Saturday, May 15, 2010

speech recognition

This is typed using Microsoft speech recognition. I am trying to teach myself have to use it. I also have to teach my computer hard to understand me. Which is why there are a you must eight and there's. That was supposed to say mistakes. I am not correcting anything other than what I can correct using the voice commands I already know and I'm very impressed with this sentence. You to the use speech recognition to navigate not just dictate but I can practice better by dictating.

Unfortunately there are some commands and that I made accidentally then don't know how to stop them and have done some random things. I think I will use the mouse to publish this post rather than risk losing it.

Today we went to discovery and the tide was and there were some naturalists helping children find animals in the tide pools. We saw crabs, snail eggs, an anemone, starfish and lots of other things. We got all wet and sandy but despite not really planning and we seem to have survived without too much mass. That should say mess not mass.

Tonight sausage boy and I plan to go to a dancing show, I'm feeling tired but hopefully I will be able to keep my eyes open. At the moment dictation is slower than typing I think it will be worth practicing.

Friday, May 14, 2010


After a mild winter, we seemed to have a wet and cold spring, never being quite sure if we really were going to have a winter without snow, or if that frost was the last one, but finally, I think we can be confident of no more frost, plants will survive! This week has given us a brief hint of summer, but the forecast seems to be rain rain rain, other than tomorrow, which is supposed to be nice and we plan to join a walk around some tide pools.

Birthday season is about to hit us with great force, it begins on Monday with Banana Girl's "summer" birthday, her preschool class make sure each child gets to celebrate, so her June birthday is actually going to be celebrated on Monday, meaning we have to take a special snack, almost inevitably cupcakes.

Surprisingly no one has pronounced a desire to receive any specific present, other than Grace quite obviously desiring balls that are hers and can't be grabbed from her by big sister (well, they could still be grabbed, but at least not proclaimed as "mine").

Grace is walking all over the place, she's such a tiny thing, it looks really odd, Sausage Boy was similar, but he was at least a month older when he walked. She seems to be having a harder time with teething than we've experienced before and she's done the odd thing of having her top lateral incisors appear before her top central incisors, though she did follow the classic bottom central incisors first thing.

I've been baby proofing and have discovered there are some horrible things out there, but also a few rather nifty and relatively ok looking gadgets, which are of course rather more pricey! I also finally bought a mirror to put on the headrest of the seat her car seat is strapped to, she must have been more predictable, or just screamed to tell me she was awake or something, but I was finding I was asking Sausage Boy quite often whether she was asleep or awake, or having to get out of the car in the rain to check. She doesn't transfer at all, or nap reliably at home, so if she's asleep and I have flexibility, I'll use it, which sometimes means parking the car and reading or knitting whilst she sleeps!

Monday, May 10, 2010

"The Book Group"

I just stumbled across this TV show on, it's a British comedy, originally aired on Channel 4 eight years ago. I'm glad I missed it then, so many bits of it just wouldn't have made sense.

I only even clicked on it because the thumbnail had a picture of an actress from "Green Wing", also available on hulu, an utterly bizarre comedy set in a hospital, which originally aired in 2004 and 2006.

The setup is an American in Glasgow who starts a book group, the American is played by Anne Dudek, who played a doctor applying to join the team in "House MD". Eight years ago neither actress was familiar to me, a show full of completely new faces is harder to get into (for me, at least), nor had I much experience of the US and had barely visited Scotland.

Eight years is more than a quarter of my life, it's two thirds of my adult life, but it's not long enough ago to make the show seem dated, it just makes me a different viewer.

It wasn't exactly a major plot element, but an ongoing thread about the drinking of tea tickled me no end, I could see if the other way around, Anne Dudek's character simply didn't know how to respond to putting the kettle on and drinking tea and I know that feeling, it's striking how different a social event is, or even a professional contact is when it doesn't begin with making tea of coffee together, it's not just the drinking of it, but the making of it, there's something about standing in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil, it changes the whole dynamic.

It also gives a purpose to a social interaction, it's much less threatening to invite someone over for a cup of tea than over for a chat.

There appear to be two series of 6 episodes each, presumably twelve books, the first being "On the Road", by Jack Kerouac, which I haven't read, I've heard of it, but barely, it seems to make top 100 lists, whether they be of the twentieth century, or the English language in general. Whenever I see one of these lists, I seem to have read more than average, but started and not completed about as many as I actually have read and most of those before I ever saw such a list - so I didn't start them to "score points", though I'm not sure why I did, though why I failed to complete them is potentially an equally significant aspect of my personality. Apparently if you bear with the nonsense language of "A Clockwork Orange", it makes sense in the end, but after chapter one I gave up! So I suspect I could be a 0/12 on if I've read any of the books they are discussing.

Maybe it will inspire me to read more, to try one of the books they discuss, or then again, maybe not, I prefer to laugh than to read "seminal works", I even had to look up what seminal actually means, then laugh at myself for having spent 15+ years knowing what a seminal vesicle does, but not noticed that seminal and semen are derived from the same root - which explains why I'm not particularly hot when it comes to languages!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Postcards and blessings project

Sausage Boy and I have come up with a rather ambitious plan, we're going to try and send a postcard to someone in every state in the USA and hopefully receive one from each state too.

The idea is that we want to bring a smile to someone's face, or rather to lots of peoples' faces, we don't want to do a simple exchange, you send me one, I'll send you one, though if we link up with children who do want to do that, it would be great, but instead learn the blessing that an unexpected postcard or note can bring and practice that ourselves.

I chose the states of the USA as our target as an opportunity to learn some geography too! So now we need to get started, but we don't know many people in the USA, so if you have a friend or family member the could do with a smile right now, then please let me know and we'll send something to them very soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Banana Girl has discovered the suffix "ish" and it's rather fun to hear what words and concepts she is applying it to. Playish is a common feeling around here recently, it seems to specifically apply to board games, so "I'm feeling playish" means "Will you play snakes and ladders with me?". Being in the US, it's actually chutes and ladders, with appropriate pictures, which she calls slides and ladders, which sounds most peculiar.

Another one is crawlish, I've only heard it once, but it seemed very appropriate, Grace was sitting looking at an open door and we both sensed she was about to make a crawl for it and she announced "Grace is feeling crawlish", which seemed to sum up the situation fairly well.