Archive for October, 2009

Took Nash for a walk by the Daily Show today

October 29, 2009

Nash is completely crashed out on feet as I took him for a nice long walk for our 6th month anniversary today. Since we always seem to walk by the Letterman Show, as Nash poops right down the block from them, and he seems to like weaving in and out of the crowd waiting to see the show, I took Nash all the way out to the Daily Show today. I am not real big into sight seeing, go figure, a blind guy that doesn’t like sight seeing, but Nash is such a curious fella, that he seems to love sight seeing. Every time we are on the bus, in a cab, or in a car, Nash looks out the window at all the sights. He didn’t have the smoothest of walks at all times today, as he had a few real bad streches where his sniffing was out of control, and he lost focus. He did though have some real nice long stretches where he wasn’t sniffing and was walking at a real fast pace, and he didn’t walk me into anything all the way out to the Daily Show and back. He did get kind of crazy in Duane Reade, as I had to stop there on the way back. Ends up there was another dog in the store. I am not sure why when we were in training, Nash did not have a dog distraction, but since we have gotten back to the city, he does have a fairly strong dog distraction, as he wants to say hi to every dog. Amazing that when they bark at him, Nash doesn’t bark back, but does pull me torwards them, and will try and drag me at times. I may have to have someone come out from Guiding Eyes, as a 6 month refresher might be beneficial to Nash and me. Hopefully the Yanks will actually show up tonight.

 

Eddie Brill who has performed at all four Laugh For Sight’s, tours all around the world, and is the audience warm up for the Late Show with David Letterman, and I will be on the Dr. Blogstein Radio Happy Hour on Tuesday, November 3 at 905pm. I will post a link to the show in the next few days, as you can listen to it over the internet, and we will be promoting Laugh For Sight 4 at Gotham Comedy Club, NYC, Monday, Nov. 16th. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? You can get them at http://www.laughforsight.com, or by calling Gotham Comedy Club at 212-367-9000.

Happy Six Month Anniversary Nash

October 29, 2009

I had to wait until midnight to post this, as today, October 29th marks Nash and my six month Anniversary together, as we were introduced on April 29th. Do you get you guide dog a 6th month Anniversary gift? It’s kind of weird as around midnight, Nash started licking me, and I am trying to tell him that it is late, and to lay down. I guess he reakuzed it before I did. We are going out tonight to watch game two of the World Series with some friends, and go to our favorite bar, Matt’s Grill. Hopefully the Yankees will actually show up. The only thing worst then the way the entire Yankee team played in game one, is I could have actually paid to have been there. Sitting in that cold and rain watching that game live would have really sucked. I wonder if any fans will ask for a refund, as I thought the customer was always right. The game was so bad that the Yankees gave Nash gas.

 

I plan to take Nash out for a nice long walk this afternoon, and maybe go by the pet store to get him a little gift, but what do you get for the dog that has plenty of toys that we already don’t always play with, and he loves the bones that he already has, but does like to hide them, as one is always missing somewhere in the apartment. I actually think two of his bones are currently in the witness protection program in my apartment. Amazingly, when I vacum, I don’t even find his bones. Nash is that good of a hider, and there is no one here who can see to seek. So happy six month Anniversary Nash, and if we’re lucky, maybe the Yankees will give us a gift, and actually show up for game two of the World Series, as a win would be a sweet gift.

Nash cheats at tug!!

October 27, 2009

I never like to lose, and if I recall correctly when I wasn’t blind, and was able to play sports, I was very competitive, and hated to lose. So you can imagine, giving in to Nash when we are playing tug, and letting him win most of the time, was quite frustrating at first. Now, like any good guide dog handler, I let him win most of the time, and since we have been together awhile, I don’t mind  losing, but, I do like to win every now and then. Nash has a pretty strong grip, so a lot of the time, losing isn’t even by choice, but I could possibly hang on longer. Nash has a big toy ball that we play tug with, as it is easy for both of us to grip, and I don’t really need to worry about him chomping down on any fingers. Today, I seemed to be winning a lot, and I was sitting on the floor while we were playing, so Nash proved he was smarter than me, as I put the ball in front of him, he would chomp down on it, and at the same time, he would take his right front paw, and smack it over my hand, as if he was saying, I am getting a good grip on the ball before you even touch it. Hey, that’s not fair Nash! He did this a few times, and it was really cute. Once again, Nash proves that he was very well named for the Noble Price winning mathematician, John Nash portrayed in a Beautiful Mind by Russell Crowe, and like John Nash, Nash the guide dog all has multiple personalities, all of which I love. He has his silly side when he lies on his back and puts all of his paws up in the air, either scratching his back, or telling me he wants his tummy rubbed. He has his serious work side, when he is in his harness and leading me through all the obstacles of NYC. He has his moody side when he groans telling me he wants more attention, or has to go to the bathroom, he has his playful side which we see everyday in my apartment, and he has his sad side when he gives me what looks like the puppy eyes, usually telling me he wants more food. I think my dog Nash has a very beautiful mind.

How do you teach your dog to play dead?

October 25, 2009

It poured all day in NYC yesterday, so Nash and I didn’t spend a lot of time outside. Oh yeah, and college football was on all day, so that may have had something to do with a fairly inactive day. Hey, Nash needs to learn that college football is only for 13 Saturday’s of the year, and he really needs to become a Gator fan. Considering how poorly the Gators have played this year, I do have to give Nash some credited, as I really have only had one yelling outburst all season, which is really mellow for me. Nash doesn’t like it when I yell of get upset, and he gets in my face to make sure everything is ok, which is pretty nice of him, but he does need to understand that it is good to show emotion about sports for us guys. Nash did have his bone to play with, and his toy balls are out in the apartment, but he does not seem to like to play with the toys as much as his bone. He loves to throw the bone up in the air, and while I was enthralled with the end of the Alabama game, Nash started groaning. He groans a lot when he wants attention, but this time it was something different, as he had thrown his bone underneath the couch, and because he has paws and not hands, he could not reach it. I am amazed that I actually realized that he had tossed his bone underneath the couch, as Nash does not realize that I am blind and likes to hide his bone and make me try and find it. Kind of mean of him. So Nash eventually got a little bored playing with his bone, and since he does not watch football, and was groaning for attention, I decided to try and teach him how to play dead. At first I made a gun out of my hand, and made a gun noise, but this didn’t do anything. I could tell he was just staring at me, so I decided to act like I got shot, and fell on to the floor. Well, this didn’t work either, and I found myself flopping around on the floor trying to teach Nash how to play dead. All this accomplished was Nash sniffing me and trying to get at my face to lick it. Hey Nash, weren’t you concerned that I was hurt? I would lay motionless  on the floor, and Nash would either lick my face, or stand over me, but he seemed to know that I was faking being shot. Smart guy, you can’t fool the Nashster. I did eventueally get him to lay down next to me, and we were cuddling on the floor, which was pretty cute. Then he would stick his front right paw out, and extend it to my chest, kind of like he saying close, but not that close buddy, I do need my own personal space. So even though we didn’t venture out much yesterday, we did have a lot of personal time together, but I still couldn’t get Nash to play dead. I guess he just loves life to much.

87.7 The Pulse of NYC to be at Laugh For Sight 4

October 22, 2009

We received some great news a few days ago, as 87.7 The Pulse of New York City will be helping to promote Laugh For Sight 4 and have a van at Laugh For Sight giving out prizes to arriving guests. Robert Klein, Eddie Brill, Rich Vos, John Morrison, and I will also be doing interviews on 1010 WINS, 87.7 The Pulse, XM Comedy Radio, The Dr. Blogstein Radio Happy Hour, 103.5 KTU The Best of NY,  The Huffington Post, and more. So if you haven’t, get your tickets now, at http://www.laughforsight.com, or by calling Gotham Comedy Club at 212-367-9000 to make your reservations for the November 16th silent auction and comedy benefit.

Nash doesn’t seem to be getting excited for Laugh For Sight yet, but I am sure he will be thrilled the night of the benefit. I am thinking about getting him a black tie for the benefit. Where would one get a dog a black tie, and how do I measure his neck size? I’m sure Nash would look fantastic all dressed up. Although, my one experience trying to get him to wear a Yankee hat did not go to well, as he hated having it on, and got it off pretty quickly.

Nash and I had a really bizarre experience last night. Nash was going to the bathroom on 53rd Street, and a horse came galloping by us, and I didn’t think there was anyone riding it. I have been searching the news for a run away horse in NYC, but have not been able to find anything. Has NYC gotten so strange that a run away horse does not even make a headline anywhere, or did a blind guy and his guide dog not notice that there was someone riding the horse? I guess this mystery will have to go down with the Kennedy assassination, Bigfoot, and the Lochness Monster, as I could have sworn that no one was riding that horse, unless maybe it was a headless horse man, it is getting near Halloween after all.

I guess blind people aren’t supposed to use ATM’s!

October 19, 2009

For those of you familiar with my stand up routine, you know that I have a very popular bit about being blind and using the ATM, and how great it is to be able to enter my secret PIN in braille, but then not being able to enter the on-screen commands. Well, Citibank and Chase have installed new ATM’s recently, and while my sighted friends tell me they are very sleek and futuristic and aesthetically pleasing, lets just say they are not very visually impaired friendly. I finally had learned how to use my local ATM by memory, and today, Chase installed new atm’s which are impossible to use for the visually impaired. The keypad is very sleek, and there are too many buttons to remember where all the numbers are, and while I can see a little, the screen is so faint, that I cannot read it all. Citibank also recently changed their atm’s, and you cannot tell the difference between the number buttons. It’s great to see that with all of the modern technology being implemented, the banking industry has done nothing to make is easier for visually impaired people to use the ATM’s. Instead, they have made it more difficult. Wow, am I glad my tax dollar’s bailed them out. Thanks a lot Chase and Citibank. Maybe I should open a bank chain only for the visually impaired. And while I’m on this topic, I would like to thank Congress for acting so quickly in implementing the changes to the U.S. monetary system to help the visually impaired. I remember hearing a few years ago that the Supreme Court had order Congress to change the bills to be more usable for the visually impaired, and had expected them to implement this in a timely manner. It’s good to see that the Supreme Court is taken so seriously when they order a ruling. I know it takes a while for a big change like this, but it has been at least three years since I heard about this ruling.

Nash, what kind of a Yankee fan are you when you fall asleep for most of Game 2, and snore so loud that I have to turn the tv up for the extra inning affair. I think Nash even had his back to the tv for most of the game. Come on buddy, you’re almost 2 1/2, time to shoe your Yankee pride. Maybe he will be more up for game three since it is an afternoon game.

Alice Stockton-Rossini of 1010 WINS radio to emcee Laugh For Sight 4!

October 17, 2009

Alice Stockton-Rossini of 1010 WINS radio will emcee this year’s Laugh For Sight 4, and will be joined by some of the biggest names in comedy; Robert Klein, Colin Quinn, John Oliver of the Daily Show, Rich Vos, Eddie Brill, Bonnie McFarlane, John Morrison, and Brian Fischler and Nash.

Donors to the silent auction include Comedy Central, the Mandarin Ortiental Hotel, Hilton Hotels, Circle Cruise Lines, Prada, Patron, Kramer Portraits, Robert Marc, several items of fine jewlery, and much more!

Proceeds will benefit Guiding Eyes For the Blind and The Scheie Eye Institute at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.laughforsight.com, http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, or by calling 212-367-9000.

Now for your Nashdate.

Nash and I went for a nice walk to the country yesterday, out to 11th Ave. Nash must have really enjoyed the cold weather and the fresh air, as he had a real nice quick pace. There were not many obstacles for him to maneuver me around, so it was a nice leisure walk for him. Nash definitely likes it out in the country of NYC.

Nash has definitely grown real comfortable with me, as he likes to get a daily belly rub, and he will lie on his back with all four paws up in the air. I seem to have a paw fetish, as I like to shake his front paw and say, “nice to meet you Mr. Nashee.” He now allows me to shake his hind paw when he is on his back. It is really cute, and he has really soft paws, although he does need to get his nails clipped, as they are getting a little long. I now know what John Candy meant in Spaceballs when he said, “give me paw!”

Sleepless in the City

October 15, 2009

I haven’t had more than 3 1/2 to 4 hours sleep at a time since Saturday night, so I have felt like a walking zombie all this week. I wish I could sleep like Nash, he just plops down, and is out like a light, and snoring away. Dogs are so cute when they sleep, well, when they are sleeping and not snoring. Nash snores like a drunken sailor. I did notice last night as his bed was next to the couch that while he is sleeping, he will get up, and turn around in his sleep. Its pretty funny. I guess he is looking for the cold side of his bed.

Last night I finally had to take an ambien even though it was pretty late or early, I was afraid to look at the clock, but I figured I would sleep to about ten or eleven, as I had just walked Nash. Then at about 8 this morning, I thought someone was in my apartment, as I was awaken by that horrific sound of when a fat guys pants are rubbing together, you know the sound. It freaked me out, and I even asked, “Is somebody in here?!” I then said back to sleep Nash, back to sleep. Of course, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went to get out of bed, and to my surprise the fat man pant sound had been Nash moving his bed to the end of my bed. His bed is on the floor, but it is by the head of my bed next to the windown, and since this is the first time Nash has done this my only guess is that his bed was to close to the radiator and he was hot. I do not have the heat on, but some heat does seem to come out of it. All I know, is his bed was not where I put it when I went to sleep last night. So either Nash moved his bed, or we had a failed alien abduction, or the monster that lives underneath my bed was after Nash. Pretty strange stuff causing Nash to almost get stepped on.

For some odd reason, there is a large piece of cardboard in the hallway right outside my apartment. The width goes almost all the way across the hall, and it is about four feet long. Not sure what it is there for, but Nash hates it. He really hates cardboard, and will not walk on it. He stops, and will not lead me over it, and I have to work him on the leash as his paws seem to fit in the little space between the wall and the cardboard. Every time we go out it is the same thing, he really hates the cardboard. This does not bode well for us if we end up homeless living in a cardboard box.

I got the Iphone 3GS last week, and I must say it is the phone for all blind or visually impaired people. While it does take a lot of getting used to and patience to fully understand how it works, the screen reader technology makes it easy to use all of the applications on the phone, read emails and texts, type, get weather, play music, and browse the web. The screen reader is just like the screen reader in zoomtext, in fact, it is a little better. I am still going through the manual which I had to find online to read, but I am getting there, and would reccomend it to anyone with a visual impairement.

Comedy Central, Eli Manning, Hilton Hotels, Patron, Circle Cruise Lines to sponsor Laugh For Sight 4

October 12, 2009

The silent auction for Laugh For Sight 4 is shaping up real nicelty as Comedy Central, Eli Manning, Hilton Hotels, Patron, and Circle Cruise Lines are all sponsoring this year’s benefit. There will also be a Kramer Portraits gift certificate, Exhale Spa Yoga classes, designer hand bag, cashmere sweater, concert tickets, fine jewlery, and much more all up for auction this year to benefit the world leading reseach being done at the Scheie Eye Institute at the Univ. of Pennsylvania and the hard work being done at Guiding Eyes For the Blind.

Laugh For Sight 4 is Monday, November 16, 2009,  at the World Famous Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. This year’s All Star lineup includes Robert Klein, John Oliver of the Daily Show, Colin Quinn, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, and more. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.laughforsight.com, http://www.gothamcomedyclub.com, or by calling 212-367-9000. For sponsorship opportunities, silent auction donations, or corporate tables, or ads in the event brochure, please contact us at info@laughforsight.com.

Now on to your Nashdate.

Nash and I did some old school route work today, as we had not done any pure route work in a few days, as all of our walks had us heading somewhere. I like doing pure route work because I can really concentrate on how we are working together, as I am not in a rush to get somewhere. Nash did a fantastic job with his work today, and had very minimal sniffing distractions which was very pleasant, as sniffing everything in NYC seems to be the only thing that gets a little annoying about the little fella.

I liked to give a shout out to Aunt Lona and Uncle Donny for picking up Nash a big bag of his lamb and rice, as it does get to be tiresome picking up five pound bags at a time. They also got Nash a stuffed animal that his cousin Brinkley has, well, that only lasted about five minutes, as Nash ripped it. Its too bad because he really enjoyed playing with it, not sure if there are any stuffed animals out there for dogs with no stuffing inside. It is strange that such a friendly dog plays so violently with his toys. I guess that is why he is the Toyminator.

This Shit Just Can’t Happen To Me!

October 9, 2009

Nash and I have been in NYC for about 5 months now, and for the most part he does a fantastic job, as he does have to deal with a lot living in NYC. It amazes me that he has only lived in my building for five months, and I have lived here for over six years, and he knows where the building is, and more amazingly, which apartment door is mine. He does occasionally pass the building, but I think that is when he is distracted, and wants to go for a longer walk. I finally had Nash pretty well trained to come in my building, make a right, go down the now narrow hallway thanks to the vanity construction project in the lobby, and once he gets past the construction, immediately make a left, and walk right up to the elevator button for me to press it. Hey, I got to do something, as Nash does most of the walk. So, this afternoon, Nash and I get home, we get around the construction, Nash stolls up perfectly to the elevator button, like he is trainined, and I reach out to touch it, and NO BUTTON! I’m thinking, ok, Nash did you go between the wrong bank of elevetaors? Am I in the wrong building? Nope, unbelievable, my building move the elevator button! Forget the reason why, as I have never even heard of anybody having their elevator button moved, let alone a blind guy who has perfectly trained his guide dog to go to the button. Does this stuff just happen to me, because stuff like this keeps happening? Unreal. I thought I was on candid camera. I guess I have some re-training to do.