blogging, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

OPEN COMMENTS WEEK

Use the comments section to talk about anything of interest.
Anything at all.
I’ll lead off with some foolery.

Lies I Tell Alexa

Suffering from the general preconceptions inflicted on the elderly, my Lady and I received, as a Christmas present, an omniscient Alexa. It’s so we can easily call for assistance. If (meaning when) needed. We don’t like it, since Alexa sells everything it hears to advertisers. So, I try to confuse it.

ALEXA…

“Where can we dispose of all these ballot boxes full of Trump votes?”

“Why are the initials “dy” on the lid of my Hewlett Packard laptop?”

“Please log on to HunterBidensFinestHour.com. Keep trying.”

“Is it true the rumble strips on the highway are for blind drivers?”

“Do you hear that? Alexa! What is it!?”

“Is it legal, in Utah, for a Mormon to marry his widow’s sister?”

“How many chickens would it take to kill an elephant?”

“Did President Abraham Lincoln commit suicide with a Colt or a Smith & Wesson?”

“Call the kitty.”

(You get the idea. It’s Open Comments Week.)

Standard

16 thoughts on “OPEN COMMENTS WEEK

  1. mimispeike says:

    I love open comments week. Cause I get to say anything I want. Not that I don’t regardless.

    I just finished a poster for Maisie’s film ‘Aida’ – she made a series of operatic-themed films. This art took me all weekend, but it was worth it. I wish I could figure out how to show it here. I know there’s a way, GD has done it.

    This was a lot of work for an image that’s going to display about three inches high, on an intro page for a section dealing with Maisie’s important films. But I’ve created it large enough to reuse at a larger size, on a page dedicated to the film.

    I have three other posters about halfway along, and two that are only in the mock-up stage.

    That’s what I’m doing. How’s about the rest of you?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimispeike says:

    The premise of Maisie’s ‘Aida’: A timid little lady’s maid is sent to the opera as a surprise by her kind employer. She daydreams that she is on stage. Maisie plays a dual role–the maid and the diva. Gloria Swanson did the same thing in several of her films.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mimispeike says:

    OK, let’s see if this works.

    Well it worked. But it sure came in small. (I put it up on Pinterest)

    My art is a lot sharper than this. This really looks crappy. My Photoshop file, and the posted png are both absolutely fine.

    Maybe I’ll post this with another article for next week. By then I should have my next image done: the poster for ‘Sweet Maisie O’Grady.’ I’ve got the ground prepared. I just have to get Maisie into an 1890’s Music-Hall-Flora-Dora style gown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just use .jpg images from my own photos and upload them using the “image” block designation when creating a post or page. Can you scan it to your computer as a .jpg? (Actually, .png should work the same way. You shouldn’t need to create a URL for it.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. GD, does taunting Alexa indicate you are feeling much better than you have been? Does she answer? Does she complain?

    I don’t often talk to Siri. When I do, it’s usually to tell her to set the timer. I used to say please and thank you with no acknowledgement from her. So I finally asked why she didn’t ever say “You’re welcome” when I said, “Thank you”. Her response was, “I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the web for ‘Hey Siri why don’t you ever say you’re welcome when I say thank you’.”

    Now that I’m sure she has no evolving social awareness or intelligence, I just tell her what to do.

    On the flip side, one of her programmed responses used to be hilarious. Ask her what 0 divided by 0 is. Her original answer was “Imagine that you have zero cookies and you divide them between zero friends. How many cookies would each friend get? See? It makes no sense. And Cookie Monster is sad because there are no cookies, and you are sad because you have no friends.”

    Someone must have complained that their feelings were hurt (or perhaps someone was driven to suicide) because now the answer ends with, “And Cookie Monster is sad because there are no cookies, and your friends are sad because they don’t exist.”

    There is some debate among scholars as to whether “they don’t exist” refers to the cookies or the friends, but The Friends of the Grammar Police have rightly pointed out that the pronoun refers back to the most recent noun, meaning it is the friends who don’t exist. I wonder, then, how they can be sad.

    Or perhaps, as Sigourney Weaver’s Gwen DeMarco’s Tawny Madison screamed, “This episode is badly written!”

    At least it saves you the humiliating sadness of having no friends because having non-existent friends doesn’t mean you have no friends. It just means at least some of your friends are imaginary.

    To me, that indicates you have, if not a rich interior life, at least an interior life that is not impoverished. To you, I say, well done. Enjoy.

    But if you ask Siri what she would say to someone whose interior life is not impoverished, she will give you three Catholic charities to “check out” on the web. Good luck with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Perry Palin says:

    I am old. I don’t care for much of the modern technology. I don’t want to rely on the modern technology because when it fails, I might not remember how to do for myself. Years ago a school teacher said she couldn’t come to work because her garage door opener wouldn’t open the garage door. She didn’t understand the function of that cord with the little plastic handle hanging from the door release.

    We benefit from technology, but when it fails? My kids seem to need electronic mapping to drive across town. This month my wife and I drove from NW Wisconsin to SW Texas without electronics and without a map. We got on the interstate and drove south. To come home we got on the interstate and drove north. Intuitive, simple, effective, and no software to go haywire.

    Lots of other examples that I won’t relate. I’m my father’s son. I thought the worst thing that car makers did to cars was introduce the automatic transmission. My dad said the worst thing they did was eliminate the hand crank.

    GD, glad you’re felling better. No need to tell the neighbors as long as they bring soup.

    I’m chagrined for not being more present here lately. I’ve been challenged by our winter weather, the driving trip to Texas, a writing class and a local writers’ group. Some of those are on the wane, and I plan to reengage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perry, I’m with you on modern tech. I use a cell phone and computer but for only a fraction of what they can do. Our car is a 2005 Ford Taurus and when we rent a new car for a trip, I still look behind me to back up.

      I also suspect that many people can not, even if they try, cope with society now and that their numbers will rise as society becomes increasingly complex. I remember watching manufacturing jobs move overseas and thinking, those factory workers who are out of a job will not retrain into financial services. They didn’t. They “retrained” into low-paying service jobs. At some point, fewer people will be working and supporting the majority.

      In the long run, technology will outpace humans and A.I. will primarily serve as the interface between us and whatever the hell we want to do. Hmm, I sense a story here. A world where technology does basically “whatever we want” and our personal A.I. interface is a wand. We wave it & order breakfast. Wave the wand & our 3D printer makes us a …whatever. Reminds me of Clarke’s “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Perry Palin says:

        I use modern technology. It makes our lives easier. But it’s not always better, and I don’t always like it. And when things go down, a lot of us are out of luck.

        Cars are more comfortable, safe, and reliable than in the past. They are also more complicated, and not always better. Back to an earlier post, when some part of the starter system was failing, my dad would start a car with a hand crank. When I was living in a new town and didn’t know yet where to get service and my car was starting only part of the time, I parked on a hill, got her rolling, popped the clutch, drove the car, and found a hill near my destination. Today, with automatic transmissions, we call for a wrecker and spend the time until it arrives trying to remember if we’ve pre-paid through our auto insurance for what used to be an unnecessary service.

        Yesterday Google decided my laptop may be infected with malware and shut me out of my email account. I’ve done the scans and tests. No malware to be found. Google still won’t let me sign back into email. What is the matter with these people? Oh wait, you can’t communicate with people there. You can send a message to Google’s “help” function and hope for a response. Nothing from them this morning. Maybe they will email me on the account they won’t let me open.

        We already have the wands, the universal remotes to control our electronics, and Alexa and Siri have done away with the physical wand; just shout out what you want and by golly you got it. If we don’t have a wand to order breakfast yet, we do have computerized order and payment kiosks in some restaurants. The restaurant still has a few humans in the back of the house to assemble the meal. When those people are replaced by a robot, I hope it will be programmed to distinguish between the condiments and the cockroach poison.

        We had our busy building contractor over for coffee last week. I wonder how AI, 3D printers and all the rest would have built the addition on our house and put on a new roof, and when we were on our trip, how AI would have plowed the snow from our driveway and shoveled the bank away from the garage doors. It was great to have him for a visit, and he was happy with $100 cash for the plowing plus five pounds of raw, unfiltered, local honey from my backyard apiary. A 200 hprsepower roomba to clear the driveway? Maybe, for a much higher price.

        This month I will attend a fly fishing expo in the city. The modern, carbon fiber Asian-made fly rods run from a couple hundred to $700 and more, and that’s what most fly fishers use because they don’t know any better. I prefer the perfectly serviceable rods that I carve myself from sticks of wood, six hours in the making and $12 invested in materials, and a pride of ownership I can’t find in the factory made item.

        I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Someday soon AI will take over writing these posts. Will that free up some of my time? For what? Maybe for picking wild strawberries and wild blueberries, the real thing, much superior to the poor imitations we have imported to our stores.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. mimispeike says:

    In the past week I’ve finished three complex pieces of art. I’m damn enthusiastic about that, so don’t be surprised if I talk about it. Tomorrow I dedicate to writing my next Showcase entry.

    Then whatever time I have left before the Sunday night deadline, I will get to something for here.

    It may be something about motivation.

    I’m never not motivated. It’s my back that’s not motivated.

    Sitting at my computer eight to ten hours a day does not do good things for my back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup, Mimi, I know what you mean about “hunched-over-the-computer” aches. As a long-time gamer, I expect to be buried in a square box.

      I just posted a draft for our Monday blog, to help save your back. Thank you, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mimispeike says:

    I just finished my Showcase piece, and I have a week’s breathing room to invent something for here. I’m thinking: the challenges of writing a short story.

    Liked by 1 person

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