Tuesday is already here? Man, how the week has flown.
I ring in the day again listening to a bit of that morning show. This time though, I turn it off at about 7, so I can shower and come back to listen to some of that day’s ACB General Session. I most enjoy listening to the scholarship recipients, as I hope maybe their career choices will inspire me to become unstuck somehow. Still thinking…
On Twitter, Indianapolis woman mentions she is at the Java Stop, s I indicate that I might come down and try to meet her. Given how incredibly crowded it is, I know that us actually finding each other are not all that high. However, I happen to be seated just behind her after purchasing a banana nut muffin and coffee, and she hears me arrive, thus scooting over to the small, rickety table. The woman from Canada then tries to find us as well, but this does not prove to be as successful.
We sit here for a few, chattering about all sorts of things. Then, we go to the exhibit hall again, mainly to pick up an iBill currency reader, but also to check out a couple of other products/vendors.
In place of fully accessible paper currency, which I’m pretty sure they’re still working on and think should debut no later than 2020, the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing is distributing the iBill free of charge to all blind folks who need one. They essentially had a trial run during the convention, allowing attendies to snap these things up in exhibit hall. The representative told us that they will be available for all blind folks by January, with those who are already eligible to use the National Library Service for the Blind (NLS) being able to preorder in September. I’m not sure what advantage preordering confers, but maybe they get them first?
So I can cheat a bit, now that I am at home and have unboxed the reader. The instructions are readable, and it doesn’t take too long to figure out how to work the thing. I put the money in wrong initially, though. I want to really learn the vibrations, as then I won’t have to have the thing call out “50!” when I scan that, not that I carry around that kind of cash anyway. Still, vibrating would be more effective in very loud situations as well.
After grabbing the box containing that device, they also ask for our contact info, we make our way toward others. I go over to the Freedom Scientific booth, where I play a bit with a Windows tablet running Jaws 16. They have a nice Bluetooth keyboard with that thing as well. I don’t notice anything particularly exciting about that, but I think it may be a bit cheaper than buying an iPad or some such. If I do go for a tablet, I will probably still get an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard anyway, maybe once this laptop is on the fritz.
I also play with a Blaze EZ, at least I guess that’s how it’s spelled. This is kind of a combination of blindness-specific notetaker and smartphone, and its most impressive feature is OCR technology. They scan a document and let me hear as the voice reads it. Apparently, these things have been selling like hotcakes.
Finally, we make our way back toward the lobby and food court, as she wishes to have lunch before attending a 2:00 event. There, we run into our Canadian friend, and the four of us head to Big Burger where I opt for just a soda as I will have dinner at 4:30 with yet another friend.
Since the woman from Canada and I are planning to meet the same person, she and I hang out for the next couple of hours. Neither of us really have anything else on our schedule. I am already starting to feel drowsy and somewhat sad.
Dinner is again at Wicked Vicky’s, a place with pretty good food for prices that aren’t too bad for hotel stuff anyway. Canada woman has me craving popcorn shrimp, but I decide at the last minute that I want one of their chili dogs. I figure I can get shrimp whenever I want, and that this hotdog is probably unusual.
And I figure correctly. First, it’s huge! The bun is super-sized, and still the frank extends beyond its edge. The chili isn’t ground beef, at least not like hamburger meat that one might expect, but rather real, delicious chunks of meat. There are also beans and veggies. Served with fries, it has me full to bursting and happy to part with the $13 it cost.
I contemplate attending the Talent Showcase, as I have at the previous two conventions to which I have gone, but decide against it. Admission at the door is $25, not too bad I guess but higher than the $10 it usually goes for. Plus, I can just stream it from my room. It is a pretty good show though, and I think I most would have enjoyed the band that accompanied people and had its own tracks as well. One woman does a particularly stong spoken word piece, and a couple of others perform great original songs.
The last thing I really do in Vegas is to ask my friend from the previous day’s breakfast if she could come and take a picture of me in the casino. Hopefully it can be seen here, via Twitter. I’m sitting at a slot machine. Do I gamble? Well, no. I keep meaning to, but just feel it’s basically throwing money away. I know I know, I could keep it really small and stop after a couple of turns. I guess I’ll do it the next time I go out there.
My picture-taker and I then wrap up the evening again at Banana Leaf while drinking delicious mango smoothies and talking more. That smoothy reminds me of the sweet mango milk shake I had in Washington DC, MMM. She tells me that a smoothy and milk shake differ in the same way that yogurt differs from ice cream: that the former is generally healthier.
She needs to head back up and do some work though, so I take about a third of that to my room, listen to the ever-saddening news, and go to bed.