Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blind Bargains Awards And My concession Speech

Ahem, is this thing on?..  I would like to thank everyone for coming here today and braving the cold weather to celebrate what was a tightly contested race. But, at the end of the month, we failed to gain enough support to cross the finish line as the winner of the Best Blindness Related Blog.

I say to you gentle readers and followers of the site, no tears. For you did not let this blog down. No, I your humble and semi prolific author have let you down. And for that .. um.. well okay it couldn’t be helped.

The wealth of stuff that happened between June of 2009 and the end of that year was simply astounding. the fall of Vista and the rise of Windows 7. the moves by Apple with Snow Leopard and the iPhone. Why you can barely swing a NFB straight cane and not hit a pile of new talking MP3 players these days right?

and then there was the note takers. So many options between the Braille Sense Plus, the Icon and the new Apex. Plus the Video Magnifiers started to fall out of the trees man. Ruby, Sense View Light, Versa, the Pebble and about a dozen others all from China.

At no time in my 30 plus years of using Assistive Technology have I been this overwhelmed at the non dearth of choices coming on the market for us who are Blind and Visually Impaired.

This cornucopia of tech occupied a whole lot of my offline life, which, as you know, directly impacts the time I have to blog. So if I’m not writing, in a way,  that is a very good thing. A good thing indeed.

Getting back to the tons’o’stuff thing for a moment, another great story of 2009 was the emergence of my fellow pundits. Amateur podcasters and bloggers went mainstream in a big way in 2009. And so did the fragmentation of information. There is a huge vast newly formed Echo Chamber that has grown from the mailing lists into dozens of RSS feeds. And that too is a win win for the community.

Therefore, I don’t see this lack of a statue, do we get a statuette, er. um.. as a defeat. As the fact that I don’t have to write about everything and anything is a blessing. Oh right. Less about me then. Uh.. maybe next year? Hmm.. Thanks for coming and there is an ice cream cake in the shape of the Apple logo in the corner. And no, I wasn't the one that took a bite out of it. That is the way the logo looks normally. Honest!

End of speech.

All kidding aside, I am again thrilled to be nominated for the award. and, as I have said before, I’m a bit on the guilty side of things in that I could have done more to deserve the nomination.

I am always knocked out by how many people do read these ramblings, even after a prolonged offline forced absence. Over the last 5 years I’ve been able to say “Ranger1138” in a crowded room and for some strange reason people listen. Or throw their PAC Mates at me. It is such a strange world.

I want to acknowledge the other nominees and the winner of the category now, because I’m a fan of all of them.

The winner, as it should be really, is the team of writers at Fred’s Head. I’ve always liked how they post things on just about every part of the spectrum of living with Blindness and Low Vision. Life skills tips, tech tips, Service Animal suggestions and non related Blindness things as well. You name it, they’ve pretty much talked about it over the years. My hat is off to them and congratulations on the winning of this year’s award.

Sometimes I think I’ve said too much on TRS. Sometimes I think I may have overstepped my bounds and maybe, alright for sure, offended one of my dear friends in the AT Industry.  And then I read the Serotek Blog. It is at that moment I realize that I’m a monk who has taken a vow of silence. Mike Calvo’s impressions on matters is always compelling even if you don’t agree with his views on every post. But in every life some rain must fall, which at times means Mike can be a monsoon when he is fired up. Just go back to the Intel Reader post from November if you want to know more.

I’ve saved the best for last. I salute you Ms. Roberts. You’re passionate and strong arguments on a wide range of topics have been a pleasure to read throughout 2009. I’ve been following all the ups and downs while pulling for you the entire way like a sled dog in Alaska. One day I hope to be able to play a board game with you offline and discuss the weight of the world. Good job and all the best to you in 2010.

I also know that this mutual admiration society thing may sound a little tiring at this stage, however, I want to thank JJ and the crew at Blind Bargains for their organizing of this year’s awards. JJ and BB have really outdone themselves in the last year to become a serious contender for our fingers, ears and attention in the universe of AT. And I admire the zeal, and energy too, at which they have put into their efforts in 2009.

Two more posts on a look back at 2009 and then I’ll stop reminiscing about the past and get back to the future. Or find a way to make a DeLorean tell me with a DecTalk when I’ve hit 88.8 miles per hour. “DeLorean is reminiscing ”   

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