Posts Tagged ‘cell phones’

Ladies, have you looked at the clothes showing up on the racks in the stores for spring? Good Lord. There were a lot of blowsy cuts, I noticed. Most probably this is due to the added girth most if us have welcomed aboard since the pandemic started, and the designers wanted to leave room for the spreadage (I know that isn’t a word, but I like it). They are showing a lot of cottony ruffled bordered numbers with small prints. I call them “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Collection”. On a small framed person like myself with long thin legs these sort of dresses look like a tea cozy draped over a pair of chopsticks. Ach. Not that I need any clothes, mind you. The pandemic has given me ample opportunity for doing a little shopping on line. Next week, I have promised myself I’m going to begin the process of sorting and eliminating items either never wear or simply don’t like, and selling them or tossing them in the donate bin.

One year when living in my old house, I purged my closets and drawers making enough off what I sold to cover redoing my deck. It’s surprising how much fat is tucked away in drawers, storage units, sheds and closets. When I pared down my mother’s things after moving her into assisted living, I could not believe what I found. In one zippered hanging bag I found a mink stole with two minks still clinging to it. Their expressions were as horrified as mine was. Ach. Glad you don’t see much of that anymore. Amazingly, that coat sold for over a hundred dollars to someone who wanted it for a Halloween costume. I have a friend who has supported two storage units for ten years. The units are full of stuff she never uses or even looks at. At over $200 a month that adds up. When I was selling my last house, I packed up one half of what was in it in anticipation of moving. During the six months it took to get the house ready for sale, and sell it, I never missed one thing packed away in those boxes. That spoke volumes to me. When I moved in here to a much smaller space, I immediately had a huge yard sale relieving myself of half of what I’d stored. What didn’t sell, I donated. The sale provided me with a little mad money for my new digs, while lightening my load. Sadly, since then, the inevitable migration of new belongings has begun once again and is starting to encroach on my territory. Where I had tons of storage space after unloading my excess household goods, somehow I have managed to refill the gaps with new stuff I didn’t need. Sigh.

It has been my week in the universe it seems for buying things. First, my land line started making a sound like I was squishing tin foil while speaking on it. Normally, I would defer to my cell phone, but it’s not working either. I finally located the “phone guy” at the “phone store” and he reconfirmed my cell phone was terminal and it was time to put it out of it’s misery. Swell. Sooooo, I upgraded two models. Even at that, the model I chose was probably obsolete by the time I signed the credit card receipt. I was told it was $50 down plus monthly payments. Okie. When I got the credit card receipt it read $100. When I asked about the discrepancy, I was told the extra $50 was for taxes, processing, shipping, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The et ceteras will get you every time. Why don’t they say $100 down? They don’t, because you probably wouldn’t buy the phone. Precisely the same reason they post signs for $19.99 rather than $20.00. Sounds so much less but that penny isn’t going to buy you much. I said fine. What is one to do? At any rate, it’s on it’s way. Meanwhile, I am sending up smoke signals in the front yard if I need to get a message to someone. Next, I called my phone provider to inquire about my land line. The representative at the phone company said it was probably a line problem. If it is a line problem, they pay for it. If not, the customer does. (That would be me.) I could sign up for a maintenance agreement for a mere blah blah blah monthly. Could I? Ahhhhh, I miss the good old days when you went to the phone company and picked out a phone, took it home, plugged it in, and if anything went wrong they either sent a repairman or gave you a new phone. Life was good. The more complicated the technology, the more expensive either the repair or replacement becomes. The rep also said to check the line they would have to shut down my phones which most likely would result in the need to reset all my TV’s, computers etc. connected to the phone line. I’m pretty sure that is a nightmare waiting to happen. Guess I can tolerate a little tinfoil for a bit.

Putting the phone situation to bed, I sat down at my laptop. I was told recently it’s lifetime is also getting shorter, and I would have to invest in a new one within the next year or so. Okie. The sound system has suddenly developed a hiccough where it comes and goes at random. Each week I have a Zoom meeting and this week I missed easily half of it. The other participants were tiring of me saying “could you repeat that please”. Sorry. Do you suppose the angels are sending me a message? That’s what someone suggested to me. Who am I to say? It is odd every one of my electronic devices is having sound problems. Maybe I’m supposed to be hearing something I’m missing? If so, I’M LISTENING. Oh, too loud? I’m listening.

I also spent some sleepless nights (no pun intended) agonizing over whether to dish out some cold cash for a new bed, finally caving (because I was literally) I dug out my credit card and wiped off the mold. Ouch. Rick and I bought this bed when we were first together. The mattress has never been replaced and Boo and I are having trouble finding our happy place at night to drift off to sleep. It’s a California King, which is a lot of bed for one small human and a chubby feline. Also, my bedroom is too small for a bed of this size so I had to push it against one wall to make it work. I am worn out doing my aerobics routine every week in order to change the sheets. There is an odd sadness in me at the thought of seeing the bed go out the front door. Another piece of the puzzle of my old life being replaced by something new, but it feels right. Some nights I feel as if I am sinking into the great abyss when I turn over on my side, and my back is starting to complain when I have to climb out of it in the morning. Time for a change. I asked if the delivery guys would take the old mattress. I was told they would if it had no stains and was in a bag. A bag? What, I have to wrap it? Is one of them having a birthday? Someone should have told me. I don’t think I have any tissue that size. Determining there were no stains, I went to Amazon. God bless good old Amazon. I believe if I searched for flea powder specific to Koala bears, I would find it on Prime. Finding what I needed, I ordered the appropriate bags. I suppose I could have opted to take it to the dump myself but I don’t think it would have squeezed into the back seat of my Fusion. The problem with buying a smaller bed, I bought a queen, is now I have gorgeous sheets and linens that don’t fit the new bed. Again, dusting off my credit card, I purchased all the accoutrements necessary for a queen size bed and signed my life away. Ah well. It’s going to be great. That’s me, telling me, I’m okay.

Update, my new phone just showed up on my front porch. The phone rep spent some time relating explicit instructions in so far that they would not deliver the phone due to it’s value (I have paid less for cars), if I wasn’t here to sign for it. Yet, miracle of miracles, there it was sitting on my front porch ripe for picking. Glad I was home. I would have been seriously irritated to find a notice of delivery in my email with no phone in sight. Also, I paid extra to have it delivered quickly, so there’s that.

Sometimes life keeps sending messages your way and you have to clean the wax out of your ears to catch them. What the messages are in this case, I have no single clue, but I am listening intently. I don’t mean to be impolite, but I wish they would speak up. I had my hearing checked recently and the results weren’t pretty. Years of earphones jammed in my ears transcribing letters, apparently did not serve me well. It’s not like I’m deaf, but certain tones are definitely fading. I have one dear friend who is in the habit of beginning what she is saying in a loud and clear voice, then dropping down to what I call her “conspiratorial tone” at the end of her sentences. I always find myself looking around in case the FBI is in the vicinity and we’re under surveillance. We have had discussions about this, because I find myself saying “pardon me” on a fairly regular basis with her, but it’s pretty much embedded in her behavior patterns at this point. She’s a generous word sharer like myself, so like Rick used to say when I was chatting away in the car, “if I miss a word or two, the earth is not going to stop rotating”. Thank you Sweetie.

Tomorrow, I get my second Covid vaccination. I hope it is kinder to me than the first, which created two rough days of symptoms before easing up. In two weeks I can hug my grandchildren, so I will show up for the appointment and deal with whatever comes with it. Yay.

People are having mask burning parties. I’m a little more cautious. It still surprises me we continue to make mask wearing a political issue rather than a medical issue. You’d think they were asking us to pull on a suit if armor before leaving the house rather a small piece of fabric. I just roll with the waves these days. This will pass and life will return to normal, or whatever normal is.

Have a great Sunday. Beautiful here so definitely a walk in my future. Thank you again for signing up and for those of you who tune in regularly.

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Facebook is social media I do not take lightly. According to articles I’ve read Facebook is cited in 1/3 of the divorce proceedings before the courts. This does not pertain to me as I’m neither married nor cheating, but I must admit I find it curious why someone would choose to post pictures on-line when having an affair. This makes almost no sense to me. Social media being by its very name, social, makes the likelihood of having someone other than the parties involved seeing these pictures fairly high. The only logic I can impose on this line of thinking is that the person posting the pics wants to get caught. That being said why not just opt out of the current relationship up front and become involved in the one playing out behind the scenes? Curious.

Humans interest me always. I interest myself, truth be known. After all these years I still can’t be sure of my own behavior from one day to the next much less those functioning around me. There’s no judgment on my part in these statements, only intense curiosity as to what makes us tick.

There are a lot of things in the news which concern me lately, aside from the obvious major news items. I only allow myself to watch so much news before going off to do something more heartening. Just enough to get the bulleted news items but not be saturated with all the craziness abounding in our world these days. I’ve mentioned many of my hot button items in previous blogs but I’m spurred to mention a few new ones in this blog.

Yesterday while coming home I waited while a school bus unloaded a group of elementary school students. Standing at the bus stop were three or four parents waiting for their kids. All of the parents were intently staring at their cell phones. I noticed as the children excitedly got off the bus and went to their appropriate moms and dads the parents nodded at them but not one of them looked up to welcome their little ones nor stopped looking at the device in front of them. Several of the children could be seen chatting away while the parents walked still working their fingers as they headed down the street. There was everything in that scene that made my heart feel terribly sad. Children grow up in the blink of an eye and are on to live their lives. Treasure the time you have with them and make each moment count. Your cell phone will still be there after they are gone to keep you company.

This morning on the news they were talking about the huge amount of time Americans are devoting to their phones. Several of the anchors were actually angry about being accused of devoting too much time to their much loved devices, while the weather man said he’d actually cut his usage after he noticed his toddler trying to get his attention by grabbing the phone. Worse yet he was fighting her for the phone rather than directing his attention on his little girl who finally wandered off.

Cell phones are aging us as well it seems. Looking down at them constantly is causing our neck muscles to break down and wrinkles to form. I must admit I have a bit of text envy. People who text often fly over the diminutive keyboard, and although I can key on a regular keyboard at lightening speed, on the phone’s keyboard I’m all thumbs. While trying to add a new contact the other day I called three numbers accidentally before finally getting the new number saved.

Another disturbing news item was this is the first generation in recorded history that is less educated than the one preceding it. Whoa. Unless I’m mistaken we’re supposed to be moving in the other direction. It escapes me what they are teaching in school these days. I mentioned Portland, Oregon to my grandson yesterday. His response was to be totally surprised to learn Portland was in Oregon. When I asked him if he new what the capital of Oregon was, he said, “huh”? At my last job I had a young girl ask me if Maryland (pronounced Mare-e-land) was in Europe. The same girl asked me why they put PA behind Pittsburgh on a letter. She was the mail girl.

I watched a show where they stopped college students on several noted campuses and asked them geography questions such as what was the capital of the state they lived in. One girl said “C” when asked the question about California. I hope she wasn’t planning on being a neurosurgeon. Another kid from San Diego state thought San Diego was the capital and that Northern and Southern California were two different states. Man. I’m sure if you asked either of these kids about IDrink or Retweet they’d be right on target.

My guess as to reasons for this would be the cost of educating oneself these days, the cost of living in general, sagging employment and slow creation of new jobs, and what I view as sort of lack of forward movement with the young people I’m in contact with lately. This is a general statement, naturally, there are over achievers, or achievers as always, but I see a lot of kids sort of roaming about with no idea about the future. A lot of lower paying jobs previously going to younger applicants such as fast food or clerking are now being gobbled up by more educated, older job seekers as the lack of jobs in the middle class segment increases. It’s tough world out there for kids getting out of school these days.

Ah well, that’s my gripe for a Saturday.

I will not begin to describe this recipe as a healthy choice, but these burgers are simply gooey and absolutely irresistible. Rick adapted the recipe from a restaurant in San Francisco he used to frequent when he was a kid.

Bleu Cheese Chili Burgers

1 1/2 lb. ground chuck
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/8 cup crumbled bleu cheese
Olive oil

Sour cream
Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing (I use Marie’s or Bob’s)
Crumbled Bleu Cheese
16 oz. can of Bush’s Chili beans (meatless)
4 Sesame seed buns, toasted

Mix together first 8 ingredients. Form into patties and broil, barbeque, fry, or broil according to your taste. Spread buns with olive oil and heat until browned under broiler or on grill and put aside.

To assemble the burger, spread bleu cheese dressing liberally on both sides of buns. Place meat patties on bottom of bun, put bun top on. Over all spoon generous amount of heated chili beans. Top with generous dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Eat this one with a knife and fork.

This, will make you a believer 🙂

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What an odd day. I woke up to a fine mist decorating the windshield of the car, the skies overcast, and the air heavy. Atypical of Northern California weather this time of year, it’s a bit unnerving. Old timers used to refer to weather patterns of this sort as “earthquake weather”. To add to the odd mix the weather’s serving up, our immediate neighbors are moving out. We are friendly with them casually, not what I’d call friends. However, I am used to waving good morning or catching up on their lives while collecting the mail. Every afternoon like clockwork their cat comes down the hill to drink out of our bird fountain and in the heat of the day he catches a siesta underneath our car. It feels odd, if you will, not to see a light on in their window.

Not to be a nosy neighbor, but our living room window faces out on their driveway, we have watched the proceedings as they unfolded. Early yesterday morning five vehicles pulled up and people poured out. Since then a U-Haul has made numerous trips and all the pickups filled and emptied many times. Reminiscent of those videos of people exiting a car that just keep filing out one after another, loads keep exiting the house. Where on earth all this stuff was stored in a house smaller than ours boggles my mind. Watching the proceedings has served to cement my resolution not to move again any time soon. Another strange occurrence is the new occupants are moving in before the old have moved out. Never tried that before.

To add to the confusion, our new cell phones arrived. Droids, ach. Compared to the technology floating around at the moment they’re like comparing a caveman’s club to a scud missile, but for us they’re a step up. The moment we deactivated the old cellular service if became quickly apparent we had no idea how to either make or receive a phone call on the new units. To be honest, I couldn’t even figure out the voice mail message. When a call did come in the caller was informed I was too stupid to know how to set up a voice mail account so they’d have to call back when I located an active brain cell. Nice, a phone with attitude. First I had to figure out how to get into the phone as it was locked. Having accomplished that, another call came in. Three phones appeared on the screen, one white, one green, and one red. If you went with the logic used at a stoplight one would think pushing on the green phone would achieve the desired effect. Apparently this would be too easy. Repeatedly pushing all three phones, the call finally went to the voice mail guardian who once again reported I was too ignorant to own the device. Trial and error proved you have to move the green phone inside a circle in order to engage a caller. A glimmer of hope.

Next, I went to the contacts. Figuring out how to access adding a new contact I began the laborious task of entering all the numbers from my old phone. Usually the contacts could be moved along in a simple transfer on a sims card. Our old phones, so old the technology probably only exists in a dusty garage somewhere, aren’t compatible with the new not allowing this to occur. Fortunately there’s an X to erase an incorrectly entered letter because you need to have fingertips the size of a pencil eraser to do this with any accuracy. I am here to report it is most amazing these little phones aren’t floating in the toilet at the moment, but I am not one to give up on a good fight.

As of this writing I still have no voice mail message in place, and have no idea what an app is or how to own one, but I will in short order. It puts me in mind of learning the computer. How confusing at first were the floppy discs, yes I said floppy discs, and files floating on a computer screen which stored your information? Just learning to maneuver the mouse was incredibly awkward. Now it seems as familiar as tying my shoes (They still do that don’t they?). In the beginning the instructor might as well have been teaching me Mandarin Chinese. To stop for a moment on tying shoes, I was interested to note while working in my daughter’s day care children aren’t taught this skill anymore. Along with telling time, done digitally these days, velcro has replaced laces eliminating the necessity of tying anything when putting on one’s shoes. I certainly hope they’re never faced with a pair of laced tennis shoes as adults. No matter how many times you try to get laces to stick to one another, as yet I’ve never owned a pair that did. Also, if confronted with a clock on the wall with hands and numerals will they have to ask someone when to go to lunch?

Another constantly fluxing media would be music. There were 8-tracks, which were huge. It was like inserting a loaf of bread in the 8-track player which took up half the dashboard. If you carried more than five in the car you had to travel alone, as there was no place for a passenger to sit. Cassettes followed, much smaller and easier to manage. With each innovation new devices were necessary to use them ensuring just as you crested the learning curve, another upgrade would swoop in to recreate the bog in your brain. CD’s came along once we’d gotten a grip on the cassettes. Naturally, a CD player, CD case, and of course the CD’s themselves were necessary to get into the swing of things. Many times over the years my garage sales have been kept afloat with leftover pieces of each bit of technology as it became outdated.

So I continue to strive to keep up with each technological jump. I fear I am trailing far behind, but like Hansel and Gretel I am leaving a trail of used devices to mark my way.

These are some of my favorite green beans. My bins are stocked with fresh vegetables and this is a great way to put them to work.

BLT (Bacon, Lemon and Tomato) Green Beans

l lb. green beans, trimmed
Garlic salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 button mushrooms, sliced thin
4 slices crisp bacon, crumbled

Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place all sauce ingredients in small saucepan over med. heat. Whisk and cook until butter is melted.

Place beans in top of steamer over 2″ water. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Steam green beans until fork tender, about 10 mins. Drain.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet over med.-low heat. Add garlic, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Saute about 6-8 mins. until tomatoes are wilted and mushrooms cooked.

Add tomato/mushroom mixture to green beans and toss with sauce. Top with crumbled bacon.

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Yesterday I went to lunch with a group of my friends to celebrate a birthday.  There were seven of us seated around a booth at a very upscale local restaurant.  Seated in the adjacent booth were three young women, most probably in their early twenties. 

We ordered our crabmeat appetizer and a little libation and were just digging in when a cell phone went off at the next table, well, it didn’t go off in the literal sense, it played an entire rendition of Bad to the Bone, which, in fact, is one of my favorite songs, but, I digress. 

The young lady whose phone it was grabbed it off the table as though it was Publisher’s Clearinghouse telling her they were waiting at her front door to deliver balloons and her million dollar check and proceeded to have a twenty-minute conversation, her side of it mainly consisting of “No Way” followed by “Seriously, no Way”. Then the other two would pipe in asking what was being said, and once repeated, would also contribute “No Way” in unison. Apparently finding this frustrating after twenty minutes one of them suggested to the girl on the phone that she put the caller on speaker, and she did. 

Now, at that point my dear friend who has never in her life held back on expressing her opinion about anything, and if required to do so, this would most probably involve either an industrial sized roll of duct tape or wiring her jaw shut, finally turned around and in a rather loud voice said to them “No Way”. This, of course, was what we all were thinking had we been able to hear ourselves think.

Affronted, the owner of the phone said, “I’m paying to sit at this table, and I’ll talk on the phone if I want to”.  This, needless to say, was not going to end well.  The owner of the restaurant was ushered over with a flick of my friend’s finger, I won’t say which one, and they were then moved to a table on the other side of the room.

I use my cell phone, but not while I’m eating a meal, driving, sitting in a doctor’s office, standing in line with a group of people, etc.  There is just such a thing as too much connection, and on the other side of the coin, what ever happened to just basic good manners?

Several weekends ago my thirteen year old granddaughter came to spend the night, along with her recently acquired cell phone, which after a day or so I came to suspect someone had Krazy Glued to her hand.  At least I believe it was her.  I couldn’t say for sure because I never actually saw her face during the visit,  just long dark hair hanging down over a face and ten fingers working furiously on the keyboard of the phone in her hand.  Now that I think about it, it may well have been someone who just wandered in off the street and I simply assumed it was her.  In order to call her to dinner I had to text her myself so she would know I was in the room. The phone got broken this past week and according to her email the sun shines slightly dimmer during the day and the stars hang lower in the evening sky.

Cell phones travel with us everywhere. I hear them in the stalls in the Ladie’s Room. From what I’ve heard, people are actually severing relationships by texting, or emailing.  How does that go?  us2lu nwIdnt lol.  My phone rings so often sometimes I just put it in the utensil drawer and shut it.  I find if people can’t locate me on my LAN line, then they revert cell, then to text, email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever.  Sometimes, and I’m good, I don’t want to be found.  What, next are we going to answer in the middle of an intimate moment?  Oooooh, hold on, and hold that thought?  Really, too much, is just that, too much.

Another thing, while I’m on a rant, is that people, and I’m guilty as well, put things in emails that are like a large rodent, eventually it will show up at your door and bite you in the behind.  My grandfather told me once, and I remembered it, “don’t put anything in writing that you’re unwilling to stand behind, better yet don’t put anything in writing”.  Good advice.  Once it’s sent and running around in the Ethernet somewhere your words are fair game and gone unless you’re an amazing hacker and can retrieve or delete them, they aint’ coming back.

Well, enough fussing, my cell phone is ringing.  This is a great appetizer that we served in our restaurant.  Give it a try and let me know how it comes out.

Crab Curry Appetizer

1 baguette cut in 1/2″ slices diagonally
1 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. curry powder
14 oz. lump crabmeat
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place sliced baguette in preheated 400 degree oven and toast on one side. Remove from oven and set aside. Combine mayonnaise, curry powder, and garlic powder. Spread on untoasted side of bread.

Mix crabmeat with salt and pepper to taste and green onions. Place on top of bagette pieces. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Toast under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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