atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3904: The heat wave continues.

So here I am, inside, where the heat index is not pushing 100°.

Yesterday, in fact, Mrs. Fungus stayed home from work, sick. She and I didn't venture outside until well after dark, when I realized we hadn't been outside all day and insisted that we go outside. Besides, I had to take out the trash anyway, as Thursday night is garbage night.

Once I'd completed my chore, I joined Mrs. Fungus laying on the front least until I started being bitten by lots of mosquitos, at which point I suggested that we go back inside.

It amazes me that--in less than six months--it's going to be literally freezing outside and I'll have to wear a coat if I don't want to die of hypothermia.

Mrs. Fungus' mother and her beau came to the bunker on Tuesday, for a visit, cookout, and dinner. Mrs. Fungus and I went to Baker's Square to get a pie, and as we were walking into the place I commented, "It feels weird to be going here and not wearing a coat." Because usually I only go there to pick up pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dang.

Anyway, we had a very nice visit. Mom-in-law's beau gets up at 3 AM, though, so even though he's on vacation they left around 6 PM. His daily routine is pretty well set, and he is usually in bed before 7 PM.


* * *

Karl Denninger has an interesting piece up about secular shifts, and one of the two he discusses is that of computing technology.

Soon, he says, you'll be carrying your computer with you wherever you go and using portable and wireless interface devices. So when you go to work, your phone will also be your computer, and you'll set it on your desk and have your keyboard and mouse connect to it, and have your monitor connect to it, and then off you go. When you leave work, you take it with you. Wherever you go, you've got your PC with you, so you can do whatever it is you do.

But it's also a telephone, and a personal organizer, and a camera, and-and-and.

This 21st century is getting pretty confusing. Some futurist, decades ago, said that because the computer can do everything, it will end up doing everything. I scoffed at that, but guess what? I watch TV programs via computer. (TV and cable box? Both computers of one variety or another.) I listen to music via computer. (My MP3 player is an embedded Linux box, as is my tablet.) I do all my correspondence via computer; I've written exactly one hardcopy letter in the past year, and I composed it on a computer. 99% of the news I read comes via computer.

As for me, I'm going to be the guy sitting there with the actual desktop PC, because those I understand. *sigh* I think the worst thing about being middle-aged is feeling like the world is about to leave me in the dust. This is normal and natural, though, and nothing to worry too much about; in fact I'm not going to end up technologically obsolete, unable to accomplish the 21st century equivalent of getting the VCR to stop blinking 12:00....

* * *

Some retard spammed my phone with ID-blocked calls today: four calls in a similar number of minutes. These calls were so important, he couldn't be arsed to leave a message. It was important enough to call, get the answering machine, hang up, call again, four times in a row, but not important enough to leave a message?

Mrs. Fungus thinks we should ditch the landline. I'm not so sure, being old-fashioned about things like being able to call 911 without having to worry about dropped calls. Still....

I needed to use my cell phone the other day, and I could barely understand the person on the other end of the conversation. Part of it is due to the incredibly shitty noise rejection characteristics of the phone itself, of course, because it's six years old (holy fu-- really?) and long overdue for replacement...but that's only part of it.

Karl Denninger wrote that piece on cell call quality nine days ago, and I thought, "Yeah, but this doesn't really affect me." ...except that it does. Until my recent experience, I had never experienced a dropped call on my TracFone. The connection was always full bars (or one off) and I heard everything that made it to the local cell tower; if packets were dropped they were dropped on the other end.

No more.

Instead, now the call quality around here is crap to double-crap. Some of that must be the phone; eight years is an eternity in the modern cell market and this phone was an old design when I bought it, brand new, in 200...when did I buy it, anyway?


Whenever it was, obviously I need a new one, but that has to wait until I have a job.

TracFone has a wide selection though not all models are available in all markets. Still--

* * *

Aha, it seems my mystery caller finally left a message. A woman with a very thick Jamaican accent claimed to be from "the Publisher's Clearing" and left a phone number, saying it was "very important" that I call them back.

Yeah. Since I have never, never, ever played one of those things, and "if it's too good to be true, it usually is", the big "SCAM ALERT" sign started flashing in my head. I Googed a couple of things: first, "publisher's clearing house scam" and then the number she gave me, "516 348 6132".

Both answers came up the same: SCAM, even to the "woman with Jamaican accent" thing.

See, if someone is calling about something important, they leave a message. If they are trying to get money out of you, generally they do not unless they are (illegal) robocalls. (And those are easy to spot since the messages usually start partway through: "--ur chance to save money on refinancing yo--" at which point I baleet the mofo.)

The four calls in a row thing? I'd wager the dick was trying to panic me into answering so she could make her pitch "in person", as it were. I am meant to think, "Oh, no! Timmy's fallen down the well, and it's so dire they're doing this to get me to pick up!" ...instead of saying, "Ed, it's me, pick up if you're there! Emergency!"--or something of the like--when the answering machine beeps.

But no one in my family--or indeed my broader associations--is so f-ing stupid that they wouldn't leave that sort of message in a true emergency. So if I get four calls, rapid-fire, which don't leave a message, I'm 98% certain that it's phone spam of one variety or another. Or just plain old-fashioned phone harassment.

Either way, not answering was the right call. (So to speak. Pun intended.)

* * *

By the way, if you spam my phone with BS calls and then try to scam money from me, I won't give a rat's ass about your privacy, which is why I included all the search terms in my post, here. Let spammers gank that phone number from Googe or whatever, and call these piss-heads. Not my problem.

* * *

That's all I've got. I don't even have a graceful ending for this post. How sad is that?

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