Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fire In The Mouth!

Seek Geo's Harry Potter Jelly Beans: Weird Flavors and HP Jelly Beans: Weird Flavors Part Two vlog entries nearly had me on the floor when he tasted the candies. I'll have to try them sometime.

His reactions reminded me of when I was out in San Diego at a costuming convention a few years ago and heard about a place called University Chicken before I went. They have something called the 911 Challenge, but it's not on the menu. You have to ask for it. Before they even make it for you, you have to sign a waiver saying you're not going to sue them for anything, etc. It's a rather hilarious thing to read. Then when they serve it to you, you have 10 minutes to eat 12 wings. You have nothing to drink and no napkins.

We're talking hot stuff. I barely finished with a few seconds left. My face and nose were red, nose and eyes were running, and tongue was on fire. Halfway there, it was getting hot, and then with the last three, whoa... I just kept going, ignoring the heat and then some. I don't even remember anyone taking flash pics of me or the entire store cheering me on since I was so focused on eating them.

My prize? A tshirt mentioning what I did and my picture on the wall. They were talking about it all during the convention, even bringing it up during a puppet show at one point, even after the con in some chatrooms and forums. They were teasing me about it here and there. "You're still alive?" "Can you still talk and taste?" "Can you still eat?"

I could probably do it again, but next time I want to enjoy the food there than try to make my mouth flame out.

You know when something goes in hot, it will come out hot? The next morning...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

AOL Releases Real-Time IMing for the Deaf!

Just came across this article;

AOL Launches Real-Time Instant Messaging Targeted to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users

What does this mean for us? It means that rather than waiting for the other person to finish typing SEND or ENTER to send the entire message, we can see everything the person types just like on a TTY!

No more waiting for the other person! Real-time communications! Whoo-hoo! We need that!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Deaf Scams via AIM

Did anyone get an AIM message from someone claiming to be an FBI agent, law enforcement officer, etc? It most likely is a scam. They will often offer you something like this if you work for them online;

- cash every month or week, usually nearly $1,000
- a new vehicle
- pay for vehicle registration, typically a few hundred
- have you fill out an application which most likely you will send to a completely different address

They may say something about helping other deaf. Don't fall for this scam. You will most likely lose money and be a victim of ID theft. Report it to the people they were trying to fraudulently represent.

One other IM scam I've heard about is how the FBI IMs the so-called victims. Maybe the FBI/law enforcement does this from time to time when the victim requests but a lot of the time from what I've seen, they'll use snail mail or the phone. However, when one receives an IM from the "FBI," let them make the first moves. They should have all your info in front of them including your case number and related information.

My own experiences almost exactly mirror Dianarez's experience in her Scamming Deaf via Sidekick blog post. In my case, this other person tried to impersonate a police chief in Ohio. They were very interested in knowing who this person was when I contacted them. If you see ddaservice on AIM, that's the person. Another time it was a business.

One way they get your info is via DeafVP. That's a scammer's paradise right there since all IM info is out in the open. Make it so they have to email you for the info, like I do. When I removed my info, the IMs from them stopped.

Update 3/24/2009:

When posting chat logs anywhere, change your AIM name to something like [name_removed], and remove your personal info with [personal_info_removed]. This way, you're protecting yourself from worse things like ID theft.

Let's get this powerball4real8 idiot OFF the air!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Oops! I did a Faux Pas Again!

I had to laugh when I read this blog entry back in October and it reminded me of some other things.

Mind Your P’s and Q’s, Or in This Case: D’s and H’s

Those of us who tend to alternate between the hearing and the deaf worlds usually know what they shouldn't do, but now and then a foulup will happen.

Sure, we've all had to make relay calls. The post comments about how some hearing people are so rude to the point of voicing that they have a deaf person on the phone or something. I was job searching awhile ago, there was this receptionist who said "This is a place of business." I told them why I was calling, and then she sighed and directed my call to the right person. Heck, maybe I should have said "...and I'm a job seeker, so what's your point?" Another friend's dad said the relay calls were slow, and that's pretty much the truth. Hearing people can have 5 minute calls. A relay call like this could last as long as 30 minutes. "S" *pause* "L" *pause* "O" *long pause* "W" he said.

Another call I made before IPRelay and the 800 numbers, though each state had their own 800 number. I called this craft store not once, but twice, each time getting a hangup after they say something like "I'm with a customer!" or something quite rude. I had to type to the operator that I was seriously considering going out there and straightening them out. The operator's response? "GO FOR IT!"

But of course squeaky hearing aids are as equally irritating. At one point in high school, I had a crack in the tubing leading to my earmold. During the *ENTIRE* history class, it whistled. It wasn't til the end of class when the interpreter told me about it. Then there's the other funny moments I mentioned in my Growing Up Deaf posts.

I worked at this now-gone candy bar manufacturer in the office as part of coop years ago. Since I couldn't hear the monitor beeping which indicated a program just started running, someone made a poster with "beepbeepbeepbeep" on it. Then every time it beeped, they'd knock on the glass walls and show me the poster and I'd go from there. I think I still have it somewhere. Another thing I'd occasionally do is make like a speakerphone call to that person on the other side of the window, so all they had to do was nod or shake their head for yes or no.

I've probably forgotten a few things... I'll remember them.