the continuing tale of my active non-unpacking

by santoki

You too can look like Julie from Time Life books for only $19.99

The massive distraction of the day award goes to the headset.

Being that some of my favorite people in life are overseas, it was time to get with Skype. Yeah, I know. Just call me the early adopter. It’s not about fearing the unknown. It has nothing to do with waiting for a stable version. It isn’t about hoping for the next best thing. It has nothing to do with price fluctuations. It has everything to do with my laziness. New technology means setup, migration, troubleshooting, and the like. For the most part, I just can’t be bothered. That, and my friends have a tendency to harass me when I geek out. But I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes. Having grown weary of missed calls from Lil’ Yum of Paris, I broke down and installed the dang software. It was simple enough, though without the supporting hardware, i.e. microphone, it’s useless. Completely.

In an astonishing display of procrastination, I deemed it necessary to stop staring at the boxes and suitcases before me, and make a run to Staples. It turned out to be an Office Max, but close enough. After looking at all of the options, I decided that the cheapest one was fine. It was a $15.99 mono headset w/boom mic. It reminds me of the sort of thing worn by Julie, the Time-Life operator. [1]

One would imagine that on returning home with my purchases, the procrastination would stop there. One would be so very wrong. First things first, I needed to set up my new headset. Let’s see… Microphone jack to mic in, headphone jack to headphone in. Hardware setup complete. Surely there’s more. Ah yes. Set up the microphone level.

“This papaya tastes perfect.”

Done. Shoot. This plug and play world leaves no room for slackers who don’t want to unpack, especially when there’s a seven hour time difference between me and the only two people I know with Skype.[2] Ironically with procrastination, where there’s a will, there’s a way. My way: training the voice recognition software. This amusing little exercise is the ultimate in useful, time wasting diversions. While I understand that this is not nearly as trivial to those whose life’s condition make this software a necessity, as I neither need nor want it, let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we?

  • The requisite training: 1.25 hours
  • Reading anything within reach to test its accuracy: 45 minutes
  • Final training so that it might understand a few of the more bizarre toki-isms: 40 minutes

It was time to test this mamma jamma in the real world. I tried to write this entry using the voice recognition software. As it happens, it’s rather difficult to write an entry out loud. Perhaps we use a different thought process for typing versus dictation. Apparently, the software is not the only thing that needs training. Oh well. If I should break my hand, at least my computer will be ready for it.

With this entry complete, I have fully exhausted all procrastination possibilities associated with this headset. That is, until I get a call from Paris.


[1] Two things: one, for the first time in a long time, the package was not made of the exasperating fully sealed plastic enclosure of doom. Rather, the back of the package was made out of cardboard. Hallelujah! I didn’t need to pull out the 7.25″ Worm Drive circular saw to get the packaging open. Second, as an impulse purchase, I also picked up a Logitech QuickCam Deluxe that was incorrectly priced at $29.99. Score.

[2] I leave my righteous Ms. Al out of the equation, as she is operating in radio silence until Monday.