long time...

sorabji.com: What are you doing here?: long time...

blindswine on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 04:12 am:

    i thought i'd respond in a new thread out of respect for jim and his mother.


    joe lambert is a one of a kind old-school west-indian force of nature with a wicked tongue. it runs in the family-- his younger brother (duke) spoke at my father's memorial and had us all laughing so hard i couldn't figure out where the tears were coming from. nothing i can deliver here will do that roasting and toasting justice, but my older brother has digital footage and will eventually upload it to youtube. i'll shoot over a link if you're interested-- it sure as hell isn't what most people would expect from a memorial service. before he died, my father demanded that there be no tears-- so roberta flack's "no tears" became the theme of the memorial. of course i cried my eyes out. i can barely write this now without crying my eyes out.

    north carolina sounds like it's good for you and the family. also sounds like you and your ex managed the relocation without the vicious psychodrama i constantly keep hearing about-- that's awesome-- both in the 80's sense and the biblical sense. sometimes it seems like it takes an act of god for people to remain civil after divorce-- especially when kids are involved.

    outside of the traffic, you make durham sound a lot like portland. i'm actually pretty happy here. i miss new york city, but i don't miss shelling out $1500 a month for a one bedroom
    apartment. i'm paying a third of that right now for space in a fairly luxurious household owned by a friend from detroit who helps run an art/activist collective and bartends at two of my
    favorite spots in town. life is good.

    get back to me about costa rica-- i keep hearing about people expatriating there and wanna know whassup.

By blindswine on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 04:28 am:

    oh yeah--

    if sheila pops back in tell her i'm working on my first batch of goat curry.

By Danielssss on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 10:48 am:

    hey mr swine, welcome back. just to jump in re CR, I gave up on that little Wlamart exploding country b/c all I cd find was gated community of white americans with Walmart down the road, which is precisely why I want to leave american soil for a third world country. So I looked at panama, still some deals there, but the same suburbiamanic encroaching problem unless fairly rural. I found a yoga retreat selling fair trade condominums shares (called samasati--googgle it--a nice place) on the east coast of cr that is still undeveloped. East coast is nice, remote, no roads as yet but one is coming that will blow the doors off development there...cr's west pacific coast is becoming suburbia. Anyway, panama also proved too rich for my pocketbook, but has some wonderful Walmart-less places like Islas Contadora of the coast. Prices have doubled or tripled in as many years there, as on most islands. I would not live in panama City for anything. So my money would be in ecuador or brazil's atlantic coast if you must have the cold hearted atlantic...which does not at all compare with the pacific...placeslike Manta, vistazul, and other pacific coast places where the infrastructure is fine, the water is wonderfully warm, the beacjs secluded but sAFE, SMALL AGRICULTURAL TOWNS and fishing villages...you're an hour away from a hospital, the fish are a dollar each, veggies plentiful and organic and pesticide free, and it is safe and comfortable. Cotacachi and Otovalo are wonderful towns in the Andes which are a great deal and only an hour or two from the hot coast. check out vistazul, on the beach, at San Miguel, and tell the developer (Ketel Hogan) that his friend Gary Scott's friend Daniel Smith said to check it out.

    glad to hear youre still around. Was in Portland last spring and again this coming fall.

By patrick on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:15 am:

    having never been to portland i would suggest that its a lot like. when you factor raleigh is 20 miles to the east and chapel hill is 10 miles to the west the "triangle area" area has a population of a mill or so which in guessing the is the size of portland.

    one thing i wish they would do here is do as portland did....draw a circle around the city and prohibit development. this area is failing to learn the lessons of the likes of atlanta, houston and elsewhere with sprawl.

    but in many other ways this area is very progressive, more so than southern california.

    i need to go to this place

By patrick on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:16 am:

By patrick on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:17 am:

    and absofuckinlutely share Joe Lambert when its around.

By agatha on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 01:54 pm:

    I'm going to be in Portland this weekend, and may I say that it's very sorabji that we were posting updates on our lives on the "love for Jim" thread.

By blindswine on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 06:44 pm:


    i had no idea costa rica had already been so heavily colonized. that's pretty fucked up-- but i guess i should have expected it. but gated communities with their own walmart?

    the bahamas are always nice, but just as colonized. i prefer barbados. remember that song "electric avenue" by eddy grant? he's got a full scale recording studio down there. i might have to get on a plane and see if he'll let me mop the floors or something.

    kelsey, is that a corrective librarian tone? i started replying over there, but somehow it just didn't feel right. perhaps i'm out of practice. we should get together and grab a beer. e-mail me.

    hi sarah. did i ever tell you i used to have an internet crush on sarah? it's true. probably why i used to yank her piggytails all the time-- had to take it back to the third grade.

By Danielssss on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 07:08 pm:

    here's Ketel's place Vistazul in Ecuador, a deal right on the beach. These are good people to deal with.


    paste it. I suggest collaborative financing through two or three or four sorabjites and (bingo!) we got a place on the beach to share.

By sarah on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:21 pm:


    i've confessed it before, this won't be the first time, that i had a crush on you. i adored you fiercely. still do, actually - in a different way now than back then. used to get myself all worked up when you gave me so much shit. i still get a little giddy whenever i see your name pop up.

    remember when we'd all magically converge at the same time in the secret and enchanting and agonizingly slow sorabji chat room?

By patrick on Friday, July 24, 2009 - 09:09 am:

By patrick on Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 04:15 pm:

    im such a tard i forgot i posted the place above.

    as much as i cant wait top get there i have to admit to all sorts of travel anxieties. she woman and i both are the anxious types...with me being over protective (her current circumstances prevailing) and her going into instant fuck the TSA bitch - mode whenever we are within 500 yards of an airport. she goes out of her way to pick a fight with them and their nonsensival idea of security. oh and to compound things we'll have the service dog on lead. might as well wear my pirate outfit and shove a gram of blow up my ass. its going to be that kind of day.

By Dr Pepper on Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 08:41 pm:

    Patrick, they allow pig to roam the beaches? how interesting. If the pig pees, I ain't coming down, but at least, I spend a weeklong last week in Tennessee, enjoyed a calmity perfect vacation there.

By J on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 01:21 am:

    Service Dog? Make sure you each have $26.00 to leave the country,they take credit cards,don't leave ANYTHING on the beach that you can't afford to lose.If you get a flat keep driving even if it's on the rim,big scam there with rental cars.
    I have family in Bulls Gap Tennessee,also Bryson City North Carolina and actually all through North Carolina.

By heather on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 05:04 am:

    mm... calmity perfect

    service dog?

By TSASSHOLE on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 10:08 am:

    drug sniffing??

By patrick on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 11:56 am:

    yes. shes a service dog. An emotional support service dog.

    J. can you elaborate on the scam with rental cars?

By J on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 12:37 pm:

    Thieves may work in pairs or small groups. A common scam has one person drop change in a crowded area, such as on a bus, and when the victim tries to assist, a wallet or other item is taken. The most prevalent scam involves the surreptitious puncturing of tires of rental cars, often near restaurants, tourist attractions, airports, or close to the car rental agencies themselves. When the travelers pull over, "good Samaritans" quickly appear to change the tire - and just as quickly remove valuables from the car, sometimes brandishing weapons. Drivers with flat tires are advised to drive, if at all possible, to the nearest service station or other public area, and change the tire themselves, watching valuables at all times.
    If you have the time,costaricanow.com has alot of good info,and I know it sounds wierd but try to bring some toilet paper when your driving around and for some reason they don't flush the paper down the toilet,your supposed to discard it in the trash can.

By J on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 12:43 pm:

By wisper on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 12:58 pm:

    "I'm not shitting you about this toilet business" <----PUN

By Dr Pepper on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 01:17 pm:

    LOL at J about toliet business, yes, a friend of mine a long time ago, said the similar thing like toilet paer when vising in mexico they charge you one peso per toilet paper sheet........L.M.F.A.O. But in Russia, there are shortage of toilet paper during the communist times. W.T.F.

By Danielssss on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 05:27 pm:

    German toilet paper in most places is like rough brown paper towels. Softer tissue can be purchased at Aldi's. Bring your own from the states.

    What's a camera brandishing beer nude photopgraher/reporter doing with an emotional support dog? like a St Bernard with a keg? My dog would have to like rum, matey

By heather on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 08:28 pm:

    fucking fuck, how do you get a dog like that?

By droopy on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 12:25 am:

    every so often somebody will suggest that i get a service. their rationale is usually that the dog will do things like like turn out lights for me or open doors. all of which i am perfectly capable of doing. i am happy with with my cat who just tolerates my existence.

    it's been raining in texas for the past couple of days. it has lessened my summer depression a litte. better than a dog could.

    toilet paper talk makes me think of the book i read a little while ago - "the big necessity: the unmentionable world of human waste and why it matters." in india and pakistan, you don't use paper; you bring a small water jug called a lota into the bathroom with you. in the 19th century, hindus refused to believe that europeans used dry paper after defecating and thought it was "vicious libel."


By Dr Pepper on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 01:54 am:

    Remind me when I comes down to mexico or latin america, I will bring some rolls of toliet paper with me, hopefully the mexican or latin american custom will not confiscates my toliet paper!

By patrick on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 10:33 am:

    daniel....heather at the pound. you can get one today!

    do i really need to spell it out?

    all airlines allow emotional support service dogs to ride in the cabin.

    produce a letter from a doctor (its not like they are going to call your MD at the gate), notify them ahead of time for bulk head seating and VOILA! its the difference between your service animal riding in the terrifying pits of the cargo hold or in the cabin with you. Our service dog is required to ride with us.

    they sell service vests at petco.

    do the math folks.

    besides. we dont have anyone here to take care of her, she's a must come.

By sarah on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 12:02 pm:

    patrick, i've been wanting to ask you how the weather is there in durham. is it very hot in the summer? dry? humid? what are the seasons like there? also, is the coast accessible, distance wise and cost wise?

    dallas ft worth is stealing all of our rain goddammit. we've not gotten a drop. meteorologists predict a very wet fall and winter though due to el nino or nina or whateverthehell.

By Dr Pepper on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 01:34 pm:

    we had a lighting real bad last night, while i was driving home from work, i felt a "boom" after lighting hit the ground.

By patrick on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 02:16 pm:

    there are 4 distinct seasons here. in the spring and summer its in the 80s and 90s. Its been unbearable here 1-3 days this spring and summer....as in above 95 degrees. Otherwise its pleasant, often humid but in a nice southern, sultry way. Since we arent terribly used to having central a/c we often don't run ours until it hits 90 or greater. We find fans and the many windows in our house sufficient, especially at night. the chorus of tree frogs and crickets in our wooded area is quite nice.

    We're only an inch or two below average for rain but they are coming off a 2-3 year drought. In the spring and summer, its very common for afternoon and evening flare ups of thunderstorms but they dont last long.

    The fall and winter are often more wet, with temps usually in the 40s and 50s. We had a couple of days of snow here this winter. In recent years I've heard thats not the norm. Growing up here it was common to have at least once good snowing in a years time.

    the coast is very accessible. The nearest beach is 2 or so hours down I 40 to Wilmington. There are nicer beaches a little further, but they are only further because you are off interstate and taking state roads. The coast here is absolutely beautiful....whether you are sound-side or ocean side.

By Danielssss on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 03:20 pm:

    Just to clarify: and I am sure the Patrick knows what he is doing. But it is not all that simple..........

    "A dog that is therapeutic to its disabled handler is a Service Dog not a therapy dog. Therapy Dog refers to a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, mental institutions, schools, and stressful situations such as disaster areas.

    It is important to note that therapy dogs are not service dogs.

    Service dogs directly assist humans, and have a legal right to accompany their owners. Therapy dogs do not provide direct assistance, do not have legal rights to travel everywhere, and must be invited by institutions. Most institutions have rigorous requirements for therapy dogs.

    A therapy dog's primary job is to allow unfamiliar people to make physical contact with him and to enjoy that contact. Children in particular enjoy hugging animals; adults usually enjoy simply petting the dog. The dog might need to be lifted onto, or climb onto, an invalid's lap or bed and sit or lie comfortably there. Many dogs add to the visiting experience by performing small tricks for their audiences or by playing carefully structured games.

    Therapy dog tags do not contain ADA rules on the back as the ADA rules do not apply to therapy dogs. "

    Also there are a myriad of rules governing any animals on international flights. And one does not want one's animal to be quarantined upon arrival in a foreign country.

By platypus on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 03:28 pm:

    Yeah, my understanding was that ESAs are not service animals, because they haven't received specialized training and they don't meet the task requirement. ESAs are actually really controversial because they aren't trained service animals.

By platypus on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 03:29 pm:

    (Which is not to say that pets don't serve an important emotional function, but it is important to distinguish between a true service dog and a therapy animal.)

By patrick on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 05:09 pm:

    well fuckin a daniel.... was trying to be subtle.

    i dont see the controversy really.

    i see this is a way to take my very well behaved family member on a trip without having to stick her in cargo hold which would be utterly traumatizing to her.


    remember how i recent discussed how the insurance companies were possibly in a position to fuck me over with declining pre natal care due to pre-existing condition? or how the TSA is allowed to make up a bunch of rules under the guise of our safety but in reality dont make us any damn safer...

    this is my way of exacting some sort of cosmic leverage.

By Danielssss on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 05:09 pm:

    I especially like the "signal to toilet in an appropriate place" command. My shamanic teacher has a working S&R dog, an amazing animal, who to this day suffers from breathing problems because of his extended work in NOLA after Katrina. But still continues to work.

    On the other hand, I have another friend (also a member of Spot Savers, Dalmatian Purebred Dog Rescue) whose Dal can poop and pee on command but lacks the training to be certified. (I no longer rescue or am an adoptive parent/trainer).

    I once had a brilliant Doberman who had a functional vocabulary of over 150 words and commands, and could distinghuish between "Dennis Kemper" and "Dennis Young" when asked to identify either person. I had to let him go to retraining when he got injured jumping a too high fence, and would no longer work with me, associating the injury with me. He worked exceptionally well with his new trainer. We could learn from some doggie style training for sure.

By Danielssss on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 05:18 pm:

    Just don't get stuck with your doggie not going. Platy's absolutely right about the legalities. And it is a huge controversy.

    It's strange though, you can get Service or Working Dog tags -- or simlply therapy dog tags -- simply by ordering them that way. You can also get the harness and etc. But if the authorities find out it's not a working service animal properly certified (with papers attesting the training and such and the training of the handler) you could risk leaving the doggie behind, or possibly getting arrested. (and I don't know of anyone who has gotten arrested, personally, but i know of the hassles at the airport, personally.) International travel is a whole nother ball game.

By beta on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 05:54 pm:

    As long as a dog meets the training standards for service dogs, I don't really have a problem with someone "faking" it to bring them along (plus- smaller dogs are allowed in the passenger area in a carrier- why shouldnt a larger dog have the same option if the only special accommodation is a bulkhead seat?)

    I will note though, that service animals are *incredibly* stoic- I thought about doing something similar with my mutt (who eliminates on command, is impervious to human distraction, has an extensive vocab, etc) but his food/prey drive couldn't be overcome, and I feared what would happen if the person in the next row had a cat with them.

    Can you reduce the likelihood of being questioned about the dog by sporting a cane?

By sarah on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 06:01 pm:

    senor and i have been doing more and more talking about moving to the raleigh duram area. he's got cousins there, who always send nice gifts for our kids.

    i guess we feel the same way about Austin that you feel about LA. the reasons senor and i moved to austin years before we met each other and the things that we enjoyed as singles or even married with no kids are no longer accessible to us. we obv love our kids but bemoan to one another that we just can't do the things that we loved doing that are unique to Ausin. and the heat, the heat.... it's really starting to get to us.

    i've hit the 8 year mark here, not quite as long as i lived in hawaii, and i feel like i've maxed out on this place.

    of course, if i had my druthers, we'd move to the Big Island. i think senor thinks hawaii isn't an option because he loves homeownership (i could take it or leave it) and because public education there is tragic. it's not a matter of finding jobs because both of us would have no trouble in that arena due to skill set and networking.

    senor seems more set on raleigh duram, which really is fine by me - it seems like a really great place. i'm bored by Austin and would be up for a new adventure.

By agatha on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 11:21 pm:

    This is a really interesting conversation- we talk about this quite a bit at our library because of the amount of people who bring their "service animals" into the library. I don't have a problem with it unless the animal is ill behaved, but a lot of the homeless folks have figured out that they only need to tell us that their dog (snake/bird/cat/...) is a service animal to bring it into the library. Some of these animals are not well behaved, have fleas that jump on other people, and cause general problems because we have so little space in our library. Because the policies surrounding this issue are so gray, we have to go with behavior standards for service animals. We had one girl with a pit bull who lunged and growled at one of our regular patrons, so that dog had to go bye-bye. This seems to come in waves as words spread on the street. It's really interesting to study the patterns.

By platypus on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 12:12 am:

    Agatha, you are legally allowed to ask what task the service animal performs, although you can't ask what someone's disability is; it might help you weed out some of the poseur service animals. That said, I imagine the problem is made more complicated at the library because you serve homeless patrons and a lot of homeless seem to have pets...our homeless leave theirs outside the library; always nice to have to brave a gauntlet of barking dogs lunging at me to return a library book.

By droopy on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 12:23 am:

    i was just checking out what the ada website had to say about service animals (critters for cripples). one of their definitions was "an animal that pulls a wheelchair." i remember seeing something on tv about a woman who trained shetland ponies (or some small breed of horse) to be service animals. i wonder if i can get my insurance to buy me a burro.

By platypus on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 10:06 am:

By patrick on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 10:35 am:

    like agatha, i think it really should be about behavior. Of course you have assholes who dont treat their animals right and their animals behave poorly which then blurs the line and well, then you have to make rules because a few ruin it for the most.

    chloe has traveled by air before. shes an extremely obedient, loyal and patient critter and is superb on lead. she also has an iron bladder.


    sarah you should pop up to the area for a visit. we tend to prefer durham over raleigh and chapel hill. chapel hill is smallest of the three with a lot of old white money and a lot of beautiful old southern homes. but its also the most collegy of college towns. Carrboro is tiny town that is at the city limits of chapel hill and think of it as a tiny tiny berkeley, ca. raleigh is the largest of the three but not necessarily the most interesting. durham is a little more interesting in my mind culturally. they say durham is on teh cusp of cultural greatness and a glorious revitalization but apparently they've been saying it for years.

    home wise there's a lot of affordable properties....interesting properties. likewise theres a plethora of boring, ugly and dull developments....you know the kind where they mow all the trees down and build the same 4 styles of houses 10 ft apart. so you know, depending on what you want, i think it can be found here. Having never been to Austin i cant really comment but I can say that the region here is quite pretty in all four seasons.....we like it because were a half day drive from DC, Atlanta and a cheap flight to NYC.

By Danielssss on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 01:38 pm:

    I heard of service goats, really.

By patrick on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 04:18 pm:

    i've seen them. there was a heard of them mowing the lawn on a super steep hillshide along the 405 below the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A great, cost-effective service.

By agatha on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 11:22 pm:

    I might re-bring this up with my manager. It's not bad now, but like I said, it comes in waves.

By blindswine on Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 01:01 am:

    hold on now--

    service goats?

    do they make good curry?

    maybe i should go ahead and read this entire thread...

    but it's 106 degrees in portland. i'm not doing a thing outside of playing this fucking bass and those god damned keys. it only sounds good when i'm delirious. the heat is good for that.

    has droopy written a book yet?
    cuz you should.


    i'm going away again.

    see you in the next 10 years.

By Dr Pepper on Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 01:50 pm:

    it is 106 degrees in portland? well it is 75 degrees outside of chicago.

By Danielssss on Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 03:54 pm:

    Platy, I wonder if the blind people reading sorabji could click on the link to read about guide horses. Does it make sense to have a website devoted to it when the target audience is blind? Yeah yeah I kow that a seeing family or friend could use the info from the website, it just strikes me kinda odd to think of a blind person using the computer to see a link to click on it for assistance with a webpage that can't be seen.

    You oughta hang out for a while, Martin, since this is bound to get worse.

By agatha on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 01:20 am:

    I know, it really pisses me off when Martin does that. You hear that, Martin? PISSES ME OFF!

By blindswine on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 06:09 am:

    remember when we got wasted at linda's and i dragged dave into the kitchen to warn him that the house was filled with nazis?

    that was awesome.

By blindswine on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 06:17 am:

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 11:24 am:

    Blind people typically use screen readers, actually, Daniel, and many of them are quite Internet saavy. I'm surprised you didn't know that since you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about service animals! If fact, there are a fair number of blind bloggers. If you will note, the guide horse website has specific things to increase accessibility, like a link to a text only version which is easy to navigate with a screen reader.

    Also, Patrick, I'm pretty sure those were just regular goats. Which doesn't make them any less cool.

By sarah on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 11:44 am:

    i take it platy that you've never actually heard a screen reader in use.

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:31 pm:

    Actually, I have, although I haven't used one. It is definitely a very different way of navigating, but it certainly doesn't exclude blind people or people with visual impairments from using the Internet.

By droopy on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:34 pm:

    the internet is so graphic-heavy these days that, if you're blind, you need more than just a screen reader and decent computer skills to experience more than a tenth of the internet.

    and can you imagine having to listen to one of these threads in a monotonous screen reader voice?

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 01:52 pm:

    These threads actually pretty accessible via screen reader, albeit, yes, kind of weird to listen to.

    The graphic heavyness of the web is definitely a big problem, especially because a lot of sites now are using flash/shockwave which are not really accessible for screen readers. At all.

    I did a lot of research on this when I was overhauling my website specifically because I wanted to make sure it was accessible. I guess that by and large, people don't feel like accessibility is very important because there aren't that many blind people/people with visual impairments using the Internet. It doesn't take that much effort to make something accessible, it just ain't as purdy.

By wisper on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 02:14 pm:

    Other than screen readers they also have these cool strips of...pins... that go below the keyboard and relay the screen text line by line as braille.

By sarah on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 02:19 pm:

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 02:24 pm:

    If only people actually cared about standards compliance...

By sarah on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 02:43 pm:

    so now we're having discourse about one of my professional specialties, which is building purdy websites that are accessible. it's completely possible, it just takes a lot of extra work and savvy using style sheets. in fact, my websites pass accessibility tests and the results or "grades" of the tests exceed that the same tests results for www.irs.gov

    i work in education and by the letter of the law (Section 508) state agencies are not required to maintain accessible electronic communications. by the letter of the law it is only required of federal agencies. there is a lot of debate over this, and a lot of people threaten lawsuits because certain state agencies' websites are not accessible enough, and tons of people site the lawsuit against Target (the plaintiff won) as proof that you better well make your websites accessible or else! that's garbage. but i build accessible websites anyway, and i and my assistant attend seminars and trainings every year to learn more and get better at making websites 508 compliant.

    i disagree that people don't feel like accessibility is very important because there aren't that many blind people/people with visual impairments using the Internet. i think if asked people would say it is very important. the reason most websites are not accessible is because it takes a lot of extra time and knowledge to make them both purdy and accessible, and therefore it is relatively costly to do so.

    when cost isn't necessarily a factor, in the case of your run of the mill 18 year old blogger, it's most likely due to laziness and yes feeling like it's not that important and general lack of knowledge about making it accessible. however, there are a lot of accessible blogging templates out there to be had, so in the end, there's little excuse.

    i'd like to add that a little too much emphasis and responsibility for accessibility is placed on the developers of electronic communication. i think more pressure should be put on developing way better, more versatile and more logical assistive technology that people with disabilities can use to get as much of the real experience as possible. unless something new has popped up in the last year, every screen reader i've ever interfaced with provides a poor and difficult experience and to be very useful poses a steep learning curve.

    sshhhhhh the baby is sleeping.

By sarah on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 02:47 pm:

    actually, make that federal agencies AND institutions of higher education who are required to be 508 compliant.

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 03:01 pm:

    Actually, I think that a lot of web designers don't give as much attention to accessibility issues. Having had discussions about accessibility with a lot of working web designers, some genuinely haven't thought about it all, and others don't want to put in the effort. Obviously people who design/work in the government sector do think about it, because they have to. (Although the Feds seem to be having difficulty with accomplishing the goal of making sites both accessible and attractive, but that's another discussion altogether. And I have to say that a lot Federal websites are functionally innavigable even for sighted people.) I wonder if our differing perspectives on this issue have something to do with the fact that I primarily interact/work with people in the civilian sector, and you're working with the government.

    Not having actually *used* a screen reader, just seen them in action, I don't know as much about the learning curve. In watching other people use them, I have gotten the sense that they are complex and maybe not designed in the best way. I certainly couldn't sit down and use one comfortably in five minutes, and I agree that the technology definitely needs to be improved. They are (I gather) extremely expensive, but a lot of them don't seem to be very well thought out, although I imagine it's difficult to create an accessibility aid which is designed to turn a sometimes highly visual medium into something which is accessible for the blind.

    But...I do think that web developers bear some responsibility. Even though it's not entirely their fault that standards compliance has been made really difficult just in general, not just for accessibility. I think that a lot (not all, obviously), don't really think about accessibility issues very much and think that the choice is between being accessible and being attractive, when it's really not.

    You obviously have way more experience in this field and have been a bit confrontational with me in this thread, until you wrote out that longer post, but I think it's an interesting discussion to have nonetheless.

By patrick on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 03:43 pm:

    i dunno lady. they looked like service goats to me.

    i mean shit, if i can hire them, they service ain they?

By platypus on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 04:18 pm:

    Well, I think that depends on the type of "service" you're looking for...

By sarah on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 11:42 pm:

    please don't mistake my brevity for confrontation. i've literally got my hands full over here, often typing with one hand. you should see my emails, so brief, nearly cryptic.

By J on Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 03:15 am:

    Blindswine,do it,I know you are a true inspiration.
    Kids really do need some role models these days.

By Dr Pepper on Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 07:07 am:

    It is 5:30 a.m. the sun is up almost, looking at the blue sky, and a little cloud is red/pink. I remember looking at sky when the sun is almost up. I have been watching this back in my high school days.

By Danielssss on Sunday, August 2, 2009 - 11:31 am:

    I think it is a fascinating dicussion which the goat is really enjoying, practicing the braille and all. I did not know of screen readers, well, I knew of them, or suspected that something like that was available, since I did see the braille effects on the ada and guidehorse sites, which prompted the off the hand coment, but had no personal experience of them, and really no knowledge of the accessibility stuff. I am glad for it, because as things are turning out, if one does not have internet access, then one is likely falling behind the curve in most everything.

    I was chided for taking everything too seriously, that was before car shopping yesterday. Trying to find a Subaru that can take along the old blind goat. The one I found has standard euipment many 12v sockets for audio and laptop accesories...

    Sun up here too Pepper, or more correctly the earth has moved into a position where I see the bright orb nourishing me with heat and light.

By patrick on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 04:22 pm:

    so all went pretty well. delta was superior when it came to traveling with chloe.

    we had to stay an extra day because sansa air (the costa rica puddle jumper) didnt understand service dogs outside of the blind and required a box. after some tears to delta they waived the $700 they were going to charge us for new tix.

    during our time in airports, we came up with a new non-profit service for rescue dogs and elderly unemployed. Airport pooch walkers. Given the high stress of flying, what better than to give some love to a super sweet pup while waiting for your late plane? it would calm passengers, staff and security people. it could give abanonded dogs a new lease on life. win win for everyone!

    costa rica is nice but i wouldnt go back. a little too westernized and way more expensive than we imagined.

By J on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 01:52 am:

    Cause you were in a tourist town,but I do have to admit I was dissapointed with how much things have changed.The last time I was there we got home on 09/09/2001.Back then the only cars you ever saw were taxis now many more cars and cell phones and they must think we USA Americans pull money out of our ass,the priceshttp://www.occidentalhotels.com/hotels/ElTucano.asp have really gone up.That said http://www.occidentalhotels.com/hotels/ElTucano.aspate at sodas excpt for breakfast which all the places we stayed at were included,and two times at an overpriced resturant.You could get a casado at a soda for between $3.00 or $4.00 sometime $2.00 depending on what you got.That included fish,or carne,pollo,pork chop,etc,with rice and beans,salad,usually some potatos and sometimes with a fried egg and always plantains.It was all good with me.We stayed at a really nice place in Aguas Zarcas San Carlos, Alajuela.http://www.occidentalhotels.com/hotels/ElTucano.asp
    Next time I'm going to little Jamacia,it sounds right up my alley.

By J on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 11:46 am:

    I was tanked when I wrote the above,don't know why I kept sticking that link in there,but here is what I was trying to make a point of,the tourist towns are just ridiculous now.We went here one day,http://baldihotsprings.cr/,it was $17.00 each,we saved a few bucks by buying our tickets in town.I didn't think that was bad cause you could stay for 12 hours,from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.,so we get in there and me being me the first thing I'm going to do is get me a drink,till I saw what they cost.A beer was $6.50,a mixed drink $10 and a chicken and rice dinner was $22.00 bucks,we didn't drink or eat there,but you could leave and come back so that's what we did,but that was in La Fortuna a tourist town.I learned that if the prices were in dollars instead of colones your gonna get ripped off.The El Tucan was a really nice place,but I went in the gift shop there and a toddler tee shirt that said Pura Vida was $47.50! I just walked right out of there.Now that alot of Costa Ricans have cars, driving is even scarier than before,the roads aren't good to begin with and you have people passing on double lines,u-turns on double lines and you'd be at a red light and they are all honking their horns,they are the nicest people in the world till they get behind the wheel and then they are loco.Next time I'm going to Puerto Viejo,on the Caribbean side,they call it Little Jamacia.I hear you can walk around and smoke pot and the cops don't care.I hope it's true.

By patrick on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 01:02 pm:

    driving was fucking adventure to be sure. jamming my little four
    cylinder 4wd daihatsu in 3rd to give it some go to pass an 18
    wheeler up a step incline before a dangerous curve. i found myself
    driving like a maniac as well.

    if you havent been to belize go. stay on an island called caye
    caulker. theres maybe 2 police officers and the only car is that with
    the town official. all bikes and more weed than you know what to
    do with. and everything is dirt cheap

By blindswine on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 07:07 pm:

    i'm all over it.

    see ya, suckers!

By on Friday, September 4, 2009 - 01:49 am:

    so long wanker!

By J on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 03:32 pm:

    My cousin is married to a lovely woman from Belize and we did actually look in to going there,maybe next time, at least they speak english there.I did a report on it back in 5th grade,it was British Honduras then.God I'm getting old,I'm trying to make the best of it though...senior discount. I can say it,but not with a smile.

By Sarah on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 12:27 am:

    does anyone think it's weird, bizarre, or surreal that i've been coming to this same website on average every day to every other day for the last 13 years?

    sometimes i think about it and it seems so mysterious and perplexing.

    about how deeply i love some of you.

    i'm not drunk.

By Dr Pepper on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 01:43 am:

    I don't know how long I have been on this site. So....But I do find Mark or jaq very peculiar guy in this website.

By Danielssss on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 12:00 pm:

    Pepper, we are have peculiarities. SaRah you are correct in assuming there is some small portion insanity involved.

    Sorabji keeps me connected to some wonderful folks whom I've never met on the street, provokes the old goat hippy in me, and wonders my mind that i have been here that long too, in the shadows and on the boards.

    It's much more intriguing than farmville.

By Antigone on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 01:15 pm:

    We are connected. It happens.

By Dr Pepperville on Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 01:53 am:

    farmville? it doesn't exist!, it is all imaginations in your head..... how sad.

By agatha on Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 02:30 am:

    I love you too, Sarah.

By Danielunrealssss on Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 09:47 am:

    so pepper neither you nor I nor Antigone nor SaRAH really exist, do we? Does that make us any less real than farmville? Petville? camelot? Fishville? Pepperville?

    Well,I really don't exist. Not too sure about any of the rest either. Except the old goat, yep.

    Afterall, what is reality?

    Remember if you do not recognize god in the next person you meet, no sense in looking further. (Gandhi I think)

By patrick on Friday, March 26, 2010 - 02:17 pm:

    not weird at all though i still stumble when talking to the wife
    referring to "people" she doesnt "know".

    trying to explain the candy exchange to her was a bit challening.

By Danielssss on Friday, March 26, 2010 - 02:46 pm:

    agree Patrick. SaRAH not weird.

By Spider on Friday, March 26, 2010 - 08:29 pm:

    I think it's weird that people go away and never return. How can they forget about us? :~(

By TBone on Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 02:56 pm:

    I don't get it either.

By Danielsssss on Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 03:42 pm:

    Senior Discount, said with a smile. I willbe certain to send everyone of you an email when I decide it is time to put heavy boots on and walk west from Holmes Beach out into the Gulf of Mexico until the level sand drops off into the darkness.

    And then, I hope I can email from the Other Side. or something.

By Spider on Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 05:35 pm:

    Hi TBone. :)

By agatha on Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 06:22 pm:

    Tbone returneth!

By Dr Pepper on Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 12:26 am:

    Hi ya Tbone.

By TBone on Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 02:50 am:

    Hello. How are you guys doing?

By J on Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 12:19 pm:

    We've missed you.that's how we are doing:)


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