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!

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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

A Sat-Nav wearable?

Oh please, that would be wonderful, though I have no idea how you would keep it charged, but anyway…

Seemingly part of the ‘entertainment’ of job interviews, is finding the place where the interview is being held. No, I dont mean in the sense of not being given an address, and having to guess where it is, just that its so well camouflaged that you can get within 100 yards of the place, and not see it.

And of course, given I’m the one person in the world who doesnt believe in owning a mobile phone, I cant just ring up, and ask for directions. I do tend to check these things out before I leave home, but doing that, and trying to find some places in person…rolls eyes.

Yes, its getting such an issue I’m seriously thinking of getting a mobile phone, not to make calls, but to use the map apps! Its a bit of a Catch 22 thing, I dont want to spend money on a phone while not working, and of course, once I have a job, I’ll know where I’m going!

But yes, fine, I’d love a wearable device that gave me directions, or even better, an internal chip that did the job for me! Ah well…

Given that both of the places that were impossible to find dealt with cars, either in an insurance sense, or a recovery sense, this seemed apt. Even more so considering Sir Paul is 73 today!

What does the future hold?

Yes, I’m going to relate this to human robotisation and the like, but lets start by looking back, and not that far either.

If, 30 years ago, someone had told you that in 2010 we would have had an internet service like we have, that most people in the first world at least would have access to powerful computers, and that you would chat by messenger and forum to people you’ll never know other than through this internet world, you’d have laughed your head off.

And going back a little further, remember those telecommunication devices in Star Trek, and how futuristic they looked, well compare them to modern day mobile phones lol! Basic, arent they? I’m also old enough to remember the introduction of colour TV, and there only being 2 channels to choose from on the TV! Whereas nowadays…

Oh, and go on, say it, cyborgs living on Earth with humans wont happen for years? Think about it, its all about human body enhancement, so what does that make anyone with a cochlear ear implant, heart pacemaker unit, or even replacement knee and hip joints? Laser eye surgery as well technically, but that is a bit more tenuous I guess?

Logical assumption is that human enhancement isnt going to stand still, its going to move even further in the next 30-50 years, thats a fact. The other fact is that at my age, I probably wont see much of it! Will humans actually be transformed into the mindless robots of MC fiction, probably not generally, but in the distant future (40 years or so minimum I guess?) I suspect that certain groups of prisoners may be ‘brainwashed’ into obedient service, even if robotising the body (especially internally) will prove a lot more complex. But I suspect ‘mental robots’ will certainly exist by 2050 or so.

One thing I am sure of, people will look back at our current computing capabilities, and wonder how we coped. Hey, I do that now thinking back to a computer I owned 10 years ago!