Category Archives: plugs

“The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon – narrated by Alana Kerr *Edited*

***Edit: While I was laying on the floor with Jayden after he had his dinner, I thought about looking Samantha Shannon up on Twitter. One of her tweets had a link to a blog post so I began reading from her most recent. She mentions a target finish of February 2014 for the next book, yay! I also wanted to link to this post which has an interview with Alana Kerr. “The Bone Season” was her first audio book, so that was interesting to learn and the interview details what it’s like to record an audio book.***

“The Bone Season” is Samantha Shannon’s debut novel and is the first in what will be a seven book series. Shannon wrote the novel when she was only twenty-one and a student at Oxford. Pretty awesome eh? I thought so, which is why I bought it awhile back. Was it a daily deal? I can’t remember how Audible alerted me to it but I’m glad it did.

Nineteen year old Paige Mahoney has a special gift. Unfortunately for Paige, this gift is illegal in the year 2059 when clairvoyants like her are hung for treason when they are discovered. Or so Paige has grown up believing. However when she commits a crime with her gift and gets caught, it’s not the hangman’s noose she faces, it’s the abandoned grounds of Oxford, long since off limits after a disaster made it too dangerous. Here, Paige finds other clairvoyants like her but this isn’t Hogwarts and there’s no kindly professor to help her sharpen her skills.

I made that comparison to Harry Potter since it seems Shannon’s series and even her writing are being compared to J. K. Rowling and her magical world and I honestly cannot fathom the comparison. Saying “The Bone Season” is like Harry Potter is like saying baseball and basketball are similar because both balls are round.

Yes, both series will have seven books, both authors are from the U.K. and both are women. To me, that’s where the similarities stop. Well ok fine, that and the fact that both series involve special human powers. Honestly a closer comparison would be The X-Men, where people’s powers are considered to be mutations. Why must a comparison be drawn though? I think Samantha Shannon is simply Samantha Shannon.

The beginning of the book was a little hard for me to listen to. The way the clairvoyants are treated as though they’re vermin, it was just hard to stomach. I nearly turned the book off. I’m glad I stuck with it. I just don’t like it when humans torture other humans. Sometimes this book made me feel the way I did when I listened to “The Handmaid’s Tale. Humans aren’t nice to each other in that book either.

Speaking of humans, there is a humanoid alien race in this future dystopia. In fact the past isn’t even our past. This alien race came to Earth in 1859. One of the things I rather enjoyed about this book was the fact that our alternate history was never explained in detail. Shannon leaves it up to the reader to imagine a world in which aliens landed before the American Civil War. So many questions! I love being able to add my creativity. Perhaps more will be revealed in the coming books.

I grew to like Alana Kerr’s narration. At first I thought to myself, wow add some inflection would you? You’re awfully monotone, like you’ve never had a happy day in your life. However the tone fit. This is quite the bleak story. I was also confused at first by Kerr’s accent. Is she British or Irish? You discover why that also fits though. So overall Kerr did a good job. The only issue I had was sometimes not knowing who was speaking. Kerr doesn’t add a lot of delineation between male and female which is fine if that is obvious in the text, but Shannon doesn’t add a lot of he said she saids so sometimes it was confusing.

This was an entertaining book and I’m disappointed not to find any hint of when the next one will be out. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the characters and I also think Shannon has the potential to be a great writer. This wasn’t a perfect book but as her first, it was pretty impressive. I think her ideas are quite fresh and I refuse to compare her to anyone else. Now to wait for the next book. *sigh*

Rating: Entertaining

“The Bone Season” at Audible ~ “The Bone Season” at Amazon

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Filed under 2013 Book List, Audio books, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2013, plugs, twitter me this

From the Desk of my Sleep Deprived Cat Audio

So every time I write a sleep deprived post, which is a really odd tradition to have but I seem to have made it a tradition because as soon as I decided to say screw it and get up at 5:30 this morning after laying awake since at least 4:00 I thought, I’ll need to write a post. I also always seem to write really rambly run on sentences in these. I planned on starting this post another way but then a described movie started in iTunes even though I swear I set them all to skip when shuffle so I had to go do that in iTunes. It was The Glenn Miller Story, have you seen that?

Right, so I meant to start off this post by saying I always look back on the previous sleep deprived post when I write one of these. In the last one, I wrote about how I had to have a colonoscopy because of my recurring diverticulitis and I was all doom and gloom about it, being pretty sure there’d be nothing they could do about it, that they were just ruling out something more serious, my life was already messed up so throw more at me oh woe is me cry me a river pour me another. Well guess what? Yeah, gastro doc said, “everything looks fine, you only have a small area of diverticula, keep taking the fiber and probiotics and you should be fine.”

Hmmm, will it really be that simple? Well that was back in April, the bum hose and I’ve been taking the supplements as suggested since and I’ve been fine. I even found the probiotics he recommended on Amazon for way cheaper than they were at Walgreens. I signed up to have them delivered every month and saved even more. So all my woe is me talk was just silly.

So this morning I was laying on the couch for a bit with Timmy and he was purring like crazy so I decided to grab a quick voice note.

In that I mention that his front paws are declawed and I say I don’t believe in that. I just want to clarify what I meant. I just can’t knowingly cut off a cat’s first knuckle. My mom and I always trained our cats not to claw the furniture. I’ve lost that battle in this apartment since B never trained Fi not to claw furniture so there was no point in trying to train Spinelli. So yeah, that’s what I meant by not believing in declawing. When I listened back on that I thought that was an odd choice of wording haha.

At one point I jingle Timmy’s bell collar and it made me think of Carin and Steve. Bells!

Timmy totally sounds like a pidgin at one point. I’m not sure if it’s really as funny as I thought or if I’m just delirious from sleep deprivation.

I totally couldn’t stop the recording at the end. the ol’ two finger double tap no longer works in iOS 7.0.3 I guess.

So how bout that for some sleep deprived fun with cats? First time I’ve put audio in one of these I think. I haven’t slept well the last few nights. Nature calls and wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep for awhile. This morning I just gave up. I realized after I’d already had coffee that I forgot to use my meditation bells. Gah! Reading that last post, I sure remembered them then! Grrr. Just hope I sleep tonight.
I wrote this post much later in the day than normal for this category. It’s 1:33pm, do you know where your feet are?

I write the word “so” too much.

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Filed under Amazon, cats, coffeeholic, doc, Fi, iPhone, iTunes, mom, plugs, random stuff, silly girl, Sleep Deprived Fun, Timmy

M-O-O-N, That Spells I Can’t Think of a Title

This morning I had to moderate a spam comment that slipped through my filters. This made me realize just how neglected my blog has been when I had to log in to WordPress to spam the comment. When I opened my Twitter client I tweeted that thought and wondered if maybe I would write a post today. And look what I’m doing!

It’s not really a surprise to me that I’m writing a post. My baseball season is over. Baseball itself isn’t over but to me it is since my beloved Rays were knocked out in the first round AGAIN. I almost rather it had been to the Texas Rangers again and not the team that must not be named. Anyway, it seems that when baseball is over my mind frees up or something. I should look back at previous Octobers and see if the posting increased haha!

Next month is NaBloPoMo so I’ll begin posting daily then. Perhaps posting now is a way to begin warming up. I have TONS of book posts to write. I mean TONS. Audible started this daily deal thing. An audio book a day at a ridiculously low price. I started keeping a tally, not allowing myself to spend any more than I was on their buy three credits for the price of two deal that I was partaking in every month. I had to set a limit for myself or God only knows how much I’d spend on the daily deals. My tally resets when I get my monthly credits. This credit period I got ten books for the price of two credits. I’d say that’s a pretty awesome deal!

These are good books their offering, too. When they introduced the daily deal they said something like, we hope you’ll take a chance on a book you might not have before. I most certainly have done just that. So yeah, needless to say there are a lot of book posts I have yet to write. I’m reading totally freely now that I have an abundant supply and don’t have to limit myself. I’ll also finally be signing up for books for the blind now that they’ve gotten current and have an iOS app. Though I still like the “normalcy” of buying books and collecting. Call it something I don’t want to give up from my sighted days?

Jayden is fine and we’re both excited that the weather is cooling off. Summer hibernation is leaving! Yay! I had a really really really bad summer. My health took a turn this year with regards to weather and it was not fun. It was getting nearly impossible to control my pain. I managed to push through until monsoons ended but something will have to be done before next summer. I’m just glad I’m on the other side of it and now it’s time to get back to being active again.

I’ve been doing quite a lot of baking. I don’t know what started it but one day I was like, I want home baked cookies. My mom and I always had stuff on hand to bake cookies when we felt like it and I realized I didn’t have any of that anymore. I hit Amazon. My first batch of Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies didn’t come out all that great haha. Mom and I always made the recipe on the back of a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips. B had picked up the milk chocolate. Good, but not right. It was a good thing I made that first batch while B was home because I did the old sighted thing of not actually putting ON the oven mitts, just kind of holding them. My thumb touched the rack and I dropped the mitt. In the oven. Yeah…lesson learned haha!

I’ve since made several different kinds of cookies. Mom and I always loved snicker doodles so I looked up some recipes online. I decided on this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. They are delicious! Even B ate them and he’s the pickiest eater on the planet. Anyway, I’ve since tried Sally’s peanut butter cookies and OMG YUM! I think those are my favorite so far because they satisfy the sweet tooth and I can’t eat many because peanut butter has protein and protein fills you up. I ate the last one yesterday so I might need to bake some more today. *grin*

I had also made some oatmeal raisin cookies since my friend Erik said those are his favorite. The recipe I found wasn’t one of Sally’s though. They were good, but I’m going to try one of Sally’s. She’s my new favorite person.

Oh, shhh don’t tell, but I gave Jayden a tiny piece of peanut butter cookie. That’s the first time I have ever done that but he LOVES peanut butter haha!

My friend Carol says she’s developing a doughnut instead of a muffin top so I’ve started saying I’m developing a cookie. Yeah…really need to incorporate exercise back in if I’m to keep up the baking.

Exercise hit a huge snag over the summer of misery. The zombie runs I love so much had gotten downright painful. Jogging around the house is my only option and it was killing my knees. I want to get a little trampoline to jog in place on. I really think that could do the trick. That’s no excuse for not doing TRX or Pilates but I was already in so much pain I didn’t want to add even the good pain of exercise. Time to ease back in.

Ok, I think this has been a decent update for my one reader who hasn’t left hahah! Kidding kidding. I’m fairly certain the posting will increase big time now that my Rays have begun their off season. *sob*

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Amazon, Audio books, baseball, blind blunders, Jayden, mom, monsoons, num num food, plugs, spoons, treat for me, twitter me this, weather, workouts

Handwriting in iOS 7 – Most Excellent!

The other day when someone retweeted @Ducktail’s demo of handwriting in iOS 7 I played the demo not sure what I’d find. Not long into it my hands were covering my face as I listened, completely amazed and filled with gratitude toward Apple.

In iOS 7, we’ll be able to draw letters on the screen! Not only will this allow us to hand write text, but it can also be used to search the device for apps. Looking for Sound Hound? Draw an “s” on the screen and a list of all your apps beginning with the letter “s” come up. I cannot wait for this feature! I hadn’t thought about how much I miss writing letters!

It seems like this could definitely be difficult for those who never used handwriting, for sure, but for someone like me who wrote the letters of the alphabet until I was twenty-nine, this will bring back something I thought I’d lost forever! The ability to hand write! Oh man. I’m so excited hahahahaha!

Ok, as LeVar Burton likes to say, bydhttmwfi. go have a listen to the demo. It’s an auto play Dropbox. Just go listen. Oh man! So cool! So amazing! Thank you, Apple!

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Filed under accessibility, Adjustment to blindness, apple Inc, assistive technologies, cool product, demo, gratitude, iPhone, misty eyes, plugs, screen reader, twitter me this, Voiceover, wow

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler – narrated by Orlagh Cassidy

Justine Larbalestier, an author who’s books I’ve read and who I follow on Twitter, recommended this book not that long ago. She recommended on Twitter to go into reading it completely blindly which of course I did (haha). I Took her word for it, found the book at Audible and downloaded it without reading the publisher’s summary, checking the length or previewing the narrator. I took a lot of chances. What if the narrator was awful? Luckily she wasn’t. She was one of the few females I could stand to listen to for long periods of time.

Needless to say I won’t be writing anything about this book. It was an adventure going into it knowing nothing but the title. Having followed Justine Larbalestier on Twitter for quite awhile now, I knew we share a lot of the same opinions on feminism and politics so I figured no matter what the book was about, I wouldn’t hate it. I waited to start it until B was done with business trips in case it was scary.

I enjoyed the book. There’s not a whole lot more I can say without giving you the opportunity to go into it blindly as well. I don’t think I loved it as much as Justine did but I can recommend it. One thing I can say is that I was shocked when it was over. I had no idea how long it was so the ending snuck up on me. I wasn’t prepared. That’s one thing about print versus audio, with a print book you know when you’re nearing the end. With audio books I rely on the split of parts to give me an idea of where I might be in a book. I can also check my Audible app but hadn’t thought to do so with this book. All of the sudden it ended and I was like wait, but but but…I wasn’t done.

Rating: Entertaining

PS – I read some reviews on Amazon now that I’m done and apparently the cover of the book is revealing so I quite literally went into it blindly. 😉

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” at Audible ~ “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” at Amazon

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Filed under 2013 Book List, Audio books, plugs, twitter me this

From the Desk of My Somewhat Sleep Deprived Mind

I’m going to make a sleep deprived label I’ve decided. Yep, it’s that time again so I went and did a search for my sleep deprived posts and they’re getting up there. Best to have a label, yeah? It’s currently 6:04am as I begin this post. I’ve been up for awhile and I should have seen this coming. The other morning I realized I was awake and after some time, finally checked the time. Time. Let’s write it again. Time. It was 2:30. Whoa baby! How bout no? I lay there thinking I needed to put the meditation bells on. I have this app called AmbiSci 300 and it’s got all sorts of ambient sounds. The meditation bells are perfect for lulling me back to sleep. I just stick my phone under my pillow. It takes some time but it works.

That time I fought to get back to sleep because I was fighting an infection and knew I needed my rest. This time, damn that was only a few days ago I think, I just gave up. Did that make sense? No. But do these posts ever make sense? I decided when I checked the time and it was 4am, that that was late enough to just get up and make coffee since it was pretty obvious it was time for another sleep deprived day. I usually sleep really well though I had to laugh when I read the last sleep deprived post that my doctor had asked how I was sleeping and I told her fine only to not sleep that night.

Speaking of the doctor, I love her but I’m seeing her too much lately. Did I see her last Monday? I think so yeah. I told her it was much nicer to run into her at Joe’s Crab Shack than to be constantly seeing her at the office. I’m just falling apart, ya’ll!

I have a meet and greet with my new gastro doc in April. Yep, a gastro doc. I get to have a hose in me bum. What? A colonoscopy. Weeeeeee! I had more diverticulitis even though I’m doing absolutely everything I’m supposed to in order to prevent it. Nothing with seeds. No nuts. No tomatoes unless diced. I’m even avoiding lettuce after reading that it’s difficult to digest. I take a fiber supplement. I exercise regularly. Still I got the pain. That’s just not normal, doc says. I was expecting her to say I had to have the bum hose when I got that last attack. Now It’s just the damn waiting. Hurry up and wait. It’s not even like there’s probably anything that can be done anyway. They’ll just go in and make sure nothing more serious is going on and then that’s it. Maybe I’m being too cynical but at this point in my life, after living sick for so many years I’m just like whatever dude, throw more at me. Might as well. My life is already incredibly limited and messed up, why not give me more? Bring it! Hey, maybe I’m given all the stuff that others wouldn’t be able to handle so they don’t have to handle it. Not that I believe that any of us are given anything on purpose, but sometimes it’s nice when I’m giving myself a pep talk out of depression to think that maybe I’m preventing someone else from going through what I go through even though I know that’s not true. It’s not like I went blind so you wouldn’t have to and it’s not like I have MS so you don’t have to and it’s not like I have to get a bum hose so you don’t have to because guess what? Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you’ll still have to get a bum hose one day if you stay on top of your screenings bwah ha ha ha!

My cat, Timmy, is snoring on the couch next to me and Jayden is on the floor at my feet which is odd because usually he’s on the couch with me. All the animals are like, what are you doing up? And Jayden is probably like, when the coffee is on, I’m usually not hungry and my bladder is usually relieved so wtf? Yes, my dog thinks wtf ok?

So if the narrator you’ve always thought should narrate your memoir says you should write your memoir when you tell her that you want her to narrate it but then you’d have to write it, you have to write it, right? I also got to thinking, now that my blog is hosted, if I die, it’ll go away. That’s a terrible thought. If I die, will someone figure out where I’m hosted and pay it? Hahaha! So then I thought back to Lorelei King tweeting me to “do it, baby!” and I was like, well at least that would be a legacy but then who am I to leave a legacy? I’m no one. If I wrote my memoir, would you read it? People have told me from the beginning of my blindness that I needed to write my story. However what voice has stuck with me? The negative one. I need to shut that voice up. Maybe if I wrote a memoir I could be somewhat self supporting because damn, relying on something other than myself for income really sucks. Then again, authors are going broke since people only want to pay ninety-nine cents for a book on their stupid electronic devices so really, can anyone make money selling books anymore unless they’re Stephen King?

Alrighty then I think that’s about all I have. I think I’ll publish this thing and then go add a sleep deprivation label of some sort. It’s 6:25am, do you know where your teeth are?

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Filed under coffeeholic, doc, humor as coping skill, I might be a writer, Jayden, plugs, rambles, random stuff, sicky sick, Sleep Deprived Fun, spoons, Timmy

My Week in Five er, Six Songs

A fun sounding writing prompt came up yesterday but I wasn’t sure I’d do it. this morning a song popped in my head and I started thinking of other songs to fit into a five song playlist to describe my week. I picked last Monday to today. Can you guess the song before clicking the link? All the links are you tubes and they open in a new window.

Last Monday I had to go to the doctor and she wants me to have a procedure. It’s just a procedure and not surgery, but I hope the gastroenterologist isn’t like this surgeon.

Tuesday I tried to gather enough energy to get ready for an out of town guest. I tried to find a good song about out of town guests but all I found were songs about weddings. Huh? B’s dad was here for a visit Wednesday and we hung out until Friday afternoon when he and B drove up to Phoenix for Spring Training. He flew out this morning (B just got home and said his dad missed his flight. It was crazy in Phoenix this weekend with the World Baseball Classic and Spring Training and apparently it’s spring break this week too.) and B will be back today. (Yeah, he’s already back. Can YOu tell I started this post awhile ago?) I got to prepare some food for myself that I don’t normally eat much of when I eat with B, so I thought I’d find a song about cooking. It’s fun to sing while you cook. My shrimp was dead.

I was sad the night B and his dad left so after I cooked dinner I treated myself to another season of my favorite comedy. Happy making! The show kept me company for the weekend.

The rest of the time, I listened to my favorite sport. If you don’t know what that is without clicking the link, you don’t know me at all!

Last night I went to bed early so I could get up early this morning to get ready for Jayden’s wellness check vet appointment. (He earned a clean bill of health again!) I told B on the phone last night I felt really old going to bed so early and this morning my hips hurt and my knees were popping as I was getting ready and the song that came to mind let me know I had to follow the writing prompt and write this post. I could not find the original recording of that song on youtube, so I picked that cover out of the several I listened to. It reminded me of my dad sitting around singing country songs and playing his guitar while I was growing up.

Ok, bonus round. Back in my karaoke days my friend L did this song and I’ve tried to find it for years but never knew the artist or enough lyrics. The other day I found myself singing it to Jayden, replacing the word “ladies” with his name. I finally remembered I have the Sound Hound app and after humming the song to it, I finally found it! Don’t worry, the subject matter does not pertain at all to my life. 😉

How many songs did you guess? Leave me a comment and tell me. I won’t know if you lie, but your dog will. Huh?

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, cool product, doc, family, Jayden, music, num num food, plugs, vet visit, youtube

Zombies Are Good For Your Health

As of the first of the year, my awesome gym situation at the blind center ended. It’s a long story, basically the hours changed and it didn’t work for me anymore. I had decided I would join a gym and was going to wait until February for the resolution rush to die down before I picked a gym and signed my life and soul away in a contract. My apartments have a little fitness room but it only works for me this time of year because in the summer, it’s way too hot to walk there and the room isn’t cool enough.

While I waited for February to roll around, I decided I’d do my TRX for strength training and dance for cardio. I get so bored with dance though. I don’t know enough moves haha! I decided to try this app I’d been hearing a lot about on Twitter. It had also been posted about at AppleVis so I knew it was mostly accessible. I remember reading something about the supplies part of the game not being accessible, but I just wanted the exercise part. I wanted to run from zombies.

Um, what? Did I read that right? Zombies?

You read that right. It’s an app called Zombies, run! and I absolutely love it! When I first started hearing about the app I didn’t think I could play it because I can’t go running outside and I have no treadmill but I started seeing other blind people talking about running around in their apartments or even just running in place. The more I heard about the app the more I wanted it and it has quickly become my favorite app aside from Fleksy.

Zombies, run! is basically an audio game. You can select the length of your missions, about thirty minutes or about an hour, you select your music playlists, choose whether you want it to shuffle or not, decide if you want to enable zombie chases, start your mission and begin pumping those legs.

The first story mission, (choose this mode to listen to a developing story you’re a part of with every run) starts with you riding in a helicopter. You are going to be dropped into a settlement where survivors of the zombie apocalypse need your help. Unfortunately your helicopter doesn’t quite make it and you have to run if you’re going to get to the settlement and safety. There is a man talking into your headphones, saying he can see you but he’s not sure you can hear him. I literally waved my arms above my head hahahaa!

EAch mission develops the story from there and you get to know the characters as you run each time. When the mission is over, radio mode is enabled and your music keeps playing along with fun voice clips. I do my long stretching sessions to radio mode. I love it!

Ok, wrote all that yesterday and now I’m writing tonight after doing a zombie run this morning. I jotted down some notes after today’s run so I wouldn’t forget. I finally got the hang of the zombie chases. For whatever reason my first several runs did not include any zombie chases even though I had GPS enabled. Then all of the sudden a few runs ago, I had a zombie chase, but I was caught even though I pumped my legs like crazy. To describe it exactly, I pretty much reenacted the Maniac scene in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen that movie, I’m sorry.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to read tutorials which I did not too long ago. I should have from the start. Oh well haha! I learned that when the zombie chase starts, your pace needs to pick up for up to a minute. Oh! So today I had two zombie chases and I evaded the mobs both times. Go me!

I also tried something new today. If you’re not blind, I’m sorry. If you are blind, chances are you have a white cane. This worked perfectly today to keep me running in one spot. I get the best results by mimicking running as best I can in one place in my apartment. It also happens to be right under an air vent. The problem was, I was drifting and bumping the walls if I didn’t hang on to a wall. But that seemed to constrict my movements. So today I jammed my white cane in the corner where the floor and wall meet and it worked like a charm! I was able to still pump the arm that held the cane but I didn’t drift and bump the walls.

Today I had to wonder if other runners get so into the game. I’ve really gotten in to the character of Runner 5. That’s who you are as a player. I wave at the guys when they say stuff, today I talked to them saying things like, “I’ll get that package!” Then I laugh at myself and think, I’d never have this much fun if I was doing this at the gym or on the streets. Then after the run was done and I was stretching while I took off my knee braces and sneakers, I was imagining the other inhabitants of Able Township walking by and patting my back since I had just returned from a mission with a very important box. I imagined that they all knew by now that I can’t really talk when I get back from a mission because I must cool down and stretch and stuff. Is it the goofy writer in me?

I really enjoyed radio mode today as I stretched. Jack and Sam I believe their names are, and today Janine got some talk time in which was funny. I just love radio mode! I have a playlist I created called Zombies Run that I have selected and Sam and Jack will talk a bit and then say they’ll play a song, so it’s like they’ve selected the songs you’ve selected. Today they said something like, this may or not be a Canadian we play next and I wanted so badly for one of the Canadian artists I have in the playlist to play, but alas, twas Abba.

Ok, That’s all I have for now. I adore this app! Oh, random funny from today, as the computer voice told me which supplies I picked up, “crutches” sounded an awful lot like “crotches”. Hahaha! Just imagine a robot computer voice saying, “collected too pairs of crotches”. Hmmm. Zombie crotches?

Oh wait! I can’t end this yet because I forgot the best part. The developers are working on Zombies, run! 2 and guess what? it’s going to be completely accessible. Do you know how excited I was to find out about this the other day? I’ve been able to manage supplies on the website which I found out after I got a mission that couldn’t be unlocked because I hadn’t supplied the hospital. I asked the @ZombiesRunGame Twitter account if there was some way around this and I got an answer immediately, that it should work on the website and sure enough it did. But in the next version of the game, the developers are making the supplies part of the phone app accessible. Yay! I adore developers who care! Needless to say that with my TRX and this app, I won’t be signing away my first born child to a gym. Yay!

Ok this turned into a monster post. Or rather a zombie post. Ba dum bum, ching!

*Addendum* this just in, click here to read about how Zombies,run! was born.

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Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, blind tips, cool product, funnies, gratitude, iPhone, music, plugs, silly girl, twitter me this, white cane, workouts

Wanna see some of what I’ve read online lately? (Of course there’s dog stuff)

Because sometimes you just want to share the stuff you enjoy reading:

I got a kick out of this. Just goes to show that famous writers certainly don’t know everything about the craft.

“Write drunk; edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway

Bad Writing Advice from Famous Authors

If you know me at all, you know I love medicine and fitness, so this article was fascinating to me. How’s your gut?

The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important systems in the body. When our stomachs aren’t happy, neither are we. In this month’s case study, Dr. Detective learns that while taking probiotics can help restore bacterial balance, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure gut health and function.

Doctor Detective with Bryan Walsh

I loved this! You can listen to one of my favorite writers speak!

Defending Jacob will go on sale on now but first let’s hear what William has to say about what he thinks makes a good thriller. Over to you, William!

We Have The Perfect Thriller For You

I’m able to play the embedded video so hopefully if you’re using a screen reader, you can too. The audio is cute.

David Price is pretty talented, but the Rays ace is upstaged at times by his dog, Astro. Wednesday, Astro showed off some new tricks, including “high-fiving” Price.

Video: David Price’s dog Astro doing tricks

This totally made me misty! Anyone care to describe the photograph?

Cujo’s a jittery rat terrier with a bad hip who spends his days hanging around his house in La Porte; but, that all changed on Monday.

La Porte police officer shuts down highway to save dog

Lastly, this story is incredibly close to my heart.

Giffords suffered severe traumatic brain injuries, which left her with speech and mobility issues. In the two years since that day, she has made a remarkable recovery, which will be enhanced by Nelson, her service dog from America’s VetDogs.

Former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords Partnered with Specially Trained Service Dog from America’s VetDogs

How did we ever manage without the internet?

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San Diego Recap Part Two – Zoo Part One

Most of my posts lately have just been about books so let’s try and remedy that, shall we? I’ve wanted to continue writing about the San Diego trip but never seem to be able to. so here goes! Thank goodness I jotted down a list of notes after the second day of the trip.

When last I wrote about the trip, I had woken up and taken forever to get Jayden’s breakfast ready. We leisurely got ready for the day’s adventure to the San Diego zoo. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that you could bring in water and stuff. I had asked B to check this before we left the room because I didn’t want my water bottle taken. What place lets you bring in your own water these days? Haha!

Right as we pulled into the zoo parking lot, B’s car let him know that the tire pressure was low. I just love these smart cars. We knew we’d need to address that when we left. As we walked up to the zoo gates, B was reading locations on license plates as we passed vehicles. As we stood in line to buy tickets I listened to the conversations around me. The people behind us were from another country and their children spoke in quiet and excited tones. I had to laugh at the music being broadcast over us as we waited, Christmas music since this was at the end of November. The air had a typical San diego crispness to it but it wasn’t cold. One of the songs started and angels were singing there aaaaaaah lyric and I laughed inwardly at an inside joke between Carin and Steve and me.

B let the ticket agent know we had a service dog and the man let us know to stop in at guest services before we entered the park. The man at guest services was friendly and explained to us that we were welcome anywhere but but to be careful in the aviaries as the birds might go a little crazy. He also let us know that zoo staff might walk one of the big predators at some point so just be prepared for that and if the staff asks us not to go somewhere because of this, to please obey. We were given a bandana to put on Jayden so zoo staff would know we had checked in and knew what was up. B tied it to to Jay’s harness. I now keep it on my desk as a souvenir.

As we walked, I listened to people around us, heard children exclaim, “doggy!” and listened as parents explained what jayden was. The zoo was not very crowded so we were able to move with ease. The ground texture changed often and Jayden did not like one of the bumpy textures we had to cross a few times. I practically had to drag him every time we encountered it. Not fun.

Ok, picking this up again a few weeks after writing that first part haha!

As we walked around, B would explain what he was looking at. The zoo pipes in animal noises which I really did not like because there was no real way to tell if and when I was hearing actual animals. That was so disappointing since I experience things mostly with my ears unless there’s something to touch. Aside from that it was really an awesome experience, just listening to all the people and things they said about the animals.

At one point we walked to an enclosure and B was like, “condor, big condor, oh no, turn around turn around, condor sees Jayden…” He turned us around and we walked briskly away. I could feel Jayden literally trotting beside me and B and I were both giggling as B assured me that the condor had been behind glass. It had obviously never seen very many yellow labs and was either just curious about Jayden or thought he looked like a meal. After we were some distance away, B explained that the condor had been up on a high perch but had suddenly taken flight and swooped down to the ground next to Jayden. I’m glad we were giggling so Jayden didn’t get freaked out. That was most certainly an experience!

After that things were much calmer except when some donkeys and llamas saw Jayden and got curious. I freaked out a little because there was stupid piped in donkey noises making me think the things weren’t in an enclosure but were right next to us. I really wish they didn’t pipe in animal sounds.

There were so many different textures we crossed, like wooden bridges and that surface Jayden didn’t like. One of the ones I loved the most was this soft and bouncy texture, like that stuff they have on the ground at outdoor playgrounds so the kids can fall and not break themselves. That surface helped me orient myself and if I’m still remembering correctly, the rattlesnake and tarantula enclosures were near this stuff. I wasn’t afraid of the snakes but when B said, “tarantulas!” I freaked out a bit and before B could say it I said I knew they were in an enclosure but still, ew haha!

I’m going to post this part since there’s still another entire half of the zoo experience to go and I’ll never get this trip posted about if I don’t do it in chunks.

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