Monday, December 20, 2010

Biting the Apple

Sometimes the status quo is better than a free upgrade.

Case in point: Last week my iTouch inexplicably would not accept or send emails linked to my gmail account. The device claimed my email address or password was not correct. After fruitlessly following suggestions on the iTouch self-help Web page, I appeared before the friendly face of Mason at the genius bar of the Apple store. To no avail we kept trying to re-load my information. Mason even updated the software. No luck.

Success came only after I (reluctantly) changed my password.

The next day, when I tried to re-energize the iTouch with a generic $5 charger I keep beside my bed, the following message appeared: “Charger incompatible.”

The new software also is incompatible with my generic car charger.

Arghh! It’s so inconvenient to be left with just one working Apple-certified charger.

It seems everyone wants an Apple iPad, but men are especially traumatized by its size and how to carry it without carting a briefcase around or transporting it in any conveyance that resembles a purse. Last Thursday’s NY Times Styles section carried an article by Jennifer 8. Lee, “Coming to Grips with Lugging an iPad” (

Among the suggestions were fleece vests with iPad-sized inner pockets from Scottevest. Good idea, but at $100 or more, not quite a bargain when you can get Polartec fleeces and hooded sweatshirts with large enough inner pockets for less than $30 at stores like Marshalls or Old Navy.

But whichever retailer you patronize, the iPod apparel solution works only half a year in cold climates and hardly ever in sunshine states. What do you do when the temperature is above 60 degrees and no vest or sweatshirt is necessary? Until we figure this dilemma out, I’ll stick with my iTouch.

The iPad article was interesting for another reason, the name of its author. I’d never seen anyone with a number as a middle name. Letters I can understand. President Harry Truman chose to put an S. in the middle of his name. Hollywood mogul David Selznick put an O. there. But an 8?

According to Wikipedia, “Jennifer 8. Lee was not given a middle name at birth, but instead chose ‘8.’ as a teenager. For many Chinese, the number eight symbolizes prosperity and good luck.”

I never knew that.

One last bite out of the apple, the Big Apple, this time. I dressed my 13-month-old grandson in a NY Football Giants sweatshirt that I had bought him so he could watch the end of the Giants-Eagles game with me Sunday afternoon. Finley had slept through the total domination the Giants had exacted on Philadelphia in the first 54 and a half minutes of the game his parents were attending at the Meadowlands, courtesy of tickets from Finley’s great uncle Carl. By the time Finley woke up and I brought him downstairs, the Giants were leading 31-10.

As he sat in my lap munching apple-flavored dry cereal (pictures at, the Giants imploded, losing 38-31 on the last play of the game, a 65-yard punt return that ended with time expiring. This loss was as stunning as the famous Fumble game, when Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched a handoff to Larry Csonka with 30 seconds remaining and Herman Edwards scooped up the ball and ran it in 26 yards for the winning touchdown for, you guessed it, the very same Philadelphia Eagles. That was in 1978. The Giants have won three Super Bowls since then, but losses like this latest one are really painful and as memorable as those championship wins.

Finley didn’t say a word. He just kept munching away. He won’t remember this Giants disaster. Ah, the innocence of youth.

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