Big Al To The Rescue!!!!

Big Al  (AKA ‘Aluion’) is reportedly heading for Canada today. Upon learning about the plight of Blend (Blind) Canadians as they face an inaccessible voting non-machine on Tuesday, Big Al, a resident of Alabama,  boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Nova Scotia at 4 am this morning.  There was some confusion at the bus depot in Mobile, as Big Al dumped a 63- pound  sackful of Canadian coins onto the ticket agent’s counter to pay for his fare. Further disruption  occurred when bus terminal Security spotted him donning an outfit that included hockey equipment and pieces of a 17th century suit of armour.  He claimed that he needed to feel safe and to protect himself while riding the Greyhound, saying, “I can’t be losing my head on this trip”.

Wise Advice summoned Big Al to the Great White North, upon learning that his expertise might bolster the cause of the blind (blend) {See recent comments from Aluion} and lend support to her plan to ‘make a point’ when casting her ballot tomorrow. Big Al has been known to write clever comments and insults on doors in public spaces…in Braille. “He kinda scares me”, said Wise Advice of the southern guru, “Definitely a smart guy, but he must be crazy from listening to several synthesised speech voices on various computers simultaneously”. When asked about her plan to bring public  attention to the inaccessibility of the Canadian Election, WIse Advice said, “Look, I can’t do this alone. If Big Al can fake a Canadian accent, we’ll get him one of those spare ballots floating around to do whatever he chooses with”.

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5 responses to “Big Al To The Rescue!!!!

  1. This just in! Canadians living in Nova Scotia are asked to keep their door shut and their windows shaded. The Chief of Wise Advice, also known as Helen McFadyen, AKA Lablady, AKA “Helen with the dog”, having just stolen a horse from a Canadian mountie, has announced her plans to ride bare naked through the streets of Nova Scotia in protest of the lack of true independant voting options.

    We must stress that it is important to keep your windows and doors closed during this protest. On the start of Helen’s journey, a man identified only by the name of “Tom” caught a glimpse of Helen, causing him to go completely blind. After a moment of contemplation, this “Peeping Tom” then decided to join the protest himself.

    Opal is not available for comment, as she is involved in a protest of her own. Details of this second protest have not yet been released, but rumor has it that they involve a large breakfast and a visit to a few suspects from a recent theft of a 35-pound trash basket. Given the lack of detail, one can only spectulate as to the nature of this second protest.

    {Oh, and since I live closer to Birmingham, no reason for me to go all the way down to Mobile just to hop a bus. And I didn’t use Canadian coins to pay for the bus fare, as they wouldn’t accept those. Naturally, I used the Alabama state quarters. It might weigh more to pay using quarters, but it’s worth it. Our state quarters have an image of Helen Keller embossed on them, who was born in North Alabama.}

  2. You’re kidding, right?! Helen Keller on the quarters?
    Seriously though, let’s write a book together Big AL. I’m having too many problems with my Mormon collaborator in the US…she’s a little worried about the lesbian thing in my portfolio of life.

  3. You can read about the quarter at:

    http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/50sq_program/states/index.cfm?flash=no&state=al

    . . Hopefully, word press will display that as a link, as it is rather long. Not sure if it’s possible to use BBCode or HTML here.

    I should point out that the Braille on the quarter can not be read tactilely, unless you are a very small blind pixie, or unless you have an incredible sense of touch. Also, the image of Hellen Keller shows her upper body, not just a portrait. She is sitting in a chair, and reading a braille book using a two-handed reading method. This part isn’t described on the US Mint site, because it includes a picture of the quarter, which you could (presumably) use to get the same information.

    Regarding book writing, I have attempted to write books before. My current novel is sitting on my computer as a collection of notes so complicated and disorganized that it makes the Silmarillion look thin, well laid out, and written by Doctor Seuss.

    Haven’t tried collaborations before. However, I’m only busy (I go to a technical college) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I have a lot of free time to fill.

    Anyway, I should point out that I score an X on the Kinsey scale, so I’m not worried about the ‘lesbian thing’.

  4. Hmm. A state quarter? Maybe I can convince our Nova Scotia government to crank out a provincial coin. Our Premier, Rodney MacDonald (who just begs to be re-labeled, Ronald MacDonald because of his overwhelming clown-for-the-masses mentality), would want some semi-famous local fiddle player on the coin. A huge debate would ensue about whether it should be a traditional old geek, or the controversial and flamboyant gay guy, Ashley McIsaac, but he would insist that his husband be on the coin too and that just would not work for the mint’s designers. In the end, the choice would be an image of someone representing the NS connection to the sea, like Angus Walters, captain of the Bluenose, a world famous fishing. schooner. My choice? Muriel Duckworth, a tireless social and peace activist. She, like me, is “from away”, meaning that she was not BORN here, so that probably wouldn’t fly with the coin committee, despite that she has been adopted as a local darling…celebrating her 100th birthday in November with an OXFAM benefit birthday bash concert.

    I digress. I think we’d be good as a team, Aluion…you the chaotic soul who likely over-complicates everything, and me, the model of efficiency and the master of organization. What are you studying at the technical college on Tuesdays and Wednesdays? Please don’t tell me that you are learning to repair firearms or something equally distressing…and the Kinsey scale runs from 1 to 6, so given that you scored an X, I guess I’m in good hands.

  5. One of the good things about the State quarters was that anyone could submit a design for them. At least, that’s the way it worked in this state. I think the system worked as thus: Several cantidates, taking into account several factors, was decided on by a commitee, which was then sent to another comittee, which selected the best designs to send to yet another comittee, to pick a winner from.

    In this way, location of birth wasn’t the only factor for who could and could not be selected for the coin. It depended more on the design of the coin, the feel of it, the quality of the work. It also helped the impartiality, without the difficulty of taking a statewide vote. This meant that most of the coin designs were those which were able to squeeze as many state symbols into one space. So, some states ended up with a crowded coin with state flowers, state birds, state fruits, and the state outline. Ours didn’t do that. It included certain things related to the state, but only as borders. It didn’t use state-related things as its primary subject, but had more universal appeal.

    Anyway, I’m studying programming, which is something perhaps equally distressing, but not as dangerous as firearms…well, except for the hardware portions.. But they wouldn’t put fire extinguishers in every lab if we weren’t expected to need them. Kidding, I probably know more about hardware than most of the younger students there; though I prefer working on the software level.

    Also, Kinsey used an X to represent those with a lack of intrest in either, which was a seperate category on the Kinsey Scale. The X category could probably be seperated in a scale of its own. Still, being an X, I don’t see the whole point of those who are 0-2 on the scale thinking that they have more rights than those cantegorized as 3 and above. My state has bans though. Then again, there wasn’t much voter turnout because it was a local poll that not many cared about so those who went to the polls were mostly the ones encouraged to vote the ban through. Some people even think that the only reason they proposed the ban in the first place was to attract that type of voter. This also canceled a lot of common law marriages already in existance, and complicated hospitalization for those who are 3 or higher on the scale. In total, it did more harm than good. Here’s hoping for a federal admendment to overthrow it, or for the supreme court to declare it unconstitutional, as they did in California. I figure, if they can make laws on people regarding their Kinsey scale category, then it is only a matter of time before they have laws on those of us who are an X.

    I figure I’ll also add in the comments for your latest post in this one, since I just saw it today.

    Obviously, they have a lot more problems than just accessibility to the blind. Here, we tend not to have that problem. That’s because there’s a law (the A D A ), which requires accessibility. It comes with a set of guidelines which state exactly how wide a door should be, exactly how tall it should be, exactly where a braille sign should be placed, what information has to be displayed in braille, and what information doesn’t (advertisements and street signs do not have to be in braille). It also specifies when it is required to have a translator for someone who uses sign language. These extra guidelines are more suggestions than law, but they can be used to determine whether or not someone is in violation of the A D A law if a complaint is filed. Thanks to case law (versus Target), the A D A requirements can be applied to websites as well. If the department of justice gets involved, they fine $50,000 for the first offense and $100,000 thereafter. These fines are in addition to the lawsuit filed, and there are probably lawyers out there that make a living on A D A suits. in practice, they are usually settled out of court, but not without some expense. Some people think that this is overdoing it, but it does work. The threat of losing money is enough for most businesses to comply.

    In practice, many businesses do not care unless they are notified. I’m not much for lawsuits, but I have sent notes to some businesses which do not have braille bathroom signs or which have stairs and no access ramp. The businesses are usually very happy to fix the problem without having to involve their legal department. Occasionally, the manager handling the complaint will offer me a free meal, which I sometimes accept, and which is a lot less expensive than a lawsuit plus fines. And it makes the manager look good for having settled what could have cost $50,000 but was fixed for $50.

    Anyway, even if you didn’t call the Queen, at least you demonstrated that you haven’t found it acceptable. If people don’t complain, then others will assume that everybody is okay with the current practice. I’m sure that, in reality, the majority of the Canadian Blend stays home rather than going to vote. Either because they don’t like the condescending attitude, or the templates, or because they don’t have an ID. We have this state issued non-driver ID which is required for just about anything. I, for one, get tired of being asked for my “driver’s liscence” when it is clear that I do not have one. Or people telling me “Here is your driver’s liscence back”. It’s one of my pet peeves.

    Luckily, the people running the polls here are behind wide desks, so they can’t get up to do the usual arm grab, and they are forced to give accurate directions. I tend to remind people in a friendly manner at first when they use “Over there” or “that way”. Then, I develop an increasingly sarcastic attitude. After enough times, I’ll remind them: “use your big words, like ‘up’ and ‘down’ and ‘left’ and ‘right'”.

    This is fun when taking computer courses, which give entirely visual directions. I’m often told to “click here” or “look down there”, followed by someone pointing at the screen. It’s more fun when the power goes out though. All the labs and hallways are on interior rooms with no windows. Also, most people are expected to use the extremely locked down lab computers, but I’m allowed to bring my laptop, so that they don’t have to worry about liscensing issues and installing screen readers. Therefore, during power outages, I’m the only one able to navigate the hallways, and my work isn’t damaged. So, when the power is out, and they ask me where something is, I naturally point my finger at it and respond. “Why. . . it’s over there!”

    Oh, I can be emailed for collaboration or whatever other reasons. Email is. A. L. U. I. O. N. AT. G. M. A. I. L. DOT. C. O. M. – Can’t copy and paste because I changed it to prevent spam bots from getting ahold of it and to prevent screen reader from garbling it.

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