Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Phyllis Diller Passes at 95

The entertainment world lost a comedy legend. Phyllis Diller passed away at 95. I wasn't born yet when she started, but I was hearing about her comedic acts here and there. And the wigs and other stuff she wore including that LONG cigarette holder... Seems that kind of thing added to her acts.

"I bury a lot of my ironing in the backyard"

Only problem when I dig them up, the zombies beat me to it.

"His finest hour lasted a minute and a half"

Groucho Marx's hour lasted more than a minute and a huff.

"I love TV. It's not my fault if the tubes blow out when I laugh."

I like mascot costuming. It's not my fault if the fake fur falls out when the kids approach.

Let's wear a fright wig sometime in honor of her.


I know I'm way late again... We're losing good comedians and actors.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Post-surgery Knees - Part 8

I returned to Clemyjontri park last year. This time, I'd left the wheelchair and cane in the other car. I was already over halfway there when I remembered, and even Jamie knew I was in for a bit of a challenge.

Apparently I did better than I thought. I was able to stop a few times in places before continuing on.

I'm wondering if I can actually do the graduation walk this May 2013?

Can't do it if I use the wheelchair too much. Now to get back to my exercises.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheers to DC, More Jeers to NYC

Washington DC's gotten some rather nice-looking accessible cabs. Why can't NYC do the same thing?

Hey, Mayor Bloom-boy... Get a load of THIS!

Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis on the Rise in Maryland Suburbs
Wheelchair-accessible taxis available in Prince George’s

Even the DC Metro paratransit has some of these. Can you do this, Mayor Bloomie? Come on, seriously... 13,000+ cabs out there and less than 250 are accessible? DC has a higher ratio than that. I challenge you to say that the MV-1 is hazardous to the non-disabled.

Oh, wait... I guess not...

NYC Taxis Don't Have To Accommodate The Disabled, Rules Appeals Court
Even Though London Will Have Accessible Nissan Cabs, TLC Says ADA Makes It Impossible

Or can it be?

More Handicap-Accessible Cabs Hit The Streets

Bloomberg, my man... Try using a wheelchair, powered or manual, for a week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Funny Moment 10: Subway Misdirection

A year after 9/11, I was in NYC for some personal business. I managed to get all the travel logistics figured out including how to get to a friend's place in Queens on the subway. But for some strange reason, I used FOUR lines rather than two.

As it turns out, I got on the wrong line, but it fortunately got me in the direction I was going. A quick map check showed me a few stops ahead was a line I needed to get where I was going.

I get on it. Only problem was that it was an express. Oops... Fortunately, the right train I needed was right ahead. I get off and wait for it to come along to take me to the fourth line to my final destination.

Fortunately, things went well after that. Can I say I'm a veteran NYC subway rider?

Monday, August 27, 2012

NAD Convention in Louisville, KY

I should have written this sooner, but whoa... The NAD's going to have a difficult time topping the convention in Louisville, KY, this past July 3-7, 2012. The next one is in Atlanta, Georgia on July 2014. It was activity-packed right in the middle of downtown Louisville, KY, within walking distance of many good restaurants and the waterfront. Many of us probably didn't even need to use the outdoors crosswalks to go from hotel to convention center next door. We used the Louie Link, a set of skywalks going from the two-floor covered Fourth Street Live restaurant/store area to the Galt House on the riverfront.

It was more an old friends reunion than a convention. Old friends from previous classes, the local deaf club, a church, a former VR counselor, and others were all there. Flying in, my sister picked Jamie and I up and took us to the convention hotel.

On the first day of the convention (July 3rd), we went to the local Louisville Bats stadium for a game against the Indianapolis Indians. The Indians won 7-2. A good game, with fireworks at the end.

Second day had a cruise on the Belle of Louisville. Last time I was on there was over 20 years ago, but it was easy enough to tell that they had improved the boat over the years, even retrofitting an elevator for those with walking issues and wheelchairs. Then fireworks on the river while we watched on the water before docking.

July 5th and 6th had the NTID and Gallaudet breakfasts with Dr. Hurwitz showing up on video at the Gallaudet breakfast looking good after his quad-bypass surgery around the end of the school year. Thursday (July 5) had the College Bowl. Friday had the Miss Deaf America finals. Saturday's events joined with DeaFestival with entertainment just outside the convention center including a NAD benefit BBQ dinner. People had the choice of meat or vegetarian.

Like I said, the NAD's got big shoes to fill if they want to top this one. Atlanta's got the MARTA, their subway system. Can the NAD do it?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review of Sony's Captioning Glasses

I just recently got back from watching The Dark Knight Rises with captions. In this case, it didn't use open captioning or rear window captioning (RWC). The theatre used the Sony subtitle/caption glasses. They do take a little getting used to at first. No captions will show until the beginning of the movie.

They've got their good points and their bad points. But basically, the glasses have room for improvement.

The good:
- Subtitles are easily readable with green letters
- Tapping Menu on the battery pack with + and - adjusts the captioning mode and brightness
- Subtitles show up no matter where you look

The bad:
- After wearing them, they'll feel a bit heavy and the bridge of your nose may hurt
   (in my case, it was painful due to the noserests pinching me, but didn't hurt til I took them off)
- Might cause some eye strain with some people due to the focal plane of the subtitles. Meaning, you're going to be reading subtitles close to you, then look at the movie screen.

The suggested improvements:
- the ear pieces could be made adjustable, like longer or shorter
- the eyepiece connector or middle of glasses could be made hinged to allow for those with one good eye to see more of the subtitles
- the subtitle placement could be made adjustable
- if not hinged, maybe use wraparound glasses?
- the nose rests could be made adjustable
- possible to make "clip-ons" to display subtitles on the person's own glasses?

Came across these pages/blogs mentioning it as well:

Regal Captions All Movies With Special Glasses - A Review
The future of captioned films
My Opinion on the Caption Glasses

And interestingly enough, a Quick Start Guide for the glasses. There's more like this with a little more looking around.

Update: I tried them a second time and posted about it. (Part 2)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crimeware and Malware

Remember this post?

Sherlock's Computer Nearly Taken Hostage

This is yet another good reason to have a second account on your computer. Don't use it for anything except to use it when your computer is badly infected, installing the malware checkers after setup if they're not there already. The advantage is that when the original account is infected, the second account should not be affected.

We're familiar with Windows Security Suite and its related ilk and copycats. Now meet Reveton and its creator software.

Reveton Malware Freezes PCs, Demands Payment

Not exactly new, but Reveton builds upon previous crimeware and rasomware by adding in a twist of acting like the FBI's taken over your computer. The FBI will never do this. They will serve you a warrant/subpoena, arrest you, and/or take the computer.

In this case of infection, malware checkers should be able to clean this infection, but in some cases, a complete format and reinstall is better.

Here's an updated list of what to use. All are free:

Microsoft Security Essentials - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials
CCleaner - http://www.piriform.com/
Glary Utilities - http://www.glarysoft.com/
Malwarebytes Antimalware - http://www.malwarebytes.com/
Superantispyware - http://www.superantispyware.com/
Spybot - http://www.safer-networking.org/
AVG - http://free.grisoft.com/

Microsoft Security Essentials can easily work on its own, though you may want to use the others to help out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Avengers and Adoption

Just what is it with Hollywood and the movie industry these days that has to make stereotypical jokes? The Avengers isn't quite a comedy movie, but it does have its moments. The scene where Hulk slams Loki into the ground multiple times pretty much killed the entire theatre. I kinda expected to see people rolling down the stairs/aisles.

The subject of adoption over the years has been a serious one. Nothing funny about it. Those who were adopted were essentially given a second chance at life. Adoptees are not bad people. It's more of sociological and environmental issues that can shape a person's life.

Thor's flippant "He's adopted" comment could easily be better. Most likely a better line would have been "He's my brother, though he was adopted and his background was from those who are worse than us." Shows his love, but also his distaste for Loki's actions. Probably would have taken all of a minute to deliver that line. For those who have or haven't seen the Thor movie, that's still a good and neutral line.

We know children, in all their innocent wonder, can easily translate this into thinking that they're bad. In the Change.org petition, Marvel Comics: Marvel Comics - Apologize to Adoption Community!, Jamie made mention of children thinking just this.

One blog claims that Jamie's asking for a boycott. Not quite. If one reads the title carefully, it says "Marvel Comics: Marvel Comics - Apologize to Adoption Community!" Nowhere in the text does it have the word boycott. Just the word apologize. Big difference in definitions.

Adopted people aren't bad. They've just been given a second chance at life when the birth parents can't or won't take care of them for various reasons. My birthmom had her reason, and that one I can understand and don't blame her for putting me up for adoption.