Day 5 of the Captivity: Cleaning out the electronics drawer

It is Day 5 in our COVID-19 self-isolation. I have cleaned off my desk, my drafting table, and one large pile by my drafting table. It is time now to ::dramatic music stinger:: clean out the electronics drawer.

I will liveblog this for your entertainment.

10:08 am

We begin.

This drawer has been the repository for lots and lots of stuff. As you will see as we go through it, the deepest layers are practically pre-Internet.

10:14 am

Here’s the drawer in full panoply on my drafting table.

Right off the bat you can see my dilemma. This is my old iPad 2 that used to provide the music out in the labyrinth.

However, it can no longer be updated, nor will it allow items like Pandora to be updated.  What am I to do with this thing? It doesn’t need to stay in the drawer, and that’s the #1 decision being made today. Into the LATER box it goes for eventual resale/recycling.

10:28 am

Here’s the keyboard/stand that went with the iPad.

Still useful? Probably. So here’s a pro tip about cleaning out a repository like this: touch everything once, make a decision, then put it in the appropriate pile. Since this requires some testing to make a final decision, I’m starting a TEST pile.

The first layer is the most recent and consists of obvious KEEP items.

My new projector.

Our external CD drive. (Thanks, Apple.)

My rangefinder that I use to estimate distances when laying out the burn.

10:49 am

No, it’s not taking me this long to clean out the drawer. It’s taking me this long to document it, edit the photos, upload them, and then comment. APPRECIATE MY LABOR HERE, PEOPLE.

We’re still in the KEEP layer.

Headsets.

These look like random flotsam, but they’re actually part of a kit that I kind of have to go with the projector. I’ve learned from the past: show up with all the cables and connectors.

Okay, this one’s a puzzler. It has flotsam from last summer’s trip to Grand Canyon: room key for our cabin at Bright Angel Lodge; emergency diarrhea medication; a car USB plug; and what appear to be prior flotsam from aforesaid projector kit: plug covers and a ¿remote control case? No matter. This is the new projector baggie.

Another headset. This one is wireless/Bluetooth. I bought it back when I was composing more than I am now, so that I would not annoy the rest of the house with my repetitive ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS and yet not have to deal with the cord while pivoting from the computer to the piano keyboard. You may imagine my annoyance when I discovered it did not work with Finale.

USB microphone, still handy for online meetings.

Same with the USB speaker.

Now we’re getting into the weird layers.

A body cam, unopened. I think this came from my late father-in-law’s stash of electronics. Into the TEST pile it goes.

11:30 am

This is a keyboard cover for the MacBook Pro for those times I have it out in the labyrinth. Still useful, of course. KEEP.

I think this is a hard drive, but whose is it and what is on it? Into the TEST pile.

I have an hypothesis and it is mine and I made it up and here goes: all those missing socks were just the larval forms of charging cables. Their DNA is finally triggered after enough runs through the wash, and they disapparate into a drawer. This is the only sane explanation.

I mean, this connector was at least two MacBook Pros ago.

And what did this go to? LATER, in case the device is still lurking somewhere.

It doesn’t matter that this isn’t in focus. Why aren’t these in baggies/bags/boxes with their devices?

Finally, I know what this is.

I’ll just put it with the other audio cables…

…or maybe not. Into the projector travel baggie it goes.

A Wacom tablet, very useful.

Need to TEST it, though; these things are notorious for slipping behind the current technology. The reason I own it is that my original Wacom no longer worked with the laptop.

Solar-charged charger. Still useful.

These USB chargers, on the other hand, were useful once, but their ability to charge is limited to one charge. Perhaps to put in my shoulder bag when traveling, but certainly not to take to a burn. I’ll need to TEST first (and find their charging chords).

This, on the other hand, is a nice heavy-duty charger I bought for burns. Definitely a KEEP.

But now we’re down to the lower levels indeed. Lunch break.

1:31 pm

And we’re back, starting a very slow exploration of the chthonic layers of the electronics drawer.

An iPod Nano. Into the LATER box (for certain recycling).

Accoutrements for the aforementioned Wacom tablet that died. The tablet itself is in another pile—another day, another post.

 

Ah, but then there are treasures.

What is that, you ask? It’s We Three Kings, and if you’re really good I’ll make you a copy for your holiday enjoyment.

I think the font is Papyrus, and that just about sums up the quality of this wonderful work of #CorroborativeEvidence.

Tucked away in the back was a definite KEEP: the cassette tape converter I bought to convert Aces & Eights, another beautiful lump of #CorroborativeEvidence. Now I can use it to make a quality transfer of We Three Kings.

How does one end up with so many fossils?

Part of it is my impulse to make sure I have enough charging cables for every device in my life such that I never have to go looking for one: one in the car, one in the study, one for the labyrinth, one in the kitchen, and one in the den. What? You don’t do this? Huh, weird.

I don’t even know what this is. The label says RAVPOWER, and it seems to be some kind of adapter, but I have no clue what it goes to. UPDATE: it goes with the heavy-duty charger shown above.

Here’s a major point to make: if I don’t know what it is and I haven’t needed it for three years or more—why am I keeping it? Keeping it out for TESTING, but let’s face it, it’s a useless bit.

Remotes. These were all for software that controls presentations.

The outer ends are Apple products that I’m pretty sure do not work any longer. The middle one I think goes to the projector. NO, I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S NOT IN THE BOX WITH THE PROJECTOR LEAVE ME ALONE. The others… I’ll have to see if they still work, and if their dongles are in my laptop case.

A digital camera.

Pretty sure my phone does a better job now. Still, it’s nice enough. Does anyone want it?

The Assistant Assistive Feline™, aka Cecil the Pest, is being as helpful as he usually is.

Ah, something useful! A vacuum for your electronics—I definitely need to slip some new batteries into this one and see if it works.

No clue. I mean, it’s an audio adapter, but I don’t know where/when I would have used it.

Software and receipts from the MacBook Pro before this one. (FWIW, I am on Filemaker Pro 17; the company now has 18 and other mutations available.) This goes straight into the trash.

2:33 pm

The last — and strangest — layer.

This is truly flotsam from long past. For example: this is a case for an architect’s scale which now lives in my actual desk drawer along with two others.

Why do I own architect scales? Because, O children, we used to have to draw our set designs and working drawings by hand. That’s why I have a drafting table in the first place. Somewhere in my study are a clip-on lamp and a device that clamped onto the drafting table and slid up and down providing a ready horizontal line (with an attachment that did angles).

What’s left of a drafting kit; the other compass, etc., are on my desk.

Drafting triangles: 45°, 30°/60°. As I said, my German attachment let me do all kinds of angles, so these are truly what I started out in college with. (One day I’ll show you my original drafting board and the canvas tote I designed and made to carry it all in.) These are KEEP because who throws away stuff like this? (The masking tape was to elevate them just enough so that ink wouldn’t bleed under them.)

“Drafting dots.” These were a lazy way to tape your drawings down without permanent damage to them. They seem to be still okay, so I’m keeping them to use with mini-art projects.

Ah, this is a blast from the past. You see, children, working drawings — and here the current members of Newnan Theatre Company are saying “the what now?” — for sets came in a certain order, and this was my cheat sheet for that order. I think this might have been from one of the big Feydeau farces we did back in the 1970s.

More pre-computer stuff: ink.

Remember, these have been sitting untouched for decades in the back of this drawer. Observe:

See how the pigment has completely settled? Decades do that to you.

And what’s this?

I think it’s to apply gold leaf. It still sounds as if there’s fluid in there when I shake it. More exploration is required.

Here’s something from the modern era, a toolkit for you to get into your MacBook laptop and repair/upgrade it. Okay, so it’s not that modern.

And here are a couple of memory cards. TRASH.

A memory card from a camera, I guess. No clue as to what’s on it and no way to find out. TRASH.

You may well ask, am I not seized with fear that I am tossing some beloved memorabilia? Yes, I am, but the logical part of my brain says that I would never have stored anything important on a memory card without making sure I had it in more accessible formats.

Ah, I’ve been looking for this multi-use adapter. Into the projector box it goes.

OF COURSE I BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE IN THE MEANTIME.

A power adapter from a couple of laptops ago.

An audio adapter. Over to the cable corner, which I’ll get to before long I’m sure.

Here’s a fun thing:

This is a Box Rivet Remover. What’s a Box Rivet? Go look. I used to use them to create Reading Caves. I think I have a box in the basement somewhere. Anyway, you use this to pry the little devices apart for reuse.

Memorabilia. A nametag I made for one of those occasions when either the State Board of Education or poobahs from the DOE came to visit GHP and we would have a luncheon for them to chat with students and faculty.

I forget who made this for me. I’m thinking it was back at East Coweta High.

And this one. Mercy.

1990 was the 20th anniversary of my going to GHP as an art major, so despite the fact that I had a two-year-old at home, I thought it was important for me to leave my wife to deal with the child and household for seven weeks. It is truly a miracle I am still a) married; and b) alive.

BTW, if you’re a math nerd, you’ve already figured out that yes, this year is the 50th anniversary of my life-changing summer.

These three cards are safely tucked away in the back of the drawer for my heirs and assigns to find and deal with.

These cassettes must have come in a set, because although I may have had an interest in actors learning British accents, I don’t think I would have cared about the others.

Speaking of two-year-olds, won’t my 32-year-old child be excited to know I’ve uncovered this:

I think this was the choral program we went to and were stunned when he stepped up to the mic for a solo — he had not bothered to mention that to us.

I do wonder what’s on this tape.

I will keep it to find out.

Do people still use these?

They’re white-out tape dispensers. I bought them in bulk back in 2001/2002 when I was translating Marriage of Figaro; I just took the Schirmer vocal score and taped over the Italian/German and wrote in my lyrics by hand. Kept me on track/meter, and then I could just photocopy the results.  (I still have all of that, btw, if your musical group would like to stage Figaro. We had a blast doing it.)

A rock.

It’s probably linked in spirit to this last corner:

Some mechanical pencil leads, and definite flotsam:

These are bits and pieces I’ve picked up here and yon, because these things can become part of art. Especially now that I’ve uncovered them and put them with the incomplete art project where they most definitely fit in.

There were several buttons in there; these two jumped out at me.

Both are meant to be snarky, but the first one has a different resonance at the moment: I don’t need half the stuff that was in this drawer. Clear it out. Let it go.

Et voilá:

Tidy, uncluttered, everything necessary, and room for items that previously could not fit. Not a bad way to spend a day in Captivity.

3:12 pm

Still to come on another day:

  • The TEST pile
  • Converting We Three Kings and Christmas in Our Town to mp3s
  • Tracking down a video camera to see what’s on the Hi-8 cassette
  • Double-checking all the cables with the electronics that are still hiding all over the place; I have hard drives that I don’t think I can even hook up to the computer at this point
  • Cleaning up the cable corner

AUTO-REPLENISHING TECHNOLOGY, KENNETH!

Forty years ago, give or take, my Lovely First Wife came home from shopping and handed me a little jar: it was moisturizer from Clinique, her preferred brand.

“Here,” she said. “You need to use this.”

Whatever, I thought, but I started using it and have used it every day since. Here’s the deal: everyone tells you to moisturize, but hardly any of us do it. I’ve done it, and although it’s primarily due to my mother’s genetic donation I am often mistaken for being much younger than I actually am.

This is not new. Until I was 35, I was often mistaken for being 16, which was pretty irritating. However, now that I am gray and officially old, it’s amusing to be taken for a 50-something. (Sidenote: when I started going gray, my hair stylist at the time asked if I were considering coloring my hair. Bah, I replied, now people will start taking me seriously. And lo, that’s exactly what happened.)

All this is prologue. I needed a new jar of moisturizer, so yesterday I headed to Belk’s Clinique counter. They have often not stocked the stuff, but this time they had it. The sales assistant alerted me that “it’s a new formulation,” as if that makes a difference. For the record, they “reformulate” the stuff every couple of years or so and change the color of the jar.

And here’s why I’m writing this. Curious about the “new formulation,” I actually read the blurbage on the box:

This addictively refreshing gel-cream instantly boosts hydration and rehydrates for 72 hours—even after washing your face. Auto-replenishing technology with activated aloe water helps skin create its own internal water source to deliver a superior level of hydration in a lightweight, oil-free texture.

Honey, please. Any verbiage describing any cosmetic or the benefits thereof is always pure puffery, but really, Clinique—auto-replenishing technology, activated aloe water, create its own internal water source? Suddenly my dermis has transformed into a fusion reactor? And what the hell is “activated aloe water”?

The latter is described by Clinique as “created to hold both positive and negative ionic charges,” which is supposed to “increase your skin’s affinity to [sic] water.” I have my doubts, especially since the only description/evaluation of “activated aloe water” I could find on the intertubes was Clinique’s own puffery. There is no scientific evaluation anywhere that I could find.[1]

And what is this “auto-replenishing technology?” It seems that squeezing the entire description onto the tiny box (in multiple languages) created an editing situation. Here’s the same puffery from Clinique’s website:

This addictively refreshing gel-cream instantly boosts hydration and rehydrates for 72 hours—even after washing your face. Auto-Replenishing Technology with caffeine helps trigger skin’s own rehydration system. Hyaluronic Acid fragments and Activated Aloe Water infuse skin with moisture. A super-holding matrix of humectants and polymers help reduce water loss and seal in moisture.

Caffeine. Well, there we go. I’m smearing coffee on my skin to wake it up.

I’m good with that.

—————

[1] Amazingly, “hyaluronic acid fragments” is not only a real thing, it’s an important part of our epidermis and is used to heal damaged skin. The More You Know™.

So this happened…

We have decamped to Fernandina Beach for the weekend with some dear friends and are having a great time so far.

Last night, I and two others strolled out the boardwalk to see the ocean. You know how some boardwalks have little benches built into them for some unknown reason?

Here’s a photo of one:

And here’s a photo of the one we sat in:

Yep, there was a creak and a groan, and we found ourselves flat on our backs. It’s pretty miraculous that none of us sustained even the least injury; I think it was because it gave way slowly at first and so we were already mostly down when it failed completely.

So other than a little spilled prosecco and a spell of hysterical laughter, no harm done. (We have alerted the property agent that they might want to do a structural integrity check.)

How was your Friday night?

A musing about joy

Short prologue: I bought a set of cards with inspirational questions on them to use as writer’s prompts down at Backstreet Arts, and in a fit of masochism decided that if I weren’t actively working on anything while I was down there, then I was required to draw one randomly and answer it.

Full prologue: https://www.lichtenbergianism.com/blog/2019/6/10/perverse-task-avoidance

So today’s question was:

Ugh. This is the kind of gross self-affirmation any of which I do not need. But an oath is an oath, and I think I’d like to share my response.

Ha. I am perpetually self-indulgent. Every day I enjoy what I do—and I do what I enjoy. This idea of not enjoying life is completely alien to me.

This includes the things I have to do, duties and burdens—far be it from this atheist to claim biblical inspiration, but the verse, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” [Ecclesiastes 9:10] seems to have stuck with me from Sunday School. Why not commit to your tasks with joy and appreciation?

It’s certainly not the case that I am a Pollyanna about life—there is plenty in my life that frustrates me or makes me unhappy. But it has never made sense to me to regard all of life as roadblocks. For one thing, taking things “personally” is the quickest way to misery: if the universe is out to get you, how are you supposed to enjoy your existence in the face of that?

To revisit the Ecclesiastes, here’s 9:9–10 in the International Children’s Bible:

9 … Enjoy all the days of this short life God has given you here on earth. It is all you have. So enjoy the work you have to do here on earth.

10 Whatever work you do, do your best. This is because you are going to the grave. There is no working, no planning, no knowledge and no wisdom there.

Here is existentialism in a nutshell: this life is all you have, and it is not long. Choose to do well at it. Choose to live it with joy.

So yes, I make cocktails and sit in my labyrinth. I read. I make dinner and run errands. I write letters. I go to burns. I serve on the burn board of directors.

I try to do it with “all my might”—why do it grudgingly? Do it with joy, and then you don’t have to find a way to give yourself “permission” to enjoy life.

The great message of spam you needed

I’m always excited to get an email saying there’s a comment that needs moderation because it means someone has read the blog and was moved to respond.

However, it’s almost always spam because—let’s face it—nobody really reads this thing. Fine. I continue to fill the universe with words it didn’t need FOR ITS OWN GOOD, KENNETH.

This time, the spam was brilliant in its ineptitude:

Undeniably imagine that that you stated. Your favourite justification appeared to be at
the web the simplest factor to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed
even as people consider issues that they plainly do not know about.
You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the
entire thing with no need side-effects , folks could take a
signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

Is this not glorious? You’re welcome. “Hit the nail on the top” is now part of my lexicon. Probably “Folks could take a signal” as well.

Carry on.

(For the record, the URL of the commenter was bestbariatricsurgeon.org from Mumbai. And it was a comment on GinTonic No. 7.)

UPDATE, 3/24: Another spam message to be approved:

I felt any buzz from it, however, not off the wall. First,
you have to be experienced what unlimited hosting really means.
The instant their pr release released, the media frenzy began.

Hey, Southtowne Marketing, can we talk?

Hey, Mark! Can I call you Mark? It’s OK if that’s not your name, because clearly you don’t know my name either.

How do I know that? Because you addressed the envelope like this:

That’s my first clue that you’re working off a database that only selects the first name, i.e., you don’t know me personally and probably only want me to give you money. Normally I can spot a computer-printed  “handwritten” address, but yours looked real enough. Sure, I thought, it’s possible that some minion out at Southtowne (to which I’ve been multiple times for minor reasons over the past few days) might have sent me a thank you note or a survey or summat. So I opened it.

Ah, a newspaper clipping! Sometimes local companies will do that, send you a clipping of something you’ve done that ends up in the Newnan Times-Herald. However, I haven’t done anything recently that has been in the paper. But this had a sticky note on it.

Again with the ‘Martin.’ And who the hell was ‘B’? Barbara? Bill? Burgoyne? At this point, it was clear that I had been scammed again. It was nothing more than an ad:

Sorry for the crumpled page. I was heading to throw it in the fire when I decided to blog about this.

So, someone sat down and went through a stack of Times-Heralds or other newspaper, tore this out, folded it, (artfully tearing the middle), wrote a sticky note, attached it, and mailed it to me?

Not quite.

If we look at the top of the page, we find that there’s no publication info. This is not from a newspaper.

Sure, it says it’s from ‘Automotive • D-6,’ but where’s the newspaper name? The date? This is clearly a fabricated ad.

Even more data:

It’s not even a real stock market report. It’s a picture of a stock market report.

So, Mark — if I can call you Mark — let’s talk.  Let me explain to you that far from making me want to hit your ‘sale’ (which is when, exactly? you give days and times, but no dates), this kind of thing makes me want to call out there and berate whoever answers the phone. It’s dishonest and scammy, right in line with those phone calls that start out with “DON’T HANG UP!” or “THIS IS NOT A SALES CALL.” You’re faking a personal connection to trick me into giving you my attention. It is fraudulent in intent. I have no beef with Southtowne — I love my Equinox, and my service rep (the inestimable Paul Hardegree) is a dream, and once I decide I need a new car, I will more than likely deal with the Southtowne sales staff than not — but Mark, you need to be fired. Your tactics are slimy and offensive, not what I’ve come to expect from Southtowne.

Sincerely yours,

Wait, *that* Lottie Moon?

Lottie Moon-1.jpg

You remember Lottie Moon, don’t you?

She was the closest thing we Baptists had to a saint and/or martyr. She selflessly devoted her life to bringing the Word of God to the heathen Chinee, working her fingers to the bone for those little yellow children, and eventually dying for her efforts.

Every Christmas we had the Lottie Moon Offering, the Southern Baptist GoFundMe for foreign missions.  (We had another saint for home missions.  Can’t remember her name. I think she worked with the little brown babies out west.)

Well.

The other night her name came up for some reason, and I did a little dinner table research on her.

Y’all — Lottie Moon was a kickass trouble-making feminist with a professor boyfriend who himself got kicked out of Southern Seminary for his progressive ideas! She is a Netflix miniseries waiting to happen!

Why were we never taught this??[1]

Read all about it here.

—  —  —  —  —

[1] Actually, I know perfectly well why we were not taught this. It didn’t fit into the Paulian Pauline schematic that women should keep their mouths shut. This is the church that would have elected me — me — as a deacon before they would have my mother.

Talk me out of it.

So today I got an email:

Hello

I come to announce the good news about my TRUNK BOX, I finally found a friend who paid for my Air ticket that allowed me to arrived in this country to get my trunk box personally.  God so kind, I was able to recover it successfully, but I’m afraid to cross the two airport with the big luggage, however, I need you to join me here to find solution together to get everything DONE in order that we get this 14.5 MILLION USD out of this country to your country for investment. 

I have another solution, if I open the trunk box, I will send you 10,000 usd so you can use it to open a special account so that all 14.5 MILLION USD will be transferred to the account. Is this solution good??

Please answer me immediately.
Hope to hear from you
Sincerely,
Nora.

Mercy.  First of all, of course, the actual correspondent is no one named Nora Thomas. Second of all… who could possibly fall for this kind of thing?

But how tempting is this? I am this close to answering:

Dearest Nora

That is very good news about your trunk box! I would be delighted to assist you to getting the 14.5 MILLION USDto my country for investment purposes. You must be very tired waiting in the airport!

Although, I can see one problem. If you wire me 10,000 USD my bank will have to report the transfer to the government, but, we cannot allow the actual risk for then they would confiscate your trunk box!

I have the solution is to mail me two checks for 5,000 USD each.  I can safely deposit those checks separately and then we can proceed. I hope this solution is good for you too.

I look forward to your answer immediately.
Sincerely,
Mr. Dale

If you don’t stop me, I may very well do it.

UPDATE, 5/24/18: I did it.  I changed the signature to Mrs. Dale, but it’s off.  Let’s see what happens next.

I can’t even.

Isn’t this lovely?

This is the open stairwell to our basement playroom, featuring a really spectacular photo of my Lovely First Wife kayaking in the marshes on the coast.  One day when I was not paying particular attention, she had the photo enlarged onto canvas and hired an electrician to install the very attractive lighting fixture you see here.  What’s not to like?

Of course, being the hyper-rational, analytical green that I am (Greens: 98% Right!), my first question was, how do we replace the bulbs?  There was a vague answer about a ladder and boards, but since these were halogen bulbs it would be years before we needed to worry about it.

Two weeks ago I noticed we were down to only one of the bulbs.  It was time to worry about it.  About the same time we had electricians in to reconfigure the outlets in our two guest rooms — different long story —and I asked one what the solution might be.  He opined that I might need one of them foldy-bendy ladders one sees on the TV.

Well then.  An excuse to buy an expensive foldy-bendy ladder?  I’m in.

This of course necessitates a drive to Home Depot, which is not convenient.  Remember that fact.  I buy a likely-looking Gorilla Ladder™ and stuff it in the car and bring it home and set it up in the living room. It is immediately apparent that none of its configurations will work in our stairwell; trust me on the geometry and physics of this.

It is clear that I will have to go buy boards to lay across the stairwell to the little ledge that for some reason our contractor built in there, possibly because he foresaw a day when my LFW would have such a fixture installed.

It dawns on me at about the same time that I do not know what bulbs I need to buy, which means that after I drive out to Home Depot — inconvenient, remember? — and buy two 2x8s and lug them home, I will have to set up the whole thing in order to climb up and remove a bulb, then MAKE A THIRD TRIP OUT TO HOME DEPOT TO BUY THE BULBS.  It is at this point I decide to congratulate myself on what a superior husband I am.

So today, I have errands to run and I cleverly figure out that I don’t have to drive all the way out to Home Depot because there is an establishment right next to the grocery store that sells bulbs.  And batteries.  I will refrain from naming this establishment, because the previous two times I went there, they did not have the bulb or battery that I needed.

This time, however, they did have the exact bulb I needed.  They had four of them.

I needed five.

And here we are.

And from below:

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned that the bulbs are tricky to remove and install, have I?  Or that for the fifth and final one I will have to edge my way to the other side of the ladder to climb up to reach it?

Or that I am a really, really superior husband?

Shame! (a warning)

I have a complaint.

Yesterday I was minding my own business when I got a text from a phone number with which I was unfamiliar.  That’s not unheard of, of course, but this was the text:

I mean, what the heck, right?  Who among my friends was doing this to me?  After some consideration I clicked on the link, which took me to a legitimate Apple App Store webpage for an app called Gather—In Real Life.

Gather—In Real Life purports to be an EASY FUN FUN WAY to arrange get-togethers with your friends.

But Gather—In Real Life is a vile piece of crap.  I went to the App Store itself, where, as I suspected, the app was rated around a 1, and the top review said bluntly that if giving a 0 were possible, the reviewer would do so.  They went on to describe in detail the app’s spammy practices: merely downloading the app allows it to take all your contacts and send the above spam text to them.  Imagine: your family, your business associates, your random contacts—all of them get a text saying they’ve been “invited.”

It’s actually worse than that: the app will seize all your info from your phone.  Horrific details here, here, and here.

Needless to say, I did not download the app.  I texted STOP, then sent an excoriating message, then texted STOP again in case they thought I was saying it was okay to talk to me ever again.

I have more complaint: at some point in the upgrade process, Apple has done away with the Report button in the App Store.  If you’ve downloaded an app and need a refund or something, there’s a webpage for that, but after a day of searching I can find no way to let Apple know that this app is offensive, intrusive, and needs to go.

So here’s my blogpost on Gather—In Real Life.  Any response from the company will be posted and ridiculed here.