Oh No! I’ve Lost My Phone!

13 02 2016

Admit it. You’ve done stupid things. We all have. You, just like I, have done things only to look back and say, Boy that was dumb!


If you can’t think of anything, then allow me to help you.


How many times have you reached to pull your cell phone from its holder, your pocket or your purse, or wherever you normally carry it, while you were talking on your cell phone?


I was on a business trip to some far off land and, as usual, when I returned to my hotel room following dinner in a nearby restaurant, I pulled my cell phone from that annoying, yet essential, plastic holder attached to my belt to call my wife. As we spoke, she asked me if I had gotten a text she had sent me earlier in the day. Instinctively, I reached down toward my hip to grab my cell phone.


Now, had things stopped there, I would have probably been able to get away with that little mind cramp and my wife never would have known what stupid thing I had just done. But, no! I wasn’t satisfied to buy a cabbage from the “stupid farm”…I had to buy the entire farm!


Shift to Panic Mode!

My heart jumped into my throat as I panicked. After feeling the empty holder, I said to my wife, “I left my phone at the restaurant!”


“You what?” she asked.


“I left my phone at the restaurant! Either that, or it fell off somewhere. I have to go and see if I can find it!”


Now, I do have a reputation as a bit of a practical joker so I believe my wife’s initial thought was I was up to something. She never told me so but she had to be thinking, This can’t be real.


Finally, she said something like, “Maybe it’s on your ear.”


Suddenly, I realized where my phone was and we both had a good laugh.


Since then, I have come to learn that I’m not the only one who has done that. If that has happened to you then leave a comment to let me know I’m not the only one who has suffered such a momentary lapse of awareness. Maybe the studies are wrong after all-perhaps cell phones do affect the brain. I have to blame it on something.


She’s Not Siri but She’ll do!

8 03 2015

It’s almost embarrassing to share this, but then I realize there are probably many in my generation in the same boat. I have technology available to me, which I have simply made no effort to learn. As long as my computer or my smart phone does what is essential, I make little or no effort to learn any of its other capabilities. In other words, I’m satisfied with the status quo.


Tuesday evening, I had to get from Plattsburgh, in upstate New York, to my hotel in Burlington, Vermont, in the snow and the dark; so, I pulled up my handy-dandy Droid with its electronic brains and unparalleled geographic knowledge and punched in the coordinates. Okay, I entered the addresses but punching in coordinates sounds so much better. It’s a guy thing. Now, all I was trying to do was pull up the map showing me the recommended route to take. I figured, as always, just give me the map with the road numbers and names and I can take it from there. But then I noticed something on the screen I had not noticed before. There was a message reading, “Begin Navigation Now.” Wondering what would happen, I gave it a gentle touch.


Speak to me, Droidett.

Speak to me, Droidett.

“In 1000 feet turn right onto Wall Street.” Hey! It speaks, and with a female voice. My Droid is a Droidett! Until that magic moment, I assumed that only iPhones did that. I followed the precise directions turn-by-turn until I reached the street on which my hotel was located. Then, just as I was about to turn into the driveway of my hotel, “In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


No, that wasn’t true. It was right there in front of me. I was parking in the parking lot of my destination. Still, the voice repeated, “In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


Well, I just wrote it off as a mistake on the part of MapQuest or whoever was behind this geographic faux pas and got out of the car into the blowing snow and minus 5 degree wind chill.


At the front desk, my concerns of being at the wrong Hampton Inn were allayed when the desk clerk had my reservation. So, as I stood there registering, I heard a muffled voice coming from my coat pocket…“In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


I looked around and although there were plenty of people, none were close to me. It took me a moment to realize where the voice was coming from and, when I finally did, I ignored it. But then, two minutes later, there it was again; so, I pulled my phone from my pocket and tried in vain, amid the crowd in the lobby, to shut it off. How on earth do you shut this thing up? What was a comforting voice only ten minutes ago was now an embarrassing annoyance. Will I be forced to get a new phone because this voice won’t stop trying to get me to drive another thousand feet? Finally, I noticed another message near the bottom of the screen saying something like “End Navigation.” That did it. She finally stopped.


Now jump forward. The next day, I flew into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. I needed to get from there to my hotel du jour, which was 20 miles from the airport. Hey, I’ll use my newly found navigatetress to direct my way. I entered the requisite information and headed out. My electronic way-finder worked beautifully. After parking my car at the Hilton in Lisle, IL, I sat there behind the wheel for several minutes waiting for the voice to continue, while trying in vain to find that message, “End Navigation.”I didn’t want a repeat of the embarrassing moment from the night before. I finally gave up and went inside to check in. After getting registered, I was standing inside the elevator on my way to the fifth floor when I heard singing. My first thought was my SIRI sound-alike was continuing to give me directions only now in melodic harmony. Then I realized I was hearing Taylor Swift piped into the elevator.


After giving the whole situation some thought, I concluded that the Navigator shuts itself off when you reach your destination; but, until you reach your destination, it will keep blasting out directions until the Rapture occurs or the charge dies, whichever comes first. So let that be a warning to you…if you use your GPS to get you to a funeral, you’d better darned well make sure you get to the right funeral.


Manhood in a Jar? I Doubt it!

14 04 2014

Well, I’ve seen it all now. Recently, I saw a TV commercial for a testosterone deodorant. That’s right-testosterone deodorant. I couldn’t help but give thought to what might happen if this miracle product was misused. For example, what would happen if someone rubbed some of this stuff on their dog? I considered a number of possibilities. I envisioned the dog lying on the couch, remote control in hand watching Lassie re-runs all night. Shortly, the words began to flow resulting in this:

Every day for several months
Bubba had been depressed.
He didn’t like the way he felt.
Or the frilly way he dressed.

He’d fallen in love with chick flicks
He’d cry at the drop of a hat.
His voice was growing higher
And his middle was getting fat.

So Bubba went to see his doctor
Who ran every test that’s known.
And sharing his diagnosis said
it was low testosterone.

So, Bubba tried everything
that his doctor had prescribed
But his self esteem continued to fall
And his voice continued to rise.

Then one day Bubba saw an ad
For what he thought might do the trick.
It was some new testosterone cream
but you roll it on your pits.

So Bubba went on Amazon
With Master Card in hand
And ordered up some Axiron
And rubbed it on his glands.

After several weeks of daily use
Bubba was still depressed.
His voice grew even higher
And he started growing breasts.

He finally decided that all was lost
And that his fate was set.
So Bubba went to city hall
and changed his name to Bubbette.

I’m All Thumbs!

28 09 2013
Flash Thumbs!

Flash Thumbs!

I stood in line at Dunkin-Donuts at Lambert Airport in St. Louis watching a thirty-something young lady in front of me texting. As she composed her message, her thumbs moved so quickly they were a blur. It looked like she had six thumbs. Remember that scene from The Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj all dressed up as the Flash, and Raj suggested they walk in single file so they would appear to be one person moving really fast? I mean letters were appearing on her phone screen faster than the rising numbers on the national debt tote board. I have seen young people text before, and I emphasize young people because, although my generation does text, few can text with the speed of a Smith Corona. That’s not a beer, young people-it’s a typewriter. It seems that most of my generation, myself included, uses the single digit technique or SDT. I prefer the right index finger. My wife, I have noticed, is a pinky texter.



Then, I asked myself, why not me? I have two thumbs which are just as nimble and mobile as hers, so why can’t I text with both thumbs? Oh wait, I don’t text. But, I could compose my emails faster by using both thumbs and kicking them into passing gear.

So, after I bought and ate my breakfast, I checked my email and had one I wanted to respond to. With my Droid firmly seated in both hands, thumbs at the ready, I began.

“Thsrxb, ///donht gaaspr?/.” I looked at what I had typed and quickly decided I could type faster, or at least with some semblance of accuracy, if I use my SDT. Even my autocorrect was confused. If autocorrect was human, I have no doubt that old adage- didn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt- would be appropriate here. I tried again and this time dropped my Droid. I looked around to make sure no one was watching as I picked it up. That’s it. I gave it the old college try. Back to reality.

I guess my brain can’t keep up with two thumbs working in total disharmony. I’ll be happy peck, peck, pecking along with my right index finger, ya’ll.

My, my, my, my, my Corona! Forgive me, I couldn't resist.

My, my, my, my, my Corona! Forgive me, I couldn’t resist.

Celebrating Dooty

13 07 2013

My youngest granddaughter reached a milestone yesterday when she had her first successful poop in the potty. Though not a milestone she’ll

It's potty time!

It’s potty time!

celebrate such as reaching teen-hood on her thirteenth birthday or graduating from college, it is a milestone nonetheless; one her parents can celebrate. The sad thing about it is she’s too young to appreciate the meaning of that new-found skill. Imagine the joy she would feel if she could realize the full impact of no more poopy diapers. Imagine the exuberance she would experience if she could see how this will enhance her social life. So while my wife and I Face-Timed lavish praise for this life-accomplishment, which is sure to save her from a lifetime of embarrassment, I was inspired to take a major step of progress of my own.

I had written my latest blog post and was planning to post it later last night, but wanted to insert a link taking my readers to a YouTube video so they could hear the song Sukiyaki. Back in March, I was happier than that Geico camel on hump day when I figured out how to insert video (see No Do-Overs posted on March 17, 2013) into my post. But a link, although I was sure would be simple, as simple as pooping in the potty, was still something new to me. Only Graecyn can imagine the pride I felt when I figured out how to do it and actually saw it work. To those of a later generation, such as my kids, it’s hard for you to realize the sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching a computer milestone, even one as elementary as inserting a link into a blog post. To my generation that’s as good as it gets. That said, if you didn’t click on the link when you read the previous post, Made in Japan, then do me a favor and do it. After all, you’re the reason I put it there. Besides, it’s really a great song.

A Great Song
That brings up another issue. I told my wife last night, during my moment of victory, that Sukiyaki was one of my favorite songs of all time. I

The computing geezer's best friend. Get your copy today!

The computing geezer’s best friend. Get your copy today!

can hear some of you now with the same thought that my wife voiced last night…”why?!”

I enjoy the voice of Kyu Sakamoto. I love the orchestral sounds. It’s soothing. It’s relaxing. It’s nostalgic. It reminds me of a different age; a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors. It was A Christmas Story-like time when you could leave your keys in the car while you went from store to store doing your Christmas shopping. A kid could mount his or her bicycle and ride across town without fear of being kidnapped. It was a time when a computer filled a room, a mouse was cat prey and a link was a single element of a chain. Yes, by today’s standards, it was a bit archaic but that’s what makes it so exciting. My generation didn’t grow up with the computer so we find the technology exciting and challenging and even minor accomplishments are major victories as rewarding as moving from diapers to big-boy, or should I say big-girl pants.

Getting Old

3 04 2013

Age sneaks up on you. One day you’re running across a field shagging fly balls with your sons and before you can say senior citizen’s discount, you find yourself moving a lot slower from the bed to the shower each morning. They say sixty is the new forty. Well, I’m sixty years old, nearly sixty-one, and I can say that I did not feel this way at forty. While I’m not at all sensitive about my age, I have come to realize that we don’t usually see ourselves the way the world sees us. If you are one who cares and you really want a true picture, you won’t find it in the mirror because in the mirror, good or bad, you see what you want to see. Instead, you have to see yourself through the eyes of others. Since you can’t see through their eyes, you listen, instead, to their words, like a blind person listens intently as a sighted person describes a sunset.
I was teaching a class last week in Florida and one of the students, a young lady who appeared to be younger than at least two of my three kids, was telling me a story about something. I can’t remember what it was. (There’s your first clue you’re getting old-bad memory). Her story started out, “These really old people, no offense, were…” That’s all I remember about her story. After “no offense” she lost me; not because it bothered me but because I realized I could see myself through her eyes. No offense taken. In fact, I thought it was funny and my first thought was… blog post!! mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-kres53jz-161720-500-326

What are other ways you can tell you’re getting old? You might be getting old if:
• It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
• You go from the den to the bedroom and forget why you went to the bedroom so you retrace your steps and forget why you returned to the den (when I get up to leave the room I try to remember to tell my wife where I’m going and why so she can remind me when I forget)
• Your belt begins to rub blisters under your armpits
• You never finish a story because you always forget the ending
• You know the words to any Tennessee Ernie Ford song
• You know who Tennessee Ernie Ford is mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-229t
• You have to get your body rocking forward to get off the couch
• You know the meaning of vertical hold and can remember getting off the couch to adjust it
• You’ve ever used a fake ID to get into a movie
• Young people tell stories about really old people and ask you not to take offense

The Colonoscopy

20 02 2010

If you are preparing for your first colonoscopy, there is no way I can describe what you are about to experience in a way that allows you to really appreciate the event. Oh, I can try, but this is one of those things, like getting married or winning the lottery, that you must experience firsthand to really gain an appreciation.

A Colo-What?

My doctor told me I needed a colonoscopy. Immediately my mind began to process what he had just said. I had heard that word before, but it never occurred to me to ask what it meant. I only knew it was some type of medical procedure. Suddenly I found myself breaking the word down as if I was back in 9th grade Latin. Colon. I knew what that meant. That would be my gut; the human version of chitterlings. Oscopy. Sounded like it would have something to do with a scope of some sort. Colon-oscopy; a scope in my colon? I only knew of one way to get a scope into my colon and that wasn’t a pleasant thought. And what does this scope look like? How big is it? What difference does it make; I’m talking about a scope inside my colon! What could possibly be in there that the doctor would want to see that badly? And if he finds something that should not be there, how does he plan to get it out? Suddenly, I did not like the direction this doctor visit had taken.

But my doctor explained the procedure to me from A to Z and it really didn’t sound like that big a deal. He assured me, and rightfully so, it was completely painless.

First you’ll need to decide who your escort will be. You need to have someone go with you because you will not be allowed, nor will you be able, to drive yourself home afterward. Besides, it’s good to have a friend or loved one to sit and listen while you ramble under the effects of the medication. When trying to find someone to go along you really want someone who is a close relation-the closer the better-more about that later.

Oh, This Sounds Like Fun

Preparation for the procedure begins the night before by cleansing the colon. Everything that is in there will have to come out. We aren’t talking about a laxative such as Ex-Lax or Feenamint. Think more like Drano or Liquid Plumber. We’re talking about some industrial strength substance that won’t stop working until every trace of digestible material has seen the light of day.

For my first colonoscopy I was given an information sheet which instructed me to get something called Fleet, from my pharmacy. I was to mix this clear fluid with the clear beverage of my choosing. The nurse recommended 7-Up. I’m here to say it doesn’t make any difference what you mix this stuff with there is no way to make it palatable. This is the part that is so hard to describe. I can tell you step-by-step what happens during the procedure and give you a pretty good idea what to expect, but there are no words in the English language which can accurately depict how bad this bowel prep tastes. Why, just the thought of this stuff entering my mouth makes my jaw muscles tighten and my mouth water as if I’m about to hurl. If given a choice between eating a pound of axle grease and drinking Fleet, I’ll give serious consideration to the grease. I don’t know who dreamed up this concoction but waterboarding would be too kind a fate for him.

Well, the good news is a different prep is available. This other substance, which I used for subsequent colonoscopies, is much more tolerable and just as effective. But, regardless of which one you use, be near a bathroom-your bathroom-when you drink it. Don’t drink it while you’re on a plane. Don’t drink it while over at a friend’s house or on your way to work. When you swallow this prep you want to be in close proximity to your own private toilet.

Having taken the prep as prescribed, you’ll be sitting there with a good book or enjoying Jeopardy when suddenly you’ll hear (and feel) the first rumblings emanating from deep down in your gut. Your spouse, out in the yard, will probably come running inside thinking you just rolled down the stairs or dropped the television. Not much later the rumblings will increase in both frequency and intensity. It will reach a point at which it sounds less like a distant tornado and more like a full orchestra tuning up for a concert. Your dog, unaware of what is going on, will probably detect something devastating is about to happen and run for cover.

Don’t Squeeze the Charmin

That’s when it’ll hit. You’ll jump from your seat and make a mad dash for the bathroom. Take your book with you and don’t plan to get back in time for Final Jeopardy.

Sure, you’ve experienced the big D before. You’ve had the flu. You’ve had bad chili that came back to haunt you. But you’ve never experienced diarrhea like this. This diarrhea makes Montezuma’s revenge seem like a leaky faucet. The explosion of waste is more like the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens.

In the days preceding the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens, the ground shook and rumbled and the mountain bulged until it could no longer hold back the gases expanding within. In a sudden and violent eruption of gases underneath the mountain, lava, mud, steam, rocks, and trees were sent flying for miles.

That is a fair description of this first trip to the bathroom, but take heart… subsequent visits will be less violent. And, there will be subsequent visits. In fact, before the sun comes up you’re likely to, depending on how much you’ve had to eat, make several trips to the bathroom.

Then somewhere around 4 AM you’ll make your last visit to the john and can now take a shower and get dressed for your visit to the doctor.

Smile, It’s Showtime

It is at this point you can relax-the worst is over. Well, actually that depends on how you feel about public flatulence. At the clinic you’ll be escorted to a room, well, not exactly a room since a room has four walls. This space has three walls and a curtain. I always hated getting undressed behind a curtain, but that’s what you are there for. You’ll remove your clothes and put on one of those gowns like they give you in the hospital; you know the kind with the opening in the back that you can’t figure out how to put on?

Then you’ll get in the bed and a nurse will insert an intravenous tap into your arm which will be used later to administer the medication.

Ah… the medication. I don’t know what it is but it is good stuff. Once this medication begins to work you’ll be conscious but you won’t remember a thing-nor will you care. I have heard of some of the things patients have said during this procedure, while under the effects of this medication. A doctor or nurse who makes a living performing this procedure on a daily basis would likely be able to write a great book. My doctor has shared some of the things I said during the procedure and my wife has told me some of the things I said afterward, before the medication wore off.  I’m just afraid of what I may have said that the doctor is not telling me. But once they begin the flow of medication it’s lights out.

Symphonic Cacophony

After the procedure is complete you’ll be taken back to the little curtained cubby where you began, where you will stay until you recover from the medication. Here I need to come back to that escort mentioned earlier. This is the part the escort, or designated driver, will enjoy the most. It will be a reward for the time they sat waiting patiently for you to complete the procedure and recover from the medication. It is also why you want someone who is really close to you, and hopefully discreet, very discreet.

During the procedure a fair volume of air enters the colon. Well, that air, just like anything else that enters the colon, must get out, and it will take the same escape route that everything else takes.  Now keep in mind, you probably will not be the only patient there who has had this procedure. There may well be several of you. Also, remember the room will be closed off only by a curtain. In other words, it is not sound-proof. So, as your escort sits there, and probably unbeknown to you, it will sound like the quality control room at a whoopee cushion factory.

Shortly afterward you will be offered something to drink and then released to go home.

So, just to recap… you will have to endure a power  cleansing so you can then  lay on your side while a doctor feeds a flexible television camera up your…ah, into your colon, after which you will lay in a semi-public area while passing tons of gas to the tempo of the William Tell Overture. And, for all this fun, you will pay the doctor. Enjoy!