Too cool for a bank spot

“The ad — in which Apple was heavily involved according to AdAge — follows members of an indie band as they prepare for a show by making purchases with their Chase Freedom card through Apple Pay. One gets a haircut, for instance, while another has his guitar tuned.”

My first thought on watching this ad was, “Pretty cool for a bank.” Upon closer look I saw that Apple was “heavily involved” so… Wonder if someone at Chase went to Apple and said help us make this cool, or if Apple reached out to Chase and said why don’t you let us make this cool for you.

Been using Apple Pay here at The Coffee Zone for a week now and it reminds me a bit of using my key fob to unlock the MINI. When I approach my car I just automatically click the unlock button. When I approach cash registers, will I reach for my phone without thinking?

Siri will be joining us for lunch

robot-dinnerI’m sure the idea of letting your phone “listen” to your conversations is still too creepy for most folks, but I’m fine with the idea. Had Siri been listening in today he would have heard me tell my friend Jonathan I would send him the link to a YouTube video featuring someone we both worked with. He would also have heard me express interest in some research being conducted by the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine on replacing joint cartilage. (It’s been so successful in animals they they’re moving to human trials.)

It would be great if Siri could have found the YouTube link and drafted an email, ready to send once I approve. And collect the most relevant links to stories about the medical research, adding them to my Reading List.

Clearly this would be a feature some would turn on and others would not. But if I spent lunch talking about my asshole boss, he’s much more likely to hear about that from someone sitting at the adjacent table than from Siri.

BTW, I paid for lunch (Panera’s) with Apple Pay. If Siri knew what I ordered — and it mattered to me — perhaps he could have logged the calories or other nutritional information.

“Hey, Siri” hands-free

hey-siriApple’s Siri gets lot of shit but not from me. I use it more all the time (and I like “Okay, Google” as well). But Siri became even more useful when I learned I could summon him/her just by saying, “Hey, Siri” as opposed to double tapping the home button. This only works when the phone is plugged in but that makes sense if you think about it.

When I’m reading in bed in the evening the phone is charging on the bed-side table and I might say “Hey, Siri… set alarm for 7:30 tomorrow” or “Hey, Siri… new reminder. Pick up dry cleaning tomorrow afternoon.”

This feature is even more useful in the car (I just started using a cradle). “Hey, Siri… Instant Message my location to Barb” or “Hey, Siri… how far am I from Nashville?”

While it’s not difficult to reach over and double-tap the home button, I find the “Hey, Siri” feature remarkably useful.

15 years of Day-Timers

I burned fifteen years worth of Day-Timers today, the culmination of a months long project. I went through each day from 1984 to 1999, creating a corresponding entry in my Google Calendar. By ’99 I had started keeping notes in Act! (now on a rusting hard drive in some landfill).

I considered shredding these but the wire binder made that impractical. So I put them in a wash tub, soaked them in gasoline and burned them.

In addition to being a long, tedious (and pointless?) task, I found it a bit stressful. The pages were filled with more unpleasant memories than I would have imagined. Don’t get me wrong. I worked for a great company, with some really wonderful people. But, in retrospect, I wasn’t having as much fun as I always though I had. Does that many any sense at all?

Flipping through those old pages brought back some physical sensations. A little stomach clinch over some bad news… tightness in the neck muscles as some unpleasantness unfolded. I was glad to get through the final month. And the burning ritual seemed therapeutic.

Going to a movie in the afternoon


I don’t find seeing movies in a theater a very pleasant experience these days. But we still go once in a while. Being able to go in the middle of the afternoon is one of the benefits of not having a job. Barb and I watched Nightcrawler yesterday and found it entertaining.

An end of radio

Bob Conner, Chief Engineer_4778633546_o“Just as newspapers fell off a cliff, radio is about to follow. It’s going to happen faster than anyone expects. And of course, it will be replaced by a new thing, a long tail of audio that’s similar (but completely different) from what we were looking for from radio all along. And that audience is just waiting for you to create something worth listening to.”

Seth Godin blog post

Road Trip

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at Mon, Nov 10, 9.56.44 AM

On Sunday I left Richmond, VA shortly before 6:00 a.m. and arrived in Jefferson City, MO (home) shortly after midnight. I made 15 minute stops for gas and food. I suppose it’s good to know I can still do a solo marathon like this if I have to but the last few hours were brutal. I was just eager to get home to Barb and the pups.

My brother and his wife are stateside for a year, and it was good to see them. Why didn’t I stay longer? They have jobs and nobody should have to have a house guest more than a couple of days.

I just don’t like to travel. Not by plane, train or automobile. Next long trip will probably be by air. Lesser evil.