Friday, April 25, 2014

Confessions of the Technologically Disabled

No they aren't

It’s 1:15 a.m. and I know this because I’m on the laptop, where magic happens when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends. Like my Smartphone, it always knows the correct time.

When I’m in the kitchen or the car and need to check the time I just look for the clock with the latest hour – I changed those that were easy to figure out and left the rest.

I went to Cincinnati last weekend. When I checked in online there was a snag in “retrieving” my boarding pass, so I gave up and chose “send to phone.” I remembered that you can scan your ID at the airport kiosk and out pops your boarding pass, so I figured that would work.

When I got to the airport I found the kiosk, and it had slots for scanning your license or credit card. I couldn’t figure out what to do, but the screen said, “scan” so I tried swiping the barcode Delta sent to my phone across the screen. After a few minutes of standing there looking perplexed, an employee came by and asked if she could help. She glanced at the barcode on my phone and explained that it WAS my boarding pass- to just show that to security.

Who knew? I was amazed by this technology until my return, when my phone stalled at security and wouldn’t open the barcode. I had to step out of line and wait for it.

Last summer I was shopping with my aunt. When done she suggested I go start her car while she waited in line. I hopped in and couldn’t find a keyhole. I looked at the key and it didn’t look like a key. I had no idea how to start the car. My 2006 model takes a real key that looks like a key and that’s the way I like it.

A while back I was at Lowe’s and got excited over a light-up keypad lock. After the wired smoke alarm fiasco, I should have known better, but I bought it. After installing, you just add batteries and program a code you’ll remember. It worked great for about a month before it started beeping like the smoke alarms from hell. Unlike the alarms, changing the batteries in the lock didn’t work. Now it’s just an overpriced deadbolt.

I want to cancel my bundle of TV, internet, and phone service. Haven’t used a home phone in years and I’m still paying for it. When I watch television it’s the three local channels. I’m paying for 400 more, just in case I want to tune in to Shawn Says, Accessorize! or Brazil Butt Lift or Justin Bieber’s Believe (you have to pay extra to watch that one).

Thing is, I don’t understand the options. Netflix? Apple TV? Hulu? What is all that?

I wish I understood all things techie, but I want to understand without actually doing the work to learn.

The only time I’ve visited with Siri was to ask her what the fox says. The only time I used Dragon Dictation, I said, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck…” just to see what happened. (It translated to something about a babysitter)

I need a geek. Will trade room and private bath for geekery. The rules?

Keep. Stuff. Working.
And never, ever try to explain technology to me.

*** Cartoon courtesy of Ryan over at  He's a funny guy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Ways to Fast Cash For the Flat Ass Broke

A just released report by the experts at Unemployment Forever names the top gigs for the flat ass broke. To rank in the top five each gig had to meet the criteria of being suitable for people living in their cars as well as those who still have homes, require no particular skills or talent, have some sort of benefit beyond the pay, and include access to a restroom, because being poor is no reason to stink.

Participate in a Clinical Trial

Places such as Quintiles offer opportunities for those with almost any disorder, real or imagined (“Do you have bacterial vaginosis? PTSD? Call us today!”) to participate in clinical research trials. 

Depressed? Join a new mind-altering drug trial. Need a good night’s rest? Do a sleep study. Is your family sick of your antics while on Ambien? Try an experimental drug. It can’t be worse. Of course if you’re flat ass broke you can’t afford medical care, so signing up for the role of guinea pig gets you numerous free checkups.

Possibly for life.

Model your Innards

If the clinical trial sounds good but you’re not really into experiments, try being a medical model. When hospitals and clinics buy new equipment, they have to train the technicians to use it. Sharon Gutz got a two-day gig lying on a gurney in a sterile classroom, while the smart guy demonstrated ultrasound equipment (with external probes only—though internal probing pays a lot more). Again, you get a free checkup along with the paycheck. Those fancy machines can track a sandwich (provided) from one end to the other! You may even get a bonus if you are pregnant or have polyps all over your pancreas or something.

Give a Guy a Ride

Marcus Poore got his business idea late one night after being awakened by a stranded relative, whose flight was so delayed that the rental car agencies, shuttle bus services, even taxis for crying out loud, were no longer running. Marcus went to the airport to give the guy a ride, and met thirty others desperate for a lift to their hotels. Cha-Ching. 

Sure, you’re thinking this is about as smart as picking up hitchhikers, but it’s actually quite safe considering these passengers have already been cleared by the TSA to ensure they have no weapons or full size tubes of toothpaste. All you have to do is hang around a small to midsize airport in the middle of the night – if you’re already living in your car this is your dream job. Use the airport restroom to clean up before greeting your desperate pissed off passengers clients. Offer to carry their luggage into the hotel upon arrival, and you can grab a free banana in the lobby.


Those who still have homes and jobs sometimes leave them and need house and/or pet sitters. The pay may not be as great as these other gigs, but the perks are good: A warm bed, a hot shower, and maybe some food in the fridge. And cable TV. Remember cable TV? Just keep the pets and plants alive and you can get referrals and repeat business. 

Join a Focus Group

Many don’t know that the term Law Practice means that attorneys actually need practice. Prior to trial, they often arrange focus groups consisting of a variety of people similar to those who may be chosen for the jury. Compensation starts at $20.00 per hour. Pizza and soft drinks are provided to keep you awake and pretending to pay attention to attorneys pretending to be smart and in court. At the end you tell them whether you think the pretend prosecution or the pretend defense won the pretend trial, collect your pay, and…don’t leave... Mingle.

You just might meet someone that needs a lift to the airport.