Friday, April 14, 2017

Baggage: Hi-vis please

The Queen of Spades
For the record, The Queen of Spades would be just fine with dispatching RantWoman  to purchase her preferred brand of canned cat food, bringing it home, and not having to fill the interwebs with shopping issues. The Queen of Spades got her dinner; now the rest of the world gets opinions about a recent #caturday shopping experience.

First, RantWoman flirts with mail order but really likes the human contact, physical exercise,  and randomness of shopping in person. Amazon Go is not a concept that sounds like fun for RantWoman; sometimes the entire POINT of a shopping trip is some human exchange with a clerk.

Next, RantWoman has been bringing her own shopping bags since the days of the 5 cent discount for one's own bags, long before Seattle's ban on plastic shopping bags.

Here please note the two Before and After time warp shopping bag photos. In particular, the first photo is an regular Trader Joe's canvas shopping bag. RantWoman likes these bags for durability, shoulder straps, and simplicity. RantWoman, though would happily pay about #2.00 more per bag if the one on the left came with the same kind of reflector tape RantWoman has sewn onto the one on the right.

Trader Joe's bags with and without reflector tape
RantWoman goes about--and shops--at all hours. RantWoman is allergic to getting run over. So RantWoman buys shopping bags, finds her needle, thread, needle threader, and sometimes extra magnification sewing glasses. RantWoman gets out her supply of products from Seattle Fabrics, and RantWoman does various things to ensure she is visible in the dark.

In RantWoman's fantasy life, and based on RantWoman's own expertise using sewing machines or thinking about sewing in a manufacturing setting, RantWoman thinks adding reflector tape should be easily feasible during the manufacturing process.

New Fruit Bag. Old bag with reflector tape
Now, consider the next Before and After sequence: one the left a new bag full of exuberant fruit designs  and on the left a grungy worn out bag (from a different store. Shhhh!) that RantWoman also sewed reflector tape onto. In RantWoman's fantasy life, if one is going to print exuberant designs big and bold enough for RantWoman to see on bags, would it MAYBE also be possible to do some of the fruits in hi-vis  ink? RantWoman is just asking.

One more RantWoman peculiarity: yep, sometimes the outside of RantWOman's bags gets grungy. RantWoman launders them occasionally. RantWoman also hands her bags to store clerks fully prepared to put her purchases inside. But store clerks are sometimes squeamish because of the exterior grime. RantWoman thinks she is supposed to appreciate this concern. RantWoman does not know how to react. In fact, RantWoman is WAY more concerned that store clerks divide her purchases fairly evenly among the bags provided and always, always just give RantWoman the bananas so RantWoman is responsible for any damage that occurs in transit as a result of packing issues. Word!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Further Acquainted With New Chromebook Buddy

RantWoman's to-do list includes

--Figure out how to make the tax payment she owes and where to send the actual paper copy of her return.

--Do an event registration process RantWoman has done may times before

--Do some research to find a new health care provider. RantWoman needs to switch for various reasons. RantWoman NEEDS to find a new provider. RantWoman even has a list of referrals. Now RantWoman wants to research providers a little more before making the initial phone call. RantWoman already lost patience for today working in Windows at home and may try between other interruptions at the Friendly Neighborhood Center...

--Prepare for one meeting tonight and two meetings tomorrow. By prepare RantWoman means:

    ---Read agendas and in once case make further calls about RantWoman's role on the agenda.

    --Review some promised documents. (Nag the creator of the documents...)


   --Get new Chromebook to a state of Tweet-ability if possible.

--Emit email in several directions involving specific accessibility and technology vocabulary and recipients notably obtuse about RantWoman's requests.

--Emit another in RantWoman's series of "I do not have a lot of money to contribute but here's some free advice" communications.

--Emit a blog post about why "millions" invested in systematic inventory and prioritizing of curb ramp improvements should more than pay for itself in several dimensions of community sensibility.

--Tend to several other strands of email that involve forwarding, planning...

So what is RantWoman spending time on FIRST, now that she has had her minimum daily fix of State of the World Twitter?

Getting further acquainted with her new Chromebook, of course.

Goals for life with My new Buddy

--Get the eyes-free options down both to spare tired eyes and to save time ranting about screen enlargement issues: In RantWoman's fantasy life, enlargement inside a browser would present all the content on the screen just reformatted at the enlarged font size. The norm seems instead to have a virtual screen bigger than the actual screen and to make the user scroll back and forth left and right to see all the content. This is WAY more visual work than RantWoman wants to do, especially if RantWoman Is only  scraping achy eyeballs over the screen because that is faster in the first place.

--Intermediate eyes-free goal: figure out the keys needed to shut down and turn off.

--Be able to type and edit as fast as on Windows Machine

--Fast test of websites, especially websites where RantWoman has stong opinions about the content AND is making the developer interact with accessibility and multiple platform issues, a circumstance not uncommon for instance in faith communities full of users at a lot of different levels of technical sophistication.

--Live Tweet from a keyboard instead of a phone.

--Get around as nimbly with the keyboard shortcuts as the training videos promise. From the videos, RantWoman is impressed. RantWoman just needs to PRACTICE.

--Intermediate goal: work in 20 minutes / day of practice and training videos.

--Try not to come up with too many more fantasy thoughts about technological fixes. Today's Problem of the Day: earphones. RantWoman hates them. At home, RantWoman does not use them. This sometimes vexes the Queen of Spades. It interferes with her constant napping schedule. At the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing though, earphones are a must. It's just that multiple devices mean either need for multiple sets of headphones or some kind of switchable Bluetooth device or something else RantWoman has not thought about.

And where does RantWoman stand?

--RantWoman has now added Tweetdeck to her Chrome Browser. RantWoman may or may not decide the level of functionality is adequate for live-Tweeting. Stay tuned.

--Chromebook is charging comfortably. RantWoman has not yet figured out how to check battery level but figures charging Chromebook is a good idea before a meeting.

--RantWoman's other to-do items: the list keeps growing. SIGH!

Paint the Curb Ramps?

Postcards from Sunday Supper.

Tonight's supper menu:

Eggplant Parmesan from the freezer case

Green salad with avocados.

Hot Cross buns

Canned peaches (sometimes the RantWoman are pretty pedestrian)

Wonderful Sesame cookies via a recipe from PCC

Tonight's conversational menu:
--Taxation can be fun. RantMom's theme: her tax preparer's request that she download her return for review. RantMom called RantWoman at a bus stop yesterday for tech support. RantWoman's small list of tricks did not work. Despite RantWoman's assurance that RantMom probably would not be able to break anything, RantMom was not much into RantWoman's suggestion just to click on things willy nilly and see what happens.  So RantWoman suggested just calling the tax preparer on Monday and taking the weekend off from worry.

--A Seattle Times article about curb ramps. RantMom has two things on her mind:

1. Drainage. Can anyone say IT RAINS HERE? Can curb ramps be designed to deal with this reality?

2. Can someone just paint the existing curb ramps that are not likely to get redone anytime soon and are currently the same color as the sidewalk? RantMom says it would make life much easier for her if the ramps got painted yellow or white.

--The Seattle Times further digested regarding concussions in the NFL and lawsuits against the mayor about sexual conduct: the RantWomen seem to agree that there is some aspect of personal responsibility to consider in both cases: people who sign up to get knocked in repeatedly in the head have SOME responsibility for their choice even if their employer is, not to mince words, slime about the situation. And people repeatedly make bad relationship choices for all kinds of reasons. The RantWomen do not want to minimize the aggrieved parties' suffering, but....

--The Supreme Court: The RantWomen, partly because of family ties to CO definitely do not lament that there is a new associate justice from West of Chicago. We are equivocal about the 50 votes threshold. RantMom did not really go into the politics of the filibuster but acknowledges RantWoman's irritation that Pres. Obama's most recent nomination got no hearing at all. RantWoman thinks this is likely to bite the Republicans in the behind at some point. RantWoman thinks they deserve it!

RantWoman further thinks:

--RantWoman wonders how anyone with the sense God gave goats, anyone who has the SLIGHTEST sense of realism about how people cope and help each other out about  weather in CO would think an employer should be able to fire a truck driver who opted to abandon his vehicle and avoid freezing to death in a blizzard.

--The new justice just got overruled, twice, by his new colleagues. This should make for an interesting get acquainted period.

--The current occupant of the White House has openly dissed federal judges that RantWoman wonders how anyone who believes in judicial independence can even accept a nomination from him.

--RantWoman is not deeply schooled in the ways of the Supreme Court but has formed the opinion a number of times that part of what people object to in supreme court rulins is embodied in the terms of legislation. So better drafting seems like something to consider.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Rodent free: The Chromebook Edition

The short version:
RantWoman is very happy to have a new Chromebook. The Chromebook has a touch pad but no mouse. RantWoman has NOT fully figured out the keyboard shortcuts but has been able to turn on multiple screen and magnification features, input two different wifi passwords AND to send an email. No rodent needed.

Prequel: you know you are on the frontier, in the technological wild west when you are in a bar with some QA staff and,  even before anyone has had much to drink, the word is do not have wild expectations. There would be a separate conversation thread about entry level jobs but that gets its own attention separately.

So then RantWoman expressed one of her fantasies and got instructions: email me.

RantWoman's fixation and wild fantasy: Bilingualism is good for brains. Bilingualism is good for brains. Bilingualism is good for brains. RantWoman is not even registering an opinion about the world of machine translation. Bilingualism is good for brains. RantWoman would like it very much thank you if Chromevox could detech say Youtube links in different languages and read the titles in the corresponding language. Do not translate them. Just read them in a voice with language appropriate pronunciation, not bad phonetics from a different language. 

A more nuanced version of the fantasy: RantWoman has officially studied a couple languages besides English and is willing to fake it in a couple other languages. RantWoman would like to have the links in languages she has studied read in that language. RantWoman would like for other languages to have configuration options about whether to identify the language displayed and whether to suggest a translation.

RantWoman's fantasy is that people who know different combinations of languages might like the option of configuring which languages get read and which something else happens for. RantWoman's experience is that this sort of fantasy can be easy to articulate but not necessarily easy to code. So it's a fantasy, though RantWoman does naively expect that Google might have a number of different speech engines to invoke as options.

RantWoman's Chromebook has in fact arrived. RantWoman picked it up from her mailbox on Friday. RantWoman left the outermost layer of Amazon packaging at her UPS store. RantWoman has multiple emails but no in-box packing slip. RantWoman  is mildly grumpy that a laptop sleeve she ordered did not come with the pouch promised for cords and earphone.  But onward to RantWoman's next bus and unpacking the Chromebook itself in transit.

The bus ride was about "cooking," coming up with food suitable for a potluck with a bunch of vegans and diverse dietary preferences. RantWoman's preferred travel algorithm: by this time RantWoman was already carrying more than comfortable so RantWoman wanted to get off the bus, shop, and get back on the bus. RantWoman was excited to learn that current Metro through-route math turns the 75 into the 32 so RantWoman was able to jump off the bus at the U-village Safeway, acquire suitable potluck contributions and hop back on the now 32 which takes her blocks closer to her destination than Campus Parkway.

No RantWoman did not fuss with Chromebook during the potluck. Look RantWoman finds noisy social environments exhilarating but hard to deal with and RantWoman is a big nerd, but not THAT big a nerd!

Rodent Free? The Windows Edition

Please note: reference to electronic rodents is fond homage to very skilled technologists without college degrees found in some academic computing environments where RantWoman has worked. Long ago when the Apple Macintosh was first on the scene, one of the fulltime staff grumbled about "I hate rodents."

RantWoman honestly has mixed opinions about electronic rodents. Sometimes it is MUCH more convenient to navigate keyboard only without moving hands back and forth between mouse and keyboard.

Okay, RantWoman says this, but RantWoman recently got a new hand-me-down computer and neglected to think about a hand-me-down mouse. RantWoman made it a good long way just tabbing around. RantWoman also has the sense that if she spent time and / or had the right focused training, rodent free would be very handy.

Unfortunately, RantWoman does NOT know keyboard shortcuts nearly as well as she would prefer and so far, as long as RantWoman has options for enlargement and lacks patience, RantWoman, um, er, still gets more done with the rodent. So RantWoman now also has a rodent.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Finnish Trump Sketch 2017 (eng-sub)

Apparently part of RantWoman's destiny is to collect images of He Who RantWman Refers To as The Orange One, as seen through the eyes of people, especially comics in other countries. Here is Finland's take.