Today I'm sharing a colorful painting I did recently. I may have shared this one before, but I love its vivid colors. And just like week's artist of the week, I love colors.
I'm also a bit fascinated with beta fish. The color, their enigmatic look, and flowing fins are mysterious and mesmerizing. What, you say, they're only fish.
I'm intrigued by new and unusual things. I'm even a bit adventurous sometimes. When I was in college, I kept a couple of pet snakes and some other reptiles because I was somewhat skittish around them and I didn't want to be. I got used to it though I'm still not a fan.
When it comes to new technology, I'm not so adventurous. I've never been an early adopter. You won't find me standing in line to buy the latest gadget. I might admire it from afar until it's proven itself, but I'm not sticking my neck in that door until then. I wouldn't say I'm an early adopter.
I find it hilarious that people who look like they can't afford dinner tomorrow will stand in line and go into debt to buy the next Apple iPhone 36 Delta Force Satellite Handheld or the Samsung SkyMaster Communicator 8600 Splash with the non-flammable battery upgrade.
I hear those new "phones" can anticipate your every need. They'll start and unlock your car, or turn the lights on at home if you're afraid of the dark. You can have them order you dinner if you're too lazy to dial, buy you a drink when you need one most, or cut you off and call an Uber/Lyft when you've had too much.
With more functionality comes more complication. Phone contracts are unintelligible. I find them to be more like a deal with the Devil or the Corleone Family Olive Oil Company. I think they read something like:
"I promise to pay through the nose until my nose runs dry. If I'm no longer able to pay through my nose, I'll donate an arm, a leg, or even a kidney to satisfy my need to have the next best gadget.
If I run out of body parts, my children will be offered up as compensation.
Should I be unable to conceive or obtain a firstborn child, I will submit to a visit from a large bald man whose thoughts barely chug along one syllable at a time, sporting iron knuckles that drag on the ground leaving a trail of fireworks reminiscent of New Year's Eve or the Fourth of July.
If all collection methods fail you will self-destruct, your soul will be delivered directly to hell; you will not pass purgatory, you will not collect another phone.
We will obtain the gadget by any means possible, ship it back to the manufacturer, and ensure the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.
In return, you will receive something that may not have been tested or approved. We don't even know if it will cause a deathly illness or nervous compulsion.
We do not stand by any of the apps that you use because they don't belong to us, nor do we guarantee the gadget will work a week from now unless you buy the near-obligatory service policy and insurance.
You may not return the gadget until we determine that you need an upgrade. At such time we'll stop remotely updating your software so it will become practically unusable. At that time you will be forced to return to the store, so we tempt you with new shiny flashy things."
I'm not a complete dinosaur though. I think I'm only a few versions of the iPhone behind. I've had it for hmmm - well - long enough that I don't have to pay for the phone itself anymore.
I have friends who still have their flip phones and are kind of proud of it. I can't blame them. Why change something when it works for you.
As for me, I bought my current phone when they stopped updating my iPhone 4. This phone was less than three years old, and the battery was giving me fits.
I called up the Apple Store, and a sharp young man ran through some diagnostic tests with me. He found that my battery was getting close to kaput. It had finally tipped over the edge and was past the point of no return. I had a few choices though.
1. I could buy a new phone.
I went online to see how much a new phone was. I gagged and passed out. When I came to, I remembered when you could go into Radio Shack and get a pretty cool landline for less than $15. Those were the days.
2. I could keep my phone plugged in all the time.
This option defeats the purpose of having a "mobile" phone. I'd be right back to the landline scenario. I might as well call up Ma Bell and have them wire my house again. Benefit: I could use the 15 dollar phone I still have stored in the garage — phone bill, negligible.
3. Go incommunicado.
It's not impossible. I could do it. I've been phoneless before. I could rid myself of all of the iPhonalia (iPhanalia: paraphernalia tied to the upkeep and proper care of an iDevice). I don't need a phone. Most of the calls I receive, want me to buy something I don't want and can't afford with money I don't have.
4. Get a new battery.
I opted for this one because, like a lot of folks, I've got used to the cool functions on my phone. Yeah, I'm a sucker. That, and I didn't want to mothball a phone I paid for over time and through the nose for.
So, I went down to see the folks at my local Apple store. My Lord, these kids were barely out of high school. These cherubs were all happy and perky and oh so willing to help. I'd say they were frustratingly and irritatingly ready, and able to assist.
The kids were, however, in fact, handy, and suggested I walk across the street to have a beer while they worked their magic — not a lousy waiting room. The place was called "Pies & Ales." What's not to like?
A half hour later, Presto-Chango new battery. It wasn't over the top expensive. I spent 49 bucks instead of a grand, and my phone ended up being just as perky as the Apple Junior Mafia with their trendy tattoos, and their persistently patronizing smiles.
I left with a smile though. My phone worked again. Maybe it was the beer. It could have just been gas.
I hope when you call, I'll be ready to pick up, and my phone will be serviceable, all charged up, and ready to use. I'll be so happy to hear your voice.
Until next week, I wish you peace.