Category Archives: Uncategorized

This one belong’s to Denny

The subject line is taken from Reds Radio. Whenever the Reds win a game Marty says and this one belongs to the Reds. I thought it was fitting. I hate writing these sort of posts, because they take me so long to do, and stir up feelings and emotion. I was taking a break from Facebook do to it killing my battery and also just the annoyance of it. I find myself for the last few hours refreshing reading comments and thinking. Closure is hard to find on something so unexpected. To get to here let me start in the beginning.

When I moved to Muncie to attend Ball State I met Carlos. He invited me to his and his girlfriends house for a Christmas party. This guy named Denny was there talking about how he couldn’t order food from a website. Me being a smart ass I asked him what screenreader he was using and he said Jaws. I said that’s your first problem it works with Window-Eyes. Man we laughed about that comment for years. I don’t know why I said it, but it just came out. Denny and I would go on to talk for hours. Literally in college I would call him at 11 and we would end at 4 am. Blind people never sleep lol or at least it is a struggle.

Denny was a big baseball fan. Every baseball season during spring training we would pick who we thought would win the world Series and who would finish where in the division. I’m going to miss shooting the breeze. He was so excited about what the Reds were doing this offseason.

We started this tradition where he would come down and we’d watch opening day together. It started because one year the Reds played the Bats I think it was in 2013. Denny, Robin and I all went to the game. It had rained and was like 48, but the wind was blowing. The more we told the story the colder it was lol. Seriously though I froze, and Robin started shaking against my leg so I took off my jacket and put it around her. They played 7 innings and then called the game. I remember we’d get a pizza and sit and watch games. Usually we would watch the Cubs and Reds and than anything else that looked good. The last time he came down for opening day Abby made dinner for us. I think they had 3 games on a Sunday and then real opening day was Monday. I just remember the 3 of us sitting outside, because it was nice all playing dice world on are phones listening to the Yankees game talking about batters and anything else that came up.

I feel in life you meet a few people who help you become better as a person. For me not in any order it would be Carlos, Ethan, Phil, Steve, and Denny. Anyone of those guys I could talk for hours too and just be me. I had a lot of depression and anger I think looking back on it during my younger years and Denny helped me he understood. When I drank to much and had alcohol poisoning in college he understood and when I struggled with just being treated differently from piers he got it.

He was always a helpful guy. I was searching for an email for something unrelated and I found emails he had sent to me years ago. Some for assistance in switching screenreaders some just a link with hey we talked about this yesterday what do you think of this article? He also had a hearing impairment which he never really complained about. I always admired him for trying his best. Being blind and partially deaf had to be tough.

One time I met him and his daughter to see an art project she was working on. We were walking through the building and some lady said it’s cool you bring your son to these events. Not missing a beat Denny said I know thank you. From that moment on I’d randomly call him dad. He was about my dads age minus a few years so it worked. I think the last several times we talked he knew how much I loved him. Well I’d be proud to be his son, but I got to be won of his best friends so that is pretty cool.

Yesterday it was so pretty, and Abby and I went for a walk. I’ve been struggling to sleep lately my clock is screwed up again blind people suck at sleeping. I sleep when I don’t want to and can’t sleep when I do lol. Anyway after the Kentucky game I told Abby I was going to go sleep for a bit. About 11 she woke me up letting me know she had read Denny had died earlier in the day. It’s crazy I texted him about 8 this morning. It’s the funny thing about life is you just never know. Thankfully he didn’t suffer, but I talked to him recently. The Older I get the more I try to let people know you know what it was great hanging out or seeing you. I’m probably annoying or more emotional about it than I would normally be, but you never know when that last meeting will be. In my life as most I’d say I’ve had to say good-bye to early to friends to much it seems. Anyway I’m pretty emotionally tired of writing now. The funny thing is I just purchased a Jaws license Friday, and was going to tell Denny about it so he could have a good laugh. Thank you for all the memories, and I’m going to miss you my friend. Baseball won’t be the same without being able to call you, and complain about how they’re ruining the game. They don’t need clocks in baseball. Love you dad I hope this makes you proud.

I will leave you with one unrelated story. I got in a Lyft Friday to go to work, and the driver and I started chatting. He said last night at the women’s Louisville game the national anthem was so emotional. He said a blind kid about 8 years old belted out the anthem in all red in her Louisville gear. I said well I can’t believe her parents would lie to her she thought she had UK stuff on I’ll forgive her. He didn’t know what to say. Lol I love catching people off guard. On a side note the news reported that an 8 year old blind girl sang the anthem at the game. Why does the news have to put the fact she’s blind in the story? I haven’t heard her sing yet, but if it’s amazing then just let her be 8. I digress maybe one day.


Bose Frames helped me make a friend

I must first start off with I’m typing this on a new product. I’m using a Microsoft Surface Go. I know I praised the all mighty iPad before, but I’ve been playing with this thing for about a week, and I love it. I sold my pro on Ebay Friday. Microsoft has done a great job with making Windows accessible out of the box. I’m experiencing nostalgia with the Surface. I remember being in college lugging a heavy computer around that got hot on my legs while using it, and to feel this device and see it’s smaller than my iPad pro was is amazing. Apple really does need to figure out easier ways to share files and give you a file explorer. I feel like to simply get a file off of the device it would take one 10 minutes to figure out what programs the two of them had to get said file from one person to another. Apple folks are really sensitive though. A friend of mine says the processor sucks on the Surface go, and sure it isn’t a Cadillac, but this horse manure Apple feeds you each year is tiring. Is the new chip in the Pad impressive? Maybe. It’s running a mobile operating system enough said. The Surface is full Windows no comparison. When your pad can run MAC OS we can talk.

Is windows perfect hell no as a tablet d the Surface has a lot to be desired, but I like the fact it let’s me use Word and play some audio games the IOS devices don’t have. It is sad though as a blind person I’m playing 20-year-old games. Not because I want too, but not many new games are being made to play that are worth it.

I got these Bose Frames to play with and test. It’s crazy, but they have helped me make some friends. I’m a chatty fellow normally, but people often avoid me it feels like. For example, I have a bus driver I see every morning. He weirdly grabs my hand to show me where the ticket box is even though I do this task every day, but whatever I just hope he washes. Anyhow I always greet him good morning. He normally grunts at me. On the day I first had the frames on he said nice glasses! I said thank you and I’m going for a more vintage blind guy look. He laughs and says you have jokes. Something if he had spoken to me in the last 3 months he’d know already. Anyway, he continues to talk to me the entire trip to work. I pulled the bell for my stop, and he continued to talk as I exited. The glasses were cool, because I was able to check my GPS without him knowing. I also used them while sitting at church while Abby was practicing. I had them on watching You on Netflix, and 2 or 3 people walked by and had a brief conversation with me not knowing I had sunglasses that were playing music. I really did enjoy them, but they have a few flaws. The first is to turn them off you have to take them off and turn them upside down. Okay fine, but with only a 3-hour battery life you should give me a power button option. Also, my ears hurt or felt fatigue after using them. I did get in to a discussion with a friend of mine who is a doctor. He told me when giving lectures he wears his lab coat, because over the years he’s learned most don’t know how to identify when he isn’t. He said most folks are just used to seeing a blind person with sunglasses and when they don’t encounter what they have pictured it makes them nervous.

I mentioned earlier I sold my iPad well I got in to a conversation with the buyer where I mentioned I was blind. They wrote back saying that they were sorry that I was blind. I always feel weird when someone mentions this. Why are you sorry? You don’t even know one thing about me rather than somehow picturing the best they’re automatically sorry. For example just because your sighted doesn’t mean your living a wonderful life. Should I start asking about your financial situation or job? I just find it strange your first thought is to say your sorry.

I’m debating leaving Facebook soon. I keep going back and forth on it. On one hand I enjoy seeing new things about people. On the other hand I can’t stand the political shit. No matter who your for I miss the old Facebook where it seemed like I was being political. Lol seriously I learned your not going to change anyone’s mind, and rather than be upset or irritated I could just do away with it. I deleted the app from my phone, and magically my battery is doing better. Facebook never came up in apps that were using battery mainly because I never left it open, but it is pretty astonishing the difference deleting it has made. The other thing is the mobile website and the desktop website are frustratingly bad. For a website and app as popular to be so bad is astonishing. Most I’m sure view it on a phone or tablet and never actually see the full version. Here’s a word of advice don’t.

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.


The last 2 weeks have been rough. I’m learning to use my cane again, and I hate that. I feel like a pinball bouncing off of things. Even when Robin was here I used to go a few places with my cane where I know it would be hard for her like basketball games once I started having people to go with. When I would go before by myself I would take her to have company, and I could usually feel more comfortable with her there. When Abby and I go we usually take our canes and sit in the cheap seats, because we can see the same from the 200 dollar seats as the 20 dollar seats.
Abby and I did Christmas where I got her jewelry, and a Chicago Cubs hair scrunchy. I think I did well. She got me some QC 35’s which I love, an Amazon backpack which I was wanting to go back and forth with from my house to hers, and finally a wind chime for Robin. She wrote me this really neat peace she wrote from Robin’s prospective. I will put it in below. That made me tear up and really made my day.
I got her ashes back Friday. I was so happy to get them. The box she is in is beautiful. It has engraved flowers I can feel and it’s a solid nice piece of wood. She also is heavier than I expected. Somehow the paw print was lost I was a bit bummed, but just having her back cheered me up. I think the hardest part of death has been you realize we have little control of what actually happens. I had this fantasy that I would work Robin until next summer then I would retire her, and she’d be here a few more years. The reality obviously didn’t work out that way. Anyway here is what Abby wrote thank you babe for being there and being so creative. The part about Boston Blacky made my day I listen to an episode every night, and have done so since moving to Louisville it relaxes me.
Dear Daddy,
I am lightly waving my tail around as I write this for you, so excuse the errors if you find them. 
I wanted to tell you, that I had an amazing life as your dog. I mean, listen.! Who else gets to guide the most amazing dad around, get to know and love his big family, (Grandma was my favorite), and do anything and everything that I as a german shepherd couldn’t possibly ever think about. There was college, which I truly made my mark. I met your friends, took you to class even on those days when I thought we should stay in bed and cuddle, I met silly girls who always made a huge fuss over me, I think it was because I was so pretty, and countless other things. I guided you through uhuge places where they played baseball, (Wait, what is that thing called again?), oh.. baseball. That was always your favorite. However, I have to ask you a question. Why in the world did we ever go to see any type of ball game that would cause me to shiver? I mean seriously dad, My poor coat wasn’t even keeping me warm that day!! Brrrrrrr!!!!!! I do remember though, that you took me inside of your coat and lap and held me close so I could warm up enough to guide your happy cold drunk butt out to our ride later on that day.. Thank you so much!!! J
As time went on, you grew up some, and I so elegantly matured. My guiding skills got better and before I knew it, you were working a job that payed money that bought me food and toys. This made me so happy. I had endless amounts of food and I liked that. 
I hated those times you left me. I loved staying at Grandma’s house though. I made such a noise when she would enter my line of vision. Who cared how far away she was, but that lady just melted my heart… I even bit her once or twic. I couldn’t contain my excitement and plus, I forgot to close my mouth from smiling. So, that was the logical thing to do!!!!
Some years later, we moved to this place and I made more doggy friends and more human friends. We got into a pattern, work, parra transit, seeing one of your silly girlfriends, and then it was cuddle time! I loved cuddle time the best because I learned that in order to get your attention, I just had to flop into your arms and that always made you smile.
Eventually, I met this girl you said was my mommy. I loved her because she taught me how to eat candy. How come you never taught me to eat candy? Seriously daddy, it’s the most amazing thrill that my doggy mouth ever had!!! I loved it when I would sneak myself a piece when we were going home from Mommy’s. You told me to “drop it” and I didn’t ha ha ha ha ha! Can’t you just hear my inner laughter? I know I can.
Finally, I got really sick. I couldn’t eat, or drink much. My tummy hurt me so much, but I couldn’t nor did I want, to tell you this. I wanted to keep living for you, for us. I wanted to keep on going to work with you, and getting treats from your boss and laying under your desk, listening to you talk to the most annoying people ever. I loved it because while you were stressing out, I was off in doggy dreamland growling at other dogs who weren’t shepherds.
I tried my best to be the dog you wanted me to be and I know you loved me so much. This sickness that I now know was something called “cancer” hurt me, and you made it all better sometimes with medicine. However, I still hurt, so you sent me to live at rainbow bridge for a while. I am not mad at you daddy. You did the best you could. God says that where I am, you will be at some point. This kind of life that I shared with you is only temporary. I hate that word, temporary. Well, whatever that means, I’ll be waiting for you. 
Before I go for now, I wanted to leave you with a few doggy thoughts.
1. Don’t get to used to not having anyone to take out and feed. If you decide to get another “me” I will visit them and teach them your habbits.

2. Be happy. Don’t mourn for me long. Where I am, is a doggy’s paradise. I eat when I want, and eat what I want. Here, I have no pain, and my cancer is all gone. I run and play with other dogs, and I sleep in the softest bed ever. The god up here even puts on some Boston Blackie for me to go to sleep to.

3. Be good to yourself. You did what was best for me, and you gave me the best life I could have. You loved me unconditionally and for that, I thank you. Be kind to yourself because you did what was best for me. I am glad There is no pain anymore. 

4. Taking naps under trees is the most acceptable way to nap off a hangover.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Sorry for the long wait but I was parking my car

I haven’t written in a long time. Let me get you up to speed where things are. Also Happy Thanksgiving y’all.
Abby and I have been together more than a year now. Every day we get closer, with us and the two dogs we have are little family. One of my favorite trips we did so far is we went to Lexington to watch a Cats basketball game together. It was last year and they were playing LSU. I’ve gone before but usually with someone sighted who would drive me. We caught the bus here in Louisville and got to Lexington. Once there we caught a Uber to the game. We left the dogs with Jerry and Lee because we didn’t have accessible seating and I didn’t want them to get stepped on.
The funniest thing happened in Lexington. After the game we waited for the usher to help us out to the front. In Louisville usually you get one person, but there they are mainly volunteers so you get handed from one person to another until you get to your destination. Once we were in the elevator heading out the guy asked us where we parked? We advised him we took Uber and would catch it in the front. We went to a restaurant that was a former church made in to a pasta place. The bar was actually where the preacher would have stood. Anyway when we were leaving a guy grabbed my hand and helped me down the stairs being over protecting making sure I wouldn’t fall. He then goes where did you guys park? In my head I’m thinking seriously you registered I was blind, but now you’re going to help me to my car to drive Abby home? No wonder are streets are so scary. We left dinner with a few hours to wait for the return bus to Louisville and we learned they lock the station so we went over to a Burger King. I called a Lyft to go to the bus station when time and the driver showed up but we couldn’t find him so I called him. I advised I and my girlfriend are blind and we couldn’t see him. He said what? I repeated I’m blind and can’t see him. You’re BLIND? He yelled it or had a weird sounding voice. I said yes sir he was really cool actually once we were in the car. It turns out the Burger king was about 500 feet from the bus station so I tipped him nicely for his troubles. Lexington was fun just watch out they think blind people can drive which when you think about it is I guess cool we can do anything else I guess.
Robin has had a rough year. I took her to the vet last weekend and she either has Irritable bowel disease or cancer of the intestine. If she has the cancer she has a year roughly to live. If it is the IBD then not so serious, but it is still so hard to watch her age. She has lost 16 pounds since last November which scares me. Now that it is getting colder I will wake up in the night and she will jump up on my bed and cuddle against my legs. I cherish every moment like this. One morning I had a hard time getting up and she raised her head up and gave me a lick on the cheek that got me moving it was like she was saying hey daddy stop being lazy. I have her on a new food that she is eating every ounce of so I’m hoping it will put some weight back on her. When I touch her back and go towards her tail it just makes me so sad to see how much she has thinned out. We still play but only certain times. She likes to get on my couch when I’m in the chair and she is 10 so I’m okay with that. We’ve been through so many battles together. Trying to get gigs on radio and TV going from city to city in the last year or so we’ve really settled down. I know she can’t travel and do the things we once did and I’m excepting that for her. We don’t do a lot of street crossing right now because my work isn’t in a walking friendly area so it works out that she still comes with me If that changes I will retire her. She has stayed home more than normal and she has begun chewing the hair off her legs the vet told me it’s a behavioral thing acting out because of changes so truthfully I know she would be right beside me if she could be. I’ll never forget we were crossing an alley when I lived downtown and she stopped and backed up suddenly, and that’s when I heard a car backing out. A second later and I would have been hit. When you are a team it is so rough and so hard to see them getting older. To some she is a dog, but for me it’s more than that we have this bond that I’ve never shared with anything else. Robin you’re the best and thanks for your years of work, and also thank you to the Seeing-Eye for matching us.
Next year on the docket is Abby would like to go to Chicago to see the World Series champs!!! Yes I can say that the Chicago Cubs!!!! I cannot believe they did it. It was a really emotional night my grandpa Hoyer got me in to the Cubs, and listening all those years baseball is unlike any other sport. I’m hoping to take Abby to Wrigley. This year we went to a lot of Bats games they were fun except one which the radio was on a delay so people are cheering and were 2 pitches behind. Thankfully they fixed it for the final game. I miss baseball already. Were also going to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill here in Louisville. Finally so far we have tickets to see Aaron Lewis in Feb which I am so excited for. I will try to write more things are just really busy.

One year later and other thoughts

A year ago I got news my friend Ethan committed suicide. The news completely rocked my world. The next few months I’d just wake up at 2 or 3 and just cry. I may have a dream about him hearing him and then wake up realizing he was still gone. When it first happened all I could do was read. About a month in I started listening to Mat Jones Kentucky Sports Radio podcast and when I could catch it live on the radio. Honestly go read the day after Kentucky lost to Wisconsin and you’ll see my heartbreak. Watching them was like this mask so to speak. I cope with these things by watching sports, because it’s the one thing that has always been there. I still really can’t watch the NFL much I am trying this year, because I know Ethan wouldn’t want me not to watch it’s just hard.
I’ve heard so many things talking with friends that try to help but most didn’t know him and most don’t understand suicide. I’ve heard things like I don’t know why people would do such a thing? That just pisses me off quite frankly, because your not in that persons shoes. To me actually doing it is probably a real courageous act. It might not be the best thing, but it takes guts. To be in that much pain and whatever. I stopped talking about it around most, because I didn’t want to hear there ignorance.
I don’t wake up crying anymore, but I do think about him and wish he could still be here. I think about texting him about a Colts trade, or to laugh about something that would have been an inside joke and then let my phone fall back down.
Saying goodbye was the hardest for me. I remember the funeral seemed like a dream I couldn’t get awake from. You never picture saying goodbye to your best friend when he was 27. You never think this will be the last time we texted or talked. I cherish every memory I have of him, and I lost someone who no matter what I could count on if I needed something.
I wrote a memory about him, and it pained me to do so. I didn’t think it would be hard to share something, but I found it hard to focus on one thing or one instant. Here I share pretty personal feelings, but even now I am holding back a bit. I think about him every day, and I don’t think that will change. He always included me which I found special looking back a lot of people don’t so yeah.
I was going to write 2 posts, but I feel like shit. My throat hurts and my head is aching. Small problems I know. This weekend I went to the Kentucky game with Robin. When I got there the seat I had bought wasn’t big enough for her to fit down in between. I panicked because I requested special for accessible seating. They told me everything was sold out, but they had room in a box. I got up there and it was amazing. They had free hotdogs and soda. It had it’s own bathroom, and about 18 other people who knew I didn’t belong. No one really talked to me so that was a bummer. I did meat Rodger the concession guy we talked most of the night. On one play in particular I tossed my radio in front of me a little hard and it flew in to the wall. This lady came over and said here I think this is yours? I said thank you and couldn’t think of a disability I could claim to blame it on. The radio still worked Tom came over it just fine. Kentucky’s quarterback completed 8 passes the entire game and yet they still had a shot to win on the last drive. Overall I enjoyed the box, but I missed being in the noise. There were windows, but not quite the same.
Finally I will talk about this girl I met named Abby. We’ve been hanging out the last few weeks, and things are going really well. With her things are just really chill. I mean like I’ve always felt like I’’ve put in work and the other half has come up short or taken advantage of my kindness. I really like joking with her, and I’m excited to see where things go. I am taking things one day at a time, but I really enjoy spending time with her. She actually watched the entire football game and is catching on really quickly. I am planning on taking her to Lexington to watch a basketball game this year she loves the basketball team. The bus I took this time was real smooth and I was able to connect with a bus in Lexington that got me to the stadium.
I might as well say this now I had a job interview in Nebraska but thankfully I didn’t get the job. It would have been working with blind people something I want to do again soon. I just couldn’t imagine leaving Louisville and my home. The older I get the less diserable that becomes. I was freaking about everything moving Robin again, learning a new city, and what the hell to do with my house? Things work out though.
Before I go I just wanted to say hold those close to you tight. Even if you fight say I love you and hug them more, because you never know when the last time will be. I got let down by the Colts and Packers exit last year, but if the Cubs win the world series this year I know you played the best card up there sir. I’ll never replace him there will always be a spot for him no matter how many years pass. I loved the person he was and the prints left by him. I’ll see him again one day, and he can by me drinks pretending there from women to get me drunk and feel better about myself. I miss you buddy.

Blind Odyssey part three final chapter

Day 3 was interesting to say the least. I woke up at 6:45 because I don’t really know why. I slept like a rock I forgot my melatonin, but the few hours I got were great. Robin was wining so I put on my shoes and took her out. We went to a nice little place for breakfast.
Denny and I need to find a way to podcast 96 percent of are conversations are funny the other 4 you wouldn’t care about. Anyway he has been telling me I care way to much about things so I am trying to relax. I thought this was cool but for breakfast she took me to this painting and coffee thing. Now I am not a great painter, but I made it work. She held my hand and we brushed together. While she wasn’t holding my hands I painted where ever I wanted. It’s safe to say her half looked better. It was a lot of fun though. I let her keep it. She traced my finger along the canvas once it dried and she made the city of Toronto. She said she wanted me to feel how it was shaped. It was beautiful, and I thought really sweet.
After that we went back to the hotel, and she left to get a change. She didn’t want to show up to work in the exact thing as yesterday. I had a meeting a friend of mine arranged at a station so I went over to that. It ran way long, because I was recording a radio thing. Anyway I met Monica back at the Jays game. It was a crazy game the parts I got to see. I had to eave early so I missed the ending my scores alerts tell me they lost. I wished Monica well and told her she made the trip a lot of fun. She hugged me and we kissed and I left. Truthfully I’m not good at these things at all. Maybe are paths will cross again maybe not, but she helped me realize things about myself. I think we can be are worst critics. As people we tend to group bad events and let them dictate how we view things. I’ve been on a lot of bad first dates, and have had crazy things happen and it was nice not to have that. Whatever the future is I will be patient and stop looking for it because if loves meant to be it’ll find me. That’s what I’m taking away from this experience. See Denny I do listen to you. Happy fathers day to you, Phil, and my dad. I sent my dad a text on Verizon which means I sent a international text I’m sure that will cost me. Oh well nothing will ever cost as much as when I was voting for Sanjia on American Idol in college I learnt the meaning of a $2 text. Thanks Howard Stern. haha I wanted to go see the Niagara Falls, but didn’t make it there. Meeting Monica my plans changed quickly. The flight home was great. No one really bugged me about Robin the entire time it was really smooth. Well I guess now it’s back to work….

Blind odyssey trip part one

I wanted to give you the most personal account of what I have to do when traveling. I’m sure being sighted you may do some research on the area, but that’s probably about it. When I first settled on Toronto I had to do a few things. The first was to make sure I could bring Robin I alluded to that earlier so I will skip it. I called the hotel to see a few things like are there restaurants with in walking distance and or a bus stop close. Now this even if someone says yes doesn’t always tell me what I need to know so you have to sometimes hope for the best. What I mean by this is when I went to Denver I asked if there was anything in walking distance and he said oh yes a bbq place next door. What he didn’t tell me was that for a sighted person yes it would be easy, but for a blind person not so much. To be fair he wouldn’t have any idea so I wasn’t mad but it can be frustrating. To walk to that bbq place I had to climb a fence to do it by walking. There was no sidewalk that lead over there. They were actually really nice though both places and I made it with some assistance.
Anyway back to current times. My biggest concern was getting cellular data for my GPS. I actually want to disconnect a little from the net while I’m here, but I need data to find my way around. I had to call Verizon and unlock my phone for overseas travel. I then had to contact Rogers communications to get what I needed here. Everyone pretty much has to do that though so that’s not nothing unordinary. I use this app called blind square to navigate with it’s my favorite. What it does while walking it announces your next cross street. You can also look around by pointing the phone and seeing what is near. It’s been a game changer for sure. Sometimes having that confidence of knowing your crossing the correct street helps you relax a bit. That’s pretty much all I did to get ready to come here, once I landed it’s been just me blind exploring and asking for directions if I get lost.
The flight went well Louisville is always nice, and they actually bumped me to first class so Robin could have more room. They usually do this if they can which I really enjoy. Not because I’m first class but rather so we both have some room. The stewardess and I had a good conversation she asked me about Robins training, and we laughed a lot about some entertainment stuff. She brought me 2 free beers which was nice of her. Anyway once I landed I stayed in my seat until a worker assisted me to where I was going to catch my bus to the hotel. The person didn’t talk much, and he did help me find a relief area for Robin. I got on the bus and told the driver where I needed off and turned on blind square to watch the cross streets we were crossing as he drove. Not that I know anything about the city, but I did have what cross streets I needed. I got off and got inside to the desk. I asked if they had a room that would be close to a landmark or something easy for me to find? They did the first down a hall. The person showed me where it was, and I asked to show me where the thermostat was, as well as the soda machine. Once they did that I had pretty much what I needed for now.
I unpacked feeling a bit nervous, because the easy part was over. I am now in a city where I really know where nothing is. Well it can be overwhelming. I did have 2 beers, but I don’t often drink when traveling on my own, because it’s stressful enough. I will probably drink at the hotel bar later, because that’s easy I do not want to drink and have to walk home on the streets that’s not a good idea. Anyway I thought I was staying in Rogers stadium, but I wasn’t. My hotel was a few blocks away. I fed Robin, and went back to the desk to ask where a good spot to take Robin out to the bathroom would be? A girl showed me, and I asked are there any trash cans near so she showed me that too. So far everyone I’ve encountered was really helpful not normal. haha
I left the hotel asking the desk person if my directions were fairly accurate? He said yes. I got out on the street and man it was busy. Robin did so well though it’s why I love her. We walked at are normal pace. It was 64 which in Louisville all week it’s been in the 90’s so I bet it felt really good to her. I just love that feeling of passing people or feeling her somewhat hold up for someone cutting us off, or maybe someone slower. I wish you all could feel that feeling once. Granted I don’t really wish that, because you’d have to be blind but it really is an amazing feeling. The entrance was hard to find exactly or at least know if I was on track. I heard people going off to my right so I did the same. I found a ball park worker thankfully, and asked him for assistance to my seat. he radioed someone, and so I waited. A lady named Monica came and showed me to my seat. She gave me her cell number and said if I needed anything I could text her which blew me away. I’ve gone to several bakl parks, and no one has ever done that. Basically usually once they get you to your seat you have to either ask a fan to give you some directions or find an usher. I sat down and just listened to the ball park. It’s my favorite time because I try to hear as much as I can.
About the third inning I wanted a hotdog, but wasn’t going to bother Monica, so I stood up and an usher quickly approached me. It was a little weird, but I welcomed it, because honestly I would rather have people be to helpful rather than act as if I didn’t exist. I have to worry about so many things if someone makes it a bit easier than fine by me like Mel said I have nothing to prove to anyone. I followed the usher and got a hotdog it was nothing that stood out, but I do enjoy a great ball park hotdog.
The game was amazing. I’ve been lucky to see great players, but I really enjoyed watching Adam, and Jose. The Jays had a no hitter going in to the 8th which was cool I was excited because I was witnessing history. It wasn’t meant to be though and the Orioles broke it up in the 8th. It ended up being 5-4 and a really good game. I loved the atmosphere of the park. I engaged with a few fans around me, but mainly tonight I kept to myself. When I stood up to get my hotdog some people said oh theres a dog here? It always makes me feel good when someone didn’t know Robin was even there.
Leaving I didn’t have to call Monica she came back and assisted me out. Once I got back on the sidewalk I made my way to a sports bar, and got a burger. It was kind of loud in there, so I didn’t stay long. I made my way back to the hotel, and got in to my room. I took Robin off harness, and we played for a bit. they had these long pillows I think you put them under your butt or legs but anyway I took them and robin would try to jump on it while I swung it. She had fun with it I don’t know what made me even do that.
Day one was successful so tomorrow I am going to the aquarium, ball game, and then a brewery. I’m excited, and I will write part two and hopefully give you an understanding what it’s like traveling. I’ve not done well with this, because things I do naturally now I don’t think is important to say. I didn’t bring a jacket which may have been a mistake. It’s crazy how fast your body reacts to heat change. I couldn’t sleep so I woke up at 4 and started writing. Robin is sleeping next to me it’s a king bed, so she got up here and curled up by my legs.  So quick update I couldn’t figure out why my texts are not sending I just did because when I got my Sim card from a Canadian provider I have a new phone number in Canada. My American things are not working. I researched Verizon data plan and it was crazy expensive this I have to get a data for around $25. 

Rest in peace Kevin

Kevin and I met during a radio wish contest. He wrote the station I was working part time for, and said his dream was to go to a Kentucky game, but he was in a wheelchair, and was going through rounds of dealing with cancer. I took the assignment and ran with it taking him to the game. The company I worked for paid for the travel and the seats. When I met him he was doing well he was confined to a wheelchair recently because of his body being weak from the treatments, but as I got to know him I realized how strong he really was.
For years secretly especially in my teens I dealt with survivors guilt. I used to think to myself I somehow made it through and beat the odds, but why? I know it’s kind of weird, but when I would get depressed those things would come out. It was a luxury getting to know Kevin, and looking back he’s had an influence on how I view things now.
The last time we spoke he knew things were getting bad. We just talked about sports, and then he said to me “you’ve grown in the 2 years I’ve known you, and I hope you continue to do so.” Most people look at me and feel sorrow, but with you didn’t see that you just treated me for me and didn’t have any expectations. If I was having a bad day you dealt with it and we moved on. I couldn’t quote all of that, but it was close. His final thing to me was I know Mat Jones helped, but I’m glad you’re on the Kentucky wagon now. I’ll never forget when I called him explaining that I was becoming a Kentucky fan. After the Wisconsin game we didn’t call or text each other for two weeks. We had to heal. We never mentioned it actually.
My favorite memory was one day Kevin and I were talking about Valentine’s Day. He told me it had been a few years since having a date, and with him in a wheelchair and with cancer he just never felt up to try to date. I told him we should go to Yum for the game. He was nervous, because at this point he was really weak, and he said well you’re going to have to help me more than normal is that okay? I told him its fine, and we’ll make it work. The game was a blow out, but we just sat talking about how the team looked, and music. He was at his weakest, but I made him laugh, and took him to a normal place. We’d talk about the song Elephant by Jason Isbell which is probably in both of are opinions the greatest song depicting cancer ever.
I’m sad today, because I lost a great friend. However he lived a great life impacting everyone he met. Today there are people here from several states some doctors and nurses that spent a lot of time with him the past several months. He would tell me I want you to speak at my funeral you’d be great at it. I’ll leave you with two remaining thoughts one quote one observation. “I need people who look at adversity as a challenge and failure as a learning opportunity.” That is from coach Cal. Kevin was always a person I could call after a failure, and we could laugh. I remember calling him after a recent bad first date. He told me it’s hard for people to understand something different. I I went to being a normal kid to being in a wheelchair, and that was hard. Things that I used to do have become challenging and now at times it seems all most impossible. All we can do is do the best we can that’s all god asks of us. I find that statement to be peaceful and humbling. Please say a prayer with me. God has a new angel today. 


Don’t worry I haven’t forgot about you guys on the blog. Sorry I’ve been busy well that’s kind of a lie more like lazy at night. I’ve been going home falling asleep at like 7 then waking up about 11, and then I can’t sleep for a few hours. I watched American Sniper last night, and liked it. I also saw Tayler Swift on Tuesday for the first time and of course I loved that. I was a little out of my element, because I’m pretty sure I may have been the oldest single person there, but I just shook it off. A girl behind me kept screaming the entire time like this awful high pitch shrill I think I might just be getting to old for that kind of stuff.
I started a video blog on my Facebook which I’m having mixed emotions about. On one hand I love it because I’m broadcasting again, but on the other hand I’m broadcasting again. With writing I can make a point and really bring you in when your broadcasting it’s harder to do that. I had some critics that thought I was angry. Maybe I was. I don’t think I’m angry about things just more frustrated. I sent the video to my friends Denny and Opie 2 people who’ve been around radio for a long time asking them if I was over thinking the response. Denny said being blind himself he could see where I was coming from, but someone who isn’t familiar which is like 99% of the world may not understand. Opie just said I’ve made progress from my first to second, and he was glad to see I was getting back in to broadcasting of any kind real helpful Opie thanks. Hahaha
I would never change anything about myself and I don’t really think about not being able to see. It’s more in moments like I’ve stated here before like a wedding day or kids being born etc… Being blind is all I’ve ever known, so if they said to me tomorrow we could do something that brings back light perception do you want to do it? I don’t think I would. The cancer I had destroyed so much it would be an invasive surgery, and as far as any restoring sight at this point they have nothing significant. For those who have some and it restores a bit they are really just grasping on to what they can get. That might sound mean but truthful. I’d have to learn everything over, because I know something by touch but not by sight if that makes since.
In college Ethan, Whitney, and I had a conversation about how I don’t belong with one group of people that I can get along with all most anyone. That’s pretty true still today. I like it because it makes things interesting, but sometimes keeps you from truly belonging anywhere. I was talking with a football player once from Ball State and he told me Sweetness that was my nickname back then. Anyway he said you’re the first blind person I’ve met. I’m 22 and that trips me out. I think we have to remember at times and it can be hard that I might be the only blind person you’ve seen or are friends with. In the video cast I talked about someone calling me amazing, and I was referring to a trip I made to Walmart on Tuesday to pick up some allergy medication. I went to the customer service desk and waited on assistance like normal. When the lady came up to assist me to pick up a few items I needed this lady comes up and says I wanted to tell you that you amaze me. I didn’t really know how to respond. I said thank you. In my mind I was thinking I’m just shopping for allergy medication I is not doing anything great. Then later on after complaining about it on the video cast I thought to myself I don’t know what’s going on in that woman’s mind. Maybe she was losing sight, or a family member was. People’s perceptions especially in the older peoples realm is so convoluted. I get it though. Anyway maybe I was some inspiration to her so maybe I shouldn’t let every little thing bother me, and see things from other sides I try to, but when you’re getting allergy medication I guess the last thing I expect is to be told I’m amazing.
Mel was telling me today her and her husband were talking about my dating life and the crazy things that have happened. I think what frustrates me the most is that people look at you and go okay this is what you can’t do, but they don’t stop and think what can you do for me? True I’m not going to be the guys that you’ll watch run a NASCAR race, but that doesn’t mean I can’t provide something else for you. I think as humans were taught to find a specific set of traits. For men they want that supermodel type or a woman who does “women” things. I’ve talked to men who are threatened when a woman is the bread winner, and might not cook for example. I’ve talked about how not being able to drive can bug me I think because it’s often associated with me anyway as the man thing to do. I think that’s what makes it hard at times. Even being somewhat successful it hasn’t really helped it just brings crazier people knocking. What I mean by crazy is not someone you want to have a family with.
I think that’s why I wouldn’t want to see honestly. I think if I could just see and see the change in how people view me would irritate me so much I would withdraw and be depressed. It sucks to be looked over or not taken serious for something just because I’m blind now, but I can be happy at the end of the day. Most people have to get tattoos or something else to stand out I can just be me. I don’t know how to fix the problem I just think it should be addressed, and if I don’t talk and yell about it who will? I’m not angry I just want to see some change in perception.
Finally tonight my facebook friends will be treated to something special. I’ve never videoed this before, but tonight I will put a demonstration of me using echo location up. I wish I could put it here, but I’d have to pay $100 for that. I love you, but not that much. Maybe somehow I can link to it, because I’m excited to show how it works to people. I’ve never demonstrated it at all. Basically echo location is where you click your tongue against the top of your mouth making a clicking sound. With that sound you can hear it bounce off of things to gage things. For example I can tell how tall a ceiling is, or how much space I have between cars when I’m walking. When I used to live at my last apt and ones before that I’d never carry my cane outside I would just use echolocation and navigate. It works really well for me, and scientists are just now starting to research it. I saw a study in the Canadian press where they are studying blind people’s brains that use it I would do it if they pay. Look for that video tonight.