Monday, December 3, 2018

Joining the 21st century

Here I sit, one month into owning a smartphone, 
which might finally make me a bona fide member of the 21st century. 
Had someone told me years ago that I could deposit checks via a smartphone
and never have to go to the bank again, I would have joined sooner.

I've made one call from my smartphone, 
since that function only works when I get out to the highway.
I was in my truck and called Smooch and Alex to: 
a) see if the phone actually worked and b) tell them what time I'd be home.
They didn't pick up. 

But my primary reason for getting a smartphone was not to make calls.
It was to get my friends off my back and to take advantage of some of the apps
that might make my life easier and safer.

For example, I bought this new weather station because there's an app for it. 

If I happen to be away from the ranch and it rains, I can check the app
to see how much has fallen and panic accordingly about not being able
to get home and take care of the animals.

Keeping the phone in my pocket at all times means never having to run back into the house
to grab my camera when George and Alan are looking exceptionally cute. Major bonus.

Then there are the features I never knew existed, like voice memos.
I will never have to search for pencil and paper again
to write down something I need to remember.
This feature is almost as life-changing as check deposits.

You know you live in the middle of nowhere when
your phone tells you so.

I am not, nor will ever be, much of a texter because I can't type with my thumbs
and my eyes cross when I look at the ittybitty screen. 
However, when a text from Danni comes in, it is fun
to respond with a selfie to let her know what you're up to.
In this case, we were taking an extra-extra long walk because we were listening to
Michelle Obama's memoir (on my phone) and didn't want to stop. 
So very good, and to hear her words in her voice makes it all the better. I digress.

The app that may be the most life-changing of all,
and I can't believe I'm saying this,
is the Walmart grocery app.

I used it for the first time last week. I purchased my groceries online, 
selected a time to pick them up, and a Walmart employee
brought them out to the truck the second I arrived in the parking lot.
I never had to set foot in the store or wait in the check-out line or be among people.
And this is why God made a smartphone.


  1. J n I too have discovered the Walmart grocery app. You are absolutely is life changing!! Lol. No need now to spend time with grocery shopping!! Equally as exciting, tho, and you may not be aware of this, is adding a forgotten item to “said” shopping list...after you submit your shopping list, you have a Walmart predetermined timeframe to add to it!! Walmart then correctly tally’s the new total and your new pick up list is completed. Never knew recliner grocery shopping existed or could be so rewarding,!!!

    1. If they'd offer delivery by drone, I'd never have to leave the ranch again!

  2. Glad you're enjoying it. Fantastic pic of you and A.

  3. Danni, are you laughing?

  4. Tell us about the new weather station! :)

    I still have the old Temperature station I bought years ago. Just a single sensor for outdoor temp and it does tell you indoor temp. No smartphone/wifi required.

    M in NC

    1. The new weather station is great because it has the app but such a p.i.t.a. to set up. It's this one from Amazon:
      I had an AcuRite station for a year but the wind cups kept breaking so I switched to LaCrosse, which seems even more flimsy. It had a 4-star rating, which I'm now convinced was driven by Russian bots. Seriously, the set-up was SO difficult, getting everything to talk to each other via wifi. The company's customer service was helpful via email but it is in no way a consumer-friendly device. You get what you pay for, I suppose.

  5. I do not own a smartphone and after you got one I started interviewing people about how it might make my life easier. You live in the middle of nowhere but can order groceries online? I'm in Germany and can only dream (some stores offer online shopping but they only deliver non-perishables, making it meaningless for me).

    I think it might be nice to have one unit instead of 1. camera 2. cell phone 3. navi 4. ipod 5. kindle but my main resistance is I don't want my real life to blend with my online life. I want to choose to go to the internet, not have the internet come to me.

  6. I am happy for you to have these new conveniences, and impressed with your super techno savvy abilities. I may be the only person left with a flip phone, that has buttons, that has no data, etc., but that's ok. I'd be lost without the desktop, however, and hope they don't become obsolete while I'm still alive!

  7. online order/pick up did come to your Walmart. I mentioned it a while back, but your store didn't have the service yet.
    Voice typing works for everything, but you may have to use the Google keyboard to get that feature. So no need to mess with the tiny keyboard.
    There is an app for everything! Have fun finding the ones you like.
    Love seeing the boys! And seeing pics on Instagram. Lisa G in TN.

    1. I remember your Walmart comment well, and when my store finally offered the service a few months ago, I thought of you and started getting serious about the smartphone acquisition. See what you've gone and done?

    2. That is awesome. Now Smooch and Alex can go with you to pick up groceries! Lisa G in TN

  8. So happy that you are finding good reasons to have your phone. I never knew about voice memos...I am still using pencil and paper!
    Love the red glasses and little Alex giving you
    kisses photo.
    I am getting ready to walk amongst the people for my food (I like picking out my stuff) at least for now but I’ll check out the app.
    Love the new weather station! Still looks like the Love Boat to me.

  9. Please remember that George is very experienced at holding your phone for you while you scratch his butt. If you don't have a great case to protect your phone, I recommend the cases made by Rokform. Todd made me a believer when he forgot his phone on his truck's tailgate, slammed the tailgate shut on the phone and the case just had the slightest dent. They'll even customize one to have a picture of your liking on it like that cute picture of George and Alan above. Mine has a picture of a nebula with a little blue box to be a subtle tip to my love of Doctor Who.

    1. Thanks for the case tip - I'll definitely check them out.

  10. Yay for your arrival. They certainly are handy in some really good ways. And while you don’t text I love how you practice good etiquette by replying with a great selfie.

  11. I can add one more wonderful thing to your list... I don't type text, I use talk to the phone app, I tap the screen and talk and it types as fast as I talk.. I also talk to my tablet. you should have that already on your phone, just not set up... I talk text to my sister in law every day. she wants to know why I can type faster than her. HA

    1. I tried the voice text thing but went crazy trying to edit/fix the mistakes. Maybe it's time to stop being a perfectionist...or speak more clearly.

    2. I don't have a smart phone yet, but this iPad comes close. And yes, if it won't disturb the peace, I'll sometimes use the talk-to-text feature, but I also get frustrated with the editing. I suppose if I used it more frequently I would learn to automatically tell it when to put punctuation and how to spell odd words...

  12. If the smartphone means we get to see more of YOU that is a good thing too! Hey - I dare you to check out Prisma. Just the free version. It turns your photos into amazing paintings. I'm a fan of the gothic filter. It doesn't turn things black and white ... but very pretty versions of browns. Oh, and the Mateogroup Weather App. It breaks the day down into hours and lets you know when rain, snow, sleet etc. will be coming through. I just tried out our Loblaws 'Click and Pick Up' service this week. Just like your Walmart one. Excellent to be able to just 'stop by' for groceries. Welcome to the world of apps!

  13. There's also a thing called swipe, you spell out the words but moving one finger from letter to letter, it's great! And a good star mapping app, then may be an Amazon Alexa for your house, and Alexa enabled lights so you can turn the lights on from anywhere and then a Nest furnace control.... crazy good stuff.

  14. Northern AB gal12/3/18, 11:04 AM

    So, if you order your groceries online, does that include fresh produce? and if so, how do they know how green you like your bananas?? :) Curious minds need to know. BTW, I'm still in the dark ages using a flip phone, however in my defense I have ordered an Ipad, we'll see how that goes, lol.

    1. Fresh produce is included. I spoke at length with the store's online grocery manager before trying this, and she said her pickers were instructed to always pick the least ripe of everything, which works for me.

    2. Northern AB gal12/3/18, 8:50 PM

      Thanks, that's good to know.

  15. The way I understand it - as we age, learning new skills builds new neural pathways, keeping our minds flexible. And there are some crazy awesome apps. I use Merlin Bird ID all the time. Camera+ is a nice photo editing app and you can totally blow a day going down the rabbit hole with google earth lol. Glad you're having fun :D

  16. Apps make a huge difference in convenience. Smart phone the best toy I've ever had. I pass "click-listers" in every aisle at my Kroger. Pretty sure they make up for those self serve checkout aisles. Have not used the service myself. Cousin's hubby moonlights as one on weekends. I have a feeling the Air Force might shoot down any drone deliveries to your place.

    Never met a more convenient camera in my life. You, Alex, and Michelle just hanging out and walking in beautiful New Mexico. Life is grand.

  17. God created the smartphone! you made me laugh!!! on my smartphone I installed first an ad blocker

  18. So this must be what time traveling feels like huh :D

    That first pic, I can almost see the clouds move in it. And kudos to y'all for the extra cuteness.

  19. Welcome to the world of the smart phone! I never type anything.......just use the voice function.....mine is so old it just has a little microphone to push on the keyboard for using that function. Eventually it seems to learn your speech patterns and accent .....or at least mine seems to not need as much correcting now.......makes for some funny text messages!

    Now if I can just figure out the smart tv........

  20. An American in Tokyo12/3/18, 5:32 PM

    Congratulations! I'm glad the smartphone is working for you!
    I LOVE the pic of you and Alex! And the silly boys!
    It's fun when you find apps that you enjoy using. The grocery one sounds great!
    HAVE FUN!!!

  21. Ha ha! Panic accordingly!

  22. I like the puppy airkiss.

  23. I'm where you used to be - without a smart phone! My 86 year old mother used to do all her banking on her iPad - I am WAY behind the times!!! ~ Linda K.

  24. Something else fun your iPhone will do is photo "memories". Open your photos, look at the bottom for the icon "memories" and see what you've got. You can let the phone do all the work or you can create a folder with, say, sunrise pictures or a special day...and then you can change the music, length of video clips... Great fun!

  25. This post made my day! I have had my smartphone for several years now and still haven't made it work for me so well! Good on you!!
    As others have mentioned, talk to text is handy...but as you mentioned, the correcting of it can make you crazy! I have a few friends that I don't even bother because I know they can figure it out. And some of the texts are hilarious. It still writes Market 1/2 the time I say Maragret!

  26. (Third attempt at posting this comment -blogger apparent does NOT like smartphones, lol)

    Hahahaha. Look at you go! And to think, it only took me/us (quickly mentally calculating when that time was that we drove into Albuquerque and had THE best hamburgers EVER and used google maps to get us there....which was the first time you ever expressed the remotest interest in what a smart phone could do...I think that was, um, 2011 maybe?) 7 years to convince you!

    1. I have no recollection of the conversation, although I do remember what we ate at the Standard Diner: Kobé beef hamburgers and french fries with truffle oil. It was the day we were donkeysitting Patrick at Morning Bray Farm.

  27. Well look at you! And here I just got one for Instagram purposes...and a couple of games I love. But you are on a roll! Teach us some more stuff.

  28. So happy to see George and Alan! I miss them. I love the "cruise ship" weather station. I am thinking of doing the same here. Although, I do not live in the middle of nowhere. I have seen something similar in my neighborhood.
    Have a lovely Christmas with all your fur and feather babies!

    Linda D.
    Tucson, AZ