I started the day yesterday trying to help a friend transcribe some recorded interviews she had made several years ago. They were saved in something called an M4A file, and when I tried to transcribe one of them with Dragon, I got a message saying they had to be MP3 files. So I found a free converter online and converted one of them to MP3, and then had Dragon transcribe the file.
A reviewer once said that the best thing Dragon does is promote itself, and I agree with that because while I have been using the program for years, I have never been completely happy with the output. I have tried various expensive microphones, I’ve tried all of the tutorials, and I still spend a lot of time making corrections to what I dictate. And so it was with this file. There were so many errors that when I sent it to my friend, she decided that she would just have to find someone to type the many recorded interviews she has, something like 72 hours of them.
With that out of the way, I spent some time dealing with an argument in one of the writers’ groups I help administer. It came down to having to remove one person from the group and sending a strong warning to another. Most authors seem to get along pretty well, but in this case, we had somebody who thrives on political correctness who took exception to some of the things police officers and first responders say on a regular basis. When another member tried to explain to her how gallows humor helps some people cope with the things they have to deal with, it just made things worse.
And the crazy part of it was, it wasn’t really about police work or writing to begin with. It was about cops and their retirement. Someone said that when her grandfather retired from his job as a policeman, many years ago, her grandmother used to say that he was now officially retarded. A member of the group was very offended by that, and while I know it’s not politically correct these days, it’s how people talk in the real world. We had this exact same situation a while back in an RV group I help administer when a little girl’s homework assignment was to write a story about her family. She said that her daddy worked for the post office, and her mommy worked in an office, and her grandparents were retarded and traveled around the country in their RV. I know it’s offensive to some, but people talk the way they do and children frequently misuse words. I have had people offended by some terms I’ve used in my books, but it is what it is.
It has been a while since Terry cut my hair and trimmed my beard, and I was getting so shaggy that I beginning to look something like Cousin Itt from the old Addams Family TV show. So after brunch, we went out in the garage and she started whacking away at me. I’m glad we decided to do it yesterday, because in another week and I think she would have needed the hedge clippers. And we don’t have any hedge clippers!
And in closing, here is another of the funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. This one came from Jim Harper, and I’m not sure if it is real or not, but based on some of my life experiences in the past, it should be.
Thought For The Day – If you have an opinion about my life, please raise your hand. Now put it over your mouth.