Thursday, October 20, 2011

My new-fangled phone-thing has a camera

A nice fall evening ride.
I'll be the first to admit to being a bit of a human oddity. For one thing, I have all 32 of my teeth, including wisdom teeth, in place and functioning as intended. Perhaps more shocking, I avoided cell phone ownership until 2008.

I succumbed to a rudimentary model out of the necessity of being able to be contacted, and because I have no office phone. My cell phone was the simplest offered, but it seemed like even that modest model aspired to be something other than a phone. It was packed with stuff, like a calculator, games and other things I never bothered to explore. As a means of verbal communication it was adequate. Other functions were less so. I cringed if anyone ever sent me a text message, as it was an ordeal to reply with the numerical keypad. The phone technically had a camera, although the photos it took were low resolution, fuzzy and apparently impossible to extract from the device.

In recent months, my cell phone, at three years old and practically an antique, had decided to decline in function. The clarity of audio was not unlike that of C.B. radios I remember in the late 1970s. It dropped calls with wanton abandon. After much domestic prodding, I finally agreed to an upgrade to a slightly fancier model. After all, the upgrade was "free," never mind the two year commitment.
Box for new phone accompanied by old phone luxuriating on a statistics book. Photo taken by new phone, not pictured for obvious reasons.
My new phone-thing is not an iPhone. It's not an Android phone or a Blackberry or even a Windows 7 Phone, or whatever they call that thing. It is, however, much nicer than my old phone. The audio clarity is considerably better, and it has a slide out mini keyboard to contend with the odd text message that I receive. I'm sure it also has all sorts of software and features that I'll never figure out how to use. However, it does have a camera that not only functions adequately, but generates retrievable photo files. I'll never take a Pulitzer prize winning photo with it, but it does mean that I won't have to haul around my trusty 9 year-old Canon Elph camera for incidental photo opportunities as much any more.
A 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp with original Deore II components and non-original fat 2.4 tires stuffed between the stays.
I often spot bikes or other interesting things while out and sometimes take photos. The bike above was the first of such opportunistic captures with my new phone. I enjoy seeing bikes like this that are obviously regularly used and have many of their original parts, with some thoughtful additions. It doesn't hurt that this Rockhopper was made in the pinnacle year of non-suspended mountain bikes and Shimano's component manufacture in terms of quality, serviceability and value. Yeah, bike nerd to the core.

I've also found the new camera to be useful when I don't want to hunt down a nicer camera for a spur of the moment shot. Such an event occurred tonight when she read and appreciated a comic on her own for the first time. She's been fascinated by Calvin and Hobbes books for a couple of years and has spent long periods looking through them. However, this evening she giggled out loud at the strip below, after having read the dialogue. It was a great moment.
She not only read it, but she identified with the sentiment. It doesn't hurt that Calvin is a fellow six year-old similarly adorned with untamed hair.
Actively delaying bed time and getting away with it.
I'm still quite a Luddite when it comes to personal communication devices, but I'm warming to the new phone.


  1. My eight year old son, Boone, has recently discovered Calvin & Hobbes and has consumed the three books we have in the house and begs to go to the library all the time.

    Oh, love the fendered pink princess bike! That's awesome!

  2. Calvin & Hobbes is great education for a blossoming mind. It's timeless and essential, not just because it is incredibly entertaining, but because of how Bill Watterson enables us to interpret (or reinterpret) the absurdity of the world through the eyes of an inquisitive kid.

    The pink bike is her street bike and coordinates well with much of her wardrobe. She has another bike that she probably likes a bit more even though it isn't pink, primarily because it's more fun to ride off-road.

  3. It's nice that your upgrade is free. I guess it's the right time for you to upgrade. What's your new phone like? =)

    -Samantha Cole