The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

If I Ruled the iOS World

The latest Apple operating system is due out this week. Or soon. I can’t keep up, to be honest. Anyway, I decided this would be a good place to list my pet peeves and almost all of them are related to music apps, which is interesting. In particular order:

1. I hate hate hate how the Music app just does whatever the hell it wants when the phone locates and connects to a Bluetooth device. A good half the time, when I start my car, the music app just starts playing, even if I was using Spotify last. And it just starts playing in alphabetical order. I got to hear the first 5 seconds of the ABC Cafe from Les Mis until a song called “A Thrill of Anticipation” pulled in first. Hey, Apple, nobody includes the articles when determining alphabetical order. WTF.

Either way, stop auto-playing, and stop going back to the top of the song list.

2. Almost worse than that, why can’t I set the default for shuffle? Sweet baby Jesus, turning off shuffle multiple times a day is pure horseshit. If I turn it off, LEAVE IT OFF.

3. iTunes: STOP SUCKING. Music App: maybe force the developers to USE it so they’ll understand how unintuitive they’ve made the damned thing. I loathe Music now and listen to Spotify EVEN when I own the album and have to use data because the Music app sucks hard.

4. Spotify app: you need to let me change the order my playlists are in from the app. And set the default to add new songs to the top of a list (from within the app). (I figured this one out. Pull down on the playlist and the sort order is upper right.) Also, MyMusic would be far less annoying if it let me view by album. I hardly ever want to play every song by an artist, but I may want to play a whole album. Your UI makes me take 4 extra steps. And bring back the original concept of “Starred” songs going into the Starred playlist.

5. LastFM app: Get your shit together. Who on earth releases a whole new version of their software with all the functionality turned off? You weren’t ready to go live? Roll back to the previous version. The app is pretty much useless right now, listing only song title (not artist). Knowing I listened to Luce 22 times last week is different from knowing I have listed 322 times total. A weekly view should be a weekly view. Period.
Lastly, I don’t know if this is on Apple or you or the 3rd party app I’m using, but I shouldn’t have to listen to every second of a song for it to scrobble. Listening to 5:45 of a 6 minute song should count.

Is that a full wish list? Hardly, but addressing these issues would remove 80% of my iPhone frustration.


Broken Links…Will You Notice?

Amazon changed the URL structure for affiliate links, and if you don’t fix them things will go wacky and I think the sun will be extinguished and the sound of affiliates wailing will fill the skies.

Or something.

I haven’t made a dime off you people in years. Pretty sure nobody would even notice if all my links took you to a “how to become a cannibal” wiki. Which is probably a thing but I’m not searching for it.

  • This post is a pre-emptive “ya, I know” in case people discover the problem. I may try to fix them, but I’ll be honest. There are almost 20 years of links on this website and I’m pretty sure most of them are 404ing all these years later.


My Evening

I just spent 3-4 hours of my evening undoing all the harm I did to this website. I couldn’t tell you if I fixed it, or put it back to the way it was, say, yesterday. I broke the hell out of it, I did. If this looks close, we’ll call that a victory.

All About Julia

My kid is historically an over-achiever. He was married by the time he was five. I went and found all the related posts and present them here.

The Ninja Dance

Junior announced to me this morning that he had to go to work, get into his ninja costume and do the ninja dance (that his boss had taught him) with his girlfriend the cheerleader, Julia.
I had no idea he’d finally found a job.

Ninja Followup

After showing me the “ninja dance” this evening, Junior added “You know why we do that kick at the end? Because the grown-ups only want to see the cheerleaders.”
He also introduced me to his invisible girlfriend Julia. When I said hello to her, he informed me that he doesn’t speak for her, she does her own talking. This should be a quiet evening.
*newsflash* Oh, wait, it isn’t his girlfriend…it’s his WIFE! He told me the reason I didn’t get to go to the wedding is because “you weren’t invited.” Wow, I already hate my daughter-in-law and I just met her.

She’s Still Here

My new daughter-in-law is still hanging around. Apparently she slept in the spare room last night. She hung around with us in the car today but at some point she must have wandered off because he hasn’t talked about her or to her for 5 or so hours now.

My Invisible Daughter-in-Law Update

Julia, my invisible daughter-in-law, hasn’t been making many appearances. I have to admit I kind of forgot about her. But last night, Junior approached the coach and said

“I can’t find them! I can’t find my kids! I was supposed to only get one, but he game me two!”

“Two what?”

“Two babies. Julia and I have two babies now.”

“Who gave them to you?”

“Joe. He’s the guy who gives out the babies. And he gave us two but I can’t find them.”

“Well, you’d better get looking because I don’t want strange kids running around my house. If you are going to have kids, you have to be responsible for them. You need to keep an eye on them.”

“They’re a boy and a girl. The boy is named Jonah, and the girl is…the girl is named Jody! I’ll go check my room. Maybe they are up there.”

Damn. A grandmother and I’m not even 40.

How Could I Forget!

We had this exchange the other morning.

Jr: After breakfast, Julia and I have to have a talk.

Me: Oh?

Jr: Ya. She’s gonna be moving out.

Me: I hope it isn’t because of something I said.

Jr: No, it’s just time.

(Okay, so I feel like a total slimeball now. Cause I think my teasing about not liking her because she didn’t invite me to the wedding has made him decide to toss aside his wedding vows.)

Lookout, Julia

I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my invisible daughter-in-law Julia, but she does come up every once in a while. About two weeks ago Junior mentioned something about Julia and Jim (Jim is his invisible buddy, I’m not sure if he lives with us or not), but since then nothing.
Yesterday when he got home from his new child care center, aside from gushing that it was the greatest place in the universe, he casually mentioned that he had a new girlfriend. I’m loving and supportive, and trying hard not to be the jealous psycho mom you see in TV movies, so I don’t tell him he’s too young. I don’t even tell him that because he’s already married to Julia he can’t actually have a girlfriend. I just ask what her name is.

“I don’t know. But she wears an orange shirt.”

“Well honey, what if she isn’t wearing that shirt tomorrow?”

“She has a mountain of hair.”

Oh good gravy, it’s so hard to keep a straight face sometime. Don’t you just want to eat him up? Miss Mountain-of-Hair is a very lucky young lady.

Love Boat Questions

I hate to admit how many episodes of The Love Boat I’ve watched. But it’s a LOT of them. I think my favorite part is the gritty realism. But if you can get past the danger and intrigue and look deeper, you’ll see the pure nonsense that is my favorite reason to watch the show. Here are my some of my favorite things to ponder, in no particular order.


  • Why is the gift shop so small? I’ve seen bigger gift shops in a Ramada. This is the spot where passengers can buy anything they forgot to pack and various episode that happened to have shot inside show a ton of jewelry and some dress shirts. if you need a watch, they have them. sunscreen and magazines? I’m not so sure.
  • Vicki is Captain Stubing’s biological daughter but he had to adopt her for some reason. I haven’t seen that episode. So Vickie is on the boat from the time she’s 12. Unlike The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, there isn’t a school on board. I’ve never heard mention of homeschooling, so I guess she’s a University of Phoenix alum.
  • Vickie worked as Julie’s assistant from an early age, which  I assume was an unpaid role because she was only 13. Between her “studies” and assisting Julie in whatever it is she does (see below) Vicki can, uh, swim? a cruise ship is probably an awful place to be an indentured servant.
  • Why does everyone buy a piñata (or a tiny chair) when the go ashore? You just watch the extras in every episode as the disembark at the end of the cruise.
  • Captain Stubing doesn’t really drive the boat. he’s never on the bridge unless someone swings by to talk to him and then that conversation gets his FULL attention. I guess there’s another officer who does the heavy lifting, but he/she is faceless and names less. Aside from the main characters, the only other staff we see are engineers, maids, and waitresses in the Pirates’ Cove Lounge (not to be confused with the Acapulco Lounge) dressed like pirates.
  • Is it really possible to meet someone, fall in love and get engaged on a 3-day Mexican cruise? Apparently true love means never needing more than a long weekend to get to know each other.
  • Julie my cruise director spent a lot of time walking around chatting and not a lot of cruise directing. Gopher and Doc don’t do much more, but at least Doc once did surgery in his tiny office, and diagnosed a guy with ALS and another with cancer. Doesn’t she have parties and events to plan and oversee? She must be good at her job because once she threw together a pirate party and suddenly all the passengers had costumes. She did accidentally hire a male stripper once thinking he was a regular dancer. Attention to detail much, Miss McCoy?
  • Isaac is the clear winner of the “Most Valuable Employee” award. He appears to work 18 hours a day and isn’t constantly falling for the passengers unless they are Diahann Carroll. Isaac should be calling to complain to HR about how much more he works than Everyone else.  While Doc, Julie and Gopher are hogging seats at the captain’s table sitting *closest* to the captain (what the hell? isn’t that for VIPs?) he’s been seen doing bartender things on the side of the dining room. I’d be mad as hell if I were him.
  • Would the captain and key staff of a ship that does three-day jaunts to Mexico be asked to all take over a ship with a European trip? They arrive at the ship basically the day before they sail, which doesn’t leave much time to learn enough to help passengers. Or steer the ship. Or get a license to practice medicine in a foreign country. Isaac will be fine, though, because he’s awesome.