Misadventures with my new phone

(This is my latest column, cut’n'pasted right here. Have some of you already read it? Probably, but it’s content and I can easily convince myself that it counts. Woot.)

In one of my more pitiful moments of succumbing to peer pressure, I got myself a new phone, and in an effort to avoid sounding like I’m being paid by a particular company to write this glowing review, we shall call it… a Lloyd. A Fotorola Lloyd.

Just go with it.

I walk into my other job last week and one of my underlings shows me his new phone, which he bought out of necessity, predicated by him washing his hands… while still holding his old phone. He’s a silly lad.

Anyway, he shows me his Lloyd. I see the apps [little things you can download that do stuff as pointless as, say, pretending to be an Etch-a-Sketch or making Star-Warsian lightsaber noises, and can be as useful as acting as a Global Positioning System to give you directions or telling you where to find Mars in the night sky (one of my favorites)], and upon viewing everything the little guy can do, I immediately go out and purchase one. It’s only an extra 30 bucks a month to get unlimited Internet and everything else this fella can do, and with my various available upgrades for being a loyal customer, Shmerizon (my service provider) only charged me $50 of the original $250 to get the actual phone.

I’m on Cloud 9. I’ve got Internet radio that plays songs I actually like, the previously mentioned unlimited Interwebs so I can look up stuff on the fly, it acts as a portable modem that I can plug in to my laptop for when I want to use an actual computer-shaped-computer instead of a Lloyd-shaped one, it has a level (for making things level!), a compass, email, weather updates, a button I can press that gives out a quick “badump-tish!” whenever I tell a joke, a flashlight, a small zen garden, a camera, and it shows me how to tie the best Half-Windsor I’ve ever had the pleasure of looping around my neck. It is also, wonder of wonders, a phone.

It’s a Swiss Army knife that I can upgrade to my heart’s content… only not, because it doesn’t actually have a knifey part, or the bottle opener, or screw drivers. But that’s why I carry a multi-tool. Apples and oranges, that comparison was.

But you get the point.

The only problem I’ve had with it, and here we finally get to the reason I’m writing this thing, is that I can’t figure out the dad-blamed, flag-nabbited, thrice-darned alarm clock.

I know, right? The alarm clock is something we’ve pretty much had mastered for well over a century. My phone can do everything in the world except wake me up when I want it to.


It started out promising enough. It comes with an alarm clock that actually did it’s job, but… ugh. The offered noises it makes do exactly what they’re supposed to: they wake you up, but sound like those really annoying not-quite-digital alarms from the 70’s and 80’s with flip down numbers that sound like someone’s beating the crap out of a cricket-filled-rooster. Not the most pleasant thing to awaken too. Then I saw that it had an actual rooster-crowing noise. That’s kinda cool. I’ll try that.


Yeah, it woke me up. And then I couldn’t turn the stupid thing off. So I’ve got this crowing phone that won’t shut up at 8 a.m. and it’s incredibly loud. I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t complain. Here’s me, pounding the button that says “Alarm Off” but it’s NOT TURNING OFF and it’s still crowing!

It was here that I determined an actual rooster would be better to have for this purpose, for two reasons: one, in the movies, the rooster turns off by itself after a single crow. No buttons that refuse to deactivate it, it just gets the crow out of it’s system, wakes everyone up, then saunters off ‘til tomorrow. Two, you can smother a rooster by stuffing it under a pillow. Where a rooster would run out of breath, my phone has no such weakness.

So here’s me, crowing phone stuffed under a pillow, slowly working the cotton candy out of my brain, and I decide to risk taking it out to try and figure out how to shut the thing off. Then I see a little message: “Awake? Prove it:” and it has a number and a little key pad.


I enter the combo, shut the rooster up, and delete that alarm with more haste than I thought I was capable of at 8:05 a.m. I look for a new one in the app store, an alarm sans-combo lock, and find one. I’ll try that out.

It wakes me up at midnight, then refuses to wake me up in the morning. What the crap?

I’m currently on my 5th alarm app. I’ve found one that doesn’t suck, and actually does what it’s supposed to without making me jump through hoops to turn it off. And it sounds nice. I’ll keep you informed.

On a completely different note, why did Tony cross the road? I don’t actually care, I just wanted to do this with my new phone: *badump-tish!*


  • The Greatest Movie Trilogy of All Time!
  • Raised by TV, Episode 2: Cartoons!

Stay tuned for these updates and more, since Tony will soon have free time!

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