Sentinel Progress

I’ll have a Nokia, with a side of rice please.

Let’s face it, in this day in age, the entire wealth of human knowledge is at our finger tips: The answer to pretty much any question we are faced in our day to day lives is only a few keystrokes away.

Failing that, ask Siri — she always knows.

The first computer I had any sort of regular access to was a Tandy.

It boasted floppy disks, Oregon Trail and a whopping 64 kilobytes (K) of memory. To put that in perspective, a K equals 65,536 bytes.

Now, I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world, but I looked it up and one gigabyte (GB) equals 1,073,741,824 bytes.

And guess what? That teeny tiny little memory card I have in my digital camera has 32 of those bad boys.

Without doing the math, please don’t make me do math, I know enough that a 32GB card has way, way more memory than what was used on that archaic paperweight that took up half my desk in the 80s.

The problem is the more features and options your gadget has, the more ways it can go wrong.

Viruses, cracked screens, water damage — you name it. There’s a reason there’s an entire industry dedicated to nothing but producing cases to protect your electronics.

Personally, I’m an iPhone girl. It took a while for me to get on board with the whole “smart phone” thing but once I finally caved — I never looked back.

I feel weirdly disconnected if my phone is not in my pocket and the idea of not being able to access the entirety of the internet at any given time frankly makes me feel … I don’t know … uneasy. After all, you never know when you might need to look up who played left field for the Yankees in 1974.

OK, I typed that last part up at random but then felt compelled to look it up. (It was Lou Piniella.)


My husband, ever the stubborn one, refuses to trade in his flippy phone for an upgrade. Battery life, expense and a dislike of texting are chief among his reasons but I suspect he just prefers to have one more barrier between himself and the world.

To be honest, I don’t really blame him, sometimes the “digital leash” can be unforgiving.

But he further proved his point the other day when he salvaged his phone from certain doom not once, but twice …

On Sunday morning as he was switching laundry over from the washer to the dryer he made a grim discovery: His cell phone had been been in his pants pocket and had been washed.

Now, had it been my phone — that would have been it. There’s no coming back from that kind of water damage.

He removed the battery, dried it out and decided to try his luck.

To his surprise, it worked. Kind of …

While the phone did turn on, the screen was blank. I told him to stick it in a bowl of rice for a few hours to see if it could dry out further.

When I came home later that night he happily announced the rice had done the trick and his phone was back to normal.

Awesome. Problem solved. And then he said it: “Oh, by the way, Raina (our dog) only needs, like, half a bowl of food tonight because she ate all the rice.”

And I thought, that’s weird … Why would the dog eat grains of uncooked rice?

Do you see where I’m going with this yet? Yep …

Sure enough, on the kitchen counter was an empty pouch of Uncle Ben’s 90 second microwave chicken flavored rice. With carrots no less!

My husband “dried” out his phone by submerging it in chicken-brothy rice — and then placed it in front of the space heater in the bathroom.

No phone in the world should have survived what he put it through, first a full wash cycle followed by a swim in a Thanksgiving side dish — but his did — and days later, it’s still working just fine.

Just goes to show you, “better” technology isn’t always, well, better.

Kinda makes me want to go back to the Nokia days …

Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.