When I’m calling Alexa

Its funny, how at a time when I might have been trying to convince American friends that I really dont need to go over there to get all my forthcoming surgery over there, how the NHS likes to keep shooting itself in the foot. Early this week I got to read an article that nowadays, not only do you have to wait the standard version of ‘forever’ for surgery, but now you’re likely to wait about 40-50% longer than forever for said surgery. This is because they have rearranged the salary payments to specialists that it no longer gives them any good reason to work overtime to try and reduce the horrendous backlog, and its therefore growing rapidly.

Of course, as always, if I had the funds to go privately, all 3 issues could probably be looked into, and dealt with, faster than you could blink! Given my American friends tell me that the specialists over there are better than ours, that is hardly likely to endear them to the idea of me having surgery over here! In truth, it probably killed my resistance, especially given it was only recently that there was a report saying that complaints about service (when you can get it) were going up again, how could I do so?

Then came today. Our health service seem to think we dont need to go to medical staff for advice any more, we can all get it from Amazon, via Alexa.  Now, giving that only 10% of the population currently have said service (unless they’re going to provide it to all for free?), we have a problem. On top of that, you have the issue that some people are only going to exaggerate their symptoms, others will make them sound less than they are, and we’re only asking for chaos to ensue. And thats not even starting to talk about ‘her’ issue with understanding some accents, and the numerous privacy issues this will cause, well…

It might well, as stated, save a few people from going to A&E for minor issues, but when she gets it wrong, and someone who needed to go to doctor, or hospital, and didnt, well, the legal people will be happy!

And just think, all the money they are paying Amazon for this service could be spent on something useful, like the ever growing surgery lists! But no, lets waste it this way instead. Ah well…

OK, the video is like me, a real vintage item, its not actually the song title, though many think it is.

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Diversity inclusive adverts

I’m not normally a big one for adverts, but this one, from the behemoth that is Amazon has just amused me enough to feature it tonight. Fine, it helps I’m lacking for material for this blog, but anyway…

As someone who used to be a passable, but lazy cook, this catches my eye. Yes, I wouldnt have a clue where to start in cooking duck, but besides that… I certainly couldnt now, anyway, Alexa would have to cook it entirely now, as I am now down to basics like putting ready meals, or pizzas into an oven, and in truth was before the seizures, but most definitely am now. Yes, seriously, a Stepford wife cooking download is now a must, lol. Well, full Stepford Wife makeover ideally, but if anyone wants me to cook like an angel, that would be a must.

Given I dont know if this advert is seen outside the UK, or not, lets go it briefly. We see her getting dinner ready for her love, that night, clearly for a date. Duck gets overdone, so the trendy young millennial calls her dad for cooking advice. At this point let me say I dont know if he’s some random dad, a famous cook, or whatever? Fine, I have no idea if she’s anything more than ‘random actress’ either, in truth.

Where the fun starts for me of course, is once the new meal is prepared, and the door bell rings. He asks his name, she hastily, says thanks, and gets Alexa to end the conversation. Look at the screen at the end, it says ‘Dinner with Sam’. Now is she being evasive because she doesnt want dad to know who it is regardless, or is it because Sam isnt a he, and how dad might react to that? Sam, Samantha, after all?

Of course, unless Amazon ever make a follow up ad, which I suspect they never will, we will never know.  Fine, I know, its only a LGBT person who might think too deeply about this, though the video comments clearly show I’m not the first, all the same.

So what do you reckon about Sam? Male? Female? Who cares? Regardless, for those who’ve seen the ad, you’ve got a quick pass tonight. For those who havent, what do you think?

Elf pictures, and actually spending some money!

No, dont panic, I’m not expecting you to pay me any money or anything to read this, or even look at the pictures. However, I was sort of collecting at work yesterday for breast cancer charity for doing this, and did consider setting something up for people to donate from here, but seriously, by the time Go Fund Me (or whoever) took their share out of what is likely to be a tiny sum, I cant see any point! However, if the amusement of this leaves you so inclined to do so, then feel free to do so directly to the relevant charity in your Country, they’ll probably get more money that way. If you dont want to do it for your own charity, for whatever reason, then send it to a UK one. If you want to say Harlean sent you lol…?

So yes, yesterday it happened, and I must admit, it was great fun dressing up again, this time as an elf. Oh, photo? Fine…Behave, girl!

Before you ask, 2 donations already, plus 1 more tomorrow, so…if you wish to add? 😉

There were 2 other wonderful people who also got dressed up for the day, so I didnt just have the idea to my(s)elf about this. I’m sure they wont mind me posting this, but if they do, and in years to come, this blog doesnt make sense, you know why!

Will I do it again, given the chance? You bet I will! Seeing theaters, and other media people arent rushing for my services nowadays, it will probably be the only way I do!

As for today, back as a human all day…

In recent months I got a couple of vouchers for various rewards, one for being a clever golf tipster, and one for the LGBT presentation I did for work. But being a practical Yorkshire lass, I hadnt got around to spending them, until today…

Given the old creaking bones nowadays find going out to work hard enough, the thought of going into town looking for things, especially at this time of year holds no appeal for me. So, I was limited to sites I could shop from online, that I could use through my ‘One4All’ reward card. So I looked at a few sites, suitably unimpressed, and then saw TK Maxx was available. So, checking it out, I found this https://www.tkmaxx.com/uk/en/womens-mod-box/coral-floral-lace-bardot-dress/p/15098674 and bought it! Put it this way, I certainly wouldnt buy it at the so called normal price, but at that price, of course I did!

I then went for the work voucher, which I put on Amazon to spend, and had a look around. After much looking, and trying to decide what to do, I ended up taking a different course to plan. I was hoping to find a ‘long’ flapper style dress for about the £25, but no joy. Then again, lets face it, young flappers were looking to show their legs, not hide them! But fine, I’m not young, so…I did find a nice, maxi length one, but it was about £40, so no… In truth, I do own 2 flapper style dresses, both above the knee, and never likely to be worn by me outside of home!

So what did I do, you ask? Well, of course I now know of a second movie that Clara Johnson appeared in, so I’ve added that to my collection. ‘Strike Me Pink’, supposedly starring Eddie Cantor, but for me, featuring a certain Miss Johnson will shortly be winging its way to me. I also went on a silver color clothing hunt, and found a silk skirt, with elasticated waistband, so got that instead. Both wont arrive until New Year, movie from US, skirt from China, but at least I’ve now finally spent the vouchers!

Oh, tonight’s video, nothing to do with the charity campaign, and everything to do with some ghastly Amazon adverts! Guess what, the video is that song, only sung decently by original Supertramp member, Roger Hodgson

 

I’m in some money!

I always put it down to my Yorkshire background, that I’ve always been careful with money. I know, most of my youth was spent ‘down south’, but I seemed to take that piece of Yorkshire with me. Dont get me wrong, if I’ve needed to spend money, I’ve spent it, but when it comes to just spending it, for the sake of it, I’m awful at that!

Which is why I’ve got 2 ‘rewards’ this year, totalling £40 (I know, definitely not Trump money lol), and so far havent spent a penny of it. I know, treat myself, just go with it, but I’m not good at that. In truth, I had planned to buy a new pair of shoes (needed) with the £15 voucher, but I would need to go to the shoe shop for that (can only buy from store in shop, not online, even though they have a website), and in current weather, well, I dont fancy doing that. I had thought of going into town on Thursday, and doing that, but then I discovered the pair I was using had holes in the soles, so unusable, and another pair I had, have got solid backs, and tore my heels to pieces when I wore them to the Surgery on Thursday. So in the end, I ordered them online, paid on my own card, so I’ve still got that voucher. Yes, I need to find out what I can order online with it lol! Some company called One4All, which will probably mean nothing to my US readers, and probably most of my UK readers too!

The other £25 voucher is from work, and I chose Amazon as the lucky site to deposit it at. In truth, I’d love a flapper style dress, but most of those are pretty short (the 2 I already have are above the knee), and at my age, I’m not sure I should be flashing my legs that much! So no, I’ve put myself off buying one, as a waste, even though its not really my money. No, cant find a nice maxi length one, because of course, young flappers never wore maxi length dresses! I did see a lovely alien suit, but seriously, when am I really going to wear it, even if it would be fun, so…

I know, I really must just buy something, seriously! Ah well…

OK, the video. I’m in vintage mood tonight, making this a double for 30’s movie clips. The amusing thing here, is how far down the cast list that Ginger Rogers is! Yes, made just before she made it famous with Astaire! Of course, lots of chorus line dancers here, at least a couple of whom could be Clara Johnson, they look similar, but they are on screen so briefly that either of them could be her, or neither of them! But yes, in a very small sense, the song is true for me!

Flying home for Thanksgiving

Its amazing to think back now to the fact that it actually took the first pilgrims to the US in 1620, about 2 months to get there from England. By the time they sailed, it was autumn, heading into winter, so sailing against the winds was very hard work.

A hundred years or so ago, it would still have taken about a week, or slightly more, to reach the US from England by ship. Ships had far better speed to travel by then, due to the wonders of modern (for their time) engines. Planes were primitive beasts back then, far from capable of Atlantic crossings at that point. Of course, now, its possible to reach the East Coast, around Cape Cod at least, in about 6 hours! Jet planes are a wonderful thing, and the fares now, allowing for inflation, are probably cheaper than some of those ships of the past.

Of course, 50 years from now, flying home for Thanksgiving might be involving interplanetary flights, as well as Transatlantic ones. Yes, ancestors of those first pilgrims to Mars, and maybe by then, beyond, might be heading home to families too. Moon as well, I suspect, but I wont be around to find out, for sure. Though given gravity differentials, will that be possible?

Of course I’m assuming that tradition will stand then, but I cant imagine it changing, somehow. After nearly 400 years…!

This year, I havent flown anywhere for Thanksgiving. Have now done it once, and will possibly do it again, post retirement, but I suspect not before then. Well, unless…?

A friend, Stacie, sent me this, as a suggestion of a suitable Christmas present for me. Yes, I have to agree!

No, as far as I know, Amazon dont actually sell them, shame. Would be beyond my budget if they did, anyway! Of course, to fly such a craft, you need a suitable outfit to wear. For me, this seems pretty good! 😀

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-Alien-Fancy-Costume-Standard/dp/B014WZ5UCQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511340295&sr=8-3&keywords=adult%20alien%20costume

Of course, if you know of a better one that I can wear, going cheap…? 😉 Now, that would be a fun role to play, though I do wonder if you get out of that outfit again after putting it on! Or is it an alien life forever after that? Not that I would mind, but…?

Video time. This works for the present, and the future at least. Those early pilgrims probably wish they could have done a 6 hour flight (or whatever), rather than 2 months at sea!

A Shocking New Story

Oh please, dont just pass on by, its not like I inflict lots of ads for my stuff on you. Besides which, doing it this way, you still get 2 more blogs this weekend, which wont be adverts for my new book!

Yes, I’ve been writing again, and this time, its something a little bit different. No light and fluffy here, though fine, the ending is pretty sweet, all the same. But just gets a bit grittier, and thought provoking along the way.

Oh, right, the link. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667260 is where you need to go. Yes, it is also up at Amazon, and will be up at Barnes And Noble, and a few other places soon, but at the moment, its just those two, and Kobo, so…Yes, fine, I’ll admit it, Smashwords pay far better commission than Amazon, which is why I’m featuring them. But if you love Amazon, just go there, search on Merry Brooks, and you’ll find it there too.

Yes, as mentioned, this isnt your sort of cute story that ‘Miss Brooks’ has written before, because it tackles a subject that interests, and intrigues me, but has the same effect on people as Marmite, seemingly you love it, or hate it, only in this case, it seems more fall into the latter. So, my positive look at ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) is going to annoy some folk, for sure! Hopefully some will agree with me though. As to the modern style of treatment, its very different to what you see in the movies! Best example I can come up with, is this one. I know, its in Dutch, but I cant do everything. Let me make a film in English, with me as the patient, and I’ll do it, willingly!

I know what you might be saying, she’s putting forward a positive case for it, but if she had to have it herself… Sorry, I would, happily, though fine, ideally, at first at least, I might prefer a lower voltage passing through my mind than a standard treatment, but if that was the only choice, then yes, I would, definitely! In fact, if anyone is offering…?

Anyway, the story, though you can read it in the synopsis on the link, a quick resume. Susan is a great believer in method acting, and likes to know how her roles would react to events. So when she is offered the chance to play a wealthy lady, whose children want her out of the way, in a psychiatric unit, while they blow her money, she needs to find out what that would be like, for real. And fine, because the children dont want her out too soon, they plan on getting her ‘treated’ in a way that will keep her there for a while. So, a stay is booked, though Susan plans to avoid the treatment, but…

Yes, its a role, yes, its fiction, and no actresses were harmed in the making of this story lol! Fine, I wouldnt mind being ‘harmed’ that way, but anyway…

So yes, if you want to make me happy, go give the book a try. Better, buy it, its only $2.99, and you have no idea how good it is to see your books sell a few copies. If not for you, go check out my other books, and maybe buy one of those instead?

OK, publicity moment over, which means its time for the video! Or tonight, two videos! Yes, same group, same song, so take your pick. Firstly, the original video

Then, a recent live performance, which proves that they can still do it live, about 40 years later!

Yes, you like the name of the group, which is why I used it? An amazing pair of brothers, it has to be said.

Which one is you, Miss Johnson?

Wouldnt it be handy if in the movies, all the cast, and I mean all the cast got pictures of them shown in the credits. Why? Because if you’re trying to work out who a small part actress is, it would make my job a lot easier, when you dont know what she actually looked like! Yes, we are talking my past life self here, Clara Johnson!

When we sought her out, after that amazing hypnosis session, on IMDB, we found her credited for 1 movie, because back in the glorious days of the 20’s, and 30’s, bit part actresses (and chorus girl dancers) didnt get credited for their work, seemingly. A shame, as it means finding much of her work, nigh impossible, if not harder, because of that fact. So until I get the chance to go under again, and have someone ask her lots of questions, we know of only that single movie, that we can find her in. Its a skating/dancing musical, called ‘Thin Ice’, made in 1937, starring Sonia Henie, and Tyrone Power, and clearly not starring Clara Johnson! But she’s in it, in a minor role, which I suspect is her dancing, that I do know! To put it mildly, finding a copy of this movie is not easy!

So fine, as I mentioned a couple of blogs back, I won a £10 voucher at Amazon, for a survey I filled in for the Choice Hotels group. Given that at present I have no real need for more clothes, I did consider chocolates, but in truth, with the amount of exercise I’m getting at present, it might not be the best option. Yes, I jokingly put the movie name in the search option there, for movies, and lo and behold…Thin Ice (1937) appeared! The featured item cost about £18, which even with a £10 voucher, is still a bit much for a piece of fun, especially when you add on posting. But then I spotted it, an alternate new option costing just £11.23, plus £1.26 postage and packing.

Yes, thats right, for the grand sum of £2.49, I can watch a movie that I know Clara Johnson is in. Fine, working out which one is her might be a challenge, but…Yes, though credited for this movie, no name credit is given for who she played in this, which means she’s in a small part (dancer, pretty sure), that if I blink for too long, I could miss, but even so…If nothing else, wondering if said dancer is her, or not, going to be fun!

Sadly, its coming from the US, so its going to be a couple of weeks or so before it gets here. Then I need to find time to watch it, then I need to work out which one is her…but I cant wait for the chance!

The video, well its as close a name catch as I could think of. Besides which, given Billy Paul is amongst the many great music starts who have left us this year, it makes for a nice tribute.