My phone is also my alarm clock and reminder alarm for important things that I might otherwise forget.
It has become my primary camera; so much more convenient that lugging around a big old 35mm job. And, of course, I have some of my favorite photos saved there — actually available to show instead of at home in an album.
I use my phone to listen to music all the time now, too — working out, mowing grass, doing almost any mindless thing that goes better with a little musical distraction via Bluetooth.
My phone has become my library, as well. We have listened to at least 20 full length books in the past year. The phone is paired to the audio system in my car, and we actually look forward to a long drive now.
And, as occasionally happens, when we get a little turned around on one of those trips, I stop and use the phone to Google our destination and get turn-by-turn directions.
I hardly ever read a newspaper or magazine now — I get everything more timely via a few apps on my phone. Same with the weather; never mind the general forecast on TV — I have an app (Dark Sky) that gives me an hour by hour forecast for my exact location, whether at home or in Las Vegas or Nova Scotia.
And, oh yeah, I can also take and make phone calls, texts and emails from my phone.
That’s why I was so upset when I lost it a couple of weeks ago.
I had been out for the morning and was running late. When I went to text my tardiness to my wife, my phone was not with me.
Must have left it at home, I thought, hopefully and with an unspoken prayer in my thoughts.
Got home and looked in all the likely places, plus between the cushions, under the car seat, in the pockets of every garment I had worn recently, in my gym bag, everywhere.
Then Char started dialing my number so we could hear the misplaced phone ringing; walked the entire house and garage, ears peeled…nothing.
I had been to the Norwalk Recreation Center that morning so I used Char’s phone to call them (a preview of how I might have to communicate for at least a few days if my phone was lost permanently, I thought). No phones had been turned in.
That’s when I decided to use my phone’s first cousin — my computer — for a solution.
I opened Google and typed “lost phone.”
Immediately — and I am not using that word casually; I mean like right now — a little screen popped up showing a map and the message “searching for your phone.”
At the lower left of that screen was the brand name and exact model of my phone.
I was getting more hopeful.
Ten seconds later a cartoon dialogue bubble popped up showing the last store I had shopped in and an arrow pointing to what looked like the outline of a phone, my precious phone. “Accurate to within 45 feet,” the block said.
Close enough, I thought. Put me within 45 feet of that phone and I’ll find it.
We went to the store — siren and flashers would have been appropriate for the drive but I didn’t have them — and began our search in the parking lot (although I later realized that the 45-foot radius was actually showing inside the store). Char was dialing again, and we were listening intently.
As we were heading to the aisle where I thought I might have left the phone, Char’s phone rang. She looked at the screen and said: “Hey, it’s you! I’m getting a call from your phone!”
An employee had found my phone and hit redial to connect with the person who had been repeatedly calling it.
What a relief! Had the phone stayed lost or had the employee not been honest, I would have been reconstructing my life for weeks.
The lessons to be learned?
Be careful with your phone.
Keep your Google account current.
If you lose your phone, ask Google where it is. It will tell you within 45 feet. I promise you'll agree that's close enough.
Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] hotmail.com.