Taming The Dragon

The most recent Christmas present from my husband has been sitting on a shelf on my desk for six months. A couple of days ago, I took it down, blew the dust off of it and decided to take a good look at it.

I remember the moment that I asked for this gift or rather said something along the lines of "it would be kind of cool to have speech recognition software." In my mind it was akin to saying someday I'd like to take a trip to Antarctica or lose 50 pounds. Neither of those things were likely to happen in the near future. I forgot to take into account my husband’s techno selective hearing. It had been a near miss the previous year when my husband thought a Kindle would be the perfect Christmas gift. He told me I would never guess what he was getting me... And I said that as long as it wasn't a Kindle I'd be happy. His face acquired the same expression as a kid who's been told there is no Santa Claus.

I'm not completely heartless, so when I unwrapped my Christmas present this year I was ecstatic and then promptly put it on the shelf of my desk.


My original intention, back when speech recognition software was a fantasy, was that I could curl up in the chair in my backyard beneath the stars and compose in a free flow fashion, all the silly thoughts that are forever floating in my overactive brain. I am a pretty fast typist, but sometimes even my fingers have a tough time keeping up with the thoughts that I have. I was convinced that my lack of speed was impediment to actually completing a written piece.

While partially true, the original thought came when I had all 10 digits available for use. Sadly, that is not the current situation.

A week ago, I had an accident involving a 50 pound dog, a 20 pound cat, a back door and a 47-year-old klutz(me). The end result was a fractured right wrist. Simple things like dressing myself, opening containers, signing my name, slaughtering monsters in the name of the horde with my level LXXXV not Roman numerals Ker 85 thank you... Warlock, and typing had a source of immense frustration. He for come after had. Period.

As you can see, speech recognition software is not without its issues.

What I was trying to say was that all of these things that I took for granted had become impossible. Or at the very least, impossibly slow.



At some point I remembered my Christmas gift. What a perfect opportunity to test it out! There was no whole hell of a lot that came in the package some directions the actual CD... It although I'm not technophobe the thought of actually trying to use this was a bit daunting. After the original installation and my husband's assistance in hooking up the microphone and headset, the start was pretty self-explanatory. It wanted to know what type of English I spoke, how old I was... In other words it wanted to profile me. Then for the next half-hour it asked me to read several pieces to it and asked permission to my personal e-mail and previously written material so that it could get a feel for me.

I was rather amused by the idea that a piece of software could "get a feel for words and expressions that I commonly used" by accessing all of my previous Word documents. I'm really glad now that I didn't write anything in cloak legal speech code look we'll... Colloquial. I guess I haven't used the word colloquial before.

This is the first piece that I have ever written using Dragon. The staff took that my brain is addled with Percocet (oh sure it knows drugs) should make this a very interesting. Oh my God I just read that last sentence. Let's try this one more time...

The fact that my brain is addled by Percocet should make this interesting.

I think this is the first time I had smiled over week.

The dictation process seems to be pretty straightforward. I'll little confused by some of the commands or actually when to use what I suppose that will come with time and practice. This definitely beats playing one-handed angry birds on my iPad. Almost.

I still don't see myself losing 50 pounds or getting to Antarctica anytime soon but I can see myself using Dragon over the next 6 to 8 weeks...

Dragon's Amusing Translations

For satisfied that father lies not his bones are coral made: Shakespeare

The census taker once tried to test me ate his liver with some baba beans and a nice Chianti: Hannibal Lecter

I still of Easter baby: the Terminator

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Mary Poppins

Oh say can you see the dawn's early light what so proud Harley we hail at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the tab will list five or the red parts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there oh say does that star-spangled and then there are yeah way or the that and of the free and the home of the brave: Star-Spangled Banner

Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on assessed and seed bun: big Mac

Frederick Jacques Frederic Jacque door made food gourmet food summer mama Tina some alumna Tina ding ding Don ding ding dong: French children's song

Peter piper picked a peck of pickled pepper scummy pickled peppers did Peter piper pick: tongue twister

DVDs done dirt cheap: AC/DC

Ah yes so much fun to be had with my Dragon. I may not write anything that makes any sense, but then again is that anything new?


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Comments 24 comments

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 5 years ago from South Africa

The Ipad idea is great Spryte. I think you have a new use for It!


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Seeker, I can see it having a use here and there...but now that I have all my fingers back and operative, I probably won't use it for long pieces. I'm thinking though since I put the app on my iPad that it would work great for composing ideas when I'm away from my computer. It is a lot of fun to play with though...like having a cyber secretary...sort of.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

This was a fabulous, hilarious hub - sorry about the fractured wrist though - very painful!I've seen ads for this kind of software but I don't know how I would feel about hearing my voice droning on and on. I can type fast as well but I'm like you in the sense that my thoughts are a mile ahead of my worn out fingers! But you have got me intrigued about this software!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 5 years ago from South Africa

Yes it seems to be, almost faster than I can cope!


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

:). Thanks, Sixty! When I informed the doctor that my wrist was important to me so that I could return to my keyboard (spending so much time at it), he grinned and told me this would be excellent therapy...using all fingers!

I don't think the world will ever be as it was...


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

:). Thanks, Sixty! When I informed the doctor that my wrist was important to me so that I could return to my keyboard (spending so much time at it), he grinned and told me this would be excellent therapy...using all fingers!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 5 years ago from South Africa

Great Thread (or is that the emperor's new clothes). Naked envy I say. My bandwith unfortunately precludes me from interactive Game playing so I can't become a teenage girl who works at the mall. But weaving a thread (here's that word again) I have come across quite a lot of writing (novels mostly) that have web links to utube movies, or pseudo blogs which tie into the story line. Is the world changing as we know it? Ps Spryte think of the one fingered Ipad typing as therapy. Get well soon.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Sometimes, if I get a comment on one randomly that finds me there, I'll go through and get a laugh. HP has changed a lot. Facebook affords some of that stuff now, but the context of the hubs is lost on Facebook but for rare occasions when an article or video link creates one.


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Or a sitcom? I've been kicking back most of the day reading comments sections on some of our old hubs and enjoying it very much. Do you ever do that? Most of it still cracks me up!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Sounds like a hub...????


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Blizzard had a job opening about that same time for what my husband does as well and we discussed it seriously so I know what you mean. Their campus is amazing...who wouldn't want to work in that environment? And yes...I could definitely see you doing that job with your quick, agile and demented sense of humor. The creators of Rift tried to recruit hubby a month or so ago but the idea of moving to San Antonio was daunting. I think what this all proves is that talent can be applied in so many different ways now that we shouldn't feel pigeon- holed into the "book" mentality. By the way, Hubby opted for the position at Paypal/EBay and I 'm getting a hilarious insight into this particular geek paradise that would have you in stitches!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

In all seriousness, I would love that so much. Blizzard actually and literally had that job up on their job board a year or so ago and I cried as I didn't fill out the application. I can't just up and move to L.A. But the job requirements were: "management experience, writing qaualifications, must able to to create complex story lines and maintain character arcs,etc, and also must have extensive gaming knowledge. Marketing skills a plus." Basically, they were asking for an experience marketing professional with management skills and the ability to write novel-length fantasy who loves gaming. Sound like anyone we know? (sigh).


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

You missed your calling, Shades. I'm thinking you should be a fantasy game writer...LOL!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Nothing is hawter than the teenage girl cleavage of a 40-something-year-old man. MmmMmmm.

Oh, and Christoph,when you get to 7th sphere, you don't get to be a teenage girl right off. First you have to do the Quest for the Orbs of Womanhood, which requires gathering melons from the Taterpatch, guarded by Queen Pubescence and her zombie minions Gropey and Turtleneck. The only way to beat her is to get the magic Underwire Armor from the Amazon war chief General Jugs, which means you actually have to go back to the 6th sphere and find the Amazon camp in the Pre-teen Jungle. Hope that helps.


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

LOL!!! "Perverto"...omg my eyeballs hurt from laughing. I don't want to know if your game requires a joystick. And Shades...he told them "like, I work at 5, 7, 9.". It's only truly disturbing when he tells me how hawt he is...or I catch him leering at his own cleavage.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

I think of teenage girls who work at the mall all the time, but never that I am one of them. When I get to the 7th sphere of the new online game I'm playing, Perverto, I will have to give it a try and find out.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

What man doesn't think of himself as a teenage girl who works at the mall? The way you say it makes it sound weird.


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Shades! Good to see you as always. Yeah...I had a bit of fun with this one...ESP when the painkiller really started kicking in. Cataclysm is an awesome expansion! Not so much for end game but because they rewrote a lot of the lower level quests and whomever did that work was wet your pants funny. I'm leveling ( or was til my accident) 4toons at the same time (Druid, paladin, shaman and warrior) tossing them all over the continents just so I can appreciate the new content. It gets dull once you hit Outland again, unfortunately. I swear I spend more time giggling than worrying about gear or ability...so I solo a lot. Hubby is currently playing Rift and has lots of fun letting ppl think he's a teenaged girl who works in the mall. He has issues I think. ;)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

LOL @ you and your typos. I think you have a comedy blog right there, 'cause this hub was funny. (WoW is dead, come back to the world. You got geographical changes under the guise of an "expansion." Pull out the needle!) :D


spryte profile image

spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Well hi everyone! I'm just going to peck out my response one letter at a time on my iPad (to make Sixty happy and also because the auto-correct feature is pretty accurate). I'm now at surgery + 3 days...down-graded the percocet to a lower dose vicodin and except for having a nightmare that my surgeon made a house call with his portable Black and Decker drill to fix a loose screw (I know...I know...dreams are so eerily realistic), I am recuperating nicely.

I think with time and use, Dragon will do better. It's like a child and I would be insulted if it had a better vocabulary than me right out of the box. Which leads me to wonder...what if it did? What if, eventually it thought itself a better writer too? If I suddenly start producing thought- provoking, coherent and overly popular hubs...as my friends...you will tell me, right?

Maybe Dragon isn't such a good idea...

My love and a one-armed hug to all of you.


TheLostGod profile image

TheLostGod 5 years ago from Portland, OR USA

Hilarious. Maybe one day they'll get it right.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

Actually the star spangled banner came out better than a lot of people can do. This was very interesting. I have been wondering how well it worked, and if it might be better than trying to type on an iPad (which I don't have yet).

I suppose it will be improved, but language can be very subtle-- especially that cloak legal stuff which is very hard to understand. I have signed contracts in that language and didn't realize that it must have been written by a speech recognizer.

Enjoyed this. Hope you are healing well.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 5 years ago from South Africa

Get well soon. your slow typing beats the hell out some of your mysterious phrases, But beggars can't be chosers


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

Ha! Loved it! It was a nice touch to try the familiar sayings/quotes/songs at the end. Many giggles, lots of sympathy, and a desire for some of your percocet.

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