Archive for the ‘technology’ Tag

07/30/2021 Sci-Fi Forever – NOT!   Leave a comment

I’m holding an intervention for myself today concerning my lifelong addiction to all things science fiction. I’m not proud of that obsession because I’m not entirely sure that it hasn’t been a monumental waste of my time.

I was born in 1946 and was eleven years old when Sputnik made it’s famous flight on 10/04/57. My entire young life consisted of satellites, cosmonauts, astronauts, rocket ships, space travel, and the creation of NASA. Up to and including the Mercury and Apollo programs and eventually the moon landings. I was enthralled and spent a great deal of my spare time reading everything I could lay my hands on about science fiction and space travel. Over the years I’ve read hundreds of novels and scientific journals and attempted to stay up to speed with NASA, its failures, deaths, and many successes. Many years later I was finally forced to admit that sci-fi for me breaks down into two parts. Technology on one hand and space exploration on the other to include all of the craziness and misinformation on UFO’s and alien visitations. Technology continues apace and many things I read or thought about as a kid are slowing becoming commonplace. But continuing technological improvements are man-made wonders and unrelated to the science fiction that I’m interested in.

The UFO phenomenon is a sticky subject that’s been bastardized by numerous authors and movie makers. I suspect the vast majority of information contained in them is nothing more than exaggerated fiction aimed at increasing ratings and/or ticket sales. I gave up on live TV years ago and became somewhat taken with Netflix and other streaming services. That’s when I became overwhelmed with an ungodly number of videos and movies concerning UFO’s. I made a point to watch everyone I could find hoping that there might be a shred of evidence that could convince me that UFO’s were real and visitations to this planet were occurring. Sadly I found nothing at all that convinced me of anything.

It seems that a group of well funded and fervent believers reappear in most of the videos repeating their theories and suppositions. Believe me, I would love it if aliens decided to visit. But to believe the outlandish nonsense in these videos does more to convince me that it’s all so much BS and hucksterism. Most of the contributors on Facebook and other social media lead their posts with outlandish headlines to sucker us into reading further. It’s just more nonsense and half truths.

I have some serious questions about all of this UFO nonsense but the answers I’m getting are mostly silly and ridiculous. It seems highly unlikely to me that any aliens from an advanced civilization should certainly be able to fly their ships around this planet without crashing them in virtually every country. Most countries seem to have a Roswell type incident of their own and a crash sight to keep their conspiracy theorists busy. With that many crashes there’s no way any one government could retrieve and hide every single scrap of evidence. Most governments can’t operate anything without screwing it up. Why would this circumstance be any different. Why would we want their technology anyway if they can’t even keep them in the air. More silliness and nonsense.

I’ll be convinced aliens are here when I see a scene as seen in the 1950’s movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. A giant alien ship landing on the White House lawn looking to chat with the President. Hopefully not Biden. Until then I am a disappointed unbeliever.

02-16-2016 Journal–New & Annoying Technology!   1 comment

Are you a technology lover?  Some people just put up with all of the new technology but really aren’t all that into it. I’m just the opposite. I love any and all technology and do my best to keep up with things as they progress. I never thought it could happen but I came upon some technology yesterday that annoyed and irritated me more than I thought possible.

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My better-half and I were out and about enjoying the single digit temperatures and decided to do lunch at Applebee’s before returning home. Normally I’m an Applebee’s fan but they’re doing something now that just makes me a little crazier than usual. They’ve decided to put their customers to work by placing a small computer at each table. It just sits there and flashes advertisements and screensavers  the entire time your ordering and trying to eat.  They attempt to entice you to play some stupid trivia games so they can add $1.99 to your bill and keep you occupied while waiting for your food to arrive.

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The place was very busy and there appeared to be a serious shortage of waitresses. We were made to wait much longer than normal for our order resulting in a barrage of apologies from the nearby bartender and a roving manager. We sat patiently for quite a while but then I began to get a bit annoyed. Eventually the food arrived and thank God it was delicious.  Just as we were finishing our meal the bartender stopped at our table to ask the obligatory question they always ask, "How was everything?"  At the same time she nonchalantly dropped the bill on the table and quickly walked away.  Little did I know that they expected us to pay the bill using that little terminal at our table.

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I’m a firm believer that people working in restaurants should earn their TIPS. If you’re rude, annoying, and slow you won’t get a TIP from me. If your on top of your game and do everything just right I’ll fork over a 20% TIP every time.  I’ve been told that TIPS is short for "To Improve Personal Service" and I expect decent service before donating any of my hard earned cash.

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I was then directed to just swipe my credit card through the terminal at my table and follow the menus to pay my bill.  As the final bill was displayed I noticed a 20% TIP had been automatically added on.  I found that magic menu button that allowed me to dial back the TIP to only 10%. While the food was delicious the service was slow and I had to do all the work of checking myself out therefore no 20% TIP.

Then the stupid computer asked if I wanted a receipt printed out or to have one emailed to me. The last thing I need is another company adding me to their email list so they can pelt me with a stream of unwanted food alerts. I indicated I wanted a printed receipt so I could verify the amount I’d paid before leaving the restaurant. I was then required to visit the bar to the only register where receipts were being printed. I was made to feel like some sort of primitive Neanderthal who still needed an actual paper receipt and couldn’t handle the technology.  Since I’ve seen too many errors on bills over the years I don’t assume they’re always correct. This Neanderthal needs to see any possible discrepancies immediately and not a couple of hours later in an email.

I have a proposal for all of these so-called progressive restaurants.  In the future I will enter, seat myself, and order my meal from the computer on my table.  When it’s ready I can be alerted by the kitchen staff on the terminal, walk back, and retrieve my food. When I’m done I can take my dishes to the kitchen, pay the bill on the computer and have my receipt emailed.  Then I would certainly expect a 20% reduction on my bill for all of the fine service I’d rendered.  I’d never have to talk to or see any semi-interested employees or gushy and  insincere managers. I’d just eat my food and get the hell out.  What do you think about that?

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I now have to admit that there is some technology that just plain sucks. There I’ve said it, once and for all. And for all of those Chili’s restaurants out there, I see you’ve also started this same nonsense as Applebee’s with your cutsy table computers.  You’ll probably be seeing  much less of my business as well.

The customer is always right or have you just forgotten that.

04-11-2014 Cellular Love & Marriage   1 comment

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I consistently ask myself questions about the things I see.  It’s not that I’m seeing these things that bothers me, it’s that I don’t entirely understand what I’m seeing.  One of the things that confuses me the most are the situations I see developing these days between people and their cell phones.

I’ll try to explain clearly where I’m coming from in order to keep any confusion to a minimum. After being held hostage by Verizon Wireless for the last seven years I made the bold move of dumping their service and stepping back three or four technological paces to something far simpler and inexpensive. I won’t get into the particulars except to say I’ve cut my monthly costs by 70%.  I don’t want you to think I hate cell phones because I don’t.  What I do hate is the unhealthy hold those devices seem to have on such a large portion of our population.

Next, I need to state emphatically my total and complete support for both heterosexual and homosexual marriages.  No, my mind isn’t wandering but hang in there a moment or two until I explain.  I object strongly to the new wave of intimate relationships I’m observing between humans and cellphones. It’s becoming a little embarrassing to see these phones being cuddled and stroked by both men and women in public places. It’s a bit disgusting. 

People buying their phones cutesy little bejeweled outfits in a variety of colored covers to keep things from getting too boring.  Even the kids are getting into the act with little or no parental oversight.  Sitting along in their rooms at night talking quietly on the phone, roaming the Internet until all  hours of the morning, and posting "selfies" to the world that would in some cases make a porn star blush.

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Those phones are coddled and babied and remain all snuggly in a pocket or purse held tightly next to the heart (or other body parts) of their owners.  I know many women and even a few men who would like nothing better than to have a large device vibrating in their pocket.  People just can’t seem to keep their hands off their phones and don’t even try. What’s next?  The formation of political special interest groups to promote our freedom to marry our cellphones?  Don’t laugh, as weird as things are these days,  it could happen. 

Cell phone ownership is becoming almost as intimate as a marriage.  First you need to find that “soulmate” or should I say “cell-mate”.  It must be attractive and shapely and have all of those attributes you’re looking for.  Once you’ve found that perfect match then your required to enter into a contract for a two year period.  Very similar to a marriage license if you ask me but with one additional advantage.  When your cell-mate gets a little older, all scratched up, and the battery starts to fail you can dump it and sign up for an upgrade. If you dare decide to end the relationship before the contract is up your forced to pay and pay dearly for that right.  Sounds just like a divorce I managed to survive twenty years ago.

I guess I just haven’t met my true "cell-mate" yet.  I suppose it will happen all of a sudden like a lightning bolt and I’ll be lost forever in that wonderful haze of first love, sexting something juicy for the first time, or sending an HD photo of some of my body parts to people who don’t want to see them.

You just gotta love those cell-phones.  Right Lovey.

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