Shopping while blind presents several obstacles. The idiot dorks at independent living centers tell blind people that they must behave like sighted people at all times, applying standards which in some cases do not apply. In the case of shopping, this means firstly finding a way there, then standing around for half an hour at the service counter until someone notices a blind person with no purchases obviously in need of assistance. It then means telling the person what you want while they go and get it. Some of the more extremist counselors will even tell you to memorize the store’s layout yourself, since they consider asking anyone for help verboten. As anyone who has shopped at a store for more than a week will attest, the layout can change radically over night. After getting groceries, it then means finding the way back to your place, and let me assure you that carrying a bunch of bags while wielding a white cane presents many issues. Try it some time.
I finally got a serious keyboard. I spent $60 on amazon for the Cherry classic 104-key keyboard with a PS/2 port. I got so tired of typing on crap, and just using whatever crap I had lying around, and knew that I deserved better. Now, I know what it feels like to really type, and I remember the good old days of IBM keyboards. Initially, I even considered purchasing a good old clicky keyboard, but I decided to just find a good one on Amazon and throw it on with the order containing my phone. I didn’t know if I would regret my decision or not, but now I feel good about my purchase.
I have gone through several cordless phones since they became popular. At first, I didn’t use them, then got one, then realized their convenience, and now I worry about the radiation. Anyways, despite the health risk, I still use one. More recently, I began buying telephones with talking Caller ID. This says the name of the person calling, which comes in handy for the blind. I’ve bought all Panasonic for this, I think the only company making such phones. They all have had similar designs. My first one worked nicely, my second one sucked royally, and now I have gotten a third.
Like many of you, I received last month’s newsletter, which first announced Cacao truffles. A couple weeks ago, I had a dream about them. When I called Isabella to place my most recent order, she cheerfully told me that she has sold them at her local storefront already, and that they would shortly go online. Now that they have, I felt compelled to submit a review.
Today, Mom came over with a surprise. While cleaning out a drawer, she found an old labeler. For sighted people who don’t know, they have handheld devices which punch braille cells into plastic tape. You can then peel the back off and stick it on something. They used to make these awesome metalic ones, hard heavy and solid. Now they just make cheap plastic pieces of crap. The blind community has long bemoaned the lack of availability of quality labelers, or anything else for that matter. I feel so glad she found it. I may have one of the last ones in existence! Thanks, Mom!