It’s funny how we sometimes get locked into one mode of thinking, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.
For example, when we were first planning our Hawaii trip, I decided that the best option for taking photos was to use my iPhone. At the time, I thought I could purchase some sort of an international data plan. That would mean I could not only use that handy-dandy camera I tend to always have with me for photos but, with a waterproof case, I could even send pictures to Facebook directly from the beach, check in to Foursquare at a non-wifi restaurant or look up the history of an isolated tourist attraction on Wikipedia. Plus a quick search of waterproof cameras revealed that waterproof cameras cost more than double what a well-rated waterproof case cost so that made financial sense too. Or so I told myself.
My plan was to be 24/7 connected but once I talked to my phone company, I realized that my vision of in-ocean Foursquare check-ins and photos of fishes wasn’t going to happen as SaskTel doesn’t have data plan agreements into the US. Short of jailbreaking my phone, I was out of luck.
I asked on Facebook about what other people did for data plans when traveling in the US and the majority of responses were more along the lines of “Do you *really* need to be connected 24/7 on a holiday in paradise?” And I was to learn that the answer to that question is: “Don’t fuck with karma!”
Unfortunately, we’d already gone ahead and bought a waterproof case so I thought that even if I didn’t have Facebook and Twitter, that was still the best option for photos. (Of course, the thought that wrapping a $400 phone I’d just upgraded to a couple months earlier in a $50 waterproof case was somehow better than buying a $150 waterproof camera didn’t even really enter my one track mind at this point which had decided I was using the iPhone in Hawaii – period. Well, maybe once it entered my mind that this wasn’t such a good idea. But after a trial run where I dipped my encased phone in and out of a sink of water, probably quicker than water moves to fill a void, I was feeling a bit more confident with my decision.)
We got to Hawaii late at night and after a deep sleep and waking early to watch the sunrise, we packed to go to the nearby beach. I put the camera in its case and, perhaps knowing that this may be a BIG mistake, I went to my dad not once but twice to ask “Does this case look sealed to you?”
He was noncommittal in his answer (yet ANOTHER clue about this not being my best idea) but one track mind, right? So off Shea and I go into the fish lagoon of Lydgate State Park for some snorkelling. I took pics, videos. And then I came out to see that the camera flash was on. And staying on. Even after I push the power button.
“Oh-oh” I remember thinking. Which translates into Hawaiian as: “FUCK!”
I opened the “waterproof” case to see a few drops of water drop out of the inside. ”DOUBLE FUCK!” We went to a nearby park to let Pace play while I fiddled trying to get the camera to turn off (yep) and the light (nope). ”SHIT DOUBLE FUCK!”
The longer the light stayed on, the hotter the iPhone got. I asked if everyone would mind going back to the condo and so we did, me trying not to break into a run. At the condo, I made the cardinal sin of what you’re NOT supposed to do when your phone goes into water by plugging it in to try to get it to somehow re-boot.
One of the last things I remember seeing on my phone was a message saying that the phone was overheating and shutting down. Not knowing what else to do, I put the phone in the fridge and we headed out on a grocery run with one item added to our list – rice!
Unfortunately, after a couple days in rice, I had to accept the sad fact that I’d bricked my brand new iPhone in perhaps the stupidest fashion possible. (Adding to the pain, when we went to Costco for groceries, they had a giant display of waterproof cameras for just over $100 - not much more than I paid for my “waterproof” case. That Costco waterproof camera ended up being the camera I used for the rest of our trip.)
Luckily it all worked out (and that’s why I’m not quite as embarrassed to tell this story now.)
At first, holding my bricked phone and knowing that Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover water damage, I was feeling like shit. But then I remembered that my VISA card has automatic extended warranty protection on items purchased with the card (my mother-in-law once lost an earring and Visa replaced the set with no questions asked.) I couldn’t even remember if I’d used the card when I upgraded to a new phone but I tend to do so for larger purchases so that was my small ray of hope.
Even if I had used my Visa, I still wasn’t positive they’d replace for reasons of stupidity and I only had that last lingering doubt leave when I received the insurance cheque covering the complete replacement cost of my phone a few weeks ago!
Lesson learned in January: Karma’s a bitch!
My other bad computer story isn’t quite that bad. For the last week or so, the display on my MacBook Pro has been going black randomly and not always coming back when I used the trackpad, closed and opened the lid or even after a restart. It finally crapped out completely on Monday and unlike Jesus on last Monday, nothing I did would get it to come back to life. I took it to a local Mac Service Depot and after a diagnosis of a dead display (and a quote of $600+ to repair it), I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new computer.
I’ve had that other one for almost 3.5 years and have definitely gotten my money out of it. Luckily, we have an awesome program at work where employees can get an interest-free loan for computers and have it come off their paycheque for a period of up to 24 months. So I don’t even have to waste my income tax refund on an unexpected technology expense!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go wrap our new iPad in armour!