Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I’ve never been a particularly big cell phone user in my life. I suspect primarily this come from my borderline pathological hatred of telephone to begin with. I don’t like having to deal with them when I’m home or in the office, but recognize their necessity. But having one when I’m out for a walk or enjoying supper with my wife? No thanks.

There have been only two times I’ve owned a cell phone. The first came about five months into my relationship with Cathy. We weren’t living together at that point, plus I was on the go a fair amount because of my work with The Express. I’m also not sure if she realized my hatred of phones at this point. So she bought me a cheap cell phone and the minutes came off her plan as an Easter gift.

I recall thinking it was a fairly thoughtful and nice gift and said as much at a gathering shortly afterwards. However, her friend Karl quickly made the logical leap that I had failed to notice. I believe the quip was, “Wow man, she didn’t waste anytime slapping the old electronic leash on you, did she?”

That caused me to do a slight double take at the phone. Cathy, for her part, shot Karl a look that should have killed him instantly. However, they’ve been friends since high school and I imagine that Karl has been on the receiving end of more than one of those looks over the years. I guess you can build up an immunity to a death glare after awhile.

The second phone came the summer we were getting married. Considering how much both of us were on the move and the general insanity of trying to plan a wedding, meet friends and prepare for a move, a cell phone was pretty much a must. But at the end of the summer, it was deactivated and is probably in a bin somewhere.

And yes, there are cell phones in Iqaluit. I see them all the time and confess to being a touch confused by the need to own one in a city of 7,000. But I guess if you’re on the go a lot and important then there is a need. Although I think I must be one of the very few people of my profession in all of Canada that does not have a cell phone, let alone a Blackberry.

Then again, I was one of the few reporters in St. John’s without one, so I’m used to being in the minority on this issue.

So why the long ramble on cell phones? Have I had a change of heart? Am I getting one? No.

What did happen is that I finally saw the iPhone commercials over the weekend. And yes, I really don’t know if I need a $500 “phone.” And yes, they’re not available in Canada yet. And yes, they would be complete overkill for what I would need it for up here.

But by God that is one snazzy looking gadget. If it actually works like it says it does in the commercials, they’re going to sell a billion of them. I want one and, in case you haven’t already figured it out, I hate cell phones.

Then again, I am a Mac whore. I try, occasionally to obnoxious lengths, to convince people that they need a Mac instead of whatever PC box they’re using. The IT guys at work must hate coming to my office as one of the first things I end up saying is, “You know, if I had Mac in this office instead of this Dell piece of shit, I wouldn’t be having these problems.”

I’ll be buying a new MacBook Pro in the fall. So it’s perhaps not completely surprising that I’d love this toy. But no, I won’t be getting one as long as I live here.

Still, if/when we move back down south, it’s on the list of gadgets I want. Right after the new home audio system for the new house and a Mini Cooper.

God, I’m such a consumer whore….


Kara and Matt said...

Alright consumer whore- how about some ipod advice.

My husband and I am pretty lost when it comes to gadgets. We really have none. But we think we want an ipod with the docking station with speakers. We have no stereo in our house and are thinking this could be nice. So I went into a store here in Edmonton and there were so many choices of ipod and speakers I was scared.

So what would you recommend?

Kate Nova said...

I just moved to Iqaluit after six years of reporting and living in the Land of Hurry-Hurry down south, with a cellphone perpetually glued to my head.
Three weeks later I still hear sounds of a ghost phone, itching like a lost limb.

towniebastard said...

The speaker system we have is an Altec Lansing "inMotion", which is a small speaker system. That works fine because our apartment is small and we really don't need something that will blast out the walls. It's also portable and runs in the $100-$150 range.

The best is the Bose system, however I don't know if you want to spend $300-$400 on a speaker system. That would have been my preference, but Cathy suggested we didn't need something that loud or expensive. She was probably right.

As for the iPod, if you're going to use it primarily around the house and if you have a lot of music, I'd suggest the 30 or 80 gig iPod. I have an 80 gig, but I horde music (I'm approaching 6,000 songs). A 30 will likely do (It holds about 10k songs, assuming you don't put video or pictures on it, which you can do with the 30 and 80 gig ones).

If that seems like too much, then an 8 gig Nano will likely do just fine.

www.ipodlounge.com also has lots and lots of info.

towniebastard said...

And Kate, welcome to Iqaluit. If you have any questions (in an off-the-record sort of way) by all means drop me a line. I still remember quite well how disorienting it can be when you first land here.

Kara and Matt said...

Thanks for the info! I have to say that I really like the title "consumer whore". You should write from that perspective more often :)

the2scoops said...

While I am digging the iPhone, I am more curious (and willing to spend the $$$) to see what design elements from the phone shape the next generation of iPods. Good bye click wheel, hello touch screen? An iPod with widescreen and internet connectivity?