Thursday, March 24, 2011

Q & A #18

This is the most interesting question I've ever gotten. So far. Editor's note: I meant to publish this on Monday the 28th. C'est la vie!

Q: What is your favorite cartoon character?

A: Right now? SpongeBob SquarePants. Never can get enough of Patrick's antics. Always amuses me to no end that SpongeBob turns to Patrick for help/answers.

I used to follow Avatar: The Last Airbender until it concluded. Surprisingly deep story arcs in there. Yes, I was disappointed in the live action many things were thrown out and the movie felt rushed or the dialogue seemed out of place.

Iroh is played by a thin actor? Please, someone get Sammo Hung or a fat actor trained in martial arts. Cliff Curtis as the Fire Lord? He didn't look imposing at all. The actor playing General Zhao didn't look like he had watched the series at all. Not menancing at all or even...clever.

When I was a kid, I loved to wake up and catch my Saturday cartoons. Never got enough of Tom & Jerry or The Looney Tunes. Even Popeye was entertaining. As I went through the 80's, I'd run home to watch Thundercats or Voltron (I got confused when it was suddenly "different" and lost interest, not knowing it was in a different universe).

When I went away to college, I lived for Reboot and Batman. Stopped watching Batman when he sported a triangular torso frame.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update on my life's new direction

Editor's note: Whoops! Forgot to set this to publish this at midnight. I was wondering why I wasn't getting my comments. ;)

Boy, talk about being caught off-guard...I got to a major event a bit early to help set up a booth so we could showcase the community center and how it can help the deaf community. The problem was I had not thought of trying out the display stand prior to that event, let alone know how to put one up.

The woman who brought it was stumped as well. She had not put one up before and had no experience. She shoved the manual into my hand so I knew I had to decipher it and have the display up in minutes. The manual did not use words, just pictures. No problem...except the layout of the pictures was confusing. LOL

I had to re-read the manual before I figured out the order of the layout and then I got it fully assembled in 5 seconds. What I didn't count on was the sheer size of the display. It was HUGE! It took up 90% of the booth table (you know, the standard plastic buffet-style table which is about 5 feet long). The display stand was 4.5' by 4.5' and there was no way we could sit behind the table - we would be completely obscured by the display. That meant we had to stand in front of the booth the whole time.


Why? Because there were 6 hours of booth time scheduled and only three people volunteered for 3 shifts (1 shift = 1 hour) total. Others didn't bother to reply or had excuses. That meant I was responsible for minimum of 3 hours and that turned into 5 hours total because of the sheer number of people who wanted to know more about the center.

I was able to convince a whole bunch of people to sign up for the announcements of open-captioned theater movies. Let me explain about the OC movies...the movies are shown in a normal way with one exception - the words are either shown ON the screen (one theater does this) or on the special smoked glass on flexible necks to reflect the words (3 other theaters do this).

The special smoked glass style is called Rear Window Captioning and how the system uses those refractors (as they're called). There is a LED display case near the projector window that shows the words backwards and is shown in correct order on the refractors. The system looks like this...

(The words say "Welcome to Rear Window. Please adjust your reflectors.")

Yesterday, the board president sent an e-mail to the board and the center's management team congratulating those who were at the booth. He even said people had nothing but praise for me. They liked how visible I was at the booth and how willing I was to talk with everyone instead of handing them off to someone else at the booth. Hey, that's my job - I have to be there for everyone. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Q & A #17

Gillian from A Daft Scots Lass asked me this question in my Q & A #16 post - "Were you born deaf?"

No, I was not born deaf. I was a normal healthy boy with a massive shock of blonde hair on the head.

When I was 13 months old, I contracted a case of spinal meningitis and that put me in a coma for about two weeks. During that time, the high fevers destroyed some of the hair in the inner ears which made me deaf.

When I finally woke up, my mother was the first to notice that I wasn't responding to audio stimuli and the tests confirmed her suspicion. My deafness was measured at around 96 decibels. To give you an idea how loud something has to be for me to hear it, a lawnmower is around 110 decibels.

Funny thing is, I do not hear the lawnmowers...even when I operate one. My theory is my body picks up the vibrations first, negating the need for my ears to "ring" with the noises. The only effective way for my ears to pick anything up is if you do a high pitch scream into my ear or create a loud noise close to my ear - thus eliminating my body as the middleman.

Strange, huh? What's even stranger is how my ears work differently. My right ear picks up "sharp" noises like knocking or a barking dog while my left ear picks up "soft" noises like a ringing phone or a meowing cat. That's with the hearing aids...and no, I don't use the hearing aids anymore.

Why? For a long while, I kept getting confusing mix of sounds on my hearing aids...remember how my ears work independently in the last paragraph? That wasn't discovered until I was in my mid-20's. I had given up on the hearing aids when I was 12. I tried the hearing aids again with this new discovery and a better understanding of how my ears work...and that was still a failure, so I quit for good.

I think it has something to do with the atrophy factor in the part of my brain that processes sound. Just like the legs of a person who became paralyzed - they atrophy after a long period of no activity. Because of that, I am no longer a viable candidate for cochlear implants - I wouldn't be able to process sounds effectively at all. I do not want to be a candidate anyway - I love sports too much and I wouldn't be allowed to play softball or racquetball or football or anything with physical contact.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A new significant change in my life

Late last month, I was appointed as the director of a deaf community center. What that means is my visits to your blogs and my responses to your comments will be erratic at times. For that, I apologize. When I have the center up and running smoothly, I will be around more often.

I still have a boatload of posts waiting for me to: fill out, answer questions, polish, tweak, and/or schedule to publish. My last count was 16 new posts. Plenty of reading material for you. ;)