Over the horizon


Trout Republic

No week is complete without a challenge and this one was no exception.
A good share of my fans -- and detractors -- of these musings live in places with great views and even better sunsets as El Sol dips into the western landscape.
This week, though, that’s not the type of horizon I want to talk about.
Now Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie could be said to be heavy users of the online phone service and in fact, I doubt anyone uses their phones more than us. Miss Trixie can find anything you want and most of what you do not want with those magic fingers of hers. And Ol’ Dutch is always looking at the weather. Yeah, just a man thing.
But all that clickety clacking takes a phone and a phone takes service and service takes a provider. Since we travel extensively and depend on phones for everything from soup to nuts, we have found that one certain cell phone carrier works the best wherever we land.
And all in all they have been pretty good except when it comes to replacing a faulty device. Oh, you get one eventually but not without evoking a few Rosaries, prayers of intense fervor and fake tears.
This past year Ol’ Dutch has been in the replacement phone circle with my carrier whom we shall now call Horizon. As it has been horrible.
It all began some four years ago when I decided to get a new Android phone. I really liked it but about two years into this deal the battery life began to fade like an old man in his easy chair: he can still get up but really doesn’t want to.
This began an almost constant communication between Horizon and my agent, Miss Trixie, and they have sent me so many refurbished phones that I have lost track. For those of you who do not know what refurbished is let me explain it to you.
The carrier takes in an old phone that has issues or has been traded in by some disgruntled customers and puts it through a 101 test regimen. Now what they do not tell you is if it passed said tests or just went through them. Kind of like marriage. Sometimes you just live with what you got.
The batteries in these rehab phones are the same batteries as it came with which means it’s just like the one causing me problems. And as the batteries are now built into every phone this requires that you buy a new phone instead of a battery like we used to do. This is called good business for them and bad luck for all of us. 
That is some kind of smart right there. So this past year the phones came and went and chargers and cords passed in the mail like ships in the night because each time I had a failure, the company insisted it was a bad charger or cord and so we got new ones. This means we have a cupboard with enough cords to connect Space X with the Earth while in orbit.
Of course it was not the accessories so after much whining on my part new but well-used phones came in the mail. Some lasted months but lately they are lasting anywhere from two days to two weeks and I have had three since Christmas alone.
This has led to what is known as a “mad hatter” syndrome as Ol’ Dutch is about to lose his mind over the phone quitting every few days.
But as they say, better lucky than good so now good vibes have smiled down on me and I now have a working phone.
I did have some expenses incurred from so much time on the phone like cauliflower ear and Miss Trixie learned a few new swear words as Ol’ Dutch would hit the wall every time he called about the phone.
It does appear that Ol’ Dutch will eventually have to buy a newer model just like I did when I got Miss Trixie and come to think of it, that worked out pretty well. Yes, pretty well indeed.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.

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