Saturday, April 28, 2007

On cell phones and other things...

I've just spent $77.18 on Ebay for a Motorola C261 brand new, unlocked, unbranded camera phone that, according to the description and according to the young salesman with the earpiece at the local dealer for my cell phone plan I'll be able to put my sim card into and be up and running again.

This purchase was necessitated by the fact that my LG C1500 flip-phone that came free with the contract is now two pieces instead of one piece connected with a hinge, thanks to the 3-year old.

To be fair to the 3-year old, a small piece of the hinge cracked off a few weeks ago when the 3-year old's mommy dropped the flip-phone while in line at the grocery (hard tile floor + flimsy plastic cell phone = UT OH!). The little antenna-thingy cracked several months back when the phone went flying in the parking lot of the Casa de Insurance (hard blacktop + flimsy plastic cell phone = I'M REALLY SURPRISED THIS THING STILL WORKS!). The phone was on its way out. The 3-year old just helped it on its way by forcibly shoving it away when I held it out to him after he asked to talk to daddy.


I took the phone to the local dealer for my particular plan. A young salesman with a Bluetooth earpiece looked at the two pieces of my phone laying on the counter and said "That's not good".

Master of the Obvious (special side note to Teresa Paulina: Had we copyrighted this phrase in the early 90's at Berea, we'd be millionaires now. I hear and see it quite frequently. Who knew?)

According to his computer, my current contract doesn't expire until October of this year. I'm not eligible for an 'upgrade' (i.e. free phone) until July 19 (Which, oddly, is my 8 year anniversary at the Casa de Insurance. Hmmm...), and then to receive the 'upgrade' (free phone) I'd have to sign another 2-year contract. No thanks. We're not overly thrilled with this particular plan, and are already planning to switch when the contract is up. I just want a new phone, period. He proceeds to tell me my options are:

1) pay full price for a new phone ($300+) - or -
2) 'upgrade' early, which would allow me to only pay 1/2 price for a new phone, but I'd still have to sign a new 2-year contract

I looked blankly at the young salesman with the Bluetooth earpiece and said, "Those are my only options?"

To which he replied, "If I were you, seriously, if I were you, I'd get on Ebay and do a search for {insert name of calling plan here} phones. You can get some great deals on these phones on Ebay because the reps win them in contests and stuff, then go right home and list them on Ebay. I just got this {some apparently high-end, all-the-bells-and-whistles phone that I don't remember the name of} for just {some un-Godly amount of money} on Ebay. All you have to do when you get it is drop your SIM card in, you know, that little card-thing in the back of your phone? Just drop in the back of the new phone and you'll be good to go."

So here we are. With my Motorola C261 camera phone ($59.18 + $18.00 shipping, because it's coming FedEx) I get the brand new, unlocked phone, brand new battery, brand new battery door (nice of them to include that... seems to me like that should be standard with the phone), a home charger, a hands-free earpiece and an EVA phone case (I don't even know what that is, but apparently it's worth $40).

Are you wondering yet why I'm telling you so much about purchasing a new cell phone? Let's face it, this is not the most fascinating stuff to read about. But here's the thing... I can't stand to be without the phone. Not because I talk or text on it all that much (you should see the balance of rollover minutes we have - we're losing rollover minutes at the end of the month because the balance is so high), but because I no longer feel safe without one. I used to think I'd probably never get one - why bother? - isn't one of the points of leaving the house to get away from the phone? Then I had a child, and the whole universe shifted.

Now the child is enrolled to start pre-school in the fall (that's another post all on its own). Just a week or so before we enrolled him for preschool, Cho Seung-Hui lost what was left of his already tortured mind and shot down 32 people before killing himself. A few days after that, we came to the 8-year anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy. The pre-school we just enrolled the beautiful 3-year old in locks its doors after all of the kids have arrived in the morning (don't worry, there are crash bars on the insides of the doors), and if you arrive after that you have to ring a doorbell to have someone come let you in. Maybe I'm insane, but always, always in the pit of my stomach there is a kernel of worry that something is going to happen to my child. Sometimes the worry turns into fear so intense that I almost have panic attacks. Sometimes the worry turns to fear so intense that I actually start to have a panic attack, and wish I'd never had a child. I have two dear, dear friends that teach in public schools, and I worry about them, too. Is it any wonder that I'm in counseling now?

I normally try to keep things somewhat light-hearted here. I'm better with humor and sarcasm than with current events and politics. Call me a wimp, call me a wuss, but I don't like to start arguments, so I usually keep my opinions to myself on the big that's going on. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. If you think that then so be it. But here it is...

That there are people using this latest school shooting as an example of why they think gun control laws should be more lenient makes me sick. Is it true that if even one student or professor had had a gun in their backpack or briefcase that day, they could've shot down the gunman before he had the chance to kill and injure so many people? Probably. BUT it's also true that if background checks performed in Virginia when a person purchases a gun included records for psychiatric therapy done on an outpatient basis, HE NEVER WOULD'VE BEEN ABLE TO BUY THE GUN IN THE FIRST PLACE. Do I need to send my 3-year old off the pre-school with a handgun in his bookbag, in case his teacher didn't have the foresight to pack hers the day someone decides to storm the Presbyterian church with a semi-automatic?

In all honesty (and this statement probably won't help me win the popularity vote, but I've never been overly worried about that), I question the sense and good judgement of a person who feels the need to carry a concealed weapon.

How about using this latest tragedy as a call to action, to have our existing gun control laws revamped, revised, and ENFORCED, before more people start shooting?


Teresa Paulina said...

Our school is locked and a doorbell must be rung in order to enter the school. If I step out the door to go to the car during planning... I have to ring the doorbell to get back inside. We had a lock down drill on Friday. The teachers lock their doors and monitor their computer station... for the all clear,the children get under the desks and STAY there. My door is the only one that does not have a window in it. It's a really heavy duty, sound proof door. *good thing for a music room*. It takes all kinds.

Teresa Paulina said...

OH yes, we should have copyrighted 'The Master of the Obvious'... and given out hundreds of MOTO Awards! We'd be filthy rich and not having to work in our various degrees of hell.... **note the illusion to Dante....**

Ruth said...

Exactly my point - you live in Tinytownville, KY (and you know I mean that with all the love in my heart!) and you're having lock down drills with your elementary school kids. It sickens me.

PS. The Casa de Insurance is always freezing... is that Dante's 9th level, or just bad temperature control?

Anonymous said...

We've had lockdown procedures (and locked outer doors) in place for some time now. The only unlocked door is the front door, which is monitored by cameras and the attendance clerk. Beyond that, we're having an entire video surveilance system installed this summer. (This decision was made well before Virginia Tech.)


Anonymous said...

Oh, and did I mention that we have full-time, armed security officer in the school all day long?!?


Teresa Paulina said...

We have our own cop also... and ditto on all the security cameras, they've been a part of our security for going on 3 years now. I understand completely, it is sickening.

and yeah, if my hometown got any smaller, it would develop it's own blackhole... LOL

Twyla said...

Wow...I had no idea that the schools where you are, had that much security...but it's obviously much needed, with sicko's like Cho Seung-Hui. I guess I'm living in a bubble up here in my little town in Canada. We have no type of security what so doors are ever locked at the school, no security guards, no cameras. Maybe we do need it though. You never know what could happen...I pray it never does.

Twyla said...

Apparently I spoke too soon. This morning the high school here was put in total lock down. Some kids had over heard a guy say he had a gun. The cops came, searched his locker...found a hit list and bullets. The cops took the kid. That's about all I know. I'm waiting for more updates. But holy shit. I honestly never thought we'd have to deal with that around here. I guess I was wrong. There are wackos everywhere.

Twyla said...

Just an update. Turns out this guy's ex girlfriend set this all up as revenge on him. Planted stuff in his locker and everything. What a nut! There was never a gun. I can't believe some idiot girl would do that.