February 2004


 

 

Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
VoicePoints James Shanks, Ph.D. Pt 1- IsYour Voice And Speech Fit Education-Mec
WebWhispers Columnists Janna Eyer, Hoquaim My Stoma Tattoo Experiences
WebWhispers Columnists Mike Rosenkranz My Big Sign Experiences
Musings From The President Murray Allan IAL 2004 Annual Meeting News & Events
Be All That You Can Be Stan Mruk  Other Side Of The Table Experiences
Bits, Buts, & Bytes Dutch Computer Tips Experiences
Welcome New Members Listing Welcome News & Events

 

 

 VoicePoints
  
  coordinated by   Dr. Dan Kelly, Associate Professor ( dy_kelly@msn.com )
                                Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
                                7700 University Court, Suite 3900, West Chester, OH  45069

[ ©  2004 James Shanks, Ph.D. & Carol S. Foulke, M.S.]
Are Your Voice And Speech "Fit"?  (Part 1 of 2)

James Shanks, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Department of Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery
Indiana School of Medicine &
Carol S. Foulke, M.S.
 

     Tony Totolini and his wife were very happy; they were going to take an ocean-going vessel from their home in Rome, Italy to New York City where they would see and live with their son.  They had looked forward to this for some time; the ocean trip would be beautiful and healthful.  However, there were some problems; for one thing Tony and his wife did not speak English, thus they would be relying on their son and his family to help them understand what was going on.  Further, Tony had just had surgery for the removal of his larynx.  After his total laryngectomy he was without voice.   Without voice and without an English language for speech Tony did face some obstacles.

     Fortunately, when he arrived in New York Tony was able to make connections with an Anamilo club which provided a person, a "lary" (laryngectomee), who would be able to help him learn to produce esophageal voice and, hopefully, to learn English.  The man in question was named Ed Sweeney.  This man used esophageal voice, had an Irish background, with a good command of English.  Over time Tony would try to learn not only to use a substitute voice but also to learn the language of this, his adopted country.  There were problems but they were not insurmountable.      Language comes in different forms, it may be received or it may be expressed.  If received it is through the eye or through the ear.   Through the eye it is perceived as reading.  Through the ear we call it listening as opposed to hearing as such.  We express language by writing or speaking.  If I say, ?ich mache das fenster auf? I am saying (in German) "I open the window".  Whether one says it in German or in English, opening the window is the gist of the message, allowing communication with language.  For our purposes we will be focusing primarily on the expression of language through speaking.     Only two things are required to produce sound i.e. a source of energy + something to vibrate = sound.     What is needed in order to speak?  Here, we need four elements:

(1) a source of energy or power,
(2) a noisemaker or vibrator,
(3) a resonance chamber or resonator and,
(4) the ability to shape the sound, referred to as articulation.
   
     The articulators which are used to shape the various sounds of language are the tongue, teeth, lips, jaw, hard/soft palates, pharynx etc. Articulators are used to shape sounds into meaningful words, phrases, sentences. Therefore, a source of energy + a vibratory source + resonance + articulation = speech. For the non-laryngectomized speaker, exhaled air from the lungs (energy source) sets the vocal folds (vibratory source) into vibration to make sound which is introduced into the pharynx, nasal, and oral cavities (resonators) and is then shaped into various sounds by the articulators (articulation) to produce speech. It is important to understand that this is a dynamic system in which sound is carried along with the exhaled air flow to the resonators and that exhaled air flow is involved in the production of many sounds of speech.     During laryngectomy the vocal folds (vibratory source) are removed, the airway abbreviated and turned to the outside through a stoma in the neck from which the laryngectomee now breathes. Exhaled air no longer reaches the pharynx, nasal and oral cavities.  The resonators and articulators are essentially unchanged although the vocal track is shortened. For the sake of simplicity, one could say that following laryngectomy the energy source (respiration) is present but is no longer connected to the resonators. The vibratory source is no longer present. But the resonators and articulators are unchanged. However we cannot have speech without all four elements of speech in some way interacting together.     The key element to re-establishing speech following laryngectomy is developing a substitute vibratory source to produce sound. Secondly, to introduce the substitute source of vibration into the modified vocal track so that the resonators and articulators can be employed to produce serviceable speech. The laryngectomee has three choices, each of which can provide a substitute source of voicing on which to base his speech.  The choices of voice are: standard esophageal voice (SEV), artificial larynx (AL), and tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP).

     That means Tony now has to have a new voice maker because his larynx, which included the vocal cords, has been removed surgically.       Tony has opted to try to use esophageal voice.  For esophageal voice, air is stored in a substitute lung, the esophagus.  This tube holds only 100 cc of air, in contrast to 4000-5000cc in the lung.  That is like driving a big car with a gas tank holding only a cup of gas.  Tony will have to learn how to get the air into the esophagus. The esophagus can function if it has some vibrating mechanism against which to push the air.  The top of the esophagus, the place where the esophagus and the inferior constrictor muscle meets, is called the pharyngo-esophageal segment (P-E Segment), a substitute voice box or vibrator.  Air can be pulled or pushed into the esophagus.  That air can be expelled as lung air is expelled.     Had Tony chosen Tracheoesophageal (TEP) voice his surgeon would have created an opening (track) between his airway and esophagus. Once fitted with a voice prosthesis Tony would be able to make a substitute sound for speech by covering his stoma and exhaling.  The exhaled air passes through the prosthesis causing the upper end of the esophagus (P-E Segment) to vibrate. This site of vibration or substitute voice is the same as that for esophageal voice. Basically the difference between esophageal and tracheoesophageal sound is merely in the source of energy for voice/speech.     If Tony had chosen to use an artificial larynx he would have two fundamental types to chose from - pneumatic and electromechanical.  With a pneumatic type artificial larynx the exhaled air from the lungs sets a diaphragm (usually rubber) into vibration when the device is placed over the stoma. Sound is then introduced into the oral cavity via a small tube. In the case of an electromechanical device the energy source is a battery.  The vibrator is a metal or plastic disc which is set into vibration by an energized striker. The electromechanical artificial larynx utilizes a basic physics of sound principle called "sounding board effect" to produce sound. The electromechanical artificial larynx provides both an energy source as well as a vibratory or sound source for speech.  The laryngectomee must lean to effective couple the device to the vocal tract or resonators to produce speech.     It is not the intent of this article to describe the many nuances of learning to use the various means of substitute voice available for the laryngectomee.  They are described here only as a basis for understanding the differences in energy and vibratory source for the various methods of substitute voice available to the laryngectomee. Furthermore, it is imperative that one understands that the production of many speech sounds used in English, as well as other languages, depend on exhaled air flowing from the lung through the vocal track and exiting at the lips. For the esophageal and artificial larynx speaker this is not possible. There is no connection from the lungs to the vocal track as the result of surgery to remove the larynx. The tracheoesophageal speaker presents a different set of problems. Although the TEP and voice prosthesis provide a conduit for air to flow from the lungs to the vocal track there is no way to produce that airflow without sound.     As discussed above, there are three means of re-establishing voice following laryngectomee: standard esophageal voice, artificial larynx, and tracheoesophageal puncture.   How do you measure the success of any substitute voice?  The term "FIT" can represent the basic characteristics of voice.  F = frequency (which you and I call pitch), I = intensity (which you and I call loudness) and T = time (which can be measured in a wide variety of ways.)  When a person speaks we ask the question "Is the voice FIT?"  Finally, when that is done we ask about quality - is it a voice quality that sounds more musical or noisy.     Now we can measure esophageal voice or any voice for that matter by assessing the "FIT".  Instead of a frequency (F) range of 2-3 octaves for laryngeal voice the person using esophageal voice has less than one octave.  But he does not need to speak in a monotone, as "Johnny-one-note."  His intensity or loudness (I) may be ten percent less than he had with his voice box. The measure of time (T), can include such things as how long does it take to get the air in, how long does it take to get the voice out, how many syllables or words can be said in a unit of time, overall how fast can he speak as expressed in words per minute.  We are satisfied if the goal is something in the neighborhood of two-thirds the rate one spoke before the laryngectomy.  So we have a lower, softer and slower form of communication.

     The artificial larynx may provide change of loudness and it may be as rapid or more rapid than speech before the laryngectomy.  With an electro larynx, pitch tends to be more monotonous.

     In contrast, TEP offers a more nearly normal voice pattern, using lung air (4000cc - 5000cc) in order to activate a vibrator, which, like esophageal voice, is at the very top of the esophagus.  We can say that TEP is a form of esophageal voice!  TEP is better than SEV as to pitch, loudness, rate and variety.  Voice quality should be comparable to esophageal voice.  In contrast, the artificial larynx should provide some reasonable expression of pitch, loudness and time, particularly if the AL is pneumatic (air-driven) rather than battery powered.     Before leaving the matter of loudness of esophageal speech, we should note that frequently the person, aware of a softer voice, tries to talk more loudly (presumably to be better understood).  We have noted that SEV air parallels lung air, so trying to talk louder should involve sending lung air out faster.  However, there is a price to be paid.  More lung air coming from the stoma means more noise to mask or interfere with speech!  It is as though every time a person starts to talk, a huge fan also goes on.  Strange as it may seem, the better, clearer, more intelligible esophageal speech is achieved by reducing noise, and talking softer!  This is a hard lesson for some, especially those older persons who also are more apt to have some hearing loss, thus less apt to hear the stoma noise!  The esophageal speaker should decide if he prefers to be heard, or understood.  Remember that being heard does not guarantee being understood.     Humming a tune or a nursery rhyme, even with a "FIT" voice, is melody without words, i.e., prosody.  Two things are now needed to get speech.  The sound must resonate through the throat, nose and mouth.  After you pluck or bow the string of a violin, resonance happens.  Sound does not just come from the string; it goes into the chamber or belly of the instrument, be it a violin or cello.  The resonance gives tone its quality.  For the laryngectomee resonance is crucial to turn noise into speech.     The last step in turning the sound into speech is articulation. As used by a dentist, articulation refers to the joining or meeting of the teeth.  In speaking, articulation may involve any of the structures in the mouth: jaw, lips, teeth, tongue, or palate. Articulation is a process by which varying degrees of obstruction are placed on the out going air stream and the size and the shape of the resonating cavities are modified. The articulators shape the sounds used to produce speech.     At this point we are ready to attempt to test a speaker's ability to produce the varied vowel and consonant articulations that are necessary for the production of English. I have devised a simple set of words and phrases to accomplish this task (see Table 1).

Table 1: Uncle Jim?s speech test

mommy's home

there with mother

9 9

6 6

singing

the zipper is noisy

paper cup

I should wash dishes

baby's tub

measure the garage

20 feet

church teacher

daddy did

engine judge

cookie book

yellow onion

Gary's bigger dog

which witch

laugh at 50

light the yellow candle

very heavy sleeve

run around the car

30 teeth or nothing

he's ahead

     In these 24 phrases one can test how well one speaks; although the vowels are scattered throughout, the consonants are our target in order to determine how well we speak.  We say that vowels carry the power of speech but consonants carry the understandability or intelligibility of speech.  You and /or someone close to you can listen to the way in which you speak these various phrases and find out if any do not measure up to the level that is expected.  It is always better to have someone else listen, but if that is not possible try recording your utterance and then listen to your recording.

    Suppose you had x-ray vision and took a side view of the mouth and throat of a person speaking.  As the speaker says different vowel sounds the jaw may go up or down a bit, and the lips may pucker or spread in a smile.  But the most striking movement is made by the tongue, which can go up and down as well as back and forward.  The key is how the mouth-throat tube varies to change the size and shape of these two cavities!  Vowel sounds, therefore:
(1) always are voiced,
(2) can be described by position of the tongue in the mouth (high/low, front/back),
(3) never involve complete blockage between two structures and
(4) change mouth/throat configuration, (like resonance).

(Note: Part 2 to be published next month (March 2004)

 
   
WebWhispers Columnists
                                                                                   
Contributions from Members
 

MY STOMA TATTOO
By WW Member Janna Eyer, Hoquaim, WA
    

     My sons have been with me several times at hospitals when doctors or emergency personnel didn't have a clue, or just had a small idea, about laryngectomees.  It is fine when they or a friend have been there, while I was accessing emergency or new services, to explain things when I could not.  Recognizing the lack of knowledge that medical personnel often have, they were concerned about me being in an emergent situation alone or dependent on what could be expected of a Good Samaritan.

     I live and travel rurally.  I am not in as good a health as many of the people that post on WW but in better health than others.  Besides being a lary, I have had other medical complications.  I went on disability two years ago and have spent the time focusing on building up an immune system (which was shot), getting my insulin-dependent diabetes under control (which due to surgeries and illnesses had been dangerously fluctuating), and improving my energy and capabilities.   It is not unusual for my dog and me to go "hiking" (relative to my ability), beachcombing, or walking alone in unpopulated areas.  While I've not had any problem with my heart, that problem runs in the family and due to my having  diabetes, it is something the doctors are always keeping an eye on.

     So my sons were concerned about my having a medical emergency (including a possible car accident) involving uninformed medical personnel or non-medical Good Samaritans.  I do not like to wear necklaces or bracelets.  I've had medical ones and I end up taking them off and misplacing them.

     So we had the thought that a tattoo would solve that.  The tattoo could kept "out of sight" by the choice of clothing but would be obvious if someone (anyone) went to administer CPR or air.  We really had to think through the placement.  I would have preferred it very small on my neck but the skin is not in good enough shape.  Too, ink does "bleed" sometimes and having it anywhere near the stoma was out of the question.  Bottom line is that I am not going to consider any bikini modeling contests so the tattoo is not intrusive for me; it might be for other people.  It is my first
tattoo by the way.

     I had an advantage because my sons are tattoo artists; one is opening his own shop in another month.  I didn't want just plain words so he designed a female cloud blowing wind as representational with the words, "Breathe Only Thru Stoma".  I wanted a small tattoo; they felt it should be large enough to read without a problem.

     I feel better with it, safer not just in hospitals, but in activities such as driving.  Hopefully if something should occur, I'll be able to pull out my Barton-Mayo to reveal the stoma or I'll just be wearing a foam filter.  In a few weeks, we are going to add the words "insulin dependent" to cover my diabetes. Couldn't cover all contingencies, just the broad idea and what seemed to be the most important in an emergency.

********

MY BIG SIGN
By WW Member Mike Rosenkranz, Plantation, FL


     I made up the below 8 1/2" x 11" sign when I had my hip surgery this past May.  I used it very successfully at that time, and again when I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy yesterday.  I have one put on the front of my chart, another taped over my bed, and a third one on my chest as they wheel me in for the procedure.  By that time, everyone with whom I have come in contact is thoroughly aware of the fact that I am a neck breather.  I even have nurses bringing in other nurses to show it to them.



     The touch of humor is what gets their attention, and to get their attention is exactly why I did it.  Perhaps you can put this in one of your future WOTW editions.  That way, it would be available to anyone who wanted to use it.  Locally, we enclosed it in the last edition of our Newsletter.

(Actual size copy (8 1/2" x 11") is available for downloading HERE in MSWord ".doc" format)



             Murray's Mumbles ... Musings from the President
 
     Don't Forget the 2004 IAL  Annual Meeting and Voice Institute in Disneyland !
 
     Having just returned from the IAL Interim meeting in Anaheim I can assure all members that preparations are being made to make this one  of our best Annual  Meetings and Voice Institutes that we have ever had. 
 
     The convention is being held at the beautiful Anaheim Sheraton which is just three minutes from Disneyland by shuttle.  What a great chance it is for everyone to gather with their family and friends and enjoy the wonders of this marvelous attraction at the same time.  We are trying to obtain reduced rate passes for evenings at Disneyland. It  is truly a first class establishment with a staff to match.  If you can possibly make it, don't miss this great meeting.
 
     This years event is being hosted by CAL, the California Association of  Laryngectomees and they are sparing no effort to ensure that we have a great meeting and opportunities to visit Disneyland.
 
     The man behind the scenes making all the plans and doing most of the work to ensure a successful meeting is Jack Henslee, Executive Director of the IAL.  I can assure one and all that these meetings don't just happen and that a lot of work is involved to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  Jack has many years of experience in organizing these functions and we can be assured of a professional job on his part.
 
     So don't forget to mark your calendars to attend the 53rd Annual Meeting on July 8 - 10 2004. The Voice Institute is being held from the 6th to the 10th.
 
SEE YOU THERE!!!
 
Best regards,
 
Murray Allan,  WW President




 
Be All That You Can Be
                                                                               
Stan Mruk  (Laryngectomy - 1995)
 


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE
By Stan Mruk, Independent Laryngectomee Consultant to Atos Medical 

     I guess you could say that I belong to a somewhat exclusive group of laryngectomees, those of us having the opportunity to serve as consultants to suppliers or manufacturers of laryngectomee supplies. We are those laryngectomees you meet at IAL and state conventions on the other side of the table waiting to be of service to you

     While I can?t speak for others, I feel it necessary to state that I am not an "employee", per se, for Atos Medical.  I am an independent consultant.  I have been extremely fortunate in my relationship with Atos in that all they have ever required of me is to share my experiences with other laryngectomees.  I am not a sales person, nor do I pretend to be.  Anything you hear from me, at a convention, in writing or at a local coffee shop is strictly my own experience or opinion.

     So how did I become a "consultant" and what's it like to sit on the other side of the table?  I got my start in 1996 when I opened my big mouth with questions to a vendor's panel at a laryngectomee symposium at George Washington University in D.C.  Quite honestly, I was there almost by accident, my main reason for attending being that GWU is my daughter's alma mater and she still lives in Washington so I figured it was a good excuse for a visit with her and maybe learn something else in the process.  At the time, I was only in my second year as a laryngectomee.  At any rate, after I had called attention to myself with my questions, an attractive young lady approached me (a rare experience for me) and stated that she was the national sales director for a company called LaryCare, which manufactured HMEs.  She asked if I would be interested in a part time job as a laryngectomee consultant to assist her firm in the promotion of the use of HMEs.  I told her that would be great even though at that time, I had no idea what an HME was. I was soon to find out that I was not alone in my ignorance.

     After having received sample HMEs and having used them for a time, I was invited to the IAL convention in Toronto for my "interview", which led to my first experience behind the table.  It was the strangest interview I ever attended and, believe me, I've racked up a few interviews in my lifetime.  I was introduced to the President of LaryCare at their display table.  I was then told to start talking to people about what I thought of HMEs.  Though talking to people has always been second nature to me, I must admit that this was a bit scary.  There was, however, little need for worry as I found the laryngectomees and professionals to be receptive and interested in what I had to say.  This is probably when I became sold on the idea of laryngectomee conventions.  It was quite obvious that the people I spoke with were there for a number of reasons but the primary reason was education.  They wanted to know what was new out there and how it could benefit themselves and the laryngectomee community.  Anyway, I guess I did a reasonable job since I immediately became 50% of LaryCare's US staff.

     For the next year, our massive staff (my manager and I) traveled to conventions and conferences in the US and Canada doing our best to educate both laryngectomees and medical professionals as to the benefits of HMEs.  Alas, as with most of my relationships with attractive women, this was not to last.  At the end of 1997, LaryCare was acquired by a competitive company, Atos Medical.  Though Atos was a larger company and well established in Europe and other parts of the world, our US operation remained a two man show for some time.

     To be honest about it, there were many times that I doubted that our efforts were effective.  Today, noting the many HME oriented discussions on WW about HMEs, I guess we did make some converts.  Now don't get all excited and think that I am saying that Atos and I alone were responsible for the current widespread usage of HMEs in the US.  We had a lot of help from our friends and our competitors alike.  We were and still are all working for the same goal - to promote the use of HMEs by laryngectomees.  We?ll let you choose the brand.

     A myth about the majority of laryngectomee vendors and/or manufacturers is that this is a "cut throat" business.  From the perspective of a 20 year sales background, let me assure you that, due to the minimal market (50,000-60,000 larys nationwide), it is a highly competitive business but the term "cut throat" certainly does not apply.  Time and time again, I have seen vendors, finding themselves unable to satisfy a customer's particular need, freely recommend a competitor who can.  My point is that the really good vendors always keep the customers needs and satisfaction as their primary consideration.

     Though I have always found participation at any mass laryngectomee meeting an interesting experience, the one that stands out in my mind is that last one I worked with my friend and teacher, Joakim.  It was a convention of international speech therapists in Montreal.  What made this meeting different is that for most of the attendees, English was a second language.  Now I like to think of myself as a pretty cool character but I entered that convention probably more nervous than I had been at my first IAL.  After all, even if I still had my vocal cords, understanding and being understood by some of these people could be a problem.  Yet here I was, the only laryngectomee in the place, armed with my trusty EL and ready to take on the world.   That last line reflects a confidence I really didn't feel.  For the next two days, I talked with people from England and Australia (easy), Germany, Poland, Japan, China, several South American, and some African countries just to mention a few.  The only problems I encountered occurred when I forgot that I was using an EL and began to talk too fast.  The entire experience proved to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and a tremendous learning and teaching experience.  Bottom line is people are pretty much the same the world over if you give them a chance and when it comes to our "alternative" speech, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

      Finally, it has been said that "every cloud has a silver lining".  In my case, nothing could be truer.  I've always harbored a desire to be a "consultant" and actually have someone pay me for my opinion (and I have a lot of opinions).  I also had a desire to travel and, in some way, be of help to others.  Becoming a laryngectomee and "stumbling" into the consultant role has afforded me all of this and allowed me to learn from others as well as share my knowledge.  I have been privileged to meet and count as friends, people from all across the country and around the world, laryngectomees, medical professionals and vendors.  Many of these relationships have transcended business and have become personal enduring friendships.  For those who might wonder about such matters, yes, I am compensated for my efforts.  I am sure that many of my laryngectomee consultant colleagues are likewise compensated.  However, that is not what it is really about.   I believe I speak for all laryngectomee consultants when I say that what we do is not different than why we belong to support groups or WebWhispers, to contribute in our small way to make life as a laryngectomee a little easier for those who come after us. 

     If my career as a laryngectomee consultant were to end tomorrow, it would always remain one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of my entire life.



                      Dutch's Bits, Buts, & Bytes

-----------------------
Late News Flash -
Need Help Fighting The MyDoom Virus?
-----------------------

If you think your Windows-based PC is infected with the new MyDoom virus you can download and run a "virus removal program" from the Norton web site at:

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.novarg.a@mm.html

Be sure you read and understand all the directions for using this tool.  Good luck!!

-----------------------
1.  Can You "Cut/Copy and Paste"?
-----------------------

Knowing how to "Cut and Paste" or "Copy and Paste" (transfer text, etc., between two documents) will greatly simplify your life when preparing Emails or other documents on your computer.  Below is a basic primer ... see if you can do it ... it is REALLY easy.

How To Copy and Paste:

Take your mouse, and place your cursor at the beginning of the text in the box below, then click and hold the left mouse button, while pulling your mouse over the text (all 3 lines).  This should highlight the text.  Now release the left mouse button.  Then, with the cursor over the highlighted text, right click the mouse to display your options, and select 'copy'.  Now move your cursor into the empty box below, right click your mouse again, and select 'paste' and "poof" you will have copied and pasted the text.
 

 VISA - It May Cost You A Bit, But It Is Priceless!
 DISCOVER - A Good Card, TOO!
 MASTERCARD - One Of The Top Three!!   


Cut and paste is the same as above, except you choose 'cut', instead of 'copy'.  However, 'cut' will remove the highlighted text from your original document instead of just simply "copying" it.

Shortcuts

To Copy: Highlight an area, as shown above, then hold 'Ctrl' + 'C'
  (or for Mac users 'Apple' + 'C').
To Paste: Click your mouse where you want the text pasted, and then
  hold 'Ctrl' + 'V'    (or for
Mac users 'Apple' + 'S').

The ability to cut, copy, and paste is found in virtually all Windows text based programs.  Sometimes, the ability to do these tasks via the mouse is disabled, but is still quickly achieved through the use of the above shortcuts.

------------------
2.  ARE YOU A 419er?
------------------

Have you gotten a message from someone claiming to be a representative of the Nigerian government, promising a multi-million dollar reward for your help in transferring a huge sum of money?  It's a well-known scam that pre-dates the Internet, but alarming numbers of people are taking the bait in what has been dubbed the "419 Scam".

When a potential victim responds to the scammer, they are asked for their bank account and other personal information. The fraudster then tries to establish credibility by providing documents bearing Nigerian government letterhead.  But invariably a "problem" arises. The victim is then pressured or threatened to provide one or more large sums of money to save the venture.  According to the U.S. Treasury, this scam grosses hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and in a few cases scam victims have been killed.  To learn more about the Nigerian 419 Scam, check out this link:

  http://www.secretservice.gov/alert419.shtml

--------------------------------------
3.  NEWS FLASH: YOU DIDN'T WIN ANYTHING!
--------------------------------------

Lately I've been getting a barrage of emails informing me that I've won a huge lottery prize in the Netherlands, Spain or South Africa.  Lucky me -- I didn't recall entering any foreign lotteries, but if these nice folks want to send me money, what's the problem?  Well, as it turns out, they want YOU to send THEM money.  It's a new twist on the old Nigerian Scam.  "Send us a couple thousand dollars and we'll send you a couple million."  Believe it or not, people do fall for this.  Read more about the details of this scam here:

  http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/scams/lottery.htm

------------------------
4.  DON'T TOUCH THAT FILE!
------------------------

Let's file this one under "Too Much Time on My Hands".  If you receive a message filled with dire warnings to delete the JDBGMGR.EXE file from your PC, just delete it.  The message, that is... not the file!  The JDBGMGR file is NOT a virus, it's part of the Windows operating system, and deleting it could cause problems.  Learn more here:

  http://zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2865855,00.html

------------------------
5. Mini-Storage Device
------------------------

WW member Dennis D'Aira came across something quite interesting that he thought might be very useful to the group.  It's called Jump Drive (it?s a little plug 1"x 2  1/2") - it plugs into the USB port on any PC (front or back) and stores 32MB of memory.  It has a little clip on the back where you can clip it to your shirt - keys - just about anywhere you want.  You can put your life history in it - medical info -- what they should use in case of an accident etc.  It plugs into any PC , Apple or laptop. All EMS units are familiar with or have a laptop with them. You could even put it in a prescription bottle and hang it off your car mirror and write on it "open in case of emergency" - when you go out you could also hang it around your neck. etc. They cost around $20.00.-- at Walmart, for example.  

See also: http://www.lexarmedia.com/jumpdrive/index.html

Dennis also went to a drug store and bought a Medical Alert key ring with a leather piece attached to it.  He put his Jump Drive on the ring and engraved - on the leather part "plug into USB". One could also put the Medical Alert insignia
(small decal) on the jump drive.  Neat ideas!


 

 Comments to the Editors

     Two members submitted "photographic comments" on our January 2004 edition (found at the following web site: http://www.webwhispers.org/news/jan2004.htm).  Enjoy!

Lary Blowhard
(
a modified picture of our ListServ Flame Warrior "Blowhard")
from
Leonard Librizzi, Smithtown, NY

"After reading last month's scooter article, I bought myself one, too.
I wanted something that was easy on gas and could zip me to the store
and about town. This seems to meet my EVERY need.  I love it!"

from George Whitbeck, Tampa, FL

 

 

   ListServ "Flame Warriors"   


                                                                               
Terms of Importance
flame

1. n.   A hostile, often unprovoked, message directed at a participant of an internet discussion forum.  The content of the message typically disparages the intelligence, sanity, behavior,  knowledge, character, or ancestry of the recipient.
2. v.   The act of sending a hostile message on the internet.

flame warrior
1. n.   One who actively flames, or willingly participates in a flame war ... (Another Example Below) ...

NITPICK

Nitpick compensates for his general weakness as a Warrior by pouncing
on errors, however irrelevant to the discussion, and using them to discredit
the enemy.  For example, if his opponent in a sports forum conflict casually
mentioned the Cubs' 4-2 victory in the 1908 World Series, Nitpick would
quickly counterattack with something like, "4-2 !? Any moron knows the
Cubs won the Series 4-1! Someone so ignorant about baseball history can't
possibly know anything about salary caps!"  Even if the minor point is
conceded Nitpick will return to it whenever pressed in the main arena of
battle.  Nitpick can be easily bested by most members, but he is very
tenacious and will never admit defeat.

Above courtesy of Mike Reed
See more of his work at: http://www.winternet.com/~mikelr/flame1.html 
 
 


   Welcome To Our New Members:

I would like to welcome all new laryngectomees, caregivers and professionals to WebWhispers! There is much information to be gained from the site and from suggestions submitted by our members on the Email lists.  If you have any questions or constructive criticism please contact Pat or Dutch at Editor@WebWhispers.org.

Take care and stay well!
Murray Allan, WW President


    
We welcome the 30 new members who joined us during January 2004:
 

Harold Alesky
New Milford, PA
Paul Born
Quartzsite, AZ
Theresa Burgess
Bushkill, PA
Charlie Conforti
Wilmington, DE
Steven E. Deutsch, Ph.D. - SLP
Los Alamitos, CA
Bob Dickerson
Kingston, NY
Bill Graham
Miami, OK
Bill Hack
Fort Davis, TX
Rosemary Hauck
Stuart, FL
Chris Hoge - SLP
Republic, MO
Maya Jackson
Richmond, VA
Bill Jordan
Clayton, CA
Drew Keen
Coombabah, Queensland, Australia
Edmund Knowles
Nassau, Bahamas
P.M. Koya
Calicut, Kerala, India
Richard McGovern
Greensboro, GA
Greta Mkoka - Caregiver
Crawhill, Bermuda
Vicki Moertl
Dayton, OH
Donna Peruzzaro - SLP
San Carlos, CA
German Rivera
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Beth Sanders
Battleground, WA
Sushil Shah
Jalgaon, India
Bob Smith
Hanover, MD
Tony Smith
Harrow, Midd., UK
Mel Stinson
Mount Pleasant, TX
Jane Varner
Little Rock, AR
Dawn Wells
Columbus, OH
Jack Wicklund
Brainerd, MN
Dorothy Wilson
Terre Haute, IN
Yehudith Naot
Haifa, Israel
 
 
 

 
WebWhispers is an Internet-based laryngectomee support group.
  It is a member of the International Association of Laryngectomees.        
  The current officers are:
  Murray Allan..............................President
  Pat Sanders............V.P.-Web Information
  Terry Duga.........V.P.-Finance and Admin.
  Libby Fitzgerald.....V.P.-Member Services
  Dutch Helms...........................Webmaster
      

  WebWhispers welcomes all those diagnosed with cancer of the
  larynx or who have lost their voices for other reasons, their
  caregivers, friends and medical personnel.  For complete information
  on membership or for questions about this publication, contact
  Dutch Helms at: webmaster@webwhispers.org   

 

Disclaimer:
The information offered via the WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club and in
http://www.webwhispers.org is not intended as a substitute for professional
medical help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in
  understanding current medical knowledge.  A physician should always be   
consulted for any health problem or medical condition.



As a charitable organization, as described in IRS § 501(c)(3), the WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club
is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with IRS § 170.


  © 2004 WebWhispers
Reprinting/Copying Instructions
can be found on our
WotW/Journal Page.