybe a little scary, even – they’ll find out who we really are: skilled, dedicated employees who take pride in delivering the best customer service
So I thank the Dems for giving me, not only a reason to vote on Tuesday and not be lazy, but a reason to be engaged in the improvement of our culture.
Looking forward to Tuesday. Plan to have a couple of beers and some pizza as I listen to the results on the Hughniverse. Should be interesting.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Work continues a pace. On my new schedule, which is okay time wise, but is kicking me from here to next week with the actual being on the floor part. Thank God for the holy brew and gin in the evening. I trust this will get better, and in the meantime I have this ginormous Braille display to use while at work. Got a flu shot today, so am hoping it might leave me with a little more sick leave then otherwise. Here's hoping.
Trying to learn all the ins and outs of my Alva BC640 before the start of the contest, as I'd like to use it. Really a great display, but I very much look forward to the day when electronic Braille is more affordable. Hoping the Braille Wizard by NBP will be a solid step towards affordable electronic Braille, just like the Perkins Braille displays have been.
The National Federation of the Blind
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The focus on the white cane as a symbol of freedom and independence, as well as the mention of the importance of Braille as literacy, are major points and should not be overlooked. Regardless of whether a given day is a travel easy day or one where I am veering all over the place, the fact that I can navigate independently is so important, and can be overlooked when not compared with the fairly recent past.
Additionally, the ability to read is extremely important. Although I don't read as quickly as I would like, the ability to use Braille, no matter how slowly, is a blessing. I know of those who can make it with just sound, but I question if their life is really enhanced by this lack.
October 15, 2010
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
The white cane, in addition to being a practical mobility tool, serves as a symbol of dignity, freedom, and independence for individuals who are blind or
visually impaired. On White Cane Safety Day, our Nation celebrates the immeasurable contributions the Americans who use canes have made as valued members
of our diverse country. We also examine our progress and recommit to full integration, equality, education, and opportunity for Americans with visual impairments.
Today, students with disabilities are reaching achievements considered unattainable just a few decades ago. Many gains have been realized throughout our
educational system, but we must accomplish more so that America's technological advances and assistive tools are available for the benefit of all students.
My Administration is committed to ensuring that electronic readers and other electronic equipment used by schools, including postsecondary institutions,
are accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We are also providing guidance and technical assistance to help colleges and universities
fully comply with the legal requirements to use emerging technology that is accessible to all students in the classroom. Blindness and visual impairments
are not impediments to obtaining knowledge, and we must highlight the availability of existing tools to facilitate communication and work to improve access
to them. Additionally, the Braille code opens doors of literacy and learning to countless individuals with visual impairments across our country and around
the world, and we must work with advocates and leaders throughout our society to promote and improve Braille literacy among our students.
Americans with disabilities are Americans first and foremost, entitled to both full participation in our society and full opportunity in our economy. My
Administration is working to increase information access so Americans who are blind or visually impaired can fully participate in our increasingly interconnected
world. To expand career options for people with disabilities in the Federal Government, I signed an Executive Order directing executive departments and
agencies to design strategies to increase recruitment and hiring of these valued public servants. I was also pleased to sign the Twenty-First Century Communications
and Video Accessibility Act into law earlier this month to ensure that the jobs of the future are accessible to all. This legislation will make it easier
for people who are deaf, blind, or live with a visual impairment to use the technology our 21st-century economy depends on, from navigating digital menus
on a television to sending emails on a smart phone.
As we observe the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this year, my Administration reaffirms our national commitment to creating access
to employment, education, and social, political, and economic opportunities for Americans with disabilities. Together with individuals who are blind or
visually impaired, service providers, educators, and employers, we will uphold our country as an inclusive, welcoming place for blind or visually impaired
people to work, learn, play, and live.
By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as amended), the Congress designated October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day
to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or have low vision.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2010, as White Cane Safety Day. I call upon all
public officials, business and community leaders, educators, librarians, and Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of October, in the year of our two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
My only regret is that they cut out the character of Quincy, the brash American from Texas. I have always loved Quincy's character, as it symbolizes for me the American character and the impact it had on the world, even at that time.
Nevertheless, the play was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. I strongly suggest seeing it if you have the time and are near to Denver.
After the play Soren, Lora, and I went to a new bar for me, Fresh Craft. The food was excellent (almost as good as the company), and the beer was better. The service was friendly and prompt. I plan to go back as soon as possible, as it looks like an excellent place to huddle oneself in for a few hours. The music was good but not too loud, which is so unique in downtown IMO.
On other fronts the job is rather shaky. Unfortunately, the work I am doing is just not inspiring (unlike the work I did for the CCB, but I don't feel I can afford to resign before next June. Every morning getting out of bed is a struggle, and every night I go to sleep tired and emotionally drained. Perhaps I shall resign anyway, but we will see. I have a new schedule and new manager come Monday, so I am waiting to see how that turns out before making a final call.
Regardless of what happens I intend to stay in Denver. Even with $35 a month for RTD passage the freedom granted by being able to move about the city is wonderful. Colorado Springs, while a beautiful city, simply can't offer the same freedom of movement. THis freedom helps me understand why sighted people love their cars so. Truly the ability to move where ever one wishes is a blessing and freedom I think is taken for granted too often.
I follow with the iced coffee...
Monday, October 11, 2010
The rest of life goes fairly well. Still trying to maintain my social life, and still getting a handle on the job. The latter at least seems to be getting easier somewhat, and I am very much looking forward to getting out on the floor on 10-25.
I have been listening to this over the past week and thought I'd share it.
I follow with the iced coffee...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Calls went fairly well today. My superior was pleased with them. The last one unfortunately involved a grumpy individual who sucked the life out of me over the phone, and then hung up before I could even assist him. *sigh*
So I did what any respectable individual would do- I went to the Temple of Capitalism and bought some Red Bull and chewy chocolate chip cookies. The latter I heated up in the microwave, and the former I made into a Jagerbomb. I also broke down and bought Wal-Mart's version of icyhot, in hopes it will help with the neck. We'll see how it goes.
Looking forward to a quiet evening consisting of books, a hot tub, and watching my favorite actress.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Social life goes well. Went to Rock Bottom with my dear friend Deanna and her boyfriend Andrew yesterday evening. Great time, between the company and the food.
Started properly on the phones at work yesterday. All in all a pretty good start; although I had forgotten some things since it's been a couple of weeks since I've been on the phones. If yesterday was any indication the days should be tiring but fly by.
The gauntlet also goes well. Although this hare is tempted to take a nap now and again I have thus far been able to maintain my lead (I am as of this writing on day sixteen of the reading plan). The regular reading is helpful for me, as it makes for a good way to wake up in the morning and sustain me during breaks etc. at work.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Apart from the great evening this evening I have had some great times in Denver both within and without the salt mines. I have attended a couple of Rockies games with excellent company, and the experience was always most enjoyable. Looking to hit up one more game to celebrate a friend's birthday next Tuesday- should be a blast.
The Gauntlet also goes well. Have stayed on target thus far this week, and am actually mildly ahead of my friend. Alas this will be more a matter of the tortoise winning in the end, rather then the hare. Nevertheless, it is good to be reading the good book again- makes for good reading on the train in the morning.
Also looking forward to the elections in November. I was thrilled when I found out that I could still register to vote with my address change. If you haven't registered to vote yet you can do so here. I encourage you to vote, and to vote for those who believe in fiscal responsibility. I'd kind of like the dollar to be worth more then Monopoly money ten years down the road. Of course a gold standard would help in that regard, but I shall refrain from getting on that soap box.
Still enjoying my iced coffee, and rather enjoying cold mint tea as well. Hoping to have a large glass of it in celebration in November.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
As for the rest of life things go well. Still hammering away at the job, attempting to maintain a social life, and ensure I don't burn down my apartment. Looking to start back at church now that I'm settled up here, though not sure where exactly to land on that front. Must be orthodox for sure.
Still enjoying the iced coffee...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We are using a system which looks ambitious but doable. If anyone wishes to join us please e mail me.
I shall note my progress here in order to hopefully keep me on track. I have armmed myself with my Stream and a couple of iPhone apps to aid me in my battle. As ever victory shall be mine! :)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Life overall goes well. This week I was hooked on fan fiction, particularly that of Harry Potter as provided by the Lady of Darkness. I was also joined by her for coffee at Mile High, which was a highlight of the week. My Bald God stopped by as well, and he and I had the most amusing conversation I have ever had with him. Unfortunately the details of said conversation are sealed in the confessional, but it along with Ms. Todd helped me through a rough week.
Looking forward to the rest of the month. In addition to keeping the social life alive a good friend is returning from her travels (yay), and another is leaving for home (:(). My loyalty to the iPhone continues, but I think it will be awhile until I acquire a Mac- particularly as long as Serotek continues to be the dynamic company it has been up to this point. I am also taking up writing- just a bit here and there, but I hope it will improve my overall skill and perhaps provide some entertainment (at my expense or otherwise) to those with whom i share it.
Finally I find it interesting how my life has willingly been given to Google. I use gmail, Google Voice, and even this blog is written on a Google platform. Now if only their phones would involve built in accessibility Apple might have a run for its money.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
However, with the announcement by Humanware about their most recent product the VoiceNote Apex and the interesting announcements I believe will no doubt be coming forth this week at National Convention, I simply had to add in my two cents.
I believe the product by Humanware is a step backward from the strides they have been making towards transforming themselves from an outdated company producing overpriced products to a modern one providing goods that the blind population can afford without a personal loan and their first born being sacrificed. Why do we need another notetaker when a netbook/laptop and a Braille display would work just as well? Why spend time, energy, and resources developing yet another blind ghetto product and then tease us about it? I find it rather like a date who teases you all night and then chops off your personals. Great surprise.
As I gaze about the AT landscape the only bright and shining star I see is Serotek. Freedom Scientific did a good thing by knocking down the price of it's Focus 40 Blue, but they did a far worse thing by locking down their drivers. I appreciate Freedom's seeming support for Braille in its products, but question how supportive they can really be when they force Braille display manufacturers to annually pay to play in their sand box.
A bright note for me personally is the obtaining of the Alva BC640. This will allow me portable Braille access through System Access which will be wonderful.
Can't wait to get to Nationals next year in Florida. Wishing all my friends at Nationals a very good time. Have one for me.
The National Federation of the Blind
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
As Earth Day is today I ahve celebrated by Planting a Tree with Dell, ordered The Year of the Flood from Audible, and signed up with the declaration of energy independence. All in all not to bad. Looking forward to next year and seeing where I stand. I hope you too are leading a greener lifestyle.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
On a side note Through Our Eyes is an outstanding podcast on blindness. During their next show (4-21 8pm EST) they will be discussing the International Braille and Technology Center (IBTC) the place I would live if only they would let me set up a cot. If you don't know about the IBTC, or simply wish to hear the discussion I suggest tuning in.
The National Federation of the Blind
Monday, April 19, 2010
This attitude reflecting the hierarchy of sight (the idea that a blind person's success and happiness are directly related to how much or little vision they have) seems to me to be most unfortunate as it poorly serves those who proclaim it. I myself used to do so, and I recall nothing but worry that I might loss what "blessed sight" I had left. This made, in my opinion, what was already a stressful and unpleasant situation into a emotionally damaging one. I can see the use of remaining vision, but only after one has come to accept emotionally and mentally the concept of blindness and the fact that it is respectable to be blind. (For excellent reading on this front I recommend Freedom for the Blind by James Omvig.)
I subsequently came across an article on what a low vision person could do in order to ensure his safety. I thought to myself that one could do this or one could simply be cautious and recognize that their vision is going, and act accordingly.
The more I see individuals going to amazing lengths to avoid the dreaded "b word" and having it applied to them, the more I am convinced that a defined positive philosophy on blindness is needed in every school, organization, and service provider who claims to serve the blind. As I visit my old high school as a part of the alum group the philosophy put forward by the school is obvious, and it is neither defined or positive. I hope to have some impact on that.
The National Federation of the Blind
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
For those of you who share my longing for a full page refreshable Braille display the day may indeed soon be near, as sited in this Wired magazine article.
The work referenced is one of the projects of the Center for Braille Innovation, which I contribute to on a monthly basis. I believe the advent of affordable electronic Braille for the common blind person will be revolutionary when it comes to real literacy. I wish the researchers of this project great and swift success.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Imagine if your computer only allowed you to see one line at a time, no matter what you were doing—reading e-mail, looking at a Web site, doing research. That's the challenge facing blind computer users today. But new research from North Carolina State University is moving us closer to the development of a display system that would allow the blind to take full advantage of the Web and other computer applications.
"Right now, electronic Braille displays typically only show one line of text at a time. And they're very expensive," says Dr. Neil Di Spigna, a research assistant professor at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. In order to develop a more functional, and affordable, tool that would allow the blind to interface with their computers, Di Spigna and his colleagues are working to develop a full-page, refreshable Braille display. Braille uses a series of raised dots to represent letters and numbers, allowing blind people to read.
Such a display would also translate images into tactile displays, effectively mapping pixels in an image and allowing the full-page Braille display to represent the images as raised dots.
The researchers have developed a concept called a "hydraulic and latching mechanism," which would allow the development of such a display system. The mechanism would be made of an electroactive polymer that is very resilient and inexpensive, when compared to current Braille display technologies. "This material will allow us to raise dots to the correct height, so they can be read," says Dr. Peichun Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at NC State and co-author of the paper. "Once the dots are raised, a latching mechanism would support the weight being applied by a person's fingers as the dots are read. The material also responds quickly, allowing a reader to scroll through a document or Web site quickly."
Earlier this month, the researchers presented their findings on the hydraulic component of the mechanism, showing that it is a viable technology. The next step is to demonstrate a proof-of-concept model of the latching mechanism. "We hope to have a fully functioning prototype of the mechanism within a year," Di Spigna says, "and that could serve as the functional building block of a full-screen refreshable display."
"Reading Braille is essential to allowing blind people to find employment," says Yang, who is blind. "We're optimistic that this technology will give the blind additional opportunities in this area."
"The last 20 years of computer technology have been relatively inaccessible—and today's common mobile computing devices, from smart-phones to digital navigators and iPads, have been completely nonexistent—to blind people, because the display technology for the blind has not kept pace," says David Winick, a researcher at NC State and co-author of the paper. "We hope to enable the development of applications that will give the blind more complete access to the internet and other computer resources, such as e-books."
The research, "The integration of novel EAP-based Braille cells for use in a refreshable tactile display," was presented March 8 at the 12th International Conference on Electroactive Polymer Actuators And Devices in San Diego. The work was funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. The work was co-authored by Di Spigna, Yang, Winick, Parthasarathi Chakraborti, an NC State graduate student, Dr. Tushar Ghosh, a professor of textile engineering chemistry and science, and Dr. Paul Franzon, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The National Federation of the Blind
Friday, March 26, 2010
Regardless I am quite hooked, and I must admit that Google's recent stance in China only helps matters. Now if they could only get their phone to be useful in business... The National Federation of the Blind
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
With the passage of health care however I feel I need to make two points. The first is that I believe it will result in economic disaster (see Cafe Hayek for good thoughts on this) and that it will not provide greater health care to Americans but rather increase prices. Additionally, the idea that the government can tell us to buy a private product of any type is unconstitutional. If they can tell us buy health insurance they can tell us to buy spinach, or computers, or government bonds- regardless of whether we want them or not. A dangerous road IMO.
Second I am extremely vexed with my progressive friends ravidly praising this and claiming that those who disagree are idiots or less charitable terms. The debate is over and all that needs to be said has been said (so says George R.R. Martin). I believe however that the debate has just begun, and to claim that those who are argueing for alternitives are simply cruel, greedy, and/or idiotic simply shows the weakness of the promoters of health care. If health care is so great why then all the parlamentary mumbo jumbo? If this was so greatly supported by millions of Americans then why it is only supported by 30% is the polls? Why should we take on blind faith that we will like the bill once we see what it contains?
George R.R. Martin is a great author- I am looking forward to his next Song of Ice and Fire novel, and he has a right to his opinion. I am however dismayed at his taking up the cry of no more debate and basically calling those who watch Fox News brain washed. The fact he mentioned ABC and CNN as unslanted sources was quite amusing. I wish my progressive friends would also drop a bit of their hubrous and agree that good patriotic Americans can disagree with them. Then again considering the illogical nature of most hard core progressives I have met I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that ad hominim attacks instead of logic is the name of the game. One cannot create facts, so it amazes me that many progressives actually believe that Congress, which has never done so in the past, would actually follow through on the cuts it preposes in this bill. Similarly the facts that individuals would be mandated to buy a product from the government doesn't seem to bother them. Must be nice to be able to spend other people's money with such ease. Just because one is willing to pay more for something doesn't mean he should force his neighbor to do so. I like recycling and renewable energy, and am happy to pay a bit more to use these services- but I believe it immoral to force everyone to do so, just because I think it worthwhile. I grow tired of my progressive friends and their arrogance, but when the facts of health care roll in I suppose we will be able to fix matters- hopefully
I am now stepping down from my soap box, and hope that great news in the areas of adaptive technology and life will outweigh the need for another post like this.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
In regards to this discussion I found this video most interesting. On all Apple products the label indicates that although the product was assembled in China it was made in the US. This is an important point, as what really matters with most products is not where they are put together but where the idea and means of putting them together comes from.
I follow with the iced coffee...
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Terry Goodkind did an absolutely spectacular job with his book the Law of Nines. I must admit that I had tought something else might be in the works for this novel, but it was very good and most riviting.
Terry Brooks' Shanara series has entertained me for years, but I have also enjoyed his Landover series. I am now reading A Princess of Landover and am enjoying it immensely.
Piers Anthony's Xanth series is as humorous and entertaining as ever, now reading Air Apparent.
George R.R. Martin has had his hooks in me since I first cracked the cover of A Game of Thrones, and this continues as I delve into his short stories and collected fiction. I longingly await A Dance With Dragons to come out, but in the interum I am enjoying Dream Songs Vol. 1 and 2, as well as Legends 2.
Although my loudest praise will always be reserved for J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and George R.R. Martin, these authors above come in as close contenders.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Cockatrice sends KFC, Subway, Driftwood Inc, and the nation into a Panic
This is late breaking news from the green onion. America's leading news source.
3 weeks ago, a man named Allan Thompson walked into his local KFC and
demanded a 12 peace cockatrice meal. KFC, in a desperate attempt to
get ahead in the fast food competition of today, decided without
asking any questions to start making what they claimed to be
cockatrice. However, an employee from subway purchased a Pease of
cockatrice and had it examined and subway was able to confirm their
suspicion that What KFC was serving did not even contain 1 bit of
cockatrice! "I thought it tasted just like chicken," said a man in
KFC while licking his fingers. "we've been suspecting that KFC isn't
even serving real chicken for years," Said a subway representative.
"its too bad we haven't been able to prove that yet, but when they
tried to claim they were serving cockatrice, we wanted to put a stop to it before it gets out of hand!"
Subway also announced that customers who are disappointed that they
had fake cockatrice do not have to worry, because they can now visit
Subway for a 100% healthy all natural cockatrice sandwich. "Remember
the commercial with the man who walked to Subway every day and lost weight?"
asked the same Subway representative. "Well, with our all new
freshly made cockatrice club with the works, you will lose even more
weight since you'll want to run to Subway to get it!"
Unfortunately, not only that people didn't lose weight, but they
gained more weight than they imagined, because within seconds of
eating these new cockatrice clubs, all who dare try it were
petrified! To make things worse, Subway tried to cover things up and
as a result the news wasn't out fast enough. Therefore, many still
bought and ate the cockatrice club and they were also petrified.
In the attempt to fix this stone cold problem, Jason Allen, President
of Driftwood Inc. started to manufacture cure petrification potions.
However, the average price was 300 and not 300 dollars, pounds, or
any such currency. For some strange reason Allen insisted that all
must pay in gold coins. In a desperation attempt to raise the money
to get the gold coins, family members of the victims threatened to
sue Subway for false advertisement. "Subway said that the new
cockatrice club would help people lose weight, but my husband who was
already putting a dent in our couch is now heavy enough to crush the
couch!" said an angry wife of one of the victims. "I don't know
about you, but that sounds like false advertising to me." Subway
promised to buy the petrification potions if all charges would be dropped.
Unfortunately, before any deals were made, some who had the means to
purchase the potions on their own found out that when they poured the
content down their beloved one's throats, it did not work at all.
Jason Allen had to then apologize and explained that the potions seem
to only work if it was taken between the time the sandwiches were
eaten and before petrification took place. "If my little princess
knew that she would be petrified if she ate this cockatrice club, why would she even eat it in the first place?" asked
a wealthy father of a victim. "since its a matter of seconds between
eating them and being petrified, how in the hell is anyone supposed
to get a potion in time?" Allen apologized and promised to work on a
solution as soon as possible. He also encouraged people to try his
reincarnation drafts, but those who tried it said it didn't work.
Allen then realized that the problem is the draft only worked with dead bodies and not stone.
As soon as we get more news on this situation, we will update you
with the latest development on this story. Meanwhile, KFC Is
reselling their fake
cockatrice meals. "This is exactly why we didn't use real
cockatrice in the first place," said a KFC representative. "You
should really give our imitation
cockatrice a try." "even if you don't think its finger licking good,
at least you will still be able to lick your fingers."
Friday, February 19, 2010
On the Entombed Goodle Group the below, which I found most amusing, was posted and I wished to repost it here. Regarding number six- I will never think of or eat at a KFC, Chick-fli-a, or have chicken nuggets without grinning broadly.
You know you are an entombed addict when...
1. You shatter all the mirrors in your house...just in case
2. You list all your possessions as crude, poor, dubious, decent, good, great and legendary.
3. You made the mistake of labelling your spouse, "Dubious" outloud.
4. While waiting at the doctors office, you decide to check the "battle time line" in the clipboard sitting on the secretary's desk
5. You send a letter of correction to National Geographic telling them that the ambusher snake is actually the most poisonous.
6. At Kentucky fried chicken, you insist on getting the 12 piece "cockatrice" meal.
7. You just leave garbage laying around the house because you are sure the scavengers will pick it up after you leave.
8. You have a heated argument with your spouse about whether their mother is a hobgoblin or a bugbear.
9. You have trouble cutting up your steak with a knife and fork because your "dual wield" ability isn't high enough.
10. You end everything you say with the dramatic speaking of the word "...entombed"
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I find it unfortunate that if we are dealing with scientific fact there needs to be such partisanship surronding matters, but I do not think we are when it comes to global warming. Do greens really think conservatives and businesses are so "greedy" that they would ignore such a problem if the science behind it were truly confirmed? Well perhaps they do, but I don't believe so. Additionally, I am always put on guard when disagreement is met with ad honomin attacks and appeals to authority. We are after all discussing facts about our environment and the Earth, not some religious belief. If the facts are as strong as the global warming disciples believe then why is there such appeal to emotionalism, degrading of their opponents, and appeal to half baked or disputed science?
I am happy to call myself a conservationist. Saving energy and materials, and developing technologies to provide for more less expensive energy in the future makes sense to me. Screaming about the sky falling and the world needing to don a green hair shirt in the name of green holiness does not. Particularly troubling is the lack of belief that even if such is needed the choice should be a colentary one. If I wish to donate to A Real Tree, or recycle, or use CFLs then I may pay the extra and do so. Forcing me, or anyone, to do so, and on half baked scientific fact at that, is dictatorial and irrational.
I hope as I strive to conserve what I enjoy from Mother Nature that I can find fellow workers who are more interested in helping out the environment, rather then blindly following the latest green fad or trying to convert me to the way of the green hair shirt.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
When: Tuesday February 23rd, 2010 6-7:30pm
Where Penrose Library Adult Meeting Room
Why: To discuss the current state of the transit system in Colorado Springs, determine how the blind and sighted can advocate for a better system, and discuss means of maintaining independent travel as blind individuals
Although hosted by the Colorado Springs Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind this is a non partisan event and multiple viewpoints are welcome. The chapter will be providing pizza and soft drinks to attendees. If transportation assistance is needed please contact either Kevan Worley (719-527-0488) or George McDermith (719-358-7487 firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friday, January 29, 2010
Additionally I have been doing some reading in the green movement. Some of the things I have found are helpful- writings on nature's beauty, how to practically live a greener lifestyle without wearing a green hair shirt, and how to invest in green companies. Basically spokespeople who don't want to go back to the dark ages before the idustrial revolution or who think profits are evil. The second type, and far more the prodominant type, consist of these latter individuals. People who think that the earth is on par with human life, who think profits and capitalism are evil, and who wish to make a totalitarian society where far from being volentary people are forced to be green for their and the planet's own "good". Needless to say I find these thoughts most disturbing and illogical. They seem to miss the point that volentary partisipation is far more effective, as is capitalism for protecting the environment. Communism was absolutely horrible for the environment because people had no buy in to their economy or their environment. Additionally the industrial revolution has brought millions and millions of people out of poverty. To simply throw all that away seems unreasonable to me without strong and solidly proven facts. Also having a discussion on the matter of climate change and having ad hononim attacks flung about instead of a reasonable discussion puts me on edge as to the reality and reasonableness of the climate change position. Even granted the issue it is not at all clear to me that involving the government to fix the problem is the best way- they do such a great job with everything else.
Alas these ideas seem to go over most greens' heads. Hopefully a colentary capitalistic method of being more green will continue to develop. I look at companies like Whole Foods, Starbucks," Apple, and Coca-cola and am given hope.
Finally our local chapter of the NFB here in the Springs continues to grow. We recently joined the Green Cities Coalition in order to have a greater involvement in the community and have a positive impact on the local environment. Our coffee fundraiser program has started up again, and this time we are selling fair trade coffee from Pike's Perk. In addition to these steps I am looking at ways we can purchase renewable energy to cover our meetings and other activities so we can be as green a group as possible.
Along with this our work continues. We are developing a web site for our chapter, involving our members in the work of the NFB, and we are hosting a transit meeting at the Penrose library in downtown Colorado Springs on Tuesday 2-23 from 6-7:30pm. The meeting will focus on where the transit system in Colorado Springs currently stands, how we as blind people can be activly involved in advocating for a better system, and how we can best independently travel with the system as is. Please feel free to join us at this meeting, or any of our monthly chapter meetings.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
*- I will have $5,000 in savings by the end of next year.
This is obvious considering my past posts on finances- this safety net will be most helpful and should be a good foundation for additional growth. This does not include investments in I Bonds or Munies btw, just solid cash to call upon if needed.
*- I will continue to grow the Colorado Springs Chapter of the NFB.
Again an obvious one, yet one that can be overlooked. Although Sueanne and I put in time here I believe there is more room to grow, much more, and I am eager to see 2010 be the year the chapter gets its feet back under it properly. If you are itnerested we can be found on Facebook, just search for us.
*- Green my lifestyle by planting a tree, conserving energy wherever possible, and by drinking shade grown or fair trade coffee.
Although no green nut (I am a solid global warming sceptic and think State of Fear describes well the nuttiness in the green movement) I do believe conserving energy and taking care of the environment are worthy goals. Saving energy is good for the pocketbook and preserving what we have allows us to enjoy it later. I have already started on this goal to a certain extent with the coffee and the energy. More left to do however.
*- I will update this blog at least twice a month.
As many know my blog is my primary way of letting friends know what's happening with me when I am going insane- busy or otherwise. Thus I will update this twice a month to let folks know I ma still alive and with it. As you may of noticed I have taken to posting interesting articles and random thoughts to my Twitter account so if you find my articles interesting you may wish to follow me there.
I hope this new year is prosperous for you and yours.