Behind the Scenes: A slice of life.

Time for more behind the scenes life in podcasting. Why not start at the beginning of a typical day for me? I wake from sleep before the alarm on my IPhone goes off. I have a regular alarm clock, but I don’t usually set it for anything. It just sits on my end table, so I can check the time during the day.

I debate getting up yet. My eyes itch and burn with left over sleeping;, but is it getting light outside? I can’t tell, all I know is that my bladder alarm is beginning to scream at me. As I get the stiffness out of the knees, and grab my phone, I start the journey to the bathroom. We mostly live in the basement, but the bathroom is at the other end of the house, and up a flight of stairs.

Along the way I slip in an earbud, and touch the top of the screen. “Network connection in progress,” it tells me. Nope, that’s not it. Swipe right. “5:58AM.” The voice in the phone says. I wonder if I ought to hop in the shower and shave while I’m here. Yeah, might as well. I’ll be done before the alarm goes off at 6:30, and I’ll have some time to do some early morning checks on notifications and emails once I’m done. Before getting ready for the shower, I sit on a chair we use for changing clothes, an find my podcast app.

Double tap the home button. “Podcasts.” The phone says when I check the app switcher. Good. I thought it should have been the last thing I used. Double tap to open it. Now, let’s swipe to the All Podcast playlist, and double tap. Skip to the first one and… hey, cool.. it’s the one I posted just a few hours ago while I was sleeping. Magic. Nothing like a little old time radio while in the shower. Let’s see what’s happening down in Pine Ridge.

Oh, I should explain the double tapping. I know that you, the average reader of this blog would just touch the button, and probably not mess with the swiping. And why did I need to plug in my earbud to hear my phone tell me the time? That’s how I use it. Touch the screen, and the voice in the phone says what it is that you touched. Simple. If you missed the item that was expected, but you know it’s close, swipe left or right, and the phone speaks what it is.

So, you may be asking. It’s just because its so early, and I don’t want to wake anybody by flashing a brightly lit screen… right? To which my response would be a melodramatic, “What? They put a light in these things?” Accompanied by a look of mock surprise.

I never look at my screen. Everything that gets done with it is by touching the screen, and listening to the voice that reports back. When I do a lot of typing, I use a bluetooth keyboard. Again, I type, the phone talks, and I can get work done. I love my bluetooth keyboard. It makes my phone act like a little, pocket sized laptop.

Isn’t that a little difficult? All this touching and listening? What’s going on here?” You’re probably asking. Here’s the answer. I’m blind.

When I say I’m blind, I don’t mean it like, “I can’t see a thing without my glasses.” Or, “Ouch, my shin, I must be blind to have walked into the edge of the table.” When I say blind, I mean that both eyes do not work. Nothing. Constant dark. No lights, other than weird flashes from retinas that vibrate in loud noises, and put on an interesting light show. But, no usable light from the other side of the lens.

Hey, if you don’t mind. Let me do the shower thing and I’ll be right back to tell you more. Look the other way please… put down your phone, tablet, or laptop, no peeking…

Ah, refreshing. Where was I… What? In the shower? No, I mean before that, and why are you so curious about taking a shower without seeing the soap. It’s not rocket science. Figure it out on your own.

Oh yeah, talking phones and computers. There’s a little bit of learning curve to start out. Being forced to listen to the computer, rather than seeing the screen all at once can sound daunting, but all you need to know is how to navigate the environment. Computers open a door to a whole new realm of hot keys, and deeper access to the system. The phone is really simple. Just touch, swipe, and double tap to open what you touched, and the only thing to stop you is an app that presents everything in graphics, or hides text behind a layer where the voice can’t get to it. Though there are times I do a lot of data entry right from my phone, I still use the laptop for major typing jobs, and I still keep a Windows laptop for audio editing. It’s so much more easy for me than the mighty world of Mac.

Hey, you know… I gotta do some daily writing stuff, so let’s do this together. I’m a long time Windows user, but for the last couple years, I’ve been exploring the world of Mac. Definitely a learning curve. Don’t do it unless your a crazed computer geek, who just likes to torture yourself learning new operating systems.

Let’s grab the lappy, hit power, wait for the bling. “Welcome to your MacBook Pro.” It says. Finder. The place where it all starts. Although that’s not where I need to start today.

I like to keep things simple. No fancy word processing. Just the text ma’am.

Command+space. “Spotlight.” Says the voice. Now I just start typing, “textedit” but before the third letter can be typed, it shows up. Enter, (or return, for all you die hard Mac-o-philes.)

Yea! Now what do I want to write about for the daily exercise? It says to write about a comparison and contrast. Holy cow, what in the world can I write? What do I do on a daily basis that people normally don’t do? Hmm… I do a podcast. Not everybody does that. I write stuff on the web, not everybody does that. I use computers to post junk, and people use computers to read it. Still, I just don’t know what’s so different, or interesting about me doing it than thousands, or even millions of other people out there. I just type letters, and the voice tells me what I’m misspelling. I hit space, and the voice reads the word I just typed. I never used to do it that way, but as my fingers get older, the less they like to hit the right keys. It just helps to have the voice repeat stuff to monitor how I’m doing.

Hold on. I need to proof read this. To make sure it comes out half way coherent, and the typos are fixed. Grammar? Heck with grammar, this is an internal dialog. A mind dump if you will. I don’t always talk in no good grammar no ways. Ha! Take that one grammar police.

Control+Option+a. That reads the document. Stop. That didn’t get too far, and I’m fixing a few wonky word uses, and half baked sentences. The voice really does help in proofreading. All you people out there, handicapped by two working eyeballs will just have to read your own copy out loud to catch the bad junk. Just arrowing down to spot check the rest.

Well the voice read it back, and it looks like I said about all that’s on my mind today. I just wish I could think up something to compare or contrast. Like pink fuzzy bunnies, to the pin pricks of a platoon of porcupines. But no, I’m coming up empty here.

[tags, writing, compare, contrast, blindness, computers, technology]

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