jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
I first saw Fies' work with Mom's Cancer, a sweet and terrifying tour of hope and loss (now available free online):
http://www.gocomics.com/moms-cancer/2015/04/20

He and his wife just lost almost everything in the Santa Rosa fires blazing in central California, and he's made an almost instantaneous comic about it:

A Fire Story.
https://brianfies.blogspot.ca/2017/10/a-fire-story-complete.html
(thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link)

I've started to make a transcript/image description:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aUa58clWMZzNEqZkdGhzttH6wTiTEO_m1P9aZ_oqA3Q/edit?usp=sharing

Ping me here if you'd like to help create this.
jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)
is "Future Tense," a collaboration between Arizona State University, the New America foundation and Slate.com.

The reports look at the impact of technology on society. They're piecse extend beyond the gee whiz to always consider technology's political impacts as well as social justice concerns.

What initially caught my eye is their sensible assistive tech reporting. No inspirational nonsense, no "this one gadget will change everyone's life!"
two samples that spoke to me )

I find their weekly newsletter handy, as it's got has just the right amount of teaser text plus links to the full stories.

http://link.slate.com/join/3qk/newslettersignup
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
Part of my daily healthwork routine is silent meditation. I avoided meditating for decades because I thought I had to be a serene person to do it. I learned otherwise. Using audio guidance or timer, I concentrate on my breathing. I become my breathing body. My breath is a constant companion, always happening until I’m dead.

Concentrating on my breath helps me relax and it also reminds me that everyone on the planet is also a breathing body. This commonality calms the terror attendant on our current moment. My ideology, my fears, my impairments aren’t magicked away, but I am always a breathing body, just like everyone else.

It’s called meditation practice because that concentration is a skill. While I’m meditating I find myself thinking about the past or planning for the future. This is the magic moment. When I notice I’m thinking, I softly name it, and then return to my breathing.

I learned to meditate via an 8-week MBSR class, mindfulness based stress reduction, offered by my therapist. Since then, I’ve loved using Insight Timer, the meditation tool for iOS and Android. You do have to create a login, but they haven't spammed me. Insight Timer has tons of useful features, but at its most basic it’s got a great timer, with lovely bells, background white noise, and finely adjustable intervals. When you’re online, Insight offers hundreds of guided meditations, including introductory lessons for absolute beginners. (Other audio available: yoga guidance, Dharma talks, affirmations.) Excellent search functions let me bookmark (for example) just the 10–19 minutes long, secular, male voice, meditations designed for pain.

https://insighttimer.com

All of the audio content is also available from this web site.

jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)
Back in the mid-90s, a lovely tool called After Dark came to the Mac. No screensaver was built in to Mac OS. MThe diligent programmers at Berkeley Systems needed to do a lot of low-level work to paint the screen with pretty images -- most famously, flying toasters.

If you're curious, a dozen of the original After Dark screen savers are available, simulated in CSS, here
https://www.bryanbraun.com/after-dark-css/

The reason those programmers were so good at directly addressing the Mac screen is they'd written a utility called inLarge, a screen enlarging system hack which permitted magnifcation of the (then tiny) Mac screen. Yet again, assistive technology users were the alpha testers.

Berkeley Systems made big money on After Dark, and reinvested some into further assistive tools for the Mac, including its first screen reader, outSpoken. But users and developer both saw the writing in the wall: the best Mac screen access software needed to be baked in at a very low level, which Apple has finally done with VoiceOver and the other AT that ships with all Mac products now.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
Since I sit a lot, and also have issues with fainting, I've been wearing compression stockings for 24 years. They help some blood stay in my brain, keep blood from painfully pooling in my legs, and lessen restless leg syndrome. Other reasons folks wear them: prevent blood clots (especially after surgery), minimize varicose veins (especially during pregnancy), and manage lymphedema.

Who wears them and a great online place to buy )

jesse_the_k: Panda doll wearing black eye mask, hands up in the spotlight, dropping money bag on floor  (bandit panda)
To minimize the damage if my credit card is compromised/hacked/stolen online, I maintain an only-online credit card with a very low limit. In the unfortunate event that it's stolen, there's not a lot of damage the thief could distribute.

This works particularly well because my credit union permits me to overpay the card if I need to buy something that's over its standard limit. So if I have to buy a plane ticket to New Zealand(1), I can transfer $2000 to the card and then charge.

For my everyday life, I have another credit card that's got a higher limit. I never use it online.




(1) I wish.
jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
I read from this link

http://www.dreamwidth.org/mobile/read

Which has no graphics at all, and when you click through you're automatically in style=light

(And if a post doesn't have a title, then this displays the initial words of the body.)
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
I had the good fortune to meet [personal profile] kestrell at Wiscon, and she introduced me to the old-world artistry of ocular prosthetics.

It turns out one of the three ocular prosthetic makers in Wisconsin is a local hero. The process is fascinating:

Q&A: Dori Hosek found an 'amazing fit' making artificial eyes

I can speak directly to the exquisite details: Kes gave me one of her out-of-date ones and I wear it as a pendant (but only in geeky environs).
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (junk4)
I just started using the "Library Extension,"

http://www.libraryextension.com

I didn't have to create an account: I just picked my local library from the list. Now every time I click an Amazon link, the extension shows me whether my library holds the book. So cool.

Right now it's only available for Chrome, but they promise a Firefox extension soon.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK 56 powertool)
Adaptations by Adrian makes outerwear designed for us. I've had two of their capes, and they're wonderful. The capes are custom made, so you can make sure they're short enough to clear your wheels or long enough to cover your back bag. details )
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK 56 powertool)

I operate my powerchair with a joystick, like a gaming control but much sturdier, smarter, and costlier. It’s a metal post sticking out of a rubber hood. One can readily change the handle that attaches to the metal post. My joystick came with a carrot–shaped handle. I was looking for a better fit that didn’t require me to pinch my fingers. I didn't buy a neat one but hacked a cheap one that works well )

jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
contents: outdated language, patronizing assumptions, great tech

A creative way to reuse an out-of-date Android 4.4 (or better) smartphone/tablet: transform to an MP3 audio player with the most direct UI I've ever seen.

Exact step-by-step details from the inventor, Marcin Simonides:

http://msimonides.github.io/homerplayer

If you live in the United States and can't read regular print because of any impairment, NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) provides thousands of books for free.

http://nls.loc.gov
jesse_the_k: Photo of Pluto's heart region with text "I" above and "science" below. (I love science)
From the amazing Instructables site, I'm happy to present:
Office Black Opps Surviving Tip: No-cost Standing Desk

http://www.instructables.com/id/Gypsy-Desk-for-Officies-Peripateticians-Office-B

As the designer puts it, so not delicately:
begin quote
What is the problem?
Well, I must admit that I am one of those persons who are renting their reproductive organs for money: time of my brain. I have to go to strange places, filled with strange peoples and fight for basic resources such as:
- An access badge.
- A project computer.
- A working user account.
- A set of production softwares.
- A place to sit.
- A chair in an acceptable hygienic state.
- The location of the next coffee corner, mensa, toilets the printer (in this order).
- An adjustable height desk.

end quote

They then provide detailed how-to rustle up the right tools by stealing them from the printing room.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Many smart writers are urging me to avoid BLACK & WHITE, a newish film with very old fashioned white family values. My favorite is Ijeoma Oluo in Seattle's alt weekly click to grin )

Almost every wheelchair user is admonished to "drink plenty of fluids." But as Cupholders break. Here's one that doesn't )
jesse_the_k: The words "Indecision may or may not be my problem" over a blurry background (Indecision)
An article in today's Business section about FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (the movie) and its impact on the sex-toy industry. Almost totally without smirks...
smirking at stiff language, pointing at class consciousness )
jesse_the_k: Happy & sad monster dolls over "bipolar = 2X Fun" (Bipolar = Twice the Fun)
The Fall Equinox has passed and it's time for the seasonally affected depressives among us to begin our mornings with a bright dose of simulated daylight. As always, us bipolar folks have to be cautious about ramping up the light, and backing off if/when mania is noticeable (helpful to have another opinion on that one).
five resources for SAD newbies )
jesse_the_k: Modern design teapot with two cups (Share tea with me)
End-of-life discussions often include a hushed reference to "I don't want tubes." I wanted to share some tubes that improve quality of life.

My daily tubes )
Drug delivery tubes )
Gastrojejunostomy Tube )
jesse_the_k: Due South's Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser both rubbing their foreheads (dS F/K headache)
Been a while, but I've been amusing myself, as well as intermittent low bits. Turned my back on Facebook, abandoned Twitter after the SDS conference, spending way too much time on MetaFilter, which is beginning to annoy me in useful ways, as well as doodling away a happy hour on Tumblr posting nothing. Reading actualfax books—paper as well as e—and fanfiction, of course. Here's a sprinkling of things I've stumbled across. Ask me anything (as they say) in the comments and I'll bloviate.

I've worked as a freelance calligrapher, typesetter, and graphic designer. This cartoon beautifully, and painfully, captures the continual teeter-totter between "being true to your own self" and "getting paid"
http://the-toast.net/2014/08/13/a-cartoon-about-book-design/

I've been having more difficulty understanding speech, especially at noisy places like cons (use your mics!) and restaurants. I've also had a strange two-tone mechanical humming in my ears for the past year or so. Okay, time for a hearing test. Mostly painless: put on these headphones, play noise in one ear and words in the other, parrot back the words. But then there was
non-consensual penetration of body cavities )

That was a lesson in how to alienate prospective patients. It makes me wonder what in hell medicos mean when they say, "this will be uncomfortable, but let me know if it hurts"? Is there some level of pain which reliably causes a reflex response in humans, and therefore docs can ignore unreliable information like "Oww! That hurts! Stop that! NO."? I know that enough pain makes me pass right out. Or say if I vomit, does that mean I've crossed the line from "uncomfortable" to "hurts"? How about if I curl up on cool bathroom tiles? Or maybe when I sandbag myself with microwave hotpacks? I'm just working back from the "pain behaviors" I've demonstrated when it's hurt too much for me at home.

Anyway, the exam result is: I have

  • excellent hearing in optimal conditions (cool)

  • difficulty "hearing in noise" (yeah, that's why I was there)

  • tinnitus (Checking just now at HearingLossHelp druglist (PDF), I'm taking three meds known to cause tinnitus in some people. Huh and

  • Hyperacusis



She says wearing 29dB earplugs only makes the hyperacusis worse. (I wear them swimming and when I'm on the bus.) She's making "musician's earplugs" for me which dampen all sound equally across the noise spectrum which should "take the edge off" of the loudness of things.

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jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Jesse the K

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