Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo

My blogging secret: I don’t type!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Throughout my blogging during the past five years, many people have asked, and continue to ask, how I get so much blogging done.

First, a little background:

I started typing way back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother’s husband — that would be my granddad — brought home a typewriter from the Missouri Pacific Railroad shops in Kingsville, Texas. It was an 1896 Underwood portable and looked like this:

Underwood typewriter

Underwood typewriter

The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded in 1895; my “new” typewriter was dated 1896.

I practiced typing by checking out a typing manual from the city library. By the time I got to ninth grade, where typing was a required course, I was typing a consistent 100 words a minute on my Underwood typewriter. There was no such thing as placing out of a required high school course or being exempt, so I registered for typing during my first summer. I had Miss Short:

Miss Short from King High School in Kingsville, Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Miss Short taught typing to my dad and my three uncles. At the time I took her typing class, the high school had just purchased a brand new IBM Selectric, all the rave in the typing world. During our mid-class break, I decided to type some of my famous Russel lists — highest mountains, longest rivers, most populous cities….

Miss Short came in and was astounded at how fast I was typing. She exempted me from participation in class and had me do personal typing for her, ON THE NEW IBM SELECTRIC! I was stoked. Miss Short entered me in the Texas UIL (University Interscholastic League) contests, and I won many of them, with my best typing speed being 176 words per minute with three errors on a five-minute test.

When I went off to college at Texas A&M University, I decided that I could make some money typing papers. I created “Just Your Type” and started doing research, writing, proofreading, copyediting, and typing. I couldn’t afford an IBM Selectric, so I bought a Smith-Corona, just like this one:

Smith Corona typewriter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I was a junior at Texas A&M I entered a typing competition that had a $1,000 first prize. I won, typing the fastest I would ever type, a whopping 316 words per minute using an IBM self-correcting Selectric II typewriter.

Ultimately “Just Your Type” became a full-time business until 1993 when I moved to San Diego.

Got margarita?Therein lies the secret to how I get so much blogging done: I don’t type! Typing so fast all those years led to carpel tunnel symdrome which ultimately was renamed repetitive stress injury. About a decade ago, I switched to using voice recognition software, specifically Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS). The latest version is absolutely awesome right out of the box. I have it set to recognize various voices on my computers — my Regular voice, my I-have-a-cold voice, and my Too-many-margaritas voice.

If you don’t have the money to buy DNS and you happen to be using Windows 7, give Windows Speech Recognition a try. You can find it by clicking on the Start icon and then clicking on All Programs, Accessories, and Ease of Access. If you use an Apple product, well, you’re on your own. They lost me as a customer way back in 1983.

I can talk much faster than I can type, as can most people. If you find errors in my posts, it’s usually the result of me typing something after having turned off DNS.

Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo

Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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37 thoughts on “My blogging secret: I don’t type!

  1. Jennifer Flint Designs

    That’s quite impressive! And odd, because I was thinking just today of buying that program to help me type up my aura readings for people. I have it on my iPad, and I like it. But speaking rather than typing takes some getting used to – I suspect they may come from different parts of the brain. 🙂

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  2. Pit

    Now that gives me ideas. Especially as I have never learned to type using all my ten fingers, but usually only using three and a half. 😉 Maybe I should try DNS, too.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My Organic Chemistry professor at Texas A&M University could type 50 wpm using just his two index fingers. I never saw such a thing, and if I had not seen it in person, I would not believe it.

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  3. Roxie

    are you sure your dragon doesn’t type better when you add a bit of margarita to the mix? LOL I have the program and love it, tho I still type faster than it can! And my southern drawl slows it down even tho I did all the ‘training’ I was supposed to. I should probably upgrade, LOL… Your secret is safe with us 😉

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      After being in San Diego for 18 years, I apparently (according to Clients who recognize it) still have a Southern drawl from Texas, which is my “Regular” voice. DNS even knows y’all and where to put that contraction apostrophe……. lol

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  4. artzent

    So awesome for you to share this! I have had two beers so I will save this for tomorrow.. The foxfire that I just loaded today warns me when a word is spelled wrong. But shoot, It doesn’t tell me how to spell it. Anyway, thank you and feel free to correct spelling. I will for sure check into the advice for SLOOOOOOOOOOOW posters like me like me.

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  5. Cee Neuner

    Great blog. I remember those typewriters…except I started about 6 years later than you. I ended up type 5-minute at 157 wpm in high school on the old manuals. Never did get tested on the electric and now computer. I know I’m under a hundred just because I don’t type anymore … at least night like I used to. Sounds like you definitely out did me. three hundred wpm. I remember getting to 218 once on a selectric. My hat is off to you!!!

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      It makes 2-5% errors depending on what I’m typing. When I first got it, it was doing about 10-15% errors. Both, however, are much better than my typing at this stage of my life.

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  6. mybeautfulthings

    I loved this post! Clearly voice recognition has developed really well since we first tried it ten years ago. My father, a writer and avid reader, went blind two years before he died. We tried voice recognition software for him but it didn’t work out. His first novel for children was published in the US by Houghton Mifflin and then published all over the world. THe Fate Of Jeremy Visick by David Wiseman, should you choose to check it out! It’s set here in his beloved Cornwall and is very highly regarded. 🙂

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I used to do that in a business I owned because I had nine employees. Each of them had Dragon Naturally Speaking on their computers. They would record their notes out in the field and then let DNS transcribe their recordings. It worked reasonably well.

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