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It would be an understatement for me to state that cell phones are ubiquitous in our modern life. I'm old enough, though, to remember when cell phones didn't exist, but I'd be extremely naive to think that we could push that "genie" back into its bottle. Tonight I'd like to make a few observations about that "genie", WRT my own experience, just the other side of the official dingbat, but first, a word from our sponsor:

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My first cell phone was actually a City of Chicago one, a hand-me-down with a bad battery, a wall wart to power/charge it, and no car power cable. I was told that I was to carry it with me while doing field work, despite the fact that the battery would not hold a charge, and I promptly returned it to our then-head of Administrative Services, requesting that she obtain a new battery and a car cable so I could actually use it, and she agreed.

Then my section was quickly moved from the City's Department of Transportation to the newly-formed Traffic Management Authority, under the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, i.e., the 911 Center folks. Noises were made that we would all get nice, new phones, but by January, 2010, they moved us back to CDOT, and we all had to get along without, or give the boss our personal cell number, if they insisted on being "in touch". Nobody I know of did, especially me, as I had now obtained my own cell phone, a little, black Nokia flip phone.

I had reluctantly gone to Verizon to get that phone at the urging of my wife back in 2007, as we had found a 40-acre piece of land for the small farm Calamity Jean wanted to start for our retirement home. Her reasoning was that since we had a 120-mile trip to the farm, it would be a good thing to have a cell phone for emergencies on the road, and to apprise people of our arrivals if we were delayed on the road. I picked Verizon because their coverage map was solid from Chicago, out to Orangeville and its environs, where the farm is, and because my father-in-law also had a Verizon cell phone account, which meant we could talk with each other for free. The little Nokia didn't get much use, though. I carried it with me, but only turned it on when we were on the road.

Then several incidents occurred that changed that.

First, Calamity Jean had to replace her car, twice. Back in 2009, after 34 years in her job, she retired, and had intended to hang onto her 1998 Honda Civic until we had moved to the farm, then buy a new pickup or SUV for hauling farm animals and other things. Unfortunately, someone else had plans for her low-mileage Civic, or more correctly, the engine and transaxle. It was stolen. She then bought a used 2004 Ford Focus, which served us pretty well, until March of 2012, when she was in a collision, which totalled the car. She decided that she wanted a new vehicle, for reasons I mentioned in a previous WYFP, and settled on a 2012 Volkswagen Golf, which incidently features a Bluetooth hands-free function for your cell phone. I had just happened to purchase a Bluetooth earpiece with the phone for just such a need, but never used it.

The second incident was her late mother's stroke, in 2011, and all the subsequent health problems both her parents had, her mother's eventual death at the end of September of this year, and her father's continuing problems. Since we had only one cell phone, and I would accompany her now and then, my cell phone's number was the one that was given to people to contact us, if we weren't available on our landline.

And since my father-in-law hadn't really used his cell phone much, we sort of adopted it as our second phone. Unfortunately, since he hadn't used it much, he forgot his password for the voicemail, and he also forgot to tell us, before we sold his car, that the car cable for it was in the glovebox of his Buick, until it was too late to retrieve it.

So now, my phone has become my wife's phone, and I have to use her father's phone until she decides what to do with it, probably after his death. It doesn't have Bluetooth, and we haven't gone to Verizon to establish her POA so we can have the password changed, so no voicemail.

My FP is that I wish we had obtained two little Nokias 6 years ago, but hindsight is. as usual, 20/20.

What's yours?

Now, let's see if I got this right:

Our new house, as of a couple of weeks ago. They've been putting in windows and doors this past week.

Originally posted to JeffW on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 04:59 PM PST.

Also republished by WYFP?.

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