Archive for March 2013

I Can’t Get Off The Phone   7 comments

I can’t seem to get off the phone. When I started writing about my flip phone, two posts back, I didn’t realize how hung-up I was on the subject. But the very next post,  there I was back with more ranting and raving. And now, here I am again …….with one more thing to say and I wonder if  it rings true with you.

Flip Will Sun

Flip Will Sun

Is it just me or does anyone else hate call-waiting? Yes, my faithful old phone, Flip Will Sun, does have the feature, if you want to call it that. He offers it to me every once in a while but I always ignore him. The funny thing about it is the timing. I can be home all day, and the phone never rings – until it does ring. And there I’ll be, talking to Caller #1 when Flip will cut in to let me know there is now a Caller #2. I know I can glance at the screen to see who’s calling and then chose to accept or ignore the call, but I just ignore Flip instead……. and keep on talking. It doesn’t matter to me. First come, first served. And you know what? Caller #2 whoever he or she may be always leaves a message. I call back, and that’s that.

Sometimes I’m on the other end of the deal. I’m Caller #1  and in the middle of the conversation my friend will say “Um, could you hold on a second?”

“OK”, I replay politely but it’s not okay.

The person will come back and resume the conversation, but in my mind, it’s too late.  It‘s like being with  a man with a roving eye.  He’s with you but monitoring the traffic that moves past. Maybe he’d rather be over there.

roving eye


And there are the clueless people, the ones who  have no idea how to work call waiting.  They beg off with “Do you mind……”  and put me on hold, but  in two seconds they’re back with a querying “Hello?”

“It’s still me,” I have to tell them.

Poof – they’re gone again. I’m always waiting to hear a click signaling I’ve been disconnected; not because Caller #2 is better, but because they’ve lost of us.

Still other times I’m the call waiting,  and I turn out to be the favored call. I usually tell if a person is already on the phone because my call is picked up immediately. And she’ll tell  me “Hold on, while I get off this call.” I end up feeling bad for the person being dismissed. I really wouldn’t have minded if my friend had ignored call-waiting. Voice mail would have been fine. I’m not pushy. I never cut in on lines

Let me take time out for a disclaimer here – I realize some people have to be on top of who’s calling  because they have kids, elderly parents, a sick loved one. I don’t begrudge call waiting if this is the situation.

Before I get myself in too much trouble here, let me just say I miss the days of the busy signal. If I got one, I hung up and tried again later. Granted I had some friends who could stay on that phone all night………..



…………but I’d just keep trying……..and trying.  Maybe it wasn’t until the next day, but eventually I got through. Patience used to be a virtue.



Posted March 26, 2013 by virginiafair in telephones

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Before Phones Got Smart   7 comments

In my last post, I let you in on why I’m wed to my flip phone ’til death do us part. (I hope that means the phone goes first.)

In the intervening week, Samsung has come out with a new phone, The Galaxy 5,797 ½.  You don’t even have to touch it. The phone is armed with movement recognition!

Realizing that the touch screen is obsolete before I’ve even touched one is really sad! It started  me thinking about how  these Brilliant Phones with all their outlandish (to my way of thinking) apps are making for a very lazy generation.

Uh oh, maybe I shouldn’t have gone there, because now I feel a rant coming on. Do any of you remember the old Saturday Night Live, the original Saturday Night Live, the funniest SNL (my how opinionated I am, tonight)  where John Belushi appears in a regularly scheduled segment as a commentator on the news who gets so wrapped up in his harangue that he falls off his stool?

John Belushi

 Yep! That’s the kind of rant

But if you remember that, you can sit back and be a spectator because this rant is not aimed at you. It’s aimed at young folks, but  that covers a lot of ground in my case. ( It’s getting to seem like everyone’s younger than me) Let’s be specific, my target here is anyone under 40( (See what I mean)

The Rant Commences:

One phone

You young folks,  grabbing your phone and scurrying off as soon as it trills your special ringtone, or maybe you’re rat-tat-a-tat-texting away. Nobody has to know what you’re saying, or to whom. Well, do you know what it was like to grow up in a one phone family?

Yes, one phone

dial phone

A clunky black dial-up phone.

And when it rang, it sounded like a phone ringing.  It sat in the foyer as you entered our apartment – between the living room and the kitchen. This meant NO privacy. None zilch zero – unless you counted the coat closet. If you put a throw rug over the silver bullet GE vacuum cleaner stored there, you could talk in comfort – dark comfort.

I spent a lot of time in there – whispering… to my girlfriends.  Conversations with girlfriends were the ones you didn’t want parents or younger brothers to hear. You were plotting about boys.

And when it came to a boy calling  –   a kind of Catch 22 applied here . Maybe it was HIM which meant you raced to the phone which usually meant it wasn’t HIM.

It was only HIM if your father or brother answered. This meant a series of “Who? Who? Okay hold on.” Followed by a “-Vir-Gin-Ya, it’s for you that could probably be heard in the apartment next door.

Then I went away to college where it got even worse.

The Pay Phone

We had one payphone per floor….. at the end of the corridor. One payphone for about fifty or sixty girls. Sweet young darlings, let me pause here for one moment .

This is a payphone. You put the coin in and dialed the number.

 Dial Payphone

What’s that?  No, the number wasn’t stored in the phone. You had to know everyone’s number.

Do you know the chances of a call getting through for you, especially with Saturday night approaching? (Slightly better than getting all the numbers on  PowerBall. ) And the odds were only slightly better for you getting to make a call out ( four numbers on MegaMillions).

It also meant you had to have quarters. But only if you were the one making the call.  Unlike your cell phone, Little One, you only had to pay to make a call, not to receive one.

I know! I know! You don’t care because you never talk on your phone and you have unlimited texting. Just humor me. I’m old)

My First Very Own Phone

But ahh….then I got my very own apartment ——and my very own phone — but calls from any HIM remained complicated. You see, it was the dark ages, the early 70’s. No answering machines yet

Wait, I see a puzzled look on your sweet unlined faces. What’s that?

 No! (Sigh)  phones didn’t come with voice mail. I told you it was the dark ages.

But they were a tad sleeker and they came in colors.


red phone

You’d come home and have no idea if HE had called while you were out. This was when the phrase – sitting by the phone still applied; which meant if you sat there – he didn’t call. Not the right HE anyway. The phone would ring and you’d come running and it would be the wrong HE; the one you didn’t want to go out with, the one you wondered why you ever gave your number to, in the first place. But you  had no way of knowing who was calling until it was too late -after you’d answered.  The term call screening had yet to be coined.

It also meant that if you were playing mind games and said you were going out, when you really weren’t, and the phone rang, you couldn’t answer it. You could turn off the ringer but then you ran the risk of forgetting it was off, and going into a deep depression when your phone didn’t ring for days on end.

The Answering Machine

The 80’s came and went. They saw me married and then single  and back in a new My Very Own Apartment.

Answering machines had been born

answering machine

but I had a love/hate relationship with mine. Knowing you couldn’t miss a call was reassuring but it posed a problem. You came home from work and first thing, ran to the bedroom—or wherever the phone was. And if  there was no red number in the window that answering machine was no friend of mine. HE hadn’t called.


And if there was, you were ecstatic …….until you pushed the playback button, and your aunt Susie May’s voice filled the room, thanking you for the fruitcake you sent her.. or your dentist’s office confirming your appointment .. or the very worst, your best friend Nelly asking if you’d heard from HIM yet.

Yes, that answering machine of mine could be sadistic at times.But sometimes it was HIM. And life was good.

So there, you kids who text HIM or HER constantly, where’s the romance?

Don’t you remember the old saying “Familiarity Breeds Contempt?”

You don’t?

Oh well.

Waste not, Want not   5 comments

Waste not…….

Want not….


What kind of phone do you  have? An iPhone? Blackberry? Android?

smart phone



I have a flip phone.




I love it dearly……….

Well, maybe I don’t love it,  and if I do…..maybe not dearly……

Admire, that’s a  better choice. It’s indestructible. I don’t even remember how long I’ve had it. Five, Six years?

Two or three years ago , I decided that when the battery dies I’ll upgrade since Verizon had started sending me free offers.



But the battery won’t die!

So why don’t I just go ahead and upgrade anyway?

It’s those staving kinds in China, (or was it Korea?)

People who were kids in the 50’s will recall being admonished  with “Think of all the starving kids in Korea (China?)” when they didn’t finish the food on their plate.

I think that’s when it all began; guilt in throwing anything out while I still could get some use out of it.

Neither my friends nor I  ever asked and no one ever explained what difference it made to the starving kids in China (Korea?) whether we finished our food or not. They’d still be starving but kids of 50’s didn’t ask  questions. We might be branded a smart-aleck. No we just sat and sulked over our plates.

Now about those kinds in China (Korea?)  They are now in their 60’s (unless they starved).  And you know what? I bet they all have  better phones than I do!

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go charge my phone.


Posted March 11, 2013 by virginiafair in cellphones

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The Big Picture Slowly Emerges   3 comments

This is the first of my 46 blog posts to lack pictures. You can’t hear my screams. That’s because I’m screaming on the inside….at myself for the travesty I caused  to my blog. I realize I’m melodramatic but that is how I felt when I found out.

Now that I’ve confused you all, maybe I should start at the beginning. That would be about a month ago…. a phone call from  my friend, CM

 “I printed out your blog just like always but the pictures didn’t come out.”

CM has no computer at home so I send her the link at work and she prints the blog post and reads it on the train ride home.

I had no answer for her but then she hadn’t asked a question. I guess it could be called a rhetorical comment. I attributed it to her computer. After all, computers love to throw you a curve ball every once in a while, don’t they? My go-to solution is re-boot.

 I forgot all about it until last week when I received an email from E., one of my neighbors who’d just discovered my blog.

“I’ve been reading all your past blogs entries but some don’t seem to have any pictures – just a square  with red X where the pictures should be.

She too assumed it was her computer, maybe the Windows XP running it. So she tried to read them on a friend’s computer that was running Windows 7 – same problem.

Hmm, now I was stumped….until  a ghostly suspicion set my brain-a-shivering.

Could I have done it?  Maimed my sweet innocent blog posts? Left them looking like slices of Swiss cheese?

A pulsating memory in red, like the emergency flashers on a car left me staring wide-eyed into space. A  three word question: Delete this permanently?

And I watched my own fingers on the keyboard okaying the deletion.

There I go again, rambling on incoherently. Let me back up and explain.

I’ve always heard that photos take up a lot of memory on a hard drive, all those bits, bytes, and butts. And so every time I take pictures, I’m very selective in choosing which photos to download from my camera.

Well, back in the fall, WordPress, the platform I use in publishing this blog went through a bit of a facelift behind my back.

One day I was downloading pictures for a post, just like always when this screen called a Media Library popped up. I had to drag and drop each photo I wanted to use to the Media Library, and then select it to post from there. 

But the following week when that danged Media Library popped up, all the previously posted pictures were still there. But I had no time for dealing with them, I had a blog to get out. So I dragged more pictures into the Media Library and gave it my permission to include them in the post. Week after week, I dragged in new pictures, and week after week, there they stayed.

How much hard drive was I using up with all these pictures?  I began to worry. The  originals  were stored in The Windows Photo Gallery on my computer and now these duplicates  in The Media Library were taking up more space.

(Isn’t it w onderful that while I live in a tiny house, my photos reside in a place with a gallery and a library.)

And this is where I think I began to lose it, each time I posted a new entry, I swear I could hear my mother: “You can’t drag in any more photos until you clean up your Media Library.

 So obediently I began deleting a few used ones before adding new ones. It was a very slow process because each time I selected a photo, the library asked

Delete this permanently?

And each time, I selected


Ironically I was worried that maybe I was also deleting the originals from my Windows Photo Gallery, so I’d check each time. Never did it enter my thick skull that delete permanently meant suck them out of the blog, leaving behind only a square with a red X to mark their burial spot.

There was only one way I could find out. I recalled deleting a photo of pile of chile peppers and a folded tortilla from the post A Tisket, a Tasket, A Pretty Pepper Basket so I went to the blog and Waah, scream, It looked like a target at a shooting gallery

The only saving grace is that I never finished cleaning out The Media Gallery……

 (“Well you’re not going anywhere until you finish “ Sorry – that’s my mother again. )

But as I was saying, not finishing is a good thing . It means all the older posts still have their photos.

Maybe I’ll go back and see if I can put the photos back, at least the ones featuring The Three Mars featured, Marcel, Marceau, and the late Marcos……and The Amazing Adaptibilty of Animals with all their friends….and maybe…….

What’s that? Can you hear that?

“Don’t worry your pretty little head with all that. The important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.”

That was my daddy.

And I promise, next week my new post will have pictures!