Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I recently "invested" in a new phone. The greatly coveted i-phone now hangs on my belt or rests quietly in my pocket. Wowie, it's cool. I've used a "smart phone" for several years but mine always turned out to be dumb. When I moved from Cleveland two years back one of my last acts before pulling out of our apartments parking lot on our final frigid Ohio day was to walk to the frozen shore of Lake Erie and throw my piece-o-crap microsoft operating system phone as far out onto the ice as I could possibly manage to throw it. And then I yelled several hyphenated words at it. I was rather colorful in my diction as I loudly informed it that it would lay there for at least two more months just thinking about its fate before the spring thaw sent it permanently to the bottom of that Great Lake. I find great joy knowing that at this very moment it is still down there. A just punishment for its cellular sins.

My i-phone is nearly two months old. It's never hiccuped. Never had a glitch. It has never dialed a number all on its own or sent an email without my telling it to. All of my other dumb smart phones did those things. This phone works. Flawlessly. Every time. No problem.

And that's the problem.

It is too good. There are too many apps ... FREE APPS. I can go to Target, find something I want to buy, and scan its bar code with my phone and it searches nearby stores for a lower price on the same item. I went to six stores yesterday and can testify that the cheapest Tootsie Rolls really are at Walmart. I can put a receipt on a table, snap a picture of it, and it turns it into a pdf document that I can send to my church treasurer so that she can refund my money to me for a church purchase I've made. It finds me by GPS satellites and tracks how far I walk every day. Yes, it knows if I am walking or riding in the car. I can pull up a google maps street view of my location and it will point out every restaurant in view. Oh, I'm just getting started. It can tell me how badly the Cubs lost today before the first pitch! Okay, I made up that last one. But give them time and there will be an app for that.

So what, you ask, is my issue? Simple. I can't seem to go more than 5 minutes without touching it. I'm not joking. It calls my name. It does too much. Instant email, text messages, twitter feeds, Facebook updates, and even an occasional phone call. Did I mention that I have 2,000 songs on it's built in ipod? Okay, I seriously just checked to see what the temperature is at the South Pole and it took me 23 seconds. TWENTY THREE SECONDS, PEOPLE! (if you care it's forty four degrees below zero and cloudy. Sucks to be them.) Do you realize how long it would have taken me ten years ago to find the current temperature at the South Pole? I'm not even sure there was a way to do it! Why would I want to know the temperature at the South Pole? Simple.


The wind down there is blowing at a constant 21 mph and that makes its wind chill factor a mind numbing minus eighty-four. This honestly would not be a problem for my i-phone because I spent the extra bucks to protect it. I purchased a United States Military Approved rubberized case for it. It's water proof, sand proof, and I'm pretty certain that nuclear fall-out would have no effect on it whatsoever.

I remember when I use to read books. I had a dog that I petted once upon a time. My wife and I often held hands. I flossed. Now I just hold my phone and ...

I need help.