Can you get the quarter to the cart & avoid the aisle of shame? (My Aldi maze.) 🛒


I know most online Aldi groups call it the Aisle of Shame. Can you get through the maze without going there?

There are some crazy Aldi fans in Facebook groups out there. There are some people who like mazes out there. Is there much of an overlap?

  1. Print this.
  2. Solve it.
  3. Snap a photo.
  4. Post it on social media.
  5. Tag me. (@AiXeLsyD13)

It’s really that simple. You can even skip the printing and solve it on your phone or tablet usong a note app or photo editor if so inclined.

Google Photos is awesome/creepy with these videos it made & sent to me automatically…


Fascinating.

So, Google Photos made two of these video clip compilations all by itself, then it let me know in the photos app. One was for Molly, and one was for Ian.

HOW DOES IT KNOW?

Are these algorithms? Facial Recognition? Time, date, & location stamps?  Did it use the videos from my phone, or the online backups?

This is so awesome, cute, and creepy.

These videos give me all the feels.

For those who noticed I didn’t blog very often for a while, all this was happening. It’s incredible to look back on it all.

I wish I could tweak some of the clips just a tiny bit to include some better little funny moments, but whatever made this did a pretty damn good job.

As amazing as this is, and how cool it is that it reminds me of the make-a-grown-man-cry Dear-Sophie Google Chrome commercial, it’s a bit weird.  Are we in the future?  How does it do what it does?

I may find a simple answer after a Google search.  Does Google let you learn all about Google?  Does anyone use Google+?

Google Photos

Your Friendly Binary Overlord

Seriously though, they do grow up so fast.  Thank you for the reminder, Google Photos.

A letter to Sprint, HTC, and Android…


This is my letter to anyone within the Sprint, HTC, and Android organizations who will listen to my plea for an actual quick and final solution to my phone problem…

Hello,

I’m writing to inform you of a problem that I’ve had with Sprint customer service, HTC‘s hardware, and Android‘s operating system.  I’m not sure what kind of answer or resolution I’m looking for.  I just feel the need to tell someone or everyone how unacceptable Sprint’s service (or lack thereof) has been lately as related to multiple HTC or Android errors.

It started about two weeks ago, shortly after I applied the latest update as prompted by the phone.  My original HTC EVO 4G LTE purchased only in September started going crazy.  The screen would freeze, become slow or completely unresponsive.  It would eventually load a screen that looked like TV static… only not moving.  Naturally, I took it to the Sprint store.  They also tried to blame the problem on various apps and settings. They did a soft rest, a hard reset, and even apparently looked up the problem on the internet.  I had to leave my phone overnight and pick it up the next day.  Well, the next day I was given a new or refurbished phone.  The store employee said he couldn’t tell if it was new or refurbished.  He said it might be new because the phone itself was rather new and they might not have refurbs yet.  I find it hard to believe he couldn’t tell a new phone from a refurbished one.

So, after updating the new phone, reinstalling some apps, and setting everything up the way I had it on the old one…  I started to notice a minor annoyance.  If I opened a browser link through Facebook, email, or Twitter it would immediately close after it fully loaded.  I took it to the Sprint store that Saturday morning.  Again, they did the soft & hard resets, and tried to blame it on an App.  They changed some settings in the phone that were telling the phone to look for a 4G network.  When I went back in after leaving the store & running into the browser-closing problem again…  The next guy changed that setting back and told me that I shouldn’t have changed it… and wouldn’t listen when I told him the last guy had just changed it.  Oddly enough, I was told that the 4G network would be in the area by January when I purchased the 4G phone.  When I told the person helping me at the Sprint store that I was told that… he says they were never given a timeline.  Is lying part of your training as a Sprint customer service representative or sales person?  What about intimidation and making someone feel like they’re not using their phone properly?

I was persuaded out of getting a 2nd replacement phone.  I was told to delete all of my apps, add them back one by one to see which was causing the problem.  The browser-closing problem was happening even without any added apps.  Now it was shutting the phone off each time the browser crashed.  I can assure you that I’m not an idiot when it comes to technology.  I was told I was part of a percentage of HTC users that were having a similar problem, and that a replacement phone could potentially have the same issues… and to wait for HTC to make the next update.  So, the solution was to wait?

My phone has taken to shutting itself off all week at random intervals.  I can be talking on the phone, using Facebook, or not even be near the phone.  It just shuts itself off.  It comes back on, and I send HTC an error report.  Where do these error reports go?  Do they do any good?  Is anyone working on the problem?  Is this an HTC problem, or an Android problem?

Well, I waited a week.  This Saturday I went back to the Sprint store, looking for a replacement phone.  I work on the road & I have a pregnant wife.  I need my phone to be functioning properly all the time.  Again, we went through the hard reset option, and my apps were blamed. “Unfortunately Android is an open system” they said.  “It must be a bug.”  What about this mysterious problem that a certain percentage of HTC users had encountered?  (I wish I could remember the percentage, I was told 10% or 20%, I believe.) A week has gone by with an apparently large bug issue, and nothing has been done about it?

Lookout

All clean!

I was advised to install the Lookout app.  I guess that app’s OK.  I was told it would hunt out any apps that were messing up my phone.  So, another thing to add to my monthly bill…  Of course it’s not free or a one-time fee.  As I tried to download & install Lookout, my phone shut itself off.  I handed it to the woman assisting me, and it shut off for her again.  She took it back to the technician.  Again.  Their advice was to run this app, and hope for the best.

Upon walking out of the store, I ran the app & it found no problems with any of my installed apps.  I went back into the store, and this time they decided to put in a “ticket” for a replacement phone.  I really have to wait again?  A phone may be in by Tuesday.  Again, I will have to re-download my apps, re-import my contacts, put all of my settings back.  This will be the 5th time within the span of three weeks.

I left the store hoping to go on about my day, & my phone went into some “HD media link” video after hanging up on my wife in the middle of a conversation where I was expressing to her my exasperation with the entire situation.  I went back to the store asking for the next level of solution.  An entirely new phone?  I’m not eligible for anything other than the ridiculously outrageous full prices because I’m not eligible for a new phone, or wouldn’t be singing up for a new line.  I have been a Sprint customer for over 10 years.  You would think that would carry some sort of weight.  You would think I could “split the difference” in purchasing a new phone with some kind of discount.  You would think a quick affordable solution would be offered instead of feigned apologies & being told to wait.  I feel like I might as well have been talking to the brick wall in front of the store.  It would have offered the same resolutions & peace of mind.

The early termination fees are the moral equivalent of extortion.  I am tempted to move all five lines in our plan to another carrier.  For what we pay for 5 lines total per month, you’d think Sprint would like to keep us happy.  Once all the 2 year limits are up (and they’ll all be happening around the same time), we will be moving to another carrier.  I know that Verizon has better signal/coverage in our area anyway.

I think that HTC and Android may find it interesting that Sprint employees routinely verbally (pardon the expression) shit all over the hardware, firmware, software & apps before any diagnosis is even made.  Perhaps you ought to review your arrangements with how Sprint “supports” your products.

HTC ought to be a little more transparent as to where the error reports go…  and maybe perhaps respond to them?  Let someone know that you’re working on the issue.  Maybe let Sprint or other carriers know if you’re having a major issue or if you get 10+ error reports from the same phone in one day.

If anyone can offer a solution or explanation that doesn’t throw another entity under the proverbial bus, I’d love to hear it.  I just wanted to let everyone involved see how poorly their products & services are being represented.  Writing this & eventually blogging it will hopefully be therapeutic.  It’s an added bonus if it helps bring to light a seemingly never-ending careless customer service loop, and even better if it gets something resolved.

Thank you for your time in reading of my misadventures, I hope to hear your thoughts.

Disgruntled & disgusted,
-Eric

Some more phone info if you need it:

Sprint Fail

Sprint Fail (Photo credit: evo_terra)

Should I make a maze book?


If I published a book of my mazes, would you buy it?  Know anyone who would?  Think there’s a market for it?  I’ve recently been talking to another dude online that drew mazes in the past that are mazes similar to mine (in addition to some other very cool stuff), and who’s going for it through Amazon.  The rationale is even if he only sells one or two a month, it’s still income he didn’t have.  There’s always Kickstarter or Lulu, too.

I know there are some other maze creators out there… and there are maze books.  Is it a big genre?  Are people willing to pay for that kind of stuff any more?

I’d love it if someone could make an app where you can complete one of my mazes with your finger or a stylus on an Android, iPhone, tablet PC, or E-reader.  I don’t know to what end… but it would be fun.  Any interested developers out there?

I’d have to scan, sort, arrange, and of course draw some more… maybe even figure out the solutions… but I think I could get it all put together.

What do you think?

Peculiarly Perplexing Path [Maze]

Peculiarly Perplexing Path

Chat.


No, I don’t want to chat.

Google’s Chat or G-talk is integrated into the mail inbox, over to the left.  It’s in about the same spot with Google+.

Yahoo‘s chat/messenger is integrated into their mail service &the only chat/add requests I ever get are super spammy.  (They’re also annoyingly getting rid of the “Updates” tab/pages which I’m sure not many will miss… but it was a way for me to read Facebook & Twitter at the same time.)

The latest Facebook outlet puts the chat right on up there.  I have my chat status set to away or always off or whatever it is… but it’s easily fat-fingered back into “hey chat with me” mode.

When I set up Ubuntu on a laptop, I setup something that acts like an instant messenger with tweets that are “@” me, and I think I can Tweet or Update Facebook from it.  It was cool for about 5 minutes.

I don’t want to chat.

We can talk back & forth via our Facebook pages, email, Twitter, or even a text message if urgency is required… but we don’t need to chat or IM each other.

I don’t have the need to instant message anyone.

If I’m at Yahoo or Google, I’m checking my email.  I’m trying to read something, I don’t need my focus pulled away.  I already have a miniscule attention span.

I’m not tryin’ to hate.  I’m just sayin’.  I mean, my wife picked me up using AIM. She was all up on me like “lol“,  “🙂“,  “send n00dz“.  OK, maybe not that last one.  But she did make plans with me to go to Ritter’s.

Instant messaging is fine, I just have no interest in it while I’m doing other things.  There are plenty of viable ways to say hello to me, or ask me questions.  I can’t think of any purposed served by instant messaging at this point in life.

Why is it forced upon me by every email carrier, social network, & rogue open-source operating system?  (OK, the last one is my own fault.)

Even some websites have built-in creepers now.  “Hello, I can see you’re looking at several different widgets on our site.  Our knowledgeable associate Peter Parker is available to help, type your question below to chat now.”

NO!  Let me browse.  (I do the same thing anytime a salesperson approaches IRL.)

Quit it.  I already have enough browser windows open at once.  I don’t need a chat going on.  I realize that I’ve reached the point of being obsolete.  I didn’t think I’d ever be the type of person that rails against change.  I don’t know if I’m railing against it here, or just not rolling with it.

So, please don’t take offense if this one time fan of Trillian doesn’t want to IM any more.  Maybe we can Skype some time.  Or not.

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

OMG!

New AllergyEats App


So, I’ve blogged about Allergy Eats many times before.  You know I think it’s an awesome resource, but can only be useful if users rate restaurants.  Now, it’s easier than ever to do… with new iPhone and Android apps!

AllergyEats Apps!

AllergyEats Apps!

AllergyEats T-shirt

AllergyEats.com

You can read the word from Allergy Eats about the release here or get the app you need here.

Paul from AllergyEats is good people, he recently donated to FAAN for my Food Allergy Walk in Pittsburgh!

I encourage you to spread the word to anyone that you know with food allergies, so we can all take advantage of the awesome ever-expanding database now available anywhere that you can get cell phone service!

http://twitter.com/#!/AllergyEats/status/108896162949496832

http://twitter.com/#!/allergicgirl/status/108895739429658624