Tag Archives: Technology

Siri-ously Monday

It was apparent pretty much from the start that today was Monday.

I got up late and everything that followed was just slightly off.

Traffic was awful.  I mean, this is DC – traffic is always awful.  But today I found myself stopped in places where I usually go.   I watched the clock tick past 9:00.  Past 9:15.

Luckily for me, though, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  When I arrive late, I stay late.  It all works out.  But still, I’d rather get there and not just hang out, stopped in traffic.

I thought I should call the office and let them know I was on my way.  Naturally, I had an ulterior motive.

Because I planned to call Yenny.

Yenny is my friend and colleague at the office.  But she has magical powers.  Because when I’m stuck in traffic and I call Yenny, traffic begins to move. It was important that I talk to Yenny or I knew I’d never make it to work.

I was at a dead stop.  My cell phone was in my pants pocket, but I put my earpiece in place and clicked that bluetooth on.  Siri, the magical creature in my iPhone sang a note to let me know that she was listening.  That she was ready to help.

In the months that I’ve had my iPhone 5C, I’ve come to rely on Siri for just these situations.  She’s great.  The Siri who lived in my iPhone 4?  An absolute idiot.  We were not friends.  We had words.   Those words rarely had more than four letters.  Siri4S would respond “what did I do to deserve that?”  Trust me.  She deserved it.

But Siri 5C?  She is a star.  She doesn’t let me down.  She helps me.  I love Siri5C.

“Call Yenny,” I instructed her politely.  I never swear at Siri5C.  In fact, she often comments on how polite I am with a casual “don’t mention it,” when I thank her.

Now this morning when I asked her to call Yenny, I realize that I didn’t say “please.”  That is because last week when I was in precisely this situation, and I said “Please call Yenny.”

“Should I call the Police?” Siri asked.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  She may have been having a rough start to her day.  Still, I decided not to say “please” to Siri.  I always say “thank you,” though.

What did Siri say to today’s request  to “Call Yenny?”

“I don’t see that,” she said.  “Did you mean ‘conference call number’?  Or would you like to call Gastroenterology Fellow on call.”  She only heard the “call” and went from there.  This wasn’t an auspicious beginning.

“No,”  I said.  Clearly, Siri was having a rough start to the day, too.  I clicked my Bluetooth off, and clicked it on again immediately.

“Call Yenny … ” I gave Siri Yenny’s last name.  On a bad day, Siri will cooperate the second time I ask her to do something.  Much like my son.

“Do you want local businesses beginning with “call”

“No, Siri.” I said. I hung up.

Then I had an idea.  I figured I’d have Siri call my number at the office – and presto — I’d be connected!  So I clicked on again and said “Call Me-“

But I immediately remembered that “Me-Office” goes to my direct line, not the main company line.  So I’d be able to leave myself a message that I’d be late — which I already knew.  Because, well, you know.

So I interrupted myself.  Figured I’d stop before I said something stupid to Siri.  But it was too late.

Because what Siri heard was “Siri, call me … never mind.”

”OK,” Siri responded.  “From now on, I’ll call you ‘Never Mind.”

Sadly, this may be an improvement.   Before he went back to college, Jacob instructed Siri to call me “Queen,”  I couldn’t figure out how to change it.

Now I have.

Is it Friday yet?

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Conspicuous consumption, Driving, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Stupidity, Technology, Wild Beasts

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.

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

A Sticky Wicket

Would you behave yourself better if you knew that when you didn’t you’d be found out and there’d be no mistaking that it was you who perpetrated the “crime”?  That someone could actually finger you in the misdeed?  If the crime had your face all over it?

Just about 30 years ago when I was so very sick with colitis-that-was-really-Crohn’s, I was also very poor.  I had some big bills that had materialized as the result of the fact that I would buy stereo equipment and televisions when I got depressed.  Oh, and there were hospital and doctor bills.  And rent and food.  Maybe you’ve had your share?

It was the last day of the month, and I had to go across the street to the bank to check my bank balance to see if my rent check would clear.  On occasion it, ummmm, didn’t.  (It was my landlady’s fault though – the money was always in the bank when I wrote the check.  She should have cashed it right away, right?  You’re with me on that one, right?)

Anyway, when I got to the bank machine, it looked like this:

Would You Like To Make Another Transaction?

Would You Like To Make Another Transaction?

The previous customer, whom I didn’t see, had left their card behind.  Their pin number was still registered with the machine.  All I had to do was press “Yes” and I could have made another transaction.  Helped myself to some bonus bucks.

Now I am basically an honest person.  I have in my lifetime told a few lies – OK, so some were whoppers.  But I don’t do that anymore.

And when I was a kid I did steal a troll doll.  I still don’t know how I didn’t get caught – I stuck it under my shirt and was the only pregnant 8-year-old in the store.  I haven’t stolen a troll since.  I haven’t been pregnant either, but that’s a different story.

I will not, however, fess up to having maimed or murdered anyone, unless you count doing so with my razor-sharp wit.  Still, I am not perfect.

Anyway, when I saw that screen in the bank, when I actually knew that my rent check was likely to bounce, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to buy food, well, I was tempted.  I stood and stared at it for the longest time.  I felt my heart race.  I felt sweat on the back of my neck.  I heard that damn devil on my left shoulder talking to me.

What's a poor girl like me to do?

What’s a poor girl like me to do?

I reached towards the buttons and pressed:

Return Card

And I walked into the bank and handed the person’s ATM card to the nearest teller.

Of course it was the right thing to do.  And, frankly, I was especially proud of myself because I really was broke.  I could have used a windfall at that moment.

It would have been great!

It would have been great!

Of course, had I succumbed to temptation, I would have gotten an altogether different card.

The way my luck was goin' anyway.

The way my luck was goin’ anyway.

That was when they were just starting to put cameras at ATMs, and the branch I was at had one. I didn’t know that, though.  So I felt honest, sanctimonious and lucky all at the same time.  And when you’re broke and sick, well, honest, sanctimonious and lucky are as good as life gets.

I don’t think stealing money is something that people (even me) should be able to get away with.  But there are many lesser crimes that, well, maybe aren’t so bad.  That maybe, we should let slide.  That perhaps, the faces of the perpetrators of these lesser crimes are ones we don’t really need to see.

One of the little crimes that drives me crazy is people who throw chewed chewing gum on the ground.  It’s unsanitary.  It’s sticky.  Worst of all, it’s gonna end up on my shoe.

I don’t want to know whose mouth that wad came from.  Because it would be hard to not slap them for being so gross.  And Mom taught me not to hit.

But now, thanks to modern DNA technology, we can now see the faces of the culprits who transformed that gum from a dry, powdery stick into a piece of ABC gum, spit it out and let me step on it.  (For those of you without siblings, that’s ‘Already Been Chewed’ gum.)

Huh?

Yes, courtesy of the New York Times, I have this minty morsel to share with you:

While staring at the wall of her therapist’s office, the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg noticed a strand of hair stuck in a hanging print. Walking home, she noticed that the subways and sidewalks were littered with genetic material on things like chewing gum and cigarette butts, some still moist with saliva. Curious about what she could learn, Ms. Dewey-Hagborg began to extract and sequence DNA from these discarded materials. Then — and here it gets a little eerie — she began to make computer models of their owners’ faces, using genetic clues to print 3-D masks that she concedes “might look more like a possible cousin than a spitting image.” Hanging these portraits along with the original samples, she says, is “a provocation designed to spur a cultural dialogue about genetic surveillance.”

Ewwww.  Click on the links, it gets ewwww-ier.  Here’s one perp:

Now this is just speculation on my part, but perhaps picking up wet ABC gum and cigarette butts is what Ms. Dewey-Hagborg should be talking to her therapist about.  Personally, I would make it a priority.

I was tempted to skip posting about this, but then I try not to give in to temptation.

These are all Google images. Except the last one.  That’s the artist’s rendition from her website, Stranger Visions.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Family, Humor, Law, Mental Health, Stupidity, Technology

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!

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

Boots on the Ground

Today I got quite a surprise.

I was going through emails listing all of my new faux followers when I found what looked like it might just possibly be that there was a real person with a real blog who was really actually interested in following my blog!

Could it be true?

There was only one way to find out.  Yup, you guessed it.  I clicked on the link to one of what Word Press said was one of her best posts.

And it was good!  It was funny!

So I had to steal from it!  Because she showed one of the funniest dog videos evah:

 

So thanks to my new blogging buddy, Jennie of Tip of My Tongue for letting me steal this when you hardly even know me.

I had to share it, because I tried to put booties on Goliath my alcoholic German shepherd, on Charlie, my Bernese Mountain Dog, and on Cooper my English Springer Spaniel.  They all got upset when their feet were/are cold.

But did they appreciate my efforts?  Did they think I was the smartest Mommy in the pack?  Did they so much as thank me?  No.  All three of them reacted the same way, and far differently from the doggies in this video.  My dogs all ate their booties.  That was funny too, but alas, there is no video.

 

 

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Humor, Pets