Smugglers, baking and boot camp

TiVo, get your act together!

I have to get this one off my chest. Has anyone else ever felt insulted by the ‘suggested recordings’ choices of their TiVo box? The TiVo has only been installed for a couple of years, and the instruction manual was never read because the gizmo worked and there are many more fun things to do with an afternoon. So the fact that there were suggested recordings at all, was something of a surprise. At first I thought it rather sweet that the blinking box in the corner would think of you throughout the day, get to know you a little and consider what TV treats you might like to enjoy later. Even going ‘off piste’ a bit and perhaps selecting something you may not have considered for yourself, but you end up loving. Similar to being given olives to try again, because although you claim not to like them, you like salty things, for example.

In the ‘getting to know you’ stage the suggested programmes were baffling. But early on in a relationship you can easily get the wrong signals, or send mixed messages. So, it proffered the local news programmes, and the BBC News, and the ITV News…. Well, news is fine, but watching it back at a later date is generally not so interesting. Really I have no idea how these things work but figured it would take time to somehow recognise what was watched and build a kind of profile. But then the random selections started to kick in. I can‘t remember specifically what, but they were not impressive.

Why wasn’t it trying harder? Why was it recording shows about border control and smugglers when such programmes were never actually watched, and should surely never be part of the viewing profile?

Then the ‘thumbs’ were discovered. Yes, perhaps this should have happened earlier. For anyone who doesn’t know, you have a green ‘thumbs up’ to say you like a programme, and a red ‘thumbs down’ to show your displeasure. You can hit the button up to three times, presumably to indicate your strength of feeling either way. Now, I get why up to three thumbs-worth of happy viewing might be useful information: I hope that if there was a recording clash between a one-thumb and a three-thumb the lovely considerate box would prioritise. This is an optimistic theory, not yet tested.

But why bother giving any more than one thumb of disapproval? Surely the TiVo is not going to think ‘Hmmn, well, there is very little of interest at the moment, so I’ll just record a single-thumbs-down programme. Can’t sit here doing nothing can I?’ Well, yes actually, you can. If you can’t record something good, don’t bother recording anything at all…

In an effort to train the beast, every time the TiVo is caught red handed i.e. recording something undesirable, the red thumb is pushed three times, still with little idea of why three is necessary but we are sending a clear message here. Same if it does good, although sadly this is less often. So now the on-screen TV guide has more up and down thumbs than a busy day at the Colosseum.

Today, late morning, the box pinged up a message to say it wanted to switch from the current programme (you know, the one you have actually chosen to watch) and record Mary Berry doing some cooking instead. Interesting. Not the choice of programme – for once it was a good choice – but that meant it was sneakily off recording another couple of shows, because it can only record three things if you are watching one of them. On further investigation these turned out to be Police Interceptors (or something like that) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Excuse me?? I honestly don’t think ANY of the viewing history would suggest these as likely to meet with approval. Knowledge of the Ninjas is sketchy, but a programme about the real Donatello or Raphael would stand a better chance!

I have just deleted more suggestions of yet more border control programmes, ones about sheriffs and debt collectors, gadget reviews, and a marriage boot camp, all of which would never have been watched. This feels more like a marriage of convenience, or of one where apathy has taken over. Like those who shop for their spouse’s or partner’s gift in the last hour on Christmas Eve. Just get something, no matter what. Who cares if it is the wrong size and wrong colour? It’s the thought that counts right?

Wrong, Mr TiVo, wrong.

Neither of these cards are for you. We are not friends and you are not awesome.

halftone and super scripthalftone super script 2

I have used current stash from Altenew plus a guilty purchase of a stencil. It cost under a fiver so I don’t feel too bad. Sometimes you just need something new to freshen things up a bit. These cards are very similar to one of the marketing shots, but it is kind of an obvious thing to do and I was just itching to use it! I blended three different colours of Altenew inks onto my base card, then stamped and die cut the Super Script words and cut out the Label Love sentiment. I love the look of the spotty symmetry!

 

An accidental Yoda

This is a second card from the Paradise Crush pad designed by Louise Tiler. I have used the same template as last time too. Working with the different shape is really doing it for me at the moment.

Awesome Paradise Crush

I have stamped and die cut another of the Altenew Super Script words and then decided to cut a window in the front of the card as a bit of an extra feature. But it looked a smidgen unfinished so I decided to frame it with an asymmetrical shape. Not quite as easy as I thought, partly because I am allergic to asymmetry, and partly because you have to make the aperture in a surprisingly large piece of card and then cut it down to size at angles to achieve the shape you want. There is a lot of opportunity to get it wrong, as my first few attempts prove. I also tried the frame in black but it was a bit too severe and, figuring another pattern might just give me a migraine, white it is. I knew I wanted the ‘you are’ sentiment in their too, but the only place it looked right to me was where it is now, thus creating my accidental Yoda “Awesome, you are”. I will bluff it out and claim that as it is higher up, the ‘you are’ should be read first!

Part way through, watching the Wimbledon tennis final, I realised I should have used this sentiment with some tartan so I could dedicate it to Andy Murray. Probably missed that opportunity now as I am pretty sure glittery flowers are just not quite his thing. Ah well there’s always next year!

The peril of unexpected mirrors

Does this happen to you? You are getting ready to face the world for the day, perform all your necessary ablutions, dress, do your hair, put on your face and, well, in the mirror at home, the one you look into every day, you see whatever you see. You aren’t delusional, you know it is not the face of your youth, you know every real line and probably imagine a few extra too. But it’s what you’ve got to work with and you are used to it. Sometimes you might even dare to give yourself a little compliment. Nothing over the top, of course, but maybe your hair is looking shiny, or your eyes are bright, or the face lift has worked…whatever….

Then you go out. Perhaps a little shopping? Why not! Why not? Because of this. You are happily wandering around, making important decisions about your purchases and then BOOM! You see some old/greying/dumpy/scrawny woman wearing your clothes. And realise it is you. In the unexpected mirror. The mirror that reflects you nothing like old faithful at home! They should have warnings, like speed cameras, so you can make the necessary adjustments in good time (dark glasses are a start), or just choose to go another direction entirely.

How did I onto this subject today? Happily no mirror horror. I made these two cards really quickly, and they are fine, but, funnily enough the camera has made them look a bit better in the picture than they do in reality. And no airbrushing!

ss blue helloss hello duoss yellow hello detailss yellow hello

They are made using Altenew stamps. I should have planned the blue one a bit better. I thought I was ahead of the game by stamping the ’just saying’ and a ’hello’ alongside it first, to give me an idea of where to stamp the remaining ’hello’s, but I didn’t really have a plan after that, apart from knowing I was going to 3d a die cut ‘hello‘ over the top of my original guide stamp! It worked out OK though and next time will be better. I like the simplicity.

The yellow one is Altenew Painted Flowers made into a background, the same ‘hello’ stamp and die and another Painted Flower die cut to just make a little cluster at the centre, with an extra pop of green on the leaves.

Both are very quick to achieve.

Supplies: Altenew – Super Script (Hello) and Painted Flowers stamps, Jet Black, Frayed Leaf, Peach Perfect, Mango Smoothie and Caribbean Sky inks; Hunkydory Adorable Scorable black card; baker’s twine from stash