Two Hours, Thirty-Eight Minutes, 177 Miles

We got just about to Long Point Drive and I was pontificating idly about ways to make html table data (specifically football statistics) more accessible to people with low or no vision. As we turned onto Long Point, we saw a flashing red emergency vee-hickle-type light at the end of Ina Street. What now? We speculated until we pulled into the driveway. When we got out of our vee-hickle, we heard a horrible buzzing noise coming from the lake and, in a minute, the rescue airboat drove by, lights flashing away. This was just too surreal.

Several winters ago, I guess it was 2003 because Liz was a college freshman and Mouse still had her learner’s permit, we drove up here one February evening. When we arrived, there was a huge notice plastered on the garage saying that big holes had opened up in the ice on the lake. This was despite the fact that temperatures had been low enough to already *form* ice capable of supporting the average road vee-hicle. That was when we still had the old cabin and the heat was always turned off in the winter when no one was there. The GG went inside and turned on the heat and Mouse drove us down to the end of the point while the cabin warmed up a bit.

When we got down there, we were horrified to find all kinds of emergency vee-hickles. And they were pulling the airboat out of the lake. We asked someone what was going on and they told us that two snowmobilers (brothers, I think) had unsuspectingly encountered one of the holes and drowned. They were out there looking for them. I’m glad I don’t have that job.

Anyway, tonight we got to the cabin and walked down to the lake and watched the airboat go by and for a little while I felt chilled to the bone. I wondered who they were looking for and what had happened. I felt angry for a few minutes about the foolhardy souls you sometimes encounter around “small water” who think they can do anything and sometimes drown doing it. I grew up on the shores of “big water” and I am very respectful of what any size water can do.

After watching the airboat travel back and forth numerous times over very shallow water and at a high rate of speed, we have convinced ourselves that they are just practicing. Testing. Figuring out what the challenges of the coming winter might be. There’s no ice and hardly anyone is around here. But y’all PLEASE be careful around water and don’t take your snowmobiles out on the ice unless you are sure it’s safe. Siberia tomorrow. G’night.

4 Responses to “Two Hours, Thirty-Eight Minutes, 177 Miles”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    Yeah. I look at emergency vehicles race past (particularly ambulances) any more, and get that funny twinge/chill up/down my spine and think: “somebody’s day just took a turn for the worse…”

    As for the visually-impaired data table assistance… is there some function where a “mouse-over” can act like a magnifier? Or activate an “audio tag” that reads the data out loud? … brain sparks…

  2. kayak woman Says:

    Yes, there is. mouse-over magnifier. for pc. I thought it was a bit unwieldy though. There are screen readers too. That’s kinda what I’m dealing with for my last deliverable for INP203-User Experience II. For I dunno what reason, I am finding this last deliverable absolutely fascinating! How to adapt web sites for people with vision or other disabilities. The technology is in its infancy. Websites are largely so noncompliant with web standards that many screen readers, etc., cannot deal with them.

    I could write a book. But I won’t. I’m just getting started on this. More later.

  3. kayak woman Says:

    Oh, kee-reist, fergot to say, I totally agree with you about the emergency-vee-hickles. They go on so many false alarms but then there are the other calls.

  4. Webmomster Says:

    m-o magnifier might be unwieldy – I seem to recall it as an “accessory” in an older verison of Windows, but couldn’t seem to find it (at least readily) the last time I’d looked for it in XP.

    I know some form of visual aid (without requiring a degree in Geek or Nerd) would be SO helpful… maybe Mom might be able to fill you in on what would help in *her* case… for some, it’s color, for others it’s size or location or … whoof – lotsa possibilities!