February 2nd, 2014

The Calendar

I still use a paper calendar. My current favorite is Amy Knapp's Big Grid Family Organizer, because it has enough space on each day to write on, and doesn't waste a bunch of space on a pretty picture. (I have art for that, also calendars around the house that we _do not_ put appointments on, that have pictures taken by people we know and love.). I know other people who, at least until recently (maybe even now) were still using paper address/contact books. I switched over to electronic contact management back in my Palm/Treo days, but while I did switch over to the calendar at that time, I got screwed by it, and then went back to paper. Further, when I attempted to transition to google calendars, I got screwed by that, too. Sure, it's probably just me Doing Something Wrong, but I don't have that problem with paper so it kind of aggravates me when I have that problem with a replacement. You know. World ends. Etc.

However, T. has been obsessed with calendars. He has a better understanding of time of day, day of week, month of year, and various upcoming appointments that a lot of adults I know (granted, I do hang out with a lot of forgetful people). And he's been pretty focused on getting calendar information onto his phone. So I'm making another attempt to get the paper calendar's information into electronic form again, this time using the apple calendar (mostly because I haven't been recently screwed by them, and hope springs eternal, etc.).

Yesterday, I had a huge panic attack triggered by looking at two months worth of calendar in detail all at once. I knew, in theory, that this kind of thing made me anxious and I avoided it, but wow I had no idea it would send me right over the edge. So I'm going to pace myself. I did February today. I'll either do this two months per day (one morning, one evening), or one month per day (more likely) or less frequently still. I expect this project to take over a week (I schedule stuff over a year out). And of course I'll have to figure out a way to maintain in synchrony, too. :(

I can tell there are good reasons for not having done this sooner.

The end of an era: planning for the end of the Publicly Switched Telephone Network

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/att-plan-to-shut-off-public-switched-telephone-network-moves-ahead-at-fcc/

I know a lot of people are like, d00d, I got rid of my land line, like, a decade ago. But, you know, 911. Etc. Also, we still have a landline.

FCC is working with AT&T on a phased plan to replace the PSTN with an IP based system. So even if you have a "landline", in the future, it will be running through packets like everything else.

Freaky to think about the end of this very long era (which in terms of what it is like to use the phone, won't seem necessarily like the end of anything).

ETA: Somewhat elderly data on cord cutting:

http://www.ustelecom.org/blog/americans-continued-drop-landlines-2012

One factor is the increasing difficulty to acquiring replacement equipment.

http://www2.alcatel-lucent.com/techzine/the-time-is-right-for-pstn-migration/

Presumably, the vendors have been seeing this coming for a while, too.

Electronic Gadgets in Bed

I am a control freak. I am such a control freak that I expend a substantial amount of personal time, energy and other resources to attempt to present an image of myself that I am not actually nearly as much of a control freak as I actually am. Pretty much everyone who knows me at all well knows this about me, and even people who _don't_ know me very well _expect_ my closets to be organized. So obvs, I am the kind of person who has charging stations set up around the house for all the electronic devices and part of the going to bed routine at night is hooking everything up so all the batteries are at 100% at the start of the new day.

I also actually understand that this makes me weird.

We don't have a ton of rules about device usage, however, I'm pretty hardcore about No Electronic Devices On the Floor. I understand (from pictures people take with their electronic devices) that this rule is violated All the Freaking Time (as near as I can tell, while I think this is an obvious and Good rule very few other people agree with me, even _after_ they've stepped on a device and had to replace it). I've also been quite loud on the topic of Hey If You Lose Your Device Under the Covers of Your Bed, Don't Fucking Expect Me to Find It For You. So the kids are pretty decent about putting devices on tables and similar surfaces, their pockets, etc. (fortunately, none have wound up in the wash yet), and we don't have to deal with Sad Faces because the battery died in the middle of the day, and they don't get stepped on and we can usually find them.

In any event, this confluence of rules means that my kids (and R. and I) do not sleep in a bed with devices. They may be on a charger near the bed, but not in the covers (oddly, in T.'s case, the chargers are under the bed and on the floor! But this is sort of an exception, because no one is going to step on something under a bed). It had not occurred to me that other people were sleeping with their devices, despite celebrity quotes to the effect of sleeping with the blackberry under the pillow and checking their email in the middle of the night (this was some years ago, obvs, I think it was a Madonna quote from when she was still married to that director). But I've run across a few stories and some set dressing on TV shows that is making me wonder.

Are people falling asleep with their phone, tablet, laptop or other electronic device in bed with them, in much the way that people (not me) have been falling asleep with a book (only book that ever reliably put me to sleep was Burke's _Reflections on the Revolution in France_, I kept it near the bed for that purpose and I was Very Sad the night that I was up until 4 in the morning because it suddenly became Fascinating altho, equally, Totes repulsive because, after all, Burke's _Reflections_ *shudder*. Really, the beginning of me starting to really grasp politics as a Thing separate from ethics or morality) since, well, at least the invention of the codex and possibly earlier?

I've had to get rid of sheets where a pen bled ink all over the place (it was my bed, but it wasn't my pen, nor was I the one who fell asleep with it in the bed), so I know people fall asleep while writing as well; falling asleep with electronics actually seems kind of expected in retrospect. Anecdata, anyone?