Hey everybody. This is just a short entry to test out the latest? version of Chromevox, the Google Chrome extension. Comments will be turned off.
Hey everyone. I'm back to post about another birthday celebration, this one being on my actual birthday which happened over the weekend. Last Wednesday evening was my "unofficial" birthday and this past weekend was my real one. Or "official," or whatever you want to call it. On Friday afternoon I went to my parents' house. But we did not have pizza that evening for supper, as has been traditional in the fam for ages. Instead we had tuna casserole and veggies. I was fortunately able to sleep in the upstairs apartment again both that night and the next which I'll cover in a bit. Not that sleeping in the downstairs apartment is bad, but I had to do that over Christmas and Thanksgiving and I must admit there was not much privacy. I say that because the kids were running around all over the place both during Thanksgiving and Xmas. But they're still young, so I guess I should at least cut them some slack. Lol! These are my niece and nephew.





But back to my weekend birthday celebration. We did end up ordering in Saturday evening from a pizza place that has quite honestly become one of my all-time favorites. Don't get me wrong: I love pizza and have had it from various places, most were very good experiences. I did have some pizza from a place here that was burnt, but the place ended up shutting down. I don't recall whether the owners were forced to shut their restaurant down, or they did it voluntarily. I also had some tasteless pizza in London several years ago. But the place from which we ordered over the weekend has both thin-crust and deep-dish pizza. There's just something that in my mind sets them apart from any other player in the game of pizza. Not in a bad way, but in a good way. Not to mention a friend of mine works at one of this chain's locations. But I didn't get to see him because I stayed home when our food was picked up. He's been working there for a couple of years though, and from what I've been told he does a nice job and really likes it. This friend happens to have a disability, and I'm a big fan of businesses who hire people with disabilities. It's just so right! What's more, people with disabilities want to be employed.





Yesterday morning I went to church, which I don't do regularly anymore only because I can't get there and back on my own. But I went yesterday and it was good. I saw lots of old church buddies.





Then I came back here to the bachelor pad. I want to briefly mention something else I did on my actual birthday though, because I believe it deserves a mention. I was perusing Dreamwidth the night before as I have done for just under 2 years now, and I came across a banner that led to a social-networking site which I hadn't heard of previously. So I exited Dreamwidth and went to the other site just to have a look around. After all, I was rather skeptical of the website because screen readers and social networking tend not to be very good pals. However, upon looking at the registration form on the site I was pleasantly surprised so I decided to proceed with registration. The entire process only took less than a minute and worked very well with VoiceOver. So in my profile you will now see a banner to that website. A huge thank you to the developers over there and the developers here on Dreamwidth for making their respective websites accessible at least with VoiceOver.
Hi. I hope everybody who celebrates it, had a nice New Year's celebration. Or celebrations, depending on stuff and things. Good, I did too. I was going to attend a New Year's Eve celebration co-hosted by one of the kind souls at Dreamwidth, but the teleporter wasn't working. We hope to have that fixed very soon. But the celebrations which I attended were loads of fun.





First off, 2 of my downstairs neighbors invited me and any other building residents who were here to their apartment for some snacks and casual conversation. The staff person on duty that evening was in attendance as well, which was nice because he kept us in line and made sure we didn't drink. Well, we had to of course do some drinking but you know what I mean. Actually, it turns out that none of the residents here--myself included--can drink. Or at least I'm pretty sure this is the case. The staff member who was in attendance can drink, but he chose not to probably because he didn't want to be held responsible if something bad happened. I think he made the right choice there. I have on occasion had alcohol, but due to health concerns I cannot do that regularly. Instead, I took down a bottle of sparkling cider to share which my brother-in-law had given me for Christmas.





I spent most of New Year's Day here in the pad, and hung out with my neighbor across the hall as I always do. I received an email that morning from my mother asking me how things were going, so I called back. That evening she and a sister picked me up and took me to their new house. We had pizza that evening for supper, which has for several moons been a Friday-night tradition in my family. I spent the night there, and yesterday morning my mom and I drove to the nearby hospital because I needed to be sucked by a vampire. That's code for having blood drawn, for those living under a rock. I'll most likely get the results of yesterday's blood test back within the next day or so. No need to worry though, I'm not contagious. At least not at this time.





Then we went back home for a bit, and then to my oldest sister's place for a brunch. A great time was had by all, and the food was delicious. Then my folks and a sister dropped me back here at the bachelor pad.
Hi everyone. One of my New Year's resolutions is to do more pleasure writing, so with that in mind let's get the show on the road!





I hope all who celebrate it had a wonderful Xmas this year. I did, despite my neighbor friend's unexpected death. He was a great guy. Out of all current residents in this building not including his family, I and a downstairs neighbor knew him the longest. But anyway, I had a great Xmas with the fam. I didn't ask for much this year, only because I have a lot of stuff already. But what I got is very nice and I sincerely thank all the Santas, secret or otherwise, who contributed to that.





One of the things I did on Xmas Eve morning this year was to have a FaceTime conversation with my brother. I hadn't done this before, but I'm happy to report great success with it. So for all those users out there who still think Apple couldn't care less about the accessibility of their product line, I once again dispel that myth. As previously mentioned on here, some of you may not care that much for Apple's approach to accessibility or whatever, but don't ruin it for the rest of us. You know who you are too, so I won't bother with that.





Another of my New Year's resolutions is to have better independent travel skills. Even if I don't physically go more places by myself, I at least want to know how to give directions to someone. This is a skill that I haven't really worked on in the past mainly due to very minimal orientation&mobility instruction for quite some time. . But I think I'll discuss that in greater detail in a future entry.
Yup you read that right. About a week or so ago I got a voicemail from
some random guy at ObamaCare headquarters. This call was to inform me
that enrollment for ObamaCare was once again open. This guy provided 2
phone numbers for me to choose from in order to get connected and
enrolled. One of these numbers was 1-800-FUCKYOU, which used to be the
number for Pilgrim Telephone. But it now connects the caller to a menu
containing 3 choices. Choice 1 is for a chat line called "Intimate
Connections." Choices 2 and 3 are for ObamaCare, with choice 2 only
being the toll-free number and choice 3 actually being direct to
ObamaCare. I won't bother translating the phone number for fear of any
retaliatory measures being taken against me. However, for some reason
I just can't help but find this rather amusing. When you really think
about it though, is it not kind of illegal? I mean, you've got the
number for and a direct line to ObamaCare listed right in the same
menu as a chat line. It might not be illegal, but it certainly makes
one stop and wonder who in the hell chose to do that. But anyway, I
just had to post this amusing anecdote. Should any of the Dw staff
and/or volunteers read this and wish me to take it down, I will gladly
do so at once. I will probably be deleting this entry anyway when our next president gets elected.
Hello all. Yes indeed, once again it has been a little while since you've heard anything from me. But fear not, I'm still alive and well. I have just been occupied with other things, one of which was vacating the place for several days while my bathroom was being worked on. But I'll get to that in a bit. I first want to let everyone know that I'm going to try and delve a bit into the world of poetry. I've recently found several books on this subject, and I thought I might like to write some verse. So I'm going to do just that. I'm not certain at this point when exactly that will be though, but please stay tuned right here.





Now to what I briefly mentioned at the beginning of this entry, i.e., vacating this place for a bit. It all began late one Saturday morning at the end of July, just after I had gotten out of the shower. Had this happened just a minute or so earlier, I probably would've gotten hurt and perhaps been unable to write this entry. So the timing for this couldn't have been more perfect. I was having breakfast that morning, when suddenly I heard a cracking noise and a big thud coming from my bathroom. So I immediately put down my breakfast and went in to have a look. What had happened was that a bunch of tiles came tumbling off one side in my bathtub shower. So I immediately got back on my computer, opened up Mail, and fired off a message to the program director at Center for Independent Futures letting her know what happened. The Community Life Coordinator for my building was out of town at the time, and I figured he probably wouldn't have gotten the message in time. So the program director got right back to me and my main life-skills tutor. One of the guys doing renovation work on my building was sent up here to assess the situation, and thus began demolishing my bathtub shower. While all this was going on, I sought permission from a neighbor to use his bathtub shower until my new one was ready. I also spent a few days at my parents' new house and got to do some of my bathroom stuff there. But now my bathroom is back in working order, and I have a nice stand-alone shower.
Hi folks. I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. I just realized that I was using the RTE on here incorrectly. Not sure why or how I just realized that now, but there you go. So I hope this works out. I am going to copy and paste this entry from TextEdit, and see what happens.
Hi! This is just another test, so please don't bother leaving any comments. It seems the good folks at Dreamwidth Studios, LLC have been hard at work as usual, and they've tweaked some things. I'm about to turn off commenting, so even if you were to try I won't let ya in!
Hi peeps! I hope all is well in your part of the world. I'd like to talk site updates. Visitors to my site will notice some additions. The first of these is that I've updated my profile a bit. I just subscribed to some feeds this past weekend and they've been added to my profile. They are automatically updated whenever new content is added to them, so no need to do anything. For the most part it seems their content is text-based, but I have found some images too and I'm currently trying to get them described somehow. So stay tuned. That's all folks!
Hey everybody. Once again it's been rather quiet around here as of late, so I thought I'd change that. I started work on a couple other entries, but I thought I'd better do some research in order to get some facts straight before those 2 go public. One of the many cool things about Dreamwidth is that you can keep your journal entries private if you so desire, or until such time that they're perfected enough to show off to the entire world. So that's what I've done, and I am even happier to report that said feature is totally accessible with the screen reader I'm using. So stay tuned for those.





In other news, I've been doing lots of reading for pleasure. Last summer I took up this hobby again, after my original digital talking book machine (DTBM) had to be sent back due to a defective battery mechanism. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised at the turnaround time. I called on a Friday to request a new player, and had to leave a voicemail. I got a call back within about 2 hours, and the person was very nice. Then my new player arrived on Monday, just a couple days after I sent the other one back. This player is working great. So I have been reading a lot of great stuff as of late. I also joined an online book discussion group, which is in addition to the list I'm on that discusses these machines and all manner of things related to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. However, I've decided to take a bit of a break from that because my next-door neighbors just had their first child. So why don't I use headphones, you ask? Well, someone stole them. That's why. Actually I haven't had that good of luck with headphones anyway for whatever reason. But my most recent pair was stolen. I tried unsuccessfully to get them back. I've been debating whether to replace them. On the one hand it'd be lovely for when those pesky trains go by, which is a constant occurrence more or less. But, I could just turn up the volume on my computer or DTBM. But I'm also one who doesn't much care for disturbing his neighbors, especially when they don't deserve it and most especially after 10:00 at night and before about 9:30 in the morning. But this one is still up for grabs, and I am confident I'll make a final decision very soon.





Well I think that's all for now. Take care and please, don't drink and drive.
Hi folks. I thought I'd update this thing again, since it's been
rather quiet around here. I want to talk about something that happened
yesterday morning here in my apartment building. That is, my Service
Contract meeting which happens once a year. Before going any further
with this though, I think a bit of explanation about Center for
Independent Futures is in order. Back in about mid-2002 my parents and
I found out about Center for Independent Futures from some family
friends who have a son with a disability. (From this point on I will
refer to Center for Independent Futures by its acronym CIF.) We had
also been talking with some former neighbors who had a son with a
visual impairment, who was to become my roommate. So we decided to
pursue things with CIF after hearing good things about it from both these families, and got the ball rolling. I moved into the
apartment building where I am today back in August of 2004, along with
my former neighbor. I'm not going to bother discussing our
relationship as roommates, since all of those tend to have their ups
and downs. But what I will say is that it was an interesting
experience getting to know him a lot better. He actually passed away
fairly recently, but for the most part he was a nice guy.





CIF is structured in such a way as to not rely on state funding. The
organization was founded by a group of frustrated parents who all have
family members with disabilities. For anyone not familiar with the
situation, Illinois is ranked very low on the totem pole with regards
to services for people with disabilities. Very little if anything has been done about our track record, and it sucks. As a matter of fact, I decided not too long ago to refer to our state as Sionilli. That's Illinois spelled backwards, just in case you're wondering. But anyway, to learn more about CIF and the work they are doing, please check out my profile right here on this site and click on the link called "CIF." My brother was also involved with this organization up until he took a job out of state.





So yesterday morning I had to appear before the judge, and try and convince him once again why I needed to leave this prison cell. Lol just kidding! I actually had a very good meeting yesterday and signed on for another year at least.
Hi there! This is just a quick entry to publicly thank the person who gave me 2 months of paid time on Dreamwidth. Perhaps this person saw my comment that I wrote where I briefly mentioned my financial situation, and perhaps they're just a nice person, or maybe both. Whatever the case, thank you thank you thank you! This is awesome. I don't know who you are but you obviously do. What a great early Christmas present this is!
Hello everybody. I see that I can post into the future on here, which is so incredibly cool! I don't think there's another blogging/journaling platform out there that allows this, at least no other platform that I know of. I find this particularly awesome because there's currently something which I've been wanting to get off my chest for awhile. Well now I can do just that thanks to this awesome feature of Dreamwidth. And it appears to be available for both free and paid accounts, which is even more awesome! If I am misinformed, I suppose I'll find out soon enough. So I guess y'all will have to wait and see what it is that I want to vent about now. No clues! I'll just leave it at this though: this is something which I've been told time and time again that I should do without question. Not everyone has told me this, but a lot of people have. Everyone including those of us with disabilities has the right to do this, or so it has been said over and over again by numerous people.
Hi everybody. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those observing it--including all the lovely Dw staff and volunteers--a most happy and safe Labor Day weekend. To the Dw volunteers and staff, I hope you take time off this weekend and do something fun offline. I am still rather new to the website, but I am thoroughly enjoying myself here. Writing is one of my passions in life, and by making Dreamwidth accessible you have provided me and countless other users with a place to do just that.





As for me, I'm going to help out with a filming project. I'm not sure what all is involved with it yet but I shall find out soon enough. I am also attending another session of the writing workshop tomorrow, so be on the lookout for another installment of my "heARTwords Creations" series within the next day or so.
Why hello to everybody! Subject line pretty much sums it up. I have switched to the Rich Text Editor. It didn't seem to work that good with VoiceOver in Safari, but I'm going to try it out in Chrome using VoiceOver and then Chromevox and see how it goes. But I'm still quite impressed with this journaling website and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone, screen reader user or not. OK I confess that I haven't tried it out at all in Windows yet, but I've read that it works quite well. And, I have also read that there is a way to install Windows on a Mac running Boot Camp, with some kind of talking installation thingamabob. Anyways, that's it from me for today. Have fun and don't forget to eat your veggies!
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
Hey everyone. Just thought I'd update this thing again. I am actually coming to you from my parents' house. I'm spending the night here because I have a dentist appointment first thing in the morning. I got here on paratransit. I'm happy to report that the ADA paratransit service here in the Chicago area has seen a lot of improvement over the years. We're still not quite where we should be if you ask me, but this is a big improvement from what it was when I first started using the service. For one thing, a new contractor was hired for my servicing area. I don't know exactly when they began their duties, but they're doing a much nicer job than the previous contractor for this area. But in addition to tomorrow's appointment, I wanted to come here and have pizza. Pizza has for several years been a Friday-night tradition in my family. But in addition to family stuff, I have still been testing out things here on Dreamwidth and I'm very impressed with it.
Hi folks. Just testing out the mobile site on here. This is awesome. Tomorrow will start customizing stuff.

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