Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#KittyHall thank you letter and morality plays

RantMom would be proud of RantWoman. Writing thank you letters was a big deal in RantWoman's childhood and RantWoman needs to thank Mayor Murray for a proclamation. Unfortunately, RantWoman has lost patience searching for the exact proclamation and will simply get about the rest of the Thank you.

The short version of the story:

RantWoman is deeply touched. Mayor Murray invited the Seattle Animal Shelter to fill City, er #KittyHall  with opportunities to hang with kitties and be tempted to adopt one. This event occurred on RantWoman's birthday. Had RantWoman any other occasion to visit City, er #KittyHall, this would have been a fabulous birthday present. This year it would have been especially nice because also on RantWoman's birthday, someone RantWoman was quite fond of rudely went and died. Okay so it was after a long decline, but still.

Mayor's proclamation and press releas--which RantWoman cannot find.

Oh wait! The Queen of Spades would have NONE of any RantWoman fraternizing with other felines..

The Queen of Spades is the nom de blog of the duly licensed black domestic chorthair who has dominion over RantWoman's household. The Queen of Spades has a number of endearing behaviors http://rantwomanrsof.blogspot.com/2014/07/zen-cat-to-rescue.html

Alas, the Queen of Spades is a bit of a jealous companion. She would be having none of any #KittyHall visitations. But she does reckon wiht a certain RantWoman Big Sister vibe and suggest the following sequence of morality stories is probably on point. RantWoman also notes that The Queen of Spades better count herself lucky never to have encountered the Seattle Animal Shelter and enthusiastically recommends responsibility on the part of other humans involved with kitties.

A tale of two, well, three kitties, hamsterama, and Wonder Chihuahua.
The Queen of Meow and her brother, kitties 1 and 2 were born in MT at the home of the Rant Children's former piano teacher. They reached weaning age about the time Little Sister and future husband made a summer journey to MT. The kittens were probably used to having half of southeastern MT to run around in. Unfortunately seducing Little Sister meant that they came to Seattle and settled into a Belltown studio.

Settled is a word used with caution. They were kittens. The humans were gone all day so the kittens had plenty of time to sleep and store up energy for night after night of romping and running back and forth from one end of the apartment to another. The Queen of Meow was always more sociable than her brother; RantWoman feels a pang and wonders if a different approach on the part of the humans might have...
Along came kitty PUBERTY and thoughts of sanity for humans and separating kittens. Little Sister found a home for the Queen of Meow but took her brother to the Animal shelter one morning. By the end of the day, Little Sister changed her mind and called back. But she learned it was too late. Rest in Peace , Brother kitty. RantWoman making sad face.
The Queen of Meow went off to live with  church friend of Little Sisters. Church Friend called Little Sister shortly after RantDad Died and RantWoman had made a remark "I think Iwill get a cat." The Queen of Meow was pale substitute for RantDad but more than enough to take RantWoman's mind off at least SOME of the grief.
At this point, the Queen of Meow was about a year old. She still loved to run from one end of apartment to another at all hours of day and night. RantWoman is a generous sort and does not necessarily mind short-term stints as part of kitty running track. After about two weeks of this, RantWoman decided that sleep was imperative. RantWoman lived on a ground floor with a door that opened directly to the outdoors. RantWoman is aware of the hazards facing outdoor kitties in the city. RantWoman counts herself and kitty lucky:   The Queen of Meow proved a match for the mean streets.

More than a decade passed. The Queen of Meow charmed and endeared and tragically developed mouth cancer. But she had a good run and earned a burial outdoors under a tree.

Meanwhile enter the Big Purple Group Home, domicile of a friend of RantWomans. . If one is  going to wind up with more colorful housemates than one would perhaps desire, why would there not also be a pregnant teenage mom cat show up one day? The future Queen of Spades apparently had fallen under the sway of a big orange tom who lived nearby and she shortly delivered kittens behind the rainbarrel at the Big Purple Group House.

All of the kittens found homes and The Queen of Spades went off to live with another friend of RantWoman's; however, she came to RantWoman's one time for a catsit and, agreeably for both RantWoman and kitty, has stayed ever since.

RantWoman would have been happy to stop here but along came Hamsterama. Little Sister and Irrepressible Nephew (and Brother in law, but...) somehow acquired a pair of Siberian hamsters. One pair. It was not very long before Little Sister was having to spend a lot of time trying to sex baby hamsters and Irrepressible Nephew was getting early age exposure to the wonders of exponential growth..  Little Sister tried to adopt out. She tried to sell. Finally the hamsters, a ridiculously large number of hamsters, went to the Animal Shelter and debuted shortly after on the shelter webpage.

RantWoman does not even want to guess the hamsters' fate. RantWoman simply wants to note one more moment of family heartbreak. At some point a good while after Hamsterama, Little Sister and Irrepressible Nephew thought of adopting a dog. They thought of going to the Animal Shelter. They even pickedout  a dog and fell in love. Then computers whirred and the Hamsterama rap sheet came up and ....

When Little Sister and family failed in their quest to adopt a dog from the animal shelter, they instead hookedup online with a perfectly fin wonder chihuahua and RantWoman will refrain from furhter comment.

The Queen of Spades is much less restrained. She righteously entreats all humans please to try to avoid having your creatures land at the animal shelter in the first place. And RantWoman hopes everyone who visited #kittyHall had a grand time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Charm Challenged

Paraphrasing from RantWoman’s email awhile ago:

 “RantWoman, I am orienting an new developer. He is asking whether, with all kinds of new screen technology we still need to think about high-contrast video.:

 "Yes, because the basic biological and neurological reasons people need high-contrast video have NOT changed.”

 RantWoman’s laptop had just died.  RantWoman was staring at all the life and pocket book disruptions caused by waves of upgrades and the treadmill of beta testing.  So, evem though RantWoman has maintained a longstanding aspiration to have a certain large software company ask HER for advice, when the ask finally came, with no stated budget for consultation, the asker got  the twitter version without even a suggestion to do further research for oneself.

 Can you say “charm challenged?” Should RantWoman also be saying “incompetent capitalist” and start charging people for such advice?

Charm challenged, Chapter 2.-, from a more recent email, forwarded from someone else with no time to respond, no less:

Following is a test page for online accommodations information that our office is developing. Would you please tell me whether you experience any difficulty accessing the information? The layout involves drop-down screens and I’m curious to know whether that presents any difficulty for screen readers. Also, if there’s specific information that you think is missing or should be changed, I would be happy to hear that, too.

 The office will present this site in a small meeting this afternoon, and I’d love to get feedback in ahead of that… "

RantWoman wrote back: 
"The link did not work for me. Is it possible it only works for people inside your firewall firewall if it is not a public link?"
Frankly, RantWoman gets a little grumpy when asked to do last-minute QA for people's accessibility efforts. RantWoman strongly encourages people to build accessibility and QA about accessibility into requirements a little further upstream than a couple hours before a demo. Plus, as you correctly point out, chances are it will take only a very small n of testers to break the site; if you break your accessibility measures further upstream, the demo should go better!
   More to the point, RantWoman has heard representatives of the very large software company featured in the other two items as well as from other very large companies: if you design accessibility in from the get-go, a better product overall comes out."


Charm challenged, Part 3: Add Faith community and Stir.

Someone from RantWoman’s faith community got tasked to assist RantWoman. The first problem: define the task. Sometimes this particular set of tasks is short term. Person Tasked to Help asked RantWoman a couple questions and Rant Woman concluded that he knew little going in. (RantWoman has learned she should be cautious about concluding too soon about this person, but RantWoman also concluded that the task definitely was not going to be short-term.
Exact an of time omitted. Exact zigs and zags omitted.

Enter name of person tasked to help into search engine of choice: Person tasked to help retired from managing a certain software product long grumbledabout by blind people and still on the #nfb14 list of products companies are please request to make accessible NOW. RantWoman did not check out final disposition of proposed resolutions. Rant Woman understands perfectly well that merely passing a “Make it So” resolution is insufficient on engineering grounds , but nice as Person tasked to Help is, RantWoman so would NOT mind having fewer reasons her faith community keeps reminding her why she really really really really needs a faith community!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chris Hadfield: What I learned from going blind in space

RantWoman found this video while her search engine was grazing among other content. This clip is making RantWoman smile on so many levels that it fully deserves to be the way RantWoman observes the 45th anniversary of the moon landing.

RantWoman also was inspired by the moon landing. RanttWoman remembers watching it on a black and white TV in a tiny graduate student aparment with 4 adults, 2 or 3 of whom where music grad students and 5 kids of various ages.  RantWoman remembers steamy humidity and erratic air conditioning. But that is nothing compared to the rigors of space travel!

SLIGHT spoiler: the blindness is temporary and VERY well prepared for.

RantWoman rules of content curation permit inclusion of other vaguesly topical links:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Blog by Blind Oceanographer Amy Bower

RantWoman has been reading Dr. Bower's computer questions and answers for a good while and is fascinated to learn what projects the computers get used for.


Check out my new blog: OceanInsight--Musings of a Blind Oceanographer at
http://web.whoi.edu/OceanInsight. It's a mix of (hopefully) interesting tidbits about my oceanographic research and how I make the career work  as a visually impaired scientist. Right now I'm on a research cruise in the  North Atlantic, so I'm posting almost every day. I'm especially interested in reaching visually impaired students, so pass the link along to anyone
you think might be interested. Thanks.

Dr. Amy S. Bower
Senior Scientist
Department of Physical Oceanography
MS #21
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA  02543
V:  508-289-2781
F:  508-457-2181
C:  508-564-3663
E:  abower@whoi.edu
www:  http://www.whoi.edu/scientist/abower

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jamila Lysiscott Really Awesome Word-Weave

This post is dedicated to anyone who sometimes finds RantWoman's presence and delivery style "Oh, a bit much," to anyone who finds him or herself called regularly to tell it like it is:

And a link for people who fancy extra clicks to get to the media item!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Info Sessions for 2014 W.A.G.E.S cohort

RantWoman has NO illusions that this blog is the fastest way to reach young people who might qualify for this program. RantWoman would never mind being wrong and encourages readers to pass this along to people who might both qualify and benefit.
From email:
With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, I’m struggling to find a better way to encourage young adults to stay cool and learn Employment Skills other than through the WAGES program! Next week I will be holding Informational Sessions (July 16th & 17th @ 2pm) at the Y’s Young Adult Services in the 2100 Bldg., setting up interviews and hiring for the upcoming cohort of W.A.G.E.S. which starts AUGUST 4th! There tends to be a dip during the summer months with recruiting qualified young adults so I’m requesting extra help to identify motivated candidates. See information below for basic qualifying criteria:
W.A.G.E.S. Criteria:
  • Between the ages of 18 & 22.
  • Struggling with homelessness (i.e. temporarily staying with friends/family, squatting, Transitional Housing, etc.)
  • Committed to an 8 week internship
  • Have not participated in Tile or Zine
  • Have 2 forms of ID prior to the start of the session
Attached to this email is the Working Zone Employment Opportunity application, W.A.G.E.S. flyer, and NEWLY REVISED Overview of the W.A.G.E.S. program! Don’t hesitate to have a qualified participant fill out the WZ application and return to me via fax @ 206.749.7541! Also, it would be greatly appreciated if you could post the attached W.A.G.E.S. flyer and/or pass along to other community agencies working with similar young adult demographics. [Okay, so the flyer did not get attached. Write or call below and ask to have it sent. Or if connectivity is a problem, ask about ways to get it in person!]
If you have any questions and/or need additional information please feel free to contact me by responding to this email and/or contacting me at 206.749.7578. Thanks for your time and have a great rest of the day!
NaCoubi Jiles, MSW I Resource Specialist II
P 206.749.7578
F 206.749.7540