The Monday Peeve — Automatic Updates

Through her The Monday Peeve prompt, Paula Light invites us to vent on Mondays, to let off some stream, to get something off our chests. I don’t alway have something to peeve about on Mondays, but today I do. And it’s about automatic updates to electronic devices. This is when the developer of the program or the app installs the latest update to our devices whether we want it or not. In this particular case, my peeve is with Apple and its latest auto update to the Apple Watch.

I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch since 2015, when my wife bought me one for my birthday. That was the original version of the Apple Watch, or what they now call Series 1. A few months ago my five year old Apple Watch bought the farm, so I bought a new Series 5 Apple Watch.

FYI, Apple just announced a few weeks ago the Series 6 Apple Watch. At around the same time as the new series was announced, Apple launched WatchOS 7, and, unbeknownst to me, I woke up one morning with a message on my iPhone telling me that the latest update to the WatchOS had been automatically installed overnight on my Apple Watch.

Okay, no biggie, I thought. I don’t use half the features of the Apple Watch, so I figured everything would be as it was before. But I was wrong.

My watch face is what the Apple Watch app calls “Simple.” It’s basically an analog watch face, but it displayed the current temperature, the day/date, the remaining battery life, and a small graphic showing activity (like steps and exercise).

But when I woke up that morning and looked at my watch, it didn’t display the day/date in the upper right corner as it had up until that morning. Here’s my previous watch face.Notice the day/date in the upper right. But when I woke up after the overnight automatic update, here’s what I saw:Do you see what’s missing?

I contacted Apple support and, while texting with tech support, I wrote, “Was the day/date indicator for the watch face deliberately removed in this update? Most watches, both analog and digital, can display day/date on the watch face.”

Here’s the response I got:In other words, just like the WordPress happiness engineer said when I complained about not being able to use the classic editor anymore, the Apple tech support rep essentially said about my watch face no longer displaying the day/date, “Too bad, so sad.”

Everybody and everything sucks these days.

Share Your World — On Her Own

Share Your WorldMelanie is on her own for this week’s edition of Share Your World, as Roger Shipp has apparently donned Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility (or whatever it’s called) and cannot be seen. So let’s get right to it.

Where do you feel most at home? Please be more specific than “at home, doh” please. It could be a room in your home, a person, a location…

I feel most at home at home, duh! Oh wait, Melanie told us not to say that and to be more specific. Okay, I feel most at home at home in my family room with my wife by my side.

Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?     

That depends. If I’m going out to do my weekly grocery shopping and I’ll be lugging five or six full grocery bags home with me, it’s my car. If we’re going to visit our four month old grandchild at my son’s place, which is about 13 miles over hill and dale from where we live, it’s also my car. But if it’s to my local town or to a nearby park, I’d rather take my bike. As to a horse, fuhgeddaboudit.

What song would you sing on “Karoke Night” (if you were forced to do so)?    

Anything by The Beatles or The Eagles.But only if someone is holding a gun to my head.

University or life experience, which do you feel best prepares you for life? 

A formal education (i.e., university) is supposed to teach you how to think critically. Life experiences teach you what to think. So I think a mix of book smarts and street smarts is necessary to best prepare us for whatever life throws at us.

Blogging Insights — The Error of My Ways

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know about our early blogging mistakes. You know, things that we did wrong and what we should have done instead.

She asks…

What mistakes did you make in the first few months of blogging?

My first mistake was choosing the wrong blog hosting site when I first starting blogging in 2005. I went with Blogger because someone told me it was free and it was easy to use. So instead of doing any research on blog hosting sites, I followed that guy’s advice and set up my blog on blogger.

It was free and easy, but it was lonely. After about two years of blogging on Blogger, and pretty much feeling like I was that proverbial tree in the woods that fell but didn’t make a sound because nobody was around to hear it fall (i.e., very few followers and only very rare comments), I figured it was time for a change of venue.

I asked one of my coworkers, who I knew had a blog, what blog hosting site he was using. He said he was using TypePad, which he highly recommended. So I abandoned my Blogger blog and started a new blog on Typepad. That was my second mistake. My blog was an even lonelier place on TypePad than it had been on Blogger.

They say that the third time’s a charm, and when I started a new blog on WordPress, I discovered a highly interactive and supportive community of bloggers, and that made all the difference in the world. People read my posts, commented on them, and started following my blog. It was wonderful.

Then this year WordPress pulled this whole block editor shenanigan, and it’s not so wonderful anymore. But that’s a whole nother story.

The long and the short of it

Another mistake I made in my early days of blogging — at least I believe it was a mistake, although some may argue otherwise — was that my posts were too lengthy. Early on, my posts were typically 1,000 words or longer. Even after I moved from TypePad to WordPress in mid-2013, my average post for the first few years was around 750 words.

It took me a while to realize that ain’t nobody got time for that. So when I started this blog in May 2017, I made a conscientious effort to write shorter, tighter, more concise posts. Now my average size post is around 235 words. And when I started writing shorter, more manageable posts, my blog traffic and readership took off.

So, my advice to novice bloggers is to not drone on and on in your posts. Be concise and try to keep your posts to around 500 words or less. This post is around 475 words and I bet you’re thrilled to have finally reached the end.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #85

FFFCWelcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from the Birmingham Museums Trust from Unsplash.For the visually challenged writer, the image is of a large room with wood paneled walls and an ornate fireplace with an intricately carved mantle. A writing desk sits next to the fireplace near the room’s windows.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Imminent

FOWCWelcome to September 28, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “imminent.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.