11:18pm: Where can I send him?
A friend of mine is in a difficult situation at home (not physically dangerous, I think) and he's looking to get out. Any thoughts on places he could go for a few weeks or a month that are essentially free?
“A biologist, a chemist, and a statistician are out hunting. The biologist shoots at a deer and misses 5ft to the left, the chemist takes a shot and misses 5ft to the right, and the statistician yells, ‘We got ‘im!’ ”
Passing means being terrified to ask for help because you will have to identify yourself as disabled
Passing means people complimenting you for being so normal when you do disclose
Passing means taking that as a compliment, even if it hurts.
Passing means people will say vicious things in front of you and not understand why your laughter seems forced
Passing means having a terror you will regress and you will lose your wonderful passing privilege
Passing means people refusing to accommodate you because you’re just so normal
Passing means not fitting in in the disabled community or the mainstream community
Passing means feeling guilty because you can pass but feeling so very relieved when you see the freedom it gives you
Passing means pushing beyond your limits every single day, no matter what health problems it causes, because “you can beat it, damn it.”
Passing means that everyone calls you inspiring and begs to know how you were cured.
Passing means looking into the tearful eyes of parents who tell you they would happily die if their kid could be as “normal” as you and wishing you could help them see that there's so much they don't see
Passing means you are disabled and abelist at the same time.
Passing means disabled friends resent you for fitting in and abled friends wonder why you’re just so weird sometimes
Passing means that the friends who speaking of social change are doomed because society is so much stronger than anyone of us are
Passing means hiding your tears until you’re alone and exhausted and so burned out that you are literally shaking and lying on the floor
Passing means the mask cracking and you can feel the disappointment because you just couldn’t handle it anymore
Passing means trying 110% and not having anyone notice because it’s expected
Passing means being afraid to be the person you are.
I attempted to replace my aged, broken Motorola i530 with a shiny new iPhone 4. Did the paperwork, was told it should be almost instant to switch the phone, but might be as much as a half-hour because I was changing networks.
It's now seven and a half hours later, and they're now saying it might be as much as 72 hours.
FWIW, I don't particularly care how a person identifies or presents him/her/themself.
Are you a decent human being? If so, dandy, we'll get on fine.
I don't mean to belittle folks; I realize that for many people, identifying oneself as gay/lesbian/bi/trans/red haired/left handed/protestant/aboriginal/whatever persuasion is an important part of one's identity. But to me personally, it really doesn't matter. I've met nice people and jerks of every gender/race/persuasion. (Here I'm using "persuasion" to mean most any physical or social attribute, whether congenital, imposed, or assumed.)
Am I curious about people? Absolutely, it helps me treat people better. Does one's persuasion (of any sort) help define who one is? Of course; every experience that one has builds the person.
But *TO ME*, identifying oneself as a member of a particular group is just that: an identifier. It makes as much difference to my opinion of the person as does whether they ate the left half of their potato or the right half first.
4:56pm: Sad news Saturday, February 20, 2010, Maurice O'Heare passed away; my father, in his 88th year. He had fought Alzheimer's Disease, a number of small strokes, and a variety of other illnesses.
His last hours were peaceful, surrounded by family.
Our deep thanks go to the staff at Longfields Manor and at the General campus of the Ottawa Hospital; in particular to Angie, Jody, Claire, and Ali on the nursing staff and to Drs. Beck, Smith, and Kravcik.
Funeral visitation at Kelly's, 2313 Carling Avenue, Tuesday February 23 from 2-4PM and 7-9PM. Funeral at Our Lady of Fatima, 153 Woodroffe Avenue, on Wednesday, February 24 at 10AM.
11:57am: Things that make you go "Hmm..."
On the way to work today, we spotted a vehicle covered in advertising for one of the local Yoga places. Not such a big deal, lots of places have vehicles associated with their businesses.
But this was a full-sized pickup truck. What in the world would they need THAT for, I wonder?
"Oh dear, Mrs. Thing tried the Padma Bhujangasana again. We'll load her into the truck and take her to the hospital, get her untied."
(On an unrelated note, I'm going to try to update things here more often. Don't hold your breath.)
Heidi's mom did have a small stroke. She was home later that afternoon (!), and is recovering very well. She has essentially no mobility or speech problems, and the doctor has said that her prognosis is very good. She can't drive for three months, though; that will put a bit of a crimp in their lifestyle.
The actor in the Oz play did not have a heart attack. It turned out to be a strained diaphragm muscle. He was back the next day, looking better than he had before, and is going to take a month off now that the festival is over.
8:26pm: Fantastic Fiction with Ursula K. LeGuin
For those who are interested in this sort of stuff, here's the info from the poster for the last night of the International Writers Festival here in Ottawa.
Disclaimer: I'm the technical guy/sound technician for the Festival
URSULA K. LE GUIN
with Mike Carey, Jo Walton, and Kelley Armstrong Saturday, May 2, 2009
6:00 PM - Fantastic Fiction: Mike Carey, Jo Walton and Kelley Armstrong on World Building
(Mike Carey photo by Lin Carey, Kelley Armstrong photo by Curtis Lantinga)
Three gifted storytellers delight in showing us worlds almost our own, each with a twist that transforms the mundane to the fantastic. (Tickets $15)
8:00 PM - Global Encounters: An Evening with Ursula K. Le Guin
We close the Spring Edition with one of the world’s undisputed literary masters. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and National Book Awards and eighteen Locus Awards, she has inspired generations of readers. Don’t miss a rare appearance by one of America’s most profound thinkers and authors. (Tickets $20)
Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts and Humanities 314 Saint Patrick (at Cumberland) Tickets and information: 613-562-1243 OR www.writersfestival.org
I'm about to go shopping for a hearing test, and am wondering what I ought to be asking for. I intend to call up the doctors that do that sort of thing, and ask detailed questions.
I know that many, maybe most, tests simply check response in octaves, and don't test above 8kHz or below 250Hz (I think that's right). I'd like to know the correct names for the sorts of tests that go beyond those ranges and test with finer gradations.
I'd also like to know what other specific things I should ask about, and what sorts of things to avoid.
FWIW, I'm in Ontario in Canada, so I'm not quite as worried about HMOs and insurance stuff as I would be if I was in the US.
(And no, I'm not really worried about my hearing degrading. Well, I do worry about it, but that's not why I'm looking for the info. I just want to make sure that I'm still hearing as well as I think I am.)
It's a 1988 (yep) Dodge Ram 150, V6, in astonishingly good shape.
More later, but the insurance company, Ottawa police, and all sorts of other people were terrific about the whole process of dealing with a stolen and damaged car.
The Ministry of Transportation, on the other hand, required me to provide an appraisal of the value of the vehicle before they would transfer the ownership. So I traded on a friend of a friend's generosity, and got his boss (at Import Auto on Merivale Road in Ottawa) to provide the appraisal (which requirement he called "ridiculous" -- I have other words). Go buy some cars from them, okay?
I also had to fight with the person in the office to transfer the ownership when "the system" would not allow her to do so. She was trying to renew my plates using an emissions test that was going to expire before my birthday, instead of simply transferring the ownership to me. "The system won't let me do it." Not my problem -- certificate's good for a year, it's less than a year old, make it work.
11:44pm: Dave's missing gear
As I mentioned, our van was stolen on the morning of Christmas Eve. The van itself has been found, and is in an impound lot waiting for the insurance appraiser to look at it; the musical equipment that was in the van is all missing.
But being me, I have made a list of the equipment that is missing, with serial numbers when I have them (yes, I should have ALL the serial numbers, but I don't).
If you find any of this gear, please inform the Ottawa Police at 613–236–1222x7300, and refer to report #08–357933.
Musical equipment missing includes:
Targus laptop case with
Behringer MXB1002 mixer, with AC adapter, ser# N0213928122,
FMR RNC audio compressor, with AC adapter,,
Lexicon LXP-5, with AC adapter, ser# V1292-44861,
4×dual 1/4" cables,
Multi-Caisses Road Boss 4 rack case with
Marshall 8008 power amp with broken power switch,
Denon 2000F MkIII cd player,
Apex AMX61 mixer ser# 20044492;
2×Yorkville speakers NX35;
2×Yorkville speaker stands, in padded nylon carrying case;
2×Plano pistol cases with:
Sennheiser Freeport handheld wireless mic sets ser# 1510410930 1510410805
2×K&M model 252 microphone stands, in padded nylon carrying case
Flambeau 3501 fishing tackle box with audio adapters:
4×XLRm gender changers,
4×XLRf gender changers,
2×Shure A15AS XLR pads,
2×VGAm gender changers,
2×VGAf gender changers,
4×1/4 in TS (F) to Dual Banana
2×Shure A95UF transformers,
2×IEC to Edison adapters
black Pelican 1510 Laptop Carry On Case with
15' XLR cable,
6' XLR cable,
2×3.5mm-2 1/4" male cables
Studiomaster Diamond 4-channel mixer (4-channel battery-powered mixer with XLR inputs),
8:52pm: Abandon hope, all ye who...
Well, maybe not all hope, but the police officer that took my initial report said that the van would likely be found in 48 hours, or not at all.
It's been more than 48 hours, but then it's also been Christmas and boxing day and Christmas Eve and such. There's still some hope, but not a lot.
Thanks for the sympathetic comments, folks; they've helped a lot. The van and the gear are all fairly anonymous and straight off-the-shelf stuff.
One thing I neglected to mention, and an important thing, is how nice everyone has been that I've talked to. The police, the insurance folks, the car rental people1, everybody. They've all been calm, and sympathetic, and businesslike, all of which made the dealings much better for me.
1 We did get a rental car, btw. And from a rental place that was quite close to home.
My sweetie, looking out at around 9:30 AM to see how much snow we had to scrape off the van today, saw that there was nothing to scrape snow off of, woke me, and thus began my day of talking to
my insurance agent,
the police (again),
my insurance agent (again),
three insurance claims people:
one for the van itself (three times),
one for its contents (once),
one who answered the phone when one of the others was on another call,
a bunch of car rental folks (some several times; try to imagine how hard it is to rent a car on Christmas eve, during a transit strike -- it's actually much harder than that),
etc., etc., etc..
I'd looked out at the van last night (December 23rd), and all was well. On December 24th, Dave Eh?, our neighbour to the east, noticed the van in the drive as he left for work at 6:30 AM; Marion, our western neighbour, noticed that the van was not there at 7:30 AM.
The problem with the contents is that I'd been the sound guy for a Christmas party, and hadn't unloaded the van 'cause I really still need some help for that. As a result I had a small PA system left in the van, which is now missing. Mixers, amplifiers, speakers, CD player, microphones, stands, cables, gone.
Yes, I do realize that nobody was physically hurt, it was only stuff, and stuff can be replaced. But it was MY stuff, dammit. We'd spent a chunk of money on the car in the past year, planning to keep it for a while yet. And the audio gear had been collected over quite some time, picking carefully and choosing only good gear. Yes it was insured, but still...
I woke up yesterday morning with my broken foot hurting quite a lot, which it had not been doing. Considering that I suffer from classic migraine, I believe that "quite a lot" really is quite a lot. Inspection showed that the cast had broken above the ankle, about 3/4 of the way around, in line with the plaster bandage used to make the thing in the first place. If I relaxed my ankle, the crack opened and my foot hurt; if I tensed muscles so that the crack closed, my foot didn't hurt but my calf muscles ached and cramped.
I made the appropriate phone call, and got told to come in to the emergency room for a look-see. So my sweetie wrapped my cast in an elastic bandage (looked rather surreal), packed some supplies (food, check; drinks, check; paperback books, check) and we head off to the QCH. Usual triage and wait ensues.
When I finally got to the cast room, the technician (I believe that's the right term) sawed off the old cast, washed my foot and leg, and we had a discussion on the scentedness of the soap being used ("It's unscented." "No it's not, I can smell it from over here," says my sweetie. "We're only supposed to use unscented stuff here." "Look, here in the ingredients list: Fragrance." "Dang. I'll take that up with the powers that be." "Thanks. And while you're at it, would you mention the Purell that's everywhere and makes us ill?"). After a few careful rinsings with clear water, I had a new fiberglass cast installed.
If you ever need a cast, go for fiberglass. It hardens in ten minutes, instead of the 48 hours that plaster takes; is much lighter than plaster, and (at least in theory) won't crack like plaster. It also is available in a variety of colours; I picked blue, of a choice of blue, white, and glow-in-the-dark (I imagine a particular LJer is plotting a fracture just to get a glow-in-the-dark cast). That was the selection at the QCH, the manufacturer (3M) makes the stuff in 113 patient-pleasing colours. (Sorry, that should have been 13, not 113, colours)