Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Toilet Incident and a Bowl of Rice

I have been having a tough week. It all started last weekend when my iPhone took a dive for the deep.

Sometimes you see things happening in advance and you take no warning. You continue with a risky behaviour even though you know there is a possibility of something awful happening by accident but because doing otherwise is a bit more difficult or just even a few extra steps. So you continue a "dangerous" practice and risk the consequences. We all do this. If you are like me, as I decide to short cut a safety step a little voice tells me "one of these days this will go wrong..." as I picture in my mind's eye the awful consequence I am risking.

A few examples of this come to mind. I got caught with one of these a few months ago and ended up sendng an email to someone who should not have received it, simply because I used the "To" spot to type in the name and clicked on it to find the title of someone I was mentioning in the email. It is a faster way of looking up the contact than using the "Address Book" button. Disaster ensued since I had that person's name in the TO box and in haste, forgot to remove it before I hit the "Send" button. It was a big disaster because I was replying to a note sent to me by my boss marked confidential and she had explicitely said that the person should not be copied on the email. That person was a VP. My boss was not amused. I vowed never to use the "To" box to look up information for a non recipient ever again.

What happened to me with the iPhone is another example of taking shortcuts and risking consequences. Last Sunday I was rushing to take Bella out for a walk. I grabbed my cell phone and threw it into my back pocket and as I was about to run out the door realized that I needed to make a quick visit. As Murphy would have it, as I pulled down my pants the phone jumped out of my pocket and into the drink. I mean drink in a sailorly way - I was not sipping margaritas at the time.

As I turned to see what the "plonk" was all about I viewed my beloved phone slowly sinking to the bottom of the bowl. Without hesitating a moment I plucked the phone out and without skipping a beat I grabbed my blow dryer and blew air all over it and into the little holes. It might have been in the water for maybe 4 or 5 seconds at most.

At that point I remembered that I should power it off as it is the electricity which is the problem. I had discovered that a few years ago when a laptop sitting on a basement office desk had been flooded by a pipe leak many years ago. At that time we were told if it had dried out before we turned it on.... the smoke was a tell take sign that the laptop was not salvageable. As I started the power off sequence it flashed a message to me on the screen. "The iPhone is not compatible with this device" - I should say not - I do not have an iToilet, after all.

I immediately went to the great world wide web to find out what to do. It was surprising how many folks have had this problem - or worse. I read about numerous toilet, bathtub, boat and even washing machine incidents - and I found out what to do. Remove the sim card was the first thing (not enough to power the cell phone off). Taking the battery out is unnecessary it seems and from the acccount by the one guy who did that it is a several hour exercise for only the most teckie types in the crowd. The main solution involved rice. Plunge it in a bowl of uncooked rice and leave it for 3 days! Rice is a natural desiccant. Seemed like a great idea to me!

As I read the many accounts of these incidents and how folks made out with the rice process, I was struck by how many of these people just could not wait 3 days. In the maybe half dozen accounts, the iPhone owner, perhaps in a bad way with iPhone withdrawal or in the same way that a mother needs to get up in the night and "look in" at their child, felt compelled to turn on the iPhone after only several hours in the rice. In each of these cases there was also a story of woe - the iPhone malfunctioned and they quickly turned it back off and thrust it back into the rice until it had sat in the rice marinatd for the full 3 days. I determined not to take it out of its rice until the full 3 days were up.

It is so difficult to be without the iPhone when you are used to having it with you 24/7. Starting with the lack of an alarm clock, (the cheery alarm ring tone is the first thing I hear every morning), and continuing with the now need to be precise about when and where I will be for folks I need to meet and when someone can call me, not to mention only receiving/sending emails from home and lastly, the reliance on a walking atlas and encyclopedia in my pocket. In short, I felt deprived and perhaps just a little bit in withdrawl.

By Wednesday morning I could wait no longer - also I needed the phone to make last minute arrangements for the arrival of a window coverings installer at my place and so I took the phone to work and did the "Reveal" there in the morning.

I had a bit of a problem getting the sim card in. The tiny peices of rice had worked their way into the sim slot. After some vigorous shaking and the use of the tiny sim card removal tool to loosen a stuck piece, I was able to install the sim card and held my breath as I powered it on.

I cheered as I saw the familiar menu appear! The good news is that my iPhone seems to have suffered not ill effects and is no worse for wear.

Why do we persist in taking short cuts when we know there could be negative repercussions? I don't think I am going out on a limb here if I state it is because we are living in a Hurry Up World and we are training ourselves to do things as fast as possible. We don't take time to smell the roses let alone take time to do things properly. I know I rush through all sorts of things - not only risking extra work to backtrack and fix the consequential mess, but also in so doing I am not taking time to appreciate the little things along the way.

Starting today, I vow no find a better way of housing my cell phone and keeping it safe from jumping out of my pocket and to take the time to ensure that it is safe from danger when on my person!

Today, I resolve to take a deep breath every time I feel rushed and remind myself not only that mistakes can cost more time in the end, but also that we only have one life to live (well, unless you are a Buddist) and I should take the time to savour every bit of it!

I am now going to take my dog Bella out for a nice walk and to enjoy the start of what looks to be a wonderful day. It has been so cloudy, rainy and cool in this last week and we have sun and warmth this morning! I am taking my daughter out to buy a new dress and then when I come back I shall finish my blog telling all about the Elvis Festival and the Beaches Jass Festival. It will posted by end of day today, in case you care to visit the "TorontoIsMyTown blog it will be posted by 9:30 p.m. at the latest!

There were lots sailboats out on the lake this week (they seem to be out there every day despite the bad weather, but this morning the scene is especially picturesque. They have their spinnakers unfurled and it makes for a colourful sight, that of which is only hinted at with this picture. Sometimes, the eyes are capable of seeing more beauty than you can capture in a photo! If you click on this and look at the enlargement - you will see just a small piece of what is taking place all over the lake in view of my balcony!


  1. Well, I would like to say nothing like this ever has happened to me. So, I will say that: Nothing like this ever has happened to me. Now, we shall see if anyone actually believes me.

    I would love to have been aboard one of those sailboats, Peggy. Looking from your balcony must be a genuine pleasure every single day of the year.

  2. Thanks Fram for dropping by and leaving a comment. As I have said several times on these pages - I am one lucky gal for where I live (both places viewing water) and what I have and I mean that to apply to more than just my fabulous view.

    My only regret is I so seldom am able to share it - the views are wondrous each and every moment of every day - and each in their own way. Somehow it is human nature that when you see something spectacular you do want to share it. Shared joy is always sweeter.

  3. I'm glad that the dunk in the toilet left no visible damage to your iPhone. An iPhone is expensive to replace! My husband and stepdaughter seem to be the ones in my family who damage their cell phones. I, on the other hand, replace my cell phone every 2 years not because I have to. I replace my cell phone because it is free to do so when you renew a cellular service contract.

  4. Thanks for dropping by Linda! Yes, I was so relieved not to have to pay for a new one. You are lucky if you have have had no mishaps with your cell phone. I bet you are more careful than I am. I lost an expensive one on a cab ride to the airport in Florida - and with a flight to catch I just had to let it go... Aside from the one lost and this last problem, I am not so hard on them - I don't tend to break them like my daughters do... for that I am grateful!


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