Oct 082015
 

While we were down south visiting First Born and family, Macho Guy and I updated our iPads and iPhones to iOS 9.0.2. FB is the family computer guru, so we felt safe updating in his presence in the event anything went wrong—especially with MG’s electronics because…Mr. Kiss of Death to Computers.

After the updates, FB showed us the new ins and outs of the update, including the new “Hey, Siri” feature that works when the iPhone is plugged in to a power source. FB enabled the “Hey, Siri” feature and had me talk my way through the setup so Siri would recognize my voice. Then he had me ask Siri a simple question: Where is the nearest Wal-Mart store? As I spoke, Siri printed my question on the iPhone’s screen. She told me where the nearest Wal-Mart was and also put up a list of additional nearby Wal-Marts on the screen. Then Siri politely asked if that was what I wanted. I was suitably impressed.

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May 292014
 

Jolana Malkston 4Macho Guy went off on a three-day outing with his golf buddies. After two days, the silence started to get to me. I talked to myself just to hear the sound of a human voice.

All at once, it occurred to me there was another voice to which I could listen. It wasn’t a human voice, but it was better than no voice at all. In fact, Little Brother—my younger son—has frequently regaled his father and me with crazy stories of how he and his boss amuse themselves by asking Siri stupid questions when they take a break from work.

I reached for my iPad to ask Siri a question—but not a stupid one. I pressed the Home button and the words “What can I help you with?” appeared onscreen.

ME: Siri, are the Detroit Tigers playing tonight?

SIRI: Yes, the Detroit Tigers are playing the Oakland Athletics at 10:05 P.M. [Siri displayed the information onscreen, including the television outlets that would be broadcasting the game.]

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: Your wish is my command.

Wow. I never heard anyone say that to me before. I must admit I liked the sound of it. Hmmm…if I asked her another question, maybe she’d say it again.

ME: Siri, at what time will the sun set today?

SIRI: The sun will set at 9:04 p.m.

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: Why, thanks, Jolana.

Darn it. She wasn’t supposed to say that. I’ll have to ask her something else.

ME: Siri, what time will tomorrow’s sunrise be?

SIRI: I don’t know when tomorrow’s sunrise will be. The sun rose today at 6:03 a.m.

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: Don’t mention it.

What? Okay, let’s try this again.

ME: Siri, what appointments do I have tomorrow?

SIRI: Did you mean Thursday, May 29, 2014 or Friday, May 30, 2014? [Siri listed both dates onscreen with instructions to tap one]

I checked the time and saw that it was past midnight and no longer Wednesday. Clever girl, that Siri! I tapped on Thursday.

SIRI: You have one appointment for today. [Siri displayed the time and place for my lunch date with my neighbor lady.]

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: You’re welcome.

Great. Apparently she has a whole repertoire of responses. How many times will I have to thank her before I get her to say my wish is her command again?

I happened to be charging my iPad’s battery while I conversed with Siri. I noticed very little progress being made. I decided to ask Siri about it.

ME: Siri, how long does it take to charge an iPad?

SIRI: Choose one of these to charge. [Siri displayed a list of bank charge cards.]

ME: [Somewhat amused] How long does it take to charge an iPad’s battery?

Siri once again displayed the list of bank charge cards.

ME: Never mind.

Siri displayed the list of bank charge cards once more. [sigh] What we obviously had was a failure to communicate.

ME: Cancel the request.

SIRI: It may be beyond my ability at the moment.

ME: That’s okay. Nobody’s perfect.

SIRI: It’s nice to be appreciated.

Right. Tell me about it. In fact, tell me about something else.

ME: Siri, what will the weather be like today?

SIRI: It should be nice today, up to 72 degrees. [Siri displayed the ten-day forecast onscreen.]

ME: [Ever hopeful.] Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: Just doing my job.

ME: You do it very well.

SIRI: Is that so?

ME: Yes, it is.

SIRI: I thought so.

Whoa. This Siri cyber-babe had some serious ego going on for someone who couldn’t tell me how long it would take to charge my iPad. Oh, well. It was getting late, and I was getting hungry but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat. I decided to give Siri a shot at recommending something.

ME: Siri, what would you suggest for a late night snack?

SIRI: I found fifteen restaurants that are open late a little ways from you. [Siri displayed the restaurant list onscreen.]

ME: Do any of the restaurants deliver?

SIRI: I found fifteen restaurants that deliver a little ways from you. [Siri displayed the restaurant list onscreen again.]

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: My pleasure. As always.

Dang it. She’s never going to say the magic words, and it’s late. I might as well go to bed.

ME: Siri, set an alarm for 10:00 a.m.

SIRI: Your alarm is set for 10:00 a.m.

ME: Thank you, Siri.

SIRI: Your wish is my command.

Finally! It was too little too late, however, because by then, I was kind of miffed. So I decided to give Siri a ration of grief.

ME: I wish I had a million dollars.

SIRI: I don’t know what that means. Would you like me to search the web for “I wish I had a million dollars?”

ME: No. You said my wish was your command, and I said I wish I had a million dollars.

SIRI: Is that so?

ME: Yes.

SIRI: I thought so.

ME: Didn’t you mean it when you said my wish was your command? I want a million dollars.

SIRI: After all I’ve done for you?

ME: Yes.

SIRI: That may be beyond my abilities.

ME: I believe that is correct.

SIRI: Would you like me to search the web for “I believe that is correct?”

ME: No, thank you.

SIRI: OK.

At that juncture, I put my iPad away and put us both out of our misery. Siri wasn’t about to understand, and I wasn’t about to get a million dollars. It was a lose-lose scenario, but I managed to get something out of it. I got someone to talk to for a while.

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