This and That

On Saturday morning I was bundling up the little one for a walk to a local brunch establishment when I couldn't stop myself from taking a picture. She'll be one on Wednesday and I know all too well how quickly they grow. So I snapped a picture with my LG G3, uploaded it to my Flickr account and put the phone back in my pocket.

Morgan's almost one

That was the last photo I took with that phone. During brunch, I whipped it out to check email and it was powered off. And it wouldn't power on. Even after ensuring it was fully charged and removing the battery and all that there was no life in that phone.

After brunch I bought groceries before calling Rogers. It's remarkable how it feels to be without a smartphone for even a few hours. Ten years ago, I didn't even own a cell phone, and now I consider it an essential service.

As usual, Rogers was willing to upgrade my phone, but it would cost me. They wanted to switch me to one of their new, more expensive plans, and I wanted to speak to their retention department. They were actually pretty decent, allowing me to keep my current plan and giving me an LG G4. I hopped on my bike and headed for Royal York and Bloor to pick it up.

No phone meant no use of my MapMyRide app to record the ride. It was my first unrecorded ride in five years. That also felt strange, as if I wasn't biking at all. I have completely gamified my daily exercise. If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

It was cold and windy and as I pedaled my way north on Royal York, in the bike lane, a man in a black pickup truck took the time to yell "get off the road!" at me. In all my years of cycling Toronto's streets I don't think I ever heard that sentiment in that tone. Heck, I was in a bike lane!

I also realized that my wireless Bluetooth headphones did a pretty great job of keeping my ears from getting cold. I normally wear them under a balaclava but without a phone didn't have them on. The cold air was flowing into my ear canal and I realized they're for more than just podcasts and tunes.

By 1pm on Saturday I had a working phone again. It was only four hours of inaccessibility and I didn't like it one bit. I kept thinking, if my 12-year old daughter needed me right now, I wouldn't be able to help her. I hated that feeling.

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She has the exact same look on her face as the guy in the truck who you got in the way of...


March 13, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


For the record, the pickup truck was turning left onto Royal York and maybe had to wait 15 seconds for me to get through the intersection.... just some jerk who doesn't think bikes belong on streets, EVEN IF THERE'S A BIKE LANE!!!!

March 13, 2017 @ 11:27 AM



i agree.

I tell those kids to stay off your lawn!


March 13, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

Beatts the lazy proof reader

* AND tell those kids...

March 13, 2017 @ 11:41 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Everyone is welcome on my lawn.

March 13, 2017 @ 11:42 AM


Even a Doug Ford Sign ?


March 13, 2017 @ 11:46 AM

m m

Definitely, not having a smart phone is the new "get off my lawn!" I also chuckle at this, as I didn't feel like I needed a smart phone until I got one!

March 13, 2017 @ 2:25 PM


My Samsung Galaxy S5 has been slowing dying for a while...

- First the casing broke a bit, but eh, it's aesthetic, and I could cheaply replace it, but the phone was already pushing two years old.
- Then the worst thing happened ... I've never ever broken a phone screen and always make a point of keeping it in my front right pocket with nothing else. This day, I figured the shitty earbuds it came with couldn't do any harm. Wrong ... the pressure of one pushing against the glass was apparently enough to break it. It drove me nuts for a the first couple of weeks, but the phone still worked, and replacements just didn't seem worth it.
- I broke the headphone port -- I've done this with virtually every device I've had going back to Walkmen. Somehow I just put too much pressure on that point. With a phone it's due to the phone being in my pocket and bending a bit while I tie my shoes. But I switched full time to Bluetooth headphones.
- Battery wasn't holding capacity well ... bought a replacement from Amazon for $14, good as new.
- Now most recently, the rotation sensor doesn't work.

Thing is, the phone is still fast and snappy. Despite all the minor problems, I can't really justify replacing it. I've been setting aside some money though so I can buy a fancy new one on a whim if and when this one finally does kick the bucket, without a contract.

March 13, 2017 @ 2:26 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Doug Ford can come on my lawn, but his sign cannot.

March 13, 2017 @ 2:33 PM


also, yes that feeling of not having a phone is not a fun one. i am glad they sorted it out and you didn't end up trapped paying *75 for 3GB a month just because you wanted a new phone.

I think the Rogers plan for a new phone with 1GB is like 70? Ridiculous.

March 13, 2017 @ 2:57 PM



A few months ago I went from a Samsung S3 to the S7

The battery on my new phone is beyond phenomenal. I charge it over night, and it lasts the entire day until I go to bed (heavy usage) with still typically 15% left. It will charge complete in just over an hour.

It also hasn't blown up on me (yet) but has given a dirty look to bikers encroaching on my driving lane.

Can't win them all I guess.

@TorontoMike what you let Doug Ford do on your lawn is between two consenting adults.

I just know I'm never walking barefoot across it given the chance...


March 13, 2017 @ 3:14 PM


My phone plan is grandfathered with Rogers. It's so good I bought the S7 outright for $700 rather than get a completely free phone for changing plans.

Our plan is three phones (two S7's and an Iphone 5) with 5 gig on EACH phone for just under $150

Rogers employee's can't touch it and said to never ever change it. lol

March 13, 2017 @ 3:19 PM


I do not use a cell phone at all and i suspect i never will.

March 13, 2017 @ 3:22 PM

The Voice of Reason


Cute kid, fortunately she looks like her mother. As for loudmouths that cannot share the road way "especially when that space is designated for bikes", they be instructed to retake the drivers exam. As driving is a privilege not a right.

March 13, 2017 @ 3:23 PM


For the record, your ride didn't count as a workout. It actually never happened. Unless a workout is recorded on Facebook, it's just a dream.

March 13, 2017 @ 8:10 PM

Blind Dave


My wife doesn't own a cell phone either, and likely never will. She doesn't fare well with electronics and cannot wear many types of watches.

My Galaxy S4 went tits in December 2015 and it was in repair for over a month. I was using my old Incredible S during that time and the smaller screen was so hard on my eyes as I had been used to the bigger Galaxy. So even though I had a phone, I felt lost without the better model.

I now have a Sony Xperia Z5 and I love it.

March 13, 2017 @ 8:48 PM

Jason from Sudbury

My mom has the IPhone 6S plus. Tried using it and felt like I was holding a tablet to my ear.

March 14, 2017 @ 12:12 AM

the brother

I'm considering the BlackBerry KEYone as my next smartphone. It runs Android Nougat with all the security features and I had a chance to try it recently in Toronto. When it releases next month I will be giving it a serious look and then retire my 2.5 year old phone!

March 14, 2017 @ 12:45 AM

straight out of

re: GUNTer: "I do not use a cell phone at all and i suspect i never will."

*smirk* I have a flip phone I carry just for emergencies. My kids think I'm straight out of "The Wire" :)

March 14, 2017 @ 12:48 AM

Smartest Person Here

I've never understood the fascination with Android myself given it's tremendous & frequent security flaws. Another alert about security on Android was recently released. Take note this hits Samsung, LG and Nexus products.

I figure that most people support Android because they're "anti - iPhone" unless they're a hacker (Silent Circle phone) or a developer that writes his own apps for the platform.

I trust Chinese Android phones even less than I trust giving my wallet full of money to a crack head.

March 14, 2017 @ 1:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I guess 86.2% of smartphone users are stupid.

March 14, 2017 @ 1:54 PM


@the brother: my own brother, just bought a blackberry off kijiji (forget the model) but he absolutely loves it - paid $300 for it and it works like a charm.

March 14, 2017 @ 4:48 PM

Smartest Person Here

@Toronto Mike

I believe Android market share worldwide is around 80% now. Much of that is because much of the world simply can't afford the option of purchasing an iPhone. In North America, iPhone gets about 41% of the market. That's 41% for a single product versus dozens of different phones many which are nearly free of charge. My experience is that many of the 'Droid supporters are Droid supporters because it's more about not being Apple & less about the quality of the product. Regardless, facts are facts. The Android ecosystem is more insecure than the iPhone ecosystem. Patch releases, vetting apps, etc is all inferior in that ecosystem.

PS. I don't recall calling anyone stupid. I made a point based on the security of the phone. I backed up my claim. Given that the smart phone contains most of your secrets logic would dictate you want a secure device, right?

Google makes a nice Android phone. I like the Pixel. I am encouraged with Blackberry releasing Android though the handsets need some work. If BB had any sense they'd embrace the platform and secure it on some nice handsets. If you want real security, the Silent Circle Blackphone makes the most sense but it's expensive to run.

March 14, 2017 @ 5:02 PM

the brother

"....If BB had any sense they'd embrace the platform and secure it on some nice handsets." in fact, they have and are doing just that:

But don't take my word for it, see the KEYone when it is available at retailers next month or check out current offerings like the PRIV or DTEK50 or DTEK60, all are solid devices kept up-to-date in a timely fashion with the latest security updates

March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 AM

Smartest Person Here

@The Brother

The handsets aren't there to challenge Samsung or Google. yet. They need to be. Handsets need to be a thing of beauty if they want impact. That's the business

BTW, are you that brother on Pulse 107,7 in Surrey. Your signal blocks out the Endz in Seattle man. Good for you though. And good for Roundahouse Radio. Local radio can be good radio.

March 15, 2017 @ 2:16 AM

the brother

Perhaps you have confused me with Brother Bill lol. I believe Mike made the same mistake because he and I share the same first name. I met him a couple of times when he used to host club gigs in Toronto back in the 90's while he was at CFNY, 102.1 The Edge. He is extremely knowledgeable and well spoken and I hope he is able to do Mike's podcast one day when he is in town as I'm sure he has some great stories from that era!

March 15, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The confusion is because Brother Bill now goes by his real name, Neil Morrison.

March 15, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

Smartest Person Here

Yeah, Neil went to the school just up the road from me when I lived in Brampton, Ontario. I believe at one time I got wasted with him (how's that for an urban legend).

Neil works on Pulse FM in Surrey. I've only checked the station out a few times and it was just music. I thought I heard his voice on Roundhouse Radio.

Of note, a couple weeks back I was coming in from Bowen Island in the morning and Jesse Dylan was on Roundhouse. I assume he has a syndicated program now? It was a talk/information show. Took me a few minutes to realize who the voice was.

March 15, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

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