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Finally, a new cell phone!

© November 2008 Anthony Lawrence

We don't normally use the alarm clock. Why should we? I always wake up early enough without it but if I do oversleep, so what? We seldom have to be anywhere early.

Today was an exception, though. I wanted to catch a 7:00 AM train so we had set the radio alarm. By chance it went off this morning exactly as the announcer intoned "Good Morning, I'm Bob Oates". I found that amusing for some reason so at least I started the day with a smile.

My wife brought me to the train with time to spare and the ride to South Station was uneventful. I got there about 8:00 AM with plenty of time to make a 9:00 AM meeting at Back Bay.

There are a couple of ways to get to Back Bay from South Station. You can hop an outgoing train that stops there; you can take the subway (but you have to make a change at Downtown Crossing). You can also walk. It's a couple of miles, but I had plenty of time and I like to walk.

I forgot how damn cold it was.

I regretted my decision almost immediately. I had to keep switching my computer bag from hand to hand to let the free hand have a few minutes of pocket time. I couldn't think of a way to get my head and face into my pocket, though, so I quickly developed a headache and face pain. Oh, well: what doesn't kill us makes us stronger..

A Dunkin Donuts came into view. Too soon, though: if I went in then, I'd still be a long, long way from Back Bay. I had better wait for the next one, I thought..

Except there was no next one. Is it possible there is not a single other Dunkin Donuts all along Essex and Boylston Streets? If there is, I missed it. My fingers hurt, hurt, hurt.

As I approached the Prudential Center, I pulled out my cell phone to check the time. My frozen fingers fumbled the job, the phone bounced down the sidewalk ahead of me. When I picked it up, it had shut off. Fearing the worst, I tried turning it on.. to my delight it responded but indicated that it had a very low battery charge. Impossible! I had left it charging overnight at home, had not even used it yet today, how could it be low? Well, yeah, I did let it smash to a brick sidewalk, it had bounced amazingly high before it hit again and then bounced one last time before it came to rest. Think it just MIGHT be broken, Tony? Duh..

Well, I planned to have it shut off during the meeting.. maybe we'll be OK.

This phone has been giving me trouble anyway. It often doesn't want to charge. It's old. Its time has come, but I just have had trouble deciding on a replacement. The iPhone is nice, so is the Android.. but both are pricey.. I dunno.. there are so many darn cell phones to choose from!

I arrived eight minutes early for the meeting. To my surprise, no one else was there and the receptionist said she thought it was set for 10:00. I checked my paperwork - no, there it was plain as day: 9:00 AM CST.

CST? Oh, crap. I never noticed that. Good thing they had free Green Mountain Rain Forest Nut coffee while I waited..

The meeting went fine except that the wireless internet connection didn't work so I couldn't get emails during it. I left the phone off as planned. We finished up about noon and I started back to South Station. Again, I walked because I felt it would be warmer by now.

It was not. My phone said I had eighteen unheard messages. Oh boy, it's going to be one of those days. I stepped up the pace and started listening to them. My phone started doing that low battery warning beep almost immediately. I hurried through the messages and felt deep panic setting in.

First, I had two crashed servers to deal with. Both of these were machines I had resuscitated from similar crashes in recent weeks. What the hell did I miss? Why were these servers crashing again? And then there was another customer asking the same question I had answered in email just a few days ago.. didn't he read his email? The rest of the messages were less stressful but having so many calls to return with a dangerously low battery upset me. I walked more quickly with my aching, aching fingers and face.

I just missed the train I wanted so now had plenty of time to kill. The wireless at South Station was nearly unusable; I managed to answer a few emails and decided to try calling the most urgent customers. I got their voice mail and left messages expressing my apologies that they had crashed again and promising to be on-site ASAP. The phone beeped ominously.

My train came and soon enough I was home.. well, no.. I had to go to my daughter's house because my wife had left a message that she'd rather pick me up there as she was close by. So I went there. I have a key, and as it happened my daughter called and said that she was coming home early. Great..

So I let myself in and plugged my computer in to recharge. It had gone nearly dead at South Station. I turned on the phone again long enough to get the numbers I'd need and started calling them with my daughter's house phone. That reminds me; I had better tell her the numbers I called or she'll be fighting with Verizon next month..

I called the first crashed customer and this time I reached her. She sounded confused. "It can't be crashed.. I'm using it!", she insisted. My brain spun and I realized that my cell phone had given me deleted messages. Maybe I even fat fingered it with my near frozen digits and asked for deleted messages! Oh boy.. I called the other customers and unconfused them, then set to work trying to figure out who I really needed to call and who I didn't. It turned out that I really had only two new messages.

I suddenly had a moment of dread. I knew my daughter was on her way home and she knew I was there. But her husband's sister also lives there. What if she came home early? No car in the driveway, she wouldn't expect anyone to be inside. She knows me, but maybe not well enough to recognize me instantly under those circumstances. I decided I'd wait outside until my daughter came.. more cold face and head.. but better than possibly scaring someone half to death

Well, no more problems. My daughter showed up, her sister-in-law did not, my wife came a few minutes later. We drove home. The very first thing I did after plugging in my phone to charge was to go to the AT&T web page and order a new cell phone. No research, no double checking, I just clicked on one they offered for free. I'll be getting a LG CU515 in the mail sometime soon.. hope it's a decent phone..

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-> I give up - I need a new cell phone!


Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Photos: A Take Control Crash Course

Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Take Control of Numbers

Take Control of OS X Server

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Thu Nov 20 17:29:06 2008: 4789   GaryB

Oh no Tony, not the LG CU515. That's the last model you want to have. It's a Windows based system. A piece of crap. ... Just kidding (I think). I couldn't resist. I have absolutely no idea what software it uses or what it even looks like.

Good luck on your new phone. Most importantly--use it in the best of health.

Thu Nov 20 21:01:34 2008: 4790   TonyLawrence

It probably is Windows based :-)

And I have read some reviews now. Apparently it has an awkwardly place Push To Talk feature that is all to easy to hit.. a couple of drops of Super-Glue might fix that.

Sat Nov 22 01:35:35 2008: 4792   TonyLawrence

I got the phone. It's awful. Impossible to open, badly designed in so many ways.. I'm returning it.


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