The December Dilemma

Yesterday evening I took a walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights on houses, Santas in front yards, and wreaths on front doors. Except there weren’t any. I asked myself if I had the right month. I checked my phone. Yep, I did. What happened to my neighbors? Then it hit me. Most of the neighbors that traditionally went wild with their lights and front lawn decorations have fled the area for warmer pastures. I miss them. They had a spirit of Christmas I didn’t so I lived on their enthusiasm. They brightened up the neighborhood and made us smile. We were proud people who basked in their twinkling lights. We could count on them every year. Now they were gone and took the spirit of Christmas with them. Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are now flying high over sand dunes. And no, I’m not going to take over the tradition. You’re lucky if I have a bow on my front door. Inside the house is another matter. I enjoy displaying  several trees in the living room, lights over the mantelpiece, and Christmas cards on a table.

So I gave up on Christmas decorations, and settled for the natural growth around the neighborhood. Here are some pictures.

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Calvin says, “Yeah, I miss those midnight walks. I tingled with excitement.” beagle

Apropos of Apps

Have you noticed the plethora of apps out there? I have. Some are crazy funny. For instance I noticed one that will reserve a parking space for you in San Francisco. Everybody knows it’s impossible to park in the city, so this is helpful. But I wonder how they do it. Have they contracted people all over the city to call in spaces they see in their areas? Like the new florists in town who have a staff of bicyclists delivering burlap-wrapped bouquets all over the city, the parking space locators are lurking in every neighborhood during commute hours.  cropped-peacock.jpg

I write haiku and sure enough there’s an app out there. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thf-haiku/id453464896?mt=8 It’s full of the best haiku by poets from different countries. This is an inspiring app to have on my phone. It gives me a moment of creativity every day.

There’s the app for dog lovers. You can choose dogs barking, a dog simulator (no poop to pick up), a breed guide, dogs playing poker, pet care, grooming and training, and super hero pups.

I won’t go into the cat apps because they’re so many I wouldn’t have room to name them all, but one caught my attention – My Talking Tom.

And for the bird lover, there’s the Audubon Bird Guide that’s free. This comes in handy when you’re walking to work and notice a dead bird splayed at the entrance of your office building.

Calvin says, “Is there a beagle app wafting the right scents we love?” beagle

 

 

 

A Ringless Night

Yesterday on the subway, I unzipped the compartment in my purse where I keep my phone, and discovered it was missing.

My heart stopped.

I searched every nook and cranny. Nada.  cellphone

I began to hyperventilate.

Had I dropped it on my walk to the station? Not unless my purse bottomed out and disgorged its contents onto the street like a piñata.

Did a pickpocket steal it? No, nobody came near me, bumped me, or distracted me, unless you call a series of cute youngsters walking their even cuter pooches a distraction.

I slumped down in my seat and mentally went through the steps I take when readying myself to go home.

That’s when it hit me.

I left the phone on my desk.

How is that possible?

It’s my right arm, my lifeline, my entertainment, my reading, my video watching, my Internet searching, my photo catalog, my music, my note taking, my contacts, my phone numbers, my camera, my clock, my calculator, my calendar, my memory and my brain!

I was devastated.

Sweat beads appeared on my upper lip.

I told myself to calm down.

It was only a phone.

Millions live without one and are quite happy.

Right. But I wasn’t millions.

I needed my phone. Now!

I tossed the idea around of going back to retrieve it, but I was too far into the commute home by then.

Oh well, I said, you needed some peace and quiet so here’s your chance.

Okay. Let’s see what life is like while being shut off from the world.

Alf picked me up at the station and as soon as I climbed into the car, I said, “I need to use your phone, to call the kids, to tell them they can’t call me because I don’t have my phone with me tonight.”

Calvin says, “You’re a nut case. I don’t need a phone. I come with an internal clock that notifies me everyday when it’s dinner time. What else do you need?”

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How Your Smart Phone Is Biting You Back

According to experts in Europe, the smart phone might be to blame for sagging cheeks and droopy facial skin. More and more face problems are showing up in plastic surgeons’ offices.

The people are showing up, too, not just the face. And it’s not a pretty sight.

Apparently we’re bending over our computers and talking into our cell phones too much. This is causing our jaws to sag, our cheeks to flop, and our chins to recede like a wave in the ocean.

Plastic surgeons are all too happy to fix the problem. The new darlings of facial fixes are chin implants, tucked up cheeks, and straightened out jaws.

Sounds like an aerobics class on steroids.

So not only are we at risk for brain tumors because our phones are radiating our ears, but now we have facial creep.

Is there a solution?

How about rotary phones? They could be mini-devices in different colors to match our tablets.

We could invest in carrier pigeons and send notes to our friends and family by air. But that gets messy. You need rooftop cages and lots of seed. The clean-up is not pretty. And where do you go for birds with GPS brains who know your relatives?

We could, of course, revert back to writing letters. You know, the yellow pad with that instrument called a pen. Oh, but wait. We’d have to learn grammar and punctuation all over again. Thanks to texting and tweeting we can’t write a full sentence anymore.

Calvin says, “You brought it on yourselves. Technology has a dark side. Take a lesson from us beagles. We bay and sniff and snort. That communication never goes out of style.”