Archive for the 'Opinions' Category
I was really disgusted that a few cowards in the Senate were able to shut down the compromise gun control bill. I don’t understand why the NRA thinks it’s totally cool for people to skip a background check when buying an MP5 at some gun show or online. Who really needs an assault rifle either the same day they decide they want one, or Fedexed overnight? Until the zombies come, nobody.
I also find the argument that outlawing extended ammo clips wouldn’t save lives to be absurd. Just playing video games I know that reloading is when you die, that’s when the enemy gets you. So, the less reloading, the more killing I get to do safely. You’re a shitty hunter if you need 30 rounds to kill a deer. That much ammo is used for killing people, period. Unless you’re on a battlefield, you don’t need extended ammo clips.
If a little extra time and a little less ammo saves even ONE life, shouldn’t we as a modern, peaceful society, be willing to pay such prices?2 comments
The state took away my assistants, they’re spending more money than my assistants cost. Aside from screwing me over by taking away my assistants, the state wants us disabled folks living in hospitals and institutions. All facts.
Florida’s going backward.5 comments
To me, the song’s about this relationship that just goes bad over and over and over again. The one person keeps trying to end it for lots of reasons, solid reasons. Right? Yes, sure. Not really, though. All those reasons that seemed so solid just end up being, “please love me more.” Love isn’t rational, it’s just something you feel, and want, no matter the reasons for or against it.
Anyway, the tattoo felt appropriate.1 comment
I really like The Soldier because she takes the incoherent, yet vivid nature of a nightmare, and makes it coherent. Few writers can do this well, I’m talking song writers, fiction writers, any sort of writer. Dreams, and especially nightmares, are just not easy to put to words. You want to keep it wispy, surreal, vivid, yet something readable and compelling.
The song is about a soldier who has seen horrible things, done horrible things, is damaged, completely fucked up by these experiences, and at the end of everything just wants to go home. That’s how the last year felt, the last few years felt, leading up to this tattoo. I just want to take all my damage, everything I’ve made so external, I want to take it all and go home,No comments
Here’s my problem with the “Technology Made Me a Real Boy!” trope.
The trope should be, “People often treated me like a lamp, people who never took the time to try to communicate with me. I was seen as furniture, but I’m not, I just had all these thoughts, feelings, that had no easy way out of my head. Now that I have X device, people can see the me in my head, who I really am. Thank you for giving me a better way to communicate, a way to show what’s always been behind my eyes.”
So, a reader recently wanted to know…
By the way, why do you have those things on your head? are you alright???
Yes, they really used three question marks. Well, given the urgency of the question, and since I figure other people have the same question, I’m going to answer here.
No, I’m not dying. Those “things” on my head are sensors that are attached to my NeuroSwitch. The NeuroSwitch gives access to SwitchXS, the software that gives access to Mac OS X and everything else. Basically, the sensors on my forehead read the electrical impulses caused by wiggling my eyebrows, passing the signal on to the NeuroSwitch. The NeuroSwitch wirelessly talks to my computer, which talks to SwitchXS. So, I wiggle my eyebrows, a little on-screen keyboard (SwitchXS) pops up on my computer, and from that keyboard I type, move the mouse, launch apps, play World of Warcraft, drive robots, whatever.
NeuroSwitch is by far the most advanced switch around, it helps where every other switch fails. SwitchXS is the most advanced switch access software around, it allows access to the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X. Together, they really do help make disability a non-issue.No comments
So, unless you’re reading this blog for the very first time, right now, you probably know that I am a fan of Aimee Mann. In my head, she’s right up there with Kurt Cobain, and Elliott Smith. She’s definitely the best living singer/song-writer around. I like her writing enough to have it etched into my skin several times over. Every song on every record is good, I definitely can’t say that about ANY of her contemporaries.
I’ve been to two Aimee Mann concerts, one in Tampa, one in Boston, mid-blizzard. In Tampa, she got off her tour bus to take pictures with us and chat awhile, she was astonishingly kind. Yes, I’m a fan.
Thus, when she favorited TWO of my tweets…
…I was probably happier than Twitter should make a fellow.No comments
I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by the evil act perpetrated in Connecticut.
How many COMPLETELY SENSELESS tragedies does our country have to watch on tv before we seriously re-think our OBVIOUSLY BROKEN gun laws?No comments
The song is about dodging punches, existing without really living, until you’re willing to take a hit… “the” hit. The hit that means you’re ready to do more than exist in safe emptiness, you’re ready to take some hits, you’re ready to take life in all its fullness. If all you do is slip and roll, you’re never going to get hurt, but you’re never going to feel anything good either. In order to experience happiness, joy, something as spectacular as love, you have to risk sadness, loss, loneliness. Love wouldn’t feel like magic if you didn’t have to risk so much for just the chance to experience it.
This tattoo reminds me of these things…
So, I’ve been driving robots, they’re called Anybots. They’re in California, I’m in Florida, I drive them around their giant robot factory. They’re “telepresence” robots, web-cams on really fancy wheels, marketed mainly toward office-workers who don’t actually want to be IN the office. A friend from UCLA, Cre Engelke, and I are working to make these robots viable communication devices for people with disabilities.
There’s this crazy idea floating around about making the robots “Avatars” for the disabled, like, “virtually” experiencing the beach, a dive bar, through the robot. Until I can make love to my girlfriend in the sand, or get drunk THROUGH a robot, this idea is stupid. Technology for the disabled should be a bridge toward real-world experiences. An extension of presence, not a replacement of presence. These are the goals Cre and I have for the Anybots. We have plans…
Anyway, the Anybots got a new, really high-end web-site over the weekend. They asked if I wanted to write-up a testimonial, and of course, I said, yes! I had to write two. My second was accepted and will be posted, the first was a little too Chuck Palahniuk and didn’t make it, but I hate for it to just disappear…
So, I’m about as physically disabled as it gets. I breathe through hoses connected to machines, I eat through tubes. I can pretty much only move my eyes. Still, assistive technology gives access to Mac OS X, and from there, access to everything else. Access to Anybots.
I’ve been driving an Anybot for awhile, having played video games for 20+ years, getting the hang of the robot was easy. I tool around the factory, scare the dog who often visits, it’s fun. Still, technology for people with physical disabilities is more than fun, it’s a way to extend communication, a way to affect change in the world around us. Anybots are so exciting because we’re still unlocking their full potential, their practical applications. Well, one evening I found a rather unique practical application…
I was breaking up with this girl (don’t worry, I met someone way better, it’s not a sad story), something common to the human experience, though my means of dealing with angst, frustration, rage, are less common, or rather, maybe just limited. I listen to Kurt Cobain sing really loud, or watch zombies eat people, or get a tattoo (provided I have ride to the shop), or convince my friend, Dani, to set something on fire (yes, she actually burns things for me), or… the “ors” run out too quickly. I do, now however, have a new “or.”
She said something that really hit me wrong, I was angry . I wanted to take that intangible anger and do something tangible. At 3 AM, any tattoo shop is closed, and I didn’t have ride anyway. I did have an Anybot, and a well-lit factory lobby, and stuff to hurdle toward and knock down…. and so I did. I took out two promotional signs sitting on easels, emptied a coffee table of its magazines (which took some doing). I FLEW in a blind fury toward a table-top potted plant… but stopped short. I didn’t want to murder some poor plant. The lobby looked train-wrecky enough, and I felt sated. I’d done something I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do, I made physical change in the world without getting a tattoo, or having to convince Dani to burn something.
Like I said, we’re still discovering the Anybots’ full potential, they’re better for more than knocking stuff down, but knocking stuff down is a fun start.