Current Blips

Cache dump of very brief thoughts, ideas, and recommendations.

2019-11-13: I’ll put this in the Who Cares? category, but the condo now has all new windows, and I’m really pleased with the results. A significant plumbing issue has been resolved. Next? Replace kitchen appliances and more plumbing fixes.

2019-11-04: There is a new gallery posted at RuCyrious.com featuring art by Josan Gonzalez. The theme is The Future is Now and presents a vision of the artist’s view of where technology is taking us.

2019-10-15: I revisited posts created during the 2016 Presidential Election and retired those addressing the players, but not ones centered on the government itself. Fits with my decision to not post about the 2020 Spawns of Satan. Oops.

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Talking to Robots

Recent experiences at trying to get to a blood pumping, lung breathing, skin draped human when I’m trying to resolve an issue with a large corporation have been mind crushing.

I will sometimes succeed when the robot voice answering the call offers numerical choices I can respond to with my keypad, but when they want me to actually speak to them about what I want, this technology all too often leads me to blast profanity, at high volume, that could get me incarcerated.

Sorry. I could not understand you. Please try again.

This morning’s call into my service provider was the best example yet proving we are still in the infancy stages of this technology. The large corporations using it do so to decrease their head count, and look hip. Twice in the first call I was redirected back to the very top of the question and response chain after spending 3 to 4 minutes trying to provide the reason of my call. If the police or federal agents knock on my door sometime today I will not be surprised.

Sorry. I could not understand you. Let’s start over..

On my second call in, I responded to every request for information with a 5 second hold down of my zero (0) keypad button. This finally led to being dumped into a call center, and after a 5 to 10 minute wait (no problem with that, my headset is on and I’m doing other things), I actually got to an actual live person. It wasn’t the right person (my bad for the hold down the 0 ploy), but a nice person who sent my call to the right place in less than a minute, where my issue was resolved in less than 2 minutes by another pleasant person.

I really do try to play nice with the bots when they present themselves, but the technology just isn’t there yet. And when it starts listing the different issues you may be calling about, I find all too often mine is not offered as a selection. I do use online services so I almost always search the target corporation’s web site for an answer on my problem, or specifically where to call.

Suggestions to our Corporate Czars? Back off a little with the reductions in headcount in the customer service area, until the bot voice technology catches up as a quality replacement. And the folks in your company managing the bot technology may need to understand the human interface a little better.

Sorry. I am not working well for you. I will transfer you to Margie. She will help you.

Grumpy Old Men

When all else fails, regurgitate some one else’s work. Another post of memorable quotes, from miserable bastards, past and present. Taken from a book titled Are You a Miserable Old Bastard?, by Andrew John and Stephen Blake, from 2008. My response to their question is that I’m working hard at it every day, and thank them for providing me with training.

I make no judgement on those being quoted, or their noteable targets. You however, should enjoy doing so.


The reason that so many people showed up at his funeral was because
they wanted to make sure he was dead.SAMUEL GOLDWYN (on the death of Louis B. Mayer)


I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.GROUCHO MARX (on leaving a dinner party)


The Beatles are not merely awful, I would consider it sacrilegious to say
anything less than that they are god-awful. They are so unbelievably horrible,
so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of art, that
they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music.
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. , Author and Commentator


An outstandingly unpleasant man, one who cheated and stole from
his friends and peed on their carpets.
KINGSLEY AMIS, WRITER (on poet Dylan Thomas)


A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do
nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.
FRED ALLEN, Comedian


It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better. While the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.
WOODY ALLEN, Comedian


The G in AGA syndrome stands for Grumpiness, midway between the A for Anger that you feel when you are young, and the A for Acquiesense you feel when you realize it’s all gone to hell and there is nothing you can do about it.
STUART PEBBLE, Executive Producer and Writer for BBC Series Grumpy Old Men


Getting Older: An Observation

I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, so it takes me a little longer than most to realize things like this.

I’ve been retired for about 6 years and will be 70 on my next birthday. It’s only recently that I woke up to the fact that the older I get, the more the frequency of people in my current circle of family and friends passing away will increase.

At this time in our culture, this is a fact of life that even modern medicine doesn’t have a significant impact on. You can only get so many miles out of your body.

No, I don’t sit around thinking and worrying about “who’s next”. All I’m trying to say is that it should not be a surprise to me, or you, that as a “senior citizen”, until it’s our end of time the number of memorials, funerals, wakes, and life celebrations attended in a given year will increase. And that some of these events will have more impact than others.

Acknowledging this as I get older, will help to lessen the blow a little. Comforting the family members and friends of the deceased, the ones I know well enough, will be helpful to them, and to me.