Monthly Archives: April 2015

Wait did that brickwall move? My thoughts on the riots

At times in life you have to step back and look at yourself, and if you don’t like what you see take a different step. I am watching the nonsense in Baltimore last night, and the way people act and I realize it just makes me angry. Police brutality is a big problem that needs to be addressed, but on the other side the analogy I like best is if you shovel shit for a living and they reward you and give you a gold shovel you’re still shoveling shit. I don’t envy police at all because if they stepped in and did something and killed someone you’d focus on that if they did nothing you focus on that. I don’t know what it’s like to be black and to be frustrated, but I do know what it’s like to be blind and disabled. I know what it’s like to be denied services simply because I have a service animal, and it’s frustrating. I also know what it’s like to feel alone when you walk in to a busy place because know is the same as you. Blind people as a whole and lump in the disabled crowd constantly get ignored and play catch up to everything. The ADA didn’t pass until 1991 that’s long past the civil-rights movement.
Still even though there are laws I have to defend myself daily, and what was promised in 1991 were still fighting for today. America isn’t perfect the constitution said all men were created equal and then it didn’t allow for blacks to vote as well as women. Blind people couldn’t vote independently until 2004 and finally today talking machines have shown up all most everywhere. I get really frustrated that I went to college, and worked hard and have found the job market difficult. I’m happy where I am now, but I also would like to move up in a company. Currently thats impossible do to technology where I am. Again though I’m happy. Growing up people didn’t expect me to do much they put limitations on my abilities because I couldn’t see. Read back to last years first months blogs, and you’ll see some of the struggle I faced. When I listen to radio shows from the early 1930’s and 1940’s blind people were focused on more than I could have imagined. Most focusing on some act of kindness or in the case of the Lone Ranger the show actually demonstrated a blind person retaining a job they had when they could see. Going back as far as the bible what was one of Jesus’s claims to fame? He could make a blind person see. My whole life people pray over me hoping to heal me and rid me of this supposed problem, but in reality they’re the ones hurting because I’m fine and they’re praying for me to see. It’s why I don’t find myself being to religious because I feel exploited by the faith, and that gods supposed to somehow make me see someday and just fucking fix me. I don’t feel like I need fixing. If I die and I go to heaven, and I have to live there blind as well I’m fine with it.
My point in all of this is if you sit around and blame others for your failures in life your going to be is herbal. You have to eventually love yourself. I had teachers who didn’t believe in me along the way, but I always did. I also didn’t go to a vary supportive place where people wanted me to succeed ask the principal who openly discriminated against me. We all have a rough time, but burning things down isn’t the answer. That doesn’t fix anything. I don’t know the answer to the why things are the way they are, but I am here to say America’s been unkind to more than just one group of people along the way. Go read about how the Japanese were treated in 1940. How about the Irish when they were coming over. For me the fact I can own my home, but struggle to pay the damn water bill or actually have access to my house payments it’s crazy. The fact 60 to 75% of blind people are unemployed, and the poverty we face. Not to mention are technology costs twice as much as yours, so were not even close to being on the same playground.
I was in a cab earlier this week as a matter of fact, and the driver said to me. You live alone? Me yes. Driver in my country blind people have to have someone guide them around from place to place. Me they don’t have canes? Driver no and in my country they don’t think blind people can function on there own. He said my cousin has a degree, but it doesn’t matter because the country doesn’t feel he can work.
My moral to this story is that while I’d love things to be perfect here, and for more people to be educated on blindness I’m able to make something of myself. I have that opportunity. It’s not perfect and never will be I can try and attempt to chase the American dream like anyone else. I got lucky and sold a show to MLB Network, and have been blessed to say the least, but every person struggles with something. The beauty of America isn’t the flaws which there have been many along the way its the ability we have here to flourish. I think with technology now we can keep a better eye to brutality. Any group of people can make excuses for wrong doing, and it’s easy to be angry, but it feels good to prove people wrong, and become something. Imagine if people saw what I see when looking at each other, and just treated each other the same we’d probably be a better world. It’s never going to be that fairy tail, so you have to hope for small progress. Maybe one day that drivers cousin will be able to get a job, or be valued as a member in society. I still struggle with feeling productive myself, so I don’t know. I just feel fortunate to be able to have the things I have, because it could be way worse. I probably solved nothing with this, but I felt like it was some sort of therapy.
My other thing is I think I am finally going to leave Facebook. It’s been a long time coming I deleted it from my phone earlier, because it just really does annoy me. I am big in to the Twitter these days. My nose is recovering from an accidental run in I had with a brick wall I had headphones on, and thought I could navigate my porch I was wrong. Again sometimes I have way to much confidence in my abilities.

Yoga incident

I’ve been feeling a little fat lately, so I decided I would take a yoga class. Ethan used to call my stomach the circle tummy. I hate running, so that was out and I would ride a bike, but I don’t have someone to ride tandem with. My friend Kelci taught me some yoga poses a few years ago, so I thought why not. I called ahead to the class well emailed know one really calls anymore. Anyway I emailed the instructor advising I was blind with a little yoga knowledge. She was receptive and said I was welcome so I showed up.
It was great I learned a lot of the poses, and got a little one on one training if I didn’t understand what they meant by something. I was a little nervous, but it went well except for one thing. So during the yoga part I got relaxed, and farted. I couldn’t tell how dark it was or who knew it was me. Time passed and I thought yes I’m in the clear well after the class I went to untie Robin from her spot, and this lady came up to me and said don’t worry it happens to all of us. At first I was lost because I had moved on, so I said something like what? She said we’ve all passed gas in here from time to time. I just all most lost it.
This weekend is the frist of my Reds 6 pack games going to go see my Cubbies hopefully. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain. I took a video over the weekend and sent it to a few of my friends that work with the Tigers. I got a responce today that was nice to hear from my friend Jim. He told me he watched it with his wife, and he said I was calling the game before Len announcer from the Cubs did. He told me to keep working, and someone will put me on. Coming from him it meant a lot.

Feeling faces it’s just weird

This week has been real amazing looking back. Netflix first of off put audio description up of its new series Daredevil. They also stated they will put it up for there other series as well as other things from studios. This news is so exciting, because the content was hard to get a hold of otherwise, and its nice to see blind people be able to have equal access as sighted viewers.

My post on things being not accessible seem to ruffle some feathers. KHC is going to have an audio captcha up and running next month. The water company seems willing to also make the changes.

Over the weekend I got a new application I’m playing with called periscope. Basically it allows you to record and broadcast live video which is very neat. I have really great ideas for example this weekend was thunder over Louisville and my thought was I will record thunder so people can see it the way blind people do and just point the camera towards the ground. Stay tuned I plan to do some things with it. When Jenny posed the idea of a blog video came up with it, because it could capture real life experiences, so maybe I will use it for that. I’m going to keep playing with it, and we will see.

thunder was great I spent it with some friends just talking and having a good time. I had 7 beers from 1 on, so I didn’t get to crazy. I felt it today though I’ve been pretty lethargic. Since I can’t see pictures my memories of events are what triggers me to think about someone. Ethan came down 2 years ago and it’s when I really started feeling like Louisville was my home. That was a great evening I tried bourbon for the first time and Woodford has made it in to my life now as a staple. It has to because bourban is Kentucky’s thing. I didn’t get sad, but I just smiled a lot thinking about him.

My final thought of the night is so Netflix added description to a blind superhero show what do I think of it? Honestly I felt like it was good, but a few scenes really had me feeling uncomfortable. One scene in particular delt with face feeling. I don’t know where this notion came from that blind people go around and feel everyones face and it means anything? If someone knows please fill me in. In my last job I was doing a presentation and this lady at the end asked me if I wanted to feel her face to know what she looked like? I laughed it off, but it just made me feel so awkward. If I’m with my girlfriend who is imaginary at this point, but lets pretend I had one for the sake of argument. I may caress her cheek or something. I’ll be honest one time in my youth a sighted person said to me you should ask a girl to do this so you can tell what she feels like? I did, because I felt maybe it would help me so I asked her, and fuck was that awkward. I never listened to that person again that’s for sure. Other than that scene I thought the storyline was well done it had me hooked for most of it. I’m not usually in to things like that, but I wanted to give the audio discription a shot, and wanted to support Netflix for doing so. Now Apple please just release a new Apple TV at WWDC, and everything will be great on the tv front.

Do you want to feel my tattoo?

Hopefully my last post will help it was forwarded on to Frankfurt. Kentucky housing Corporation has had six months of notification in which they told me they’re going to do something but haven’t. They’ve missed two deadlines. Hopefully I can gain equal access soon as well as other blind people.

The other night after work I decided to go to the Louisville bats game. I had a ride already going to Best Buy so I took that and then left Best Buy to the game downtown. From Best Buy I decided to take Lyft, and had a great driver. We joked a lot and it’s why I like ridesharing services because you can meet someone nice.

The game was a blow out, so mainly I enjoyed beer, and talking to people. I didn’t go with anyone, because my friends are either married or away in another town. I’m trying this new thing where I am trying to just meet new people. College it used to be so easy. I will tell you this story only because it shocked me.

After the game I went to a bar downtown and started talking to a group of people. This girl was talking about how she got a new tattoo and asked me if I would like to see it? Of course I responded in a smart ass way and said well I’m blind so I don’t know how that would work? She then got up came over and said come with me. The restaurant had one of those single bathrooms with the door. She took me in there and shut the door, And I was like what is happening? I didn’t really ask that out loud. She said I’m wearing a dress so I’m going to have to lifted. I swear to god this happen. She takes my hand and puts it right above her butt so it’s basically a tramp stamp. She starts telling me the design of it and what it is it something with the dragon and fire and a whole bunch of other shit that I don’t really understand why you would put on your body but anyway. She said  can you feel anything? I was honest and said no I couldn’t really feel anything maybe a little roughness but it was  the first time feeling her back so that might’ve been normal who knows. It just felt like flesh to me. She then asked me what do I see when I meet someone for the first time? I told her I have some methods that can be wrong, but I think for me I am more attracted to personality. If someone is upbeat and funny I am probably going to be drawn to them easier than a shy quiet person. Again though that’s not always correct but I think it has a part and it. She said well we’ve came this far, so would you like to feel what I look like? Now I don’t really like this notion that I have to feel someone to get the picture I’m not sure where that came from, but this moment was already awkward, so I thought what the hell. She had a nice kaboose I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog. That just made me laugh for about 2 minutes.

I don’t know how I meet these people. I think people just loose themselves when they meet a blind person. Maybe this is normal I don’t know I tend to stay in and keep to myself a lot at nights.

I’ve been talking to Opie a good friend of mine, and I found a man therapist to go to to work out some problems. The last one I had didn’t go so well when she tried to date me. I’m trying to work on some of my issues no ones perfect. I struggle with things in my childhood that are hurting me now since I’ve never delt with them. I commented on it a few posts a go, but growing up in a public school where no one else was like me was difficult and took it’s tole on me I think as I’ve gotten older. I don’t think blind people should all go to a blind school, but it would have been nice to be around people going through puberty who were also blind. Even now I’m not appealing to a lot of people because I’m blind and thats frustrating to be just written off or judged unfairly. Even though her doing that was unexpected, and I am not sure how to feel it was nice not be ignored like I am sometimes. It wasn’t a Best Buy experience where I can walk around fro a half hour and no one seems to think maybe I should ask that blind guy wondering around if he is looking for something? Apparently Best Buy must have situations where blind people come in and just exercise in there store.

I’m still dealing with some of the fall out of being mugged. I’m aware more now, but I’ve been afraid to walk at night on my own. I’m working through that by taking little progress steps. People have been dogging the Apple watch, but for me if I Didn’t have to take my phone out of my pocket to read a text or check where I am by GPS it might be worth it. People aren’t going to think twice for a watch. Maybe I am wrong, but I can see some benefits.

What good are laws if no one follows them even the Government

I’m going to start off by saying that I don’t mean to be attacking in this post, but I rather am just questioning things. If you are offended here is my advice grow some skin, because these questions should be asked and I shouldn’t be facing these problems in todays world with the ADA laws and 508 compliancy.

Let me walk you through my last few days trying to pay a bill that once was accessible. I never had to pay a water bill until I bought my house in September. At that time I could register for the water companies website and make a payment just fine by using a credit card which cost me an extra $2 or I could set it up to link with my account with my bank not costing me the $2. I of course set it up to link with my bank account but where I had to give it permission to take the charge each time it was do. For 6 months or so I’ve been paying my water bill with know problems. Fast forward to Friday when I tried to pay my account. I got an email that said we are going to be making paying your water bill easier. I Went online and created a new account. With the process are old actual water account number changed as well.

Rather than try to wait to see if my bank would link up because to do that I had to have full access I decided to make a credit card payment. I enter in my email, username, account number, and then get to the end and it wants me to enter in a captcha immage. Now if you don’t know what that is captcha is a blurry image you have to enter to gain access to a website. They had no audio captcha to enter so I was stuck. I tried then to call and make a credit card payment on the phone and it wasn’t working that day. Let me explain the laws about accessibility for a second. The ada is 24 years old and section 508 is probably around the same and yet two government contracts I use completely ignore both laws. My house payment or information with Kentucky Housing Corporation is also inaccessible.

I posted this on Facebook and I had a few interesting comments. My friend Jared who is blind said I could send a screen shot to a sighted person and have them read the captcha image and then send it back to me. Yes why that would work why should I have to work around a law that is supposed to be in place? I don’t exactly know where the water company falls regarding to 508 but it has to be at the least breaking ADA laws. Shouldn’t I be able to have access at any time to my fucking house information, and not have to rely on some sighted friend? For example my tax information is on the KHC website, so if I just don’t bother putting the info on my taxes will the same federal government give me a break since after all they are denying me access in the first place? I’m not targeting Jared here just rather questioning why we as people aren’t more outraged when no one seems to be informing these laws that have been in place.

Last week I am watching the news target these RFA laws that aren’t in place yet. I don’t know why as a business you would want to turn away anyone, and just because for example you bake a cake for a gay wedding which by the way in most states are illegal still but I digress. It’s not like the gay couple is inviting the baker for a 3way. I just don’t really get it to be honest. Back to my point I see all these people up in arms about a law they’ve probably never read or isn’t in affect but yet the Louisville water company and KHC are breaking the law and nothing is said or no one is doing anything. Let me use a defense that some people are using in the RFA that the gays could go somewhere else and do business. What about with me can I after I buy my house just change companies because the government website is inaccessible? To my knowledge there is only one water company, so can you create one that is for blind people where I can pay my bill in peace?

I’m well rested can you tell? Completely different from Sunday. Google has a car that can drive itself, but yet I can’t pay my water or house bill without jumping through hoops. I just wonder why these laws are getting ignored? Furthermore I have blind people who expect to drive in 10 or 15 years I guess the government can keep that from happening by installing captcha with no audio in the cars.

My final point is why do we even have laws if no one is enforcing said law to begin with. We have came a long way in 24 years don’t get me wrong, but the fact new websites like the water company put up are breaking the laws it begs the question don’t you think? I can log in to Chase and PNC bank just find but can’t get to my water bill or KHC housing history? Another person told me it is just how it is well what help is that. Can I create a forum or business put the whole damn thing in braille and exclude all of you? Maybe you will have to FaceTime a blind friend or not be able to get something you need right away for the inconvenience. It’s just dumb and not necessary in the world we live in today. I know why they use captcha it’s because it’s cheeper, but maybe if I start enforcing the law they’ll rethink that. I wish for a day you could honestly live in a blind persons shoes, and just get it but thats not realistic so we are we are I guess.

Well I need to go take a shower and get ready for work. Hopefully my coffeemaker didn’t decide to install captcha last night and I can still use it. I could have talked about how the government refuses to make braille bills, but can put things in every other foreign language but again I will just leave at this for now.

long night

I moved to Kentucky three years ago I chose Louisville at first, because I graduated from Ball State and they were the cardinals so it seemed fitting. Obviously from being not from Kentucky it’s difficult to be part of the rivalry, Because you don’t have the years of being annoyed with each otherFanbase. I would always watch Kentucky games and keep up with them along the way for different reasons. I had been to Rupp Arena the last two years to watch a few games but never really took much interest to the team. In September Ethan died and I felt isconnected loss sad. I would read books just sit not turning on the television not reading twitter or Facebook just sit. I never imagined going through that type of loss. You never really can be prepared to lose someone your own age.

One night after work I decided to check out the Kentucky sports radio podcast. My friend Jerry and I were talking about Mat Jones, recently, so I grabbed it because I was tired of reading. It was like a slow love that grew from doiing that. A week went buy I started watching a little Kentucky football which I never imagined. I did this so I knew who the hell Matt and Ryan were talking about. Then I started liking Tom the play by play man for the Wildcats. The show  help bring a little normalcy back into my life it’s weird that it did that but that’s what happened. Along the way I started hearing stories about the guys on this basketball team. WCS volunteering at children’s hospitals, the Harrison’s being the first in line for disabled children, and it just made me feel good. Yes I probably could’ve seeked out some great stories from Louisville, but there are not many radio hosts like Matt and Ryan. Drew and Tyler do a great job withe website. I didn’t think as time went on i thought I’d  eventually stop listening or as things got a little easier I would lose  time for them. The truth is I enjoy listening to the callers and how Mat works with them, doing a little radio myself not many people just take calls on the air anymore. I can tell Ryan isn’t scripted like other shows seem to be.

Months flew by and we ended up all being let down last night. I’m a little sleepy I didn’t sleep much at all I found myself feeling weird after the loss. I have the teams I root for but I love the game first and foremost of basketball, baseball, football. My grandpa introduced me to sports really, because my mom and ddad hate them or at least don’t watch. For me sports have been where I’ve hidden my pains of growing up blind in a place where there was no one else like me. I was mainstreamed all the way through, so the puberty years can be hell. With the loss of Ethan I just wanted something positive in the universe to gravitate to, and I found KSR. After the game I sat in my chair for a long time just not sure what to say. Wisconsin was a great team and you can’t be disappointed with losing to them. Somehow I found my way on Facebook and I kept reading people calling Cal  a cheater laughing that Kentucky just lost. I Felt for these kids because the rest of their life they’ll have that memory of all most being there but that’s the beast of college basketball. I got pretty worked up by some Indiana fans just talking trash. I found myself on one hand it being like it’s not like I’m a lifelong Kentucky fan but on the other hand I hated reading people saying things that don’t have any fat. What if I just went on here and said Smelly Melly slept with John? For any school to question integrity it would be Indiana does anyone remember Mike Davis? You guys hired a known cheater as well, but who cares about history? After all we lost in the first round, so now I’ll just laugh at Kentucky for losing to Wisconsin something that happened to us as well this season. Oh and don’t let me forget Cal is a cheater.

I know you’ll never understand just loving a game, and getting lost in it. My grandpa before he died turned in to a Tigers fan also. He made me a Cubs fan, and I remember asking him once how can you route for the Cubs and the cardinals? He just said I love baseball, and if it’s on I can find someone I like. Maybe as I get older I realize what he meant more. While I watch the game it takes me away from the fact it’s hard to move up in my job because of technology issues. It takes away the stinging I still feel from Ethans passing, and finally I watch because sports have been with me so long. Last night I realized after talking with Denny to do are picks for where we think the divisions will shake out in baseball I realized maybe I am a bit angry. Why do I care if Indiana fans talk shit when they haven’t been to a final four since 2000 I just looked it up. There should probably be a question mark there but who cares. I just want to thank KSR and this group of guys for helping me get back in love with the game I pushed away for a while. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same person I was a year ago but I’m just trying. When I first moved down here I would get homesick and then Ethan would come down a  weekend and it helped me feel more at home. It just brought something familiar back in my life. Since he September I don’t feel homesick, because Louisville is now home I just feel lonely. Anyway I don’t know why all this came out or what exactly it is, but I’m a little sorry for calling my friends who are Indiana fans douche bags just stop spreading rumors that aren’t true and have no fact.