Category Archives: Gizmos

Now They’ve Gone Too Far

Lately, I’m afraid that we’ve become a society of apologists.  Have you noticed?  Everybody is apologizing all the time.  And not one of them means it.  Rarely does anybody take responsibility for their beliefs, which are often exactly what was exposed — their racism, mysogony, whatever.

Even more rare are these apologies as entertaining as the one that happened this past week, when the Governor of Delaware accidentally Tweeted a photo of a woman wearing bondage paraphernalia.  More of those would make the world at least a funnier place.

It’s not just that I’m error prone that makes me wary.  Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not big on social media.  Nope, not at all.  And it’s not only because I can’t be bothered to figure out how to use it.  I have a Facebook account that I started so that I could vote for Speaker7 for some contest she was in.  Naturally, I couldn’t vote anyway for some reason.  I have one “friend” on Facebook.

When I first started my blog, I joined LinkedIn, thinking I could promote my blog.  But then I had to enter real live info about myself like my name.  Since it is being used as a professional networking society, the dangers of using LinkedIn to promote my blog became clear.  Including a link to my blog would possibly attract a lot of people who would read my blog, but they would all be clients.  Clients reading that I am a “fake” medical professional.  And then, naturally, I would need to use LinkedIn to find a new job.

I’m sure I’d like Twitter — I love making short, snappy comebacks.  But a Twitter account would likewise end up with me needing to use LinkedIn to find a job because I’d never get any work done.

So I’ve been happy with face-to-face talking, emailing and texting.  And blogging of course, which is a realm all of its own.

But I just read an article that has me shaking at my keyboard.  Worried about where this will all end up.  Afraid of the future.  Because they’re going to get into my brain.  It’s just a matter of time before we can all transmit our thoughts to each other without the aid of a computer or a phone or even a mouth.

Yes, I just read Brain-to-brain verbal communication in humans achieved for the first time.

Oh joy.

It informed me that scientists have just managed to transmit thoughts from one brain to another, across the distance of 5,000 miles.  Brain to Brain.  Non-verbal, um verbal communication.

Can you imagine the future?  What politicians will say now?  The excuses they will come up with for when they express a true thought or opinion and the recipient doesn’t like it?  Oh Lord.  It won’t be pretty.

I think it’s going to be something like this:

It’s closer than you think.

 

58 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Gizmos, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity, Wild Beasts, Word Press

How I’ll Make My Millions!

Nobody has ever accused me of being on the cutting edge of anything.  But I must say that I have missed some golden opportunities.  In fact, when I first hear about new things, I generally think that whatever it is is stupid.  It’s a trend that began years ago.   If I had invested in some of these things when I first heard of them, well, I wouldn’t be wasting my time blogging — I would be paying someone to write my blog for me.  I’d be that rich.

It was about 1979 when my then-roommate Elizabeth announced her brilliant idea.

“What if they made Coke without caffeine?” she said to me one night after she decided not to have a Coke because she was tired and it would keep her up.

“What would be the point of that?” I responded, no doubt looking at her like she was stupid.

Caffeine-free Coke

OK, so I was wrong.

At the time, Elizabeth was considering going to business school for an MBA.  She would today be a brilliant executive at a Fortune 500 company if only I had been more encouraging.  Instead, she went to medical school and became a psychiatrist.

When CNN first came on, I thought

“Who needs news 24 hours a day?”

CNN

Strike 2

When C-Span began showing House and Senate floor debate, while I was actually working as a lobbyist, well, I couldn’t believe it.

“Who is going to watch that unless they get paid to?  It is sooooooooooooooooo boring!” 

I STILL  think I was right about this one.

I STILL think I was right about this one.

I never had a Walkman.

“I want to listen to the birds when I’m out walking!”

I thought iPods were stupid and besides I could never figure out iTunes.  I still get emails from them and they still haven’t figured out that I hate disco.

Smart phones?  “How stupid.”

But I decided that it is time to capitalize on my knack for thinking huge money makers are stupid.  In fact, I’ve suggested to John that we should invest our retirement savings in the next product I think is completely inane.  It’ll be an uphill battle, though.  He doesn’t trust my investment instincts since I started investing in 72 packs of toilet paper.

But I’m going to see if he’ll go along with me on this invention.  Because I have to admit, it is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.  We’ll make a bloody fortune.

If I were to wear anti-rape underpants, something would absolutely get into my pants.  But I’m quite sure it wouldn’t be a rapist.  And it wouldn’t come from outside, either.

****

My thanks to Karen at Do Not Get Sick in the Sink for her post on this.

And my thanks to Google, without which my posts would be far less colorful.

47 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Disgustology, Family, Gizmos, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity

WHOAH!!!! What happened?!?!

I admit, I’ve been doing a whole lot of this lately

 

Google Image, I'm sure

Google Image, I’m sure

 

But I was surprised how in two months during which I did almost no political posts whatsoever, that the world could have possibly gotten its knickers in a such twist.  Gone end-over-end.  Topsy Turvey.  All akimbo.

Two months ago, my company got two projects that would take us four months each to complete.  Both were due in two months.  Both got done.  I’ve been busy.

And I haven’t been paying attention.  I promise not to let that happen again.

Boy did I miss a whole lot.  I heard that they Congressman Issa cleared up that whole Benghazi thing!  And that Russia kept us out of war in Syria!  Somebody let me know if they admitted we’re doomed because of global climate change, ‘kay?

But the thing that has me most confused?

Apparently the country went from one where the GOP, the Republicans were interested in sticking things into women’s vaginas,

 

Yea, they like to do that.
(Google image)

 

Into one where it’s the proponents of the Affordable Healthcare Act

aka Obamacare — that want to do that!

Really!  Just look’ee here:

 

 

Only this time, they’re not just targeting the womenfolk.  They’re going after all the straight men, too.

 

 

Next, they’ll want to force all employees to wash their hands after using the restroom!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (Google)

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (Google)

 

*     *     *

 

What sort of people campaign against people getting checkups?  What sort of people promote such ignorance?  What sort of stupid questions am I asking?  Because we all know the answer:

 

The Morally Bankrupt GOP (Google Image)

The Morally Bankrupt GOP
(Google Image)

 

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Filed under Campaigning, Climate Change, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Elections, Gizmos, Global Warming, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Science, Stupidity

Time for Another Road Trip

Normally, I don’t get personal hygiene tips from the rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike.  But these are not normal times for me.  Yes, you might say that a lot has changed.

In fact, I’ve become one of those people other people make fun of.  One of the people I used to make fun of.  One of those people that Bill Maher makes fun of on TV.

Yes, I am an OCD Germ-a-phobe.   I wipe down the grocery cart.

I also use hand sanitizer — 539 squirts per day (hereinafter “SPD”) unless I pump gas or use a public restroom, and then I hit more like 845 SPD.  [Please note that that middle letter is a “P” as in Peter, not a “B” like in “Silent But Deadly.”  While that subject is related to the concepts in this post, SBDs will be addressed in a separate post.]

I wasn’t always this way.  In fact, I became OCD just a couple of months ago.  It’s a side effect of a medicine I’m taking.

You see, I’ve been holding out on you.  I haven’t told you everything.  In fact I have told you almost nothing.

I haven’t told you that I’ve been sick.

Not “go to the hospital” - sick.  Not “gotta have surgery” -sick.  Not “I’m gonna die” -sick.

Nope, I’ve been  “I gotta do something”-sick.

I’ve been “I can’t live like this” -sick.

And I’ve seriously been “pain in the ass” - sick.  Literally.

My Crohn’s Disease has been partying in the lower 48 overtime since last fall.  In fact, it is trying to bust out of the joint (and the internal organs, too, as a matter of fact).  Mostly, it’s bustin’ out of my butt by eating little tunnels into itself to get out.

I sort of have my own Great Escape going on down there.  Only without Steve McQueen or  Illya Kuryakin.

I know this isn't Illya.  I'm keepin' him for myself. (Google Image)

I know this isn’t Illya. I’m keepin’ him for myself.
(Google Image)

Basically, my Crohn’s disease is attacking my body.  You would assume it would have better manners, wouldn’t you?  You’d think it would spring for a pizza instead of abusing my hospitality.

Now, there aren’t a whole lot of options with these tunnels – called “fistulas,” probably because they punch their way out.  They hurt.  As does the entire nether region.  Have you ever done anything without using your butt?  It’s the center of gravity — that and the feet.  That’s where all your weight is except when you’re lying down.

My primary symptom is a sore butt.  A very sore butt.  A butt that doesn’t like anything but the softest, thickest cushions to come in contact with it.  That Princess with the Pea ain’t got nothing on me.

Princess and the Pea.   She even has my hair.She even has my hair.

I had two options.

Option 1:  Surgery.  Been there, done that.  The surgical procedure was perfected during the Spanish Inquisition*

They gave me 60 Percocet after the operation.

They gave me 60 Percocet after the operation.  That should have been a clue that I would be unhappy with the outcome.

[Oh, there's not need to break into my house lookin'.  The Percocet is gone.]

Option 2:  Drugs — Biologics, to be precise.  Expensive, intravenously administered drugs that suppress the immune system, making you, well, me, susceptible to all kinds of communicable diseases.  Which was why I didn’t want to take them to begin with.

Because I didn’t want to live like this:

I especially didn't want to be in the version with John Ravolta

I especially didn’t want to be in the version with John Ravolta

I didn’t want to live in a bubble.  I wanted to be able to go out.  Go to work.  Go to the grocery store, a movie, a play without risking my life.  Because I was afraid of being infected by someone who was out with the flu, with pneumonia, with any one of a thousand communicative diseases that might be communicated to me by air or by touch.

But it got to the point where I really didn’t have any choice.  I could not sit without pain.  I couldn’t stand without an aching butt.  Bending over hurt.  Breathing hurt.

And so I reluctantly agreed, and my doctor put me on one of those drugs with the really long commercials listing warnings and precautions.  Don’t worry though:  The risk of Priapism is quite remote.  And who knows, I might enjoy having an erection.

The good news about this new medicine?

I feel good.  I am getting better.  So those risks?  Yup, I’ll take em.  Because the medicine gave me my life back.  I just need to wash my hands a lot, do everything I can not to come in contact with sick people (Ha!) and then wash my hands some more.

Which brings us back to Jersey.  What does this all have to do with the Jersey Turnpike and hygiene?

Well, it occurred to me in New Jersey while I was at a rest stop, trying to not breathe or touch anything, that those soap dispenser thingy-s are relatively germ free.  I mean, you don’t have to touch them at all with your dirty hands after you, well, you know.  And I decided that I should buy one of them just as soon as I got home.  Who cares if I’d laughed at those gadgets for years – I needed one now, and that made it moderately less stupid to spend money on a battery operated soap dispenser.

soap dispenser

And so I did!

Only there’s a difference between mine and the ones on the Jersey Turnpike.   You know how those don’t turn on? You go down the line of sinks, moving your hand up and down, backwards and forwards, left and right, in front of each one and get nada.  Not so much as a bubble.

Mine?  You will be happy to know that mine does not have that problem.  In fact, mine won’t turn off.  And let me tell you that today’s interior designers should consider suggesting the idea of a red soap encrusted sink to all their upscale customers.

I think I need to go back to New Jersey to find out how to turn it off.

So I’m off on a Road trip!  To The Vince Lombardi Rest Stop to learn more about good hygiene.

*     *     *

Sorry I’ve been holding out on you.  It’s not that I don’t love you, really.  It’s just that, well, bowel disease is boring.  And messy.  And uncomfortable.  And did I say “boring”?  Yeah.  Blogging is my escape from poop.  Except of course when I write about it.  That’s when I laugh at it.  So help me do that.

I am looking for the “funny” in bowel disease again.  It has been harder to find lately.

And next time you’re in the grocery store or the movie theater?  Breathe somewhere else.

* Yay!  That’s the only search term that ever comes up on my blog. And I get to see these folks again!

 

All the photos are from Google, my God.

92 Comments

Filed under Crohn's Disease, Driving, Gizmos, Humor, Mental Health

Modern Conveniences

Modern marketing really scares me.  And I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse.

A few years ago John and I needed to replace broken toilet that had a built-in shelf above the tank top.  (Not the kind of tank top you wear, but the kind with all the parts of a toilet that break.)

We needed a special size and type.

Toilet with shelf 2

Naturally, I looked online to find the best price.  Then off-to Home Depot John and I went expecting to flush away a wad of money.

As we were trying to choose between two models, the salesman tried to help us make the decision:

“You can flush an entire bucket of golf balls down this American Standard toilet and it won’t clog,” he said.

John tilted his head, dog like, and looked at the salesman trying to figure out if he was joking.  He wasn’t.

I looked at John and then at the salesman.  Somehow I maintained an interested customer demeanor.  “Why would we want to do that?” I asked.  “We don’t golf.”

“I’m just sayin’ that you could,” said the salesman.  “I mean, if you did golf.”

“We probably wouldn’t be golfing in the bathroom,” John said, thoughtfully.  “I mean, if we did golf, we wouldn’t golf there.  We’d probably do it outside.

“And if we take up golf, I think I’d rather keep the golf balls in the garage,” I added.

“Plus we have a septic system.  I don’t know if it is designed for golf balls.”

“It might be hard to explain to the guys when they pump it out.”

We had to leave or we would have wet our pants in the toilet aisle of Home Depot.  In spite of the fact that it would be expensive, we opted to replace the innards of our own non-golfing toilet instead of spending – I kid you not – more than $1,000 on a toilet that would fit the spot and accept golf balls.

Since then, though, I have been getting ads for toilets.  But not just any old toilet.  Strangely shaped toilets.  Apparently, to the marketers of America, I not only like to flush strange hard things down my toilets, but I like my toilets to look like anything but.  Or butt.

Toilet 2Toilet 1Toilet 3

So imagine my dismay when I read this article that explains where modern advertising is heading.

They’re going to mine our DNA

to figure out how to market stuff to us.

The article gives the example of someone who is lactose intolerant getting special coupons for lactose-free stuff.

Oh joy.

I wonder if my DNA will tell folks that I’m not interested in what they’re selling.

Which gene says "NO SOLICITING"?

Which gene says
“NO SOLICITING”?

 

All the pictures are from Google Images.  I can’t wait to see what they try to sell me next!

81 Comments

Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Gizmos, Health and Medicine, Humor, Technology

The Voice of the Future

As you also may know if you’re a long time reader, I have a hard time with technology.  Particularly if it talks.  I wrote about it here:  I can’t get no.  You have no doubt heard me screaming from wherever it is you are, when I am asked the same question for the 128th time by the same incredibly patient voice on the other end of the phone.   If I could get a hold of the person behind the voice, I would slap her silly.  Because those auto-answering voices used by every single company I need to call — they make me crazy.

So naturally, I had to dig myself in deeper.

Yup, recently I got an iPhone4S, with Suri.  And within days, I wanted to strangle her, too.  Suri makes me crazy, and only partly because her voice is the same one as the voice prompt I named Sybil in I can’t get no.  (They are obviously psychotic twins.)  I gave Suri several chances to help me and to help herself in the process, but she always lets me down.  Once, I was trying to demonstrate to my boss how she can find a phone number for you and dial it:

“Suri, call home,” I commanded.

“You have 16 homes.”

Shit.  So much for my raise.

Another time, I tried all day to get her help with finding a nearby restaurant when we were on vacation.  I gave up in frustration, and in complete exasperation I said to Siri:

“Oh Fuck Off!”

She finally gave me a reasonable answer:

“What did I do to deserve that?” she said.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh.”

But actually, it isn’t only voice-activated prompts that make me nuts.  Real live people do, too.  Especially if they have an accents.   I cannot emphasize enough just how convenient this difficulty was when I lived in another country where they spoke a language that required the use of an accent.

Still, probably the most difficult accent for me is a Scottish one, which is quite frustrating.  You see, they speak English.  Sort of.

Actually, Scotland is near and dear to my heart.  John went to University there, and we have many friends in and around Edinburgh from those days.  Best of all, John asked me to marry him overlooking Edinburgh Castle at sunset after we hiked up the Salisbury Crags.  (See why I married him?)

Edinburgh Castle4

How could I say anything but yes?

Salisbury Crags

(Both Google Images)

But in lots trips to Scotland over the years, umpteen phone calls and reciprocal visits to us, I continue to have trouble understanding our friends. It’s the accent.

I canna understand it.

At first, I thought it was just the heavy Scottish Brogue and that my ear would get attuned to it.  Nope.  Not all of our friends have a brogue as few are completely Scottish.  Some actually hail from Northern Ireland, another was raised for 10 years in Czechoslovakia before moving to Scotland.  Others are English.  Some of our friends are even mutts and we don’t talk about them much.  We really only have two friends who are authentically Scottish.  It’s a motley crew.  No matter.  They are all wonderful, fun, and we have a blast when we visit or when they come here.

Or at least I think we do.  You see, since I have such a hard time understanding them, I never know what anyone is talking about or what I’m agreeing to.  Nevertheless, I agree to whatever I am asked.  I swear, their accents are thick as mud.  Thicker, even.  And they’re all professional people, doctors, dentists, executives and school teachers.  So my way is easier.  What sort of trouble could they get me into?  Besides, I’m pretty sure I’ve responded appropriately when spoken to over the years.  If not, I am hoping that when they laugh at me, that they think kindly of poor John’s wife, that agreeable deaf woman.

But somehow, I expect to have the last laugh.

62 Comments

Filed under Family, Gizmos, Humor, Mental Health, Stupidity

French is Dangerous

You’ve heard me talk about this before (Merde 101).  But the world has gotten more dangerous since I wrote that piece.  We need to be on the lookout.  We need to be vigilant.  We need to speak English.  No, this is not an anti-immigrant piece.  This is a potential-worldwide-calamity-caused-by-incomprehensible-grammar piece.

Yes, it’s true.  I’m saying that all roads to terrorism are sign-posted in FRENCH.  Believe me.  I lived there.  I know.  Well, I don’t know the language, but I know those signposts.  And what they say.  More or less.

Why would I make such an accusation?  Because French is stupid.

Well, actually, it’s really French possessives.  French possessives are stupid, illogical, dangerous.

You see, in French, objects get the gender of the object/noun, not the owner.  And that, is of course, the problem.

Imagine that there is a man and a woman in a train station.  Between them is a suitcase.

Google Image (or KGB?)

In it is a nuclear bomb.  Desperate to foil the bad guys, you cannot just shout out “It’s HIS!” pointing to the man who can be arrested and the bomb diffused.

Google Images are everywhere

Why not?

Because the word for suitcase in French is “valise” which is feminine.  Therefore, you can only say “It’s HERS” (“Est la valise!”) — regardless of who owns the suitcase/nuclear bomb.  The bomb would go off and everyone would die.

The terrorists would succeed because French is stupid.

Not speaking French is the way to protect the world.

*****

One of my blogging buddies, Paprika of Good Humored felt stupid recently.  She wrote about it here:  At Least We Can See France From Our Toilet.  And it’s not her fault.  You see, Paprika and her husband Oregano found themselves in French-speaking Switzerland, just down the road from where I used to live.  They came back feeling stupid.  They shouldn’t have.  Instead, they should have come back relieved that they had survived a nuclear attack.

[Note to folks who actually know French:  Before you get on my case, I do know that there are other was to say “It’s HIS.” But they are not short, sweet and to the point.  They are long and involved and the bomb would explode by the time anyone could get the sentence out.  The Terrorists would still win.]

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Filed under Criminal Activity, Geneva Stories, Gizmos, Global Warming, Health and Medicine, History, Humor, Hypocrisy, Neighbors, Politics, Science, Stupidity