Thursday, June 2, 2011

Daily Report: Into The Void

It's starting to get cloudier here in Florida; the rainy season is coming. Today I went out to the shopping mall and had a wander. I haven't been in an American mall in a very long time, and it was a bit funny to be walking through a mall that was almost entirely empty of people. Malls in Asia are always filled to the brim with people, even weekday mornings. I stopped by Yoder's Marketplace and had a slice of the peanut butter pie that had been mentioned on Man Vs. Food the other night. It was fair. I'll have to try some of the other ones to see if I like them better. (Yoder's had great coffee though.)

Cousin Paul dropped off a plate of spaghetti tonight for dinner. Yes, okay Paul: You're my favorite cousin... I'll admit that just as long as it gets me a regular helping of your cooking.

I discovered that Netflix has a great selection of documentaries and educational programming on their direct-stream selection. That's good: I was actually thinking of cancelling Netflix because their online selection of movies is so shitty, and I'm not interested in getting the DVD's through the mail. I've been watching an excellent series on the British Monarchy (viewing suggestion). There was also a fantastic 2-hour PBS documentary on the life of Martin Luther (another viewing suggestion).

I got an e-mail from one of my blog readers calling me a coward for not publishing his comments. Actually, the reason that your comments aren't being published is because you were a dickhead a while back and I got tired of reading your stupidity, and put a filter on my e-mail so that all your comments go straight to the trash bin and I never even know they are there.

I finished watching the 4 seasons of the television program, "Star Trek, Enterprise", the last Star Trek television series. It was okay. I had never watched any of the Enterprise episodes before; but as a Trekkie, I felt I probably should. My opinion: I think that the producers' and writers' were too restricted by the series premise of being a prequel to all other Star Trek series/storylines, and they weren't "daring" enough. Also, they spent too much time on various storylines (which worked so well in Deep Space 9) that the series got bogged down. Enterprise did have one clever bit though, where they tied in Khan and the Eugenics Wars with the fact that Klingons in the original series looked vastly different than Worf-era Klingons, and explained it all in a clever manner.

Now that I've finished Enterprise, I'm watching something that only true Trekkies ever take the time to watch: "Star Trek, The Animated Series", which aired for 2 seasons in 1973 and 1974. The episodes are actually quite good, if you don't look at them. I mean: They are written quite well with the original series writers writing and the original series actors speaking; in addition, the use of animation allowed a greater range of sci-fi environments and visual effects (especially in 1973) than live action ever did. But the animation itself was not well done. But, as I said: the episodes are all real Star Trek episodes — just trimmed to 30 minutes.

Work is still going well. I think that my new account (on the old software) will be switching over to the new software soon. That means it will be going over to speech recognition as well, which is every transcriptionist's bane. For me, in the old software, I type at a minimum of 300 lines per hour... closer to 350. With the speech recognition, I do 300 to 350 lines per hour. In other words, I can type dictation perfectly at least as fast as I can listen to the dictation and edit what the speech recognition software hears. Unfortunately, the S.R. work only pays 60% what the regular transcription work pays... so going to speech recognition represents a pay cut of one-third.

Well, there's always the Bubba Gump project, which should be moving out of beta testing tomorrow. Unfortunately, it will be months before we start seeing concrete results on that... before we know whether or not we've wasted weeks of work all for nothing.

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