Tag Archives: love

I finally wrote it up 3 months with Android. My thoughts.

Next blog post I will talk about 7 people drinking in a Best Western and me face planting in to a poll while catching the bus so embarrassing and painful. I really miss a dog which I am having a Juno walk with a school Saturday so stay tuned. About 3 months ago I switched from I-phone to Android. I am going to review how things are going talk about the strengths of Android and weaknesses. To do so I am going to break things in to sections. I got the Note 9 so let me start with that.

I had the IPhone 8plus and never really enjoyed it for some reason. I call it the decline to my wanting to change. The Note 9 is similar to the 8plus but has taller where the iPhone is wider. Overall as far as feel goes I really like the Note 9’s feel and size it’s nice to hold. Sound quality I like the Note 9 but the IPhone has much better sounding speakers. Not that the Note 9’s are bad, but if I were on an Island with no Bluetooth I’d want the IPhone speakers. Charging though I like the Note 9. I think Samsung giving you a faster charger out of the box is a plus. Also it supports fast WiFI which currently the IPhone doesn’t. Also USBC is just much better and is the standard with Apple going to USBC now for the IPad the Iphone has become foolish with the lightning port. Also the fact you have to buy a dongle to hook it up to a Mac is just observe.

Let’s talk about Android vs IOS. For the sighted folks hold on I think you will like this part still. I enjoy Android for being able to take my Note 9 and hook it directly up to a computer and drag and drop files on to it. I can even take a Doc file from my phone and move it to the computer. Samsung actually gives you a USBC to USBA converter in the box so you can easily hook it up to a computer. This is something IOS just can’t do who really wants to use ITunes these days? Yeah no one. Another aspect I like is customization. On IOS you have apps everywhere and its difficult to remember where things are. On android I have one page of apps and then I have widgets. For example if I am listening to a book on Audible I can from my home screen press play and the book starts playing. If I am finished with the book I can click on the open Audible app and the app launches. Something so simple but really makes it fun, because to fast forward and rewind it’s nothing and you don’t have to even have the app running. I have rearranged my home screen at least 3 times each time learning something new and incorporating something new. This is completely different from Iphone where it’s been the same for the last 5 years. Not to mention it has a headphone jack still and a SD slot.

My Note 9 gets good battery life, but I do think Iphone handles battery optimization better. I also think the Iphone handles ram better also. I think the common user just wants to have there phone working and things cleared out automatically Android I’m having to clear ram and put apps to sleep constantly to preserve battery power. I think this is the biggest space where Android could use work. Don’t get me wrong my Note 9 is amazing and lasts the day, but I don’t think one should have to do so much worrying. I may just be over zealous though myself.

Sound and options. Hands down this goes to Android. I have a pair of headphones that can play different codecs. Apple only does AAC. For example with my headphones I can listen to Sony’s HD Qualcomm HD and some more. To top it off if that wasn’t enough I also have Adobe Atmos. This thing is a blind mans wet dream let me tell you. I hear sighted folks talk about how great a TV set is with different 4K 8k whatever, but I finally get it with Android and all of these sound options. I literally heard Tyler Childress tap his guitar in a song which on Apple I can not hear it. So shame on apple for holding the sound codec to one option.

This is partly an accessibility thing, but I thought I’d give it’s own paragraph but I really like the Note 9 for being a phone. For example if my phone rings I can press volume up to answer and end to end the call. It also makes a tone when the call is connected and a tone when disconnected. Using this as a phone is actually enjoyable. The Iphone is fine, but I do like the fact I can customize and use the buttons on the device to do things. That leads me to a point. Why the hell Iphone to turn you off do you have to now press the side button plus volume down to turn the thing off? What happened to it just works? Now you have to do a 2 button combo just to be able to turn off the phone? Fail. I do wish Android had some of the emergency features Apple has built in honestly. Knowing I could easily get to 911 was actually comforting. I am not sure I could do the same on Android and feel that should be one feature they copy. That being said holding the power button and seeing restart or shutdown is so nice.

Now to the section sighted folks can tune out. Accessibility. I love the fact on my phone I have 3 screen readers. I have Voice Assistant by Samsung, TalkBack by google, and Shine plus by a Korean company. I do love having choices and again Apple is so wall gardened in. That can be a good thing for some things. I still find unlabeled buttons with Voice Assistant TalkBack has gotten better, but I would say it still is a problem too. I find that apps are pretty similar however IOS usually gets new features first. I journal a lot with an app called Day 1 and on IOS it has a feature where you can capture audio recording. Sadly this isn’t on the Android version. I do love using Android as a media consuming device. I use my Note 9 so much more than my IPad for listening to sports, or watching tv. I just really enjoy it for some reason. The race is getting closer. The fact I am not itching to go back to IOS should tell you something. I think that someone can pick up an Android and be fine. I do miss games on IOS. The blind offerings are getting better, but I miss games like spades and bowling. Voice Assistant has similar gestures to Voiceover on the IOS side it has 3 finger gestures and also the double tap with 2 fingers to pause and play music. TalkBack does not have any 3 finger gestures however I will say drawing the shapes has gotten easier and seems like it works most of the time. I primarily use Voice Assistant and switch to TalkBack when needed. It will be interesting to see what I think next year, but I think I will stay. I do think if your someone who likes to tinker and play with things go with Android. If you want a milder experience that will just work unless Apple tells you it won’t go with IOS.

I know I didn’t go to much in to depth, but I’m surprised how much I like Android. Six months ago I would have told you that your crazy and Android can’t do as much as IOS. Now I eat those words and sentiments. Being able to play with different audio codecs alone is so cool, and something Apple just doesn’t let you do. I hope Samsung keeps pushing Voice Assistant further also. Pie will becoming in Jan and I am honestly hoping to see some new features. If nothing changes and I feel it’s not progressing it might make me look back towards Apple. I have enjoyed some Android Apps and things they allow that IOS doesn’t. Take Audible again for example you can actually buy a book in the app. On Apple you have to go to Safari buy the book and then get it in the app do to Apple trying to take 30%.

One area that is getting better for me lately, but in the beginning was frustrating was browsing on the internet. Focus on Android seemed to be all over the place. I feel Apple gives you a better experience here. However on Android I have 4 browsers so I have several options to view a page. Recently on Apple even I was looking at the Bose website and it kept freezing as I was going down the page in safari. I changed to my Note 9 and was able to view the site perfectly. I think as people we believe one should be better than the other. Truthfully I look at screen readers and OS as tools in my tool box. They all have strengths and weaknesses, but as a savvy person we need to decide and try different options at times to yield the best result. For now I’m happy in Samsung land, but if things stop I will look elsewhere. That my friends is the best thing I could say. We as blind people finally have a choice. I got tired of paying the damn Apple tax, and I could switch and still survive and still be productive. Years ago this wouldn’t have been an option. Remember when Windows was are only option for a while because the Mac shutdown screen readers?

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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.

Can it really do an ECG if it thinks I’m standing while rocking in my chair?

Tomorrow I make my Samsung Galaxy life official. I have had the IPhone for 8 years now, and it has changed my life so much. What used to take 3 or 4 devices now is just one. Below I will explain what I think Samsung and Android are doing well, and why I pulled the trigger.

Let me start off by saying there’s nothing wrong with Voiceover on the IPhone. For the sighted folks Voiceover is the software that comes on the Iphone that reads the screen to you in a quick explanation. Here are the reasons I started thinking of leaving.

Bugs Apple’s software over the years has become so buggy. In fact IOS 12 really doesn’t have hardly any new features, but is being put out to mainly fix the bugs of IOS 11. Poor Bluetooth support. One thing I have noticed of late is I get several Bluetooth dropouts. This is not the fault of my Bluetooth devices, but rather the phone. I have an HTC phone I started testing the same devices with at work and guess what the Iphone dropped connections 4 times an hour where the HTC and Samsung kept the signal the entire time. Yet when I go to the zoo or better known as the Apple Store they say nothings wrong.

This brings up a point. Apple was bragging that 6 million people visit Apple stores yearly. I don’’t know all are of them coming for education or learning? How many are coming in because they can’t remember there password to ICloud? Lol I just found that funny when Tim mentioned it yesterday.

On my Apple Watch it can’t tell when I am standing correctly. Yet one of the new features is it can detect if you fall? I can literally rock in my recliner and bend my arm at the elbow and the watch things I am standing. It even sometimes thinks I am exercising. I know I am blind but I don’t rock that hard. The watch is so bad at this I’m supposed to think or assume it will do a accurate ECG or detect my falling?

Changing sounds don’t actually always stay as they should. So lets say someone named Joe buys a sound for $2.00 in the ITunes Store. Then let’s say I make that sound new mail. Do you know some times that sound plays, but then randomly the default ding sound takes over and goes off 50% of the time. Basically saying f you and thanks for the $2.00. This has gone on for at least 2 versions of the OS.

The final one is dictation and Siri. What the hell is Apple doing with the data they collect from us? Maybe I’m the only one dictating. Because it is just bad. Shut the front door. Siri translation fuck the whore. Lol it would seriously be about that bad. Yet Apple year after year does nothing but they do give us a better camera. I’m sorry did taking pictures really suck that bad last year?

Finally the price has just gotten observed. I know the Galaxy note is up there too so this isn’t just an Apple thing. However I will say this I am getting a Samsung case silicone similar to something Apple would sell., It’s $12.00 at Best Buy now, while the Apple case is $34.00. Seriously it’s silicone!

Alright I think I have most of it out of my system. I just want the products to work as expected not being credited exercising while rocking in my chair eating buffalo wings that come from a chicken. Anyway on to what I like from the Galaxy!

I love the fact I have 2 different screen readers. With Apple if something doesn’t work with Voiceover I have no other options. On the Galaxy I actually have 3 options. Voice Assistant, TalkBack, and Shine plus. I’m mainly using Voice Assistant and Talkback. Similarly they also have to smart voice assistants. One called Google you may have heard of it! The other Bixbie. I think Google is by far better, but Bixbie has some compelling things. Instead of being an assistant like Siri, Alexa, or Google Bixbie wants to let you control anything on screen with your voice. They have a way to go here, but at least it is a start.

I have had some minor annoyances with finding accessible apps for everything, but slowly I am getting there. I’ll be honest I think this is doable! I would not have said this a year ago. I find the phone to be picking up on what I do and it’s getting smarter about what I want to do and accomplish. The speaker quality on it is much more pleasing than the IPhone’s was also. Guess what I changed a notification sound, and it stuck.

One app I find super useful on Android is called Move it. It’s a bus app. It’s also on IOS and used to work well, but still not as well as it does on the Galaxy. What it does is it tells me when my bus is 1 minute away from me. It then watches and notifies me when were 2 stops away. It then lets me know again to pull the bell and get off. If I am transferring bus’s like I have to in the afternoon once I exit it shows me on the lock screen how far my next bus is away from me. Madden football has something called beast mode. On Android this app is full on Beastmode man I’m telling you. It’s so useful having these notifications just testing it this week has been life changing.

Anyway that’s about it for now. I am keeping my IPad Pro,, but the Iphone 8plus gots to go! Lol sorry I had to rhyme. I think Apple can get it right, but do they care anymore? I am tired of waiting on things I find important. Will I buy another Iphone in the future? Some think I will, but I don’t know. It depends on how I feel Android and Samsung improve. For now I honestly have to say I’m 98% happy I switched.

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.

Frasier and his new home.

The last few days have been hard I won’t lie. We will end positive, but to get there it’ll take a bit. Going back to Thursday I stayed home with Frasier I also did Friday. The trainer from the Seeing-Eye came out and got the harness to take back with him. He told me once Frasier relaxed I see why you like him. We talked about the process of reapplying for a dog, something as of now I’m not ready to do. After he left the next day or so basically I spent playing with him and petting him as much as I could. Emotions were hard I cried, smiled when he was being silly, sad when he’d lay on my feet at night as I watched baseball, and just depression as I realized time kept moving. I thought of keeping him ourselves, but what kind of life is that for him? Abby and Bancroft would leave every morning and then I would leaving him home for the day. Could he get used to it maybe, but he is used to going with me and being able to be out.

One thing I really loved about the 2 dog chemistry we had was Abby would go be with Bancroft and I would stay up watching a game or listening to music. Frasier would stay with me and usually be in touching distance of my feet or be on them. Eventually I would go in to bed and Frasier would follow me in and lay down on his bed on the floor beside me. Last night I missed him being on my feet or following me around. I think I am experiencing empty nest syndrome or something similar.

Frasier in the mornings was something really sweet. He was so adorable. Usually he’d wake me up if I slept in. He loved his routine of going out at 6 and eating after that. On a weekend if I missed that he would start nudging me at 6:50, and he may even jump on me by 7 if I didn’t pay him any attention. He didn’t really like beds much, but he would cuddle for a bit if I didn’t want to get up. Also when it was just me or if I was sick he’d lay beside me all night and never move. I got pretty sick pretty recently and slept in the guest room, and Frasier came in and curled up behind me keeping me warm all night I had chills so this was welcomed. I’m not a big dog in bed guy, but Robin did it towards the end of her career and Bancroft has always been up there so it’s warmed me up a bit on it.

Anyway one thing he does is he yawns a lot and gives kisses so much during the morning. I tried to enjoy these things a lot the last two days. He would let out such a pretty cry if I wasn’t moving fast enough to take him out. Thankfully I recorded one of them recently and I listen to it when I start to miss him. Since I can’t see pictures it helps. I recorded Robin’s bark and her eating one of the last days she was here I listen to those also from time to time it helps me think of them and smile.

When we got back from dropping Frasier off Bancroft kept looking for him. He sniffed rugs looked out the window stood sort of confused and finally he came over and smelled me. It’s weird, but the whole family is grieving Abby, Bancroft, and I all miss him. It’s so quiet here now, and we feel like most parents probably do when kids go to college. Every day for the last 7 months I’ve cared for him taken care of him, played with him, and now he isn’t there and it’s weird.

I flashed back to when I brought him home. I dropped his leash for a second to bring my suite case in from outside, and he discovered the toy box. He was so happy with himself. Every chance he got he would grab a toy out and squeak it.

Saturday came and the time arrived to take Frasier to his new home. I grabbed his food box, and he knew something was happening. I think he picked up on feelings from us plus Abby and I didn’t really leave him alone the last 3 days lol. The Lyft came and I put the food box inside. Abby and I also packed a box of things Frasier loved plus some things I thought Jerry and Lee might like to have to help them along in having a dog. Abby packed toys he likes like a football, baseball, bear, and jolly ball. I packed a brush, leash, gentle leader, and his bed. He asl got a frog named Darwin recently from JW Pets he loves it. He would put his paw on it well we couldn’t find him as we were leaving I found him when I got home and was sad. I ordered him a new one and sent it to Jerry and Lee’s house so he could have Darwin home. Bancroft doesn’t really like it, so when we go to visit we will take the original Darwin.

Anyway the Lyft driver was really friendly. He had dogs and had a puppy mat. I never let Frasier be on the seat if I can help it, but since he had the mat and this was are last car trip together I thought what the hell. Frasier put his head near the AC vent and loved the AC blowing on him. Then he put his head over on my lap and just let me pet him. Once we turned on to Jerry and Lee’s road he started to wine. He knew where we were. I got out of the car and he started to pull me towards the fenced in yard. Once we got in the gate I let him go, and he ran 4 laps really fast. He was so excited. That did my heart some good. Seeing how happy he was helped me with knowing he will do well here. I think he is just more of a country dog than a city dog.

We went inside and I explained some of the commands he knows to Jerry and Lee. They’re going through change also. They haven’t had a dog in a while so I’m sure there nervous and excited too. He did well with Jerry seemed to be patient as Jerry put the gentle leader on him.

Then it was time to leave. I told him to do well with Jerry and Lee, and that he was a good boy. I told him he was a great guid, and thanked him for his service. He tried to follow me out the door. I didn’t want to make a huge deal about leaving him, because I wanted him to think this is normal they’ll be back. The Lyft ride home I slept I hadn’t done done that well the past few nights.

We have texted Jerry and Lee some and he is doing well. Again I smile when I read the texts. I am trying not to bother them to much I want them to enjoy him and I want to give them some space. It’s hard though waking up today without him stil felt tough. I don’t have to wonder where he is which is great, but I do wonder what he is doing? Abby has been talking to Lee and Frasier has been doing well this morning. He got up and ran around the yard for an hour and than ate his breakfast. Lee said he is now tired and just watching Jerry. It makes me smile that he is settling in so well. He will be a great dog for them. I love hearing from them, and I know Abby is too.

Last night Lee texted me and said he was down for the night. He is going to have such a great life out there. I couldn’t have left him with any better of a family or people. I told them I really want him to become there dog. I’ll be the annoying grandparent now who will come by bring caffeine spoil him and then leave. They both are so happy, and Frasier is really happy being there also I could tell. All the signs are there that this should work well. They will spoil him too, and he will have a great life with them.

It’s been a long few days, but I am thankful I know where he is, and I know he is happy. You should have seen and heard him just running in that yard. Jerry told me he walked him to the mailbox and back he told me he pulled a bit going, but didn’t on the way back. I think as they do this more he will pull less, and they’ll have fun together.

I took my cane out to a pizza place last night. Abby’s friend from college wrote a book, and we went out to support her, and also so I could meet them. It was fun. It’s different with a cane. With the dog you can say outside and they will move towards a door. You know the general direction and the dog does the rest. Man with a cane it doesn’t do shit when you say outside. I kept bumping tables, and chairs. I think overall though for not using it much the last several months I did well. On Monday we will see. On my way to work I have to cross train tracks, and with Frasier we just went up and over them no problem, but with a cane it won’t be as easy. I’m sure you will hear about it.

Wrapping up sorry this one was all over the place. Grieving is hard I think I am on stage 3, but hearing the text updates helps so much. I am glad Dogs don’t grieve us the way we grieve them. Knowing he’s playing with his toys running in the yard or just watching Jerry makes me smile. Abby and I will both for the next few days cry when we step on one of his toys he left around, or a memory, but we both know we did the best we could do for him.

A few stories to add!

I’m nervous Tomorrow I go back to work, but today I found doing things difficult. I woke up at 6 or so on the couch. I feel a connection there since I held Robin the day before. I also find it easier to have her collar near me. I’m sure these things will pass, but for now it helps me. I just now took out the trash something I’ve been meaning to do all day, but that was something Robin would walk out stand at the gate and watch me roll the can to the end of the drive. When I would come back to the gate she’d always give my hand a lick. If I was in a hurry I’d leave the front door open so she could see out, and it would be the same result. Something so simple made me cry.
I made spaghetti and listened to Kentucky Sports radio like I stated and that helped. Once that went off I felt tired and I needed to sleep. I slept from 1-4 and then woke up and spoke to a long time friend. Abby got me a pizza, so I ate on that for dinner. the house is so empty now it’s haunting.
I thought of 2 stories that should have been in the tribute. I know there are so many which is why she is so special. For my first job at Future Choices in Muncie I had to go to a kids camp in Columbus Ohio. I decided not knowing how mature the kids were I’d leave Robin with a friend Dina. I think the camp was 4 days, and man I missed my girl. Anyway I came home and Dina brought her buy and she had the window halfway down and Robin got stuck in the window, because when she saw me standing in the parking lot she wasn’t going to wait for the door to be opened.. She was okay, but I got so many kisses. She did not let me out of her sight for a bit after that. My friend Sue was staying there assisting Dina who was recovering from surgery, and I would call and check in or text. Yes I am that guy, but I missed my girl. Sue told me I know your schedule now. I said what do you mean? Well Sue said she cry at 6 to go outside then I got nicely back to sleep and at 7:15 she cried again for food. I said you have it down.
The second story Abby loves to hear so I thought I would mention it. I decided to dog sit for my friend Carlos;s Seeing-Eye dog Derek. It happened to be the night of my friend Ethan’s Bachelor party. I decided I’d take the dogs out before we left that would give us time. Well I may have had a little to much to drink. I wrote a blog about this incident called something like Braille and strip club. Anyway they dropped me off and I got Derek out just fine. However for Robin I remember her going to the bathroom and then I decided I was tired and I would go to sleep under a tree. I went over and laid down instead of Robin panicking or being alarmed she let me hold her in my arms. Ethan happened to come back and got me up apparently we had a bit of a crowd around us so we got back inside. I just thought it was funny that Robin was like I’m with my dad everything’s fine move along.
She taught me responsibility for something, and helped me mature so I’m thankful for her. Not saying I didn’t do anything else stupid, but I did far less than I would have. I’m just waiting now on her ashes, and will post a link at that time for the company as well. Since Robin was a service animal they will cremate her for free. It is such a great feeling that people and companies give thanks for her work. I’m off to sleep and will post once I get her back. I plan to keep her in a nice spot in my house. Finally last time I checked her post had around 230 views today. Thank you for sharing it, and reading. I felt like it helped me a little to write all of that, and people were able to pay there respect. Sorry about all the errors I’m dictating, because it’s just easier. 

I haven’t had an epic rant for a while so here you go

I want to first off by stating RIP to jenelle a guide dog for my friend Matt. She Died on Sunday. She was 14 and a great dog. I have so many stories, and I can’t even begin to understand what he is going through. I understand it but I’ve never lost one yet. She went peacefully though which is good. Anyway if you could put Matt and Amanda in your thoughts. I remember her she’d wag her tail any chance she got. One night when I was going home Robin tried to steal her toys because I guess humping her all the time wasn’t enough. Haha Robin is quite the dominating girl. Anyway when I stepped outside the house I heard this thump thump as the toy went down the stairs. I got it and took it back in. Anyway I know you’ll be missed by Robin and myself.
What I want to talk about today is why blindness is viewed as this helplessness agenda. I am watching this video of this soldier who went blind, and no disrespect but what his fucking wife said really set me off. She said in a CBS video was she could either say were done he can’t do anything anymore or she could become his biggest cheerleader. I know obviously he went through some depression, and maybe even had thoughts of killing himself, but her notion that he couldn’t do anything where does that come from? Maybe again I’m digging at something she didn’t mean, but sighted people in general look at a blind person and say I couldn’t live if that happened to me. Being blind isn’t that bad. Yes you can’t see shit, but you can still do shit. I might not see cake baking in the oven rising to that beautiful doughy perfection, but I can taste it. I was talking to my friend Linda and Reggie this week about how summer bombs the fuck out of me sometimes. I know it’s stupid right, but I miss all the fashion women show off. I always hear from women I hang out with or dudes who stop paying attention to me because there watching someone all most be naked. Before I started watching described video again I didn’t realize how much sexual persuasion is always there. When your blind unless someones rubbing on you it’s not as stimulating. You can be ab oblivious to what is going on. As I get older my appearance becomes more important as I try to meet people or find new jobs. I walked around with a fucking stain on my shirt all day Friday. Thankfully I was in a place most others were to but still.
I think I offended my dad the other day, because I went home over the weekend and stated I wasn’t used to that long of a car ride. He said sorry I don’t own an airplane and can’t fly you home. That wasn’t what I met at all, but okay. Maybe again he doesn’t think about my situation because he doesn’t have to, but I would love to get in a fucking car and drive to Washington on a roadtrip, but the fact is I can’t. I guess I could maybe find a friend who wanted to go somewhere and tag along, but most of the time that means you lose a lot of freedom. I’m not in a relationship so at this point I don’t have that connection to share with. For me flying or cabs or busses is what I get. I don’t have the luxury of just getting in a car in my drive way and drive where I want. Most things I do I have to plan out or pay for a cab or Lyft. Yes I have a pilot friend and things work out, but it’s not always easy. When I was in Toronto do you know how tiring that really was? I mean I have just my phone, with GPS anything could have happened. I would love the security of just having a car christ.
Anyway back to the soldier. I think it is great what he did, but his wife pissed me off a little. I guess I can love you but if you go blind then I got a real fucking choice to make. Never mind you lost your sight fighting for my right to be a complete bitch. I’m just taking out some anger I have, but seriously man divorce her now. I just don’t know where this logic comes from that because your eyes stop working things constantly suck. Yes his situation is way crazier than mine I don’t remember anything, but life goes on. Is he still the man he was before the war probably not, but seeing his motivation by finishing the ironman shows he has a heart of a champion. I know sighted people as a whole really don’t know how to deal with blind people, and at times it’s weird. I’ve stated before I can go to a restaurant, and the waitress might open my straw for me which okay is nice right but does she do that to the sighted person? I’ve been on dates or hell even out with friends and they will look at the person and say what does he want? I’m a grown man just please ask me. Again my eyes and brain are completely different organs. My penis works too. I probably should have skipped writing tonight.
My final thought is I went home as I said earlier. I sat at the Finucanes house remembering the olden days. Before Ball state, before Louisville, and before Robin. I remember being just stuck in the country with no transportation other than my family. My brother would take me to school, and bring me home or I would ride the bus. If I was at wrestling someone would pick me up after that. I was so different back then, because I had to depend on others which is probably why I had being having to depend on people now. Hanging out at Brandons house helped me in ways I don’t really want to get in to here, but they helped me get out of bad situations at times. His family pretty much excepted me. I love them still. I’m sitting in there living room remembering my dreams of wanting to live in the big city, and work, and it’s somewhat weird it came true. I remembered struggling after college when no one would hire me. It’s just weird how things work out. I’m learning to just take things in strive and pick my battles. I can’t win them all. I will just say this. Why do we focus on the amazing accomplishments still of the blind, and rather not look at the struggles they face today? It’s easy for me to Google blind in the news and see a thousand feel good peaces, but I don’t see the poverty or the technology challenges we face. For that matter I have to read about how gay people are discriminated on at a job, but yet when I go to an interview and we talk about the dog rather than my accomplishments somehow this is executable and not wrong. I can’t hide my dog or my cane I am what I am. Not saying it’s unfair for gay people to face there problems at the end of the day it’s your choice what you display. I’m okay with you being you, but why can’t we ever get to a place where your fine with me being me? I find myself not being to religious, but one thing that’s always bothered me is people will tell me I’ll be perfect again when I get to heaven because everyone is. Why in theory then aren’t we all perfect in gods eyes for the way were made? I find myself watching people who can maybe get there sight back and even if it is just a sliver put themselves through major operations just to say they can see light again. Is it really worth it? I hear about these people who talk about using cameras possibly strapped to there heads and then that could somehow stimulate your brain in to seeing immages. Call me crazy, but you walking with cameras on your face is that going to make sighted people respect you more? I just wonder when will blind people start getting covered fairly? I know we are out numbered but in theory isn’t it crazy when I have to hear about a transgendered kid figure out which bathroom they want to use or can use and yet I hear nothing about blind struggles. I said to Linda I think there are more transgendered people in the country than blind people and that’s just weird to me sorry. Do I think science or god or whatever you believe can mess up sure, but not to the extent your seeing it in are country. Furthermore most of my friends on Facebook get all obsessed with gay rights something that affects none of them personally. Yet when it comes to blind people they have no clue. Do they get upset that i can’t tell apart a dollar bill from a five dollar bill without an Iphone? Do they get mad that the United States basically paid the National Federation of the Blind money to say that wasn’t important? Funny how they fought that cause in the 1990’s isn’t it? know one asked me or any blind people I know what are thoughts were on having accessible money. Again I see no support from my friends on trying to fix it, but if I were gay I’m sure you’d fucking march at my parade. I’m not being mean or trying to offend but rather just ask why people get involved with certain issues that don’t pertain to them, but then others just completely block it out? 

My day in Philadelphia

Saturday Adrian and I caught the Amtrak to Philadelphia which was pretty pleasant I must say. The Wi-Fi worked well the tracks were smooth completely different experience from the Midwest. Neil surprised me by bringing Erica back which I didn’t expect at all. He spent the night at his brothers in Louisville and brought her back Saturday afternoon. I thank him for that! I’m still learning so much about her and her family I’m sure she could say the same. Tonight I will get to that later but we spent at least two and half hours just talking about our childhoods which was nice. I love learning about her. Neil said he had a surprise for me and she put her hands over my eyes and Neil said guess who? They really have to think of a better way to full me. Haha. I got a chance to see his house it was beautiful. I missed them being in Louisville, because it was nice having somewhere to go over Thanksgiving last year they were kind of like my family away from home if that makes any sense. We went to Independence Hall and walked around there for a little while. I love history So I found it pretty neat. I’ve already seen the Liberty Bell but we still stop by, because Erica hadn’t seen it. Neil wanted somewhere to go watch the horse race so I got my GPS out to find something in the area. I found this place called the turf club which was pretty neat. Neil said that he thought it was a strip bar I just teased him about how sighted people most times do not use there sight. I really like walking around in Philadelphia much more so than New York, because it didn’t feel quite as a place only for tourists. I ended up liking the turf club because it was not very busy, and we could have conversations without yelling at each other. I hate loud places for the most part, because it really does hinder my communication.

I already shared one story about the Phillies game I thought it was pretty amazing. They had crab fries which was recommended to me definitely hope to have them again soon. After the game Neil and Adrian went back to their house and Erica and I went out. I ended up riding the bull at that PBR bar. I did pretty well I got bored and decided just to fall off eventually, but it was okay. Erica said I would’ve made a handsome cowboy I’ll take that. It was definitely different than what I imagined to be honest. Thankfully my boobs stayed in. Truthfully I imagined like one of those merry-go-round’ looking figures and I thought it would run on a track. We then found a club that had a dance floor and my favorite a couch. We danced a bit together and then sat on the couch talking. Alright we may have done some cuddling as well. I’m sure I will get over this but I had to use the bathroom and they had central bathrooms for all the clubs so she walked me to the guys entrance and waited which was nice but it still feels a little awkward to me. I know I overthink everything. We went to another tavern that was a few blocks away, and it was really nice just walking and talking with her. I love listening to her thoughts on things such as the Russian situation, or how the media works. We don’t always agree, but I value her opinion and we don’t really argue about the things we disagree on. I’ve had girlfriends in my life, but I’ve never been great at relationships. Usually one side has way more feelings than the other side which is usually me. Fuck it I can tell the truth. With Erica and probably I say in the last two months I’ve started opening up again and being more like myself before being mugged last year. I went through a lot of periods where I didn’t like life or I would be afraid to go somewhere. I feel refreshed, and have an energy that’s been missing. Today I look forward to getting home and just watching television on the couch with Erica getting ready for the work week. And one of our conversations she did tell me that she thought baseball was a bit boring, but because I love it she wants to love it. We watch a few games together, and knowing her true feelings and makes it even more special if that makes any sense because she’s wanting to make the effort. She’s done that all along and it’s something I admire about her. I probably don’t deserve her love but I have it and I’ll do anything for her to keep it. To be honest I’m pretty tired and my back is a little sore from being a cowboy so I’m going to go try to get a massage out of that.

a Kentucky Derby flashback

This weekend was full of events. We had a bachelor’s party for my friend Mat on Saturday. It was a great time. I really enjoy some of the guys I’ve met they’re all really nice. I spoke to one about a condo he has for sale, and I’m pretty interested. I’ll probably be visiting my bank soon for loan information. For me it’s in a good location for busses, and so that’s helpful. I’m sure I will be talking about this process more in-depth as I research it.

Sunday I was supposed to go fishing, but I went over to Erica’s and met her family. The only awkward moment was at dinner they were passing around food, and didn’t know how to ask me to grab it at first. The first dish went over my arm while I was drinking and I bumped it. I just spoke up and said if you let me know its coming I can pass it to whoever. The way people first act when they meet us is still so weird to me. They were all nice, and I was a bit worried when I first met her dad. I’m getting more used to it, and my confidence is growing. I know I have a lot to offer, but it’s trying to make a good first impression, I talked with her dad about a lot of things like music we like, and sports. Looking back on it I think I did well. I helped him change the oil in Erica’s car which gave us a bit of a bonding experience. I had never done it before, but he offered to teach me. I figured later on I’ll do it myself for her.

Most of Sunday Erica and I sat on a porch swing drinking tea and talking. We started watching the first season of Breaking Bad together. I’ve never seen it, and she feels that is absurd. We got through 3 episodes, and I have to admit I like it so far.

Robin stayed with Erica on Saturday while I was out at the party. We also took her to the vet again. They recommended me feeding her chicken and rice to settle her stomach. Oh my gosh she thinks she is in heaven. Usually Robin will kind of be hesitant and eat one piece of food at a time, but she inhales the chicken and rice. She’ll probably start faking sick just for chicken and rice. She feels a lot better today, but Friday and Saturday she scared me a bit. She wasn’t eating a whole lot, and was lethargic. Having Erica to talk to for support was a nice feeling. Yesterday I let her run in a fenced in yard, and she enjoyed that. She really doesn’t run, but she walks and sniffs everything.

This is a bit of a boring post, but for the first time honestly I can say I feel real comfortable where things are. Pilot Neil comes in tonight, so I can’t wait to see him. I’m also getting ready for the Kentucky Derby Saturday which brings me to a good story about last year’s Derby.

Last year Amanda, Mat, and I decided we wanted to do something for the Derby. We decided to do brunch at Makers Mark downtown. I think we got there around 1 pm. I had 2 drinks there, and they ended up kicking us out at 4 do to you had to have reservations. We then went to Friday’s, where I probably drank 6 Mint Juleps. They were pretty big glasses. I also ordered some pasta. Between the 3 of us we had over $100 in food. We went to pay and someone had already picked up are bill for us. I couldn’t believe it. The lady at the door helped us cross the street, because things were a bit spinney for me. We walked to where cabs would be, and they wanted to charge us a lot, so we decided to catch a bus. This is where things got a little crazy. Amanda and Mat walked down the actual street, since it was blocked off. I went on the sidewalk. When I was passing back by Fridays the lady ran out and said Mr. Joe where are you trying to go? There were so many people and I was using my cane since I was drinking. I left my Robin at home. Anyway I told her I was going to go to the bus stop, and she walked me to the end of the block. I found a cab at that point, and just wanted to get home, so I paid $20 for a mile cab ride. Mat and Amanda found a cab, and got there’s paid for. Apparently they did try searching for me, but it was way too crowded we would have never found each other. I remember getting home and ordering Jimmy Johns later that night. What a day it was! No one got hurt, we got are meal paid for, and it is a great memory. I don’t think we’re going to do Friday’s this year, because we all have moved out of downtown, so getting home could be troublesome. I look forward to the Derby every year. If you haven’t figured out by now, I love to have a good time. haha

A bit about dating depression and life

Yesterday was the NCAA men’s finals I did not catch any of it. This struck me as a little weird because I’m a huge sports fan and I don’t think I’ve ever missed an NCAA finals game before. I’ve been going through a little depression lately and haven’t really spoke about it. A few weeks ago I went on a date a second date as a matter fact, and afterwords when she was bringing me home she said she had to use the bathroom so I allowed her to come into my apartment. She was here for about 15 to 20 minutes and I ended up going through some hell. The next morning after she had gone I realized my Bose headphones and Bluetooth speaker were missing. I looked all over for them but couldn’t see them. I have a one bedroom apartment and is only a few places I would put things. I texted her and she did not respond. Around 9 o’clock I texted her and said if she did not respond I would call the police still no response.

Finally the next morning the police called me and said they had my stuff. She also stole a autograph baseball which I didn’t realize until later. My friend Pat agreed to pick up the items for me since he set us up. I definitely do not want her back at my house or around me at all. My stuff still works it doesn’t look like it took any abuse I was just relieved to have it back.

Over the weekend I went to the final four women’s tournament where I ran into a woman who I have had history with. We ended up going to lunch which was really great and we had a in-depth conversation. I’ve talked to her on the phone a few times but it was great seeing her in person I think because she gave me some ideas that I am going to use. We will just remain friends but I am thankful for that because she is very smart and helpful her being in my life I think will be a good thing. I will mention her name because it’s not important and doesn’t need to be said in a public forum but the game of basketball is very lucky to have her and she will lead the women’s game to new heights. Anyway before she drop me off at the Greyhound station to come home she said something to me that was very interesting. She told me that she is reading my blog as well as watching my posts on Facebook. She said while I put myself out there a lot emotionally and share my feelings, but I hold the best part of me back. I can explain more about that but I will leave it alone. I think overall with relationships i’ve overlooked through the years people that would’ve been good fits because maybe I’m scared of commitment, failure, or just wasn’t attracted to that type at the time. Talking to my friend over the weekend I realized that maybe I do fend off people that are attracted to me for some reason and 10 to try for people way out of my league. Also dating sighted people has been a challenge because I’m never viewed as an equal for some reason. I can provide for her help I could probably even buy her a car or a house but a lot of times women come in and want to be your mom or never quite treat you equally. Lexi may have been the first to do so. My girlfriend Taylor as well did a pretty good job at treating me equally but it’s not the norm.

It’s easy for someone to look on the outside and say I have a lot to offer someone but to find someone who will except that is a different story. With the New Orleans girl I was talking about earlier that’s what I will call her because that’s where we first met we met after a basketball game and spent the night together. We went out drinking because they have lost so she wanted to vent about the season, and then we went back to her hotel. I was pretty new and radio and it was really my first trip, so this was definitely new to me. You can probably figure out what happened next, so I won’t paint those details I’m not really about that. In the morning we talked about possibly having a relationship but with her going on to do bigger things in me and Louisville distance would definitely have been an issue. We decided to remain friends and text each other a few times the following months. When I saw her over the weekend I realized I would add her to the things that went pretty well list, because hanging out with her I don’t really feel like she views me as being blind. We’ve never really spent that much time in person together, but she is kind of a leader anyway and I feel like that type of personality is rare to find. Finishing off where I was going to go with this thought doing radio I’ve gotten to go to a lot of places but at times it’s been kind of lonely. It’s cool to go to different cities and view different games, but sometimes I would like to have someone to share with or call home too.

Anyway New Orleans girl said to me after telling her about a girl in my life why don’t I ask her out? After I laid out all of the excuses that I had she saw right through it and said if you never give love a chance how can it form? A girl here has been pursuing me for a while but I kind of ignored it and I really don’t know the reasons. I have a few negatives but overall I never gave it a chance or much of a thought. With all the crazy things that of been happening lately I would just like to have something safe, and she would definitely provide that. On Friday I’m going to lay it out like that and just tell her my feelings and be honest. I don’t think she reads this blog, but if she does h oh well. Haha with my life traveling around and staying busy I’ve neglected part of me that needs to feel some normalcy. I kind a ranted and this post, but over the next few years or however long I continue this I hope that you’ll learn about struggles blind people have in life. I will provide funny stories, because there are a lot of them but I also want you to see the difficult things we go through as well. Dating and employment are the two hardest ones.

Okay I vented I missed the stupid tournament game and I’m a little sleepy now so it’s back to bed for now. On a positive I gave Robin a massage today and she fell asleep right next to me. Usually about once a week I try to give her a little time, so I plan something like massage or extra playtime something to make her feel special. When I first got her from the Seeing Eye she’s delay is far away from me as she could today before the massage we actually wrestled around a little bit which was something she never liked to do. Her puppy raiser was an older person and I don’t think they played with her a whole lot. She likes to play catch and tug-of-war sometimes. Tonight though I kept pushing on her and finally she put her paws around me and we rolled around and wrestled a little bit. She didn’t bite which is good I don’t want to encourage that at all. It was great and I realized that our bond is something unique. I will probably feel this bond with any dog I get in the future hopefully, but it is definitely a special thing that is hard to put into words. This weekend navigating the airport city streets and the arena the communication we have between the two of us is amazing.