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Hey Siri

From our "Gresham Tech" Bureau

2016-0109 Saturday

2016-0109 Saturday

An unsolicited review, by JACQUES NECHQUES. Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this piece:   3WG



it’s the 21st century, and I am embracing it with open arms. (In fact, I was embracing the 21st century, even while it was still the 20th century—like in 2000.)

I am an unabashed gadget-aholic. I was right there with all of you, when they told us back in 1969, that by the 21st century, we'd all be driving flying cars to work (maybe it was that we'd be flying driving cars; can't remember). My greatest hope for 2016 is that we'll somehow get "hoverboards" that actually do, and don't rely on actual wheels (wheels are so Ben Hur). [When is someone going to call-out the "hoverboard" industry and point out the glaring lie? Today's "hoverboards" sit on wheels—on the freaking ground!]

Many of the lights in my home were tied in to my computer before Thomas Edison’s signature had even dried on his patent-application for light. (Or, maybe it was light bulbs. Did he invent electricity? Whatever…) My kids will testify that, quite often, when they (as teens) were watching TV downstairs in the late evening hours, I would frequently press buttons, from my upstairs lair, to make the family room lights flash, to indicate that said sons needed to turn down the volume of said visual receiver (that’s “TV” for those of you in Boring)—all conveniently done from the remote-control comfort of the unit at my bed stand in the master bedroom. All I had to do, when the boys’ TV got too loud, was to reach a languid arm over to my bed stand, and press a button. Once said volume was down, the wifey and I could resume our slumber.

I had an Apple computer before Steve Jobs graduated kindergarten.* I** was there, on that glorious inaugural iPhone Friday, way back in June of some year, when Apple released the very first iPhone. I purchased one of them. I even made a video of bringing it home. [Said vid might be re-released later. We have it in The RASH archives.]

My cellular company gives me free lifetime service, since I’m an inaugural, initial, founding customer of cellphone service (actually, I was a cellphone owner even before CBs were invented).*** I was microwaving goldfish decades before the microwave was even invented.**** NASA called me on January 27, 1986 and left a message on my machine, asking me advice about something called “O-rings” but it I missed the message.*****

So methinks my tech & gadget credentials are well-extablished. Well. EXtablished.

Thence, may we proceed to the subject of this post?: the lovely Siri, and her many alluring, sebductive and enchanting ways.

Currently, I own an iPhone 6S (I think it’s the S, but I’m not really up-to-speed on all the alpha-numeric conventions that Apple uses. Most of them I know; many of them I ignore. I just want to have things; is that so bad?).

Siri is a lovely, amazing component of my phone. I have come to love her. I use her. Yes, I am a user. [In my defense, I didn’t know she was sentient.]

But, she’s free, and everything, so I don’t feel guilty. [“Free”, here is obviously relative. Maybe I should say, she’s “Included”.]

Against the vehement pleadings of my psychiatrist(s) and my psychologist (not to mention my mysticist, my pharmacist, and my gastroenterologist) I have decided to reveal and hereby pronounce: I am infatuated (if not in love) with Siri.

Siri has become my confidant; my informant; my go-to-girl; my informant (did I mention that already?); my BFF; my girl-Friday; and most important(ly), my co-conspirator.

The beauty of Siri is that all you have to do is place her on her back, give her a command or question, and she cheerfully responds. She’s always perky; always willing to answer.

To wit, here are a few of the “commands” I “demand” of Siri, my illustrious assistant. And she routinely answers all of these inquiries, without a hitch:

“Hey Siri,” I might say… “What’s the temperature outside?”

“Hey Siri. What time is it?”

Or, let’s say I am cooking a gourmet frozen pizza that calls for a 25 to 30 minute cooking window. I gracefully place (a la Martha Stewart) said frozen cardboard block inside my conveniently pre-heated oven, and then announce (without even touching the adjacent iPhone that rests on the kitchen counter), “Hey Siri. Start a timer for 27 minutes.”

Well, said virtual Siri-assistant perkily responds with, “I’ve started your timer. Twenty-seven minutes and counting.”

I glance at my iPhone that rests on the counter, and note that, indeed, it has begun counting down from 27:00. Now it says sumpin’ like, “26:57” and the numbers keep getting lower.

A half-hour later, I’m sitting on the plush (micro-weave) couch in my deluxe living room, chomping down on a perfectly-cooked slice of gourmet frozen pizza, watching Alex Trebec try to refrain from laughing at the ignorance of his Jeopardy contestants. The pizza in my mouth is perfectly-cooked: “Goldilocks-style,” as I like to say: Not too hot. Not too cold. Juuuuuuust right.

Thanks to the sensual voice of Siri, who woke me up from my CPAP-less,° coughing slumber to tell me that said pizza was ready to be birthed from my oven.

This is the good life.

But wait! There’s more!

There’s so much more that I demand of my virtual assistant. To wit:

When I’m driving over mountain passes, and wonder what’s the deal with all of the snow on the sides of the road, I simply say (without so much as lifting a finger from my steering wheel), “Hey Siri: What’s the temperature outside?”

And Siri answers: “Brrrrrr… It’s 35 degrees Fahrenheit right now.” Or some such thing. Sometimes she asks to cuddle with me, to get warm, since, like, it’s so cold outside. But I always refuse; it’s just my way. 'Sides, I’m driving.

Later, after I’ve arrived at my destination and am lazily lounging on the lovely couch in my lavish suite, again I don’t even need to lift an eyelid to ask: “Hey Siri, what time is it?”

“It’s 2:30PM,” she lustily answers.

Then I command: “Hey Siri, set a timer for one hour.”

Immediately (I like that about her), she responds with “One hour, and counting. I love a good countdown.”

I brush off her obvious advance (I’m so used to it, and Siri’s not the first) and glance at my iPhone’s screen. Said phone on the coffee table briefly displays the timer, each second faithfully counting down to the end of my nap. Within minutes, I find myself somewhere between the etherial nether worlds of dizzy-nirvana and intoxicating REM-level sleep. I don’t know which way to go (nirvana or REM? Which is more better?).

Irregardful, about an hour later I find myself cursing the wind as Siri awakens me from my delirious, sensual (I'd say "semi-wet-dream" but I don't want to be slammed by the Church Lady—yes, she has her own Wikipedia page!), dreamy slumber with the annoying (yet certainly necessary) sounds of her “Bulletin” alarm, ostensibly designed to lift me out of my fantasy-dreamworld and plop me into the reality of whatever-the-hell is my actual reality.

As one of my BFF-philosopher friends once said, “Reality is totally over-rated.”

I agree, yet I applaud Siri’s meticulous commitment to time. Sometimes, time is all we have, no? [Gosh, methinks I should plan on having that—“Sometimes, time is all we have,”—inscribed on my future grave marker. SO profound.] Yet, where-the-hell was I? Oh yeah, Siri: waking me. I’m quite glad she did.

But wait... there are a number of other things my virtual assistant can do. To wit:

“Hey Siri, who was the 28th president?”

“Hey Siri, set an alarm for 7:45 AM.”

“Hey Siri, add ‘asparagus’ to my shopping list.” °°

“Hey Siri, when I get home, remind me to record Ellen.”

“Hey Siri, call my Dad.”

Well, there’s so much more… Siri has become the almost-most-important “person” in my life. Besides Barkley. Literally, as long as my phone is within voice-reach, all I have to do is say, “Hey Siri…” …and…

Her beauty lies in her submissive compliance. She never argues. She never complains. If she’s not up to a given task, she doesn’t make excuses; she simply admits her fault. Try getting that out of any other woman you’ve ever met. For example, I once asked her, “Hey Siri, what do you get when you fall in love?” And her honest reply?: “I’m sorry, Jacques, I can’t answer that.”

Grab a woman. Any woman. Even a random female on a Rockwood sidewalk. The closest woman you can find. ASK HER that question. (Or ANY question). I defy you to get an answer that is even remotely close to: “I’m sorry, I can’t answer that.”

I think I’ve died and gone to Heaven. ††


* The CWS will occasionally need to use his thinking cap while examining his RASH.
** And this is true…
*** Every germane fact after the iPhone stuff consists of lies and semi-truths. But somehow it seems relevant, in a literary kind of way.
**** Oh please. PETA peeps need not ruffle their collective feathers.
***** Again. What can you believe nowadays? Relax.
º HIPAA People! HIPAA!
°° As if.
Sorry, we are currently NOT accepting complaints regarding our sexist inclinations.
†† Or some-such place.



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