Family Life

Episode 62 – Phone Plans

I think I get a certain look on my face when I am in writing mode, and I think Denny can tell when I’m mentally taking notes. Sometimes he tells me, “You should put that in your book.”

As we were driving in the rain yesterday, heading north, up the I-5 to the Peace Arch border after visiting our kids, I was discussing possibilities for more efficient note-taking with Denny.

“Does iPad have Scrivener?” I ask him.

Scrivener is the application I use for writing.

“No. Scrivener has been waiting impatiently for an iPad app to be created. But you could just use Pages and copy and paste it into Scrivener later.”

I don’t want an extra step. I think I will wait for the Scrivener app to come out.

“Does the iPad take good pictures?” I ask him.

“It’s not known for the greatest camera. It’s not as good as my phone camera.”

“But the new iPhone has a great camera.”

“Yes it does.”

“And you’re saying that an iPad wouldn’t be able to store all my pictures, even if I bought the one with the most storage space.”

“It would have the same storage as your MacBook Air, 128 GB (gigabytes) of storage.”

I’m sure I’ve asked Denny these questions before. I am trying to find a convenient way to store and access my photos. I have thousands of photos.

I am also looking for a better camera. Maybe a new phone with a better camera.

“You could store your photos on a storage device.”

“Yes, but then it’s difficult to retrieve them. I thought maybe I could just put my favorite pictures on an iPad. Would it be difficult to transfer them?”

“It would be a bit time consuming.”

Technology still doesn’t have all the conveniences I am able to imagine. Denny has figured out what works for him. He has a large phone. “It’s the way everyone is going. People don’t want to have to carry around two devices. They use their phone like a computer. It’s what I do.”

We arrive at our destination. We’re going for sushi with our other kids. They are late.

I ask Denny if I can hold his phone. He lets me. It is really big. I don’t think I could get accustomed to carrying such a big phone around. But, on the other hand, I do see the convenience of having only one device, as Denny says. The new iPhone is a bit smaller than his phone. Probably the right size for me. But very expensive. And Denny thinks I should get a plan with Wind, “Less than forty dollars a month, and unlimited data and long distance in Canada.”

“I’ve got a good plan. Only forty-five dollars,” I tell him. It was awhile ago. Four years, and prices have doubled. An iPhone with Telus I will cost me twice what I’m paying now. How can they justify that kind of an increase in less than five years?

I have the option of keeping my plan but then I have to pay for the phone up front. I might get a sign-up discount but it will still cost me two weeks’ pay.

It’s insane what people have to pay for a phone these days. And, instead of one phone bill a month per household, like the old days, every family member has a phone bill. The other day a woman, obviously on drugs, came into our non-profit to ask for money to pay her cell phone bill. I offered her food. No, she didn’t want food. She wanted money to pay for her cell phone. She pushed her way past me to get directly to my manager.

People are getting desperate.

The kids arrive. The sushi is good.

Denny asks to have the bill split. The waitress looks a little surprised. I notice this, but Denny doesn’t. We are all wage earners, so this arrangement works for us.

I decide to keep my phone as long as it is working. But I still like the idea of an iPad.

“If you’re going to get an iPad,” Denny tells me as we start to drive, “then you might as well get the older version. It’s a hundred bucks cheaper and there’s basically no difference. It’s juts last year’s model.”

Denny has done his research, as usual. We decide to go to the mall.

I’ve actually thought about this for a year. We go to the Apple store and I’m surprised how quickly I have an iPad in my possession. I get the custom cover too. In gray.

Denny is a little bit surprised at me, I can tell by how he keeps looking at me and talking about my iPad. Any purchase at the Apple Store is exciting.

On the way home I realize my iPad is the same price as the Romance Package at Harrison Hotsprings.

Maybe Denny has a point.

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