A few days before we left, Frank dropped his phone in the pool. So we stuck it in a bag of rice for 48 hours, with some improvement. Since we were heading out for our trip soon, we didn’t have time to take it in to the store.
Fortunately, it only had 2 issues. Unfortunately, they were:
1. A tendency for Siri to randomly answer questions she’d overheard, even though no one had asked her, the home button hadn't been pressed, and the "lift and talk" feature was off.
2. It would randomly play snippets of Weird Al’s song “Amish Paradise” for no obvious reason.
We started our trip in San Francisco this year. I haven't been there in many years, and my kids have never been there at all. So we figured we'd fly in and see the city and visit with family for a bit.
When I was younger the pictures on the flight attendant buttons were a generic female shape in a skirt. But with the profession now having a share of men in it, they've gone to this. Which to me looks like the international symbol for "I accidentally amputated my hand."
Landing in San Francisco you see signs that you don't see back in Grumpyville:
At first I thought it was odd, but then realized that if anything can prepare you for spending 4-5 hours twisted into a cramped, uncomfortable, position in an economy-class plane seat, it's yoga. Or an iron maiden. Or both.
There was also this:
|Craig said "people are animals, so I'll pee over there." We stopped him.|
We got to our hotel, which was within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, I know the Wharf is a huge tourist trap. But, we're tourists, so we're going to do that kind of crap.
One of my favorite attractions near the wharf is the Musée Mécanique. This is a remarkable collection of 19th and early 20th century mechanical amusement machines, the forerunners to pinball machines and (later) the videogames. You'd drop a coin into one, usually to see some sort of brief show by automated figures. Some had interactive features, such as boxing or hitting a ball. The place is free, but the gadgets require quarters. The entertainment value is awesome.
The most horrifying thing is located by the front entrance. It's an automaton called "Laffing Sal" which towers over you at over 2 meters high. It's a hideous mechanical woman who, when you put in a coin, cackles hysterically. It is not a good laugh. It is a watch-small-children-run-in-terror laugh.
What's really fun to see are the things that were considered amusements back then. People complain about video games today having sex, violence, drug use, and alcohol, right? Do they really believe this is a modern phenomenon? Let's look at some games from well over a century ago:
There was also this one, with instrument playing monkeys:
As we were leaving, Some little girl asked her mother if they could go get ice cream. Frank's phone immediately said "I show 14 ice cream stores within 2 miles of here."
She began screaming and hid behind her Mom. You'd have thought she'd put a quarter in Laffing Sal.
Heading back to our hotel for the night, the kids began yelling the air conditioner was broken and we'd freeze to death during the night. It wasn't, just Celsius.
|"This is 'Murica, man."|
And that's the way it is.