The New Air Raid Siren for 2019

I grew up in a small town and always asked; What’s the funny thing in the center of town. I later learned it was an air raid siren. I never heard it and at some point in my youth, it vanished. It’s 2019 now and we all carry a personal device with us. In my new home town of Toronto, technology has re-invented the air raid siren and put it in my pocket, able to be triggered by local police in the event of much less tragic emergencies. This Thursday, it was used.


At 11:36pm last Thursday, I was asleep in bed. The air raid concealed in my phone went off. Loudly. I jumped up hard enough to hurt my neck. WTF was that?!?!

I looked at my phone. I can’t remember if I had to click anything or if the noise stopped, but it certainly demanded attention. An 11-year-old girl was abducted and the driver of a car identified as a Honda with a full licence plate number was apparently responsible. The alert informed me they were eastbound on the 401, which is a major highway across the city with 95% coverage by cameras I can watch online in real time full colour.

I do not want to belittle the emotional drama that a child abduction causes. It is a very real and serious thing, however I am concerned at the use of the new Amber Alert system which disrupts the attention of approximately 3 million people in and around this gigantic city.

I lay back down but had a very difficult time falling asleep because I anticipated the alarm “might” go off again alerting us all that the situation was resolved.  My head was filled with a mixture of emotions ranging from outrage to fear to conspiracy and scenarios of how this could become a regular feature of my phone and my new life. Indeed, a full hour later, the disruption was repeated, giving the all clear. Life was good and we could resume our activities. 

Amber Alerts work… so expect they may be used again. This scares me.

I excepted to wake to outrage online or at least commentary. I saw none. It went without comment anywhere I viewed for the next few days. I suspect nobody wanted to appear petty and complain about how their life had been inconvenienced in the light of the fact that a little 11-year-old girl was saved from whatever tragic future we imagined during that hour wait between sirens.

This Saturday morning, I saw the first post online praising the system. 

My reaction was filled with variety. Praising its effectiveness made me angry for different reasons. It made me frightened and it made me sad. My mind once again flooded with conspiracy theories and scenarios of ways this annoyance could be used for various alerts in the future.

I imagined waitresses still working a peak shift in a bar dropping trays with 6 beers on me because it understandably made her jump when 5 phones at a bar went off super loudly without warning.

I imagined a situation where the alert may even have been faked, so police outside a building somewhere now know there are suspects inside a building hiding behind a wall because they could hear the alarms. Imagine how useful it would be to law enforcement if they had a way to turn our phones into noise boxes.

I imagined cheating spouses being discovered in the closet at 11:30 at night.

I imagined several key lines of dialogue being missed in a theatre as phones went off in sequence for several minutes while movie patrons rushed to silence their phones.

I imagined people with heart conditions being startled enough to fall. I imagined people without heart conditions being startled enough to fall.

I imagine people being startled enough to lose attention while driving, and the roads were particularly dangerous that Thursday. I can easily imagine car accidents caused by this sudden noise nobody expected at midnight. Sober or drunk, it would be hard not to be affected by such a loud jolt.

I imagined millions of people with mental illness issues being triggered by the alert, both as a loud scary noise, and also a reminder of how evil the world can be. The alert gives us enough information to form an imaginary scenario of trauma. I imagine it was very distressing for anyone ever abducted or raped or — or just about anyone who has feelings.

I imagined insomniacs screaming bloody murder because they’d finally fallen asleep after trying for hours, and not being able to fall asleep again because of the open endedness of this tragedy.

I imagined parents of missing children feeling cheated the police didn’t do that for their kid.

I imagined thousands of people rushing the police to use their Amber alert for whatever crimes they feel are urgent to them.

I imagined the next alert to be for a lost kitten.

I imagined the story of the boy who cried wolf,  brought to the technology age in a world with less patience and shorter tempers. I am sure I’m not the only one that disabled the feature on my phone the next morning.

Now I get to imagine 2 million other people being killed by an emergency 3 weeks later as a tornado destroys their home because they turned off the Amber Alert tone. I don’t know if my phone alerts me to Tornados. I only know it;’s called the Amber alert, so I suspect it alerts me to missing children. I think my car radio might do a better job. I do know that if I am alerted to a Tornado next week, I won’t know it, because I will almost certainly still be in my home, ignoring the wolf call my phone is making, thinking it’s another child taken.

There are some things I would excuse the alert for, but alas… I’ve turned it off.

I ponder if I would have been so upset if she had been abducted at 3pm.

Most of all, I imagine myself lying awake in bed,  waiting for the expected second alarm that may or not come, but probably will come moments after I fall asleep again. I lie awake thinking all these things. Thinking how this 11 year old girl in a car on a known highway may have spoiled it for future abducted children.

I imagined the outrage like mine would flood social media. It did not. A girl was lost and found and I suppose nobody wanted to complain about such trivial disturbances in light of that.

I suspect it will continue. I am sad I most imagined it being fake, so it could be used more often for all the other things I imagined that I did not post here. My brain is faster than my fingers. In the moment the air raid siren went off beside my head while I slept, I imaged a world I did not like living in.

 

 

Eric the half a bee.

As I was falling asleep with my mouth slightly open because if the congestion when I heard a bee. I can’t be sure that it was a bee, but it was certainly louder than an average fly. It might have been an above-average fly. Superfly? I’ve seen some really big flies over the past few years. Not science fiction horror movie big like the spiders, but the flies that would have made the football teams in fly world.

I listened for a while as it buzzed around making that strange sound that insects make as they jig Jag back and forth in different directions. It seemed to be staying in the air longer than I expected, has insects often fly from place to place but never for very long in the air. As Time passed, I started to think, maybe it’s not a fly. Or Abby. Maybe it’s some electrical sound that I haven’t heard before. It almost sounds like a man shaving his beard at 3 a.m.

Then suddenly I realized. It must be the lady upstairs using her vibrator.

I was able to fall asleep without the fear of an insect in my mouth.

 

Sundaying

I like the idea if Sunday, even if it isn’t actually Sunday. I often post on my Facebook wall that “I am Sundaying”  as an expression of laziness.

Perhaps laziness isn’t the right word. When done right,  a Sunday isn’t about being lazy so much as just setting aside a day to not do the stuff you do the rest of the week. For those of you that work 5 or 6 days a week at a more regular job, a lot of Sundays are filled with hard work. I’ve seen people with hobbies or the urge to build spend every weekend remodelling a basement,  or rebuilding a car,  or offroading into the forest to hike a mountain or shoot a deer.  The point is, to many people,  Sunday is a very active day.

I don’t work a regular job. I don’t leave my home to earn my income, so there is often no difference to me between a Tuesday and a Sunday. My weekends can be any day I want, but I still choose to celebrate weekends with everyone else. Neat things open on a weekend,  and since I don’t have a real hobby. I enjoy street festivals and fairs and other walk around events,  and many of them happen on a Saturday or Sunday.

So I alternate as schedule permits and sometimes I have my Sunday on the Saturday, like I did today. Today is Saturday for everyone else,  but I Sundayed it up, doing very little. I went and bought some meat and veggies at the market, and then just stayed home inside all day watching movies and TV. Relaxation. Sunday.

Tomorrow on your Sunday I’ll be out on  Saturday adventure.

Life Changes

I’m losing my morning person abilities.  The winter and spring of 2017… I’m not waking up energized and dtsrting my work day anymore. I’ve even lost my proide in being a morning person.  I hate it. I have not gained the late person powers. I still want to go to bed before 10pm… but I no longer like waking up at 6am and geting a lot done before noon.  Most days I’m not starting work till after 9 now. The days are getting longer, but my work days are getting shorter. That’s not right.


I want to say FUCK OFF a lot more now.

In my 20’s I may have wanted to say FUCK OFF once or twice to somebody.  In my 30’s maybe a few more times.  It seems in my 50’s I want to say it almost weekly.  Oooooh fuck off. It can mean many things.  It can mean; shut up.  Please shut up, or OH MY GOD WILL YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING.  I can mean, YES, I GET IT!.. Are you kidding me?  Noooooo!  Oh FUCK OFF.  IT’s a satuisfying term, even if it’s just in my head.  I’ve hardly ever said it out loud… but vthe amount of times I’ve mentally thought it – often accompanied by an eye roll is way up.

In recent times, the meme; “Zero Fucks given” or similar has become a part of pop culture. It’s not quite the same as FUCK OFF, but it has a similar patern. People who care less, are far more irritatimng thgan people who care, even if they only care one or two fucks worth.  If you have zero fucks to care about something, I probably want to say FUCK OFF to you.  You’re probably irritating as fuck.

I wish I could transfer some of my fuckks cared to you.. but I don’t think it works that way.

Hmmm… is that what GIVE A FUCK means?  Care.  MAKE LIVES MATTER.

I could wear a T Shirt that says EVEFRYTHING MATTERS but the black people – or the people who give too manhy fucks abiout everything might protest. IN 2017, BLACK LIVES MATTER is a phrase a lot of peoplem give a fuck about it seems, even if it’s just to complain about somebody else not giving a fuck about it.

Oooh fuck off is a phrase to me, that is one step short of a face slap.  Some people deserve a face slap, but I understand such an action might land one in jail, or if you’re white, at least get a scolding.

I could write more about this but…. awww. fuck it.

The new leader.

This is pretty big news. I called it. A sneaky takeover is approaching. It doesn’t happen often in the real world that a race for the leader sees the winner fall from first to third place, but it might happen this year.

Microsoft was first out of the gate with an open system that allowed anybody to make and sell the hardware, and let Microsoft worry about making it all work together. Most would say they had limited results.

Soon, Apple came in as leader cooler looking hardware that was the same for everyone, so software was able to be more secure and bug free. They made a lot of money and also took over the music industry and phones and tablets.

Google meanwhile made a third option that wasn’t really being taken seriously in the laptop world, but Android phones are neck and neck with Apple in popularity and each wins at some parts of the phone market. Windows phones are still struggling.

THis year however, Google sneaks in a new PC OS. All new Chrome Laptops will run Android apps. This means they enter the computer market with a polished 10 year tested OS thatat least half the world knows, uses and loves. BAM.

With people using their phones and tablets more than their home computers in many cases, this is huge news. Microsoft lost it’s lead because people stopped needing it, and could choose options. The switch to Macintosh was a big move for people. We usually like to avoid big moves.

However a move to ANdroid is a breeze, and we may already have all the software we need. Word Processing, video, Facebook and Chrome. The urgent need to have Microsoft Office is no longer an issue.

Google, with almost no fanfare may win the home computer and laptop market this year and in the future. They underprice the competition and in many ways, iOS is great on a phone, but the Mac OS is now the only one not supported on tablets, phones and desktops. Mac OS is the old school way.

Plus Android is in TV, Fridges, cars and everywhere!

The scripted election of 2016

I’m a Canadian with a television, which means I have to pay attention to the politics of the USA. It’s always a crazy show, but the year of 2016 is the craziest in my lifetime, if not in history.  There are so many conspiracy theories floating around, mostly because the campaigns are so crazy, we really can’t believe it wasn’t planned… or even scripted.

As an outsider to the country, it’s been quite eye opening. Previous elections have shown me the way America is split. It’s scared me in the past how one side uses fear to scare people away from the other side. During the last election, and the one before that, and the 5 before that, I’ve been shocked at how the one side overplays how electing the other side will mean the end of times. As a Canadian, I’ve laughed at how Republicans use crazy words like Armageddon and End of Times when they talk about the Democrats winning. People claim they’ll move to Canada if their side loses.

In fact, much of American pride is based on two “chants they treat as facts. Americans are always claiming to be the greatest country on earth, and they’ll only stay the greatest if their side is in power.

I see this as a major problem in the USA, because one side is always going to win, and if they’ve scared you enough – you might become terrified… or worse… an activist to destroy the other side. The fears are usually crazy. I see more of it from the Republican side, scaring the shit out of their followers with devil commercials and abortion talk and all sorts of fear mongering… I could easily see a war start if they lose.

However this year in general, they have a clown running as leader, and he’s upped the anti on fear. He’s actually inditing riots and fear more than anyone previous. He has convinced everyone that his opposition is a crooked liar that will destroy the country, and people obviously believe it and bow to his greatness… but in reality, Donald Trump is a horrible candidate and people SHOULD be terrified of his power.

I’ve always thought that politics, particularly in the USA has been scripted, or at least plotted in advance. Elections are placebo processes to further the belief that America is a democracy, but in truth, it’s just a story. They have two sides, merely so we can always be unhappy about some decisions and happy about others, but in time- everything gets done. some by our side and some by their side. Every 4 or 8 years we flip sides.

Hillary Clinton wanted to be president… badly. The country didn’t want Hillary. In her first attempt, American elected a black man as the first President. An amazing feat for a country still very racist. Hillary came back in 2016 and the democrats gave her a second chance, but it was still clear that many Americans hated her. Nobody is quite sure why, but the Republicans sure liked to use that, and it seemed clear that Hillary was not going to win… ever.

Unless…. her competition is bat shit crazy scary.  Unless they make her competition unelectable. Perhaps that was the idea last time.  Surly they expected Americans would chose a woman over a black man… but they didn’t, so they found something worse to go against her. Donald Trump. The guy From TV’s Apprentice.  I suspect the democrats hatch a plan with their friend Donald Trump. Let this crazy guy run against her and she’s sure to win. It’s a can’t lose plan.

In this scenario, it’s likely Trump was even asked to overplay his crazy.  He had to be insane enough to sway both Republican and democratic voters towards Hilary. He is trying really hard, but wow. Hillary was hated so much, Trump had to go really really crazy, and even then….

The race has just started this week. Hillary and Donald are the candidates. Now each will try to win back 51% but it might be a lot harder than they expected, and if they don’t play it right, the crazy orange ego may get the power. It’s looking more and more possible each week.

They didn’t perceive how much the democrats hate Hillary too. If people don’t vote, or vote against, Trump could win with a good majority.

It’s hilarious from here, but scary shit if you’re American, because if you’re smart- you understand a Trump victory could actually be quite bad for the country. It’s hard to see how it would not be a disaster, even if Trump takes a teeny role and gets somebody educated and smart to do the actual work, which is appears is his new plan. His VP could end up running the country for him. He remains a loud and loved fear monger and somebody does all the work behind him.

But still… scary stuff with regards to the world and other countries, and VERY scary if he doesn’t appease those nutcase fans of his that believe he’ll build a wall and send all Muslims packing. His crazy talk has so many fans, there could be riots and deaths if he loses, or even if he wins and turns into a politician and everything he said was a lie.

I can see no good outcome, but I leave it to the experts that write the script for this play. Maybe they have a plan.

It’s sad Hillary got so much hate. From here, she seems like a perfectly qualified first women president. she has experience both socially and professionally, and her husband was one of the most loved presidents by both parties of all time.

I’m just glad The Daily Show is still on the air, making me laugh each night at this show. Politics is the best comedy on TV this year. It’s better than the fictional political shows on TV. I swear Aaron Sorkin couldn’t have written it better.

The Emergency Room

There are a few places in life people need to wait. Some lines you can avoid, or do without. Some lines you can schedule and return at less busy times.

It’s hard to avoid the waiting room at a hospital. I suppose the rich can pay for better treatment in some cases, but I like to believe we’re all fairly equal in the emergency room.

That’s nor to say people are treated in priority, giving aid to the bleeding or unconscious first, but in the room I find myself in today, we’re all just sitting here watching the time pass by, each dealing with the hours in our own way.

The family with an impatient child is to my right. He either cries, runs around, or screams in joy but he never stays quiet. His parents react as if this is clearly the norm for him. They’ve gotten over the embarrassing stage and the need to apologize. It’s just the way it is.

Another man to my left is asleep. He hasn’t moved much for a while, but I’m confident he’s still alive. Up until recently I thought he was just resting with closed eyes trying to block out everything else. I myself have trued that technique for as long as I could. Recently however he’s transitioned to the new phase of sleep where his chair sprawl has gone more wide. I hope he doesn’t miss his name when they finally call.

Two separate people are playing games with the sound on, although low. The older boy beeps with a schedule that makes me think it’s a match game, but not Candy Crush. I know those tones and tines well. The younger boy is playing some farm game. His phone makes oink oink, cluck cluck barn sounds with irregular frequency.

The mother, daughter duo to my immediate left are discussing how theur life will change if she’s told she can’t eat junk food anymore. She asks her. Mother if she’s ever even tried Kale. Apparently everyone is talking about kale now.

For an emergency room, nobody seems to have any visible emergencies. We all sit together and wait our turn. The names are called out slowly. In the two or more hours I’ve been here, only a few have moved.

I suspect there are different areas for different levels of emergency. I’m in the O Zone waiting area, sponsored by John Vince bulk foods. Clearly a lower priority emergency room waiting area.

Finally, after just over 2 hours, I get to go sit and wait in my own room. I don’t know if it’ll be another hour, or a shirt wait, but it’s certainly less fun to be alone. This place is new… But not like my diction office. There are no gruesome pictures of lungs or intestinal tracts on the walls. It’s just me, a chair and a bed… And a basket of soiled linen next to the chair which might have a slight odour.

I wait.

My visit today is one of the irritating ones both for me and the staff. I’ve got one of these mystery ailments that wasn’t in the text books. That means more tests and guesses. I made the mistake earlier of comparing the doctors diagnosis with my own work with computers.

“I know it’s not the same”, I started, “but I know the frustration of these cases when you have to use experience to figure out what’s wrong. I have similar issues when I am diagnosing computer problems. There is always that case that doesn’t quite match your training.”

It seemed like I may have upset him comparing his years of dedicated schooling about the human body, to my experiences troubleshooting Windows 98 crash issues.

“nobody dies when I get it wrong. ”

I went to far with that one. We didn’t speak again. He sent me here, to the hospital. I don’t have that luxury I thought. If I can’t figure out why you’re getting a blue screen of death, then you keep getting it. If I send you to somebody else, they’ll reformat your machine and start over.

Lucky doctor I thought.

Not really. I would certainly have preferred he knew the answer. Now I sit and wait for hour 3, fully aware that these new eyes may be equally stumped and need to hand me off yet again to another line in another building.

At least I’m away from the screaming baby.

The new face arrived shortly after and proceeded with some of the same basic tests I’d been subjected to twice already, but that was to be expected. I was happy he agreed with me more than the first doctor. I probably didn’t have a stroke.

As a computer service guy, I made it a personal policy of mine, and those I had working for me not to badmouth those who came before. I never trash talked whatever the previous support person dud, whether it be a friend, another IT specialist, or a blue shirt at Best Buy.

It was nice to see this doctor had the same policy although his face told a slightly different story. Almost a discust for whatever doctor had come before having told me I might have a mild stroke.

First if all, he said, if this was a stroke, it would have been a full on stroke, nothing mini. If you can’t move your arm, that’s not mini – – and you certainly would have at least one symptom.

I had full strength in both arms and all my faculties. They asked of I knew my name, and the date and a few other questions. I was hoping they’d ask who the president was, like on TV. I wanted to answer; Donald Trump… Oh no. I have lost my mind.

I didn’t get the chance, especially since this is Canada, but I had to make the joke anyway. It was funny to me, so I said it anyway, but with a laugh to make it clear I wasn’t delusional.

After we established it was probably just a normal shoulder injury, most likely created by sleeping position, weather, and my old shoulder injury, I was walked to the MRI machine for the confirmation.

The nice technician helping me on this portion of my journey was surprised to hear I was looking forward to this procedure. “I don’t hear that very often” she said. I explained that it’s a new story. Lots of people see these things on TV but few get to experience it.

I made a few traditional jokes about metal and the terrors of TV episodes, and emptied my pockets like at the airport.

“Luckily my teeth are all plastic now. They used to contain a lot of metal.”

She reacted professionally with a smile, despite probably having heard most of the same jokes a hundred times before.

Following this, I walked down to the next room and got the x rays. No. Lines or waiting at either of these stations. Then, back to station one for some blood letting and then full circle back to the waiting room.

I’m not sure what comes next. I assume I’m waiting for results to be examined, and then one of the four doctors or nurses, or perhaps a new one will consult with me and send me on my way with some instructions.

Hour 4… I’m not certain why I have to wait just for them to tell me I can leave.

Maybe if I was rich.

Waiting….

One last unneeded test and one more sit in the waiting room, but I’m told it’s all ok. Some physiology therapy and I should heal.

Only 5 hours.

 

SNL Live Hillary speech

It’s Monday, and that’s a bit later than usual for me to watch this past weekend’d Saturday Night Live. It’s been a pretty consistent Sunday morning ritual, but toady I was a day late.  The first thing I noticed when they said Big Dick and it really looked like he wasn’t supposed to, but that may just be me, over analyzing the micro expressions.

Fake Hillary really hit it home. Before she started, I was worried, because Hillary needs help beating Bernie Sanders, and ridicule of her bad points may sway against her. However, her speech was exactly what she might have wanted to say, inside her head.  The true fact is, Donald is such a terrifying opponent that voters may turn out in record numbers just to pick the opposition.  Hillary could not have won against anyone reasonable… but a Dead congressman could win against Trump.  A sock puppet would probably win.

Now this is sadly, more insulting than it needs to be towards Hillary. I think she’ll make a great President actually, and off the campain trail, the first husband can be back in our faces to balance her cold image.  I honestly believe that Trump works for the Hillary Campaign.  His outrageous antics will get Hillary elected, in a year where she might not have.  The people voted a black man into office rejecting her. A white opponent conservative would have not voted for her.

As she says in her speech, you’re stuck in the middle with me.  I think the election 2 year season was probably more than free healthcare and maybe education for colleges would have cost.

 

Well, maybe not that much, but it sure was a long distraction.  TV comedy like Jon Stewart and SNL and all the late night standups are political because it’s just such a show. You can’t help not watch, and the parody of Trump saying he’s the greatest thing since Germany 1941 is a wonderful satire. Educational humour. I get all my American political news with a punch line… and sometimes they’re just replaying Fox news clips unedited.

I made somebody laugh out loud the other day when I was in a meeting.  Somebody spoke up and declared Nancy Reagan had died, or so says his Facebook update.  Another guy quickly brought up CNN and says; Yup. CNN confirms it.  A third fellow says; I’ll check Fox, to which I said; She’s still dead, but on Fox it’s Obama’s fault.

Too soon?

I miss Jon Stewart, but SNL has always been tops in election years for informing us about parodied versions of the players.  Even as a Canadian I know who to hate. (grin)

Which ones terrify me, in a dramatic and absolute way.

 

Hillary Wins!  The first woman President of those United States of ‘Merica.  I have hope, but I’d still rather have Bill in a Mrs. Doubtfire costume. Not because he’s a man, but because he has a big red nose and he’s always laughing or smiling. He is the charming Boiler salesman named Bill.  Hillary is no Mrs. Doubtfire. She’s not Tyler Perry either.

Best Video about Trump you need to see.

 

 

Speaking your Chats

A funny thing happened to me recently when I was involved in a text conversation with a friend of mine. I was laying in bed, chatting with a friend using Google Hangouts on my cell phone. At some point it occurred to me the typing on the cell phone was a little tedious, but I didn’t have a full keyboard or computer near the bed at that moment, so instead I press the microphone button on the keyboard and activated the Google Voice keyboard. From that point on I used my voice to dictate the messages that I was sending into text.

Google Voice keyboard has a very accurate translation system and makes very few mistakes. In fact, I have to do far less corrections than when I am typing, especially on my small phone keyboard.  Google Voice keyboard knows how to spell better than I do. It isn’t always familiar with obscure words, but it actually does an amazing job guessing what I mean from the context of the sentence, and is quite aware of many technology and pop culture words. It even knows to capitalize show titles or movie names most of the time.

Talking to a voice translator is a little different than talking to a human, and you get used to the style fairly quickly. I find I talk slower than I do in person, because I am actually composing and thinking in text sentences rather than  just words I speak. It’s strange at first.

Next, I turn on another APP on my phone, that works in the opposite fashion, and it translates my friends text replies into a voice.  So now I am actually talking and listening to my friend, but still using text messages. It occurs to me how absurd this is. In any previous time, we’d simply be on the phone actually talking. In fact, even Google Hangouts has a pretty good quality voice system that would allow me to call him and talk… or even face to face video chat.  There is also Skype, or Facebook messenger or Apple FaceTime… and yet, we continue using this multiple step translation system to talk for another 20 minutes.

We’ve changed society. People prefer texts to actually conversation.  Well, to be fair… some people, not all.  Certainly phone and voice communication is still popular, but a lot of new generation people are  using text as their main communication between friends and even business associates.

It’s faster. It’s less intrusive. I can send a 140 character or less text to somebody and they can read it without actually having to interrupt their day and talk. They can read it in any mood they’re in and react in any manor they chose, and I’m not witness to that. I’ve just sent a statement and I’m done.  They can reply now, or later or never. We can text back and forth while they watch TV or reading a book. We can even have 3 or 4 of 15 conversations open at once.  We’re learning, through emoticons and emoji how to convey sarcasm or shock or happiness in text. We can convey a smile or a laugh to reward someone for humour.

I’ve also learned the etiquette that, at least between my friends, it’s not rude to just stop replies suddenly. I can be distracted or needed elsewhere.  A text conversation can take hours or days to continue.  It can pick up where you left off, because the words remain on the screen. I love this about texts. I can say HEY to a friend, and not get a reply for 20 minutes or more, and we can continue on for a few minutes, or continue the conversation later.

Texting really is a great replacement for some phone calls. In fact, many people get angry at phone calls. I can text somebody a few times a day with comments, or sweet sentiment or a great deal I just saw at the mall, and even if they’re not answering it right away, they’ll see it.  If I call them, I may have to leave a voicemail, and they probably won’t listen to ot anyway.

I don’t want to talk right now. Text me.

It’s not as much emotional effort. I don’t have to turn on a happy face or a good mood to reply.

It’s just the darn typing that gets in the way.  When I converse with a friend socially, rather than just for utility, I use full words and sentences. I don’t abbreviate things like: R U Happy? I converse in text using the same mental voice I use in words, so that means my replies are often greater than 140 characters. Phones today – or Google Hangouts handle this fine, but it also means replies are delayed a bit. The voice conversion option may seem silly at first, but it keeps everyone happy.  We’re still using the rules of texting, which means the interruptions are on my terms. No doubt my friend was with his wife at the time, and a phone call would be unwelcome, but a text every few minutes seems a lesser evil.  Your partner can still get angry at you texting in certain situations, but that’s the beauty. Just stop. Conversation end.  Pick up later, when she falls asleep.

Note: This entire blog post was written using Google Voice. I edited later, but most of this text was spoken.

Bully Movie gets bullied – and we act shocked.

News story: SONY pulls THE INTERVIEW from it’s schedule. It will not release it on Christmas day because there is fear that North Korea may retaliate. The film is a comedy mocking their leader, and describing a plot to kill him. A plot not to unrealistic, and probably not far from the truth. The spy world has been known to use celebrities in the past.

MV5BMTQzMTcwMzgyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzAyMzQ2MzE@__V1_SX214_AL_I have written about our BULLY society in other blogs. This is an excellent example of a bully film, and the way one person (or a country) reacted. Not everyone accepts being bullied, or mocked in public with a chuckle. This news just broke, and the social media is starting to complain about how awful it is that a movie may be censored and we may not even get to see it because we’re afraid of how the North Korean leader may react. People are scared. Sony is scared.

There are always many ways to look at any situation. I may or may not believe the following rant fully, but there certainly is another viewpoint to be heard, and my brain always likes to think up both sides of any scenario. It does not surprise me that this film may not see release. When I first saw the ads for it months ago, I actually thought it was a parody, and not a real film. I couldn’t believe people would make such a mean cruel film.

Sadly, we live in a bully society where comedy often makes fun of people. Late night talk shows open with a constant flow of jokes attacking both famous people and innocents. YouTube sores to 6 million views when somebody falls down in the street in an embarrassing way. We laugh at them all. Slipping on a banana peel can make you world famous today.

A big publicity script that sends celebrity American spys to kill a foreign leader is a bully film when they use real names. I don’t understand how the concept was green lit to begin with. It’s a real man. If we made a film about how to kill Barack Obama, we might be thrown in jail, even if performed as a comedy.

This movie may have been equally funny had they made it a fictional country and a comical funny leader but they chose to actually make a film about trying to kill an existing sitting leader of an actual country, and mock him and make 90 minutes of jokes at his expence.

Then, everyone acts shocked when this upsets him. It is not totally surprising that a world leader, especially one known to be egotistical to the extreme, and one who values his image of power above all, would object and take action to stop it. This movie was a slap in the face bully move. Mean.

I’m not saying I agree with the terrorist-style atacks on Sony. I think the media treated them poorly too, and I agree with those who say it should not have been reported the way it was… but to say we are not even partually to blame is wrong. If you poke the bear, you can’t complain when the bear tries to eat you.