Friday, May 5, 2017

Chromie Goes To Auburn

Auburn used to be called Slaughter, after one Lt. Slaughter. There was also a hotel called The Slaughter House. For more detail check out  Auburn history on HistoryLink

RantWoman first learned this information from a neighbor and travelling companion for the journey reported here. Neighbor shares RantWoman’s possibly surprising appreciation of the Muppets. RantWoman is aware that one usage of “Muppet” is a derogatory term for people with certain disabilities. RantWoman is happy to live with that reality but that does not diminish RantWoman’s respect for her neighbor’s capacity sometimes   to come up with really interesting bits of history and local lore.

In that spirit, something else to look up on HistoryLink

Angel of the wind casino

A digression while looking up Lt. Slaughter. The Auburn Library founded by the WCTU

 Now, Chromie the Chromebook’s first actual road trip, to an accessibility resources fair at the Auburn WA Public Library .  http://The STAR Center did not think to have an actual presence there but RantWoman and another stalwart handed out a few business cards.

 First load up the bus. 4 wheelchair users, 2 with caregivers. Room to tie down up to 3 more wheelchairs.  One person who uses a walker. RantWoman and Ambassador Thwack. Room for at least 4 more people in seats. Mostly congenial companions.

Paratransit situation: LOTS of people who qualify for paratransit who want to travel together. Multiple wheelchair users very happy to expound about the dearth of vehicles in the various for hire services that can transport wheelchairs. Other point relevant to RantWoman: RantWoman is very happy to learn bus connections for places she goes to regularly even as rarely as once or twice a year. However, if it is the first time RantWoman visits a place or if the destination is far off RantWoman’s usual beaten track and she does not expect to go back anytime soon, door-to-door service is REALLY helpful. See further comment below about a RantWoman bus stop pet peeve.

 Drive and drive and drive. RantWoman really appreciates all the foliage and tree cover. RantWoman does not appreciate the overwhelming impression that S King County is friendly mainly for cars. RantWoman would SO like to keep the green space and maybe put in some nice multifamily, transit friendly housing, and if possible how about better looking designs than all the built out to the property line boxes going up around Seattle? 

 But we digress.

 Diversions to two shopping destinations and then the 3 intrepid accessibility fair goers arrived in Auburn. Bus driver was being a little squishy about the point that he is a paratransit vehicle and it probably does not make sense to suggest picking up travelers with wheelchair, walker, and white cane  for the return trip at a nearby bus stop if the library parking lot were too full. The bus worked fine in the parking lot, but RantWoman managed to check out the bus stop anyway. RantWoman’s gripe: the bus stop is at the edge of a driveway but RantWoman could find no sidewalk between the bus stop and the library entrance. Frownie face. RantWoman also did not investigate return trip options, either some route that continues from the current stop OR locations of a bus stop for a return trip. The library is on a very busy highway and RantWoman had no sense of nearby stoplights. Sigh.

 RantWoman is sort of blasé about going to information fairs, even information fairs for people with disabilities and getting a lot of PRINT. RantWoman is happy to have picked up some info she and RantMom will digest related to dealing with hearing loss. RantWoman is happy to have picked up a number of pieces of transportation info.

 Most important, after RantWoman got tired of chatting about resources, RantWoman and Chromie found some tables and outlets in the lobby. Chromie had no problem finding the library’s wi-fi. Chromie was even willing to show off for another Service Provider for the Visually Impaired. .Service Provider was impressed despite the fact that RantWoman still feels pretty inept. Service provider even reported that someone she knows would like to recommend Chromebook world domination for customers served by one particular agency.

RantWoman finds that an interesting perspective, except that RantWoman sometimes applies the multiple family members in a household test to new technologies: Family mileage probably varies. In the RantFamily, the RantSisters and RantMom all have different accessibility issues, not to mention different usage strategies.  If RantWoman has a device and RantMom gets the same device (or a device with the same OS at least) will there be a mutually reinforcing cycle of happiness?  

 Uhhh, let’s just say that touch screen seems to pose some challenges for RantMom. Plus the technology application most on RantMom’s mind at the moment is Bible Study:  RantMom has Bible Study buddies who have tablets to look up their Bible passages. RantMom kind of wants a tablet. RantWoman only recently realized that maybe it makes sense first just to see what RantMom can do with the relevant apps on her phone.  RantWoman and RantMom are definitely going to check out bible reading options on RantMom’s smartphone; on the other hand, although RantWoman is quite enjoying adventures with Chromie, RantWoman does not think having RantMom deal with Chromie would be fun for anyone.

(RantWoman neglected to mention: while tabbing around not quite mindlessly, RantWoman found keyboard pathways to both information about how much battery life she had and to turning Chromie off. Has RantWoman found either pathway again yet? NOPE.

Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure.



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