iPhone Meets iFawn

If you have read my previous post, you know that my iPhone drowned in the ocean.

So I got myself a new iPhone. And I like it. Not because it is bigger, but because it can do more. Except swim, I guess.

I took the following video a few days ago during my morning run. Then my son played with my new phone and he turned this video into a film. He put music, words, and edited it with very little assistance from me, all via the iPhone. Smart kid!

Hope you enjoy.

 

(*Tapa is cured meat; a favorite Filipino breakfast, usually served with eggs and garlic rice.)

 

 

Casualty of Vacation

There are many things that an iPhone or any smart phone, can do. It can let you talk face to face with someone across the globe. You can do your research and write your thesis with it. You can check the weather of any place around the world, even on Mars. It can be your personal secretary and will remind you of your appointments and special events.

But one thing an iPhone can’t do. It cannot swim. That I learned first hand.

We were in Palawan, Philippines, and were doing island hopping. Yes we hopped like bunnies on islands. No, we did not.

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no bunnies hopping here

Anyway, we were visiting this one particular island, and I wanted to get a better photo of my son while he was in the water. So I waded in the waist-deep ocean water with our SLR camera in hand, trying so very carefully to keep it above my chest so it would not get wet.

But I forgot that my iPhone was in the pocket of my swimming shorts!

Call it a senior moment. Call it forgetful. Call it distracted. But in our vernacular, we also have a term for it: Tanga! (And it does not mean underwear.)

So my iPhone swam in the ocean. And it drowned.

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where my phone took a swim

Right after I realized what happened, I turned off the phone immediately like what I heard from self-proclaimed experts. I wished to do mouth to mouth resuscitation on it, but I knew it was of no use.

I also heard of putting the phone in uncooked rice right away to try to draw out the moisture, just as what I’ve seen in some videos before. Though I don’t really know if that was proven effective. But we were on an island. The only rice we had, was left-over cooked rice from our lunch. I don’t think that would do.

Several hours later, after we’re done from our island hopping, and we’re back in our hotel, me and my nephew tried to do surgery on my phone. My nephew had a kit to open iPhones, though I’m not sure why he carry along these particular tools.

So we opened up my phone, and tried to shake off the salt water inside. We blew it dry with a hair dryer. Yet I could already see signs of damage inside it.

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hospital, ah…er, hotel for iPhone surgery

The salvage surgery was unsuccessful. No signs of life in my phone. It was dead on arrival.

I left my phone turned off for several days, still hoping that it will resurrect to life. After a week, and only after we got back in the US, that I brought my iPhone to the Apple store, in their Genius Bar.

After running diagnostics on my phone, it confirmed what I knew all along. My phone was dead.

They cannot even retrieve any data from it, including all my photos. My videos and photos of me on the zip-line were gone, and now I have no proof that I did it.

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zip-line where the iPhone rode

I tried to rationalize my loss. Well, it was a 4-year-old phone with a 4-year-behind technology. I needed an upgrade and I was planning to replace it soon anyway. Yet, I have drawn attached to that phone, sentimentally and literally. I never left home without it for the past 4 years.

I guess, I have nobody to blame but me. Or maybe I could blame the iPhone engineers, on why they did not teach the iPhone to swim. Even in ocean waters.

Maybe the next generation of iPhones will. I hope they teach it how to fly too, in case it fall off while I’m zip-lining or bungee jumping.

Um, about bungee jumping….. I think I’ll pass.

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In Loving Memory of my iPhone: October 2011- August 2015 

Our Family Tree

This post has nothing to do with genealogy or my family’s ancestry. It is about a real tree.

Four years ago, we planted an apple tree in our backyard. It is a 5-in-1 tree. That means it has 5 varieties of apples – Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Golden Delicious – all grafted into one tree.

Here is a photo right after we planted it. My wife was lovingly trimming it and placing rich soil, fertilizer, and mulch around it.

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Due to the many wandering deer in our area, we have to put a fence around our young tree to prevent it from being dinner (or breakfast) for hungry animals. They eat twigs, leaves, and all, not just the flowers or fruits.

Below is a picture when I was putting up a fence around it.

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On its second year, it only produced a couple of fruits. They were small, and we did not even had the chance to taste it as they fell to ground before we can even pick them.

After three years it grew much taller that we felt we can liberate it from its protective barrier, so we took out the fence. It also bore more fruits, and this time we were able to taste the produce of our family tree.

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Above is a photo of our tree last year. Note that the lower branches were bare, as deer nibbled on them. My son was trying to pick the apples, but it was beyond his reach.

Too high? No problem. He used a ladder!

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We were able to picked 5 or 6 apples last year. Not bad at all.

This year our tree really blossomed. Here it is this last spring, full of flowers and full of promise of a bounty harvest.

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We had so many budding fruits this early summer that we have counted more than 100 apples.

As summer turned into fall, which is the time for picking, we were unable to harvest them all. Some fell before we can get them. And some simply disappeared. There must be some mysterious apple thieves in our neighborhood, or maybe it was the pesky deer.

Yet there were still plenty of apples left to go around. Here are red apples of the Gala variety in one branch.

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Here are the green apples of the Granny Smith variety in another branch.

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You can notice that due to its many fruits, the weight of the apples made the branches of our tree stoop low. Thus, making it more reachable for us. And that is so true in life – the more fruitful one gets, the more giving it becomes.

Here’s my daughter picking an apple, way within reach.

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We are looking forward to several more fruitful years from our family tree. We are hoping that in the coming years, we would be able to taste all the five varieties of apples from our tree.

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I know, this tree will outlive me provided that it is nurtured and cared for. Maybe my children or my children’s children will enjoy its fruits even after I am gone, if they choose to stay in this house. And even if we move out of here, still somebody else will benefit from it. Not a bad legacy, I would say.

Or if tomorrow, our family tree will get bulldozed by a rampaging buck or chopped down by a deranged axman, at least I already immortalized it in the world of blogosphere.

iMock

MacBook, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and now iPad mini. How much gadgets do we really need? The cynic in me, sometimes wishes for the good ole simple days, when apple and blackberry are just something we eat and not something we tinker around. A tablet is something we swallow when we’re sick, and not something we play with. A notebook and a pad are something that has lined papers that we write on, not that one we can google something in the internet with. Well you can also say that google and internet are words that don’t exist yet.

However, I will say that not acknowledging these new technologies and gadgets, that really changed the way we live, is like burying your head on the ground. In truth, we have some of these “toys” lying around in our house. My children are well adept to these devices, and use them to do their homework, or “homeplay”  if we’re not attentive. My wife likes reading books on her gizmo, as well as playing Fruit Ninja. Even toddlers today know how to operate an iPad. My son who is nine, is now asking me when can he have his own phone, just like her teenage sister do. I told him he can use his toy walkie-talkie to call, and can even do morse code when he wants to text, thus he does not need a phone.

I let my kids know that I was 33 years old when I had my first laptop and was 34 years old when I had my first cellphone. I did not have my first “smart” phone (were the old phones “dumb”?) until last year. To this they will reason that when I was in their age, the computers that were as powerful as the current laptop, were contained in a room as big as our house, and mobile phones were carried in a large backpack. Though texting already exist when I was young – it was called a telegram. Yes, our kids live in a different era of technology.

Last week, when the new iPad mini came out, my daughter stated that she would like go to the Apple store and see them. (Note to myself, is “seeing” means her subtle way of saying “having” it?) Upon hearing this, my son ran upstairs to the bathroom and got something. He came back with a wide mischievous grin and handed something (see photo) to her sister and mockingly said: “here’s your iPad mini!”

(sanitary) I-pad mini?

We all can’t help but laugh, including my daughter, upon seeing what my son did. I wonder where this little rascal got this ridiculous idea. I guess, the “apple” did not fall far from the tree. And I am not talking about computers.

Holding Off No More

I am not passing this up anymore. I have been holding off for so long. It is time.

Before you think of something else that I have been holding off for, I am talking about the iPhone.

I have owned a mobile phone since 2000. That was the time I started my medical practice after finishing my specialty training. I don’t know why we call our “real” work “practice,” as it does not sound better off than the “training.” Sorry, I digress. But since that time, the cell phone has been an integral part of me.

I just cannot imagine practicing medicine without a cell phone, especially if you are on-call. Before the advent of mobile phones, a doctor needed to stay around where he could be reached or where he could make a phone call via land line. If he was traveling, and he was called on his beeper, he had to find a public phone to answer the call. That meant he also needed to have coins always ready to make those calls on pay phones.

But with the emergence of the cell phones, doctors were given more liberty to wander far, even if they were on-call. Of course, being on-call still feels like you are on a leash, but with a cell phone at least the chain is long. Never mind the fact that the first generation of the mobile phones were huge and clunky. At least they were portable and smaller (though not much smaller) than the backpack radio used by the US infantry during the Vietnam war.

1st generation of cell phone

With the advancement of technology, the mobile phones became smaller and even “smarter.” They are not just for making calls. They can be our personal secretary, our encyclopedia, our GPS, our camera, our music and movie module, and our game console. Who knows whatever functions will they add in it. It also have been more affordable by the masses, that everyone, even the ‘tindero ng balut‘ owns one. (I am in no way putting down the tinderas and tinderos for they are hardworking people, and besides they do a noble job.)

Since I have owned my first cell phone more than 10 years ago, I changed or upgraded it twice, with my latest one a few years old. I think that can be considered very conservative as I believe my mobile phone plan even entitled me for a phone upgrade every 2 years or so, at not much cost. And if you consider the fact that new and better cell phones comes out almost every few months, I am indeed fairly cheap.

I also never upgraded to a smart phone before. Maybe because I use my cell phone strictly for making a call. Or maybe I don’t want my phone to be “smarter” than me. Though when I am seeing patients during my hospital rounds in the ICU or in the wards, I have my medical residents or the medical students with me, search through their smart phones for information that we need, like drug to drug interactions, or latest medical literature and studies, or case reports regarding a strange and unusual disease, or whatever data we want to know. It is like doing research on the fly. If we have that capability, why not use it, right? I think its high time for me to get “smart” on my own.

The iPhone, arguably the top of the line smart phone, was first released in June 2007. Now, it is already on its 5th generation and I still don’t own one. Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple and its products. During the years, our household have owned several Apple products. But never an iPhone. Well, hopefully not for long.

Aside from being available now on different carrier networks (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the US), there is one more reason for me to get the latest iPhone. With Steve Jobs, passing away last week (which made me, as well as the whole world really sad), this make the iPhone 4S, probably the last Apple product that he helped design or has received his blessings. And that is such history and memorabilia I just cannot pass up.

Now, I just need to figure out how to beat the crowd lining up for it when it is released in a couple of days. Or maybe I should hold off for now, at least for a few more days… or weeks… or months… or…….