Speech to Text Software

We’ve been contemplating buying the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software so that The Missus can “write” content for our new project while holding a baby.  It would also be a lot easier for her to dictate everything–she’s an excellent speaker–as fast as she want to go.  I can go back in later and edit if needed, but the reviews I’ve read of NaturallySpeaking say it does a good job of punctuating on its own.

I’m also thinking it would be great for my dad.  He’s losing his eyesight rapidly, and can hardly read a computer screen anymore.  I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this software.  A guy I used to work with swears by it, just because he can’t type.  It says it can handle over 100 words per minute of human speech.  Being from the South, that should be plenty for my family and me.  🙂

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Two Hours Late

Driving in this morning I was listening to all the school and business closings.  Several of them were running “two hours late.”  Here in the South, the slightest bit of snow or ice is enough to cause schools to open either one hour late, two hours late, or close altogether.  Basically, those are the only three options.

I was reminded of a day when I was in sixth grade and our school opened two hours late because of snow.  After we arrived, we spent at least another hour sitting in our homeroom class while the administration figured out how to schedule the rest of the day.  Not that I really minded sitting around and goofing off with my friends for an hour, but I remember wondering why they hadn’t planned for this in advance.

I mean, there were only 3 possible scenarios, and one (being closed) meant that they wouldn’t have to plan at all.

Bread and Milk

Wintery weather has been predicted to possibly occur somewhere in this vicinity.

In the South, that means one thing–get thee to a grocery to buy all the bread and milk you can fit into the cart.  You’re going to be stuck in your house (after all, the snow piles reaching as high as two inches will keep you from even opening the door) until the dusting of snow that covers a twenty yard stretch of half a lane of the four lane highway between your house and Kroger melts.  This could take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, and you’ll never make it to mid-morning without plenty of bread and milk.

Oh to be in college, when preparing for snow meant stocking up on beer, condoms, and stolen trays from the cafeteria to be used as sleds.

South Knoxville Water Tower — Some Real Solutions

Lots of people, at least 65 based on the comments on this article, are pretty upset about the huge new water tower being constructed in South Knoxville.  Apparently, many folks feel this new structure will ruin the Knoxville skyline.  No, I’m not kidding.  Their complaint is that it will ruin the Knoxville skyline.

“The bottom line is we have this horrendous, industrial-scale water tower, just blighting and defiling the view, not just from the South Waterfront, but from downtown also,” said Joe Hultquist, a Knoxville City Council member who represents South Knoxville.

As always, there are a couple of obvious solutions to this problem that will make everyone happy:

Either paint it orange with a big white “T”, or plate it with shiny gold panels.  Then it will fit right in with the rest of Knoxville’s “skyline”.

In The Nashville Know

MCB is linking up to Jared’s post on things you should know about living in Nashville.  I’m not from Nashville proper, but from “out in the county”.  I have a few that need to be added to help the newcomer get by.  Nashville folks, please don’t take these personally…it’s all in good fun.

1.  Never, under any circumstances, pronounce the word “Demonbreun” without using three m’s.  The correct Nashville pronunciation is “Duh- muhm-bree-uhm”.

2.  Don’t freak out and ask for an autograph when you see a someone famous.  Nashville etiquette says that you ignore the celebrity.  There is a very good reason for this.   You need to be able to brag to your friends later that you saw a celebrity and didn’t care.  Don’t make a big deal out of seeing someone famous.  Make a big deal out of the fact that you didn’t make a big deal of it.

3.  It’s not a “garden hose”.  It’s a “hosepipe”–having the properties of both a hose and a pipe.

4.  When you see a funeral procession, pull over.  Don’t just slow down.  Stop.  Yes, this stands true for most of the South, but Nashville is a gateway city–the first stop for many transplants to the South.

5.  The 24/7 Horn Honking Festival that takes place at the Capital every few years is not actually sanctioned by the Chamber of Commerce.  That’s just a few concerned citizens who feel they shouldn’t have to pay a fee for the right to earn a living in our great state.

I hope these help.  Once you’ve mastered Nashville, you can move on to a bigger challenge, like Knoxville.  On second thought, just stay put–we like our peace and quiet around here.  It makes it easier for us to here the whispers of our County Commissioners plotting and scheming in the shadows.

Hurricane Dean — Operation Mexico Cleanup (phase 1)

Unless your living under a rock, you have heard that Hurricane Dean is hitting the Yucatan peninsula right now (8/21/2007 early morning).  It was a very strong storm, but land and hurricanes just don’t get along.  The storm dropped from a central pressure of 906mb to 935mb in just three hours (from 5:00am to 8:00am EDT).  Sustained winds decreased from 165mph to 125mph in that same period.  Just think about how strong it could have been if Mexico had of stayed out of the way.

It’s amazing how accurate the forecast models have been for this storm.  The first runs from August 15th had this storm hitting Cancun.  Instead it nailed Majahual.  That’s only about 250miles to the south.  Google Earth shows some beautiful pictures from this area.  I think I’ll head down to The Playa Tequila Club once they have had some time to rebuild.  New hotels are nice.

Keep your fingers crossed that Dean can cross the Yucatan quickly.  Once back over the warm smooth waters of the gulf, it should be able to gain strength again.  Likely this one storm will clean up two parts of Mexico.

Update:

At 2:00pm EDT, the NHC is calling Dean a Category 1 hurricane with a central pressure of 960mb and sustained winds of 85mph.  So as Jimmy Buffett says, “it ain’t…nothin but a breeze”.