rainy day ramblings

Hi Everyone.

Well, the last day or so has been quite eventful. I went out for coffee with friends yesterday afternoon, and returned to find a large pool of water on my laundry room floor. When Jason came home, he discovered that one of our pipes was cracked, and that whenever anyone used the water, it sprayed out the pipe. We had a Plummer come out first thing this morning, and after cutting into our wall, he replaced the defective part. The good news is that we can use our water again. The bad news is that now I have no excuse not to do the laundry.

We are continuing to get rain in the area. Parts of Southern Minnesota got as much as 17 inches of rain in one day last weekend. There is a lot of flood damage, and some people have even lost their houses. It’s still raining as we speak. Luckily Kaylor, who was trained in Oregon, doesn’t mind getting wet. It’s a definite change to the couple of dogs I’ve had who refused to pee in the rain.

I just downloaded the latest version of Skype. I actually haven’t used it much at all in the past, so I’m looking forward to learning how it works.

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I’m in the process of trying to construct an IPE for my voc rehab counselor. This hasn’t been easy for me, as I need to write it with a particular goal in mind, and I’m not sure what I want that goal to be. I’ve been reading various career development books for insight and ideas. One of these is the famous “What Color is Your Parachute?” book. Part of this book includes something called “The Flower Exercise,” which has you identify ideal jobs/careers for yourself based on 7 factors: particular skills, preferred environments, preferred interests, ideal working conditions, preferred locations, wage requirements, and specific values. I haven’t finished it yet, but the first couple of exercises have been interesting. One had me think about a series of things I’ve done in my life, simply because I wanted to (whether to accomplish something or to fill some other personal need). I then had to think about all of the steps involved in those things, and what skills I had to use in order to complete them. Doing this made me realize that sometimes we achieve things without enjoying the process, and that sometimes we are good at things we don’t like to do. Conversely, there are adventures we decide to take that don’t end up giving us much to show for, except our delight in the journey, itself. There are also things we love to do, even though we’re not especially good at doing them.

Although it was difficult to recall and sift through these various events, it definitely told me a lot about what sorts of accomplishments and activities are important to me. The other exercise I worked on had me list all of the places I’ve lived, as well as what I liked and didn’t like about them. That brought to light an interesting quandry.

As a blind person, I want to live somewhere accessible. However, since I hate winter, I also want to live somewhere warm. This made me realize that I don’t know of many warm places that are also accessible. I should add to that by saying accessible…and affordable. I say this because I have lived in Berkeley and San Francisco. These places were both accessible and mild in winter, but the cost of living in these cities was also incredibly high.

I have also lived in Toronto. I love this city, and it is probably the most accessible place I’ve ever lived. It was expensive, though not as expensive as the S.F. Bay Area. However, it had very cold winters, which is why I moved to California. Unless anyone can point me to a city that is accessible, free of frigid winters, and has a reasonable cost of living, I’ve decided that my ultimate dream would be to live somewhere like Toronto for the majority of the year, but to own a condo in a warm place, so I could escape the cold weather between about January and March. I guess I need to keep working on that million dollar idea or that New York Times best seller…

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I'm an accessibility advocate working on issues involving technology and people with print impairment. I'm a stoner, crackpot, hacker and all around decent fellow. I blog at this site and occasionally contribute to Skepchick. I'm a skeptic, atheist, humanist and all around left wing sort. You can follow this blog in your favorite RSS reader, and you can also view my Twitter profile (@gonz_blinko) and follow me there.

3 thoughts on “rainy day ramblings”

  1. It’s been really rainy here in Illinois as well. Yesterday, as a matter of fact, I went to work for my shift and about ten to fifteen minutes into the shift, the tornado sirens blared. So they had us all congregate in the hall that separates the front of our office from the back rooms. We were in the hall for about half an hour before the all-clear came and we were allowed to go back and resume work. We did get paid for the time spent in the hall though! This is only my second real job, the first being with another local nonprofit that eventually went under due to financial problems. I have heard through the grapevine though, that they’re trying to reorganize themselves. I ended up leaving employment there too, due to medical reasons. My state VR agency knew about that job, but they don’t know about this one and never will. I’m so glad to be on my own and not deal with VR. I don’t want to get into a long-winded diatribe on here, but VR basically gave up on me so I basically gave up on them. This current job is one which I really enjoy doing even though my starting salary is small, and the people are absolutely wonderful!

  2. Howdy Comrades!
    As a former Career Counselor, I believe you are using the best resource available in What Color is Your Parachute. As a former VR Counselor, I can tell you that writing an IPE should be a joint effort between you and your counselor. Don’t forget to use the resources at the Bureau of Labor Statistics once you’ve decided on a career. That will help you determine what demand is projected for your occupation. Good luck!
    Chairman Mal
    Power to the Peeps!

  3. If you think your water problem was bad … try coming back home after three weeks out of town, during which your partner had MAJOR surgery (everything went fine, but MAJOR surgery still involves MAJOR exhaustion and MAJOR recovery time) … only to discover that your air conditioning unit started leaking water all over your wood floorboards while you were gone, totally ruining a quarter or so of the floor boards in your living room and some really nice pillows you had on the floor, and leaving you with a lake in your home! And we had to deal with this when the only thing my partner wanted, naturally, was to go straight to bed. Fortunately the apartment building people were very quick to deal with it once I told them but — URGH!

    In a totally unrelated matter: I was wondering if you had given any thought to blogging about the ADA Restoration Act of 2007. Maybe how it might (or how you hope it might) affect you as a blind person, or blind people in general: have blind people (in your opinion) been adequately protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990? If not, does the ADA Restoration Act seem like something that might help to repair some of the damage? Or whatever related topic/theme strikes your fancy.

    You might know that, ever since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was passed, the courts have undermined the true intent of the law to the point where employers can essentially say to workers with disabilities, “You’re too disabled, we don’t want to hire you,” but at the same time the courts can tell them, “You’re not disabled enough for us to protect you from being discriminated against on the basis of your disability!” The ADA Restoration Act of 2007 (HR 3195, S 1881) is meant to reverse these trends so that the courts will be forced to read the ADA as it was originally intended by Congress to be interpreted.

    If you do write a blog post (or three), please let me know — I’m maintaining an on-going list of links to blog posts about the ADA Restoration Act and would love to be able to link to you. See the links I have so far to what other bloggers have said at http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/on-the-ada-restoration-act-of-2007/ There have been deaf bloggers, and autistic bloggers, and bloggers with epilepsy … but so far, I don’t remember seeing any blind bloggers on this topic. And if you follow the link, you’ll note that it is a long list.

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