Bluetooth Blues

I really like my Bluetooth, that shiny black thing that I wear in my right ear when I drive. It was a Christmas gift from our son a couple years ago. It helps keep me safe when I drive because I can keep both hands on the steering wheel while I talk on my cell phone. That is pretty important on days like today when the roads are icy. It also keeps my right arm from going numb from holding the phone to my ear during the long conversations with my folks as I drive home from work each day.

My Bluetooth worked perfectly with my old flip phone. It was voice activated and I all I had to do was press it and say “call Joe” or “call Miller” and a nice lady (or at least a nice lady’s voice) would ask “did you say call Joe?” and I would reply “yes” and Joe would answer within a few moments. All I had to do was to say their contact name and Bluetooth would dial their number. I could also reply “no” and the call would be canceled. You would think that as technology improves this Bluetooth calling feature would also improve. Not so!

Last July I got a Droid phone. The helpful Verizon salesperson said that my Bluetooth would work with my Droid but that I would have to dial the number physically. How primitive! I was used to just speaking a contact name and then having my call answered. Joe and I decided that there had to be a way to get the Droid/Bluetooth combination to recognize my voice commands. After much searching we did find a way, but it has never worked as good as the Flip phone/Bluetooth pairing.

The problem is that I when I command Bluetooth to call one of my contacts by name, I never know who will answer. I commanded it to “call Joe” one morning at 7:00 on my way to work. The pleasant lady replied “calling —–“.  I could not understand who she said but I do know that the name was not Joe. I held my breath as the phone rang and I waited to see who would answer.  Luckily it was a co-worker who had already left for work, too. I got to talk to her answering machine that morning. The “call” command has never called the intended person with the Droid/Bluetooth combination. I usually try to disconnect the call, hopefully before it ever rings on their end. There is one of my contacts that Bluetooth likes to route the calls to the most—Janet H. I will say “call Miller” and the lady will reply “calling Janet H.” This has happened numerous times as I tried to call various contacts. I quit trying to use this feature some time ago.

However, I discovered that if I say the command “DIAL 555-555-5555” (say the actual number I want to reach, not really all those 5s…) it will usually dial the number I want. The nice lady’s voice always repeats the number back, even though she does not allow me to respond yes or no. There is no going back with these calls. Occasionally, if I talk too fast, she will say the incorrect number and I try to disconnect the call immediately. It is also very difficult to remember the phone numbers of all my contacts.

But today, on my way home from work, there was yet another development in my Bluetooth calling. I commanded “dial (my parents’ number)” and the lady said “calling Janet H.” I tried to hang up immediately, but I heard her phone ringing!  I’m so sorry Janet!

I apologize in advance to any of my contacts who receive a call from me at an unexpected hour and a big apology to Janet H for all the past calls.

What I’m Reading Now

I am currently reading Black Magic Sanction, book #8 in The Hallows series by Kim Harrison. This is a series of fantasy books about a witch and many other supernatural creatures. The author’s imagination seems to be boundless and I really enjoy this series. I would never have thought that I would enjoy reading fantasy books, but after reading the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, I am hooked. I am enjoying The Hallows series every bit as much as the Southern Vampire series. Black Magic Sanction was released in 2010 and her next book, Pale Demon, will be released 22 Feb 2011. Yes, I have pre-ordered it and it will arrive on my Kindle with no effort on my part! I will have to find another read to pick up the slack when I finish Pale Demon and hopefully Kim will continue the series.

Books in The Hallows series are:
Dead Witch Walking
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
Every Which Way But Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For a Few Demon More
The Outlaw Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse
Black Magic Sanction

Storm Clouds

A storm is brewing in Mercer County.Photos taken July, 2010.

Welcome to Karen’s Chatt!

Karen Miller Bennett, CG

Welcome to Karen’s Chatt!

Like many of the people I hang around with, I am hooked on family history and genealogy. I have been researching my family history for nearly two decades now. Although I don’t know the answers to all of our families’ mysteries I have gathered quite a bit of information about my family and my husband’s family.

I am from the little village of Chattanooga, in northern Mercer County, Ohio. “Chatt” is in west central Ohio and is only one mile from the Indiana state line. I actually grew up in the suburbs of Chattanooga, which means I lived one mile north of the village, in the farmland of Mercer County. I am married to Joe and we have one son, Jeff. We currently live near Celina.

I am a Board-certified genealogist and the registrar of the Lima Chapter NSDAR. I am a past trustee, officer, and chair of First Families of Ohio, all part of The Ohio Genealogical Society.  I am also a Registered Dental Hygienist and I work at Grand Lake Family Dentistry in Celina, Ohio. You can read more about that in my Dental Section.

On Karen’s Chatt I plan to share information I have gathered from my genealogical research. By doing that I hope to make contact with other researchers who might share common ancestors with my husband and I and who are interested in the same areas of research. I also plan to write about my genealogical activities and endeavors. Look for lots of old family photos in the Gallery section.

My particular areas of interest include: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), lineage societies, cemetery research, German research, and technology (especially when it pertains to genealogy).

Most of my ancestors settled in west central Ohio and north east and east central Indiana. Watch for information about the counties of Mercer and Van Wert in Ohio and Jay and Adams in Indiana.

I do have a few interests that are not related to genealogy that I will blog about from time to time. They include music, reading, bird watching, and gardening.

I hope you enjoy the blogs, the genealogical information, the photos, and other items that will be contained in Karen’s Chatt.