This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our get-together is hosted by: Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from any who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Good morning. Given how late I am to posting this weekend, I’m so glad you stopped by. I’ve come to look forward to your visits, catching up and all. You always give me valued glances of life outside my own sometimes stressful bubble of work and activities.
We spent the weekend driving 10+ hours down to the deep south of California, San Diego, to install our youngest son at university; UC San Diego, to be specific, and just crawled in the door of home late last night and headed straight for the sacred bed for a much anticipated – real night’s sleep. Ahhhhhhh.
The fastest way to get from northern California to southern, is via a famous Interstate freeway known as I-5. It provides the full-bodied freeway experience of thousands of miles of flat, straight tarmac through the almond, citrus and abandoned orchards of the long central California valley to the traffic-choked freeway rats-nest of the huge Los Angeles basin. If you limit yourself to very few food and bathroom breaks, it is a solid full day of driving at a smooth speed limit +10 down and back.
We were so busy down there running about trying to find the right size fitted sheet, dish washing set or printer for his dorm setup that the laptop and all email or writing chores went completely untouched, but – of course, there is coffee ready to pour. I got up early to get things set up for our visit – hoping you would stop by – and here you are – wonderful!
When I can, I like to read the early posters, but this time fear that if I don’t get my own done – I’ll fully miss the train and be left at the station waving my essay in the dissipating steam of the just-departed engine. I’ll need to circle back for yours once I have this posted.
I do enjoy hearing how your week went. Your reflections always brings some comfort to the mess my week often leave me in. Last week was just brutal.
That said, my time for writing was very limited and while I progressed a couple of short essays, I didn’t finish anything. I do have a Facebook group that enjoys my stories and from that world alone I’m seeing around 200 views a month from a collection of just over 40 stories. In months when my new story creation is low, I throw out a couple of fresh invitations to check out something I’ve not promoted for over 6 months and am almost always rewarded with a bunch of readers who often comment or start Facebook conversations around the events of the story.
I did manage to stay fairly up to date with a couple of bloggers I follow and so-doing collected an inspiration for a future coffee-share. One idea, I really wanted to deliver today, but the whole week conspired to allow me only to trap two paragraphs of it.
Of note: I hope that those of you outside the US are not impacted by the curse of the robo-dialing junk callers. Here all our phone numbers, both line and mobile, are subjected to multiple daily incremental calls from demon-processed computerized tella-marketers or survey companies or political campaigns which (illegally, but untraceable) dial one number after another by just adding 1 to the overall number and thus dials every possible number over time.
The social monsters who program these computers, well aware of how hated they are, ignore any abuse we chose to throw at them (just like a politician except they don’t even fear our vote at the end of their term) and so they program little tricks to get us to pick up, like spoofing the number or name they are calling from hoping to trick us into answering and listening to their sales pitch about furnace duct cleaning or the non-award we just won entitling us to move to some resort where we’ll live for free for a year if we will only lay down the title of our home.
I’ve seen them spoof using only the name of one of our 50 states, yes, I’ve been expecting a call from the whole state of New Jersey for some time now. They are also fond of using a few random letters with a company postscript. I’ve also seen them use my area code with random digits afterwards, which suggests that the caller is someone local – but nooo. “We are calling to collect your opinion of the NFL “take-a-knee” protest.”
For the past few weeks, they’ve changed their dialing strategy in pursuit of our attention.
Here’s the dance we do now. They call, I recognize nothing about the caller ID, answer and instantly hang up. They change the caller ID and (knowing that I am near the phone, instantly call back, which I reward by repeating my instant hang up. I’ve had this happen up to three times before the robot moves on.
We’ve considered just cancelling the landline, but have a hard need for it that cannot be satisfied with a mobile – which these days is just as likely to get these robo-calls anyway.
So my strategy stands. if I don’t recognize the caller ID as being someone I might want to talk to, I silence the caller from even engaging the answering machine by picking up and hanging up almost instantly. I’ve told my friends that if their caller ID is blocked, they will have to text message me or something, because their innocent ID blocking now makes them look like a junk caller.
Like I said above, I hope this social blight has not reached your county. I also ask that you pray for the pending telephonic demise of the US phone system. You might think that the mighty US tech industry could come up with a simple solution that might include resurrecting the common use of the guillotine, but not so far. Good old basic capitalism has tried with patches of success, but nothing yet appears to kill this epidemic and we certainly don’t want our government to attempt a fix. Their cures are almost always worse that the disease. In the meantime, much of our phone equipment is now nearly worthless for actual desired communications.
But ick! That was a downer of a topic. I did have some fun last week you might enjoy. About year ago I wrote up a memory of what it was like when this small town boy, got a scholarship to a trade school and left my small town each day as a bus commuter to San Francisco. This being new to me, and given my limited attention span for sitting still and somewhat extra gravity for attracting weird events, provided me with some entertaining experiences. I did a Facebook promotion of it last week with good success. That story is here if you’d like to sample. I promise a few good laughs but don’t try any of the described stunts these days. Most transit authorities are on to me and watch for copy-cat offenders.
Okay, anyone need a fresh drink? I don’t want to rush you, but I am keen on jumping over to Alli’s site to catch up with your posts.
I hope this finds you all well and loving life.