Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Def'n: Dvorak vs Qwerty

See the April 20th / 2012 article Saturdays News - One Handed Typing in SSTattler.

SSTattler: I changed to Dvorak keyboard after my stroke — I think it is best for one-hand (speed, comfort, about one-half errors,…) but at least try it if you have time. For two-hands the QWERTY and Dvorak they are much closer for speed.  You will have to change your keyboard with System Preferences (on Mac), System Settings (on Linux), Control Panel / PC Setting (on Microsoft) with about 2-clicks...

Dvorak Simplified Keyboard
         From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (Listeni/d(ə)ˈvɔræk/ d-vor-ak) is a keyboard layout patented in 1936 by Dr. August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, Dr. William Dealey. Over the years several slight variations were designed by the team led by Dvorak or by ANSI. These variations have been collectively or individually also called the Simplified Keyboard or American Simplified Keyboard but they all have come to be commonly known as the Dvorak keyboard or Dvorak layout. Dvorak proponents claim the Dvorak layout uses less finger motion, increases typing rate, and reduces errors compared to the standard QWERTY keyboard. This reduction in finger distance traveled is claimed to permit faster rates of typing while reducing repetitive strain injuries, though this has been called into question.

Although the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK) has failed to replace the QWERTY keyboard, most major modern operating systems (such as Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and BSD) allow a user to switch to the Dvorak layout. The current exception is iOS which does not support a system wide touchscreen dvorak keyboard.

Left-handed Dvorak layout

Right-handed Dvorak layout

The modern Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (US layout)


The Dvorak layout was designed to replace the QWERTY keyboard layout (the de facto standard keyboard layout, so named for the starting letters in the top row). The Dvorak layout was designed in the belief that it would significantly increase typing speeds over the QWERTY layout. The original QWERTY keyboard suffers from many problems that Dvorak himself identified:

Video: Dvorak vs Qwerty

One Handed Typing Options

Uploaded on Apr 21, 2008 

There are a lot of options out there for typing with one hand. I suggest trying them all and seeing what works best for you. Here are my recommendations in order of usefulness:
  1. Teach yourself to type on a standard keyboard with one hand.
  2. Get a good voice recognition program like "Dragon Naturally Speaking" (v.9 or better). This is always available on ebay, but make sure you get a normal, and not a medical version!
  3. Try out the Dvorak one handed layout.
  4. Buy a specific one handed keyboard. (be sure to test before you buy)

Standard YouTube License @ Captain Danger

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2014/05/25

“Yeah, it was a dumb move,..."
Scott Adams - 2014/05/25

“I’d like you to be my trusted advisor, Wally."

Charles Schulz - 2014/05/25

“You took the last bottle of orange pop!" 

Garry Trudeau - 2014/05/25

“Great… white nose hair !!"

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on the previous Sunday.

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Typing Simplified

Rocky Mountain Stroke Survivors
May 27, 2013

It can be harder (or well-nigh impossible) to type after a stroke.  At the same time, the internet can be a key way to find information or stay connected.  Here’s one idea for saving money on an adaptive keyboard: use one meant for kids.  We picked up a Crayola keyboard for my son at a thrift store for $2.  The keys are HUGE.  The letters on them are HUGE.  I used to be able to touch type very quickly and I’m relearning to touch type but when I’m fatigued, I’m right back to hunt and peck.  But when I’m fatigued, I have trouble picking out the letters on the keys.  When I’m fatigued, I have trouble coordinating my affected hand enough to hit the correct key.  Adaptive keyboards are really expensive.

But this sort of keyboard is only $20 and does the job unless you need truly huge keys.  I actually find the bright colors help too because it’s easier to locate where on the keyboard I need to aim and it can be hard to see the letters on the black background of normal keys.  Make sure when you are shopping to find a keyboard with large keys, not just large print (unless all you want is the large print).  Most computers can cope with multiple keyboards so if you usually prefer the normal one and only need the large keys when you’re feeling crappy, you should be able to have both available.

See the original article:

Qwerty Envy

Marcelle Greene
Up Stroke
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On my first day of occupational therapy, I was asked to state a goal. My answer: To type.

I can't expect that I'll ever type as well as I used to. At university, I acquired speed and accuracy by entering classified ads on deadline for the school paper. Over the years, I became so fast that co-workers would comment. One asked, "Are you doing that for real? Or are you typing gibberish to make us think you're working?"

Typing was an integral part of my writing process. The words flowed out of my head and through my fingertips. When I stopped being able to type, I stopped being able to write. Several people recommended Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software. Learning to adapt my writing process to this tool is one of the main reasons I started the blog.

My goal to type is an ambitious one. To reach it will take lots of patience and practice. I might as well start now.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs.

(Typed with two hands – my right guiding all fingers on the left except the middle one, which can punch a key all on its own. 7 WPM, Errors: 0)

See the original article:

Frustrated by a Right Handed World

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
July 18, 2011

I was right-handed until a stroke paralyzed my right side.  Now that my left hand is my dominant hand I've learned the world discriminates against left-handed people.  Switching hand dominance at 58 years old was an eye opener.  The aggravation goes beyond right-handed (1) scissors and (2) can openers.  (3) The shutter button on cameras is always on the right.  When I hold a camera with my left hand a finger often covers the lens when my index finger depresses the shutter button.  (4) Computer labs make sure there is room to maneuver a mouse on the right side, but don't always leave room on the left.  (5)  Left-handed drivers have to reach around or through the steering wheel to put the key in the ignition which is always on the right.  (6) Many credit card machines put the slot you swipe your card through on the right side.  When the slot is on the top, left-handed people have to push the card away from their dominant side unless the card can be swiped in either direction.  The plastic stylus you sign with is frequently attached to the right side with a very short cord.

(7)  Before my stroke my right hand used to close a jar by turning the lid clockwise and the back of my fingers used to get closer to my forearm (see photo on left).  Now that I use my left hand to turn the lid it's my thumb that gets closer to my forearm.  This new wrist position doesn't match 50 years of muscle memory.  It took me three years to stop making a lid tighter when I wanted to loosen it.

Left handers I've talked to say they solve these problems by using their right hand.  The only advantage left-handed people have is the QWERTY layout of a keyboard.  You can type thousands of words on the left side of the keyboard with the the left hand but can type only a few hundred words on the right side with the right hand (  (8) Deciding which hand to write with is only the beginning.  Left-handed people have to decide which hand to use until the day they die.

See the original article:

Left vs. Right

Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
18th March 2010

I was speaking to a sales rep on the phone today, negotiating a price for something I wanted to buy, and she must have remembered something I said yesterday about being on medical leave because she said that she had recently had a health problem and was finding it very hard to get back into the swing of things at work, but it didn't seem as though I was having that problem. I decided to lay my cards out and I told her that I'd had a stroke in November and was still recovering, but that I found work to be very helpful, so it was easy to get back into it. She seemed very surprised and told me that I sounded wonderful for having had a stroke so recently - her father had had a stroke when he was in his 50's and, she said, it took him several years to be able to speak normally again. I resisted explaining to her the difference between having a stroke on the left vs. right side of the brain - if I had been so unfortunate as to have had mine in my left brain, not only would I have lost the function of my right, dominant side, but my speech and language skills would have been disrupted. Some people with left-brain strokes need to learn to read all over again, starting with which squiggle is what letter ( and what is a letter, anyway?). Instead of my right hand doing double duty on the keyboard, it would be the recalcitrant one, and I'd be brushing my teeth, typing and buttoning my clothes with my very uncoordinated left hand. There's no way I would be able to even remotely do my job without being able to read and type - so I feel very fortunate to have had a right-brain stroke, as crazy as that sounds.

See the original article:

‘M’ is for Mop

Amy Shissler
My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
Aug 8, 2013

I was reminded of something yesterday that I couldn’t do in the hospital.  Now, I couldn’t do a whole hell of a lot of stuff when I was in the hospital but for whatever reason it REALLY pissed me off that I was unable to do this test and it has stuck with me.  The test was…..pick a letter of the alphabet and say all the words that you can think of that begin with that letter.  I couldn’t do it.  I would come up with 1 or 2 words.  I forget what the goal is, I think 11 words in a minute.  I don’t know, I can’t remember.  11 words really?  That doesn’t seem like a lot.  You know, I bring up a good point.  :)  Eleven words is so very, very abnormal for me but it would’ve been considered ‘normal’ had I gotten 11.  They taught us in PT school – you know what maybe they didn’t, maybe this is something I’ve learned since school – that you always need to ask the patient “is that normal FOR YOU?”  No one asked me that, ever.  With brain injuries it’s a little different because what’s normal for you is forever changed now but – I don’t know.

Ok I just did this with the letter ‘t.’  I got 19.  It would’ve been more if I could type with 2 hands, I should’ve given myself a little more time for pecking at the keyboard with one hand.

Tab, tap, tan, talk, tip, tint, taunt, tent, temperature, tell, Teflon, the, test, taste, tack, take, tame, tackle, time

See the original article:

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Type of Typing

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, May 25, 2014

An interesting discussion ensued in one of the stroke communities I'm involved in. Whether the Dvorak or QWERTY is easier to type with one handed. My answer is... it depends.

I have gone round and round this discussion since my stroke left me with only one functioning hand. I'm a dyed in the wool QWERTY fan. With two hands, my WPM speed was 120 WPM. With one hand my speed has increased to 40 WPM. I'm still striving for the 60 WPM mark but it will take some time just like reaching the 120 WPM speed was with two hands. It's a goal with no time line. I will get there.

Dvorak keyboard
After saying that I'm not totally against the Dvorak system either. It's just another way to type. I know some people love it while others like me shy away from it. I just have to relearn and learn so many things Dvorak is low on my want to learn list, but not as low as playing the violin.

Residual Activity “Hot Spots” in the Brain Key for Vision Recovery in Stroke Patients

Dean Reinke
Deans’ Stroke Musing
Friday, January 3, 2014

Once again researchers don't know what cause and effect is. If you want to know what possibilities for easy recovery are you have to map out the penumbra damages, probably via PET scans.

And do they possibly think that 'cold spots' are areas of completely dead neurons? What is the solution for bringing back the function those dead areas represent?  Residual Activity “Hot Spots” in the Brain Key for Vision Recovery in Stroke Patients.

According to Study Published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience Scientists know that vision restoration training (VRT) can help patients who have lost part of their vision due to glaucoma, optic nerve damage, or stroke regain some of their lost visual functions, but they do not understand what factors determine how much visual recovery is achieved.

New evidence published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience suggests that vision restoration depends mostly on activity of residual vision that is still left after the injury and that both local neuronal activity and activity in the immediate surround influence the development of visual recovery “hot spots.” This shows that recovery of vision is mediated by partially surviving neurons.

My Blue Boat Home

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
May 26, 2014

I love to travel.  I have driven through 47 of the 50 states and lived in eight of them (Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey).  Yet a recent trip to Sante Fe, New Mexico showed me a dry climate can suck every drop of water out of my body.  On the first day I saw wrinkles on my face that I had never seen before.  Two days later I developed a dry cough.  Two days and nights of dry coughing produced a thick fluid in my lungs and made my back muscles spasm.  Standing up and walking was misery.  Even though I drank several glasses of water a day I was so dehydrated that a layer of skin came away every time I ran a finger across my lips.

I associate the pattern of dry cough - wet cough - back spasm with winter when sub-freezing temperatures make the air too cold to hold much water.  I did not know thin desert air (elevation 7,200 feet) that has 5 to 10% humidity can make me wish I were dead.

New Mexico is land of amazing panoramic views.  My photo does not do justice to the colors and grand scale.  To survive this beauty I had to buy a vaporizer to put warm moist air in my bedroom and take medicine for a cough and back pain.

Thank God I live on a planet that has tons of water.  However, now I know I need to check the humidity as well as temperature before I travel.  I took a deep breathe when I got back home and saw the Atlantic Ocean.

Except from a hymn called:

My Blue Boat Home
I've been sailing all my life now 
Never harbor or port have I known 
The wide universe is the ocean I travel 
And the earth is my blue boat home.

See the original article:

Orange Popsicles and Stroke Awareness

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This summer, when the weather gets hot, I think I'll have an orange Popsicle.

I ran across this quirky story about a stroke survivor whose one of her early phrases in recovering speech was "orange Popsicle."

You can also check out the video below on how a couple sends out a hopeful message to stroke survivors, one Popsicle at a time:
But with her new husband, Jonny, by her side, she began to beat the odds. First, she began moving her pinky finger and eventually began trying to talk again. 
“She said, ‘I love you. Orange Popsicle,’” Jonny remembered. “And she kept saying that, ‘Orange Popsicle, orange Popsicle,’ all through rehab, ‘I want an orange Popsicle.’” 
Amy’s Popsicle craving was a silver lining in an otherwise very dark time. It was a symbol of her progress and is now one of support. 
The couple launched National Orange Popsicle Week a few years ago to raise money and awareness for other young stroke survivors and their families. They want people to know strokes can affect anyone, young and old.

See the original article:

#Stroke Loss Cycle – Where are you? #Depression #Closure

Kate Allatt
A Rocky Stroke Recovery
May 23, 2014

Back in 2010 I was very much in the well-known denial phase of my illness. My no-word-of-a-lie thought, when I was told by my husband that I’d had a stroke in ICU was, ‘Don’t be bloody ridiculous, strokes happen to old people, not uber fit 39 year olds!’ Wrong. I was clearly very deluded.

Then, I morphed into Mrs Angry at the point I started to co-write my first, internationally published book -Running Free (Amazon). You see I had my life all mapped-out (being a control freak) and this certainly wasn’t in my plan! The injustices I suffered were acutely hurtful and I lashed out and often. My mantra. ‘How dare you all do that to me? ‘ ‘Do I mean so little to you all?’ Yet again I do acknowledge all the support for me/us in hospital during 2010 by loved-ones. It was totally amazing. However, I became appalled by some of the behaviour of so called loved-ones that I only later discovered, occurred far away from me in hospital. These dreadful events made me question just how popular I/we really were in our community after all. I knew, and openly acknowledged in all my media appearances, about all about the good things, how the village rallied, eg. cooked for my family, visited me etc, but not the lowness, selfishness and self-centred ness of some individuals at the time. We were an utterly broken family and some people shocked and disappointed me. Although none of the issues we faced were particularly unusual for most stroke survivors to have to deal with.

Semantic Paraphasic Errors

The Pink House On The Corner
Saturday, May 24, 2014

This week, Bob passed his 4 week re-evaluation for outpatient PT and was scheduled for another 4 weeks! (Yay!) And he also had an evaluation from a new speech therapist.

I must say it was an interesting appointment and I must say, I do like this ST. She assessed Bob's "main" aphasia problem as making what she called "semantic paraphasic errors". This means that when Bob tries to "find" a word, and chooses a wrong word, this wrong word is in the same category or closely related to word he is trying to find.

For example: when the ST showed Bob a picture of a garden bench, he said "yard".

And when she asked Bob if we had any pets/animals at home, Bob told her "a horse". (Of course, if you ever met Boomer --- well, you know, many people say he's as big as horse!)

She says she has some ideas on how to work on this problem.

Daughter, Caregiver.

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke
Saturday, May 17, 2014

The nice young lady in the video is Victoria Negri. Her full-length film, Gold Star, is in preproduction. The film is based on her experiences and relationship with caring for her father post-stroke.

"I would love your support in getting this feature made. We launched a Kickstarter, which has seen lots of support so far, but being featured on your blog to help spread the word would be amazing. Please let me know if you have time to write something up or if you'd like us to. Our Kickstarter ends June 6th. Here's the link."

Standard YouTube License @ ailandpete

See the original article:

...And My Favorite

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
How to Stop People from Bugging You

About Getting Married 

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next."

They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale Online Collaboration

Uploaded on Dec 6, 2011

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free.

Standard YouTube License @ TED

RMR: Rick and Hydrofoiling

Published on Oct 30, 2013

Rick hits the water on Shuswap Lake
in Salmon Arm, BC

SSTattler: Disability as well... !!

Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Def'n: Sailing with Disability - Cruising

SSTattler: The first SSTattler article "Sailing with Disability - Introduction" May 3/2014 - if you did not read it then please go back and read it - it a good article. In this article (again from Wikipedia) will tell you the various types of sail (Jib, Genoa, Mainsail, Spinnaker) and, at least the Skipper (the person in charge of the boat) knows how to Navigate with a Nautical Chart. If you are a beginner learn at least:
  • Two types of sail, the Jib and the Mainsail, and how to to it, e.g. raising a jib,..., and,
  • Nautical Chart - you know a) where you are and b) avoiding problems e.g. underwater rocks,...
Later you will learn, if you want to, about the Genoa and Spinnaker and how to Navigate. The best, of course, is take lots of course(s) and most sailing clubs have them.

Types of Sail

1. Jib From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A jib is a triangular staysail that sets ahead of the foremast of a sailing vessel. Its tack is fixed to the bowsprit, to the bow, or to the deck between the bowsprit and the foremost mast. Jibs and spinnakers are the two main types of headsails on a modern boat.

Modern Yachts and Small Craft

A jib, left, compared to a genoa, right.
The foretriangle is outlined in red.
Boats may be sailed using a jib alone, more commonly jib(s) make a minor direct contribution to propulsion, compared to a main sail. Generally, a jib's most crucial function is as an airfoil, increasing performance and overall stability by reducing turbulence on the main sail's leeward side.

On boats with only one jib, it is common for the clew of the jib to be further aft than the mast, meaning the jib and mainsail overlap. An overlapping jib is called a genoa jib or simply a genoa (see illustration). These are efficiently used when reaching more broadly than a close reach. Alternatively, a boat may carry smaller jibs, to compensate aerodynamics when the main sail is reefed; these more rugged sails are called storm jibs or spitfires.

On a boat with two staysails the inner sail is called the staysail, and the outer (foremost) is called the jib. This combination of two staysails is called a cutter rig (or a yankee pair) and a boat with one mast rigged with two staysails and a mainsail is called a cutter.

Video: Sailing with Disability - Cruising

SSTattler: a) BTW "keel-boat" is usually called a "yacht" regardless of length. b) As well, we will include dinghies and the Catamaran/Trimaran (two or three hulls like the Hobbie Cat Sailing and  Tornado Mixed Sailing - The Perfect Boat for Mixed Olympic Sailing) and useful for cruising.

Disability - RYA Sailability - Help Your Members get the Most out of Your Club. 

Published on Feb 27, 2014

Standard YouTube License @ Royal Yachting Association 

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2014/05/18

“— and what have you done ?!?!"
Scott Adams - 2014/05/18

“It’s pre-mature to get your hopes up!"

Charles Schulz - 2014/05/18

“She’s stubborn and uncompliable and intractable and..." 

Garry Trudeau - 2014/05/18

“The mud-slinging, the rancour, the tedium, the slog..."

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on the previous Sunday.

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

By the Book

Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
4th January 2012 

Like many bloggers, I am a writer, and writing blog entries is the best way for me to respond to what has happened to me. If I were an artist, my coping would probably involve creating artwork; a football player, I'd be bulking back up; if a bus driver, getting my license back.

In my 30 years as a writer - both studying and practicing - I have written 4 novels that were never published. Part of that is because they suck. I gave up fiction-writing when I realized I was getting to the point of being pathetic. Giving up is not one of my deep-inside characteristics; in fact, I am the opposite - I tend to stay the course through every storm, promising myself that I will hold out through whatever the trouble is. I compromised, though, by considering John Updike's point of view. As both a writer and an editor, Updike saw writing as sailing on the open ocean, while editing is "hugging the shore." So, I became an editor. It wasn't that clear-cut at the time: the newspaper that employed me as a reporter needed an editor and selected me: I was reliable, a solid writer, met every deadline, and, after a bit of feedback, could successfully edit my own articles, which I have found to be the most challenging editing task because I am attached to each phrase I write and I know exactly what I mean by it.

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Gonna Take a Sea Cruise?

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, May 18, 2014

In a previous life's career, I was a disabilities coordinator for a local college long before ADA came into being. I was also a consultant for Carnival Cruise lines in the area of accessibility for disabled persons.

You see, I was disabled prior to my stroke, but for the most part it was an invisible disability. I had rods and screws in my back and artificial joints. I was well qualified for the positions and also well versed in ADA.

There are several things you must do and realize before you take a cruise.

Ships are internationally registered and are not subject to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). They do not legally have to make concessions for you as a disabled person. Things like accessible bathrooms and elevator access are offered as an added benefit to customers.

Forewarned is forearmed. Ask before you book your trip and find out exactly what accommodations they offer. Saying they accept disabled persons or have reasonable accommodations is not enough.

‘Thelma & Louise’ Return for a Very Special Boat Trip!! @Kateallatt #Cunard

Kate Allatt
A Rocky Stroke Recovery
May 13, 2014

I was only invited to speak on the Cunard’s Queen Victoria ship!

Please pinch me, did this really happen?!

In a year when I’ve been invited to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace on my 44th birthday in June, I really can’t believe I got an invite to give a talk on the salubrious Queen Victoria ship too..

me at home head rests
Exactly 4 years ago for my 40th birthday, I was marking my big milestone with a balloon on the end of my hospital bed. Depressing.

However, fast forward four years (and my annus horribilis of 2012), with my obsessive personality and having to do something worthwhile, in what I’ve realised first hand, could be a short life.

Deep breath….

Midwest Recumbent Rally by Hostel Shoppe

Events on Friday & Saturday will be held @ the Hostel Shoppe! 

Sunday's "SUPER TOUR" starts @ The Jensen Center in Amherst, Wisconsin.

Click-it for more details...

Creatively Recovering From Stroke

Gary Gray
PEI Stroke Recovery
Tuesday, may 13, 2014

To days question: Have you self published yet? No, I'm not kidding you... My stroke buddy Frank Carl has just published his third book "Blood Moon Demon" on Kindle. This is his second that was published about a year ago in May 2013. Check it out!


This short novel begins with several humerous events in my life, leading up to the discovery of a novel I began in 2001 and then packed away in 2003 after... AMAZON.CA

See the original article: