Day 162: Yes, I really am talking to my computer, or writing a blog post with speech recognition software

Dragon NaturallySpeaking running in a VM!
Dragon NaturallySpeaking running in a VM! (Photo credit: Arthur H.)

I can manually type. Compared to most peoples typing speed is terribly slow and painstaking, though it has gotten much faster since I was in elementary school. Shortly before I went to college I was introduced to a program which has been of immense help to me and immense confusion to others. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is probably the best speech recognition software out on the market to date and I’m sure my English courses would  have suffered greatly had I not been able to utilize it. I have lost count how many people have walked into my computer room and asked me if I was indeed talking to my computer, to which my answer usually is, yes I am, and it only answers back when I ask it to. The bewildered expression on their faces inevitably lead to an impromptu demonstration. One of the more annoying aspects of typing via voice control is that people often inadvertently mess your writing by speaking too loudly too close to the microphone. As a matter of fact when I was a freshman in college I had someone take perverse joy in deliberately messing up one of my freshman composition papers after I had explained to him that he would have to speak quietly or else the microphone would pick up when he said and alter my voice pattern file. Of course he then proceeded to speak so loudly that the program typed at least a page and a half of complete gibberish and it took me three days to retrain the voice file and finish the paper correctly. Because of similar incidents (though thankfully none quite as frustrating as the first) I seriously considered setting up one of those red lights that photographers have outside of their darkrooms as a signal for people to stay out lest they ruin the film. Or maybe just a sign that says “shhh, blogging/writing in progress to hang outside my door.I still think the photographer’s light would be cool though.

Day 161: Sally Ride is dead too, did you know?

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neil Armstrong died this week. It was mentioned in news and repeated in a myriad of status updates on Facebook. While reading something totally unrelated on one of my blog sites I discovered that Sally Ride, first woman in space had died at the age of 61 from pancreatic cancer… Last month. In addition to being the first woman to travel into space she has a PhD in physics from Stanford University and headed the committee that investigated the Challenger tragedy, which resulted in major change in the safety regulations surrounding space flight. She started math and science summer camps for girls and was a major influence for a whole generation of scientifically minded women. Although her contributions to space travel are just as important as those of Neil Armstrong (in some ways more important I think) it seems that her death was less widely noted. I have been told that it was in the news but as far as I can tell it didn’t cause very much of a ripple in our collective awareness. I for one am deeply saddened and apologetic.


I am neither Jewish or Christan but I find this piece of slang annoying/y over used

Originally posted on Acculturated:

By Gayle Trotter

Editor’s note: This piece is part of a symposium in which a variety of writers and thinkers weigh in on the topic of “Language in the Digital Age.” Look for further contributions on this topic (like this one and this one) throughout the week on Acculturated.

“And the word was made text, and then it was spoken.” John Donvan of ABC’s Nightline devoted a surprising segment to three little letters, “OMG.” His report asked parents, “Are Your Kids Sinners?” and offered “a modern guide to the third commandment.”

Electronic communication increasingly fosters informality. Otherwise serious business correspondence, sent over email, often begins with the salutation “All.” Modern-day letters home to parents begin, “Hey guys.”

OMG might be the ultimate electronic informality. Anyone with a cell phone or keyboard can invoke the Almighty in just three letters–a new trinity for the digital age, even if God…

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Day159: A Rare Glilmpse of Pride

[World Series 1912, 4th game, Polo Grounds, NY...
[World Series 1912, 4th game, Polo Grounds, NY (baseball)] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
I don’t like sports much. I also usually don’t have much pride in my hometown. There are however exceptions to every situation. The Goodlettsville All Stars, our local Little League team are as of this post 3-3 in the Little League World Series  Of all the kids who play every year only 11 teams get the chance to play in the World Series.  As adults we sometimes forget that childhood dreams are worth chasing. Come on guys, you can do it, bring home that pennant!

Day 158: Ivory and Crimson…Blood and Chess

Ivory Chess Piece in the Form of a Knight
Ivory Chess Piece in the Form of a Knight (Photo credit: peterjr1961)

I have no blood brothers. The men I call my brothers have never failed to encourage and support   me in being the best version of myself I can be. Somewhere along the way we all grew up…don’t ask me when that happened….I still don’t know.  I know we all have our faults and no one is perfect by any means but we love each other anyway. I couldn’t imagine having blood  brothers more awesome. To my white knights with feet of clay:I love you now, forever,and always. Against all foes, be they personal demon.ghost, or even spider bite….i am with you always.

Day 157: This is REALLY going to hurt


Dutch pea soup
Dutch pea soup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’re probably going to throw up.

That was the first thing the physical therapist said at my first out of bed therapy session in 2 weeks. I knew that this was probably going to hurt worse then anything in my life had before. I was 14 years old and had just had spinal surgery a few weeks before. In my experience therapists seem to take a different view of pain then their patients. Especially right after surgery they will often push you past the point that you want to say enough. So when that was the sentence I  heard before anything happened I was daunted, and a little worried. My knee jerk reaction to heavy pain since the age of 12 or 13 has been to swear instead of cry.  If a therapist said I’d probably be in enough pain to throw up I would probably  swear too. In a children’s hospital. Bad. In front of my grandma,who was staying with me that week. Worse. She takes a very dim of swearing and large amounts  of pain are no excuse. There was no getting out of it, I tried in hopes that I could postpone a week until my mom was there,she didn’t mind swearing from pain. No dice. I put my game face on.They strapped  chest,knees, and ankles, to table that would slowly go from horizontal to vertical, effectively standing me up.. About halfway up my knees tried to draw into my chest but were blocked by the strap. It was then that I learned that your legs ARE connected to your spine, imagine that.   I threw up and swore under my breath.The best part was that even though I was mess my grandma got an equal share in my impromptu imitation of Linda Blair. I took the lecture I later got almost cheerfully.


Even a one night thing can have repercussions folks

Originally posted on A Girl Named Clay:

Weep for humanity that this all still needs to be said.

1.) I’m Kinky. You’re Kinky.And That’s Not The End of The story.
Assuming unspoken consent and cohesiveness between our kinks is going to be like throwing two pissed-off fighting cocks in a circle and thinking there’s going to be a tea party – they’re the same species, after all.
So we gotta talk it out first, and see where our wants and needs intersect, and which areas to steer clear of. Otherwise, one of us is going to end up hog-tied upside-down and gagged, and not all together pleased about it.

2.) Consent is a Before-Hand Thing.
I ‘preciate you asking whilst or after the fact. But the sad fact of the matter is that, as far as we experience it, time is linear, and so unless you ask me if I want something BEFORE you actually dive…

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