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Death by iPhone

I have an iPhone. If I wanted to, I could be blogging this very post (or is it posting to this very blog?) with my iPhone, which means that the phrase "Sent from my iPhone" could be attached to bottom of my post, as it is with every e-mail I send from it. And those four words pack a lot of punch. More than once I've received this terse reply to an e-mail "sent from my iPhone": "I hate you."

I realize we iPhone users aren't a terribly sympathetic crowd. Neither was the guy who got the first wheel on his cave-block. There's always a trial period -- a few months, years, decades, millennia -- during which society irons out the kinks of any revolutionary tool. The goal is to minimize the invention's downsides while maximizing its upsides. And it's the technology's early users -- us brave guinea pigs -- who end up suffering for the greater good.

I know everyone says that Apple's latest invention is wonderful, revolutionary and life-changing. And for the most part, everyone's right. My iPhone entertains me when I'm bored. It organizes me when I'm scatterbrained. It loves me when I'm sad and lonely. It might as well cook me eggs and bacon the morning after.

But I know that all these wonderful upsides come at a steep price. For example: I am fairly certain that my iPhone will be the end of me. Achilles, the name I've given my device, will ultimately bring me down.

Let me explain:

When I first got my iPhone, I felt like the kid who walks in on the first day of second grade with the baddest trapper keeper. I knew I had the goods, and I expected the oohs and aahs to start as soon as I walked down the street with the device held to my ear.

But the oohs and aahs never came. In fact, there were only sneers. It's not that people don't think the iPhone is awesome. They know it is, but they also know that they don't have one. The desire can drive even the most even-tempered man insane. iPhone envy stokes our most atavistic urges: You have. I want.

So it's only a matter of time before someone snaps. A co-worker maybe, or a neighbor. They'll see me checking my e-mail as I cross the street, or hear my smooth jams as I'm running on the treadmill. They'll approach me from behind. They'll crouch. And in a few seconds, it will all be over.

But don't worry about me. I probably won't even realize what is happening. I'll be too busy checking my e-mail.

By Rob Anderson  |  August 17, 2007; 12:15 PM ET
 
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Comments

Good job, Rob.

Posted by: daiwanlan | August 17, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Second!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Is that second daiwanian or 2nd post, Mudge?

In both cases, I third. What good's technology if you can't use it to inspire envy?

Posted by: dbG | August 17, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

baaaaaaaaaaaddest Trapper Keeper TM

(Wish I had italics and superscript)

But, seriously, Rob, you spelled that excellent adjective wrongly, er wrong...er wrongish.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Excellent kit, Rob.

Do I have iPhone envy? No, because I'm getting a BlackBerry Pearl (World Edition) this morning.

Posted by: Yoki | August 17, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The Everett Rogers Diffusion of innovations theory - for any given product category, there are five categories of product adopters:

Innovators - venturesome, educated, multiple info sources;

Early adopters - social leaders, popular, educated;

Early majority - deliberate, many informal social contacts;

Late majority - skeptical, traditional, lower socio-economic status;

Laggards - neighbours and friends are main info sources, fear of debt.

***Steve Jobs and crew, the innovators; Rob Anderson, the early adopter.

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice analogy. Thought I'd mention that many school supply lists for the elementary and middle school crowd now say "no Trapper Keepers." Some effort to level the playing field for the cool and non-cool? No, simple self defense for teachers. There is nothing quite like competing for attention with the constant flap open, velcro rip (or magnet click), fold back up, flap open, snap the three rings, flap closed, flap open, velcro rip, magnett click, fold back up, flap open, snap the three rings, flap closed, flap open...

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't own a cell phone. I have a pager. It's very nice.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

What, may I ask, is a Trapper Keeper? I deduce it is basically at three-ring binder on steroids. When *I* was a lad, we didn't have such things. We had these yellow folders with people playing various sports. The first few days of class was spent doodling on them.

Aye. Those were the days.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

iNoWant

I think I'm overly connected and too easily distra

Posted by: martooni | August 17, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

On Topic Alert

With those iPhones just as a warning: watch out with the extended billing report option(especially if it is for a teen). A friend got that for his daughters iPhone to track her usage. He also got her unlimited text messaging. The following month FedEx delivered a 12 inch thick stack of billing information, on standard letter paper, outlining every text sent, recieved, and every call made.

On another related note, I quite dislike Apple products, probably because I have no use for them. My day is spent in front of a computer, so I don't need the email/internet option. I use the phone for 20 second to 1 minute phone calls, so I don't really need all the bells and whistles of the newer phones. I don't listen to music, except when I am driving, and the radio does me just fine, so I don't need the MP3 player option (also why I've never owned/will own a iPod).

Posted by: Kerric | August 17, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

PeeChee folders: See this blog post for an image.
http://www.defectiveyeti.com/images/peechee2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/000996.html&h=289&w=300&sz=47&hl=en&start=7&sig2=r6PjyqJUrl3KDTlz7wZhwA&um=1&tbnid=LASY6BgrCb2meM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=116&ei=Js_FRuXlBqLceaKd_I4H&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpee%2Bchee%2Bfolders%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN
RD -- had em, in the great state of Montana, too. In grade four, we had to have one per subject. The multiplication table was very helpful.

You could either order them from the Sears mail order desk or make a RUN for them at the Ben Franklin Five and Dime.

Sigh.


Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I like iPhones and may eventually acquire one to replace my current combo of mid-line cell phone and ancient PDA. However, I fear debt. Also, money aside (cough cough) I want the first generation out there and working so folks like Rob (thanks, Rob!) can work out the bugs for me. Where does that put me on the Everett Rogers Diffusion scale? I am deeply sceptical of that scale anyway. I know a lot of consumers who don't fit into their "categories".

RD, the thought of ultrasonic time reversal is making me very nervous. Think of the possibilities if time reversal, or ultrasonics, were unleashed on an unsuspecting public through an iPhone.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 17, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes CP! Those where them! I don't think your link survived, but the name PeeChee folders led to this:

http://www.creativepro.com/img/story/090904_fg4.jpg

Man does that bring me back to the days of parochial school. Heck, the urge to add witty dialog balloons is almost overwhelming.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Philadelphia BPH Date Announcement: October 13, 2007.

Details to follow (except I can tell you now that Yoki and I will be making the Pierogi).

I don't have a porch, so the *P* will have stand for *patio* or *pierogi* or even *Patricia*.

Posted by: dbG | August 17, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't want one either. I have a cell phone, and rarely use it; it's just for emergencies (such as when my wife calls and says stop at Safeway for a quart of milk, or I've got a flat tire and I'm in Nanjemoy, 40 miles beyond nowhere; please come change it for me). I refuse to text-message. I have a camera on my cell phone, but never use it (see, I have, like, a camera). I don't want to watch "School of Rock" (again) on a 3/4-inch screen. I'm already way too addicted to the Achenblog and the Internet as it is, and don't need to make things worse. I am NEVER bored (haven't been bored since the invention of movable type; as long as there are books and magazines in the world, I will never be bored [on a bus, on a train, on a plane, in car, on the throne] so the amusement factor for an iphone is approximately zero. I have a job and a career which are gnerally pretty solitary, and I don't ever want a job where I need a pager and a Blackberry and people trying to get in touch with me every 30 seconds. It's already bad enough with Jennifer Anniston and Evangeline Lilly always calling me up on silly pretexts or begging me to come put suntan oil on them. I mean, it's gotta stop somewhere.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This quote from a recent Bob Herbert column at the NYT sticks in my mind:

'Law enforcement officials believe there is something more vicious and cold-blooded, and thus more deadly, about the latest waves of crime moving across the country. Robberies involving juveniles with little regard for the lives of their victims are becoming more prevalent. Individuals with cellphones, iPods and other electronic devices are particular targets.

In the forum's report, Chief Heather Fong of the San Francisco police described a phenomenon called "rat-packing" in which robbers using cellphones call in fellow assailants to surround a victim.'

On the other hand, I've had a look at my supervisor's I-Phone, and it's enough to make me want, finally, to get a cell phone, etc.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 17, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - yes, the results would be terrifying indeed. Actually, UTR can be used to detect sound emitting devices and then deliver a powerful pulse of acoustic energy directly to the source. Think of the possibilities for those who use cell phones in inappropriate locations.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, you left out the sixth category:
Resisters- self marginalized, paranoid (with good reason), financially independent, stubbornly ignorant of newest technology fads and happy to be so, cell-free, cable-free, Tivo-free, and unable to name a single American Idol contestant.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 17, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

**Waving arms madly**

Can I be a laggard. Huh, huh, Kin I puhleeeazze?

I don't have a cell phone, I don't have a laptop. I don't have anything fancy schmancy. Man I have dial up at home, and there is not even a choice of high speed. I could get a satellite connection for high speed, but the cost. Shudder. Of course it might be cool to tell the neighbourhood that we are a two satellite household.

I do have doilies. That should count for something.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, just as long as Kate Winslett isn't calling you anymore. Because, you know, she promised me she would stop.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I got a cell phone when the Boy started having regular babysitters. For years I seldom used it, then I had to make a lot of professional development calls and I didn't want to use my state-job phone. About the same time I took on some civic obligations which require occasional voice communication. The cell phone became so useful that I began giving it out instead of either my work or home numbers. I can turn it off, or to silent, when I don't want to receive calls. It will take messages for me, and record the numbers automatically so I know the return number. I don't have text messaging or a camera, but as a phone it is very convenient.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 17, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's let Rob enjoy his guilt. iPhones are cool. They are brilliantly designed and executed examples of technological convergence. They combine so many other gadgets into one slick package. They are like Miatta's that you can dial.

And I have no doubt that one day soon everyone will have a similar device that, perhaps, can even produce a decent simulation of a paperback book.

Everyone will have one, that is, except people like me. 'Cause I'm not stinking allowed to carry one into the building.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

DR -- be a Luddite rather than a laggard.

I have a cell phone for kidling reasons. I am never sure of my number, since I don't give it out. If a call comes it, it is asthma-dude or carpoolchick or a wrong number.

No lap top on my desk, but I am rethinking this one, sorta.

I have a request of sorts about PDAs that might be lying about, in boodle bins. If you have a PDA -- Handspring, PalmPilot brands are best -- that you don't need, but it still works, you could consider sending them to me.

Our PTA has a pilot project underway about boys and reading. Since we cannot do this carrot-stick:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89858699@N00/213336234/

We are working on a Plukr/Gutenberg/PDA project. Did you know you can read etexts on a PDA?

Anywhoo, if the boodle proves to be a PDA-lode, I can give details.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I had a hard time spending $34 on my cell phone, there's no way I could bring myself to buy an iPhone. I hate phones. If I don't know the number calling, I screen. I don't mind admitting it. If it's important, they'll leave a message and I can call them back at a better time. I don't much like being at my phone's beck and call.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

My phone has a camera and a bunch of stuff I never use. I think it can text message but I'll be damn if I'm going to deliberately give myself thumb muscle cramps to send a message to ... Who exactly. It can also play mp3s, but I don't have any. It can supposedly download them from the internet, but I prefer my CDs.

The word iPhone makes me think of iPod which makes me think of Pod People which makes me think of Body Snatchers. Yup, I see Pod People.

Posted by: omni | August 17, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

An administrator at Son of G's new school showed him her new iPhone case.

When she asked why he didn't have a case for his, he answered, "Are you kidding? Then no one can see I have an iPhone!"

Posted by: TBG | August 17, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

We have crossed the tipping point where people no longer ask "Do you have a cell phone?" but "What is your cell number?" I had a coworker that refused to get one and on several occasions coordinating a meeting place was a nightmare.

My wife went to the AppleStore to get their Geniusâ„¢ to fix some iTunes DRM issues. She called me from a demo iPhone and my wallet cringed. She came home waxing ecstatic.

As my son enters his senior year, we had a huge supply closet cleaning last Sunday. We could have stocked a small BoxOfOfficeSupplies store. We got rid of piles of folders and paper and mechanical pencils and probably a half dozen perfectly good Trapper Keepers®. And by "got rid of" I mean "took down to the school supplies drive at the local library."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

RD -- I have read more about PeeChee folders, made originally in Kalamazoo and eventually purchased by Western Tablet (paper products co.)

Apparently, the PeeChee phenom was rather West Coast and Upper Midwest. We shall see if Frosti recalls them; and, if our Canucki-Prairie-land sistren and brethren knew the manila-pocketed, proletarian-wonder that was PeeChee.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I remember PeeChee folders. I grew up in Denver.

Oh, hello Boodle!

Posted by: Moose | August 17, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I find my cellphone to be useful, but once upon a time I made the mistake of giving the number to a political fundraising organization. They call and the number shows as Unavailable. I never answer, but they keep calling. Mine is a straight phone, no camera, etc. but I know that such a simple device will not be on the market when my current one dies.

Posted by: Slyness | August 17, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You know, Rob, you can tell it not to say "sent from my iPhone." Then people will hate you less.

Until they see you with it.

Posted by: Brad | August 17, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

RD, a money-making idea for you. If UTR involves time reversal and ultrasound, it should lend itself to non-invasive cosmetic procedures! The first truly non-surgical face lift (and weight loss solution, baldness cure...). You could be rich. And we could be youthful and beautiful, but with the wisdom of our years. A solution to the health-care crisis. Gawd, this is huge.

Posted by: Yoki | August 17, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

CP - All I know is that looking at images of the "PeeChee All Season Portfolio" is like encountering a sacred talisman of my elementary school years.

Who knows, maybe 35 years ago there will be somebody who feels the same way about the iPhone.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

My cell phone-with camera that has thus far taken pictures mostly of the inside of my backpack and the underside of the dash of my truck-is a brick until I drive 20 miles south of Chez Frostbitten North. I must say though that it was a lifesaver when I was teaching in NoVA. Like many teachers I kept it on my desk and used it as my "office number" so parents could reach me without going through the front office. 've grown to like my current unreachability so much that I am dragging my feet at switching contracts to get service here.

Unlike Mudge I wasn't an early adopter, but agree that movable type is quite adequate for handling boredom issues. The only times I'm ever bored are during events when it would be rude to be using an i-phone anyway.

Now, laptop and wireless Internet access are quite another matter. But here, even if a smaller device could replace my 'puter it would still need to be big enough and put out enough heat to satisfy Frostcat #1's need to lay his head on the shift and caps lock keys.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I am sure there is something like that on the drawing board. As I alluded to earlier, it is already the best way to destroy kidney stones without damaging the body.

Posted by: RD Padouk. | August 17, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeepers Yoki. I get it, you really meant "time reversal." That whole PeeChee business really has me feeling all whoozy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I really would like a laptop of my own. I 'need' that far more than a phone.

And when I get one, I want one of those cool Dell ones that you can get in yellow. It would coordinate so well with my study. It would have to come out of the yarn budget. Like that's going to happen.

RD, it strikes me that maybe that should be pointed out to your bosses that if people in your line of work are not allowed to have them, it could be construed as an identifier.

You guys are going to stick out like a sore thumb out in the real world.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and TBG, I forgot to mention that I loved your description of seeing the mother with her young daughter. Yep, time goes by fast (and, sadly, really cannot be reversed.) One day my son was playing with me in his "Cozy Coupe Car." The next he is doubling my auto insurance premiums.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

CP-spending my school years mostly in VA deprived me of firsthand Pee Chee experience. However, when we converted our local school's computer lab into a Community Technology Center we unearthed a box full of them, each stuffed with old ditto masters.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.woai.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=434210@video.woai.com&navCatId=5

Video of the guy, Bill Noel, stuck in a tree, above raging floodwaters, for four hours not far from us. As I learned on the local TV noon news, Noel is an old Navy guy (and not too rattled by the water)and presently a Wachovia (formerly World Savings) employee. So, a coworker of Loomispouse! While climbing ever higher in the tree's branches to escape the fast-rising river beneath him, he kept in touch with his wife and rescuers because he was carrying two cell phones--his Wachovia work cell phone and his personal cell phone.

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Of course, when I was in school WE were the trapper/keepers. We'd try to trap a mastodon or sabertooth, and then try to keep from getting killed by the d@mn thing.

And you have no idea how hard it is doing a papyrus report for heiroglypics class. I did mine on one of my alltime favorite children's stories, "Eye Cat Eye Squiggly Line, Circle, Cat, Noose, Hook Cat, Squiggle, Bird, Bird," written, as you all remember, by Crocodile, Byrd, Eye, Squiggle, Sun, Eye." Jeez, that guy could write.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Rob, hope you don't feel too badly about folks ragging about your iPhone. This can be a testy bunch! Besides we miss Joel.

Have a great weekend folks.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

But Loomis, could he watch "School of Rock" while he was up in that tree?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I didn't have PeeChee folders when I was kid (either I'm too old or was too far east). My kid had them out here in Seattle. I still come across them when I clean (which may say something about how often I clean!).

My next door neighbor has little kids, and I've remarked to him how quickly they grow up. It sure doesn't seem like it when they're two, though. Recently I had to throw wayward tennis balls back over the fence - how well I remember when my kid was at that stage.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 17, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Are you staying dry, Loomis. I've been thinking about you and Bayou. I hope both of you continue to stay dry.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Webstats are notoriously fuzzy. My web stats tell me that I have an average of 164 visitors a day that view 1.4 pages each for an average time of 1:30. For yesterday it says I had 168 visits and 227 pageviews.

The time keeping is most suspect, because I don't know when the meter starts because most individual visits register as 0:00. It basically times between when you enter the page and when your browser goes somewhere else. Hitting refresh triggers a new page view, but not necessarily a new visitor. At some point it counts you as new.

According to another statcounter, I had 137 readers and 202 pageviews, so there is a 22% discrepency right there. Yesterday 6 people found my site by googling for "liberty meadows brandy nude" and 8 came from blatant blogplugs on the Achenblog. 47 people read my home page and 25 read the comments.

My trackers don't keep track of unique visitors which are the most desired numbers because that is closest to traditional advertising metrics. Those E&P numbers say that over 9 million different people went to WaPo.com in July. Us boodlers (and chat readers as well) are probably what keeps the time on-site number high. I know I spend more than 18 minutes here in just one day.

The problem right now is that an online reader is only worth 1/10 or less that of a dead tree reader. Until the online news divisions can get comprable revenue streams, declining circulation is going to hurt a lot worse than increased page views help.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Man, this story is almost unbelievable.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/16/AR2007081602230.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link that works: http://www.defectiveyeti.com/images/peechee2.jpg

Posted by: omni | August 17, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

another (with sports cover): http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/000996.html

Posted by: omni | August 17, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse


OMG, thank you, yellojkt, I knew I needed help. Why couldn't they put those zeroes down there in the list of numbers? OKAY 9,000,000 makes a lot more sense than 9,000. (*Gets out the sliderule, recalculates everything*) Now it all makes sense.

Can I be the official Maroon of the Day?

And I'm glad to hear that you get those zeroes on your statistics, too. It gives me a sad feeling to see how many people apparently "cannot get off my site fast enough!"

Posted by: kbertocci | August 17, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Curmudgeon, the story is all too easy to believe if you've dealt with DOD in wartime. I had a little something to do with them during the Gulf War and the old drunken sailor analogy doesn't do it justice. I did particularly like the "blame it on the evil twin now conveniently dead" angle.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 17, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

For me, the iconic school supply is Hilroy's "Canada Exercise book/Cahier d'exercise Canada"
In any of the four colours with the map of Canada on the cover.

http://www.bestsellersdirect.ca/catalogue/item2126.htm

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 17, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-I'm willing to bet the twins first discovered they could bilk DoD through an innocent error. When they billed $40.34 and $403,436 was electronically deposited in the company account they waited a week or two to see what would happen and when no one came calling to get the money back they decided to start billing the enormous amounts on purpose (switch "they" to "she" if you buy the "My dead twin did it" defense). I say this after our little fire department received $43,000 from FEMA for a $430 project. We did not keep the money.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

dr writes:
Are you staying dry, Loomis. I've been thinking about you and Bayou. I hope both of you continue to stay dry.

Funny you should ask, dr. It was really tricky driving home from the mall yesterday, as I wrote. On our short drive for dinner out last night, traffic coming in the opposite direction was down to one lane from two because two small cars ended up submerged in drainage ditches that had turned into large ponds. One was in the midst of being extricated by a tow truck with a long ramp, which shut down the one lane of traffic.

As we passed these two drowned cars on the opposite side of the road, I saw something I have never seen before, a police officer carrying swim fins. And then he walked through one of these ditches with his street shoes on. Go figure. Today, there are more search and rescue efforts for people missing. Each newscast brings more sad news. You can expect more flooding downstream on the coastal area as these heavy rains converge and get rolling.

We had 5.1 inches of rain yesterday, according to our rain gauge. Some places in the area received almost 10 inches of rain. Heavy storms always necessitate cleanup around our home. I was out with broom and trash can this morning. The dewpoint is about 76. In an extremely short amount of time--far shorter a time than usual, I was soaked with perspiration--this from a mutant who doesn't sweat much. The heat index, with the humidlity added in, is about 100 degrees here now.

More rain bands are now headed toward us from the Gulf, with another two to three inches forecast for this afternoon. So, we probably won't be dry this afternoon for much longer.

I was on the phone this afternoon trying to talk to my husband, out of his foolishness. Temporary insanity, I call it. His birthday is next week and he's thinking we should take some vacation and go to a Texas state park. Well, Dean is rapidly strengthening, I say, from a Cat-2 to a Cat-3. The TV weather forecasters think its going to only graze the Yucatan as a Cat-4 and come into the Gulf as a Cat-3 on a course to Brownsville, I inform him. Computer models also project several other paths, several slamming into Mexico's coast, the others turning it toward Houston and Galveston, but the majority go with the scenario I just gave you.

Why do you want to take a vacation when Texas is at its hottest, stickiest and ickyiest, I ask. I need time off, he replies. Well, I know you have all this vacation time stacked up, but couldn't you take a week in October, a week in November and a week in Decembar, I counter, when Texas has much better and cooler weather? Or maybe we should just stay home next week and do stuff around here?

Well, the hurricane will probably plow into Mexico, he responds. Well, if it heads toward us, I'd rather be stuck at home, instead of stuck in some Roosevelt Conservation Corps cabin out on the West Texas desert or on some bayou or swamp in the piney woods of East Texas, I argue.
How would we get home if roads across the state are flooded?

To be continued...

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Those darn zeroes!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 17, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse


shrieking denizen: I have a similar emotional attachment to the Big Chief Tablet:

http://www.irememberjfk.com/mt/graphics/bigchief.jpg

Posted by: kbertocci | August 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

My blog got 6,942 vistors in July making it roughly 1/2000 the size of the entire WaPo empire. But since I don't have advertising, I must be throwing away several dozen cents a month.

According to this website:
http://www.business-opportunities.biz/
My website is worth $12,984.42 and the Achenblog is worth $88,632.78.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Big Chief tablets! Boy, that strikes a chord. The Boy had to have many three-ring binders, much paper and graph paper, folders etc., and sharpened #2 pencils. Some things never change. He is also supposed to have a science lab composition book, with graph paper. I asked the teacher today where those can be found and he said he doesn't know but someone always finds them, and he requires them of every student. Ivansdad, never bested on a shopping quest, has moved beyond the usual suspects and is trying university stores.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"He had read in the morning paper that a ladies' art guild was having a hanging of its paintings in Pirate's Alley. Imagining that the paintings would be offensive enough to interest him for a while, he pushed his wagon up onto the flagstones of the Alley toward the variety of artwork dangling from the iron pickets of the fence behind the Cathedral. On the prow of the wagon, in an attempt to attract business among the Quarterites, Ignatius taped a sheet of Big Chief paper on which he had printed in crayon: TWELVE INCHES (12) OF PARADISE. So far no one had responded to its message."
-- Toole, A Confederacy Of Dunces

Posted by: byoolin | August 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, dear heavens. On a brighter note, you have to look at this the way we do.

Working for an employer who is family, its a little harder to squeek out vacation. So when we go, we tend to think of ways to make the stay longer. The high mountain creeks flood easily, and big rains = flooding could = longer stays.

That's probably stretching the up side of flooding in a big way isn't it.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, SD, that's more like it. Hilroy everything.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon to you all, even though it's still morning here.

I have a cell phone that has a camera and an iTunes player but I don't use either. Like Mudge, I have a camera and I have an iPod (which I don't use much cuz I hate those earbuds). Mostly, I don't use a lot of features on my phone because I don't want to take the time to learn how to use them. Especially the media features and text messaging because those will enlarge my monthly bill. So, no fancy schmancy phone features for me because I'm 1) lazy and 2) cheap.

Of course my kids both want fancy phones. But, I keep asking them (both under the age of 12), who the heck are you going to call and who is going to call you? They don't even answer the phone at home when it rings. Sheesh.

Posted by: Aloha | August 17, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. The teaser headline on the WaPo home page "Post Global & Faith" lede story about Mary, (Jesus's mom) is "Something About Mary." Given that we know what that something was, I wonder if this hed is gonna get flack.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Appears to be a new kit!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Aloha-you bring back many fond memories of our too brief time on Oahu. Frostdottir was a 6th grader when she was at last allowed to use the phone for "just talking" with friends. In her first week she blew through an entire weekend of allowed usage of the house phone on Friday afternoon. On Sat. afternoon Mr. F observed her doing a more thorough than usual job of raking the leaves from the side yard. When he went outside to help his little overachiever the grass began to ring. Never one to panic she gasped "What's Mom's cell phone doing there? She must have dropped it." Mr. F answered it to "Is Frostdottir there?" That was the also the year her 3rd grade teacher sent out a "where are they now" letter with phone numbers. I must say the dott got some great long distance rates from HI to the mainland, sneaking downstairs to use the phone in the middle of the night. I wonder if her NoVA friends appreciated being awakened at 6:00AM on Saturdays.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

New Kit! Ah, the ardour of youth! Two kits a day!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 17, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

if it isnt that new letterman jacket, or that swell pair of roller blades, its your iPhone.

Posted by: Gill | August 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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