Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday 5 for February 26: A clubhouse ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich

The Friday 5 for February 26 dealing with telephones. I am not a big fan of telephones yet I have about 6 of them, of which only two are activated. Got 2 landline phones (non-active), a Samsung Galaxy J7 smartphone from 2016 that still kind of works and is connected to TMobile, Alcatel Flip 3 phone through Tracfone (now my primary phone) and two other older, 3G Alcatel smartphones that work but are not connected to any service. They make good radios, streaming music and wifi enabled devices, All of my cell phones have batteries you can easily replace and all have the good old analog headphone jack. That all said, there is not an iPhone in plain sight of me. Too expensive and you cannot easily replace the battery,

Now onward with the Friday 5 from M.K.D.

1. What is the longest you ever spent on the phone on one call?

I don't like to spend time talking on the phone. I especially hate using the telephone when I have to call one of those places that put you in menu and voicemail hell... and then if and when you get to a real person, you are connected to a call center in India, the Philippines or some other country where English is not very good and they know nothing about Hawaii. I am calling you out Hawaiian Airlines for having a stupid call center in the Philippines (though I haven't used it in years... maybe they moved it back to the U.S.A.)...... The good thing is that due to COVID-19 I am not flying to anywhere.

Getting back to the core question... I hate being placed on hold for 20 to 30 minutes and some places for more than an hour. Arrrrrgh!!! And the dreadful hold music... AAAAARRRRRGGGGGH!!!!  Being on the phone for a long time, on hold, listening to dreadful music truly sucks!

2. When you were a teen, how important was the phone in your daily life?

The most important thing to have access to a phone for was to either call someone up to pick me up, or try to be caller #3 or whatever to the local radio station so that you could win the great prize. It was fun back in the old landline only, analog phone days where you could figure out how to be the right caller to the radio station to snag the prize.... usually some record that I wanted for free of course.

3. How much do you use the actual telephone function of your phone today?

Not too often. I used to use it more when 1. my parents were still alive and 2. Lisa was not living with me. I still call my sister, so I guess that counts for quality phone time... and a few of my friends far and between. I think like most people, even in my advancing age, we use SMS texts, email and other less personal, online methods of communicating remotely.

4. How well do you handle phone calls at work?

"Good (morning, afternoon) this is Mel from XXXXX's office. How may we help you?" or something to that effect. And then we listen to what the caller wants and see if we can actually help with whatever question they have or at least take a message and forward to call to someone else who can help. Just have to be pleasant even if the caller is irksome... we get a few of those.

5. What are some good telephone-themed songs?

OK let's try a 5 +5 list for this one.

1. Don't Call Us, We'll Call You - Sugarloaf (1975)
2. Call Me Back Again - Paul McCartney & Wings (1975)
3. 867-5309 Jenny - Tommy Tutone (1983)
4. Hanging on the Telephone - Blondie (1978)
5. Payphone - Maroon 5 (2012)

6. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) - Jim Croce (1973)
7. Telephone Man - Meri Wilson (1977)
8. Echo Valley 2-6809 - The Partridge Family (1971)
9. Star 69 - R.E.M. (1993)
10. Syliva's Mother - Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show (1972)

Top 5 + 5 Telephone Songs (10 tracks)

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Friday 5 for February 5, 2021: Big Game

This weekend it's all about the BIG GAME... sports fans know it, advertisers love it, the network showing probably loves it the most.... revenue, ratings, money! It's Super Bowl weekend and Scrivener has a game themed Friday 5 for us. So here goes... may your best team win! 

1. What item in your house recently ceased (or is likely soon to cease) Operation?

Total failure: Air Bed. Good thing it is backed by a 5 year warranty. 

Likely soon to die? My Samsung Galaxy J7 smartphone. The back panel is cracked, the battery needs replacement, and today I found a small hairline crack on the bottom of the screen. These damn things are not built to last. For the price you have to pay for them, even on the low end, with my J7 costing $265 back in 2016, it is still disappointing that I may have to replace this smartphone with something else.

Granted for someone who resisted the thought of owning a cell phone of any type over the years until mid 2014, I have to admit, I now have two of them. The Samsung is the primary phone. 

Last year I bought an Alcatel flip phone for only $20 at Target. Good thing. The Alcatel has emerged to be my primary carry around phone. Being an old school flip phone device, it is small and convenient to pack away. It seems to be durable, has a removable battery and I don't worry about it breaking. Plus it is 4G LTE compatible and has a low end operating system known as KaiOS

KaiOS can do internet. So the phone is not as dumb as it seems. It has simplified, web based apps that can stream music, play podcasts, YouTube videos and Twitter among other things. Runs on its own network (TracFone in my case) and can connect through wifi or its own data-stream.

The Tracfone plan is not bad. Unlimited talk and text for only $21.18 a month with a 1GB data plan for each month if you use their network. Unused data is carried over to the next month and the next and the next.... so after several months now, I have close to 6GB of data stashed on the phone. The cheap phone also doubles as a mobile hotspot, so I guess if Spectrum goes down I can use their data to run m Chromebook or something. 

The $21 is cheaper than the nearly $30 I was paying for a basic landline. So that went, and I now have two cell phone plans. The other is from T-Mobile and on my shared 55+ account, I pay my portion of $35/mo. Not too bad... Unlimited talk, text and data. Oh well.

I have gone beyond the scope of this question.

2. If someone were to poker ’round in your refrigerator, what item might he or she have questions about?

Whatever forgotten food is fermenting in the back of the fridge will be the item or question. Toss it!

3. What’s in your backPac, Man?

I have never ever owned a backpack. I have played PacMan in the past but I am not good at it. I become lunch for the PacMen very fast. Not good.

4. When did you last run into an old Flame?

I have been lucky enough to avoid "old flames" except for one that I re-connected with on Facebook. I would not consider her to be an "old flame" per se, but she comes the closest for purposes of this question. Luckily for me nearly all of them live far, far away from Hawaii. They are not on social media so that is good.

5. With what object are you frequently playing Hide-and-Seek?

This is worthy of a top 10 list... top 10 items that I frequently can't find when I most need them.

  1. Wallet
  2. Keys
  3. Comb
  4. Scissors
  5. Scotch Tape
  6. Remote Control
  7. Garage Door Opener
  8. Mask
  9. Memory Cards for Cameras
  10. Flash Drives - all in a drawer unlabeled... where did I put the back-up installer for OSX??? That kind of stuff.
11th hour prediction (Sunday 2-7-21 @ 7:30am HST): Tampa Bay by 3. I suck at this stuff. CBS will be the big winner ($$$$) if the game is exciting and the AC Nielsen numbers are high. The advertisers have more to risk than the two NFL teams in the game.