Lately, I have been the unfortunate target of Well-Meaning People.
One of my students begged to help me after school every day for two weeks. Once he got all of his late work turned in, I finally accepted his offer. I needed to update a bunch of iPads, and his help was greatly appreciated.
You can see where this is going, right?
I’ll spare you the excruciating story. And I will tell you that iPads with cracked screens work surprisingly well – until someone complains about getting glass on her fingertips every time she swipes. Picky, picky.
Interestingly enough, the next incident also involved iTechnology. In this second story, my daughter is the well-meaning person. I’m not sure she was directing her well-meaning toward me or herself, but I guess that is not the point. Yesterday afternoon, she suddenly felt the extreme urge to clean something out. Instead of applying this new desire for minimalism to her closet or dresser drawers, she decided that she was going to clean out the Contacts on her iPod Touch.
“I got rid of all the people I don’t know,” she told me proudly.
It took a minute for me to recall that our devices are actually registered to the same account. And that the reason she had people she didn’t know under her Contacts was because I had added them to my Contacts at some point. And that the same Cloud that divvies out all of these names and numbers and addresses to all of my various pieces of technology just got a whole lot lighter when my daughter dumped all of the people who mean absolutely nothing to her, completely oblivious to the fact that they were there in the first place because they meant something to me.
And that. was. not. a. good. thing.
So, now, I can FaceTime whenever I like with the girl who sits next to her on the bus.
But I can’t call the doctor whose name I could never remember, which resulted in him being filed under “Stomach Guy.”
I hope the bus girl doesn’t charge for phone consultations about bloating and colonoscopies.
I spend more time trying not to waste time than I would have spent wasting time without the attempt to avoid it. The wasting of the time, I mean.
I hate going places to get things fixed.
Because I hate waiting in line, and I hate having someone tell me to my face that there is nothing they can do, and that I should just GIVE IT UP, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, YOU STUPID IDIOT. THAT THING IS DEAD AND JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF COULDN’T RESURRECT IT!
They haven’t actually said that, but I know they are thinking it.
So, lately, my Apple devices have been giving me various problems. And I decided that I should go online to figure out how to solve them. I’m a pretty tech-savvy person, so I figured I might be able to do it myself.
There is loads of advice on the internet on how to fix your Apple devices. I would venture to say that there is more advice on the internet about this than about how to fix anything else – including your zipper or your credit.
It took me awhile to figure out that most of this advice, given in very reliable-looking technogeek jargon, is full of crap.
I have done everything recommended on every forum and it has not made a bit of difference. I did get a bit suspicious when one guy said that you have to hold down the Home button and the Power button while you stand on your head and drink a cup of coffee. But he said it worked for him, so I went with it.
It turns out that spilled coffee does not improve the inner workings of Apple devices. Neither does throwing them across the room while you try to keep burning coffee from going up (or down) your nose.
So I am trying to figure out if the people on those forums accidentally fixed their devices and just figured that whatever event preceded these miraculous repairs must have been responsible.
Or, do they have so much time on their hands that they can visit every forum on the internet and giggle wildly as they type in stupid, but remotely possible, advice to gullible people like me?
Well, I have learned my lesson. Yessir. No more ridiculous attempts to fix things on my own. I made my appointment and the Geniuses of Apple can sort through this mess.
Let’s keep that little coffee incident between you and me, okay? People can be kind of fussy about warranties.
This is going to be a Yelling Post. It is that time of the month, and I am sorry if that is T.M.I. but I feel that I should give you fair warning.
First of all, I would like to yell at the veteran bloggers out there who either A.) did not warn me that there is some kind of summer slump that completely decimates your number of readers, or 2.) did not tell me that the quality of my writing has plummeted so deeply that I am shedding fans faster than Wonderbutt can pee all over my new furniture.
Secondly, I am yelling at Apple. Or Adobe. Or all technology companies. To Flash or not to Flash. I don’t care. But come up with a friggin’ consensus. Because of your shenanigans, I have to bring my 10 million pound laptop to my conference in Cambridge next week.
Which leads to me airline companies. It’s not all of you. Just the one that I happen to be flying tomorrow that charges for people to check one bag. I would say your name, but you will have my life and, more importantly, my luggage in your hands tomorrow. You took away my meals. You took away my free wings and my tour of the cockpit. And now you want me to pay to check one suitcase!!!!!!! Which I would not have to bring if I did not have to bring my laptop. Because I was planning to bring my super lite iPad.
My laptop not only weighs 10 million pounds, but it is antiquated. Plus, I dropped it a couple of years ago, and the back button has never been the same. But, now I have to bring the laptop because my conference at Harvard requires access to “Flash-enabled” websites. Which means my brilliant idea of taking one personal item and a carry-on is out the window. Because I HATE dragging a Bunch of Stuff with me when I have to change planes – and a 10 million pound laptop plus a full carry-on falls within my definition of a Bunch of Stuff.
So, now I must check a bag. And pay $25 for that checked bag. Going and coming. And they will probably lose it. And then I will be stuck at Harvard with an antique laptop and no clean underwear. And everyone at Harvard will laugh at me. Because of the horribly old laptop. They won’t know about the underwear. I hope.
If you missed Part 1 of this edge-of-your-seat drama, you can click here. Or, you can be satisfied with this summary: I ordered a 250 GB Xbox Kinect last November from Microsoft. They told me it was on its way, and then they told me I was never going to get it because they found out that I have a house full of Apple products. At least that is the reason that I suspect.
Resolved to get the Xbox Kinect with 250 GB of memory (because the 4 GB version just seemed too easy to acquire and it not worth buying if it’s not a pain in the rear to find), no matter what, I resorted to eBay. Normally, I love eBay. But I had avoided it at first b/c I think ordering expensive electronics that way is full of potential pitfalls. Also, it was about $150.00 more.
After much research, I found someone with 99.2134567% customer satisfaction who had been a seller since I was a baby, and hadn’t had any complaints in the last 6 hours at least.
I won’t tell you how much I paid.
Back on track again, I sighed, and stretched back in my office chair as all of the other poor late-shopping fools raced around looking for the perfect Christmas gift.
A couple of days later, I got my e-mail that the Xbox Kinect 250 GB game was on its way from my super reliable eBay seller.
The next day, I got an e-mail from Microsoft that my Xbox Kinect 250 GB game that I had ordered from them (the one they had said was CANCELLED and would never be sent to me even if I paid them a million bucks and danced naked in Times Square) was on its way.
Let’s summarize – 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, then 0 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, 1 Xbox Kinect from eBay, AND 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft.
For those of you without my mathematical genius, that would be 2 Xbox Kinects. 500 GB of memory. And a credit card bill for $100,000 give or take.
In the meantime, I had been worried the whole time that Cap’n Firepants might have ordered one to surprise the family – making a total of 3 Xbox Kinect games – one for each person in our household. This would kind of defeat my whole purpose of bringing the family together to play.
In full panic mode, exacerbated by the fact that I could not mention the reason for my increasing anxiety to Cap’n Firepants, I wielded my wonderful assertiveness on the phone to Microsoft, with the goal of getting a free Xbox Kinect.
I managed to get two free Kinect games to play on our potential 3 boxes.
Both Kinect systems arrived within a day of each other. I wrapped the one from eBay and put it under the Christmas tree. I glared at the other one, and finally stuck it in my perpetually full dry-cleaning basket with the intention of one day finding it a home at an exorbitant price through Craig’s List.
Christmas Day arrived, and the Cap’n and Dimples were suitably impressed by the gift. In fact, Dimples said, “This is so cool! I’ve never seen anything like this before,” once it was set up.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “You and Dad saw it on a commercial, and said how great it was. You both couldn’t stop talking about it!”
“We did?” they said in unison.
It turns out that I had wasted my time for two months. I should have been looking for a family with more memory instead of a game system with more memory.
My iPad has started burping music.
I downloaded iOS 5, being eager to attempt “mirroring” my iPad on our T.V.
Ever since the new download, the iPad has worked flawlessly, except for an infrequent sound that I can seriously only describe it as a musical burp.
The first time it happened, I thought I had accidentally hit the iPod icon on my iPad. But it has happened several times now, and since there is no reason that I should suddenly be quite that inept, I’m thinking my iPad is either feeling gassy or attempting to communicate with me.
What? Are you suggesting that is an incredible leap of logic? What reasonable explanation do you have for this phenomena?
With the introduction of the Siri app on the iPhone 4s, I honestly don’t think it’s reaching too far to suspect that my iPad is going rogue and trying to speak to me on its own. I’m not sure what it would be trying to tell me, but it could be something like, “Tell Wonderbutt to stop trying to lick my screen.”
If you think that’s too far-fetched (the iPad conversing with me part; you should all know, by now, that Wonderbutt is perfectly capable and more than a little prone to licking whatever he feels like), listen to what happened the other day:
Our Apple T.V. Box was rebooting (apparently it decided to upgrade itself when I turned it on). Wonderbutt was happily bullying Mrs. P.I.B. by stealing the orange Kong sphere and then literally rubbing it in her face. When the Apple logo appeared on the screen, Wonderbutt suddenly froze. He dropped the ball, and raced to the T.V., flattened his already smushed-in face against the screen, and tried to bite the apple.
I kid you not. Right where there is a bite already taken out of the apple, Wonderbutt gnashed his teeth. Dimples and I fell on the floor laughing.
Cap’n Firepants raced to save his T.V.
Now, I’m not telling this story to give you more proof of Wonderbutt’s adorable insanity. I’m thinking Wonderbutt suspects something. He knows Apple is trying to take over the world and that he, Wonderbutt, is the only one who can save us from this evil menace. Especially since his idiot family keeps buying iStuff.
So, I’m becoming a bit more wary of my burping iPad, which Wonderbutt would also gleefully chomp if I left it in his vicinity. I don’t believe in coincidence. The iPad, the Apple T.V., even Big Mean Kitty; it’s all beginning to make sense. From now on, the only operating system that gets upgraded is my own.
Well, as I established in my first Dead Rubber (slang for “boring”) post, I intend to monthly allow myself one post that has very little point and reflects even less thought than usual. It seems so soon since my first Dead Rubber post, but it has been a month, and I am ready to cut myself some slack.
BOF means Boring Old Fart. Which leads me to the topic of today’s post – my birthday. Which is next week. Yay me.
Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to it this year. I don’t remember feeling this excited about a birthday since I was dating Cap’n Firepants and obsessing over getting an engagement ring every time there was a gift-giving occasion. You know you’ve got it bad when you wake up on Groundhog Day wondering if your sweetheart will find a way to eke some romance out of Puxatawney Phil seeing his shadow.
Last year, I really didn’t care about my birthday. It was on a week day. I had a million things to do at school and places to chauffeur Dimples after work, so there was nothing special about the day as far as I was concerned. I did not loathe the day or anything. I was pretty much lackadaisical (love that word – hope it’s one of the ones in the Adult Spelling Bee in December) about the whole event. Grateful to have lived another year, of course. But didn’t see any reason to make a big deal out of it.
For some reason, my attitude has changed this year. Maybe it’s because I have this “it’s all about me” blog and I am starting to enjoy a little extra attention (although Wonderbutt is the actual star). Perhaps it’s because I now have Wonderbutt, who happens to share my same birth month, who makes me laugh while I cry every day.
But, I think that it more than likely has to do that they are announcing a new iPhone next week, and I am wa-a-a-a-ay overdue for an upgrade.
Yeah, so in my post, The Curable Romantic, I kind of mentioned that gadgets are the best way to my heart these days. And, fortunately, Cap’n Firepants is well aware of this. He has already verified with me that I am interested in the iPhone Nimbus 2000 or whatever they are going to call it. And I think he has been quite impressed that I haven’t dropped my current iPhone in the river, as I did with my last, non-smart, mentally deficient phone.
So, I think there is a good chance that iPhone >4 will be my birthday “surprise”, although I won’t be able to hold it in my hands on my actual birthday.
I am excited. Who cares if I am getting old and wrinkly? As long as Apple keeps finding more ways to take my money every six months and Wonderbutt has more wrinkles than I do, I can deal with it.
“I’m not a big fan of that.” This is what Dimples says when she does not like something – usually the food placed in front of her on the table. What she really means, of course, is that she wants to know how exactly much of this vile food she must force down her throat in order to qualify for dessert.
It would be easier for me to list the foods she is a fan of, than to try to log all of the ones that disgust her. Scratch that. It would be easier to list all of the nutritious foods she likes (all three of them) than the ones she pushes around her plate indefinitely.
It does no good to remind her that she claimed to like that particular food two weeks ago. Or to point out that one of the foods on her current short list of favorites was actually a deeply detested food the first three times it landed on her plate.
As picky eaters go, Dimples is actually pretty good about it. She might declare that she’s “not a fan”, but she still grudgingly sits through the movie, so to speak. She just makes sure we are aware of her distaste and then takes as long as possible to ingest it – leaving herself more time to make a deal with her father regarding what percentage must end up in her stomach instead of the plate. (I let her father make the deals, because he’s usually the one who served her up triple sized helpings to begin with, apparently either suffering under the delusion that Dimples is a 300 pound cowboy who needs to keep up his strength for bull riding or fearful that our daughter will die of malnutrition before her next meal.)
So, I’m trying to think of a clever retort for the next time she publicly denies fandom to a food item. How about one of these:
“You don’t have to post the picture on your Wall.”
“I’m not asking you to friend it on Facebook, just eat it already!”
“Just eat it, don’t Tweet it.”
“The last I checked, Yelp wasn’t asking for ratings of your mother’s cooking.”
…Oh my God – there’s not an app for that, is there?