Texting Tantrums

I’ll be honest, in an ideal world, my collision with trying to operate technology would probably stop at my laptop, and the computer I need to use at work, and that would be it. Being controlled by technology, whole different matter, lol. Lets face it, if that sensory deprivation tank decided to brainwash me, or something like that, I’d absolutely love it! As for being turned into a robot, well… 😉

But fine, this is something far more mundane, the mobile, or for American readers, the cell phone.

No, I dont have anything smart, in any sense of the word, it would be wasted on me. I had to be dragged screaming, into the world of cell phones in the first place, only submitting when it really was a case that I really needed one because of all the damage to my back, in case of emergencies. Fine, its useful for teleconferences relating to work too, but beyond that, no thanks!

Well, until now… Today I was due to have Physiotherapy done on my wrist, and the guy doing it insists on using texts to keep in touch with me. So yes, I got one this afternoon giving me the appointment time, which was different to the one mentioned before. So I tried to reply by text, querying the time, with moderate success. Mainly in the sense that I had to ‘shout’ as I had no idea how to change it from Capital letters, which was presumably the default setting? Fine, he’s sorted it out for me, but will now be no capital letters, ever. Mind, as he’s the only person I ever plan to text, lol, I shall live!

Oh fine, I guess its like short emails, or tweets, but typing them, on a phone keyboard, I hate it! Lets just say I had to clear, and retype numerous times! So no, please dont even think of getting me started with a phone that does the internet thing, or takes photos, or anything like that, please!

So no, beyond the obvious of a TV, and a computer, no, dont try to get me excited about technology that I have to control, ever. Technology controlling me however, the sooner the better!

Right, video time. I havent done much Christmas stuff this year, so lets break that streak for now. Dont remember ever using this one before, in truth.

Too late for paper?

Dont get me wrong, I know I’m old, and old fashioned to match, but a few days ago I realized just how out of touch with modern life that I am.

You know how it is with these sports teams you follow (I refuse to say support, I cant get that enthusiastic, lol), they send you tons of emails re tickets for games and stuff, because they dont really notice that you’re several thousand (or more) miles from the stadium, and the likelihood of you ever buying a ticket of any kind, more than once in a blue moon, you get my drift?

Well, this week, given that the new NFL season isnt a million miles away, I got an email from the Buffalo Bills about tickets for the games this season. No, not one begging me to buy tickets for the games for once, though I’ve had plenty, in truth. But no, as far as I know, no plans, or intentions to go to one, especially as the fans seem to be a pretty homophobic bunch, judging by forums, and social media at least.

You know that up to now, a lot of people print off their tickets from their computers in a document form, you show them at the game, and they let you in? I know I’ve done so in the past, on a few occasions, most recently for the Mariners games in May, in Seattle. Anyway, Buffalo wrote to say that these will no longer be accepted, that ticket entry will now only be via your smart phone! Ah well, I wasnt likely to go to a game before, but certainly wont be now!

I know, people buy their travel tickets on their phones, make payments by contactless cards, and everything else, but for those of us old enough not to care for these things, to take away our chance to go, sad day. Oh fine, Bills, I’ll go and support a team that takes good old paper tickets, not that they’ll notice the difference lol!

Maybe I should start an ‘I dont want to own a Smart Phone’ group on Social Media, and hopefully I wouldnt be the only member!

Right, video time. The only one that came to mind when thinking of Paper, and Late, was this one. Not Genesis’s best moment, but hey, its fun!

The laptop, it is a changing!

OK, a piece of sentiment, as this will probably be one of the last written on this old laptop before its honorably retired from duty. This will be number 924 on here, seemingly, for this blog, though its written even more for the other blog too, so its coming up on 1900 altogether, wow! Only needs 3 more blog days (at 2 blogs a writing day), so whether I let it get to its milestone or not, no idea, but I suspect not, as its getting a bit weighty for an old lady like me.

I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been using this, but it must be getting close to a decade, and it was only second hand then, so in laptop terms, its even more ancient than me! In truth, like me, its got a few ‘physical issues’ nowadays, as the battery now has an unplugged life of less than 30 minutes, and as I’ve already mentioned, in terms of weight, compared to modern machines, its the weight of a dinosaur! Apart from that, its moody (just like me), and its relationship with Internet Explorer nowadays has almost reached divorce status lol! But yes, I suspect I’m going to find the leap from Windows 7, to Windows 10 a bit of a shock for this old dinosaur! But seriously, my new one will be about half the weight, or less of this one, an absolute blessing for me, especially when travelling!

Do you know the irony though, I paid more for this second hand (£200), than my new one (£165) will cost me, even not taking inflation into account over nearly 10 years? My first ever computer, at the turn of the century, about £900, back then!

I know what my biggest hell is going to be, in changing computers, even assuming Ella can simply transfer my favorite lists over? Passwords! Because everything is preset on here, I have no idea what password I am on for lots of sites nowadays! Yes, that could be fun…rolls eyes…

But yes, its going to be nice to be able to run things on IE again, that I cant run on here anymore, just because of the way websites have changed over the years. Mind, I will probably still use Chrome for some stuff, regardless, just out of habit! Yes, if only it was easy to change for a nice new body, lol. Mind, I’d make sure I had all the ‘right parts’ if I did that, believe me!

Oh, and while I’m mentioning the blessings of technology here… Having accepted I need a mobile phone for security/health reasons (mainly the latter, given my physical state), I have the nightmare of trying to do teleconferences on a tiny mobile phone, for lengthy periods of time, with arthritic hands, which get very sore gripping a tiny phone for 30 minutes, or more at a time. So yes, I’m getting one of those headset set ups, so I can listen, and talk, without needing to hold the phone. Mind, I do swear, if someone sees me out, seemingly talking to myself like an idiot, please shoot me! Maybe not, but you get my drift, lol!

So yes, honest, I am trying to drag myself into the modern world, though both are down to need due to age, and health, than any desire to be technologically cool!

I’m not going to say anything about the political sentiments behind tonights song, however tempting it might be, from both sides of the pond. But yes, they’re talking about events of over 50 years ago, within my lifetime, but a whole different world for so many, I guess?

Hands up, and use your phone, honey!

For those who see both blogs, this for once, is the more serious one! I know, but no disrespect, but I think the whole Clara Johnson past life thing probably works better with the audience over there. If you think otherwise, let me know, OK?

Sometime back in the 1980’s, the first mobile phones were released to the public. They weighed roughly as much as a brick, similarly sized, and the battery life was measured in terms of a few hours. Nowadays, some are so tiny, the battery lasts forever, and have computing powers way ahead of what my computer had less than 20 years ago!

I’ll admit it, guilty, a couple of years after they first came out, and prices had just descended from crazy levels, I bought one for myself. No, I never used it a lot, but it had times when it was handy. I owned a couple more until about the turn of the century, when my phone was a lot smaller, I reached a point where owning one became a pointless exercise. I think I could did get another, for a few years in the mid 2000’s, but eventually I never needed to use it, the credit ran out, then the sim expired, and I never bothered again. So I would guess the last time I had a working mobile phone in the UK would be about 2009, or 2010. I have had a US one for a few years, that I use when away over there, sometimes (never got topped up last time), but that has been it.

But now, for reasons of wisdom, I’m the owner of a UK phone again. Not because I feel the sudden need to inanely chat to, or text people, but because of health issues, and related security. Yes, the ‘ancient old lady’ needs to be able to contact people, in case of emergency, so its probably a wise move. Like my US one, its thankfully a very basic model, this one with nice big buttons, for my poor arthritic fingers, nothing very smart, just like me! 😛

I think its fair to say that the chance of me ever sending 500 texts in a month, or talking for 150 minutes in same period is almost certainly nil! The latter might get more use than the former, but even so…but at least I’ve now got one, should I need it. But no, unlike some, I have no desire to talk on it the whole length of a journey from Huddersfield, to Bradford, by bus, and yes, I’ve seen that numerous times, eek!

OK, video time. I suspect that if Clara Johnson had been a dancer in the 1970’s, and 80’s, she might have been doing something like this. Before you say these outfits are skimpy, its positively puritan compared to some I’ve seen her wearing in pictures! Oh fine, I probably dreamed of doing this when I was young!

 

Keeping to the rules, or otherwise

Fine, I’ll get to the title matter in a minute, but for now…

Sunday evening started with a change of plans, a trip to the cinema, to see It. No, not the 1927 silent movie starring Clara Bow, though I’m sure she would have looked adorable, even in a clowns outfit. No, this was the recent (shock horror) movie based on the Stephen King book instead. Something very different for me, but impressed with it, all the same. Mind, the final outcome (of this section at least) appealed to me no end. The actress playing Beverley caught this actresses eye, as someone to watch for the future, just saying…

After that, a dose of ‘The Orville’ which is a new series on Fox over there, which seems to be a witty take off of Original Star Trek, among other things. Yes, the big attraction for me, the chrome robot, no surprise. Yes, if they ever want an actress to play his female companion… 😉 Suspect its just CGI, in truth, sadly. Not sure when I see any more of it mind, over here, but will keep an eye out for that.

Yesterday was the last full day (for a while) in the US, most of which I just spent relaxing, before heading for home, via JFK, in a shuttle. Yes, wisdom prevailed, given the state of my body at present, only way to go. Before that, I did get to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon thing, though sadly not wearable lol. But if anyone wants to make one, and let me wear it…?

Beyond the traffic levels to JFK (its NYC, for pity’s sake), that all went smoothly, and so did the ride through security. Then the fun began! I was taken to the gate on my boarding pass, for my plane home, fine. Thing was, the departures board was showing a different gate, some distance away, and some ‘know all’ told me my plane was going from there. So I struggled down there, only to find a short while later that my pusher had known what she was doing, and the know all was an idiot! So yes, I struggled back to the original gate I’d been left at.

There was 1 wheelchair waiting there, mine, and yes, someone came this time, and took me to the plane. At this point, someone asked me to swap seats, so he could sit with someone, and I agreed. Unfortunately, the idiot I soon discovered I had the ‘delights’ of sitting next to on the way home, thought rules were for everyone but himself. As in, mobile phones must be switched off before leaving the gate, and only be put back on, in flight mode, when we were in the air. Him, oh no! Trying to hide from everyone (very badly) that he was still using his phone after this point, and indeed continued to use it, until after the plane accelerated for take off. Even then, I’m not sure if he switched it off, or just hid it away. He was certainly still doing something with it post take off (not meant to be switched back on while seat belt light is on), so who knows? Put it this way, he was still using it this morning, up to, and including landing, long again after having been told to turn it off. Oh, and then everyone else decided to be an idiot, as more than half the people in the plane were standing up, long before the seat belt light went off at Manchester.

Then it got, err, better! There was only 1 wheelchair used at JFK to load a passenger, mine! So, at Manchester, only 1 is sent to the plane, to disembark me. Thing is, seemingly, 5 other people then decided they needed a wheelchair to disembark, despite not requesting one. My name was called, I stood up to get in, and another woman took my chair! She clearly wasnt going to move willingly, so in the end, they tried to round up another wheelchair for me, only to discover 4 more people wanting one! No, Manchester Airport doesnt employ psychics, to know that all these additional people suddenly would want a chair.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I was on the move. Snag was, with 4 pushers, and 6 chairs, movement was erratic, and slow. Not improved when I finally got to passport control, and there is a group of 3, from the sub continent, who were clearly being shifty about their reasons for entering the country. Finally, he decided to let them in, I passed through quickly, but then we had to get all these wheelchairs down to baggage claim. Then pick out the right black expanding suitcase, from dozens of them, but we got there in the end. So only about an hour later than expected, freedom, and greetings! Then at last, go home!

Oh, and one last thing before we move on from the holiday, and back to more mundane events, one of the movies shown on the flight across. A movie called Blended, which given my knowledge of modern movies, I had to look up when I got home. Take my advice, give it a miss. It has a shocking review rating, and the actress in the main female lead role was dreadful. One look on her face throughout the movie, basically rabbit caught in headlights! Yes, I swear even now, after a few years off, I could have acted the pants off her! So come on Hollywood, let me prove it, lol!

Thats it, then. Lets close by thanking Kate, Stacie, and Eric (mainly, but there were others) for such a marvelous holiday experience. Yes, being Maid of Honor, at a wedding, very special.

So what happens now? Another suitcase, in another hall (Evita)? Probably not! To a big degree, a lot depends what the doctors say about my back in the next couple of weeks, and how many days of work, per week, I can get through, post medication. I’m currently suspecting the answer will be 4, but we will see. Maybe a magic cure, or a nice new cybernetic body lol? Oh, I wish for the latter! I suspect I will be getting the airport wheelchair experience again too, but we will see?

In theory, if I could get there next month, I could go to NYC again for a reading for a production by 2 friends, surrounding the life of Clara Bow, but money (definitely), and holiday time (possibly) mean thats unlikely to happen. Ah well, might have knocked them over on Broadway, especially if they were looking for a middle aged woman confined to a wheelchair for a role lol. Still, keep on dreaming…

Right, video time. One thing a plane is called, is a silver machine, though I doubt thats what they’re talking about here! Dont think its a robotizing pod either, but its almost more likely! Yes, thats Lemmy, of Motorhead fame!

The insularity of the USA

Before anyone thinks otherwise, this is not about politics! Its about owning credit cards, and phones not registered in the US, and trying to use them over there! I know, I havent got a mobile phone anyway, but…

The first time I discovered this anomaly was a few years back, when I was trying to slyly buy a small thank you gift for Kate, for the way she’d treated me that week. I knew one of her favorite stores, because we’d visited one in a mall, so I had the advantage there, but…I went online to arrange a gift card to be delivered to her home address, only to discover that there was seemingly no way to use a UK credit card on the site, as it rejected firmly a postcode, as a variation on a zip code. So I contacted their customer service, and yes, you’ve guessed it, unless you had a US registered credit card, you couldnt use it!

The next time this faced me, I was trying to top up my little AT&T cell phone over the phone, and the automated system wouldnt accept it without a zip code! Fortunately I managed to get through to a human, and he managed to do it, by using the zip code 00000! So the next time I needed it, to order in food in my LA apartment, I tried that trick, but no go! So I had to ring through the order, and that worked fine!

But yes, this time its not the card thats the issue, its the lack of a US cellphone. Yes, I have one, but the Sim Card expires after 90 days, and its more like 500 days since I last used it. So yes, I’m going to need to get a new one after arrival, but I knew that. Anyway, in the past, I’ve been able to book my shuttle out of LA airport, into town online, with Prime Time Shuttle. Unfortunately, like so many websites, they’ve changed it recently, and now you need a US cellphone number, to get an activation code, to make a booking. Yes, fine, unless you’re an International customer, and then…rolls eyes! I suppose they wont lose that many bookings, because most users are North American, but…thankfully Supershuttle arent as demanding, so I’ll probably book with them. The other option is to be online with my friend in the US, give them her mobile phone number, she pass me the activation code, but seriously…?

USA, there’s a big world out there you know, beyond your shores, though Trump, and his cronies might like to wish otherwise. Well, other than Russia…Sorry, I said no politics, but…yes, frustrating.

Of course, if someone wants to pair up with this old lady, and give her a US address of her own…Just dont tell Donald just yet lol!

Right, video moment. No, absolutely nothing to do with the blog! When I was a teenager, a ‘different’ US group called Sparks burst on the scene, remarkably, over 40 years later, they’re still going strong, and indeed will be issuing a new album shortly, and supposedly doing a world tour. Would I love to see them, especially in LA, their home town, you bet I would. Shame I probably wouldnt be able to use my credit card to do so, even if I got the chance! This will be their new single, as quirky as ever!

There’s An App For That!

One of the things that has changed dramatically in my lifetime, is the phone system. I know, I’m old (58), but even so, if you’d told me that there would be a time when nearly everyone would be more focused on what was happening on their phone, than the world around them, even when I was a teenager, I’d probably have laughed at you. But yes, fine, its true. A few weeks ago, when I was commuting, there were about 15 people on the bus. Out of that number, 2 of us werent intently focused on their phone. One, thankfully was the driver, the other was me! The other 13… rolls eyes!

I know, I know, I’m probably the one thats out of place, especially as during breaks at work, I’m the only one of the training group not glued to their smart phone, mainly because I havent got one! Or indeed, any kind of phone at all! Alright, I’m considering getting one, but it wont be one of those smart phones, its going to be the most basic, cheapest one I can find. Yes, a bit like my US AT&T one lol! Why am I giving in, and getting one? Mainly because in about a month or so, November 7th, to be exact, I’ll be finishing work at 8 in the evening, and its going to be dark, and the area in which I work, should be fine, but a little bit of extra protection…? Oh fine, the fact I remember what the area was like 40, or 50 years ago probably doesnt help, though its changed dramatically, and all seems fine now. But even so, plus, if the buses are ever running late, and its still First, if not their awful train service, so…its a way to let work know.

So I might hate the idea, but I suspect it has to be done.

Anyway, back to smart phones, and these app things. Yes, I really am that technically minded that I have no clue what they are like, or do! I came across this story last week, and well, I wouldnt mind this app being used on me, the main snag being that I dont wear hose/stockings/tights or the like, just about ever!

http://192.155.80.152/TheresAnAppForThat/TheresAnAppForThat.html

But fine, if it got me turned into a Fantasy Bot, I guess I could go for both! Chrome look, or a certain 30’s movie star would be my favorite choices, but yes, fine, I could go for most things, I suspect? 😉 Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I can live with a phone with no apps, no camera option, and no internet. As long as it makes calls, I’d be fine. Text messages, well, maybe? But other than that, pass, pass, pass!

Oh, a while back, I cant remember the exact details, but I saw something that enabled you to use a phone displaying on your wrist? Might have been a concept, as I saw it on Twitter, but if anyone knows any details? Yes, the cyborg in me would just adore that!

Right, video time. Well, we’ve been talking about phones, so… A bit of Blondie live