Karl (louderback) wrote,

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A busy day... wasted mostly on trivia.

Q: How many Spaniards does it take to change a light bulb?

Not much of a day today. Some adventures, but of little interest.

Remember my saying of RSB that they would let you starve before offering a sandwich unasked? I was wrong. Ed Foote, the boss at RSB phoned me earlier in the week. He is going to get me a computer (better than this POS) and has already sent me a desk. It arrived today. It is a large corner affair that I have installed in my living room near my mother's computer. Mom and son computing side by side. How cute! It will be best there. I will be able to play in the living room while listening to my books on tape and catching snatches of TV. My mother enjoys some of my books and would listen to them save that we almost have to make an appointment to do so. If I'm in the same room she need only tune in if she likes what I'm listening to or ignore it if she doesn't. Too many media in one place does seem to be a problem, but we'll see how it works out. I'm not sure my screen reader chatting at me while my book unrolls itself in speech will go well with the Western Channel blaring, but we'll see.

The desk arrived at about 9:00. It is a pair of desks with a corner piece joining them. I think it was not originally designed for computers. I know it was not designed for me. There are legs in inconvenient places and shelves that will bark my shins on a regular basis. I expect I'll learn to avoid most problems before it kills me. I am going to have to add a shelf of some sort for my keyboard, though. The desk surface seems to be substantially higher than typing height. I will have to actually set up a computer and get a proper chair, though, before I can be certain. One thing I am going to do … I am getting one of those plastic mats that go under one's chair. I have such under my chair currently, to save the carpet. I want a rigid one. Most of those you get at the office supplies stores are fine as far as they go, but my chair and I weigh nearly 300 pounds between us. After being seated for a bit I am in four indentations that make rolling a fantasy not a practical option. The rigid mats are expensive (maybe $200 — more than I paid for my chair) but I intend to have one. It will be highly desirable. The computer that is coming will probably be a 1ghz machine with a standard hard drive, monitor, sound, video, whatever and 256 mb of memory. Not a bleeding edge dream machine, but all that my current machine is … without the heinous Compaq afflictions. Joy! I think it will be a Dell. It will be my "work" machine and will be set up by the vendor with my screen reader and appropriate software. I may even go to the vendor's shop and sit in on that installation by way of training. If things work out, there is a chance that I may be able to use this machine to work for Ed and RSB as their in-house maintainer and as-needed trainer in adaptive software.That would be a wonderful job (for me).

Assembling the desk occupied most of my morning. It was purely no big thing, but I have not before tried the assemble-it-yourself routine with my vision in this state. It is amazing how easy it is to lie on your back holding a metal plate in one hand with a screw in place in the hole and tighten it all down with your other hand when you can see the holes, the screw and the holes in the metal plate. It gets strikingly difficult doing this by touch. Eventually I got one desk attached to the corner bridge. I asked my sister to do the other. She did it in about a minute. My effort had taken about twenty.


On the job front: I had a brief conversation with a recruiter I've used in the past and she told me flat out there is no way I'm going to get a job in the conventional way. I look great on paper, but as soon as I get to an interview my age, appearance, and blindness will make it almost certain that they'll choose someone else. It boils down to the fact that I am old enough and have enough experience that they won't hire me at the kind of salary to which I have become accustomed. It would make me an expensive employee with a relatively short career at the company. Expensive short-timers who will be wanting retirement pay are not much sought. My skills weigh against me, too. I'm very mainstream. I've never acquired any "niche" skills. If you're going to hire mainstream, just hire some guy out of college who will work for half the salary.


My afternoon was largely eaten up by a trip to Wally World. That's the local vernacular for Wal-Mart. I hate that place. I once paid a post-midnight visit to a Phar-mor store and discovered it populated by very strange and horrible people. One very large woman was completely covered with warts. I mean everywhere. Another man who must have weighed well over 300 pounds (I actually guess him at 500) was sitting by the front door with his t-shirt pulled up so that its hem rested above the curve of his belly exposing it and his cavernous belly-button. Then there was the guy whose hair and beard, both afro-ish and of the same length. stuck out completely around his head making him look like a bizarre sunflower or something. I won't even talk about the other women. I am convinced that the Phar-mor's back door opened on Mydion.

Going to Wal-mart in Jefferson City, MO is a lot like that … I saw a truly enormous woman dripping off her Mart-Kart (her buttocks were mammoth) playing bumper cars in the produce section. She couldn't steer it and just went forward until she collided with something. Then she put her feet down, pushed the Mart-Kart to a new heading and zoomed off. There was a small screaming Mexican child. Screaming, not crying. I think perhaps it was being dismembered back in the deli, I'm not certain I want to know. The number of simply rude people were beyond count. Every time I go to Wal-Mart in JCMO I encounter something horrible. About two visits back (before my vision loss) I observed a woman picking her nose and handling the fresh fruit. Using the same hand needless to say. Wash your produce! On a later visit, a nine-year-old girl made up like Shirley Temple on the Good Ship Lollipop, walked directly up to me while I was standing in line and stomped my foot. Wouldn't have been a big deal but I have diabetic neuropathy and my feet are hyper-sensitive. It still wouldn't have been bad if she just stomped me but she dragged her foot across mine like she knew how best to make it hurt. What was I to do? I couldn't hit her. Hell, I couldn't even touch her without being jailed. After the third stomp I shrieked at her loud enough to draw management. She ran away and I got all the sour looks.

I don't like to go to Wally World. My sister wants to do all the grocery shopping at the place.


My evening was a bit more placid. My sister is off to dinner with friends to be followed by LOTR. I'll be safely tucked in bed by the time she gets back. I fixed dinner for my mother (a chicken-dumpling bake thingie that is new). It was good, basically a chicken pot pie with biscuit mix as the crust. The evening has passed uneventfully save for an excess of wrong numbers. It is quite cold out and my phone number is a single-digit miss-dial away from time and temperature. On cold nights or in bad weather times in general I get a lot of hang-ups.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. It wouldn't be that difficult.
A: Just Juan.

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