Tag Archives: iPhone

Not Really a Rant

11 Jun

Have you ever had those days when things started piling up. First, one thing. Then, another. Before you know it, you find yourself buried under a haystack of negative energy.Haystack

At some point, you find yourself getting mad at everything. It is like the world is a chalkboard, and the rest is all fingernails.

The cashier at the store.

The guy who decided to park in the middle of the street and get something out of his trunk.

The incessant sound of the weed-eater across the street.

The songs that come on the radio.

During times like this, only AC/DC and Black Sabbath can soothe my soul.

As you get mad at everything, you know deep in your heart that the world does not have a problem. It is all coming from inside.

That is the way I have felt for the past couple of days. There is no logical reason for it, and I am supposed to be a logical person. It is just that one thing hit me wrong, and an avalanche was the result.

This could lead me into a long blogging rant, but I am going to refrain. Instead of a long rant, here are a series of thoughts.

I am certain that a person I know sold their soul to the Devil.

I understand why Michael Jordan fans do not like LeBron James. I was a Larry Bird fan who did not like Michael Jordan.

Lightning bugs are strange creatures. They tend to not like being put in jars.

People who read Game of Thrones used to lord over those who only watch Game of Thrones. Now, they get mad because the show has gotten ahead of the books. Of course, they could stop watching.

My county has its own version of the Berlin Wall. It is called Highway 109.

We have a basketball goal, a trampoline and a volleyball net, and all of them are drooping.

The new Colonel Sanders is stupid and does the original Colonel Sanders a great disservice.

The iPhone should have never been invented. It is taking over our lives.

Summer is not the best season of the year. Fall is a lot better.

My last meal has to include Scotch Stew.

When a politician takes a stand of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, I will definitely vote for them.

Never forget that the Clampett’s were the smartest people on The Beverly Hillbillies.

 

Things I Do Not Understand

26 Nov

The world is full of mysteries. There are things about our home planet that we do not understand and may never will. Sometimes, I think about these mysteries and wonder about the things that I do not understand. Some of them are serious. Some of them are absurd. Some of them can be found in the middle.Understand

Tonight, I do not understand why:

airplanes stay in the sky.

some foods are only prepared during the holidays.

people wonder which came first – the chicken or the egg.

Bigfoot has never been found.

men hit women.

people think they have to choose between science and religion.

silent movies look like that are going in fast forward.

we have to fall back and spring ahead.

people need alcohol to relax or have a good time.

I am addicted to my iPhone.

many people find history boring.

Led Zeppelin will not reunite.

people choose not to vote.

fast food restaurants do not live up to their name.

we buy water in bottles when we already pay for it to come through the tap.

There you have it. On this night, those are the things I do not understand.

 

What Hath Bell Wrought

28 Feb

This week, I have been telling my classes about some of the technological advances of the late 1800s. That was a time when inventors experimented in labs throughout the world to develop the next great invention. One of those, the telephone, greatly impacted communication and continues to be an integral part of our lives.

(Interesting Trivia: The telephone was up and running before George Custer was killed at Little Big Horn; before Wyatt Earp became a lawman in Dodge City; before Jesse and Frank James attempted a failed bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota; and before Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president.)

Alexander Graham Bell is known by most as the inventor of the telephone. Of course, there has been debate about who invented it first, but he is the one who took the invention and made it a part of everyday life. This post is not about who invented it. Instead, it is about what we discussed in class.

I took the students through the evolution of the phone. We talked about party lines and how neighbors could listen to your conversations if they were so inclined.Party Line

We talked about how operators used to connect calls by sticking wires in the proper sockets.Operator

We talked about rotary dials, when people had to stick their hands in the proper holes and turn the dial. Then, they listened to it click as it moved back into place.Rotary Phone

We talked about phones with long cords that became tangled and stretched.Phone Cord

In short, we talked about things that they had never seen.

The telephone was a great invention and has alter the direction of humanity. However, I noticed something as I talked about the history of the telephone. Several of the students were not listening because they were playing around with their iPhones and Droids. While I was going over the virtues of the telephone, they were taking part in the bad side of the telephone.

For teachers, or anyone else who needs to have the attention of a group of people, telephones are the work of Satan. They are distractions for the ones using them, and they are distractions for the rest of us. These things have become attachments that people cannot do without.

On the first day of class, I tell everyone to stay off their phones. No texting. No tweeting. Put them away and do not look at them. I may as well be whistling in the wind. People cannot put down their phones. I am convinced that Steve Jobs was the most successful drug dealer in the history of the world. We cannot do without his product.

Just once, I would like to go back to the old days and have a class where no phone was in the room. Students would still daydream or stare out of the window. At least there would not be the blatant act of picking up a phone and looking at it and providing physical proof that they just do not care.

Ironically, I had to stop talking about the history of the telephone to tell people to get off their phones. As I walked out of class, I began to wonder what hath Bell wrought.

From Sports Illustrated to The Old Farmer’s Almanac

24 Dec

This is another one of those nights when I don’t have anything to write about. I thought about an expose on Duck Dynasty and the dangers of turning a real person into a television character, but I have heard enough about that topic. All I know is that I don’t agree with the opinions of most of the people around me.

Last night, my mind was running crazy with ideas to blog about. There was this movie character that I was going to compare to a person in my town. Then, I remembered how many people in my town read the blog. I also thought about writing about our dinner at a local establishment. In fact, that could be a future one.

Heck, I even thought about listing a bunch of stuff that I like. One day, I was driving down the road when I came upon a bridge. Out of the blue, I said, “I like bridges.” The lady who was with me said that I sounded like Forrest Gump. It’s true. I like bridges. That’s just the way it is.

As I sat down at the computer, I considered writing about the emails that we get from students when the semester is over, but I have already written about that. It’s usually over by down, but I am still getting emails about grades on Christmas Eve.

Of course, I could write about my current treadmill book. It is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. No Country for Old Men and The Road have already been scratched off my McCarthy list. They were both made into great movies, and I think this one would make a great movie, too. It would be one of the bloodiest and most realistic Westerns ever made. I am proud to say that McCarthy is a Tennessee guy.

Those are all things that could be written about, but I’m not going to do any of those. Instead, I am going to list some of the things that are on my desk.

There is the latest copy of Sports Illustrated.Sports Illustrated

Next to it is a box of dry erase markers.

A gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond is underneath there somewhere.

My grade book is out for those emails that I have been getting.

There is even a couple of VHS tapes.

There is a tape measure sitting on top of a book called John Henry: The Doc Holliday Story. It was written by Ben Traywick, native of Watertown, Tennessee and official historian of Tombstone, Arizona.

Sunglasses and a stapler are butted up against each other.

Beside them are a couple of lottery tickets that didn’t pay off.

My trusty iPhone is next to my trusty calculator. I know. The phone has a calculator, too. I don’t care because I like the old-fashioned kind.

There is a stack of bills and a newspaper clipping from the Civil War.

A little further away sits the 2014 issue of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.Almanac

If you want to get smarter, then you need to pick up a copy. It’s full of all kinds of great information. For example, November 25, my birthday, is one of the best days to set posts or pour concrete.

That’s the stuff that’s on my desk, and that’s also the reason my wife keeps telling me that I need to clean it.

iAddiction Revisited

31 Jul

In the early days of this blog, I wrote about being addicted to my iPhone. In that post, I stated my belief that Apple is the biggest drug dealer in history. They make products that people want and eventually need. Just look around. People are always looking at their phones. At restaurants. In class. In the car. At the movies. Our society has truly become addicted to this technology.iPhone Addict

I am no exception because I am on the iPhone all the time. From game apps to educational apps, I am always messing with them. I tell myself that the games help keep my mind sharp. Actually, they are melting my mind.

However, Twitter is the one that really gets me. I always look at it because I am afraid that I am going to miss something. I look at it before I go to sleep. I look at it when I wake up. The other night, I looked at it while I was watching a movie on television. Actually, I was listening to the movie while I looked at Twitter.

I don’t just read Twitter. I check to see if someone favorited or responded to one of my tweets. I check to see if I have another follower. It’s terrible.

That’s why I am cutting myself off for a few days. I am not going to look at Twitter (although this post will automatically be tweeted. I am not going to play games. All I am doing with my phone is call and text.

Knowing my iPhone habits and seeing it in others, I am beginning to think that there should be an iPhone Anonymous support group. Every other addiction has one.

Knowledge Trainer

5 Dec

I am addicted to my iPhone. Of course, this isn’t an isolated problem that affects only me. People are constantly looking at the things. They do it in class. They do it in meetings. They do it in restaurants. In a totally overlooked hazard, they do it while walking. Most of this time is spent on Facebook or Twitter or some other form of nonsense.

Fortunately, I have found a new iPhone addiction that actually teaches me something. It is a trivia app called Knowledge Trainer.

Play with this app and your brain will turn yellow.

Play with this app and your brain will turn yellow.

It’s a basic trivia question game with a twist. Each lesson has ten questions, but they are within different levels of difficulty. It starts at Level 1. If you get it right, then the next question jumps to Level 2. Correct answers bump up the level, and wrong answers bring down the level. The tougher levels bring higher points. Simple, right?

At the moment, I am on Lesson 271 and have reached the Expert category, but that doesn’t mean that I have mastered all of the subjects. My strongest categories are History (66%), Film (65%) and Sports (64%). My weakest categories are Science (45%), Arts & Letters (50%) and Miscellaneous (51%). In the middle are Social Science (60%), Music (56%), Technology (56%) and Geography (54%).

My average Knowledge Quotient is 190.1 with my highest Knowledge Quotient score at 450.2.

There are also national rankings that I find interesting. This ranks the states by the average scores within their borders. The Top 10 are:

Wyoming (117)

Delaware (113)

Montana (112)

Idaho (111)

Iowa (109

Nebraska (108)

Texas (108)

Illinois (107)

Alabama (106)

Oregon (106)

My state, Tennessee, has an average of 103.

The Bottom 10 are:

South Dakota (94)

Rhode Island (96)

Nevada (97)

Florida (97)

North Dakota (99)

Hawaii (100)

California (100)

Indiana (100)

Louisiana (100)

Arizona (102)

Anyway, it’s a pretty cool app. So, if you want to be addicted to something that doesn’t make you go completely brain-dead, then you may want to check out Knowledge Trainer.

iAddiction

10 Nov

I used to have a cell phone. You remember those things don’t you? I could make and answer calls. I could also text if I had a quick message for someone. I used that cell phone while people around me began to gobble up iPhones. My ex-girlfriend changed her service from Verizon to AT+T because the latter was going to get the iPhone first. As I watched her use it constantly, she kept saying that I should get one. I would love it. That’s exactly why I didn’t get one.

The iPhone is not a cell phone. It is the technological form of crack, meth and any other addictive substance you can think of. My ex stayed on hers constantly and so did her kids. I reckon that they continue to play with them at all times. A few days ago, as I was teaching, I looked over to see one of my students playing with her iPhone. Now, you have to understand that this pisses off teachers more than anything. On the first day of class, I established the rule that iPhones were not to be touched while class is in session. I even explained how I could see them trying to hide the thing in their laps while they fiddled with it. I’m not sure why their hands are under the table and moving around their crotch, but it’s something they should not be doing in class. Despite that, this student has her iPhone ON THE TABLE while sitting ON THE FRONT ROW. After yelling during class, I met with her after class and explained that this is probably the reason she has failed it twice before.

What can explain the behavior of my ex, her kids and the student other than iAddiction?

You can see it yourself. Look around a restaurant and see how many people have their face shining from the glow of the iPhone. Check out the people relaxing with their iPhone at Starbucks. Ride down the interstate and see how many people are looking at the iPhone instead of the road. Watch the news and notice how many Occupy protestors have iPhones. They are protesting the unfairness of our economic system while playing with an expensive technological innovation. How about paying your debts instead of buying an iAnything? Perhaps, then you would not need other people to pay your debts for you.

I did not get an iPhone because I knew that I would get addicted too. Just like everyone else. Then, I went to Santa Fe, and my cell phone crashed. I headed to the Verizon store and said that I wanted the phone closest to the one that crashed. However, the salesman was crafty. Just like a dealer on the corner, he could make me a deal on addiction. You know, sell it cheap, and the addict will come back for more. I had to have a phone and gave in to the pitch.

I am an iPhone-aholic.

Just as I feared, I can’t put it down.  I am constantly adding apps and messing with the phone day and night. I go to sleep using it and grab it as soon as I wake up. I use it riding in the car. I use it while talking to people. I use it while watching (hold on, while listening to) tv. It’s hard to watch tv and look at the iPhone at the same time. Naturally, I call and text, but that’s not what an iPhone is for. It’s for us to buy apps and feed our addiction.

So, what am I addicted to?

1. Slingo Supreme – a game that combines slot machines and bingo. My high score is 984,323,800. Has to be close to a record, right? Wrong. The top high score is 94,154,960,842. That’s not the national debt. That is somebody’s addiction.

2. Yahtzee Adventures – four variations of the classic game. My favorite is Duplicate, but I play them all over and over. When I reach 1,000 games I look at my winning %. I can’t stop until I hit 70%.

3. Moxie – the original version. It throws up letter tiles, and you rack up points by making words. Just don’t Twaddle.

4, Soundhound – an app that listens to songs and tells you the title and artist. It’s designed to pick up songs in restaurants or on commercials. I use it on my iPod to see if it can find obscure songs that I already have. Sick isn’t it?

5. Post Secret – people publish their deepest, darkest secrets anonymously. They are cool to read and cool to post. It’s amazing what secrets lie in my little town.

Those are my top five, but there are numerous others. Some were downloaded for information. Others were downloaded because they look cool on my iPhone. Whatever the case, I can’t get away from them.

A lot of people have iPhones,  and a lot of people are addicted. Steve Jobs passed away recently and has been hailed for his contributions to the world, his iStuff. I disagree. Like a good pusher, he got us addicted, and his company continues to produce better iThings for us to buy and get addicted to. Addicts can’t get high on the same thing forever. They have to keep using stronger stuff to get that kick. Apple is more than happy to supply them.