poverty in ontario still a thing 25 years later.

The article below speaks for itself.
Ontario falling behind its own poverty reduction goals
Feel free to comment.

Ontario falling behind its own poverty reduction goals
Campaign 2000’s annual report card shows province not meeting goal it set in 2008 to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent over five years.

Anju Nair is a single mom from India who has a PhD but struggles to get by in her one-bedroom apartment.

By: Jennifer Pagliaro
City Hall reporter, Published on Mon Nov 24 2014

One in five Ontario children still faces life in poverty, according to a new study.

This remains true despite a pledge in Ottawa, made exactly 25 years ago today, to eliminate child poverty by 2000 and the province’s promise in 2008 to reduce poverty by 25 per cent by 2013.

The national problem has not just lingered. It is worse than it was in 1989.

More than 1.3 million children across the country – 550,000 of them in Ontario – live this way, according to authors of the 2014 report card on child and
family poverty.

The odds only get worse for single-parent homes with one child, where the rate of poverty is 44 per cent in Ontario. The numbers are also bleak for First Nations children living on reserves, those with disabilities and children of colour. According to one calculation, half of all Ontario children born to
immigrant parents live in poverty.

For all these children, poverty can mean a lack of access to healthy food, affordable shelter and other basic necessities. It means more than half a million Ontario children start life on unequal footing.

And as the wealth of the nation has more than doubled, the report points out that income for the country’s poorest families has essentially flatlined.

“The numbers evoke for me a serious concern about whether our leaders and our policies are reflecting what I think Canadians still value, which is a sense of fairness, and of value in sharing and collective solutions,” said Laurel Rothman, who works with Family Service Toronto and is the national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000, authors of the report.

“We can fix this. You’re not looking for a cure for cancer. We’re looking for the will to use the tools that exist.”

Campaign 2000’s annual report card also shows the province falling behind on its 2008 goal of reducing child poverty by 25 per cent over five years. The most recent data available from 2011 shows only a 9.2-per-cent drop.

After the Liberals admitted failure on that target, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government launched a second strategy in September that recommitted to the 25 per cent reduction goal.

The new report calls on both the province and the federal government to create implementation plans that would take concrete steps on jobs, housing, child care and social assistance programs.

“Twenty-five years and one generation later, it is clear that poverty continues to rob children and adults of their dignity and potential,” the report says. “We need to fix the problem of poverty to ensure real progress, for real people, now.”

The report defines the poverty line as Statistics Canada’s After-Tax Low-Income Measure (LIM-AT), which in 2012 was $23,755 for a single parent with one child 16 years old or younger.

The numbers contained in the report are current to 2012, using taxfiler information from Statistics Canada and Canada Child Tax Benefit records. These figures, however, can’t be compared to previous numbers on poverty because the way they are calculated has changed.

In Toronto, an earlier report showed nearly a third of all children – 145,000 of them – live in poverty, ranking it the worst of the country’s major municipalities.

Anju Nair, 45, lives in a one-bedroom apartment near Victoria Park and Danforth Aves. with her 10-year-old daughter.

With a PhD in developmental biology, Nair came to Toronto from India in 2010. Her first priority was finding a home. She settled on a place in Crescent Town, one of the city’s neighbourhood improvement areas and home to many new immigrants. Since then she has been unable to find work that will allow her to properly care for her daughter.

“I really belong here. I think this is my home now,” Nair said. “Now, it’s getting a job, getting a full-time job … It is challenging and it is overwhelming,
but I have to do what I have to do.”

Almost 90 per cent of her employment insurance is needed for rent, leaving little for necessities, even with child benefits and child-care subsidies.

She has found joy in Canada – a large park nearby where her daughter can play, transit that gets her to the store, a place where she feels safe. Her daughter was placed in a gifted program at her school, something she says is a “blessing.”

But Nair is still faced with the monthly question of what to sacrifice. Needs like winter clothes – boots and jackets – become more than a headache.

“It’s not like if you don’t have, you are fine,” she said. “No, it’s about survival.”

The report pushes for the province to make employment a “pathway” out of poverty, especially for single-parent households like Nair’s.

It argues that the minimum wage needs to increase to $15 per hour in 2015 in order to push people 10 per cent over the low-income measure used to define poverty. Currently, the province’s $11 minimum wage – raised in June after being frozen at $10.25 – still leaves single parents below that line.

The report notes the work available to Ontarians is leaving them with few options to earn a living. In 2009, the province saw a 50-per-cent increase in
involuntary part-time employment and a 75-per-cent spike in long-term unemployment.

Still, as of 2011, nearly 40 per cent of children in poverty lived with families who had full-time, year-round work.

Another way to fast-track results on the child poverty file, the report argues, is to increase the Ontario Child Benefit for each family annually by $100
over five years. It also calls on Ottawa to increase the Canada Child Tax Benefit/National Child Benefit for low-income families to a $5,600 maximum from $3,687.

Rothman said other industrialized wealthy nations have made decisions to both prevent poverty and keep poverty rates low.

“The country deserves to have its wealth better distributed,” she said. “There’s no question that political will has a lot to do with it.”

In September, NDP MP (Scarborough-Rouge River) Rathika Sitsabaiesan introduced a private member’s motion to eradicate child poverty with a national reduction plan, one that has “measurable targets and timelines.”

Rothman knows that motions are sometimes just motions and that 25 years later, sometimes little gets done.

“Can we make that into an action plan? I hope so,” she said.

Deputy premier Deb Matthews, the minister responsible for the province’s new poverty reduction strategy, said Sunday night the province is committed to “targeted investments and supports” that will reduce child poverty, including $15 billion spent this year on children’s and social services, access to health benefits and investing in supportive housing.

Even as groups like Ontario Campaign 2000 continue to track child poverty, they are left with fewer tools. The cancellation of both the federal long-form census and the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics that offered a window into homes leaves fewer sources for data collection.

Nair, meanwhile, is considering going back to school to study cardiology technology.

“I think I have all the skills. I’m qualified,” she said

Many in her place, she knows, have been less lucky — facing language, cultural and other barriers. She dreams of some day working in social services, to help those newcomers navigate a complex and often frustrating system and give back some of the small fortune she has found.

“I have met with incredible people,” she said. “They have been kind to me and that keeps me going.”

have we never heard of a tayzer?

I was appalled earlier this morning when I read about
a twelve-year-old
being shot by Cleveland police over the weekend.
from
this article

A caller told police “a guy with a gun was pointing it at people” on the swing set in Cudell Commons park, outside the Cudell Recreation Center. The caller said twice that the gun was “probably fake,” but said the person was scaring people.
Police dispatchers radioed to officers that there was “a male with a gun threatening people” outside the rec center.

I see one very screaming difference. What was told to the officers, and what the caller said. They didn’t report it accurately and this could be a factor in what went down.
Things to ponder.

  • upon arriving at the sceene, could you not se the
    man

    was actually a child?

  • the 12-year-old could have been scared and as I’ve seen someone say in comments on these articles
    was just trying to show the officers what he had

  • was it really necessary to shoot the child? What about a tayzer?

A lot of questions, and no answers at this time.
The child died in hospital, according to reports.
I’d be interested in your thoughts and views after reading the linked articles, the comment boards await you.

serotek responds publicly to Friday’s outcry.

As you may have seen us publish
Friday
Serotek employee’s had reportedly been fired, then we were told they had resigned.
Today, comes the following press release, published
yesterday on their blog
and received by e-mail from Serotek just before 5PM today.

Revving Up for the Road Ahead

Serotek is undergoing some changes to better meet your needs as a digital consumer. The assistive technology industry has been shifting for a while now, and it would be foolish to believe yesterday’s formula will continue to work in today’s age of wearable technology, smart homes, and interconnected media.
Understandably, there may be questions about the longevity of the products and services you have come to rely on. For years Serotek has thought outside the box to deliver the most affordable solutions with the best customer and product support, and there are no plans to reverse this pattern of innovation to meet you where you need us.
You may also be wondering about the future of the SeroTalk Podcast Network, arguably one of the leading content providers on all things technology. There is a time to cover headlines, and there is a time to create them. As long as the community remains interested, SPN will evolve alongside its parent company. For now, we have to deal with the reality of blunt, but truthful, comments such as that left by one loyal customer who wondered if we were finally going to stop socializing on the podcasts and finally get back to product development.
Given the number of conflicting rumors surrounding the popular platform, the story is this: Ownership of SPN was offered to Joe Steinkamp and Ricky Enger under a highly attractive earn-out formula. Serotek offered to continue financing the website, podcast, and production and platform hosting required to maintain a consistent user experience. Serotek is aware of the value they provided to the community. Unfortunately, they elected not to accept this offer. The Serotek team has no doubt Joe and Ricky will be a valuable asset to the community in other capacities and wish them all the best in their new endeavors.
Our goals were not to eliminate people, but rather, to realign the company structure and shift company functions that are hindering growth, steps that were required to keep Serotek from becoming one more casualty of the new landscape. It is unfortunate that three other teammates abruptly opted to follow other directions, but we respect their choices and also wish them the absolute best in whatever they pursue.
Change is sometimes a scary prospect. Yet change moved us away from the cell phone to the smart phone, from the TV to the tablet, and from yesterday’s computer to today’s cloud. We’re working hard to keep you in the middle of it, where you belong. Contrary to competing rumors, Serotek is not down for the count. We’re squarely in your corner and ready to meet the next phase with the same fervor we’re well known for.
Stay tuned. The best is on its way, and you are going to be a part of it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the extent of that.
Thanks for sticking with us as we brought you this ever evolving story.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts and feelings.

Former students suing provincially run school for alleged abuse.

The following
article regarding the WRMS lawsuit comes from the Toronto Sun and was published November 20, 2014.

Former students suing provincially run school for alleged abuse

By Maryam Shah,
Toronto Sun, Thursday, November 20, 2014 07:46 PM EST | Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014 07:51 PM EST

TORONTO – Former students of a provincially run school for the blind, deaf-blind and visually impaired are hoping to find justice for alleged abuse and mistreatment that occurred in the past.

“I, along with other students, received abuse from the members of the school, namely the supervisory staff, teachers, guidance counsellors and other staff members who were responsible for our well-being,” alleged Bob Seed, 68, a former student of Brantford’s W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind — formerly known as the Ontario School for the Blind — on the steps of Old City Hall Thursday.

Seed, who is visually impaired and now a radio station manager from Thunder Bay, is the lead plaintiff on a $200-million certified class-action lawsuit that has been launched. Anyone who attended or lived at the school from January 1951 until present day — and who were alive as of Feb. 22, 2009 — could qualify as a class member.

He described one particular year — between 1962 to 1963 — as a “year from hell.”
Seed alleges he was assaulted by a Grade 8 teacher for not knowing the answer to a math question.
“I reported the incident to the superintendent at the time and he did absolutely nothing,” Seed alleged. “Had this happened in today’s society, the teacher would most likely be fired right on the spot.”

He never confided in his parents because he was afraid they wouldn’t believe him, he added.

“This was the same situation with other students: They were frightened, they were petrified, they didn’t want to come forward and tell their stories for fear of being abused at a later date,” Seed said.

James Sayce, who works for Koskie Minsky LLP law firm representing the plaintiffs, estimated the suit could include 1,000 or more people.

The lawsuit alleges caregivers were unqualified, resulting in an abusive and intimidating environment.

In a statement of defence filed in 2012, the province of Ontario denied allegations that staff at the school treated students with “contempt, prejudice, indifference and abuse.”

“In fact, the teachers and counsellors who work and have worked at the school have been well-trained” and “been caring about the students,” the statement read.

maryam.shah@sunmedia.ca

serotek loses a large chunk of staff after resignations.

Update November 23, 2014 5:56PM
Serotek released a press release today, putting this issue to rest.
You can find it republished:
here.
Thank you for following this ever evolving story.

Update November 22, 2014 at 12:52AM.
It has been brought to our attention that the employees referenced in the original post below were not in fact fired, but resigned for various personal reasons. We at the blog are awaiting an official response from the company, and from what we’ve seen from the
official serotek twitter
This press announcement should be available Monday. We the blog’s administration pride ourselves on accuracy, and until we are told otherwise, this post has been updated to reflect that these employees resigned and nothing more. Questions still abound as to why such a mass resignation in such a short period of time, but we won’t know anything until such time as serotek makes an official statement, if they indeed choose to make such a statement at all.
—-
While scrolling twitter this evening, I was saddened to learn that a majority of the Serotek staff, the makers of the System Access screen reader and the company behind the Serotalk Podcast Network, resigned for various personal reasons. Those on the list resigned include such well-known voices as Buddy Brannan, Ricky ENger, Lisa Salinger, Joe Steinkamp, and Richard Wells. From what we’ve been able to learn, Joe and Ricky resigned last week while Buddy, Lisa and Richard announced their departures earlier on Friday November 21, 2014. The staff members that resigned produced and participated in many popular podcasts including The SeroTalk Podcast, Triple-Click Home, That Android Show, and End of line among others. We here at the blog have reached out to Serotek, but they have Not as of the time of post publication responded, but as we know more we’ll post it here.

parents of disabled child seek retribution, call on ontario premier for a 2nd time.

I’ve posted so much on this saddening and still evolving situation. For those just joining us on the blog, Please direct your attention to
this category
then when done, close the window that appeared and return to this article.
I know, it’s been about a year since that category seen anything, but this just rolled across my inbox this morning, and it also links to a couple of articles. What’s sad is the name of the child, rings a bell. Anyone else recognize the child’s name?
Firstly have the
original article
and below I’ll quote the article in it’s entirety.
My comments will follow the article.

For a second time, Nunavut org asks Ontario for inquiry into Inuit child’s injuries

Nunavut-born Joshua Salmonson suffered burn injuries at Ontario school for the blind
NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A view of residences at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ont. (GOOGLE EARTH IMAGE)
A view of residences at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ont. (GOOGLE EARTH IMAGE)

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has asked the Ontario government to hold a public inquiry into the treatment of a blind and disabled Inuit child who suffered injuries at the Ontario school he was attending.

NTI president Cathy Towntogie sent a letter to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne July 8, requesting the province look into a 2010 incident in which Nunavut-born Joshua Salmonson, now in his teens, suffered burn injuries at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ont.

In late 2011, the boy’s parents, Paul and Rebecca Salmonson, filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court against the W. Ross MacDonald School, the Ontario ministry of education, the Children’s Aid Society of Brantford and the Brantford Police Service.

Their statement of claim alleges that in January 2010, after bringing their son back home to Ottawa for a visit, they found open sores on their son’s buttocks caused by burns they say could only have been inflicted at the Ross MacDonald School.

A doctor at an Appletree clinic in Ottawa said the injuries were three to four days old, which means they must have occurred at the school, the statement of claim said.

But the school did not report the injuries to the Salmonsons and has not disclosed to them the results of their own investigation, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also said the child, who was 11 at the time, suffered permanent scarring and that staff at the Ross MacDonald School used excessive restraining methods and damaged the boy’s face by using “inappropriate tooth-brushing methods.”

“Based on (these) and many other facts contained in the… statement of claim, it apparent that a thorough, speedy and effective public inquiry into the Joshua Salmonson matter is warranted, and indeed, is necessary in the public interest,” read the NTI letter.

This is not the first time NTI has made the request; Nunavut’s land claims organization wrote in 2012 to then-Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty calling for an inquiry.

A 2013 response from Ontario’s Attorney General’s office said that public inquiries are not used “to examine individual cases when there are existing, effective avenues of review.”

“With respect, it is NTI’s view that there have been no existing, effective avenues of review for this matter,” NTI’s letter said.

The Salmonsons, who now live in Nova Scotia, have said they can no longer afford to pay for lawyers and that legal aid officials in Ontario and Nova Scotia have told them they do not have the resources to handle such a large file.

The civil action continues to navigate through the justice system “at an extremely slow pace,” NTI said, and “has exhausted the financial resources of the Salmonson family.”

“In any event, the civil action would be structurally inadequate in bringing about the truth and justice that the Salmonson family deserves and in restoring public confidence in WRMS,” the letter continues.

This is not the first time the Salmonsons have gone to court on behalf of their child.
In 2006, Justice Earl Johnson ordered the Government of Nunavut to continue paying the cost of health treatment for the boy
including an essential nutritional supplement called Pediasure.

GN health officials had cut that funding in December 2004, but without the Pediasure, the Salmonson family said the boy suffered malnutrition and rapid weight loss.

Ironically, the GN eventually agreed to arrangements, starting in 2006, that saw the boy begin care at the Ross MacDonald School.

While the Salmonsons filed their own statement of claim, in 2012,
a separate class action was filed
in connection with injuries and mistreatment allegedly suffered by students at WRMS dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.

“We are confident that a public inquiry would bring about positive changes at WRMS and be useful in preventing future injury to the most vulnerable members of our society,” NTI said.

Some research on my part has not yet turned up anything new on this article, but it’s saddening to still see stuff like this surfacing to this day. Your comments are welcome.

AMI launches first accessible online media player in North America

The following press release was just received.

1090 Don Mills Road, Suite 200.
Toronto, ON M3C 3R6
Telephone: 416-422-4222
Toll free: 1-800-567-6755
Email: info@ami.ca”
Web: www.ami.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY

AMI launches first accessible online media player
in North America

Toronto, October 29, 2014 – Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today the launch of the AMI-player, the first accessible online media player in North America. Available exclusively on AMI.ca, the AMI-player provides an accessible broadcast experience and allows audience members to access AMI-tv original content in an on demand format.

“We are delighted to launch the AMI-player and ultimately help further our mandate of making accessible media for all Canadians,” says David Errington, President and CEO of AMI. “More and more, people are turning to on demand formats as a preferred method of consuming television content. Our audience is no exception and delivering this experience in an accessible format is paramount.”

The AMI-player is built to be structurally accessible and designed to function with a variety of assistive technologies. The player controls can be read aloud with additional methods to interact with the video including a separate fast forward and rewind button, a feature that is not commonly included in media players. The AMI-player provides content created for broadcast that includes open described video, eliminating the need for a separate audio track, and optional closed captioning and transcript features. Popular AMI-tv programs including Sports Access, Four Senses and Canada in Perspective will be available through the player for the audience to watch at their convenience.

“Much research, combined with user testing, was conducted in order to understand the requirements needed to provide an accessible media player experience,” continues Errington. “Our team has been developing the player over the course of a year and a half, and we look forward to continuing to work on initiatives to expand media accessibility for our audience.”

The back-end of the player is based on standard broadcasting systems and is designed for specific use by broadcasters to display content. While the AMI-player will be offered free-to-use to other broadcasters, it will not be made available publicly and will not function on any other platform due to the requirement of having a standard broadcasting back-end.

The AMI-player was developed by Simply Accessible on behalf of AMI using technology from thePlatform’s Player Development Kit. Simply Accessible also assisted in validating all accessibility features and 2toLead helped integrate the solution to AMI’s website.

To check out the AMI-player or for further information on AMI and its programs and initiatives, please visit www.ami.ca. Any feedback regarding the AMI-player is welcome at info@ami.ca or 1-800-567-6755.

Follow us on Twitter: @a11ymedia

About Accessible Media Inc.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization operating two broadcast services: AMI-audio and AMI-tv, and a website (AMI.ca). A third broadcast service, AMI-télé, will launch in December 2014. Serving more than five million Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility or print restricted, AMI’s mission is to make accessible media for all Canadians.

For more information, please contact:
Janis Davidson Pressick, Communications Manager
800-567-6755 ext. 0971
janis.davidsonpressick@ami.ca

Taylor Turner, Communications Coordinator
800-567-6755 ext. 0977
taylor.turner@ami.ca

What a concept this business man has developed~!

I actually met this guy when he helped me and
May
James
and another friend back to the hotel the CNIB braille literacy conference was being held at.
I’ll link to the original source and then post the article text in it’s entirety because their are some strange formatting issues in the original text I removed from this reposting.
Unique Canadian Restaurant Attracts International Attention

Unique Canadian Restaurant Attracts International Attention

By Justina Reichel,
Epoch Times, October 28, 2014

Sign language instructions are shown in the interior of Signs Restaurant & Bar in Toronto. The 150-seat restaurant is 70 percent staffed by deaf people and caters to both deaf and hearing patrons.

Anjan Manikumar got the idea for his groundbreaking restaurant from a simple act of kindness.

Manikumar was working as a server at a Boston Pizza restaurant where he often interacted with a deaf man, a regular customer. After disjointed efforts at communication, Manikumar decided that simply pointing to menu items and nodding was not the level of service the man deserved,
and thus set out to learn some sign language.

The patron was so overjoyed with Manikumar’s efforts that he started to come in more often, and bring his friends. That’s when an idea struck
Manikumar: why not design a restaurant to accommodate both deaf and hearing patrons?

After completing his MBA, Manikumar launched his [39]Signs Restaurant & Bar in downtown Toronto three months ago. A first of its kind in Canada, the restaurant is 70 percent staffed by deaf people and caters
to both deaf and hearing patrons. Hearing guests are invited to
communicate with deaf servers in sign language through simple instructions in the menus.
[40]Signs waitstaff teach restaurant patrons to place their order by signing, with help from Signs waitstaff teach restaurant patrons to place their order by
signing, with help from “cheat sheets” in the menu. (Courtesy Signs Restaurant & Bar)

“The feedback has been phenomenal. 100 percent, pretty much all of our guests love the whole concept,” says Manikumar, who is already considering franchising the business.

“We made it a great experience where we bring the deaf community and the hearing community together.”

Tourists from countries such as India, Germany, the U.K. and U.S. have
come to dine at the 150-seat restaurant, and recently 45 members of a
deaf American hockey team met there for lunch.

“We have just opened and already we are receiving inquiries from as far away as the U.K.,” says Manny Manikumar, Anjan’s father and the principal investor in the business.

“Individuals and companies are curious about our concept of hiring deaf servers and they have been very supportive in wishing us continued success.”

But what surprised the younger Manikumar most is the abundance of employment interest he has received from the deaf community. Over 300 deaf people applied for jobs just days after the hiring notice was posted. Now he gets as many as 100 emails a day from all over the world
asking if there are any job openings at the restaurant.

“I’ve had emails from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, deaf people from China, India, everywhere, all wanting to come to Signs and work in Canada,”
he says.

This may be due to the high unemployment rates found in the deaf community. According to the Canadian Association of the Deaf, only 20.6 percent of deaf Canadians are fully employed; 41.9 percent are
under-employed; and 37.5 percent are unemployed. By comparison, 61.8 percent of all Canadians are employed, with only about 7 percent unemployed.

Recognizing the gap, other restaurants that employ the deaf have also been popping up in recent years, in the U.S., Paris, and the Gaza Strip.
Similar concept eateries staffed by the blind, such as the O.Noir chain–where patrons dine in complete darkness–have also appeared in the past decade.

Manikumar advises all entrepreneurs to consider hiring people with disabilities–or serving a greater social need–which he sees as the future of sustainable business practices.

“You’re trying not only to make a profit, but also to improve society,”
he says. “That’s what makes an entrepreneur successful–financially as
well as personally you’ll feel more gratified because you did something for a social cause as well.”

All I can say is what a concept!

guest post: This Jian Ghomeshi Thing Has Been Bothering Me A Lot, And I Think I Know Why.

editor’s note:
I know long time no post, and we come back with a guest post. Ah well, this has been in the news a *lot* lately, and I was thinking and composing my own take on it, and that take may still get posted, but one of the folks over
on this blog
did a
great job for me
and with their permission I am reposting the post in it’s entirety below.
Happy reading and commenting!

This Jian Ghomeshi Thing Has Been Bothering Me A Lot, And I Think I Know Why.
When this whole Jian Ghomeshi thing broke, I said to a friend, no matter how this shakes out, it’s not gonna end well for somebody.” Um, that would be a yup.

Now I find that it won’t leave me alone, and it’s moved beyond anything rational, so I hope that maybe, if I write about it, it would finally give me some goddamn peace. Oh yeah, brain, and when I wake up from a dead sleep, it is not a good idea to play Moxy Fruvous tracks in my head. No, no, no! Out! Now! No!

At first I felt I had no right to write about this, I mean, I never met the guy, nor will I ever, so what would I possibly have to say about this? By the large volume I’ve managed to write, I guess I had a lot to say.

I really didn’t want to believe that what people were saying was possible…I mean, gees! Could a guy whose voice has been playing in my livingroom be responsible for the things of which he was being accused? Those songs were so good, some of them really made me think…it can’t be! No! It was so disappointing, it felt like such a betrayal, and I did not want to believe.

But that didn’t last too long. There were inklings, and comments on Twitter, and other remarks that made me realize that something really creepy was about to come to light. And oh my. It wouldn’t stop. Before long, whenever more would appear, I would just sort of freeze before daring to look at it…and then wish I never had. The descriptions burned into my brain. Steve knew when I’d found another Ghomeshi story by the shrieks of revulsion that came from this end of the house.

The freakiest part was the stories came from everywhere. It wasn’t just in articles. People were saying things, people who didn’t even know each other. And they were all saying really similar things…reeeeally too similar. I saw the piece called Do You Know About Jian? and would go from being unbelievably creeped out to so angry that this had been going on for so long, and everybody seemed to know about it, but nobody could do a thing, because nobody knew enough of anything, and those who did…well…were too afraid to say a word on the record.

Then, I realized later that it was going on even longer, this has been going on since his university days! More people knew, but again, didn’t come forward. People were being warned, but there was no public record, so it persisted. No wonder, by the time it reached this level, he thought he could get away with it. He’d been doing it for over 26 years, by the sounds of what is coming out.

Somehow, this thing has managed to awaken every single fear I have…bring back to life lots of old things that happened to me, minor things, that all add up to make me wonder if I could have been the victim of someone just like Ghomeshi. All it would have taken was one wrong turn, and there I’d be, just like all of these.

Take, for example, the older fellow in this story about my freaky friends. I think about those couple of evenings walking around with him. He would repeatedly ask, “Do you know where you are?” Why, why did he want to know? Did he have plans? And he said we were going out for coffee. Why did we wind up at a pub? Why did he want me to order a drink? Never have I been so protective of a drink in all my life. “No, I’ll pour that myself.” I remember thinking, “There has to be a more discrete way of keeping an eye on this glass than this…but I don’t care,” as I sat with one hand around it, one hand near the top. Thankfully nothing worse happened than an unwanted kiss, but to this day I still wonder just what he had in mind.

I think of how many times, when I was new to town, I had to ask for help from absolute strangers. All it would have taken was one of them to seem perfectly nice, perfectly charming, and then have them turn on me. I remember saying to Steve, “I have to get more familiar with more areas, because the law of probabilities isn’t in my favour. The more times I have to ask randoms for help getting from A to B, the more I roll the dice, and one of these days I’m going to lose.” Think about it. These people know I don’t know how to find a given location. If they wanted to, if they felt they could, they could lead me anywhere and I might not clue in until it was too late, and at that point, I’d have a lot harder time getting away. Luckily, not a single soul hurt me, or gave me the inkling I should be careful…the closest I came to creepy was when a guy was helping me an especially long way through the snow, and then told me he was once a drug dealer. I know, they’re not all evil monsters, but I was freaked out all the way home. That was my warning shot. I just thought he was an ordinary dude.

The images of these women feeling trapped, having to stay the rest of the weekend with him because where were they going to go? Those images freak me out, because again, it could happen to me. I’ve been far from home on trips, and if something went down, what the hell would I do? What kind of options would I have? Not a whole lot.

But of course, these victims are going to get blamed for staying. I can just hear it. “It couldn’t be that bad if you stayed with him for another couple of days.” But I don’t know what I’d do if I were in their shoes. When it happened, I think I’d be bewildered, and wonder what just happened. Then I’d be either unable to believe it could happen again, or afraid to try and leave because…unprovoked, the guy already threw me against a wall, etc. Now what would he do if I tried to leave? I honestly don’t know what I’d do, but it would be the most terrifying 2 days of my life.

Or, if I tried to leave and go somewhere else to stay, for me there’s the extra element of if he decided to find me, I wouldn’t see him coming. I think about this creepy kid at the school for the blind. He would wait for the new girls to get lost, and then appear like a knight in shining armour to redirect them where they wanted to go…all the while *coughcough* forgetting *coughcough* they had to take his arm, taking theirs instead, and moving his hands
waywardly. This guy was so obviously creepy that he wouldn’t be as scary as, say, someone with some skills at manipulation and a touch of charisma.

So…should I put myself in a position where I’m in a strange city and have no idea where he might be, or should I stay here where I know exactly where he is…until I can get the fuck on a plane and get as far from him as humanly possible?

At first, the common response from a lot of people about this whole thing was “Why has no one gone to the police then?” Obviously, these people understand little about this whole issue, and what all is involved if you do bring it to the police. For those who don’t know, here’s a million reasons. The stats are depressing. The number of reported sexual assaults that actually move through the whole process and get a conviction is quite low. So, the victim relives the whole thing, has their behaviour called into question, perhaps has to face their attacker in court if they get that far, all for potentially nothing.

And imagine if the person you’re accusing has some power over your career. What happens to you then? You could lose a lot more. You really weigh whether it’s worth it, even though you know reporting it is what you’ve always been taught you should do. Someone hurts you? Tell someone! That’s what they tell you ever since you were small. But you realize, now, that it’s not that easy.

Now imagine this guy is a public figure, like, oh, gee, say, Jian Ghomeshi. I don’t blame a single one of them for not reporting it. Not only does he have a lot of power, but he has a lot of fans…some of whom might do who knows what.

And you always think you’re the only one. You blame yourself. No one else could walk into this situation. So the idea of encouraging others to come forward never enters your mind. Even with that tiny incident I mentioned before where a long-time teacher made comments about the way I was developing, I blamed myself for years so never said a thing to a soul. There was a bathroom right there, why did I change in front of her. I felt uncomfortable with it, why did I go ahead? It took me years to realize that she was the adult, I was the kid, I don’t deserve the blame. Now magnify that when you think of what these women went through. Imagine how much blame they probably heaped on themselves. It doesn’t take too many brains to figure out why they didn’t say anything.

Well, all the people who started off saying that whole police thing can cram it, because now, at least 3 people have gone to the police.

I cannot imagine working with this guy if he decided you were appealing to him. From all accounts, it does not sound like a pleasant experience…at all. Just thinking of the things I’ve read and heard gives me the shivers. The fact that a lecturer at Western University started strongly discouraging students from taking up internships with Q speaks to how bad it must have been. I’m glad that at least one student did manage to tell someone, and it protected others in the same school from going through similar. But who knows how many employees and others had to deal with that, day in and day out?

I think about a couple of ambiguous incidents that have happened to me over the years. The first was when I was helping out at an agency. I was paired up with someone who had trouble hearing, so we worked alone in a back room. At first, all was good, but eventually, his hands would find more and more inappropriate places to land, supposedly accidentally. I eventually commented loudly about it, and it stopped, so I can hope they were really accidents, but I don’t think I’ll ever know. but I was lucky, because if it had kept going, I probably would have had ways to deal with it, and I kind of had a bit of power because I was the one doing the helping.

The other incident happened when I was working with someone on a project. I met him first in a public setting, and he seemed like a nice dude, just an ordinary dude. So when he asked me to work on something with him, I was totally cool with it, why wouldn’t I be? We went to a room alone so we could better have a discussion. But whenever there was a lull, he would find a place on me to rest his hand. A shoulder, then my leg. When things would go wrong, he would put his hand on me in an almost consoling manner…but my body vehemently objected. He would also say things like “How’s the boyfriend?”

I was weirded out, but I didn’t want to do or say anything. I mean, maybe this dude was just socially awkward and touchy-feely…and you don’t want to level an accusation like that unless you’re reeeally sure. If you’re wrong, good god. No good can come of that. None for him, none for you!

When I worked with him again, it was in an open room with others. But he still found a way to put a hand on me where no one would see, under the table on my leg. I don’t know what my face did, but I swear colour either went into, or out of, it rather dramatically. Still, no one noticed. I don’t blame them, they were all busily working away on their own stuff.

Now, in light of all of this, I wonder what I should do if the two of us ever end up working together on a project again. Do I dare ask someone else who knows him if there’s anything I should know? Or if I do that, is that as good as making an accusation? I don’t want to be wrong, but really don’t want to find out if I’m right…a little too late.

And again, this is just me and a random dude working on a random project. There really isn’t a power imbalance. Imagine if this dude was my boss, or a guy who had a considerable amount of power? Imagine if he was a guy who had been there a lot longer than me, who knew a lot more people? If I said those things, really, who would everyone believe? I doubt it would be me.

As I write this, part of me says “Gees! You make yourself sound like you’re walking around with a great big ‘touch me, flirt with me, people want me’ sign on. People aren’t going to believe that all of this happened to you. They’re going to think you went looking for it.” But I didn’t, and I am shocked at the things coming out of my own brain. I don’t honestly think that, and I hope others wouldn’t either. All of this happened, and all I did to provoke it was exist. And all of my stories are infinitesimal compared to this stuff…and there’s still a part of me that says “don’t post it! Don’t do it!”

There’s a small part of me that wonders if Jian Ghomeshi is…so out of touch with the world, or into himself, that he thinks he’s getting signals that the women want this when they clearly don’t. I don’t know, but that seems even scarier than him knowing what he’s doing is wrong. I don’t believe that all these people are out to get him…and I don’t think anyone else sane does either. I could understand one or two, but not 11, especially when that 11 includes a guy! Ghomeshi allegedly grabbed a dude without any warning or provocation. Just…reached over, and got a big ol’ handful of crotch. Who on earth does that? Ever? It isn’t funny, not at all, but it makes him into some kind of ridiculous caricature that seems unreal, but also, who would make that up?

And the scary part is if there’s one like that, there are more, and that really freaks me out. What inadvertent signal could I be sending that some strange person would take as consent? “She got in my car because I offered her a ride. She wanted me.” “She looked at me across the room and her eyes did this little jiggle thing. She wanted me.” The possibilities are endless.

You wouldn’t believe how long I’ve been writing about this…entirely too long. But maybe, maybe, I can stop thinking about it. Maybe it will leave me alone, and maybe one day, in the very distant future, I can enjoy a Moxy Fruvous song for what it is, a good song. After all, he wasn’t the whole band, and why should the rest of them go down with him?

And if there’s one good thing that’s come out of this, it’s that others are speaking out about what they’ve been through. At least this whole Ghomeshi thing can be used as a vehicle to bring this out in the open, and maybe more people will come forward and get some justice for themselves. If there’s anything I’ve seen from this, it’s that if you’ve been harassed, the likelihood is you’re not alone. You’re likely not the first and you won’t be the last.

apparently four-year-olds are responsible for their parents internet habbits, or what the hell are school administrators doing in 2014 instead of teaching?

I’ll let the following article:
speak for itself
I quote it below in it’s entirety.
Comments follow.
Yours can be left in the comments section.

4-year-old expelled over his mother’s Facebook post – KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff
Posted: Aug 27, 2014 10:35 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 27, 2014 11:06 PM EDT
Posted by Rodney Harris
CALLAHAN, FL (CBS46) –
A 4-year-old child was expelled from a Florida school because of a message his mom posted on her Facebook page.

Ashley Habat told Heather Leigh of WJXT-TV that she and her son, Will, were running late for picture day at Sonshine Christian Academy in Callahan, FL.

“The administrator of the preschool checking him in, she’s like ‘Well, it’s picture day Will. Are you excited?'” said Habat. “You know he, of course, just went on to class, but I had mentioned that they didn’t give enough notice, and she’s like, ‘Well, we put it in his folder last week.'”

A frustrated Habat went to Facebook and posted the following:

Why is that every single day, there is something new I dislikes about Will’s school? Are my standards really too high, or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant.

Although Habat said it was a private post to her friends only, she also tagged the school in the post.

The school called her the next morning and asked her to stop by the campus.

“They just felt like we weren’t the right fit of parent relationship with the school and they didn’t want him as a student anymore,” Habat said. “He had done nothing wrong.”

According to the letter of dismissal, it says “Your relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school…you utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity, but the intelligence of our staff. These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed.”

Habat said she was in shock. “Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friend’s list can see?”

A very valid question right at the end, Let’s review it, shall we?

“Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friend’s list can see?”

Since when is the child responsible for what the parent posts? I could understand if an eleven year old had posted it but it was the mother, and frankly if this was truly an issue, and she felt it wasn’t getting delt with, if it were me of course I’d go to social media, because what bettter way to get yourself heard in this day in age. But do *not!* expel the child for the perceived inappropriate comments of the mother. That’s just despicable.
Comment away!

do you have a friend or loved one that suffers from depression?

It’s a boring Tuesday, and I’m still undecided weather I’m doing $5 movies, I said I’m not going,then I’m like why should I stay in doors? but anyhow, that’s not why I’m writing.
While googling earlier, I came across
this resource
and am publishing it here because I honestly hope it’s of use to one of you.
Weather it’s a friend or loved one, no matter what the situation you are in, and you know or think they have depression, I hope this article helps you, in some small way.
If all you do is pass it along, you’ve done some good today.
Let’s get on with it.

If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.

Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.

1. Help them keep clutter at bay.
When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment.

2. Fix them a healthy meal.
Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression.

3.Get them outside.
The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here. For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.

4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.
If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.
Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.

6. Hug them.
Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.

7. Laugh with them.
Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of them self. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.
Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.

9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.
A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

10.Remind them why you love them.
Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together.

Thank you for reading and have a fantastic day.

guest post: Zagga Entertainment: Descriptive Video… On Demand

editor’s note: the following is being reposted with the permission of the original author.

Zagga Entertainment: Descriptive Video… On Demand
By: Kevin Shaw

Remember the scene in Moulin Rouge where Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sing to each other on top of the elephant? Or that amazing chase sequence through the subway in the Italian Job? Or how about the upside down kiss in the first Spiderman movie?

Everyone, regardless of visual ability, loves a good story. Movies and TV make up an important part of the cultural experience we all share. It’s these stories that unite us with our families, at work or with our friends. For a long time, I found myself in many awkward conversations where friends and colleagues would rave and laugh about a particular movie or show I had yet to see. There was no described video for the show in question, and I thought I’d catch up later or find some way to change the topic of conversation.

A few years ago, I stood in front of a shelf of shrink-wrapped DVDs. I wanted to catch up on a bunch of movies and TV shows I had purchased, but never got around to watching. I had to ask myself “How come I haven’t watched ANY of these movies?”

I didn’t want to have to go through the frustrating process of navigating on screen menus. So, I went online to see if I could find any described video from the usual providers like Netflix or iTunes. I was shocked to find no audio-described movies and that’s when it hit me…. I should build a “Netflix for the blind” with described video.

I founded Zagga Entertainment shortly after this experience. We’re a Canadian startup with a worldwide vision to create a “Netflix for the blind” featuring movies and TV shows with described video.

The concept is simple: You pay a monthly subscription fee and have all-you-can-eat access to described movies and TV through a fully accessible website and mobile app. Catch up on The Big Bang Theory, 24, finally watch Breaking Bad or, go retro and watch the Back to the Future trilogy as part of a Sunday afternoon movie marathon. Share these experiences with a friend, a date or your family.

We built a prototype of our website and are talking with the major studios about licensing described movies and TV shows. In fact, we’re closing our first deal right now.

Right now, we are crowd funding through Indiegogo to create the full version of our website and mobile app. You can visit our campaign page here and contribute early to receive a subscription to the service as well as nifty gifts for your contribution. The campaign ends on June 14, 2014.

We’re looking forward to launching the service later this year with great content and a fully accessible experience from start to finish. It’s time we let the world know we need Zagga Entertainment so everyone can share these stories. Check us out and help us spread the word!

we learn why once again certain people shouldn’t raise chhildren.

In my ever expanding news crawling, I am astounded by some of the stuff I’m reading.
including locking your grandchild up for two years?
I’ve been dealing with a lot lately, and this story just made me outright cry for the second time in 24 hours.

Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of London Children Aid’s Society, said she is grateful that a vulnerable child has been rescued.

“We’re just getting to know this boy but what I can tell you is that among the first things he wanted was regular food and he wants to go to school,” said Fitzgerald.

The first thing you wanted was regular food? I am shocked, outraged, and trying to wrap my mind around this and can’t find further words to express myself at this time.

Thank you for reading.

How to tell me you don’t want me in your class, in one easy step.

This joyous little gem came to your almost non-existent co-author from the vast reaches of Upper Midnowhere, Massachusetts, whilst sitting in class one morning. To say I was mildly displeased is a rather gross understatement of fact.
To say I was extremely displeased might even be understating a little. Yep. Just a little. Without further commentary, I give you…
> If you were going to do what?

Bear in mind that I was sitting right there. And it’s not like you can miss me. Pink cane, glasses, purple jacket, Braille display… I’m definitely not the invisible woman. This guy has absolutely zero class, and he can get away with it because he’s been there for several thousand years. I think “not pleased” covers how annoyed I was that day, at least for public consumption. Afterthought: I think I’m being too nice with “not pleased” actually. But I’m leaving it because I can’t think of any other diplomatic way of putting it.

what did you need so badly that you had to steel from a blind person?

update: I see another friend of mine expressed there displeasure on this topic as well.
go here and read it.

As someone that’s had his stuff walked off with in the past, this hits a little two close to home for my liking.
I’ll leave names out for privacy reasons, unless this person comments or you actually listen to the link I provide at the end, but to summarize.

  • what were you doing purposely watching this person to begin with?
  • What did you need, drug money? Alcohol? a new laptop? or something else that you couldn’t go get by not being lazy and getting a job.

The building this person lives in is so freakin’ secure, you’d better have a key to piss or your not pissing.
Ok, not really, but you get the point.
Why would you walk into someone’s apartment after basically stalking them, and steel there laptop.
You are a heartless, no good sack of trash that should be disposed of, off the side of the largist cliff available.
I hope when your standing at the gates of hell, your rejected by saten himself for your deplorable behavior.
Hell’s too good for you.
for a more complete accounting of this issue.
listen to this audioboo.
Thanks for reading.

an open letter to Keurig: lack of information does not make for responsible customer service.

As a longtime user of
Keurig brewers and products
I’ve always ordered from the American site because of there extremely large list of available products, (235 to be exact) compared to
The Canadian site of keurig
that only has 86 choices.
So it came as a rather large shock when placing an order recently that 50% of my order could not be shipped to me.
I asked for an explination, and all I was told was that they had no information.
I then called customs and the CBA here in Canada and asked specific questions, and was told that Keurig should have this information and to call them.
After a little more digging by myself and others, we were finally furnished with a complete list of the products that were restricted, but still no precise reason for the restriction or a timeframe for it’s lifting.
We received the following message in response to this enquiry.

From: Jeannine Colella
Date: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Subject: Restricted from shipping to Canada SR 81-344235529
To: (address removed for privacy)

The following products will be restricted for Canada:
• CS Southern Sweet Black Perfect Iced tea T6825
• CS Half and Half Black Perfect Iced Tea T6828
• CS Sweet Peach Perfect Iced Tea T6822
• CS Sweet Lemon Perfect Iced Tea T6821
• CS Sweet Raspberry Perfect Iced Tea T6824
• GMN Lemonade T6846
• Revv Pules coffee T4063
• Sweet and Creamy Regular T6603
• Sweet and Creamy Nutty Hazelnut T6604
• Acai Berry Vitamin Burst® T6863
• Strawberry Pomegranate Vitamin Burst® T6864
• GM Focus Blend TM T6724
• GM Antioxidant Blend T6723
• CS Antioxidant Max™ Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea T6011
• CS Antioxidant Max™ Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit T6010
• Green Mountain® Pumpkin Spice Latte T9472
• Barista Prima® Cappuccino T9316
• Barista Prima® Café Mocha T9318
• Barista Prima® Vanilla Latte T9317
• Barista Prima® Sweetened Cappuccino T9351
• Cafe’ Escapes® Latte Creator- Creamy Latte T9417
• Cafe’ Escapes® Latte Creator- Chocolate Mocha T9416
• Celestial Seasonings® Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea T9326
• Celestial Seasonings® Half and Half Perfect Iced Tea T9343
The Original Donut Shop® Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee

Jeannine M. Colella
Consumer Care Representative
P: 877-208-9991 ext 7793172 F: 781-245-1869
E: jeannine.colella@gmcr.com A: 55 Walkers Brook Drive, Reading, MA 01867
W: www.gmcr.com www.keurig.com

I wasn’t impressed with the response, basically here’s a list, but I’m not providing any further information, deal with it.
I then composed the following letter to jeannine colella at Keurig.

From: Shane Davidson
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 5:14 PM
To: jeannine.colella@gmcr.com
Subject: lack of information does not make for responsible customer service.

Dear Jeannine Colella;
I am writing you today with concerns regarding the extremely large restriction on products being shipped to Canada, inparticular Ontario.
I refer you to the list of restricted products included in SR 81-344235529, and pasted below for your reference.
—list starts here—
• CS Southern Sweet Black Perfect Iced tea T6825
• CS Half and Half Black Perfect Iced Tea T6828
• CS Sweet Peach Perfect Iced Tea T6822
• CS Sweet Lemon Perfect Iced Tea T6821
• CS Sweet Raspberry Perfect Iced Tea T6824
• GMN Lemonade T6846
• Revv Pules coffee T4063
• Sweet and Creamy Regular T6603
• Sweet and Creamy Nutty Hazelnut T6604
• Acai Berry Vitamin Burst® T6863
• Strawberry Pomegranate Vitamin Burst® T6864
• GM Focus Blend TM T6724
• GM Antioxidant Blend T6723
• CS Antioxidant Max™ Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea T6011
• CS Antioxidant Max™ Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit T6010
• Green Mountain® Pumpkin Spice Latte T9472
• Barista Prima® Cappuccino T9316
• Barista Prima® Café Mocha T9318
• Barista Prima® Vanilla Latte T9317
• Barista Prima® Sweetened Cappuccino T9351
• Cafe’ Escapes® Latte Creator- Creamy Latte T9417
• Cafe’ Escapes® Latte Creator- Chocolate Mocha T9416
• Celestial Seasonings® Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea T9326
• Celestial Seasonings® Half and Half Perfect Iced Tea T9343
The Original Donut Shop® Sweet & Creamy Regular Iced Coffee
—list ends here—
This is a rather large list, incumpusing 25 different products, that we in Ontario Canada have enjoyed purchasing from Keurig Inc. in the past.
On further review, no information has been provided to anyone regarding this rather large restriction, and the Canadian boarder agency, (CBA), as well as Canadian customs indicates that Keurig would have been advised in written form upon the first returned shipment as to why products are being restricted from being imported into Canada, specifically Ontario.
Upon myself and many others asking Keurig for a reason why, absolutely no reason has been provided and the blame has been passed to Canadian customs.
I am asking at this time for an official stance from Keurig on this matter, and for a written reason, (not just heresay) on why this restriction is in place, and a timeframe for when this restriction will be lifted if Keurig knows this information.
I am also asking that your website
www.keurig.com
be immediately updated with a complete list, and reason for the restriction so Canadians are aware of the restrictions in place.
Also, please ensure all telephone agents are also advised of the restriction, and what it incumpuses so they may advise residence that this effects, of the restrictions, to prevent disappointment when ordering.
Because of the nature of this matter, I will be posting my letter, along with any response by you or your coleagues, or a note stating your lack of a response, for public viewing on my blog as open communication at

http://www.shaned.net

I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely;
Shane Davidson

We’ll see what this gets me, some of you may think I’m wrong for riding them so hard on this issue, but I think we deserve answers, and someone will give us those answers, especially when the restriction was put in place with absolutely no reason given.
Talk to you next time.

carnival post — lessons learned in training.

I’ve never participated in the assistance dog blog carnival until now.
The crew over at
ruled by paws
is running this round, so when they
put out the call for submissions
I thought, why not, let’s try this.
Yager is my second guide, and I got him from
canine vision canada
We graduated on October 10, 2013.
During this round of training, I learned a lot more than with my first dog, Cleveland. The most important lesson I learned was that the team can and will make mistakes. There wasn’t a set up route every day. We were taken out and given routes to do, but things changed constantly, and we had a variety of situations to work through each and every day.
The lesson from this round of training? Trust your dog.
So to everyone, trust your dog.
Thank you for reading, and have a great day.

CVC training day 2, it’s dog day!

Day two wasn’t bad. More healing in the morning, and then receiving our dog’s!
I have a

  • Black lab
  • Named yagger
  • Born January 22, 2012
  • Weighing 87.8LB/39.9KG!

He’s a tank compared to Cleveland!
He’s been a little hold outish about relieving, but that’s to be expected.
We’ll get into actual guidework today, as yes it’s today as this is bein gposted as I was really tired after yesterday.
I’ll post more as there’s postworthy content!

CVC training day one, it’s random and full of information!

Hello all;
Ok, so today was theory and more theory, and stuff that for peet sakes I’ve done before, give me my dog! Lol!
Anyhow, we did juno, healing and harness walks, and were issued our perminant leashes and collars.
We also got the chance to have one of the class dogs that has been matched in this class come in to be our little test subject to make sure we knew how to collar them.
The collars issued by CVC are different from GDB’s collars as they just slip over the head. In my opinion, a lot easier and quicker to manage.
We did probably as a hint got a list of dog’s names that are going to be issued in this class, but for privacy sake I won’t publish them here.
We were also told that there were 5 lab’s one poodle in the class line up.
What else to put in this message.
Oh yes, as I write this it’s after midnight, so dog day’s today.
If you want to reach me while i’m in class. hit me up on a medium not this blog.
I don’t know what else to put.
Oh the food’s awesome.
Take care all and feel free to comment away about what gendre dog I’ll get, name, or anything else you can think of!
The only hints I’ll give you are the same hints I was given by the class instructor, it’s a lab and a solid dog.
Also
download the 5 minute audio thing touring my room at the dogguide school!

training for guidedog version 2.0 begins in just under 19 hours!

Hello;
As you will know from my
post about Cleveland’s retirement
I had been considering a successor dog, but hadn’t made a firm decision. After that post, I thought, talked, researched, and thought some more. I then decided that I wanted a successor dog. So off to the application process I go. I decided to stay with a Canadian school because it would be less stressful traveling, etc. I spoke to both the school in Ottawa and the school in Oakville, and found out that Ottawa was at minimum six month’s to complete the application process do to there current training schedule. Weather that was them blowing smoke, or what have you, I didn’t feel like being jerked around, so decided after discussion with grads from Oakville and many a phone call to trainers and alumni I decided this would be a good fit.
I made the application process, go accessible PDF’s go, did the medical and sat on a waiting list for about a month waiting for an interview. I got that interview completed, and passed.
So I knew then that there would be a waiting list, as this was a smaller school.
I wasn’t expecting to here anything from anyone until The beginning of next year, but again, I was mistaken.
I received a voicemail from the operations manager, no reason what he needed to speak about, just call him. OK, call him, get his voicemail, go phone tag go, leave a message. He calls me back and we touch base. He indicates they had a spot for me, in ***tomorrow!*** class! I kinda go what the? and boggle about it for about 30 seconds. We discuss travel arrangements, and well here I go for doggie number two!
I’ll be keeping this blog as up to date as I can over my training, and there might even be audio, but we’ll see what comes of it.
Until next time!

violation of this child’s first amendment rights? yes, please. Sue the school? totally do it!

this
this apalling story
may be old, but it scrolled across my twitter feed for some reason and still pissed me off, so you can be pissed right along with me. Comments follow.

Sign Language Ban Imposed on N.J. Girl

By Bryan Robinson Jan 7, 2006, 10:13 AM

School officials have threatened a hearing-impaired girl with suspension if she uses sign language to talk to her friends on the school bus, the girl’s parents say.

Danica Lesko and her parents say sign language is the only way to for the 12-year-old to communicate, especially while riding to school on a noisy bus.

But officials at Stonybrook School — which is not a school for the hearing-impaired — and district officials in Branchburg, N.J., apparently believe signing is a safety hazard. They have sent a letter to the Lesko family ordering Danica to stop using sign language on the school bus or risk a three-day suspension.

The March 30 letter from her principal that said Danica was “doing sign language after being told it wasn’t allowed on the bus.”

The Leskos may file a lawsuit over the sign language ban, claiming officials are violating Danica’s civil rights and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“She has a hearing problem, and now she’s being punished for using sign language,” Mary Ann Lesko, Danica’s mother, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. “It’s absurd.”

Danica’s parents told the paper that other students who rode to school with their daughter made fun of her, and refused to stay in their seats as they teased other girls who were using sign language. They said school officials are singling out Danica and not addressing those who should really be reprimanded.

Schools Officials: Safety First

In a statement released through the school district’s attorney, David Rubin, the Branchburg Board of Education refused to discuss the details of Danica’s case, saying only that its version of events differs from the parents’ version.

However, the board insisted it has not violated anyone’s rights and is only trying to protect other students who must ride on the school bus.

“The Board is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to all students with disabilities, and is satisfied that there has been no violation of that policy in this case,” officials said in the statement. “The Board is also committed to assuring the safety of all students who travel on District buses, and will continue to take appropriate steps to accomplish that goal.”

One deaf-rights advocate said Danica’s parents have a strong basis for a lawsuit because sign language could be a considered a foreign language, and school officials could be violating the girl’s First Amendment right to communicate.

“Why should there be a ban?” asked Charlotte Karras, outreach coordinator for the Edison, N.J.-based Alliance for Disabled in Action. “It’s a violation of her communication rights. She’s said it’s the only way she can communicate with her friends … It’s [the ban] against the ADA and violates the First Amendment and her family can file a discrimination suit citing the Americans With Disabilities Act.”

Karras said her organization would be willing to help the Leskos with any legal action.

Danica’s parents say she began losing her hearing last November, when a classmate allegedly shot a bottle rocket near her ear. They have already sued the Branchburg School District over that incident.

I don’t know why this came across my twitter feed, but let’s pick it apart, with a bunch of questions, in list form.
questions.

  • how is sign language a safety risk?
  • why would you suspend a hearing impaired 12 year old?
  • your already in deep shit for the bottle rocket thing, so why the hell would you pull a boneheaded move like this?

comments and opinions.

  • this schoolboard’s moronic, needs a swift kick, and should not be a schoolboard.
  • you are violating this little lady’s right to communicate so how about we rip out your vocal cords, then talk, k?,/li>

Final thoughts.
The comment boards. use them

maybe it’s you that doesn’t belong in public?

As a guide dog handler, (currently between dogs), I have run into my fair share of unbecoming individuals, stupid preconceptions, etc. but nothing compares to the
this women who sprayed bleach in a guidedogs eyes
This article states.

Lawler told police she “thought it was a vicious animal” and feared it would be a danger to other customers, so she grabbed a spray bottle of Clorox cleaner off a shelf and sprayed the animal in the eyes and back.

I understand not everyone in canada/the US may not be from this continent, let alone canada or the US, but this does not, under any circumstances give you cause to pull such an absolutely boneheaded move.

“I realize now it was a mistake,” Lawler said when reached by telephone Monday. “I have a fear of dogs. It was just a big dog with a big head. I was just afraid.”

I understand fright, but I do not condone the reaction.
Let’s move on.

Lawler said she takes medication for schizoaffective disorder, and paranoia is one the symptoms associated with her mental illness.

sorry, I call absolute and utter bullshit. Mental incompitency? Hell no. The dog was wearing a harness, and clearly visible, so again, I bullshit on letting the meds control your actions, because that’s what your saying is your excuse, sorry, I don’t believe it.
oh, it gets better.

Although the dog wasn’t exhibiting aggressive behavior, Lawler said she got scared when she saw it and asked Shore to leave the store with the dog. When that didn’t produce results, she said she resorted to the spray bleach to get rid of the animal.

So the dog’s calm, not causing problems, but you *still* resorted to bleach, you fucking moron.
She felt the dog would go wild, bite someone, seriously? kindly fornicate something.

But I still feel like a dog doesn’t belong in a place like a grocery store.”

one. the dog’s a service animal, highly trained, so what you feel is still no grounds for your actions.
In my opinion, she shouldn’t get one year or a $5000 fine, she should get both and never allowed to own an animal ever!
What do you think, do you think the punishments too leaniant?

cleveland, now a retired guide, May 19, 2012 to March 15, 2013.

Hello all my readers;
Those of you that follow my
facebook
twitter
and
audioboo
will know that there were problems cropping up with my beloved guidedog cleveland, and it wasn’t getting better.
I tried everything short of screaming, gentle leader, strictly back to basics, etc.
His focus wasn’t there, and it got to a point where he started pulling really hard in harness to greet people, and I couldn’t keep his focus from outing to outing.
I called guidedogs for the blind February 19, 2013 and basically said I need help, I don’t know what to do, I’m absolutely stuck.
I tried reaching someone the day prior, but do to some holiday or another the office was closed.
I reached my FSR and we talked, including my mentioning maybe a possible reevaluation, and he said, OK, I can be up March 11, 2013 and we’ll see what we can do. Ok, *breathe* no need to panic, you can keep things rolling until someone can come up and see you. Later that day I received a second call from graduate services, and we talked more, and they indicate we can’t wait, we need to get cleveland back for reevaluation. So we put things in motion, and fast forward about a week.
Cleveland is picked up by a field manager from origon, and returns to campus.
I return to using a cane, *gasp* wait, can I still use the cane? Actually, I can!
I’m told I’ll get weekly updates, etc. At this point, it hits me like bricks, I lose it, what could I have done, and one of the guidedog lists I’m on bares the brunt of my ramblings, could I have done more, was I too hasty in returning him. The support from that point onward was absolutely amazing, the calls, the e-mails, just everything, all you on that list, you know who you are, you absolutely rock, thank you so very much.
Fast forward.

We get to the first weekly update. It’s not good, and the person passing along the update knows this. Everything I’ve reported, there seing it, including some things I missed or that didn’t start until his return. They have had no lluck fixing it. Nobody’s giving up yet, though, let’s give it another week, I’ll call you next week.
I hope, prey, and continue hoping, but in the back of my mind I have to prepare myself for that call that says he can’t continue working.
Fast forward to March 15, 2013.
The phone rings, I grab it.
It’s the person delivering reports on cleveland.
It’s been determined that Cleveland cannot continue working as my guide, they can’t refocus him, they need to retire him from active guide work.
I’m told the next steps, what happens now, and the call is ended.
From that point onward it’s been an immotional time for me, why did I even bother, I should have just bared the brunt of it, keeping cleveland working, etc. A couple of people who immediately stepped up after his retirement was announced, I’d like to give special thanks to, you know who you are, because of your experience with dogs, and immediately not asking any questions, called me or in person kept me going, I thank you so very much. Everyone here in Toronto, back in Ottawa, the guidedogs counselling department, other graduates, all of you have continued to support me and I do sincerely thank you.
There has been the question of will I return to GDB, or will I recommend them in the future?
If you’d asked me that last week, my answer would absolutely not be fit for this blog, I blamed them, I blamed me, I blamed cleveland’s raisers, I was hardist on myself for giving up on him.
But now? Me personally? I honestly think as a new handler, and this is just my personal opinion, so please remember this. I think the two weeks is a good idea, in theory, and maybe if I’d done more research, I could have known the questions to ask, but the two weeks as a new firsttime never seen walked with a guidedog in my life, handler? sort of two much. Would I do it again? If I got a call right now from them saying we have a dog for you, I’d seriously have to ask myself if I could do two weeks. With what I know now? I probably would. I’d know the questions to ask, what to look for, who’s ear to ramble off.
Recommend it to others? It all depended on your individual situation. Blankitly, I would, but as an alumni member of GDB, I’d have to ask you individually questions and give you a recommendation at that point.
Will I get another dog? It’s in my future deffinitly, but where I might aquire the dog from will take a lot of consideration, thought, and talking to a lot of people, and making my choice from there.
If you’ve read this far, thank you.
In closing, thank you to guidedogs for still supporting me and taking my questions, my concerns, and thank you to those that took the brunt of my argumentative behavior when I wanted to scream at the injustice of it all. Thank you to both of Cleveland’s puppy raisers, names omitted unless they comment here on this post, for raising such an amazing dog, even if he had to retire early. Your dedication to him is boundless, and I thank you from both of us. To the person that has taken him in in his retirement, thank you for loving cleveland like I loved him in his working life. Once again, thank you, each and everyone of you reading this weather it’s by e-mail, rss, facebook, on twitter, etc. Thank you all for your support.
Talk to you all next time.

in response to an article I read, and a reminder to the TTC.

I was scrolling twitter, and ran across
Blog shames TTC riders who take up extra seats
so I scrolled on over to this blog and while I agree with the centament, and the frustration, I don’t agree with some of the language being utalized. But since I can’t figure out the submission form, I’m just gonna post my thoughts here. Your comments in the comments section would rock. I’m blockquoting it because it was originally for that blog, but I couldn’t figure it out.

To those that crowd the front of the bus/streetcar when there’s clearly an entire back of said vehicle available. Kindly do us all a solid and move back and park your rear in an available seat, or hey you can even stand back their to! miracles! Oh, I’m sorry, that would be common curtisy. and some ttc riders are so all and mighty they’d rather not actually be curtius. DO not get me started on huge strolers, treatment of bus/streetcar drivers, etc. because I’d be here all day. Related: To you that think that not giving up a seat to a disabled rider is a good idea. how about you lose the use of your legs for a day and ride the TTC, then we’ll talk, k? thought so. In closing, learn you some common curtisy, you require one seat, put bag in your lap, or *gasp* under the seat, wear your children,leave the huge strollers at home, and use a smaller one. like duh, move to the back of the bus if it’s not crowded, or to prevent overcrowding, and if a disabled rider gets on, for the love of all that’s squeaky get your sighted non disabled bum out of the seat.

That’s all I have to say.
Comment away!

repost from an external source: A Professional Apology from your Web Host.

the following was originally
over here
and is reposted here, because it’s absolutely funny.

A Professional Apology from your Web Host

So like. Ok check this out. We have this big data center right? And this big data center is like really big and stuff, and it uses a lot of this power stuff. Well like ok so you know when you have really important stuff like I dunno your computer or your Xbox or something and if the power goes out you want to keep it from just suddenly turning off right? Cause there’s nothing worse than when the power goes out during a game of Call of Duty and it’s like “Oh Crap man I was just about to win and shit just got real and the hell?”

So you plug it in to this thing like a UPS or something kinda like the dudes that deliver packages and I always have to sign for shit. I mean it’s no big deal anyways since I don’t work during the day and deliver pizzas at night and the UPS guy is always here around 2:30 or so. Oh yeah. So ok About that.

So our really big data center is supposed to have a UPS which it does… I think. But apparently like ok so some squirrel was like chewing on the wires again and it’s like “stop it damnit”, but anyways. So this squirrel is all up there omnomnoming the wires, and like zap! The squirrel is now like a McSquirrel or something which probably wouldn’t taste good even with cheese and mayo, but like the power got all funny and the data center went pop and apparently the UPS was never plugged in cause Joe was like all like “Dude I’ll do it tomorrow.”

So now our customers like can’t run their websites and stuff which sucks because now the world is all like “Omfg where’s all the websites with cat pictures”, and some 15-year-old can’t see lolcats or something and kills himself and then it’s like on the news abouthow we really fucked up and the headline is all like I Can has funeral and everyone laughs but it’s a real dick move.

So we’re trying to fix it, but it’s like difficult and we think we got it so we want to apologize if your site wasn’t working but it should work now so don’t cancel your service. We promise this won’t happen again. Until next week.

yeah, that’s so
dream host
as seen
over here
and why I’ll not go back to them again. Nice and stable, right? /sarc/

a response to my dropbox support ticket about accessibility.

The following is the response posted to my
support ticket e-mail to dropbox
yesterday.

From: David M. – Dropbox Support
Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:28 AM
To: Shane Davidson
Subject: Dropbox Support – Re: interface changes do not always mean accessibility.

## IMPORTANT ## Text below this line won’t be added to the ticket
You can add a response by replying to this email.
Please be sure to reply with the same email address that you used to originally contact us.

David M. – Dropbox Support, Mar 13 09:27 pm (PDT):
Hi Shane,
Thanks for contacting Dropbox.
Our engineers have been notified of this issue and are actively working towards fixing it. Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact timeline that a fix will be available but I’ll be sure to notify you when it’s released!
If you have any additional questions or concerns please let me know.
Best,
David

I’m really hoping these aren’t just words and that this does mean dropbox devs are actually working towards a fix to bring back accessibility to dropbox 2.0.
We’ll see what happens in the coming days.

an open letter to dropbox, interface changes don’t always mean it’s accessible.

update: a response was received on March 14, 2013.

as a longstanding user of dropbox, I’ve grown to love it, from it’s ease of use, to it’s support on so many platforms, windows, mac, android, and iphone. So when 2.0.0 was early released and put up as the perminant stable download I thought nothing of it, until I noticed the right click menu was no longer accessible.
I did some research and noticed I wasn’t the only user experiencing this issue, and not the only OS effected, as the mac was effected as well.
I tested with JAWS, window-eyes and NVDA and got the exact same results.
So like so many others, I decided to compose an e-mail to dropbox support, asking them to please fix these issues. I post it below for your reading. The comment boards await you.

From: Shane Davidson
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 3:42 AM
To: ‘support@dropbox.com’
Subject: interface changes do not always mean accessibility.

Hello;
As a longtime user of dropbox, starting in 2009, and it’s paid service, becoming a paid user back in 2010, I’ve gotten used to storing important business and personal documents in the cloud, sharing folders with friends, and I referred people to your service since I highly recommended it.
It’s simplicity, ease of use, and ability to install it on everything, your computers, your iphone, your android, it was perfict.
Your recent doubling of paid users and adding more paid plans with more space screamed keep me, and I kept referring users, participating in contests, etc. earning more space.
Recently, you early released version 2.0.0 as a “stable” release to a select number of users, some of those users being totally blind that rely on screen access technologies, the three main ones being JAWS for windows from Freedom scientific, www.freedomscientific.com Window-eyes from GWMicro www.gwmicro.com and the free and open source NVDA www.nvda-project.org.
Reading your blog post at

https://blog.dropbox.com/2013/03/discover-the-new-dropbox-menu-on-your-computer/

and the forum post at

https://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=97895

I saw you had changed your dropbox menu. Ok, no big deal, right? Still able to right click. Actually no. The old style menu we were used to was gone. Utterly gone. I thought there was an issue with my access technology, in this case JAWS, but after discussion with other users via twitter, facebook, and seing this topic on the forums

https://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=97907&replies=1#post-533140

it seems that this is not the case and the latest version under both windows and mac, the menu is not accessible.
We still have the ability to move files around in explorer/finder depending on your OS, but this menu gave us access to the preferences, our space usage, recently changed files, and the ability if necessary to shut down the client if the need arose.
Myself, and others are begging, and imploring you to please, please fix this major accessibility issue before releasing to the public as a whole.
Your prompt attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated and a lot of users would thank you.
Your attention to this issue would show that a mainstream company is willing to listen to a group of people, and willing to keep accessibility in mind when making changes to a UI.
As a note, this e-mail, and any communications minus personally identifying information that may be included, will be posted as an open communication for all to read on my blog at
www.shaned.net
weather the feedback is positive or negative, it will be posted to the above linked blog to be read by all.
Thank you for your time and attention.

I and others await your comments. We’ll see what dropbox says in the coming days.

people seriously had the balls to whine about this app going free?

while trolling the tech blogs I frequent, I came across
this story
and for your sanity, I post it below. Comments, etc. to follow.

State of Touch Typing – Fleksy goes free
by fleksy on 15/2/2013

Fleksy was first released on iOS in July 2012. As we turn Fleksy into a free app 8 months later, we feel we are starting an exciting new chapter in our story, and we take some time to explain our decision.

Fleksy started from our own frustration when typing on today’s touch-screen devices – a frustration shared by two thirds of smartphone users today. Right from the start, we felt that typing was one of the functions that made smartphones feel not so smart.

We set the bar really high – a typing system that is so intuitive, you don’t have to always look at the screen to type. Just as you do on your laptop. And thus Fleksy was born.

We looked for a market to launch our technology to – a group that we felt would most benefit from our inventions, and arguably a group of users that would challenge us to keep innovating until we deliver on our promise. So we launched an app for blind users.

In a space of a just a few months, our users have propelled us from an accessibility app to being recognized as a mainstream technology and one of the biggest innovations to come to mobile devices in a while.

Firstly, we want to say a big and honest thank you.

We have always seen our keyboard as a universal technology, and as something that can help millions of users be more productive in their daily lives. We are today very happy to see that we are well on track on this mission, and we are working hard to integrate our technology in the next generation of hardware and software to come.

We realize that a good virtual keyboard is something users expect to be integrated on their device and be available in every application. This is by far the biggest request from our iOS users, and one that we can unfortunately not provide until each platform we target supports such functionality.

In our effort to bring Happy Typing to even more users, what we can do is make Fleksy on iOS free for everyone. We feel that making Fleksy part of the daily lives of many more people will help us continue to showcase how smartphones can be made both more accessible and useful for everyone.

Your App Store reviews, tweets, feedback messages, support, and advocacy can help us achieve this. Please, keep it up – there’s even a button in the app to do that!

We will continue to innovate and research, as well as support and update the Fleksy iOS app in the way you’ve come to expect from us. We stay fully committed to the iOS platform.

And as a final thought, we wanted to thank all those users who have downloaded and purchased Fleksy to date. We would have not been able to create or support the technology without your help, let alone expand our efforts to bring it to the hands of many more users.

If you haven’t experienced eyes-free typing, try Fleksy. We think you will never look back.

Thank you, again, from all of us here in San Francisco.

Happy Typing!

The Fleksy Team

OK, so let’s move on to the responses.
I’m apart of the
VIPhone
mailing list hosted on
google groups
and when the blog post I posted above is mailed out, this andy person replies with the following, and I quote the message for you.

—–Original Message—–
From: viphone@googlegroups.com [mailto:viphone@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Andy Baracco
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 1:46 AM
To: viphone@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Fleksy is now free

This is the kind of thing that really pisses me off.

Andy

I replied to this fool, basically telling him the following, in list form.

  • companies have the right to make there apps free
  • what right do you have to complain about an app that’s gone free that you had to pay for?
  • if people like yourself hadn’t supported this app, weather at it’s original price of $15, it’s sale price of $9.95, it’s then reduced perminant price of $4.95 and the odd sale for $1.99, would the app have then gone free? a big fat no!

in summary, nock off the complaining, it’s unwarranted, and unnecessary.
I bought this app at a reduced price, as I caught a sale, would I have paid $15? Now that I’ve used it so much? Yes. Did I initially think it wasn’t worth the price? I’ll honestly say I did, but after I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase it, I wouldn’t live without it. Will I complain that my support made this app free? Absolutely not. It’s the nature of the beast, and people need to remember this.
Thanks for reading.
Have a great night all.

More on the lawsuit, a letter being sent around, and inaccessible forms, for serious?

***note*** this entry was typed and published using Microsoft word, so it’s formatting may be scued. Do to the time sensitive nature of this information, my goal was to get it out as quickly as possible. The content is still readable, but please have patience while reading, do to formatting issues. If your getting this by e-mail via subscription, please use the link provided in the message to go to this post on the web as edits may have been entered after this posts publication. ***end note***

 

 

I’ve been posting previous entries On this very issue Since it’s inception, and you can find them in this same category. In about mid December a bunch of people, who may end up showing up in the comments commenting on this, started receiving letters about this lawsuit, and saying if they didn’t take action, they’d be automatically included. I thought, ok, they won’t find me, because I’m still in flux. But boy, was I wrong. I have comments on this issue, the way it was handled, and more, and I’ll put those comments after I give you the pleasure of reading a scanned copy of the letter. Please note this letter’s 2 double sided and one single sided page long, a total of 5 pages. I didn’t have time to edit, and correct, again, the content is what matters, not how it’s formatted. I’ll list the website at the end during my comments.

—begin scan—

To Anyone Who Attended the W. Ross

MacDonald School (formerly Ontario School for

the Blind) or are the Family Member of

Someone Who Did

 

A Class Action Lawsuit May Affect Your Rights.

A court authorized this notice. You are not being sued.

·    You could be affected by a class action lawsuit involving W. Ross MacDonald School, formerly the Ontario School for the Blind (“W. Ross MacDonald”). W. Ross MacDonald is a provinciallyoperated

elementary and secondary school for children with visual disabilities.

 

A Court has approved the lawsuit as a class action that includes anyone who was a student at W. Ross MacDonald from 1951 to the present day and certain of their family members. If you know

a former student of W. Ross MacDonald who cannot read this notice please share this

information with them.

The Court has not decided whether the Province of Ontario did anything wrong, and the case is currently scheduled to go to trial. There is no money available now and no guarantee there will

be. However, your rights are affected, and you have a choice to make now.

 

·    Lawyers must prove the claims against the Province of Ontario at a trial. If money or benefits are obtained you will be notified about how to ask for a share.

 

Your options are explained in this notice. To be removed, you must act by April 1, 2013.

Stay in this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Share in possible money and

benefits. Give up certain rights.

 

By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting money or other

benefits that may come from a trial or settlement. But, you give up any

rights to sue the Province of Ontario on your own about the same legal

claims in this lawsuit.

DO NOTHING

 

Get out of this lawsuit. Get no money or benefits from it. Keep rights.

 

If you ask to be removed (opt out) and money or benefits are later awarded,

you won’t share in that money or benefits. But, you keep any rights to sue

the Province of Ontario on your own about the same legal claims in this

lawsuit.

REMOVE YOURSELF

(OPT OUT)

 

BASIC INFORMATION    Page 3

 

1.    Why was this notice issued?

What is this lawsuit about?

Why is this a class action?

Who is a member of the Class?

What is the Plaintiff asking for?

Is there any money available now?

 

YOUR OPTIONS    Page 4

 

1.    What happens if I do nothing?

What if I don’t want to be in the Class?

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU    Page 4

 

9.    Do I have a lawyer in the case?

How will the lawyers be paid?

 

A TRIAL    Page 5

 

9.    How and when will the Court decide who is right?

 

Will I get money after the trial?

 

GETTING MORE INFORMATION    Page 5

 

9.    How do I get more information?

 

 

BASIC INFORMATION

S.

 

This lawsuit has been “certified” as a Class Action. This means that the lawsuit meets the requirements

for class actions and may proceed to trial. If you are included, you may have legal rights and options

before the Court decides whether the claims being made against the Province of Ontario on your behalf

are correct. This notice explains all of these things.

 

The Honourable Madame Justice Horkins, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, is currently

overseeing this case. The case is known as Seed v. Ontario, Court File No. CV-11-420734. The person

who started this lawsuit is called the Plaintiff. The Province of Ontario is the Defendant.

awsuit

 

The lawsuit says the Province of Ontario failed to properly care for and protect people who attended and

resided at W. Ross MacDonald. The lawsuit says that students were emotionally, physically, and

psychologically traumatized by their experiences at the school. The Province of Ontario denies these

claims. The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Province of Ontario is right. The lawyers

for the Plaintiff will have to prove the claims in Court.

 

In a class action one or more people called “representative plaintiffs” sue on behalf of people who have

similar claims. All of these people with similar claims are called the “class” or “class members.” The

court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who remove themselves from the class.

 

The representative plaintiff in this case is Robert Seed. Mr. Seed attended W. Ross MacDonald for 11

years in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

You are included in this lawsuit if:

 

·    you attended or resided at W. Ross MacDonald at any time between 1951 and the present day;

 

you are the parents, spouses, children or siblings of someone who attended or was in residence at W. Ross MacDonald between 1978 and the present day

 

you are an estate trustee for a person who was a student (1951 onward) or a family member of a student (1978 onward) and that person was living on or after February 22, 2009

 

Plaintiffs are asking for money or other benefits for the Class. They are also asking for attorneys’ fees

and costs, plus interest.

0

 

No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet decided whether the Province of

Ontario did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that

money or benefits will ever be obtained. If they are, you will be notified about how to ask for a share.

 

4

 

YOUR OPTIONS

 

You have to decide whether to stay in the Class or whether to remove yourself before a possible trial, and

you have to decide this by April 1, 2013.

‘Vtr

 

If you do nothing you will automatically remain in the Class. You will be bound by all Court orders,

good or bad. If any benefit is awarded, you may need to take action in order to receive any benefits. Staying in this Class will not impact the residence or services and supports received by class

members from community based agencies which are funded by the Province of Ontario.

 

If you decide not to participate in the lawsuit, you must remove yourself– this is sometimes referred to as

“opting out.” If you remove yourself, you will not receive any money or benefit that may be obtained as a

result of this lawsuit. You will not be bound by any Court orders and you keep your right to sue the

Province of Ontario regarding the issues in this case. You cannot change your mind later and opt back

into the class action.

 

To remove yourself, complete the Opt Out Form included with this notice or send a letter that says you

want to be removed from the W. Ross MacDonald Class. Your letter must include your name, address,

telephone number, and signature. The Opt Out Form or letter must be sent to W. Ross MacDonald Class

Action Administrator, c/o Crawford Class Action Services 3-505, 133 Weber St North, Waterloo, Ontario,

N2J 3G9, or by email at: wross@crawco.ca.

 

You can also get the Opt Out Form or complete the form online at www.wrossclassaction.ca. Your opt out must be received by April 1, 2013.

 

Call 1-877-453-8710 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) if you have any questions about how to get out of the Class.

 

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

 

Yes. The Court has appointed Koskie Minsky, LLP, of Toronto, Ontario to represent you and other Class

Members as “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented

by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.

 

You will not have to pay any of these fees and expenses of Class Counsel. If the Court grants their

request, the fees and expenses would be deducted from any money obtained for the Class, or paid

separately by the Province of Ontario.

 

A TRIAL

 

If the case is not dismissed or settled, the Plaintiff will have to prove his claims and the claims of the class

at a trial. The trial would be in Toronto, Ontario. During the trial, a court will hear all of the evidence,so

that a decision can be reached about whether the Plaintiff or the Province of Ontario are right about the

claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiff will win any money or benefits for theClass.

 

,

 

WAWA

 

If the the Plaintiff obtains money or benefits as a result of a trial or settlement, you will be notified about how

to ask for a share or what your other options are at that time. These things are not known right now.

Important information about the case will be posted on the website for the lawyers,

www.kmlaw.ca/WRossMacDonaldClassAction, as it becomes available.

 

ORMATION

GETTING_____…….–.

 

You can get more information about this case and opting out: Koskie Minsky LLP (lawyers for the plaintiff and the class)

900-20 Queen Street West, Box 52

Toronto, Ontario M5H 3R3

Tel: 1.888.233.2852

 

Email: WRossMacDonaldclassaction(almlaw.ca

 

W. Ross MacDonald Class Action Administrator 3-505, 133 Weber Street North

Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3G9

Tel: 1-877-453-8710 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027)

Email: N_LE.sZkel,vc°.ca._

—end scan—

Ok, there you have it.

The scanned letter.

I still have it’s hardcopy, but anyhow. This is beside the point. Here are my comments. I’ll start with the manner in witch there going about this information descemination. I don’t know the legal presence of mind being used for this, but that aside, here’s my take on it. What these people are doing, is in my humble opinion spam, and spam, is unwarranted, and illegal. I understand you feel this class action is warranted, but is it absolutely necessary to force people to be in it if they don’t opt out by a specified date? (date is april 1, 2013 if you didn’t get that from the letter above). What you should be doing is this, put together a posting on a website, saying this is what we’re doing, if you know of someone, or know of any information about these issues, we would like your help. Give us, the people your attempting to force to participate, the ability to say we want in, don’t force us, ask us. Weather you think we may have information or not, doesn’t matter. This is not how you get information, it’ll make most people shut down, or ignore it, then possibly get screwed.

Now, let’s say you want to opt out, because you don’t want to be apart, ok, so let’s cover that part right now.

You first have to visit wrossclassaction.ca Click English, and follow the links to the online form to opt out. You’d think, because there suing on behalf of a school for the blind and visually impaired, this form would be accessible, um, how about absolutely not! I took a look at it, and got nowhere. Note I was using JAWS at the time, but I’m gonna take a gander that wineyes and NVDA will also choke on that form. I’ll have to check that later. SO your now forced to return to the website, download the form, or call the toll-free number and have a hardcopy mailed. Have a sighted person fill it out, and then burn stamp money to return this form to these fools who couldn’t write an accessible form to save there lives, in order to get out of this class action if you so choose. Now, let me say this before anyone says a word about I don’t care about those who may have been miss treated. I understand there may have been some that may have been abused, miss treated, what have you, but please, leave it up to them to come forward and participate, don’t force everyone from the early 50’s to the present day to participate unless they opt out. What do you think this will accomplish? Seriously? Do you think this’ll curry favor by sending out what could potentially be called spam? And chasing down those everyone people at there places of business, there parents home, schools, and own places of residence? Are you that desperate for witnesses? I’m totally for justice, for making those who have wronged, especially wrong children to be dealt with, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to deal with this, and Unless I’m given legal information that says they had a right to send out spam, how there forcing you to participate is absolutely wrong. I look forward to the conversation that will hopefully spark from this blog post. But remember, keep it clean and respectful. Until next time, let the comments flow!

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The Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired enables blind students to enter the world of computer and Information technology whether for career advancement
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The academy is currently taking applications for the first semester of 2013. We will be offering Computer 101 for Mac or Windows, IT Essentials, Intro
to HTML 5 and CSS, Audio Editing Fundamentals, Discovery 1 with Exploration 1, and Linux server administration courses starting the second week of February.
Computer 101 is taught as separate courses for Mac and Windows users. It teaches basic computer and screenreader skills including adjusting screenreader
options, working with files, chatting online, using email, and using web pages.
Intro to HTML 5 and CSS teaches blind people how to design attractive business and personal websites including graphics, audio, and video. It assumes no
prior knowledge of HTML.
Audio Editing Fundamentals teaches principles of audio including how to choose and place a microphone, single and multi-track editing using tools like
Goldwave and Reaper, and adding various effects to audio tracks.
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If you are enrolling in the Computer 101 courses and need help enrolling, you can call 914-620-2284.
finally, we have a podcast about the CAVI program from our student’s point of view at:

We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Start learning new skills today.
Regards,
The CAVI Team

an update to: unimpressed, that’s the nicest way this can be put

as posted back on December 2nd, 2012 we talked about a restaurant that is listed on just eat
that is not one I’ll be dealing with anymore.
It’s been awhile, and things have come to light.
I continued working with just eat to bring this resolution to a close, and as of December 3rd, 2012, the following was completed.

  • a complete refund of the order at the expense of the restaurant was issued
  • a confirmation of the punishment served was requested, but as of today, the person we need to get this confirmation from is on vacation.
  • I was told by just eat that a letter normally would be sent to the restaurant, and a fee assessed against the restaurant. We won’t know the extent of this action until the person that is responsible for this is back from vacation

so we’ll see where this goes.
But it’s nice to se even 10 days after the problem, just eat is still committed to their customers, and will follow up with a complete resolution to the matter.
I’ll post more later as we know more.

unimpressed, that’s the nicest way this can be put

Please note, this is in no way against just eat, absolutely and utterly not, they’ve been the rock in this whole fiasco and there just as in sensed as we are.

Over the past nearly 2 years I’ve taken a distinct pleasure in being lazy, and just forget cooking on certain nights, and hitting up
just eat
hammering in the postal code for wherever I happen to be, sorry Americans no go for you, picking a restaurant, ordering what I want, paying via credit card or interac online, and in about 45 minutes, voila, food.
Fast forward to tonight.
We’ve got a couple of kids, and 4 adults to feed, so who wants to cook for 5 people on a Saturday, if your answer was absolutely not us? You’d be correct! Tell them what they’ve won, Johnny!
OK, never mind that.
So we hit up just eat, banter around some ideas, finally make a choice, punch in the order, have a small argument with interac online because it liked to throw 500 errors, won the battle, tells us the order’s gonna be there at 20 to eight.
Ok, whatever. sit, spin, who cares.
order delivery time comes and goes. OK, maybe someone got lost. Ring up just eat. They call the restaurant, driver got lost, here, have $10 off your order we’ll be there in 5 minutes.
Five minutes comes and goes, so does ten. so does fifteen. we head for I think it had to be half an hour. Hey, look who’s here, the delivery driver!
I answer the door; this guy barely says two words to us. he hands me the drinks, I hand it to
this person over here
and turn around, and the guy’s already shoving the pizza at me. Instead of handing them to me one at a time, first the medium, then the extra-large, he shoves the extra-large at me, with the medium on top about to fall off.
OK, get them out of the way.
Then the driver wants me to sign the debit receipt. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, sign the debit receipt.
OK, I didn’t know what it was at first, so I ask him what it was I was signing, he never tells me.
I sign it, because at this point, I’m internally like, I want you out of the doorway and off this property.
please note I only find out that it’s the debit receipt I signed during subsequent conversations with just eat.
My first reaction is to call the restaurant and outright beat them over the head with their rude behavior. But take 30 seconds and breathe, then decide, let’s do this the right way, contact just eat.
SO I hit up there live chat system, explain the entire situation, please note I got the same rep I got on the phone, so he goes and rings up the restaurant to find out what in the name of all things squeaky and fuzzy’s going on.
They can’t tell him anything because they want to talk to the driver.
Ok, whatever, I know how this is gonna go down because I’ve been here before when I dealt with delivery places before directly, and I tell the just eat chat rep this straight up. You know they’re gonna deny it, the customers blind, so they’re gonna deny deny deny deny anything was wrong. Also during this chat, I said that I felt $10 off the order wasn’t enough for the now larger issue and that a complete refund was in order.
He says can I call you in 45 minutes. I need to talk to the restaurant about this, etc. Sure, I’ll go eat, you call me.
While you’re eating, I’m gonna put this complaint to my supervisor and account manager that is the head of our company.
Fast forward about an hour, 20 to ten or so.
He rings up, and of course I’m write, again. Restaurant says there wasn’t anything wrong, they weren’t going to issue a refund, he was polite, yada yada, I call complete bull. sorry, 4 adults say you’re in the wrong, now, let’s go.
Ok, I was more polite then that, but believe me, even just eat knows there getting tossed around.
so after that call, I end up finding the e-mail from the rep. Names of employees are removed for privacy reasons.

This restaurant delivered this order almost an hour past the delivery time, the owner said it would be there within about 5 minutes when it was 30 minutes past the delivery time. The customer came into chat about 20-30 minutes afterwards and the order had still not been delivered. The owner told me again it would be there within a few minutes and offered 10 dollars off. The order was for small children and the main customer who the account is under is blind. The delivery driver came with the delivery about an hour past the delivery time and was rude to the customer, asking him to sign the receipt for a debit order which I assume confused the customer and shoving the food into his hands before he could pass it to other people helping carry the food. There were multiple other people there as well including the customers girlfriend who can potentially confirm this. I spoke with the staff and owner there regarding this and they were unwilling to do more, stating that their delivery guy was the nicest one they ever had and there was no way he would act like that. The owner called in later and was combative, threatening to leave Just Eat and asking for my full name and seeing if I had an employee code, saying he’s been in this business forever and knew more. This will need to be resolved fairly quickly as all the parties involved are quite upset.

Thanks,

Let me just say this, if I were just eat, amato’s would be dumped so fast and I’d be refunding the customer in question completely and telling the restaurant that these are the consequences.
I’m not them, so that’s not how it rolls.
I can dream, can’t I?
lol.
Later on, a Just Eat rep calls me back and tells me they talked to more of their staff, and there upset over this issue, and they want to give me another $10 in credit to use against any future order from just eat as a thank you for my patience and an apology they can’t resolve this until Monday.
They send me the $10 credit.
SO as a bit of a thank you I send this.

I’d like to take this opurtunity to thank all involved with this situation for working with myself to bring this to a satisfactory resolution and to hopefully get a full refund of the order in question.
I understand your just an intermediate company, but that’s no reason for this restaurant to treat your company, or your company’s customers like they’ve done tonight.
Amato’s treatment tonight of myself, and the rest in this household, is in no way a reflection of just eat or it’s employees.
Your willingness to keep in constant contact regarding this issue as it heads for a resolution speaks volumes for the level of customer service you want to see from both your own employees, and the restaurants you promote and serve.
If anyone has further questions, I can be reached using the information below my name.
Thank you for your time and attention.

We’ll see how this turns out, and I’ll post another entry when I know more.
Of course, the comments section is always available for you to give your opinion. Were we in the right to be pushing this as far as we are? Or are we all completely off our rockers. Let’s hear your thoughts.
See you next time.

testing a new plugin configuration.

This is probably one of a couple of posts going to be posted to test new plugin configurations. let’s see what this does. Does it tweet and FB faster than twitterfeed? we’ll see.

we’re busting themes, now plugins.

I blame someone not me for handing me what’s about to happen to the blog.
We’ll be busting commenting, e-mail subscriptions, and other random crap.
This is what happens when we condense multiple plugins into one.
Ready? set? explode!

Apologies in advance if it explodes. playing with themes, again.

From that who owns this thing.
I’ve had a number of complaints, not about the content, but a few visual aspects that could be made that much better.
so with the help of someone that knows what there doing with themes, things are gonna do some interesting things over the next little while.
You have been warned.
I apologize in advance if it explodes.

***adults only*** nine types of boyfriends and nine types of girlfriends, to!

What happens when I let someone else on my computer.
We find things like…. this.
IF your easily offended, I’m sorry, in advance.
sighted from
Higher Intellect Information at the speed of thought

The 9 Types of Boyfriends

Joe Sensitive – “After I wash the dishes, let’s cuddle, OK?”
Also known as: Mr. Nice Guy, Family man, Honey, Darling, Soft-boiled Egg,
Snugglepup
Advantages: Well-behaved; irons own shirts
Disadvantages: Irritatingly compassionate, wimpy

Old Man Grumpus – “People are stupid. The world can go to hell. Let’s
stay home and watch TV.”
Also known as: Grumbles, Sour puss, Stick-in-the-mud, Old Fogey, Slow
Mover, Jerk
Advantages: Stays put; predictable
Disadvantages: Royal pain in the ass

Flinchy – “I–I’m sorry for whatever it was I did.”
Also known as: Trembly, Creampuff, Hey you
Advantages: Jumps entertainingly when startled
Disadvantages: Easily spooked; surrenders without a struggle

Bigfoot – “Shut yer trap, I’m thinkin’.”
Also known as: Chunk-style, Lummox, Ignoramus, Galoot, the Hulk, Big ‘n’
Dumb
Advantages: Can tote bales; is easily fooled
Disadvantages: Can break you in half, sweats like a pig

Lazybones – “Zzzzzz”
Also known as: Lucky Dog, Parasite, Bum, Sponge, Snoozebucket, Drug Addict
Advantages: Well rested; easy target
Disadvantages: Unlikely to fulfull your dreams

The Sneak – “Who, me?”
Also known as: Love Pirate, Snake, Rat, Slime, G-D Son of a Bitch
Advantages: May feel pangs of guilt
Disadvantages: May be having time of his life

Ace of Hearts – “After I wash the dishes let’s make love like crazed
weasels, OK?”
Also known as: The Sizzler, Handyman, Dreamboat, Casanova, Monster
Advantages: Perpetually aroused
Disadvantages: Perpetually aroused

The Dreamer – “Someday I’m going to be rich and famous. I don’t know how,
but–”
Also known as: Struggling artist, Philosopher, Buffoon, Bag of Wind, Fool
Advantages: Tells good stories
Disadvantages: Will turn into “Old Man Grumpus”

Mr. Right – “While the servants wash the dishes, let’s make love like
crazed weasels in my new yacht, ok?”
Also known as: Mr. Perfect, Jim Dandy
Advantages: Answer to a woman’s prayer
Disadvantages: Hunted to extinction

The 9 Types of Girlfriends

Ms. Nice Guy – “Tickets to the boxing match? Oh Darling, you shouldn’t
have”
Also known as: What a gal, precious, one of the boys, my main squeeze,
doormat
Advantages: Cheerful, agreeable, kindly
Disadvantages: May wise up someday

Old Yeller – “You G-D spineless good-for-nothing drag-ass no-talent son of
a bitch! Can’t you see you’re making me miserable??”
Also known as: She-Devil, Sourpuss, the Nag, My Old Lady, Warthog from
Hell
Advantages: Pays attention to you
Disadvantages: Screeches, throws frying pans

Sickly – “Oh, my head. My head. My feet. My cramps. My cellulite”
Also known as: Whiner, Mewler, Glumpy
Advantages: Predictable
Disadvantages: Contagious

The Bosser – “Stand up straight. Put on a different tie. Get a haircut.
Change your job. Make some money. Don’t give me that look.”
Also known as: Whipcracker, The Sarge, Ms. Know-it-all, Ball and Chain, yes
Mom
Advantages: Often right
Disadvantages: Often right, but so what?

Ms. Vaguely Dissatisfied – “I just can’t decide. Should I switch my
career, goals, home, and hair color?”
Also known as: The Fretter, Worrywart, Typical, Aw c’mon Honey
Advantages: Easily soothed
Disadvantages: Even more easily perturbed

Wild Woman out of Control – “I’ve got an idea. Lez get drunk an’ make love
onna front lawn. I done it before. S’fun.”
Also known as: Fast girl, freewheeler, goodtime charleena, passed out
Advantages: More fun than a barrel of monkeys
Disadvantages: Unreliable; drives off cliffs

Huffy – “I see nothing humorous in those silly cartoons you keep snickering
at”
Also known as: No fun, humorless prig, Cold fish, Chilly proposition,
iceberg, Snarly
Advantages: Your friends will feel sorry for you
Disadvantages: You will have no friends

Woman from Mars – “I believe this interpretive dance will explain how I
feel about our relationship”
Also known as: The Babbler, Spooky Girl, Screwball, Loony, Bad News,
Artistic
Advantages: Entertaining, unfathomable
Disadvantages: Will read her poetry aloud

Ms. Dreamgirl – “I am utterly content with you just the way you are, my
handsome genius of a boyfriend. I think we must make love like crazed
weasels now”
Also known as: Ms. Right, Goddess, Knockout, Perfection, Gorgeous
Advantages: Funny, intelligent uninhibited
Disadvantages: Will have nothing to do with you

“YOU KNOW YOU ARE A GUIDE DOG HANDLER WHEN…”`

I don’t post in forever, so have this.
This needs absolutely no introduction.
This has taken some time to compile, but thanks to diligence of list members, here’s the completed piece.
Handlers and non handlers, enjoy!

“YOU KNOW YOU ARE A GUIDE DOG HANDLER WHEN…”
By members of the GDB Lounge – a Yahoo Group
When complete strangers give you money and insist you buy your dog something with it, even after you repeatedly assure them that you don’t need it.
When you hear people talk about their pet dogs, and think, “My dog is better than yours. Your dog could never guide me like mine can.
When during a proclamation your city mayor pets your dog in front of a crowd of people at a council meeting. The meeting is aired on cablevision, and He reaches down and says sweet dog while petting him.
When you hear a person start talking to your dog in a high pitched voice, and you cringe and hold tighter to your dog’s leash.
When people start to call my dog by another handler’s name just because they see both of us on the trains and must think it is the same team. Or when I was walking one day when a car pulled up and the driver called out “Terry do you need a ride”. I responded No thank you and I am not Terry!
When you stare purposefully at the ground when people oo and ah at your dog, in case they think you’re up for a very long chat.
When your friends say hi to your puppy before they greet you, and if you have to leave your puppy at home they say “Where’s (insert pup’s name here)!?” Before thinking to ask you how you are doing.
When people say your dog’s name prior to saying your name.
When people ask at your volunteer job, “Where is your Dog’s bandana?”
When you try your best to ignore the remarks from those seeing your dog in the mall, the department store etc. because you know if you stop it’s all done and you may as well stop and set up camp because you could be there for a while.
When someone asks you a question and your dog has just begun sniffing. You say, “No” but you want to say yes to your questioner. Now, you are stuck telling the poor soul that your dog was sniffing him; you had to tell the dog, “No” but really meant to say, “Yes” to his question; and now he tells you that he likes dogs and that sniffing him was just fine.
When you are walking with your dog and speaking to somebody, you say, “Juno, left.” You issue this as a command in mid conversation; tell Juno “Hop up. Good girl.” And then you go back to talking like it’s no big thing.
When a stranger on the bus sees you give your dog a treat for sitting nicely under the seat, asks you what kind they are and then gives you a handful of the treats he gives his dog which he carried for some reason.
When some places you go the people have a treat for your dog and not for you.
When I find kibble in the bottom of my purse, as well as in the pockets.
When I carry my dog’s dinner and a fold-up bowl in my backpack everyday just in case we get stranded somewhere on the train, but, I don’t have a morsel of dinner or a snack for me. Probably more than half the stuff in my backpack or purse is for the dog and not me.
When more of the items in your purse are for your dog than for you: collapsible bowl, baggies, treats, a brush, etc.
When you keep a dog brush or dog bowls in your bag with you at all times “just in case.”
When you and your friend are at a Pampered Chef party with your guide dogs and you agree with her when she says that the mixing bowl that folds flat for storage is the perfect size for a dog bowl.
When you feel your dog’s head in your lap and immediately wonder if you have missed the time for the all important dog dinner.
When you purchase purses with pockets the right Size and with the right placement to carry your treat pouch.
When you find yourself fishing out wet kibble from the bottom of your washing machine. Oops.
When you find doggie treats that have fallen out of your treat pouch at the bottom of your purse.
When you turn down a dress or skirt you like in the store because they don’t have pockets. Because pockets are very necessary for carrying bags or treats when you don’t have a purse, backpack or treat bag with you. They are also good for carrying the bags of poop when you are in elevators with other people and you don’t want to be obvious, smile.
When you find yourself, out of reflex, dutifully digging out grass and pieces of twig from your dog’s mouth, only to realize with dismay that you have no means of cleaning the slime and bits of wet shrubbery off of your hand.
When you wipe dog spit and kibble crumbs on your pant leg and continue walking as if nothing unusual has occurred.
When your dog targets something you taught it to, and you have yourselves a huge party smack of the middle of public, and it just doesn’t matter because you and your dog are in your own little world.
When you see a poorly behaved guide in public and thank heavens it isn’t your dog.
When you compare your dog to other guides and thank God for the fact that your dog is a perfect match.
When you are sitting in a restaurant and have to remind a new handler that the next table probably doesn’t want to hear discussions of dog poo even though she may find it very interesting.
When you can talk about dog waste in any setting and not be grossed out by it.
When you need to be a bit picky about where you sit in a restaurant because keeping the dog out of the way of foot-traffic is very important.
You pack for a trip and your first thought is how many baggies must I take and how much space will the dog food take up in the luggage?
When you try to get direct flights so your dog can comfortably keep a bathroom break schedule during travel.
When you are flying out of town and pay more money just because your dog needs room.
When along with the poop bags and dog food you’re taking on a trip, you must also include a couple of favorite toys which take up space in the suit case, not to mention additional weight.
When you plan your day around doggie meal time And an afternoon snuggle is a routine part of your day.
When you decide to see if your dog needs to poo before heading in. They do…when you dig around frantically for a poop bag, only to come up empty-handed. You ask random passersby if they have a bag. Someone offers you one, but you can’t move because you’re marking the spot with your feet!
When in mid conversation, usually at work, you can look for a doggie poop bag, ask for one from a friend, or simply pick up after your dog, and continue your conversation, like you are not doing any of the above.
When you pull out your winter coat for the first time that season and find a ton of poop bags in the pockets.
When you happen across a couple of unused poop bags, still neatly folded, in the middle of your lawn from having fallen out of your pocket the previous day.
When you wash all your jeans, and find a zillion poop bags in the washer from having been stuffed into pockets.
When you refuse to live where there is no garbage can within throwing distance of the front or back door.
When a frequently visited destination is made better by having a nearby relief area.
When you clap your hands and cheerfully praise your dog for relieving and you don’t care who hears or sees you doing it.
When nothing will rouse you from your sleep…except the sound of your dog beginning to throw up! At which point all hell breaks loose as you run for a tile floor. When you’re out for a meal without your guide dog, and instinctively feel under your leg for their leash.
When you’re out without your guide, and instinctively give your friend the “Forward” command or verbal praise.
When you grab something or step on something which you think is your dog’s leash and it is someone else’s purse strap!
When in your home, dog hair is a condiment.
When dog hair is a fashion statement.
When after you have done your best with trying to brush yourself off, you quit worrying about the blonde fur on your black pants and tell your friends you are wearing fur paisley.
When you have dog hair all over you and you don’t mind.
When you match your clothes to the color of your dog’s fur.
When, because your dog is allowed on the bed along side you, you wash bedding a little more often and aren’t terribly worried about it.
When certain parts of your bed smell forever of frito-foot because so and so was on it with you earlier.
When you decorate your home in ‘dog hair yellow’.
When you ask for the extra-large change room in clothing store so your dog can fit and stretch out.
When you know to greet another handler’s dog very mildly because you know the dangers of getting another guide worked up.
When you know where pretty much every other dog in the neighborhood lives because they all perk up at the sight of your guide.
When you spend more money on doggie birthday/Christmas presents than you do for a human.
When most of the items on your credit card bill are for the dog and not you.
When you move to a new city and look for a vet before you look for your own medical and dental care.
When you step on a very sharp nyla bone and utter as many four-letter words as you can think of, only to pat your dog as they stroll in to claim their prize.
When you find you’re actually getting quite used to nasty breath…of your dog that is.
When you also have perfume for your dog.
When you both drink out of the same glass, and your pocket is full of Gentle Leader.
When purchasing a tent, you immediately ask for the next size up because you’ll have the dog with you.
When you spend more time in the pet store than the grocery store, and when you have ready answers to all the five or 10 most common questions asked.
When you are across the building at work, and you have left your dog under your desk. Your dog stands up and shakes, and you know it is your dog, and not your boss’s dog or another dog in the office, by the sound of the tags.
When you sit in class, and doggie puts her head on your foot, and you smile but nobody else knows what you are smiling about.
When people exclaim, as you leave, that they had no idea a dog was even in the room!
When you have to retire or put down your guide, and a part of you dies along with them.
When you feel your dog stretching out on her side and getting comfortable during your story at a memorial service and you smile and say, “She’s heard this before,” and feel good that she’s added a few giggles to a serious situation.
When your dog gets up and moves around to the chime which indicates your computer is shutting down.
When a friend invites you to their house and your first thought is “Can I bring the dog?”
When You frequently get your dog and your children’s names all mixed together, so whenever you want to call any of the three of them, you have to go through all of the names you are thinking, until you get to the right person’s name or you call everybody else’s name.
When you accidentally call your significant other by your dog’s name.
When you find so much joy in waking in the morning to a sweet nudge of a dog’s nose and wagging tail.
When you grab the harness and 3 dogs come over to go to work.
When you get excited that your leash is feeling warn and flexible over time and you take advantage of any moment to brag about GDB.
When you hear of another team experiencing access discrimination, you want to gather up all the guide dog teams you can find to take the offending business by storm. When you’re trying to describe a route to a cane user, but can’t, for the life of you, remember where certain obstacles may be because your dog swerves around all of them.
When you can independently decide when to leave some place because you know you and your dog will figure your own way home.
When you meet hundreds of friends who know exactly how you feel and the common bond we have as working dog people.

a reminder to the TTC fair collectors.

As a recent resident to Toronto, I’m heavily reliant on the toronto transit commission to get from point A to point B on a daily bases.
Hey, so does, this recent blogger convert to wordpress one over here but that’s just par for the course around here.
Anyhow, I’ve been around the block a time or two with these guys, sometimes my own stupidity, sometimes, they left there brains at track level, hey, sometimes, I don’t start it, but anyhow.
A little background.
previous policy stated that children 5 years of age or younger while being carried on the mother, or father’s, back did not get charged, because hey’, it’s one person, one turn of the turnstyle, takes up one seat, so get outta our faces.
About 3 weeks ago, this policy changed.
No matter what, carried or not, children above 3y/o of age pay $0.75. OK, fine and dandy, right?
yep, Totally fine, until you are a royal rude idiot about it and decide to think your all up and mighty about it and your crap don’t stink.
I decide, because I have a *working* magnetic strip on my TTC pass, to avoid the line, swipe and go through the middle turnstyle, please note I still haven’t mastered that art, but I’ll get there.
Anyhow, as I’m ffighting with my pass, Thanks random TTC worker for showing the clueless person that is me how to use it, I here the other person I’m with, that is carrying the child get stopped by the TTC collector and a… we’ll call it an argument insues, because he tells her she has to pay the fair, and accuses her of ripping off the TTC for seven month’s because he’s watched her, and believe me the tone of his voice, dude, if I hadn’t been clear of the turnstyle, I’d have given him what for. I didn’t have to because the person carrying the child held her own, so we’ll just leave it at that.
I won’t go into detail about the argument that ensued, because I don’t remember exactly how it went, but in summary, here’s what I’ll give you.
You, as a TTC worker have a responsibility to be curtius, but informative to your customers.
This means, after asking how old the child being carried is, if the policy has changed, nicely inform the person carrying said child that the policy has changed and they need to pay the child fair. This does not mean you degrade, or otherwise shame the individual in question.
You are responsible for your actions, and Mr. TTC worker, you are a shame to the organization, and a disgrace to this transit provider’s good name and I hope that you are sent back for retraining, because your actions tonight were deplorable.
A complaint has been filed with the commission about this individuals action with a request for follow up as to the resolution of the matter.
Have a great night all.

best divorce letter ever.

this rocks.
blockquote>
BEST DIVORCE LETTER EVER
Dear Wife,
I’m writing you this letter to tell you that I’m leaving you forever.
I’ve been a good man to you for 7 years & I have nothing to show for it. These last
2 weeks have been hell. … Your boss called to tell me that you quit your job today & that was the last straw. Last week, you came home & didn’t even notice I had a new haircut, had cooked your favorite meal & even wore a brand new pair of silk boxers. You ate in 2 minutes, & went straight to sleep after watching all of your soaps. You don’t tell me you love me anymore; you don’t want sex or anything that connects us as husband & wife. Either you’re cheating on me or you don’t love me anymore; whatever the case, I’m gone.

Your EX-Husband

P.S. don’t try to find me. Your SISTER & I are moving away to West Virginia together! Have a great life!

Dear Ex-Husband
Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter. It’s true you & I have been married for 7 years, although a good man is a far cry from what you’ve been. I watch my soaps so much because they drown out your constant whining & griping–Too bad that doesn’t work. I DID notice when you got a hair cut last week, but the 1st thing that came to mind was ‘You look just like a girl!’ Since my mother raised me not to say anything if you can’t say something nice, I didn’t comment. And when you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with MY SISTER, because I stopped eating pork 7 years ago. About those new silk boxers: I turned away from you because the $49.99 price tag was still on them, & I prayed it was a coincidence that my sister had just borrowed
$50 from me that morning. After all of this, I still loved you & felt we could work it out. So when I hit the lotto for 10 million dollars, I quit my job & bought us 2 tickets to Jamaica But when I got home you were gone..
Everything happens for a reason, I guess. I hope you have the fulfilling life you always wanted. My lawyer said that the letter you wrote ensures you won’t get a dime from me. So take care.

Signed, Your Ex-Wife, Rich As Hell & Free!

P.S. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but my sister Carla was born Carl. I hope that’s not a problem.

signs you might be from new york.

This landed in my inbox.
Comment away!

Expect more stuff like this in future.
From: “Thomas S. Ellsworth”
Subject: GCF: Signs You Might Be From New York City
Date: 13 September, 2012 8:04:53 PM EDT
To: good-clean-fun@yahoogroups.com
Reply-To: good-clean-fun-owner@yahoogroups.com

Signs You Might Be From New York City

You’re 35 years old and don’t have a driver’s license.

You ride in a subway car with no air conditioning just because there
are seats available.

You take the train home and you know exactly where on the platform
the doors will open that will leave you right in front of the exit stairway.

You know what a “regular” coffee is.

It’s not Manhattan…… It’s the “city”.

There is no north and south. It’s “uptown” or “downtown.” If you’re
really from New York you have absolutely no concept of where north
and south are…. And east or west is “crosstown.”

You cross the street anywhere but on the corners and you yell at cars
for not respecting your right to do it.

You move 3,000 miles away, spend 10 years learning the local language
and people still know you’re from Brooklyn the minute you open your mouth.

You return after 10 years and the first foods you want are a “real”
pizza and a “real” bagel.

A 500 square foot apartment is large.

You know the differences between all the different Ray’s pizzas.

You are not under the mistaken impression that any human being would
be able to actually understand a P.A. Announcement on the subway.

You wouldn’t bother ordering pizza in any other city.

You get ready to order dinner every night and must choose from the
major food groups which are: Chinese, Italian, Mexican or Indian.

You’re not the least bit interested in going to Times Square on New
Year’s Eve.

Your internal clock is permanently set to know when alternate side of
the street parking regulations are in effect.

Someone bumps into you, and you check for your wallet.

You pay “only” $230 a month to park your car.

The presidential visit is a major traffic jam, not an honor.

You can nap on the subway and never miss your stop.

The deli guy gives you a straw with any beverage you buy, even if it’s a beer.

more toronto audio!

Hey all;
Have more audio from the 7th and the 8th of September.


  • the First one is a bunch of mixed things that I forget all what’s in this file, so how about you just
    go get the file from september 7th and enjoy
  • The next one is a trip to and from Mcdonalds. Discussions and things you here in this file are unedited, even if I make references to editing, I actually didn’t edit this file. this thing does contain opinionated ramblings once the little ears leave about certain people that you’ll here in this file, but her, you shold still go get the file from september 8th, 2012 and enjoy!

See you next time!

first batch of audio from toronto.

so I’ve been here in Toronto since 9/5/2012.
I have 3 pieces of audio for you.

See you next time!

a graduation speech that touched many of us.

I’ve met many a friend through guidedogs for the blind One of them is this wonderful ladywho has just graduated from the san rafael campus with a beautiful, and might I add rather heavy, yellow lab named arden.
When she graduated, she wrote the speech I am about to reprint, with her permission.
It touched many that heard it live, and many of us that read it when she shared it on the list I’m on, and I hope it touches you, as well.

Dear puppy raiser

How do you begin to thank the first pair of hands, the first committed
heart, the first loving arms that ultimately began your dog’s journey
to you? how do you even begin to thank the people who made the
ultimate sacrifice that can be asked of anyone on this earth: to enter
into a relationship where the end has already been built in? knowing
that the culmination of all your love, all your efforts, all your
energy will ultimately lead to your loved one being taken from you? we
spend so much of our lives in fear: fear of the unknown, of losing the
people we love, of not being successful. We are taught to trust
cautiously, for we don’t know who or what lurks around what corner,
what motives they have, what intent they might have. And in some ways,
this keeps us safe. But does it not also lead to our overlooking some
of the most generous and compassionate hearts this world has to offer?
I don’t really know how you did it: loving him through his accidents
in the house; not really batting an eyelash when your favourite pair
of shoes or a family airloom ended up in a chewed mess on the floor.
How you took him to work, to school, all while he was in those
delicate stages of puppyhood: tentatively sniffing his way around this
insane, crazy world, and trying to figure out why he couldn’t do all
the same things all these two-legged creatures could do. And you
taught him: not only to sit, potty outside, and not to bark down the
neighborhood–you taught him trust, and kindness, and love and
unconditional acceptance. And I want you to know that wherever Arden
goes in this world, I will forever see you in him. When he lovingly
leans his big yellow head into my lap, or rolls around with me on the
floor and covering me with yellow fur, there you are. When he
obediently watches my every move, and looks up adoringly, there you
are. My dog will never be without the people who first taught him love
and safety, because he had to get those things from somewhere,
someone. And so with every step I take, and every beat of his endless
heart, there you’ll be. You are inextricably linked to us now, and
every time Arden swerves me around an obstacle; every time he disobeys
my forward command in order to save my life, you will have been part
of the reason why. Every successful being has had someone rooting for
his or her success, and you have been the root of Arden’s success.
Thank you for being the first hands and heart that loved my angel dog.
I am honoured to be connected to you in this way, and know that as
long as there continue to be people like you around, there is more
good than bad in this world. so, from the bottom of my and Arden’s
hearts, and with many hugs and wags, we thank you. You will move
forward with us always.

From me to those that read this that are raisers, no matter the school, thank you, you do so much to further our indipendence with these wonderful, caring and loving dogs.
Have a great night all.