A look at cell phones from Geo Dell

A look at cell phones from Geo Dell

Earth’s Survivors

I spent today updating websites and working on interior files and covers for the ES series, so you are going to end up with a partially recycled blog from a few million years ago when Jesus and I were in grade school together. I mean, of course, Jesus, Wanda and Pedro’s son. So don’t write me and tell me I picked on religion, I picked on Spanish friends instead.

The cold here in New York is relentless. Winter can’t be found lately. The cats are growing thicker fur instead of shedding fur… Sheesh.

Today the topic is Cell Phones…

Cell Phones: Tin cans and string: This Cell phone thing is my generations fault. I’ll fess up right here. We tied string to tin cans, pretended they were loud and clear radios, and dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. Okay, I dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. I think a few of my friends did too, but I won’t put them on the spot. But, someone must have besides me, because we grew up looking for that tin can.

We spawned children with that tin can thing embedded in their DNA. That and the Communicator from Star Trek. If that wasn’t a glimpse into the future and cell phones, I don’t know what it was. It was inevitable, and we should have known it as soon as some fool back in the fifties gave us Walki Talkies.

It was almost a reality right there. Probably good enough for some of us, but no, not for all of us. Some said…

“Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to Tim, Ellie and even my sister Sherry with these things?”

“Well, Bob says. “Why would you want to talk to your sister Sherry? She’s a girl.”

“Oh… Right… Never mind.”

But, then some other guy went… “Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to anyone I wanted to with this thing? I mean like anywhere?”

“Well,” Bob said. “We’d have to make them affordable… Put them in the hands of people everywhere.. We’d have to build relay stations… We’d… We could do it! We could!”

And so Marketing and the Cell Phone industry was born right there. And Bob probably headed it. Now we all have Cell Phones and we might as well be welded to them, or they to us.

Last week I remembered I had a cell phone for a reason. To make calls to people, or so that people could reach me. I was watching a really stupid movie at the time. Four young people stranded in the desert. The moron dude (There is always a moron dude who does the dumb thing that puts them all in the bad situation), so, the Moron Dude wrecks the truck and they’re stranded in the desert. So what does he do first? Tries his cell phone. And does it work? Of course not. And, I thought, hmm, I have a cell phone, what if I paid all this money for minutes, and, and (I tend to get excited when I think of stupid things that just might be possible) I get stranded in the desert, and I flip open my Cell phone, and I have, like, 300 minutes, so I sigh, relieved, I will not die in the desert and the young woman med student won’t have to pound a hole in my head to relieve the fluid buildup so I will live! That was what she (The med student) had just finished doing to one of the people in the movie, pounding a hole in her head to relieve the pressure buildup. Hmm. It didn’t work too well. The person still died. Now, my characters do things too. But I have yet to write a scene where one actually pounds a hole into another characters head with a frickin’ rock.

I’ll tell you, I was relieved. I have enough holes in my head (Some say). Then I remembered the scenario. Minutes don’t matter. Reception matters. So, in my head, in my little world in the desert with the Moron Guy, and the Med Student woman, I look down at my phone again. Damn. 300 minutes and no bars. But, like the Moron Dude I try it anyway. Doesn’t work. The young Med Student woman is looking at me funny. Like she can’t wait to pound that hole in my head. Son of a bitch, I think. This really sucks. Then I remember, it’s not real. I am relieved again, except I am still watching this pathetic movie, and I am looking at my cell phone and wondering why I welded myself to it.

Anyway, dumb movies aside, it really did get me thinking about my cell phone. I have this many friends. (I’m holding up fingers on one of my hands). Let’s just say it’s a small amount, I have fingers left over. Now, all of those friends never call me on my cell phone. If they need to reach me they send an email or call me on my land line. Yes, I have a land line. I know how pathetic that sounds. And I rarely ever use it either. But that’s another blog. So, my friends know my email address, and my home phone and my cell phone number, and they never call me on the cell phone. Yet every month I buy minutes and put them on the damn phone. So I must have thousands of minutes on the phone. Just then the phone rang.

“Hello?” I’m cautious. No one calls me here. “No one calls me here,” I say.

Turns out it is a new-old friend. IE: One I knew years before who just reconnected and does not realize no one calls me on my Cell Phone.

“Hey,” I say. What else can I say? “No, you’re not bothering me,” I lie. Then, the phone goes dead.

“Hello? Hello?” I take the phone away from my ear and stare at it as though that can fix it or at least tell me what is wrong. Nope. five bars. Hey, wait a minute, no minutes! How can that be? I just ran out of minutes on my cell phone. But I just put minutes on it. Hmm, a conundrum.

That lead right into the stupid movie, and I realized, if it was me, my luck would be that I would find I had a signal, and then discover that I had no minutes. And so, I asked myself, why is that? And that is the crux of the problem. Because, as I mentioned, no one calls me on my cell phone. So, where do all the minutes go to? They go to all the other calls. The ones I didn’t ask for. The Cell Phone Spammers. Yes. Those guys/gals/machines. They call all of the time.

“Hi! did you know that for just three hundred dollars a month you can get an unlimited number of minutes,” the voice asks?

“Really,” I ask?

The voice just keeps yacking. It’s not a real voice. It’s a machine. But I’m lonely, they know it, and they know I am stupid enough to listen to a machine… At least for a little while.

“Press One now for the Budget Plan. Press Two for the Super Business Package. Press three for the…”

I hang up. Cell Phone Hooker, I think.  I think some other unkind things too, even though I know it is a machine. An hour later the phone rings. I think, ‘I shouldn’t answer that. They probably just want to sell me something.’ But I am stupid, or I have a defective gene, or both.

“Hello? Is this a machine,”I ask right off the bat.

“No sir,” a female voice. Heavy accent. “I am calling regarding your account.”

“Oh… Oh, sorry… I get these machine generated phone calls you see…” I shut up, because of course it’s the Cell Phone. Yakking is money. “My account?”

“Yes sir… My records show that you have the Thrifty Budget plan. And I wanted to make you aware of the Super Business Travelers plan..”

“Huh?”

“Your Cell phone plan,” she explains.

“I don’t have the Thrifty Budget plan,” I say.

“Are you sure,” she asks?

“Mm, yes,” I decide.

“Hold on sir.” She sounds upset, leaves the line, and like the idiot I am, I wait for her to come back. Ten minutes later she does. “Sir?”

Probably she is checking only to see if I was stupid enough to hang on. But, no, I answer. “Yes… Ma’am.” I’m even polite. What an idiot.

“My records show that you do not have the Thrifty Budget plan. Please forgive me.”

And I am ready and willing to forgive her. It’s hot over there in New Delhi, I watch Big Bang Theory. I saw Slum Dog Millionaire. I know it’s got to be a hard job working half way around the worl… She interrupts me.

 So, Sir?” She waits until I answer. The minute monster is eating my phone alive.

“Yes?”

“So, wouldn’t this be a great time to get the Super Business plan?”

Finally it dawns on me. “Hey, are you from **** & ****?”(My phone provider)

“Well, no. I’m from **** *****.”

I hang up. I feel used. Dirty. ‘Damn,’ I think. I am even cussing. ‘Damn Dirty Ape. Frig!’ It is the most severe cussing I can come up with on short notice.

Okay, so I’m sitting there, and slow as I am, it finally dawns on me where all of my minutes go, they go to answering the phone so these guys can sell me more minutes so I can answer the phone, so they can sell me more minutes, so I can answer the phone IF one of my friends ever call, and, as evidenced, if one of my friends do call, I’ll have no minutes to talk to them. Boy am I dumb. Hmm… Then I think, well, I could just let the medical student woman in the movie pound the hole in my head. Might be quicker, smarter too…

Hey! Take a look at the new Earth’s Survivors book Alabama Island…



He had come to hours later; the vehicles’ nothing but twisted husks, still burning in the black night. He could feel the heat from the fires. He had lain for what seemed like a long time trying to orient himself, make sense of what he last remembered, and what he now saw. Time did nothing to sort it out.

It still made no sense some time later when he had first tried to sit up. Pain had flared everywhere and the black curtain had descended once more.
The second time the fires had been out. Heat still came from the blackened shells, but the fires were dead. The moon was high in the sky, bloated, bright silver.
He had moved slower, and while it had been close he had managed to fight past the first pain when he had moved.
His left leg was bad. Not broken, but cut badly, maybe sprung, after all he had lain with it twisted to one side for what he assumed was a very long time. He used part of his shirt to wrap his leg as he let his head clear.
His head was worse. Pain inside every time he tried to move too fast. It felt like liquid sloshing around inside his head, his brain shifting with it, slamming into the bone cage of his skull, and he wondered if it were true, or just something his mind provided in explanation of the pain. As he sat the pain eased enough for him to stand. Standing helped to ease it even more and he began to search for the others…

Get it from these booksellers right now…

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Okay, that’s my week. I hope your week was good, Geo…



 

The Walmart lessons…

The Walmart lessons…


Let’s see what I have learned…

Occasionally I will venture out to Walmart. Rarely does this turn out well. I am almost always in a situation where I have to go, not want to go. I look at Walmart like a foreign entity occupying american soil. You should get a visa, passport and shots before you go. Lately I have been keeping track of my visits so that I can have a filter in place to let me know when I should or shouldn’t go…

Late Afternoon: So far I have learned that late afternoon Walmart shopping excursions are a bad idea. Too many families shopping with small children. Too much shoving and pushing and just an overall feeling of WHY AM I HERE! Even my mom and aunt on that trip were actively taking the electric carts they were using and in the case of my aunt trying to run people down. Mom was just wide open on the throttle and get the hell out of my way. I was trying to keep up, save small children and laugh at the tough guys who just almost got run over by little old ladies. Also young women wearing spandex… And grandmas wearing spandex and yes, a grandpa wearing spandex and gym shorts. Why grandpa, why! My friend Andrea says the women wearing spandex is payback for the men wearing it. I understand, but it seems to be a vicious cycle… Late afternoons are not good shopping days, I was mentally shot and probably traumatized by the time we got out of there.

Early Monday mornings: No. No. No. Employees and vendors restocking and blocking pretty much every aisle. Half naked women and men in night clothes. I don’t understand… Is it okay to dress in night clothes because it is early? Also lack of caffeine allows me to be extra nervy and impolite and if I am nothing I am polite… Sorry, nearly choked there. So early Monday is a bad idea. Might as well schedule a lobotomy, it would have been the same to me.

Holidays: Oh God. I hope you are coming back before the next holiday trip to Walmart. All I can say is that if you need something that bad pay someone to go there for you. If, as is my case all your nephews, sons, daughters and nieces are too smart to let you hire them, consider adoption. Screaming children. Nasty floors, picked over merchandise. Impolite &^%#’s. Yes, that was a bad word right there, sorry. It made me wish I had gone holiday shopping at Walmart with Mad Max or the Outlaw Josey Wales. No, no, that’s fine Mister Wales… You can shoot the next one too. Maybe Max’s little dog too. That dog was hardcore. So, no Walmart holiday shopping at all.

Late morning Wednesday shopping:Today was the late morning shopping test. Apparently Wednesday mornings are screaming child day, multiple screaming children as a matter of fact with grandparents or people my age who should not be having children at all. I had two boys running up and down aisles screaming and taunting each other… “I’ll get you!” … Slow down!” “Aiiii”
Little $#^&’s. I felt like tripping one and then yelling to the other “Here he is! Caught the little #$@%^&# for you.” Wonder what they would have made of that. But I was good. The second group was a boy beside a cart with grandpa or the worlds oldest father and a kid in the basket screaming. I mean SCREAMING. And the grandpa/father smiling and ignoring them and the boy beside the cart screamed at the screaming kid telling him to shut up. Thankfully they sell things in other areas of the store and so several times I managed to get away from the little kids. That was when I noticed that many of the shoppers were smiling and nodding. Look right at you, through you, smile and nod and whisk right by you and the screaming children and never lose the smile. Hmmm, I thought, which aisle is the Prozac in. I looked but I didn’t find it.
I also noticed that the produce area was inundated with alternate types. I saw a man with a pink Mohawk. A woman with a brush cut and her sleeves rolled up to biceps almost as big as mine. Another man picking over loose vegetables. I always wondered who in hell bought those loose potatoes, beets, carrots, now I know. Really picky guys in too tight designer jeans. It was weird in the produce area, but it was also heaven. The screaming children were not present, apparently all of these folks had been spayed or neutered.
I hung out there for awhile until I realized I had to travel to the other end of the store for soy milk and so, reluctantly I left. As for Wednesday shopping at Walmart in mid morning? Yes if it is produce, no on the rest. Hey, that is my strongest and only Walmart endorsement ever… Enjoy the balance of the week…


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The Mayan Prophecy and other inaccuracies

The Mayan Prophecy and other inaccuracies

The Mayans: (Written when the end of the world predictions were everywhere, the Mayans foremost)

I am not all that pleased with the Mayans. I have been waiting, but here it is creeping towards the middle of January and the earth is still here. What happened? Great mathematicians my… Well you know.

But really, we are so gullible That’s how these whack jobs like the Mayans get us in the first place. The whole thing probably went something like this…

Bob and Ted Mayan (Well, they were called Mayans, right?) were bored one day. Maybe they had just smoked a little weed, had a couple of ancient beers (Probably not a good European Dark beer, but hey they’re lucky they had any at all), and most likely Bob said something like…

“Hey, man… What if… What if… I forgot.”

“The world ended,” Ted supplied.

“Yeah… Yeah, Man. That’s it. What if, like, the world just ended and… and…” he shrugged (Probably too stoned to think straight).

“Yeah… Yeah… I see it,” Ted nearly screams. “And we all float off into space!”

“Dude!” Bob says.

“Dude,” Ted agrees.

And that was probably it right there. Next thing you know Bob and Ted have started themselves a little cult. Got a bunch of their contemporaries following them. Probably put it on their version of Face Book (The Cave Walls) and that was it. One kid’s a math wiz (At least on their level) and the next thing you know the Mayans are predicting our future. Makes me mad just thinking about it.

So here I am a few thousand years later… I don’t know the Mayans were high that day… I don’t know they had three or four arrests for possession before they were sixteen. Nope. I’m just an average Joe saying Hey What the hell is the deal? And I start to think maybe it’s happening. I’m at work and I turn to Fred my Cat…

“Fred… Fred, does it feel like the Earth is spinning slower to you? … Does it?”

“Meow,” Fred says. Whatever that means. And while I’m on the subject, which I wasn’t. How can a Cat or a Dog express themselves with so few words. This damn cat always answers Meow.

“Fred, what do you think? Were the Mayans right or not?”

“Meow.”

“Really.”

Or

“Fred, I think I hear a dog out there in the yard.”

“Meow.”

“Really.”

What does it mean? Couldn’t once he say…

A dog you say? Well that clinches that. I’m not going out in the yard at all.”

“Really,” I would say, surprised and probably in shock.

“Really? What the hell does really mean? Don’t you people ever say anything else,” Fred asks?

Anyway, the Mayans. It’s mostly our faults. I read somewhere that people who make predictions, by the odds, have to be right 50 percent of the time. That’s pretty limited thinking. Maybe if it’s strictly yes or no, otherwise the variables come into play and who can tell, and that is exactly how they get us. That…  maybe it could be … That… You don’t suppose…?  And we are so fatalistic in our overall views that we just jump on it…

“BARB! Let’s get down to the Walmart and stock up on all the stuff we’re gonna need! The World’s Ending!!!”

And the religious whack jobs? Oh, they’re happy. They just look at you and smile. They’re God is gonna kick some ass now, that’s for sure. You people will starve in the wilderness… STARVE! But God will take care of me! God told me to get a rope and tie myself to the church steeple so that when the world ends, and the Earth stops spinning, I won’t float away…

Good. And when nothing happens I suppose you could use the rope to lasso a cow. Start a life as a cowboy.

We are so gullible. A friend bought a book to me a few years back. He handed it to me…

“Look, don’t pass that around…” He looked around to make sure no one was listening. “It’s the secret to life,” he whispered. “Says so right on the cover… A secret..”

“A secret?”

“SHHHS. Not so loud. It’s a friggin’ secret. Secret knowledge… Read it, I did.”

Or another friend shortly after that.

“It’s the Mayan prophecy, Dude. See this guy that wrote it… Well, he’s not a Mayan, but he’s good with numbers, see, and he says it’s gonna be December 2012…” He looked at me meaningfully.

“Uh huh… December?”

“Yeah… December.”

“Yeah. I got that. I mean what’s gonna be in December 2012?”

He looked at me like I was nuts. “Dude! The world’s ending, Dude.”

“Oh… That December 2012 thing.”

“Yeah, see this guy has a ship full of virgins and he’ll be in the New York harbor waiting to sail…”

“Ah, virgins?”

“Yeah… Yeah, see, to re-populate the world when most everyone dies.”

Gullible. We want to believe it. I personally think if the moron that wrote that book would have showed up with a ship full of virgins he would have found himself in jail. But hey, maybe the Mayan’s could post bail…

Anyway. I’m still here. The world didn’t end, and I didn’t see a single Mayan on T.V. apologizing for the misinformation. Not one. The world is still going and if you went ahead and maxed out your Visa card you’re gonna have to pay it. Next week or the week after that the light bill’s gonna be due, then the car payment, and the next thing you know we will have moved right past those Mayans and their faulty math.

But listen. Keep this to yourself, but I read this book and it predicts that the real date is a year or so away. Then the whole friggin’ thing’s gonna fall down…. Honest. The book says so…


EARTH’S SURVIVORS

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