Reproduction.

Hulu has the recent live episodes of “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons”. For those unfamiliar, ABC recently featured an episode of the two iconic shows performed live Woody Harrelson is a weird casting of Archie Bunker. Marissa Tomei did a great job with Edith but the vibe of the show is off. I’m in the middle of “All In The Family” as I type this, maybe it’ll get better as the show goes on.

Addendum: watching “The Jeffersons”, and I’m really disappointed the doorbell wasn’t copied from the original show. Ding ding ding.

Briefly…

An observation at the movie theater tonight: if your husband has to repeatedly ask you to put your phone away, as you light up the row with an impossibly bright smartphone display, don’t start throwing a hissy fit as you stumble around trying to make an exit without flipping over the railing in front of you.

Our family was trying to enjoy “Rocketman”. We didn’t need the show in the row in front of us. There was to be one queen in the theatre and it was Sir Elton himself. We didn’t need a roadshow Drag Race dropout throwing a tantrum as he flings he Samsung all over creation.

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Homekit.

It’s a new era in our merry little household. For the first time in a number of years, one can confidently utter the word “Alexa” or “Google” without various devices scattered about binging and bonging while trying to be helpful.

The Amazon and Google ears have been decommissioned.

My husband and I have been working on little tech upgrades here and there and over the weekend he remarked, “it’d be really nice if we had one kind of computer with one service for the lights. I don’t want to talk to Google in here and Alexa in there and watch you haul around a Linux computer”.

We’ve decided to go all in on Homekit, Apple’s Home Automation platform. I know that some have had uneven experiences with Homekit but it has always been solid with us. The only reason we added Alexa and Google to the mix was so we could talk to thin air and have something happen.

“Hey Siri!” gives us this option as long as we have a iPhone or iPad within our shouting range. Since we always have our device on us, this is working for us.

When we first moved into the condo here in Chicago it was my intention for us to be an all Homekit home but then we started buying cheaper smart plugs that were only compatible with Alexa. I’ve been doing some network monitoring and the smart plugs are quite chatty with non-U.S. IP addresses. I don’t know why my smart plug feels the need to tattle around the world when I turn on a box fan, but it made me hyper aware of the security concerns around the Internet of Things.

I firmly believe Apple has the most secure offering in this arena.

Jamie had a decommissioned iPad Mini 2 that we have pressed into service as a Home Controller in the kitchen. I just need to find an older iOS device to play the same role in the bathroom, as we like music to play when we shower and the like, and then we’ll be golden. In the meanwhile we can use our phones.

I’m liking the doubling down on the Apple ecosystem. Believe it or not, it helps my focus for both personal and professional tasks. And for us, it just works.

And that’s all that matters to us.

Yumi Zouma.

Photo courtesy of Yumi Zouma’s website.

It’s been over a decade since I’ve really fallen in love with any music, but the New Zealand group Yumi Zouma has created some of the best music I’ve heard in decades.

I love this group. Give them a listen (link to Apple Music).

Topsy Turvy.

So apparently the WordPress app on iOS no longer recognizes camera orientation when posting a photo.

I think it’s time for me to start finding a new platform to power this blog. WordPress feels like it’s not keeping up with the times.

Alone Time.

“John is a loner. He doesn’t play with the other students as often as he should”.

This was a remark on my report card way back when I was in kindergarten. I remember not particularly caring for my kindergarten teacher. Even at age 5 I knew she didn’t get me or didn’t understand my way of thinking. Her approach to teaching in the early 1970s was quite basic, “no child is really any different from any other child”.

For some reason I was telling Earl about this teacher and how I panicked because I got a knot in my shoelace and couldn’t get it out. I coaxed a girl named Charlotte to help me get the knot out; she was quirky like me and then grabbed a pair of scissors from the arts and crafts table. We poked and prodded at the knot together and then it came out and I was relieved.

Charlotte then took the scissors and cut her bangs off to her scalp.

I had no idea why she did that, other than she was quirky like me I guess, but the teacher let out such a ruckus you would have thought her blackboard was on fire. I wasn’t scolded for participating in this barbering event (because I had no participation), but Charlotte was relegated to her own desk, away from the “Group 5” table, and come to the end of the school year was not to be seen again for the rest of my elementary or primary school career.

I don’t know what happened to Charlotte but I imagine her hair grew back.

This is probably one of the reasons I tend to be a loner. The only one that can truly occupy my “loner recharge” space with me is Earl. Others in my space can be a little bit of a drain of my energy, to varying degrees. This is not a negative or a bad thing, it’s just the way I’m wired. I have multiple test results to prove this.

Earl has been working this weekend so I took the opportunity to go off and explore the city, riding random ‘L’ lines to random stops and then getting out and walking around. Now, don’t worry about my safety around this activity, because I’m well versed in knowing what lines and what stops to visit during these exploration activities and I have a really good time getting to know The Second City this way. When I ride my bicycle, the neighborhoods whizz by quickly and I get just a passing vibe of my surroundings. When I walk, I can sense folks, hear conversations, and see what’s happening around me. For me, it’s a fantastic way to get to know a neighborhood.

As I type this Earl is at Wrigley working (Go Cubs!) and I’m sitting in a random Starbucks taking a coffee and blogging break. I was going to head out the Blue Line to O’Hare today but maintenance currently in place would have made that experience too tedious. So I think I’m going to finish this up and head out in another direction.

Just keep the scissors away from Charlotte.

Repair.

The power button on my iPad Pro has become mushy. Whatever makes it click has given up the ghost. So today I have an appointment at the Genius Bar at our local Apple Store.

The Truth About Generation X.

We often hear about Baby Boomers versus Millennials. But what about us Gen Xers? I’m solidly a Gen X and quite proud of it. Here’s a fascinating video talking about Gen Xers.

Connecting.

Social Media is suppose to be the epitome of human connection but it’s not. Mark and Sheryl and Jack and Biz would all like you to believe that we can connect to each other easier and without a care in the world today versus even a few years ago, but the anonymity of it all just lends itself to screaming, carrying on, assorted hissy fits, and just all around crankiness.

I was flipping through old photos this evening and found the screen cap as shown at the top of this blog entry. Back in the days of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, iChatAV and the like, you’d chat away in group chat boards and then if you wanted to see someone face to face (sometimes for racy reasons, sometimes not), you’d fire up your connected webcam and say hello. Group chat was kind of rare but one-to-one chat was medium-well and it generally felt like you could make friends hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Social Media has kind of ruined the human connection element of technology and that’s sad to me. We could have done great things with a focus on quality interaction one-to-one or few-to-few instead of moving into this “make a duck face in front of a gravestone and post it on the inter webs” thing we have going on today.

Perhaps the network cord will swing back in a saner direction.

Commitment to Privacy.

A recent Macworld article highlights Apple’s commitment to user privacy in this digital day and age. An interesting read for all, but especially for the geek minded. The article also highlights the importance of “Sign In with Apple”, the new sign-in initiative from Apple I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

But convenience is only part of what makes Sign In with Apple such an excellent feature. Apple has baked privacy and security so deep into Sign In with Apple that it won’t work unless your account is protected with two-factor authentication. It uses Face ID or Touch ID on the iPhone and iPad. The coolest feature of all: you can opt to use a fake email address that forwards to your real one so the service you’re signing into won’t have access to your contact info.