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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Is This Better?

Wierd. Just installed the Blogger app, and at best I'd say it's a lot to get used to. It makes obvious how to add a title (fine) and labels (okay)... but I sure would have expected entering actual content should be obvious, too.  Not unfindable, but not obvious.
On the other hand, it doesn't appear to have that "feature" of doing a line through when I put in double hyphens -- like that for example.  Probably worth making sure, huh?  ;-)
I have seen reviews on Play Store contending that this has some issues with uploading pictures.  Since I use pictures for essentially nothing on my blog, I may never notice those issues.
So in other words, so far, so good.

Android with one working eye

Decided Bloggeroid wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. I learned to type a million years ago, so I habitually use a double hyphen in place of a dash, and Bloggeroid thinks that means I want to line through the next bit of text (why in god's name would I want to do that?), so I decided to uninstall it from my Amazon Fire to try using the Google Blogger client.
Given I'm essentially blind in my left eye, and my aging Fire has a failing backlight... I selected the wrong thing.  I managed to uninstall my podcatcher app, BeyondPod.  Same color icon, right next to each other in the alphabetical listing.
So BeyondPod is gone.
So are the six months of podcasts I was behind.
So are those special URLs with the arcane jumbles of random-ish characters that Patreon gives you when you're supporting a podcast, that I had to key in manually.
Guess I get to reconstruct things on my older Amazon Fire.  Less storage, but at least the backlight works.

Transcribe Live

Came across mention of a Microsoft Android app called Transcribe Live on a podcast recently. If I could remember which one, I'd link to it. It was back in February; I'm that far behind on podcasts.
So, initial impression, it's Kinda Cool. Going with what I have en masse, months and months of podcasts, that's what I tested with. I notice that people on the podcasts I listen to talk very quickly. And the app struggles to keep up, kind of munges together the different participants in a conversation and shows no idea there are multiple people talking.People speaking slowly and clearly would be transcribed better, it appears. If I just talk into the thing it does a pretty fair job -- seemingy better than the GBoard voice typing mechanism, not sure why that'd be.
Scripted folks tend to speak more slowly and clearly anyway, and scripted statements do tend to be transcribed fairly well. I gather the goal is a listening prosthesis, and it's kinda marginal for that purpose IMHO.
Trouble is, deaf people might get no useful content from this at all. Somewhat hearing impaired folks, and I am a bit, would mostly need the help with the harder words and proper names and those are exactly what the app misses.
So it's a clever toy, and yet another maybe-someday-it'll-be-useful gadget. Feel free to play with it, but don't bet your life or livelihood on its accuracy.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 19, 2019

Here's That Rainy Day

For the past few years, I have just barely been squeaking by with my limited income versus what I end up paying for things.
Usually I would use my credit cards to cover what needed to be covered till payday. Not a great solution, not at all. Credit cards are hideously expensive. I have managed to pay a bit over the minimum payments on all my cards, too. So on paper I'm a fair credit risk. But my debt is, honestly, way over anything I could pay in any short period of time. Under current circumstances, I can never pay it all off.
After 12 years with my current employers I make 41 cents an hour more than I would be making if I started last week. I'm reminded someone in the last Presidential election said it just wasn't right that someone with a fulltime job would end up broke all the time. The person who said that didn't get elected, and the person who did wouldn't understand it, ever.
I suppose some of this, and some of the pain of this, comes with age. When I was younger I could believe "but someday I'll get something better and be able to fix all this." Men my age don't get offered something better. Best money I ever made was in an auto parts processing plant in southern Michigan. We don't have plants here in my home town. The jobs that are available would be great for high school kids getting that first job. Hell, my current job would be. But I'm not a high school kid anymore.
In the past I always had someplace I could push or squeeze to get out a few more dollars. I'm out of those places. I don't think anyone in my family is better off, so I don't have anyone to ask for help. There are no miracle fixes to hope for, no someday to look forward to.
When we were kids, they told us if you work hard and live an ethical life, you'll get what you need. I've worked as hard as I can, and been reasonably well behaved, I think. And here I am.
Here's that rainy day.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Philately is perfectly acceptable, as long as you do it in privacy and wash your hands afterward. Actually it's a good idea to wash your hands before, too.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wait Wait

Listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me podcast again. Don't think I've mentioned this before. I want to be a caller on the show. I want to play the limerick one because it's easy. And I want my prize to be my voice on Bill Curtis' voicemail.

Did I already say that?

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

What I'm Worth

Just had a truly terrible day of work. It was like far too many days anymore.

I do telephone customer service. I work hard and try to provide the best customer
service I can. Up to a point I can put up with a lot from the customers who call in, because up to a point, that's the job.

But there seems to be this belief that if someone has a customer service job, it is perfectly fine to treat them, treat us, like dirt. We are not worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. Perhaps it's the depersonalization. I'm just a voice on the other end of the phone, so I'm not fully human, and not worthy of dignity, respect, or even fairness
My employers seem to believe that all of us are interchangeable, valueless, and easily replaced. I don't know all employers, but I'd wager that's par for the course. We are pushed harder and harder to act like machines and not complain, and if we go along, they replace us with machines which may suck at the job, but at least they're cheaper, and don't complain.

Experienced customer service agents are chewed up and spit out -- and then customers complain they "can't get a person," and employers complain they "can't get good help," as they pick the flesh of their last agent out of their teeth.

The good days are good, as with any job. The good days get more scarce, year over year. The trouble with treating any worker as expendable is that sooner than you think they will be expended. And you'll go from having good experienced people, to adequate inexperienced people, to folks who can only read what's on the script -- which is fine, because they work cheap and are easier to manage.

The only reward for a Job Well Done is another job. And sometimes not that.

"She said a good day, ain't got no rain. She said a bad day's when you lie in bed and think of things that might have been."
Paul Simon

posted from Bloggeroid

Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...