the virtual journal of Celia Gray

Friday, December 20, 2013


Working with OCR: A Mark of Character

Lately, Miss Underwood and I have been reviewing and organizing past transcripts, and performing various administrative duties pertaining to the show. At our time of life, it is apropos to do such cataloguing work, as one digests what has gone before and prepares for, shall we say, Act 3. (The intermission was quite long, lasting, as it did, roughly five years!)

In specific, we used OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert scanned text into digital text files. This was very useful, as neither Miss Underwood nor myself wished to retype dozens of pages of old transcripts. (They hadn't been saved as digital files in the first place, but printed out "on the fly," during those moments of compressed haste familiar to all those who labor backstage.)

We have not spent a great deal of time reviewing competing OCR programs, but there is usually some measure of "amusement factor" in the process, as one views the results of the computer's manful struggle to interpret text scrawled with handwritten addenda. Fortunately, there was not enough of this to cause any real problems, and we finished this task within a few days.

In other news, we have logged 209 guests to date. We have been checking our transcript files to see what (if anything) has gone untargeted or unprinted. And we "tweaked" the template for this blog to make it a bit easier to read.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Spring Cleaning

Mrs. Grimes and I have been working in tandem to give Paisley Hall "a good turn-out." I even lent a hand (or an arm) to beat rugs, before Grimes arrived. I couldn't find the rug beater, so I was using a badminton racquet! I'd forgotten hall runners were so very lo-o-ong. (Of course, we send the Aubussons out to be cleaned.) Well, Grimes' brows raised themselves very high when she saw me on the terrace, surrounded by dust clouds. She went inside without comment, but was back in two shakes with the rug beater, and, with an "I'll just be finishing that up, m'lady," I was gently but firmly set aside. And so, leaving Grimes to her mighty whackage, I went inside to check on the progress of my homemade lemon curd.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We're Back ... in Part

All right, so we're running part-time. Miss Underwood and I have revamped the show temporarily, so that I'm limited to twenty-five answers. This averages to about five minutes per guest. I'm feeling better than I usually do during the winter, but am still seriously considering that Patmos holiday.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


The Lissome Greek Isles

Miss Underwood has been working away on the many administrative tasks which accumulate behind the scenes of any long-running show. There are 49 outstanding transcripts to be Targeted for my show alone. I worry that she won't get the rest she needs. I try not to preach, but she needs balance in her life.

On a lighter note, I'm considering a holiday in Patmos, the Greek island on which the exiled Apostle John experienced his visionary revelation. Wikipedia's photos of Patmos make one wonder how it ever could have been a place of exile.

Monday, December 10, 2007


LOTW Goes on Winter Hiatus

Starting December 15, Lady on the Web is slated to go on winter hiatus through March 2008. It's high time we refreshed, refurbished, revitalized -- cleared out the cobwebs -- blew the must from our souls. At least, that's what will happen next Spring; at the end of this week, we'll begin with a long, slow exhale.

I won't say I'm exactly down for the count, but if I'm to survive the winter without a resurgence of the old weakness in the lungs, I simply must rest. At least, that's what Miss Underwood tells me. She'd like it if I were to visit Italy or Spain, or some place where I can obtain three straight months of sun. I must admit, it sounds tempting.

She says I'm forbidden to do any work, such as reviewing show transcripts, during this time. She says she'll be doing all that -- and she has her work cut out for her, since they're backed up well into last summer. I told her she'd better go on holiday as well, even offered to pay, but as usual, she refused. Well, since she's one of the few writers not on strike, I had better humor her. Don't tell her I said so, though!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


No Transcript Left Behind

Today marks another LOTW milestone, as Miss Underwood and I have now reviewed all the show's transcripts since its inception in 2003. We've incorporated much of the material in the script, including many pithy and amusing quotes from our guests.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Britannia Rules "The Waves"

Alas, I could not finish The Waves. I stopped reading at page 153, just as one of the girls is beginning to lament the death of Percival. He will have to go unmourned by me. If only the whole novel had been about the children, while they were still children!