Imaginary Wife

So, I… uh… spent a hundred bucks, today. No, I didn’t buy a whole bunch of stuff. I just got two things. Yeah, two things. I know, I know… ridiculous. The items just cost a lot, that’s all. They were a Mandarin language learning program and a sophisticated speech recognition headset/microphone. Huh? Oh… they were about fifty bucks each. Yeah, there were cheaper headsets, but these guys who were in-the-know took ten minutes out of their day to tell me just how bad some of those headsets were. I mean, they don’t even work there. So, I figure if these fellow consumers who know what they’re talking about suggest that I get this set, then maybe I should. And, I did. I think I’m getting my money’s worth here. “You get what you pay for when it comes to these,” they said. [They didn’t really say that, but that was their point.]

Anyway, the language program is pretty neat. Right from the get-go, I am immersed into speaking the language. Of course, I only got through the first three sentences. The native speaker helps a lot. And, I can have her repeat the same sentence or word over and over again without getting her frustrated. Now, that’s a plus over a normal, human being-type teacher. Well, what’s neat about the program is that there are drills of the sentences that I’m learning. There are separate windows that can hide what I am reading, the translation an the specific pronunciation of the word. There is many features that help with vocabulary, pronunciation and stuff. I mean, the pronunciation section is pretty cool all unto itself. Here’s where the microphone comes into play: I hold the record button, it would record my voice saying the sentence or word, and I get to compare the phonograph to the native speakers’. The graphs are even split into voice, pitch, fricatives and vowels. Now that’s pretty neat! So, I’m improving my pronunciation and I’m learning how to say certain Mandarin words. Oh, what’s also neat is that they have this dialogue-thing. You see, I can choose a particular scenario, like, say, a husband and wife discussing an invitation for a guest to visit and have tea. Well, the roles are split and I get to choose between those roles. One would say something verbally, and I have to respond accordingly. Pretty neat.

Now, okay… I must admit that I got the headset/microphone for another purpose, too. Bob — Bob Yukich from work — the two of us are going to play Warcraft 3 online tomorrow afternoon. Typically, I’d type any conversation we’d be having in-game, but he can’t type to save his life (his words, not mine). So, he suggested that I purchase a headset/microphone to use a walkie-talkie-type of application while playing the game.

Wait, I didn’t spend money because he asked me to. I was going to purchase a headset anyway so that I may use it along with the language program. I’ve been wanting to get the program for a while. Okay… I need to “separate want from need.” I know, but I don’t have any… oh, yeah… that’s right. I’m going to be getting a new car soon.

I could have waited to purchase the program. I did not need the headset, either. Well, I figure that this purchase isn’t going to eat into my funds for the new car anyway. So, I guess it’s okay.

Right, right… “rationalize everything so that the wrong way would be my way.” I don’t mean to mock you. I just don’t see the purpose of… “nagging” about this purchase. I mean, returning these items is not going to help any. So, why not just enjoy these new toys?

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