Thursday, October 20, 2016

Merry Shakeout and ...

Fast morning scribbles.

Happy Birthday Rant Brother!
--RantBrother squalled into the world just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. RantWoman once asked RantMom about this juxtaposition. RantMom said she really was not thinking too much about the Cuban Missile Crisis because she was too busy giving birth to RantBrother.

--RantWoman deeply wishes Rant Brother would connect with another cell phone. RantWoman is glad RantBrother has friends who lend him his phone to call RantMom occasionally. RantWoman would appreciate a steadier flow of RantBrother texts even though the content of the texts is sometimes puzzling. No, RantWoman cannot fix something she does not even remember from decades ago and yes, RantWoman would rather get a little stronger connection to the present, beyond which sports RantBrother is watching on TV.

--RantBrother lives in a different city. This is both a great relief and a sorrow to RantMom. RantWoman finds it easier to be in Bossy Big Sister mode.  X would be possible if Y occurred first. Meanwhile, RantWoman spends lots of time on homelessness and affordable housing issues and keeping her own canoe afloat.

--RantWoman thinks it might be interesting to get RantBrother one of those cool electronic devices someone was flakking recently aimed at folks in Seattle. Then RantMom could add money AND maybe people in the city where he hangs out could also ...

--RantWoman offers this greeting in solidarity with other people she knows who also have homeless  or near homeless relatives.

Merry #Shakeout.
--RantWoman will observe the occasion by attempting to update the family communications plan. Considering that the Rant Sisters are having one of our periodic spells of stupendous magnitude miscommunications, this may take some work. We have been at this for decades. Sigh.

--Family reunions frequently touch on some form disaster preparedness. At RantMom's most recent one we learned that Aunt and Uncle SchoolTeachers took to heart this summer's #CascadiaRising exercises. They wanted to move to a place all on one level anyway and also opted to move inland out of any conceivable tsunami zone. Aunt and Uncle SchoolTeachers did a ton of bicycle touring when they were younger. After their move they also bought bicycles and mapped a route they think can get their 70-something selves out of the Sandy OR area after The Big One hits. RantWoman is impressed.

--RantWoman has some more learnings from last summer's #CascadiaRising exercises: learning of a number of blind ham radio operators, encouraging people on a State wide email list to make connections with their local preparedness officesa  and vulnerable populations communications networks, exchanging stories of lived experiences, updating personal plans including water because of a heat wave at the same time as the exercises. Fun times all around.

So no, RantWoman did not Drop Cover and Hold today, but...

Monday, October 17, 2016

SNL Hilariously Cold Open Debate 2 : Last Week’s Trump/Clinton Debate 15...

This year's residential campaign is FAR too rich in comedic material. Here is Saturday Night Live, which RantWoman admits she has not otherwise watched in YEARS.

Reunion by Skype?

RantWoman means to offer the world a number of moments from her recent family reunion but the moments are not getting recorded as fast as RantWoman would prefer.

We chose TACOMA. Yes we did! Stay tuned for more on that choice.

Tonight's moments, summoned in connection with Sunday Supper with RantMom, theme food baked delicata squash rings.

--RantMom and her siblings, various combinations of spouses and people from RantWoman's generation have been meeting about every two years for a couple decades. Now everyone in RantMom's generation is past 70 and travel sounds less like fun.(There would also be some, uh, event planning oopses on the part of the RantWomen.)

So Youngest Aunt is suggesting Skype in lieu of travel...

Considering options for lip reading and multiple people with hearing loss, RantWoman can definitely see how something visual will be a better idea than, say, conference calls. RantWoman even has Skype on her phone but has RantWoman tried it? Nope!

RantWoman  does not want to speculate about availability of webcams for the flip phone crowd but does suspect most of the households have some tech support options at home. Considering the telecommunications technologies appearing at the reunion, though, RantWoman is, um, cautious.

One person besides the RantSisters has a smartphone: RantMom.

Three people have flip phones.

One person also has an 11-year-old digital camera.

One person favors disposable cameras though tonight RantWoman spent a bit of time trying to tutor about the camera  / photography options available on RantMom's smart phone.

RantWoman has a Motorola Droid; RantMom has a Samsung.

Holy convoluted interface Batman!

Possibly RantWoman should have turned on Talkback. Possibly, but why would that be any fun when one can hold the phone really close, squint hard, and see almost enough to tell RantMom what to press and where to try.

One problem as an aside: RantMom's phone is not picking up anyone's voice. IT rings fine but nothing gets picked up by the microphone. RantWoman suggested calling tech support. RantWoman needs to make a different suggestion. Otherwise RantMom will call but the tech support line will not hear her. Urk.

On the way to not fixing the microphone (?) issue, RantMom was chatting about pictures from the family reunion. In particular one of the docents at the Museum of Glass helped take some pictures on RantMom's phone and tonight RantMom wanted to show them to RantWoman.

RantWoman found the camera. RantWoman managed to shoot some random pictures. RantWoman handed the phone and some instructions off to rantMom who also succeeded in shooting some pictures.

Then RantWoman found the gallery app. After much fussing and poking RantMom accidentally managed to summon photos with several dates including the ones RantMom had in mind of Irrepressible Nephew at the Museum of Glass.

Okayyyy. RantWoman has no idea how that happened. Nevertheless, RantWoman will tomorrow encourage RantMom to try to look for pictures again. RantWoman will be thrilled if RantMom remembers enough from tonight that she can repeat tonight's success.

And about that reunion by Skype...?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Guest Post: White Cane Safety Day October 15

 Ernie Jones, a registered nurse who retired due to vision loss is a columnist for the Walla wall Union Bulletin

This post is a reprint of his September 2016 column.

October 15 national cane day

Tap, Tap, Tap, That is the sound of independence. That’s the sound of people with visual impairments, using a white cane to confidently navigate to work, to school, or maybe out for a daily walk.

I thought everyone knew what the white canes were used for, but was surprised to learn not everyone understands what the white cane is for. One day, a friend and I, both swinging our long white canes, were enjoying a walk, when a lady stopped us and asked, “What are those sticks for?”

I have to admit, I was so surprised I almost laughed, but I only said, “These are white canes we blind use to walk around. They help us avoid stumbling into objects or other things that may be in our way.”

“You are both blind? You are walking rather fast and I never thought of you as being blind. Thank you for explaining.”

One more person learning about the white cane.

 October 15 is national White Cane Safety Day, acknowledging the independence and skill of people with  visual impairments who use a white cane to navigate. There’s no better day to celebrate the power of the white cane than October 15, the day set aside by the federal government to recognize the independence and skill of people who use white canes.

Laws in all 50 states require drivers to yield the right of way to people with white canes, even when they’re not on a crosswalk.

In honor of White Cane Safety Day, here are some facts about the white cane.

1.       It’s legal to take a white cane through an airport security check-point, according to the TSA, but it must pass through the X-ray machine first.

2.       In 1930, George A Bonham, president  of the Peoria,  Illinois
Lions Club, watched  a man who was blind as he tried to cross a street. The man’s cane was black and motorists couldn’t see it, so Bonham proposed painting the cane white with a red stripe to make it more noticeable. The idea quickly caught on around the country.

3.       White canes are going high-tech. Inventors in  India, Great Britain and France have equipped white canes with ultrasonic devices that detect obstacles up to nine feet away. Vibrations in the cane’s handle warn users of potential hazards in their path.

4.       The standard for using a white cane was pioneered in 1944 by Richard E. Hoover, a World War II veteran rehabilitation specialist. His technique of holding a long cane in the center of the body and swinging it back and forth before each step to detect obstacles is still called the “Hoover Method.”

5.      The majority of blind people don’t use a white cane. In fact, only an estimated 2 to 8 percent  of blind use a cane - the rest rely on their useable vision, a guide dog or a sighted guide.

6.      6.  There are different kinds of white canes. 1. The standardmobility cane, used to navigate. 2, The support cane, used by people with visual impairments who also have mobility challenges. 3 The ID cane, a small, foldable cane used by people with partial sight to let others know they have a visual impairment.
7.       Unless you’re willing to “walk the walk,” you can’t become a certified Orientation & Mobility specialist. O&M specialists teach white cane technique to the people who are blind or have limited eyesight. But to  become certified, they must spend at least 120 hours blindfolded navigating with a white cane.

8.       Today’s modern light weight canes are usually made from aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber, and can weigh as little as seven ounces. Some white cane users prefer straight canes, which are more durable, while others prefer collapsible canes, which can be folded and stored more easily.

9.      White caning can be fun. The Braille Institute sponsors an annual cane quest, where youngsters aged 3-12 compete to quickly and safely navigate a route in their community using  the white cane. The contest helps kids master proper white cane techniques and encourages independence.

10.      In some states, it’s illegal for a person who is not legally blind to use a white cane to gain right-of-way while crossing a street. Get caught in Florida, for example, and you’ll face second-degree misdemeanor charges and up to 60 days in prison.

I hope these facts help you realize, many blind go to work daily, while others are mastering college. Sometimes it is just fun to go for a walk. There are quite a few right in our area who use the white cane. They may not be walking exactly where most pedestrians walk, but remember, these too enjoy life.

Have a great day and remember White Cane Day October 15.

Ernie Jones
Author of Onesimus the Run /away Slave
Encouraging The blind
Greater love hath no man then this


Friday, October 14, 2016

Pussy Riot | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS

RantWoman posts this purely for linguistic interest. Readers who will have trouble suppressing their gag reflex probably should just skip the video.

RantWoman calls readers' attention both to the long list of circumlocutions required by some media outlets usage standards and to the more frank list of synonyms provided by Samantha Bee.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate ducked in favor of Apple Cobbler.

RantMom awhile ago when RantWoman came to supper.
"Turn off the television. You're more fun than Oil Spills."

RantWoman to herself: "Gee Mom. Thanks. I think."

Last night before a fall feast culminating in fresh apple cobbler.
RantMom: "Do you want to watch the #debate?"

RantWoman: "NO! Classic KING will be MUCH better."

RantWoman is a grown up. RantWoman is happy to acknowledge she should have just stuck to the radio and NOT peeked at her Twitter feed. RantWoman STILL feels a need to wash her brain out! Blech!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Portland version of ORCA and quest for low-income fare

This is a blog as filing cabinet item.

Portland implementing ORCA like electronic fare collection and aiming for low-income fare.

Success of low-income fare in King County has been because of deciding that anyone already qualified for a number of different programs automatically already qualifies for the low-income bus fare.