A Cascade of Cached Memories

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Yesterday, for the very first time, ever, my landline answering machine’s AI verbally alerted me to a memory full condition. Hmm, I’d always conjectured this device’s archival capacity to be astronomical, but, seeing how she had just saved the 59th message, who was I to argue?

Ergo, I began playing back and selectively deleting; in the process, discovering how the cached content, for better or worse, was also unleashing a cascade of my own memories.

Now, just so this post ends on an upbeat note…

Let’s get the downers outta the way, first; i.e., by calling out the threatening messages recorded by the scammers and phishers; namely, the fraudulent federal income tax collectors, shady tech support agents and (for lack of a better phrase) the officious cops, who, via psychological projection, tirelessly “alert” their soon-to-be victims to the very chicanery, which they absolutely intend to perpetrate and perpetuate!

BTW, such messages’ very existence also demonstrates how poorly the telecoms police themselves. I punctually fork over my limited funds, monthly, which, in theory, in part, should be leading to investigations / arrests of these criminals (or, at least, be putting ‘em outta biz); yet, here we are.

Moving onward to the mildly annoying content, there are the messages recorded by ex-classmate Sharon, who’s still trying to con me into attending the upcoming 50th Class Reunion. Of late, she’s even recruited another classmate to redouble her efforts (Bill recently adding his one message to her five).

Hmm, might Sharon’s persistence be an indicator of how a single restaurant booth would prove sufficient to seat Sharon, Bill and their significant others? Perhaps, this event’s only four attendees?

Sure, I could attend and leave, STAT, when everything morphs into the anticipated disappointment; BUT, not when this event’s tickets will have a sizable price tag attached. Beyond that, no one, in their right mind, would ever opt into social mingling when social isolating is still everyone’s best bet.

A tad of background 411 for all who missed my reunion post; not everyone has fond, fuzzy memories of their K thru 12 experience; e.g., from the 4th grade, onward, I’d been bullied, verbally and physically assaulted.

As for the saved messages that I’ll never delete, among them are the four left by my former friend and next door neighbor, who passed on, just last year, at the age of 95; who was such an affable, young at heart, well-read and critical thinker, one could’ve easily mistaken him for a man half his age. RIP Victor.

Which now leads us to the very first message; backdating to late October 2008, when then presidential candidate Barack Obama had recorded his increase voter turn-out / (wink) “vote for me”, message. Seeing how I’ve saved and savored his words for nearly a decade and a half, you’ve likely already correctly concluded I had helped elect / reelect him; would feel deeply honored to have him record my answering machine’s outgoing message.

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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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