Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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and s-integrator


Spider at my window


My friend, Anna Dwart, writes in response to the spontaneous poem of mine from Blog 278:

next move

ebb tide draws a discourse of marsh grasses
furled sails
await spring

As though this were a chess game, which perhaps it is. A nice bit of poesy, all the same.

She lives by the sea in South Carolina, where she teaches Freshman English. To exchange poems in each other's style is an old Zen trick, and our mutual friend, Robert Sund, did this often and charmingly.

Perhaps we can start a trend. . . .

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Cormorant on a snag

I've always found the cormorant a rather sinister and snooty character, the way he always has his nose up in the air. But he has beautiful lines and I have been trying to draw them, without much success. Hardly a straight line to him anywhere, but the curves are so graceful and complete.

He takes up positions on lake residents' docks, though he really loves an old piling. And when flushed, alarmed, he flies off very low to the water, often touching it, in the manner of a skipping stone. And then he is airborne. He may settle back to the surface of the lake and more fishing, or he may wing off a considerable distance.

In the air, say fifty feet off the ground or water, he is a slim silhouette, very air dynamic, and flaps away at a surprisingly fast clip. A pair or more of them fly in tight formation, often resembling on a greatly reduced scale the jet fighters based at nearby Whidbey Island.

Oh, yes. When a cormorant or two lands on your dock, he usually leaves behind his calling card in the form of slimy excrement. Then you can see how successful a fisher he is.

Or she, as the case may be.

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frosty morn
lake brushed with sunlight
mists rolling westward
three cormorants winging low
their racing shadows
nearly touching water
oh, no;
not another pair?
same game

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Okay, we admit it. We were a little hard on BillG. He's a sensitive guy, and we can't hold him personally responsible for one of his products that doesn't, ahem, function up to what it's advertised as being, or doing.

So we gave old MS Word Speech Recognition another try. We had gone through initial training, so we went back to the training utility for Dictation, and read aloud (to the mounting dismay of our attentive dogs) long passages from Bill's book and from Bertram Russell. Time passed, and the utility told us it was listening hard and remembering our peculiarities of speech patterns.

We read aloud from Edna O'Brien's excellent Irish novel, Wild Decembers, and this is what came out:

A reading from Federal crimes while the summer is for LDAP and unflagging in charge of the mound road to the sound of this sound jarring in the profile of the passing landscape produce some new machine that squad from the color of the brick the regions of the big wheels scrubbed and mark Whitlock and Ryan nock meeting their Mac of the trails

No better, is it? I won't quote O'Brien directly, only say that she don't sound a bit like this. She is lilting and soaring and poetic.

So we tried a bit from from Alice and Bill?s "The Hard Edge," Computer Shopper, March 2004, p.128, thinking perhaps MS Dictation was more of a technical app and didn't recognize anything much of a literary bent:

Allison bill gates technology fans someone Blocking began sweeping into everything from news articles to cover stations over of the subway beta tester clear after all people seen bullish and information online in some form or another starting from time to their

No, no, no! Wrong again, and totally unusable. Perhaps it was my voice, which is rather soft and flat. So I decided to work a bit on a couple of select lines that any techie ought to be able to understand. I pounded them out and t his is what resulted:

Another way to add a new scene to your list is look for the little orange exit mail graphic the most wanted popular sites right click the icon disease double click and scratch their heads then click properties cut-and-paste URL show the properties box into the subscribe out on one lines and that the gas and peerless automatically MSDN get that into your list automatically

Well, better, I had to admit, but not good enough. As we used to say in radio-transmission lingo during our stint in the Army Signal Corps, "Not commercial."

And what is MS Office and Speech Recognition if not commercial?

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