Sunday, October 28, 2007

So many websites, so little time...

I don't know about you guys but I'm a bookmark fanatic. Once I set my sights on a site that is articulated with delicious bits of information, it manifests itself as a part of my little bookmark family before you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. What does a girl like me with a list of bookmarks longer then her entire family tree do to keep up with them all? If you scroll down (after you are done reading this please) and have a little look see at my bookmark section, which a majority of the links represents blogs to other bionic buddies, parents of their little bionic ones, and other deaf related sites. You will notice that it is a LONG list.

Abbie does not exactly have what you people call TIME on her hands to go checking up on every single one of these sites and the many others that are unrelated to the topic at hand. In the olden days, I would get comfortable and click happy with my mouse until my eyes just about crossed over to the other hemisphere. I am proud to announce that those days are over and long gone thanks to Google.

Google has developed a product called Google Reader, which receives the universal kudos sign from me. Besides accomplishing the task of being the answer to all my prayers, it shows the updated content of my bookmarked sites in one convenient place. Does this happen to pique your curiosity my fair readers? I thought it would! Did I mention that it is free? Now I know I have your undivided attention.

All you need to do is create a Google account. Personally, I would go for the whole shebang and get an email address at no extra cost (it puts Hotmail to shame.) Once you get your brandy new Google login and password, log into the Google Reader site. You will see layout that looks similar to your inbox. Click on Add Subscription and type the address to a site or search for new ones, for example (hint: copy and paste) and click Add. You have subscribed to that site. When I update my blog, it will show up in the Google Reader site and you will be able to read it as if you went to my blog site directly. Another option is if you see this little orange icon (my icon is green) that says RSS Feed or Subscribe to: Atom on a site that you interests you, you can click on it and it will ask you to add to Google Reader automatically! Either way, just try it, you won't regret it!

I have subscribed to a variety of sites such as blogs, news, gossip, MySpace, Xanga and other random sites that interest me. What was once disorganized chaos is now organized bliss thanks to Google Reader. Can I get an Amen?!

This weekend was full of CI moments but I want to share my last one because I will post the others tomorrow. I went broccoli crown shopping at my local supermarket who has installed self-check out modules. I am walking down an aisle that had nothing to do with broccoli, but it was near the self-check out modules. I heard loud and clear, "Please place item on the belt" followed by a loud beep and the "Please scan your next item." I stopped dead in my sandals and peered behind me to hear "Please select your method of payment." Considering I was halfway down the aisle, I thought that quite an accomplishment. I gave a pat on my ear for a job well done.

I resumed broccoli shopping and grabbed bok choy for the ride. Once I was done, I got myself situated at the self-check module, I hit the button for English, and this thundering boom talked to me, "Please scan your member card or scan your first item now." Geez louise, it was so loud! No wonder why I heard it half way an aisle. My thoughts quickly deferred to the countless of times I have utilized the same self-check station to avoid talking to the cashier, actually to avoid communication period. It was almost inconceivable the countless of times it was barely audible. A nanosecond later, it is conceivable and currently is reality to me. Hearing is not something to be taken granted. To reaffirm that, I look up to scan my surroundings while I'm gritting my teeth listening to the booming female mechanical voice obnoxiously instructing me to scan my next item, I saw a young girl reading a gossip magazine signing as happy as she can to her mother.

I got excited to see someone signing because that gave me a little comfort that maybe I am not the only deaf one in my area. Then it dawned on me I could only talk through her mom because I do not sign, but it was a comfort nevertheless since I can count the number of deaf people I've seen in my area on one hand. I wanted to walk up to them and say "HI! I'm Abbie and I'm deaf too!" or something to that effect but less cheerleadery. I never got the chance because they left while I was being instructed to bag my items by the drill sergeant hiding in the self-check module.

I came home with little more then I intended. A soothing feeling I am not as alone as I think I am in this world and bok choy.


Laurie said...

Hi Abbie!

I'm a bookmark fanatic, too. But I just subscribe to a feed if I want to keep up with other blogs. I have the Google reader but don't open my Google account all the time.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my picture. . . I was trying a new hair do for my son's wedding this weekend. . .I've never worn my hair up because I've always been self conscious about my "ears" showing.

You're doing great. I love listening to the self help person at the checkout, too!

Jennifer said...

Abbie, I am a Google reader junkie! I have 216 subscriptions on saves me tons of time!
I loved reading your checkout story...I hope I'm soon able to understand them myself!!
I always love meeting other deaf people, too...there aren't many in my area and it's always a treat to find someone in the same boat :)

Anonymous said...

I love the checkout story. I will have to check out google reader. I don't seem to have any time on my hands. Work, Work, homework and bed.

It is amazing what we can hear now. It seems the little things make the biggest differences. I think it is just the day to day things that make this bionic CI worth it.

Yana said...

Oh i hear you on the self check out...

Before my implant i didn't know these machines talked. Then two months post activation I could sort of hear them and now I can understand all they say! :)

Thanks for the nice comments in my blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi Abbie,

Thanks so much for the kind words and keeping Ethan in your thoughts! He's home safe and everything went beautifully!

I love google reader!