Friday, July 25, 2008

awesome pitiable envy

ants tunnel into the crops, eroding the soil and spoiling the harvest

the farmers respond by killing the ants

we burrow into the crust, pulling out oil and coal

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a grieved grievance

I've been very excited about upgrading my iPhone to the new iPhone 3G. This morning, I called the Apple Store at the Syracuse, NY mall to see if any were in stock. Lo, 16GB Whites were in stock. So, I packed up the family for a trip to the mall and drove the 2 hours to Syracuse. Eagerly, I went into the Apple store and boldly asked, "Please, sell me an iPhone."

This is where it all goes wrong. I have $299 plus tax in hand. Apple has an iPhone in stock. Why didn't I walk out of the store with $300 less in pocket and an iPhone richer? Utter disregard for customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and a Byzantine delusion that by rigidly controlling access to your product that somehow you will profit.

The problem, it seems, is that I have a family plan with AT&T and that my mother, who works for a college with a contract with AT&T and receives a discount adds a mysterious 'IFU' tag to my account. Now, I cannot buy the phone from Apple, I must buy it from AT&T.

"AT&T is sold out nationwide," I say.

"We know," says Apple.

I asked if I could buy the phone and take it to the AT&T kiosk just down the hallway.

"No," says Apple.

I asked if I could bring an AT&T representative up to the Apple store to work out the kinks and let me somehow purchase the phone.

"No," says Apple.

I asked if Apple could sell this iPhone to the AT&T kiosk and let AT&T sort out the details.

"No," says Apple.

Why I can't purchase the phone, I can't imagine. This kind of corporate arrogance drives me nuts. My current iPhone is mine. I can do with it what I want. The new iPhone 3G should be mine as well, but apparently Apple doesn't want my business.

This is all very frustrating, because unlike so many others, I'm playing by the rules. I'm not unlocking my iPhone and switching carriers. Apple's rules are wrong, don't get me wrong; but I'm willing to play by them in order to get access to the device. At the point when Apple has changed the rules so much that I can't even enter the playing field?

I'm buying my iPhone 3G unlocked from China.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

circles twice removed

Time bends in unpredictable ways with children.  Eli is almost 6 months old, and he's the most amazing little person, which always strikes me as an odd thing to realize.  It seems like there's this wealth of common knowledge, generally in these seemingly obvious observations, "Children change your life", "My child is the best thing to ever happen" or any number of different (even radically different) observations, which are impossible to apprehend (or at least I chose not to try) in the absence of the actual experience.

In the same way, there are all these things which I feel like I've known for quite a while about life, but for one reason or another have chosen to ignore until now.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  It's a feeling of constant, "Oh, now I get it" that never seems to end; and I've abandoned all hope of ever approaching a final sense of awareness in which "I get it", because I don't think that place is realistically apprehensible given our life expectancies.  Sometimes, it's a vague feeling, having remembered a moment observing my parents doing something that I find myself now doing, remembering a kind of absent, half-concerned confusion as to the what's and why's of what they were doing, as it didn't appear to make any sense to me, and then suddenly awakening to those answers as I find myself doing those actions.

I guess in a sense, it's as if I spent a good portion of my life watching some other people live their lives; and I spent a portion of that time in observation pontificating and sometimes even going so far as to judge them in accordance with my own standards for how a life ought be lived.  Then, suddenly, I'm out of the stadium seating and onto the field; and I'm acutely aware of this sensation of replaying a match that's already been played.