iPhone, FaceTime

Starting to retitle

When I began Another Boomer Blog it seemed a whimsical name for yet one more Boomer commenting on life, the universe and whatnot. But over time I’ve found myself focusing on Hearing Loss, Deafness, Hearing Augmentation and all that goes with it. Oh, there are times other information wanders onto the page, but largely it is about hearing issues from the perspective of a Boomer. Who knew it would morph like this?

There is now an iPhoneography blog rather than scattering photos in this blog – and it has taken off a life of its own. I’ve pondered changing the name of this blog, but that would probably end up being a cluster-you-know-what regarding anyone finding it again. Instead I changed the tagline. Next time I need a crystal ball to see into the future – darn, but I do not have one. Maybe BitcoDavid of DeafInPrison will have some ideas.

I recently discovered I am presenting at a symposium on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Criminal Justice system in March of 2013. There is a certain part of me that would have liked to know prior to my name going out statewide (laughing) but I’ve got plenty of time. I hope to work more closely with and other sites seeking justice in the criminal system – and this despite the fact I’ve nary a criminal client in my portfolio with the exception of an old 209A defense. Apparently I am meant to move in this direction – how to get clients though? Not sure.

I’m intrigued that Apple is coming out with an iPad for the DeafBlind and I’m trying to find out what that is about and how it works. Yea, Apple! Someone suggested it is a film on the screen. Anyone know how to do braille on an iPad? Not me.

I’m falling behind on ASL practice, although my receptive skills remain good. Just a reminder here, folks, it is a language and we can learn it! Who needs brain exercises when you’ve got it all with ASL?

I’m happy that I can contribute my exercise proficiency to DBCAN (assuming a consumer wants to exercise). If s/he does my readers will never know since it will be entirely confidential. And I’ve added a week’s worth of black tops to my wardrobe so I will be appropriately garbed. I now feel a bit like “Goth girl.”

Stay tuned to the world of a Hard of Hearing Boomer who passes as hearing and really gets through life better than one would expect. Small blessings.

Signing aids

Last Thursday I took my iPad to the ASL Meetup for the newest signers who know little but some very slow finger spelling.  The three of them huddled around the iPad looking at ASL 101 by Everyday ASL and then tried out basic signs with each other.  I’ve also got ASL Zoo, ASL Pro, ASL Mini Dictionary and Idioms 1&2 on the iPad, but these folks need to learn basics so they can ask and answer simple questions or ask for a repeat of the sign.  The more advanced signers just signed away while the neophytes were learning.

I also have ASL Dictionary 4800 signs which would be my fav if I didn’t have to cache each mini-video – and if I haven’t and I don’t have access to an Internet connection then the words not cached don’t run.

One of the new signers emailed me for the URL of the website they were using.  Um, sorry, these are apps designed for tablets, iPads, and smart phones.  However, there are websites people can visit.  One of my friends loves (ASL University) another swears by, still another by and there are a plethora of ASL tutorials on youtube. I prefer videos to books because books are flat and one dimensional, whereas ASL is a 3D language.

DVDs work on computers.  App work on smart phones and tablets such as the iPad.  Websites need Internet connectivity and at least one of them doesn’t work well with the iPad. I prefer to the apps or the DVDs.

Classes are probably best, but if access to a class is not possible then websites or apps are the next best thing.  And signing with others who are learning the language – and then with members of the Deaf community.  You’d be surprised how many of the oral deaf struggle with sign.

Although a lot of people lip read, the reality is that lip-reading isn’t as accurate as learning Signed Exact English (SEE) or American Sign Language (ASL). I’m lucky to get half of the words if I lip read without the ability to get any of the sound from the person speaking.  So I fall more and more into the use of ASL.

I continue to feel that we should be teaching ASL as a second language in schools from early on. We’re living long enough that half of our elders are deaf in their later years.  And for those with the misfortune to also go blind, ASL is all they’ve got.

The joys of sounds

“The hills are alive….” well, no, not the hills.  The room.  And it isn’t exactly the sound of music, it’s the sound of my cell phone.  During a meeting.  An interpreted meeting.

Now, mind you, when I use my cell phone in general I use my bluetooth enabled Phonak hearing aid with a Phonak iCom and I know my cell phone is ringing when I hear a ring-tone in my ear.  However, the ring tone I use on the cell phone is loud and funny.  It suits my sense of humor as it blasts out, “Oh, where is my cell phone?” over and over.  This is great if I am in a quiet space or I can feel the phone vibrate or see it flash.  But… if the phone is in my purse, on the floor, by my feet, and if I’m  not wearing my iCom or it is not on (why wear an iCom in a meeting?) then I’ve got no clue the cell phone is screaming “Oh where is my cell phone?  Where is my cell phone? Where, oh, where oh where oh where…is my cell phone?

Which brings us to last night.  I’m intently focused on the terp when suddenly one terp who is “off” starts signing at me about a phone.  Phone?  What phone?  I look around the room.  I look back to the terp. She points to my purse and I look down to see a glimpse of my iPhone flashing away and I’m acutely aware it’s telling me to find my cell phone.  Oops!  I duck under the table, scoop it out of the purse, turn it to vibrate and submit to good-natured ribbing about the ring tone and the deaf lady with the phone.

Which brings us to the fact that some of us hard of hearing, almost but not quite deafies can use a cell phone under certain circumstances.  Like when I’m in a quiet area and I’ve got my bluetooth function feeding sound into my ear.  Mostly, though, I use it for text messages and email, but sometimes I do use the phone feature.  And I guess I’ll keep the funny ringtone since everyone (but me) got a good laugh out of it last night

Mystery Bush

I wish I knew what type of flowering bush this is. I tried to find it on the web, but there are so many flowering bushes with grape-like clusters of flowers that I could spend hours on looking. I’m not from New England so the names of all these plants, shrubs, and trees are largely a mystery to me.

So here we have two shots – again by iPhone 4S, modified by Snapseed and framed and matted by photobucket.

The shot above is a regular shot of the bush – not a shoot through, but a nice close-up.

The shot above is my attempt at a shoot through. Different sort of bush so different type of photo result.

The train station

Photography does not require hearing.  All it requires is a sharp eye, a facile mind, and the right moment.  The clock is wrong, though, no one has reset it to Daylight Savings Time.  Another shot using the iPhone 4S, photo editing with snapseed.  Anderson-Woburn T station, 7 on a Monday Morning, headed for Boston.   I am liking those bricks set into an alternating color pattern.