Apple Watch Model 3

I was growing a bit frustrated with my FitBit activity tracking device since the company’s new owner and charter added more subscription services, which in turn brought more ads and promotions to the FitBit. This often occurred multiple times per day.

My interest in the Apple Watch was renewed and I began researching the health analytics it could provide, both native and in free or low cost watch apps. It appears to do a deeper dive into activity stats than the FitBit. These stats are accessed from or loaded into the apple Health App database.

I then saw that Apple dropped the price on the Apple Watch model 3 to $200, which is the one I was considering. The newer Apple Watch 5 is out of my budget range. So I bought the Model 3, smaller of the 2 screen sizes offered, as that size matched the screen I was using on the FitBit with no readability issues. I did not add the cellular option, having no desire to emulate Dick Tracy and talk to my wrist, or pay for another cellular connection. Besides, as long as you are within Bluetooth range of your phone, you can answer calls and converse.

I’ve had the watch now for a little over a month and am fairly impressed. The data on exercise activity is impressive. Right now I’m leaving options active that prompt you to get up off your ass if you’ve been sitting too long, or do a minute of slow deep breaths to clear your head.

I definitely need to learn more about the device and check out watch apps that fill a few holes in the stats. For example, the watch itself does not track sleep as the FitBit did, but there are inexpensive Apple watch apps that do. It took me awhile to home in on the one that worked the best, because it allowed you to fine tune more parameters related to how you sleep. This tuning took a few days, but the results are near as accurate as with the FitBit, but I’m not done tuning yet.

I will probably create a Chapter 2 version of this post later as I find other things the watch can do that I would be interested in. My only complaint so far is battery life, which may be my fault as I have yet to shut down services it’s running that I don’t use, and stop notifications I don’t want. This will be a tedious exercise.

I still have a lot to learn about all the things it can do, that would be useful to me. Even with as little I’m using it for now, I’m happy I made the jump off FitBit.

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.

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

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

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. , Author and Commentator
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.

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

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

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.

STUART PEBBLE, Executive Producer and Writer for BBC Series Grumpy Old Men
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.