First Cell Phone

Do you know what this piece of technology is?  This is the Motorola Dyna TAC.  Hubby had to carry this around back in the day.  This is the original portable phone, aka the first cell phone, nicknamed the brick. The brick weighed 2 pound and cost $3995 and featured a half hour of talk time when fully charged.  (I just found one on E-Bay for $49.99)

Over burdened repair guys had to carry these phones, along with their tools, with them on their calls.   Salesmen had them mounted in their cars.  Wall street types would cart them along to their martini lunches.

No one had the brick just in case.  For just in case, we had pay phones, or friendly businesses that would let you use the phone in an emergency.  The brick had no games that could be played while waiting for an appointment.  The brick had no Kindle app for reading while you are waiting.  The brick had no camera, no pictures, no social media to share with.  The brick was used for business only. (Maybe the very rich used the brick for personal emergencies.)

The miniature version we have today, that we can just be slipped into a pocket, owes a debt to the brick.




Watching the Presidential speech I was fascinated by the differences in the Democrat and Republican responses. The areas of disagreement are very clear. What the President sees as success, the Republicans see as their failure. According to the news analyst at the end, the Republicans clapped less, and spent more time in their seats than ever before. The analyst also mentioned hearing cellphones ring, and Republicans being on their phones and tablets during the speech.

Going to any event, a dinner with friends, movie, church, and others, many of us turn off our phones. If that is not possible, we at least silence our phones. It seems to me that the President of our country, should be given our attention when he makes a speech. The State of the Union speech is once a year, covered by every television network, and is uninterrupted my commercials, because a Presidential speech is important.

Disagreement does not mean we can dispense with manners. Disagreement makes manners even more important.
In a disagreement, people on both sides of an issue want their side to be heard, and their concerns acknowledged. Manners show respect during a disagreement.

President Obama deserves respect especially when you disagree, because he is the president. Our enemies are watching, and our angry division they interpret as weakness, and increases their resolve.

If you agree, I hope you will share this with someone else.

What You See, Can You Hear me Now?

Before I got my new smart phone I just didn’t understand the joy of being connected to my family, friends, acquaintances, accounts, information, games and every organization tool this little computer has to offer.

No wonder people don’t put these things down!  I’ve been in the back of the theater  watching the ballet.  Sure the ballet is graceful, fluid, rhythmic, and pretty, but what is the big deal?  I would see others on their phones and think put it down for goodness sake!  Make your call and get off the phone!  When I was young,  we carried a quarter in our pocket and used a corner pay phone, standing connected to the phone by a wire umbilicus, because there were no portable cell phones.  No-one worried about bars in an area, unless  thy wanted a drink.

Now I am one of those people with the cell phone in her hand during dinner.  Don’t judge me.  I can make a note for my next blog, add something to my shopping list, look up that actor from that movie last night so the conversation can go on without further argument.  Now I am never far from my phone.  It has more processing power than the Apollo 11 space craft, and I am not tethered to anything, and it fits in my purse.

What you see depends upon where you sit, and I’ve moved from the back of the theater to the front row where I can see the muscles bulge with exertion and recoil with each landing, the sweat pour from the body and get flung in all directions, and perhaps I’ll even get  splashed by a few drops.  I have only begun to learn what my new smart phone can do.

My favorite features of my phone?  I can still make phone calls to my children, and snap pictures of my grandchildren and always have them ready to share, with anyone who has access to a cellphone or computer.  Technology has sure come a long way in 60 years.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a sacred time in most households, when all distractions were shut off, and the family sat down together to enjoy each others company, share their day, and celebrate their successes.

Have you guessed? It was the family dinner. Televisions were turned off. If the telephone rang, which was unlikely because all your friends were also eating dinner, you politely answered that you would return their call after dinner. Dinner time was family time. The Beaver would tell how he hit a home run in the neighborhood ball game, while his brother would tell how well he thought he did on the math test. Ward would congratulate the boys and talk about his day, while June would serve up the family favorite: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Once upon a time, most people looked forward to that time when the family came back together, and the meals that only Mom could make the best. But time marches on. Mom is to busy to cook, but the selection of carry in meals is terrific. The family can still eat together, if practice for an array of sports and other activates would only allow it. When the family does finally get together, they are often to exhausted for sharing, and besides, the television is on.

There is an alternative that many families take advantage of a few times a week. They eat out. No television, now they can talk.
Not so with the family we sat near a few nights ago. There they were with their three very well behaved kids. The only conversation those kids heard were from tables surrounding them, and Mom on the cell phone who at least once told them to shut up as she was talking on the phone.

Is it any wonder that these kids, came to visit our table. Mom did get off the phone to order them back by her side, and then manhandled them into place when they did not respond fast enough. The children were then promptly ignored.

This was only the most resent example of families totally being shut out by the cell phone. I’ve seen spouses with one on the phone while the other ate alone in a restaurant. I’ve seen people on an unfortunate date where the phone was in use by one.

Cell phones are everywhere. I’ve been in line at a store where everyone is trying to be quiet so as not to disturb the person on the phone. At the register you can’t tell if the person on phone is really aware of what is going on. At the playground the tweens all have their cell phones out and they don’t even talk, they text.

People driving while on their cell phones has caused many an uneasy moment, and even accidents. These real dangers have lead to a movement to take a no cell phone while driving pledge, and legislation requiring hands free for driving.

I’ve heard of a shop that has posted a sign that if you are using a cell phone, they will wait for you to complete your call so they don’t interrupt you to provide service. At movie theaters they request you turn off your phone, but in the darkened theater you can see the glow of the cell phone as people are texting.

Once upon a time had a lot of draw backs, but it had some really nice things also. If we are a little creative we can take control our cell phones and retain some of those nice things, like family dinners and sharing our day and successes.

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