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Thoughts on the hearing yesterday.

5 min read

I just have to start this out by saying that I wasn't instructed propperly on how to access the conference. I was given a link, in which I was told not to share with anyone, and given some other instructions not to make any sort of recordings etc, that I still don't know if I can publish in their entirety. I wasn't told that I absolutely had to have a webcam set up, therefore I thought it was like the webinar feature of Zoom. In fact I discussed strategies with a blind friend of mine on how I would go about this before the hearing. We discussed me starting out not with any sort of headset connected, however, I've seen past tweets that the audio on these things can be really bad. If I needed my headset to help me understand things better, I could plug it in, but the one I have has a microphone, and I really didn't know if anyone else would hear my screen reader in the background. I said that I could just shut it down during the arguments if the audio got really bad, and I needed the headset to help deal with that. I did that exact thing on Wednesday morning. I connected a half hour ahead of time, and waited for the hearing to start. However, when it started, and I could tell this by live tweets, I didn't hear anything. I plugged in a headset. I disconnected and reconnected. I even got my friend out of bed, to see if he could offer any ideas. He couldn't, and I proceeded to install Skype. It mentioned something about Skype and/or teams in the instructions, so I thought if I could use Skype to access it, maybe it would work. Unfortunately it still didn't work. I did try with my phone, and in retrospect I think what happened was that I was waiting. By then, 2 hours had gone by, and so I decided to just catch up with Twitter. The next day I tried with my phone to connect and it worked emmediately! However I couldn't hear well enough to keep the phone on my desk so I could do other things at the same time. I had to keep it either on my ear, or on my shoulder, kind of like we do when we're trying to do something else on a phone call. The minute I took the phone off the charger, the signal dropped. I think that has something to do with my personal hotspot being active, that happened twice. I learned my lesson after that!!
I got to listen to Edward Fitzgerald and Mark Summers argue for Julian Assange. I've followed the case for 11 years, and this is the very first time I've gotten to actually listen to them argue. Fitzgerald actually had to say that someone on the autism spectrum could have a girlfriend, because the day before the prosecutor, James Lewis, who sounds like he's about 150 years old, by the way, said that people with ASD don't have relationships and children.. Fitzgerald had the pleasure of arguing the ground in which the prosecution is trying to discredit DR. Michael Copelman's testimony from last year. This is because he failed to disclose Assange's relationship with his partner, who we now know to be Stella Morris, and the two children they have together in his December 2019 report. The question is whether Copelman misled District Judge Baraitser, although she says she wasn't misled, because she understood who Assange's partner was, although at the time we didn't. The other grounds Fitzgerald argued had to do with mental health, and whether extradition would be oppressive. A lot was said about suicide risk, and the ability to resist the impulse to take one's own life, but this is a key argument, because this is what Baraitser based her ruling on. The other grounds were argued by Mark Summers. They were about diplomatic assurances that were given after Judge Baraitser made her ruling. I just have to say that these things are worthless. They've been breached in many cases. In this portion of the argument, and in the earlier portion the Yahoo news article This one, was brought up. At the end one of the judges said "you've given us much to think about." My friend said "if God were talking to them, they would've said the same thing." I'll just end with this. It was extremely easy to get a credential!! I didn't have to provide any information, or send anything to the court, other than a name and email address. I didn't give them my legal name, I didn't want everyone to start calling me that. No one calls me that anyway these days besides family and doctors. If they would've asked me, I would've given it to them, however I would've asked them not to put it on the credential. I'm not sure why more people didn't apply for one, since they were given out so freely!!

I'll answer all the tech questions.

1 min read

OK OK just kidding!! I will answer the basic one though. The extremely basic one that I get asked a whole bunch of times. It goes something like this. How do you use a computer, smartphone, etc? I personally use something called a screen reader. A lot of people know about these, but you'd be surprised how many don't. Put simply, a screen reader well... does just that, reads the screen out loud. I use Windows with NVDA. I also have an iPhone, which has VoiceOver built-in. If you look in the accessibility settings, you'll find this. Don't turn it on though, unless you already know how to turn it off. I'm old-fashion, though. I rarely use my phone for anything other than texting and calls. When I do, it's usually because my internet is disconnected. This Reddit post most likely does a better job of explaining things.

Answering a couple questions.

2 min read

I'll get to that in a second though. Yeah I did skip yesterday's post. i've delt with a really bad headache for the past few days. Unfortunately this means I can't do much of anything, including write posts. I almost missed my ride for going to have labs done today, woopsies!! I was asleep, because I was still having the headache. Speaking of sleep, one of the most common questions I get is about that. The question usually goes like this, but there are different variations. "How do you dream?" That's like asking me how I think, because it's much the same way. Basically, I dream and think in words. Although I rarely dream, and when I do, I do as though I'm there. They're fairly vivid. One of the strangest dreams I've had was, there were quite a few of us in a van on a trip to a legal case. We were actually going to watch a trial. We all stopped for French Fries. Lol yeah, I said it was strange. That was when I was like 14 or so. The other question about sleep I get is about non-24 hour sleep wake disorder. Here's what Wikipedia says about that. The answer is I have no idea. I get a lot of headaches. I don't want to be awake during those, so I have a tendency to sleep during the day. If I wake up with the headache, then I'll probably just end up going back to sleep regardless. If I wake up, and the headache has subsided, I'm probably going to stay awake, because I've just been sleeping all day to try to get rid of it.

Let's talk about semantics.

2 min read

I'll answer a question first, then we can talk about words. A lot of people ask me the following question, "do you watch TV?" The short answer is that I listen. However, here's where the semantics come in. This bothers people sometimes too. I say "watch." Although I had an advantage when I was little, because I could watch the Olympics even after mom told me to go to bed, while she was still up and watching them. I wasn't breaking any of mom's rules. I could've been asleep for all she knew. However, I wasn't. Something else that really bothers people is that I also say "look," or "see." This drives people crazy! In fact, my Grandma told me a story once. My Aunt and Uncle from Maine were here visiting, and every summer, we have one of those Graffiti festivals. This was after I first moved out of my parent's house. My Grandma asked my Aunt and perhaps my mom, this was like 15 years ago now, if I was going to go down and watch the parade. Apparently my aunt got all uptight about that. My Grandma was like What why? she says that all the time. I wasn't there, this was before the parade thing actually took place.

The most common question I'm asked.

1 min read

For the first day of Blogtober, I thought I'd answer the most common question I get asked. That is, "what do you see? There's a really short answer to this question. I personally see absolutely nothing! I was born completely blind, so this means I actually don't see anything. If you ask a different person this question though, the answer will most likely be different. That's because someone can be considered legally blind, and this is defined different ways in different places. Someone could also be visually impaired, and I don't fall in this criteria, so I haven't investigated it much.

The time I got an entire conference call lectured by a judge.

2 min read

I don't think I posted this here, but it's hilarious. At the beginning of last year, they did the Assange hearings by conference calls, instead of the video link system they use now for the press, and now the public.

Somehow the number was made public, I think it was on accident. The person who did it took it down right after the hearing. I happened to dial into the call, and they kept telling us to mute ourselves, but I wasn't sure if that was an option on the call or not, and I didn't want my phone to make any extra noise, so I didn't. My phone was planted in my ear because the lawyer's audio was fairly hard to hear. It was extremely hard to hear, actually. No one could hear what they were saying. I knew I was going to have to move my phone at some point because I was holding it against my ear so hard, that my ear was getting numb.

I thought I could just move it without activating VoiceOver, but no way. The thing goes off every time the phone moves. When I put it back on my ear on the other side, after a few seconds, the phone said, "screen dimmed." We were all promptly yelled at by Judge Baraitser.
Unfortunately in a rush to get into the call, I never did take down the conference phone number and code in time. I wasn't ever able to get back in. After the hearing was over, I tweeted to explain to everyone what happened.

Blogtober.

2 min read

Starting next Friday, I'll be participating in Blogtober. I don't think the challenge has an official website. However, someone has posted an introduction to it: right here. I used to participate in the Write 31 days challenge in October, however it's no longer being held. .. You had to come up with a theme that you were going to post about, and write 31 posts in that series. I'm going to be doing the same thing here. During one of my Write 31 days challenges, I posted 31 questions I get commonly asked as a blind person. This was a few years ago, around 2015, or 2016. I decided to start all over with my blog a year or so after that, and deleted all my content going back to 2009. Keeping it wasn't helping, since exporting it and importing it each time I switched hosts caused the dates to fluctuate quite a bit, and strange things to happen to the posts. Not only that but internal links didn't work anymore. Thus, I lost that original series of posts. Therefore I'm going to recreate it as best I can next month. Not being able to use categories with Known will make things harder for archival purposes. I'm not sure if this particular posting feature will make a hashtag into a tag either, otherwise I'd be able to use those.

Answering today's questions.

2 min read

The blank questions are here:

[[https://bloggingquestions.net/2021/09/05/questions-for-the-weekend/]

I didn't get to posting these yesterday because my Spectrum installer was 3 hours late. I was going to do that after he left, but he didn't get here until around 6, and didn't leave until 8.
  1. Do you have any plans for the long Labor Day weekend? If so, what are they? No plans here, that I know of.
  2. What is the usual summer high temperature where you live? that all depends here. On an average day it can get up into the 80's. If we're having a heatwave, it goes way higher. We've had a lot of those lately.
  3. Do you like going to the dentist? If Nitrous is involved yeah I definitely do. I don't mind cleanings, but anything else is definitely not fun. I can't stand the taste of the numbing stuff, and the fact that it doesn't wear off for hours and hours afterwards. It's best that I just not be able to feel the shot in the first place.
  4. What was the last beverage you spilled on yourself? I'm sure it was water. I drink a whole lot of that, and I tend to drink it while I'm in a supine position.
  5. How do you order your coffee? I take my coffee black. However if I stay up late for Readathon or during CCC, I'll make a straight Mocha using chocolate kisses. I don't like all the froth and cream the coffee shops use though, just the chocolate and coffee.

Answers to today's questions

1 min read

  1. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up? It's usually do I have a headache? I usually also think something like wow, I need water quickly!
  2. Do you like your name? I do not like my given, legal name. Hint: it isn't Hope. Since I don't like it, I never use it anywhere.
  3. What was your favorite thing about summer when you were a kid? Well not having to go to school of course. The other thing was that my parents had a pool, and swimming was probably my second favorite thing besides being off school! Oh and camping trips were fun too.
  4. What one word do you overuse? I use the word "epic" a lot!! Probably too much lol.

100 things I've done blog meme.

7 min read

https://www.jeremycherfas.net/blog/breathing-life-into-a-blog-meme-maybe Well if others want to participate I'll let them. Here's some blog challenge prompts for Steve Sawczyn from https://www.steves.life/ I think I'm following him on MB but I can't remember. This is my rendition of this meme. I'm still completely inept at markdown, and this was supposed to be a bold the things you've done type thing. Therefore I decided to forego the markdown altogether.

  1. Started your own blog. Yeah many, also abbandoned them.
  2. Slept under the stars. Yes.
  3. Played in a band. Yes
  4. Visited Hawaii. Yes, April, 1995, June, 2003.
  5. Watched a meteor shower. No n/a I'm blind. As a singer once sang, I was born this way.
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity. I can't afford much so no. I've definitely given in the past though.
  7. Been to Disneyland. Yes 2010.
  8. Climbed a mountain. No.
  9. Held a praying mantis. No
  10. Sang a solo. Yes
  11. Bungee jumped. Yes, September, 2008.
  12. Visited Paris. No
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. N/a
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. Does blogging count? Otherwise no.
  15. Adopted a child. No
  16. Had food poisoning. I've come close but no.
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. No, Empire State building though, when I was in NYC in 2006.
  18. Grown your own vegetables. no
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. N/a
  20. Slept on an overnight train. No
  21. Had a pillow fight. Yes
  22. Hitch hiked. No
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. No
  24. Built a snow fort. Not that I remember.
  25. Held a lamb. No
  26. Gone skinny dipping. When I was a kid in my parent's pool, sure.
  27. Run a Marathon. No
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice. No
  29. Seen a total eclipse. Not on this side of eternity.
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Do the Patriot act section 215 and FISA 702 sunsets count? If you think not then probably not.
  31. Hit a home run. No
  32. Been on a cruise. No it's on my bucket list.
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. n/a.
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. No
  35. Seen an Amish community. Well no, but I haven't been around one either.
  36. Taught yourself a new language. No
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. Let's just say I haven't had enough money to not have to worry about it and leave things there.
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person. N/a
  39. Gone rock climbing. Climbed a rock wall, sure.
  40. Seen Michelangelo's David. N/a
  41. Sung karaoke. Yes
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. I haven't been inside yellowstone.
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. No
  44. Visited Africa. No
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. Uh... I don't know.
  46. Been transported in an ambulance. Yes January, 2018.
  47. Had your portrait painted. No
  48. Gone deep sea fishing. No
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person. N/a and no I haven't been anywhere near Europe or out of the US.
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. No
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling in Hawaii, June, 2003. My mom was being stupid and wouldn't let me go scuba diving, no it wasn't for safety reasons. She was actually being ablist. I don't say that lightly. In fact that's the first time I've ever used that word, besides political conversations.
  52. Kissed in the rain. No
  53. Played in the mud. Sure I still do that lol.
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater. Yeah when I was a kid.
  55. Been in a movie. No
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China. No
  57. Started a business. A friend of mine and I started one, ended it too.
  58. Taken a martial arts class. No, but that would be fun.
  59. Visited Russia. No
  60. Served at a soup kitchen. No,it's something I'd like to do, but I'm not sure if I could carry all that stuff.
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies. Yeah I was a girl scout when I was little.
  62. Gone whale watching. Thankfully I was in Hawaii at the time of parasailing season, I got to do that instead, so no.
  63. Got flowers for no reason. NO
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. I'm not sure if I'm able to. I take a lot of meds.
  65. Gone sky diving. Yes, August, 2000for my 17th birthday. August 2004, for my 21st birthday. Skydiving at 17 is illegal. My mom lied about my age, and didn't tell me until the day before we were going to go on the trip to go there, it was out of town. Of course, I didn't stop her.
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. No
  67. Bounced a check. Not that I'm aware of. I've come close recently.
  68. Flown in a helicopter. No, that's another bucket list item.
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. No
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial. Yes I was like 7 or 8 though. We made a quick trip through DC on our drive from Tennessee to Maine.
  71. Eaten Caviar. No, that actually sounds disgusting.
  72. Pieced a quilt. My grandma is good at that stuff, not me.
  73. Stood in Times Square. Yes, June, 2006.
  74. Toured the Everglades. No
  75. Been fired from a job. No
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London. n/a
  77. Broken a bone. Not that I'm aware of.
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. My dad had one when I was really little. Mom was way too freaked out about it. Yeah I had a ride on it, that was fun!! I've also been on dirt bikes and fourwheelers recently..
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. Well I've been to vegas, but we didn't end up going there.
  80. Published a book. No
  81. Visited the Vatican. No
  82. Bought a brand new car. Insert stupid stereotype about blind people not buying cars here. Although I definitely could never afford one, so no.
  83. Walked in Jerusalem. No
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper. Yes I might be able to find that article but it would deanonymize me. It was put out on the AP wires and I had national interview requests after that.
  85. Read the entire Bible. Yeah, at least 3 times.
  86. Visited the White House. I've never taken a tour, no.
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. If I said I had some involvement clubbing some fish would I be charged?
  88. Had chickenpox. Yes
  89. Saved someone’s life. No
  90. Sat on a jury. Here's a story. I've always wanted to do this. I follow legal cases on Youtube daily. I finally received a summons in 2017, and was ready to comply with it, but had to bow out because of transportation.
  91. Met someone famous. I'm sure I've come close, but not personally.
  92. Joined a book club. Not in person.
  93. Lost a loved one. Yes Maternal grandpa, 3/9/2005.
  94. Had a baby. Not as of yet. I'm 38 so this is probably not happening.
  95. Seen the Alamo in person. Well I've been to an airport in Texas, but not actually stayed in the state long enough to go anywhere so no.
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. No
  97. Been involved in a law suit. I've come close once. That was over a friend of mine and former caregiver leaving the private agency she worked with to get certified to the state registry. Agencies make employees sign noncompetes in their contracts when they first start.
  98. Owned a cell phone. Well I'm on my fifth one now so yeah.
  99. Been stung by a bee. Yeah 3 or 4 times, no not all at once.
  100. Read an entire book in one day. Yes, more than one actually. https://24hourreadathon.com

I'm definitely not a fan of these kind of posts.

1 min read

These posts, like this one.

[https://mattmower.com/2021/08/02/what-we-lost/]

It called for a response, so here was mine.

I completely disagree. Maybe what you built back then wouldn't be possible, but RSS feeds for topics and tags are still prevalent today. RSS is stil around, it never "died," because it wasn't a living thing in the first place.
I suppose you could say it became less relevant, however, there are a decent amount of people who still use it, including me. There are also an ever-growing amount of people who are deciding they're tired of social media platforms, citing multiple reasons.

No, we haven't lost RSS, it's still here. There are people still using it.

The events of this morning.

1 min read

My opening ceremony had a playback error at some point during the parade of nations. It was definitely before the US came into the stadium. I do know that having a nearly empty stadium is epic for acoustics!! You can hear everything!!

I fell asleep after that, and didn't wake up until around 11:30. My dad called to ask if I was going to my littler niece's birthday party. She's turning 1 tomorrow. I thought it might be today. However no one told me when it actually was, or what time it was. They just expected me to find the event invitation on Facebook.
I really don't use Facebook anymore. I can't stand it. The fact that no one bothered to text, call, or email me, and tell me that her party was today is flippin annoying!!!

Sleep study.

2 min read

I have a sleep study coming up next month. My primary care doctor wanted to order one, because I do have trouble sleeping. Although it could be Non 24 hour sleep wake disorder, she also might think it could be sleep apnea. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-24-hour_sleep%E2%80%93wake_disorder] The only way to test for non 24, is to do a 24 hour time isolated surveiled test. In other words, put me in a room, take away my phone, and computer. Uh... no thanks!! I found this link, which explains way more about non 24 that I ever needed to know lol. [https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/non-24-hour-sleep-wake-disorder/] I can actually play with my sleep schedules. For instance the Olympics are coming up, and I'm a huge fan. Coincidentally, I have the test the day after the closing ceremony. Since they're in Japan this time, I'm sure I'll be staying up late watching events, and sleeping between the daytime and primetime broadcasts, but let's not forget about latenight. I tend to stay up all night on purpose most of the time. I'll get wrapped up in the case I'm watching, or the research I'm doing, because I want to keep doing that, even though I know it's 3 AM and I need to go to bed lol. This has roots from when I first had access to the internet. My sister would want to talk on the phone all! flippin! day! and we had dial-up. I'd stay up into the early morning hours reading blogs, this was back in 2003, because she'd be in bed and wouldn't be on the phone. This can also happen because of the extremely painful headaches I get. I'll wake up in the middle of the night, and not be able to get back to sleep, or I'll go to bed and not sleep, because of the headache.

Woopsy.

1 min read

Somehow the text plugin got disabled. No, I don't know what I did. OK that's fixed now. Lol Known isn't really that hard to use, I must be dense.

I had lots of fun at our church picnic today!!

1 min read

Unfortunately I had to manage my DI while I was there. However I had some kids shoot me with water guns, so that was fun. I also had my community group leader pour ice cold water on my head, that was cold. I've never taken the ice bucket challenge before, I wanted them to pour this big thing of ice on me, so that I can say I did. I'm sure it would've felt epically cold for a while, then just epic. It was extremely hot today!! [https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes-insipidus/symptoms-causes/syc-20351269]

Working with CloudBlast on accessibility.

1 min read

Accept I'm not an accessibility expert!! I know what works for me, and that's about it. Web standards stil elude me, and that's a good thing. Mostly because I think perfect compliance all the time is impossible. I'm sure I've had pages that would never validate, because a tester found an error or 2 or 3. However, that doesn't mean I can't navigate those pages, or they didn't work for me.

Building a lifestream with iFTTT.

1 min read

I'm setting up an IFTTT lifestream for hopeslife.blog. I've always wanted to do this. I tried looking at WP RSS importer plugins, but they all require cron to post automatically, and I'm not sure if CloudBlast is ready for that as of yet. The other plugins I was looking at were social stream plugins. However, they all want to show the feed on a widget somewhere, and not import it into a blog post.