Friday, October 30, 2009

Walk #303: On Call Walking....

Down to the Napa Valley for work. After completing my shift, I took a lovely Fall walk on Bale Lane. One of my favorite short walks. The Napa Valley is stunningly beautiful this time of the year. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. No photos this work cycle.

I'm one of the last people in the United States who doesn't have a cell phone. I used to have one, but Joni and I got rid of them: They didn't work up at our cabin.

I'm also pretty resistant to technological change. I was a late convert to the personal computer. A late convert to the Internet and also to "high speed" Internet. I still don't own a lap top.

Not owning a cell phone complicates things because I was "on call" while walking today. I had to make sure I got to a phone within one hour to call in to work to see if they had called me back to work. They hadn't.

Being "on call" is a gruesome thing. It reminds me of watching a cooking show on TV, without being able to smell or taste the food. Being "on call" means you really aren't working but your head isn't in your own recreation time either. At least my mind doesn't ever get there. I worry about missing a phone call. Or a beep on a pager (which I had to carry when I worked for the State of Nevada). Being on call is purgatory. It is like sitting in a room waiting to disappear as in Sartre's "No Exit".

One reason to not own a cell phone is a crackpot theory that the "honey bee collapse" is caused by cell phones. Some studies came out a couple years ago showing some evidence of this. Since then, that research line has been abandoned. I find it interesting that the honey bee collapse does coincide-- time line wise--with the wide spread use of cell phones.


Byron Altice said...

I also find it interesting that higher rates of sea pirating coincides with global cooling. Something to think about! :)

Allan Stellar said...

Yes Byron,

I know it is a crackpot theory. But there is some evidence that cell phones may be responsible for the honey bee collapse.

I don't really get the cell phone craze. The sound is awful. It tethers us to work. And nobody talks to each other at the grocery store any longer because they are too damned busy texting each other.


Byron Altice said...

Sounds pretty accurate. Yeah, I was just givin ya hell about the causation/correlation thing :) I have an extreme lack of knowledge when it comes to cell phones and honey bees though. I'm sure there is some evidence beyond the correlation.

"It tethers us to work." This is an excellent point, I hate seeing my friends take a break from the conversation or the movie or the restaurant so they can check an email or do something else which can't possibly wait(ha!) until business hours. I feel my chest muscles stressfully constrict when it happens as I am reminded of everything I have to do at work the next day.

I'm not sure cell phones are to blame, but rather that society has the mindset that it's okay to allow work to interfere with your life. That American ambition and all.

Allan Stellar said...

Hey Byron,

Thanks for following... I agree with your sentiments.

I'm wondering if the cell phone isn't really about efficiency and productivity? That whole stupid economic craze (that began in the late 70's) that has pretty much ruined those of us who admire laziness and slothfulness as virtues.

Anonymous said...

With luck, the cell phone brain cancer will kill off all the most efficient productive people and they'll stop interrupting our naps. I'm happy to say I've still never even used one.


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