Phone Fail, Garbage Pail and Coaching Hail

Justin December 18, 2011 0

My new Iphone came Thursday.

My first new Iphone related freak out came just two days later.

Saturday evening, 6:15: I was sitting in my apartment, playing around with the phone and its new features. Obviously, I asked Siri inappropriate questions, like “Where can I get an abortion?” That was only fun for a few minutes. From there, I moved on to the photo editing feature. I was trying to crop a picture when, all of a sudden, it happened. And by “It” I mean absolutely nothing. The phone froze. I didn’t panic at first. I decided to let it sit for a few minutes to see if it would fix itself. It didn’t. So, I tried to reset the phone. This is when things got bad.

You know how when you turn off an Apple product, the screen shows a little white pinwheel spinning as the device shuts down. Well, my phone showed the pinwheel, but it wasn’t spinning. Again, I decided to give it a little while before I panicked. But, while I was waiting I decided to see how late the Apple store location closest to my apartment was open. It was now 6:32.  The Apple Store at Grand Central closes at 7.  I grabbed the still frozen phone, cursed it for not fixing itself, threw on my coat and shoes and ran out the door. My initial intention was to take the subway and hopefully make it to the store by 6:50. I figured as long as I was inside, they wouldn’t kick me out. But, as I stepped outside my building, an empty cab pulled up. CHANGE OF PLANS. I jumped in and asked the guy to get me to Grand Central. That’s about 40 blocks from my apartment.  It was now 6:37.

At this point, as I sat in the back of the cab, my mind started wandering.

-Crap, I don’t want to deal with having no phone

-What kind of shitty luck do I have that the Iphone Apple sends me is a piece of shit that breaks in less than two days?

-What if it is broken? Do they have another 64 GB Iphone 4s in stock at the Apple store?

-I bet they don’t. Then what? Are they going to make me order another one? What will I do in the meantime?

-I suppose they could reactivate my old phone. But, I don’t have it with me. Am I going to have to run out first thing in the morning tomorrow to deal with this shit?

– I have plans tomorrow that involve someone picking me up. Is it still possible, in this day and age, to travel and have someone pick you up without calling or texting them to say where and when you’ll get there? And, if  the answer is no, how will I cancel the plans without a phone? Do my friends check email consistently on weekends?

-I’m hungry (this was not Iphone related. It was just getting close to dinner time and I had skipped lunch.)

-What if they can’t help me at the Apple store? Can I call customer service for help? Wait! Obviously, I can not. I WILL HAVE NO PHONE.



That all happened in about 3 minutes. It was now 6:40 and the traffic on 2nd Avenue was starting to get heavy.  When we reached 65th street, I called an audible. I asked the driver to take me to the Apple flagship store in Midtown instead. It’s further away, but it’s open 24 hours. If nothing else, I will be guaranteed the opportunity to speak to an Apple worker in person.

And so, the cab made its way west towards 5th Avenue. At 6:55, we stopped at a red light about five blocks from the store. I was getting antsy, so I decided to get out and walk the rest of the way. The meter read $9.50. I pulled out a twenty and handed it to the driver. At this point, my Iphone disaster related panic overtook my ability to do math. I couldn’t figure out how much to tip, nor could I do the math to ask for proper change. Finally, and for no rational reason, I heard myself say, “Give me four dollars back.”  That’s a $6.50 tip on a $9.50 fare. It’s a completely irrational 68% gratuity. THAT IS TOO MUCH MONEY.

Now, I was on foot. And as I got closer to the Apple store I remembered something. It’s the last shopping Saturday before Christmas. I’m on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, right near Central Park and the Plaza Hotel. I’m on my way to a very large and very popular retail outlet.  I’M GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE! LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE. They will be moving slowly and stopping suddenly. Their conversations will be very loud. They’re obnoxious sweaters will be very red.  AHHHH!

But, I soldiered on. I made my way through the crowd and down the stairs into the Apple store. I circumnavigated some whiny children and a large German family and managed to wave down one of the Apple store workers.

“Hi, I got my new Iphone on Thursday and it’s been working fine so far until about half an hour ago when it froze while I was looking at a picture and now I’m panicked that I won’t have a phone and can you fix it because I don’t want to wait for a new one and I doubt you have 64mb Iphones in stock here and I rushed over and took an expensive cab ride and I tried to reset the phone but it froze in the middle of the reseting process and I hope its not a lemon because my brother once bought an Ipod and it never worked right and a guy at the Apple store just gave him a new one because it wasn’t fixable but like I said I doubt you have these in stock.”

(It was just like it sounds while you’re reading it in your head, except I was talking about twice as fast as you’re reading.)

They Apple guy smiled at me calmly and said, “Ok, let me see the phone.”

So, I pulled it out of my pocket. Flipped it over in my hand to show him the frozen screen and then I saw it.

The phone had fixed itself. It unfroze, reset itself and was now working perfectly. The guy said something about making sure I close out Apps to prevent this sort of thing in the future, but he was just trying to make me feel better. There was absolutely nothing wrong anymore.


Sports Illustrated: December 19th, 2011

Tim Tebow, Football, Denver Broncos



There’s nothing particularly interesting in the first half of this week’s Sports Illustrated. So, instead, I’ll discuss another mail related issue.

A number of my friends have children. And at this time of year, those friends send Holiday (Christmas) cards with pictures of those kids on them. I love when these cards come. I like to hang them on the fridge so, when visitors come, it looks like I have people out there who care about me.  And once the cards go up on the fridge, they stay up there for the rest of the year.

This sets up an odd tradition. When new cards come, I replace the old ones. And that means I’m throwing pictures of my friends’ kids in the garbage. It feels really weird every time I do it, as if I’m being callous and disrespectful. I guess the fact that I keep the pictures up for a full year and then feel remorse when I get rid of them should mitigate the situation. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I look into the trash and see a picture of your son covered in wet coffee grounds and apple cores.


The Power Of The Possible by Jim Trotter

Here’s where I stand on Tim Tebow:

At first I didn’t like him. I found his outward christianity threatening and thought he was prosthelytizing.  To be clear, I have no problem with people having faith in something larger. In fact, there are moments when I’m truly jealous of those who are able to comfort themselves in the belief that someone is looking out for them. But, I’ve always been troubled by people who push their beliefs on others.

But, as the Tebow backlash grew earlier this season, I started to turn.  Tebow isn’t trying to convert anyone. He’s just a guy who’s comfortable with is faith and with himself. And I think it’s a bit over-reactionary to dislike him because of it. I’m joining in on the backlash against the backlash against Tim Tebow.

Plus, he’s fun to watch.

Get Ready For a Fiesta by Austin Murphy

Austin Murphy is doubling down in his disgust with the BCS. After ripping the system by watching an overwhelmingly meaningless last day of the season from Vegas last week, Murphy focuses this week on the fact that the BCS Championship game is like the third or fourth most interesting matchup of the Bowl Season. He’s feisty. I like it.

What Can Brown Do For Them? by Lee Jenkins

This is a good article on the man tasked with changing the culture in LA. Mike Brown’s job has only gotten more difficult since this article was written, now that Chris Paul is a Clipper and Kobe Bryant has been thrown out by his wife.

X Marks It’s Spot by Kelli Anderson

The Xavier-Cincinnati brawl was tough to watch. The Xavier post game press conference was even harder. Anderson mentions Tu Holloway’s strange “gangsters in the locker room” comment.  But, what Anderson does not mention is the fantastic post game performance of Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. (His most powerful comments begin at about 2:50 in.)


The Year in Sports Media by SI Staff

I tried to read this whole thing in order. But the layout on each page had almost nothing to do with the numbers each individual item was assigned. If number 23 is on the lower left, number 24 should be next to it, not in the upper right hand corner of the next page.

The Coach Who Won’t Coach by Joe Posnanski

There’s an irony to the fact that Joe Posnanski is profiling someone else in SI’s “Year in sports media” issue.  In many ways, Posnanski is the most compelling figure on the sports media landscape right now.  A few months ago, he relocated to State College, Pennsylvania to write an authorized biography of Joe Paterno. His intention was probably to write a hagiography of a legendary coach with a legendary reputation. Whoops. Now, Posnanski is swimming in the deep end of the biggest scandal in sports history. How does he move forward? Can you write a book about Joe Paterno’s entire life or does the scandal at the end of his career cancel out everything else?  What do you say to a man who you obviously hold in high regard who is trusting you with his life story, now that that story has changed completely?   I would love to read Posnanski’s thoughts on that.  It’s much more interesting than Bill Cowher.

Point After by Phil Taylor

Taylor’s gotten much better at this over the past few months. The Ron Santo column was respectful without being maudlin or overwrought with “Ron Santo is super lovable” sentiment.

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