back to article My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

My nuts are freezing. So are my toes and fingertips. It's chilly here on my remote Tibetan mountaintop. Being removed from the hurly burly of everyday modern existence gives me a chance to contemplate the truly important things in life. I exercise mindfulness as my exhalations produce swirling clouds before me. I consider the …

  1. Dr_N Silver badge

    Facetimers

    Surfing quietly is fine.

    It's all the interactive shouty Facetimers and people who insist on giving their offspawn games and videos to watch at full volume who are the real menace to society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facetimers

      don't forget people that insist on making calls on their speaker phone! No I don't want to know you have a nasty boil on your arse or your internet is down at home and that you're basically a complete tw*t to people on the phone thank you very much.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: Facetimers

        ^This! More so when they hold it horizontally like the vapid, fame-seeking, bollocks-spouting idots on The Apprentice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facetimers

          ^A million times this.

        2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: Facetimers

          Absolutely! Those idiots look they are going to take a bite out of their phone as if it is a sandwich

          I once asked a young lady who was holding her phone horizontally in front of her mouth during a conversation (on speaker mode of course), why she held it that way (after she had finished). The answer was that in that way the radiation from the antenna wasn't as close to her brain.

          I didn't suggest the radiation from the antenna:

          a) might have hard time finding her brain, and

          b) could probably do no worse damage than had apparently already been done.

          I was sorely tempted, I will admit

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: Facetimers

            They do it so the phone doesn't screen their faces from the TV cameras. The people who imitate them do it because they think that's the way to behave. And thus stupidity spreads from the boobtube out.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Facetimers

              They do it so the phone doesn't screen their faces from the TV cameras.

              The last time I checked, my ears were on the side of my face*, so I don't have this problem.

              *This applies to most people I am aware of, with the possible exception of Mr Spock, with Space: The Final Front Ear, and Davy Crocket - King of the Wild Front Ear. These jokes have been brought to you by Christmas crackers from the year 1983.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Facetimers

              Actually, I suspect it's so that the audio guy can get both sides of the conversation (without having to go to a simulated phone call or devising a modified phone). Reality TV creatures aren't good at the Bob Newhart routine.

          2. throe a. wai

            Re: Facetimers

            Should have told her the antennas on the other end

        3. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: Facetimers

          ^ This, while hiking on a forest trail! (Usually after discarding a Starbucks cup in the bushes.) (Because God knows you can't possibly enjoy "nature" without a frappacino and a chat with your BFF.)

        4. DrD'eath

          Re: Facetimers

          ^This! More so when they hold it horizontally like the vapid, fame-seeking, bollocks-spouting idots on The Apprentice.

          This deserves so many more up votes.

          But I need to know, why do they hold it horizontally? It makes no sense.

        5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Facetimers

          "^This! More so when they hold it horizontally like the vapid, fame-seeking, bollocks-spouting idots on The Apprentice."

          I think calls made that way originated on TV as a way for the audience to hear both sides of the conversation, ie a plot device. But people can be dumb, not realise this and copy it because "looks cool". Or something. A bit like the idiots who think holding a gun sideways is a good way to shoot.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Facetimers

            Exactly, because Producers forbid that reality TV audiences should be forced^H^H^H^H^H^H allowed to draw inferences from partial information. If that happened, why, you might see them start to form their own opinions, to realise how inane the "judges" are, or even - worst case - how many more interesting things they could be watching. Like reruns of Columbo, for instance.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Facetimers

      A month back I was on a bus in S E Asia... It seems Facetime or similar is the default way people talk on their phones there. They've all talk looking at their phone which they hold 10" from their face.

      That's just an observation, and I offer no possible explanation other than another observation: it's bloody noisy there, from horns on mopeds to music being blasted out of cafes.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Facetimers

      videos to watch at full volume

      This is particularly annoying in restaurants. Mind you, I probably should patronise restaurants where they don't allow that sort of thing.

    4. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Facetimers

      Oh gawd, remember those asinine push-to-talk devices (with their shrill and annoying roger beep) and the asinine people who used them (with their shrill and annoying screamy-voice?)

      Volume up to 11 so it's so loud you have to hold it at arm's length: check.

      Now have to scream to be heard through naff little mic on the device: check

      BEEP!

      I used to have one twat from the network group who walked around our cube farm doing the push-to-scream thing. I would disrupt whatever he was trying to scream by yelling BREAKER ONE-NINE! BREAKER ONE-NINE! WHISKY ALPHA LIMA LIMA YANKEE ON DECK! ANYONE GOT THEIR EARS ON? LOOKS LIKE WE GOT OURSELVES A CONVOY! and so on until he went away.

      One day he stormed up to my desk and shouted that he was trying to do his job. I yelled back that by an odd coincidence so were the seventy or so people surrounding him and could he please take his idiotic beepy-box into the elevator foyer to do his yodelling and hog-calling.

      Scattered applause from hidden colleagues and that was the last we heard from him.

      1. ma1010 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Facetimers

        @Stevie

        YES! I absolutely despised those damn things. "Push to scream" is so very true!

        Have an upvote and a virtual brew on me.

  2. Franco Silver badge

    "live experiences "such as music concerts and theatre"."

    Every time I go to one of these I get stuck behind some toolbag who watches the whole thing through the screen of their smartphone anyway.

    I definitely don't want to go back to the days of non-smartphones though, because then at every station you have people calling their other halves to inform them that the train is entering the station (Insert sex pun here, after all this is SFTWS) as if the trains are quiet and hard to spot. The greatest invention of the smartphone was killing the "I'm almost home" call.

    1. rmason Silver badge

      @Franco

      Came here to say that.

      Even when you do goto a gig you have to find somewhere that isn't directly behind someone or many someones who are, inexplicably, using an iPad to film the event.

      Even see it at live football matches too.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        RE:@Franco

        I am working on a design for a glink pistol - a small water pistol embedded in my glasses that identifies phone screens held between me and a stage so it can fire some incredibly sticky black glink onto the screen so that I can actually watch what I came to see and not some twats bingo wings.

        I may look for public funding on Inkygogofuckoff with your money for this.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Every time I go to one of these I get stuck behind some toolbag who watches the whole thing through the screen of their smartphone anyway

      Fortunately, this is pretty rare at Prog gigs. Sadly, the moth-breathing muppets who come along and spend the entire gig talking/shouting to their friends are not.

      At times I wonder about smuggling in a BOFH-spec cattle prod. But since using it would probably get me kicked out of the gig (even though I'm performing a valuable public service) I've managed to resist so far.

      1. ravenviz

        +1 for prog reference.

        At Marillion shows you could hear a pin drop during quieter moments of the set. In fact if some did drop a pin they’d get frowned at. ;)

      2. pxd

        Mouth breathing muppets - I've been there

        I did once ask a twat chatting loudly with his fellow MBMs at the back of a venue if he'd like me to ask the band (The Stranglers, ffs!) to play more quietly. I pointed out that the loud music was clearly causing him all sorts of inconvenience, as he had to shout to be heard over them. I think my eyes might have been glowing a bit red around the edges, because instead of giving me back a few choice expletives, he just shut up and edged away. Public service, indeed . . . pxd

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Mouth breathing muppets - I've been there

          I followed the Strangs around for a couple months (or so) after seeing them open for The Ramones in 1976 ... I'm surprised Burnel didn't politely[0] ask the boor to shut up. Virtual beer's on me; I'd have bought you a real one if I'd noticed your public service.

          [0] Yes, politely. Amazing what a good education will do ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] the train is entering the station [...]"

      IIRC Monty Python that was considered rather risque for a late night sketch involving a train entering a tunnel - and finally a factory chimney stack collapsing as it was demolished? There were probably more visual innuendoes that I have forgotten in the best part of 50 years.

    4. Anonymous C0ward

      The worst thing is when people wave their phones about with the flash on, instead of lighters. It's just not right.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I am the type of person who would rather watch live stuff through my eyes than the phone screen, but I have to ask, should we force our way of life onto others. Should we prevent them from being able to watch their videos in the future and reminiscing about something they attended, provided it doesnt affect others?

      1. jake Silver badge

        No, of course we shouldn't ...

        ... "prevent them from being able to watch their videos in the future ". More power to them. Record away, if that's your thing.

        However, "provided it doesnt affect others" is key. In other words, keep your bloody iFad the fuck out of my line of sight, dammit! I came to see a gig, not your device's display.

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: No, of course we shouldn't ...

          You pretty much covered what I wanted to say Jake.

          If you want to watch a gig through your phone, fine. However don't do it at the expense of other people who want to enjoy the show.

          In ye olden days certain bands (The Grateful Dead and Metallica are 2 I can think of) had a dedicated "tapers" ticket and area for people who wanted to record the shows. Metallica (and no doubt others) also sell MP3s of their gigs recorded from the desk so of a much higher quality than you could get from a phone.

  3. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Zen out

    OK, so I'm not in Tibet but I did spend the last 30 minutes in the next best thing: my spare room at home where it can get a bit chilly and the Wi-Fi struggles to connect.

    I bet your wi-fi password is 'Shambhala'.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Zen out

      Bizzarely enough, Shambala (without the H) is a music festival in the UK where mobile phones see little use. Partly it's that the organisers don't bother sticking in Pico-cells (so that a 2G SMS might take up to 5 minutes to send, given there's an extra 15,000 handsets in what is normally an unpopulated field), partly it's because the general culture there is about getting dressed up and being lovely to everyone. People there just don't bother taking photos on their phones.

      The scale of the festival is such that if you wander around for an hour or two - or just sit outside the pub tent - you'll find your friends without needing a phone to arrange a rendezvous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Zen out

        A choir that performs rarely in their home UK - but travels the world extensively - asks people not to use their cameras during a performance. Live indoor videos that escape onto YouTube always seem to come from Far East fans. I believe Japanese copyright law is somewhat different from UK law.

      2. ravenviz

        Re: Zen out

        At Glastonury Festival in the early 2000’s we used to time stamp SMS’s in the text itself because they took so long to arrive. Just stopped people turning up at meeting points for an act after it had finished!

    2. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Zen out

      @Rich 11

      Bad form mate.

      Now he'll have to change it to Shambhala1

    3. Dr_N Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Zen out

      Friday beer for the Doctor Strange reference.

  4. Chronos Silver badge
    Stop

    Fifty shades of tea

    Earl bloody Grey should have kept that muck to himself. I've had un-rinsed mugs that made tea taste better and Tesco's everyday basic floor-sweepings bags taste exactly like it: Slightly floral with a hint of Toilet Duck. Sir Patrick has a lot to answer for, making that gunk Picard's favourite brew.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Fifty shades of tea

      A PROPER earl gray is quite drinkable. It's just that the swill most people call tea isn't, let alone so called "earl gray" often offered nowadays.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Fifty shades of tea

      *Proper* Earl Grey is surprisingly drinkable. But, since proper Earl Grey doesn't come in tea bags (like most proper tea), very few people experience it.

      And drink it without cow-juice - that masks and mutates the taste.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Fifty shades of tea

        "And drink it without cow-juice"

        Applies to al types of tea. If you have tea that can actually be improved by milk you should get rid of it and buy something better.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Note: WITH milk

          “No,” he said, “look, it’s very, very simple ... all I want ... is a cup of tea. You are going to make one for me. Keep quiet and listen.”

          And he sat. He told the Nutri-Matic about India, he told it about China, told it about Ceylon. He told it about broad leaves drying in the sun. He toit about silver teapots. He told it about summer afternoons on the lawn. Htold it about putting in the milk before the tea so it wouldn’t get scalded. Heven told it (briefly) about the history of the East India Company.

          “So that’s it, is it?” said the Nutri-Matic when he had finished.

          “Yes,” said Arthur, “that is what I want.”

          “You want the taste of dried leaves boiled in water?”

          “Er, yes. With milk.”

          “Squirted out of a cow?”

          “Well, in a manner of speaking I suppose ...”

      2. Graham Dawson

        Re: Fifty shades of tea

        I prefer George orwell's view on the matter.

        http://www.booksatoz.com/witsend/tea/orwell.htm

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Fifty shades of tea

          Anything is fine as long as it's not Redbush. Ever tasted that? It's a bit like what you'd get if you found a thirty year old PG tips box in a long abandoned mildewy caravan, took a bag out and mopped the floor with it before dropping it into hot water. I've fallen face first in the muck heap more than once and would take that over another cup of redbush in a heartbeat.

          1. BrownishMonstr

            Re: Fifty shades of tea

            I find redbush has a hint of honey taste and naturally sweet. But can get quite nauseously sweet a bit too quick.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Fifty shades of tea

              Tastes like a cross between yerba mate and jamaica to me. Not exactly my cuppa tea. As it were.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Fifty shades of tea

      Tea should be made in a teapot. With loose leaves. Then strained - unless you've got one of those lift-out baskety things. And you need a tea cosy, because the second cup from the pot is usually the nicest.

      Earl Grey is nice for a change. But it does get a bit soapy if you over-brew it. I think it wants no more than a minute or two to brew.

      1. tinman

        Re: Fifty shades of tea

        if you want it right every time then you need to work to a standard so here it is...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3103

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          NTFS

          And with that link two hours of my life disappears.

  5. Aaiieeee
    Happy

    Rein in your notification settings!

    I think there is value in managing the 'smartphone' element of life. For example I have very carefully curated my notification settings so that only SMS, phone calls and apps I explicitly want a notification from (authenticator tokens etc) have free rein; everything else is disabled. I couldn't care less if an app needs updating, or how many unread emails I have, or for any "you havn't checked into our app today" messages.

    I have absolutely no message counters visible; as soon as I see one I have a desire/need to check it which ruins productivity, and otherwise its unsigntly, so they all are hidden. I'll check when I am good and ready thank you.

    The scope of some permissions and notifications is quite extensive, requiring dilligent hunting in all settings screens both in the app, the app store, the phone, and hidden areas of the phone settings.

    I really rely on my smart phone for organisation and managing my life and its utility (I have a metronome) is unequalled.

    Everyone has different use cases, mine is more practical. I'm not in constant contact with anyone except my girlfriend and even then I prefer to just hang out and chat. I'm not really popular enough that the fear of missing out requires me to be plugged in; nobody I know is going to require me to respond instantly!

    Managing head space is important to me and it doesn't have to be done in Tibet or with chanting.

    1. Keven E

      Re: Rein in your notification settings!

      "The scope of some permissions and notifications is quite extensive, requiring dilligent hunting in all settings screens both in the app, the app store, the phone, and hidden areas of the phone settings."

      My gmail really, really wants access to my body sensors for some reason.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Rein in your notification settings!

        "My gmail really, really wants access to my body sensors for some reason."

        Hoping to find the gspot?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Rein in your notification settings!

      "I have absolutely no message counters visible; as soon as I see one I have a desire/need to check it which ruins productivity, and otherwise its unsigntly, so they all are hidden. I'll check when I am good and ready thank you."

      And have you noticed how some people send a message/email/whatever then follow up 5 minutes later with "did you get my message?". And again 5 minutes later. Then a "are you ignoring me?". No, just fuck off. If it's really so important, phone you you twonk! I'm busy with actual real life or work.

  6. Bill M

    Wandering around Asia

    I spent a year wandering around Asia just before the web became mainstream and certainly before the iPhone appeared. I kept in touch with back home by mail, yup mail that used pen, paper and envelopes. I used the Amex post restante service which was great, but needed pre planning to advise people which Amex office to use in advance.

    Probably the best thing that happened to me was ironically when my camera, which used film that needed processing and printing, self destructed. From then on I was free to enjoy things with my human eyes and not through the lens of a camera.

    I remember reading an article in the Bangkok Post about the web and thinking wow!! this is going to change the way humanity interacts with each other and the world, and it certainly has.

    Nostalgia is nice, but I can no longer imagine the world without the web which I think it is great, but so is clean water and food - the scarcity of which was why I spent more time on the khazi that one would hope for. An iPhone would certainly have helped me pass away the time spent on the shitty, shit holes that often are the only khazis available in that neck of the woods.

  7. jake Silver badge

    When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    ... The electronics stay at home. She's far more important to me than the rest of the world, and vice versa. We actually communicate with each other verbally[0], imagine that!

    [0] Although I'll admit to occasionally throwing in a bit of Morse code ... The wife & I use it for short messages when we don't want to be "overheard". If we're in contact physically, nobody knows we're talking ... and even across a crowded room it's easy to get a message across without notice. Granted, it's usually along the lines of:

    --. . - -- . - .... . .... . .-.. .-.. --- ..- - --- ..-. .... . .-. .

    Archaic maybe, but it works without embarrassing anybody. Including ourselves.

    1. smudge Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      There's a very well-known message which conveys the same meaning and is much shorter!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        Yes, SOS is shorter. But it's also somewhat ambiguous. Does it mean "Help, I just split my pants!" or "Somebody should tell Great Aunt Lola that toothpaste is no longer rationed!" or "Holy Fartin' Mary, this plonk is awful!" or "Am I allowed to tell your Cousin he's an ignorant fool?". And in all reality, GMTHOOH is usually shortened to .- .- .- .- .- etc.

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      We actually communicate with each other verbally[0], imagine that!

      So when you need to meet up after heading your separate ways for shopping, you each stand in the middle of the street YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN in the hope that one of you hears the other across town?

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        > YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN

        You'll find that is a nice way to annoy the crap out of people using their phones...

        1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

          > YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN

          You'll find that is a nice way to annoy the crap out of people yelling into their phones...

          FTFY

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        No YELLING needed. On the rare occasion we go our separate ways in such a scenario (the bog comes to mind in these here prude-ridden United States), we agree where and when to meet up again. In advance. You know, like we did before the DynaTAC set society on the road to electronic leash addiction?

    3. TimR

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      If your not as proficient as Mr & Mrs Jake with Morse code, you may find this site useful/of interest

      https://morsecode.scphillips.com/translator.html

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        Or, if you're running Linux/BSD you could try man morse.

    4. Maty

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it, and you didn't know they knew. Then it can get embarrassing.

      .- -. -.. -- .- -. -.-- .--. . --- .--. .-.. -.- -. --- -- --- .-. ... .

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        To our knowledge, Maty, we've never been subject to a man in the middle attack. Tapping a foot or finger, or blinking is rarely noticed by hoi poloi, and they never[0] associate it with Morse. We also use ASL occasionally, when longer messages are needed. That gets intercepted occasionally, but the observer usually just comments "cool, more people should be able to sign ...".

        [0] Exception that proves the rule: The Uncle who taught me Morse used the same method with his wife. He "caught" us at a family function once, and met us in the Pub down the street. Win-win ;-)

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

          @jake - 'to your knowledge' I think you will find if someone learns a language its amazing how the brain can pick it up amongst background noise. My uncle learned morse during WWII and was forever hearing bits of morsey things. You'll find being close to someone a low voice is far less likely to be intercepted as it is too similar to the general mele to be discriminated.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

        "This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it [...]"

        An English colleague had a Welsh wife. One day they were visiting her family and he went to a local pub with an English friend. A group of Welshmen then proceeded to make derogatory comments about the English - in Welsh. As he left the pub he thanked them for their attention - in perfect Welsh.

        An IT salesman colleague in South Africa had emigrated there from Wales many years ago. It was a standing joke amongst his government department customers - that he had only ever learned a few stock phrases of Afrikaans. In reality he found it very useful in sales meetings to understand their private discussions - for which they switched from English to Afrikaans.

    5. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      Did you meet her on a golf course?

      https://youtu.be/GaakzEfCwUo

    6. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      Be careful with that! A friend of mine had deaf parents and so learned sign language and later taught his girlfriend. After signing across a crowded pup to see if she wanted to go and do the dirty he turned to find his mum had arrived.

    7. Potemkine! Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

      I didn't talk to my wife for the last 10 years. I didn't want to interrupt her ^^

  8. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "surviving pile of stones with potential Scandinavian characteristics"

    Err.. Saxons were not Scandinavian.. I think Hengest and/or Horsa[1] would have been very offended to have been equated to those boors from the north..

    [1] Yes, yes, I know they were Angles and not Saxons. Why let the truth get in the way of regurgitating a meme from "1066 and All That"? It's clearly a Good Thing.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "surviving pile of stones with potential Scandinavian characteristics"

      "Yes, yes, I know they were Angles and not Saxons."

      Jutes.

  9. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Offline

    "you show up, trade your smartphone for a dumbphone, and spend a full week disconnected from the internet."

    Or you could go to Wales..

    (Before I get shouted at by all my Welsh relatives, I mean one very specific bit in the Snowdonia National Park. In a nice valley with *absolutely* no mobile signal, on any network. And the nearest phone is a payphone a mile down the vally that's been vandalised and can't be used.. That was a good holiday - me, t'missus, several crates of good wine and my ebook reader stuffed with good books.)

    1. onceuponatime

      Re: Offline

      Western Colorado in the US. Get a jeep, a couple friends, and tour BLM land or parks. No cell phones in a lot of those places.

      1. eldel

        Re: Offline

        That's not just Western Colorado - anywhere between the Cal central valley and the Mississippi once you're 5 miles out of town and more than a couple of miles from the interstate or other major road you're pretty much hosed. Even then it can be iffy. I76 north out of Denver is a phone dead zone for freaking miles.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Offline

        To hell with Western Colorado. Try Sonoma/Napa/Mendocino/Lake counties in California. Nearly all the remoteness of the Rockies, but with good food, beer & wine. Calaveras County should be included in that lot, too.

  10. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Devil

    "...inspiring people who share a passion for self-improvement ..."

    I'd rather [insert bizarre methods of injuring oneself].

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entente Cordiale ???

    So, do I understand Mme D. is french ?

    How did I miss that ?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Entente Cordiale ???

      How did I miss that ?

      Lack of reading skills? Short-term memory loss?

      The probabilities are endless..

      1. Hero Protagonist

        Re: Entente Cordiale ???

        “The probabilities are endless..”

        I think you’ll find that the probabilities are not endless but in fact add up to exactly 1.

        1. donk1

          Re: Entente Cordiale ???

          Yes but you are summing an infinite series....endless!

  12. Potemkine! Silver badge

    You're just substituting digital interactivity with real-time passivity.

    Hmmmm....We don't go to the same kind of concert then - At this one I lost 3 kg in 2h, despite the regular ingestion of beer to avoid dehydration ^^

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You're just substituting digital interactivity with real-time passivity. "

      I'm sure many of the fans at the Libera boychoir's concerts are singing along in their heads. You just have to check occasionally that you aren't actually singing audibly.

      Fans of orchestras similarly may have to restrain the urge to stand up and conduct their favourite works.

    2. iron Silver badge

      @Potemkine!

      "I lost 3 kg in 2h"

      Just coz you're a fat git...

  13. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Possibly the wrong metaphor

    My Tibetan experience is a bit out of date, but even in the late 90's there was internet access there. Admittedly, you would have been very silly to avail yourself of it, but if you don't mind the Chinese "services" trawling your inbox, I'm sure there's 3/4G and wifi all over the place.

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    Spotted the deliberate mistake

    Without knowing exactly what alt-religion Sir Dabbsy is into, I offer the possibility that "hot-pentangle-buns" should actually be "hot-pentagram-buns".

    Not wishing to make anyone cross...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

      Any five sided/pointed shape of a decoration would be tricky to do. The six pointed Jewish Star of David is relatively easy to do with two triangles.

      1. harmjschoonhoven
        WTF?

        Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

        @AC: A five sided/pointed shape is in fact very easy to make. Learned that in kindergarten.

        http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emt725/PaperKnot/PaperKnot.html

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

      Hot Pentangle buns?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9gCN9-Jnfg

      1. Daedalus Silver badge

        Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

        Hot Pentangle buns?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9gCN9-Jnfg

        I'm sure they were there somewhere but I didn't see them...

  15. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Mme D opens a novel and I illuminate my smartphone

    Having decided to forego any interaction between yourselves I suspect illuminating the smartphone may be seen as just icing on the cake for those who think people should be indulging in congenial banter in a cafe.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Mme D opens a novel and I illuminate my smartphone

      You could always pay for Mme. D and her friends to go to on Spa retreat...

      "Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"

      https://www.indy100.com/article/married-women-prefer-best-friends-husbands-study-research-champneys-health-spa-relationships-8293491

      Other Spas are available

      1. 's water music Silver badge
        Happy

        Other Spas are available

        "Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"

        https://www.indy100.com/article/married-women-prefer-best-friends-husbands-study-research-champneys-health-spa-relationships-8293491

        Luxury vendor commissions survey which discovers that people prefer consuming their product to alternative activities. It must have been a relief to marketing when the result went the way they were hoping

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Other Spas are available

          I'm sure many of the husbands also prefer it, so they can go down the pub for as long as they want with their mates...

  16. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    I think you've got it wrong on the dumbphones as they apply to quality of life.

    If the phone can't run "apps" then it can't bother you with attention-seeking idiocy like flashing notifications for unimportant tasks whose soul purpose is to ensnare you into zombie gazing at your phone.

    If it's got no front facing camera then it can't be easily used for the lip pouting, Hollywood posing, cockwomble selfie crowd of idiots that imperil everyone around them when they go to take a picture in the middle of a situation that requires situational awareness, like driving, walking, or breathing.

    A dumbphone that can't access the internet means it won't be used by unattentive zombies shuffling down the street, or across the street, or into walls, or other obstacles that the situationally aware are paying attention to & can avoid like the intelligent people they obviously are; if only the phone absorbed zombies could Darwin themselves into an open manhole, access pit, or live high voltage access panel.

    Sure a smartphone can be useful at times, but I think the "dumb" phone is even moreso; while others are yelling into their smartphones, eyes glued to the screen watching the latest Youtube stupidity, or mashing the screen playing the latest game craze, the rest of us enjoy a phone that only ever makes noise if it's ringing from a call, chirping about a text message, or whining that we forgot to charge it for over a week.

    Please don't badmouth the feature phone, not everyone needs nor wants nor can productively use a "smartphone" that often can't be arsed to include the Accessibility bits needed to make the device useable by someone with fat/arthritic fingers, bad/no eyesight, etc.

    Otherwise nice rant! I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

      I will grant you that feature phones have their place, and for me that place is in the pocket of everyone who prefers them. However, those people who come to the conclusion that feature phones are the best because they don't like what other people do with their smartphones, so I shouldn't have my smartphone on me most of the time are the problem. A smartphone provides me with tools I may require that a feature phone doesn't; for example, I can find my way if I get lost using my GPS package on my smartphone, but a feature phone won't help. If I can ask directions, then I'm fine, but if I am out late and still need to go somewhere, the GPS app is, in my experience, the better way to get that done.

      Incidentally, although I'm sure the arthritic would experience many accessibility benefits from a feature phone, the blind and visually impaired have almost entirely moved to smartphones, primarily the iPhone (as android's accessibility has been pretty terrible for a while). The smartphones allow them to do things that a feature phone does not make accessible. For example, dialing a call is simple on one but just try to find a good way to scroll down a contact list, as pretty much no feature phone will read the item you've focused on. The same applies to reading SMS messages, not to mention that many of them also find the other features helpful as well.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

      Dumbphone + tablet. For me, it's perfect.

    3. earl grey Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

      zombies shuffling down the street

      OH, you just had to say that....

      Party Rock!

      Yeah

      Wooo!

      Let's go!

      Party rock is in the house tonight

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

      I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!

      Is there a gap in the market for proper "nut warmers"? Perhaps Mme. D could knit some (a pair) and Dabsy can report back on their effectiveness

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

        Sheltered, Fruit? Then don't DuckDuckGo "willy warmer". Or "nakurnjak", for that matter. Note that the results might be NSFW, depending on the sense of humo(u)r of the staff and/or your jurisdiction.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

          @jake

          Well I never! That would make a change from socks at Christmas.

          "willy warmer"/not water bottle just reminded me of "Carry On Up the Khyber". Private Widdle using one to keep his "dangler warm"

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m-3dqb1izAo

  17. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Joke

    Back on the subject of buns

    My nice neighbour made me some for Easter. When I thanked her for them she apologised for having forgotten to put a cross on them. Me being a witty devil I replied, "They'll be not cross buns then!"

    Luckily for you, I'm not here all week :)

  18. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Thumb Up

    How to tell an epic masterpiece is at hand.

    When the first sentence is "My nuts are freezing."

    I knew immediately I was in for a treat. Well done, Mr. Dabbs.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. MrT

      Re: How to tell an epic masterpiece is at hand.

      It did take the next couple of lines for me to twig that this was a genuine single-entendre, and not the prelude to a story about changing a blown tyre in a blizzard...

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "If I pulled a heap of tourist brochures and an Ordnance Survey map from my backpack, no one would bat an eyelid."

    No, but you can bet your life some berk would start addressing the air anywhere but in your direction as to the thoughtlessness of bringing backpacks into such a place, and you'd have at least one person "accidentally" kick it or trip over it to illustrate how ignorant you were being, even if you tucked it under your recently claimed table.

  20. Pookaboy

    Where can I get the Cool "The Reg Mug"?

    Love the mug and wanted to know where I can get one to show my The Reg (s)Mugness at my work!

    Thanks from the other side of the pond!

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Where can I get the Cool "The Reg Mug"?

      Right now they are a very limited edition item. Maybe one day we'll bring back Cash'n'Carrion, our Reg merch store.

      C.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At DiodeSign...

        Bring back the store! We need more cool ElReg tat to flaunt at the office!

        *Chanting & pounding the desk in time*

        Bring. Back. the Store!

        Bring. Back. the Store!

        Bring! Back! The Store!

        Damn it, how are we supposed to help support our favorite rag of twisted journo's & illigitemite... illiterminate... investment... loveable editors if you don't bring back the store?

        =-D

  21. PhilipN Silver badge

    Blowing up Buddha

    It’s ok. It’ll be reincarnated countless billions of times

  22. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...live experiences....music concerts and theatre."

    I went to the Symphony once.

    The music was nice....at first. Then, after perhaps ten minutes, the Brass section starting draining spittle out of their instruments, onto the polished stage floor. Every few minutes, with an invisible cue. the several French Horns turned and turned and turned in synchronized phase-locked rotation, until streams of spittle dribbled out and splashed into the growing pond. The Tuba maintenance was less frequently, but simply revolting with vast buckets of goop being dumped out. The great pool of human saliva glistened under the lights, stage and seating precisely aligned, with bubbles randomly forming and bursting. When the great Bass Drum was pounded, the ocean of drool oscillated in symphonic sympathy. The orchestral players adjusted their feet upwards, safely positioning their expensive shoes on the cross rails of their chair legs. I may have had hallucinations, but I'm sure that I saw the rapidly moving dorsal fin of something swimming across, presumably chasing its prey. There were subtle interference effects as the lights interacted with the thin-film surface of the larger saliva bubbles; I felt sadness when one particularly colourful bubble popped.

    Concert? If they were playing any music, then sorry....I missed it.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: "...live experiences....music concerts and theatre."

      Was that supposed to be post-ironic? I only ask because it came off as bog-standard Internet hyperbole.

  23. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    no internet with only a "dumbphone"

    Shirley not! Wasn't Twitter invented to use SMS because smartphones weren't invented yet? Isn't that the reason for the message length? Or are the "detox" holidays aimed at people so young they can't understand that there was life before smartphones?

    Actually, now that I think of it, can you still use Twitter via SMS?

  24. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

    Hesiod

    'observe due measure; moderation is best in all things' - Hesiod, 700bc

    The problem is that we haev so much around us, so much food, so many distractions, so much free time, so many causes, so many things on our bucket list, the list of "stuff to we want" goes on an on and on. We spend all our time constantly flitting from one thing to another that we very rarely ever finish anything properly.

    One thing I learned as i turned the corner into my middle age at 40 was to try to limit the things i want and the things I can reasonably do. So I make sure I go out an take walks, I have a phone and a camera with me. I make sure to spend time with my family. I don't eat as much crap junk food as I used to, I don't try to do too much at once. Sometimes I just veg out on the sofa watching shite cartoons on the TV on a Saturday afternoon. Some days I get up at the crack of dawn and spend the morning out walking. One thing I do is I try to do one thing at a time and enjoy what I'm doing there and then. I don't go out walking and constantly scan my Facebook. Twitter or whatever. I have the phone in my pocket so I know I can if I want to but I don't. I walk and I watch life around me. Other days I get up at 4am and I studying some new tech until breakfast time with my family. I enjoy what I'm doing for the there and then, make sure I want to do that one thing and then have no regrets. The worst thing is to pick an activity and then spend that time wishing you'd picked something else, never being satisfied.

    As I reach the middle years I know I'm half way to my grave, so I try to use the time wisely and carefully enjoying what I'm doing else if you spend all your time planning what you'll do, you'll never have time to do it. Or worse still you'll spend all your time flitting between things and never really enjoy them. Using tech is not a problem, eating crap is not a problem, vegging in front of the TV is not a problem, running up mountains, rock climbing, travelling, none of these are good or bad, just don't do the same thing over and over, enjoy each one in moderation and when you get to meet your chosen maker, you'll know you'll have at least enjoyed your little slice of life not spend eternity thinking, "Oh bollocks, I wished I'd done XYZ!".

  25. Eeep !

    Is anyone actually interested in what Dabbs writes? Or just in up-ing their comment count? Or are replies to him just the only way they can register a smidgen of significance of a life before dementia means they and no-one else will be interested? Who cares about the details any of you have told us - guess 1 - and even you are probably bored by them.

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