Friday, August 12, 2016

Pokemon Stop

So in an attempt to learn to at least tolerate the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, I installed Pokemon Go.

This was a mistake.

I first knew something might not be right when I started it up and my cute little avatar was sharing the exact same pixels as not just one but two creatures. I couldn't select them. I couldn't catch them. I couldn't do anything except make the whole thing spin in circles.

After spending a while googling and posting a plea on Facebook, I changed my location settings and suddenly I wasn't all up in the Pokemons. Soon I, too, had a Rattata, which I gather is sort of like having an STD.

Then I got stuck on a screen that wanted me to pick a nickname. A nickname using only letters and numbers. A nickname that nobody else in the world had picked. Millions of people have downloaded this app in the last five weeks. After seven tries, I finally found "p9o8i7u67u8i". (It rhymes with "Tim".)

The whole point of the game is to get exercise and have fun, so I gathered the little dog and woke up the big dog -- it was after 6pm, so he was already sleeping on the bed -- and headed out for our usual evening walk.

Up to now I hadn't even tried to bring my phone with me on walks because I was convinced I would drop it on the sidewalk. It turns out that fear was justified. This phone is so big that I have a hard time holding it, and there is literally no way to hang on to it without triggering some option on the screen unless you balance it on a flat palm. So I took it out of my pocket while we were stopped for the dogs to sniff something and then Ginger tried to walk off and I almost dropped it on the concrete.

So I put it back in my pocket and learned that with the location services on, the phone uses so much power that it heats up quite a bit. Yes, the phone was literally burning my ass.

I still hadn't seen anything to catch when it got stuck on some random screen and I had to kill off the app.

I started it up again, and five minutes later it was asking me to pick a nickname again. Really? That was when I started to think that maybe I should throw it on the concrete deliberately because it would be super satisfying to hear it shatter into thousands of shards. Also, this was the point when I noticed that I had a stress headache.

Here's the final screenshot:

Basically, if you enjoy playing this, good for you. I'm glad you're out getting exercise and having a good time.

I still hate this phone.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

Long time, no read I know, but I've been busy with my new job which is almost exactly like the old job except now I'm an employee. There are only a couple of differences.

The first is this:

When I went in Monday my boss handed me a box with the shiny new phone on the right. I unpacked the box and started charging it. That's pretty much all I've done with it for the last two weeks. Every time I stop for a few minutes I have to plug it in. It's a bit like a Tamagotchi -- if I don't feed it often enough it dies. Hopefully I don't ever need to use it for anything because the battery life seems to be about ten minutes. I give it another week before I drop it and the screen shatters.

In contrast, the phone on the left, which constantly causes outcries of "Hey, that was the first phone I had in high school!" from the young 'uns, is about seven years old, has a battery which lasts for almost a week, and has been dropped on hard surfaces at least once a week without anything worse than a little paint chipping. One of the engineers even sought me out last week to borrow it because they couldn't find another phone old enough for something they were trying to test. Unfortunately, at some point in the next couple of years the network will probably stop supporting it. That's probably okay, though, since I mostly use it as an alarm clock.

The only other real change is that as an employee I'm not supposed to be allowed to telecommute. I'm not even going to try to explain this. In any case, I now have a second cubicle at an office halfway between my house and the people I actually work with. It's situated nicely between the Budweiser factory and the Jelly Belly factory, so I figure I'm set in case of a disaster. There are only about ten people in the building. There are no vending machines, which is probably a good thing. The microwave in the break room is huge (like, Thanksgiving turkey huge) and looks even older than my own microwave which I got used from my brother over thirty years ago. It's probably going to kill us all with the number of rads it's leaking, but I'll never have to wait more than thirty seconds for my food to get hot.

Tuesday I have to go relearn the secret company handshake along with all of the nineteen year-old newly-hired retail employees. It's going to be a very, very long day...

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Some Days...

To alleviate the severe shortage of space to lie down in a three bedroom house with a gigantic yard, I bought some more dog beds.

So we've gone from this:
to this:

Meanwhile the three gigantic dog beds in the living room are sitting empty.

Not really how I had envisioned it working out.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"George, Don't Pee On Your Sister's Head!"

The house has been lacking a big dog for the past few years, so I rectified that this week. Meet Georgie:
He's a lovely five year old mumble-mumble-something-Shepherd mix who was looking for a place to live.

I took Ginger over to meet him at his foster home last Sunday,  and Ginger was pretty terrible but Georgie was good, and since I couldn't just swap dogs I brought Ginger back with me and adopted Georgie two days later. Better yet, he was 50% off. Such a bargain!

After a short detour to the Sheriff's Detention Center (Me: "Why do they have razor wire around the Solano County Shelter?"), I signed his papers and then picked him up.

The household has been adjusting pretty well. Georgie's about four times the size of Ginger. She can walk under him without ducking. This has led to a slight problem when they both run to sniff the same thing (which happens constantly on walks). They sniff, Georgie moves forward, lifts his leg, and pees on Ginger's head. Not ever having had a boy dog, I hadn't realized this would be a problem. Luckily Ginger is starting to back up when Georgie lifts his leg, so I think this phase is almost over.

Georgie also eats 4x the food and poops 4x the amount. Let's just say the yard will be kept short from now on.

Most importantly, Georgie is polite to the cats, even when they do things like this:
Yes, that's Ripley plopped in the middle of the one bed that Georgie sits on. He lay on the floor next to the bed for almost an hour. Eventually Ripley gave up and wandered off and Georgie got his bed back.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Another Day, Another Rejection

Remember back in the good old days before the Internet when you had to send a story via snailmail to get a rejection? You would stick some insane amount of postage on a manila envelope with your story and a self-addressed stamped envelope (aka SASE if you wanted to show you knew the cool lingo) and drop it in the box and then three months later you would get your SASE back with a letter saying "sorry, not what we want, try again later".

It's gotten easier. Now you just attach a file electronically (or paste the text into a box) and click on a button. And then the next day you get an email saying "sorry, not what we want, try again later". And then you go to the next website and do the same thing until that story has gone around the world enough times to retire. Then you start the same thing with the next story.

The process has gotten so efficient that it's almost as fast as just sending the story straight to the recycle bin.

It's okay, though. It keeps me amused.

In the meantime I'm working on my Camp NaNo novel. It's moving forward nicely. It's almost time to kill off someone. He's a jerk, though, so I don't feel too bad about it.

Obligatory graph:

Astute readers will notice that my bars are slightly under the ideal trend line. It turns out that sleep deprivation is not conducive for writing. Clearly the only solution for this problem is to quit my job. I mean, eventually I'll make a sale, right?

(The delusion is real with this one!)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

While I Was Sleeping...

This is just one of those week in review type posts. Mostly because it was sort of an odd week...

First off, the bathroom remodel is officially done. That means I have two complete functioning bathrooms! Woohoo! I celebrated by not getting up at 5-damn-thirty-in-the-morning over the weekend. Anyhow, it looks nice.

The next item is that I got a short story rejection at 3:05 am. I guess I should care more about the fact that it was rejected, but eh... seen one, seen dozens of them. (No really, I have.) It honestly doesn't bother me anymore. If something ever gets accepted I'll probably stroke out on the spot, so rejections could be seen as a good thing. But 3am? Now I feel bad that someone is going through the slush pile at 3am. Slush pile reader whoever you are, go get some sleep!

I stopped in at the corner market and bought some cookie dough and didn't look at the expiration date until I got home. December of last year. Yes, of course I ate it anyway. Can something with that much sugar go bad? I did, however, bake the dough first, just like it commands on the package. But seriously... isn't there any law about selling completely outdated food items? And more importantly, why do I ever go there?

And finally, Camp NaNo started on April 1st, so I'm once again writing 1,667 words per day. Some of those words are golden. Probably about ten of them, and not necessarily in the order I've put them, but still... golden! I'll try to come up with the elevator pitch for this book by next week's blog. Here is the progress as of this evening:

Until next week...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mine's the House That is Beeping

Before I forget, here are some tulips that I forgot to photograph a couple of weeks ago:

In remodeling news, the bathroom is one and a half days away from completion, by which I mean they will be finishing tomorrow except for a door which won't arrive until next week. (The company shipped the wrong thing the first time. My designer is not happy with them.)

I think I've mentioned before that as part of swapping out the electrical panel they had to install linked "smokies". The old ones are still in place, so now I have seven smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide monitor in a ten foot diameter area. My house is not huge. I always call it a "1950s tract house", but I think technically it's a "ranch-style" (without the ranch of course). I do have a book on the architecture in my area, so I know that on one side there is a 1913 Craftsman bungalow with a square bay window built on the angle of the front facade with classic tapered elephantine columns with block-shaped capitals and a gabled roof with a central dormer supported by simple elbow brackets, and on the other side is a 1928 rendition of Mediterranean Revival with a gabled front facade and classical front porch with a spiral-shaped column capped with a Corinthian capital, but for some reason the book skips over my house. In fact, my house is purposefully ignored in my neighbor's house's description with "originally this property included the lot to the immediate south". Yeah. There's a house on that lot now. And it has smoke detectors up the wazoo.

Anyhow, with all those smoke detectors I almost feel like I should start a fire or something just to get some use out of them, but I'd probably drop dead from the concentrated sound blast.