The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2012.09.05 My iPad is chasing Siri

Written by David Green.


I read that three-fourths of Americans age 43 and under use a smartphone. Even with the 12 to 64 age group—yes, I’m still included—the figure still stands at 58 percent.

I’m behind the times. I don’t even have a dumb phone. In fact, in the back of the Observer office we have a dial phone, as in “Dial this number.” It’s just there for fun, but apparently it’s fun enough that I left it in place after a power outage a few years ago.

Here’s my odd admission: I don’t own a cell phone. I just don’t yet have the desire to get one. I see people walking along the sidewalk reading messages. I’ve seen people send messages while bicycling. I see people passing by in cars talking away to someone. I watch people get calls in the restaurant. People come into the office and their phone starts ringing.

It all just looks horrible to me. I don’t want to get a phone call wherever I am at any time. Just leave me be. The unsociable side of me comes out.

I’ve taken my wife’s phone with me a couple of times when I’ve made a long journey. The state track meet, wrestling finals—she insists, so I take it and I’ve successfully completed two or three calls. I’ve also successfully called the wrong person a time or two.

It’s not that I’m unable to learn how to use it; I just don’t try. No interest.

I heard a message come through this morning on her phone while she was still asleep so I took a look and only managed to do two things: lock the keypad and start calling someone. I apologize, Kym Ries, if I woke you up early Sunday morning. Maybe I was able to cancel it in time.

I’m not a technology-hating Luddite and I’m not technology dumb. I can probably answer your questions about Macintosh computers and I can show you how to use your iPad. Many friends and acquaintances don’t know I own an iPad because the first thing I did when I bought it was to disable the e-mail signature that reads “Sent from my iPad.” You don’t have to know that, just like you don’t have to be able to call me on the phone when I’m walking in the woods.

I did become somewhat of a mobile user for a weekend in Savannah a few months ago. I bought 3G service for a month so I could sort of turn my iPad into an iPhone and use it anywhere. That ended when I returned to Morenci. No 3G out here in the hinterlands. 

I suppose I have a little iPhone envy because every time I see an advertisement on the back of a magazine where Apple’s “personal assistant,” Siri, is asked to locate the nearest latté, I go to my iPad, and ask the question to Dragon Go!, but it doesn’t understand.

It thinks I asked “Where can I get a lottery?”

I try again but it comes through “Where can I get a lot today?”

Wait, I can do better.

“Where is the nearest gas station?”

Dragon Go! tells me it’s the Morenci Deli. Very good.

Here’s another iPhone ad: “What does poison oak look like?”

Dragon Go! takes me one click away from a photo. Take that, Siri.

Another iPhone ad: “Am I close to the Central Park Zoo?”

Even Dragon Go! knows that’s a silly question.

Here’s another ad that looks like trouble. “What does my day look like?”

Now that was cruel. It took me to an advertisement for an iPhone.

Let’s get a little more practical. “When does the Waldron Labor Day Festival start?” I should drive over today for photos.

Dragon Go! takes me to a link for the Hillsdale newspaper and that answered my question. The second link listed is for the State Line Observer. It took me right to the story—to an old story, that is. Probably from last year.

It becomes obvious that I haven’t yet jumped over the digital hurdle. I can get over it, but my foot is dragging and I get tripped up every time. It’s not that I don’t understand, but that I don’t want to understand. I’m still in the mind-set that I don’t want to give all my newspaper news away for free on the internet. My website is about one month behind the newspaper. Everything is going mobile and fast, but I still have that dial telephone.

I should bring some young kids into the office and see if they can figure out how to use that old phone. I’m sure it would be a mystery—and no fair asking Siri. 

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