This week, I have no idea what my column is going to say – like you, I am just waiting in the dark to see what’s coming.

Here’s how that happened. I was typing out a message on my iPhone recently and I noticed that I didn’t even have to type out the next word I wanted to use because the iPhone already knew the next word. It apparently knew what was coming because of a built-in feature called “predictive text,” which, even before you start typing a word, gives you three words it thinks you are going to use. You see them up above the little keyboard whenever you are typing out something on an iPhone.

It gives you three options – its guesses – with its best guess in the center. And, after you pick one, the phone goes ahead and gives you another suggestion of what it thinks you should write.

It hit me that, given this fantastic new technology, I could just let the phone write the column for me since the iPhone clearly knows what I’m going to say before I say it. It would be the easiest column ever because I wouldn’t even have to lift a finger to write it. OK, well, actually, I would have to lift a finger – to select one of the words the iPhone chosebut the good thing is that that is literally all I would have to do. I realized I could just let the iPhone write it out and do all the hard work of thinking what to say next. (This new technology will no doubt eventually put me out of a job; however, in the meantime, I can just wisely let the phone do my job for me.)

So anyway, I’m going to stop writing now and just turn this column over to the iPhone a few words into the next sentence and just let the magic of Apple’s predictive text take it from there. I am curious to see what she does and what she did for me to get the idea that she brought me back to my life. It was not even funny when she said that you would like her and you wanted it but she was not even sure what it did. Thx.

She said that if you are planning a meeting at all times will she said that you are planning a course for sure. She said that the government has been trying to prevent any possible retaliation against them. Thx. She said that she did not want her back to work but the other two were still planning on her own and that would not work. I am trying so many people that she did not know that she had been there before now but it did not have any idea of what it is to say that she did not want her back.

OK, wait a minute. I’m taking back over control of the column right now from the iPhone because …

(A) I don’t feel like the phone has a very solid handle on what it wants to say.

(B) It sounds like the iPhone is speaking in some kind of code and frankly I am concerned it may be saying something dirty.

(C) Some of it sounds like it could even contain hidden messages for terrorists.

So, for all those reasons, instead of letting the iPhone write the column this week, I’m just going to take over and try to work out the kinks and maybe let the phone write a column at a later date.   I’ll finish up this column on my own without relying on the phone …


I’m intentionally writing this column and turning it in before the election is held, but whatever the result is, and no matter what sort of unholy divisiveness follows, I think there is one thing we can all agree on. No matter what party affiliation, lifestyle, point of origin or other differences we have, I know that we can all unite around this one thing, if nothing else: Can we please not have any new scandals from Anthony Weiner’s electronic devices.

I mean, we’re only 16 years into the new century and already fully 75 percent of the scandals we’ve had have been thanks to Anthony Wiener’s phones and computers. And I have the distinct feeling that, even with all the scandals we’ve seen so far, we were just getting started on the secrets that his phone and laptop hold. If only he’d used Samsung products, all the evidence would be buried in a heap of molten metal and we would be spared all of this.


As a public service each year around this time, I like to pass along the City of Greensboro’s Leaf Collection Schedule, which is just out. This year if you leave the leaves on the street by Thursday, Nov. 10 the city will pick them up sometime between then and May 21, 2018.


I feel so old school now because I’ve never used Uber in my life but the other night my mother had to get somewhere, and, out of the blue, she loaded Uber onto her iPad and used it.

Uber can provide rides cheaper than taxis can because Uber drivers don’t have to do things like go through those same background checks regular cab drivers do. And, if you’ve ever taken a cab, you know how incredibly rigorous those screening procedures are.

Anyway, Uber is like one step down from that. If you aren’t familiar with Uber, it’s a service where you signal strangers who are driving near you and get in their car.   People talk about it like it’s new but we had that already when I was a kid – we called it hitchhiking.

It was very popular at first because then (unlike now with Uber) it was free, though hitchhiking fell out of favor over time since often the driver, rather than take you where you wanted to go, would beat you with a tire iron and bury your lifeless body in a shallow grave in a densely wooded area. About two straight decades of serial killers took some of the luster off of hitchhiking, but now they have renamed it and are trying to bring it back.

They can give it a fancy European name, but getting bludgeoned to death by a stranger is getting bludgeoned to death by a stranger no matter what you call it.


All right, I’m tired of writing already again and I have to prepare to watch the election results, so I’m going to let the iPhone finish up the column for me against my better judgment. (And you know what – I think I’ll even let the phone pick a headline for me this week). It is about time to say goodbye, but if it comes back to the training session that will take over from me and we should be sure the next time would not necessarily have been the highly anticipated situation that could have been the same way as they said it can. Thx.