Ain’t Technology Grand?

Jonathan and I don’t have a traditional telephone. We went to cell phones several years ago when we realized that all we got on our land line were messages and telemarketers.

We’ve had our current phones for 2 1/2 years which is a long time for cell phones – they’re kind of built disposable – and over the last month and a bit we’ve been having trouble with them holding charges, and the antenna of mine fell out, so I wasn’t getting as strong a signal, and just generally they weren’t working well. So we got new phones.

The new phones arrived on Wednesday evening, and I got them all initialized and everything, then I took my new phone, and my old phone to Verizon to have the contacts transferred over. I mentioned that the phone wasn’t holding a charge? Well they put a new battery in it, and it still wouldn’t hold a charge long enough to transfer the numbers. I had to bring it home, plug it into the wall, and do it manually. One by one. But the new phone can upload them to the internet, so in theory I won’t have to do this again. (yeah. right.)

But while they were figuring out that they couldn’t do the one thing I wanted them to do, I was amused at the questions they asked me about my account.

First, I had to tell them emphatically that I didn’t need unlimited text messages. We receive two or three text messages a year, and we never send them. Anyone we would text has e-mail. If they don’t have e-mail we call. This was outside the realm of understanding of the three employees standing around my dead phone.

They also could not wrap their brains around the fact that not only did I have an old phone, I had a bare minimum, didn’t even take pictures, phone. Actually they quit selling it the same month I got it. The way they were looking at me, I was the last person in Georgia to still operate one of these phones. Come on! It’s not like I was cranking up the bag battery to talk or anything! And to top it all off, I replaced it with a lower end phone this time. They were baffled.

I finally had to tell them that all I needed my phone to do was be a phone. Apparently this makes me a technological Neanderthal.

Never mind that I have a Palm Tungsten PDA without which I would be completely lost. Never mind that we own two computers, and one of my qualifications when looking at places to live is: “Can I get high speed internet?” Never mind that I have TiVo, pay all my bills on-line, and am generally a gadgety kind of gal. According to Verizon, I’m not gadgety enough, because I just want my phone to make phone calls.

Even when I explained that I already have a gadget that can do better everything that they said a phone could do, they had no frame of reference to process the response.

In the end we both went away baffled, and after putting my contacts into my phone manually, I’m no more inclined to get a “gadgety” phone than I was when I did it last time – 2 1/2 years ago. Just don’t tell the guys at Verizon. They don’t get it.

One Last Story

Here is my final Elementary Science story, but it’s a doozy.

One of the things we were learning today was “endo” vs. “ecto”. Say it with me now: “Ecto- is outside, Endo- is inside.” We repeated this several times. Then I asked for an example of an ectoparasite and they all said “Flea or Tick”. I asked for an example of an endoparasite, and they all said “tapeworm.” I thought we had it!

So I asked the question, “And ectoskeleton is on the . . .” “OUTSIDE” they yelled. “And an endoskeleton is on the . . .” “INSIDE” they yelled.

By Jove, could it be this easy?

“So do we have an ecto, or endo skeleton?” I asked. All but one yelled “ENDO”. The one who had yelled “ECTO” with great gusto, turned to the rest of the class with disgust.

“We don’t keep our skeletons inside! We keep them outside, in graveyards.”

I swear, it’s a true story. I just about snorted water out of my nose.


Yesterday Jonathan looked at me as I was getting out of our car, and asked, “Are you okay? You’re limping.” I watched myself walk for a second and laughed. I wasn’t limping, I was waddling. I’m trying to keep my balance with this load out front.