TMP — I’m Not Sure

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

I’m pissed, but I’m not sure who to be pissed at. You may recall that, at the end of last year, I wrote here about a pair of Bluetooth headphones that I got myself so that I could watch TV without having to turn the sound up to 11. This made my wife happy because she and I could watch TV together — me wearing my headphones — without her feeling as if the volume was blowing her ears out.

Well, up until last night I was very happy with my headphones. They are supposed to last around 20 hours per charge and I would charge them overnight every other or third night. But after charging them all night on Saturday night, last night we had been watching TV for only about 20 minutes when I heard a female voice saying “Please charge me.”

Why was that lady in my headphones telling me to charge her? Was she trying to seduce me or was she simply informing me that she needed more juice? Assuming it was the latter, I removed my headphones, plugged them into the the wall outlet via a cable and a USB charger. A little red light on the headphones was illuminated, indicating that the headphones were charging. I went back to the couch, sat down next to my wife, and, much to her annoyance, turned the TV’s volume up to nuclear blast.

Normally it takes around two hours to fully charge the headphones, so it was around 9:00 and went to retrieve said headphones, which had been plugged in since around 7:30. I noticed that the little red light was still illuminated, but I figured that they must have been mostly charged by then, so I unplugged them and put them back on my head. Within five minutes, though I heard that sultry female voice once again begging me to charge her.

I removed the headphones, plugged them back into the USB charger, and said to my wife, “Fuck it. I’m going to bed.”

When I woke up this morning, I noticed that the little red light indicating that the headphones were not fully charged was still illuminated. Shit! WTF? I was getting ready to call the headphones’ manufacturer and tell them that their POS headphones barely lasted two months, when my wife suggested that I should try a different USB charger.I told her that was nonsense, but she said to try it anyway “just to be sure it’s not the charger.”

Fine. I got one of my iPhone USB chargers and plugged my headphones into that. The red charging light came on, and I figured I’d give it two hours to see if the red charging light turned off, indicating that the headphones were fully charged.

Sure enough, two hours later the light was off. So maybe my wife was right and it was the USB charging thingie, and not the headphones, that had failed.

In any event, I won’t know for sure until tonight, as we typically don’t watch TV during the day, if the headphones are holding their charge and if using a different USB charger did the trick.

All I know is that I’m pissed that some piece of technology wasn’t working as it was supposed to work. I just hope it’s the cheapo USB charger and not the headphones.

Watch this space.

TMP — Being Seen

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has perused my blog over the past four months that my rant today is about WordPress. On November 3rd last year, I wrote a post, “Another WordPress Bug,” in which I pissed and moaned about how WordPress had released an update to its iOS app for the iPhone. That release, version 16.0, had a bug in it.

When I went to my reader and then click to visit posts, I could no longer “like” certain posts. And if I tried to comment on those posts, it didn’t recognize that I was logged onto the app and it asked me to enter my name, email address, and blog URL. And sometimes, even when I did that, I still was unable to leave a comment. I’d never had to do any of that before from within the WordPress app on my iPhone.

Of course I’ve exchanged dozens of emails with the WordPress Happiness Engineers, who have assured me that they’re working on a fix. Almost four months have elapsed since that release and every time WordPress issues a new release, I get my hopes up that the bug will have been fixed.WordPress just released version 16.7 and, once again, my hopes have been dashed. The annoying, frustrating bug persists. But one of the “enhancements” introduced in version 16.7 is described as this…

We continue to improve the experience in your Reader, and you can now mark posts as “seen” as well as view your total of “unseen” posts.

Okay, what does that mean? Why would I want to mark posts as “seen”? Does that send a notification that to the blogger who wrote the post that I’ve seen it? Here’s an example of what it looks like:I can also mark a post I’ve seen as “unseen.”So much for the old saying that once you’ve seen something you can’t un-see it.

I’m hoping that someone out there can explain to me what the purpose of marking a post as “seen” or “unseen” could possibly be.

And I’m going to contact the Happiness Engineers and link to this post and ask them if they can explain how this new “feature” improves the Reader experience, and, more important, why they’re focusing their efforts on seemingly unnecessary features and not on fixing that goddam bug!

TMP — A Fly in the Ointment

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

Today I’m going to rant about planned obsolescence. In 2016 I bought a 65″, flat panel, high definition Samsung TV. It was, at the time, a state of the art, 4k TV. I mounted it on our wall and added a surround sound system. The TV included the ability to access a number of streaming channels, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Flash forward to 2021, just a mere five years later. The TV is still working great. The picture is fantastic, the sound system is primo, and I can still stream movies and shows from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Now for the fly in the ointment. My wife loves watching HGTV, which is one of the channels of the Discovery network. HGTV has been, for years, available on basic cable.Recently, though, Discovery introduced a streaming service called Discovery+ and they decided, as an incentive to get people to subscribe to it…for a monthly fee of course…that they would be moving a number of the shows that were formerly available on HGTV via cable, to their new streaming service. They would also be adding new shows that would be exclusively on Discovery+, rather than on the basic cable HGTV channel.

So, as a Valentine’s Day present for my wife, I signed up for a one-year subscription to Discovery+. She loved it. Yesterday I turned on my 2016 65″ Samsung high-def TV and tried to add Discovery+ as a streaming channel. But I couldn’t. I went to the Discovery+ website to check on compatible TVs for streaming and saw Samsung on the list. Yay! But then I read the fine print and saw that the Discovery+ streaming service would only work on Samsung models from 2019 or later. Boo!

WHAT? My five year old Samsung HDTV is obsolete?

I contacted Samsung and asked them if there was a software update that would accommodate newer streaming services. The short answer — and by short, I mean curt — was “no.”

In order to be able to watch Discovery+ on my TV, my choices boiled down to buying a new, 2021 model HDTV, which is not an inexpensive proposition, or to buy a separate streaming device that I could plug into my TV. The downside of that latter choice is that I would have yet another remote control device to deal with and I’d have to reset the source (i.e., cable verses streaming device) each time my wife wanted to watch anything on Discovery+. But because it was the cheapest and quickest solution, I ended up ordering a Roku Streaming Stick+, which is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.It’s only $50, but I still resent the fact that my very expensive, five-year-old flat panel high-def TV can’t accommodate virtually any streaming service that is available.

I hate the fact that planned obsolescence seems to be a feature built into nearly every technology device these days.

A Month of Love #9

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.

I love my car. It’s a 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman that has around 54,000 miles on it.It’s an all-wheel drive model, not that we need it where we live because it never snows. It handles well, it’s well-built, it’s comfy, and it’s fun to drive. I like it so much that if I ever needed to get a new car, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one. The only problem is that my wife is insisting that if we get a new car, it would have to be an electric car. And the only electric model Mini Cooper has available now is the small, two door model.

So hurry up, Mini Cooper, and roll out an electric Countryman.

A Month of Love #8

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.In case you don’t know what the above picture is showing, it’s a device called a SNOOZ. With a real fan inside, SNOOZ is a portable white noise machine that generates peaceful white noise to turn your bedroom into a haven for sleep.

I suffer from tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in both of my ears. And when I shut off the light in the bedroom and close my eyes, the only sound I hear is the sound of the ringing that is coming from inside of my head. My son suggested getting a white noise machine to try to mask my tinnitus. I was skeptical, but I did some research and decided to try this Snooz thing.

It’s great. It generates just enough white noise that it does sort of cover up the ringing noise caused by the tinnitus. YAY!

I love my SNOOZ.