Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Austrians never cease to amaze me

I am dictating the first part of this blog with my new software MacSpeech Dictate. The reason I’m doing this is because I can only type with two fingers and I’m getting progressively worse at this. I’ve tried really hard to teach myself to touch type this has been a monumental failure. Recently when my eyes were not working properly I was having great difficulty typing so decided to get some dictation software. What you are reading now has been dictated and has not been edited at all. I have been dictating at my normal speaking speed and it just verbal for long typing everything I say. It’s marvelous and as you can see, very accurate. I can use the normal typing or for surfing the web or for doing the mouse and pretty much anything at all. It can even detect my Xanax and. Curl. The mistakes of the software makes are because I do not pronounce the word properly. This is the end of the dictation.
‘Xanax and. Curl’ was the software’s response to me saying ‘Australian accent, Cool’.  ‘Doing the mouse’ was ‘doing emails’

But it works pretty well if I don’t slur my words.

There was a major surprise here on Tuesday when the Air Con men came. They did not bring replacements for the cardboard. They brought a new motor for the unit that has been Cactus for about a year. So the new unit is humming away but the cardboard struggles on in some of the others. I rather fear it is there forever – or until the endless succession of repairmen who trudge through the apartment dispose of it all eventually.

My contract with T-Mobile had expired so I went along a few weeks ago to collect a new iPhone 4.
To no one’s surprise they did not have any - but it arrived today so I toddled along to get the new phone and renew the contract – at a lower rate than the last one. 

I now have European roaming at no extra charge so it does not cost me an extortionate sum to call Melissa in Paris or to call European numbers when I am travelling. Anyway I got home and tried to change the SIM cards but could not get the old SIM card into the new phone. Well I could have if I had trimmed it with a razor blade but I thought about this for a while and figured that neither Steve Jobs or T-Mobile would expect me to do that – so it was off to Google.

‘The new iPhone 4 takes a Mini SIM card’ it said.

Hmmm…..I wonder why they did not give me one of those.

Perhaps the man behind the counter fancied me and wanted me to come back. Checks in mirror. Unlikely.

Simple really – he forgot. Forgot?

I am standing there with my iPhone 3G and he hands me the new iPhone 4 and he forgets the thing that makes it work. He needs to put a Post-it note reminder on the cash register.

Anyway on the next trip a nice young man gave me a shiny new (and very tiny) Mini SIM and got the new phone working for me.  I made him do it on the spot because I have a bad habit of dropping small things like that and getting them wedged into cracks. Quite often I drop something and Sissi pounces on it and carries it away. She did this with a number of small parts the Air Con people were using but they were very patient.

So I now have a new iPhone – but Cate is using it because she got a new BlackBerry – but it does not work. Tee Hee.

From the Austrian Independent

A foolish Upper Austrian angered by moles digging up his garden has lost two fingers when a bizarre DIY stunt to kill them went disastrously wrong.The 34-year-old Aspach resident taped a pipe to the exhaust of his petrol-guzzling lawnmower and rammed the other end into the alley under a molehill to gas the animals. When the infuriated hobby gardener noticed that one of the moles tried to escape through the gap between the ground and the mower, he tried to grab it – and had two fingers chopped off his right hand by the rotating blades.
The Austrians never case to amaze me. 


  1. Hey that's a pretty good effort by that software isn't it?

    It's all the Fosters that they drink that makes Australians like they are (I know for a FACT that they do drink it whatever you try and tell me, because I saw it on the TV and the adverts never lie!

  2. "holes, dug by little moles, angry jealous spies, got telephones for eyes. come to you as friends, all those endless ends that cant be tied"

  3. I have never understood why people want to eliminate moles. They eat grubs that eat grass roots and they aerate the soil and generate a soil 'turnover'. They are totally beneficial. If you don't like the mole hills, they can be spread out easily with a rake.

  4. Glen: I am the ONLY Australian in the world who does not drink Fosters. But I still talk funny.

    Pearl: It's astonishing

    lenny: yes I think of that every time I think of Moles (which is often)

    Maalie: People are strange

  5. That software is amazing. I remember about 12 years ago when I saw my first demo of something MS did down that line. It was horribly inaccurate, but still cool. It's obviously come a long way.

    Haha - the mole story reminded me of Bill Murray in Caddyshack. Why didn't the guy just do plastique? (Sandy's Scottish if you recall)

    Sandy: I want you to kill every gophers on the golf course!
    Carl Spackler: Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they're gonna lock me up and throw away the key...
    Sandy: Not golfers, you great fool! Gophers! The *little* *brown*, *furry* *rodents* -!
    Carl Spackler: We can do that; we don't even have to have a reason. All right, let's do the same thing, but with gophers -!

  6. The final paragraph of that AI story is also worth quoting in full:

    "Earlier this year, a Carinthian man suffered serious injuries when he shot himself with a metal bolt as he tried to set up a vole trap in his garden. The bolt slashed open the 53-year-old Völkermarkt resident’s right hand when he tried to install the trap."

    I love the salacious zeal with which they linger on the details and use words like "rammed" and "slashed". And the way they report the two stories together as though they betoken some kind of trend. Brilliant.

  7. When Jim started using voice recognition, I always said he'd need two profiles - before and after lunch - for obvious reasons. Hic!