Monday, March 29, 2004

Here's a photo of Iago
the savvy barn cat who knows to keep her distance from those hefty horse hooves.
And another one...

down in the forest where we are building yet another fence.
Here's a photo of our back yard... Sigh. This is why I love living on Vancouver Island!

Tony is the chestnut horse. When I first acquired him last year we called him 'Bony Tony.' After nearly a year of steady eating, the nickname no longer fits!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My goodness - another busy month. This post is the first time that I've ever used my new voice-recognition software to compose an entry. I must say that I'm quite impressed with the software even though I'm still in the training phase. In fact, the problem isn't that the software doesn't understand me or can't keep up with my speaking, the problem is that I can't think clearly enough to compose sentences fast enough to dictate them. The result is lots of hmmms and emmms and errrrs (I confess I had to type in those last three words) which then need to be edited out.

Another problem that I've discovered is that my office chair squeaks really loudly. My tireless software keeps trying to interpret these noises and offers me various strange alternatives. And another problem that I hadn't anticipated the is that this is the beginning of allergy season here on the West Coast. After I've been talking for a while, I become quite congested. And as I get more congested, the number of errors increases. Luckily, this is easily remedied by blowing my nose.

The whole process of speaking out loud watch my words appear magically on the screen is completely surreal. However, if I stick with this and keep training the software to understand my particular speech idiosyncrasies (maybe I need to create an allergy season profile and another one for winter?), I should be able to produce a written work at a phenomenal pace. How cool is that? I don't even have to worry about aggravating my carpal tunnels! And if you're wondering whether or not I have to cheat and use the keyboards to insert punctuation -- no! This incredibly smart system actually understands the difference between my spoken words (which, by the way I speak at my normal, rather rapid pace) and whatever commands I need to give to my computer.

Not only that, if I do have to make a correction, the software learns from its earlier mistake and is less likely to make the same error again. If only I were so smart!