My wife and I live in a 1300 square foot house located in a small city near Los Angeles,California. We have lived in this house for 50 years; it is where we raised our family. The size of our house requires us to exercise care in what we do and the effect it has on others. That is, we have to be thoughtful of others. We do not have the luxury of putting distance between each other in this size house. Because of this, we have fined-tuned our ability to live together over the years and adjusted our preferences so as to be tolerant of others. It’s working for us very well. My wife is an avid reader and when she’s reading I try to be mindful of her peace and quiet and she does the same for me. We do not have a TV set in our home, so we don’t have that distraction to contend with. However, it appears I have a new skill to learn to maintain peace and quiet for my wife when she’s reading.

About nine months ago I bought the computer I am dictating to now. Using voice recognition to control and dictate to the computer has been in my life for several days now and I am developing the skills necessary to control and use the computer efficiently. This takes practice,  I am doing that right now. Dictation by its very nature requires the person doing the dictation to speak into a microphone using clear diction, even voice level, and precise spoken commands. This kind of speech does not sound at all like a person using a telephone; it is very monotonous sounding I’m sure. When I started dictation, the doors connecting my computer room and the room where my wife reads were all open. Apparently the monotonous sound of my dictation was enough to distract my wife from her reading. She indicated to me her irritation at the distraction in her usual low key way. I try to be sensitive to her messages but this time I think I failed. Finally, she got the message across by closing all the doors between us using appropriate body language, minimal words, and a visage indicating finality. So that’s our solution, close all the doors!

In addition to learning how to use dictation efficiently, I have added the goal of doing dictation quietly to minimize or eliminate distraction to my wife’s reading. This only seems fair because my wife and our sons maintained the peace and quiet I needed years ago, when I was going to school and studying at home. I was very appreciative of their consideration of my needs then and I still am.


I am 89 years old and was married for 66 years. My wife passed away in 2016. I am a retired engineer and spent 35 years developing INS gyroscopes. I was a High School mentor in physics, a mountaineer, a model builder, a machinist and I have a degree in Physics. My interests include railroad history and photography, science history, cosmology, interesting people, and old engineering drawings. I place a high value on my friendships. I enjoying my life and I try look forward with a sense of anticipation and curiosity about what my future has in store for me.


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