Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

I’m Married!

Friday, October 5th, 2007

No, Lexcie and I have not tied the knot. It seems, however, that I have wed the man I’ve been receiving spam mail for since 2000.

Seven years ago, my AOL inbox began to fill with e-mails for Miguel Monro. Although the spam filter is pretty decent, many Miguel-intended correspondance eluded the filter. Miguel Monro, get a sample of Viagra on us! Miguel Monro, mortgage rates have fallen in your state! Would you like a free stress test, Miguel Monro?

Then in 2005, the e-mails stopped as quickly as they came. I said a silent prayer for the mysterious Miguel Monro, who ascended into the cyberspace heavens. Or at least until 2007.

Earlier this year, the spam mail started again, but this time, my phantom buddy went by a nickname – Mi Monro. Refinance your home, Mi Monro! Mi Monro, does your dog suffer from arthritis? Save 20 percent on the hottest new gadgets, Mi Monro. Oh, and don’t forget your free Gevalia coffee, Mi Monro!

Today was the kicker. Two spams converged into one e-mail – and I am now known to spammers as Amanda Monro. Hey, at least my initials haven’t changed.

I thought I should at least Google my new husband. Turns out he’s a filmmaker who presented his work at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival in 2004. The film was called 1-0 War Chronicle, in which Miguel, along with Pascal Convert, Fabien Beziat and Yohann Costedoat-Descouzeres, scrutinized the period around the Iraq war through images collected from public media.

One day he’s going to Google himself and find this creepy post. Ha!

Pop-Up Attack

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

I can’t decide what’s more annoying: Adobe, which has been incessently sending dialog boxes to my desktop to remind me to update my Shockwave Player, or Lexcie, the human pop-up, reminding me when I need to do things. See, my day goes like this:

Adobe (6:30 a.m.): You have new updates ready to download.
Me (6:31 a.m.): <clicks “Remind Me Later”>
Adobe (7:13 p.m.): You have new updates ready to download.
Me (7:14 p.m.): <clicks “Remind Me Later”>
Adobe (7:15 p.m.): You have new updates ready to download.
Me (7:16 p.m.): <clicks “Remind Me Later”>
Computer (7:16 p.m.): <freezes>


Lexcie (6:00 a.m.): Wake up! <makes human alarm noises>
Me: (6:00 a.m.): Five more minutes.
Lexcie: (6:04 a.m.): One more minute!
Me: (6:04 a.m.): Let me sleep until 6:05!
Lexcie: (6:05 a.m.): It’s 6:05!
Me: (6:05 a.m.): <no answer>
Lexcie: (6:06 a.m.): You’re one minute late! You said only five minutes!
Me: (6:06 a.m.): <clicks “Remind Me Later”>

At least I learned how to disable Adobe. However, Lexcie came without a user manual.

Googley Goodness

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

The Google Game

Put your name followed by the words is, feels, ate, died, wants, took, has, needs, was and must into Google’s  search box and post your funniest results.

  1. Amanda is wandering around, hungry and gets bashed in the head when stealing some bread.
  2. Amanda feels that going ahead with this denunciation is part of her need for reparation.
  3. Amanda ate an orange, and an olive and a peach. Since then her teacher always keeps the crayons out of reach.
  4. Amanda died May 26, 1893, and was buried in the family cemetery.
  5. Amanda wants to become a genetic engineer… or a millionaire, whichever comes first.
  6. Amanda took a hold of the beast by the hand. “You’re now my new best friend.”
  7. Amanda has had three breast augmentations, her eyes slanted twice.
  8. Amanda needs a wise friend to tell her that this too shall pass.
  9. When Amanda was 10, she told her mother that she was gay, but Kim pretended it never happened.
  10. Amanda must deal with an unexpected romantic interest in her family’s lawyer.

Come On (Thumbs) Down

Monday, May 28th, 2007

My Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop has been overheating the past week – to the point it burns my skin – so I did an online chat with Dell tech support. Boy, was I in for a suprise – and no, it wasn’t the fact that the motherboard and fan need replacing – but the tech actually had an Indian name! Yes, no more Kevin from Kolkatta or Donna from Delhi. Dell is no longer denying the fact that it outsources. I was quite amused. So, now a technician has to come replace those parts and put on new rubber laptop feet. I’m just glad I don’t have to ship the laptop to Texas again. Although repair turnaround is quick, I hate not having the laptop in my presence. I must say, though – Dell has excellent warranties.

And speaking of fixing and putting together, I had to assemble the new patio set today – our first new set in 26 years! However, the placement of the bolts in the chairs were such that they were extremely hard to tighten – and I had to use both an allen wrench and this cheap stubby wrench at a very bad angle in order to do so. Since my left hand is not as strong as my right, it was difficult to manuever both wrenches at the same time, and I flared up the tendinitis in my right thumb. My cousin was having difficulty, too, and by the time it came to put together the table, I enlisted the help of my sister’s boyfriend. If it were Ikea furniture, I doubt it would have been as difficult. Ugh.


For the past two nights, I have been laughing so hard that I’ve almost bust a gut. Over what? “The Price Is Right” bloopers. Some of the good ones:

Burning the Midnight Oil

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

So I’m working late on an article yet again this week. This time, it wasn’t due to my own slackoffiness, but rather to the incompetance of my company’s IT department. I never realized how dependant I was on the Internet and network connectivity until I lost it for five hours today. I had to revert back to running around the office with a borrowed flash drive, which reminded me of my college newspaper days (oh, the horror!)

It’s like the one day I forgot to bring my cell phone with me to work. I felt so lost without it. It was a rainy day, and I had to call Mom to tell her to pick me at Babylon, rather than Islip. My only option at that point was calling from a quickly-disappearing species – the pay phone.  I fished out a quarter from my pocketbook, only to discover that pay-phone calls were now 50 cents. I didn’t have another quarter, so I had to call collect or risk missing my train.

It’s amazing. I used to go to New York City without a cell phone all the time.  Makes me wonder how I’d ever survive on a deserted island. I should take a vacation from technology for a week and see how well I fare.

Amanda Vs. The World Pt. II

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
  1. Amanda vs. Bad Underground Music (2-0) – Seems like my complaining indirectly worked. I’ve seen no Peruvian pipers this week, and I was treated to the sounds of two different doo-wop/Motown a capella groups in the past three days. So, whichever group hopped on my downtown R train at Canal St.  around 5 p.m. yesterday and sang The Temptations’ “My Girl,” thank you. If I had a dollar or two on me, I would have dropped it in your paper bag. I owe you one.
  2. Amanda vs. Her LG VX5300 Cell Phone (0-50) – After being a faithful Nokia owner since I began using a cell phone in 2001, I decided to go with an LG when my contract allowed me to get a new phone this year. It was only $10, and much more durable than any Nokia I have owned (it even survived a 20-concrete-step drop). However, it lacks an archive for text messages, which I learned this week. And now I can only store 50 messages before I have to go play the delete game. I have no other way to save them except e-mail them to myself, but that’s a pain in the ass.
  3. Amanda vs. the Long Island Rail Road’s Lost & Found (0-Infinity) – I’ve yet to locate my Tupperware and electric toothbrushes. I give up. At least some conductor will have have nice, shiny teeth and a non-soggy salad for lunch.

And an additional match-up:

  • R-40 vs. R-46 (1-0) – My mean distance between failures (145,045 miles) is better than your mean distance between failures (140,098 miles), so take your shiny, bucket-seated trains and go elsewhere, Yuri. I win this year!

Well, judging from my scorecards so far, I have some advice for you all: if I come back as a racing horse in my next life, don’t bet on me.

Deliver Us From Evil Gay Men

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

I just set up speech recognition on Microsoft Word, then dictated “Our Father” to it. This is what it spit out:

Ballot father or have and hallowed be thy name taking been, that will be done on earth positives and haven’t give us the state are daily bread and forgiveness are dress presses as we forgive those to to to test and says the meanest not into temptation to deliver us from evil gay men

I think I need to train it a bit more!

Deadlier Than Pop Rocks & Coke

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

If you read this column and pass it on to at least 15 of your friends, your phone will ring at 7:00 p.m. and it will be the president of Banana Republic, offering you a free gift certificate to Applebee’s as a reward for your finding little abducted Penny Brown, who is suffering from a rare flesh-eating disease she contracted after cockroaches eggs she ate in an infested Taco Bell burrito hatched in her mouth.

You don’t believe me, huh? (more…)

Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Hey, Ceaseless Chatterbox. Yes, you, the incessant cell phone user. Get off your Motorola, Samsung, Nextel or whatever the heck you use and read this column. Don’t worry… your friend will still be there after you finish reading. People don’t disappear into an infinite oblivion if you don’t call them right back. I promise. Now press the little red button until the screen goes blank. I know, it’s painful, but you’ll get over it. (more…)