Archive for June, 2013

Support Systems

Support Systems

As the Beach Boys put it, “I Get Around!!”. It’s all about gettin around. If you’re blind, simply put, you need to be the easiest date at the prom. It’s all about logistics. Getting groceries, getting to the doctor, getting the kids, etc. It’s about getting things done. Your support system is everything. Without it […]

Cycling

Cycling

I have cycled all my life. Cycling has always been a reliable way for me to get from point A to point B. I would cycle to the swimming pool or my friends place etc. I am adept at commuting on a bicycle and riding across the city if necessary to get somewhere. I’ve only […]

Driving

Driving

Not being able to drive was the most painful thing in my life.   For the first time in my life there was no way to pretend to be like everyone else no more illusions.  I am legally blind.   I was definitely different.  It didn’t matter how high functioning I was or wasn’t or how well […]

Coming Out Blind

Coming Out Blind

For most of my life I have not lived openly with my blindness. I have hid it and rejoiced in its invisibility. The sad thing with most things you try to hide about yourself the only person I was fooling was myself….   It takes a lot of energy to appear sighted, you’re constantly acting and anticipating the […]

Downhill Skiing

Downhill Skiing

I love to downhill ski.   I grew up in Calgary forty five minutes from Banff and some of the best skiing in the world.     I learned to ski in Calgary at PaskaPoo renamed Canada Olympic Park for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.   Anyway when I was learning to ski we called it Poo Glacier as […]

Raising Children

Raising Children

Parenting is interesting at the best of times. I’ve learned more about parenting styles since my divorce then I did during my marriage. Do I parent differently because I’m blind? In a word yes. Before I had children I was the biggest opinionated arrogant non parent around. Oh those people don’t know how to parent […]

Changing a Diaper

Changing a Diaper

Isn’t it a right of passage for a parent to get painted with urine or plastered with poo while changing a diaper? I think all of us parents have at least one story, well maybe two. I’m not convinced that there is any difference being blind and changing diapers. Its a nasty affair at the […]

Support Systems

Support Systems

As the Beach Boys put it, “I Get Around!!”. It’s all about gettin around. If you’re blind, simply put, you need to be the easiest date at the prom. It’s all about logistics. Getting groceries, getting to the doctor, getting the kids, etc. It’s about getting things done. Your support system is everything. Without it […]

Canned Extrovert

Canned Extrovert

I am a weird mix of introvert and extrovert. People who know me – friends or colleagues – would all call me a “flaming extrovert”. Generally this is true. However; in situations out in the world that I don’t have context for, or situations that are adverse to me seeing, I am a decided introvert. […]

Performing

Performing

I sing. Funny that a voice like a fog horn. A tuned fog horn of course. But still very loud and distinctive. I have done a number of shows over the years with lead roles and chorus roles, for amateur and professional companies. So I really can sing. I even do the national anthems from […]

Bah Humbug!!!

Bah Humbug!!!

I hate Christmas!! Well that’s not true. I in fact I love Christmas!!! I love bells and the lights the sounds the energy the joy. I totally love singing Christmas carols!! Oh did I mention I really really miss my Grandma’s Pink Popcorn Balls. I’ve even played Santa at a few corporate events in the […]

Shaving

Shaving

I love a good shave. I love the experience of having an experienced barber shave me. There is nothing like it. I had a father and son team of barbers. I would let the son cut my hair but I’d only let the father shave me. The father was fantastic. He’d wash your face then […]

The Blind Way

The Blind Way

Many people think I am inflexible. That its my way or the highway. That I am a hard nosed SOB. Its too funny I was talking with someone recently and they finally put it into stark contrast for me. Actually explaining it to them put it into stark contrast for me. The Blind Way Podcast […]

Crutch

Crutch

“Don’t use your visual disability as a crutch!!” Although I know it can be a razor blades edge occasionally. Everything in my life is impacted by my disability. My character, my personality, my intellect, my emotional maturity etc.. When things go wrong sometimes its hard to keep perspective. Sometimes its hard not to blame everything […]

Taker

Taker

I was sharing the day with my lovely darling wife on the weekend walking around Heritage Park in Calgary. It was a very cold very fun day. My wife is a reader. Not always the best thing for a living museum in the cold but at least you get the low down on everything. Not […]

Seeing In Latency

Seeing In Latency

I take a TON of pictures. I went to Calgary recently to spend Canadian Thanksgiving with my family of friends and I took over 350 pictures. Thank god I don’t have to pay for developing 10 rolls of film. I take the pictures so I can see the details of a scene later on. So […]

Gripper

Gripper

If you’ve been reading I am a bit bitter. Grip Grip Grip. Being off work for so long over eight months takes its toll. I’m bitter that I couldn’t find a gig where I was. I’m bitter since it felt that because of the market and my disability I wasn’t getting jobs. I’m bitter I […]

Lookin Good Dude!!

Lookin Good Dude!!

I’ve been frustrated with the vernacular and the meaning of the words your handsome or you look good.   It doesn’t really mean anything to me.   My identity my physical identity is different.  I can’t see my body.   My physicalness is defined for me in feeling not sight.    My perception of myself is based on feeling […]

Ignoramus Swine

Ignoramus Swine

I was in the coffee shop the other day used the toilet and on the way out walked past someone telling a blind joke. Some nonsense about a supposed drunk driver who turned out to be blind. I was offended. Humor is an interesting nemonic. It can inform teach reduce stress or injure. I too […]

Death Till Us Part

Death Till Us Part

I have come to appreciate the dramatic differences in my culture of blindness and the sighted world.   The reference points the words the subtlety is very different.  The denotations might be the same or similar but the connotations are very different. For instance what is beauty?    To a sighted person it may be a physical […]

Oh Canada

Oh Canada

I know have an opinion on where it is best to be disabled. I know from recent experiences that discrimination legislation in Canada particularly western Canada is still in flux. What that means is that your experience for accommodation and protection under the law if you have a disability will vary. From my experience in […]

Embarassed

Embarassed

I get crazy embarrassed when I mess up because of my vision. It really has an impact on me. When I make a “visual” error It affects my self esteem my intelligence everything. I turn to mush. I punish myself. I shouldn’t but I do. I have to generally stop what I’m doing reset and […]

I Can’t Let Go

I Can’t Let Go

Moving back to Calgary has been surreal. From the growth of the city to seeing my favorite waitress at 1886 cafe to my personal growth and growth of those I’ve called friends and family. I am still known and known in a good way which I am thankful for but so much has changed, a […]

Strabismus Surgery Update

Strabismus Surgery Update

Its been a few weeks now since my surgery, I feel great. The pain was significantly less than I had expected I have been pleasantly surprised. I’m trying to get glasses post surgery since that’s how this whole journey started. Glasses are a separate adventure. The surgery went great. My post surgical appointment was flawless. […]

I’m Not Doing This to Hurt You

I’m Not Doing This to Hurt You

There was an article on CNN today about transgender issues. The person in the picture was holding up a sign that stated “I’m Not Doing This to Hurt You”. I have often in my life felt this way. Especially in my family of origin but also with others. I’m not this way I didn’t chose […]

Family Devestated

Family Devestated

I am working on a social model for acceptance of disability, integration, impact on social groups such as families, etc. In the thinking I’m doing I look at my own family experience. Disability has devastated my family experience. I know from my life experience that a lot of families are a miss mash mess but […]

The Risk of Being an Angry Blindman

The Risk of Being an Angry Blindman

CNN has provided much inspiration for my writing recently. There was a headline recently about Obama in the context of the BIG oil spill. A lot of people want Obama to get mad and kick some butt. When your a member of a “group” of people be it a color creed or disability you are […]

Urine

Urine

I love the way the english pronounce urine it comes out like “your-ine” it used to piss off one of my managers, who was english, as I’d laugh every time he said urine. Little boys and their humour I know. I’m convinced that my old manager just capitulated and said it occasionally to manage my […]

Blessed

Blessed

A few years ago I went through some very hard times coming out blind then going back into the closet. I had a guide dog for a while and pray that that blessing will happen again. There are so many things that a guide does for you, companionship, safety, security, inclusion, its amazing. Then my […]

Potentually Interesting

Potentually Interesting

We all struggle with our vacation destinations. We’ll here’s mine, a restaurant that provides a culinary experience giving the dinner a since of what it is to be blind. We are all looking for experiences that enlighten us and delight us. Food in the dark might be very interesting. As long as the experience includes […]

Blind Mistakes

Blind Mistakes

Every now and then I make a mistake directly attributed to my disability. I still find to this day that my initial emotion is humiliation and a self loathing and emotional beating that would kill any mere mortal or a bull elephant. Its physical equivalent is like getting kicked very hard in the balls. You […]

Calm the Beast

Calm the Beast

My grandpa was amazing, staring his live on the bald prairie living in a teepee and finishing his life in a growing city. I can’t imagine the range of experiences the things he seen changed and the things that were for worse and for better. My Grandpa was a simple man he worked hard, he […]

Alienation

Alienation

I’ve wanted to write about this for some time but its been very emotional. I often wonder what kind of person would tell my kids that I’m bad, or I don’t love them, or I won’t be there for them? My parents have consciously and willfully interfered with my relationship with my children. My parents […]

The Blind Man and Sex

The Blind Man and Sex

Every now and then I like to take a look at the search terms people are using to find the blog. Its the first time I’ve ever seen “Blind Men and Sex”, it very much made me smile. I’m WRONG in all the RIGHT ways!!! I think a sighted man would suck at sex not […]

Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser

  Who are your hero’s? Who were the people or persona’s that you looked up to when you were growing up? Its hard right now for everyone. Standards of living are changing, salaries are under pressure, taxes are going up, food costs more. Growing up in Canada I was enthralled with hockey loved it breathed […]

Getting Medical Attention in Calgary

Getting Medical Attention in Calgary

I’ve been back in my home town now for a little over a year and a half. I want to share with you what you can expect if you are disabled and your in Calgary. If you can’t drive which I can’t its impossible to find a family doctor. There are so few doctors in […]

Rhonda Lee

Rhonda Lee

Thank you Rhonda Lee…. Thank you Rhonda Lee Podcast It’s not often you meet someone out of the blue who is so profoundly helpful. I was grocery shopping yesterday and Rhonda Lee noticed my white cane in the shopping cart. I can drive a shopping cart with a  white cane. People don’t move anyway. Rhonda Lee was amazing.  […]

Big Dan G.

Big Dan G.

He observed in a meeting that I was always upbeat and positive.   That I bring a smile and a warmth to the workplace.   That when he is feeling low he comes by just to say hi and he feels better.    I can’t ask for more!!  Thanks Dan…

The Barber

The Barber

It’s a rule of mine never to mess with someone that has a sharp instrument next to my head.   But the other day a barber almost crossed the line from ignorant to stupid.    I sat in the barber’s chair expecting the normal small talk and received instead silence.   I’m cool.   I don’t need to make […]

Getting The Job

Getting The Job

There are a couple of things you need to get a job…. Getting The Job Podcast Believe you are capable of doing a job The capability to do the job The willingness to “Step Up” to the requirements of the job An understanding of what you bring to the job and what you need from […]

Blind Jobs

Blind Jobs

I have been told that the only reason I get jobs is because of my blindness.    I’ve even had close family members tell me this. Blind Jobs Podcast I can tell you that putting the fact that you’re blind on your resume will ensure you are not considered for a position.   I have never received […]

Stuck in a Rut

Stuck in a Rut

It’s so easy after you’ve been in a job for a while to believe that you can’t work any where else.   The best thing that ever happened to me in my career was getting laid off from my first job.    I had this new job, which I was lucky to get, great job and great […]

Hunting for a Job

Hunting for a Job

The downturn of 08 has been nasty. I left a 6 year career at Microsoft to go to back being an independent consultant. You’d think I was smarter than this but hind sight is always 20/20. Anyway. I had a great contract and it went very well good results and a good reference. But with […]

The Blind Way

The Blind Way

Many people think I am inflexible. That its my way or the highway. That I am a hard nosed SOB. Its too funny I was talking with someone recently and they finally put it into stark contrast for me. Actually explaining it to them put it into stark contrast for me. The Blind Way Podcast […]

Percision Fit

Percision Fit

Hiring me with my disability is expensive.    Once I have successfully made it through the hiring process getting me in and productive is an investment. Currently I use:   45 Inch Monitor   Kurzweil 3000   ZoomText   QuickScan Pro   Canon Scanner   EV Jordi   EV Merlin   EV Maxport   Herman Miller […]

Collaberation @ Work

Collaberation @ Work

I come across as hugely un-collaborative at work.  It isn’t my intent and it is one of the reasons why I am open about my blindness.    I can’t pretend anymore about my abilities or in some people’s opinion bizarre behavior.  It takes too much energy to attempt to appear sighted. I am convinced of a […]

CrossRoads

CrossRoads

I am at a juncture.   I’ve just gone through a few weeks of enhanced self awareness.   I took some advocate training a couple of weeks ago.  I’d never had any formal training and thought that it might help.   What the training has done is take away my naivety about the my blindness. I didn’t appreciate […]

Proving Yourself

Proving Yourself

Have you ever heard the statement that more is never enough. When I look around today. I see the marketing message to all of us and its really driven at making us unhappy or discontent with our current state. You need more to be loved accepted and have friends and if you don’t have it […]

No Accommodation Necessary

No Accommodation Necessary

After all of my bitching and moaning about being back in Alberta, Canada I think I can finally articulate what is pissing me off. There is talk of accommodation but no consideration for what works for me. Only what works for others, or only what is the cheapest for the company. I am expected to […]

Guerilla Job Hunting

Guerilla Job Hunting

I still advocate the use of the job hunting system in the book “What Color is Your Parachute”. These days the job hunting market is tough, Guerrilla job hunting is the added approach the extra work you have to do to get the job, you have to be tenacious bordering on obnoxious. To start you […]