Friday, February 09, 2007

Behind The Scenes: Mistaken Identity

When I was editing the Zoom Text Beta Link to the correct URL I thought it would be a good post if I told you all about some of the other crazy mix ups I have corrected on the TRS over the years. This is a little "Behind The Scenes" action that I hope is funny reading for a Friday.

I know I have said many times here that the Assistive Technology Industry is a very small world. I don’t take major swings at products on the blog because inevitably I will run into those developers or creators in some dark alley whilst out amongst the myriad of industry conventions. And trust me some of those companies can hide a body that no CSI team will ever find. But I am a user of Assistive Tech and I do have an opinion about things that transcends my worries on offending others in the biz. I just don’t air those views here unless I am dam sure of what I am saying is on target or can be easily duplicated. Case in point: I don’t like the KNFB Reader and I have been vocal about that before to the dismay of some of my NFB friends out there.

Still, as one is so apt to do, I make some really good bonehead mistakes. And like on the NBC show “My Name Is Earl” Karma has a funny way of catching up with you. Here are a couple of “behind the scenes” stories of me pulling a few Homer Simpson “Dough!” moments.

Back in July Dean at Top Dot posted that Wayne merit was me. I wrote about that and we all corrected our collective works on the Blogosphere to make sure that poor innocent Wayne would not be stuck with the sad mantle of responsibility, emphasis on sad, that is “Ranger1138”. What I didn’t say was that I read Dean’s Top Tech Tid Bits at some unholy hour, I think it was 3am, and I left him a voice message instead of the right and polite thing to do which of course was email a guy at 3am. I can’t claim it was a “drunk dial” either because I was all hopped up on coffee. This time I think it was “Taste of the Hill Country” from a local grocery chain in Texas. A nice blend of Cinnamon and Vanilla by the way.

Dean did call me back and unlike me he did it at a reasonable hour. We had a good chat and since then I have an even bigger level of respect for him and what he does weekly with the Top Tech Tid Bits newsletters. Heck I barely get things out monthly and he even has more AT news in his stuff than my small piles of links ever do.

Now flash forward to December 06. I’m in a hurry, we are shutting down the labs for Holiday Break and I want to get the update out before I go. Do I spell check the update? Duh.. no. I barely spell or grammar check anything I post on line. The sad truth is that I have just enough time to get things down in print period. So posting raw is just something I tend to do by habit. And this laziness had me call Dean not by a mis-spelled slaughtered name but by another last name all together. Better yet I had switched Dean’s name with someone I knew in the past before I joined up with Assistive Technology. However in the AT world the last name I switched for Dean’s belongs to a wonderful person who has unfortunately passed on and if you read the original version of the newsletter I called Dean a dead person. Dean is of course very much alive and he was on vacation. He was quite surprised to see that I was calling him someone else. And I have to admit that it would throw my good vacation vibes off as well to see that I really switched up names that badly. He was a good sport and after a laugh plus a correction we have agreed that we are even on mistaken identities.

Dean’s case was nothing when compared to my recent blunder though. Well I say recent but this took place a while earlier. Remember when Jonathan Mosen left Humanware? Do you remember all the Bloggers, like me, speculating like mad about what it all could mean for the AT Industry? Remember that I mis-spelled Jonathan’s name not once but SEVERAL times? Guess what.. Jonathan remembers.

Last week Mr. Mosen stopped by the labs to talk to us about some really good things in store for Freedom Scientific. It was my first personal meeting with him although I had been in places where he had spoken via the convention circuit. I introduced myself with a small remark about Main Menu. And Jonathan said “I love your Blog.. even if you mis-spelled my name”. Oh how I groveled and pathetically apologized. But I was secure in my knowledge that I may have been a bad speller but I didn’t say anything nasty about his move to Freedom Scientific. In fact, if I remember correctly, I speculated at the time that it seemed like a good move for him and FS. He looked very happy when I saw him last week at any rate.

So if you notice lately I do a bit less speculation, a lot more speel er um spell checking and a ton more links to press releases over the last three months. Will this stop the blunders? Nah.. I seem to have a wicked talent for disaster. Just wait for the Vista upgrade horror story I am sure will happen to me soon. That one may require me to edit four letter words before I post its contents!

Speaking of linking ..

Wayne's Blog

Top Dot Enterprises

And of course Freedom Scientific

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