Electromagnetic Soup for Supper?

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While preparing my repast, earlier this evening, I attempted to tune my portable AM/FM radio into an NPR affiliate; finding it all awash with fuzzy buzzing, hissing static; worse yet, with no amount of reorienting the antenna / relocating the actual radio, itself, able to alleviate the prob.

Factoring in the geographic proximity to its broadcast tower (a scant 16km / 10mi from my kitchen / dining room), my problem solving attempts might’ve proven easier had I strung two emptied soup cans together, drone delivered one can to the station engineer, asked her/him to duct tape it to the broadcast booth’s window and hand held the other to my ear.

Seeing how I’m now really getting into this discussion, I might as well also mention the signal dropouts associated with my jury-rigged tech combo; boasting an aged analog Sony Trinitron TV, inherited digital converter box and reasonably priced signal amplifying outdoor antenna (indoor mounted onto a metal microphone stand). How dysfunctional can this tech get?

Well, let’s just say no meteorologist need tell me when rainy and windy conditions prevail; nope, not when such low pressure areas routinely muck up reception. Of course, my merely walking about my living room can net the same effect. And tho it may have only been coincidental, once upon a time, my mere sneeze wiped out talk show host Seth Meyers’ Closer Look presentation; just as he was delivering his spot-on punchline / zinger.

Additionally, I’ve been experiencing other communications woes; e.g., DSL outages, WIFI dead zones and cell tower dropped calls.

All things considered, this does beg a few key Q’s…

  • When human beings are being deep fried by all of that electromagnetic radiation, what effect does this have on our flesh and blood / bone and sinew; our very DNA?
  • Does our drowning in such dense, electromagnetic, alphabet soup signify that our bodies and brains are already (or soon will be), toast?

Hey, even were Doubting Thomases to say to my face, “Thomas, you’re just plain nuts!” that would tend to lend credence to most of my above concerns; ALL THE MORE!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Service Interruptus

Subtitle: Ma Bell’s Bells and Whistles

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For the benefit of WordPress readers, who may not be American History buffs and, as such, are unfamiliar with what Ma Bell stands for, it all hearkens back to

“The common nickname for the Bell Telephone Company when it was the monopoly communications provider in the U.S.; a slang term referring to AT&T Corp., which provided the original telephone service in the United States, and thus was considered the ‘mother’ of the telecom industry.”

Non-Credited Google Search Goddess or God

Moving along to “her” Bells and Whistles…

Not long ago, I discovered a small, mysterious package on my front porch. Since Sunday deliveries are rare, this had likely been “camping out” there overnight.

With that WHEN issue readily resolved, the more ominous aspects became WHO delivered it and WHY something so valuable and visible (to both motorized and on foot passersby) would not get readily ripped off? Also, in an era WHERE OrangeMan has rudely awakened his rude, psychotic, domestic terrorist sleeper cells, I realized HOW a call to my local police department might not be a bad idea. Just to be on the safe side…

  • Perhaps one of their canines with a nose for nitro could give it a sniff?
  • Or, in lieu of that, the bomb squad could do a bucket of H2O “baptism”?

Anyway, my more rational head prevailed and remained, intact, on my shoulders, too; i.e., when, no Kaboom resulted from my DIY, more conventional box opening tactics. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean there’d be no explosions; after all, aggravation can cause one’s head to go BOOM, too, as it were. I’ll get into the brain strain particulars in a moment.

So, there I was, staring down a brand spankin’ new flip phone; one which I had never even ordered. Well, at least, my service provider’s accompanying cover letter dispelled any lingering notions that this might be some sorta diabolically designed IED.

Their “love letter” continued, (my word choice, not theirs): As you’ve heard by now (no I hadn’t) we’ll be sun-setting (how lyrical) our 3G network by next spring (Ahh, when love in the air hits the cell towers?). To ward off service interruptus, we’re providing you the latest 4G model; at no cost to you.

And so, I lived happily ever after? NOPE!
Service Intrerruptus? YOU BETCHA!
Check out this Litany of Laments:

  • Quick Start-up Guide sans open phone/install battery instructions
  • While online manual did resolve the prob, it soon led to a new one
  • Annoying Google Assistant’s (GA) spoken words oft unintelligible
  • Worse yet, “she” loved telling the time every minute on the minute
  • Yelled all incoming/outgoing phone numbers for the world to hear
  • Online tech manual’s TOC could not direct me to mute GA tutorial
  • Tech Support call led to agent who, help-wise, couldn’t phone it in
  • Techie’s www was down, so she could not research the prob, either
  • She recommended a visit to their brick and mortar retailer for help
  • Not wanting to go public during a pandemic, I re-boxed this device
  • Meanwhile, I wrote 2 monthly checks for a phone I could not stand
  • Eventually, I violated my tuff pandemic rules to visit the local store
  • The savvy techie needed barely two scant minutes to silence the GA

Naturally, I do recognize how folks, with vision issues, would find the Google Assistant a Godsend. Even so, I’m certain that they’d find being told the time 60 times per hour annoying, too!

Now… long sigh… not being one to complain sans dispensing any constructive criticism, at all…

Would not everybody’s lives be much easier if smart and stupid phone designers* would OPT-IN to making each fresh out of the box phone, just that, a basic phone?

Devices where the user would then need to OPT-IN to, NOT OPT-OUT of the damned bells and whistles.

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* Double entendre discovered and italicized while proof-reading.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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The Fine Line ‘Tween Persistence and Pestering

 

‘Tis the season to be tortured by robocallers, telemarketers, extortionists and identity thieves… and that season lasts twelve months annually. Obviously, being registered on the national “DO NOT CALL” list means absolutely nothing. Pressing whatever number these bastards oft “offer” to delete our names from their databases serves only one purpose… to assure a barrage of their subsequent calls.

If it were only a few, isolated incidents where I could politely say “not interested” and never be bothered again. But that’s not the case when dealing with a rude ‘tude… best summed up thusly…

Oh yeah? How DARE you refuse me / resist my scam? I will hound you until the day you die and then come after your survivors, too! And you cannot do one damned thing about it!

Neither using my answering machine to field these calls nor totally turning it off resolves the prob. More worrisome… just how much abuse can this equipment take before the digital recorder and/or ringer “burns out”? In the case of the latter these sadists will simply let my phone ring dozens of times per call… and still call back! This has got to be their twisted notion of punishment for anyone who’d dare to deliberately avoid them.

And what about the ill-mannered callers, who do front (more or less) legitimate businesses? What crappy training they had to have received to not comprehend the fine line between persistence and pestering. Indeed, they seem utterly clueless to the fact that nobody can ever high-pressure a customer into buying any product or service. In other words… zero customer respect nets zero bucks.

Worse yet, some of their sales pitch assaults are also insults… e.g., they’ll ofttimes claim they’re calliing back because I had requesed they do so. Their implication being what? That I must be feeble-minded if I don’t remember doing so? And then what? I’m supposed to pretend to remember something that never, ever happened? And then what? Knuckle under to mindlessly buy whatever crap they’re peddling?

I have complained to my service provider. When they informed me that the majority of such calls originate from outside my homeland’s borders I allowed them block all international calls… to no avail. And since (obviously) the problem is also domestic, I’m now considering having the phone company permanently pull the plug on my landline. HOWEVER… this is the one and only phone number that has ever been in my family’s name… dating back to 1958! Yep, those seven digits are the very same ones I committed to memory as a four-year-old!

And all sentimentality aside… landline service could, someday, be a lifesaver. My experiment during August 2003’s Northeast Power Grid Crash, had proven that my cell, held mere inches away from my regular phone could not get it to ring even once.

So… down to my last option is where I’m at. I’ll now be treating my landline like my cell… “turning it on” / plugging it in ONLY when I need to place an outgoing call. Of course, the real kick in the ass is how I’ll still be paying my phone company full price for far less than full service.

Forced into social isolation because robocallers, telemarketers, extortionists and identity thieves flat-out refuse to take my flat-out “NO!” for an answer.