handicaped aids, virtual reality, virtual world

How I speak without talking

Computers have made things a lot easier for me to deal with life’s challenges. One thing that has come up as I age is how to talk to people. My voice was never been good but as I’ve gotten older it is become harder to understand.

How I talk #1 low rezI found this app called Speak in Apple’s App store called Speak. Now I can let my iPad talk for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPad in lap lowrez

Sometimes though the technology path seems like two steps forward and one back.

 

In Oculus (1) lowrezRecently I started testing a VR world or set of experiences some people call it one thing and someone else calls it the other. I just call it Sansar. But to use it in virtual reality mode you need to talk into the headset’s microphone to communicate so opps.

If use Sansar in Desktop mode you can type chat. Problem with that is only other Desktop users and not VR users can see what you type.

Hay, Linden Labs put a user editable macro on a controller key. User editable because sometimes you have more to say than just “Hi”. I also want to say, “Hi, this is Willow. I talk like Stephen Hawking so it’s very slow and I must see my iPad and use my hands. That is not easy in a HMD and controllers. So please don’t be offended when I don’t answer back.” After all I don’t want to be rude and not answer back at all when someone say “Hello”. That wouldn’t be very sociable.

Otherwise it will mean back to passing notes like we did in school. If we can exchange attachments with other users in the September release.

Any other suggestions please leave them in a comment.

BTW you may notice I’m bald in the picture. That’s from the brain surgery and all the drugs the doctors gave me. That is my wig on the left. So, note HMD’s do not work well with wigs or glasses and I wear both.

virtual reality

Initial experience with the Oculus Rift

In HMD! lowrez

Tuesday my Oculus Rift arrived. I bought it after I looked at all the experiences it could do on the Oculus web site. https://www.oculus.com/

These experiences will let you do many interesting things what I’m particularly interested in:

  • Nature experiences from BBC Earth like Bear Island
    bear island
  • A recreation of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
    Flight to the Moon lowrez
    Man on the moon
  • A projected trip Mars with Buzz Aldrin (The second man to walk on the moon.)
    Buzz
  • An interactive 3D exploration of the Grand Canyon.’
    Grand Canyon
  • A 3D interactive golf game.
  • There are several free 3D games which are good for learning the new hardware.
  • There are almost a hundred more.

No, I didn’t get the head set to run Sansar but I will probably try it. It surprised me that Sansar wasn’t one of the experiences listed. Alt Space VR was there and even Facebook’s beta VR application.

Facebook VR

 

The first application I bought was VR Tools. https://www.vr-toolbox.com/

VR Tool BoxIt is a 3D application that lets you run the Windows operating system in a VR office. It even has a virtual keyboard that lets you enter things. Virtual keyboards are slow so if have a lot of entry it’s probably better to get out of VR to do it. An application I  always run is a view from my webcam. It helps to be able to see what is going on around you. Since the Head Mounted Display bock your vision.

 

 

 

 

VRGolflowrezThe golf game might seem a bit out of place for me as an interested choice. When I was twenty I was good and shot consistently in the low to mid-eighties. I still love the game. I probably have most golf computer simulations. Maybe this is the one!

 

 

Tips:

  • If you also wear glasses to see long distances use them with Oculus head set. If you are lucky and have them wear single vision and not bifocals.
  • Clean your glasses before putting on the head set. You will see every speck.
  • I keep a fan going below me because your glasses will fog up very easily.
  • In HMD2 lowrezHair stays neat-forget it.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Don’t try to use the headset for a long time. Take frequent breaks because the Oculus is not very comfortable and the reported nauseous feeling is true.
boogie

My buddy must join me for Breadfast

My Buddy Boogie lowrezRepeat!

Repeat!

Repeat!

I don’t spoil my Buddy!

I don’t spoil my Buddy!

I don’t spoil my Buddy!

 

 

Boogie's Plate lowrezWhen I have Breakies each morning I must fix a plate for my Buddy Boogie. I’m not sure if being gluten free matters much to him. He would probably prefer a nice greasy piece of sausage but one of us needs watch what we eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boogie get that Chex lowrezHe’s pretty good at finding the Chex when I give him some. He likes Cheerio’s too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alert Boogie#2 lowrezHe doesn’t see very well but I never take him out except on a leash. He is seventeen years old!

 

computers, injury

Ouch Ouch Ouch-old tower computers are good for something

Somehow, I twisted my knee. How someone who doesn’t walk does that I don’t know. A pain in the butt I understand. The human body did not evolve to sit eighteen hours a day. About once a month I need to spend a couple of days in bed with my weight off it. But a twisted knee????

Ouch lowrezLuckily, I just moved an old tower computer where it makes a perfect foot rest. The only thing that eases the pain is to keep my foot elevated.

I’ve learned that I need to be able to access a computer. No computer means withdrawal symptoms for me. I get very irritable, more shaky than usual, and can’t sleep. It’s like I’m coming off some drug.

Looks like lots of playing with that Head Mounted Display (HMD) I got Tuesday. There is a Golf game that looks very interesting. I’ll post about it in a few days.

 

 

cooking

Spicy Lemongrass Salmon with Green Beans and Herb Rice

Finished Salmon #1 lowrea

This dish has lots of ingredients but it can be prepared quickly and is a good summer meal.

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 2 skin-on Salmond Fillets
  • ½ cup Jasmine Rice
  • 4 oz. Green Beans
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 bunch Cilantro and Mint
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass
  • 2 Tbsp. Golden Mountain
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger
  • 1 Bird’s Eye Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Rice Vinegar

Mise en place

  • Cut off and discard the stem end of the Green Beans.
  • Cut off and discard the stem of the Bell Pepper then slice lengthwise.
  • Peel and roughly chop the Garlic.
  • Pick the Cilantro and Mint leaves off the stems then roughly chop the leaves.
  • Chop off the Chile Pepper stem. These can be very spicy if you leave the seeds in. But don’t do like I did and remove all the seeds. Carefully taste before you do that or this won’t be “Spicy Salmon.”
  • Cut off and peel the Lemongrass to the flexible white core then finely chop this.

Cooking

  • To a small pot add 1 cup of water, the Rice, and a big pinch of salt. When it boils cover, and reduce the heat to low. After 12 minutes and the water is absorbed fluff the rice and move to a serving dish
  • To a large pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil until it is hot. Then add the Green Beans, Bell Pepper. Ginger, Lemongrass, and Garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Add the Golden Mountain Sauce, Vinigar, and as much of the Chile Pepper as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper and move to a serving dish.
  • Pat the Salmon Fillets dry the season with salt and pepper. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. When it is hot then add the Salmon skin side down and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add half the Mint and Cilantro to the bowl of rice.

Plate your meal.

Finished Salmon#2 lowrez

Top the salmon to some of the sauce from the vegetables then garnish with the remaining Cilantro and Mint. ENJOY!

 

food

Tarter Sauce revisited

Tarter Sauce v2 lowrezYears ago, I ate or tried to eat some commercially prepared Tarter Sauce and it spoiled it for me for years.

 

 

 

 

A couple of weeks ago I made a recipe that included some homemade Tartar Sauce so I choose to try making it. What a difference! Give it a try.

 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1-Tbsp. Dijon Mustard.
  • 2-Tbsp. Sweet Pickle Relish.
  • 2-Tbsp. Mayonnaise.
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Capers.
  • 1-Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar.

 

cooking, food

Left Over Lunch- Chicken Tagine with Cherry Tomatoes, And Dates over Couscous, and Marinated Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Nicoise Olives on the side.

Chicken Tagine2 lowrez

I do a lot of cooking and most dishes are for two so often I have leftovers. Saturday’s lunch was two dishes.  Chicken Tagine with Cherry Tomatoes,  and Dates over Couscous, with Marinated Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Nicoise Olives on the side.

I made the Chicken Tagines yesterday.

Chicken Tagine1 lowrezIngredients

  • 10 oz. Chopped Chicken Breast.
  • ¾ Cup Couscous.
  • 6 oz. Cherry Tomatoes.
  • 1 Yellow Onion.
  • 1 bunch Cilantro and Mint.
  • 2 cloves Garlic.
  • 1 oz. Dried Noor Dates
  • 2 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar.
  • 1 1 in piece Ginger.
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste.
  • 2 Tsps. Ras El Hanout.

 

Mise en place

  • Peel and roughly chop Garlic.
  • Peel and finely chop Ginger.
  • Peel and finely dice Onion.
  • Rough chop the Dates.
  • Half the Tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pick the Mint leaves off the stems and discard the stems.
  • Roughly chop the Cilantro.

Cooking

  • In a small pot boil 1 cup of water and the Couscous. Once boiling cover and turn off the heat for 7 minutes.
  • In a large pan heat 2-Tsp. Olive Oil and cook for 7 minutes. Set aside on a plate leaving any browned bits (the fond) in the pan.
  • Begin the Tagine. Add 2 Tsp. Olive Oil to the pan the chicken was cooked in then add the Garlic, Ginger, and Onion and cook until lightly browned.
  • Add the Tomato Paste, and Ras el Hanout and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Add the seasoned Tomatoes, the dates, and ½ cup of water. Cook 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Finish the Tagine. Add the cooked Chicken and Vinegar and cook 1 minute stirring constantly.

Divide the cooked Couscous between to dishes. Top with the Tagine. Garnish with Mint and Cilantro.

The marinated Cucumber, Nicoise Olives, and Cherry Tomatoes were pare of the Summer Vegetable Tartines I made last week. I think the extra week in the refrigerator helped.