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Old 07-24-2015, 08:21 PM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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Default A little (ALS) update, in case anyone's curious

First of all, thank you all again for the funding of my children's play structure. It's become a neighborhood staple. thank you all so much.

My father in law paid for all of us, meaning all of his children's families, to go to my favorite Place, Sayulita Mexico, last April into May for two weeks. Well, I mean he rented the two houses and paid for everyone's spending pesos. We paid for our own flights. It was awesome. The kids had a blast playing in the pool and the surf every day, and I was able to enjoyThe water also.
http://youtu.be/WKyMG_jaR84

well, since we've returned from Mexico in early May, I was instrumental in establishing a voice banking program with Western Washington University and a company called ModelTalker . We worked together to record me reading 1600 phrases, that will get dumped into a hopper and chopped up, then when I type something into a voice device, it will synthesize all my syllables and say what I typed in my own (synthesized) voice.

I really should have done this to years ago while my voice was still strong and clear. Now it was a struggle to pronounce the phrases clearly enough to be excepted by the computer program. We've tried to do this earlier, but no one knew where to tell us to go.

Now people have a place to go to get this taken care of before they lose the ability to speak.

And then...

Last edited by Tomcat; 07-25-2015 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:25 PM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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I got recruited to be a founding member of the Microsoft Eye Gaze Technology R&D team. It's been a years worth of events leading up to the actual establishment of the team and program.

Yes, very excited. They had three of us testing for types of Eye Gaze typing and voice device, and mostly had me working on the Eye Gaze power wheelchair drive device. So yes I was driving a power wheelchair with my eyes. I seem to be a perfect fit for this project as an end user, because, among other reasons, I am still able to walk from room to room, but use my power wheelchair when outside, like when the girls are on their bicycles. So it's relatively easy for me to transfer from my chair to the prototype, as opposed to others who may need to be hoisted.

It all started with Steve Gleason former New Orleans Saints,. He is The Man. I'll be working with him next week.

The impetus for the program:

http://youtu.be/SoqAnIF1iCw

Know that he is not typing, he is actually using Eye Gaze to click on pre-recorded messages. With the current state of technology, there is no way he could type that quickly, and that is one aspect we are working on.

You may also notice he can barely move his hand to control the power chair and rotate it around, which is the impetus for Eye Gaze drive

Last edited by Tomcat; 07-25-2015 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:37 PM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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And then...

Jen's nephew is entering seventh grade, and never having played basketball before, he is going to a basketball camp next week.
My father played at Illinios, and I played all my life including starting two years on varsity high school.
I offered to teach him some fundamentals and prepare him at least for the camp so he wouldn't feel like a total noob and get discouraged. I called my childhood best friend Kevin Beers , a championship high school basketball coach, to get a rundown on what they may do at camp and he email me a day by day list that I was able to do with Ethan and his friends.

So there I was, on an outdoor court coaching kids basketball in my power wheelchair, teaching them jump stops, pivots, and spin moves, blocking out, shooting and passing techniques, everything. In the end, I think I got more out of it then they may have.


Yeah, make no mistake about it, ALS is a shit sandwich. But life is challenging for everybody, and certainly all of us, each of us on this forum. I hope we can all find victories and rewards.

Last edited by Tomcat; 07-24-2015 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:20 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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Dude. You are amazing. All of that is amazing.

Recently we had a person come to our house to give us a quote on getting our bathroom remodeled. He noticed Justin was flitting about like a bird and inquired about his condition. When I finished with an explanation that was a bit too long for even my tastes. He told us that God gives us no more than we can handle, meaning that when we aren't meeting our true potential he challenges us in ways we find hard to understand.

Well, whatever you believe it seems like a lot of good is coming out of all of this and even though the prognosis isn't the sunniest thing a lot of people around you have really shone and are rising to the challenge.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you are blessed.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:41 PM
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Mark B. Mark B. is offline
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Rock on Tomcat!! What great news all around.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:14 AM
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Captain Tuttle Captain Tuttle is offline
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Inspirational Tomcat, not kidding at all.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Tuttle View Post
Inspirational Tomcat, not kidding at all.
Exactly. God bless you, man.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:42 AM
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Captain Tuttle Captain Tuttle is offline
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Weird double post, still inspirational
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:27 AM
Don-Dad Don-Dad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Tuttle View Post
Weird double post, still inspirational
I agree. Thanks for stopping by.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:27 PM
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You are truly blessed, Tomcat.
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