Stupid is as Stupid Does

Cottage view

In my own defense, I am far from a Luddite. I have been paid lots of money to tell people what technology they should use and why. However, I am a practical person. I do not need new gadgets just for the sake of new gadgets. My iPhone 5 was doing just fine up until now, thank you very much. It told me the time. It allowed people to contact me via phone and text. It delivered my email. What it could not do, due to built-in obsolescence, was run on any operating system beyond version 9. This was actually a feature, because I did not get the Amber Alert warnings, although neither did I get any heads-up about impending sharknados nor Zombie apocalypses. However, in as much as a lack of government-sanctioned warning capability might have had some benefit in some circumstances, I was not prompted to remedy my phone’s shortcomings until recently. That’s because I figured any COVID vaccine passport would likely require a more recent operating system. So off I went to get a new phone.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but it appears that cellphones are trying to return to their roots as hand-held appliances the size of bricks (although much thinner), probably because people use them as replacements for laptops. I do not need to watch things on my phone nor do anything much more than check my email and interact with people, so I went in search of the smallest phone I could find, which in current iPhone-land is the SE. Courtesy of its advanced age, my old phone refused to transfer any info to my new phone, but since I am not very popular, it was easy to enter my contacts manually. I then proceeded to remove all of the things cluttering the screen that I don’t need. Music. Game Center. TV Provider. Compass. Screen Time. Siri.

One thing I do use on occasion is the alarm and timer. And in this particular occasion, I needed the alarm. I clicked on the clock and selected alarm, and because I had not yet set anything up on my new phone it told me to consult Set Up. This is what Set Up said: “Sleep is now in Health. Once you have set up your new sleep schedule, you can change your alarm in Clock. You can also set up a sleep goal, create a wind down routine, and more!” My sleep schedule mostly looks like this: go to bed when I’m tired. Get up when I’m finished sleeping. My sleep goal is to go to bed when I’m tired and get up when I’m finished sleeping. My wind down routine is to notice when I am yawning a lot and go to bed. Apple has apparently decided that everybody has problems sleeping, because of course they aid and abet being on a screen 24/7. The only time I have a problem sleeping is when there is an Amber Alert at four in the morning about something that’s happening five hundred kilometers away. By the way, it seems impossible to remove the Health app from my screen. Maybe I need Siri for that. But I don’t want to go there because she’d probably scold me for having a butter tart for breakfast, after my long and restful sleep.

In other news, I bought a humongous package of kitty litter from the liquidation store a few days ago. The liquidation store is where they sell great swaths of stuff that is reduced for quick sale. Some of it is close to the expiry date. I did not know that kitty litter had an expiry date, but apparently it does. However, I am more concerned with saving a few bucks on litter than I am with the dire consequences that might ensue once November 15th rolls around. When I hefted the twenty-seven-pound container into the car, I noticed there were instructions for use on the side. The instructions went like this, except they involved many, many, many more words. “Fill a clean, empty litter box with litter. (Right. I think this involves not contravening a law of physics.) The litter will clump when it needs to be cleaned. (They neglected to note that the most reliable indicator of a litter cleaning requirement is a cat yelling, even if he has two of God’s green acres within which to avail himself of outdoor plumbing, rather than insisting on running into the cottage with crossed legs.) Lift out the clumps and dispose in the garbage. (They were very careful to instruct not to flush the used litter down the toilet, but they did not mention the option of toilet training cats, which I assume is because it would mess with their business model.)” But what these instructions neglect to tell me is how I’ll know when it’s time to buy more kitty litter. Maybe there’s an app for that.

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