Published on December 28, 2021

iPhone red dots and warm corn chowder

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

We are an IPhone family. The fact that I find the IPhone the easiest to learn and use is not shared by my husband. He can frequently be heard talking to his IPhone in not-so-glowing terms.

The phone is not without pitfalls.

My iPhone updated during the night. While this appears on the surface to be a normal function to fix “bugs” - it wasn’t.

While trying to check out at the dentist’s office, and amid drooling from my swollen and numb left cheek, I attempted to enter my next appointment in the iPhone Calendar.

I could enter the name of the appointment and the time, but the person in the dark room writing code for the update apparently felt the actual day was inconsequential.

Evidently, the date function was one of the “bugs” and was ordered to leave town for the holidays.

When a red dot appears, and it’s not moving, I take that as a good sign. Nevertheless, any red dot is compelling and troubling. Everything must immediately come to a stop to clear them.

If I don’t react immediately to the red dots, it very well could end up like the pound sign that turned into a hash tag while I wasn’t looking. I’m not sure where the pound sign went. One could imagine it’s somewhere with the white-hat-wearing Roy Rogers, who could ride Trigger at a full gallop without missing a note in the song. But then, he also rode off into the sunset with Trigger while I wasn’t looking.

So, I intend to hold my iPhone close and clear any red dots as soon as they appear. I won’t be caught off guard again.

South Texas winters afford us a short window for warm and comforting soups. This is my favorite.

Corn Chowder


4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Onion, finely diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
6 Slices Bacon, cooked and reserving the drippings
32 Ounces Corn, frozen (you can use fresh corn cut from the cob, but don’t use canned corn)
1 Pound Gold Potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes (I have made this with russet, and they work well)
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Paprika
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cup Half and Half


In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Reserve two tablespoons of bacon dripping in the pot. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Don’t overcook the garlic. It will burn and give the soup a bitter taste.

Stir in the flour and cook over low heat 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the chicken stock.

Whisk well to combine. Add the potatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently so the potatoes won’t stick. After this point, you can use an immersion blender to blend most of the potatoes for a creamier soup. I prefer not to blend.

Add the corn and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the crumbled bacon and the Half and Half. Stir to combine.

Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This is great in a bread bowl or served in a bowl. I like to top each with shredded cheese and a few crumbles of bacon and a dash of fresh ground pepper.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)