Yesterday was quite an adventure, started the day out in one of the biggest blizzards to hit the mountains in quite some time. Snow piling up so high and so fast that it overwhelmed my little chimney, knocking out the pilot light on the furnace several times throughout the night and into the morning. Which of course gives me the unenviable task of climbing the ladder to the roof with a shovel in my hand to rectify the situation.
To make matters worse, I had failed to notice how low on minutes my old flip phone was getting and I was in danger of suffering voice contact isolation in the throws of the storm. So I grabbed the snow shovel and headed for the driveway, determined to acquire the all important “minutes”. My Tracfone has served me well for many years and it was a pretty good deal when it was used only as an emergency device. Minutes could just lie around on it as the phone stood by in the event of trouble. However once people actually started calling me the minutes would disappear all too quickly.
I’ve been watching with envy the people snapping pictures and swiping through the day’s communications with a whisk of the finger and sending lightning fast texts using an actual keyboard. Texts are quite an undertaking on a standard telephone keypad and some of the aging keys are starting to stick a bit.
After a couple of hours of digging I had finally made a suitable path to the road and down the hill I went in quest of a new phone with a better plan for the number of minutes I am now using every month. By the time I was done messing with the tire chains I was soaking wet and covered with mud, but heck this is the mountains, you can go places like that and nobody thinks anything of it.
Finally found the right phone and plan and back home I went to try to actually get the thing to work. First step, create an account on the internet and feed the plan card to the hungry phone minutes beast hiding in the etherworld. Then, to put the phone together and hope for the best. First a moment of total panic, where was the sim card? For about a half hour I frantically looked for it in the packaging to no avail. Finally I removed the battery to take a look inside and there it was in position. All it needed was a little coaxing to lock it in the slot.
Now to turn it on. One button on the side, that must be it. Soon I was hearing the satisfying sound of beeps and chimes and a picture appeared. A few choices to make about names and wifi options, and some oddball stuff about screen locks. Fortunately I was paying attention to some of these responses because the instructions told me to turn off the phone and turn it back on. When it came back on I was unable to get it to do anything. There was a red phone on the front and I suppose I could have called 911, but I doubt they would have appreciated my predicament much. About the time I was ready to put the device in the trash compactor a chance wrong number gave me confidence that the thing was actually activated and functioning. Two hours of searching the internet and reading “Android forums” later, I finally chanced upon the right combination and placing of finger taps to open my new gateway to the airwaves, and with some additional fiddling my first text was sent to the first person in the new “phone book”.
So today finds me a member of the modern world, fully equipped with the ability to sit in a coffee shop with all the other modern people quickly and efficiently swiping away all the things I’m not interested in. Of course according to Murphy’s Law, now that I have the ability to make and send unlimited calls and texts, people will stop calling and texting and I will be left only with the things I’m not interested in, but at least I will look like a high tech wizard as I ignore the never ending stream of useless information available to us denizens of this modern high tech existence.