January 27, 2013

Joy's Junque - I’ve found the perfect app

You’ll be glad to hear I’ve mastered one more technological step. No, I’m not talking about using the Neti Pot without drowning myself, I’m talking about the power of the perfect app. It all started with the IPods my granddaughters received for Christmas, a day at the dentist and ended with 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

IPods - they can’t make calls from them, but in the right zone, they can text. They can send photos to friends and check Facebook, play games, make videos, email back and forth with buddies and listen to music. Basically, an IPod is their whole world wrapped up in a gizmo the size of a cough drop box.

The selfish, tired side of me is glad they have them. They keep them busy and I don’t have to give up my laptop so they both have the same amount of ‘computer time.’ Although gone are the arguments about equal computer usage, I can still use my leverage for them to ‘clean something’ before they can get on the little gadget. I have confiscated them on occasion, and I found they are easier to hide in my pocket than the family computer.

Getting back to the apps – I have some good apps. But the day the 10-year old got some stubborn baby teeth pulled, I learned the power of the perfect app. Even though the most traumatic part was just getting her to the dentist’s office (when it was all over, she gave the ‘thumbs up’ sign and shrugged like it was nothing), she was going to milk this for all it was worth. Her mouth was numb, so I told her to get comfy on the couch, pull out her IPod and not talk for about an hour. No way. She started miming (more dramatic, I suppose, than actually writing it down)…near as I could tell she wanted a slushie. I told her to sit down and relax, and then the war was on.

Her sister installed an app to verbally interpret what she wrote (ah, she can write). So, I had to listen to a really stupid voice saying “Grandma, I need a slushie.” “Grandma I got my teeth pulled, I need a slushie.” “Grandma if you loved me you would go get me a slushie.” “Grandma you’re mean.” “Grandma I’m never talking to you again.”

Promises, promises.

But then they both pulled out another app – the one that sends out movie, TV and cartoon quotes. Like well trained snipers, they bombarded me from room to room with over an hour of some of the most well-known insults ever. “I’ll be back.” “Oh, no.” “Good Day Sir!” “Let Me Introduce You To My Little Friend.” Plus a slew of bodily function sounds….

(OK, that app is kind of cool, so I had them install it on my phone. Didn’t use it on them that night because I couldn’t find the last line of Gone With The Wind.)

They even tried to influence my phone buddy app, Siri, by telling her to send me out for a slushie. When she wouldn’t, they got a little indigent – not with me, mind you, with her.

“You’re mean,” said the 10-year-old, again.

“We don’t like you,” said the 12-year-old.

Out of habit, I blurted out “stop being mean to her.” After all, I still feel guilty about silencing my GPS a few years ago because all she ever said to me was “Turn Around” or “You Missed Your Turn” or “Make A U-Turn As Soon As You Can.” I was determined to work with Siri.

Once the laughing died down, I reminded that I rely on Siri to get me places and to make calls and texts for me and to direct me to the best hamburger joint. What if she decided to throw me for a loop one day? Huh?

Of course, assuming I’m a poor, little old tech dummy, they talked down to me: “Oh silly, silly Grandma, she’s not real, it’s just a computer.” My comeback? H.A.L. 9000. Oh yeah…

Of course the smart little techies had no idea what I was talking about, so I told them to look it up on their IPODS.

While they scrambled with that, I studied my own app and will be ready to fire back at them: “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” every time they greet me with “Can I…?”

That, plus some bodily function noises - they won’t know what hit them.

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