There Is No Cat

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Sunday, November 17, 2002

No, you can't have my number

I sold out. I did something this weekend I had told myself I would never do.

I got a cell phone.

I have a good reason. Friday night on my way home from work, I did something really dumb. I ran out of gas. Since I was on a limited-access highway at the time, my options were kind of limited. I basically limped along on the shoulder to the next exit, pulled the car over, and turned on the blinkers. Then I started walking. It was a bit over a mile to the convenience store, where I found a poor, neglected pay phone, almost completely in the dark, from which I could call AAA. After making the call, I went into the store to buy a soda for the long trek back and was delighted to see a police officer there, who I cadged a ride back to the car from. Then I sat for an hour waiting for AAA to show up with some gas. What a pleasant way to start a weekend.

Just last week, I was discussing with one of my cow-orkers why I didn't have a cell phone. "I'm Amish," I told him. "I evaluate a technology, and if the potential for disruption to my life exceeds the benefit, I don't use it." As of this weekend, the benefit started to exceed the disruptive potential. So Saturday morning, Laura and I went to the store front of the friendly local monopoly and added a second line to her existing cell phone account, which is a fair bit cheaper than me just getting my own account. The funny thing is that once I had made the decision to get a phone, geek lust struck, and I spent part of Friday night looking at the phone company's web site to see what kind of phones were available. I wound up going with the cheapest Motorola I could get, and didn't sign up for any of the extra features, like browsing the web from my phone, but the phone can do it if I decide I'm willing to pay the money. One step at a time....

We'll see if it changes anything. I suppose it's bound to. I still like the idea of being unreachable when I'm in the car, but the idea of being able to reach out and touch someone when I need to is awfully compelling. How long before all the pay phones disappear?

Posted at 8:24 PM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I beat you! I still don't have one. I held out longer!

Posted by lilbro at 4:10 PM, November 18, 2002 [Link]

Damn! You win! So how did you call me from Maxwell's last year when you made it to see The Clean and we got lost in the barricades? I thought from that that you had a cell phone.

Posted by ralph at 4:48 PM, November 18, 2002 [Link]

Nope. No cell phone for me. I called you from a payphone next to the bathroom. The tradtional way.

Posted by lilbro at 7:30 PM, November 18, 2002 [Link]

Wow. Music was so loud and clear that I figured you were in the room. Silly me.

Posted by ralph at 10:32 PM, November 18, 2002 [Link]

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This site is copyright © 2002-2017, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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