Friday, November 12, 2010

here comes winter and apps on my phone

We were blessed with the most beautiful and lingering fall this year but all good things end and this surely will, too, and most likely tonight. There is rain and snow in the forecast, accumulations up to 4 inches. Ah, well. The end of barbecue season is really here. The patio chairs are stowed in the garage and the snow blower is at the ready. Sad...but so it goes.

We love Thanksgiving and as I've mentioned before, we're busy working on the plans. Yesterday, I made a preliminary menu and printed the lists from last year. I am not an organized person by nature but sometimes the DNA from some long, lost anal retentive ancestor kicks in and I become organized in some small aspect of my life.

I love holidays and holiday cooking so I have a binder for each holiday. I print a nice cover with the menu for the current year's event. Inside the binder, I have the recipes (in plastic sleeves), the to-do list, the grocery list, the list of dishes I used to serve, the guest list, etc. Does this sound a little kooky?

So, the Thanksgiving binder is out and ready. I have a few new recipes that I tucked inside to contemplate. Regis made an invitation for the day and those should go out next week. If you don't have a place to go, we'd love to have you. Unless you're the person who has been posting links in the comment section to sites where a guy could buy viagra. Then we wouldn't love to have you.

Regis and I are constantly amazed by our new phones and have decided that even though we had to get a second mortgage to buy them (not true) they were worth every penny. When we were in Brainerd, Regis discovered an app called Shazam. Read this from Slate:

Shazam is the closest a cell phone can come to magic. Say you're in a restaurant, a song comes on, and you can't quite place the tune. In the past, your options were limited; you could try asking your spouse or the waiter for a clue, but that approach risked revealing your ignorance. (That's "Sex Machine," dumb ass.) Shazam—which launched in the United Kingdom in 2002 as a call-in service and became widely known in the United States last year when it hit the iPhone—solves the dilemma in a few clicks. Press a button on your phone, and in seconds you'll get the artist and song title. Other than playing video games, it's the most useful thing you can do on your phone.

If you want to know how it works, read this. It's like taking a cave man on an airplane.

We also use something called Swiftkey. It's a predictive spelling thing for text messaging. I have, seriously, written sentences where I only had to spell out two or three words. It gets to know the words you use most often in text and it "learns" those words. Amazing. It did screw me up one time. I sent a text to Young Regis asking if he would put my chicken in the garage. The text actually said this: Will you put my big metal churchmen in the garage? He was confused.

We have another app called Bump and this is the last one I'll write about today. Here's what the website says about Bump: There are two parts to Bump: the app running on your device and a smart matching algorithm running on our servers in the cloud. The app on your phone uses the phone's sensors to literally "feel" the bump, and it sends that info up to the cloud. The matching algorithm listens to the bumps from phones around the world and pairs up phones that felt the same bump. Then we just route information between the two phones in each pair.  Servers in the cloud? Matching algorithms? In my phone? What the hell.

Here we go. I love Fridays because I'm generally in one building all day, it's my favorite building because I have an actual desk, a phone, and friendly people. That ain't true everywhere I go. Happy Friday, my friends. Make it a good one.

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