Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2018 01 15 Hitches and Glitches January 15, 2018

Hello.

I know, I know, it’s been a long time since my last post, and although I’m sorry, I’m happier that some of you might have stuck around. Fact is, with all the hitches and glitches, well, it’s a good feeling to be writing about anything.

I’m still trying to figure out what happened to 2017, and here I go, getting ready for the spring semester at school. With the recent cold snap, this winter is seeming to go by slow, but when the calendar speaks up, it’s a different story, so we’ll just settle down and try to enjoy the ride.

I did have quit3e a ride just before Christmas, with health issues causing me to spend a couple weekends in the hospital. It was a hitch and a glitch, and it was a little dicey there for a bit, but with some quick medical treatment and plenty of love and support, here I am just as ugly as ever. grin

Seriously, I ain’t getting any pertier, but I am still moving forward, even though it might be through the fog.

Another one of those glitches? Perhaps just another one of those dang hitches? What ever it is, here I go, and there you are. What a coincidence.

So, lol. Dontcha just love it when someone starts off a sentence with the word, “so”? It’s like they’re getting ready to read down through a grocery list, or they’re about to tell you the different steps to making a peanut butter sandwich.

Is it grammatically correct to start off a sentence with the word, “so”? Everyone does it. News broadcasters, sports announcers, faculty on campus, leaders and followers, and I’m left scratching my head, wondering why.

And here I go, getting older by the minute, and uglier by the hour.

True story. grin

Thanks for stopping by again, and I do hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

Don’t look now, but 2018 is off to a rip roaring start!

Take care, and be well.

dp

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2017 09 01 Hi Maintenance September 1, 2017

Hello September. And that’s it. That’s all I got for you. Oh ya. I see you sitting there, all fat and sassy, but all I really feel like saying to you is, you got some nerve! Who do you think you are? Hmm? You think you can just stroll in and shove August to the side? Do you know how rude that is? Did your mother teach you any manners?

Oh ya, that’s right. Your mother is Mother Nature, and I keep forgetting she doesn’t need an excuse to do anything. I think she raised her 12 little high maintenance months the same way that Father Time raised her, or were they cousins or something?

Anyway, it is the start of fall, and today it sure does feel like fall. A low pressure system blew out to sea overnight, and man is the chill blowing in from the west. Safe to say, Fall is only three weeks away, although Summer is trying to fool us.

Yes, it’s me again, and yes, it’s been some time since my last blog post, and yes, I am sorry, but I haven’t felt like doing much writing these past few weeks. I better get my butt in gear, because next week is the start of the fall semester at school, and there’ll be plenty of writing to do. I’m taking two communications classes this fall, and between talking and writing, there’ll be plenty of communicatin’ going on.

Ok then. I hope you’re all doing well, and that you’ve had a great summer.

Take care, and God bless the lot of ya’s.

dp

 

2016 07 26 In The Books July 26, 2016

It looks like another semesteris in the books. Do I look smarter? Do I feel smarter? Am I dressing smarter? Grin Probably not is the answer to that last one, for three quarters of the time I don’t know what color the clothes I have on are, but I’m sure I’m color coordinated for just about any occasion, right?

It’s been five years since I started my blog, and I can honestly say that I still hate cancer. In all of cancer’s ugly forms, none is uglier than the one that attacks me and you, for none of them have a care in the world how much evil they possess. They just keep moving forward with that stupid smirk on their face of death, without thought or care.

As you know, my vision loss in 2010 was directly related to my own battle against cancer as an infant. The radiation I had at five months old directly caused the blood flow to shut off to my good eye, my right eye, and after starving for blood, the retina finally shut down. The tiny amount of vision I enjoyed for a few years after the series of strokes finally succumbed to even more strokes, as the artery kept collapsing these past few months, and now I stand before you a completely blind goat on the verge of a thing.

I like that line from a song that Peter Frampton sang back about ten years ago.

The thing that I am on the verge of now could be considered the rest of my life. The mobility lesson I have recently embarked on is unlike any other from my past, in that when I remove the ecluders now, I am still in complete blackness. I’m not complaining in the least, as I knew it was just a matter of time.

Life is only a matter of time. Our time is a matter of life, and as this life of mine rolls on, it’s up to me, and no one else to see what I can do with it. So far, well, I guess I’m keeping sort of busy, but man have I slowed down. I feel most of the time like I’m moving like a sloth on qualudes. My balance is crap, my agility is crap, my sense of fashion is lacking and I still love chocolate.

The saying, Out of sight, out of mind”, is having fun with me. The visual cues are no longer something that I can take for granted, so I have had to try and make mental notes of my daily routines. Mental is right, because my short term memory without the visual cues really sucks, but then again, that happens with age a lot of the time, right? Right? Help me out here, ojk?

Fact is, I can’t remember crap either, and that gets me into a mess a lot of the time, but it’s my mess and my oh my how the times have changed.

I am all signed up for two more classes this fall, and no, I’m not going to take three. I do fine with two, and I’m in no hurry. Both of my classes are online, and with a little work, I have a pretty good grasp on BlackBoard, although that could change at any time, due to technological updates that have a habit of hampering digital accessibility from time to time. My tutoring has paid off, but my hard work has paid off as well.

The bouts I had these past three years with the meningioma slowed me up some, but it isn’t gonna do me any good to sit back on my goat caboose and wonder why I didn’t keep moving forward. There’s not much going on in my past, and although I moved a little quicker back then, it isn’t gonna help me if I don’t find a way to help myself today.

So, here I go, bouncing down the road with my white cane in one hand, and my laptop bag in the other. I did migrate both of my computers to Windows 10, and can honestly say that I am glad I did, as they seem to be running more efficient, especially with the taxing properties of JAWS tugging constantly on the system resources. It’s a similar platform to Windows 7, but with differences that are distinct. It’s a ton better than 8.1 ever dreamed of, and hopefully will be keeping me company for some time to come. Now, if I can get a better grasp on the ribbons, I might feel brave enough to move past my Word 2003 that I still use on this desktop machine. Yes, that’s right, Word 2003. My old buddy. My ally.

Ya, you’re probably right. I might as well move the rest of my past into the present too. Grin

Some things will never change the mind of a goat though, and one thing is for certain, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find the receipt to exchange it, color coordination be damned.

Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for your continued inspiration.

Those of you heading into the fall semester, good luck to you all.

Take care for now my friends.

Dp

 

2016 04 27 Poetry: Board Upon the Black April 27, 2016

Hello and good evening. This is April 27 and this is poem number 27. Holy crap, right?

Time sure does have a way of flying by when you’re having fun, and if you’re not having fun, don’t blame me.

Speaking of not having fun, have I told you how much I haven’t enjoyed using the college online classroom known as Black Board? I didn’t? Hmm.

This program is one of the hardest digital things I have ever done. It’s never the same two days in a row, and I’m beginning to think that’s got something to do with me. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Oh my Deon, how can that be?” Well, let me tell you, I don’t have a clue, so let’s continue.

I am in college, and I am on the verge of getting smarter. Notice I said, getting smarter, which means that for the most part, it ain’t happened yet. There’s plenty of time though, and time I got.

I just said basically the same thing in two different ways, didn’t I? Hmm.

Anyway, Black Board is a son of a program that doesn’t play favorites in any shape or form. It has everything you need, but it’s hid it all throughout the universe of digital dilemma. In other words, if it ain’t broke, log in and it soon will be.

Below you’ll find a poem I wrote that takes us on a journey through a day in the life of a goat trying to make heads or tails out of a program called; you guessed it, Black Board.

I hope this finds you all well, and if it doesn’t, it’s gotta be the shoes.

Take care, and I’ll see ya tomorrow.

dp

***

Board Upon the Black
A poem by DP Lyons

Oh great college Black Board in the sky,
I have brought you a single piece of chalk.
There are rumors that you haven’t any need of it though,
So I’ll inconspicuously save it for someone who’ll at least appreciate it.

Each day when I shuffle into your digital room,
I never know what my searching soul is going to find.
The accolades of higher education encircle your classroom walls,
But I can’t seem to find my way into the stupid building.

I have come, I have studied and I have tried to learn.
I have cursed my tab and arrow keys,
And I have pressed and held down my computer’s power button,
But you just don’t seem to give a flying freckle.

Your electronic phrases built upon zeroes and ones
Are some days like a riddled Gotham script.
I’ve asked your hall monitor for directions through your digital dream,
But by the glazed look in their eye, they must have been using an analog map.

I glance affectionately towards a far off distant plateau,
Where desires are quenched with a fountain of your knowledge.
I ask for strength to endure your mindful maze,
And hold high my praise to those who figured out this crap.

Oh Board upon the Black, ease my teachable soul.
Lend me your educating flame as a guiding torch.
Hear my questions, my curiosity, my plea,
To cool it a bit and cut me some frigging slack.

Thanks for nothing.

 

2015 12 29 Gearing Up and Winding Down December 29, 2015

And here we are, gearing up for New Years, or are we winding down from Christmas? Six of one, and here’s your half dozen.

Looking back, I find that the year that was 2015 was a blinding blur. So much went on as we spun around the sun that it’s hard to believe we could stuff it all inside 365 glorious days on this big blue spinning marble we call home.

And here we are, T-Minus three days and counting. Or is it just two?

I haven’t written as much this past year or so, and I’m blaming it on too much school work. Actually though, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the whole reason. I lack a lot of ambition that I had a couple years ago. I know it’s probably due to my health, but that just seems like I’m making up an excuse for my laziness. I have been writing quite a bit for school assignments, but compared to a few years ago, I’m not writing anywhere near what I was. I have though been picking up my guitars more as of late, and even played a little personal rendition of a Christmas song at our last Sunday night’s writers meeting back on the 20th of December. I was a little nervous, but strummed my way through it. I even sang like only a goat can. I did up a version of Silent Night for the other members of my writer’s group, and actually had a good time doing it. I’d put it on YouTube, but I’m afraid with so many views, it might completely crash the internet

Hahahaha! grin.

I’m still listening to mp3 Christmas movies on my iTouch, and will until New Years day. It’s become a yearly ritual for me, and when you add in a few holiday music albums into the mix, how can a goat go wrong? I actually listened to quite a few movies this season without description. No narrator telling you what’s going on. Just your good old imagination filling in the empty slots of movie stuff. I find that if I’m able to get into the movie after five minutes, I’ll stay with it, even though it isn’t described. The first movie I ever listened to with description on my iTouch was War Horse back in spring 2014. I became instantly addicted to the format and fell back in love with movies. It’s fair to say that I painstakingly fell away from watching movies after 2010, except for a few that I watched with my wife.

By the way, she is a fabulous movie narrator, but with the excessive pausing and playing with the remote control, she could burn through a fresh pair of AA batteries in a couple weeks.

I think she misses not describing movies and other shows to me, but although I hate to say it, having a scripted movie narrator tell you what’s going on is a huge difference.

One thing I really seem to enjoy is being able to listen to a described movie that I previously watched back when my eyes worked. It’s actually almost like watching the movie for the first time, especially when it’s narrated by someone from Great Britain. They use so many different terms for describing things that it’s rather enjoyable to the point of being almost like a learning experience from across the pond.

And here we are again, this 29th day of December, 2015. Where on earth did the time go? How do the days move around us so fast? Didn’t the geese just come back north a few weeks ago, or was that those same gooses I just heard heading their tail feathers back south? I’m sure they got it right, no matter what we think, right?

As we head towards 2016, I’m reminded that I’m just about ¼ the way towards my associate’s degree, which means that I’m closing in on a 2032 graduation date. Give or take a decade or two. Grin
It’s a good thing I’m in no hurry. I’ll try to beat my grandson, as he makes his way towards his high school diploma.

He’s turning 10 this April.

I better get my goat hooves moving, ay?

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and that the spirit of the season flickered its flame deep within your hearts. I’d also like to wish you all the best as we slide on into 2016. May this New Year give you every opportunity to grab hold of something good, whether it’s something you work towards, or an amazing surprise that just happens to fall into your lap. With a little effort, it usually works out, and with a lot of effort, there’s just no telling what can happen.

Thanks for stopping by my blog this past year. I appreciate all your comments and look forward to piling on even more goaticious tales of Surviving.

Take care and God bless you all.

dp

 

2015 12 19 Seasonal Finale December 19, 2015

It’s finals week in school, and I just submitted my research papers for my two online classes. I have learned a lot this semester, and am very happy it’s winding down. It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was looking at week 2 work, wondering how on earth I was ever going to maneuver my way to week 15. Man, what a blur it’s been!

As usual, Blackboard gave me a lot of struggle, but with the help of an amazing tutor named Nick, I worked through, learned what I needed to know and studied my caboose off. I had a hard time with the reading in my music class, as I have a difficult time retaining what I read. I did figure out though some good techniques for taking notes while I read, which seemed to help me with retaining tons of information. It’s funny just how lazy my brain has become over the years. Now I’m not saying that my mush melon was ever anxious to get to work. Nope. No way. But with a little coaxing this fall, it finally started kicking in and getting done what I needed it to do.

And here I am, a few hours past submitting the finished work.

I still can’t believe I’m taking college classes. It just doesn’t seem real sometimes. I mean, me? College? Me? You must have mistaken me for some other ridge goat.

On the other hand, it has been me. Little old me. No one else but me. And I’m here to tell you that for all those times when I was staring at a truck load of homework, thinking, “What was I thinking?”, for all those times I didn’t have a clue, or understand the work, for all those times I sat listening to my screen reader as it read this foreign language of learning to me, for all those times I bowed down to my keypad and shook my head, it has all been worth it, for it’s been a frigging huge step in the right direction, and with all that’s been going on in my life these past few months, I guess some inner strength showed up. Strength that I didn’t even know was there, or paid any attention to. I just did what was in front of me, and now, I’m looking towards the spring semester already, approaching the starting blocks, again, Before I know it, I’ll be anticipating the starting gun to, you guessed it, scare the crap outta me!

It’s Christmas time once again, and I have so much to be thankful for. I have the irreplaceable memories of a lifetime mentor, the smiling voice of a grand son, the wicked strong hugs of my only son and the caring touch of a loving wife at my side. I have been afforded a ton of inspiration, a ton of friendships, a half ton of chocolate, a roof over my head that doesn’t leak, a family that I would gladly give my right arm for, and a God that gives me the strength to keep moving forward each and every day.

For all of these, I am thankful, and I am blessed.

I just listened to the finale of my favorite singing competition show last night, and my favorite singer won. I just simply love good music, great singers and the ability to listen to all of it. I also have a couple Christmas movies cued up on my iTouch to listen to tonight. I think I’ll start it off with one of my favorite seasonal movies, The Family Stone. I’ll save Miracle on 34th Street for tomorrow night. It’s the older version of the two.

I do love my Christmas movies, and my holiday music. Can’t get in the holiday spirit without them, right?

So many things remind me of Christmas. The bells of the season, the energetic voice of a child, Silent Night being sung on the radio, and the ever present, spine tingling magic that flows through the world as we celebrate the birth of the Lord. With a flurry of spirited magic, I can’t help but think back to my childhood when all of that magic came swirling in on a bright eyed little boy. Scouring the Christmas Eve night for Santa’s sleigh, watching the tinsel dance along the colored lights of our Christmas tree, feeling the energy grab hold of an innocent heart, it all seemed almost too wonderful to be true, but oh how true it was.
I am a thankful, blessed and fortunate man. I’d also like to wish you all the very best this Christmas, and hope that your ticket into the New Year is filled with those special memories that stick to your ribs all through your 365.

Thanks for stopping by and God bless you all.

dp

 

2015 11 21 No Matter Where You Go November 21, 2015

No matter where you go, there you are, so pay attention, ok?

I always have loved that saying. It’s true, you know? Wherever you go, there’s a pretty good chance that you just arrived there too. Grin

With all the things swirling around us, piling up at our feet or tugging on our shirt sleeve, chances are that they’re surrounded by life, in its simplest form, in all its amazing glory, in every obscure shape and size imaginable. There it is, in your face, and don’t look now, but it’s happening 24 / 7, without you ever having to ask for it, expect it or understand it.

It’s alright if you are one of those folks who don’t understand it, because I’m one of them too. I’m kind of used to it, which doesn’t mean I like not understanding, but more importantly it announces my ability to recognize my own areas of insufficient knowledge.

Boy, that takes up a lot of room. Area I mean.

I just read a couple chapters from one of my college text books, and within those sixty or so pages, I was amazed just how much I didn’t know about the subject, which was music. I was amazed that after living my whole life, listening to music throughout, so much information could just escape my wandering mind. I mean, its music for God’s sake! Music! One of my most cherished things on the planet!

Out of the classes I’m taking this semester, I’m having a harder time with this music class. I know, I know, right? You’d think that with all the music I’ve listened to over the course of my lifetime, I’d have a better understanding of it all. I suppose that even though those tingles I get up my spine when a song plays that I really like, I’d be able to remember and know more about it.

And, I don’t, so there.

No matter where I go, there I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m always paying attention. It doesn’t mean any of us are really paying attention. Not that we shouldn’t or anything, but with so much time and so much information about so many things to take in and retain, how on earth could we?

55 year old uninformed goat coming atcha, like it or not. That’s what I feel like sometimes. Uninformed. Not misinformed, although I can be easily persuaded some days.

What the hell am I writing about now? Do I even know? Did I veer away from some atmospheric script or something? Should I know what’s around the next corner? Am I supposed to try and teach someone something right about now? Did I just learn a lesson? Did you? Have you already stopped reading this post? Can you even read?

I didn’t know where this writing would take me when I started it, and I still don’t. Hopefully when I reach the end, I’ll be aware of it and stop writing.

I was talking to my college technology accessibility tutor at school a couple days ago, and when I told him that I had posted three hundred or so entries on my blog, he told me that I should have them grouped into a book and published. I thought about it for a few moments, but realized that it would be like Captain Kangaroo having a dump truck full of ping pong balls dumped onto his head. Little white balls of hither and thither, bouncing to and fro, with no direction in mind, just a reactionary moment among friends who don’t have a clue where they’re going either.

Hey, wait a minute.

So, it’s like, umm, no matter where they go, there they are, right?