Tried Google Voice yet? I use it as my primary business phone number and it’s an amazing service. When a call comes in it simultaneously rings my cell phone, my desk phone, and any other phone I point it at. If a caller leaves a message, Google Voice lets me retrieve it in an app, over the phone, or over the web. They even make an automatic transcript and send it to your phone and your email.
And that’s where it gets…umm…interesting. The transcripts are remarkably good considering they are machine generated but they aren’t 100% accurate. Sometimes they are pure gibberish but other times the substituted words result in a message that is syntactically and grammatically correct but definitely NOT what your caller intended.
A reader contacted me recently to ask why they are seeing ads on the blog now. It wasn’t that many posts ago I proudly proclaimed the site to be ad-free, after all. I have, so I have been told, broken a promise to my followers. Well, yes and no. After I explain I hope that you will support my plan.
I’m pretty sure it was Schrödinger who posited that the attractiveness to your cat of any food dropped on the floor is directly proportional to that food’s level of toxicity to your cat. Our cats are all on special diets now because in cat-years they are all in their 100’s. That means most foods we drop are toxic to them.
All three of our cats were young when we got them. One from the shelter, one from our Vet’s rescue adoption program, and one literally off the street. We had always understood that “rescue cat” referred to our having saved them from certain death in the shelter. In due time we came to understand that “rescue” refers to our single-handedly keeping the specialty cat food company out of bankruptcy. Every time we drop a piece of human-food on the floor, the Hills Science Diet company stock splits.
As you know if you are more than a year old, there are some things you can do or say which your colleagues, friends and loved ones will never let you forget. You experience these things as a kind of singularity. You spend your entire life up to that moment in blissful ignorance of the event, but understand in a flash of instantaneous horror what you’ve done in the exact moment you do it. It’s an instant in which everything changes.
My friend Bruce writes “the problem with holiday shopping is that it screws up ad engines and the things they offer you.”
Tell me about it. My daughter Megan has a ferret and the ferret has a big cage. Inside the big cage are a variety of places for the ferret to sleep, including a couple of hammocks. One of these – the one that looks like a giant fuzzy banana – recently had to be replaced because of all the holes she’d chewed into it. (“She” in this case being the ferret not the daughter.) Since I have Amazon Prime, I was conscripted into placing the order. So far, so good, right?
No! No, it’s not! NEVER, EVER buy your ferret a “banana hammock” online. I can’t describe in polite company the kind of ads I’m getting now other than to say they are traumatic. Go to the pet store to buy your banana hammock in person. Pay cash. Don’t use your loyalty card. In fact, use a fake name. Trust me on this.