A New Year, A New Beginning

Today is the first day of 2018. Wow. We made it through another year.

We always seem to say things like, “To hell with [the previous year], it was so bad! On to the next one! Let’s just get this done already. This new year will be so much better.”

I don’t say that anymore, because inevitably, the next year is even worse. I feel as though I presented the Universe with a challenge, and the Universe replied by saying, “Oh, really? Watch this.”

2017 truly sucked for a lot of people I know. It wasn’t the best year for me, either. We’re all glad to see it done. But as for me? I’m just happy I got through it. I survived every piece of crap 2017 had to offer, and every painful moment, and I’m stronger for it. We may be a little shaken, but we got through. Hey, that says something.

Fuck you, 2017. You thought you could take me down? HA! I’m tough. I’m a kid from East Dallas.

Happy New Year, everyone.

— Peace.

 

 

New Alexa Feature: Wake the Dead

I got Alexa when Amazon first put her on the market, and I’ve watched her grow and develop new features. I never knew Alexa could wake the dead until yesterday morning. She really can do anything.

Let me give you some background on this one.

The husband goes fishing every now and then. Alas, he leaves at a gawdawful hour of the morning. Three o’clock should only come once a day, IMHO, and that’s PM. But this time he was going to the beach, and I do so love to see the sunrise at the beach. So I decided to go.

Of course, that’s much too early to feed our dogs and cats before we leave.

So around 11:00am I remember to call The Dude (no longer “the boy”, as he will be 20 in January). No answer. Three times, I get voicemail. The Dude is asleep.

“What can I do,” I ask myself. Then I’m struck with the most mischievous idea. And it just might work!!

I pull up my Amazon music through the Alexa app, and remotely start playing “Sister Mary Elephant”, by Cheech and Chong… at full volume. Now, for those of you too young to know this reference, here’s a sample:

I watched the track go by on my phone and let it go just long enough, then I stopped it. I gave The Dude a call. LO! HE WAS ALIVE!! And I was much amused at his adrenaline rush and confusion.

Yes, I have my evil moments.

Yes, that was one of many.

Yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Father’s Day

To all the good fathers out there, I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I hope today was a good day for you.

:: sigh ::

It took years of therapy, a good conversation with my sister today, and still, I have a hard time writing that opening sentence.

I hope you didn’t have to deal with a dysfunctional family when you were growing up. I doubt anyone has the traditional “nuclear family”, but surely, there is some example of normal out there somewhere. I hope you had it in your childhood. I figure, if you did, you probably enjoy things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

My sister and I, we didn’t. We like to believe that the crazy environment we grew up in made us the strong people we are today. It’s true. If you survive something like that, you are stronger.

But you remember your parents. Days like Mother’s Day. may be easier to handle if you are a mother. You strive to be a better parent, and you love your children. I can handle Mother’s Day.

Still, I hate Father’s Day.

He was never around. Or, if he was, he was so drunk he wasn’t present. He never made the effort to be a part of our lives. What kind of father was that? Please….

I’ve always had this mental block on Father’s Day. I just don’t remember when it’s coming around. Unfortunately, this means I need to set a reminder now…. My husband adopted my kid, and my husband isn’t such a bad guy. I have to make myself say the words now…

Happy …

:: closes eyes and swallows ::

Father’s Day.

:: deep breath ::

Gods above, can’t I call it something else????

Are we doing this again?

I remember, as a young child, feeling very put out because I couldn’t watch my after school specials in the afternoon. I was quite upset. You see, my Gran was keeping up with something far more important. President Nixon was drowning in the Watergate scandal and the Senate Intelligence Committee was thoroughly investigating the issue.

Gran watched daily to see testimony and to find out what else the President was lying about. The rest is history, as we all know.

At the time, I didn’t understand. I found it boring. I much preferred watching sci-fi movies about alien invasions and Godzilla.

This morning, I’m watching Former Director of the FBI, James Comey, give the long awaited testimony regarding the Russia investigation, his conversations with President Trump, and how things were handled.

I don’t know if this will answer questions or just create more. But I do know there will be more to come. That’s how these things work.

And now, I do understand why my Gran watched so closely back in 1973. It’s just the need to know the truth, regardless of what side of the political fence you’re on. If you don’t support the current Administration, you watch because, hopefully, this is the beginning of the end. If you do support them, you watch because you know your candidate is right and there’s nothing to fear from the investigation.

Regardless, we’re all watching.

Happy Holidays (ugh…)

It’s Christmas day, and the first day of Hanukkah. I wish you all a very happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate. Me? I’ve given it the effort this season, but I just haven’t felt it. I really tried. But with every exuberant “Merry Christmas” I heard from complete strangers as I went about my day, it only served to remind me of my lack of holiday spirit and how very-not-merry I was.

grinch

You could say I sound like a grinch. Perhaps I do, but I can’t help it. This entire year has completely sucked, not just for me but for so many people I know. That, combined with political bullshit I refuse to go into because we’ve all been dealing with it on one side of the fence or another, but suffice to say, the current political climate in society is a ticking time bomb, IMHO.

You can only be so torn up and worn down before you can’t celebrate… By the time 12/24 got here and the tree still wasn’t up, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. We’re going to celebrate the new year, instead.

And, as I type my entry, I’m still getting greetings of “Merry Christmas”. :: sigh ::

Is just me? Or did anyone else notice there were a metric ton of “Merry Christmas” wishes this year. I especially noticed it, not because of my lack of holiday spirit, but because Hanukkah started at the same time. It seems like this year, more than any other year, we should acknowledge other beliefs. But, really, I’m not even Jewish. It shouldn’t matter to me one way or another, right?

My best friend just called me to wish me a Merry Christmas (again, while I’m writing my blog post). I laughed and replied, “Hail Satan.” At least she had a good laugh, too. 🙂

 

 

I’m going back to Droid.

I loved my iPhone, but I’ve had it after this last update. I’m going back to Droid, just as soon as I possibly can.

I have an iPhone 6S Plus. Up until now, I’ve been quite happy with my phone. I was one of those iPhone users who loved the product. In fact, I saw no need to go to the next version when 7 came out (especially since they saw no need to include a headphone jack). I’ve been using an iPhone since about 2011 and I’ve had no complaints … until now.

Apple recently released the 10.0.2 software upgrade. I had no desire to install this update; at least, not immediately. I wanted to read about it, see if there were any bugs … you know, approach it with the usual caution we always take with an update to our hardware. So I kept saying “No”, and postponing the update.

I know for a fact I never accepted the update, nor did I hit the wrong option and tell it to install.

Saturday night I left my phone on the charger. It was also connected to wi-fi, of course. I checked my emails, and, of course, I received the prompt to update my phone (again). I told it no (again). I put the phone down and decided to get some sleep.

The next morning, LO! I had a shiny new version of the iOS on my phone. A version I neither approved nor wanted. A version from an update that was forced on me, just as Windows 10 was forced on users without their approval. Yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother rant, right there…

I’ve installed updates I didn’t like before, and I’ve adapted. I couldn’t work with this one. The features of the phone were not user friendly or intuitive.  Some features were no longer available; some had been moved and were difficult to find. The battery life drastically lowered, overnight. Oh, and let’s not forget – I didn’t choose to install it in the first place.

Of course, Apple doesn’t have a “rollback” feature on their updates. You can backup your phone to iCloud all day, but even when you restore your backups, it’s on the new version of the iOS.

Everything about the new update just made me want to rage scream and smash my phone.

noooooooo

But I knew I was stuck with it. Getting a new phone isn’t in the budget right now and even if it was, I shouldn’t have to do this, goddamnit!! I didn’t ask for the goddamn upgrade!!!

After a lengthy search online, I did find a jailbreak to kinda’ get my phone back to where it was. The problem was, I lost about half my apps, and some of my calendar data. This, of course, wasn’t a supported solution. Apple wasn’t going to help me with this, so I didn’t bother. I did; however, bother to call them and give them an earful about the goddamn upgrade. I actually got sent to someone who does their customer recovery and takes product feedback. I told him the only little silver lining in this mess is that I don’t have the iPhone 7. At least my phone has a headphone jack.

Apple – I never said “Yes”. I never gave my consent. You forced your crappy update on my phone and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh… but I can.

I can tell everyone who asks me if I’m happy with my iPhone just what I think.

screw-you-apple