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    « 114. Fruits of My Labor -- Pears and Plums and Blueberries, Oh My! | Main | 116. Story of a Toad »

    Friday, April 25, 2008


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    No need to send the men in white coats, just yet, Norma? Hahaha!

    The new card is pretty cool.


    Nope, you're not obsessed. ;) (Spiffy cards!)


    Norma, of *course* you use voice recognition software. In fact you use the finest, most up to date software there is.

    Yep. It's the human brain. Personally, I just cannot believe that programmers will ever devise a way for a computer to recognize all the weird ways people speak a language, even if you only consider the native speakers.

    BTW, it doesn't matter what your job is, you will always run into the inconsiderate twits who think that what you do is sooo much easier than what they do. I do volunteer animal welfare work and hear all the time about how fun it must be. It is, but it is also heartbreaking to see the results of thoughtless people combined with animals.

    toni in florida

    About #9 on your list: When learning to type, umpteen-thousand years ago, I'd "air type" all the time, to help build the muscle memory to use the correct fingers for different letters and numbers. I'd type along with thoughts, other people's conversations, TV shows, music, pretty much anything I heard. It worked and I became a better typist. Then I had jobs that didn't require much typing and my speed/skills dropped. When I applied to work as a 911 dispatcher, there was a typing test and I was afraid I'd be too slow, so I started "air typing" again. I didn't hold my hands out in typing position, of course, but my fingers would twitch as if hitting the keys. It got to the point that I wasn't even aware I was doing it, until it was pointed out to me by whomever I was holding hands with. Hey, it worked: my typing speed more than doubled in a short time and I got the job! After years of typing every day, I'm pretty fast now, sometimes even accurate, and the twitching has stopped... at least when I'm awake! Who knows what happens when I'm asleep?


    I like your new business cards a lot!


    Norma, ala's perfect. You've had quite the week. You sound a bit tired. Take care!!


    Yes, but will the men in the white coats do voice recognition?


    You should have fun with Ben today - try not to snort out loud. I do the same talking-to-myself when I'm writing numbers. I'll repeat them in my head in 7-digit sequences (like a phone number). Your new card is perfect!


    Reading about your work is so interesting! I love that you do all that prep and I totally understand why you do it. Hope you have a blast listening to him speak!


    About #9--I'm a retired professional musician and it has taken me about 10 years to be able to listen to recordings and not automatically critique them. :-p I can finally truly enjoy listening to music again.

    Of course, on many of them, I can tell you where and when I played them and with who. I just close my eyes and I'm back in the chair with the music swirling around me. Muscle memory is a very powerful thing.

    I like your cards, and yes, you NEED to copyright your slogan.


    Norma, I've been sitting near a CART reporter this week at a conference. Based on my observations this week and your descriptions of some of the challenges, *my goodness* you (and others in your line of work) work hard while providing a valuable service! I don't know if you have the same type of machine as the person I observed this week, but it looks very cool and mysterious. Phooey on the VR guys, there is NO way it can approach the service you provide.


    Of course voice-recognition software doesn't recognize word boundaries; there aren't any. The speech stream is continuous and it's only our familiarity with the language that makes it seem discrete. Any of those jerks don't believe you? tell 'em to listen to a language they don't know.
    (I will admit to finding the *idea* of VRS cool, but that's because I like the math involved. Not because I want to put you out of a job.)


    Glad an email sparked the post! My organic chemistry professor was Belgian, and he had a thing against the French... I thought he'd fail me on my name alone. One day he was talking about tetrahedrons and how they make the best little shapes to puncture tires (because they will always land point up) when you toss them out your window to get the car behind you. I'm with you, a little extra (little hah!) prep to save panic is well worth it.


    Think of what those goofy "mask" reporters do when they watch TV! Can't you see them with their hands over their faces, going "wa WA wa waa wa..."

    Sorry, it struck me funny.

    BTW once I was in court in rural Nebraska. The judge came out and called the case, and argument began. It struck me that we were missing something. I poked my local counsel in the ribs and and whispered "where's the court reporter?" She nodded at the court clerk, who, I SWEAR TO GOD, was taking pen and paper shorthand of the proceedings. I never. The transcript wasn't bad, either.


    Norma, you're just extra-special wonderful!!


    Norma, my spinach is up and it's been only about a week since I planted it! Just in time for the crappy weather we're supposed to get.
    Nice business cards.

    Marcia Cooke

    Norma a la CART.....OMG! THAT should have been your new blog name, and yes I'm shouting! It would have been (would be) perfect!


    Norma a la CART... Brilliant! I can't wait to see that business card!


    I FIFTH Norma a la CART being brilliant! If this were purely a Voice Recognition blog (oops, sorry, NOT, ha!), it would be a great blog title! As it is, however, there's the gardening and nominal knitting and intermittent ranting and ass discussion etc. So not quite the perfect blog title for you.

    I too, like Toni, air typed incessantly at one point, and I'm not even type A-ish. My older brother and I were in a high school typing class (only class we've ever been in together, he was in it because he's a computer geek) and among other reasons to practice, we had sibling rivalry going on. And I was a cross-country runner back then. So during the endless miles of training, I would be typing things in my head and my fingers would twitch. Damn QWERTY keyboard, anyway; we had a manual typewriter at home then, and I remember my left little and ring fingers having trouble with the stiff 'a' and 's' and slipping between the keys and breaking fingernails. But I was given a Selectric typewriter woohoo! upon high school graduation, and then in college, I worked as a typesetter on some of the first computer workstations. And I'm not even that old! I don't think.

    Fun fact for ?younger readers who may not know this: the standard English keyboard is set up the way it is, with most of the most commonly used letters (e, t, r, a, s) on the usually non-dominant left hand, in order to SLOW DOWN typing so that manual typewriters didn't jam. Grrrr.

    I'd love to see your apparatus some day, Norma.

    (You know what I mean, that wasn't a proposition....)


    Writing shorthand in my head has kept me awake during many long, boring meetings ... don't discount its functionality. :-)


    I type along with things I read or hear too... except I do it with my toes.

    If the men in white coats show up for you, feel free to send them my way.


    I remember when I was learning to type in High School I used to "type" words in my head and on my fingers when I saw them on billboards, etc. Drove me nuts.


    i understand about pre-prep. the few times i've had to translate for my mother at an event where i know there's an established "script," i've asked for a copy, so i know what's going on. (she's deaf)

    ben stein, huh? lucky stiff!

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