Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Most Splendid Season

Hello everyone. It's past time I got another blog entry out to you all. The past while has been both on the whole pleasant and busy. I've fully gotten over my illness and been back to the Dam each week. I find these Summer hours somewhat slow. If anything, the kids seem more occupied and full of energy which means there's less opportunity for me to really get engaged in other than keeping a hopefully helpful ear on things. In the autumn, I'll begin staying later on tuesdays to help lead discussions on various issues. I keenly look forward to that. It'll be of immense help when the teens are actually present in order to talk about something.

I should be sleeping right now. Did a walk today, got together with Shirley for a long overdue catch-up chat, and haven't even eaten much. I've played every damned card I have other than taking my sleeping medication of choice, a cheep Graval knock-off. Took it last night and got a good sleep but wanted to be up and not groggy for church... later this morning. My brain just refuses to wind down and let me sleep. It's ten to fucking three! Wanted to get a blog entry out long before this, august 7th, but the words just never worked out.

Other than this sleping difficulty, I've had a terrific if expensive time this summer sans the week after getting back from Lake Joe. My desktop computer is now busy converting my Audible books into more easily navigable MP3 files. Had Audible just spared a moment's thought for blind people who, ... oh, just might be their most captive loyal audience on the planet and made it possible to navigate their books as they were read in Windowsmedia on a Windows machine, I wouldn't have had to do this. Thank God I've got this netbook. It'll be around another day or so before it's done and I started the process yesterday afternoon. I'm converting all three of the Dream Park novels and hope Audible eventually does the Moon Maze Game, the fourth long-awaited book in the series. Now that I've bought DRMbuster which can convert the books into MP3s, Audible is at last worth belonging to for me. The iPHONE app also works great and thankfully allows blind people the same latitude of navigation as sighted folks. I'm going to cancel my Samnet subscription to be able to afford Audible. I really haven't used it as much as I thought I would. The descriptive movies are nice but the chat community has simply dried up. Everyone's in the game room and nobody seems to simply look for a good conversation anymore. Not unless there's three different other things to be doing at the same damned time. The art of friendship seems to be changing drastically if not exactly dying.

It's now the morning of the 10th. Still haven't exactly kicked the insomnia to the curb but I'll live. My next order of groceries will be arriving soon. That could see me through the rest of the month but it would be a stretch. We'll see how that goes. Now that people are coming back from their vacations as Summer heads into the final stretch, the likelyhood of guests increases. I'm having one tomorrow who'll be staying for a few days. Stephen Murgaski, blind adventurer extraordinaire and my good friend since early grade school is coming to visit. It'll be great to have him here and catch up more fully with everything. I've been seeing more of Doug and Nann lately. Got to meet a couple of their good friends including one who I previously just read emails about. It'll be a hoot to return the favour and introduce them to Steve this week. They've heard a fair bit about him but didn't get to meet him durring his last visit. Yesterday was a great day at the Dam which made up for so much dead time there. I got into good conversations with two of the youth for basically the whole afternoon. One girl chatted with me for most of that time, a good two hours or so. For the first time in quite a while, I enjoyed that sensation of being at the right place at the right time and being able to do a good job. I think I made some serious headway, or at least a good beginning with each of them. The rain cleared up so I was able to walk back from the Dam. Didn't get lost this time. Once it locked on, the Trekker worked perfectly.

This is an exceptionally enjoyable Summer for me. I've felt a lot more drawn into the community here. I've always found comfort and security in being well known. That seems to surprise a good number of people who cling to privacy like it's some sort of refuge that could disappear all too easily. The better I'm known around here, the safer I am as I go about. Plus, if I'm ever going to find a job or get another crack at marriage some day, it'll most likely be because people know me as a kind compassionate person willing to pitch in and help out however I can. One lady who said hello to me on the path around the lake didn't give me her name. What was I going to do other than know how to address her? Launch a name-seeking missile her way or something? People just don't seem to have time for community and haven't the foggiest idea what they've been turning away from. Given enough information, I can be of real help to people, a contributing part to their lives rather than simply a man with a cane to look out for. Especially to the folks whose English could do with some improvement. I've had numerous residents in the building who fall into that category expend considerable effort in asking me how I cook my food. They don't seem to give a tinker's cuss about anything else so long as I don't seem likely to burn the building down. Wonder how many of them smoke while they're less than fully alert. If I thought for a moment that they'd understand the reply; "Well a lot of blind people use ordinary or talking appliances like microwaves, George Forman grills and such. Me, I've come to truly cherish my flamethrower." I'd be ever so sorely tempted to use it at times. I hate it when people leave with a one-dimensional impression of me. Thankfully, that phenominon is at last being balanced by more people actually getting to know somewhat more about me. I'm very much enjoying being more a part of the community rather than the human equivalent of a strange bug under a microscope. I'm hopeful that things will keep getting better here over the years as more people slowly learn more about me and I them.

The groceries are all stowed away. I at last have actual buns for the burgers I never got around to eating. However, I forgot to order salad dressing for my vegies. Oops. Still feels good to be all stocked up. The delivery person was a woman this time. First I can remember for Grocery Gateway. Would have been interesting to talk to her more. She's only been working there for six weeks. There's a little tidying up to do yet but on the whole, I'm nice and ready for company tomorrow. That increased activity will, I hope, allow me to at last ditch the insomnia for a while.

During the Summer, my church is doing a series of questions asked by God of his people in the bible. The challenge is to come up with our own answers. Most people are submitting them on cards anonimously. I plan to do an article with an answer for the newslettres published by the church over the next months. It'll be good to have something like that to do on a regular basis. I'm hoping it'll help stave off writer's block a tad. The church has certainly continued to be a very positive factor in life for me. I attempted to walk there a couple of weeks ago and succeeded despite not having used the route since I learned it last year. The Trekker Breeze gave me enough information to keep me on track and remind me of what I would have forgotten. It took around an hour to get there. Didn't stand much during the service. The legs certainly felt stiff for a while. All the walking I've done this year has certainly paid off. I'm feeling quite good overall even while contending with insomnia. Having things to look forward to in my calendar helps also. I'm finally able to use my iPHONE's calendar effectively. Took a bit of tinkerring but I figured it out in true manly fashion without recourse to the manual.

I have no doubt I've left out some events I might have blogged about had I gotten to this entry sooner. There have certainly been more visits and things than in previous years. Twitter has also helpped tremendously to keep the edge off the more solitary days. For a while, all we heard about in the news was the phone hacking scandal. That's at last been brushed away by these crazy riots in London as well as the unsteady world economic situation. Those riots must be something else to live near. You'd think people would show a bit more sense. Smashing and burning businesses isn't going to make things better for anybody. I hope we're not in for another global recession. We've just barely poked our heads out of the last one. Although my current personal circumstances would bennefit from falling prices as they did during the last one, I would prefer to live in a world where people are more hopeful and where effort is more rewarded. It's one thing if I face the hopelessness I have. It's something else entirely when people all around me face the same difficulties and fear losing all they've worked so hard for. There probably is a danger that in a particularly long deep recession, ODSP and housing cuts could seriously effect me. Although they didn't lower my income during the last recession, I presume such cuts are always a possibility. For now though, I can enjoy the rest of the Summer confident that I'll be able to put some money away for the next Summer over the winter. Things should work out alright barring any unexpected events.

Finally got to see Allison and my three nieces again. Dan was busy working. They've had quite a good summer also. They went camping for the first time right when the heet wave was in full force. We were all a bit worried about how Alleah would do. As things turned out, they all had a great time and will be going camping again later in the month. Wasn't certain how well that kind of trip away from the comforts of home would go over with Ava and Amia but they seem to have enjoyed it. Later this month, my grandmother is coming so I expect to be doing quite a bit with the family nearer the end of August. That's always an interesting break from the normal.

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