Category Archives: Technology

An ode to Apple

I suck at technology. I’m not saying that in a braggy, isn’t-this-funny sort of way. I suck at computer-related things, car-related things, and iPhone-related things.

At some point I got into my head that I did not want to download the new operating system for my phone. So I just never did. But things started slowly dropping off the map: certain apps wouldn’t let me update them because I didn’t have the new iOS, then there were new apps I couldn’t even download, then I couldn’t even use some of the apps I had. Ridiculous.

So I tried to download the new iOS…and for some reason I couldn’t complete it. I downloaded the new iTunes, I downloaded the new iOS, but my computer consistently got stuck on backing up my phone. I left it plugged in for hours, and no dice. One night I left it plugged in overnight, hoping that when I woke up magic would’ve happened…but apparently when my laptop went to sleep, it shut down the backup. Disappointing.

I knew I needed to just go to the Apple store. But who has time to do that?

Well, finally, one day a couple weeks ago I magically found time to do just that in the middle of the afternoon. I dropped by the Apple store at the Hillsdale Mall and was told that all I needed to do was to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. Which I did. I went back a couple days later, at my appointed time, and spoke to Johnny. He was a delightful and helpful Genius with an assortment of tattoos, including the Apple logo.

I was prepared for the fact that they might have to wipe entire phone to update the iOS, so I had backed up everything the night before. It was still nerve-wracking: I sat there and watched the status bar progress, just hoping that everything would go okay.

A 30-something in a suit sat down next to me and told Johnny about how his phone had stopped charging and he needed to buy another one. Then I felt grateful that I didn’t have to buy another phone. (Then my thoughts started spiraling out of control, and I found myself at the point of “I’m glad I’m just losing my contacts and not my family,” etc etc.)

When I got home that night, I plugged my phone into my laptop to sync everything back up, and EVERYTHING – contacts, apps, photos, texts – repopulated in the phone. A complete success. And all thanks to Apple! Great products and awesome customer service!

(I did end up deleting all photos and videos anyway, because they were taking up all the available space. After I did that, I could update all apps and even download new ones, and start taking more pictures! Life is good.)

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Filed under Awesome, Technology

Google Me, Part 2: iPhone search terms

Back in the day, I wrote a post called Google Me about all my iPhone search terms, and I reminisced about why in the world I needed to look up these things. Well, it’s been awhile and I noticed the other day that my search history has been getting kind of eclectic again. So I thought I would share.

skyfall Lincoln – I was looking for this image.

mary reilly imdb – My parents were here the other day and we were naming Julia Roberts movies, and then Drew mentioned this one and it sounded interesting so I looked it up. (Julia Roberts plays Dr. Jekyll’s maid, and she falls in love with both him AND Mr. Hyde!)

healthy horizons burlingame – A breastfeeding center that we went to the other day to weigh the baby

goose goslin – A baseball player with a funny name

peninsula library catalog – I wanted to look up the book Insurgent and see if it was at the library. It is…but I shouldn’t go check it out because I’m already in the middle of 3 books (4 if you count Harry Potter) and I should try to focus a little bit.

obama birthday – When is Obama’s birthday? Answer: August 4th, 1961.

aspirated w – I was checking if this is really the term used when you do that funny/annoying pronunciation of the wh in words like “white” and “wheelhouse.” (It is.)

kellan lutz – He appeared on an episode of 30 Rock, and we had no idea who he played in the Twilight movies.

fontanelle – I needed more info about babies’ “soft spots,” like, Am I going to injure my baby via his fontanelle? And, when will his head get hard so I don’t have to stress out about his fontanelle?

edd – edd.ca.gov, just looking up claim status information.

giants game – My lazy way of just tracking the scores of the World Series’ games on my phone, for the games we weren’t home to watch.

third rock from the sun cast – We were trying to remember the name of French Stewart. (We were thinking Stewart French.)

1 month old baby eyesight – I wanted to know how far he could see at 1 month, and what kind of tracking/focusing skills he “should” have. (To be honest, there were a lot of baby-related searches, but I wanted to show a range here. Just know I google a lot of questions I have about babies.)

robert louis stevenson – We were looking up when he died, because I was thinking his story “The Bottle Imp” was set in the 1940s, but I was way way off – he died in 1894.

walgreens pacifica – My pharmacy. I am constantly googling this to get the phone number.

giants schedule – Self-explanatory.

plutos locations – We were in Lodi, craving Plutos, and wondering if there was one nearby. But Sacramento/Davis seemed too far out of the way. So we just went home.

…Seriously, what did we ever do before smartphones?

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Filed under Baby, Books, Children, Drew, Friends, Nonfiction, Technology, Travel, Writing

Fail at life

Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh.

But I don’t think so.

Today, The Hunger Games posted this picture on Facebook:

It’s nice, right? I mean, it’s kind of a cool poster. People seemed to like it. I think it’s fine.

But Jonathan and I started reading all the comments, and making fun of them. The most random and ridiculous we hit “like.” Some of them were composed of text speak and annoying symbols (~~~*** etc). One of them was like a chain letter in a comment. (We totally followed the instructions, although we didn’t post it on 15 other people’s walls.)

But then this comment popped up:

Uggghhhhhh…this comment really bothers me for some reason. I think it’s partly the combination of absolutely no punctuation (except for the 4-dot ellipse), spelling errors (kmovie), text speak (idk), and blatant ignorance (“are ready” = “already”). But the icing on the cake is that “there were like this big dogs or something,” but, despite this being the climax of the movie, she didn’t really get what was going on.

And yes, I understand that the kids commenting on this FB post are probably all like 14 years old. But since when is that an excuse? This is still life. You can’t get through life like that.

Is this really the generation that’s going to be in charge in a few decades?

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Filed under "Other people", Not awesome, Technology

The real function of the internet

Yesterday I brought up the old adage that all quotes are either from the Bible or Shakespeare. Last night I was thinking about this. Before the internet, how did we know whether any particular quote was Shakespeare or Scripture?

If I had wanted to know where “Not with a bang but a whimper” came from, I would probably have to first have an idea (my idea was Yeats) and then I’d have to go through my poetry books from high school and college and try to find “that Yeats poem” that the quote was from.

If I were trying to narrow it down between the Bible and the Bard, I guess it’s possible that I would have a concordance of one or both of those things (my parents had a Bible concordance) and I could search for it that way. Is it likely, though, that I would have either of those books? (Maybe…as I was an English major, they would have been great pre-internet gifts.)

But then what happens in this situation, when all my guesses are wrong? I would have to just ask people if they knew, and keep an eye out for it in the future? Or maybe in a non-internet society I would be trained to remember these things better? And like a good English major, I would have just known: “Oh, that’s from TS Eliot’s The Hollow Men. It’s a reference to the Gunpowder Plot, and how instead of ending with the planned explosion, it ended with Guy Fawkes’ whimper as he was caught and executed.”

Man, I’d feel so smart all the time. And probably do better on Jeopardy!

But instead, the second I come up against something I’m not sure of (or something I’m pretty sure of) I run to Google to double check it.

New project: instead of just Googling things all the time* I’m going to try to remember some of them, using my brain power. Let’s see how this goes.

*Things I have Googled while writing this post: Yeats (correct spelling?); concordance (correct spelling?); “not with a bang but a whimper” (which Eliot poem was that again?); Shakespeare concordance (does such a thing exist?), “if I were” vs “if I was” (and now I finally understand the different between these two – so today is a success).

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Filed under Awesome, Books, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Technology

Google me

I wanted to go back through my Google search terms in my phone, because I like revisiting the things I’ve needed to look up while I’m on the go. It’s amusing and can bring back some happy memories. (Like all the Harry Potter stuff I’ve googled.) Unfortunately, I realize that my phone actually only keeps the terms for a couple weeks – major bummer.

So, in order from most to least recent, here they are:

Rampion – photo from flickr.com (click for direct link)

Rampion – I had radicchio at dinner last night…which led to me wondering if that was in the Witch’s “rap” in the opening song of Into the Woods…which led to us doing the rap…which led to Drew saying, “Do you think she entered her rampion in competitions?” (“my rampion, my champion”)…which led to me googling rampion to see exactly what it was. (I was positive that it was a type of lettuce, but it’s just a flower.)

BART schedule – took BART to Berkeley the other day. Checked the schedule a lot.

Lakeport English Inn – I had to find their phone number so I could call and double check that they weren’t cash only. (They’re not.)

Not with a bang but a whimper – The title of the final Dexter episode is “This is the way the world ends,” so then I said, “Not with a bang but a whimper,” and then Erin and I were debating what that quote was from. Then we were talking about how in The Westing Game (the best kids’ mystery book ever), one of the characters says that every quote is from the Bible or Shakespeare. I guessed that this was actually a quote from a Yeats poem, but it’s TS Eliot, which I totally should have known.

AJ Jacobs Drop Dead Healthy – Potentially my next book club pick, although it’s just come out and I’d like to wait to get it until it’s in paperback. At any rate, I love AJ Jacobs!

Fiona Fullerton – there was an oldschool version of Alice in Wonderland on TV, and I thought the actress playing Alice looked familiar, so I googled her. I do not know who she is at all.

Lego game of thrones – Someone recreated the Game of Thrones opening sequence in Legos. It’s okay. It would have been better if they had used the actual theme song, rather than using a weird “brand X” version of it.

Mahogany – On Facebook, The Hunger Games posts daily typography images that fans have done. Good examples are here and here. (That second one is worth a look around – she has some really stellar work, not just The Hunger Games but also Harry Potter stuff, and others.) A bad example is one that used the quote “That is mahogany” but spelled mahogany wrong. I was just double checking that I was spelling it right. Because I’m an insufferable know-it-all like that. (I did not comment on the post or anything.)

Just look at her.

 

Whore of Babylon – Dexter again. Just wanted to get some background info on the whore of Babylon.

 

 

How long does it take to get from London to Hogwarts? – Well this is self-explanatory. And the answer is, all afternoon. The train leaves at 11am and arrives sometime around 6 or 7 in the evening.

Low blood pressure – Just wanted to know what was considered low blood pressure. Just keeping healthy.

Handicapped parking san Francisco – Just curious if it’s true that if you have a handicapped placard, you don’t have to pay for parking in the city.

5k miles – The Arthritis Walk was 5k and I wanted to double check what I got myself into. (3.1 miles…so not much.)

Professor kettleburn – He taught Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts before Hagrid took over.

Professor sprout – We needed to double check her first name. (Drew was right, it’s Pomona.)

Carrie underwood blown away – I wanted to show Drew the cover for Carrie Underwood’s new album. Mostly because Jonathan said it looks like the winner of a Judith Light drag queen contest, and I knew that Drew would think that was funny.

Sorry, Carrie Underwood, you know I love you. (But I like you so much more when you’re all country and down-home kinda girl. This is just a lot of glitter, and a lot of leg.)

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Drew, Memoir, Self improvement, Sentiment, Technology, TV

Facebook, right ahead!

First, I’d like to mention that Titanic is out in theatres again and I’m pretty psyched. I kind of really want to go see it. Titanic is an awesome movie, and I only hope that they didn’t ruin it by putting it in 3D.

Seriously. I just googled “Titanic screen shots” to find something appropriate, and every single picture made me think, “Oh, I love that part of the movie!” If you haven’t seen it lately (like, since it came out in the mid-90s) you should definitely check it out now.

In other news, I’ve been thinking a lot about what will happen on Sunday. Sunday is Easter. Easter means a lot of things to me, and I like it a lot. But this year specifically, Easter means my return to Facebook. And I’m no longer sure how I feel about that.

This morning on Sarah and Vinnie, Vinnie said:

“People say ‘That’s not real life.’ But Facebook IS real life. That’s where real life is happening. Every day I see people run to Facebook to post something important about their life. Or not important.”

Very apropos, since I’ve been thinking about how to handle this return to “real life.” I might have to do this in a list format.

On the one hand: I am starting to not miss it. I definitely don’t miss getting irritated by updates from people I don’t like. And I don’t miss having to keep up with everything that everyone posts.

On the other hand: It is a great way to keep in touch with people I don’t regularly speak with. Like far-flung cousins or old family friends. Also, sometimes we use it for work purposes.

On the other hand: I am enjoying the ignorance of not knowing certain things.

On the other hand: I don’t want to be “that guy” who has to tell everyone, “Oh, I don’t have a Facebook.” What’s next? “I don’t have a TV” or “I don’t have a cell phone”? (No, never either of those things.)

On the other hand: What if I have some piece of critical information to share? Drew and I are currently moving into a new apartment. It’s kind of exciting. But how is anyone going to know that without Facebook?

On the other hand: Who needs to know about that? Besides people who will come visit, who will probably ask me for the address beforehand?

On the other hand: Okay, so what if I had some other kind of news to share? And rather than sending mass emails or trying to text everyone, I just want to drop one Facebook post and be done with it?

On the other hand: Would I not be doing that just to get attention? And I certainly don’t want to go back to pandering for likes or comments. Also, isn’t that kind of why I have  a blog?

So, I guess I haven’t really decided anything. Except that I need to figure out when I can go see Titanic.

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Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Friends, Memoir, Self improvement, Technology

Facebook DOES miss me!

After saying yesterday that my separation from Facebook was pretty painless so far, they sent me this email proving that they don’t feel the same way.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

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Filed under Self improvement, Technology