Tag Archives: iPhone

Sunday With Siri

9 Sep

2001:A Space Odyssey
Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?

We had a fun art road trip yesterday, and as mentioned in that post, “Siri” was the main source of our entertainment. If you’re familiar with the soft spoken iPhone “personal assistant, you know the complete frustration with trying to get a straight answer out of her. But, she sure is funny!

As we were driving, passenger one, who prefers to remain nameless, (let’s call her Sue) was navigating with Siri. Sue asked directions to Arlington,Texas from McKinney. Siri kept telling us to turn left when there were only right exit ramps on the highway. Then after taking us through several redirects and u-turns, we finally decided to wing it and abandon the diabolical voice activated assistant. But, guess what? Siri refused to stop talking. The muffled voice inside Sue’s purse continued to bark orders, “Turn left 2.2 miles onto Tom Landry Highway.” There was no way to shut her up.

On our way home, we thought we’d give her another chance. Siri went from downright incompetent to ridiculous. So, we decided to give her a hard time. It started out quite innocently, but then Sue asked, who programmed you, Siri?” She sarcastically responded, “It states right on the box, I was programmed by Apple in California, Sue.” Then we proceeded to ask stupid questions, going as far as all singing, “Siri…Do you know the way to San Jose?”

From the back seat someone asked, “Siri, are you on crack or something?” The response was, “I do not understand the question.” Then we asked, “Do you know where we can get some crack, Siri?” Same confused response. We kept taunting the phone app, but, in the meantime, she kept telling us where to turn and exit. I said, “I bet if we threw her in the trunk, Siri would say, “Please let me out of the trunk, Sue!” Then we said, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we got pulled over by a cop and a pleading voice screamed from the trunk, “Please let me out of the trunk, Sue! I will tell you where to get the crack.”

Ah, laughter at the expense of an ignorant inanimate programmed personal assistant! Doesn’t get better than that. I tried my iPhone a minute ago. I said, “Siri, what is the capital of Iowa?” She responded, “Now playing…So This is Christmas by John Lennon.” Guess what? I couldn’t figure out how to stop Mr. Lennon from singing. Help!


Tuesday Tips, Trends and Traditions

5 Jun

I’m still here in Elgin visiting with Mom. The birthday countdown is T minus 2. Her 87th birthday is Thursday. We’re not having a fancy party or big hoopla, just some of her lady friends that she normally meets every morning for coffee clutch, and anyone passing by. Last year we got caught short-handed with cake, not realizing it was visiting nurse blood pressure day. Everyone got cake, but a little tiny slice. This year we will be prepared. Tip Number One: always have more than enough cake for seniors. They like cake.

Now for trends. Mom got an iPhone for her birthday last year. Very trendy, right? She calls and takes photos, but sometimes forgets how to text. I told her she just needs to practice. So, yesterday, we sat side-by-side for about an hour and practiced texting messages and photos. Tip Number Two: if you give a senior an iPhone, be patient and teach them how to use it and practice with them. This goes along with Tip Number Three: get unlimited family texting. If you tell them to practice, guess what, they practice 100 times.


Traditions are important to me. When I come to Chicago, I spend a couple days with my boys. Matt and I eat massive quantities of Chicago style pizza.(I lied. I eat massive quantities, while Matt is lucky to get two slices. I’m sorry. You can’t get great pizza in Texas.) Joe and I have a traditional day at the Art Institute where I make him pose for the mandatory “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off” picture.

Ferris’ best friend, Cameron, stares at Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte from 1884.

Joe waits a long time for the other visitors to clear a space for me to get my photo. He was very patient. Tradition and Tip Number Four: be patient with your mother when she is a nut.

And my last tradition and tip for today: have fun with old friends, always a standard. I had lunch with my friends Kathy and Debbie. We taught junior high together way back in the late 70’s-early 80’s. We still keep in touch, reminisce about the old days and catch up with the latest family adventures.
Friends and family: great traditions, great fun, LIFE IS GOOD!


Thirsty Thursday

18 Jan

Are you thirsty? What are you thinking right now? I’m sure an iced cold beer or a frosty margarita pops into your head. Well, if it didn’t before, it certainly did now, didn’t it? Admit it!

Today, when I was thinking about a thirsty Thursday, I immediately thought of being thirsty for knowledge. Quite a different picture. What I am picturing is my eighty-five year young mother. She has lived through the Great Depression, seen several wars come and go, and voted for many presidents. She has loved and lost loved ones, but has never lost her lust for life. For over eighty-five years, she has been thirsty.

My sweet mother is a sponge. She soaks up every ounce of energy in the atmosphere. Mom reads constantly, watches endless television, writes letters, draws, paints, and has excellent skills on the computer. Only a few weeks after receiving a new iPhone, she was texting, sending photos, and surfing the Internet. Thirsty never looked so good!


SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to that tender light 5
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face, 10
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 15
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

Lord Byron