Category Archives: quirky words

Conveying tone and should I be more than R?

I use a lot of πŸ™‚ and πŸ˜‰ or =D though not that one as much where I know screen reader users are reading because it doesn’t say anything but equals D lol. I use a lot of lol or LOL or haha and hehe. I’ve always done this when writing emails or in chat or on Facebook, and here in the blog, because its so hard to convey tone through text.

I remember just after I went blind, someone from the mental health forum called me, and she said I sound just like I type. I can only assume she means because when I talk, I naturally laugh, not because when I talk on the phone I actually say lol or smilie hahaha!

It became apparent to me last night, that this sort of thing is even more important using a screen reader. Alex sounds very human, but he also still sounds very deadpan. Are you a fan of Mitch Hedberg? Did I spell his name right? Anyway, I love him, and part of his delivery is deadpan, which makes his jokes all the funnier. But when it comes to comedians, you know they’re being funny. Not necessarily so when listening with a screen reader. Alex sounds a lot like Mitch Hedberg when I’m reading something funny, and I often think its that which makes things even funnier.

Let me see if I can think of some examples. Like, when my friend says hi on the messenger, he’ll say “hey”. This sounds very non excited, like you’d say hey to someone you’re not too happy to see. If he says “hey!” there is the smallest of difference, but I don’t have Alex announcing punctuation, so I can never be too sure there is an exclamation point, unless I interact with the text.

If my friend is teasing me on messenger and says something like, “I can’t believe you go to bed at 8, you’re such a loser” and she doesn’t put a smilie or a haha, I might think she’s actually judging me, even though I know she’s just teasing. But, I know her, so its not necessary to add the haha or hehe.

But I learned last night that its important for me to add something to convey the tone of my messages. If I say “why are we being nuts about this?” and a screen reader reads that, its going to sound very deadpan. I should say “LOL! Why are we being so nuts about this haha” it comes across so differently.

I’m writing this because there are times when I think I’m doing πŸ™‚ or haha or LOL too much, but its really important in my opinion, to help convey tone, so I’m not gonna think I do it too much anymore. So hahahaha and hehehehehe and lol!

On to wondering if I should be more than R. When I first started this blog, I had no idea if I’d keep up with it, or ef anyone would read, so I just slapped R on it because I didn’t want to use my name, and still don’t. But just R? I really notice it when someone links to me in their post, or refers to me in a comment. It’ll be like “I had the idea to write this because of something ‘link’ R said.” Ick. Just R. Or if someone replies to a comment and they have to just write, “thanks R”. LOL! Am I getting neurotic about this? I even thought about assigning a name to B. So he’s not just B. So, on the old mental health forum, I went by Raynaadi. Its a screenname I came up with forever ago. People nicknamed me Ray or Ray Ray, but that was never a favorite. So I thought about just changing it to Ro. Ro Laren, a Cardassian from Star Trek TNG. Show off my geekiness lol. And then I thought B could be bo. How corney. Ro and Bo. Better than R and B.

So what do you all think, should I be more than R?

Oh, I’m feeling a tad better today. Just got that last vestige of sick, the occasional sneeze and cough. Might leave the house tomorrow, knock on wood.

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Filed under Alex, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, quirky words, random stuff, screen reader, sicky sick, silly girl

Boredom leading to blogging

***Warning: This post is incredibly long and holds no real value except for entertainment for myself, so don’t feel obligated to read***

This is gonna be more nothing, because I’m still totally brain dead, but now I’m bored and starting to get stir crazy. I’ve been able to sit up most of the day, so thats a good sign. B went and got me Lipton Noodle Soup because I was really craving it. He was going to get it yesterday when he ran to the store, but he forgot it, so I asked him if he could get it today, and he obliged. I really think it helped. After sitting over the hot bowl, I had a ginormous coughing fit, and now my lungs don’t feel so tight. The sneezing has slowed down. Oh please, please let this be the home stretch. I hate that I couldn’t make it to Gamma’s again today; this makes two Sundays in a row. I’m also skipping Saavi tomorrow, which bumms me out, but I’m playing it safe. I have to make it to choir on Tuesday. We’ll be finding out about solos, and she might have narrowed it down to a few who will run through the solo when we rehearse the songs, so if I made the cut, I really hope I can sing come Tuesday. I sound a bit like a frog though, so hopefully I don’t pull a Carlotta on Tuesday.

Its a seriously slow internet day. Hardly any new blog posts or emails. I’m too brain foggy to find any new blogs. I did find one blog written by a guy caring for his wife with MS, and it sounds like she’s legally blind from it too. I couldn’t tell if her blindness was caused by something else, though.

Oh, football Sundays. Oh oh, football Sundays. B watches Red Zone or something, where they recap every game going on. They cut to whatever game looks like might have a score. B is severely ADHD, so its heaven for him. I was eating my soup and I told him that channel is a non-football fan ADHD nightmare. It sounds so frantic. I don’t envy the guys that have to run that channel.

The weather is absolutely gorgeous today. 67 degrees and sunny. It rained yesterday, and I had no clue it was nice out. Our electric bill has already dropped dramatically. I had to put the heater on to get the chill out today. Gamma asked if I got that rain smell, which unfortunately I didn’t because I can’t really smell right now. There is no smell like rain on the desert floor. None like it. The smell coming up from the creosote getting moist is a smell I can’t even describe. Earthy, yet almost sweet. That doesn’t even begin to do it justice. I hope I get to smell it next time.

Timmy lkes to get under the blanket I have covering the couch. Its his favorite place to sleep. Spinelli likes to attack him when she notices he’s there, and they had a romp fest on the couch a bit ago and B said it was WWE. The other day, B sat right down on Timmy under the blanket. I said I’m the blind one, thats my job. Though I’m pretty good at the hand sweep to check for cats. I didn’t do it the other day on the bed, and sat on Timmy. He gets the brunt of the butts around here. The other cats seem to know where to sit where its safe. Poor Timmy!

Man, this blog is feeling so dull to me. this is why I’ve avoided writing while not feeling well, but I honestly didn’t know what else to do right now. I can’t even manage to try anything new with the computer or iTunes because I’m so brain foggy I just get frustrated. I need to import those Frank Mccourt books, but every time I think of it, my brain moans. Its not hard. But it takes attention that I just don’t have right now.

Well, this is just silly. I’ve got nothing to say and I can’t even manage to be silly. I’ve got no quick stories. I haven’t left the house since Tuesday. So no fun adventure stories. Just sick stories. Oh speaking of sick, my kitchen, holy God is it a mess. Thats the worst part of being sick, not keeping up on house work. That kitchen is going to be hell to clean. And I bought a Swiffer Wet Jet a few weeks ago, and its still sitting in the box in a corner. I keep forgetting to have B put it together. I bet I can figure it out. I put together a portable DVD player last year, I bet I can handle the Wet Jet. Dunno though, there might be lots of little pieces.

I’m inflicting my boredom on others. I’m so mean. though, you did choose to read this. Carin, where are you? I talked to Steve today. But you’ve been MIA. Did he eat you? Are you really the same person, pretending to be 2 people? Is Steve really your alter ego?

Third and a yard. Thats what the TV just said. Oh he said it again. First and goal. Yay. I don’t like football. I miss baseball.

Ding ding ding goes the email. I keep wanting to eat chocolate. All day I want chocolate. And unfortunately we have chocolate. So I eat it. It tastes so good with coffee. Give me a break give me a break break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar. Yum.

We got Red Lobster last night. I need to remember that I only need 2 items when I do that create your own deal. 3 items is too much. It was pretty good. How can anyone not like seafood? I can’t imagine being allergic to it. Did you know if you’re allergic to shell fish, you should never allow anyone to clean you with iodine?

Kitty eating. Spinelli cracks me up at night. Actually all the cats do at night, but especially spinelli. I usually go in and lay down with the telli at about 8 and I shut the door, because B starts his nightly ritual of playing baseball on the Playstation and listening to music. If I don’t shut the door, I hear the music. Some of it is ok, like Nirvana and other grunge bands, but not when I’m watching tv and especially not when a death metal song comes on. I hate death metal. It makes my heart race. The cats know when I’m heading into the room, and Fi is usually already on the bed. Timmy meows and follows me in there and cuddles, and then Spinelli realizes I’m not in the living room and scratches at the door. As soon as she’s in, the other 2 want out. Fi scratches at the door and meows and Timmy gets on the dresser and bumps the handle so it rattles. I get up and let them out, sometimes I’m lucky and B hears it and lets them out. Its just Spinelli and me and she meows and walks all over me for awhile and then she has to bathe. At 9 on the dot, B comes in to take his Flonase and Spinelli jumps like a gun went off and follows him into the bathroom. She knows its food time. B leaves the door open for a bit so Spinelli can eat and come back in. Then he closes the door and starts the music again, and she curls up and goes to sleep. We are definitely a family of routines. The cats will be so incredibly confused when I start taking a dog outside at 9 or 10 ha!

Spinelli is now on my lap bathing herself. She fits in well with her neurosis.

B just said John Lachey is the big free agent this year, and it doesn’t look like he’s coming back to the Angels. Man, ok I hate the Yankees, but at least some of their players are seriously loyal. Though, I bet they’re only loyal to the Yankees because of money and fame, so forget I said that.

B’s fantasy football team is doing well. Its his first year doing it, so it took awhile to get the hang of it. He was in last place for awhile and now he’s tied for fourth. I’m thinking of doing fantasy baseball next year, but I’m not sure. I’d hate to have to root against my teams.

Sniff sniff goes the nose. I hate the word nose. Its ugly. But only nose on the face, not knows like she knows. Why do I hate the word nose? I think I don’t like noses. Kevin wanted me to feel his teeth last week because he got them cleaned. He was like, feel my teeth I got them cleaned! I’m like no I’m not touching your teeth. I don’t like touching noses or teeth. I’m totally fine with feet, just not noses or teeth.

Ding. Probably more emails on the email list. I enjoy the list, but sometimes its just topics I don’t really care about. this one guy got snarky yesterday. Out of the blue. Snark. wow. Same with the accessibility list. It got kinda snarky there too, when I asked some questions about Jaws and Window Eyes for my boss. It got snarky, a blink saying something about developers don’t know anything about websites or something, and they should hire blind people. I had to defend my boss, and then she had to come defend herself and I felt like a tool. She told me not to worry, that thats why she just reads the list, but doesn’t post anymore.

Snarky. I like that word. Snarky snark. Meep meep.

Crap. I shouldn’t have said earlier that I think I’m in the home stretch. The coughing and sneezing is starting again. crap crap crap, shut up about it quit jinxing.

Oh, saying jinx makes me think of X, the letter, and I”m wondering something. Flexi. Ah! Thats it! Ok, I’ve heard people referring to “putting the dog on the flexi” but Alex says flexi like flessi, and I’ve never interacted to spell it out, so I thought they were saying flexi but maybe it was really flessi and it was a brand or something. I’m assuming flexi is that leash that comes out so the dog can run around while still being tethered. Flexi. Ha!

Think I’ve killed enough time. Maybe now there are some fun emails or blog posts.

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Filed under baseball, cats, Choir, coffeeholic, desert life, dogs, Fi, Gamma, music, NaBloPoMo 2009, quirky words, sicky sick, silly girl, Spinelli, sports, The Nothing, Timmy, weather

New job always equals sick for me, and apparently an internet job is no exception

Wow. I really wanted to feel excited when I wrote the post about my new job but I’m feeling so horrible that I’m just taking a break from my Janet Ivonovich book to write this.

Karen, this is for you since you accused me of being suspenseful all the time πŸ˜‰

So about 2 weeks ago or so, I got an email from a woman asking if I’d be interested in doing some web accessibility testing, for pay of course.

What? Seriously? Really?

She’s a member of an email list I’m a meber of. Its all about web accessibility, and its primarily web developers with a sprinkling of screen reader users. I found the material interesting, so I joined.

Every so often a developer would ask screen reader users what we thought of something, so I’d go check it out for fun, and tell them how Voiceover handled whatever it was. I never really thought my opinions mattered much, because I was a new screen reader user, and I didn’t use Jaws.

But every so often, a developer would contact me off list and say they appreciate my fresh perspective, especially as someone who had recently gone blind, who was new to using a screen reader. A lot of testing gets done by veteran screen reader users, so stuff a novice user might have trouble with isn’t really mentioned.

But when I would test a site, I would point out really simple things that didn’t make sense to me, before I knew my reader better.

So this woman has been watching my posts since I joined! She said she was paranoid about contacting me off list, because she was afraid I’d think she was a quack, and well, quite honestly, I had my reservations.

I told her I had to check her out and she gave me her references. She gave me the beta site for her company, as well as the working site. I Googled her, I emailed the owner of the accessibility list and he checked the archives and this woman is for real.

Wow! I found a few issues on the beta site and didn’t know if I should include them in my email to her, but I figured thats what she wants to pay me for, so I told her. She was like, wait! I want to pay you to test that site!

so we began emailing, talking details, and she called yesterday from the UK. Now, I love British accents. In fact, I am such a dor, when I listen to audio books narrated y someone British, I start using their words. Thats where “fab” came from. Its my new word. From a book I listened to a month ago. So I really had to work hard on the phone with her when she’d say like, “Does that sound good to you?” for me not to go “oh dear that sounds so fab!” or “that sounds bloody brilliant!”

And you know how refined they sound? How almost anyone from over there sound refined and intelligent? I almost felt like I couldn’t joke with her like I do in email and then she’d crack a joke or laugh and it was so cool!

This is really making me realized how freakin American and non-cultured I am, that the phone call with a woman from the UK is taking up more space on this entry then the fab new job…

Anyway.

So I’ll be testing sites, mostly sites based in the UK to start, but her company is branching out. She laughed when I told her I have a list going of bad sites. But, eventually that will be my own revenue boost.

The company has been around for years, but its only been in the last few that they’ve started focusing on web accessibility, and she’s got a tester who uses a head mouse, and one other blind tester.

I wanted to make sure she knew I only have an Apple. She knew.

Wanna know the best part?

She’s setting me up with a Windows machine, with Jaws and Window Eyes! So I’ll be teaching myself those. This won’t happen right away, as she is just now realizing how bloddy expensive it is. See, oops, already doing it…

So, this thing will start off very slowly, and eventually grow. She has total faith that this will become something truly remarkable.

And, it all started because I complained about safeway.com, months ago.

She told me on the phone that she really noticed me then, and jotted me down as a prospective tester. I had asked the list about safeway.com and a bunch of the developers all moaned too and told me it has always been a problem. I must have said something positive too, because she said that whenever I write on the list, even when I’m complaining, I list the positives too, which is important to her, because her clients don’t want to just hear the negative.

So this is just huge. This is just seriously huge. When I was doing some more re-labeling, I ran across blog posts where I said “I would love a career in web accessibility”. And now look…

I’m really excited, and can’t wait to test my first site! And I can’t wait to teach myself 2 new readers, and really compare Jaws to Voiceover.

Anyone got any good sites I can use to teach myself Jaws and Window Eyes?

K, must edit, and then back to coffee and book and putting sweatshirt on and taking it off and putting it on and taking it off and sniffing and groaning =D

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Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, assistive technologies, Audio books, coffeeholic, gratitude, Jaws, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, quirky words, screen reader, sicky sick, silly girl, Voiceover

Funny word choices

This is a really cool story about guide dogs in the UK getting matched with young teens. I think its great.

But this choice of words made me laugh:

“Crucial to these youngsters are mobility, independence and life skills. Without them they can’t get around safely on their own and can’t do simple everyday tasks like getting dressed or going shopping.”

Wow, those dogs are cool if they can help people get dressed πŸ˜‰

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Filed under guide dogs, in the news, NaBloPoMo 2009, quirky words, random stuff

I’ll try not to rant

*I re-read this just now and I apologize in advance for my tone. I’m not in the best of moods. But I’ve learned in therapy that its not healthy to stuff feelings, so I’m gonna go ahead and post.*

Apparently blind bloggers aren’t good enough for National Blog Month.

Oh well. I’m doing the 30 in 30 because its fun, though it would have really been nice to sign up for the thing.

I heard about this on L^2’s blog. I tend to copy some of what she does tee hee.

So I thought, well hmm, I practically blog daily anyway. Might as well do 30 blogs in 30 days. Figured it would be pretty easy. But I’m actually finding myself not wanting to blog today. I’m just in a bit of a funk. I’m still in brain fog mode, though not as bad. I’m a little fatigued, and my throat keeps having days where it aches, which freaks me out because I really don’t want that stupid swine flu.

I asked on Facebook, how do you know if its swine flu? One girl said, “you puke up bacon bits” and another said “when you have a fever, it smells like bacon frying”. I suppose since there’s really no way to tell the difference, its better to be funny about it.

All my thoughts are jumbled up in my head. I really wish I had a Doggy Diaries update. But I don’t. I emailed admissions last week to find out if there’s any footwork on my part, and I haven’t heard anything. I sent out a question to the email list, so we’ll see what they suggest.

I got an email from Dave, and he’ll be out of town the next 2 Fridays. Which means a setback in O & M lessons. This is really disappointing because I’m really hustling to get in the last few things so I can hopefully go to school in January or February. Missing 2 weeks of O & M is not good. He said he’ll let me know if he has any cancellations.

Lets see, any more complaining before I get to fun stuff? Oh I don’t think I even explained why I can’t sign up for that blog thing, did I? I don’t feel like reviewing what I wrote. Anyway, there’s a CAPTCHA. And no audible CAPTCHA. So screw em. I won’t sign up for your stupid blog awareness month. I will not rant on CAPTCHAs I will not rant on CAPTCHAs. I’ve done enough of that. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know how I feel. If you haven’t, click the CAPTCHA label.

My workout went well today. I’m not gonna go into details, but it went well. Just slowly increasing reps now. Good stuff.

I was in a great mood until I found out about O & M lessons being cancelled, and until the stupid CAPTCHA pissed me off.

Oh one thing I am going to start, is using Facebook to spread the word about idiot behaviors surrounding guide dogs. I read a blog about a holy terror dog at Wal-Mart being dressed up as a guide dog, or else was a real one with absolutely no manners. Either way. I posted on Facebook that dressing up a non service dog as a guide dog for Halloween is not a good idea. My friends didn’t understand why until I explained. Its not that they’re stupid, they just really didn’t know. So I thought, what better means of spreading awareness than social networking sites? So I posted another update today about why you should ask before you pet a guide dog. And now FB keeps not loading. So I can’t access my responses.

Talking about FB leads me to another complaint. I’m just full of em today eh? I really wish that when sending friend requests, people said something in that optional message. Like, “Hi this is Sally and I met you on the street corner 2 years ago.” Just something simple. Let me know who you are. I don’t add people unless I know how they know me. Isn’t that just a little FB etiquette?

I’m not adding people from the blog on FB. I’ve thought about that, about what I’d do if someone asked to add me, and I’ve decided to keep my blog and FB separate. The blog is highly public, and FB is very private. So I’m not gonna mix the two worlds.

But to anyone thinking about sending a friend request to someone, say you’ve met them through an email list, do them a favor and tell them how you know them. I just think its polite.

Seriously, why the heck am I in such a complaining mood? Wow. Hmm, you know, I haven’t had any lunch and its after 2pm. I bet thats got a LOT to do with it.

I’m going to be posting from my cats this month. I keep wanting to do it again, but haven’t. It was such fun when I wrote the Kitty Tales before, so I think I’ll keep doing it. The kids have given me some fun material to write about. Maybe I should have done that rather than just be a pissy whining snit in this blog πŸ˜‰

I will try and make my posts more cheery for the rest of this little project.

Ok this is funny. I just played back my message before going in to edit, and where I write “reps” with regards to my work outs, my screenreader says “representatives”. I’ve noticed that happen with some other words, like my friend’s friend Jan. See right there its going to say January because I ended a sentance with Jan and so there was a period. If Jan is in the middle of a sentance, it says Jan but if its at the end it says January. I don’t know why this stuff amuses me. I think its because I know I didn’t type “representatives” or “January”.

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Filed under CAPTCHA, cats, guide dogs, NaBloPoMo 2009, Orientation and Mobility, plugs, pooch preparation, quirky words, random stuff, rant, screen reader, workouts

Thirty in Thirty

I’m firing this off really quckly because I’m brain dead and not gonna last much longer.

Apparently its blog awareness month or something, and we’re supposed to write a blog a day for thirty days. I think I already write a blog a day for the most part, so I don’t think it’ll be too hard.

I was gonna be cool and link to L^2’s blog because she’s the one who wrote the blog that got me to do this, but I seriously can barely think enough right now.

This happens with My Mess or the stupid MS. I get on a role for about a month like what happened when I decided to get a guide dog, and then I start to crash a little and I’m feeling that brain fog today.

I’ll try and remember to write another blog linking to her blog about the thirty in thirty especially cuz she wrote 2oo5 instead of 2005 and I really liked it cuz my screen reader actually said 2 oh oh 5.

Ok the Phillies just tied the Yankees. Phew.

Been reading blogs all weekend. Maybe thats part of my brain fog. It gets worse when I’m not very active. When will I ever learn?

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Filed under accessibility, baseball, NaBloPoMo 2009, quirky words, rambles, random stuff, screen reader, spoons

What the fork?

Pretty much everything B and I have is all piece meal stuff, things we’ve been given, and things we brought into the relationship.

My silverware is mostly stuff from a restaurant I worked at ages ago, and the ones he brought from the bachelor pad are just that, bachelor silverware. I don’t like his, because the handles are really fat and I can’t tell which way is up. So I avoid his and mostly use mine

We have an abundance of knives and spoons. I like spoons much better than forks since I’ve gone blind. I’ll use forks when there’s plenty of food to spear, but mostly eat with spoons.

But sometimes I want a fork, and B always uses one. and we hardly have any. Huh? Is there a fork monster like a sock monster? Where have all the forks gone?

And I’m picky when I do use a fork. I like long tines. For some reason I’ve got 2 forks with short tines. Pie forks I guess. B’s forks have long tines, but they all have one bent tine, and a middle tine at that, not even an end tine. How do you bend a middle tine of a fork? So the bend tine will poke my tooth. I asked him once, what the hell did you do with these forks, try and fix stuff with them? It started a bit of a sheepish giggling fit, because he honestly doesn’t know.

this leaves me with like 3 of my forks with long straight tines and handles that let me tell which way is up.

We need more forks. Can you buy forks separately? And are they loose so I can feel the handles?

Forks. Who’d have ever thought forks would be such an issue.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, quirky words, rambles, random stuff

Jing woof dot ouch ding

My braille teacher called this morning and told me she was sick and wouldn’t be in today. I had braille scheduled at ten and then my workout at eleven, and I couldn’t get my ride rescheduled, so I just went in and hung out.

I was going to sit and review the braille, but I just couldn’t concentrate with all the talking going on nearby, so I packed up and sat in the lobby for a bit, chit chatting with whomever was near.

At about 10:20 I decided to head back to the gym early as I have on Mondays, since SunVan usually gets me there early. Normally I hop on the treadmill, but they were both occupied, so I got on the bike to wait until one opened up. I did about ten minutes on the bike and then got on the treadmill. I hadn’t stretched enough though, so when I got up to speed, my left hamstring was hurting. So I stopped and stretched it out and then got back up to speed. I think I did like 4 or 5 minutes before I stopped to stretch.

So I usually only do one mile on Mondays, but ended up doing ten minutes on the bike, 4 minutes on the treadmill, stop, do a whole mile. I beat my time again, and did the mile in 16 minutes and change.

I got on the stretching mat and stretched, feeling fine. But man when I got on the leg lifts, I was sure she had added weight. Nope. Same weight. I struggled through. Then same with the low row. Then the decline sit ups killed me. Then the tricep pull killed. The lat pull wasn’t so bad. Torso twist went ok. Hamstring curls killed. I didn’t even add any weight! Lisa said it was probably the extra cardio, and also the scrub the floor work out last week. Just call me Daniel Son.

I sat in the lobby after waiting for my van and I was so tired. This guy kept wanting to talk to me. Kept saying things like, “you can do anything you put your mind to, you don’t know what you can do” all this stuff, and I’m thinking, dude, if only you read my blog…ok, I shouldn’t have gotten on a high horse, but he was preaching to the choir, and I just wanted to rest. I get pissy when I have a fatigue day, and thats what this day turned in to.

My driver was right on time and I came home and collapsed. Ate some lunch, then turned on the computer. Ding! Lots of emails. Wow. I went through them pretty quickly, and then decided to look at the hated Sleighbells…

My beloved friend and choir mate Lori, typed up just the second soprano words so that I could have them in a linear fashion, without all the repeats. So I set to work. Its making a little more sense, but I still get lost.

A few weeks ago, the director was working on 3 troublesome notes, and she said to assign them nonsense words, and it worked like a charm.

So I put the Sleighbells music on and sang “this song is a pain in the ass this song is a pain in the ass” over and over. It helped!

Then I reviewed the other songs and the email kept dinging, winging, teaming, oh wait, thats the Sleighbells song. The email ding fits right in with the song, as we go along we go along…jing jing jing…

Anyway.

Got caught up with my reading list. Karen, you blog more than I do sometimes!

Sent an email to my new GDB list about some doggy questions.

Sent an email to GDB asking about my medical info, because I want to know if there’s any footwork to be done on my end. If those eye docs screw this up…

I’m in a good mood, I swear. I’m just incredibly tired. I overdid it today in the gym, and my MS is pissed.

*To my future guide dog – Don’t think I’m complaining. This is all for you, dear. I’m conditioning so I can take you on long walks and busy routes. Because of you, I’m getting in the best shape of my life. I purposely didn’t put the Doggy Diaries subject or label on this post, because all those posts are totally happy and joyous. I just want my future eyes to know that this is all so incredibly worth it! Love you, future pooch! Are you at school now, training like I am?*

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Filed under advocacy, braille, Choir, guide dogs, humor as coping skill, pooch preparation, quirky words, rambles, silly girl, spoons, workouts

Funny words with a screen reader

I use Apple’s Voiceover screen reader, a less common one, as it seems that most people I meet use Jaws or other Windows readers. I’ve blogged before about what I consider to be great benefits of Apple when it comes to money. If you click the Voiceover tag, you should find it somewhere.

I don’t have a lot of comparison to Windows readers, other than the way my phone sounds, and it just doesn’t compare.

One of the best things about Alex, VO’s latest voice, is that Apple made him sound as human as possible. He actually breathes at natural pauses! In my months of listening to Alex, I’ve discovered some favorite words, words he pronounces perfectly, that are actually really cool and funny at the same time.

Examples of fun words he says perfectly:

Shhh

Psst

Croissant

And of course I’m going to blank now. With those three words, he sounds just like a human, and just like a frenchman saying croissant hehe!

I love the way he says meow. He has an inflection that is just too cute. I actually have him saying the following when my computer starts:

“Meow meow meow kitty wants a croissant!”

Yes, I’m a dork.

I’ve corrected some words that I didn’t like how he said. Like, a lower case “lol” sounded like “lull”. So I taught him how to just say lol like he did in all caps.

Man, I can’t think of the other words I corrected. Mostly last names. He said a lot of my friends’ last names wrong, including mine. He also said my Mom’s name wrong, and a few other first names.

I had to correct him in saying sighties, because he used to say “sight ties”. A few others in that vane I have corrected, like “hottie” so it didn’t sound like “hot tie”.

Every so often, words are suddenly pronounced differently after an update. Apple must get emails or something, because they’ll correct words.

For the longest time when I typed “wassup”, it sounded like WAH sup. Then suddenly, “wassup” sounded like the cool guy on the corner saying “wassup” to a pretty girl hehe!

Oh, and the laughing. Haha or hehe sounds perfectly fine. But when its multiple ha’s or he’s its hilarious, almost maniacal.

It’s really funny if I do this:

Hahahaha haha hahahaha heheheheheheheheehahahaha heheh hahaha ha, ha, ha, he, ha, he, ha, ha ha ha ahahahahahahahahehehehe.

Oh and all the smilies sound different too. A colon and right or left parenthesis just gets a “smilie” or “frown”, a semi colon and right parenthesis get a “wink”. But an equals sign and a D just sounds like, equals D. Or an equals sign and a right parenthesis just gets an “equals”. He doesn’t say “right parenthesis.

For awhile, people would do a colon and an O. And I just thought they were writing, Oh!

Teeeeeeee heeeeeee heeeeeee sounds like tee hee wee. I don’t know why its interpreted that way lol.

Or “awwwwwwwwwwwwww” sounds like “oh woo”.

Of course I’ve played around with swear words, and my friends get the biggest kick out of those lol!

Oh and its especially funny when I’m chatting. For some reason in Yahoo, in the text edit field when I’m typing, I don’t have my key echo, so I don’t hear myself type. Sometimes I’m on the wrong keys without realizing, so I send the message and hear something like:

U dudb;t reakuze U was ib tge wribg heys

I just typed “I didn’t realize I was on the wrong keys” with my right pointer on the H instead of the J.

I kinda wanted to kill some time but didn’t want to write about anything serious. In a reply to another blogger, I shared some words and thought it would make a fun post.

Screen reader users, what are some of your favorite words?

Oh, and be careful, if you typo your name and it sounds funny, I will forever call you that. Just ask JayNoi πŸ˜‰

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Filed under apple Inc, assistive technologies, Jaws, proud geek, quirky words, random stuff, screen reader, silly girl, Voiceover

And it would have been fine if it weren’t for those meddling sleighbells

“Do you want to put the book in the freezer?” asked Rachel of Joey when he’s reading Little Women. Joey put ‘The Shining’ in the freezer when it got really scary.

I used to throw books. And then I’d be pissed cuz I lost my place. But back to the freezer.

Can I put my laptop in the freezer? My music is on my laptop. My words are on my laptop. I don’t remember if I ever threw my music back in the day when I could see, but man did I want to throw the damn music today.

‘sleighbells is the bane of my blind singing career.

(I put a link to it as my subject line, did it work?)

Right before this post, there is a post with the Sleighbells words. You might wonder why I did this.

I have the music in iTunes, a piano playing just the second soprano part, and then a track of all parts combined. For all the other songs, I’ve been able to match the words forwarded to me by toggling between iTunes to Text Edit and listening to the words while the piano is playing.

Oh no. Not with Sleighbells. No ma’am.

So I thought, I’m gonna copy and paste just the second soprano words into a Text Edit document so I have just my part to toggle between.

Simple enough, right?

My computer hates me. Its telling me, “you’ve done great teaching yourself how to use me, until now. Now you are throwing all these jings and jingalings at me and you’re not doing it right.”

The computer would have you believe its user error, but I think its the computer.

For some reason, it jumps all over the place when I’m trying to copy and paste and won’t just copy what I highlight. Fine. Eff you too. I’ll go paste the whole damn song on my blog so Alex will just read what I want him to.

Hence, the words in my blog.

Hmm, I am thinking there is a copyright thing or something on Blogger? I highlight. I press cmd plus C. Alex doesn’t say copy. I do this over and over. It won’t copy. Fine, eff you.

I email myself the damn song. I view the email on the web based. I copy. I paste. Its working! Then it does it again. It won’t copy. Or maybe it didn’t paste just the phrase I wanted. I can’t remember.

Oh well, the whole rest of the song is jings anyway. Screw it.

I put the song on iTunes. I toggle. It makes sense! Wait, do I repeat that? What? I look at the original. No repeat. Oh and there the director wrote “now SS joins Sop at bold words”. Hmmm ok. Use text attribute. But I don’t know where to look. Oh screw this!!!

Email director and ask what the bold words are. Oh you just repeat. Ok. Thanks.

I listen. I toggle. It still makes no sense.

This is where I want to put the computer in the freezer. Or throw it. But I threw a cell phone once,, and it died.

I call my choir mate.

“Hello?”

“Hi.”

“How are you?”

“I hate effing sleighbells!!!”

Laughter. Yeah, you laugh.

She calmed me down though.

Hopefully tonight will help make the stupid song make sense, like all the other songs do. Stupid effing song.

Oh bullocks! I just thought of something. If I couldn’t copy and paste, that might mean that my laziness at learning cool links means that people can’t check out the stupid youtube videos I posted.

I hate technology!

No, I love it. Really. Seriously! I do!

Ok, that was cathartic. Now that I know what it means, did I use cathartic correctly?

(This is how I get when I’m on my second pot of coffee without eating and its after 1pm)

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, assistive technologies, Choir, coffeeholic, humor as coping skill, iTunes, quirky words, rant, screen reader, silly girl, Voiceover