When I purchased an iPhone, I bought into the idea I would need extra insurance on it. You know, if I accidentally dropped it, or if, well, anything happened to it. Now with the 3G iPhone coming out, I almost regret buying this package. Apple is sneaky. Unlike the old iPhone, the new one will require in-store activation. I.e., you can't buy up a hundred of them and sell them on eBay. I thought about selling mine, but who wants to lock themselves into a 2 year plan with a phone that really can't compare with its heir? No one. Right, so I decided to look into the AppleCare plan that I bought, you know, to see if I dropped it, if they would replace it with a newer phone. To my dismay, they will not. I did find a gem written in the terms and conditions of the plan that I'd like to share with you all:
Concerning the type of accidents not covered:
"Extreme environment (including extreme temperature or humidity), extreme physical or electrical stress or interference, fluctuation or surges of electrical power, lightning, static electricity, fire, acts of God or other external causes..."
That's right, careful readers. Apple has positioned itself as a company against the very hand of God when it comes to coverage. Whatever legal reason they purport for this addendum is beyond me, unless some zealot argues his way to court, citing that God miraculously destroyed his phone. Why stop with acts of God? What if an alien abducts and defiles my phone, mistaking it for some sort of anthropoid? Well that would fall under the category of other external causes I suppose. What I'm trying to get to here is, does anyone want to buy an iPhone for, ahm, $100? $50?
You guessed it, I went to Richmond again this past weekend. This time was busier than last time. Friday, Rachel and I ate at Café Gutenberg - café by day, bar by night. Reminded me of Humble Pie in Raleigh, but with higher prices. After that, we walked down to Brown's Island that night and watched a show. At that point, I had probably walked 6 miles. Then, come to find out, Baby Mama was playing at a local $2 theater, so we went to that. The bad news was that I had no cash, and Rachel had spent two of her last four dollars on a diet something drink 30 minutes before. We were already late for the movie, but the cinema guy told us we could walk some 6 blocks to an ATM. In other words, we weren't going to see the movie. Dejected and wandering, we walked up Carytown. Not one block of doing this and I looked down and found a five dollar bill. And that's how that story has to end.
Saturday, whew. Eight of us drove up to DC to go to the Smithsonian, see monuments, etc. So we packed into two fuel efficient cars and drove the two hours each way. I was crammed in the backseat of a two door civic, seated behind a self-proclaimed Sunday driver. Rachel, bless her heart, planned the whole trip superbly except for the first stop. Our plan was to drive to the closest Metro, and catch it into DC. Turns out, one of the closest Metros was in a very sketchy part of town. The girls were freaking out, so that dog didn't hunt. We ended up driving into DC and parking behind the Capital building for free. Then the walking, O the walking. Not the best trip to wear a pair of Chacos flip-flops. Idiot. And I always thought you couldn't get blisters on the top of your feet. We walked all over the Smithsonian. I can't even recall what I saw. Planes, jungle, "name brand" sunglasses, crappy modern art, monuments, a couple metro stations, food, taxi, more. One of our last stops was the zoo, where we walked, ahm, 3 miles at least. Then another 3 back to the metro. Then another 2 to the car. Then we drove to Nationals Park to see the Nationals get beat by the Rangers. Overall I think I walked 20 miles on Saturday.
Sunday, chill. We up and went to Redemption Hill, a church plant of Vintage21 in Richmond. They meet in an elementary school at the moment, but have big plans for Richmond. You can't tell, but I just looked up a lot of info on the legal issues surrounding religious organizations meeting in public buildings. Some trial made it to the Supreme Court and the judges sided 9-0 with the churches/religious groups. Booyah. After church, we ate at Sticky Rice - so good. I, for one, hate sushi. I said it. I realize at this time and place in my life, considering my friends and co-workers, it is blasphemous to do at least two things: not eat sushi, and not back Obama. Oh well. Just like I enjoy being full after I eat, I enjoy knowing my morals are shared by someone being elected to the most powerful office in the world. But I'm also a realist. Obama is going to beat McCain, and Rachel will eventually make me eat sushi. See how that second statement softened the first claim? Rachel also had an ultimate game on Sunday, so I went and cheered for that. They lost horribly, but she scored. Genius.
Then I drove back. I'll put some pics of the trip up a bit later.
Recently I ate some fast food. Some fast food with ketchup. Then I thought, "wait a second, I thought tomatoes are giving people salmonella..." Aren't they? Then what goop are we eating with our fries that no one seems alarmed about? How long do these liquid salt packets sit boxed up in warehouses? Months? From CNN.com:
"The reported advance in the investigation came as the toll mounted, with 552 people identified as having contracted the strain of Salmonella Saintpaul since April in 32 states and the District of Columbia."
I searched and searched, but I could not find the irritable scientist who decided to bacteria slap the Apostle. Even Wikipedia had nothing.
In case you do get sick, this lawyer seems like the guy to call.
This past weekend I went up to the capital of VA to see Rachel. She was one of 15 people accepted to do bio-med research at VCU for the summer. That's right. Genius.
The first time I walked aimlessly around Richmond was years ago (hey Chip and Lauren). This time Rachel and I walked at least eight miles, scoping out Carytown, coffee shops and the History Museum.
Carytown: Your local strip with countless galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and shops. It's like an artsy, worn-in Franklin St. For the first time I realized how flat parts of the city were. All the indy VCU kids rode modified beach cruisers everywhere. It made me want to dirty up my vans and get more tattoos. But I did have Chacos. The architecture around Carytown was really something. Two to three story Victorian pads with only 5-6 feet separating them. From what I could tell, almost all of them were filled with college students. It was like San Francisco with, well, no hills.
Science Museum: Used to be an old train station. We must have been the oldest, youngest kids there. It was your basic hands-on kids museum with exhibits ranging from space travel to binary code. The latter was pretty funny. They had a "mezzanine" floor with 1980s exhibits on binary code. You could take a sheet of paper filled with 1s and 0s and find the letters of the alphabet. The interactive computer modules reminded me of computer lab time in elementary school. There were even a couple machines on that floor that didn't even work. Loved it. There went the 80s.
Baseball game: The Richmond Braves, or Ducks, were playing the Charlotte Knights. I was the only person cheering for the NC team, as Rachel donned an old Atlanta Braves t-shirt to the game. A lot people were almost injured. The "protective" net behind home plate was inadequately small, and foul balls were zipping into the stands. It really is a great way to encourage concentration at a game. Rachel and I would be talking and hear a crack and just cower. You never knew if you were next.
The same day we also went to see M. Night Shaymalamianans "The Happening." Very attention-grabbing, yet not very satisfying in the end. Okay, spoiler alert: there actually is no ending. It's like he gave up on climatic twists. If you want a seven word description of the movie, I'd suggest: "Gasp! What? Gross! Gasp! Awe. Gasp! And..." I'd wait for the dollar-fifty release if I were you.
What Rachel is doing: Researching, ahm, artificial... Okay, she is taking silk, from silk worms, spinning it (?) and putting it in people's bodies. Repairing torn muscles/ligaments with synthetic, silky implants. And taking classes. Far away classes.
So there's a little slice of Richmond! If anyone has any parcels to send to Rachel, I'll be making the trip at least 6 more times this summer...
I, along with 3 other friends, signed a new 1 year lease on our house at Bloodworth. During the walk-through with the landlord, we discussed various problems with the security of the house, and asked that he fix them. Namely the broken locks on the windows, poor lighting outside, etc. Yesterday I sent in the lease, with a good amount of money. Come Thursday, my roommates said that some items of theirs were missing. Come sometime from 2-8:30pm today, the back door was kicked in.
After an hour with a local cop, Ed and I left Bloodworth to stay with friends/family for the night. Talk about an unnerving feeling. The officer said that there were so many break-ins and homicides the past few days, that there were literally only 2 cops at the station dispatching other cars. There are a few things fluttering through my mind right now.
One, I realize that we live in a sketchy part of town. We are no strangers to dealing with/ministering to vagabonds, drifters, drug addicts, etc. But it seems that the protection we felt, whether it be sincere or naive, was crushed with that back door. Two, to expound, does one seek to break a lease, and accept this as an unintended consequence? Or simply accept it as a consequence for a larger picture of changing downtown Raleigh? Three, I need to reconcile my actions with my convictions over the love of certain possessions. More than that, I need to know that my safety is not something I control.
It's not the first time I have had something stolen from me. But it is the first time that I have been locked into a legal agreement to occupy a place of residence that has recently proved itself dangerously volatile. Good night soon.