Tasks for the New Year

Hobbit: We got a lot of stuff on the Tax Return list
Hobbit: not sure we can do it all
Hobbit: Tax Return
* Pay Credit Cards
* Pay Ticket
* Fix Plumbing
* Cut Pool Tree
* Ninja Blender
* Kitty Purse
* Boots
Hobbit: you were suggesting something else today
Hobbit: and I forgot what it was
Swampfaye: we’ll have to consolodate… let’s get a ninja kitty purse that can cut trees
Hobbit: That would be pretty awesome
Hobbit: chainsaw boots
Swampfaye: get magic plumbing boots
Swampfaye: the ninja purse can take care of the tree

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones

I always thought the phrase “words can never hurt me,” was one of the stupidest ever uttered.  You WILL be hurt by words (fat, lazy, blonde, skinny).  You WILL be offended.  The actions of others WILL adversely affect you.  How you chose to act, however, is your own choice.  There is a universal truth that says: You can’t move forward if you are blaming someone else.  This doesn’t mean that they aren’t at fault – it just means that your personal progression is on your own shoulders, not theirs.  Their success does not diminish your chances of success (generally).   Taking offense may be natural, but letting it roll off your back can become just as natural.

If you are hard of hearing, it’s like being a half breed.  You aren’t ‘deaf’ enough to be Deaf and you aren’t hearing enough to be Hearing.  There are lots of miscommunications on both sides: One the Deaf side because you are “hearing in your head,” and on the hearing side because you don’t hear them clearly.  It’s easy to take offense, but it should also be easy to understand that there are cultural perceptions on each side that easily lead to ‘offense.’  Being in between should also help you understand that it’s not helpful to be offended.

Some people are trying to offend you, it’s true.  Nowhere is this more evident than on the internet where anonymity cloaks them.  But to stay offended doesn’t really hurt them and only harms you.  I think we have a century of clear examples that blame and taking offense does not move you forward in the macro – it can only be magnified in the micro.

So let it roll off your back and move further up and further in.

Conversations With The Hobbit: Part 1

My Hobbit: i just wonder if there’s more ‘science’ than we think in scripture
Me: well, I’m pretty sure that scriptures/prophets weren’t all that concerned with science. That’s like asking an astronomer what he thinks about rotating crops: you know? It’s really not fair to expect them to be an expert in both fields, especially when that option really wasn’t available to them. They knew about sheep. They could tell you how to breed a good ewe. That’s about all the science they knew, but for their time, that was pretty damned important and yet, people always expect prophets to know more about science than scientists know about faith (or sheep).

Hobbit Fables #1

My husband and I were talking about the kids and their incessant whining this morning–mom is so evil! She makes me do dishes!–when the Hobbit came up with this lovely Fable that reflects our lives:

 

A dad had kids who refused to eat end pieces of bread. So he told his kids: “Hey, kids, the end pieces are like rolls. You like rolls, so you shouldn’t have a problem with the end pieces of bread.” So the kids quit eating rolls.

 

Prologue from Raging Bull

For those of you that helped me with this novella, there’s a sneak peak up at my artists/authors blog:

via Prologue from Raging Bull.

Feel free to repost and reblog!!!

The Valley Of The Sham – Guest Poem by My Hobbit

The Valley Of The Sham

I saw The Great and Secret Show
Lost in the Valley of the Damned
Got past the shame and saw the Sham
I loved the Demons, I loved the Whores
The Light of God shone through the Doors
Caught in a rabbit Trap I never made
My Soul transmuted beneath the shade
The Fire burns, it burns so well
I never knew your Heaven was my Hell.
+S

Three Cheers for the Kindle Fire HD!

The Kindle Fire Experiment

Last Saturday I was bemoaning the fact that I can’t really listen to radio. I mean, I can listen to it, but I can’t really follow the conversation. My word comprehension with lip reading is perhaps 60% with the CI but it drops to around 40% without lipreading. So when you can only hear 4 out of 10 words, listening to the radio is like an aggravating game of Wheel of Fortune.

Noelle suggested that I try plugging in my CI to her Kindle Fire HD. I sighed mentally (and perhaps audibly) because I had already tried connecting a double-sided headphone jack from the CI to my computer, and the sound quality had been terrible. I assumed it would be more of the same. But, on the other hand, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try connecting the CI to the Kindle, and I reasoned that I might be pleasantly surprised.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. VERY pleasantly surprised.

First, Noelle had me read and listen to an ebook/audiobook combination via something called WhisperSync. This program syncs the exact text to the exact words on an audiobook read by a human. In other words it wasn’t text-to-speech software, but text-to-audiobook sync. She was able to magnify the text on the Kindle Fire HD so that I was reading four lines per page at the “wide” angle (landscape mode), in reverse video (white text on a back background). The cursor jumped from word to word in sync with the accompanying audiobook.

It was fantastic. I then decided to close my eyes to see if I could understand the audio without cheating, and to my surprise I could understand it very clearly. I’d estimate I understood maybe 75-80% of the text just from the audio alone. I hadn’t experienced anything this good with my CI since I had it turned on in 2003.

I had tried connecting my CI to other devices, but apparently none of them were very good audio quality. The Kindle Fire HD, on the other hand, worked extremely well.

I even tried listening to an ambient music station on Pandora. At some point after I got the CI in 2002 I decided that I liked ambient and synthesizer music (Vangelis, Brian Eno, Kitaro, Tangerine Dream, Peter Gabriel, etc.)

That’s probably because the CI already has a certain degree of synthesized sound, so ambient and synthesizer more naturally (or unnaturally) fits with the synthesized sound of the CI. I often joke that I listen to Borg music (a la ST:NG).

I could tell that I needed to get my mappings upgraded to be able to appreciate the music, but I am certain that once I do get a new mapping that the music clarity will improve substantially. It is quite good as it is.

So Saturday’s experiment was a fantastic success. And now I actually want a Kindle Fire. Everybody else in our house loves it, but I didn’t particularly care about it because I didn’t think it would be all that accessible. But it turned out to be a big accessibility WIN.

So it turns out that I can listen to radio after all, if you count Pandora (and I do). And in case you were wondering, the ebook/audiobook I experimented with via WhisperSync is called “Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues” by Mark Eddy Smith. As you might have guessed, Tolkien has a rather large influence in the Realm of Calinor.

+Sam (aka The Hobbit)

Miracles – guest Post by my Hobbit

In ASL, the sign for miracle is “wonderful happening.” The ASL sign manages to be much less problematic than the English word.

So Jesus rose from the dead? That’s a wonderful happening. Jesus walked on the water? That’s a wonderful happening too. You just got a job? Wonderful happening. Your wife had a baby? Wonderful happening! Your cat had kittens? Well that’s wonderful too, but I’m not sure that’s actually a happening. You got a cochlear implant? Hmmm… well, that’s your choice.

Okay, I guess sometimes the concept is problematic even in ASL.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/icpinsaneclownposse/miracles.html

–by Sam Campbell, aka Noelle’s Hobbit 🙂

Define Normal

The Hobbit and I went to go see the Hobbit movie in matching Hobbit T-Shirts at the Memorial City Mall in Houston on New Years Day.

When my Hobbit is using his cane, people get out of the way, which is kinda nice–by that, I mean it shows that people are still considerate when they understand the situation.  Someone (who wasn’t handicapped) was sitting in the handicapped seats right in the middle of the theater.  They got up when they saw us coming and moved into the normal seating.  I thought that was nice.

The trailers started, and since my Hobbit isn’t fully blind, but remembering he is fully deaf without his cochlear implant, he can sometimes read and understand the huge words that stream on the screen.  We were watching a Mini Cooper commercial:  – the end of this commercial says “Who wants to be normal?” – my Hobbit read that and said out loud: Me!

For me it was a moment of clarity.  I know that my Hobbit really hates when people admire him for his ability to endure his disabilities.  He thinks somehow they are feeling pity for him, instead of actually admiring his skills, albeit skills that are not ‘normal’ for most of us.  That is where the clarity came:  One man’s normal is another man’s extraordinary.

I love my Hobbit (obviously).  My life has been ‘not normal’ for several years now and I think it has improved vastly because of it.  I have learned a new language, my writing has improved, my adventures are almost daily, and I have a kingdom of my own filled with magic windows, Hobbits (at least one of my own), bogs of Eternal Stench (the kids room), and so much more.

I’m glad for not being normal.

But… then again… I’ve never thought of myself as normal.  Have you?