Thursday, January 27, 2011

Off To A Good Start

Hello everyone. My first afternoon volunteering at:
has gone reasonably well. There's a lot less structure than I expected. The kids come and things just kind of flow along at least on drop-in days. It'll probably take a while for me to really become engaged with them. One youngster seems pretty curious about what life being blind is like. That'll probably be what draws them over at least initially. I went in thinking that I should forego bringing my netbook and gaming gear. However, audio games may very well be an important bridge for them between their world and mine so I'll bring the full pack from now on. I've had to discard or even reverse a lot of preconceptions I went in with but I think I'm going to have a better chance with that unexpected looseness to things than I might have otherwise. The kids will slowly get to know me as me without much in the way of authority or taught lessons between us. I very much look forward to spending more time there. Shirley, the lady who I've walked around the lake with, has offered to drive me there since she's normally around tuesday afternoons. It'll be a good opportunity to keep in more regular touch with her. Getting back is a bit less certain since I won't know how long the debriefing lasts or whatever else comes up. However, I'm close enough that people there can get me back until it gets warm and safe enough for me to walk back and forth myself. Things tend to work out in the end.

Yesterday, mom took me to get my hair cut. I don't believe a hairdresser exists close enough for me to easily get to on my own. The cut feels nice and reaction has been positive so far. One gains confidence in any esthetic change very slowly when one has no frame of reference. Part of you always waits for the "What's with the hair?" shoe to drop. As long as the stuff is short and out of my ears, I'm a pretty happy camper. Later on, I went for a nice rost dinner with mom and dad. They're doing fine and I was able to help mom with her laptop. It's running as it ought to and she was able to spend the free game credit that was part of her christmas present. Think she chose a pretty good game. She certainly seems good at them now judging by the speed she plays through them.

I've also managed to write an article for my church newslettre. I may have to tweak it a little but I'm feeling pretty good about what I've sent in. Hopefully, Nan will have time to let me know if it needs changing. Pastor Sam came to see me this morning. It was good to catch up with him again. It's been a while. He's starting to get over a cold or something which sapped his voice of much of its normal force. It's sounding much better than it did when he called me last saturday. He was able to laugh without it seeming to hurt him. We had a good talk and it looks like the Faith Alive folks will be able to send a pdf document of the study material for the evening classes on the Belhar Confession my church is having. We had some excellent discussion last time and I keenly look forward to more.

My brother and his family are moving this week. My parents will be helping them take care of Ava and Amia as well as likely helping move stuff. It'll be a bit too hectic a scene for me to do much good for anybody there. I'll be getting their kitchen table to serve as my dining table. They don't need it in the new place and it saves me from having to purchase a dining set. Mark and Wendy can at last have their table and chairs back. As always, I'm very thankful for friends like them as well as my family.

I'm happy to see that my good friend Stephen Murgaski is having some really excellent breakthroughs in India. He's been shown around the campus and has begun to make friends over there. That should help make his trip more satisfying and give him some of the perspective he'll need to do a good job putting together a five-day crash course in computers. I eagerly await more news as I've no doubt the rest of his followers do. Here's hoping he gets better internet access soon. Go Steve!

Looks like there'll be an interesting chat this weekend about new accessibility products announced at a currently running conference. I may try to catch that online presuming nothing more local comes up. I always enjoy learning about new gadgets. I actually have some podcasts I haven't listenned to yet as well. Highlights of this week's listenning included President Obama's state of the union address. He's easily the best public speaker to come out of the politics of both our countries in the past twenty-plus years. He puts so much heart into it. Also, CBC Radio1 has podcasts up of a nifty show called Age of Persuasion all about how advertising works. I've enjoyed three episodes posted up there so far and eagerly await more. There'll be a new Spark episode as well as at least one From Our Own Corespondents. All very good stuff indeed. I have a couple of DNTO episodes to catch up on and another arriving this weekend. Lots of listenning to pass time if nothing else offers.

The world is in its proper shape. All my dishes are done and thanks to winter's icy winds, the tap water is magnificently cold. Haven't even thought to check on my ice cube stash in at least a week. haven't heard back from my vendor of choice, Frontier Computing, about my new equipment. I'm expecting them to present a quote of some sort soon and will follow up with them next week if I haven't heard anything by then. Nice not to be in a rush or deadline situation this time around. I can give people the time to do their jobs right.

That's pretty much all she wrote as they say other than the recent developments with Mysteries of the Ancients. Tom Ward continues to make progress with that game and thinks he has another beta release nearly ready. He started a very interesting discussion about whether to quickly slap some relatively easy levels together and get the game out sooner or take time to do things more his way producing more difficult and properly balanced levels. Sad to say, there were some impatient folks out there who wanted the damned game. Hard to really blame them given the extremely long wait we've all endured. However, when a master developer is nearing the end of the time he'll spend on a project, I'd just as soon give him the time to do it right. We then end up with a more satisfied developer who will move onto other games as well as a far better game all the more worthy of the long wait. It just seems common sense to me as a creative person. I'd want folks to give me the time to do things right. He hasn't really said anything definite yet but I believe those of us in the "wait and improve" camp have won the day. Patience is a virtue and the lack of it has already cost the community dearly in the past. Lots of interesting stuff happening in life just now. It feels absolutely marvelous.

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