Tag Archives: techyness

For the NGDGU File

It’s not an emergency but… just when I’ve gone out of my way to explicitly praise the WordPress app several times here and in comments to fellow bloggers, it’s quit working properly. I can still poast just fine, which is the most important thing, since peeps would surely have the big sads without their fix of meeee, but my reader is all screwed up.

Here’s the haps. I open it up and get a few dozen new poasts, like from the past hour. All good. Then it leaps to poasts from 12 hours ago with nothing in between! If I close out and return, I may get a few randoms from the missing hours, out of order, but… ughhh. Yesterday I didn’t get the prompt poasts, but luckily someone had a story with them all in it, so I saved that. Today I can only find the one I used in my first line. I’m missing Scott’s and Fandango’s and Sheryl’s and others.

DO NOT LIKE. Bad app is bad.

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The Obsession with Sound [ranty rant]

I cop to being unusual, but I really do not understand the internet’s obsession with sound. Here we have the perfect medium for the written word and yet people relentlessly attempt to undermine that, day in and day out, with audio. Whyyy???

I mock all of you who can’t go five minutes without listening to music or babble. Hell, I teased my own children about this, not that it did any good. Apparently they were able to get great grades with their awful tunes blasting as they worked, idk how. BACK IN MY DAY, I studied in silence as the goddess intended.

It drives me bananas when I click on a link, believing I’m going to be reading a nice article, but instead a horrible video starts playing. ICK!!! Of course I have my phone on silent, but that’s not the point. The point is… why do so many of you prefer to be yapped at rather than read something at your leisure?

I almost did a lengthy music poll the otter day from a fellow blogger until I realized, meh, I don’t care enough about music to answer all these questions. I’ll tell you guys a secret too, since you’re my extra special blog readers: sometimes I don’t have any music 🎶 on in the car. I just drive along, accompanied only by MY OWN THOUGHTS. Pretty damn scary, eh? Well, I’m a tough old bird. Ask anyone.

Now before anyone misreads this and concludes I hate music ~ I don’t. I simply am not obsessed with it. I enjoy music some of the time. (Audio clips of news items pretty much never ever.) I have a minimal amount of trivia stored in my mind about some oldies, but not a lot and idc. This makes me a mediocre player at many of the music trivia games. Boo hoo. Last couple years I’ve been enjoying a little bit of country music (when it has amusing lyrics) and a little bit of classical (no lyrics). But again, I have no knowledge of these genres. There is nothing more irritating than mentioning I like something to a rabid fan, and then they dive into an enormous boring lecture on the thing. MUTE BUTTON PLZ!

Oh look, I segued into a secondary rant there. It happens. Actually rather a lot. 😂

The takeaway? Silence is next to godliness, even for an atheist. Especially one who gets migraines.

In Praise Of The WP App

No, they aren’t paying me. Though they could, if they wanted to. I wouldn’t mind. 🙂

I was not an app fan, until lately. Why do I need to clutter up my phone with dumb icons, I used to whine? I can just go to the websites. But then I got clued into the fact that apps gobble less battery. Ooh, that’s nice. Next I realized that Twitter is actually better on an app. Can’t explain ~ it just is. After that came the banking and insurance apps ~ not only more convenient, but more secure. Well!

But that’s enough. I’m certainly not going to write lengthy poasts and emails on apps, I sniffed. I need a real keyboard for these dreamy endeavors. And then I destroyed my laptop on July 4th with a glass of iced tea. Whoops! Since I didn’t feel like running right out and buying a new laptop, I began using my phone for everything. Including those long emails and bloggeries.

That’s where the WP app comes in. Not only is it ideal for starting and saving draft ideas, it also has a great newsfeed. I can read, like, and save other poasts! 🤩 In the past, whenever I wanted to save another blogger’s poast for linking later, I had to keep it open in a browser tab. Sometimes I screwed that up and closed it. Now, all saved poasts are in a tab in the app. So fab! Easier to select categories and tags via the app and to schedule poasts. Also, it’s easy peasy to edit or delete one of my own published rants and do blog admin stuffs.

It’s not perfect, alas. This morning I was forced to return to the browser newsreader when I realized that the app reader had missing poasts. Yep, there was a 6-hour window in the middle of the night through which a pile of poasts up and fluttered bye. 🦋 Sad! And the browser newsreader felt clunkier than ever. I could like poasts but not save any. There were annoying “you might like these” blogs mished in with the ones I follow. This made me appreciate the WP app even more. They need to keep the windows closed though.

However, fingers x’d, I am picking up a new (used) Mac tonight, so I will have a real keyboard again shortly. As the days grow shorter, I will resume my favored position of sitting at my kitchen table, WIP in front of me on the screen, while staring out the window at nothingness. But I will keep any beverages far, far away from the puter! 😜

MP15: Searching

I saw Searching today at Metro Pointe, not an E-ticket theater. What an ordeal it is to see a movie now with Movie Pass ~ I do sympathize with peeps who have given up and canceled the service. Even at the E-ticket theater, it’s a daily crapshoot to check out what shows MP will allow, and that might change before evening. Best not to make plans with people! Luckily, I mostly don’t. Thing is, three movies per month for ten bucks is still a great deal and I hate to give that up.

***Spoilers for Searching***

This movie is a classic mystery. A man’s daughter goes missing and he feels the police aren’t doing enough, so he tracks some leads himself. He (and we) are led down various paths in such a way that we start going omg aha! Only to be proven wrong once again. Believe nothing.

And that’s today in a nutshell: we don’t know who to trust, what to believe. It’s so easy to create fake identities. To steal ID’s. It’s so easy to spy on people. Only the most technologically adept know how to take advanced precautions.

I feel unsettled from this movie. It reminds me of something I’ve believed for quite a while: that I disagree with the concept of online anonymity. Everyone should be required to be a “real person,” locatable by name and city, and an adult. I know many disagree, which is fine. Some will say this would put a damper on free speech, but so does the presence of vicious anonymous trolls. So, take your pick. I’d rather have an internet without the anonymous harassers and stalkers, scammers and ID stealers, if I got to choose.

But I don’t get to choose and things get worse all the time. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had little kids today ~ I would not want them anywhere near the internet. Of course, that is an unrealistic position.

I don’t know what to tell you about Searching. Did I like this movie? Honestly… not that much. It started out very slow, almost annoyingly so, and the part with the mom was unbearably predictable. I can appreciate why they set up all the tech the way they did, but repeated texting on the big screen just isn’t compelling. I loved the dad’s character, but he seemed too naive and unsophisticated for a Silicon Valley guy. I’ll just leave it at that, to not give too much away. 🙂

Writing Misc.

I’ve read a few books lately that have broken some “rules.” They’ve mixed first-person and third between chapters. They’ve included pieces of a “destroyed” diary in italics, so the reader would know what was going on when the first-person protag didn’t. They’ve told stories in the present tense, first-person, and then stuck in an epilogue from another character. On and on. Yet, I enjoyed these novels. Just shows to go ya!

*

I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not sure how to describe my “ailment.” I’ve written a boatload of bloggery lately, a bit of it fictional, some poetry for Twitter, etc. I still feel that all my previously outlined story and novel ideas have potential… but I can’t work on them, given my lifestyle.

One, I’m no longer capable of getting up at 5am and writing for a few hours before work. Just can’t do it. Maybe once a week, but not consistently like I did 10 years ago.

Two, I’m not capable of writing fiction for 3-4 hours at night after work. Or even two. I’m tired. I can fling off a blog poast and some texts, but my eyeballs rebel at doing solid screen work.

Three, I’m too OCD to let my cleaning and chores mount up on weekends to write. I need to get stuff done. And I enjoy seeing movies, hanging with friends, and, most of all, spending time with family when I can. I’m not going to give up that stuff to pound out chapters of a book only a dozen people at best will ever read. Not motivated.

But that’s not the same as writer’s block. If I had the time ~ if I were retired, forex ~ I’d be cranking out those stories like I did years ago when I had more energy. They are still in my head. Dunno how long they’ll stay there. That’s a different issue.

*

Conversation with my daughter…

Me: I don’t feel safe putting my documents in the cloud.

Sharon: Why not?

Me: Because I’ve already shared a photo folder with people, so they might be able to see all of them.

Sharon: You’ve sent emails to people. Can they read all your other ones?

Me: Good point.

Sharon: Now I know how Mark Zuckerberg felt in front of Congress.

So Many Photos!

I’m a bit compulsively organized, as I may have mentioned previously. So, it was already bugging me that I had a giant box full of disorderly photos. They were of my children and my pets, my exes and my parents, ancient relatives, random friends, cakes and flowers, and whatever else, all spanning like a hundred freaking years. There were “leftovers” that hadn’t made it into my cute memory albums, duplicates I couldn’t bear to dump, and sepia shots of strange people who possibly are related to me.

I tried not to think about this too much, even though the box was lurking right there in my hall closet like a sleeping demon.

But then my former sister-in-law gave one of my daughters another big box of photos consisting of all the photos I had given my in-laws over the years while they were alive. My daughters took the photos they wanted and gave me the rest, which was a lot. A lot.

Now what was I supposed to do? Add this box to the other, so they could weaponize against me? Hah. I know how that works: soon my closet would turn into the devil’s disaster zone. No thanks. Only one option ~ I bought big envelopes and am sorting all the photos into categories and filing them away.

It’s taking me longer than I expected. Some of the photos provoke memories that I stop and linger over for a minute or three. And some I struggle to categorize. My girls look very similar as babies; I’m happy when they’re both in the same shot so I can toss that one in the “sisters” envelope.

Now everything is on our phones and in “the cloud.” Don’t think I’m not making folders there. Are you kidding? My cloud is totes foldered up.

I am the Goddess of Folders!

Ch-ch-changes

I just downloaded the WordPress app and so far it seems fabulous! They’ve really improved it since I tried it a zillion years ago. It takes a lot of motivation for me to deviate from my habits, so this is a big deal, blogging from an app. Truth be told, I’m a bit resistant to apps in general, misliking the idea of cluttering up my phone with icons. Why can’t I just use my browser? But this WP app is very nice. Very nice indeed. Of course, now I’ll need to d/l more apps to even out the row, but never mind that.

My motivation is partly due to the fact that blogging from a phone browser is rather clunky, and while I have a semi-solution in my old Kindle Fire, it’s still imperfect. (Hard to access media from there.) Also, I like using one device. I already have a sweet Kindle for reading and the Fire is pure backup, which I like to keep at home.

Isn’t this fascinating? I thought my fans would be enthralled with an OCD data dump.

I’m feeling good about all the things I’ve abandoned along the path toward enlightenment, or death, whichever comes first ~ husbands, real estate, dating sites, Facebook, fiction writing, and thigh highs. Thank gawd I never have to wear stupid thigh highs again! What a dumb invention.

Oh, and sushi. Blech!

My Independence Day

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I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional pome, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can haz a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.

Freedom!

My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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The Best Medicine

Sometimes you just gotta laugh, amirite? More times than not really. Otterwise you just spend your life perpetually enraged and that’s no good for the old BP. It can be a struggle though, especially when you’re dealing with one of the giant mega corp chatbot clusters:

Me: I have an account but can’t seem to log in.
Them: I see you’re using Chrome. Have you tried using another browser?
Me: I don’t want to try another browser.
Them: OK. What’s your account number?
Me: [pastes it in from last auto-billing email notification]
Me: I have an auto-reject message saying it looks like a credit card number and won’t send.
Them: Oh, sorry. You’ll have to break it in half.
Me: {whaaa?}
Me: [does that]
Them: Thanks!
Me: K
Them: The problem is you don’t have an online account with us.
Me: Then how have I been auto-paying my bill all these years?
Them: …
Me: All I wanted to do was log in so I can see my options since my bill has increased and it seems ridiculous to pay $75 per month for just internet.
Them: Understandable! Would you like to switch to a package deal?
Me: Well, I’d like to see what’s available. Do you know why my price went up?
Them: Can you open your January bill?
Me: Apparently not. I can’t log in, which is why I began the chat.
Them: You were upgraded to extreme internet!
Me: I don’t need extreme internet. Can I return to normal internet?
Them: No. We only have extreme now, unless you buy a package.
Me: …
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Not really. I still can’t log in.
Them: Let me get an account specialist.
Me: Great.
A Different Them: Hello! I hear you need to create a new account! I can help you!
Me: {whaaa?}
Them: Are you still there?
Me: Yes. I think I have an account, since I’ve been auto-paying my bill online for years.
Them: Can you log in?
Me: No. My credentials don’t work.
Them: I suggest making a new account. I can walk you through the steps!
Me: {%*#&@*$&}
Them: Here is a link to get started!
Me: [clicks link, makes account]
Them: Are you having success?
Me: It says I can’t use my email as my username, since that account already exists, as I told you.
Them: …
Me: Never mind. I’ll use another name.
Them: How’s it going?
Me: I’m done.
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Yes.
Them: Please take this survey.
Me: [rates them high because who cares and they were polite]
Me: [checks out the package deal options in my ZIP code only to discover there aren’t any and I will have to continue paying $75/month for extreme internet, wotever that even is, probably some stupid thing for people who watch 17 TV’s at once and play Dragonpr0n Ap0calypse]
Me: [takes valium and laughs]

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The End.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Laughter