into the august

Well, i never got back to that post, there were just other things that i wanted to do more i guess, like for instance, stay cool. Keep the room cool. Take a cool shower. Cool my brainstem with cool boozes. There's always stuff like that to do when they put the heat on it.

Now, i don't know if i've already told you about this whole thing going with the phones or not, but i've been going through the god damned ringer on phones this summer. I mean, for me, it was always about the utilitarian nature of a cell phone. Something that fits in your pocket, and when someone calls, it rings. And if someone sends you a text message, it beeps. And when you want to call someone, or send a text message, it's simple. That's it.

Oh, and i appreciate when my ringer options aren't limited to the latest song by Justin Timberlake or worse.

Another perk to a cellular phone that makes it attractive to me, is if the menus are very user friendly and intuitive, as well as having some way to sync with a macintosh computer.

that's it.

That's all i ask.

Well. i like it to have a speaker phone. And i like it to use one of those mini-jacks for a headset instead of some sort of proprietary bullshit pop-port that breaks every ten minutes, and then you get to play the 20 bucks 20 bucks 20 bucks song with the phone accessory store every week. that's it. {simple}

So, for the past many years, I've had this Nokia phone. It was the Nokia 6800. A simple phone with just the right amount of balls. It was pretty sterling. I mean, not without its quirks, for instance, no multi-media messaging, doesn't sync with mac, uses the stupid pop-port for accessories (at least in america) and the clock on the screen cannot be seen when the phone is asleep and locked.

Well, anyway, i've had 2 of those. It doesn't have blue tooth or anything but i didn't need those kinds of things. I've got a camera, so it doesn't have to be a phone with a camera too. I've got a computer, so it doesn't really need the internet on it. All it needs to do is RING when someone calls, and BEEP when someone texts. And if i press UNLOCK to get to the keys or whatever, then it fucking UNLOCKS.

Now of course, in this day and age, phones die. That's what happens in a consumer driven society. Stuff is designed to break or wear out, so you can go buy another one, and in this way, the world continues to turn. So, after my second nokia 6800 shit its pants, i started to look for another one. I was hoping of course that nokia would have come out with a really kick ass version of the 6800, and so i was open to sticking with Nokia.

Here's what happened. I went out and did some research. I wanted a solid phone. Not one that felt like it might break if i dropped it. I wanted a keyboard, so i could text, and it would be nice if it had a reasonable ringer, not just Paula Abdul singles. That's it. Of course, if i'm going to pay MONEY for it, it would be sweet if the phone could sync with a macintosh computer.

So, after a lot of research i decided on the Nokia 9300. It seemed to be the only available upgrade from the 6800 that wasn't a girl's phone, or didn't look like a god damned piece of candy. I mean, if you've got a phone, it doesn't HAVE to look like a piece of candy. It can be a phone. I'm okay with that. (yes. i've seen the old school handsets that plug into cell phones.) So, I bought it. Now the catch is, it's like $350 to buy the damned thing and for that money, it better work, and not give me any GUFF about it either. Ring when someone calls, Beep when someone texts, UNLOCK when i press unlock. That's it. {simple}

except. that's never it. cellphone purchases are never simple. they're never a pleasure, and it's never a good time. Here's what happened. First off, i tried to stay with my carrier, who was AT&T, but as you know, they were consumed by Cingular, and those fuckers have this great deal where, you don't get any service unless you switch to cingular. Do a new contract, and all that sort of crap. A severe pain in one's ass, but hey, "take it or leave it" that's how they do business. So i switched. But being how cellphones and service are never easy, it's not as easy as switching, because the sim cards don't play nice. So i lose all my contacts. This is because nobody from Nokia, or Cingular, or AT&T devised a way to get the info from one sim card to another (yes. i know about unlocking phones and all that sort of crap, but what i mean is, there's no easy way to switch from a company you didn't want to switch from in the first place to the company you HAVE to switch to if you want any service) Ok, so fuggit. This phone syncs with mac, it's got the bluetooth and all that crap. it's got the keyboard, and you can put rings on it that aren't "oops! i did it again" and so on.

I bring it home, and you know, it doesn't sync with mac. You have to hack some preferences, add some code, and then it will work, but only marginally. (yes. i am aware of third party syncing software) So i do all of that. I get the code, i tweak the plists, and i sync the phone, still at the cost of a severe amount of data loss. I don't know who's calling, the phone doesn't recognize any of my numbers and so on. FINE. aside from that, it's a good phone.

But then it turns out, the keyboard doesn't light up. It doesn't ring when someone calls. it doesn't beep when someone texts. you have to have a master's degree in computer admin to navigate the menus, and it's a complete pain in the ass. (plus it has that fucking stupid pop-port) so, that's it. {simple} i'll return it and try again.

Which is always fun. I love to spend my days off in a cellphone store. it's a fucking pleasure. kind of like getting a hand job in the movie theater, or having a thai chick (size 1 or below) walking on your back with expensive oils on her feet.

I go back to the cingular store to find another option. Of course, we come to the conclusion that Cingular makes a phone that does what i need. It's got blue tooth. It syncs with mac. it's got the qwerty board that lights up and has the keys in the right places (sort of) and it's got a touch screen, and it's got that old fashioned telephone ring, which i really appreciate. It also beeps if i get a text, or rings if i get a call, but now it's also got a camera and you can copy stuff to the sim card from other sources.

It's the Cingular 8125. Finally. That's it. {Simple}

Na. it's not simple. the thing is that the touch screen goes out of alignment about 5 times per day, rendering the phone nearly impossible to unlock or text with. It doesn't really have all the keys where they belong, and no, it actually is not supported by mac. Fine. Surely there's some code, or some third party software to help with this. Whatever it takes.

So, the phone is an even trade. it's $350 as well, though you can get it for $150 if you get a new account. Of course, a new account doesn't mean switching from AT&T to Cingular. Somehow that doesn't count as a new account. It's only if you start from scratch with Cingular. Totally pleasing to the consumer. Fuck it. Even swap. Cut your losses, get a phone that will let you know when someone's calling. Fine. That's it. {simple}

Well. 2 weeks later, no. it's not so simple. Yes. I bought a $60 third party software so it would sync with mac. And yes it syncs. But it won't sync to the Sim card. And as far as taking your 3 or 400 contacts and migrating them to the sim card, that's a process that requires using the PDA stylus, and moving the contacts 1 at a time. Fine. who needs a sim card? and besides, it uses the mini jack instead of the pop port. It rings when someone calls. (the fact that i can't UNLOCK the phone when someone calls is only a mild irritation) It beeps when someone texts. (the fact that the keypad is consistently out of sync causing you to have to retype everything, and try to hit the exit button which is cleverly all the way to the side of the screen, so if it goes out of calibration, WHEN it goes out of calibration, you cannot exit whatever mode you're in to realign the screen. So you're fucked.

But i've been dealing with it. I mean, i like the phone, but the bit about where when you press one letter, and it prints another, and you press the back arrow, and it prints another number, so you press the back arrow, and then it prints another number is really something i haven't got a world of patience for. I mean, i understand there are more pressing things going on in the world these days, but this is The USA, and we don't give a shit about more important things. We need cellphones and fuel for our cars. And when you're paying a premium for those things, stuff like what letter appears when i press a button on my phone is tantamount to my american experience. This other way? No. It's not how i like to do things. It impedes on my freedoms. This is what makes the terrorists win. When i press the letter A, I like to see the letter A on the screen. When i press EXIT, i like to exit the program or whatever. When i press UNLOCK, i want the fucker to unlock. That's it. {simple}

So yesterday i'm sitting at my desk and the phone rings. I answer it and i'm put on hold immediately. I wait, it's got to be good. "dear dan, your sister has been killed" or "dear dan, you have been selected for a special award" or "dear dan, we just wanted to let you know we care about doing business with you"

but no.
it's "Please contact cingular right away for an important message about your service..." I love these. So i better call right away. I mean, after all, it's friday afternoon. Maybe they're planning to cut off my service for some reason. Maybe they want to shut off my phone for the weekend.

Here's what happened. I called cingular. got bounced around, pressed all the buttons, which incidentally were mis-aligned, and eventually reached a human being. Of course, he had no idea why i was calling, and as far as he could see, everything was fine. I told him if it's an automated call, SOMEONE or SOMETHING triggered it, and as i've stopped my day to respond to them, they could take a minute to figure out how or who or why or what was so important as to call me up, put me on hold, and then have me write down a number to call them back, sending me into the touch-tone maze of cingular wireless for 25 minutes.

Turns out that when i switched to Cingular from AT&T they deauthorized my auto payment for the AT&T account, which incidentally still has Mioko's phone on it. I pay both of the phone bills because to be honest, i just don't like hassles. But now, i've got one, because if you switch to cingular, they shut off your AT&T. (completely talked about in detail BEFORE making the switch to cingular. I was very clear. "so, if i switch to cingular, and Mio stays on AT&T, she doesn't get fucked, I don't get fucked, and everyone is happy, RIGHT?!" which of course was answered with a resounding YES.

45 minutes later, i think we have it resolved. They've re-enacted the auto pay for cingular, and the auto pay for AT&T and all the bills are paid up and active. Incidentally, it's like $250 a month for my $49 AT&T plan. Now, i honestly don't give a shit what it costs, so long as you don't interupt me, and you don't interupt my service. I don't bug you, you don't bug me, just take the money and leave me to my world. i'm a very busy man. i haven't got time to worry about if i'm being over charged, just make sure the fucking thing works. That's it. {simple}

So today? I can't make any calls. It's infuriating. The screen has gone out of alignment about 5 times today, and i only woke up at 11. it's just past noon. Every text i try to send has all the wrong letters. I can't unlock it bla bla bla.

So i have to go find ANOTHER one.

and so on.

So, it's a bit like that.

And still, all these months later, i still don't know about the apartment i've applied for in good faith with full intention of taking, 2 months ago.

Sure. it could be worse. It most likely will be worse. It's got to get worse. That's how it works. I am aware of people who are having slightly harder times than i am right now. Folks are getting missles in their houses. Not my problem. I'm not launching missles, and i already told you where i stand on this whole Bush thing. Don't blame me. I've been vocal. I've tried to tell you. Nobody wants to listen. They say, "dtown, what do you think telling people about bush is going to do? what do you expect to happen?" Yes. good point. I have expressed what i expect to happen, and it's happening. Lebanon is getting a good sense of it. They aren't fussing over their wi-fi cellphones right now. So, good for them. Good hustle. And Cuba? Castro? Iran/Iraq? sure. go for it. Do what you gotta do. Whatever keeps that money flowing this way and that, just get it done. If my words had any effect on those larger issues, maybe i'd say some more about it, but marching on the white house, boycotting mainstream media, NOT buying coffee at starbucks, and so on, none of those things prevent bombs from finding their targets in israel, lebanon, iraq, afghanistan, or anywhere else, so me? I'll drive a car. I'll not recycle. I'll do it how i damn well please, and if that means a month in a cell phone store, then that's how i do.

oh my... God Bless America. Nobody does it like we do. Let Freedom Reign. Do it how you like. Buy what you need. Spend and destroy. Drive over the dead. See Snakes on a Plane. Eat some watermelon. Get yourself a triple whopper with cheese. Listen to the new Neil Young record. Whatever makes you happy. This is The United States. We are invincible. Never forget that. Nothing, and no-one can stop us. And if they even tried? Oh my. Well. you see what happens. I don't recommend it.

It's just the greatest experience i could ever dream of.

Love and kisses,

dTown | 85˚ and sunny. it's actually quite nice | listening to my oscillating fans.