19 September, 2009

Swimming With My Cell Phone

For the second time I've taken a cell phone swimming with me. The first time was when we still had our round wading pool. The phone was my old clam-shell Samsung that had been my constant companion for about the past three or four years. That is, until I plopped my butt down in the middle of the wading pool and about 10 minutes later, as my hand brushed against my pocket and I realized... oops. I was supposed to have left the phone on a chair near the pool.

The second time was just this past Thursday. We had had Cody vacuum the pool, sending the water to "waste", which sends it directly to the canal without running it through the filter first. This lowers the water level in the pool speedily. We did that so that Dianna and I could get into the pool and using CLR and some old t-shirt rags, clean the perimeter blue tile of calcium deposits. As long as we stay up with that, doing it every couple of weeks or so, it's an easy thing to do.

Of course, I'm in the pool happily cleaning away, when my hand happened to brush my pocket. Oops, I did it again (sounds like a song by somebody...). Yup, I did. I pulled out the cell phone and the remote to open and close the front gate. So, what are you gonna do when something like that happens? I set the items on the table after removing the batteries and went back to tile cleaning.

The next day, Friday, I had some running around to do, so that was a good time to take the cell phone in to the repair place.

Y'know, what I really need is a solar-powered, waterproof cell phone (an idiot-proof model would be more suitable). Hmmm, does anyone make such an animal?

Well, as a matter of fact, they do. Sharp has apparently come up with the world's first solar-powered waterproof cell phone. What a concept! Especially for an area where you pretty much pool it year round. It's extremely easy to forget (well, for me it is) that you've got one of those gems in your pocket till after you've been cavorting (or wallowing) in the wet stuff for a few minutes.

So anyway. My current, wet cell phone is a Motorola Razr, complete with camera, etc., etc. Now, I'd be willing to bet, that up north, if I took it to an authorized service center, they'd take one look and tell me it was toast. Soggy toat, but still toast.

Down here? A quick trip to Technicell, the handy shop within the White Saphire Gift Shop, that handles all sorts of unlocking, service and repair problems for a wide variety of cell phones here in Corozal. The young guy there seemed to think it would be possible to resurrect my Razr from the dead. I head back to him on Tuesday (Monday being September 21, Belize's Independence Day) to get the word on the success or failure of that effort.

As a sign of confidence that the effort might stand more of a chance of failure, I took the opportunity to buy a used Samsung (not a clam-shell) to use during the interim. At least my SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) chip still worked and transferred all my numbers from the Razr to the Samsung. Maybe this way, I'll have a reserve for the future.

In the meantime, I'm definitely going to keep my eye open for one of those Sharps. They'll likely show up down here over the next couple of years, just about the time I'll be looking for another replacement - after I've taken whatever phone I'm using for another swim.


Vivien said...

Too bad about the cell phone. I've left may phone on a picnic table in the rain and had it ruined beyond repair.
Didn't you have a misadventure with a camera too?

Dave Rider said...

Oh, sure. Bring up ancient history... That was when we were canoeing with Mae and Craig down the Macal River. Our canoe turned turtle.

We managed to get the camera working again after several months of drying out. It finally died here about a month ago. Probably rusted out.

I have a replacement camera enroute. It's not waterproof, which was what I wanted, but none of the waterproof ones had a viewfinder. So, since that was important to me, no waterproof camera.

I don't see why they don't make all that sort of stuff waterproof as a matter of course. It'd be easier for goofballs like me.

Julian in SC said...

Boy, tough luck! Makes you wish your mind was still sharp, don't it. LOL

I have hearing aids (the inside the canal kind)-- and one year I was working on a water sprinkler which got away from me and shot directly into my ear. Heard a sizzle and then nothing. It being nice and sunny I just took it out, laid it on a brick in the sun and kept on working. When I tried it an hour later it was fine -- which was wonderful since the damn things cost $2,250 for each one.

OBTW - was at HHGREG last week and noticed that half the new cameras had no view finder at all. All evidently done through the LCD screen on the back. Interesting in that I'm like you and like to use the viewfinder.. so check closely in the future after you take your new one swimming!!!


Dave Rider said...

Julian, Thanks for the info. I think the designers of most of the new cameras really have done no photography other than using their cell phone cameras. Large LCDs and sunlight just don't mix. What use is that down here?
Almost three years ago, Dianna did that with her phone - ran it through the washer & dryer. Laid it out on a sunny windowsill for three or four days. Worked fine. In fact, it's the phone she still uses. She hasn't tried to take it swimming however.

Dennis Kennedy said...

Dave, You might want to try a dive supply shop for a waterproof camera. I purchased one 2 years ago and it has both viewfinder and lcd screen and is good to 130 ft. More than adequate for your pool........