Bluetooth In The Bathroom

I’m not a big fan of Bluetooth earpiece devices.  I’m not talking about whether the technology works well or not; I just think it creates too many awkward situations.

How many times do you walk around a public area — airports in particular — see someone who appears to be talking vigorously to themselves, and decide to give them a wide berth?  You do so because long experience has trained you that people who talk to themselves are probably dangerous lunatics, and the last thing in the world you want to do is enter their field of vision and become the focus of their deranged rantings.  Bluetooth devices have interfered with that crucial modern survival instinct.  Now you don’t know whether the self-talking person is a nut or a Bluetoother, talking louder than is necessary because that’s just what Bluetooth users always do.

The worst scenario for this is the public restroom.  If you’re a guy standing at a urinal, you don’t want to make eye contract, have a conversation, or otherwise engage in any form of human interaction whatsoever.  So, when a person who at first appears to be talking to himself shoulders his way into the urinal next door, apparently flouting every known rule of male bathroom etiquette, it’s a cause for concern.  You feel that initial sinking feeling, only to later realize that it’s just jerky Bluetoother who is still flouting accepted norms — and also consciously demonstrating for all to see that their call is so important that it can’t wait until after they answer the call of nature.

I’m reconciled to the fact that Bluetooth earpieces and those hanging string-like microphone devices are here to stay.  It’s too bad, because they make public areas like airports gates a babbling cacaphony.  But can’t we all agree to keep them out of the bathroom, for goodness’ sake?

Kish’s New Rig

We’ve replaced the Blue Beemer with a brand spanking new Acura mini-SUV, and the new car has been something of a revelation.

It’s been about a decade since we last bought a new car, and it’s obvious that a lot has changed since our most recent new car purchase.  For one thing, cars are a lot more expensive.  For another, designs seem to have moved away from a soft, rounded look toward a much more angular appearance.  And the biggest difference, to us at least, has been the technology.

We got the “technology package” when we bought the car, and it makes us feel like slack-jawed rubes.  If you sit behind the wheel, you feel like Mr. Sulu at the helm of the Enterprise.  We’ve got a built-in garage door opener.  We’ve got GPS.  We’ve got Sirius XM satellite radio.  There are multiple toggles and buttons and a large central knob that functions like a mouse.  We’ve got a hands-free cell phone that linked with Kish’s cell and, through the miracle of Bluetooth technology, downloaded all of the phone numbers from her address book.  And everything is voice activated.  We can ask the car to find the nearest Chinese restaurant and, a few seconds later, it will give us a report on every Szechuan, Hunan, or Mandarin option within five miles, including phone numbers in case we want to call for a reservation.  It’s pretty amazing stuff when you are used to a simple dashboard that has a few gauges, a clock, a radio, and a CD player.

We don’t know how to use even a tiny fraction of the features that are available on this space-age vehicle.  It will be fun learning.