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.
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.