Gadgets in Harmony

I just had an alarm for the same event go off on my iPhone and in Google Calendar at the same time. I reckon there was less than half a second between them. I think most of the delay was the time taken to switch tabs in Firefox.

That's the sort of harmony and precision that fills me with warm blisses.

My Saviour the iPhone

Since I started buying expensive sorts of electronics that you're able to stuff in your pockets, I've wondered if carrying around these things has the potential to change my reactions to the world around me. In a negative sort of way. I'm often conscious of being careful with iPods or smart phones because they're expensive and frequently surprisingly fragile. I wonder if someone needed saving from drowning or truck collision if my reactions would be slowed having to carefully stow my iPhone or whatever, in my pocket or some waterproof case before lunging nobly to their rescue.

Since getting my iPhone a few months ago and starting at L'Arche, I've thought about this a little. There's a high rate of people falling over for not much reason at all and also not huge amounts of road awareness every time. Often I'll be walking somewhere with someone and talking to someone on the iPhone and I'll think to myself "I'd be a better and more useful walking partner if I had a cheaper phone in my hand, that I wouldn't think twice about dropping." There is plenty of time to think about any sort of thing when working at L'Arche and this is just one of the things.

However, I had opportunity to test my theory the other day. We just had a particularly hectic day and a particularly hectic attempt to meet up with the other two L'Arche houses at the Auburn tennis club. We'd largely failed. Certainly failed at meeting at the tennis club, and probably also mostly failed the day. But in the end I was at Auburn RSL Club, with three of the core members from my house and nobody else. Two of them struggle to stay up without holding onto someone, so both of them were doing that. The third was herding them along with throaty exclamations and gentle finger prods. It was a bit of a funny little ambling ramble we had going, but I liked it. We made it down some steps even, into the club and over to the elevator. As we walked into the elevator I was trying to call the houses we'd failed to meet on the phone, to explain that we wouldn't be meeting them. Not even meeting them very late, as had previously been the plan. Before they picked up the phone the least stable fellow let go of my hand and leapt into the elevator, tripping on the crack and starting a tumble into the elevator wall. My long-held fears were truly vanquished since not only did I drop the iPhone, but I flung it away so my hands would be free to grab my friend in a protective sort of stabilising buffer hug. The buffer hug worked wonders, but the iPhone was very cross. It did not work for the whole evening (although thankfully ended its tantrum later on) and there quite some cracks and oddities about it now. One side of the screen pushes in much further than the other, and the camera has starting turning photos all wobbly.

I also noticed how massively I missed the phone that night. I felt so stranded. I think that in future I may have to carry a secondary iPhone as an emergency backup when I leave the house.

So while I am sad that my phone is a bit broken now and sad to think that it is unlikely to survive the rest of its two year plan with continued mean flinging frequencies, I am happy to know that, even for minor tumbles, the phone doesn't inhibit brisk responses. In fact, one might even go so far to say that I exhibited a rather reckless disregard for the amount of time the plan has to run. But some sorts of financial recklessness are probably to be encouraged and cultivated.