Category Archives: guide dog

Stop trying to say Menards is breaking the ADA

Video’s like this are popping up all over YouTube.

I don’t know if the guy has a disability or not, that’s really not the issue. My problem with most they are claiming to have a disability, yet that’s not how someone with a disability normally acts. Let me to you a story that is 100% real.

I was in college. My friends Carlos and Dina both had guide dogs. We went out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We asked if they could seat us? They said they could not bring the dogs inside. They explained that they were guide dogs and should be able to be in there business. They threatened to call the police and we were fine with that. Eventually they caved, but it was not pleasant.

That stuff happened to me with Robin also. I remember hanging on to my friends elbow walking home from getting McDonald’s late in college and a car went passed and they tossed ice and water on us calling us fags. I had my cane clearly visible. The point is don’t try to pass off you not wanting to wear a mask as an ADA issue. Especially when your Facebooking it or commenting conservative rhetoric. When I am getting discriminated on usually a camera and posting it to my friends is the last thing I’m doing.

When I lived downtown I would take Robin and walk to the Chicken King down the block. One day I went in and the lady said the dog can’t be here. I explained she is a guide dog and described her functions. I sat down and a guy from the back Jamal came over and said he was sorry for that. I told him it was okay, and he said she was new and just needed to understand why the dog was here. Most of my encounters have worked out okay. The only time it got ugly is in Arizona with my dad.

We went to a Jack in The Box and we ordered lunch before a ball game. He went to the bathroom and a man approached me and said we had to leave. I said why? He said dogs aren’t able to be ina business. I told him about the ADA. He walked away and when my dad came out he approached him. I tell you all what never ever disrespect a blind person by talking to a sighted person as if I didn’t comprehend the real problem. I stood up and said sir I’ve already educated you on this issue, and if you’’d like I can call the police and we can sort things out. He said no no just enjoy your food. God when people talk around us that is the biggest thing I hate. I’ll never forget being on dates and they ask my date what would he like to eat? My fav is I had graduated college and a lady at Red Lobster asked if I could unwrap my straw?

Anyway just stop the annoying videos. I find it funny most of these guys pulling the ADA card probably have been fighting wheelchair access in to there business for 20 years now.

How do you socially distance blind?

Abby and I walk all most every day. One day she works Bancroft as a guide, and the next I take him as a pet on a leash. I let him smell everything check and keep up with the P-mail of the neighborhood. Today on the way back all of a sudden there was a pet dog in front of us running around. This mom and daughter were trying to catch the dog, but couldn’t The dog wasn’t threatening, but still I resorted back to having a guide myself and wanting to keep them safe, and to just be like for the love of god  get your dog. I grew up on a farm and saw several great dogs die from running out in to the road we live in a city with much more cars, and these two sighted people couldn’t get there dog. It darted out in to the street 3 or 4 times, lucky not getting hit by a car. They walked with us a good I’d say 600 feet right next to us. I don’t know these people and they might be fine but seriously I am not in the mood for this. They finally got the dog and went away. However this made me think I can’t really avoid situations like this. If your sighted you can walk out in the street or see ahead to do or go another way, but for us we don’t really know until it is to late what were going to be facing. It was also baffling two people one yes young can’t get the dog faster than what they did. Hopefully in the future they take a bit more care of the dog. One other thing when the mom was close to me she put her hand on my arm she said nothing nor tried to guide me in anyway it was uncomfortable she removed it before I could say something. That is what will happen out there though unwanted touching of me, and unsafe interaction.

 

On the walk though we saw a guy who when I’d walk to catch the bus for work he would be out in his drive way doing something. He started saying to me good morning. I would respond of course. He would then say the sidewalk is clear in front of you as far as I can see. I would say thanks. It was nice seeing him today he just said hi and it was a nice day for a walk. It made me miss the walking to work thing.

 

Today I was looking on Ebay for Braille items and stumbled upon someone selling a Playboy mag from the 80’s. It was volume 2 only lol. In Braille usually to make one print book even a magazine it takes more than one volume. No Braille Playboys don’t have pictures to answer the question I know some of you are wanting to know. I had to wait until I was 18 to order it and sighted folks had been telling me for years they got pics in the braille edition I get mine and it is just the articles. Anyone saying they read that shit only for the articles is not telling the truth. I digress, but if your out there and stumble upon a old Braille issue it doesn’t hold the same money value a print addition does. After I received that first issue I promptly discontinued lol.

 

We got masks today. Breathing with them on is strange, and I don’t like it. It is what it is on that front though.

 

I posted this to Facebook, but I have over a thousand hits a lot, and want to talk about this man for a second. In school I never learned about anyone blind other than Hellen Keller. I think it is important to teach her work and it saddens me schools are cutting her out of the curriculum. For the record Hellen was deaf and blind so many people ask me if I am just like her and that answer is no, because she had two disabilities and was way more amazing. I never really get to wrapped up in propping people up, because were all remarkable in one way or another. If you look at the times what Hellen did was really amazing. I think it says a lot deaf blind have more tech than she did yet you hear about no one deaf blind today. Hell you never hear about anyone blind either.

 

Two years ago I was going to Germany and wanted to research blindness and how it was viewed in the German culture. I wrote a blog post or two of my time in Germany good stuff if I can say myself. May second today is Otto Weid’s birthday. I am happy to have learned about Otto and his sacrifices during the war. Also one day I want to tae Abby to his museum to pay proper respect and hopefully leave a donation. I have found some books on him written in German, so I am going to try to read them. One challenge is I really haven’t learned German Braille. Also Text to Speech I have to slow way down to understand it in English I fly, so that takes some getting used too, but I am going to do it. 

 

alles Gute zum Geburtstag Otto. Mein Deutschlernen läuft ziemlich gut. Ich wünschte nur, ich hätte jemanden, mit dem ich ab und zu sprechen könnte, um frisch zu bleiben.

Here is a wiki on Otto. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Weidt

Filling out the Seeing-Eye application is leading to anxiety for me

Yesterday was the game of games. What a game actually not just because I picked the winner, but it had drama. Did you see the half time show? Don’t worry I didn’t see it either. Okay bad blind joke moving on. In all seriousness yesterday was a rough day for me. I love football, but I don’t watch it the same anymore as I used to. This year I watched more than I have in several years. It always makes me think of my friend Ethan. We would always talk football and he would have hated that I picked the Chiefs to win he hated the Chief fanbase. At the end I will post in a writing I made on my new Braille Display I am testing out for work.

 

I gave a speech to some second grade class rooms for a career day last week and this little girl reminded me of my favorite Super Bowl story. I was leaving the school holding on to a ladies elbow, and this little girl came up and asked if I was alright because I wasn’t looking around? I told her I was fine. I love little kids honestly I do the honesty they have is so sweet. Anyway she reminded me of my favorite story. Ethan, Whitney, and I went downtown Indy when the Super Bowl was being held there and took part in some fun. We met Ethans dad at a Buddy Guy concert. To set up the story I had left Robin my Guide at Ethans Mom’s, because I knew we were going somewhere loud and didn’t know what else we would encounter. I don’t think I had a cane just used sighted guide. Anyway we were walking back to the car and this guy goes man he is so drunk look how much he is focusing on going straight ahead! The guy never knew I was blind and it just struck me as funny. When you have nothing to grab your attention it is easy to forget to look around I do try especially when talking to people, but I do forget to do it when walking.

 

One other quick story on looking around. I was at the airport sitting at the gate waiting on my flight, and they have these back to back chairs. So I am sitting there then behind me I feel this ball rolling back and forth and I thought to myself what the hell? I realize it’s a child sitting behind me with there head pressed against the seat moving there head looking around. I forget what lead me to this conclusion, but I was like how neat I realized then how little movement I really do make lol.

 

I have been looking at the application for a new dog most of the weekend. I have it on the desktop, but I am finding myself having anxiety filling it out. Blind people are so hard on are own. I was out eating with some guys recently and one said Bob had 13 guide dogs in his life he must not have done something right? It just brought some emotion up for me that I think people often speak about something they know nothing about. I know Frasier not making it wasn’t my fault, but what if it happens again? Do people start saying things if they do how will I react? I’ll get there soon I think, but just keep opening and closing it for now. It really is unfair take a sighted person if they reck 4 cars does anyone ever go you know I think Bob shouldn’t drive anymore. Maybe someone should??

 

I wrote the following on my way in to work. I love writing it’s how I express myself, and just be honest. Suicide is something pretty hard for me. I remember reading things after Chester Benington died and it was awful what most folks say behind a keyboard, and I took what they said so literally because I was dealing with it personally. In my free time I joined a group online where I just try and listen to peoples issues and write encouraging things. No matter what you think someone will miss you, and the pain from that side I understand really well. I understand it though to the best I can. Parents shouldn’t have to lose a son or daughter, nor should a son or daughter have to lose a mother or father. Anyway I wrote the following and posted it last week, and 6 people reached out and said it changed there minds. It’s not a huge number by any means, but cool to know I did something good in a strangers life. I wrote a lot after Ethan died and most I will never show anyone, but this took some parts from that and other parts from just loss in general.

 

It’s been 5 years to the day you decided to take yourself away
The first year people reached out and we talked about all of the gray we see in life its not always black or white
It’s been a fight getting to sleep at night

Honestly without bourbon I’d stay awake  until daylight
I think of all the times you helped me get threw something tough in my life and I just never realized your pain and knowing now it just cuts me constantly but I can’t remove that knife

Finally I get to sleep I have this dream that I come in and talk you in to giving me your gun that no matter what’s going on will get through it and eventually get back to having fun
We even get to that point and I hear your laughter and its the greatest sound I’ve ever heard
I hug you and it’ feels so real
Then I wake up and it’s just me sweating in bed sad because all of that happiness was just in my head
….it was all fucking fake your still dead

It’s been 5 years to the day you decided to take yourself away
The first year people reached out and we talked about all of the gray but those people soon disappear they think I should only mourn for so long and move on
It’s been 5 years to the day you decided to take yourself away

Chorus could be something like
We always promise ourselves there will be a Tomorrow forgetting to easy that you can be lost by sorrow

Notes
Hated using fuck in the second part but at the same time I like the emotion It’s real. Maybe rethink it though and try to convey the message without using it.

Dreams

The other night I had a dream where Robin my first Gide dog was guiding me around a hotel in Las Vegas. It was strange to me, because normally when I dream I don’t have a cane or dog. Robin was in my dreams when she was alive, but was just walking beside me on a leash more like a normal pet. I can not see however in my dreams for example I have had some where I am driving a car and my blind instincts kick in and I panic lol. I just thought it was strange because in my dream I remember thinking you know this is so much faster and easier than my cane. Maybe it was Robin urging me from the other side to get my ass back to guide dog school. I won’t lie I enjoy having a dog, because of some of the things I mentioned last post. Most of the time I am really bored. A dog is a thing to take care of and give you enjoyment also. I’ve been on the fence for so long, so maybe I am thinking about it. Strange how something like a little dream can remind you or make you think about something. I had to take Robin outside to go to the bathroom and we photobombed a wedding party somehow I bumped in to them trying to toss her shit away.

 

My last post was really honest I think of how a blind person can get to feeling. I really wish I could walk in a place and just make eye contact I think we miss so much from not having this interaction. I did read about Project Tokyo from Microsoft it looks promising except you have to program people in to it. I wish it could just scan my Facebook or something and already have people memorized. I see this issue as being a limitation to that technology. It doesn’t do or solve all of what I was talking about, but it is a start.

 

One thing that really frustrates me is how exercise equipment is inaccessible. We have a bike and you can tour the world and do different games and such, but all of it is inaccessible to Abby and I. The iPhone is so good with accessibility that often times it masks how bad other products are and how they haven’t even attempted to try. Ovens, Microwaves, Refrigerators, Washers and Dryers, and of course casinos lol. I love my phone, but for christ sakes the answer seems to be for a lot of these companies we made an accessible app. Why just not make the product accessible? Maybe one time I would like to do something without my phone. I think pretending it’s 1998 sometimes could be fun, but because I am blind I’m forced to keep my phone on me all most at all times to interact with my products. Also god bless you if you have to call these companies telling them your blind and waiting for them to figure out what the fuck that means. Hell sometimes I tell them it means I can’t see and yet they still don’t comprehend I can’t see anything.

 

My wife recently called to make a doctors appointment, and the receptionist asked her if she had someone who could help her fill out the paperwork? She said no I will come in early so someone can help me fill it out there. She says who is bringing you? I have had the same happen to me and we both said it is so frustrating. Health should matter but honestly I would rather just not deal with something rather than deal with there there ignorance. To me that response is racist and insulting yet nothing is done about it and we just should move on la la la.

 

So I have been listening to Kyle and Jackie Oh out of Australia, and recently they were talking about changes to there appearances as they get older. I do wonder about this from time to time. I know I have put on weight okay a lot of weight but I do think about the superficial things at times. Not a lot but truthfully it is easier being blind in that regard. Abby and I always say who cares what others think as long as we still find each other attractive. I would ride the bike and do the tour Da France but I can’t read the screen so a fat bloke I will keep on being.

Christmas thoughts and getting ready for the New year

Abby and I went up to my home area which is about 5 hours from Louisville, My god I am not used to driving that long. I know I am going to sound privileged when I say this, but I just don’t take car rides like that any more. If I am doing anything that long it usually is flying. Being blind I do find myself missing a long car ride and jealous of the fact I can’t just go where I want on a moments notice. Lyft and Uber are helping in that regard but it still isn’t great for going between cities.

 

It was a nice trip overall. I do find myself the more I am away from my parents I feel like the less they understand blindness or things they forget. Walking with them in stores was challenging because they’d often forget I was there. One comment that rubbed me the wrong way was my dad asked if I was going to get another dog? I said I don’t know. He said well your just much more independent now. I felt weird about that because I feel both a cane and dogs have different challenges but I am independent either way I go.

 

I am getting ready for CES 2020 I am going to las Vegas! I really hate that city lol its annoying. I am excited to see new tech though.

 

This one is pretty quick but I want to wish you all or if your from the south y’all a happy new year! Be safe and I will try to blog more and bring you more in the new year.

A new show about a blind girl plus a dog update

In my next post I am going to review 2 sets of headphones something i’ve wanted to do for a while. A few months ago my friend nick who works with a speaker company contacted me and asked me to review the Sony WXM3 Noise Canceling headphones. It will be here soon promise.

Recently I’ve been watching a show not because i like it, but I want to see how Hollywood portrays us. The show is called in to the dark got it? Dark meaning blind creative. This girl has a friend who sells drugs. THey start off by having her say I don’t feel faces that’s weird yet 10 seconds later her drug friend has her feel his face. I know shocking. I wish this stereotype could just die already. One night she goes for a walk and finds her friend dead, and how do she know? She recognizes his face when she touches it. Now i’m not a rocket scientist, but if I came across a dead body while out walking i ain’t touching it. In fact I’m calling 911 after I make noise I’m sure. I would not get down and touch it’s face. They have another episode where she leaves her dog with her friend and ends up geting hit by a car. Later on she says to the dog if i had you I woldn’t have gotten hit by a car. THis is so false and gives the image that the dog would have not lead her out in the middle of the street. You still have to be a cane user or you should at least have good O&M skills.

I do think they do a few things right. I think it really demonstrates loneliness really well. I remember growing up the only blind person in my school it was hard. Looking back the really tough times I felt somewhat like her. Kids used to be dicks and ask me if I ever drank from a toilet thinking it was a sink? Like I am a damn animal. These aren’t kids I just had met these are kids who I knew for 7 or 8 years. It does show her having meaningless sex because she feels undatable. In one episode she meets a blind girl who is like 13. The girl has her first period in school and she is mad not because the kids were mean to her, but the fact everyone treated her so polite because she’s different. I think that was actually pretty insightful and made me think and made me relate it to me. If you guys have any thoughts of the show if you’ve seen it feel free to let me know what you think.

I haven’t said much for a while. For a few reasons. One I’ve been pretty depressed. I mentioned that I started watching Rugby the nrl out of Australia. I ended up writing the sports announcer who I have learned the game from named David Morrow. I just told him thanks for painting that picture for me, and also for the rest of the fellows for making me laugh. I’m watching baseball a lot too, but I like being so far away I don’t hear about how much money they make or what political way they lean. That stuff is ruining sports for me I watch it to get away from all of that. I don’t thank play by play folks enough they really make the game for me.

Bancroft Abby’s guide has had two lumps removed. One was cancer the second one wasn’t. He is 9, and him and I have gotten pretty close. Keep him in your thoughts, but he is doing so well.

A few months ago I met with a friend of mine who I met when getting robin. We had dinner, and caught up. Talking with her I realized that getting a guide dog is like nothing else I have done. I have a hand full of people who I know just from doing that. I really do enjoy seeing them grow with dogs they get, and we become like a family. I enjoyed are get together it reminded me that nothing’s perfect. Things happen. I think Frasier is where he needs to be for him. I miss him every day still it’s like part of me is missing. When you decide to have that partnership it never stops just because it doesn’t work out. On my walk this morning to the bus stop I decided that I’m going back. I don’t know when yet, and for me I want to get in a bit better health shape, but I realize yeah I can do it with a cane, but I dont want to anymore. I am going to reapply at the Seeing-Eye because they do deserve that from me. I am not happy with how things were handeld, but I can let them know if they don’t already while I am there. I applied at another school, and was close to doing it, but I feel I owe it one more try to the Eye. I know how they train, and I know the process. I think we can get it right this time. I miss having something to look after and take care of. I’m getting lazy.

Is this thing still on?

It’s been a minute since updating you all on things. Life is going well. I’ve had some hip pains I’m having doctors look in to that’s slowed me down a bit. I can only sleep for about 4 to 5 hours and then I have to move which then after a day of work I am just tired and sleep in my chair during a game. I’m early 30’s going on 76. Abby is doing well we are getting along really well. This year rather than buy each other Christmas gifts we decided to buy one thing we could both benefit from. We decided a robot vacuum would be nice to have. I found the Neato d5 on special at Best Buy and ordered it. I ran in to a few hiccups along the way cleaning the dirt tray the first time took about an hour. I could disconnect the thing, but good god lining it back up to put it back in took forever. I am becoming a master with it though slowly and does an incredible job.

A few weeks ago we went and saw Jerry, Lee, and Frazier out in Bardstown. We spent a night and had tons of fun. We played rook where Lee and I took down Jerry and Abby. We had a bit of a losing streak and it calme down to the last hand but you know I’m clutch.

Abby got sick in the night and Frazier herd her up and came back with us. He jumped up and laid against me. He slept with me for about an hour then moved over next to Abby and helped her sleep. I forgot my hat when we left and Lee noticed him going in to there room and sniffing the hat a few times. I miss him, but he has a great family and loves them too. I applied at a new school so maybe getting a dog will happen for me next year, but Frazier will always have a spot in my heart. I hate the new application process to a new place where I have to prove I need a dog or show them how blind I am lol. I miss having a dog having Robin and Frazier keeps me moving and gives me something to take care of. Now I come home sit in my chair and fall asleep. With a dog I have to brush them play with them take them out. Plus they make the walk to work and home more enjoyable. My confidence is down a bit on one crossing I don’t like doing without a dog, but I am getting through it. I will keep you up to date on any news also where once it happens.

I got a new IPad Pro 12.9 well I traded my old one in for it. Unlike the videos saying it isn’t durable I disagree. Why the hell are you bending an IPad? I love the square feel I really want to use it naked all the time. Seriously it fits the palms of my hand so nice. I can’t get over that. I did pick up a new keyboard case they charge way to much for that. I gifted my old case to a co-worker. I like the new keyboard case, but it leaves the sides exposed which kind of sucks. I also am not a huge fan of the keyboard folding back in video mode it doesn’t feels as good as the previous generation. I do love the IPad and need it for work and having the cellular one really helps at conferences where they just show the WiFi on the board and never announce it for blind folks. The device is so fast it’s amazing. It’s faster than any IPhone out. I do wish they gave you access to files more like a traditional computer. One thing I love about my Android phone is I can connect a thumb drive right to it and view files or even gasp move a file from the drive to my phone. Apple really needs to figure this out. At the end of the day though this IPad does nothing my last couldn’t so sorry again Apple I’m growing bored. It’s still great as my laptop though. I don’t want Windows and Android tabs are awe full and not really supported I just wish the IPad had a few more computer like functions. Maybe the pad OS concept tech journalists are putting out there would be great. I updated because other than getting the new keyboard it didn’t cost me anything and I got a bit bigger storage this time I’d say pass if you have the second gen IPad Pro. The square body is so nice though have I said that already? Overall though the IPad Pro is still one of my favorite devices. I think with an Android phone and Apple tab you have the best of both worlds.

I willl sit down next time and write up a 3 month report and be honest on my switching from IPhone to Samsung. I think even for the sighted folks reading you’ll enjoy hopefully.

Abby and I went to Lexington on Gray hound to attend her great grandmas 100th birthday party. I had gotten sick the day before but didn’t want to miss it. It was a lot of fun. I know some of you have never been on a bus let alone in a gray hound station, but boy is it a hoot. This lady got on with us in Louisville and she had a 20 pound garbage bag of stuff plus a backpack. She said she had just gotten out of prison where she did 6 months. I just ease droppped but I wanted to know what she did? You people who can drive really don’t know how lucky you are. The smells of people I run in to are just awful. I do enjoy traveling though so when your blind you don’t have many options to go to smaller cities.

I’ve been reading a lot again. Abby likes to read and so we often read similar books her a lot more than me, but then we talk about them. A Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts is a really good book. I felt the ending was a bit rushed, but my god what a good book overall. I highly recommend this. I am going to CES in January in Vegas where I will put money on the national title football game of course. Also I will see some awesome tech. I will try and write up some things I see and fill you guys in. I have one day off where I can just get lost in it the rest I have to work.

7 years in Kentucky Y’all better consider me a Kentuckian now!

It’s hard to believe 7 years ago I took a job at Humana moving from Muncie to Louisville. At the time I wanted to do move somewhere new with an airport, and bus station. I know my wants are so low. Seriously though it was a struggle to get transportation besides friends out of Muncie. I wanted to try and chase a dream of being in radio, and I needed those things to try and do that.

I’ve always been a sports fan, and grew up thinking I could be in the NBA. Then my mom told me I had two strikes against me. One I was blind and 2 I was white. Now trust me I think if I were black I could have played damn it. Anyway when I moved here I liked both teams. I always thought the Kentucky Wildcats had a much better radio play by play announcer, but regardless I kept neutral.

It was 4 years ago roughly that my life and views on the world and people changed. I got a call that Ethan had killed himself. It changed me in several ways I try to tell people I love them and what they mean to me now. You never know when that last time will be. I would just come home from work and sleep. Reading was about the only thing I could do that took the numbing away.

I then got in to a radio showed called Kentucky Sports Radio with Mat Jones. It’s about sports, but it usually is the ridiculous banner that comes up that makes me enjoy it. For the first time in a month or so I could laugh again. I started really [pulling more for Kentucky. I got in to the teams that year loving the roster of guys for both Football and Basketball. In many ways it brought some new normalcy back for me.

I still have a hard time with the NFL. That was something Ethan and I shared the passion for and would talk about. I try to watch, but it hurts and that enjoyment isn’t there. Life is funny that way we all take the little things way to much for granted. I remember thinking at one point in my life no woman would come between me and my sports. I loved sports so much then Ethan dies and it’s tough to get through a NFL game.

Tonight Kentucky ended a streak of 31 years losing to Florida. I went to the game 3 years ago at Commonwealth and we should have won that game. Abby went last year I’d just got home with Frasier and decided that would be two much for him. They should have won that game, but fell short. Abby and I both until the end thought we may lose this yet, but when they won oh man we were both so happy.

Then I had to hear what Matt and the other fans thought. It made me so happy listening to folks who’ve gone for 30 years to games and finally got to celebrate. That’s the thing I like about Mat’s show. Most radio and Tv is based out of New York or has a national appeal but when you listen to Mat’s show it’s folks from this state who just love there team.

Anyway I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since taking that leap of faith that things would work out. Robin and I learned downtown, and then got a house. Now I have a wife it’s crazy how I’m becoming part of this wonderful city and state. Anyway I wanted to reflect on things tonight and I realize how fortunate things have been for me. Wrapping up go Cats!!! Also miss you bro I think about you still every day. Give Robin a hug up there,, and I’ll see you on the otherside.

Arms as big as a tree trunk

The other night Abby and I went to Acoustic Jam put on by WAMZ. This had 6 different singers at it, and I loved the format. They had 3 bands up at a time and they each played a song, and joked with one another. I really loved Mattie and Tae, Travis Denning, and David Lee Merfie. The concert was at a place I’d never been to called the Mercury ball room. According to the tickets there was no seating. Abby said they will find us a place to sit, because sighted folks are nervous about us standing. I said I don’t know, but sure enough we sat. I am not complaining we were out of the way and it was nice not to have to worry.

When we got to the venue this security guy came out and took us to a bench inside. I grabbed his arm and it was amazingly huge. I mean I couldn’t put my hand around his arm. My brother and dad have big arms, but god this guys arm well I’m going on and on like a school girl would. When your blind pretty much the only image you have of people is from feeling yourself and the handful of others along the way. I went home and pumped some iron I want Abby to be amazed by my arms lol. Whenever I hear Stern or guys gush about women part of me goes Christ haven’t you seen it all by now, but the part of being blind that is sad is truthfully everyone is different and we miss so much of that. It’s probably a gift and a curse all at the same time.

We had to leave a bit early since it was a work night. We couldn’t get anyone’s attention because it was loud in there. Abby grabbed my shoulder and I put my cane out in front of me. I hit several feet, but people move and were nice. I knew which way the door was, and moved towards it. A guy came up and said need an elbow? I said yes sir, and he navigated us the rest of the way outside. It was a great venue as are most in Louisville for assisting and not a bunch of confusion to help us get in and out.

I want to address a comment I heard recently, about blind folks being parents. I was on the bus talking about getting married to someone and I was asked if we wanted kids. I said no were older, and honestly I don’t have the energy for it. I love seeing others kids and loving on them, but it’s great when the house is quiet also. Someone recently mentioned you should want kids so they can take care of you. Dude I’m not 90 or in a nursing home. They then said yeah but they could make your life easier. Kids for the first 4 years first off do nothing but shit, cry, eat, and the other 1% do something cute. I actually got kind of offended with this comment. Help me? Make it easier? If Abby and I had a kid it’s going to be a kid. Does your 4 year old make your life easier somehow? Then it got worse the conversation that is. They said well once the kid grew up it could drive you around. Okay dip shit seriously that would be 16 years at the earliest and honestly I’ll have a flying car.in 20. I don’t even know where to start here. With Robin and Frasier I’d always hear some sighted folk go you take care of him don’t you? It always pissed me off. If I didn’t feed the dog, take it out to shit, or do the cleaning or maintaineding of the dog where it would it be? I feel like people think having a kid all most makes it a slave to the blind people which is just crazy! The blind parents I know take there kids to dance practices, soccer games, and anything else the kid wants to do. I don’t know where this kids taking care of a blind parent mentality comes from, but it needs to stop, because it‘ so absurd.

I am still not sure if I want to get another dog. The time away again, uncertainty if it will work any better than the last time, and the fact is I’m getting around fine. Yeah for sure when we go to Chicago I will miss what the dog provides,, but that’s random instances. I took a few Lyfts and Ubers this week, because I’ve been sick, and it’s been nice to get in not having to worry whether the driver is going to cancel or not which is sad, but if I’m being honest with myself it is nice. It’s been slower getting around, but I’m fine. I’ve encountered a blind person lately who is completely silly with her dog. She treats it as if the dog has choices which it shouldn’t have. She told her dog to sit 5 times before it did, and still gave it a treat. No corrections just acted as if giving a command five times before it listened was normal. These schools that don’t believe in corrections trouble me. Her dog was from a school out in California I think. Both Robin and Frasier if they didn’t sit when I said sit it was correction time.

I wanted to give a shout again to my teachers in the past. I was really lucky and had a teacher who taught me Braille, and knew the code herself. Ms. Tami taught me Braille when I was 4 years old. I remember her bringing over a rubber board and putting pins in it to represent the dots. I recently have witnessed and also told about kids who are graduating school knowing parts of the Braille code, but not all of it. I sort of have to be careful here, but I will speak my mind and be honest. I was somewhere doing a presentation on a product for work. A teacher asked me if rather than something being displayed in Braille could it be displayed in print? She said they struggle with reading braille. Wait what your a teacher of the visually impaired yet you yourself struggle with reading braille? How can you teach something to someone if you don’t know how to do it yourself? Tami taught me so much when I was really young on technology, and how to navigate things. The teacher then said she didn’t know how to use voiceover on the IPhone or IPad so she normally does something with it off then turns it on for the student. Again how do you teach this to a student? Tami Could use Win Vision or a scanning program she taught herself then me. If she couldn’t figure it out she called a company and learned. I’m sure there forcing kids on these teachers, but god you got to know the tools that can help these blind kids succeed. Maybe I need to get my masters and go help educate these kids I feel so bad for them, and the fact some of these teachers are earning a paycheck and don’t know braille or the technology these kids need.

I am really a technology guy, and I am trying to not continue to buy new things and just enjoy the ones I have. I had a HomePod but Apples wall garden started to annoy me. My Alexa can play MLB audio, Podcasts, call and message people, and more. My HomePod can only be used with Apple Music which I don’t want, and could Airplay. I just wanted a speaker that could do everything I wanted so that brought me to sell my HomePod on EBay and get a Sonos 1. I love it. I have Alexa built in, and plus I have Airplay 2 now. This speaker can do anything I need. Airplay put the Sonos over the top for me that was it’s one big drawback. If you have Android it still lacks Google cast, but maybe it will show up when the google assistant does later this year. If not sorry you have a inferior operating system. Hahaha just kidding. I’ve had it a week, and love the sound plus all the services that are integrated in.

Fireworks have different colors and images but year after year they have the same sound.

In a few days it will be July 4th! It’s weird I used to post articles of political nature to Facebook trash talk others and try to convince someone my opinion is right and they were wrong. Lol it’s so exhausting. Not to mention pointless. The older I get I do fear that people are so set in there thinking. I still try to remain balanced whatever that means anymore but people can’t sit and have a conversation anymore. I miss being able to hear ones side and than give my side and feeling okay that we think differently. I now feel if for example I am pro something someone automatically puts me in a box and I can’t think another way about something else. Obama becoming president I think started this polarization, and then Trumps took it to a new level where the media gives us nothing else anymore.

All that said blind people get worked up about things going away. Maybe changes are coming, but I’m so happy for the opportunities I have here, and I am so humbled at times. I was talking to a gentleman from India the other day, and he was telling me the Braille access issue in India. We put out a $449 Braille display, but he was saying in India for most to afford it we need to be around 100 dollars. I’ve always been fortunate to have Braille or audio at my disposal, and it’s important for everyone to have access to it. I think we get lost in chasing money or self worth, and we don’t stop and say how lucky we have it enough

Thank you. For me it’s all the mobility lessons when I was young from Ms. Tammi making me step outside my comfort zone and shop for her groceries. I just hope and wish we all could just stop and breathe a minute things we love are worth fighting for, but we need to remember were all human and all have different backgrounds.

I find myself struggling with the little things without a dog. Robin and Frasier would both put there paws on my feet during the work day. You can’t help but bump them as you work, but just knowing they were there made such a difference. If your having a bad day you’d feel them put a paw on your foot and you’d reach down and pet them and instantly everything got less heavy. I think I am having a bout of depression I sleep when I get home then I’m up at 3 in the morning. I don’t feel unhappy, but I feel my body dealing with the downs. Having a dog gives you that I have to take this thing outside and you gain responsibility.

Abby and I went to the movies, and she maneuvers people and objects while I feel clunky running in to things. I’ve been having this thought I should go to Dunkin Donuts and just have a donut and write or read some news. With my dogs I wouldn’t have thought twice, but since I haven’t been there I really am struggling with the layout and if I want to go explore or not.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel I am a great cane user, but the level I have to be at with it is perfect. If I’m off or maybe I have a cold or it’s windy instantly I feel more nervous and thoughts of should I go out come in to play. I remember in college I’d have days I felt fine, but I just didn’t want to have to deal with bumping in to people or interactions so I’d just not go to class. I don’t know why looking back on it I got so overwhelmed, but when getting the dogs it helped with those feelings.

I’m torn I do like the ability to jump in a Lyft or Uber and get to a location and go in without any hassle but then once I am there if its a new place I’m not as comfortable as I was with a dog if that makes sense. It’s like I’m constantly up or down and I can’t figure out what I want to do. Abby and I have been talking about going to Indy or Nashville or NYC for a weekend and it’s difficult for me to imagine doing it with a cane. Especially NYC maybe if I’m successful or not it will be the deciding factor if I go back for a dog or not.

One thing that makes me more and more nervous is people being able to take there dogs places. I’ve been reading about more and more work places being excepting of bringing your pet dog to work. As we become more relaxed in things of this nature I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for blind folks and guides. Maybe I’m overthinking things.

As I get older I things I found that were fun for me have changed. Fireworks now for me are all the same. Year to year the sound of them never changes yet the images colors etc. do. I used to love being at the county fair or going to one of the lakes listening to them. Now sighted folks make it worse by playing shitty soundtracks with the fireworks trying to have a theme. Why? I want to hear the boom it’s the only fucking enjoyment I get from these things and now your covering it up? Stop it! I love Thunder over Louisville because it is booming, but even they do it. I know some blind folks who use Aira to describe the fireworks but still if you’ve never seen color I’m not sure how cool that is. Since Louisville does Thunder in April July 4th here pretty much is nonexistent.

One thing about the 4th I loved as a teen my brother and I would buy fireworks and set them off. I learned to light them and run and get low to the ground. Once by myself I put a bottle rocket in a 2 leader bottle lit it and ran and dove. The thing shot right at me lol. What’s life if you don’t take risk’s? Happy Forth everyone! To the Canadians happy Canada day on Sunday!