Tag Archives: phone

The internet has made me brain dead

Greetings, readers. Computers and the internet were created to make our lives easier and they have. In the process, however, I think they have turned my brain into oatmeal. Yesterday, I went to look up something in a search box on the Google homepage and before I could type it in I had forgotten what I was going to look up. OMG!

Now I know I’m no spring chicken any more, but if I can’t hold a thought for more than three seconds you might as well put brown sugar on my brain, add a little milk, and eat it. This is how I remember things being when I was a child.

If I needed to have a phone number, I went to something called the phone book with white and yellow pages and looked it up. Then I called out on something now called a landline phone. And in my earliest years, I put my finger in the little hole and used the rotary dial. Now, I bring up a name on my cell phone with a pre-loaded number and it auto-dials it. No fuss, no muss, no remembering phone numbers. If my mom wanted to cook or bake something she used something called a cook book and read it off the page. Today you go on your phone or tablet, punch in the recipe and read it from there. Also there are gizmos like Alexa that can talk to you via the internet and probably give you your cooking instructions. Another thing I used to do by myself is drive a car. Readers, as scary as this sounds, there are now cars that can basically drive themselves. Two words for you: No way! I’m going to be in control of any car that I drive. “Oh, but it is safer.” Yes, but if it breaks down and you think it is still working, then you better start digging your grave. You get my point.

When I was little I used to play something called a record made of vinyl. Then we switched to 8-tracks, cassettes, and eventually CDs. But now with companies such as iTunes and Spotify, you pay $9.99 a month and all your music is at your fingertips on phone, tablet or laptop.

I recently watched an episode of the X-Files from this brand new season where Scully and Mulder were eating in this restaurant run completely by machines. Mulder inserts his credit card and decided to not leave a tip because his meal wasn’t prepared correctly. All the sudden they find themselves prisoners in the cafĂ©, have to break out, and spend the rest of the episode evading machines trying to get them. I’m going to have to watch the episode again because I really don’t understand why they were in Asia in these ultra modern houses where everything was run by computer.

Now let me explain something to you before I go much further. Do I use and enjoy any of these modern amenities? Absolutely. We couldn’t have done this blog without the internet. We would have had to put our thoughts down in book form or written articles for a newspaper. In the past, we would remember facts and figures either by writing them down or memorizing them, and children actually had to bring pencil and paper to school. Now in some places I’ve heard you can’t attend class unless you own a laptop. Have we actually begun to enter the Star Trek/Jetsons era? I suppose it is inevitable. In that respect I admire the Amish and the Mennonites. They try to keep it as simple as they can.

This afternoon, I have to go pick up two baseball tickets I purchased via the internet; yes, it is convenient. I am taking a friend of mine to a State College Spikes minor league game. Even in the age of the internet, we still have personal interactions.

Next week will go like this. Wednesday will be a regular day and Thursday I will have a doctor’s appointment, so I will dictate a blog via speech recognition to be edited later. I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Hold music that puts us to sleep

Greetings, readers. It is Muzak to the rescue. Yes, dear readers, it seems like every time you call somewhere important and only have time to speak to a human being, you get put on hold after the automated beginning of the call. Today I had just such an experience. In between the automation and the person who was going to help me, was the music. Muzak, I suppose, or a service like it. I’ve heard many instrumental songs on hold over the years, some peppy, and some dang-near put me to sleep. Today’s was somewhere in the middle.

I vividly remember a decade ago, calling a doctor’s office with a specific question. This was before doctor’s offices had web-pages, and everybody had to call in with their questions. I was on hold for one hour and twenty-five minutes . . . with the same song, over and over and over. For a while I actually contemplated, when the person picked up, beginning my conversation with, is this your idea of torture? But they would not have known what I was talking about. Suffice it to say, it must have been a very important question, or I would have hung up after twenty minutes. Waiting is not one of my strong points. But yes, this doctor’s office had one song on a loop that repeated every two minutes or so. I couldn’t put the phone down, because what if they answered right at that moment? There is a scene for a comedy show for you.

Back when I was a little boy, my parents and I would visit big cities, and go into elevators in hotels. Muzak was there too. The music must have been from the older generation, because I remember my mother starting to whistle to it, and I didn’t know any of the songs.

In waiting rooms for dentists, doctors, etc., Muzak can still be heard. I suppose these offices can purchase a subscription and have the music beamed in by satellite. No commercials and no local ads, just music.

Today I’ve got music choices such as Spotify and iTunes. I can listen to the real recordings from the original artists any time I want to. But when you are out and about in a doctor’s office, in an elevator, or on hold on a phone call, you listen to what they are playing. If that is two hours of the Carpenters, let’s hope you like the Carpenters.

One song that must be on Muzak’s top ten list is “Fly Me to the Moon.” Do I like the song? Sure. Do I want to hear a crackly muffled version of it? No. But like every time you get put on hold, you take what ever music they play. It beats having dead air for so long that you think they have hung up on you.

I just had to rant and rave today about this topic (dictated on a Wednesday for publication on Thursday) because I had to make an important phone call and had to waste ten minutes of my day listening to Muzak. As soon as I got off the phone, I said to Rebecca, there is a good blog topic for ya.

That’s it for this one. Please leave a comment on Facebook or down below with your Muzak experiences. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.