Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Get Yourself a New Phone the Hard Way

Sparky has been waiting for MONTHS for her upgrade to hurry up and get here for her iPhone….Officially, it was April, but Sparky, impatient as she is, couldn't wait that long. First things first….Let's check out kayaking on the Braden River with good pickle ball friends from Sun 'n' Fun, Larry and Suzette Kurfis….

They graciously invite Sparky every Sunday to come over and play pickle ball with them…Recently, they've started asking Sparky if she wants to go kayaking on Wednesdays sometime. Sure! Sparky loves to kayak with them…Only, Sparky has noticed that now, her Sea Eagle 385 is not the fast speed demon she thought it was when she was kayaking alone. Get alongside some other kayaks that are newer in design and structure, and Sparky realizes she's paddling twice as hard to keep up. Phooey!

So we've been looking at kayaks in and out of the water….Sparky and Eldo attended a kayaking demo last weekend at Ackerman Park over by the Celery Fields near Sun 'n' Fun in Sarasota, and Sparky tried out at least five different kayaks---a Tarpon 12 sit upon, a Pungo 120 (12 footer), two different lengths of the Hurricane, and a Wilderness.

Economy Tackle in Sarasota runs kayak demos about once a month so this is a fantastic opportunity to try out a BUNCH of different kayaks. Look who tried one out! After MUCH cajoling and coaxing…ABOUT TIME!

Sparky LOVED the Pungo 120…This 12 footer sits low in the water, is very stable and streamlined and the new ones come with a little storage dashboard that fits over the front part of the cockpit and attaches with a bungee style cord so you can easily take it off or put it on.

The seat system in it has amazing adjustments for thighs and height on the back rest. And Sparky's friends, the Kurfis, have one of them….Here's Suzette with hers….
So-o-o-o-o-o….anyway, off Sparky went to paddle the Braden River today heading out from Jigg's Landing, which is about a half mile outside the back yard of her subdivision…Jiggs has a kayak launch, a boat launch, a beautiful birding boardwalk, and little fishing cabins outfitted to look like the forties fishing cabins that used to be there. You can rent them out….While Sparky was unloading her kayak and inflating it, she saw some birders casting binoculars and powerful cameras toward some big pines at the back of the parking lot at Jiggs' Landing. There was a mother great horned owl in one tree watching over her three babies in a nest in another tree! No photos today, Sparky forgot her camera and the phone just didn't quite cut it! But she did have binoculars in the car, and it was really cool to see the owlets who looked like they will be ready to fly in a couple of days…..

Down the Braden River we went….If you paddle about two and a half hours steadily, you would eventually reach the Linger Lodge, a very famous fishing lodge/campground/restaurant that has a very cool old Florida atmosphere with lots of stuffed "stuff" inside the old restaurant. There's a screen porch on the back for dining in the outdoors without all the mosquitoes, which there are plenty in those old wooded campgrounds on the river. But we decided not to go that far today, the weatherman was predicting rain later…..Instead we had our lunch in our boats in the river….Sparky got really really hungry. Remind her to pack chips, Snickers and more food next time! A half a sandwich and some water didn't quite cut it.

Sparky saw a lady on the river in an orange kayak with a "for sale" sign on it. By gosh, it was a Pungo 120! Woo-hoo! Sparky just had to stop paddling and fire away with questions…"How old is it? How much are you asking for it? How much would you take?" She found out that the woman was selling TWO of them, and her husband was up river a bit, and Sparky would have to ask HIM all those questions, so she did, again!  It turns out that Eldo had been researching Pungo kayaks on Craig's list, and had told Sparky that there were TWO Pungo 120 kayaks being sold in Punta Gorda. IT WAS THE SAME GUY WHO HAD PLACED THE AD! What are the chances of THAT happening? Geesh!
It's a SIGN! We should get these kayaks! Right, Eldy? Eldy? Honey??????  Well…we have to think about it…taxes are coming up…family reunion is coming up, we'd have to buy racks for the car, a paddle for Eldy, another vest…….sigh….a very BIG sigh….we'll see….

It was a great paddle today……But then the skies started getting dark…time to turn back…..
(Uh, Sparky….what's the phone title got to do with paddling the Braden River today????)  I'm getting to that, honey…By the way, Sparky had to use her iPhone 4S for all photos today, they're not so hot, but they will do…..This cormorant let Sparky get within a few FEET of him!
Saw a night heron, lots of turtles….
A beautiful hammock that looked very inviting….
Braden River is a pretty paddle in some spots, and in others, you see a LOT of old Florida--cabins, old cottages, cool waterfront properties, and nothing but big overhanging palms and oaks for much of the way.

So Sparky gets all the way back to the dock, climbs awkwardly out of the Sea Eagle and PLOP! Her phone fell out of her pocket and into the water….arrrrrggggghhhhh! Did she have it in a case? Well, yes….a half shell case, no protection on the front side, not waterproof…Doesn't Sparky have dry bags for kayaking? Well, yes, but she can't find them in the new home yet….She had a plastic zip loc bag, but the camera was in her shorts pocket for faster retrieval…..and faster plopping into the water.

Does Sparky know about putting the phone in rice? Well, yeah…except you are supposed to get the cover off and take the battery out first, she thinks. And you're supposed to leave it in the rice for a couple of days. A COUPLE OF DAYS WITHOUT MY PHONE???? WA-A-A-H-H-N-NH! (That's Sparky wailing, explains E.) Well, besides not being able to do without her phone for that long, on the newer phones, only Apple has the tool for the TEENY TINY microscopic screws that hold the case cover on….or so the phone store says…She didn't have anything to get the screws off, and by the time she got home, the phone was already going wacko, turning itself off and on and the screen disappearing faster than you can say, "iPhone 5S". …..

Which Sparky is now the proud owner of, (and 320.00 later, having used what AT & T calls the crossover upgrade), with a new waterproof LifeProof case, car charger, and iPhone 5S. Eldy was eligible for an upgrade but he didn't want one, so Sparky got to use his. When Sparky is due in April, if Eldy wants to upgrade he can use Sparky's upgrade option in April. Got that?….To which Eldo says…."Are you SURE you didn't drop that phone on purpose?" No-o-o-o-o, she really didn't….It was just one of those things……Sigh…...


  1. Well, the phone takes good pictures anyway :) I remember dropping one of my first smartphones into the disposer! IT wasn't running at least. Took it apart, and put it on my old radiator on a towel. (This was before I knew about the rice thing). Did the trick eventually! We have two drybags that we use in the Eagle. A small one that our phones fit in, and a bigger one for the cameral & lens. Works great!

  2. You got the new phone, but no new kayak hmmmm.......

  3. Looks like a great paddle even if it did turn out to be a bit costly. Did you put the old phone in a bag of rice and just leave it there? David's worked after about a week of being in the bag. He didn't take the battery out either but he did take the phone apart as much as he could and dry it off and use canned air to blow out the water before putting it in the rice. It's still working. Not so much luck with his numerous cameras though.