iPhone Abstainer

June 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm (By Amba)

To the tune of “Daydream Believer”?

As I contemplate giving in and getting an iPhone, thus joining the rest of the planet in being perpetually networked, located, and informed, a deliberate contrary resolve NOT to do so is growing stronger.

The pros and cons:


If I’m on unfamiliar turf and suddenly remember that I need something from a Walmart or a Walgreen’s or a PetSmart, I can find one nearby.  (Presently, I have to save it for a separate trip.)

If I get lost I can get found again quickly—particularly helpful to one who tends to allow barely enough time to get to appointments.

The camera.  I can document my life and observations like a good blogger.  I am not an image person, but describing things, like sketching things, takes time and energy. A snapshot may not be worth a thousand words, but it is a thousand times faster than a thousand words.

Google, for conversation enhancement and curiosity feeding. At home, I’ll run to the computer and look something up just for the hell of it. I could see taking that functionality portable.


(Note that some of my cons are precisely the things that other people would consider pros, and are even the flip side of my own pros.)

I do not want to be available to e-mail, Facebook, etc. all the time.  (I’m addicted enough as it is.)

I don’t want to be staring at a screen any more than I already do.  My eyes are forgetting how to focus beyond two feet away.

I do not want to have music, pictures, and the Internet available to me while riding the train, walking on the street, or waiting in line.  I want to be forced to look at and eavesdrop on my fellow humans (so I can get depressed by how many of them are hunched over their iPhones or iPads or umbilically swaddled in their iPods). If I really can’t stand it, I’ll carry something to read.  (For the preceding reason, probably NOT a Kindle.)

I like getting lost.  Some of my best adventures and discoveries happen by getting lost.  (You’d think I’d love having my own GPS because, like a stereotypical guy, I tend to stubbornly avoid asking for directions.  And I’ll use a map.  So why not an iPhone?  Because it is one of those sense-imprisoning, sense-dulling electronic devices that take us out of the freshness of the real world and into this glazed-in, stale, stuffy perpetual airport that is the virtual world. Lemme out!!)

I like looking at things better than I like taking pictures of them, especially because getting the picture often jostles aside looking and seeing.  (I didn’t get a picture of the new WTC, but “in the silver light of a rainy summer evening, it had a swooping curve like one of those mermaid Mae West dresses that nip in at the ankles, only leaner and sharper; and it had a string of starry construction lights for buttons. The bumps on my skin tingled and twinkled like stars in response. The growing shaft, silver as the silver sky, plunged stilly up out of the earth with that vaunting, rocketlike defiance that makes skyscrapers take your breath away.”)

I don’t know yet which impulse will win.  The contrarian impulse may prove to be too quixotic, isolating (with no TV and no steady companion[s] I’m already living on the moon), and just plain inconvenient. I would feel like a sort of retro-pioneer, prowling a deserted antediluvian frontier where a few living fossils still find their way by deploying their senses in three-dimensional space, and obtain information by exploring or asking somebody.


  1. mockturtle said,

    I’m with you, also rejecting the smart phone in favor of a dumb phone. In fact, I recently acquired an even dumber phone when I parted ways with Verizon and went with Straight Talk, in order to save some $$.

    Looking around at my kids, my grandkids and other smart-phone users I see their faces stuck in them more or less all the time. Lord knows, I spend too much time on the internet as it is. In fact, my New Year’s resolution was to whittle it down to an hour per day. Like most New Year’s resolutions, it was abandoned with little fanfare. :-\

  2. realpc said,

    If you refuse to get an iPhone, you won’t be the only rebel. I don’t have one either. Or a TV.

    Life is getting too convenient. You can shop online and telecommute and never leave home.

    And you never have to be alone with yourself, or with another person. The while world is twittering at you all the time.

    The constant flood of entertainment and information is addictive. And you didn’t mention the cost of all these gadgets.

    I find certain things extremely useful, like google and youtube, but I limit how much time I spend online.

    The less time you spend being entertained, the more time you have for being creative. And whenever you need entertainment just go to a play or movie, or to the public library and get an old-fashioned book.

    And what is more entertaining than actually living your life, instead of watching other people live?

    Amba, I hope you will not get the iPhone, because I do not want to be the only person on earth without one.

  3. amba12 said,

    And what is more entertaining than actually living your life, instead of watching other people live?

    That’s always been my feeling. Jacques and I had a lot of adventures. Then we’d go to a dinner party and everyone would be talking about the movies they’d seen. Nothing against movies, but they seemed to have become a substitute for experiences.

    And you didn’t mention the cost of all these gadgets.

    Of course, if I had an iPhone I’d have to have a data plan to feed it. Communications are already too big a part of my budget.

    MT, tell me more about Straight Talk. I’m seriously thinking about bailing when released from my indentured servitude to Verizon.

  4. realpc said,

    I know people who equate free time with watching movies. There is nothing else they would or could think about doing.

    I would rather have a 3-D life.

  5. Icepick said,

    I also don’t have a smart phone, although I likely will get one when my current phone dies. If my RAZR flip phone hadn’t died I’d still be using it. I want a phone that can (a) be a phone and (b) give me a minor distraction in the form of a simple game when I need a minor distraction.

    But the reality is that I really need to get more connected, as my daughter will no doubt have wires coming out of her brain soon enough, and I’ll need to know what nonsense she’s getting herself into. (I.e., I’ll need to know which idiots to greet with a baseball bat.)

    I’ve been on a kick watching old tv shows lately. (By which I mean, the last decade or so.) I can’t tell you how many cop or PI dramas would be killed by the presence of cell phones – the plots would get ruined right off the bat! Add in smart phones and no one would ever gets off their couch. “Oh yeah, Angel, didn’t you look those clowns up on Google first? They’re mobbed up AND running the US side of some Nigerian bank scams. What were you thinking?!”

  6. Icepick said,

    For that matter, I remember an episode of Miami Vice that, at the end, centered on the fact that Sonny didn’t have a car phone. Yes, MV regularly used car phones, but Sonny was driving his wife’s station wagon (I believe it was) at the time, not one of those hot rod undercover cars.

  7. kngfish said,

    I would feel like a sort of retro-pioneer

    If you were primarily a gearhead or a programmer type, maybe, but for literary people, there’s nothing pioneering about rejecting technological things. If anything, it’s more a hack cliche for them. Ciceronean groaning and complaining, techno-phobia, elitist condescension….geez, half my town is like that! (Mind, I’m not saying YOU are…just pointing out a more common pitfall)

    Wanna be a pioneer? Help intelligent people (who aren’t tech fans, necessarily) show how technological things can connect them to their world. (you’re sort of doing this now as an editor, yes?) If they withdraw from tech gadgets….you’re letting other people define your world for you, and then more excuses for withdrawal,…lather, rinse, repeat.

    Surf the future….don’t idealize the past.

  8. amba12 said,

    In movies now, cellphones are often a critical part of the plot. I remember the first two movies in which I was aware of that. One was The Departed. The other was a Harrison Ford flick about a bank guy whose family was being held hostage in their home. I forget the name, and most of the rest of it too. I’m very aware of it because someone asked me if I wouldn’t like to update and reissue a thriller I wrote with Jacques. I said, “No, I don’t want to have to go through and put in the cellphones.” Missed calls and messages on answering machines were a part of THAT 1980s plot.

  9. amba12 said,

    I don’t idealize the PAST, I idealize the actual WORLD. I like, you know, moving my body through space. I like the way you can hear space. I like the feel of wind on my skin and the smell of pizza.

  10. A said,

    I’m in the stupid phone and no TV camp, but that’s mostly because of reception issues where I live. When I get glimpses of what television looks like now after having been away from it for ten years, it certainly doesn’t turn me on and yet I remember instantly that lulling, dulling, anodyne effect that can be so addictive, for those of us who lean toward addictions of one sort or another. Like compulsive blog reading.

  11. Icepick said,

    I idealize the actual WORLD. I like, you know, moving my body through space. I like the way you can hear space. I like the feel of wind on my skin and the smell of pizza.

    Ah, yer jus’ bein’ a slave to hundreds of millions of years of evolution. The Tyranny of the Genes is holding you down!

  12. mockturtle said,

    http://www.straighttalk.com/ I just have the ‘All You Need’ plan for $30/month. It’s actually more than I need but it’s their basic plan and I got a free phone.

  13. A said,

    I’ve got the cheapest plan from evil Verizon, $27/mo.

  14. mockturtle said,

    With Straight Talk I get 1,000 minutes nationwide, 1,000 text messages nationwide and 30MB of web access per month. That’s a LOT more than I got from Verizon at [supposedly] $39/month, which always added up to a little over $50 when all the fees were tacked on.

  15. amba12 said,

    What use is Web access on a dumb phone?

  16. kngfish said,

    I don’t idealize the PAST, I idealize the actual WORLD.

    There’s the bug! The world is overrated…. ;)

    But, srsly, better to have the tech and not use it than to not have it…

    How many times could you score a great moment with it which you couldnt without?

  17. amba12 said,

    What tech are you suggesting I have, PAY FOR, and not use??

    I have an iPod built into my BRAIN, by the way. And no, I am not beta testing an implant.

  18. kngfish said,

    hmmm….I’m assuming a phone….why not imagine out a scenario where you had an iphone and then think of the instances where you would actually use it! If it’s a lot….then maybe go for it!

  19. amba12 said,

    I guess you didn’t read the post, in which I did imagine those scenarios. Or are you working for Apple?

  20. amba12 said,

    Hmm, looking back at my purple-silver prose description of the WTC I’m finding it both phallic and fertility goddess at once. Mae West and Shaft. Or maybe Long Dong Silver.

  21. amba12 said,

    I was over at UPS tonight to pick up a package. One of the several people waiting interminably was a young man who had lost his phone; it was being mailed back to him. He moaned when the man came out with the package, like a junkie jonesing.

  22. amba12 said,

    “I want my PHOOONNNE! I feel naked without it!”

  23. mockturtle said,

    I can check my e-mail or access web sites. It’s a bit slow but I’ve never gotten anywhere near 30MB of use yet.

  24. mockturtle said,

    Long Dong Silver. OMG, Clarence Thomas! Love it! ;-)

  25. kngfish said,

    I read the post…I fumbled what I was trying to say!

  26. amba12 said,

    There’s the “networks over neighbors” phenomenon . . . I noticed it very strongly when Hurricane Irene was heading our way. I thought people in the building would band together, since we were all in the same place in the path of the same storm and might a) need each other’s assistance b) be up for some impromptu partying. That’s certainly would have been the case when I first moved in. Didn’t see a soul . . . of course a lot of people may have left to get out of its way.

    But it’s like we’re living with our backs to those in physical proximity to us, facing outward into our far-flung virtual galaxies. I wonder if the woman had it right who said it’s a way people control and ration their actual contact with other people so relationships can conform more to fantasy.

  27. Melinda said,

    I still use my old flip phone, which I fund on an as-needed basis.

    I’m considering getting an iPad only if I get another long-term assignment–or staff job if such a thing exists anymore–where they have all web mail and social media blocked and I have no access to either for nine hours.

    And I’d been hoping for some partying during Irene as well, but a lot of my neighbors were out of town. Some checked with each other before they left. However, I had fun posting and chatting all afternoon into the night with people up and down the East Coast. So I didn’t have the old community, but I enjoyed the new one.

    When something happens in the BUILDING, however…boy, does THAT get everyone together! In 2003 Con Ed turned off the gas for two months because of a suspected leak, and we were all in each other’s homes having meetings on what to do about it. Then that got fixed…followed by the Blackout of 2003!

  28. karen said,

    I remember my last conversation w/my BinL– and how i wanted to say so much, but i didn’t want to intrude. His business was just that– his business. Maybe that was all the individualism of the storm was, amba? Self-preservation as opposed to… concern for others?

    That is something i have learned over the yrs- not everyone wants input, no matter how sincere it is meant to be @the time. I’ve regressed in that sense- i’ve sunk into myself at the cost of- what? Being friendly? Being a good person to others? IDK.

    The tech i use– this computer- gives me more incentive to be myself as i can be hurt, but only partially since i can’t get the facial or physical read on things. I’m bold on this plastic thingamajig(ahhhh- there’s a word- nothing like the marvelous word rarely heard: marvelous).

    Yes, i’ve been watching Congressional hearings about Fast and Furious and got to watch a real weasel squirm in his seat: AG Holder. Puts me in a mouthy way, it does.

    I have no cell phone and only one channel– CBS. Worst. Morning. News. Evah. They lead every commercial break w/intakes(outtakes?)from the previous night’s comedy squads that hammer on everyone(Republican)& always bypass BObama. It sucks.

    For me.

    Maybe Ron meant- to be aware of your want/need of this smart tech now forward going- and catch yourself in situations where you can honestly gauge how handy it would be to catch a special moment on camera- or tweet or f’book… Then you may be more conscious of the positive/negative need for use?

  29. karen said,

    I remember Long Duck Dong– 16 Candles, i think:0).

  30. mockturtle said,

    Karen, I didn’t know those hearings were on. C-SPAN? I’d have been watching them. Of course, we’re not likely to hear much about them on the network news. :-\

  31. karen said,

    I visit Ace of Spades- & he had two videos up of Holder being questioned by ‘pubs: Issa/CA & Louis (something sounding French- Golmert?)from Utah, i think. I’m sorry i don’t/can’t figure the stinky linkys– but i ususally pop to Althouse from here, go to The Anchoress& Ace is in her blogroll.

    Yes, I tend to do things the hard way. Ace is silent(not blogging new stuff) today, btw- in protest of Bloggers of the Conservative persuasion being ~SWATted~, which i think means that a few writing about some character named KiMbeRliN(did that on purpose)- had the cops swarm their houses due to fake- untrue, totally-911 calls of violence happening there.

    Some people are just plain f’ed up.

  32. realpc said,

    I don’t idealize the past or the future, no time was ever or will be ideal. Some new inventions are a lot of fun, and many others are a waste of time, and some are very destructive. The internet gave me a lot of things I would never have otherwise, and I have alway appreciated it, from the beginning.

    But I can use and appreciate the internet without thinking I have to spend every free moment with it.

    And I really do hate cell phones. The old ones weren’t too bad, although I hated some things about them. My new smart phone, however, is pretty amazing.

    If you want a computer that could land a space ship on mars, this phone could probably do it. But if you simply want to make and receive calls, this phone will make it a real challenge.

    There are tiny buttons are everywhere, and all along the edges. If I don’t pick it up with the greatest care, I will accidentally touch buttons and cause all kinds of unwanted things to happen.

    I’ve had this phone for 8 months and have not read the manual. I won’t even look at it. If I have to read that kind of stuff, I expect to get paid. Reading your smart phone’s manual is not how you should spend your free time. I don’t think so anyway.

    So I will never find out all the amazing wonderful things this smart phone could do for me. It could be my alarm clock, my radio, my GPS. I don’t care.

    Technology is getting out of control. Our economy depends on people buying electronic stuff, so new stuff has to constantly be created. It doesn’t have to be really useful or better than what we already had, it just has to be new.

    It can be expensive and poorly designed and come with a 500 page manual. It doesn’t matter, people will buy it because it’s something new.

    I think it’s ok for us to be selective about how we spend our money and our time. We don’t have to be exactly like everyone else.

  33. mockturtle said,

    If you want a computer that could land a space ship on mars, this phone could probably do it. But if you simply want to make and receive calls, this phone will make it a real challenge.

    There are tiny buttons are everywhere, and all along the edges. If I don’t pick it up with the greatest care, I will accidentally touch buttons and cause all kinds of unwanted things to happen.

    PC, you’ve got it nailed! And those touch screens are a real menace.

  34. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    That happens whenever a friend hands me their iPhone to hold for a moment or to take a picture. The minute I just touch it, all kinds of shit happens.

  35. kngfish said,

    Let me make this perfectly clear (Yow! Channeling Nixon again! Must be that time of the election cycle) I’ve never had a cell phone…never really wanted one. Oh, there are times when one would be fine, especially in other cities, but there I’d like a “burner” that I could just pitch when I was back home.

    The reason is those damnable tiny buttons! Not to be conspiratorial but do all phone designers have tiny hands with rictus boney digits? For those of us with Jimmy Dean pork sausages for fingers it’s just too damn annoying. How many products do we make that behave in similarly stupid fashion? But designer lock into a certain way of seeing things…and that’s the end of it. You’d hope that somehow capitalism would weed these things out, but it’s surprising how many of them hang around.

    I want to talk to the air, and have the air listen to me….wherever I am. Doesn’t the NSA do this already? c’mon, farm it out to us plebs….

  36. mockturtle said,

    The NSA only pretends the air is listening! ;-)

  37. kngfish said,

    In the old days…when people would walk down the street yelling obscenities….you’d call the cops….now we know it’s just bluetooth….

    See how we’ve progressed?

  38. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    In the old days…when people would walk down the street yelling obscenities….they’d have blue teeth!

  39. realpc said,

    “And those touch screens are a real menace.”

    I am always dialing wrong numbers, because the buttons have no edges. And the touch screen menus don’t work half the time. It asks if I want to hear the message now and no matter how hard I stab it with my finger, nothing happens. Then, suddenly, it starts working.

    If it weren’t so expensive, I would have thrown it in the toilet months ago.

    And it’s so smart I swear it has become conscious. It knows what I want and does the opposite.

  40. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    And it’s so smart I swear it has become conscious. It knows what I want and does the opposite. ROFL!!

    Not with a bang but a whimper: it’s not SKYNET that’s going to get us (as in The Terminator), but those little things in our own pockets.

  41. mockturtle said,

    Nothing worse than a passive-aggressive smart phone! :-\

  42. TTBurnett said,

    Smart-ass phone?

  43. karen said,

    Went out w/friends to breakfast one morning and their kids(2 1/2& 5)were not the most patient… so, out w/the smart phone. This little 2 1/2 yr old girl knew exactly which buttons to push- w/no fear, i might add- to get to the games– ant squashing and plumber’s crack– where you try to throw a coin int he guy’s droopy pants!!

    Yet, this was an instant gratification moment where kids should learn to be more respectful– and they, instead- get to play games to occupy their boredom.

    What ever happened to looking out the window?

  44. realpc said,

    I can’t figure out my phone, but that 2 1/2 year old girl would probably have no trouble with it. That’s a little depressing.

  45. kngfish said,

    And it’s so smart I swear it has become conscious. It knows what I want and does the opposite.

    sounds more like a spouse than a phone….or are we really married to the phone and ‘just dating’ people?

  46. lehg said,

    I like mine. Handy.

  47. Donna B. said,

    karen, those two are the same age as my grandchildren who are both quite savvy with their Mom’s phone. But more than that, I get the feeling that almost everyone posting on this thread will be horrified to know that each girl has had their own Kindle Fire for the past 7 months.

    Would you have had the same reaction if the kid had been given crayons and paper? If not, why not? The purpose you stated would be the same — to relieve boredom.

    But, in reality, wasn’t the purpose to distract the kid so the adults could do what they wanted to do? Who was getting the instant gratification?

    And there’s nothing wrong with it whatsoever. How long ago was it that children that age would not have been allowed to be present during such an adult social activity?

  48. lh said,

    Donna B.: You are one sharp cookie. And bless your heart.

  49. lh said,

    I can’t figure out my phone

    This astounds me, given the brain power I’ve seen demonstrated so many times, over so many years, and that I’ve admired.

    I don’t know what to say about that, other than: For cripes sake, try just a little harder. (You don’t have to USE the damn thing more than you want to, of course; but it’s no badge of honor to say you can’t figure out it.) WTF?

  50. lh said,

    Hey, for the record, it appears that my comments are being autofilled differently based on the device used to comment. I wasn’t aware of that until just now. FTR: LH and LEHG are one and the same. It appears–nay, is manifest–that at some point I failed to synchronize properly. I’m not going to worry much about that on account of there being no attempt to mislead and that both initial sets are true.


    Lori (H)

    and also

    Lori (E) (H) (G)

  51. karen said,

    Heh– all this time i’ve been thinking your initials were ih– only w/a cap “I”!!
    Whenever i saw your comments– i said “Hi” right back @ya- because i saw it as a backwards Hi. Just a little inside tour of my brain- sorry!!!

    Donna– you are, of course,are probably right:0). After having spent 5days w/these folks(we see about once a yr& are not close to, personally)as they were camping on our lawn(under the kitchen window– in April(the last night in the living room, as the temp was so low(including the bigdog))i was maybe a tad critical. pS- the 1st time i met them, they just showed up and slept in the living room- no kids, then.

    I have issues, here– the dog once killed a kitten- it was in a cage to keep it away from the dog. I asked for the dog to be on a leash this time(we have cats) and by the end of the 1st day- he was VT free. Oh well– i have no balls:0).

    The kids weren’t offered the phone– the kids were so bad-ie- screaming and fighting– that they got the phone to keep them quiet. Crayons don’t cut the crap anymore, i fear. The difference between the two, for me?
    Imagination. I was comparing it to when we went there w/our kids– no phone even available- esp back when our(my)two oldest grew up. It was more interaction in trying to engage the kids. It really wasn’t meant to shut the kids up into their own little universe so the adults could do what they wanted to do(IMhumbleO)- but, it definitely was to shut the kids up.

  52. mockturtle said,

    Karen, I agree. Imaginative play and tactile involvement stimulate brain development. Maybe smart phones do, too, but I have my doubts.

  53. Donna B. said,

    karen, you are a much nicer person than I am — those people would not have been back to visit me! But I stand by my assertion that it was the parents getting the instant gratification.

    mockturtle — no amount of imaginative play or tactile involvement is going to overcome bad behavior by the parents, behavior which Karen has further verified. It’s not the electronics that are the problem.

    I’d certainly agree that smart phones and any other screen-based entertainment does not stimulate the same brain development that imaginative and physical play does, but I’d not agree that it doesn’t stimulate brain development at all.

  54. karen said,

    I think there is a compromise there, Donna- i think both the kids and the parents get what they want. Kids- because they know no different and parents because of whatever makes them tick. I actually reprimanded the boy for making his sister scream and cry one morning. It’s a long story, but i was calm and efficient and felt like crap afterward, but i hate bullying- so i stepped in when his mom wouldn’t. It was my house. Then they joke about sending the kid for the summer for a couple of weeks!! Not funny.

    I know i am too nice when it comes to some things- no backbone, but i am hoping that i can assert myself this year. What’s funny is that my husband- a toughie- is as mild as i am when it comes to speaking up to others. It’s a conflict thing- i hate confrontation& usually always back down w/a smile. I’m no Alpha.

  55. mockturtle said,

    I’ve never been afraid of confrontation but I dislike conflict in general, if that makes sense. As I’ve posted before, it doesn’t bother me that people disagree with my opinions–I expect it! Some of my closest friends and most of my family hold views vastly different from mine. We simply agree to disagree. And, by and large, we do it agreeably! :-)

  56. A said,

    I do wonder about how the neurological influences of growing up with all these electronic interfaces from infancy will manifest in how and what people think and the ways their imaginations will develop. Maybe they’ll be in prime shape for exploring deep space and unknown life forms.

  57. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    Well, yes, in that the only way to see them without dying will be on a screen.

  58. mockturtle said,

    Yes, it seems as though reality now is what is on the screen before us rather than in the world around us. The electronic/digital world is real and the other world is now passe. :-(

  59. mockturtle said,

    Karen, your cows are realcows, aren’t they? Not virtualcows? Will we be drinking virtual milk before long?

    That reminds me of something I read the other day from the old Hollywood Squares show:

    Peter Marshall: What can ‘dual purpose’ cows do that other cows can’t?
    Paul Lynde: Provide both milk and cookies. But I don’t recommend the cookies.

  60. Donna B. said,

    ha! I loved that show.

    On topic (sort of…) cartoon:

  61. kngfish said,

    In old, old Mackintoshes there was a buried icon that people could not decide if it was a dog or a cow….so they called it the “dogcow”.


    Alas, there was no “catcow”…

  62. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    Love that cartoon!!

  63. karen said,

    Remember when you were telling us about the crossword puzzle, amba? How you tenaciously hang on and double down and always find the riddle wrapped in an enigma, or however that goes? That you learn so much about new things as the path, though winding– is worth the travel?

    That’s how i feel about this place– sometimes- the conversation is sooo over my comprehension, but i hang on and learn so much.

    Minus the tenacious part.

  64. mockturtle said,

    That’s how i feel about this place– sometimes- the conversation is sooo over my comprehension, but i hang on and learn so much.

    Karen, at least you have the discernment to realize that [if, in fact it’s true–which I seriously doubt]. Not me! I just jump in merrily with both feet and throw any intellectual caution to the wind. :-)

  65. kngfish said,

    Karen, just view these comment sections like surfing…..sometimes the waves whack you into the ocean, but if you keep staying on the board…it’s quite a rush! Plus, imagine “shooting the curl”!

  66. karen said,

    #1- i have never surfed
    & b)… is that a Canadian joke :0?

    I’m just happy i’m here. So funny- cousins from NC visited to see the cows and the chickens– and all i could think of was Donna- lol- and how they were so gross they about gagged her. I smile every time i watch them, trying to see them from your eyes, Donna!

    They smell even worse.

  67. mockturtle said,

    Karen, are you alluding to your cows & chickens or your cousins from NC? ;-)

  68. karen said,


    Mostly my chickens- Donna’s never met my cousins!

  69. mockturtle said,

    LOL! :-D

  70. mockturtle said,

    BTW, Karen, I raised chickens [laying hens] for a few years, Barred Rock and Buff Orpingtons and I just adored them! :-)

  71. karen said,

    I have Wyandottes- 7 white ones, 8 silver-laced- and one lone pencil-laced = Zora. They don’t all have names– only Zora and Yogi– she’s a white one & has a strange beak- kinda twisted w/her lower beak jutting out- we have a lot of twists up here.

    I think i’ll order Buff Orpingtons next. I love the size and i hear they are good tempered hens.

    We have little banty(bandy?) roosters– we started w/a boy and three girls yrs ago from a friend. Now, only Goldie is left as Woody failed to make it through spring his past yr. He made up for it in progeny- 6 roosters. I just gave two away last week– did you hear me shout w/joy? 3 stay in the coop w/the hens and Fabio(who got beat severely)so he now lives w/Goldie in the barn.

  72. mockturtle said,

    Originally, I had two roosters: Louie, the Barred Rock, and Mac, the Buff Orpington. In time, Louie became mean [Amba, you might note the significance, there] and began to peck at me and, worse, the poor hens until they were bloody. One night I decided to kill him. I tried the neck-breaking technique but it was unsuccessful. So I got a hatchet, held him on a stump and chopped off his head. I was so traumatized by killing a creature–full of life one minute, then lifeless the next!!–that I shook and cried for hours.

    BUT, the great part of it was that Mac turned out to be the perfect rooster, a real gentleman and the hens of both breeds just loved him. And he was a big, handsome guy, too [wish I could post a picture]. Yes, the Orpingtons have great dispositions. Very mellow.

  73. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    In time, Louie became mean [Amba, you might note the significance, there]

    Yep! Sure do.

    I’m lurking here on my own blog, enjoying the hell out of this conversation, just sitting back and smiling.

  74. kngfish said,

    phones, chickens, dogcows….it’s hard not to like this thread!

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