May 29, 2008

I love America

I was thumbing through my wife's People magazine and found a photo which inspired me, and left me in awe. It was a photo of America. America Ferrera. And I have to say- this other America is also very beautiful.

Extremely beautiful! It left me feeling...patriotic in a different kinda way. No, I don't want or need to have buttons with America's face upon my lapel. I will not write cheesy country songs about loving America. I don't need to have America's face bumperstickered on my car. Nor do I need to look for every little snively insult to America! Righting Wisconsin: Fat Chicks Hate Bush.

Oh, America how do I love thee? I would like to travel along your hills, valleys, and curves-('cause you know you got 'em!). I would like to explore America. A lot! America, your bountiful harvest would not go to waste in my hands. I would go North, East, West, and with this America, I would not be afraid to travel down South! Not in the least! This America knows what she wants! and she doesn't want Bush!
(maybe she wants me!?)

I leave you with some quotes that are about America.

My favorite thing about the United States? Lots of Americans, one America. ~Val Saintsbury

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

May I never wake up from the American dream. ~Carrie Latet

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball -- Jacques Martin Barzun

Because of what America is and what America has done, a firmer courage, a higher hope, inspires the heart of all humanity.
CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
JOHN UPDIKE, Problems and Other Stories

In other more serious news...Harvey Korman, probably one of the most funny people in the world, died yesterday. I remember watching the Carol Burnett show when I was a kid. I loved that show! Kormans' brilliance was that he was able to keep the gag going and improv when he and the others couldn't make it without laughing! Here is a couple of clips of one of Korman's and the gang's funniest skits on the show. Harvey, you will be missed! I thought he was funny in everything he did-from the C. Burnett Show to History of the World!

Technorati Tags:

May 26, 2008

Hey! I really like your TTS! And More Moron music

*Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend!
I guess this is part of being a parent nowadays but still we had a wakeup call last week! We found out the hard way that we should have had more control over what our son was able to access on the Internet a couple of days ago! We went to a friend's party and my mom stayed with our son-(yes we are so lucky we have my mom close by!). When we came home, our son said "I saw a guy pushing out his eye with a spoon in a video." Arrrgh! My mom had just gone to the restroom, and when she came out, she saw that our son was looking at this guy literally spooning out his damn eyeball! The title of the video: "Fucking disgusting!" Yes-it was-and it was even more disgusting because my son was looking for Disney clips on Youtube! Lucky for us he was so shocked by seeing someone spoon out their eyeball that he didn't read the title! I don't really care for the "Related Videos" thing too much. Sometime these videos are actually related in subject and age level, etc., and sometimes they are way out of the subject field! Since he was looking for Disney videos for pete's sake! In the Related Videos was Fucking Disgusting! Yeah-really close match, YT! Anyway-I am not in favor of censorship or anything, and I do think there are other things that can be harmful for a 7 year-old kid learning how to use the Internet out there. We decided to give him his own account, with a "kid safe" browser-(Kidrocket-Web Browser for Kids - KidRocket it limits kids to 11 sites that are kid-friendly-Starfall, PBS-Kids, etc. It also has some simple math and art activities also.) and just hid the IE away, and put some of his games on the desktop. He really doesn't need to be Googling stuff without our supervision!

Anyway, my son likes this text to speech thing where he can type out a story and then he can have the story "read" by a "robot" voice! He loves that thing! It's called Ultra Hal TTS Reader-(Text-To-Speech Reader) I was thinking that I would have to download the program again and so I Googled Text to Speech Readers. I came up with one site I had come across before called Site where you can type some text and make a robotic character say any kind of crazy shit you want! I remember playing with that site for quite a while about a year ago-there's lots of characters that you can choose from, and lots of different voices to use! The only thing is, you can't save your "work" because it's not a free service and you would have to register and all that other BS! It is fun to "make" the different characters say weird stuff though. (click on the "Try Our Demo" button;click on the model/character you want; click on the accessories and background you want; click on "audios" and then "TTS". I don't mess with the "players" choices. Once you type your text, hit "Preview" and the fun begins! Mess around with the voices, as they often give different inflections for more hilarity! It's sometimes inaccurate with the pronunciations and the emphasis you might want, but try different voices to get it work better! I also like to move the cursor around the character's face like a fly to make their eyes and head move around!)

I also found another TTS engine with characters that is maybe better because you can send your funny saying to someone! It doesn't have all the characters, accessories, etc, that the other one has, but it's still fun! The address is With this one, experiment with the speed of the reading, and what I also do is try using both the English-speaking guy and girl. Try it! Make your own funny saying! For some reason, for me at least, making these digital, flash technology characters say nasty, dirty, or just plain silly things is hilarious!
Here's a few of my weird-ass creations! (it takes a few moment to load!)

I was minding my own business, looking up clips on YT for trying to do arpeggios correctly on the guitar and I came across some humorous comments for some of the videos I saw. This one is a video clip for this excellent Chinese classical guitarist named Lie Jie.True to his screen name, "Assmask" makes a comment about Lie Jie's hands that Assmask claims people took the wrong way! Here is one of her many clips. She is an excellent guitarist! If you like classical guitar music, check them out!

Related Tags: