Thursday, August 16, 2007

Never Place Your Phone in the Path of a Steamroller

There are a few things I want to mention. First of all, when you have a librarian in the same room with some technology, at least the kind of librarian I am, she will continue to fiddle with it until she gets it to work. A certain person (you know who you are) mentioned pownce to me, and now I just have to get an invitation to it, even though I think it sounds totally unnecessary to my happiness.

Similarly, I did not want a camera on my cell phone. Hell, I didn't even want the cell phone, but it's turned out to be central to my game plan of working various on-call and contract jobs until a real one appears. These days, it seems, you cannot get a phone without a built in camera. So what did Ms. Librarian Geek-Face have to do? She had to spend hours figuring out all the functions on her camera phone, didn't she? I would consider this a stupid waste of time, except that it filled in many minutes on the bus to UBC (see self-portrait above) and, once there and working in the library, waiting for Library Literature to execute searches. It would be the professional librarian database that is the very slowest thing you've ever used, wouldn't it?

Among the better parts of my afternoon spent studying the LG 245 user guide was the ceremonial reading of the Important Safety Precautions, which in this case runs to three pages. Highlights include:

*never place your phone in a microwave oven
*make sure that no sharp-edged items such as animal's teeth or nails, come into contact with the battery [unnecessary and somewhat bizarre comma in original]
*an emergency call can be made only within a service area. For an emergency call, make sure that you are within a service area and that the phone is turned on.

Figuring out how to use my camera phone meant that I could document a question that has always bothered me. One of the things I had forgotten about living in British Columbia is that everywhere you go, or at least everywhere with any pretensions to culture, has Shadbolts. Could someone explain the appeal of the exploding-zebra-butterflies to me? Perhaps one of the art librarians I used to work with?

Just to give your eyes a break from those gooey pictures snapped with my phone, here's an unrelated photo by the fabulous Winnifred. Not entirely sure what this structure is, but it's two blocks from our house and it sure is pretty.


Anonymous said...

A while back we bought some sun shades for the car- those big things you put in the windshield to keep the steering wheel cool? On the package it said:

"WARNING: Do not drive with shades in place."

Love, Judy the Mathematician

Butchery on Bond Street said...

I am an inveterate lazy-arse when it comes to learning the functions of anything technological that I buy. Average lag time until I actually PURCHASE an mp3 player, a digital camera etc.? 5 years from introduction, by which time the item has become somewhat affordable. My late father, may the earth lie lightly upon him, used to say "Lie down 'til the feeling passes over." That I've done,many a time, but my high-level education still comes in handy when I cave in, whip out the Mastercard and trot home with a shiny new box and too much packaging. I open the instruction manual, sigh, and give up. Let those with more patience enjoy the features that lie idle and unused on my new toys. My Ph.D ? "Push here dummy."

Elaine said...

That lovely structure is some species of buddhist temple. All are welcome if you can handle the incense. Gifts of food are left to various gods and often include cans of Budweiser beer. Cause you know those gods.