Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Text Messaging
On Sunday we had dinner with friends at a wonderful place I have never been to before.  It is the Malibu Cafe.  Hidden in the hills of Topanga and Malibu it is basically an old ranch they have turned into an out door cafe over the last couple of years.  It takes a GPS to find it but it is really worth the effort.  You dine under  trees or on the deck of the house over looking a large meadow of grass. This is a lawn where you can bring your dog with you and dine in the garden.  It really is like leaving the cosmos of LA and going to a hidden orchard in the hills.  I can't wait to go back.
We were dining with a friend who works occasionally as a house and dog sitter.  She loves dogs and  they love her, some people just have that way with dogs.
So ... this is how it all happened.
The owner of the Malibu Cafe has two of dogs who have the run of the property. They greet everyone and are hard to miss.  One reminded me of a larger version of the talking dog in "Men in Black".  The other canine is a very large, very, very *long* Basset hound.  I emphasize  long. This dog is almost "Warner Brothers Cartoon" long, with dwarf like legs which can barely be seen as he walks around; he wafts like a low flying Macy's parade balloon.  Needless to say the cartoonish wiener dog attracts a lot of attention around the grounds, especially from the kids. 
The basset comes to rest at the foot of and empty table near us.  Soon the dog attracts two cute little girls about 4 years old. They begin petting and hugging the Wiener Dog Basset with great love, and he responds in kind.  It is a very tender scene.
Our friend wants a picture of the moment, but all she had was her cell phone camera.  The girls are up for a picture and stike a perky pose hugging the dog. The dog did not care.  My friend lined them all up for a snap shot and took a great picture; but the flash failed and the moment was lost.  No chance for a second take as the four year old's attention span had been stretched and they left.  
It is a wonderful picture great composition and smiles but much too dark.  The friend was really sad about it because, after all,  how can you resist a picture of a dog and cute kids.
I suggest  to her that I might be able to artistically mess with it on my home computer using my dexterity with Photo Shop and make it better.  She is excited by the idea and it is worth a try.
Now this friend is not technical in the least and knows nothing about email and sending pictures; she doesn't even own a computer. We finally insisted she get a cell phone so we could find her when she is randomly house sitting.  I don't know how she operates in this world. Anyway...
The trick is to get a picture from her cell phone to the Photoshop program on my home computer hardrive from the Hills of Malibu to the flats of Encino with only the tools available. 
We come up with a plan.  She can send me the flawed picture via a text message from her cell phone.  I receive the texted picture on my smart phone, email it to myself, upload it in Photoshop on my desk top hard drive,  fix the picture and then:  text message it back to her.  It was the digital equivalent of a Rube Goldberg machine. But indeed it worked.  I get the photo into my photoshop.
I am able to push the exposure enough and change some contrast so the expressions on the kid's faces and the dog pop.  I am actually quite pleased with the rescue effort, and couldn't wait to send the picture back to the friend who took it, but she has no email. As Spalding would say, "The weak link in the communication triangle." For a moment I was stumped as to how to get it back to her but simply decided to reverse the process that got it to me. 
I email the new picture to my smart phone, download the picture on my  Blackberry Storm AND send it as a text to my computer-less friend.... at least that is what I thought I did. 
The reason they call it a smart phone is because it tries to anticipate what you want it to do and "help"  you do it.  If you are sending a message to Teri - the minute you type in the Ter... every name in your address book that contains  the letters "ter" pops up. All you have to do is click on a name and all the information is filled in automatically. Not only that, but a smart phone will send the same text message to multiple addresses at the same time. Everyone knows this... phones are smart. However what my smart ass phone didn't know is that I only wanted to send the picture to one person not several in my address book.  So how smart can it be... really?
So... Terry Fator if you are reading this, the picture of the little girls with the text, "This looks pretty good to me, how about  you?"....  was sent by accident.  That is my story and I am sticking to it....

This is why I'm glad that Rupert Murdoch does not care about my electronic mail nor try to intercept it.
As you were,

1 comment:

Loretta said...

ROFL... Great story!