Conventions: Power Rangers In Space: 25 Years Later!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling across the vast universe! I have been busy with my move since it’s going to take place tomorrow. Before I continue packing, I want to post at least one panel video for you all on here from Ranger Stop!

Power Rangers in Space: 25 Years After!

First panel up is the Power Rangers in Space panel! This season has been one of my favorites since it does continue from Turbo after Cordon gets taken. This season was also the end of the Cordon Era of Power Rangers since we already know what happens. If you’re new to this season, I would suggest to take a watch because it had a lot of stuff going on in this one even Ninja Turtles showing up. Not kidding! At the same time, the live-action Ninja Turtles series was going on at the same time and had a crossover with this season. It was weird but I’ve seen weirder in most anime and funnier too, I mean me and Gondras are watching Overlord for one thing but hey at least I had a blast watching this season. So enjoy this panel even with the ones who couldn’t attend Friday’s events which someone did comment about that. This blog has your back when it comes to panel videos!

That is it for this panel video! Next will be the Villain, Mentor, and Minion panel from Saturday! Stay tuned and make sure you follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique to get that alert! Until next time! Stay beautiful while traveling the universe and also wish me luck at my new place while you’re at it!

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Convention Impossible: RangerStop 6!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! It is time again for the Convention Spotlight!

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts, opinions, and observations from the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts on the convention and what she had observed!

Well, Ranger Stop 6 has come and gone and it’s that time again to review this convention!

Location: The Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal has been the same layout ever since I have been there as an attendee but I felt like the sighted help was better this time around. As in, when I got dropped off by Paratransit there were valets there helping and they guided me to where I needed to go for picking up my badge. The guy who sight guided me Friday asked me what my favorite season was even and told him it was Time Force and he told me they had Time Force Pink as a guest last year. I was kind of sad about that because tried getting press last year which I will get to that point later. Hoping she does come back again. Back on topic, volunteers did help me out in getting in and out of the convention as in the two sets of doors in where to go and guiding me around the barriers and even through the panel rooms! Way to go staff! I give you major props on this! Heck, even a cleaning lady helped me when my liquid lipstick was a bit askew.

Events: After learning my lesson from three years ago, I did show up on the first day a little before it opened and I think the events have gotten better as in not just having so many events for VIPs and letting regular attendees miss out on them. Now they have events in Panel Room B where you have to pay for a sit down meal or snack with your favorite ranger members, heck there was one with the ZyuRangers on Friday. Trust me, if I had the money right then I would have enjoyed S’mores with the RPM Gold and Silver Rangers or pancakes with Sean C. W. Johnson. Maybe next year if we do press again. Still the other panels in Panel Room A were the most jam packed because of what they had this year. For instance, the Power Rangers in Space: 25 Years after Panel was amazing and did record that one since it was one of my other favorite seasons. I did also attend many other panels like Let’s Henshin since it was a Kamen Rider panel that covers the series later on and knowing Gondras would fan boy over. He did show me V3 since we did find it on DVD during MegaCon. I think my favorite panel of all throughout the weekend would have to be the Saban Meets Disney Era one because we got to have cast mates from both sides of the Saban series of seasons with the Disney ones due to how Disney bought Power Rangers from Wild Force all the way through RPM. I did get to ask a question since at one point in the video you do see me heading towards the line, I would say if you would do a MST3K bit at home just sound like you’re on a rollercoaster since I was using my camera on my phone and carried it with me to the microphone which was actually nice and easier than having someone run from one area of the room to the next like three years ago. What did I ask? You have to watch that video! And yes, I did go to Rangers after Dark, can’t say much except don’t tick off Jason Mamoa.

Guests: The guests this year were very friendly and sweet. They were surprised that I was blind and doing press at the thing because well like most times the cane is not visible until I point at it. I did get a little shy, I know Nerdy Shirts did point out on Sunday why should I be shy when I interview people? Valid question but sometimes it does happen because I will explain here that seeing all these people when I was a kid and on Net Flix in their respective seasons is a little exciting but it can also be a little overwhelming at times and I think, Crap! What do I say!? Even though there are times where my hat or shirt speaks for me as in they get noticed. Yes, was wearing my RWBY hat since well I don’t have one for Power Rangers anywhere. In case if you were wondering, I did talk to Barbara Goodson and was wearing “Make My Monsters Grow” shirt and she loved it! What made it funnier was Friday, I was wearing my Lost Galaxy Red shirt and apparently if I have it right but Christopher Kayman Lee was also wearing one and we were twins! Thank you Mr. Photographer, I am still waiting for that pic since I did hand him my card. Christopher did like the shirt I wore Sunday which was Dead Pool punching a shark, I would make the joke that it was the Shark Zord from Ninja Storm but was telling him that would be easier to interview him over Skype since this convention was pretty busy for them and it is our back up interview area, I did interview some people thought but have to wait!

Did I meet up with Austin St. John and Walter Jones? Yes! I did find something awesome among my items in a box of stuff from the attic was a Mighty Morphen Black Ranger plush. The story behind it was that I won this during a set of games at an event called Disney Days At the Park and they had Power Ranger dolls as prizes for the kids and I think I was around ten at the time and won one of the Black Ranger ones and was happy to find it again and thought to show it to Walter and he was surprised I had something like it. I wished to get it signed but it does cost for an autograph but at least I shown it to him. Still a nice guy like Austin.

I did get to meet the Mega Force crew since it has been five years since the series had ended and they were nice people. I hope to get them on Skype for an interview! Did also meet the Alpha suit wearers which were Peta-Marie from the 1995 movie and Romy who was the one from the show and Romy and I talked about Richard Horvitz since he voiced Alpha. These two did get asked what they thought about the 2017 movie from last year like everyone else and you will get to see that in the Villain, the Mentor and Minion panel video. I did ask Sean C. W. Johnson about the call back to Mariner Bay by the way which you will also get to see that.

I didn’t get to meet up with Yoshi from Dino Charge since I met him briefly three years ago when the show was still going on nor did get to meet his brother, Peter, who took up the Blue Ninja Steel mantle. Well, too be fair so many fans were meeting everyone and didn’t know where they were but at least I got to meet everyone even had an anime discussion with some people and explained what RWBY was for a few people. I did have one major meaningful moment but want to wait towards the end.

Vendors: Sorry guys, due to the move I didn’t buy anything since I wanted to save money in case if I had to pay for my power deposit or need to get groceries just in case and yes there were nice, pretty shiny things but I had to keep myself from buying anything. I did get some buttons that were made for the guests and that they were giving away and got a few for my Polaris strap since it would tell my Polaris apart from other Braille devices people may have while working. I know with most conventions I would have a small haul with what I bought but my move was more important at the moment but maybe next year or during Holiday Matsuri since this year is going to be a Christmas Gift Shopping bit for Gondras.

Verdict: CONVENTION ACCOMPLISHED! Reason for this is because I had a blast this time around not only doing press but getting to meet and know some of the guests too. I had a lot of fun at the panels and glad that the convention and hotel staff helped me out. I also thank Nerdy Shirts taking his Sunday to join up with me to record the interviews as always and hoping next year GOndras gets to join in on the fun because I want to do press again! Why is that? Well, since I did mention a very touching moment is that I did even impressed Tracy Lynn Cruz, who played Space Yellow, and Audrey Dubois, who did play Trini in the pilot for Mighty Morphen and that I was seen as inspirational towards them. Yes, despite the blindness it can be a tough thing but in the end I am doing something that not all blind people think of doing or probably step out to do. Doing this press stuff gives me a purpose and showing that even though you’re disabled you can find a way around obstacles in getting content out there on YouTube, Word Press, Tumblr, and other places and passing that torch onto someone who wants to do it too is even more rewarding. I mean I gave advice to a new writer who was talking to Christopher Kayman Lee about his own story and we kind of got confused and asked questions and then gave my own advice about fleshing out the story more and when I was done Christopher goes, “There you go.” It felt thrilling and at the same time that I can be that mentor to others to show that things are possible. Hoping no water works but hey it felt amazing. I will take it to heart and put it into my work coming up soon and a warning for my interview with Audrey you may need tissues. And now…

Needs for Improvement: Which is Just a Press Form! I think this is the only need for improvement because I feel like it would help out. It’s nice to email someone that is doing press but emails do get lost and sometimes end up in the Spam Folder and doesn’t get seen. When I contacted about press last year no response and it took a bit for this year. Trust, I didn’t give up on this one and glad to add this convention to our experience. I did explain the reasons behind it with the heads for this convention and did point out that we do live in the age of tech so using sites for making forms and adding it to the website can make it easier in finding out who are the press teams that are signing up and what they do and plus it makes it less of a mess trying to find an email or two when you et the forms on a certain server to look at. I mean all the other cons do it like Omni Fandom Expo, MegaCon, even the guys at MetroCon sent me theirs when I did press for them years ago, even MythiCon when they were around did it. Just have a form it would be so much easier!

Well, that is it for this Convention Spotlight. I bet you’re wondering, “Do we want to do press again?” HELL yeah! I mean of course! I would even drag Gondras if I have to since he needs to experience this himself!

Anyways, stay tuned for all of the videos including interviews and panels from this year’s event! So, follow us on Twitter for the latest updates! Until next time, stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Technology: How to Make An Accessible Convention Schedule

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! I am back with something completely different!

Creating a Simple and Accessible Convention Schedule!

As a blind person myself, it’s sometimes hard to read a convention guide with or without the accessible apps. Ever since last year, I have been creating my own Convention Schedules through using Google Sheets which makes it easier on myself, even if we have a press pass or not. I did have the Word Document version of the NFB Convention Schedule but wishing I had done that spreadsheet because it was a little tedious going through all the different pages in the entire guide. If I were to go to future NFB related events I will definitely do that. I bet you’re wondering, how am I able to get access to that document? Well, with the technology we have today there are different apps we can use in order to read documents and of course with how Apple has the Files app in order to access the Pages and Numbers apps to read things alongside Google having Drive and I did review the Polaris and how Drive can be used. So, here is how I make my Convention Schedule:

What You Need: Either a Tablet or a PC in order to access a spreadsheet program and either One Drive, Drop Box, Google Drive, and other File Sharing apps. If you have one, a Braille Device with Android Tech or you can just save it to a Thumb Drive.

1. Look at the convention schedule for the one you’re going to. Conventions tend to have a short list of events and then add onto it, which to keep the document ready in order to access again to add onto it.
2. Next, on whatever spreadsheet app or program, at the top of the columns, title them “Day,” “Panel Room,” “Time,” “Panel/Event Name” or what name you want it to be. You can also do a Notes column where you can write in what you want to have your friends do if they are on your press team or if you don’t have a press pass but want video for a YouTube Channel you like to put your convention videos on, you can also mention video or pictures. Also, if it’s a meet up, just mention that.
3. Next, this will get a little technical and that is merging cells to create blocks. This will help separate the days from each other, even the panel rooms where each event would be and their times. Such as this event will take place on Friday, in the same room as another but at a different time. So, in the Day Column from the day you type in do a Shift+Down Arrow and count each cell you may need to add the events, like if you want to go to four events end it at that by going home or heading back to your hotel room for the rest of the day which you would count three cells from Friday and it would select those blocks as you go. Next, there are times where certain apps give you the Alignment Box which gives you the options that gives options on how you want your text and cells be formatted. If you’re using Excel on a computer, you use the Applications Key and then up arrow to “Format Cells” and it will give you a box with tabs, which you can switch with either using Ctrl+Tab but now you can easily use Ctrl+Page Up or Down and just do that until you hear Alignment.
A. In order to get to the Merge Cells option in the Alignment area is by swiping on your device until you hear “Merge Cells” and sometimes depending on the device it will say, “Off” so double tap and it will turn on. Once you go back to the cells in your spreadsheet by either swiping or using a keyboard if you have one, it will say, “A2 to A4” Merged Cells!”
B. With Excel on a computer, once in the Alignment, you tab over to “Merge Cells” and hit the enter key on that option. And it will say the same message as if it was done on your tablet.
4. Once you have all of the events you want and added into the spreadsheet for the entire weekend, there are many things you can do with it:
A. For the Braille Device user, for the Polaris since I use that, best way of being able to view this document is by a PDF. First, go into Docs on your Polaris and go to the apps area and you can either access Docs or Drive and whatever account it’s saved under make sure you’re on that account. Next, either first letter navigate or tab, F3, to go to the spreadsheet it’s titled as and then use one of the scroll keys to go down and hear “More Options for this File.” Hit enter or Dot eight and then tab to where it says, “Send a Copy.” This will give you the option to save as a PDF, hit Enter once you tab over to it and tab over to the OK button and it will give you the options of apps to send to or save to and I choose Drive where once it’s entered on that, it will give you the OK button to send it over. Once that’s done. Go to Drive and it will give you all your documents you have saved through the different Google apps, find that file you saved as a PDF and once you tab to More Options, hit Enter again and then tab down to Download. And it will download to the Downloads folder in the File Manager. When you open that file from Downloads, all your information you have entered will be there. You can also save it as an Excel format, if you haven’t used Excel Viewer which I had to look up, there are commands to use in order to view your information. I find the PDF view easier since all my information is aligned.
B. For anyone who doesn’t have the Android specs, you can save the information to a thumb drive and save the file to your device by cutting or copying the file to your clipboard and paste it into your documents folder and open it from there to view it. If your device has the Excel Viewer like mine, I think the U2 had it f I remembered, you can find the navigation keys in the Help Menu.
C. If you have Numbers, even though it has changed with IOS 12, or have Sheets as well, you can use the Bluetooth capabilities with your Apple device in order to navigate a spreadsheet if it’s saved as one or copy down the schedule into the Pages app as an easier alternative to using a spreadsheet app. And of course with I Cloud on your device, you can save the many spreadsheets as different formats and send it to Drive if you prefer it that way and download it from Drive on your Polaris, you an also do it that way.
Well, that is it for this post. I know it was really technical in a way and tried to make it as simple as I could. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating this schedule, whether it’s through using Excel on your computer and saving it to a thumb drive or just doing it through Google or Apple, you can create something that can help you get to your events during a big weekend. I will be using this idea with Ranger Stop this weekend and will give you an update in the Convention Spotlight in how it worked. I will take a look into what happened with Numbers and may make a post about that since I noticed some changes since IOS 12 has released. Stay tuned for that and anything else! Until then, stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Conventions: Holiday Matsuri 2018!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling across the universe! I am back and it’s time for another Convention Spotlight!

Convention: Holiday Matsuri
Location: World Center Marriot in Orlando, FL
Dates: December 14th through the 16th 2018

It’s back and we’re back for another year of press! Oh yeah, we are on a roll for this year since of course any new readers who don’t know about this convention, I will tell! This convention in Orlando’s holiday themed convention that takes place in December. It has seen many hotels in town and now it has been at the World Center Marriot since 2016. Speaking of hotels!

Hotel: Like the past two years, Holiday Matsuri will be held at the World Center Marriot near Disney. Rates for the Marriot start at $159.00 a night and if you guys have the Marriott Rewards app you can add more rewards. Rooms are almost sold out so I would hop on and reserve but what if you can’t get a room? There are two other options near the hotel and they are the Caribe Royalle where Holiday Matsuri was held before and the Holiday Inn Resorts & Suites Water Park. Good thing is that there are free shuttles for the two other hotels during convention hours. You can book through here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018-hotel-new/

Registration: Now onto Registration which is pretty big this year! You can buy your tickets via Event Bright on your PC or on your mobile device through the app available in the App Store and Google Play Store. There are passes left for VIP and they are $150.00. For the Three Day Pass, it’s at winter pricing at the moment which is $55.00. And for anyone going for just a day, Friday is $30.00, $40.00, and Sunday is $30.00. There are fees included when ordering online to let you know. If you guys go for a day, I suggest either Friday or Saturday since there are tons of events going on and if you go for Sunday you would catch the costume contest which is pretty entertaining. Oh right! If you have a child that wants to go, its $20.00 for age’s six to twelve. And for under six, it’s free!

Besides the usual convention passes, there are events that require tickets to be purchased and that includes the Benefit Ball and they cost $10.00, $15.00 and $20.00. You can find out more about Registration by going here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018registration/

Guests: So, what guests does Hol Mat have in store for the good little nerds this year?

Returning to Hol Mat this year we have Todd Habercorn, you may remember him as Natsu Drakneil from Fairy Tail, Death the Kid from Soul Eater, and one video game duo you may have heard an interesting version of his voice, Rowan from Tales of Xilia Part 1 and 2! It’s fun playing as him in that game. And of course any Star Trek Continues fans in the Nerd Universe like me and Gondras, he plays Spock!

Another return is Cian Schemmel who of course plays Goku in DBZ and also DB Super.

For any Over watch fans out there we have Jen Cohn and Keith Silverstein!

And of course, what has me excited is Brittney Karbowski making an appearance at this year’s convention and you may remember her as Wendy the Sky Dragon Slayer from Fairy Tail, I’m wondering if she still has the Carla I gave her at MetroCon. Hmm! Also she is in My Hero Academia and one anime I remember her from is of course Kiba.

If you want to see full lists of the guests including cosplayers, hosts and so on, you can hop over to here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/guest-2018/

Stuff to Do So Little Time: Like a lot of conventions, there is so many things to do at Holiday Matsuri within the three day span. Plus you also have a lot when it comes to going around Orlando if you want to go out into maybe, hoping, cooler weather at night, to check out Disney Springs, Disney Boardwalk, and even Universal if you can. And if you need to pick up anything bathroom wise like toothpaste and shower gel, there are drugstores around and any grocery stores for any food you may get for your room. There is also the Pantry on the first floor alongside restaurants on hotel grounds and nearby.

Besides Orlando’s attractions, some things you should check out during the convention including their first 12 Ft. Christmas Tree where attendees can bring ornaments made by hand, which I will be doing myself with my keychain making. Plus, of course you have events like the Holiday Runway Contest which you have seen pics of in past years, and of course the Costume and Skit Contest. Not only that, returning for another year is Idol Fest! There is also other events which you can hop over here to see what else Hol Mat has to offer: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018-events/

Well, that’s about it that I will be covering in this Spotlight! There is so much to mention! I suggest getting your hotel room soon either at the World Center or the other two hotels I’ve mentioned because they will sell out. We will have coverage from this year’s convention and hoping to have some interviews for you this year. And if anyone’s new to the convention scene, my best buddy Vivi has been doing convention tips and will be doing it leading up to Holiday Matsuri which you can see right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDdkJ2EOOQBqXXI8vnVwIIg And follow her because she will appreciate it!

I hope you enjoy this Convention Spotlight, I know it was a bit early but had to get it out since I am moving in November and who knows when I can post while unpacking everything and working too. So, hope to see you all at Holiday Matsuri 2018. The weekend before the move, we will be at Ranger Stop 2018 doing press! So yep, the end of this year is a busy one for us! So, until next time! Stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Accessibility: How Nerd Conventions Can Be Accessible!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back! I am back with another post and this time it does deal with blindness and accessibility and my convention world.

How Nerd Conventions Can Can Be Accessible to the Blind

As you guys know and might have read The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories from the Dark, I’ve been an anime or more like a nerd convention goer since 2004 if you count a day at JACON but didn’t really start going until the year after while being with THEE X at the time. I have had many stories from my being an attendee with some sight and when I lost my sight it became a new outlook and perspective in going to these events. As years have gone, I have noticed things about the nerd conventions and that is some accessibility issues. I have posted an idea over on the Holiday Matsuri Facebook Group and decided why not expand it to here since I do write blindness related topics and Accessibility has been a huge topic being thrown around and I felt like why not show what I think should make a convention more accessible to the blind.

Town Criers Yelling Out Different Areas: This year I went to the National Federation of the Blind National Convention and while attending I heard people calling out where different areas are like where Registration was, where the General Sessions were and so on and it did help out because it told us as blind people where to go. I posted this exact idea on the Holiday Matsuri Group which got a lot of good responses because some conventions are held at very big locations like MegaCon at the Orange County Convention Center and Holiday Matsuri at the World Center Marriot. Another example, DragonCon in Atlanta spans over five hotels and knowing those are also huge in their convention center area. Reason for posting this besides getting the idea from the NFB Convention was that last year I had a hard time finding the Main Events room and I asked people and they pointed and said, “Over there!” As a blind person you don’t know what “Over there” is and I will touch on that even more next. Having people call out the areas like “Panels Over here to your right” or “Main events down this way!” It will help out because it not only shows its location but helps with going in the right direction. If it happened last year and heard, “Main Events down this way!” I would know just to head straight and then ask the person calling it to make sure and they said, “Just head straight.” Because there were times where I heard people ask the people for a double check and they answered the question.
Volunteers Being Sighted Guides: Touching more on the “It’s Over There!” Someone did post that they had a similar situation with a staff member where the person was pointing and tried to tell the staff member that they can’t see pointed fingers and didn’t do more about it. This is where the idea of having a sighted guide volunteer comes in. Conventions have asked for a lot of volunteers over the years and they do get tons over time, heck I have volunteered myself at JACON when it was alive and MegaCon twice before doing press. Having extra volunteers on hand can help anyone who may need the sighted guide help in getting to a particular area of the hotel or the convention itself? For instance, Omni Fandom Expo Year 1 I had a volunteer help me to get around since Omni was also at the World Center and it was hard to navigate when my mobility skills were rusty at the time. She helped me out getting to some of the signing tables and even to the bathroom which was great. Yeah it took around twenty minutes as a guesstimate but it did help out in a way. Having the volunteers able to do this can help someone who may be lost or can’t find the room if they couldn’t hear the person yelling or someone on a speaker system, trust me it was hard to hear the speakers in the MegaCon Vendor Room back in the past. What about getting to know about sighted guide if you’re a staff member reading this? Proper sighted guide is where the person offers the elbow or arm and the blind person grabs on not the other way around. A newer technique is also grabbing above the elbow like a cup to make it more comfortable. And another thing is, during volunteer meetings try asking the volunteer meetings if they can be able to guide anyone to certain areas such as bathrooms, panel rooms, even the doors for any ride pickups that a person need help with. In the end, volunteers are there to help and should help even further.
Having Convention Guides As Accessible Material: One thing that makes a convention exciting is the convention guide that tells you about guests, events, and the hours of the vendor room and gaming room but issue is not being able to read it and seeing the pretty pictures. Having an accessible digital version of the convention guide can help! I remembered having the full on Convention Guide for the NFB Convention on my Braille Sense Polaris as one huge Word Document. Did it help? Yes! It did tell me what events are at what time and where to go and the times for the Independence Market too each day. Whether it’s in PDF format or a Word Document, having the convention guide in one of these formats minus the photos can be something very easily accessed even placed onto a device that is portable like a phone with Google Docs for example or like I said above, my Braille Sense Polaris so I can read it in Braille. Which brings me to another point.
Placing Braille Index Cards with Room Names on Cardboard Signs: Yes, another point I found is that on easels placed around most conventions there are signs showing what room it is and/or just the panels being in that room. Since I mentioned the accessible document for Convention Guides, having an index card with the panel room number and the actual room’s name can be easier than just guessing or getting the rooms mixed up. There may be a volunteer at the door or not but after double checking the schedule for a specific event or seeing if you’re at the vendor room by finding the card on the easel can tell that you’re in the right place. Plus index cards aren’t that expensive but getting them made best to look into a Braille printing service or know someone who’s blind that can do it.
Having Music Zones: Someone posted this as a comment on my idea why not music in certain areas play. It would be a nice idea but it can get a little louder and a little bit mixed up because I admit I have that happen sometimes but if the music is more subtle and I walk towards the door and hear “Jingle Bells’ on a small speaker for Registration or a video game song like “Casino Night Zone” for the gaming room for example then I know where I am. Having that subtle speaker next to the door can help with what room you’re about to walk in. Even MegaCon had some subtle background music during the more main panels like the Mass Effect panel and the Flash panel if I remember. Yeah, I noticed with my hearing, it shows that music shouldn’t be so loud to scream over nor too low to hear it has to be just right.

Well, that’s about it for this post. Hoping for anyone that is on staff for a convention reads this and can pass it along because as a nerd I and how big accessibility is becoming it gives more inclusivity. For instance, movie theaters having the audio description option for movies and how Audible is having more audiobooks in their library for people. Heck, back to the accessible document, I helped with making Nemecene being more accessible if you haven’t read the review for the first book. All in all, more places are getting more accessible and now nerd conventions should join in since there are more blind people getting into a lot of these things.

So, what is next for Nerdy Shique Universe? I’m still reading the Alex Verus novels, still on Veiled and hoping to keep on reading. I know the Ipsy October bag will be here and once it arrives I will post about it. So, make sure you follow us on Twitter and stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Conventions: Ranger Stop 2018!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back again! This time it’s for a new Convention Spotlight!

Ranger Stop 2018
Location: Orlando, FL
Dates: November 9th through 11th, 2018
Hotel: Holiday Inn Across from Universal

New convention that we got press for and you may have seen our videos from when I attended as a normal person and that is Ranger Stop!

Ranger Stop is our Power Rangers themed convention we have every year in November, it was a toy show until 2013 and became a Power Rangers Convention. I have been a Power Rangers fan since I was seven and remembered when Mighty Morphen first came on after the cartoons ended for the morning and like most kids I thought, “This is so cool!” Heck, I wanted to see the movie back in 1995 but didn’t until it was on video. Of course Gondras and Nerdy Shirts are also fans and since it has been continuing as a series over time, glad that we’re doing press for this year’s event. It has been and will be at the Holiday Inn across Universal Studios, which is a very easy to navigate property even with my cane. Besides it being a nice hotel, this hotel is located in the center of the part of Downtown with a lot of attractions, you can walk across the street to Universal if you want to dine in at City Walk or if you have any passes hang out at Islands of Adventure or Studios itself. You can also enjoy Disney which is fifteen minutes away where you also have dining choices at Disney Springs and Boardwalk. Of course you can enjoy the parks while you’re at it. There is also SeaWorld and many other parts of International Drive for other dining places and fun, heck even see a movie if you’d like. There is Regal in Pointe Orlando and an AMC in Disney Springs, and if I remembered the theater at City Walk is also available. A lot to do in one weekend! Oh right, almost forgot, if you are craving a burger but don’t want to travel too far, the Holiday Inn also has a T. G. I. Friday’s inside!

Guests: Besides the awesome area that Orlando offers, you can also meet the many guests this year at Ranger Stop! Let’s see whose returning and who’s new!

Returning guests include Austin St. John, Katherine Sutherland, Audry Dubois, Steve Cardenas, Karen Ashley, Walter Jones, NakiaVurrise, Christopher Cayman Lee, and so much more!

New people: I haven’t been back to Ranger Stop until now but guessing since that Tracy Lynn Cruz is new to the guest line. Also Celwyn Ward from Turbo and In Space is also making an appearance. One guest that really is making a lot of people excited is a first and that is getting a cast member from the Sentai version which is the Japanese version of Power Rangers. They’re getting Reiko Chiba from ZyuRanger and one of her other castmates, Yuuta Mochizuki from the same series. This is pretty cool to have some Sentai actors to show up for a Power Rangers convention in Orlando.

If you want to check out the full list of guests appearing at this year’s event, you can find it here:

https://www.rangerstop.com/guests

Tickets: Now onto tickets! Usually I do this first but I think this is a good place to place it if reading this has you wanting to go! Prices for tickets are:

Gold VIP for Adults is $300.00 while with kid’s ages 4 to 9 is $$125.00

Then you have three day passes, one with a t-shirt which is $100.00 while without t-shirt is $65.00. There is also a family package for two adults and two children for $130.00.

If you want a one day ticket, Friday is $25.00, Saturday is $30.00, and Sunday is $25.00. For other ticket information such as children prices for each day and dates you can purchase, you can go here:

https://www.eventbee.com/v/rangerstopconvention6tickets#/tickets

And this is powered by Event Bright.

So there you go guys! I’m really excited for this year and hoping to get you awesome interviews with some of the guests going to this event. If you haven’t seen our stuff from 2015’s event, you can catch it here in the archives for November 2015 or you can just hop on over to our YouTube Channel where the videos are still there! Also, on Facebook Ranger Stop does have a Facebook Group for you guys to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/530924923711098/permalink/1313587765444806/

In case if you need more information and get to meet other Power Rangers fans from past and present!

Well, that’s it for now! Stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Favorites: July & August 2018!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! Welcome back for another post on here and this time it’s my favorites for July and August! Damn, this year is going by fast and I can’t believe Halloween is right around the corner.

Also, if this is in a weird format, I am testing a different word processor known as Jarte since I am going to be teaching tech why not test it out? Anyway’s, let’s get move on!

July and Augusts Favorites 2018:

Favorite Moments from NFB Convention:

Favorite Moment: Interviewing Apl DeAp from the Black Eyed Peas! First I’m starting with the NFB National Convention! I know it’s different from my attending anime conventions in Orlando and as a blind person I do self advocate by attending the anime conventions since I do enjoy it despite having a blind condition. Even the Chapter President at the NFB for Orlando did ask me how am I able to watch anime and my answer is always watching the English version because it is true. I have to rely on the dubbed version even though I can use Seeing A. I. to watch the subtitled version. I want to test it at some point and will get back to you about it but in the meantime I do like to support the actors I’ve interviewed. Speaking of interviews, Gondras and I did get to interview Apl DeAp from the Black Eyed Peas who was performing at the National Convention this year. This was a great opportunity since we do have music lovers reading this blog and from different genres and when I heard that Apl did have an eye condition it was a great opportunity to learn more about it. So, I did put in the request and was fit into the interview line up since two podcasts were also interviewing him. It was great to learn more about him and what he does, if you haven’t seen our interview, you can find the post talking about it here or you can go straight to our YouTube! Also, we are now following the Black Eyed Peas, Furgy, and Apl on Twitter to keep up with them and you should as well.

Favorite Purchase: My Braille Watch! Like most conventions I attend there are vendors at these things and oh man it was huge at the National Convention because you have companies showing their new tech like Google and Microsoft, even new app’s like N Reach which I’m affiliated with, but also products to help with independence and well I did get and that’s my Braille watch. I used to have talking watches and they died over time, even my last one where the talking part just died on me for good. I went a few years without one and when I got my First Time Scholarship I bought a new watch for myself and went with a Braille one because being at loud events like a concert or even in a mall it’s hard to hear the talking parts of the watch while a Braille watch you feel the face and the hands. I have to get used to the hand points though. If you grow your nails like I do, get a men’s watch because it’s easier when reading them.

Favorite Speech: A Kid Who Had Blind Parents! I am not a parent myself but an interesting fact is that the NFB help blind parents and parents of blind children with services and even trying to keep them safe because there are times where blind parents are seen as irresponsible when it comes to them. They do get trained in how to raise them and even the National and State Conventions do have workshops in helping parents who are sighted and blind to raise kids. When this speaker talked about her parents it was an eye opening experience besides the President of course because it shows that parents can get over their struggles in raising a child, even the part how she did the swap of family experiences where someone from a different home gets to live in the home for a week somewhere else and get to see the person’s family and how they lived, the person who lived with her was surprised that she didn’t know her parents were blind and had a great time with them. If you want to be a parent and you’re blind or end up with a kid going blind then the NFB will help you guys out with that.

Ipsy Round Up: Now it’s onto the Ipsy review where I talk about my products and how they went!

July: July is my return to the Ipsy service and it feels good to be back after two years of not having one. Trust me it was sad for me to see many people having videos on it. I was even in tears sometimes. Now that I have it back, I was glad to get it back because I love makeup and I don’t hurt anyone if I love it so much. Let’s see what I enjoyed!

BKR Water Balm: I finished this sample last night and it’s the Water Balm from BKR. I loved the scent of this which is very clean and you hardly smell the rose scent. I had a bit of a dry patch on my lips from scrubbing my lips and it did help with that. Will I buy it though? Even though it costs up in the $20 range I might get it since it is a very nice lip balm for what it is. I can see why they are pretty good as a brand but I do still have my LipSmackers and might purchase this in the future.
Smash box Always On Liquid Lipstick: I was glad to finally try this product since Ipsy was really the place where I got into Smash box. I do like how smooth this liquid lipstick goes on and it is not as drying as most formulas. I do like how wide this wand is and it did go on smoothly on top of my water balm and my lip primer. I may have to purchase this shade or another shade since this definitely got a thumbs up from me!
Sugar Cosmetics Heavy Duty Eye Kohl in Purple Rain: This eyeliner is super creamy! I do love my eyeliner pencils and the funny thing was that when I first subscribed to Ipsy and got my first bag I did get a black one from Lord & Berry and that one lasted me FOREVER and now that I have a full size pencil and it’s a purple one I was glad since I was looking for a new purple eyeliner. This goes on so smooth that there is no tugging like it claims on the product profile. I think this is a popular product since it sold out on Sugar Cosmetics’ USA web site and hoping they restock since I would like to see about the green one since that was another color you could get. I hope to get more products by these guys because they seem really good and this pencil shows it!
Ittse Shadow Single in Switching to Flats: This shadow did go on my eyes very well even though it’s hard to swatch. There are times when that happens with shadows where you get one that doesn’t want to swatch on you and when it swatches better on your eyes. I do like how this is a pan for your Z Pallet or any other company that does magnetic pallets and it’s pretty good for the amount you get. It’s also not expensive either for the shadows for it being an indie brand. They are $7 each for a pan which is not bad at all. I may have to look around because I do have empty slots open for shadow pans.
IB Beauty Eye Shadow Flat Brush: The last item is a brush and I loved this brush! This did apply my shadows very well and I can see why this is a good brand since other people have gotten their products in the past. I hope to get more shadow brushes or other brushes by them since they are very fluffy and soft. I may buy from the brand or if Ipsy has a brush offer for a set. That is why Ipsy has awesome brush offers!

August 2018: My bag this time for August was really great because having such a huge jump from 2015 to 2018 since I never had a bag in 2016 and 2017 due to unsubscribing in 2016 which upsetted me a lot and now I’m back, they did do something different from just back to school related themes like I remembered.
Pixie by Petra Blush Duo in Beach Honey: I used this more as shimmery blush than a highlight and blush. I remembered getting the Rose Gold one a while back and glad to get another one this one but in a peachy tone and it was really great and not only that the same formulation like I remembered. I basically swirl my brush around to give it a good coat and apply it to my cheek bone areas to give it a nice blush.
Riveta by Star Lux Ink Pen and Star: I have used this twice and I am not sure if the star end is working at all when using it. I know the pen tip is working because it does flow very well from it. I am not sure about buying this since the star is not working or it is. Sorry Star Lux!
Bang Beauty Eye Quad in Smoky: This one is a great one! It’s pretty pigmented for me when someone said it wasn’t. I did say with the Ittse single that sometimes shadows don’t swatch on the hand as well as on the eyes. I did like how pigmented it is but the packaging is so small! At least the pans were big enough for a brush. I will be using this when I start working since this is a work appropriate makeup for it being so matte.
Formula 1006 Three Tines the Sublime: Oh man this product is amazing! It helped reduce marks I had from my last time of the month and it does tingle but in a good kind of way. I need to try more expoliants since my skin can be clogged from using makeup and mowing my skin will go through that when I start working. Will I get this one though? Not sure as of yet since a lot of skin care can be pricey and I know I have to work with a budget.
Huda Liquid Matte in Bombshell: ::sigh:: I love this! I love this! I know about how controversial this brand was due to copying Beauty Bakerie with the setting powder which is not okay. I am not sure if I can find a dupe but this was a really good formula and not only that it is very light and comfortable. Why Huda? Why do you have to make a great product?

So far my return to Ipsy has been great! I enjoyed both bags but the least favorite item is the Star Lux liner, the pen part is amazing while the stamp is not working out for me. I can’t wait to see what September brings!

Beauty Favorites:

Fave Bronzer: L’Oreal True Match Lumi Bronze It in Light! I was happy to try out a new bronzer from L’Oreal and it’s their True Match Lumi Bronze It in Light. This bronzer is very pigmented and was glad to try it out. I can’t seem to not use it since it’s not so overbearing and you just need a light hand. According to Gondras, he noticed I went a little heavy when I wore my “Burn In” look during Traverser’s concert and need to go in lightly. It does cost around $12 but it is L’Oreal after all.

New Highlight: Fire Highlight Bar from Wet N Wild! Wet N Wild released their Zodiac collection this month and I only got the Fire Highlight since I was only interested in the highlighting bars after enjoying the one that came with the Midnight Mermaid Collection last year. This one is a bronzy shift highlight and oh man it brings an amazing glow to any warm toned looks! I have used it in my “Burn In” look and my Naked Heat Look and I think I tried it out with something but couldn’t put my finger on it but still this is a great highlight to any collection! Wet N Wild, release more highlighting bars because they are amazing!

Fave Eye Shadow: Fireball from NYX Prismatic Collection! I’ve missed using the NYX Prismatic shadows and when I was doing my “Ignite” look I was looking for an eye shadow to give off the firey red look and found this one while browsing the NYX web site when they had a site wide sale during Fourth of July. This is a beautiful orange shade with a red glitter shift and it does look like a fireball on your eyes. I did use this with my “Burn In” look for the defining shade to give it a burn look. I wish they didn’t break so easily though.

Fave Pallet: Naked 2 and 3 from Urban Decay! I have to give it to those two shadow pallets because I finally got my paws on them! I got them for my birthday this year and glad to complete the collection finally. I wasn’t big into collecting them at first but decided to do it since I did like the shadow pallets from Urban Decay and they are a big staple for a lot of people and I can see why. I also can see why they are important for a lot of us makeup lovers. Not everyone likes these pallets but they have been a big part of so many beginners and lovers for so long. Now they’re discontinuing the Original and someone theorized it might be due to packaging purposes since it is in a velvet package when the others were so sleek and artistic while the Original was bland. hoping that is true because it is the original. I didn’t buy another due to not making dents in mine so I don’t have to really worry. But back to these, these two have colors I normally do wear and I wish there was a Basics pallet for Naked 3 since you can do so much with purple and berry tones in the matte department. Plus, you can make so many looks with these two and even mix them with the other pallets. I also love their pallet casing since they did step up in the packaging.

Project Pan Update: I have finished some stuff and added some things! First with what I finished! I have finished two of my Ipsy products and I stink it was a shadow pigment and the other was the Pearl Fizz eye shadow from Tini Beauty. I got this as a way of promoting the Tini Beauty pallet from a makeup artist which I forgot his name but I do have the pallet in my collection but it was amazing for what it was. I used the Pearl Fizz shadow as a setting shadow for my eye primer to finish it off. Another product I did finish were my two only liquid lipsticks from Kat Von D. These felt like they didn’t have much product left as I wore them and they used to be comfortable but not anymore. This is why I prefer Ofra, NYX, Wet N Wild, Black Moon, and now Huda Beauty’s liquid lipsticks because they’re so comfortable to wear even after they dry down. I heard Jeffree Star’s formula is also comfortable which…I will announce now…I am going to take a try! I know I hear cheering because I gave Jeffree another chance due to how he has changed over time. Anyway’s, sorry Kat but your liquid lipsticks need to be comfortable and they aren’t. I did test them with the BKR Water Balm and that didn’t help either! And I did say I will not be buying anymore KVD stuff due to what’s going on with her. Now onto adding items! I am adding my Vivid Baked Bronzer in Ready To Go from Makeup Revolution because the packaging broke, as in the top fell off. I don’t know how it happened but it did and I tried having my dad remove the pan but it was breaking the product so best to pan it which will take forever but I am patient.

Top Fave Songs: Now it’s time for my top favorite songs of July and August in no particular order!

1. “God Is a Woman” by Ariana Grande: First is Ariana Grande with her song “God is a Woman!” This song surprised me because it was something new when it came to Ariana. The first time I heard it was James Charles singing it and he didn’t sound that bad that most people were saying and then when I heard it always got stuck in my head! Which is now!
2. “Distortion” by BabyMetal: A new song from BabyMetal and man it knows how to be metal! At first I thought it was a Sevendust song since the first riffs remind me of one but when I checked my phone it was BabyMetal! Apparently they released new music and this was from three months ago! Way to go girls!
3. “Hate” by. High & Mighty Color: Now I got the name! The song I have been trying to get on here is “Hate” by High & Mighty Color! We know this band all thanks to one of their songs used for the anime BLEACH and some of their other songs are really good. I’m glad that I Heart Radio plays Japanese artists in their World music genre!
4. “Starfaux Eight Arms” by. Traverser: I have to give it to my boys on this list because they have released a new and awesome song from their new album, Jupiter Doesn’t Care About You. This song shows their Red Shift sound since it has that science fiction theme to it. It even sounds amazing live! Oh yeah, they performed it live this last show! If this was put into an AMV, I thought about the game War Frame because it kind of makes me think about that game especially with the “I am the only one” lyrics. If you haven’t played that game, I highly recommend! Also, check out our interview with Traverser on our YouTube and here!
5. “Hurts Like Hell” by Mr. Bella: My last song for this list is by another Florida band and that is Mr. Bella. I Heart Radio always plays their song, “Herts Like Hell” everytime I play my Favorites Station. Can’t wait when they bring new music, well more new music since they did perform a new one at the last show I went to!

Favorite TV Season: Voltron Legendary Defender Season 7! I have to give it to the creators of Voltron Legendary Defender because with every season that has been made so far it has been very awesome! This season brought on things that you weren’t expecting even a cliff hanger at the end. I am hoping there is a Season 8 because of what had happened at the end of this season and I love this series a lot even slightly more than the original. Not only they changed up the story to make it more of a space opera which makes sense for something like this but it did give the characters more personality and made them more useful. Plus we get to see Alura being more stronger in this one and they did change her character. Maybe I should do a post of Old Vs. New between this and the original because I feel like it needs one since I have known the original series and I should see this one from the very beginning and take some notes since I know it will be one huge post! What do you think? Still, hoping for another season!

Well guys, that’s it for this post! I know it was a long one but hey I had a lot of favorites to talk about! Now I will be adding my Ipsy Round Up and how well the products worked for me or not worked out. Let’s see what holds for me in September and October since I may be moving so I will keep you guys updated on Twitter! Until next time! Stay beautiful while traveling the vast universe!

Interviews: Interview with Apl DeAp from the Black EYed Peas at the NFB National Convention 2018!

<a href="https://twitter.com/apldeap?ref_src=twsHis Charity Pagerc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor”>Apl DeAp’s TwitterHello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling across the vast universe! It’s time!

Interview with Apl De Ap from the Black Eyed Peas at the NFB National Convention!

Yes! I had the opportunity to interview the one and only Apl DeAp at this year’s NFB National Convention! I wanted to interview him since I didn’t know he was visually impaired until I read the email sent through the Email list with the NFB and pondered about it and asked about having an interview since he is not only visually impaired and got to ask about his experiences but also a Grammy Winning Artist on top of it since he was with the Black Eyed Peas for many years and has done great hits like “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “Let’s Get IT Started!” What did I ask him? You can click play in the YouTube frame and also if you want to find anything new on Mr. DeAp you can also click on the video to be taken to the YouTube Page and take a look at the video description and oh yes I will also include links around here to check out his Twitter and Charity!

What’s next for this blog? Another beauty tag you guys may enjoy! So, make sure you follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for new updates! Until next time!

Conventions: National Federation of the Blind National Convention 2018 Review!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe, I am back from a nice rest because I was at the NFB National Convention last week and man it was a huge experience and a new environment since I never thought I would be at a convention minus the costumes that I am usually familiar with but I was in my element since I’m visually impaired myself. Let’s see what I have to say about this event. But first as always…

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog! Please Respect the thoughts and opinions since this based on the experience they went through.

Location: First is the location and that is at the Rosen Shingle Creek and man this place was bigger than the Rosen Center itself despite that one was also connected to the Convention Center downtown on International Drive. If you remembered when Gondras and I covered Omni Fandom Expo 2015 it was at the Rosen Center and you had the events on the bottom floor and top floor while Rosen Shingle Creek felt like it was like the World Center in my observation because a ton of ballrooms to work with, plus you have more panel rooms upstairs to use right above the lower lobby and then more escalators leading to more board rooms and a printing store, oh yes you can print stuff if you need it which I had to with my resume for the Job Fair, which I will get to a bit later. Plus you do have the food court which is a little pricey, I did have my snacks but I needed a caffeine recharge since their coffee shop was reasonably priced, even more reasonable than Starbucks. I would say the white chocolate lattes are great. Anyways, this place should be an anime convention place too because conventions do out grow their location, heck Holiday Matsuri is a good example of that, since there are tons of rooms to play with and even the main ballroom in the Sebastian areas were huge for General Sessions and held all of the State Affiliates of the NFB. Even the Independence Market and Exhibitors Hall was very well sized for what they were displaying and selling, which I will got to…

Exhibitors and Independence Market: Now! This room was pretty much where my money went because I found stuff I needed and found very well. I know it’s weird calling it Independence Market but it’s due to vendors selling items to help us in the blind community to be more independent such as books, tech, and even Braille slates! I found a vendor who sold my favorite full page slate which I still have from EBay. The main thing I wanted was a new watch because my old taking one had the talking part die permanently. Let me describe it, it not only has the digital numbers but it does have its talking setting where you can set the time, the alarms, and now you change the voice on the talking models now from when I looked at them. I decided to change to Braille because the thing is as a convention and concert goer, especially with one concert coming up in August, it’s hard to hear these things over the noise and not only that they can go off if you set the hour alert and can be a bit disruptive. So, I went with Braille and it was kind of hard to set the time on this but I like how to touch the watch face and where the hour and minute hands point to at the dots. Which on the clock face you have the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 are single dots while the 3, 6, 9, and 12 have more of a wedge to touch while feeling the time. Plus it makes it better than just using my phone which I have done for the past year and a half to two years. Plus, this watch I paid for was not that bad because you have some going into the hundred dollar to two hundred range which I went with the $55 and a tip for women who love to grow their nails, go with the men’s model because the watch face is bigger and it’s easier to feel when you have long nails. I had long nails when I bought mine even though they broke during the entire week I was there and had to clip mine but getting the men’s version would be easier to feel since the women’s watch faces are smaller and the dots are too. Just letting you know. Besides buying different items for the independence part, I had to replace my battery for my Victor Reader Stream, for a while now I ran into the issue where I touched the battery and it shuts off and had to order a new one. I was glad that Human Ware was there to take care of that which they were promoting their Stream, the Stream Trek, and the Braille Note Touch. If you don’t know what the Braille Note Touch is, it’s basically where you take a Braille display and fuse with an Android tablet where you have the display and the keyboard on top of an Android tablet and you can also Braille on the tablet too. I almost went with this Polaris had my heart and yes HIMS was also there which I will talk about that with events next.

I did go to the State Affiliates area where in this area all the different NFB State Chapters were selling things to fund raise and you also get to talk to them one on one and get to meet who else is out there. I did buy some things and got to chat with Massachusetts since I was born in Boston and they were happy, I got to chat with Arizona since I will be starting at Northern Arizona in the fall and they are some of the nicest people, also even got a popcorn ball from Nebraska since they claim to have the best popcorn in the United States and they weren’t joking! I got a popcorn ball and they said it is soft and tastes like marshmallow and it does! If I go to Nebraska I must visit their popcorn shops and get more of these because normally around Halloween time when Brach’s does their popcorn balls they are hard cement! Not kidding. These from Nebraska, I highly recommend if you ever visit Nebraska or go to their State Conventions or even the NFB National. I also did get to meet Hawaii briefly because my brother was stationed there and they are also sweet too! I did have a bit of situation with charging banks from Alabama though. As you know, I had a Pikachu one from Think Geek which GameStop sold during Hurricane Irma time and somehow it did not like my Apple devices and wanted to get a better one since you know me and traveling especially with our convention travels and when I heard that chargers will be sold I went and asked about that on Day Three and found them at Alabama, the one that I was sold was not working right and even with the cords so I did exchange it and did lose the cords because they fell out of my bag somehow but the good news is the one that got exchanged works properly even with a new cord I got on EBay and got in the mail today. I can even recharge my Polaris with this thing with its own USB cord. But back to the story, even though I was sad, I decided to find New York since they also had one and they had two left and I was lucky to get theirs as well and that thing charged my Victor Reader Stream! So yes, I now have two charge banks and working because of Alabama and New York, which I must thank now and if I was out somewhere and one doesn’t work without any juice I do have a backup and also my friends can use since there are times where outlets aren’t always in close range even at a restaurant.

Another thing I did pick up which I was really excited about was from the National Braille Press! This is an organization that prints Braille books and sells them and not bad for pricing either and the books are for all ages because I felt a Dr. Seuss book while I was at their table. I got a book that I heard about through the Blind Side Podcast through an interview with the author Judy Dixon and it is called Writing Your Way: Composing and editing on an IPhone and IPad. This interview was very informative because it talks about the many ways you can edit on writing apps on your IPhone and IPad, I wonder about Android tablets since I do use my Polaris and Galaxy Tab E. I have to take a read myself and I was happy that they carried this at the convention and did buy it so I can have it and can use it as a teaching tool while working. I highly suggest National Braille Press in case if you need that specific Braille book for your loved ones or even as gifts for them because we don’t want to leave anyone in the dark without a good book! I may have to talk to them and see about getting my books in Braille, what about that?

Besides some of these companies, there were also Google showing off their tech which I want to get myself a Chrome Book since I got to test out Chrome Vox on them and of course wishing they had Google Play cards which I will talk about down in the Needs in Improvements area for one thing. Also, a new app has been developed for locations which is like Soundscape but more in detail called N Reach and I have become an affiliate with them by the way, which I need to get my cards out to businesses. (Tried to on Monday at the mall but couldn’t get the chance!) And one awesome exhibitor is 3D Photo Works who does tactile photos, Braille plaques, and audio descriptions for exhibits and they are trying to get into more museums, which reminds me I need to still talk to the Science Center because this would help any blind visitors be able to feel the photos that are displayed, read the plaques, and not only that hear any information because at their booth they talked about how they helped with the Vietnam Exhibit in Washington and had three pictures as examples. If you want these guys to do something a museum near you, I would suggest talking to the museum and have them get in contact with this company because a blind person like me can’t see the exhibits, the last exhibit I was able to see was the Tiffany Glass Exhibit here in town and I can imagine what if their exhibit had these plaques and this kind of tactile work on top of it. There is a lot to think about with this company.

Events: Woot! A lot to talk about here and I feel my fingers hurting slightly! I am still pumped! There were a lot of events to go to and so little time because a lot of them took place at the same time and a good tip is choose wisely while reading the agenda in its final form. Which the good thing was you can download and store it for your pleasure. I downloaded, nice tip for everyone with a Braille device, the Word document and transferred it over onto my Braille Sense Polaris so I can feel it if I need to. I should do that with all of the convention guidebooks or if I get KNFB Reader I can take pictures of it too.

Day 1 was more seminar day where you can meet some of the companies that will be there in the Exhibitors Hall and of course in the morning there was also parent meetings for any blind parent or parents with blind children to discuss tips and advice and many other things even talking about the day care services that were going to be on site. I went to the HIMS Seminar since I do have my Polaris and of course discussed some issues with the typing in Word Processor where I and other people experienced where the cursor moved time to time. This was annoying while taking notes on the JAWS Certification materials. Also some issues with navigating the Google Suite editing areas. Hoping that can be fixed even with the next updates.

The next few days were filled with General Sessions where the president, Mark Rickabono, talked about many things that the NFB has been working on to improve our lives as blind people, heck even his speech almost put me in tears because I faced so much back in school, I still remember how I was taken out of my Exceptional Education Minor to be in my Writing Minor because I was told how I can’t make it through Grad School because it would be too hard for me, heck I am going now! I didn’t stay for resolutions on Saturday, well the end of it, because it was going to be a long ways through it and I felt that I was falling asleep, heck I fainted a bit after Friday’s session let out. It’s due to exhaustion since I did commute with paratransit and had to be there in time for the first General Session. And of course, we did find out where next year NFB Convention is was going to be for National and that is in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino! Knowing Nevada is happy about that! Hoping I can save enough to go out there or get a Master’s to try for the NFB National Scholarship again which this convention did inspire me to look into more schooling if I can because what if I want to continue with my education? Let’s see what’s happens!

More things took place, heck I even volunteered at the Braille Book Fair which takes place during the convention where kids and their parents can look through many Braille books and take them and have them sent home to where they live via UPS. I felt really good volunteering at this because I love reading even if it is in Braille and having that experience to help out did help me have the one on one with kids and their parents, I even gave tips to a woman who had a girl who went through a stroke and needed tips on getting her dexterity back. Plus it gave me leverage before I start teaching blind people again and I felt more of my confidence again as I helped. And to tell you the truth, I missed volunteering for things like these since it gives me experience and a bigger heart as I help.

Let’s see what else happened! Oh right! Friday night, Gondras met up with me and besides meeting up with me we had an amazing experience and that was…: drum roll: we got to interview Apl D Ap from the Black Eyed Peas! :: hears fans screaming:: I wanted to interview him since an interesting fact is that he’s visually impaired and was performing this year and this was a great opportunity to get someone who has been in the music business who is also blind in on the YouTube side of this blog since it’s a nice change from our voice actors we get to interview and we get to learn more about him. Just hold on and follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique when we upload the video from this interview along with more information about his own charity, Apple of My Eye, hoping I spelled that right, and so much more! And other people I got to meet were the developers of the Be My Eyes app which as you may have seen my Assistive Tech Panel from Omni 2017 where I demonstrated this app, will I have a future interview with them? I will be in the works of setting that up to do it over Skype since they are from Denmark which made it interesting even with one of them having my eye condition on top of it. I did demonstrate it on my Polaris and it works as much as the Apple version. I did Tweet them about it too. And finally, I got to go to Google’s presentation on their tech because I wanted to see what’s new in their development in Accessibility even with Android. Again, I want a Chrome Book after this presentation because I want to be open minded in the tech and they are also developing an app that is like Seeing A. I. almost and maybe I should write about that one as well if I can test it on my tablet or on my Polaris so stay tuned for that! I didn’t go to Microsoft’s presentation because I had so much to do in between and Google did their presentation at the same time, but Microsoft did a repeat and I only got to their Narrator portion. I did hear how their presentation focused more on the Narrator side rather than Soundscape and Seeing A. I. which I heard that demo for Seeing A. I. was not as great. Okay Microsoft, you do awesome presentations at E3, what’s going on? If I was there and demonstrating Seeing A. I., I would do all of the channels on it because it is critical to show off each one even with currency. And of course, if you guys were at that presentation, I would say go to my posts about Soundscape where I tested it in two malls so far and I did test it out in Shingle Creek which it did detect the area I was in. And finally, my finishing event, I did go to the job fair but briefly since I did have to catch my ride. It was loud! But at least I got to talk to the NFB and the New Jersey Coalition for the Blind about the Access Tech positions on top of it and did find Lighthouse Central Florida since they were also looking for people. It felt great to re-connect with them and give them updates.

Rating: CONVENTION ACCOMPLISHED! This convention deserves a Convention Accomplished because it kind of makes me connect more with my blind peers in one place. Even though I missed the costume parts but this was a different environment and a new aspect of conventions. This brings a huge community together and get to know each other, what is going on with us in one huge organization, not only that make us think that we’re not the only one being blind even in our own state. I got to meet people from Nebraska, Arizona, Hawaii, heck there was Puerto Rico as one of the NFB Affiliates! Wishing I caught one of the members but hey I cheered for them along with Arizona and Massachusetts. Plus, I found out that I am not the only blind cosplayer that exists because one of the National Scholarship Finalists was one too! She makes her own stuff and I got to meet her which was awesome! I want to suggest that the NFB should have a Geeky Division because we are blind geeks/nerds. That is why there is nerd in this blog’s name. Still, this convention was very inspiring and I hope to go to more of them even if they end up in Georgia, Massachusetts, even in Louisiana if Gondras and I get to travel that far.

Needs for Improvements: Well, not all conventions are perfect so there are some needs for improvement.

Microsoft Demo All Aspects Of Accessible Products: What I mean by this is that I heard that not all of the aspects of seeing A. I. was not tested and well that got me thinking why aren’t demonstrating all the aspects of products. I did notice that Narrator was tested in all aspects and knowing they want to show that it’s a free screen reader but to me Microsoft has way more stuff to it and that it can be demonstrated more from what I heard.
Repeat the Demonstrations throughout the Week: What I mean by this is that I noticed that according to the agenda that Microsoft was the only one who got a repeat because not everyone can go to every demonstration in the agenda. I think this would benefit anyone who couldn’t make it to the Google one and can go to the second showing since one day they were at the same time as Microsoft and that would be nice if it was vice versa for anyone who wanted to see Google but didn’t get to. Repeating the brand demonstrations can help with the overload and can give more options to people in what to do after the General Sessions are done. Plus, it gives the person what they missed a new opportunity to catch it later if they have something else to go to or needs to eat.
Time Slots Should Be More Organized: What I mean is that there were times where some things ran over during General Sessions or that when I get to an area that the time changed and etc. I know the final agenda is published way in advanced but they should at least confirm some of the time slots to be accurate and edit the agenda before the convention probably two weeks before because I noticed that some things ran over or an example I was supposed to volunteer at 1 in the afternoon for the Braille Book Fair but I had to go back at 3:45 for the actual event. I think it would be easier to either edit the agenda to fit the time slots or during the presentations, like Google did, set a timer for each speaker because some of them ran over and doing the timer thing can help out a little. If you have to be up on the stage for fifteen minutes then set that timer and not only that, if you know your event starts late then send a group email to the newsletter since some people do check their emails during the day whether it’s on the Polaris, Braille Note Touch, or on their phone they can read it and say, “Oh! It got pushed back! Gotcha!” I understand so many events so little time but starting on time makes more sense.
More Volunteers to Guide: What I mean is that I feel like there were volunteers to tell you where the escalators, stairs, and ballrooms were but there should’ve been more and they should’ve also given more details in where to go like this ballroom to your left or right and probably have some volunteers to able to say, “Hey, need some help! Grab on and I will lead you!” Heck, even for bathrooms because there were some bathrooms where there was single room and so many people were trying to get into them and it was hard to tell Women and Men from that one particular bathroom, would be nice to have someone standing and say, “Women’s Bathroom over here!” and vice versa since it was hard getting around when there were people with canes and dogs in one area. And also, didn’t know that I couldn’t sit in one part where it was to the side that was counted as foot traffic areas, should be nice to have volunteers warning us about that too because there was no mention of that as rules anywhere even if you were to the side or at least have volunteers asking, “Hey, do you need a seat? There are free seats over here.” Just saying!
Making Registration Easier to Navigate: I bring this idea up because while walking round the Registration Area we didn’t know where to go or how the lines were split. I heard there were ropes before, where were they? That would be easy or I gave this as an idea and that is Lego Tape on the ground. Oh yes, there is tape made with Legos that you can use to stick and build upon one on top of the other, it would help with the shoreline bit with getting around the Registration area instead of bumping into the ropes which I did before and it was not pleasant, it happened one year at an anime con by the way. People were surprised that it exists because Assistive Tech FAQS mentioned this as a way of building an ergonomic platform for a keyboard. NFB you should try it out for making shorelines for this area or even the Exhibitor’s Hall and the General Session and Presentation Rooms to help with finding exits and chairs.
Making Signs For Tourists: Another thing I have noticed is that a few stray tourists were hanging around the convention area that weren’t a part of the convention which I have asked directions. They didn’t know what I was talking about and realized that they weren’t there for the convention just sitting around. I understand that some tourists like to sit around but there are other areas for them to be in that is not the convention floor, as in they can be the food court area, the pool, and there was another side to the hotel, which this brings me to my last point and that is there should be signs for any stray wonderers telling them that a blind convention is being held in this hotel, like one sign would say, “Welcome to all tourists! There is a blindness convention this way! Try to help our patrons.” Because there are times where not all tourists know what event they are witnessing and not there for it, trust me I’ve seen it with anime conventions where people stayed at the hotel for theme parks and family but hang around the area which can be confusing even for a blind person. And the helping part, the tourist may be able to help if they had amap of the event to guide if need be for instance if someone had the map and I asked where registration was and they can say, “Oh, I have a map here that someone gave me, follow me.” It can make things a little easier since we can get lost and not everyone would know that they are in an area where people may need help in.

Well, I think that’s good enough here because I think I talked about so much when it came to this convention already. I think I smell smoke from my fingers. This convention was fun and sad to hear that it won’t be in Orlando for a while but hey at least people can travel to someplace they never been before. I hope to go to Vegas but if not you guys in Vegas and other parts of the country who are blind or knows someone who is blind to check it out and also be a member of the NFB because they believe in living the life you want since blindness doesn’t define you as a person. I want to thank the NFB of Florida for giving me the Dr. Jernagand Scholarship so I can be a part of this convention by attending it and getting to interview Apl D Ap and not only that getting to give my services to the Braille Book Fair. So, this hoping for the future especially with me since there are more things to explore and do for this blog and the YouTube Channel. So make sure you follow us on Twitter! Until next time!

Conventions: 78th Annual National Federation of the Blind National Convention in Orlando, FL!

Hello all my beautiful nerds traveling this vast universe! It is time for a new Conventon Spotlight!

COnvention: National Federation of the Blind 78th Annual National Convention in Orlando, FL

Dates: July 3rd to 8th, 2018

Location: Rosen Shingle Creek

So, the New Convention Alarm buzzed udring my interview post time and it is different from the ones I have talked about on here and that is the 78th Annual National Convention for the National Federation of the Blind.

  • As you know and have remembered, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Retinitis Pigmentosa and despite my blindness I was able to get around the obstacles over the years until I lost my eye sight in 2008, well central actually, but have still loved anime, video games even if it means Pokemon, and many other things over time. Heck, designed my own cosplays and have written books. I did not join the NFB Central Florida Chapter until…wait I bet you are wondering, what is the NFB exactly?

About the National Federation of the Blind This organization was founded in in the 1940s and belived that despite our own blindess we can be able to follow our dreams and find hope after sight loss. The NFB shows also helps other blind people in their community find help and information about services that are out there in their own community. Even work with other blind people change the misconceptions that they face when it comes to being blind and change laws and policies that affect the blind, and meet other blind people that have similar interests and hobbies. There is a lot to look at this group since it is so vast and there are many chapters around us in the United States, especially here in Orlando which I am a part of the Central Florida Chapter.

I will tell you that after graduating college, I was depressed, as in leaving school, having degrees that were hard for me to get a job in yuntil being at a support group one Monday afternoon, someone invited us to meet at the NFB Chapter Meeting one Saturday and this was in 2015. I went and was surprised how small it was at first but got to meet so many people who were blind or legally blind like me. I started to attend more meetings even when I returned from Daytona with my work experience and was a member and also one of the ones in charge of fundraising. Remember how I did press at MegaCon a year ago? Well, I think I mentioned that NFB was having their State Convention downtown in Orlando while representing the blind community doing freelance press. What about National? Let us get to that!

Location: Like my many convention goings, this one is at a hotel and it is at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort on Unversal Blvd. There were some years where it was at the Rosen Center which is across the street from one of the Convention Center buildings and connected to it, this year it is at Shingle Creek. Unfortunately rooms are sold out since this is the last year it will be in Orlando for a while. I know, I am sad about that too. If you want a room, you will be sent to the Rosen Center which is not too far away and they do have shuttles traveling between the two all week. I believe room rates are $90 and up depending on the room you get, plus a $100 deposit is needed. I hear this place is a nice hotel and cannot wait to see what it is like. Also, anyone taking paratransit, make sure you tell your drivers even Ubers and Meers, drop you off at the front, even tell dispatch that and pick you up at the front for Access Lynx because that is the best drop off and pick up point to be found. It is not great being stranded, heck almost happened to me at Omni Year 1!

What to Expect? There is a lot going on throughout the entire week! Let see, there is a job fair for anyone who needs help in job placement, a lot of exhibitors such as Google, H. I.M. S., Guide Dog groups for anyone has their four legged companions, even other things like a Braille Book Fair which I will be voluunteering at, and workshops. The ones I am very excited about are anything that deals with Assistive Tech because this is a dream for someone like me, heck I will be at the Google Workshops on that Tuesday to see about getting my skills down on the Braille Sense versions of their apps. If anyone wants to take a look at Braille Note Takers and do not know which one to choose between the Braille Sense Polaris and Braille Note Touch, both H. I. M. S. and Humanware will be there in case if you want to know about their gadgets!

Besides workshops on tech, there will also be workshops with yoga, dancing, even one on line dancing which is interesting so anyone can have a good time and want to get back into dancing, even in salsa dancing. THere is also karaoke during the week, trivia, and the Welcome Event which not only all the different chapters will meet but a performance from Apl D Ap will take place. For any Black Eyed Peas fans, here is an interesting fact, he is also visually impaired and awesome that he will be making an appearance at the NFB National Convention to perform. There is a lot of things to do and do not forget aboyut the banquet on the final day where the National Scholarship Winners will receive their scholarships and Mr. Mark Rickabono will be speaking.

Do not worry, I will be doing a Convention Impossible after this event because it is my real first time going since I did receive a Convention Scholarship to attend and I am glad since I never been to a full on convention and it is the last year in town for a while which e rumors about where it will be next, I will have the official location when it gets announced here or on the Nerdy Shique Universe Twitter, @ Nerdy Shique for any of my Blind Nerds reading this on the computer or tablet at home.

Anything Else For The NeKnow? Yes, definitely check out the NFB at www.nfb.org and see what they are doing for the blind comunity. If you also know someone that is legally blind or totally blind, also let them know about this organization and what it does. Without it I would not be able to pursue my dreams to be an Assistive Tech Specialist and starting in the fall at Northern Arizona, you guys can do it too! If you are a parent of a blind child or a blind parent about to have children, there are resources for yoyou too, the only way is by looking at the website and see what they have andjoin a chapter if you can. Or even the Newsletter Mailing list or even a Division. No matter what you are going through you are not alone in the universe there are others just like you. And new sighted supporters can join as a way to support their blind companions or family members because we wnat to include you in our NFB Family! So, check out the website and in case if you are at the Rosen Shingle Creek, check out the convention and what is out there for us as a community.

So, that is about it! www.nfb.org is your wbsite to see for the convention and what other services are avilable for the blind and of course the entire agenda is there too in PDF, Braille, and a Word Document because it shows what you all may want to see and do during the week. You can also get the physical agenda on site if need to. I am really excited about the tech stuff andd what I will learn what is to come for my job, even excited to help with the Braille Book Fair since I do love reading in it. And so much more that it will take a lot to talk about so wait until the Convention Spotliht comes along that is when I will reflect on it. So, make sure you follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for updates and next time I will be ding a post about what I want to see with Accessibility in gaming. Why? Well, E3 did pass and my best buddy, Stellarnan, did send me the link to the new XBox Controller article and Assistive Tech Update even talked about it due to doing an episode talking with someone about this topic, why not do a post on my tjouhts in what I want to see, so until next time! Stay beautiful my nerds!: