Gonna be slim pickings around these parts come Christmas. Donna’s giving me a watchband and I’m giving her a gift card. After 56 years of marriage (it’ll be 57 by the time Christmas rolls around), we have everything we need — including, unfortunately, the need to tighten our belts. Inflation’s hitting us as hard as it’s hitting everyone else.
Anyhow, that’s the watchband on the left. When I sent the old Seiko off in April to have it refurbished, they replaced the original band, missing a link and an end piece, with a cheap aftermarket one. I was disappointed with it (the band, not the watch) and started looking for something better. I found a dealer who specializes in straps and bracelets for vintage watches and bought this one from him. It’s an almost exact replica of the original (minus the “Seiko” on the clasp). Now comes the delayed gratification: waiting for Donna to officially give it to me Christmas morning.
Speaking of delayed gratification:
Donna gave me a cool birthday present this year — a class in camera phone photography, which I attended last week. In a surprise to absolutely no one, it seems I must upgrade to a phone with the latest and greatest camera.
One of my classmates told me she recently traded in an old iPhone XS and got a new iPhone 14 Pro for almost nothing. What do you know? I too have an XS, and the 14 Pro’s the one I’ve had my eye on.
Yesterday, Donna and I stopped by the mobile phone kiosk at Costco to see what kind of a deal we could make. I say “we” because Donna needs a new phone too (her ancient iPhone 6 is on its last legs, no longer holding a charge).
The result? As with the watch band, delayed gratification. We had to switch carriers, from Verizon to T-Mobile, to get the deal, which includes a generous trade-in allowance (for me, anyway) and $600 in Costco gift cards we can apply against new phones. The cards, however, won’t come for several weeks. So we’ll wait until we get them before buying the new phones, sometime early next year. I’m getting an iPhone 14 Pro and Donna’s getting the SE (roughly the equivalent of my current XS).
The carrier switch came with a lifetime Netflix subscription and one-year subscriptions to Apple TV and Paramount Plus. We already had Netflix and Apple TV, but now T-Mobile’s picking up the bill (ha ha, of course we realize we’re just paying them to pay Netflix). As always, there’s a catch: Netflix recently introduced a basic tier with ads, and of course that’s the one T-Mobile’s giving us, so we’re chipping in a little extra to upgrade to premium (no ads). Still a deal, though. The hard part was setting up the new billing with Netflix and Apple. Paramount Plus is another basic level subscription, and just glancing over the offerings there I don’t see anything I particularly want to watch. That’ll change when Sarah Michelle Gellar’s new series, Wolf Pack, premieres on Paramount Plus in January, and I might even pop for an upgrade to watch it without ads.
Twitter seems to be working normally, at least on my end, despite dire predictions of its collapse. Maybe Musk’ll break it, but so far he hasn’t. Now though, he’s let Trump back on the platform and Twits are leaving for Mastodon. I set up my own Mastodon account as a precaution and found a crossover program that’ll automatically repost my tweets to Mastodon (where they’re called toots).
The hard part, as always when there’s a move to abandon one social media platform for another, is that most users don’t want to jump ship. So far only 20-30 of the interesting people I follow on Twitter have moved to Mastodon; the other 400 are staying put on Twitter. Why? Because they’ve got thousands of followers there and none at all on Mastodon. And the 20-30 that have migrated? They’re doing what I’m doing, hedging their bets by using a crossover program to tweet or toot on one platform and have it toot or tweet on the other.
A staple of journalism, the “gay nightclub,” is giving way to the “LGBTQ nightclub,” as evidenced by this morning’s headline roundup on Google News.
This seems overly fussy to me, but perhaps “LGBTQ” sits better with CNN than “gay.” The Associated Press Stylebook, my bible in most things, has nothing to say about whether the term “gay nightclub” is pejorative or not, but I’ll note that just six hours ago, an AP News report used the term in a headline about the same shooting.
You probably don’t have occasion to write about LGBTQ-related topics, but I do. Many of the books I review in my You Can’t Read That! posts have been banned or restricted for having gay characters and LGBTQ-related themes, and in those posts I often refer to the hysteria being whipped up against gays, lesbians, and transgender people by members of the Christofascist pitchfork & torch brigade. To that end, I have this useful AP Style update on diversity, equity, and inclusion bookmarked, and refer to it when I have questions.
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