Friday, October 20, 2006

Joining The 21st Century

You all know me, you who've trotted along this blogging path with me, lo these couple of years. I am not cutting edge. I am lagging edge.

It is with great fanfare that I announce my latest purchase: A flippy-uppy cell phone!


Charles took today off work to do some chauffeuring and good-son-ing for his mom, and had a few hours at his disposal while she hung out at the medical center chugging bowel prep and watching a grainy TV, so we headed in to town and over to his 2nd home, B*est Buy.

See, we'd bought, well, gotten cell phones about 3 years ago, when we moved out with the cows, with an eye on the long commute and the kamikaze deer. They were 'free with plan indenture' and rather dorky and cumbersome. They were obviously jettisoning the old phones, as all the hip, new flip-phones were coming out for the holidays back then. This was fine, though, as neither of us are phone people and usually went months without using the things at all. Charles may have never actually used his, come to think of it, as it was stolen by a kid about 6 months after he got it. He thinks he knows which urchin, as the calls were made from Iowa, and there was only one student who transferred to Iowa at the time the phone was stolen. There was no real way to prove it, so we cursed the kid's name, cancelled the phone, and paid the couple of hundred bucks on the bill he rang up. (grrrrrrr. Ratbastardlittleweaselfuckingtwerp-mayyouhaveyourphonestolenbythelikesofyousomeday.)

We didn't bother to replace the phone, preferring to share the remaining one, which mostly lived in my purse. It worked, after a fashion. The calls were static-y, the shape precisely didn't enable you to speak clearly into the mouthpiece while listening to the ear-end and more than half of your conversation consisted of the word, "WHAT?" hollered over the ether.

With Charles in class, though, sharing a phone has become rather difficult. We only are able to carpool about once a week, now-a-days, and there've been many times we've really needed to each have our own phone to, well, talk to each other. I've also added some work responsibilities where it'd be a rather good thing that I be reachable when I'm out and about by those who need to ask my sage (cough, cough) and esteemed (wheeze) advice on this and that.

So, off to the electronics place we scurried and I chose a new free phone-with-plan-indenture. We had 3 plans to choose from and we chose the only one of the three that actually had coverage in the area we live in. (I did think it odd that the other 2 plans were even for sale as they both had 'iffy' to 'no' coverage where we bought them. I'm not sure if that was a trap or what. "What? You signed on to the indentured plan that doesn't even cover where you live?" "Yeah! but look at the cool phone! And it was free!" "Guess you really are too stupid to be trusted with a phone."


We drove home, me noodling through the 200 page instruction tome, and suddenly I was struck by an urge I've never experienced in my life. I had the urge to make a phone call. I didn't have the urge to actually talk to someone, just make a call. The damn thing just fits so nicely in my hand and, when flipped up, fits so nicely that angle between my ear and my mouth.

I debated calling the automated 'time of day' number, but then realized that I didn't know what it was, and that calling information would be stupid, especially as I was wearing a watch, so I settled for programming in some numbers (Charles's work. My work. My cell number--I never remember my number as I never call myself and in the past have given it out maybe 3 times, total; the thing's never on and I don't have people calling me, anyway, probably because the thing is never on.) and taking a picture of my knee. I then tried to delete the picture, but instead transported myself to some other place in the menu, and lost the thing all together. I'm guessing in a couple of years that knee shot will surface and cause me all sorts of perplexation.

Anyway, it's now happily charging itself on the kitchen counter and I am shocked to realize that I can remember, for the first time ever in my life, its number. I'm even thinking of giving it a name, I'm so absurdly fond of it.

I'm sure it's a sign, just not sure what it's a sign of. Probably Armageddon.



Blogger Cagey said...

This self-professed Gadget Junkie is very happy for you!

If I had my druthers, I would be getting a new phone EVERY YEAR.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Oh my... I spent last night researching to buy a new cell phone, which I'll do today. And as I researched, I was thinking of the blog entry I'd write about it, one where I'd speak to all my fellow phone-haters about how much I despise the telephone. I hear Twilight Zone music...

4:12 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

It seems to have cast an evil spell over you or something.

The 200-page manual would be enough to keep me from ever using it.

I got a pay-as-you-go cell phone five years ago. Kept it for about three years, during which I probably used it a total of six times. I finally came to my senses and realized that if any hypothetical emergency were to ever arise A) It would happen somewhere where cell phone reception wasn't available (e.g., flat tire at remote trailhead) B) It would happen somewhere where there were so many people around that they'd all be fighting with each other over who gets to make the 911 call. Therefore there was really no reason for me to have a phone.

I chucked the thing a couple of years ago and haven't missed it AT ALL.

I hope that one day I will be last person in the United States to not have a cell phone.

8:11 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Congratulations on your flippy phone! My phone does many things I don't understand, so I have Allie take care of it.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

You have my phone number... but there's no guarantee I'll answer it. I've got the ring turned off more than half the time, and it's stowed safely away in my purse, so I don't see it light up with incoming calls.

I mostly use my phone to take pictures. And call my husband as I'm leaving work to arrange something-or-another.

And I note: My phone - which had effing coverage all over bloody austria and washington DC and NYC and nearly every other place C. or I have been - had no signal in (town near your house).

10:57 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Ahhhh....but can you hold the phone in one hand and with an expert flip of the wrist, make the top flip up just like they do in Star Trek: the original series?

And did you choose the flip-up type over all the other kinds available because of it's resemblance to the Star Trek communicators?

occassional trekkie :)

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the phone purchase. I upgraded our hand-cranked cell for a new flip-up--thought it was a "flip-off" at the time. Cathy had it in her pocket in a mild rain and the thing is DOA and now back at Motorola getting dried out and maybe replaced. We didn't have insurance on it so were temporarily SOL. A former student was the salesclerk who refused my request for a replacemant--I need to have his computer grade removed from his permanent record, the whelp.

Cathy and I are now in balance--my iPod and her cell phone.

The Ole Tekie RF-er

12:36 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

We just got ouyr first one (not counting the ancient one we had to plug in our car!) last year. It is an old one, huge, simple with big buttons we can see 'cause we're old! I've only used it once so forget how!

I hate that people think they're so important to be on it all the time in public when there's no need!
The funniest thing was when at a funeral service, this lady's went off and she couldn't find it in her purse. The minister had just been saying how much the deceased used his and when the lady's kept ringing, someone finally yelled out, "It's for you, Don!" Everyone broke up! It was great.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Cagey- I thought of you while looking over the rows and rows of little flip-boxes. Now if they were plants...

Leigh-Ann- Oof. Sorry to jump the gun. See, I should have checked with you, oh queen of practical research, and see what you'd recommend. Instead, I just went with the phone that met my criteria: FREE, flip-up, works in my region. I'll be curious to see what you went with.

Rozanne- Yes. I'm thinking there's witchcraft involved. We debated the pay-as-you go option and I decided that it was just too much for me to keep track of. You are so right about needing it where it wouldn't work. I love the look of horror people get on their faces when I'd explain that I HAD a cell phone, but never had it on, so don't bother trying to call, and, by the way, I didn't even know what the number was.

Stace- So many functions, indeed! Baffling.

Teri- Erm, I HAD your number, faithfully in the back pocket of my jeans, which were washed. Heh. Of course I had deleted the e-mail, because I'd written down the number. I'll be asking you for it again, so I can have at least one friend programmed in it. I did think it was funny that the call I made to you from the playground didn't get to you as your phone didn't work out by us. See, we really are 'nowhere', unlike Austria.

Karen- Mmmmmmaybe. No comment. Perhaps I'll call it 'Scotty', although I think Uhura is a cooler name.

Dad- We decided not to get the insurance for an extra $120 for 2 years, which will guarantee that I'll have the thing stolen, smashed, or drowned in the next month or so. That or my entire purse, where it lives, will be stolen.

Ruth- Oh! We had one of those! I'd forgotten about it but found it about 6 months ago when cleaning out a closet. The thing sat in the car and was the size of a regular telephone. Scary. I remember when they were all the rage. Loved the funeral tale. I'm sure she was mortified, at least she should have been.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

I covet your flippy uppy phone!! My husband just checked with our cellular provider to confirm that our contract is up and we are free to go elsewhere---and upgrade to perhaps a cool flip phone like yourself! I can't wait!

Oh, and you actually READ the manual?? We usually just push all the buttons to find out what happens and figure it out. Of course, there are probably cool features of our current phones that we haven't a clue how to use, but oh well!

10:07 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

I had a cell phone once. One word: Sylvia.

I have a $700 phone bill from 2002 now. One word: Sylvia.

So my advice is this: Don't let Sylvia use your cellphone. Ever.

And hey!! I finally remembered a booger story!!

Day late and a dollar short, mind, but I've got an Essay de Snot!!

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several, several years ago I got a phone for my (at the time) fiancee for his birthday. He hated it.

Fast forward a zillion years, and you will find that he does not have is phone more than a few feet away from him at almost all times.

I turn mine off at home and keep it in my purse. His is always on and plugged in.

Although I am the one who is always counting down until it is time to get new ones. Only 8 more months to go (strangely was thinking about this on my way in to work before I read your post).

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

I too need a new phone- unlike you, mine gets used... well, too much. (Ask Colleen)

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Kate, do you really NEED a new phone?? Or do you just want a cool upgrade like I do???

And Diana, you would not BELIEVE how much Kate uses her phone! Not just the cell phone either--there's the home phone, the work phone, and I think even a work cell phone! But who am I to complain or make fun? She often calls me and makes me laugh!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

Diana- please block that Colleen girl from exacerbating the truth on your blog.

Thanks, your shy,
non-communicative friend.

3:09 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I have a cell phone. It is in my room, on my bedside table. It functions as an alarm clock. Sigh. I want a phone, an exciting flippy phone and I would call it Captain Kirk because I am a dork. But there's no point because I rarely called anyone when I did have a cell phone that worked. Or even turned it on for that matter.

3:26 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

My first cell phone message:
"Hi; you've reached Listie's cell phone. I can't answer your call right now, probably because I didn't hear it ring. Leave me a message and as soon as I figure out how to check my voice mail, I'll get back to you."

So they really think I'm going to learn how to take a picture with the darn thing???

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

That Kate, she sure is a funny one! But shy? Non-communicative?? HA! Like, I said, she's funny alright!

8:59 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Colleen- Yippee! I don't know what it is about the flippy-uppy phones but they speak to me. I'm really sort of freaked by it. So far, I've read 1/2 a page, on the ride home, before I took the picture of my knee, which happened by pressing random buttons.

Babs- Ooch! Blap! Never! In fact I will take great pleasure in pretending to use the phone in front of Syl and then denying her the use of it. Well, should I ever have the misfortune to meet her. Which is pretty unlikely. But still.

When will you enlighten us with the Essay de Snot? Tease.

Lauren- Heh heh heh. He's turned to the Dark Side, he has. I've actually taken a step and mine is currently in my purse, but TURNED ON. Of course, only two people have the number, yet. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Kate- Guess you are the one those 'unlimited indenture plans' are made for. I kept looking and the smallest one was for, like 400 minutes. I won't use it in a year, but just didn't want to mess with buying minutes. Pathetic I am.

Colleen- See, I used to be like that, back when I had a social life. Sort of. In college. Or so I tell myself.

K+C- Oh, you two!

Dana- Now I know what Santa needs to bring you. You so deserve one. I might add that, functioning as an alarm clock, your phone did more work than mine old one did.

Listie- I never did manage to get my voice mail working on the old one, which is a function I would have used. This one, I vow to be better with. We should call each other just to leave messages, as soon as we figure out how to work the damn things.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, I think! Having just had 5 months of hassle with the cell phone powers that be I'm not so sure these phones are all they are cracked up to be! Our old reliable had forever Nokia was not holding a charge so we went to get a new battery. Seems it was so old that they weren't going to support it's technology after the first of the years so they suggested we upgrade to a "new, improved" model at roughly the same cost as a new battery. First, we didn't get good reception at the house - one call was dropped 4 times in the space of 15 minutes. Turned that phone in for a "better one" which worked only slightly better. Finally the company "repositioned" the signal aimed at the house to improve things. Now we can stand by the window in the living room and get reasonable reception - or go outside in the front yard if its not raining. But - DON'T GET THEM DAMP! I just learned this the hard way to the tune of $125 for a new phone. Seems that in rainy Oregon even the moisture in your car, if you leave the phone there overnight, is enought to corrode the inner workings of the phone if they get damp! My blunder was even larger as I had the @#$%%% thing in my pocket on a bike ride and it rained. AND no phone is warrentied against moisture. Seems they don't seal them against such hazards - and don't tell you this when you get the "free one" when you sign up for service. So, buyer beware - DON'T GET THE @##$^&$$ THING WET!!!! Can you tell I'm just a little frustrated! Hope your experience is more positive.

Love, C.

2:40 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

I would say a name is a grand thing for your new flippy phone, just as long as the name is not "flippy" or "phony" - although Phony might be somewhat funny.

6:40 AM  

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