posted: June 9th, 2011
"You FUCKING piece of SHIT! FUCK!" This is what I said shortly after paying $12 for parking one mile away from the Los Angeles Convention Center, after picking up my less-than-three month old Blackberry Bold, and almost immediately dropping it due to the insane heat coming from it. The phone had not been charging. The phone was not in direct sunlight. It was barely 70 degrees in Los Angeles. The phone was simply having a supreme malfunction.
From day one, I did not care for this phone. The weird curved buttons make for difficult text entry. Getting stuck in odd sub-navigation areas when I was quickly trying to find an app was frustrating. It was not my Curve, but at least I did not have to deal with that annoying trackball anymore.
At least the trackball phone didn't overheat, or... (wait. I am getting ahead of myself).
So, for three months, I used the Blackberry Bold constantly. Texting, Twitter. Facebook. IM. MMS pictures. The whole deal (it's unlimited anyway, so why not?). At night, I would put the phone in the charger, and in the morning, I would start over again. Everything seemed fine.
About two weeks back, I started getting a white screen. I saw nothing else. I could not get it to go away. Removing the battery (for any length of time) did not fix the problem. If I locked the phone, the screen would turn off, but as soon as I unlocked the phone again, I have the white screen. I appreciate a good flashlight, but this is not a feature I needed in my phone.
Eventually, the screen would come back, sporadically. Usually, though, the white screen would just persist. I could still get calls, but I had no idea who was calling until I answered. I could not use the phone for any other functions, until the white screen decided it was tired, and would leave. I had already put in a call to T-Mobile to get a replacement, but that would take a while, and I did not have a replacement phone, nor did I feel like blowing more money on a temp phone until then. I could still receive calls. It was good enough until I could get it replaced.
Then, the night before "the end", a friend texted me, offering me a pass to E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo). I am not a guy to pass on this, so I text back "hell yeah". I was told to get down to the Los Angeles Convention Center in the morning, and call/text him when I was there, to get escorted in. Cool.
Turns out....not cool.
The morning of June 8th, I get nothing but white screen again. Ugh. I lock the phone (so as to not waste the freshly charged battery), hop in the shower, and drive down to E3. I park a mile away, pay my $12, and prepare for the walk. I grab my phone, and exclaim the top sentence of this little article. No exaggeration, the phone was insanely hot. My hand hurt after picking the damn thing up. I am playing hot potato with the damn thing, trying to get it to turn on, as I walk down Figueroa to get to E3. As I get to the venue, I have a horrifying realization: I don't know my contact's phone number. Hell, I don't remember ANYONE'S phone number, excluding my friend at T-Mobile who was supposed to get me my replacement phone later that day (ahh, irony, I love you). From multiple pay phones along the final stretch to, and inside of the L.A. Convention Center, I am frantically trying to call my phone friend (collect - I had zero change on me), who ignored all my calls. In a last ditch effort, I blow $6 (plus tax) for 10 minutes of internet time at the L.A. Convention Center Business Center. Those of you who follow me saw my frantic messages on Twitter and Facebook. Sadly, these failed. My E3 friend was not monitoring either.
On the one mile walk back to the car, I eventually pass a T-Mobile store. They confirm the phone is dead. They let me call my T-Mobile friend, who was apparently sleeping the entire time I had been trying to call him (reference: it is 2pm when he finally answered the phone). After then driving deep into the Pomona area for my new phone, and installing my SIM, I then notice that every number I have installed to the SIM of the old Bold in the last two months is gone.
Thanks to the absolute CRAP Blackberry sync app, I was never able to properly get my numbers to back up to my laptop. Now, I have to spend the next few days emailing people, asking for the phone numbers again.
What I learned: I absolutely fucking hate the Blackberry Bold, but I want buttons on my phone, so I am pretty much stuck. I now have a printed backup of all my phone numbers in my wallet, just in case I enter another black day like yesterday, I will at least have more than one person to call.
Side story, but related: When my Mom was dying, I always had my phone in my hand, or right next to me. Even if I went to the bathroom, I would carry the phone with me. My Mom was calling me a few times a day, asking me to save her from hospital food (which I did - very expensive, but it brightened her day, so it was worth it). After she died, I could not break myself from the habit of keeping the phone right next to me. I'm sure some psychologist would read into that and conclude I can not let go of my Mom. Well, DUH! Anyway, yesterday was a really bad wake up call on just how dependent I am on my phone. With cities removing more and more pay phones, and strangers not willing to let you make a call on their phones (I did ask yesterday...I got a lot of "No, sorry"), what is the solution? Do I now have to carry two phones with me, just in case of a backup?
It is 2011. I can have my music horribly compressed from it's original beautiful quality and put into a cloud, but if I need to call a friend when in need, I am shit out of luck? Great.