Shrinking worldwide

Dan is back from China. Whole and well (actually, I’m writing this on Thursday night and he’s not in fact home yet, he’s in Chicago. I’m taking for granted that he will arrive whole and well and in doing so I may have jinxed the whole thing. If that happens, I’m truly sorry. I can’t control my powers).

This trip that he’s been on got me thinking about just how amazing technology is.

Cliche and trite, I know. But you never realize how true something like that is until you’re faced with it.

First there are cell phones. My first cell phone was in a bag and never ever got used. The whole family shared it.

Then came the Zack Morris square phones.

Then those Nokia brick shaped things with nubby little antennas.

Then on and on and on, and now we have smartphones that have more powerful computers than the first shuttle to the moon.

Then there was texting. $.10 apiece and I never did it much. Then it caught on and now I cannot name a significant life event that I have not texted someone to inform. I texted Josh that I was pregnant. I texted my family the same news. When we moved, when we came home. All announced via texts. When Lucy was born – texts.

Computers have gone from giant behemoth things (like the first computer I ever bought myself, it was a Gateway and it was as big as I was) to the sheet-of-paper sized iPad I’m typing on now.

I am never disconnected. I can always be reached. There are pros and cons to that, but since I’m a mom and for at least the next 17 years I’m going to need to be accessible, I’m thankful.

My kids missed their dad while he was gone, sure they did.

But they saw him and spoke to him every night. Even now I can check my phone and see Dan’s little blinking dot on the map, telling me where he is and if he’s going to be on time (he’s not).

So what I guess I’m trying to say is that I feel really very lucky to live in a time like this. I feel lucky that if I get worried that my husband was in the accident I just heard on the highway, I can text him and make sure he’s okay. If I’m running late I don’t have to leave anyone waiting. If I go away from my kids I can still see their faces. Even from the other side of the world. And that is everything.

Apple’s what caused the great fall, you know

I have never been what one would call an “early adopter.” Of anything. Cellphones, trendy clothes, text messaging, hell, even Facebook. I hung onto Myspace until the tumbleweeds started rolling.

Not to say that I don’t welcome new things. I always stay pretty much abreast of new stuff, but….it’s hard to explain.

I still have a 3GS when everyone else is sporting iPhone 4’s, but…I waited in line for an iPad 2 on release day. So maybe I’m a little bit of an early adopter.

I DON’T KNOW, OKAY, THAT’S NOT THE POINT OF MY STORY.

Anyway, about this iPad.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the area around the home button was unstuck. Like the seam thing that goes around the edge was undone.

Well, excuse me, but that shit ain’t flying.

At first I tried to convince myself that it was no big deal. That is, after all, my way – meek and silent.

That was about the time that the white iPhone 4 came out and there was this huge uproar over a 2 mm difference in thickness or something. That got me to thinking.

If all these people with too much time and loads of money to buy brand new gadgets as they roll off the manufacturing line can kick up such a fuss over fiddly little millimeter details and glitches, then why the fuzzy rubber hell should I be okay with a pricey toy that was just a bit flawed?

Nay. It would not be so.

So I called.

Apple flipped me back and fro and over on every phone line imaginable, and finally just told me to go to a brick and mortar store.

Memphis, two hours away.

So I called the store. My iPad is the very base model (no frills here, yo), and the chick said that they couldn’t hold one for me (it was “against policy”) and that they didn’t even really keep that model in stock, anyway.

What, the lower caste of the Apple World doesn’t deserve to have their lowly 16 gig wifi iPads at the ready? The mega memory 3G model buyers are somehow better?

No. I say NO. I was standing up for the little man, the low and forgotten paupers and their basic iPad 2s.

So I decided screw it, I’m selling it.

But no one wanted it. Jury’s out on whether my conscience would have let me get away with selling what I believed to be a flawed product, even to a stranger. Also, craigslist sucks.

So I called Apple again.

That time the young lady I spoke with seemed quite helpful and ready to try and fix my problem.

Until she found out I didn’t have the six million dollar AppleCare plan. Then it was right back to living with the serfs.

So basically, what she was saying was screw the year long warranty, you have to spend more money before we’ll think about repairing a flaw that was OUR BAD.

Uggghhh.

So I vented on Twitter, and my friend Jared did some sleuthing and found a well buried and forgotten section of Apple’s website that offered me mail-in repairs.

They were singing my song. I signed up, and they FedExed me an empty box. I sent off my beloved iPad with every hope that she would come home pristine, whole, and flawless – like people who get plastic surgery.

They sent my iPad back. Unrepaired. The paperwork said that they had been “unable to replicate the issue” and that my device “meets Apple standards.”

Really, Steve Jobs? You let them run your company this way? With unfastened seals like your grandma with no bra and uncertain futures like Ke$ha?

Once more, nay.

So I set up yet ANOTHER REPAIR TICKET and sent it off again.

This time with some visual aids.

Well, they got the message. Before I knew it the status on the ticket read “replacement product shipped” and I once again believed in the goodness of the world.

Then the new device came. Guess what?

It had the same break in the seal, plus it had this weird light bleedy thing going on.

VETO.

I called Apple without much hope, but got someone with a brain. THEN he gave me to a supervisor who had even more of a brain.

As of now, another empty box is on its way to me, and according to Veronica with a Brain, there won’t be any diagnosis. They’re just sending me another iPad.

It remains to be seen.