Saturday, July 23, 2011


The other day my mom sent me a recent news clip that featured my little cousin’s girl Lily. She is the youngest runner in the story and it’s just too cute not to share. Her determination is pretty rare for someone her age and it really brought a smile to my face. Hope you enjoy!

My internship with the Missoulian is about to wrap up and I hardly can believe it. I have three big stories to finish and I’m pretty excited to have them published. There are a few stories I haven’t posted but will do that in the next day or two.

Not too much else going on but I have been enjoying the summer weather we’ve had. It’s been a little warm but definitely not as bad as most of the country. It’s strange not to have the humidity out here in western Montana but hey I’m not complaining!

Take it easy and stay cool people!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dragon Dictate

A few weeks ago at my internship, I became quite frustrated with how long it took me to type out a story. This got me thinking about again trying speech recognition software and hopefully this would be the solution to my problem.

The only available software that I could order for my Mac was Dragon Dictate. I’ve had a mostly hate relationship over the years with this product. My trouble had always been getting the program to recognize my voice with a decent amount of accuracy. I usually ended up by being so frustrated that I stopped using it. My past experience made me skeptical but there weren’t any other options.

I got the software installed but after a day of using it with great success the USB card that came with my Bluetooth headset crapped out on me. It was frustrating but a new card had to be mailed to me. I was able to continue working with the program with a different headset, while I waited receive a replacement card.

Yesterday I was finally able to get the new microphone to work. In these past few weeks despite some glitches, the software has worked great. Even with my ventilator it hasn’t missed a beat.

It’s amazing how fast I’m able to type and getting a paragraph written only takes a matter of minutes. This definitely will help me get stories typed much faster and the increased productivity has made me feel much more independent. Overall, I’d give the Dragon for Mac about a 9.5 out of 10. The downside is it misses an occasional word but the program gets better accuracy the more you correct its mistakes.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Latest stories

Arlee Powwow

Photo by Flickr user BigSkyKatie

I’ve been a little too busy to keep up on posting my stories as they are published but will list them in an accompanying blog post.

The internship keeps going fantastic and I’ve learned so much in a little over a month. I’m working on several stories at the moment including stuff for a few longer feature pieces. It’s hard to believe I only have three weeks left but I’m going to learn as much as I can in the time left.

I spent the Fourth of July up in Arlee Montana for their big yearly powwow celebration. The powwow has been a Fourth of July tradition since the late 1800s and the story of its beginning is quite interesting.

During the last part of the 19th century, federal Indian agents were banning any celebration of traditional Indian culture because they wanted native peoples to integrate fully into white society. Traditional Indian celebrations were considered a barrier to these assimilation efforts.

The natives got creative and told the federal reservation agents they weren’t having a powwow but instead were holding a celebration recognizing America’s independence. This satisfied agents because they thought the native peoples were being patriotic and not reverting back to their traditional ways. I love the ingenuity of how they we able to keep their culture alive and fool the agents at the same time.

This was the first powwow I’ve ever been to and it was quite interesting. The dancing was phenomenal and the age of dancers ranged from three-year-olds to older gentleman in their late 80s. I liked it all but the little kids dancing was my favorite part. These young kids are so vital because they will be the next generation to keep these traditions alive.

I had a fresh foot-long corn dog for lunch and a fresh squeezed lemonade but I couldn’t leave without having some fry bread. Definitely not health food but hey it tasted so darn good! It was a great way to spend the Fourth and I ended the night by going to the fireworks here in Missoula with Theresa and Dustin. The fireworks were fantastic as usual and it rounded out a great day.