Puttering About

My hands have been a real mess this past week. It's been a combination of things, but I've really broken out the dictation software and found that I can make it do what I really wanted to do.

It also helps to change the workload. I've been doing far too many of the Facebook games, and it's really the mouse work that's been messing up the tendons on the backs of my wrists. It didn't help that I was also working on the CaféPress store, chatting in text rather than audio, playing Bejeweled Blitz, and writing the odd 3000 words in one day with Allie.

I will admit that I actually wrote another thousand words today, but I used the dictation software for most of it. I also finished two more items for the store using my hands. But I also watched a lot of One Piece today without doing anything while I watched.

I'm a little surprised at how much I really enjoy One Piece. Some of it is over the top, however, the basic values of courage, companionship, and self-esteem are very evident. I really love the teamwork among Luffy's nakama, and want to emulate that in whatever I do manage to write. The multi-protagonist structure is something that fascinates me, and allows for so many subplots. I love how each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, and how well they not only know each other, but support each other through and with them. Plus how they egg each other on to be better than they've ever been before. Giving each other courage in every way possible. I'm also really drawn to the story of Nicco Robin. I'm utterly in love with the credit sequence that has Nicco Robin with her coffee, wrapped in a blanket in the crows nest, and waking everybody up to see the shooting stars.

I'd forgotten what it was like to fall in love with all the characters in an anime series, and so happy to find that again!

I also went on a 3 1/2 mile walk with John, iced both wrists, and actually slept for over 10 hours last night. I have a tendency, when I am tired, to have worse posture in wrist, back, and body. All of which aggravates the problems in my upper body. I also took time to cook myself some breakfast, a pretty fancy lunch, then made up for it with hot dogs for dinner. *laugh*

We also had Jet's parent-teacher conference at school. That was part of why we had hot dogs for dinner, as the timing was pretty close. Jet's teacher obviously likes him a lot, and really loves how responsible he is for his work. She also understands that he's something of a perfectionist, and is gently working him toward a more reasonable standards and goals. I really enjoyed seeing her point out the mess of someone else's desk when Jet said that his was kind of messy. I think it's good for him to have a teacher that also helps him be more realistic about himself.

I was rather tickled at the fact that he pegged the CSAP testing to 100% on vocabulary, two general math sections, and patterns. Jet is particularly worried about spelling, and I am afraid that my struggles with spelling have influenced his self judgment in that subject. He's actually doing really well, compared to the rest of the class, but he still doesn't have any confidence in his abilities. That makes writing more difficult for him to want to do. He has enough anxiety about the spelling to balk a little at doing writing assignments without help.

Jet and I have been having really great evenings, though, together. John has been having a lot of evening meetings, so the two of us often get to share dinner and time together. The other night was especially cool when I made two two-egg Dutch Babies/baked pancakes and we ate them on the floor in front of the TV while watching One Piece together. I have to admit that part of the charm of the program is watching it with the young boy, who just loves the whole thing.

So it's been a busy day, and I hope I will sleep well after all the exercise. Hope everything is going well with you! I may actually be able to do more Internet browsing soon, as can be evidenced by the Karen Armstrong TED presentation stuff I was posting today. *laughs*

Ah, beyond the never-ending sky
The future that I once saw is now starting to take shape
There are days where I almost lose to myself
When that happens there was someplace warm I could go
The friends I took pride in always, without fail,
pushed me onward, didn't they?
Ah, the stars are pouring down from the sky
This unique moment...

-- closing credit song for the Nicco Robin closing for Season 2
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I really enjoyed the Sunni Brown TED presentation on doodling. Thanks. Remind me to tell you about watercoloring through meetings (not me, unfortunately).

My longstanding thing about nuns and religion may keep me from getting through the other one. We'll see.

I've been having some of the same issues with games and wrists, aggravated by actually doing some programming again. One of those may be a bad idea. Hope you heal quickly.
Lol. Karen Armstrong *quit* the big-C Church for the same problems, I suspect, but it's TED, man! It's TED! *laughs*

I loved the Sunni Brown one, and, yes, you'll have to tell me about the watercoloring!! Hee.

Thanks! Having most of a week off seems to be helping, especially if I remember to break out the DragonDictate instead of the keyboard, but I'm not as good at that as I should be. My! Programming! Cooooooool.
Do take care of your wrists! Much as I enjoy your writing and enjoy talking to you, I don't want you trashing your wrists to do so.

I also am very fond of One Piece, and like you, I love Robin. :) Have you got to the Water Seven [IIRC] arc yet?
We haven't gotten there, yet! We're still in Season 2, and Robin was *just* 'rescued' to be part of the crew. *grins* I really enjoyed seeing Chaka and Pell in their part of the Alabasta story.
Heh. Well, I think you'll like that when you get there... and the Alabasta arc is splendid, too. It really is.
I hear ya on the wrist thing. My mouse hand is my right and I've broken that wrist on 2 separate occasions and it was never set either time. Thus, when I do a lot with it, it aches something fierce and I sometimes get so intent on what I'm doing, I put off putting on my brace/support.

Funny how we can get in that just one more sentence mind set and not take care, huh?

What dictation program do you use? I have a friend who's got some severe problems with her wrists due to injury and she bemoans being not able to type. I think she tried Dragonspeak but it had issues with her Australian accent (to hilarious effect for word choices, but not so good when you're trying to get a story out).
Yes, I know that feeling. Once the concentration starts, it's hard to stop. Perhaps it's a variation on the conservation of momentum: a body in motion stays in motion.

It is pretty amazing sometimes.

I used Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5. It's a newer version that has good vocabulary and controls for the things that I do frequently. I think my favorite part of the program is how well it does corrections. There are multiple ways to fix something that isn't right.

My dad actually did research into speech recognition back in the late 80s and early 90s. His Chinese accent was so thick, however, that he broke nearly every system he worked on as well as all his competitors' systems at the annual conventions they had. So I could see why an accent would affect the accuracy of the poor thing.

It was also pretty funny when Dad got into voice identification applications, because he would use my sister and me as test subjects. People often couldn't tell which of us was which by our voices, so it wasn't all that unexpected when the identification systems had difficulty as well.

I'll admit that I also bought the very first DragonDictate and have been following the industry since its inception. At first it wasn't because of my hands so much as being able to use a practical application of pattern recognition research I used to do with artificial neural networks. I remember dad used to use Markov models, but when he saw the results I was getting even on small sets of input, he started to work with some of the same learning mechanisms I had and got really excellent results.

Edited at 2011-09-29 10:45 pm (UTC)
oh cool. I'll have to mention to her that there is a newer version of Dragon and that she might have more success with it. I think she said she can do something like 30 minutes of typing a day max and when you're trying to write a story that's screaming to get out of your head... that's nowhere near enough time to do much of anything. And totally frustrating if you were just starting to get into a groove.
*grins* Figured it was.

Uh... yeah. 30 minutes isn't *anything*. Whew.

And, yeah, I'm able to get about the same 300-500 words per 30 minutes while dictating, now, as I could when typing, so I'm pretty pleased.

I'm NOT entirely sure it's good with Australian accents, though, but it does have more regional options when you first set it up.