Thursday August 22nd, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the upgrade.

Mostly finished weeding the corn this morning. Guess that last row and a half will have to wait until this weekend.

Our farm intern is returning bright and early tomorrow morning to help me with the market harvest. Then we have her for just over a week and her time with us shall be done.

At which point all weeding will end and I will spend all my time in the garden madly picking produce...


As I mentioned yesterday, I went in to town this afternoon in order to look into getting a new phone. My old one had recently started randomly searching for service, for no apparent reason and in places that it had never done so before, for minutes at a time.

Eventually it would locate a connection and it would be useable again... but then it would do it again within a few minutes.

To say the least, it was not inspiring trust in its continued functionality.

I brought it in earlier in the week to get it looked at and they tried a couple of things to fix it, though they warned me neither was likely to work. At the time my options were to send it away to try to get it fixed or buy a new phone, both of which would have run over a hundred dollars.

But then I had a look at my account online (I was actually checking to see when my contract would be up for renewal, which coincides with a free replacement phone) and saw that there were a few upgrade/renew phone options. I took a closer look and found one that I could get for free if I signed on for another two years.

So I am now the... reluctant isn't the right word... proud certainly isn't either... hesitant? Sure, let's go with that. I am now the hesitant owner of an iPhone. The only cell phones I've ever had were very basic models because I didn't use them for anything other than calling and texting. I'm not really expecting to use this one any differently, though I might check email on it a few times a week or so.

But so far I like it, as it definitely does a few things much better than my previous phones. And now when I get a call in public I might actually look like I belong in this century.

Assuming I can figure out how to answer incoming calls...


Greg said...

I didn't realise that your intern's time would be coming to an end so soon! Ah well, I'm sure she's been a real help this summer. And harvesting... well, I guess you're used to that by now :)
The iPhone's not bad, you know, but the real trick is to recognise that most apps are just a cost and you'll get bored with them in a few weeks. However, that said, you have a small child, and it is definitely true that there are some very nice child-targetted apps out there that can teach things and keep them occupied for half-an-hour. Max will learn how to use your phone faster than you do ;-)

The upgrade
Sixticton was climatically a desert, and like any good desert it had dunes, though the locals tended to call them hills since they had grass growing on them and goats skipping deftly around. There was also the really big hill that caught fire from time to time, and the locals would gently argue if it was really a mountain or not over drinks in the restaurant bar. This evening, while the farmer poked his so-new-he-hadn't-removed-the-screen-protector iPhone and wondered why it wanted so much personal information from him, he also listened to the little thug he kept seeing. The thug was arguing that they should add more rock to the big hill to make certain it was a mountain.
"Yo dawg, dat hill's got swag," he said. "But it could be a momma mountain no prob; just add rock!"
"It already is a mountain," said Jessica. She raised goats and made cheese. "It's got an up-grade of 15:1."
"But the grade's not what makes it a mountain," interrupted Marlon. He fished, sometimes with dynamite. "It's simply not tall enough above sea-level."
"It is if you raise the base to sea-level," said Christie, who wrote bodice-ripper novels. "We're a little below it here."
"Jus' upgrade the hill!" said the thug waving at Tim, the bartender, who pretended not to see him. "Jus' get some big ol' rocks and drop'em on it."
"Avalanche," muttered Marlon. "You'll kill people doing that boy."
"Odd conversation," said a quiet voice on the other side of the farmer, who looked up to see a thin, wispy-haired young kid. He looked earnest.
"Why do you say that?" The farmer didn't much care, he was wondering why his iPhone was asking for his social security and credit card numbers.
"Because geologically that hill's a volcano."

David said...

Harry sat in the recliner, sweat stained flesh sticking to the armrests. TV buzzed, only static as the antenna had fallen off. Maud sat on the couch, diligently completing the crossword puzzle from Tuesday’s paper. She wanted to watch Jeopardy, but Harry would never spring for cable.

Harry belched. Maud grimaced. The first year of her marriage, she would dry heave when he did that. But then, the flatulence increased, rendering the burping quaint and even welcome.

Harry rose from his throne and tapped the side of the TV. Curses uttered as if magic words:

translation: “Alakazaam”

Maud sighed, because what else would a beaten down cliché do. She remembered the better times. The trips to the beaches, to the race tracks, and that time 23 years ago when she was taken to the Princeville County Fair. Of course, all those memories were with Roger. Who she threw away. For her upgrade. Harry.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Funny the prompt is "upgrades" today. The thought, inadvertently, has been on my mind for the last month or so, climaxing yesterday (the 22nd) because I've crossed the threshold of Complete Legal Adulthood yesterday. As far as these United States are concerned---and thus everywhere else by default---I am a completely and fully legal Adult.

I still can't believe it. I probably won't believe that I'm 21 for another, oh, 48 weeks or so. The whole Adulthood thing, not sure if I'll get over that.

And this whole "Adulthood" thing is weird, because, at least for a little while longer, I'm existing exactly as I have for quite some time: I'm leaving tomorrow for my last (!!!) year of my undergraduate education, so I'll be doing my usual thing there of studying, practicing, writing, drinking lots of tea; I'll still be coming home on the breaks; I'm not doing anything different other than applying for grad schools and the Fulbright, but stuff like that feels fairly "business as usual". The Fulbright bit is intimidating, but it's nothing I haven't done before, really.

The only difference, though, is that within two weeks of both markers I am now in possession of a piece of plastic that says that I am legally allowed to operate a particular class of motor vehicle and, as of yesterday, purchase alcohol. It's cool that I can do either of those things, but I really have no want to do either. The only reason I finally got my drivers' license after four years is because my permit was going to expire yesterday, and I didn't want to do the written test again to renew the permit. Besides, I would've had to have gotten a new license after yesterday anyway because it would no longer have to say "under 21" next to my picture.

But while I've no want to do either, I feel like I'm almost expected to do them. Not in a direct peer-pressure sort of way, but something about it feels like voting: you have the privilege, you might as well take advantage of it. But neither drinking nor driving has any kind of appeal for me, and yet I feel like that attitude doesn't hold societal water or something.

I dunno. I guess the point of the rambling here is that growing up is weird, both for me and my folks.

Also, I'm probably the worst turned-21-er ever: the only new drink I had yesterday was chamomile tea.

Marc said...

Greg - oh, I'm sure Max will be the expert in the family faster than any of us will expect.

I love all the characters you're populating Sixticton with :)

David - wonderfully described scene, the atmosphere is so vivid. And that's a perfect ending to it as well!

g2 - welcome to the club :D

Also: hah. I recall very definitely not drinking on the birthday that legally allowed me to do so. It was not the done thing, but I didn't much care.

Still don't drink all that much, but I eventually started to do so more often than the almost-never that I used to do.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. It'll come later, or it won't. And either way is just fine :)