I swear I said Astros

November 5, 2017 • Posted in baseball, blindness, careers/jobs for people who are blind, memoir writing, technology for people who are blind by
Picture of Beth in Astros cap.

That’s Astros, not ….

When I fell a couple winters ago and broke some fingers in my left hand, I started
toying around with a dictation feature on the iPhone
. The microphone next to the space bar on the keyboard is far more accurate than Siri, and last

month I showed an 80-year-old writer in one of the memoir-writing classes I lead how to use it:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Swipe until you get to “General.”
  3. Swipe to Siri, and then turn Siri on. (Even if you don’t want to use Siri at all, you need to turn it on for any speech recognition to work.)
  4. Tap on the spot of the screen where you usually type.
  5. When the qwerty keyboard appears, look for the microphone icon by the space bar on your keyboard and tap it. When you’re done, tap the screen twice to end dictation.

I explained that she could include punctuation by just saying “exclamation mark” or “period” or “comma” and so on. She mastered it so quickly that she’s already using the microphone dictation method to write her essays.

One thing I still need to tell my octogenarian writer (and remind myself) is how easy it is to go back to the QWERTY keyboard to fix typos or edit a message  before sending it. I texted more than usual during the World Series this past week and was so excited by all the action on the field that I didn’t use the qwerty fix-it method as much as I should have. Some examples:

  • Friends texted to let me know South Loop Club had the music down, the TV broadcast sound was on, did I want to meet there for a beer and be able to hear the game? I dictated a text that said, well, “I am feeling thirsty.” The message they got said I was feeling 30.
  • In the game where the Astros fell behind by four in the early innings, I dictated a text encouraging a fellow Astros fan to stay positive. “Eyebrows up!” I said. The message he received read, I grows up!
  • When back-and-forth extra-inning games left me drinking  later than usual, I dictated a text to a friend and said I needed to practice “moderation.” The message my friend received said I needed to practice mortification.
  • After the Astros won Game Five, I dictated a note to a friend that if the Astros clinched the next night, I’d be free on Wednesday to go with her to a poetry slam. The message she got said I’d go with her to a piety slam.
  • I stayed home for Game Seven to listen to it on the radio, but Mike headed to Kasey’s Tavern across the street. Somewhere in the second or third inning I texted him by dictating, “I love these Astros!” the text he received said I love these assholes!

So take a lesson from me. Let’s be careful out there, fellow dictators.

Marilee On November 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Laughing out loud!! Those responses were so much more fun!

Beth On November 6, 2017 at 8:18 am

Gotta admit I laughed out loud myself when I discovered them –especially that last one.

Sheila A. Donovan On November 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Quite funny!

Bruce Creager On November 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Beth, you really hit the ball out of the ballpark with this week’s post. Still drying the tears of laughter from my face!

Beth On November 6, 2017 at 8:24 am

Thanks for the compliment, but that last text was a little base doncha think?!

Janet Sterling On November 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Are you sure?? Seems like you could have been sharing your true feelings!🤣🤣

Beth On November 6, 2017 at 8:29 am

Let’s hope they never invent a texting device that reads our minds and sends it…

Sue Doyle On November 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

That’s hysterical!! I will again say how HAPPY I am that those a******s won! You called it right, Beth! And for those Cubbies, there’s always last year!!


Beth On November 6, 2017 at 8:30 am


Linda Miller On November 5, 2017 at 7:23 pm

This made me laugh. Happens to me just texting (my iPhone thought I wanted to say ‘eating’). Love the way the headline works as a beginning and an end to this post.

Beth On November 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

Thanks, teach! I’ve been trying to do that title-and-ending thing.

Mary Rayis On November 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I love it! These dictation adventures remind me of all my autocorrect nonsense that ends up in my texts because I don’t proof them before I send. Besides, with baseball being what it is, it’s perfectly reasonable to type “I love these assholes!”

Deborah Darsie On November 27, 2017 at 1:28 am

Between voice recognition mess-ups, normal typos and auto-correct issues there are endless opportunities for hilarity.

Beth On November 29, 2017 at 6:47 am

I know eggs acne what you mean.

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