Sunday, June 24, 2012
I managed to charge the battery in my cell phone Friday afternoon with a series of electrical connections that would make Frank Hannon of Tesla proud. I used two clipboards and a desk telephone for the perfect balance of pressure to make all the right power pack connections. It was a thing of beauty and it was easy to do.
But I got greedy.
I kept my phone powered up all afternoon. Hearing The Shark (Majic 94.1) sing a line from Queen’s “Flash” alerts me that I have a newscast coming up. After all… I found a way to charge my phone. All I had to do was to find that sweet spot again with only a few items from around the house. A simple swap of objects would take care of it. Not a problem.
But I was wrong.
It became a difficult hit and miss and hit again… Damn. Miss again process. There was much cursing. There was pacing back and forth. There were moments where I just wanted to start chewing on a wall and claw sheet rock from it. I lost a clump of hair before I got a full charge back on that damn Blackberry. It was one of the most hellish Saturdays that I have ever experienced.
It had become abundantly clear that keeping the battery alive until Monday evening was thus far, the most important thing in my life. I would have to disconnect myself from the rest of the world by powering off my cell phone. I would have to regulate the use of my Blackberry to important Foursquare matters only. And while I had it powered up for my check in, I would look for fresh messages and updates. Then power it down.
I didn’t miss it during our visit with friends on Saturday evening. I don’t usually bring my phone to social situations. I make a habit of keeping the sound turned off or I leave it in the glove box. I will check for things on the sly when I break away from the herd. So with it in the car and no intentions of turning it on again for the next 18 hours… I felt some kind of weird relief.
I managed to top off the charge on Sunday afternoon with little anger and no structural damage to the house. The Everready Cat god was smiling upon me again.
I didn’t turn on the phone until Monday morning for my first Foursquare check in. My shoes felt lighter. Life was good again.
I called to see if my replacement phone had arrived after one o’clock that afternoon. I remembered looking out the 600 WSJS studio window and seeing a cloudless sunny June day when I heard the words, “You phone is here. We’re ready to swap it whenever you are.”
I nearly wept right in front of newsman Ed Skurka.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.
But little did I know that another setback was ahead of me.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Are we meant to feel anxious when visiting our cell phone store?
It’s right up there with the doctor’s office.
You make appointments. You get to your appointment on time and you wait. If you don’t have an appointment, your wait just got longer. And there’s sick people hacking up a storm within an arm’s reach. Even in the summertime.
But there aren’t ANY magazines lying around or a wall poster with the first signs of diabetes to read. You just have to walk around or sit looking at walls because your cell phone is having an issue. When you don’t have the Internet at your fingertips, you’ll find there’s nothing to keep you occupied at the cellular store.
Recently, I had some issues with my cell phone. I have a Blackberry and yes, I get tired of hearing about iPhones. So save it, you iHoles. I’m not going to follow sheep into Apple’s poison fields. You’re going to have to drag me in biting and urinating.
I showed up with an appointment set for a Thursday evening. My charging/USB port was loose and getting a charge was nearly impossible. I suppose after nearly two years something had to give out like Ace Frehley’s liver. I only turned it on when it was necessary. You know, for my Foursquare check-ins.
I thought it was going to be an “easy” fix. Pop open the back, twist a couple of screws tight, and I’d be back on the streets faster than a London leatherboy. But I was told to come back ten minutes before closing to pick up my repaired device.
After careful deliberation, I decided against a trip to the local watering hole around the corner to wait out the time. I just told the guy that I’d pick it up in the morning. I was calling it a day and keeping twenty bucks in my pocket instead of converting it into beer for my gut.
When I showed up the next morning I was told that my “replacement” phone didn’t arrive with the overnight packages. So making the decision to leave my smart phone in ICU was the right one. I would have been really pissed if I had of blown my money and wasted two hours to find out that I wasn’t leaving that night with my cell phone.
They handed me back my phone with no battery life left. They must have left the damn thing all night without even a clue as to how hard it was to charge. I couldn’t even check in at the cellular store. I was a little irritated.
I was left with two big challenges for the weekend. I had to find a creative way to charge my phone and keep that battery alive until Monday. And for most of the weekend, I would be out of contact. There would be little Foursquare activity, sporadic emailing, and very few to no text messages. Adhering to the last one would be like asking Lindsay Lohan to settle down and fly right, but I managed to pull it off.
There’s more to cover with my cell phone replacement odyssey, but it’s going to have to wait until later.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
By some sort of definition, wouldn’t younger be compared to newer?
Younger people seem to move faster. They have tighter skin. They exhibit little to no signs of male pattern baldness. And they definitely metabolize great quantities of food faster.
Wouldn’t that also mean that their organs should be working at top efficiency?
Let’s take eyes for example.
You would think that teens and pre-teens with 20/20 vision could see where they’re going and what they’re doing in rooms with 50% all the way down to 20% worth of lighting.
Well… That’s simply not the case.
I’ve become like an almost sadistic prison guard in our home flipping switches to the down position and uttering the words “lights out” through grimaced teeth. And believe it or not, this also happens on a regular basis even during sunlit afternoons without a cloud in the sky.
What is so scary about a darkened hallway that they must turn on the hall light to walk three feet to a fully visible door knob (visible to even my 45 year old eyes), open that door, flip on that room’s light, and closing the door behind them? And why leave that hallway light on when they’re no longer using it?
Leaving the lights on is a constant battle that I must fight… Along with closing the toilet seat and lid, but that’s a different story for another time.
The other day I was walking to our bedroom when I noticed that the light in the master bath (connected to the half bath) was left on. As I flipped the switch and uttered my new catch phrase through grimaced teeth, I noticed that this bathroom had plenty of light with the lights off. There was a window providing more than ample illumination for a teen to find their junk, pull it out, and aim it at a clearly visible bowl. After all, we are talking about a beautiful Carolina day with blue skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s at around 3:30 in the afternoon.
Even if they were taking a shower… There was a plentiful amount of light in that bathroom. I learned where my junk was before I could walk and I can still find it in total darkness.
Judging from the neighbors across the street, fear of low light situations must be an epidemic in our American youth. I can always tell when that neighbor has her bi-weekly custody of the girls… The house is lit up like the Charlotte Motor Speedway during The Coca-Cola 600.
I tried working on the paranoia of Jamie’s youngest by telling him that if there’s a “bad” person lurking around outside, the more light you have on inside gives them the chance to learn the layout and case the joint of valuable electronics. The darker the home the better advantage he’ll have if and when that “bad” person gets inside. After all, he’ll know the layout a lot better than they do and that will give him a distinct terrain advantage to defend himself or hide.
It worked for the remainder of that evening, but I don’t think it’s going to take hold.
It was worth a shot.