Jun. 30th, 2017

walkitout: (Default)
I used to get a lot of inadvertent phone calls. My last name starts with an A., so in my friends' flip phone contact lists, I was often the first entry. There was a pause on that, but in the last week, I've started getting inadvertent phone calls and texts.

One of those -- yesterday afternoon while walking with M., -- was straightforwardly from my sister. I got to hear whatever was going on in the background of her life until I hung up. This morning, I noticed that I had a phone call AND VOICEMAIL from an unrecognized phone number (one not in my contact list and therefore listed as a number, not a name). At 1 a.m. in the morning (this is why I have DND turned on -- don't worry, if you really need to reach me and you know me, you can blast right through that with two phone calls in quick succession. Altho if you _do_ reach me during my DND period of the day and I decide I didn't like that, I will then specifically DND your numbers so that will stop working. Use your powers for good.).

I have also been receiving text messages from the same phone number. I pretty rapidly tracked it back to a group SMS from my sister-in-law. It wasn't my sister-in-law inadvertently contacting me tho. THAT would have showed up with her name. It was one of the other people she had texted pictures of her kids to (graduation and 8th grade completion photos. Gorgeous kids, we just saw them and they are every bit as sweet and smart as they are gorgeous. Sister-in-law and her husband make beautiful people). Specifically, the person contacting us is my husband's sister's husband's mother. My sister-in-law's mother-in-law.

Now, I'm a Certain Kind of Person. I'm the kind of person who will do _your_ genealogy for free, and tell you funny stories about your great-great-great something or other. You would _think_ I would already have my sister-in-law's mother-in-law in my contact list. And I have met her, and my husband worked with her to get a copy of one of her sculptures (metal) (Dancing Miriam -- it was a wedding gift from my husband), and I have one of her small oil paintings hanging not ten feet from me in my kitchen as I write this. And yet, I had no contact information for her.

I have contact information for her now! :-) All I need is a snail mail address, and she's gonna start getting our annual holiday card. This is what happens if you butt dial me in 2017.
walkitout: (Default)
This is one of those posts that I'll have a hard time understanding in a few months. So if it doesn't make any sense, don't worry about it. It is the very definition of ephemeral.

POTUS attacked the two hosts of Morning Joe recently. It was every bit as despicable as you would expect (and honestly, that's being unkind to the word "despicable"). One of the targets replied with an image of a Cheerios box that has the headline "Made for small hands", or some such. Obviously, this is what you would expect -- a reference to POTUS' sensitivity to being described as having small hands, presumably in part because of the whole hand size = dick size thing. And yes, I'm going there. This is a _box of Cheerios_, which are very small o's. I don't _know_ that the host meant that additional commentary, but it was pretty hilarious when it occurred to me.

BI today had an article with the headline, "Trump wants to start a trade war with the biggest countries in the world". I think this is technically incorrect. I think he would greatly prefer if he could just be mean to other countries, and them not respond in kind.

And now I will refrain again from more commentary, in favor of the kinds of posts I generally prefer to make.
walkitout: (Default)
We got a Show! I'm so excited about it. It is not flat. It has a weird sort of wedge shape to it that makes it sit upright on a flat surface very nicely. The speaker sounds quite decent. The screen is a bit small, but honestly, we have so many huge screens in our house I do not give a fuck. Placing the Echo Show was pretty straightforward: I wanted it next to my recliner. You know, so I never have to get up again. (<-- Joke.) This thing would have been so flipping perfect when I was breastfeeding. Oh well! But, you know, if you are a Millenial, and staying at home for some months with a little one physically attached to you, you might think about getting this. Also, if you are bedbound or whatever because of other issues (sprained ankle, broken foot, paralysis, etc.), I can see this really being a game-changer.

The main issue with putting it there is that we already had a regular Echo in the front hall, and that thing can hear decently far away (better than me, honestly. I'm old). So I kept having both of them respond, which really sucked. Yes, Dear Reader, you can be home alone and STILL have two people trying to tell you things at the same time and ignoring the fact that the other person is talking and you can't actually distinguish between them. For suitable values of "people". R. fixed this by having the main Echo respond to a different wake word -- it is now "Echo", and the Dot and the Show are now "Alexa".

Over the last few days, I have concluded that the single most awesome feature of the Show is that you can play music on it (wait for it) and it will scroll the lyrics with the music. Karaoke lovers might get a kick out of this, but my daughter absolutely loves it. Singing along is a blast.

It's nice that the weather forecast, your shopping list and similar features now no longer just "speak" at you, but also have a handy little display as well. T. is enjoying watching movie trailers on the Show. I'm sure we'll find more timewasting things to do with it. I hooked up my Apple calendar (my gmail calendar was already attached), and so it now shows on the scroll for the screen saver my next activity, along with random headlines and things that are trending on various social media. It's a little hypnotic just sitting there looking at it all go by. I'll probably eventually figure out how to configure that so it will show me index / stock / commodity prices and business headlines (because I cannot make head or tail out of the sports headlines that are currently scrolling by).

Should you get an Echo Show? I have no mortal clue. I suppose it depends on whether you read that and thought, "Awesome!" or "Why the hell would anyone waste money on that?" But if you _do_ get an Echo Show, and you and I call each other, make sure you call me on the Echo Show sometime because I want to try out the whole video call thing.
walkitout: (Default)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40436177

I saw the headline go by on Alexa and asked for more details "Ask Alexa about the crow". I was very skeptical because "no go zone" was part of the story. And "no go zone" is often fake news. However, in this case, three addresses won't be receiving mail until the hazard to Canadian postal workers of Canuck attacking (and drawing blood) is corrected.

I know a lot of people who love crows and corvidae in general. I am not one of them. I more or less classify them along with squirrels, chipmunks and sea gulls: a rat with a different appearance. While individual squirrels, chipmunks, sea gulls and rats may be lovable, as a class, these are animals which disproportionately benefit from human populations. Which, you know, fine. But crossing the line here.
walkitout: (Default)
DC now has gender neutral ID. Oregon will shortly have gender neutral ID.

Australia, India and Canada already have gender neutral ID. I want gender neutral ID in Massachusetts! Please!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/meet-the-first-person-in-the-country-to-officially-receive-a-gender-neutral-drivers-license/2017/06/30/bcb78afc-5d9a-11e7-9fc6-c7ef4bc58d13_story.html?utm_term=.2d7f2ef72c05
walkitout: (Default)
I tinkered a bit today. I _think_ I managed to do the OpenID merge between LJ and DW. It may take a while to complete. I also figured out a way to download the Imagine Dragons pre-order from the Imagine Dragons website. I hate doing this -- it doesn't work well between my webmail from my service provider and iTunes. I'd rather buy it on iTunes. However, I pre-ordered in order to get access to the early ticket sales for the concert (rather than buying resale like on StubHub or whatever). We got good tickets, and all I had to do was buy a t-shirt and the album, so it wasn't excessive or anything. But I sure hate trying to get the music from another website and imported into iTunes. I suppose if I did it more often I'd get better at it.

T. went off with A.'s sitter; A. hung out with me until it was time to drive down to see Despicable Me 3, which was excellent. The first movie got him the girls. The second movie married him. The third movie got him a twin brother. Pretty fun! And a unicorn! Sort of. :-) I love that she was flexible enough to love the critter that showed up to eat her bait in the Crooked Forest.

A.'s iPad was low battery in the car so I tried to charge it to no avail. The phone charged fine. After the movie, I stopped at an Apple Store. It charged fine on the chargers plugged into the wall, so I went home, where it charged fine. Apparently, the AUX connector in my car will charge a phone but not a tablet. Who knew? I'm going to try the lighter socket next, but I need to dig out an adapter to test that.

R. and I went to Rapscallion for dinner, where we had a lovely time despite the heat (their AC was having some challenges). They have good cherries now! I talked to C. briefly about how he made them; I want to try that, and I want to try making some cardamom bitters. I've ordered some cardamom seeds (I thought I had some, but I only have coriander seeds) and some saffron threads. Recipes say vodka, but I'm thinking I'll just find a nice strong whisky and use that instead. I also need to figure out how hard I want to try to get sour cherries vs. whatever happens to be at the store.

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