Coffee heat rising

iPhone to the Rescue!

So the kewl iPhone just saved the day! 

Landline went dead. That, of course, meant that I couldn’t call Cox from here, and since I’d have to use WonderAccountant’s phone to reach Cox from her house,…well, there’s a limit to how much nerve I have.

But ta daaaa! The iPhone got right through to an exceptionally funny and clever Cox phone tech. It took her a few minutes to identify the exact problem (among several options), and then she was able to coach me through rebooting the landline’s modem. And it WORKED.

How neat, eh?

Ate up a bunch of minutes, though:

Consider: you, the blessed customer, get on the phone to Cox….

Forthwith the annoying AI bot tells you that one (1) person is in the queue ahead of you and the wait is about 3 minutes.

Then it comes back on and, after four or five minutes of superbly annoying jingly noise, tells you there are three people ahead of you and now the wait is 7 minutes. After it tells you another couple of times that varying numbers of customers have jumped the virtual line ahead of you, a human comes on. Mercifully, this was one very bright human.

The whole adventure probably consumed about 20 chargeable minutes.

Despite the tech’s expertise and grace, the episode brought me back to the feeling that for what Cox is charging — which is outrageous, IMHO, for phone service that’s not real phone service — it might be better to have a half-dozen inexpensive flip phones in the rooms where I think I should have an extension in case I fall and need to call 911, and then use the iPhone for regular talking on the horn to friends and sales associates. Thereby getting rid of the landline…

Cox charges $32.49 a month for a phone service best described as third-rate. It cannot be relied on. It goes down whenever the power goes out, which in these parts is every time it rains. And today it went down because, said our excellent Cox lady, every now and again you just have to reboot the modem. That means unplug it from the power, remove the battery, waitwaitwaitwaitwait, plug the battery back in, waitwaitwaitwaitwait,  plug the power cable back in, waitwaitwaitwaitwait…and hope for the best, such as it is. I’m paying Cox $390 a year for THAT?

The reasons I have a phone in every room are a) so that I don’t have to jump up and RUN to answer the phone every time it rings and b) so there will be a phone to call 911 from if I fall and can’t drag myself into some other room where a phone is located, or reach a phone up on a table or a counter. Both of those issues can be easily resolved with cell phones: the iPhone can simply be picked up and carried around. The proposed flip-phones, which would have no minutes on them and so could only be used to dial 911, can be set in every room, preferably near the floor (again: in case of falls). All cell phones have to be able to dial 911 whether or not they have paid minutes on them. So there would be no reason to pay for minutes on any of them, except maybe to have one preloaded in case something happened to the iPhone.

And the reason I haven’t started learning to use the iPhone till now, after my son gave it to me last May: what’s my excuse?


I have developed such a flinch reflex about techno-hassles that having to learn some new gadget or new software just makes me cringe. And this iPhone thing: it’s a whole universe unto itself. You reach a certain point in your life where the if it ain’t broke why fix it? question applies with a vengeance. You just don’t want to struggle with having to learn still more involved, complicated frustrations, especially when you know how ephemeral computer technology is: in another couple of years, you’ll have to discard all you just learned and figure out some new involved, labyrinthine complication.

And I’ve resisted the whole cell phone idea for a whole long series of reasons…

  • The things are damned expensive. If you drop it or lose it or someone steals it, you’re out a chunk of dough…to say nothing of subjected to hassles without end.
  • The idea that advertisers and Big Brother or WhoEverTheHell can track your location with these things gives me the willies. Big time!
  • Have you reflected, ever, on how stupid people sound when they’re walking down a sidewalk and yapping into a cell phone? Folks. I don’t want to hear about your kid’s school day or the office gossip or what restaurant you’re planning to descend on tonight…and neither does anyone else! And I most certainly do not want to number myself among the yappers.
  • I value my privacy. I don’t want people to be able to get ahold of me no matter where I am or what I’m doing! I do not want anybody, whether Big Brother or Big Merchandiser, to track me everyplace I go. Mostly, I would like people to leave me alone.

Learned a double-click trick from the veterinarian’s technician today…it lets you scroll through open apps. 😀 Very entertaining.



4 thoughts on “iPhone to the Rescue!”

  1. Your landline service goes out whenever the power does? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a landline? And the modem needs rebooting, too? Yeah, find something else to spend that money on! SMH
    I’m still using a flip phone that I bought in 2013. Every time I think about replacing it, here comes an unexpected bill or the price of things goes up or my “hazard pay” gets cut at work, etc. I’ll keep it for now.

    • Damn right it does! It’s infuriating. Cox came in and pulled out all the copper cables in our part of town. They switched everyone’s “land lines” over to VOiP!!!!! And yes: when your computer goes down (as it does every time the power goes out), presto-changeo you have no phone service!

      The only reason I keep mine is that I need a phone line in every room. If I fall, break a hip or a shoulder, and need to call for help, I will need a phone that’s in the room where I fell so I can crawl over to it and call 911. Yes, I know: I can get one of those around-the-neck panic buttons, or I can carry a cheapo flip phone everywhere I go. But I AM NOT A DOG and I’m not gonna go around with a collar on my neck, nor do I especially want to own an array of throw-away cell phones (each with a different phone number, or with no phone number but there only so I can dial 911 in a pinch) or else have to carry a cell phone everywhere I go. .

      Meanwhile, Cox keeps jacking up the rates. Upshot: Half a dozen throwaway flip fones would cost one helluva lot less than Cox’s ever-increasing gouge. And running this iPhone — paying only for the time I actually use — most certainly costs nothing like that much.

      If the point of having a phone in every room is to be able to call 911 from any room, and if (as is the case) you do not have to be paying for minutes or a regular service to use a cell phone to call 911, then clearly just keeping half-a-dozen inexpensive cheap cell phones charged up and stored near the floor in each room in the house should be all that you need. You’d use the iPhone for actual conversations, and keep all the rest of the gadgets as panic buttons.

      • Looked at women’s clothing lately? Most things made for women do not have pockets. My jeans do; none of them except the back pockets — which I sit on — will hold an iPhone. Know the likelihood that a 75-year-old will remember to grope her back pockets to remove the contents EVERY TIME SHE SITS DOWN? Highly unlikely.

        That’s the practical matter. The philosophical matter is one that I alluded to in passing, above: I am not a dog, and I find the prospect of wearing an electronic collar all the time to be dismaying beyond description. It’s fine to have a device nearby, in the room or in your car. But that’s different from being forced to wear it. We should not have to be roped to an electronic device everywhere we go.

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