Speak up

Like many people, I have my phone synced to my husband’s car. Primarily this is to listen to the music I like while driving.

But, it also comes in handy when using the gps/google maps app on my iPhone to navigate to strange places.

Which is cool, but not without its hang ups.

For instance, if I turn off the music either on my iTunes app or via the radio, no navigational commands come in.

But what is worse is that the music will be loud but Siri will speak softly. Nothing like two folks in the car asking each other what was that? Yes, we can look at the phone with its arrows and diagrams (no 8×10 glossy with a paragraph on the back tho), but doesn’t that defeat the purpose.

Ah, well. Maybe the great gurus of the internet will be able to solve our problem.

Until next time!

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Great Expectations

I watched 2 pieces on Netflix the other day. One was a short, part of a Halloween series, dedicated to the horror genre. The other was a murder mystery set in Victorian London about a serial killer and the marginalized detective out to find the killer.

We watched the Halloween series first and in it, truly for the first episode, I was watching and thinking how like the others in its genre it was. Which isn’t bad. In many ways an entertainment is always about delivering to expectations. But somewhere along the way, there was that inkling in your head that something isn’t quite as it seems. And the feeling intensified, until you realized the victim wasn’t the victim but the hunter.

It was brilliant really, until I realized that kinda set the theme for all the episodes, then the novelty wore off.

The second mystery was very good as well. It starts mid murder spree and the switching of an up and coming for a side-lined detective, one who can be sacrificed on the altar of public opinion when the murders fail to be solved. It just so happens that one of the suspects has recently been poisoned by his wife (who is currently on trial for her life). The detective is sure to save her, if only he can determine that he husband was the killer and she poisoned him to save her life. All clues point to this, and more. But then there’s a twist, and it is revealed that she isn’t a lamb about to go meekly to the slaughter.

I loved it. The hubbinator hated it.

Which just goes to show you can please all of the people all of the time:D

Until next time.

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Friday Futurecast: Human Labor, part 2

Last week, I talked about the machines taking over and humans being paid to keep out of business. This week is the other side of that coin.

I’m talking microbusiness. Each business in a community supports that community. No more big box stores but small mom and pop shops, where items at the hardware store can be printed on a 3-D printer. Raw materials will be available globally at the same price big business is now able to purchase items to enable capitalism to work its magic around the globe.

All foodstuffs will be locally sourced from nearby farms and prepared by onsite cooks/chefs, possibly ending the obesity crisis in children. Internet markets could sell or trade commodities, ie oranges in Arizona could be swapped for peaches from Georgia.

Manufacturing, when it happens, will be company owned by the workers, with open sales and competition on the internet. Technology would be introduced at the will and option of the owner/workers, not just managers whose pay is a multiple of the bottom line.

Arts and crafts will be taught and encouraged (the Craftsman bungalows were the inspiration to this way of thinking and a response to mass production). Internet sales will play a key role and keep competition healthy, but with owners and employees working, living, and playing side by side, all would have a vested interest in keeping the company solvent and competitive.

In other words, we’re going back to the early 1900s when communities were reasonably self-sufficient. This would have the bonus effect of limiting the fall out of natural disasters and increase the resiliency of our cities and towns and nation.

Until next time.

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Heading out

I’m never sure if preparing for a vacation or returning from a vacation, makes work seem like so much work.

There is the anticipation of the vacation when I am master of my time. And let’s not rule out sleep.

That no one gets during the normal work routine. Not with time spent on weekends catching up with all the items that keep the household running.

But then there is the downside. You’ve had a vacation. You were your own master. And now you’re back in the yoke, accountable for the time spent on each project.

Both before and after suck.

But not enough to give up vacations.

Until next time

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Pooling together

Last monday, there was a storm. And dust and leaves filled my pool.

On Tuesday, I was outside at 4am vacuuming and backwashing and emptying the pump basket.

On Wednesday, another storm blew in. Lots of rain (yay!) and leaves and dust. I decided to put off cleaning the pool until Friday. The hubbinator brushed the pool to keep the dirt moving around.

on Friday, after ferrying my daughter to her dental surgery, I began to clean the pool again. Except the vacuum didn’t work properly.

There was a clog in the line. I emptied the hose for the pool shark. I emptied the baskets. When the hubbinator came home, we worked together Friday night. And Saturday.

We brought out garden hoses, the wet vac (which causes a nice geyser). We had 3 plungers and a plumber’s snake. We improvised with tweezers, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, paperclips, and rocks.

On Sunday, we worked our way to the impeller and removed 2.5 olive pits, dog hair, and twisted leaves.

And it worked.

Then our amazon package arrived and we worked another hour and a half to replace the backwash plunger.

Now the pool works and last night we had a storm. With leaves and dust, but only a little rain.

I love the monsoon season.

Until next time.

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Friday Futurecast: Human Labor (part 1)

Technology usually makes our life easier and more efficient. But there’s no doubt that it is also taking human jobs.

Let’s face it when the only thing that matters is the bottom line-a robotic system that can work 24/7/365, that doesn’t need raises, that doesn’t come with the host of problems humans stir up is very attractive.

Sure, there will be some jobs created to maintain the technology, but for how long? Robotic repairs and AI defensive systems will evolve quickly to do those human jobs, too.

Which leaves human labor where?

Will we be kept as exotic pets in a stratified society, where the rich maintain their position? Will we evolve arts and culture and achieve our dream of space exploration (truthfully, I could see the AI’s leaving us behind and leaving just to get away from us.).

There would be population controls and calorie rationing.

And while there would be much loafing about.

But let’s face it. Humans would screw this up. There’s an old saying: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. It wouldn’t take long before jealousy and lack of purpose sets in and we turn on each other. The question remains: would the AIs eliminate us or would we eliminate them first?

Until next time.

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The monsoons are here and yesterday, we actually got rain. Lots of rain.

It was wonderful. Yes, I went outside in it. Yes, I splashed in a few puddles.

And yes, I grumbled about the humidity when it was over.

Because… humidity.

I’m sure most of you now that in Arizona, we have dry heat. 110F is warm, 115F is hot. Both are manageable with enough sense, water, and sweat. And since I have plenty of all three, I do just fine.

However, sweating does no good in humidity. Frankly, I’m pretty sure my body is on the verge of a shutdown. How does one keep cool in humidity. Stay inside where it’s air conditioned. Except, I have to drive around, get out of my vehicle and take samples in the humidity. So, it doesn’t exactly work.

And then there’s exercising. Same routine on a dry day is less effort than on a humid day. There are only two benefits to humidity. First, it isn’t as cold when you get out of the pool but that’s not really much of a benefit.

Second: Rain. Lots of rain.

Here’s hoping for a really wet summer.

Until next time.

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