Mental Exercises Then, Phone Numbers. Now, Passwords.

Pixabay: AbsolutVision. Free for commercial use; no attribution required.I used to remember phone numbers. Lots and lots of phone numbers.

Now I don’t, except for my dad’s, because he has a land line with the same number that existed before cell phones. The rest of the numbers I call are remembered for me by my phone. It feels weird to realize I couldn’t call Bubba or my daughter without my phone.

Now I remember passwords. Lots and lots of passwords.

Despite all the ways technology is disrupting things, I’m still getting my mental exercise.

 

Photo source: AbsolutVision on Pixabay


 

How Four Numbers Made Me Feel Welcomed

Pixabay: 526663. Free for commercial use; no attribution required“What’s your phone number?” I ask a friend.

“5226,” they reply.

I’m visiting a different state, and being given only four numbers bewilders me. Then I remember where I am. Everyone in the area has the same area code and prefix, so the first 6-digits are all the same. It’s been that way for a long time.

Even though they have to dial 10-numbers to make any call—yes, even local ones—they give out only the last 4-digits when asked their number. It saves time and locals don’t even think about it. I feel honored I’m still treated as a local, even though I moved away years ago. But I have family here, come back regularly and our family roots go back a few generations, so that counts for something.

It’s one of those things that remind me of small ways I feel connected to a place. If I had no history with the area, the 4-digit response to my phone number question would make no sense at all. It would remind me of my outsider status, like hearing a foreign word and having to ask what it means.

Instead, my moment of confusion is quickly replaced with familiarity. Right, I remember. That’s all they need to tell me. The rest of the numbers are known. With that awareness, I experience a sense of being part of the group. They didn’t have to translate for me. I knew the language. This was still home.

 

Photo source: 526663 on Pixabay


 

Corn-on-the-Cob: Summer or Year-Round Food?

Pixabay: 1195798. Free for Commercial use; no attribution requiredWhy do I expect—and want—to eat corn-on-the-cob only during summer?

I suspect it’s because, growing up on the east coast, that’s when it was available. It was grown locally and sold at roadside stands. We’d grill up burgers, cut some summer tomatoes, shuck and boil a dozen ears of corn, slather on the butter and salt, and have ourselves an outdoor feast.

I didn’t realize how intimately I associate corn-on-the-cob only with summer until this year, when corn started to show up in the grocery stores. I never think about corn-on-the-cob except in the summer. I don’t crave it in the winter. I don’t look for it in the spring.

Then it struck me: I don’t want to be able to buy corn-on-the-cob during any other time of year.

For me, corn-on-the-cob is a summer food, like fresh peaches and real tomatoes, that only taste good when grown locally and seasonally. It’s a pleasure to be savored; appreciated partially because of its limited availability.

If corn-on-the-cob was suddenly available year-round, I suspect it would imitate winter-grown tomatoes: looks good on the outside, but taste-less on the inside.

Then I wondered, why isn’t corn-on-the-cob sold year-round?

Every other type of produce seems to be sold year-round, grown in another country and shipped to the U.S. And with corn, it doesn’t even need to be imported; we already grow a ton of it in the U.S.  Yes, most of it is used for other purposes, but…still.

So, given it’s already being grown, why isn’t corn-on-the-cob sold year-round?

Or maybe it is? And I have a blind spot and simply don’t see it in the store because I don’t want to see it?

(If so, I’m sure it’s my only blind spot 😊)

How ‘bout it.

Corn-on-the-cob: year-round or seasonal?

 

Photo source: 1195798 on Pixabay


 

Ice Cream, Safeway and Letting Go

Dustytoes on Pixabay CC0 Creative CommonsIce cream is the secret to a long and happy life. My dad, an almost daily eater of ice cream is, at 94, my evidentiary proof.  If red wine drinkers have convinced the world of the medicinal argument for their lust, I’ll go with the longevity argument for mine.

So, I eat ice cream, leaning toward anything with salted caramel in it.

Continue reading “Ice Cream, Safeway and Letting Go”

Dictated Voicemail Messages

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I’ve recently taken to using the dictation app on my phone to capture ideas when 1) I’ve no paper to write on, 2) no pen to write with or, 3) where taking both hands off the wheel isn’t a bright idea (like, ever).

Other than Siri sometimes deciding I meant something other than what I said, I like it.  It works best if I review the transcript sooner rather than later, because if too much time passes I can’t even begin to guess what I was thinking.  Or I can, but Siri’s interpretation was way more entertaining than the original.

Like this text message Siri transcribed for me, en-route to a friend’s house:

“I’m on my way. I’m at the intersection of Highway 12 and fucking. So probably 15 minutes. I have soup. And cornbread. Celibate.”

Siri is exhibiting her Freudian slips. Or cognitive dissonance. She clearly doesn’t know what she wants.

But despite these little kerfuffles, I’ve embraced dictating; and, it turns out, astonishingly, some new habits are easy to learn. Despite all the propaganda about habit-learning to the contrary, I quickly learned to tell Siri “period” and “new paragraph” and “question mark” as I dictated, to ensure she properly punctuated things as she wrote stuff up. Because, yes, punctuation matters.

The thing is, my dictation device–my phone–is also, well, a phone. I call people. They don’t answer. I go into voicemail. I leave a message by recording my voice on their device, and when my friend gets that message, they listen to my voice speaking my message.

And, because I’ve so easily adapted to dictating, my voice messages now include not only the substance of my call, but a meta-message: instructions for periods and question marks and paragraphs.

Which will be very helpful comma should my friends decide they want to transcribe my voicemail period

 

Daily Post-Prompt: Astonish