Frustrating Fat-Finger Failures – #SoCS

Whatever your personal relationship with technology, you can probably appreciate the fact that mobile devices can be annoying. I’m sitting here with a frustrated David and a cheery Cheryl, trying to make the best of a cold and windy day along the Farmington River. We will sip adult beverages and play with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt by Linda G. Hill. Click on that link if you want to play, too.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘whatever.’ Use the word ‘whatever’ any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, I couldn’t help but notice you pecking away at your phone.

“Whatever are you doing, David.”

“Slowly losing my mind, Dan. I’m not sure upgrading to this phone was a good idea.”

“When did you get an iPhone?”

“A couple weeks ago.”

“Why am I only learning about this now?”

“I didn’t want to mention it during Natalie’s visit. By the way, that was fun.”

“That was fun, Dan. So, David, did you set up Apple Pay?”

“No Cheryl. I barely trust this thing to send an email. I’m not giving it permission to start spending my money.”

“But this is your day to pay…correct?”

“Yes. I’ll have some John Howell’s Bourbon, a snifter of seltzer…”

“And a glass of ice. I know what you drink, David. Dan, I’ll get you a Corona. Unless you want something stronger for your tech-support session.”

“A Corona is fine. I don’t even know what he’s having trouble with.”

“Hey guys – I’m right here. Stop talking about me in the third person.”

“Sorry, David. What’s wrong with your phone?”

“It changes the words I’m trying to type.”

“Here you go David, maybe a splash of bourbon will help. Dan, here’s your beer. Good luck.”

“Cheryl, what’s this?”

“The sword? It’s a cocktail pick, Dan.”

“Since when did you guys go upscale?”

“The owner bought umpteen gross of them when Covid started. Somebody knocked over a box.”

“Pffft, so what, you scoped them off the floor and stuck one through my lime?”

“Ha! No, we threw those out. The owner told us to use these for everything until they’re gone. Some little kid asked if he could have one, I put a handful in a Baggie for him.”

“I’m surprised he wanted to play with something real. Isn’t there a swordfight app?”

“Dan, your client awaits. I’m going to go check the lounge.”

“David. I’m sorry. Back to your problems. When you say it changes what you’re trying to type, do you mean it’s correcting your typos as you go?”

“That might be what it’s trying to do, but it’s making them worse.”

“Give me an example.”

“I typed the word ‘for’ but I missed one letter. I don’t even know which one, but it changed the word to ‘gif’ – what’s a gif?”

“It’s a type of image file.”

“Then what’s a ‘Visio’ another image file?”

“No, Visio is an illustration program. It’s mainly used for diagramming. It’s part of Microsoft’s Office suite.”

“Well, I was typing the word ‘vision’ and this stupid phone changed it to Visio – with a capital ‘V’ and everything.”

“It’s trying to help you. It’s call predictive typing.”

“Yeah, well it seems to be predicting the typing of a teenager, not an old man.”

“Well, the people who wrote the algorithms are closer to their teenage years than their golden years.”

“Given the cost of this thing, you’d think my golden years contained real gold.”

“Don’t start, you’re still paying.”

“Fine. But what’s with apple?”

“Huh? Apple, as in the company that made your phone?”

“No, apple as in the fruit. Every time I type the word ‘apple’ this stupid phone capitalizes the A.”

“They did make the phone. Besides, how many times do you type the word apple?”

“Cheryl, could we have another round.”

“Already? I mean, of course, David.”

“And stick some of those swords through my cherries.”

“I’m not sure I should give you any weapons, you seem pretty spun up.”

“Don’t worry. I paid way too much for this stupid thing to stab it.”

“Do you want me to show you how to turn those features off?”

“I don’t think that’s going to help, Dan. I want spellcheck, but even that is screwed-up on this phone.”

“Why do you say that?”

“For example, I typed ‘Od’ – clearly a typo, but it suggests, ‘odor’ ‘do’ and ‘or’ but not ‘of’ – which is the word I was trying to type. The letter D is next to F.”

“Yeah, there isn’t an ‘I have fat fingers’ option.”

“And look at this. I typed the word ‘Photo’ – I mean, that’s a real word, but this stupid phone suggested ‘phptp’ – which is not a word.”

“No, but it’s a common fat-finger mistake for photo, so there’s a lot of content on the web that includes that word.”

“But it’s not a word, Dan!”

“Yes, but the way the algorithms work…”

“Stop. I’m not interested in your defense of technology.”

“Whatever, David…cheers.”

I want to take a minute to let you know that we will have another guest next week (making up for no guest in January). Jan Sikes will be joining us to talk about her new book, unless David submits his questions in writing, then I’m not sure what we’ll be talking about.


  1. Phptp???? Oh, my sympathies are so with David! On the other side of life, there’s the cat. No fat fingers there, just a stress-free life of entitlement. The words of the cat always make me laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Maureen. David’s fingers won’t get any better after the bourbon, but maybe he’ll care less. The cat just looks at me and wonders why I try so hard. The sun is out. I should find a warm place to sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was waiting for your solution to David’s fat fingers, because I know I would have learned something. :-) We use a town pertaining to family, Gorham, in emails and texts, and it repeatedly changes it to Gotham. I think a lot of us retirees learned to touch type and are use to our hands being spread out instead of our thumbs pointing straight down to hit the correct key. I watch younger folks speed text and realize my fingers can’t even assume that position if I cut my nails completely off. I do wonder if they’ll all be taking medicine for arthritis when they roll around to our age. Happy Saturday, Dan, and I hope you and Maddie get in at least a short walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Judy. Unfortunately, our mistakes lead to more mistakes because the device know that we used ‘phptp’ before so it assumes it’s a word we use. I have read about hand and wrist health problems from these tiny keyboards. I’ve been working on an iPad and laptop for over two years. I’m not sure I would know what to do with a full-sized keyboard. We’ve been walking after it warms up a bit. Maddie seems to understand the word “later” – she cries to go, I tell her “we’ll walk later” and she goes to sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sympathies to David, No fat fingers here, but old arthritic fingers get the same result.

    I just love the second photo reflecting the leaves in the wind. Looks like a finger painting! Old Glory looks beautiful blowing in that same wind. And Maddie with her sunlit feathers. I’m glad the squirrel in the wood pile finally found her peanut! Bunnies are out and about here. They’ve been absent all winter. Good to see them again.

    You have an advantage over the rest of us Dan….MuMu peers down from her perch and proofreads all your work!

    Have a great weekend Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha – no, Ginger, MuMu laughs at my mistakes. She has also been known to jump down onto my keyboard and insert a few mistakes of her own.

      It’s good to see winter on the run in the park. I know I speak too soon, but with longer days and higher mid-day temps, any snow we get will be gone soon.

      The wind was brutal on our last walk. I rarely see that flag standing straight out. The tall trees were bending in the wind such that Maddie stopped to look.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I never thought I’d be saying this (and please on’t tell him) but I agree with David. Auto correct used to be annoying but now it’s just a menace. The first thing I do when setting up a new device is to say a big fat NO! To auto correct and predictive text. I mean I barely know what I’m thinking myself. I’m certainly not relinquishing my thought control to Apple. I do leave auto suggest on. It’s good for a laugh and now and then it saves me some time typing with my fumbling fingers. I have a tip for David. The swipe feature for typing eliminates a lot of errors once it learns your writing preferences. I just keep forgetting to use it. 🤦‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve noticed lately that Word is suggesting the end of the word I’m typing and the next word. The predictions are about 60-70% wrong so far. Fortunately, if I stay away from the Tab key, I can keep typing from my brain and not Microsoft’s, Apple’s brain is a minefield.

      I hope you have a good weekend.


      • Cheryl! How about a brandy old fashioned later with a couple of cherries, an orange wedge and two cocktail swords? Pink swords if she’s got them.

        So, Dan, I got a new Samsung S20 a few weeks ago. I could have changed providers and had a new iPhone 13, but upgrading to a new android was a little frustrating all on its own. Some things were the same as my old Note, other things were very different – like the phone not taking a photo inside at night unless I switch to night mode. What? Just take the dang picture!

        Anyhow, I think the laptop is next, but I have to be in a good place to deal with THAT change. Have an awesome Saturday and weekend, Dan.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Cheryl, Mary’s drinks are on David’s tab. Changing providers scares me. I could get a better deal and a better phone for cheap, but I worry that I won’t have coverage in the places I depend on it. I’m taking a better safe than sorry approach to that one.

          The new features they build into these devices require such a learning curve. I’m now working with most of my files and most of the software that I use existing in the cloud. Hopefully, when I have to change laptops, it wont be that hard. Still, there’s a lot of locally installed stuff that I don’t want to think about.

          Have a great weekend.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Maddie’s feathers in the sun–such a pretty girl. And the little squirrel sticking his head out for peanut–adorable. Ugh, auto correct…I didn’t know you could turn it off. I don’t have an iPhone so am going to check on my phone. Always learning good stuff at the bar. Have a great weekend, Dan. Good luck to David…

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are aspects of it that you can turn off, Lois. For me, finding the right balance has been like searching for a magic lantern. I’m not sure if the predictive text does more harm than good. It works better on my iPad, where it gives me choices, but sometimes, it refuses to accept what I type.

      Maddie is liking the warmer temps and the sun, but she still wants to walk in the cold if necessary. Have a nice weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Baby Smoke is a little less skittish now that he’s figured out how easy life is when you visit the peanut-lady instead of foraging. Now he comes up on the porch and waits with the others (one of whom knocks on the door).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gotta love technology. And you are right, the people who create these gadgets are babies and their idea of convenience is hard on us old folks. :) Love the banter and the photos and look forward to visiting next Saturday! Thanks for the plug!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Autoconfuse. What ever you were texting was wrong so we fixed it. Get over it. And that is one of the reasons I limit my texting. At least they had the courtesy to drop the suffix from SmartA%%phone. I cannot wait to see what the Windows 11 delivers in pain and train. Happy Saturday Dan. I am going to keep warming up from from cleaning up the hard packed drift snow in the wind chill. The fact that the sun is shinning just makes a bit of difference. Brrrr….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice use of the prompt, Dan — kudos on going for the bonus points. Fun about the swords. The gallery is superb. I cracked up when I saw the squirrel poke his head up from the hole in the cover. But what a pain — sorry. How many of those nice covers have the critters eaten now?
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’ve eaten through all of them. It’s like three log rack condominium complexes. We are not happy. I think they get evicted after the baby season is over. I hadn’t seen those sword picks in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I completely understand the autocorrect (or auto-uncorrect) frustration as well as the fat fingers thing. I like to use the dictation feature so I don’t have to type on that tiny keyboard but I’ve learned to re-read carefully before hitting sent to avoid weird a/o embarrassing errors. I’m a fast typist/keyboardist but that doesn’t work on a phone.

    I remember those sword picks but as they don’t come with wine or dark beer or any of the few mixed drinks I have, I haven’t seen one in ages. They’re lumped together in my mind with those little umbrellas that come with tropical types of drinks that are fun if you’re a child (the umbrellas, not the drinks.)

    Happy weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I use dictation in the car (Apple CarPlay) and fortunately it reads the text back to you before sending. Sometimes there’s an error but I let it go rather than start over.

      I hadn’t seen one of those pick in a very long time. I do remember playing with them when I was little.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I use dictation for texting (Hey, Siri) when driving and I really like that. The downside is that I can’t look at the return text. :-) When I got my latest (not Apple’s latest by any means but a newer one for me) phone, it wouldn’t pair with my 2014 Sienna’s Bluetooth. Several people at various Toyota dealers thought they could get it to work, but so far no luck. I miss Bluetooth. There’s another dealer I can try but I never think of it when I’m nearby. :-( That reading back feature is great.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You’ve convinced me to wait before upgrading my phone. I feel like Apple is working hard at making my version obsolete. I love Visio for making swimlane charts. Wow – you’re having extreme weather too. It’s nice to see the melting of the snow and the wind blowing the beautiful RW&B. Cheers to you and your next guest post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Dan, I am with David about the irritation that is predictive text and some of the spelling corrections my iphone does. I also have fat fingers btw, but not as fat as some people who write something incomprehensible and think that I am playing Wordle with them [haha!]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That first picture of clouds is so pretty. Those are my favorite kinda clouds.
    I had a fat-finger moment this week — When I wanted to type I love you Button to my daughter, my phone thought I live yo Burton was a much better choice. facepalm

    Liked by 1 person

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