July 23, 2010

[Paraphrased joke – thanks Gary!]

A man goes to see his doctor for a checkup. While he’s there, he asks his doctor how the doctor knows if it’s time for someone of advanced years to be put in a nursing home. The doctor responds that he fills a bathtub with water, gives the person a teaspoon, a coffee mug, and bucket, and asks the person to empty the tub. The man says that that is easy. One would use the bucket because it holds more water and thus, the bathtub is emptied faster. The doctor looks at him, and says that that answer is wrong. A younger person would just pull the plug. The doctor then asks the man if he’d like a bed near the window.

Budump-bum, crash!

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that funny, but I laughed my ass off at 6:00am before my first cup of coffee was ready.

I started to say the other day, that I was having a problem again, and that I would get back to it. Unfortunately, due to my ‘gift of gab’ and prolific use of the computer keys, I didn’t get around to writing about it. Okay, so here goes. Let’s see how long I can stay ON TOPIC this time.

It is fun reading these some days though, right?

Wednesday. I mentioned that we had had the best thunder and lightening storm I have ever seen in Tainan. Obviously, there are people who have been here longer than me, so they may argue that there have been better storms, but for me, it was cool!

It started sometime around lunch. Maybe a bit after. There were a couple of very bright lightening blasts and some terrific thunder that followed almost immediately. That tells me, and I’m sure a meteorologist could probably back me up on this, that the center of the storm was either right above me, or pretty damn close! Nonetheless, from that point on, the iPhone was screwed up.

Whenever I’m at home and at the computer, I always attach the iPhone to the computer. It keeps it backed up, as well as being a charger unit (the computer, that is) for the iPhone. The only thing that I can offer as a suggestion is that there was a surge of electricity that traveled through the outlets and into the iPhone. Whatever. I could be wrong about that as well.

Nonetheless, it was all screwed up. Normally when I exit an app on the iPhone, I press the ‘home’ key (bottom centre, square symbol). This returns me to the main system and exits the app. However, this time, it would ‘reset’ the iPhone. Every time I pushed the button, the iPhone would go out, then come back on as if it had been shut down.

Took it to the repair shop the following day. The repairman said that I had gotten water into the iPhone. Incredible. I thought that on planet earth, everything went DOWN to the ground. A little thing Newton called ‘gravity’. This repair person was suggesting that the water had traveled down the iPhone, then UP into the charger connection. For anyone that has a cell phone, you figure it out. If you know how water can travel UP against the force of gravity, perhaps you can enlighten me.

Anyway… got home, because now they won’t replace it because of a drop of water. He suggested that I ‘restore’ the iPhone to it’s factory settings. The first thing I wanted to do though, was get all my pictures and other vital info off the iPhone into my computer, and then reset. Think I could do this? No way. After about an hour of various options, I decided that if I ever wanted this piece of equipment to work again, than I had just better bite the bullet, and hit restore.

Done. A message appears saying that all info on the iPhone will be erased, and all factory settings restored. Why not. As it turned out, the restore function worked. The iPhone is back to normal, in a way. I have to go through and reset all my preferences, mail account, notifications, etc., but all my contact info was restored to the iPhone. As were all my voice messages and recordings. However, life is full of give and take. In order to take something (in this case, have a functioning iPhone again), I had to give up something. It ended up being all the movies and pictures I have taken since July 9, 2010. Okay, so that’s only about 2 weeks, but it is amazing sometimes how much ‘stuff’ you accumulate in 2 weeks.

However, it did restore all my photos from my computer. When I say ALL my photos, I’m not joking! I have over 6,500 photos stored on the computer! I didn’t know I’d taken that many since last September!! Slap my knee! This is going to force me to do two things: 1) clean up the photos on my computer, so that the next time the iPhone syncs with it, the photos will be adjusted accordingly, and 2) not let ANYONE use the iPhone until all the photos are cleaned up!!

As of today, July 23, 2010, the iPhone seems to be functional again. It’s as if nothing ever happened. Let’s see how long THAT lasts…

The other thing was the friggin’ printer again. I got a message that the printer could not recognize 3 of the 4 colours on the printer. I took the computer chip in (that the store keeps replacing), and left the printer at home. They exchanged the chip. Got home, snapped it back in place, shut the printer down, reset it, and now, it’s back to working properly – again.

Sometimes I wonder what the problem is. In the past 12 months (calendar months), I have been through 5 cell phones, 7 different printers, and 3 computers. It’s not like I’m abusing these things. I don’t throw them around. I don’t hit them. They just seem to go crazy and stop working. Okay, so 1 computer was destroyed in an accident, so it really doesn’t count, but still…

I’m beginning to think that it is something else. It’s now how much I use these items, or that I carry them with me (in the case of the cell phones and laptops). I always try to make sure that they are jostled or bumped as little as possible if they are going on a trip with me. The cell phone is safely tucked in my pocket. The laptops are in pouches inside my school bag. When possible, I try to put them INSIDE the scooter for added protection, but it’s not always possible. As for the printers, hell, they don’t move at all!

I know that some people have some kind of (for lack of a better word) ‘force’ in them. Not everyone. Take this example. When you are in an area where you need an antennae to pick up a T.V. station, when you hold the antennae, what happens? Nothing? Or does the station tend to come in a little clearer? Same thing with a radio.

I’m beginning to wonder if it has more to do with what ‘surrounds’ me rather than ME. I know this may sound crazy. Oh, Bill’s really flipped out now. He thinks he’s full of ‘the force’!

I have at home here in Taiwan, 2 computers. My laptop, which I presently use, and the other one that my roommates use. That other computer (the hard drive, keyboard, and mouse) are the original computer parts I bought the first year I lived in British Columbia. They are obviously outdated, but they still work. Perhaps, because I don’t use them! As well, my roommates have had, to my knowledge, ONE time where there seemed to be a problem. I unplugged the whole system, and started it back up after a bit of a rest. Since then, no problem. That was just over a year ago. The system itself it probably close to 10 years old!

I know people who still have the cell phone they had when I first met them back when I arrived in Tainan in 2002! They have never had a problem, except to replace a battery that can no longer be recharged. Other than that, still working like a charm. I don’t even know how many cell phones I’ve had since 2002! I spent enough on them to keep a small village alive for a year or so!

Every time something screws up, I keep cursing the quality of Taiwan merchandise. But it has to be something more than that. It is virtually impossible that I am constantly being sold faulty or defective merchandise. I don’t treat my belongings badly.

Whatever the causes, as of today, everything seems to be back to normal… the iPhone is working, the printer is humming along, and the computer hasn’t fallen apart.

As my students would write at the end of their essays:

“Today was a good day. I hope I can have a good day again.”



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2 responses to “July 23, 2010

  1. Scott J.

    That is very odd that you’ve gone through that many electronics in one year. I can’t even imagine 7 printers; that’s crazy. You should only be changing the cartridges!! I’m going to have to argue for the side of “you” being the problem….haha. Sorry. Something is just not right. Maybe it’s your environment. Maybe it’s due to the cats? Let’s say cat hair gets inside all of the different things and causes them to break down. That’s a nice excuse.
    I have seen it before with people too where some just have no luck, I guess you could say, with stuff like phones or laptops and others keep theirs forever, it seems. There is no written rule to this, that is for sure.

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