Forum admins think they can do whatever they want

So a few days ago I ended up in a private argument with an admin on a forum that I’m on. We resolved the argument, I thought, peacefully and no harm was done. Then yesterday he picks a fight with me about it in a public part of the forum and punishes me for being “disrespectful” after I said “please don’t bring this up again, especially in public”.

I’m inclined to tell him “you can’t punish me when you unambiguously started it this time”, but I’ve tried that before with admins and it always makes things worse. Somehow they think they’re always right, no matter what they do and even when it’s clearly wrong.

Excuses for the cane

Wheelchair pretenders really have it easy. There are so many excuses that can be used when one unexpectedly crops up in a wheelchair, and again when they return a few days later back to their former walking self. One can explain “part-time” wheelchair use to people that see them every day. On reading archives of, one finds such excuses ranging from “back pain” to a vague “neurological problem” and anything else which may in part be true or may be completely made-up or even a non-existent condition which sounds plausible enough that people believe it.

But there is no such luck for blind pretenders. We can’t say “sometimes I can see well enough to walk without a cane but sometimes I need to use the cane” like wheelchair pretenders can say “sometimes I can walk well enough but other times I need the chair”. Sure, we can claim “deteriorating vision”, but then it’s not going to be convincing to walk around with fully obscured vision, so the pretender would have to be willing to accept simulated partial/blurry vision in place of complete blindness for their pretending (something which does nothing to help with my BIID).

No, if you’re going to pretend to be blind you have to do it full-time. So you have to be practiced enough that people don’t wonder why you aren’t still in rehab. You have to have a story ready for when people ask the inevitable questions, and your story has to be able to explain how you could go straight from apparently fully-sighted to fully-blind overnight without any sign of shock or taking any time off studying/work for rehab. That’s a pretty tricky situation, and once you’ve taken that step you’re locked in; you can’t just say “my sight got better again” like wheelchair pretenders can say “my joint pain subsided”, even if your BIID has gone quiet and you don’t feel the need to pretend as much, or you find that really pretending isn’t working as a treatment option.

Maybe there’s something I’m missing, but it really seems like wheelchair pretenders have it easy. They can pretend right in front of regular acquaintances, no questions asked; while it might be easier to physically simulate blindness than it is to simulate paralysis, the logistics of pretending once you leave the house are considerably more difficult.

I guess Ham Radio just isn’t for me…

For almost nine months now I have had an itch to get into amateur radio in some way or another. It started when I had been reading about shortwave radio and I wanted to listen to it for myself, so I tried to find a circuit diagram of a simple shortwave receiver that I could build on my breadboard. And it didn’t work. Then a little while later, for some reason or another, I tried to build an SDR (software-defined radio) quadrature mixer to let me experiment with a range of radio encoding methods on one of my Linux computers. And it didn’t work. Then I decided to keep it simple and just build a direct-conversion CW (Morse code) receiver – not much to go wrong there. And it didn’t work.

See the pattern here? Yes, none of them worked. And today, even after I managed to receive and (manually) decode the 60kHz MSF time signal with the help of (the same) Linux SDR program, I still failed to get a simple frequency mixer working in order to tune higher up the LF band. And I only managed to get the time signal experiment working because the sound card in my new computer can sample at up to 192kHz sampling rate, and 60kHz is thus below the maximum tunable frequency of 96kHz, meaning that I practically just had to connect a fairly long random-wire antenna to the line in port on my computer, fire up the SDR, and type in “60kHz” – not much of an achievement there. Heck, even the magnetic loop antenna didn’t work.Read More »

Eye pressure

I don’t get it. I squashed my eyes until the intraocular pressure was way past that of anyone with glaucoma. I squeezed my fingers in until the tips were literally inside my eye sockets. I pressed down until my eye felt like a hard ball, about to explode with any further compression, and in so much pain that I almost threw up. Yet still I can see as perfectly as always.

Micheal Johnson

Frivolous suffering

It really irritates me when people think that they can begin to understand what I’m going through. I don’t care if you’ve lost your spouse, never been to Paris, or given up three times when training for a marathon. That doesn’t make your life suck. I don’t care how much you love to put your thoughts into poetry, knit cute little kitten tapestries onto cushions, or write fancy handwriting on the covers of birthday cards. That doesn’t make you “lonely”, “emotional”, or “needing people to talk to”.

What makes life suck, and what makes people really need someone to talk to, and what makes them really need a creative outlet for their thoughts, is when, in addition to social isolation, stress at college, and a failing relationship with your family, every second of your life is taken up with wishing that you were blind.

Silly security

The silly IT admins at college have disabled the “run” box, the Command Prompt, and the Utility Manager (assistive technology shortcuts) on all of the computers. Well actually I can do all of those things through the GUI, so there’s no security benefit here (not like those were security vulnerabilities anyway), but at least I could have done them more efficiently.

I’m not allowed to use my cane anymore

So, two days into college, I’m not allowed to use my white cane anymore “for health and safety reasons” because I haven’t had O&M training. Well screw it, I had finally managed to get my issues under control such that I can get through a lesson in one piece, and this happens. In some ways it feels like being told “you’re not allowed to live the life you need to live”. It’s what I’ve always said: just because I happen to be able to see, I am forced to live as a sighted person.

I really don’t know how to cope with this. It’s like, the one thing to get me through my day at college has been taken away from me. And what really sucks is that I had actually managed to deal with my classmates regarding the issue, and the computer department was well on their way to getting a proper screenreader sorted out for me to use in class.

Still, this morning was good, before they told me to stop using my cane at college. I don’t know when last I’ve felt so at ease with myself.

Illogical editing of list on wiki

People still think that removing the “real” characters from a list of a certain class of characters in a certain TV show and replacing them with “fictitious” ones (i.e. those that appear only in fantasy sequences) is appropriate behaviour. At least give me a reason why the “real” ones were removed.

I really cannot work this out…

So I know it’s not a violation of tumblr’s rules to have more than one blog – in fact they specifically give users that functionality. But what I find strange is that a certain user who’s name I am not allowed to mention created a secondary blog so as to keep her BIID anonymous from her main tumblr blog but then routinely “liked” random posts under her main account. Thus I – and I’m sure many other people as well – was under the misconception that these were two different people. The giveaway, of course, was when I discovered that the account which had been “liking” the post had the same email address as the one that she had given me when I contacted her via her secondary blog.Read More »

Stack Exchange is haunting me

I wish you could tell Stack Exchange to stop notifying you of replies to old questions or answers that you have posted. I don’t still want to be receiving random “you suck” comments about a perfectly logical answer that I wrote that apparently nobody else can see the sense in.