Sunday, January 25, 2015

Voice Recognition- Or Not

I watched a brief video online just now. I didn't want to stop listening to my music, so I muted the video and turned the captions on instead.
That was an entertaining mistake. It must have been one of those computerized things that listen to the sound and try to translate it into text. The result was many wrong words, grammar issues, etc. Nothing makes things more confusing than utter gobbledygook constructed by a clueless computer program.
I wonder if that faulty speech recognition software used for the captions is related to the automated phone services. You say something, and the computerized voice says, "I'm sorry. I didn't understand you. Please try again." "Sorry, didn't hear you that time either." "Are you trying to speak Chinese? Let me connect you to a different automated service of eternal migraines."
And they hate my mother. No computer on the face of the earth is capable of comprehending my mom. Why, no one knows. You can tell if she's talking to an automated voice if she says, "Operator. Operator. Operator!"
Technology is wonderful, is it not? So reliable, it works so well... not.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Have Returned

I've really been neglecting my blog. I originally planned to post something new at least every few days. Yet I went two weeks without posting anything new. I often couldn't think of much to write, or I didn't feel like working on any of the half-finished drafts for future posts, or I didn't feel like writing anything at all. I need to work on overcoming apathy toward doing things.
Interestingly enough, the thing that made me post was getting in an over-critical mood toward myself. This put me in a 'must accomplish things' frame of mind, which eventually led me to posting on my blog.

Moving onto a new subject... I went to youth group last night. One of the girls taught us a card game. The first player puts any twos they have onto the table, the next player puts down threes, the next player puts down fours, etc. However, if the player does not have the cards that are next, they put down a different card and lie about it. If someone thinks the player is lying about what card they put down, they can call the player out on it. If the player did lie, they must take all the cards in the pile. If the player was truthful, the person who falsely called them out must take all of the cards in the pile. The first person to run out of cards wins.
One of my more evil moments was when I had all of the fives. Soon it was time for one of the players to put down a five. I waited, poised to spring into action. The instant he put down the card he claimed was a five, I called him on it.
After a while, I think we got a bit goofy, though. One of the girls announced that from now on, she was going to call out every time someone put down cards, whether she suspected the player of lying or not. That just made us laugh even more, and we became even more hyper. Soon it was taking forever to get through a turn, between everyone calling each other out, the uncontrollable laughing, and people's attitudes toward having to acquire four thousand cards they didn't want.
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun. It was disappointing when we had to end the game and go home. Of course, the way our energy levels were getting, the game might not have lasted much longer anyway. Definitely something to play again.

Anger and Attainment

It seems to me that sometimes the best time to accomplish things you don't want to do, is when you're in a bad mood. 
Maybe you've been putting off cleaning the bathroom, or reorganizing some shelves in your closet. Redirect that energy into conquering the things you've been procrastinating. Any task you've been putting off, things you know you ought to do but haven't found the gumption to actually do. It's when you have that angry manic energy. That's when you can fulfill some of those goals. You will be ruthless, filled with a mad determination.
One can accomplish much when in the proper state of mind. At least, that's occasionally how it works with me.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year

It turns out that my friend has never seen the 'Karate Kid' movies. So when she invited me to stay at her house for New Year's Eve, I had to bring the trilogy. I inhaled candy, stroked a mixed breed dog named Emma, and chatted with my friend and her mom while we watched the the three movies.
She didn't have cable, so we didn't get to see the New Year's show on TV. I jokingly picked up one of Emma's toys, dropped it, then said, "There, now we've seen the ball drop." And besides, watching movies seems like a pretty good way to enter the new year.
We went to bed sometime after midnight. Then we sat there and chatted for a while before actually turning the light off. Then we talked some more before actually going to sleep. Just because it's called a sleepover doesn't mean that everyone is willing to go to sleep within the century.
I ate a taco for breakfast... well, it started out as a taco, but eventually decided to fall apart. I was left trying to eat pieces of tortilla, ground beef, and salsa that wanted to fall onto the plate instead. I later supplemented this breakfast with chocolate, then salsa and chips. I believe in a balanced diet composed of these food groups: sugar, chocolate, candy, salt, and milkshakes. Oh, and more chocolate. And did I mention candy, and sugar, and more sugar, and more candy...
I happened to make a comment the night before about the movie 'Willow' when I saw it in their movie collection. I said that I'd played the game (NES... my precious...), but had never seen the movie that the video game was based upon. My friend then tried to pull out the DVD, which was near the bottom of a stack that stretched halfway to the Earth's moon. Anyway, we watched 'Willow' after breakfast. I then had my friend watch 'Charlie the Lonesome Cougar', which she enjoyed.
Then we fawned over Emma. I was brushing her short coat, picking up all sorts of loose fur. I pulled some of the fur out of the brush and showed it to her, teasing her about how much she shed. She sniffed the hairs I was holding, then started licking my fingers. My friend and I laughed.
We watched part of a 'Twilight Zone' episode on Netflix before I had to go home. I joked several times about taking Emma home with me and keeping her forever. They wouldn't let me, though. It's almost as though they're kind of fond of her. Then again, my mom wouldn't be thrilled if I brought home a dog anyway, especially considering her allergy to animal dander. Needless to say, when I got home, I put my stuff down and went straight into the shower.
So that's how I spent my New Year's eve and day: eating candy, watching movies, and hanging out with my friend.

Friday, January 2, 2015


I remember going somewhere with my parents several years ago, when I was still a child. I think we were visiting a car dealership.
The man we spoke to had something amazing. In his hands he held a small hummingbird. The bird, he explained, had crashed into his window earlier. He was waiting until the bird was ready to fly again. He carried the tiny creature with him as he showed us around outside. After a while, the bird finally did decide to take off.
Amazing moments, incredible people, come in many forms and appear in many different places. Including a man who will pick up a tiny creature, stunned and hurt, a man who will watch over the bird, keep it safe. Including at a car dealership, where a small hummingbird decides it is well enough to spread small wings and take to the sky once more. Compassion, love, and the miracles of life can appear at any time, at anyplace.