By Gonz Blinko
Standing under a grapefruit tree, my right foot pointing at the business end of an 80 pound Labrador who is dropping bombs in rapid succession. His real name sounded like something out of a corporate branding firm; one of those words that would make Hemmingway scream from beyond the grave. I just called him X, as in sex, and I intended to use this blonde beauty to get me some.
Teresa left after meeting a guy who worked as a model for Gucci and I dove into work on the book and movie. I spent a lot of time smoking chronic and hanging out in Washington Square talking to the old Jewish men about “kids these days.” I decided to check myself into The Southeastern Center for Dog Handling and Psychiatric Care for about a month and left with X. I didn’t want to face the apartment on Joey Ramone Place quite yet, too many memories of my little Italiana, too many ghosts and too many stories. Samhara moved alone onto a house boat on the western edge of the Everglades and, when I asked about her sexy Euro-lesbians, she only said she didn’t want to talk about it. So, I came to BC’s place for a bit of R & R and I hoped to use X, the closest thing to a babe magnet that a guy like me can own to find a meaningless short term encounter.
Michael Bald came over for a visit and he, BC and I went down to South Beach to visit El Negro.
“Find the booty,” ordered Mike to his dog Jerkson.
“Find the what?” asked BC and me, wondering how Michael learned a command we didn’t know.
“Find the booty,” he said.
“I’ve got to see this,” added El Negro as we started down Washington, wading through the nation’s greatest collection of beautiful young people. “Hell, even the boys are pretty here,” added our large black friend.
“Find the booty,” ordered BC and I, as we walked down this famous street.
“Gonz, I wish I could lend you my eyes right now, this street is better than a strip bar in heaven,” added the former marine.
“I can tell by the smell, the voice tones and the occasional bump, I don’t need to see these kids, my other senses have taken over.”
“Where’s Mike?” asked BC, as we realized we hadn’t heard his voice in a few hundred yards.
“Ho-lee shit!” Announced El Negro.
“What?” Asked BC.
“Jerkson brought him to a table at a sidewalk restaurant filled with about a half dozen international super model types.”
“No. And they seem to be asking him to join them,” added our friend with the weapons.
We started back toward Senor Bald, a flabby, middle aged Cubano who, without a good looking dog in his left hand, would remain invisible to such young women but, with Jerkson leading the way, finding the bounty of booty beauty, he suddenly has the attractive abilities of a guy with male model looks and Giorgio Armani money.
Hey Mike, you coming for lunch?” yelled El Negro.
“No, I made some new friends,” he responded, patting Jerkson and repeating, “Good boy good boy good boy.”
We walked over to Lincoln and sat at an outdoor restaurant. A waitress who smelled and sounded beautiful, who, according to El Negro, wore a thong, fishnet stockings, bikini top, chaps and riding boots came over and immediately started cooing at the dogs.” Find the booty,” I mumbled. Momma Darlene, in her evening sessions had obviously given Michael some extra lessons.
After lunch, we returned to our hotel and found Mike in the courtyard hot tub with about four of these model types. X, who, being a Labrador, loves water, yanked harness and leash from my hand and, to the joy of these young women, jumped straight in. I had no choice but to remove my clothing and, wearing only my boxers, follow him and I could hear BC behind me doing the same. As he leapt in, dog and all, the models laughed and splashed and Mike reminded us, “Find the booty!”
Thus, our trip to South Beach had some tremendous pleasures involved but it had to end. Mike went back to the horrors of Disneyville and BC and I came back to his place in western Florida. Samhara sounds depressed but has improved her fly casting quite a bit. BC has been discussing taking on automotive safety and the hazards of drivers using cell phones and PDA devices while driving. I stand in his yard, under his grapefruit tree, holding a half pound bag of Labrador poop and wonder what it all means.
I’ve been privy to a bunch of rumours lately and will share a few sneak peaks here:
Apple Computer is rumored to have listened to my ideas about the potential efficiency gains that a screen reader user can gain from three dimensional audio clues and, according to the Apple Insider, rumor based blog, will be delivering positional based information through the techniques I’ve been writing and publishing about for years, in the Leper OS version of VoiceOver for the Macintosh. If this rumor is confirmed, I will most definitely start using and writing about a Macintosh more often.
A friend of mine who got hold of a beta copy of JAWS 8.0 did a short demo of the new features for me over the phone. He is not an actual JAWS beta tester and I don’t know how he got the software but he’s got it. Along with Eric’s Main Menu descriptions this week, I have a pretty good feel for the upcoming release. I really like the new features I heard and feel confident that I will enjoy a number of cool new options and features that I know will make my user experience a lot more comfortable in some applications.
Mike Calvo, Serotek CEO, has shared a few insider tid bits with me. As I promised in my paranoid Friday post, I don’t repeat anything from phone conversations in the blog. So, all I can say is that people interested in products that blinks can use should look for what sound like some really exciting announcements from the boys in Orlando in the next few months.
A peculiar thing about the JAWS interface caused me to pause about 30 seconds ago. I intended to hit CTRL+S to save this file but, instead, I accidentally hit CTRL+D which, in MS Word, brought up the font dialogue. To ensure that I hadn’t accidentally changed a font, which makes this blog look funky for our sighted readers, I went to the “Edit” menu to check what it suggested my last undoable item was. When I saw that it was typing, I hit ESCAPE and JAWS said “Edit menu,” ESCAPE again and JAWS said “Edit” and, finally, ESCAPE to bring me back to the document window, where JAWS once again said, “Edit.” Thus, in rapid succession, I heard “Edit menu Edit Edit,” which, for a second or so, caused me to wonder.
Finally, please stop sending me emails describing your disappointment over my not having written some scathing bit of satire about Moes Jonathonson going to work for Freeman Scientology. I’m sorry for disappointing some readers but I think that real life move that might have inspired such a story was good for FS, good for Jonathon and good for the industry. Just think, if a sighted guy left Toyota to work for General Motors, perhaps a few readers of the Wall Street Journal and some obscure automotive magazines might have noticed. Why doesn’t a blink have the same privilege to make personal decisions regarding his career?
Just because some of us speak and write about issues, products and people we find interesting doesn’t mean we owe anything to our readers and, in the case of audio blogs, listeners. We are just people who make comments and we do not deserve to be saddled with a burden of responsibility to some kind of technological purity. Access technology products are just tools that people can use for whatever purpose they like. AT is not a religion anymore than operating systems or hardware. For the same reasons that I tease my buddy Gabe for “praying at the altar of the Macintosh,” I wonder about people who worship their BrailleNote, PAC Mate, Window-Eyes, JAWS or, even, more strangely, people who make these products including Ray, Ted, Doug, Jonathon, etc. These are all people whom I respect but, in a system ruled by free markets and the free flow of capital, we shouldn’t look to these people for some sort of religious purity but, rather, understand that they will work hard to build the best products they can.
AT products are not religious icons, they are tools and should be thought of as such. Stop worshipping these graven images and use them to their best effect, get a job and get a life that doesn’t put any of us blinks on a pedestal higher than any of the others.
Knowing the number of emails of disappointment I received on this matter, I can only guess at the abuse that has been hurled on Jonathon. Isn’t it possible that he, like sighted executives, deserves the right to change jobs, change his mind, move back to his home nation and live his life as he sees fit? If Jonathon had written an article about me saying that I abandoned the JAWS user community by leaving FS, I would have felt hurt by the attack as my decision was purely personal and my reasons for moving on are not anyone’s business but my own. So, put yourself in the position of people like Jonathon, Jeff Bishop, Darryl, Gabe Vega, Chairman Mal, me and other blinks who state our opinions publicly. Would you be happy if the whole world had to hear criticism of you if you decided to change jobs?
Independence is a constant theme among advocates for us blinks, but, why don’t advocates deserve independence? Humanware and Freedom Scientific are both for profit companies who, along with making products for blind users, carry a fiduciary responsibility of making a profit for their investors. They both make and sell good products and neither is a religion, a church or worthy of some kind of non-skeptical worship.