The following appeared last year on SERENDIPITY. By the way, the task chair I mentioned below is not up to the task and has to go.
As early as last fall I was thinking that I should buy or replace everything I need before I retire. In other words, I should get what I need now while I am still working. Social Security is inadequate in the long run. I don’t want to have to buy “stuff” later. I purchased a car with the thought it could be my last one. It mostly sits in front of the house. I will put less than a thousand miles on it the first year. At that pace it should last a while, right?
I recently bought a desk chair. Since I have worked from home since March of 2020, I wore out the cheaper one I had. I needed something more durable. After all, I will be sitting here writing wonderful essays for you long after retirement. I have not made up my mind yet if the latest addition is a good one, however. After sitting on it a few days, I think it may not be meant for an 8-hour day. It is called a “task” chair. I guess it is only for certain tasks.
An eye exam was on my list. I was hoping the result would be the same as the pre-pandemic exam. I literally picked up my current glasses the week everyone was shutting down. If I needed new glasses I thought I better do it while I have vision insurance. Medicare does not cover glasses and many supplemental plans don’t either. Now I understand why my grandmother had her glasses for such a long time. I don’t think they did her much good in her final years.
A phone was also on my list. I kept getting messages that I was running out of storage. I didn’t store much on the phone so I deleted apps, pictures, text messages, and voice mail. I went through the apps I used and cleared the cache, but my good friend Moto kept telling me I was low on storage. I bought this particular phone because it had a lot more storage than my previous phone. In fact, it has more computing power than the Apollo Guidance Computer that was used to land men on the moon. And yet, somehow it is not enough!
I bought the Moto e5 at Best Buy when they carried phones for Virgin Mobile USA. I had Virgin as a carrier for many years. It was really the Sprint network. My first phone did not do much more than make phone calls and send text messages. It did not even have emojis for that. Now my “smart” phone is not smart enough.
Virgin Mobile customers were sold off to another carrier, and I either had to buy a phone online or go to one of their many phone stores. Best Buy was no longer an option. I was too impatient to read through everything online, so I went to the store to ask a bright-looking millennial to help me find the right phone. Actually, I am just guessing he was bright-looking. He wore a mask and his appearance was more like a bandit, but I digress.
“I need a phone with more memory,” I told the phone geek. “I think a lot more memory would be best.” One can never tell when someone will need enough computing power to run the Starship Enterprise, so I wanted a good upgrade now. “I think I have just the thing,” Captain Kirk’s assistant said as he led me over to the Wall of Phones.
I was looking at phones of about the same size, but the Starfleet lieutenant was shaking his head. “This phone is probably what you need,” he said He pointed at something much bigger than I what I had. I explained I did not want to break the bank or buy something bigger, I just needed more memory. The alien from the United Federation of Planets was sure he took me to the right phone.
“The younger generation is looking for something with a larger screen for watching movies,” he said. Well, of course! The same people who want a six-inch screen on their phones to watch movies and play video games are probably the same people who would be mortified if their parents had anything less than a 50-inch LED 4K Ultra High Definition smart television, but I digress…again.
“I am not going to watch movies on my phone. I have a television for that. I am not going to watch YouTube videos either. I can see those on my 21-inch computer monitor or my television. I just want a phone with more memory.”
My phone wizard must have been a graduate of the Starfleet Academy. He quickly explained all of the features of the new Motorola I should buy. “Your phone probably has 16 GB (gigabytes) of memory. This has 128GB,” he declared with a smile. Well, I think he was smiling. “You will have two days of battery life, four cameras, a faster processor, a fingerprint sensor, and a stylus.”
“Stylus?” I queried. At that, he popped the little metal stick out of the phone to show me that we could write things down on the phone. Yes, we are so advanced, that I could take a metal stick and scratch out notes on a 6-inch surface. Now that’s progress!
The phone was triple the price of the previous phone. If I wanted something the same size as I had but with more memory, like a Samsung Galaxy, for example, I would have to pay at least 3 times the price of the new Motorola g Stylus. So I agreed to take the one with the little metal stick.
My new phone friend asked for my phone number before going back to the flight deck where they keep new phones. He set up the phone and copied everything over from the old phone. Before I left he assured me the phone would also receive text messages and make phone calls. Now that’s progress, I think.