Too Much Phone

I have had my Blackberry Curve for about a year now. (And yes, that is Buzz Lightyear‘s reflection in the phone.) I got a really good deal on it and only pay £15 a month on my phone plan.

Apart from the fact that the buttons are a little on the small size I’ve gotten on with it fairly well. Technologically it is not on-par with the iPhone, or even the iPad, in terms of quality of downloads (it can take ages to buffer and still gives you a choppy “outer space” video to watch.

But I decided I needed to gear my mobile communications device up into the 21st century. I could not afford an iPhone 4 or 5 and no other manufacturer could come close to them. Unless of course you want to purchase a “no brand” phone and then you just look cheap.

After looking at the other phones on offer at the Tesco’s electrical section, I opted for the Blackberry. My daughter Meg had one when she went to university and it was pretty handy. Although neither of us could figure out how to use the internet option or the Wi-Fi application, despite the fact that the city that she lived in was one huge Wi-Fi hotspot.

I didn’t have that problem with mine. I could jump on any Wi-Fi signal and could read my emails unhindered.

But…

I have only been able to email myself a couple of times. Both times were because I was too lazy to find the usb connector that allowed me to attach the phone to my laptop and upload a picture. When I attempted to email myself last night it failed each and every time I tried it. And before you say anything, it was not an email address associated with my Blackberry.

In the end I had to give up and look for the damn usb connector and upload that way. Now at least I can do my blog post about our latest Quorn recipes and our reaction to them.

But the fact that I’ve had the phone for so long and still haven’t mastered the full use of it says a lot. I am not technologically stupid or stunted. I have in my time hooked up external hard drives via a pig-tail connection to an existing computer. I have installed new graphics cards and extra memory cards for RAM.

So why can’t I come to grips with everything that my phone can do?

I only discovered last night (completely by accident, mind you) how to zoom my Blackberry camera to take close up pictures! If I hadn’t brushed my finger across the “mouse” button on the phone, I still wouldn’t know how to zoom.

Of course you might be asking, “Why didn’t you just read the instruction manual?” Good question. I did sort of read it. Which means that I skip read and probably missed loads of things that my phone can do. But that would be the total amount of “research” I would have done when I got the phone.

These days you can Google most questions you might have on your new “product” and find an immediate answer to your particular dilemma. If you can be bothered that is.

But I guess the point I’m trying to make is this. I think I “over bought” in the phone department. The Blackberry might be perfect for a businessman or the entrepreneur who wants to look stunningly professional. But I don’t really think it fits my somewhat limited needs.

There is a scene in one of my favourite westerns True Grit, I hasten to add that it is the John Wayne 1969 film that I’m referring to here, Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) has just shot a turkey with his prized .56 Sharps Rifle. [Now the .56 Sharps was used to shoot buffalo, not turkeys.] As La Boeuf stands holding the dead bird, with a look of pride on his face, Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) pauses in mid conversation and nods at the turkey. “And we’ll clean your turkey.”

Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) says, “I don’t know how, it looks all messed up.”

Rooster grins and says, “Yeah.”

Then as an aside to Mattie, Rooster says, “Too much gun.”

I kind of feel like La Boeuf right now, every time I go to do something on my Blackberry phone and get stymied or have to search for instructions I can hear Rooster in my head saying, “Too much phone.”

Rooster.
Rooster.

True Grit

John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.
John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was sitting here perusing my old blog posts when I suddenly got the image of John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in my head. As I sat there mentally studying Rooster, I thought of the title of the film.

True Grit.

More images came to mind. Grits, obviously, the great southern delicacy that I can live without…forever. Who ever invented this southern ‘breakfast’ dish, should be shot with the corn niblets that were ground up to make this dish.

Bland to the point of disgust and only edible after you add copious amounts of salt, pepper and butter. Blech!

Another image is that of grit. If you have ever raised chickens for eggs, you will know this word. Grit is made up of small shells and stones that have been ground up into tiny little crumbs. You have to give grit to chickens every day if you want eggs that will survive long enough for you to put them in your omelet.

Chickens
Chickens (Photo credit: Allie’s.Dad)

It is essential that chickens have grit to give them strong shelled eggs.

I also think of the boy scout newspaper called Grit. We used to have a town character named Burney who sold these things on the town square when I was a boy. Burney was a ‘town character’ because he had epilepsy.

Not the sharpest of tools in the shed, Burney was nonetheless harmless. He would not have hurt a fly. Strangers coming into the town would give Burney a wide berth, fearing him a little. One day Burney had a petite mal  on the sidewalk. A couple of visitors were shocked and concerned.

One of the tellers from the bank, come out and looked after Burney and made sure he didn’t bite his tongue or swallow it. After Burney’s fit was over, the teller went onto the drugstore and got him a cold Coke. Burney thanked him and sat contentedly sipping his cola.

One of the ‘non-residents’ of the town asked the teller what had happened and was that poor man okay? “Oh, that’s just Burney,” the teller replied, “He’s all right.” After glancing over at Burney one more time, the teller went back into the bank.

Burney finished his Coke and took the bottle to the store for the deposit it would net him.

I mention Burney, because of True Grit. The film, about a young girl who seeks to catch and hang her father’s murderer is looking for a Marshall who has true grit to help her. Of course all the main protagonists have grit in spades.

And that is the last thing I think of, the grit that people show in their everyday lives. Not everyone has it. Grit is that stubborn never give up attitude. The ability to keep going when others will easily give up. Grit is loyalty and the ability to not think of yourself as anything different. Grit is to be brave in the face of the fearful.

Burney was a wonderful example of true grit. Through every type of weather imaginable and if he was sick or not, this man struggled out everyday to sell his Grit newspaper. He even ignored, for the most part, the annoying kids who used to make fun of him. Every kid in town would do it at least once.

“Hey Bur-ney! Wana buy a GRRIITT!” The shrieked out question was usually said on the run as Burney was incredibly fast and could almost catch the little stinker who thought he was so witty. He would not have done anything if he had caught the kid, as I said Burney was harmless.

I know he was because to my everlasting shame, I was one of those little clowns that thought it was hysterically funny to taunt Burney. Burney did catch me once. All he did was look at me sadly and shake his head, he then let me go.

I never picked on Burney again. But I can tell you now that when I think of True Grit, it’s Burney’s face I see in my mind more often than not.

If Burney was still alive, I’d buy a Grit, I’d buy the whole damn bunch of them.