Category Archives: Mobile Phones

Dear idiot, in seat 5A, and others!

Fine, I’ll get to the title matter in a minute, but for now…

Sunday evening started with a change of plans, a trip to the cinema, to see It. No, not the 1927 silent movie starring Clara Bow, though I’m sure she would have looked adorable, even in a clowns outfit. No, this was the recent (shock horror) movie based on the Stephen King book instead. Something very different for me, but impressed with it, all the same. Mind, the final outcome (of this section at least) appealed to me no end. The actress playing Beverley caught this actresses eye, as someone to watch for the future, just saying…

After that, a dose of ‘The Orville’ which is a new series on Fox over there, which seems to be a witty take off of Original Star Trek, among other things. Yes, the big attraction for me, the chrome robot, no surprise. Yes, if they ever want an actress to play his female companion… 😉 Suspect its just CGI, in truth, sadly. Not sure when I see any more of it mind, over here, but will keep an eye out for that.

Yesterday was the last full day (for a while) in the US, most of which I just spent relaxing, before heading for home, via JFK, in a shuttle. Yes, wisdom prevailed, given the state of my body at present, only way to go. Before that, I did get to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon thing, though sadly not wearable lol. But if anyone wants to make one, and let me wear it…?

Beyond the traffic levels to JFK (its NYC, for pity’s sake), that all went smoothly, and so did the ride through security. Then the fun began! I was taken to the gate on my boarding pass, for my plane home, fine. Thing was, the departures board was showing a different gate, some distance away, and some ‘know all’ told me my plane was going from there. So I struggled down there, only to find a short while later that my pusher had known what she was doing, and the know all was an idiot! So yes, I struggled back to the original gate I’d been left at.

There was 1 wheelchair waiting there, mine, and yes, someone came this time, and took me to the plane. At this point, someone asked me to swap seats, so he could sit with someone, and I agreed. Unfortunately, the idiot I soon discovered I had the ‘delights’ of sitting next to on the way home, thought rules were for everyone but himself. As in, mobile phones must be switched off before leaving the gate, and only be put back on, in flight mode, when we were in the air. Him, oh no! Trying to hide from everyone (very badly) that he was still using his phone after this point, and indeed continued to use it, until after the plane accelerated for take off. Even then, I’m not sure if he switched it off, or just hid it away. He was certainly still doing something with it post take off (not meant to be switched back on while seat belt light is on), so who knows? Put it this way, he was still using it this morning, up to, and including landing, long again after having been told to turn it off. Oh, and then everyone else decided to be an idiot, as more than half the people in the plane were standing up, long before the seat belt light went off at Manchester.

Then it got, err, better! There was only 1 wheelchair used at JFK to load a passenger, mine! So, at Manchester, only 1 is sent to the plane, to disembark me. Thing is, seemingly, 5 other people then decided they needed a wheelchair to disembark, despite not requesting one. My name was called, I stood up to get in, and another woman took my chair! She clearly wasnt going to move willingly, so in the end, they tried to round up another wheelchair for me, only to discover 4 more people wanting one! No, Manchester Airport doesnt employ psychics, to know that all these additional people suddenly would want a chair.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I was on the move. Snag was, with 4 pushers, and 6 chairs, movement was erratic, and slow. Not improved when I finally got to passport control, and there is a group of 3, from the sub continent, who were clearly being shifty about their reasons for entering the country. Finally, he decided to let them in, I passed through quickly, but then we had to get all these wheelchairs down to baggage claim. Then pick out the right black expanding suitcase, from dozens of them, but we got there in the end. So only about an hour later than expected, freedom, and greetings! Then at last, go home!

Oh, and one last thing before we move on from the holiday, and back to more mundane events, one of the movies shown on the flight across. A movie called Blended, which given my knowledge of modern movies, I had to look up when I got home. Take my advice, give it a miss. It has a shocking review rating, and the actress in the main female lead role was dreadful. One look on her face throughout the movie, basically rabbit caught in headlights! Yes, I swear even now, after a few years off, I could have acted the pants off her! So come on Hollywood, let me prove it, lol!

Thats it, then. Lets close by thanking Kate, Stacie, and Eric (mainly, but there were others) for such a marvelous holiday experience. Yes, being Maid of Honor, at a wedding, very special.

So what happens now? Another suitcase, in another hall (Evita)? Probably not! To a big degree, a lot depends what the doctors say about my back in the next couple of weeks, and how many days of work, per week, I can get through, post medication. I’m currently suspecting the answer will be 4, but we will see. Maybe a magic cure, or a nice new cybernetic body lol? Oh, I wish for the latter! I suspect I will be getting the airport wheelchair experience again too, but we will see?

In theory, if I could get there next month, I could go to NYC again for a reading for a production by 2 friends, surrounding the life of Clara Bow, but money (definitely), and holiday time (possibly) mean thats unlikely to happen. Ah well, might have knocked them over on Broadway, especially if they were looking for a middle aged woman confined to a wheelchair for a role lol. Still, keep on dreaming…

Right, video time. One thing a plane is called, is a silver machine, though I doubt thats what they’re talking about here! Dont think its a robotizing pod either, but its almost more likely! Yes, thats Lemmy, of Motorhead fame!

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When do I get to pay my way?

One issue I have found over the years when trying to arrange, or pay for things in the US, is that so many companies, and websites are just not designed for dealing with someone who isnt in North America. I’ve tried to buy things through websites over there, but unless your credit card details have a zip code, that you cant use them. Some, like AT&T have given me work arounds, that using 00000 as a zip code will work on their sites, and some others.

Other times I’ve tried that, no joy! The funniest thing was once when I was ordering a food delivery over there, tried to do it on their website, no joy. Rang up, they settled it, some way or another, no idea how. Another time I rang up, only to be told that I couldnt purchase what I wanted, because I didnt have a US address, no way, no how!

Recently I found out that its not only credit cards that cause issues with US firms. On my 2 previous trips to LA, I’ve used a company called Prime Time Shuttle to get me to, and from where I have been staying in Hollywood, ordering it online, no issues whatsoever. Anyway, somewhere in the last 18 months they’ve changed their site to something that I assume is more tablet/cell phone friendly, as a lot of sites seem to have done of late. Generally I tend to find these sites less laptop/PC friendly, which is what I use of course, but I survive all the same.

No, the snag is now, that before they will take a booking from you, they have to send you an authentication code to your cell phone. Even ignoring the fact that I dont have one over here, I certainly dont have a US one, as indeed anyone travelling from Europe, to LA would be in the same position. So yes, you’ve guessed it, I cant do a booking with them. I actually checked, to see if I had a UK cell phone, if I could get the code that way, but no, it could only be sent to a North American phone anyway! Fine, I have a way around it, by using a friend, while on Facebook messenger, get the code sent to her, she pass it on to me, and then… But seriously, should it come down to doing something like that, just to make a booking for a shuttle?

There is also an alternate company I can use, without the same issue, though of course I have no idea how reliable they are? I’d rather use Prime Time, who I know are reliable, but equally why should I support a company that doesnt seem to realize that people from outside the US would like to book with them? Or that there are still people in the world who feel no desire to own a cell phone! 😛

Of course, if anyone wants to solve the issue for me, by picking me up from LAX, late afternoon on 17th May, and get me to my apartment in Hollywood, then let me know! It would cost me about $25-30 by shuttle, so happy to pay that amount to anyone doing the same job for me, and saving me the whole US company insularity issue! Return trip would be early afternoon of the 27th if anyone wants to offer that too, same arrangement!

Shout here, on Facebook or Twitter (if seeing this there) or email me at stephmajor8@hotmail.com, if a willing chauffeur. Sorry, I’m not yet a movie star, but maybe one day lol…?

Video, a take your pick moment, from one of my favorite LA groups. First one is a live performance from Hollywood Forever cemetery in 2013. Seriously, if you havent been there, and get the chance to, its a must, especially if you like seeing the last resting place of movie stars, including Valentino!

This version is a symphonic version of the same song, which I love, but naturally, no live performances this way!

If you want to know how girls talk?

Yes, I know, shock horror, this old lady is contemplating doing something disgustingly modern, and getting herself a mobile phone! No, dont panic, its not going to be one of those ghastly smart phone things that does everything but launch nuclear missiles, its going to be the most simple thing I can find, but even so, me, and a mobile phone, gasp!

Equally, no, its not something I’m looking forward to doing with joy, only with pure practicality, believe me. But given I will, in 3 weeks time (starting 31st), be starting to work hours where 4 days a week, I will finish at 8.00, or just before, so in a security sense, I think a phone is a wise move. I know, I worked in Leeds until 10.00, and never bothered with one, but that was in the city centre, and well, this place is a little way outside of there. Its still a main(ish) road, and well lit, but there arent going to be a lot of people about at that time of night, so… Funnily enough, I know what that area was like 40, or 50 years ago, and believe me, you wouldnt have got me going anywhere near it then. But yes, its changed for the better, a lot!

Also, as I’ve discovered, though First buses are more reliable than Trans Pennine Express, thats not hard, and they arent perfect, so, being able to let work, or home know, if I have issues…

To be truthful, I have seen one in an Asda across the road from work, that costs £5, makes calls, presumably sends text messages, and beyond that, I really dont care! But yes, I will be putting the minimum amount on it, as rarely as I can get away with it, and…I certainly wont tell anyone that doesnt need to know, what the number is! I know, but I dont want my life controlled by my phone. Might enjoy being controlled, but not in that way lol!

Believe me, I certainly wont be glued to it, as the vast majority of people seem to be nowadays! Equally, believe me, if it wasnt for security, and safety, I wouldnt be getting one anyway!

Right, video time. Double treat tonight. Firstly, the original video, featuring the brilliant group, Rockpile, though for complex contract reasons, it was released as by Dave Edmunds. If you want the details, type the group name into Wikipedia lol!

But OK, to prove he can still do it (or could 8 years ago at least), here’s Dave sounding great live!

Who to thank for your mobile phones, and your internet? An actress!

101 years ago today, in Vienna, a baby girl was born. Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, in fact, a good Jewish baby. Well, I assume she was good, at least. You’re right, thats not the name she made herself famous with, as an actress, that was Hedy Lamarr. I’m not going to bore you with all the details of her movie career, and past history, if you want to read that, Wikipedia can guide you at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr

But during WW2, she patented something relating to frequency-hopping spread-spectrum, which helped the Allies to win the war. What wasnt known at the time, or indeed for about 40 years after, was the importance of this. Then companies started developing something called mobile phones, and guess what system they had to use to develop these devices? Yes, you’ve guessed it, frequency-hopping spread-spectrum! It was only when they tried to patent it, they discovered that they had been beaten to it, by over 40 years!

So they had to track down Hedy Lamarr, pay her off to gain the rights, and the rest is history. And yes, you guessed it, some of her other scientific work is how the internet developed. So the next time you ponder the scientific genius that allows you to make phone calls, or trawl the internet, just consider this. A movie actress helped to make all this possible!

See, not all actresses were just pretty faces!

Let me show you where to go

In the ‘good old days’ when I actually owned a mobile phone (yes, I did, but not at all recently), they pretty much did 2 things, make calls, and send text messages. That was fine, I could cope quite happily with that, even if my usage wasnt all that great. Then after my first spell without one, I gave in, and got a new one as a present, though it was as basic a model as they could find. Even then, it included a camera device, but I never bothered about learning how it worked.

But to be honest, I was only really using it for emergencies, and one day I realised I hadnt used it for over a year, the credit was gone, the sim card would no longer work, and that was that. I have still got the phone somewhere in my room, but dont ask me to go and find it! Since then, and its been a fair few years now, I’ve happily survived without one, much to most peoples amazement. Yes, I really must be an old fashioned girl lol!

However, I’m now thinking of buckling under, and getting one of those things again. Not for sending text messages, or for making phone calls (heaven forbid anyone would want to ring me), but for the internet map options!

I have discovered during this run of job interviews that some buildings are very easy to find. Santander, and Provident in Bradford for example, piece of cake! There are others though, where even if you get within 100 yards of the place, they’re easily missed! I had one yesterday, in Halifax, where I got within 100 yards of the place, couldnt see it shouting at me, and asked someone where it was, and they sent me on a wild goose chase.

Then today, on the edge of Huddersfield (of all places), I was again looking for an address. I saw a sign for a road, the name of which I wanted, and turned down there. Unfortunately the place I wanted wasnt there, it had actually been about 50 yards further on from where I was. Trouble was, with no map to guide me (care of a phone), and the fact that no locals seemed to know where I wanted, it took me half an hour to find it, and get there!

Now, I’m not saying with a mobile phone it would have been easier, but I guess I could have checked the email, put the address on a map site, and work out where I wanted to be. Or indeed, if I’d had a phone, call the office and find out where they were!

So no, I dont want a mobile phone, but I’m beginning to feel that if this job hunting goes on much longer I will need one, as a navigation assistant! Thing is, its Catch 22, isnt it? Until I get a job, I shouldnt spend money on one, but this job hunting seems to be the only time I need one. Ah well…

The video, anyone of a certain age will know what the title suggests it will be.

A 30’s girl, and modern technology

One thing that always amuses me, is the look on people’s face when I say that I dont use a mobile phone…ever! I would love to say I dont own one, but that wouldnt be true, and strictly, I actually own two. But on an everyday basis, I dont use a mobile phone.

One is actually a US phone, that wouldnt work over here anyway (different transmission systems) which might, if its lucky, get used for 2 weeks a year, and thats it. Pretty much got it for the convenience of Kate, and a couple of others being able to contact me, when over there, and not in the same hotel. As in, when Kate was at work last year, it was easier to ring me on there, as regardless of whether I was in my room, or out, she could get hold of me. Also handy with all these hotel shuttles if I can ring up, and arrange a lift of course. But 50 weeks a year, its not used.

The UK mobile, that got even less work, even when I was actually bothering to carry it around, so much so, that the credit expired, then the SIM card expired, so for at least 2 years, its been sat on the side, in my bedroom. No, I have no immediate plans to reactivate it, but maybe, one day…

I do occasionally use the land line at home, though there is no truth in the rumour that the phone looks like the one in the picture below. It would suit me fine if it did, but the others here might object!

Jean on the phone

And no, that isnt me, despite rumours lol!

Alright you say, how can a true 30’s girl own a laptop? And yes, guilty as charged, its about my one allowance to modernity, in all honesty. And fine, I have a nice colour TV, complete with cable, but hey, TV existed in the 30’s, just looked a bit different back then! 😛

But sorry, to have a mobile phone, that you literally have to have with you, at all times, no thanks! Unless someone wants to create one for me, that looks just like an old fashioned phone, then I might consider it!

The video, a quick one tonight, which pretty much sums up the life of so many mobile users, especially those with those trendy internet connection things