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The next month is:
2 January 2002
If you’ve tried to call me in the last few weeks, you probably haven’t gotten ahold of me. Why? Because my cell phone is a piece of crap.
- I can’t get into my voicemail. At all. Even from land lines.
- I have a talk time of one minute before either:
- The battery goes ploink.
- The call goes ploink.
- Both go ploink.
- The buttons don’t work with the headset.
- It’s not sold in this country anymore, so getting a battery is more expensive than most phones now on the market.
- “We can’t fix that, we don’t sell that one anymore.”
My phone had a few screws loose, but it didn’t seem to affect anything so I used it for more than a year with it rattling about. I had them fixed when I was in Dallas. The guy returned the phone to me and said, “you must keep this in your pocket.”
“Yes, I do. How did you know?” I asked.
“The phone was full of lint,” he responded.
Apparently, the phone lint made my phone work, because it sure as hell isn’t working now. My phone must be like the Quantum Improbability Drive from Infocom’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Anyone else remember hunting for lint to make things work?
I should just throw this fucker into the dryer and forget about cool electric pheromones.
11 January 2002
My maternal grandmother is dying.
She’s been sick for quite some time, and deteriorating rapidly over the past few months. This morning she stopped breathing, and even though the doctors resuscitated her, the end is very near. My mom is with her brother and sister in Chicago at her side.
I originally started this online journal because of the honest glimpses others gave of their own lives and the all-too-human conceit that maybe I too had something to say.
But honesty is hard. I haven’t written about my feelings: how much I hate my chosen profession, how frustrating I find my job, how sad I am at all the time I’ve wasted. Words seem so inadequate at expressing these feelings, so I remain quiet.
I play my cards close to my vest, I keep my temper under control, I remember that it’s easier to judge than it is to understand; I’m very good at staying silent. I’m so good at it that I have trouble talking about how I feel when I should, or when I want to. If I can’t remain quiet about the things that are truly important to me, I make jokes about them instead. But that’s just another way of staying silent.
It really bothers me now that I want to say something, I haven’t anything to say.
My family talked about Grandma Texie for nearly an hour at Christmas. I believe my only words were, “I’ll chime in when I have something to say.” I never did.
I had nothing to say then, but I do now.
Goodbye, Grandma Texie. I love you.
17 January 2002
I finally did it. Having purchased a new cell phone, I took the plunge and actually changed my cell phone number.
There was emotional trauma involved here. I’m not kidding. I was really attached to my 512 area code. It was more than just a phone number; for nearly a year, 512.632.6925 was my only address. I loved that number.
It’s always about gadgets with Steve.
Well, to be honest, it’s always about gadgets with me, too.
So now I’m trying to answer the question of what does one do with an old, barely-working cell phone? Does one:
- toss it in a drawer?
- use it as a stage prop?
- use it as an alarm?
- chuck it in the dryer?
- give it to the invading zombies?
I can recycle nearly all my old accessories, but what about the phone itself? Is it now just junk?
Suggestions gladly accepted.
Merrystar and I are off to Chicago this weekend for Grandma Texie’s memorial service. There will likely be snow.
Last night I kept thinking about something I’d read in Richard Manning’s Grassland where he describes the prarie as the place where motion is the most essential quality of survival; well, motion and high-capped teeth. As I fell asleep I kept seeing skyscrapers waving in the wind: giant stalks of grass telling me to move on.
24 January 2002
A lot of random items today.
- My previous rant about phones led me to go back and look for batteries on ebay - it was the NiMH batteries that died after two years of constant use. Well, they’re available for $10. This is much better than the $70 retail I had found.
After some consideration I decided to skip this generation of phones (the Nokia 8260 is nearly two years old), return to my old shiny phone and wait for another generation or two before getting a new one. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
And yes, I do feel sheepish for not having checked ebay before. Baaaaaa.
- I’ve been trying out Fog Creek Software’s CityDesk website content management system in the background. I set up a template similar to the low-bandwidth slashdot display and entered in these journal entries; having some FTP problems uploading to my host.
There are several features missing that I would really like, like timestamping and web entry. That and the cost of additional pages are keeping me a little hesitant to switch over, though I’m thinking of recommending it as a low-cost alternative to Lotus Notes for some of our clients. Last night I decided to stay with Slashdot for now.
- Finally got Mandrake 8.1 installed on my machine without hosing my Windows installation. Because my computer shipped with a Winmodem, I don’t have an internet connection yet - but I’ll fix that soon enough - knock on wood.
- The more I work with other programs, the more I come to dislike Lotus Notes’s interface and working with Domino. I’m not convinced when Lotus touts RNext as the answer to all my problems - I remember the R5 rollout. We’re still cleaning up from that mess.
- First warm day in a month or so here in Northern VA; nice to have a little bit of a break from the unremitting chill. I took a few minutes to walk outside and enjoy being away from my beige box.
- The new issue of Fudge Factor is out.