Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's alive! It's alive!

...or phone saga part III.

Yes, my phone is alive. Turns out, I fretted and stressed and spent way too much time on the phone with my service provider looking for solutions than I needed to.

I just needed to take the phone to a nearby cellphone repair shop and for $40 the guy replaced the parts behind the trackball. A little more than 30 minutes after I walked into the store, I walked out with a phone working good as new.

Let's just hope it stays that way. Goodness knows you're all tired of reading about me and my phone.

So, really, the moral of this saga is: don't be a dumbass and leave your phone lying in the rain.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It didn't make it

My phone didn't quite make it.

After drying out for a day and a half, I put it back together yesterday afternoon and powered it up. And did a little happy dance when it booted up and then turned on and then started showing me all the messages I'd missed.

And then....the track ball didn't work so I couldn't actually view any of those messages. (Actually, I have since figured out ways to navigate without using the track ball -- it's very difficult and is very limited. For example, I can go to a new unread message, but I can't read anything longer than one screen in length. And, once I've read a message, I can't go back to it later.)

So, needless to say, it's not a very effective Blackberry anymore. Sigh.

So, I took it to Rogers this morning. And the technician tried to fix it. He was really nice and all, but nope, he couldn't fix it. My options are to take it to a cellphone repair shop (because he was nice enough to tell me that if I send it out for repair through Rogers, it'll cost me more than twice as much as going to a repair shop myself) or get a new one.

The get a new one sounds like the best option except for one small problem -- I'm 10 months away from being eligible for an upgrade, which means that it'll cost me a minimum of $250 to get a new phone.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Today's dumbass award goes to...

To keep it short and sweet -- I left my phone, my Blackberry to be precise, lying on the front deck last night. I remember sitting on the steps, reading a magazine while the kids played on the driveway and I remember taking my phone out of my pocket because it was jabbing me in the hip.

What I didn't remember to do was to pick it up and put it back in my pocket when it was time to go in.

So that's where it stayed. All night. On the front deck.

Did it get stolen? No. But it might as well have. You see, it rained last night. For the first time in a month.

That's right, it hasn't rained in an entire month here. Other than a slight drizzle on one or two days, there hasn't been a good soaking of rain since June 23.

It rained early this morning. Poured actually. Thunder, lightening, heavy downpour kind of rain. All while my phone was out there taking a bath in it.

Ryan discovered it as he left for work just after 6 this morning. He brought it in, took all the parts out and started wiping it out with a towel. I woke up to sounds of him cursing under his breath and went to check out what was wrong. And then I started cursing -- not so under my breath.

A little research taught me the following things about a wet phone: 1) DO NOT attempt to turn it on when it's wet. 2) Take all the pieces out (battery, etc.) 3) put it in a container full of rice (the starch will absorb the moisture) and leave it there for at least 24 hours, longer if you can.

So, that's where my poor Blackberry is right now -- buried in a bowl of rice on the kitchen counter.

I feel naked without it. I can't get work phone calls. I can't get my business e-mail on the go. I can't get texts. I can't use bbm. I can't check Facebook.

But I can live with being naked for one day. All I really hope is that when I take it out of that bowl of rice tomorrow (or the next day) that it turns on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A crazy idea

On Monday, I did something really crazy. It's crazy because it didn't work. If it had worked, it would've been brilliant. But it didn't so, I'm just a crazy geek.

You see, I'm a huge U2 fan. Have been for years and years. I've seen them in concert 4 times -- the most recent time being almost 2 years ago when I had General Admission tickets. It was a fantastic show -- maybe because I'm such a big fan, or maybe because it really was great, or maybe because with our general admission tickets, the experience was different because I was the closest I've ever been to the stage.

But when they announced a second show in Toronto just 8 months after the first, I decided to take a pass. Afterall, I had just shelled out lots of money to see this tour, I didn't need to see it again.

Then the show got cancelled and rescheduled for this summer. And this past Monday, U2 was in town -- almost 2 years since I had last seen them. And suddenly, I really wanted to go.

But I didn't have a ticket.

So I moped about most of the day, I tried to win tickets on the radio (yup, I'm a geek) and I admitted to myself that I wasn't going to go to the show.

At 5:30, Ryan said to me "if you really want to go, go down and buy a scalper ticket."

I thought about it for about half a second and said that we didn't need me spending several hundred dollars on a scalper ticket. Even though his response was "it's up to you", I swear, he exhaled just a little when he knew I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a ticket.

Then, at 8:30 -- a mere half an hour before U2 came on, it was Ryan who came up with the crazy idea. He said: "why don't you go downtown now and see if you can get a cheap scalper ticket?"

I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of that earlier! Fourteen years ago, when Ryan and I saw U2 for the first time, we were poor students. So, on the night of their second show, we went down to the Skydome about 15 minutes after U2 hit the stage, hit up the first scalper we saw and got tickets for 20 bucks. I think that might have even been $20 for the pair, not $20 each. It was cold out, the show had already started and the scalper just wanted to go home.

Fast forward 14 years and I find myself thinking about repeating that experience. After a few minutes of indecision, I go for it. I jumped in my car at 8:45 and drove downtown -- getting there about 9:05.

But here's the kicker -- and here's what turned a brilliant idea into a crazy idea. I couldn't find parking. All the lots were full, so I started circling the streets. It was almost 9:30 by the time I found somewhere to park and almost 9:40 by the time I made my way back to the Rogers Centre.

By then it was too late.

I walked up and down the street and made a complete tour of the Rogers Centre but couldn't find a single scalper. At one point, a couple were yelling "who's got tickets?" and no one was biting. By this time, anyone who may have still had tickets had given up and left.

Too bad really, I wouldn've happily parted with $20 or $30 to catch the last half of the show.

But instead, I was just a geek wandering around outside the stadium, catching little bits of the concert (Rogers Centre was actually playing other audio outside so you couldn't just stand around and listen....jerks!). At one point, I found a window, where if you stood just at the right angle, you could see part of the big screen. So I stood there for a few minutes and watched.

And then, I walked back to my car and drove home.

No ticket, no U2 concert. Just a crazy idea.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Discovering your own city

I've been living in Ontario for almost 21 years now and with the exception of the odd summer and about six months (where I worked elsewhere), I have been living in Toronto for 16 of those 21 years. (So I guess if you take all that time off, it's fair to say, I've been living in Toronto for 15 years.)

In that time, I've lived right downtown in the heart of the city, I've lived uptown in a sort-of trendy area and I've lived in the suburbs -- which is where I am now.

And in 15 years, I've gotten to know a lot of this city. Parts I know really well and can easily make my way around to the best restaurant, the best park, the best splash pad or the best bar (depending on what needs I need to fill at the time) and other parts I've been to, but don't know well. Hey, it's a pretty big city afterall.

So, imagine my surprise, when earlier this month, I discovered a part of the city I never knew existed.

Ever since Austin learned to ride his bike this spring, we've been going on family bike rides -- with Alex on the back of Ryan's bike of course. They started out as short rides, as I was constantly picking him up off the ground, but, as he improved, they gradually got longer. Until Canada Day weekend, when we decided to try out our new car bike rack.

We strapped our bikes to our car and drove to Wilket Creek Park. (For those not familiar with the area, it's near Eglinton and Leslie -- and for those not familiar with that, well, it's in Toronto). I've been there a few times over the years, walking along the path in the fall with the kids (it's really beautiful in the fall). But this time, instead of going the way I knew (north), we decided to check out where the southern path took us.

Turns out, Toronto has a whole system of bike trails (or walking/running/inline skating trails) that I never knew existed. There we were, down in the valley, far away from traffic and buildings -- biking along trails through open fields and through forests. Under bridges and over creeks. Who knew?

About 3 kilometres away from where we started, we reached a path that travelled parallel to the DVP. And although Ryan and I would've loved to keep going -- we figured 6 kilometres (we had to go back afterall!) was probably enough for Austin's little legs. So we turned around and headed back where we came from.

After that adventure, I'm already excited for our next non-busy weekend so that we discover other routes along that trail.