Hi everyone. Hope all is well in your part of the world. Good. I'd like to introduce all my readers to a wonderful organization which I just found out about a couple weeks ago. But first, let me say that I'm in no way trying to convert anybody here to Christianity, Judaism or any such thing. Everybody has their personal preferences regarding religion, faith etc. and I am a firm believer in religious tolerance. Those of you who have heard of this organization are just being re-introduced to it whether you like it or not,. lol. Simply skip over this entry if you think you'll be bored to tears and/or offended by it.

I received an email a couple weeks ago from my mother, who had received information from a CIF staffer about an organization called Talking Bibles International. My mother asked me if I wanted one of their Bibles, and I immediately replied to her with an enthusiastic Yes. Being a lifelong Christian, I was not only intrigued about finally getting my very own Bible in an accessible format, but I also wanted to explore this organization more. So I immediately clicked on the website link in the email, and was taken to their home in cyberspace. I was pleasantly surprised to find a website that is completely accessible with VoiceOver and Chromevox Classic on the Mac. While waiting for my Bible to arrive, I explored the site. There is a whole section where you can listen to various parts of the Bible read in different languages, all for free. My Bible took about a week to get here, which I'd say is a sufficient amount of time. I cannot say much about this company's customer service, but it must be pretty good if the item arrived without a hitch.

As it turned out, I went to my parents' place about a week ago to celebrate a family member's birthday. I spent the night here, and after breakfast the next morning I had a look at the talking Bible. I was amazed at the size and weight of the thing. The website states that these Bibles look just like pocket Bibles, and they're not kidding. This thing only has a few simple controls, making it a breeze to operate. I was expecting at least some bells and whistles to go along with the narration, but there are none of these. At least I haven't found any thus far. But no worries there. Speaking of the narration, it is quite good. I hadn't heard this narrator prior to receiving the Bible. While this Bible does come with a USB adapter, it is powered by solar energy and therefore requires no batteries.

I highly recommend people check out this organization if they haven't already. Just point your favorite web browser to http://www.talkingbibles.org . Those of you regular churchgoers may also want to let your respective parishes know about this awesome organization.
Hi everyone. I thought it was about time for another update from yours truly. As I write this, I'm just back from a relative's funeral. Not much to discuss there though: just the usual visitation followed by the funeral itself and spending time with family, both immediate and extended.

But I wanted to let everyone know that I am finally! having more of a desire to delve into politics. Why the change of heart, I hear you ask? Well, mainly because people have been bugging me about it. And yes, this includes my family. There are 2 reasons for my lack of involvement in the political process. First off, it has pretty much always been my belief that advocacy just doesn't work a lot of the time. There, I said it! Lol! I think this is particularly true when it comes to disability-rights advocacy, but it applies to other forms of advocacy as well. I've mainly seen it happen throughout Illinois, but I think it's true in a few other states as well. But the other reason I haven't been much for politics--perhaps somewhat related--is the lack of screen reader access to most if not all of these political websites. Enter NFB Newsline! If I can't travel independently very much, I figure I could at least read up on all that's going on. Sure I've heard some of it while listening to the radio, and while watching TV with family and friends. But I have for the most part been tuned out. I think this can be said of at least some other people though.

I have been an NFB Newsline subscriber now for several years. I've never been much of an NFB fan for the most part. While they have indeed done some very good things, a lot of it is just too hard-core for my bones. However, one of the great things that is going on at the NFB is Newsline. Like all other subscribers to the service, I started out only using it over the telephone. But when their website came online, I just had to investigate. So investigate I did, and I became acquainted with their site. But due to a rather hectic schedule, I basically put it on the back burner and kind of forgot about the website. But last week I went on there again. I am happy to report that the team has been hard at work adding great new content, and I for one am super excited to take full advantage of this excellent service. So thank you NFB Newsline team! Your hard work is definitely paying off, for me and for many others.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's a neighborly day in the beautihood.
Everybody all right over yonder? Good! Then I can shut down for the
night and go to bed.
Happy Halloween too to those who have it today. Please check out this video when you have a moment. http://onj.me/2l8i3
This is just a test entry with MarsEdit's HTML editor. Please do not attempt to leave any comments as they will be turned off.


Jun. 19th, 2016 08:35 pm
Guess the mobile site remains unchanged?
Happy Dad's Day to all of the wonderful dads out there, including mine. New beta page working well with Chromevox too.
This is just a test of the new beta Create Entries page on the mighty Dreamwidth. Looks good so far, doesn't it? Comments will be turned off for this entry, I think.
I'm all alone for the next couple of days 'cause my neighbor friend across the way is on a mini-vacation. I have no more friends, lol! Whoa is me!
Hi everyone. This is just a quick? entry to let y'all know--or perhaps remind some of you--that this year's Global Accessibility Awareness Day is today. This is a day when we honor all those who have made great strides in technology accessibility, including web and software developers. I'm including this very website here. Yes I'm talking to you, Dreamwidth staff and volunteers and everybody else who make this thing possible. You've done a marvelous job building an accessible journaling platform, and it shows. Those who have not heard of this please check out http://www.globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org , and pledge your support for this most important cause.

Accessibility also applies to on-land spaces too. For instance, I and a group of co-workers were in Santa Barbara, California earlier this week on business. First off, I was offered a wheelchair to get through security at the airport here in Chicago. I have always been a cane user, and can walk just fine provided somebody with working eyeballs is with me when I need help navigating unfamiliar territory. Having said that though, I did appreciate being pushed around in the wheelchair for that short amount of time. Additionally, it got me and my group through airport security much quicker so that we didn't miss our flight. I was again offered a wheelchair upon landing in Los Angeles. My hotel room was very accessible, including the bathroom. Upon our check-in at the airport in L.A. to return to Chicago, I went sighted guide with one of our group leaders, and upon seeing my cane we were immediately permitted to go directly to the front of the security line. So accessibility truly does come in large and small forms, and I for one very much appreciate all that has been done thus far by various entities to increase access for everybody. Even those without documented disabilities can and do benefit from it.
Hey everyone. Not got much to share for this entry but some random tidbits. I'm sitting out here on my back porch, enjoying this beautiful weather that we had today. I have yet to check the latest forecast via Weather Underground, so I'm not sure if the beautiful weather will stick around for good this time but I'm hoping it will.

Today was a very good day, as most of them are for me. I spent most of it getting used to the service which was installed yesterday in my apartment. I didn't actually have much to get used to though, since it is basically an extension of the Internet and phone service which I already had. There are some additional features, which haven't been set up yet. I might have to have sighted assistance with those though, since I've never used them before. Actually I think only one of the features is totally new to me, that being some sort of voice add-on for my land line. But I guess I'll find out all about it when the time comes. I think the biggest win for me though was a reduced rate for me and my neighbor across the hall. He and I have been splitting the cost of our phone and Internet now for a little while, and today was his birthday so I think the lower cost is a cool present. The service was installed in my place yesterday, and it seems to be working just as it should. Additionally, the technician who was here and the technician with whom I spoke on the phone earlier in the week, were both very professional and courteous.

I also had 2 implants put in my mouth this week, with a follow-up appointment yesterday. The endodontist and his staff did an excellent job with everything, and I'm healing quite nicely and on schedule.

I'm going to learn how to use iCloud with my computer. Originally I was going to purchase an external hard drive for use with my MacBook, but after talking it over with my father last weekend I think I'll try out the cloud. I'm admittedly not as well-versed on a lot of this stuff as most of you no doubt are, but I'll get there. As previously mentioned I love my MacBook and I'm eager to learn more about it.
Hello there everybody. Nope, I haven't fallen off the planet, or at
least not yet. I've just been a bit preoccupied as of late with work
and trying to shake a cold. Actually it started out as the flu, and
then morphed into this shitty cold. But I've been drinking a lot, and
my appetite is better than it was. But one thing to which I attribute
this feeling of malaise is not getting out enough. Don't even get me
started though on that one. I'm planning a whole separate entry for
it. But for now, I will say that I am feeling much better.

But I would also like to inform those of you assistive technology
users out there who are sports fans or would-be sports fans, about an
accessible NCAA tournament bracket. This is just in time for March
Madness. After talking with some people including the developer of
said bracket, I discovered that I registered a bit too late to
actually fill it out. However, I have listened to a few games thus
far. This is, after all, my first time participating in something like
this. I have to heartily commend the developer for doing an excellent
Well...I guess this email posting thing works with Chromevox too!
After all it's just creating an entry using my email provider's
interface, which is already very accessible. But it's good to test
these things out anyway, right?
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.

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