On the new newness

After several years where I was reliably getting a new phone every single year and basically coming to terms with the fact that I’d become That Guy, I waited three full cellphone generations– from the iPhone 7+ I’ve been carrying around forever to today– to upgrade my phone, and finally caved and came home with an iPhone 11 Pro Max in the Midnight Green color. I told myself I was going to wait until I could walk into the store and walk out with a phone, and that happened today. What ended up getting me to jump was the massive improvement in the cameras– I’m super psyched about getting to play with the new triple-camera setup, and the damn phone is gorgeous, to the point where for the first time I’m getting a clear case. It’s currently in my bedroom transferring all of my settings and apps and photos from the original phone, a process that was originally projected to take two hours, then 24 minutes, so I figured I had time to come out into the living room and write a blog post before going back and checking on it.

This was a long and interesting week; I was out of my classroom for two days at that rarest of beasts, a really interesting professional development opportunity, and I had parent-teacher conferences Wednesday night, which was the busiest I’ve ever been at PTCs– I had a line out my door for two hours and fifteen minutes– and then I had a parent-teacher conference for my own son on Thursday. Today most the kids actually had a recess as a little reward for surviving the first quarter, and a dozen or so of them organized an honest-to-God, flag-waving-and-chanting impromptu gay pride parade (!!!) on the soccer field. This is the first year of my career where I’ve had more than one or two kids who were conspicuously and un-selfconsciously out of the closet– there are a lot of 8th graders in my building who are somewhere on the QUILTBAG spectrum and don’t seem to give a damn who knows it.

A genuine oddity: they exist alongside the rather large contingent of more typical 8th-grade straight boys who enjoy nothing more than ceaselessly calling each other gay, and yet I have never once— and I’m watching, God damn it– seen any anti-gay bullying of any of the actual gay kids, and there are at least two boys in the 8th grade who are gay at twenty feet, if you know what I mean. I’ve never seen anyone call either of them names, even the kids who are quickest to toss “gay” at any of their straight friends.

So there may be several posts this weekend, is what I’m getting at, depending on whether I decide I want to talk about these things more. The training, at least, will probably get a post tomorrow or Sunday.

In which I demonstrate restraint

compare-iphone-7-201609.pngI am… not immediately pre-ordering an iPhone 7?  Like, for real?  This is a thing that’s not happening?  I don’t understand; I currently own an iPhone 6, and before that I had a 5.  I re-order my phones when a new number comes out.  The 7 is out, or at least it’s about to be.  And yet I paid my phone bill this afternoon, meaning that I went directly to the very place where one might go to order a new iPhone, and yet somehow there is no new iPhone with my name on it either beginning to be shipped to me or being manufactured for my eventual ownership.

I’m confused.  I’m New Tech Guy.  I’m Ooh Shiny Guy.  What the hell?

Actually, I know the answer, if I’m being honest.  I’m perfectly happy with my current phone– the upgrade to the 6 from the 5 was a no-brainer because of the bigger screen, and I’ve got no complaints about it, no matter how hard I try.  And I will have complaints about the 7, because one of the ways I use my phone a lot is in the car, with the phone plugged both into the auxiliary jack on my car stereo and the… well, power thingy.  I don’t mind the idea of ditching the audio port in general, but it interferes with how I use the phone in my current car, and the phone gets a lot of use as an audio device in my car.  I don’t often use headphones one way or another, so the idea of eventually spending $140 on a wireless set doesn’t appeal.  I’m not gonna whine about it much, but right now this change doesn’t work for me.

Additionally, from what I’ve seen the best change to the device is the camera, and the biggest change to the camera is on the Seven plus.  The two-camera thing looks really cool. Being able to shoot bokeh photos with my phone seems really neat.  But I’m not sure I need (well, okay, need has nothing to do with this, I’m not sure I want) the bigger phone that I would need to buy in order to get the better camera– and, again, I have no complaints about my current phone, which includes the camera.  I love the idea of a better camera but I don’t really need it right now.

So… am I, like, maturing or something, or is the fact that I’m thinking new car, then new phone so that my phone can interface properly with the car a sign that I’m actually a bigger idiot than I was before?

(Oh.  Let’s not talk about the new Apple Watch until I have hard data on the battery life.  As soon as I don’t have to charge it every single night, I’ll jump ship.  I love my Pebble, but I’m waiting for Apple to catch up in a couple of key areas and then I’m done.)

Why not, one more


Click for massive embiggenation.

The weather has been, with the exception of a brief rain squall yesterday afternoon, absolutely perfect for the last couple of days.  Fall is my favorite season and has been for a long time; clear, cloudless sixty-two degree days are the reason why.  It’s going to be warmer for the rest of the week– mostly upper seventies– but there’s no real chance of rain for several days so it ought to be really pretty around here for a while.

A very brief review of the iPhone 6: it is, once again, too damn slippery, meaning that I had no choice but to put it in a case.  I don’t like phone cases, particularly on phones that clearly have had some effort put into their design, although Apple’s official case (I got the red one) is cut out at the bottom so that you can see some of the gold.  It ends up having a sort of Iron Man colors effect, which I kind of like.  Unlocking my phone with my thumbprint is fantastic.  (Yes, it’s hackable, if a thief is very patient and willing to go through the 25 steps necessary to steal and transfer my thumbprint.  Somehow I’m not worried.)

I feel like the glass on the front of the thing is more fun to touch than the glass on my previous phone.  I’m aware that that sentence may not seem like it makes any sense.  I’m not sure I understand it either.  But I like holding this phone more than my last one.  And I prefer the larger size, although I deliberately didn’t order the 6 Plus because there are limits to how big the screen of a phone should be.  The camera is rather improved over the previous one, as I think you’ve seen already.  And it’s fast and the screen is gorgeous and sooner or later Continuity and Apple Pay will start working and blah blah blah phonebrag.

The main disadvantage is this:


My wife took one look at my phone and said “Your phone has whatever face.”

“What?” I said.

“You know, like the emoji,” she said.  In other words:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And now I cannot stop seeing that.  Every goddamn time I look at the phone.  Arrgh.

A thought

Changing phones and changing phone service providers is incredibly annoying when you have two-factor authentication turned on for every device and service you have.

There we go

Been waiting all day for this baby.