Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Unexpected Interesting Times

Hello everyone. Yesterday proved to be more interesting than I expected. Hence, another blog entry for your reading pleasure. I ended up spending the afternoon out of my apartment despite the rain. That's because I was still indoors. I went to see Sandy for the first time in a while. He's doing about as well as he ever is. His worker from the CNIB has done some excellent stuff with helping him start to remember the keyboard. He ran into some trouble with Microsoft Word though and hasn't been able to practice typing the words she's recorded onto tape for him. I've hopefully managed to solve the immediate crisis but I believe it's time to start thinking about getting him and I in line for an ADP assenssment and equipment update. It's been a very long time since I've had any involvement with them. Although my situation isn't nearly as acute as his, that's only because I was in the economic position to purchase new equipment and keep up my screen reader's SMA. Those days are now definitely behind me.

I went back up from the second floor to my apartment on the seventh only to realise that I hadn't gotten my mail yet and could have just gone down to the ground floor first. Deciding to actually go down and get it proved to be a very fortuitous decision. In the lobby were a number of people just shooting the breeze. I hadn't encountnered anything like that for ages here. The building just doesn't seem to be condusive to that. There are only a couple of chairs in the lobby but a cane makes a good third leg on such occasions. I must have spent most of an hour standing there chatting with mail in one hand and cane in the other. It's good to know that people actually do, once in a while, have time to talk to each other around here. I feel like I've moved at least a little closer to the kind of sociallly connected state of being I eventually hope to achieve. It felt damned good.

After the group of us went our separate ways, I returned to the apartment and finally got around to visiting the Blio site. I was thrilled to discover that it had actually launched this time and was available for download. I did this immediately, installed it, and that's where the good times ended. I quickly discovered that it wasn't going to be the accessibility experience of the decade as the previous demonstrations and marketting had suggested. It was actually pretty close to completely inaccessible with NVDA and System Access. I finally managed to get the manual to start reading out loud but couldn't pick and choose what parts to read. I decided to simply let it read through completely while I ate my dinner on the off chance that I'd missed some obvious setting which would fix things. No such luck. I at last got around to checking my Twitter updates and found I wasn't the only one thunderously disappointed in this latest turn of events. What can I say? It just doesn't look good when you're promised a revolutionary accessible reading experience by a company known for such things and they release software which proves inaccessible in the extreme in favour of dazzle for sighted folk who already have numerous options for affordable e-book reading. Apparently, I missed a comment on their download page stating that a screenreader-friendly version of the Blio software will be released some time in October. Had this been the first hiccup on this journey of anticipation, it still would have been a noteworthy one. Obviously, sighted powers that be went for rapid release to the sighted population and didn't consider the exceptionally bad optics of the decision for us blinks. Ultimately though, they'll be forgiven for it. When they release the accessible version, it'll likely be damned near flaweless. I'm certainly not going to forego that kind of book affordability and selection based on initial disappointment. I doubt many others will either. As soon as I'm actually able to, I'll gladly sign up my credit card and start looking for good additions to my library. They have me over a barrel. I've witnessed accessible game developers get burned out of business for missing half the promised release deadlines as these folks have. Games are one thing. What these folks are apparently going to offer us in a matter of weeks is a vital step forward in making printed material accessible and affordable to us. I for one can hold my breath a little longer.

Goodness! I've just found out via my Twitter client that I've been on Twitter for at least 485 days. Imagine that! Me! The digital dinosaur and diehard blogger on twitter for well over a year! I suppose I should try and be a more worthy leader for my followers and tweet more. I just feel so much more able to express myself in these blog postings. One thing I find myself slowly doing more of is responding to tweets from others. I guess that's something.

It's early afternoon now. I just got back from an outing with my father to Symposium Cafe. It's martini day on wednesdays and those things taste absolutely splendid. Symposium burgers are enormous so I don't believe I'll need to bother with dinner later on other than perhaps a salad. It was good to catch up with dad and hear more about their recent expedition to a fare with Ava and Amia. Sounds like they had themselves a splendid if rather pricy time of it. He's keenly anticipating his Golf getaway which he leaves on later this week.

And now, it's late afternoon. I went down to meet with Sandy's worker and make certain things went smoothly with Jarte. They certainly did. She's made some excellent progress with Sandy teaching him to type. That's the one area where I felt shakey of my ability to teach him. Looks like she's covering that aspect of things very nicely indeed. She'll also be putting in our referral forms for ADP assessments.

It's certainly been a nicely busy day. Weird or What is on at ten tonight. That ought to be good as it has been these past weeks. Perhaps, I'll do some online chatting this evening. We'll see how it goes. My membership with vipconduit has expired and I don't believe I'll pay for another subscription. I want to direct my disposeable income towards offline happenings. Oh. How interesting! I just checked my email and found an update from CBC Documentaries. One of them was based on a book which I've just pounced on with glee in the CNIB library. It's called Acquainted With The Night; Excursions Through The World After Dark. The author is Christopher Dewdney. Looks like I'm in for a fascinating read this time around. Yet again, I'm ever so glad I checked my email. A very fitting way to spend the early evening hours.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alurt and Alive

Hello everyone. I've stopped snoring now so you can all uncover your ears in complete safety. My goodness! Two entries in less than twenty-four hours! Aren't we special? Call in pennance for sloppy upkeep in the past month which was partially but not totally due to illness. I feel very well rested at the moment which, incidentally, is right around nine o'clock. I remember at least a part of a couple of dreams I had last night which I take as a positive sign of things to come sleep-wise. I'm not going to hold my breath about this. However, rumour has it that at long last, Blio will actually be launching today. I've heard that song before only to discover that there have been yet more delays. Blio is a new epublishing service for electronic books whose software has been designed for everyone to use but with blind people in mind right from square one. The days of waiting well over a year in most cases for a book to be made accessible to blind people by the CNIB digital library may at last be behind me. That would certainly add spice to the coming Winter. I don't mind budgeting for books if I'm not asked to pay four or five times as much for an unabridged audio version when all I'm really after is to have the damned story made accessible to me. I'm quite used to my computer's syntheti speech reading books and it sure as shit doesn't cost publishers much at all to produce a straight-up accessible electronic copy.

People have at times wondered what kind of social life I would deem a good and successful one. Given my limited financial resources, that's a good question. I'm simply not in the same financial league as most of my working contemporaries. On the other hand, I'm also not as hung up on appearances and also not in debt. I do have to space out my more costly outings. Presuming I don't save up, I can spend something on the order of $120 per month if I make relatively painless cuts in other areas. For instance, if I knew that I was going to be out with people regularly, I wouldn't spend as much on junkfood, audio dramas, and other things which help pass solitary time more pleasantly. If I knew, for instance, there was a place I could go to once or twice a week where I could engage in some activity which let me actually get to know people and develop meaningful relationships, I would cheerfully make those cuts. I have yet to find any local club for disabled people or even for so-called "normal" people who want to expand their social circles. It's like there's an unwritten rule that you have to be too far away to meet in order to have the time to do so. I can attend online chats regular as clockwork with people in the US or other provinces but can't find a few people around my age to go out for coffee with once a week. There's just something fundamentally fucked up with that picture. I want to achieve more of a connection with people in my community. If I can get there and back without crippling myself financially, I'm quite happy to volunteer somewhere if it gets me out of the apartment and isn't a solitary activity. I have plenty of work I can do on my own already right here. Alright? I don't think I'm asking for the moon. Just the sense that if some unfortunate accident befell me, someone outside my immediate family might wonder where I was before I began to decompose.

This friday, if nothing comes up for her, I should be seeing Minney. She's a woman I met in the Clearview church who still talks to me regularly by phone. She's working as a nanny and a cleaner so when she's not busy, she tends to be flat out exhausted. It'll be the first time I've actually physically gotten together with her in at least a year. She feels the need to bring over some food for me to try. I'm fine with that but said that she should come back on another occasion and try some of my cooking. As with a lot of people, I have my doubts that she'll take me up on my offer. A lot of well-meaning people out there are quite willing to jump through hoops to help you. However, trying to aim for a more balanced, healthy and reciprocal relationship seems to be like pulling teeth more often than not.

When I've reached the stage where I can hear about an event in the GTA and know someone who would truly enjoy going to that event with me, that would certainly tell me that I'm on the right track. I hear about so many things like festivals or conventions that I just can't get to even if I have the money available. I'd like to make some friends who would naturally want to go to these things as opposed to people who go out of a sense of helping me experience something they're not interested in that I otherwise couldn't.

When it comes to friendships, I'm not really after quantity of friends as much as I am quality. This generation seems to be all about how many "friends" one has on Facebook. I'm after depth of relationship. Friendship in my book is built on shared time and experiences of common interest. I want to have a sense that I'm giving as much as I'm getting. Unfortunately, most of the friends I have a deeper relationship with are ones I can't get together with very often. Steve Murgaski is a prime example. I've known him since grade school. However, it's harder to share new experiences with him since he doesn't live very close and both of us are blind. That limits travel and experience possibilities. I want to have friends who don't hesitate to ask *me* to help *them* with things. I've found that the only person who actually gets me to help him assemble stuff rather than just doing everything for me while I sit there like a lump, is my father. Nobody else thinks it worth taking the time to describe what needs doing, let me feel the parts or tools involved, and actually help with the process. I know I'm not an expert carpenter but just because my eyes don't work doesn't mean my brain and hands are useless.

I believe that things are finally beginning to move in a positive direction here in the social department. It's just going to take quite a while longer than I think it should in order to undo the effects of having five years of progress undone when my marriage fell apart and then not being settled in a permanent place of my own for so long. Thanks in no small part to the church I belong to, I'm beginning to have more of a life outside family. Every once in a while, I'll probably still go to Symposium Cafe on my own in order to stave off cabin fever and enjoy the wonderful food and service. However, I'd much rather go there with other people and have reached a point where I've got to do less of that on my own so that I'm financially able to eat out with others. Being determined to enjoy my first Summer here whether or not I had people around, I've spent extra to do that. I certainly don't regret those decisions. They've allowed my favorite season to pass far more pleasantly than otherwise. However, things do have to change now if I hope to have any wiggle room next Summer.

By damn! That pineapple was flipping perfection. Probbly ate more of it than I ought to have but Man! That was splendid. It's pouring rain out there now. My balcony is somewhat curved in a way that means I can actually step out onto it around half a meter or so before I start to feel the rain. Otherwise, I just get some of the wind going across. Call me a simpleton but I find that rather nifty. I think it's due to the curve of where th rail meets up with the bedroom window. Well, folks, I'm just about finished this cup of Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Breeze Non Dairy Beverage. Now there's a marketting mouthful for you. It's proved to be one of the more successful grocery experiments of the last while. Somewhat richer than milk but quite refreshing when cold. Two cups up. On the other side of the coin in my latest order was San Pellegrino Chinotto. I won't be ordering that stuff again any time soon. I figured it would possibly be an interesting change from softdrinks. What I got were six very small bottles not even containing half a large glass worth of liquid. These bottles are thin at the top but thicken as you go down. They're quite weighty for their sise. The bottom third of them are so thick that I wonder whether I could even crack them with my hammer. Perhaps, I should try it just to get some bang for my buck. What's in that bottom third of bottle anyhow? An emergency supply of pressurised air, or perhaps an enraged djinni travelling economy class?

I'll rap this entry up with another of my more successful purchases. ZBS is a favorite place for me to acquire audio dramas. They came out with an addition to the Jack Flanders series called Steam Dreamers. It's a shorter entry but I found it an interesting couple of hours. It explored the natures of both reality and adiction in a fairly unique way and thereby helped a couple of solitary evenings pass more pleasantly than they otherwise would have. Hats off to the crew at:
They've kept a good thing going for decades. I look forward to whatever they come up with next. Later, everyone.

Time Flies... Away When You're Not Looking! No Fair!

Hello everyone. I guess I've left you all hanging for a while. Life has been pretty placid this past few weeks. I'm pretty much over whatever I caught at Lake Jo. However, it has unfortunately left a legacy of sleep irregularity. It'll likely take a while for that to sort itself back out. I have to try to keep more occupied during the days and stack things so that there's interesting stuff to listen to when I most need it to keep awake. Thankfully, the BBC and CBC plus TV has provided well in that area.

A number of interesting things have happened which I fully meant to blog about but never got around to. My father had an enjoyable sixty-second birthday. We went out to a Firkin pub along with some neighbours. I had an excellent chicken currie and enjoyed it thoroughly along with the easy friendly banter indicative of the long and healthy friendship my parents and I have had with them over the years. Earlier that day, they had an openning event for a bunch of exercise equipment which was installed around Lake Aquitaine over this past Summer. For the very first time, I was able to get to and from a community event completely on my own terms and time. Despite still being under the weather, it felt fantastic to finally have acomplished that cherrished milestone. Doug and his kids were there for a brief while as well. It's always good to see church friends outside of church like that. I spent a good three hours out there walking around. I met a nice Chinese man and his wonderfully curious six-year-old daughter who spent quite a bit of time walking and chatting with me. It made for a very pleasant experience. I'm not certain how motivated I'll be when it comes to actually using the equipment but I'll give it the old colledge try now that I'm finally on the mend. A day earlier, I also attended my friend Nan's 40th birthday gathering. It was a very full and happy house indeed. That family has obviously had a tremendously positive impact in the church community. It felt good to be a part of that celebration.

Earlier last week, I went to se Dan, Ava and Amia when they came over to my parents' house to be out of the way as potential buyers examined their house. We went out on a stroll to two different parks with play equipment. I got to push Amia on the swing and hear her laugh with utter joy. She kept wanting me to push her higher. I don't think I've ever heard her sound quite so happy before. I was also able to lift both of them up to bars they wanted to hang from but couldn't get up to on their own. It was quite enjoyable for me to be the helpul uncle I hope always to be for them. They seem to be enjoying school so far.

Last saturday was nice and busy. I had my groceries come in and everything's all stowed away where it ought to be. I also went out with Shane to Playdium. I've been curious about the place for years now and it was good to finally get to find out what it was like. It's not all that blind friendly. The noise level is tremendous and it's hard to pick out individual attractions or even hear who you're with in there. I got to try the hurricane simulator which was lesss spectacular than I expected but still a neat sensation. They also had a rollercoaster simulation. They did loops wonderfully but somewhat failed when it came to rendering the sensation for forward motion or vertical movement. We ended the evening with a nice dinner at Scores restaurant. It's good to have a friend who's willing to go to things like that with me so I can experience these places and not spend life wondering about them with no way to get there. Whether or not such trips are as fully successful as I might hope, it's just great to have someone around my age to try this stuff out with once in a while. Shane's much more a man of action than conversation and contemplation so I'm going to try and keep an ear out for events which would suit that disposition.

This certainly hasn't been how I hoped my first summer here would end. I've spent most of the past three weeks in here sleeping through large odd chunks of days. I thought I'd be walking around the lake, meeting people, and perhaps going down to Symposium Cafe now and then. Strangely though, I feel somewhat better able to cope with the countless solitary days I know are ahead. I foresee a long slow Winter in store for me this year. Perhaps, in time, I'll form the social framework or find something to volunteer at so that time doesn't drag as much. The past three weeks certainly didn't drag since I slept through an unusually large amount of them. Also, being as prone to nodding off as I found myself to be, I was glad not to have too many obligations. I had a bit of a break from that normal state of feeling like an engine with tremendous unused potential due to a lack of both fuels in the form of life experience and of there being any need for my optimum output. I can't count the number of days I've spent like that over the years wishing for *someone* my age to be with or *something* almost *anything* short of criminal activity, to be involved in. It was good to simply be able to enjoy the time in which I was conscious. I can't remember any of my dreams over the past while so I have no idea how much I enjoyed my time sleeping. Once my sleep pattern is back to something approaching normal, I expect some of that restlessness to return. However, I've learned a bit more how to better marshall the resources I have at hand. I let a lot of stuff slide while I was fighting off this illness. Normal things like, err, cleaning the apartment. That has been put to rights over the past few days. Feels damned good to have things shipshape again. Also, other less tangible things have been neglected. A prime example is the CBC Radio1 show called Tapestries. I've apparently missed three episodes since the new season started. Thank goodness for the podcasts. They're looking at some interesting stuff I've been thinking about lately. Little things like hope, loneliness, and death. There's also last week's DNTO episode to listen to. I've done a little better with Spark. That crew is certainly batting a thousand so far this season. As with DNTO, however, I have last week's episode waiting for my attentive ears. The BBC was commemorating the battle of Brittain over the past while. That has been utterly fascinating, heart-rending and awe-inspiring to listen to. I can't imagine trying to carry on with life while bombs were obliterating neighbourhoods. Mike Walker was up to his usual excellence producing a fabulously poignant audio drama about the conception and building of the Spitfire interwoven with the experiences of two trainees and all the surrounding men and women who took part in the effort. It really makes you think about how lucky we Canadians are never to have faced a modern attack on our country.

I'm a member of an email list called ODSP Fireside. It's for people who, like me, are living on the Ontario Disability Support Program. Unfortunately, I can only stand that list in small amounts. It's just so negative most of the time. While I whole-heartedly agree that the ODSP needs some major changes, I don't believe in dismissing the good intentions of the people who created the system and those who work within it on our behalf. At least they don't presume, like most people seem to, that the CNIB does absolutely everything for us thereby excusing everyone else from having to make any effort in order to allow us to participate in life meaningfully. I certainly resent how you can keep up to $6000 extra per year if it's given to you as a gift but would lose half of thatif you got a job and earned it. I also think it's criminal how those kind souls who take a chance and marry one of us has to risk their disabled spouce having to sue them for income before being let back onto the system should things go bad. There's also no way of finding love within the community of those on ODSP. We all seem to be pretty isolated from each other. There's a lot of talk on the list about how you get less money as a couple on ODSP than if you remained two single people. However, what seems to be overlooked there is that you would be paying less rent if you shared a place. There was a big argument on the list about whether one's choices in life put us in the place where we find ourselves or whether there are other causes. In my view, life just isn't that simple. It's a combination of both. Sadly, due as much to peoples' attitudes as to our disabilities, our life choices don't always carry the same weight as do most people's. It can be all too easy for people who haven't faced life with a disability to dismiss us as lazy or worse. I suppose I shouldn't have been as shocked to find that tendency as prevalent within our community as it seems to be. Only days before this whole discussion came up, I was joking with a younger blind friend looking unssuccessfully for work that perhaps some criminal experience would look good on his resume. I had found my own attempt to find employment so utterly discouraging that I was honestly only half joking. The next thing I knew I was reading the distressed messages from people on ODSP who had actually been convicted for crimes and now found that they couldn't find honest work since nobody would trust them. Ten years ago, I believe I would have felt nothing but a mild exultation that crime indeed didn't ultimately pay off, that there was in fact a kind of universal justice. Of course, back then, my first marriage still had some fight left in it. I hadn't had a near second chance at marriage evaporate during less than an hour after a great two-year relationship. I also hadn't encountered Sandy. He certainly didn't choose to be where he is in life now. Despite having worked for a well respected company for something over twenty years, he finds himself in even worse circumstances than I'm in. They would have been more identical to mine but for a few well-intentionned choices made while he was working. Rather than exulted, I'm left more haunted than anything else by my words made in jest. What happense when loyalty, patience, honesty, and optimism count for nothing but shallow encounters and best wishes? I can't count the times that women I've spoken to have been surprised to learn that I was unattached. They, of course, were already spoken for. Similarly, I meet all kinds of people who are just floored that a positive smart young fellow like me can't find a job. None of them, however, have been in a position to actually hire me and do something about that situation. When it comes to the point of real life-changing commitment, the buck certainly seems to stop in a heeping hurry.

For all that though, my life does have its bright side. My choices have certainly made a positive difference even if they haven't lead to happy married life. They've earned me the respect of my family and made me some great friends. Earlier in September, I found myself wide awake at around quarter to four AM. I knew to the core of my bones that there was just no way I was getting back to sleep for a number of hours so I got up and dressed. Making myself some Chai tea, I went out with it onto my balcony and sat at the table. It was very peaceful at that hour. Due to the blockage of my ears, things were even more distant and muffled than they otherwise would have been. It was as if I were three or four times higher off the ground than I actually was. Along with a cup of splendid Chai made all the better by my recently unplugged nose, the effect was utterly sublime. Other times, it's a piece of music randomly picked by Winamp that'll sweep me up and away. Pieces like Kevin Kern's Touched By Love, Era's I Believe, Watchman's Ease from the score to the game Oblivion or James Newton Howard's The Healing, which can be found in the score to the film Lady In The Water. There are so many unappreciated things like that out there which I've thankfully had the time to find over the years. Had life taken a less slow and solitary turn, I may never have come across these things I try to include in my blog entries. Recently, I was able to enjoy Raymond Feist's Rift War Sauga for the second time and to complete my collection of all the books in that sauga. I'm also going through the Dream Park Trillogy by Lary Niven and Stephen Barnes. again. There's so much to be found in those books. Apparently, a new book whose story takes place in the Dream Park universe is going to come out soon called The Moon Maze Game. God knows how I'll get an accessible copy of that one but I'll absolutely try. While I greatly enjoy books, it's a more distant and thoughtful enjoyment. I may lose track of time but you never foreget that you're reading even if, as in my case, you're being read to. Music and audio are what can more utterly transport me. They're what often pass for the equivalent of colour in my life. Every now and again, they let me forget that I've spent days alone. Audio dramas and described movies are wonderful for that also especially the first time you hear them. You can get swept up in the ficticious lives coming from the speakers and be carried along by soundcraft for a few hours. I sometimes even revel in the fact that there's nobody around to be disturbed. Thankfully, that only goes so far. You can't help but realise that the conversations don't include you, your asss gets uncomfortable, you need a drink. Talking online to people is somewhat the same. It can definitely be meaningful and can take the sharp edge off the long hours. However, there's the realisation that you'll never go out for coffee with them, shake their hands, have them over for an afternoon. It just isn't the same. Not for me at any rate. Given a choice, you'd find me in a coffee house or some other place where people actually go to talk to each other rather than empty bottles of alcohol.

Eventually, the artifice hits home to the sound mind and you're brought back to more humble reality. You get on with the dishes that need washing, the food that needs cooking, the project you're working on, the sleep I really ought to be getting this damned far past midnight. Good lord! Thank god my mobility lesson isn't until this afternoon. I trust you've found this latest look at life on Blink Row to be illuminating. If I'm at all correct about a universal justice, given the twelve hours of sleep I got last night and the good sleep I hope to get now, I'm on the way to a more normal routine again. Have a good day, everyone. I'll try not to disturb you with my snores for the next part of it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Viral Vexations and Ruminations

Hello everyone. It's a somewhat dreary friday afternoon. I'm not quite better yet but am now clearly heading that way. I haven't coughed nearly as often today as I have over the past while. It doubtless helps that I haven't actually said more than perhaps two thousant words this week even counting commands to my voice-controlled talking alarm clock. My nose is unblocked and not running all the time. My head is still not back to normal but there's less pressure inside. My hearing isn't back to normal yet but things are sounding less muffled and distant. I wouldn't want to venture out onto the sidewalk or cross a street, but indoor navigation is alright again. For the first time this week, I believe I'll be able to stay up all day today. There's still a kind of lethargy hanging over me. I'm glad I can just stay here and relax.

I started the morning listening to the last summer edition of the Current on CBC Radio1. Apparently, Marc Garno is going to be commanding the international space station in late 2012. That'll certainly be a nifty six months to follow. He sounds so deserving of that responsibility and eager for it as well. Of course, the world might end pretty early on in his tour of duty if there's anything to that Mayan calendar. Wouldn't that royally suck? Personally, I think 2012 is going to come and go like any other year. However, if enough misguided souls take all the 2012 crap to heart, I should probably check into Ebay during that span of otherwise doubtless dull days two years hence.

TV turned up aces this morning. I caught two episodes of Urban Legens on History Channel followed by an episode of Mythbusters on Discovery. Not too shabby at all. A couple of nights ago, I actually managed to stay up and caught a new show on History Channel called Weird or What. William Shatner is the host and it's actually something I believe I'll try and catch regularly. It's been quite a while since TV has come up with anything to make me try to do that. Perhaps, this bodes well for this Fall tv lineup. I just wish I could find someone out there who was close enough to visit and liked the same sorts of shows. Preferably, of course, a female around my age who wasn't otherwise hitched. I really miss having a girlfriend. There's just no getting rid of that sense of incompleteness to life as a single guy.

Even with no background music or anything, I barely heard that knock at my door. The upper hand and forearm technique taught to me in grade school served me well on my rush to answer. Could have easily bashed my nose or given my cranium a good thump. Even indoors, it looks like more sonic recalibration is in order as whatever this virus is startes to withdraw from me. It seems the postman couldn't find my entry in the outer lobby buzz directory so he simply came up. It's good to know that's at least a possibility for them to come up to the actual door in such a circumstance. My new custom-built cane from Ambutech has arrived. Wasn't quite certain which of two length choices would be right but I'm very happy with the 135-cm length that I went with. I'm also happy to have chosen five sections rather than four as this new cane fits my holster far more neatly than what I've been using. The grip and joints are identical to the older Ambutech cane I got as a spare and have been thankful for this week despite it sticking out of said holster. It'll take a bit to become fully acustomed to the roller tip I thought might work well. However, it should handle touch-and-drag situations far better than my older cane did. There's certainly something to be said for ordering one's own cane to specifications. If it lasts as long as my previous grafite cane has, I'll absolutely get my $62 worth. Presuming the cane renewal kit lets me fix the cord in my old cane, I won't have to think about buying any for God knows how many years.

It's so damned good to be able to sit at this desk again and not start to nod off within a few minutes of starting to do something. I begin to feel hopeful that I'll actually enjoy this last long weekend of summer whether there's rain or not. If I'm supremely lucky, tonight's rest will complete the getting better process and I'll enjoy a supercharged saturday. That's probably too much to seriously hope for, but I'm confident that I'll feel better than I do today. With the prospect of enjoying my first big dinner in a while this evening, that'll definitely do for the present. I'm cooking up a couple of beef grilling medallions, some potatoes in the oven, and some zucchini with garlic and olive oil on the grill. For the past few days, I simply haven't had the energy or apetite to eat all that much. Gone through a number of soup cans over the last while. Fortunately, Grocery Gateway has sent a ten-dollar-off coupon which I can use to restock items next week. Being sick certainly alters one's eating patterns.

That pretty much brings us up to date. A couple of BBC Radio offerings worth mentionning were a show about a school in England built to try to bring the Asian and white communities closer together. That was an interesting show. Another was about the scientists who advised or consulted with film or TV and how the worlds of science and art interacted. That was easily the listening highlight of the week. As usual, I'm pretty much garanteed to be the only guy who heard it within half a fucking continent. Is there nobody out there? Has my quest to find my in-crowd or at least one special lady on the same wavelength as me been utterly hopeless from the start? Intellectually, I seriously begin to wonder. Emotionally, I know that I simply can't aford to give up hope. If I do, I pretty much garantee a negative outcome. It's that simple.

This past week has set things in quite a solitary light. Doubtless, next week will see me out there more presuming I'm truly putting this bug behind me. I'm quite optimistic that all this rest and sleep plus pills has turned the trick. It's around a quarter past five. Presuming those medallions are thawed as I expect, it's time to start working on some taters and zucchini.