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The One True Wish, And Other Goodies

After the hell that was Friday, today was a near-complete turnaround. Not only did I score the very iPhone 5 that I’d wanted, my “one true wish” from yesterday also came true: our son Connor woke up with no fever, smiling and happy and mostly back to his old self again. What a relief!

The day started out fairly comfortably by Connor standards, meaning that he actually didn’t wake up until after 7 a.m. Although he was still pretty cranky for some parts of the day, likely stemming from the fact that he’s still not willing to eat much and thus is tiring out pretty quickly, his fever all but vanished. The Chinese herbal medicine that we got for him yesterday seems to be working wonders, although I have to report sadly that Connor barfed it up twice this morning because it tastes yucky. We discovered the secret is to split the dose into two portions at two different times a day and follow it up with water each time.

Although his appetite isn’t yet back to normal, he did scarf down an entire 4-ounce pack of Yo Baby blueberry yogurt, which is like his favorite thing ever. (But he apparently knows his place, because when we couldn’t find any of the stuff last week and got some Yo Toddler yogurt instead, he wasn’t fooled and mostly refused to eat it.)

When Connor started getting a temperature earlier in the week, we ordered a new infra-red thermometer from Amazon and just received it this morning. Like some kind of Star Trek appliance, you basically point it at somebody and it takes their temperature in an instant. Holy snad bags. It’s obviously not quite as accurate as a traditional thermometer, but it sure beats the hell out of taking Connor’s temp rectally (ouch; sorry buddy). And throughout the day it never registered higher than 99 on him, so we feel pretty confident that he’s doing much better. (My wife and I also temperature-checked each other for comparison, and the results seemed reasonably trustworthy.)

New iPhone 5, or black monolith from 2001?

So with Connor feeling much better, after getting myself ready this morning I decided to resume my search for the iPhone 5. Yesterday evening I actually took a jaunt down to Willow Bend Mall in Plano to see if I could snag one of the leftover units from that morning’s launch festivities. Alas, I arrived just minutes too late. All new arrivals to the queue were being placed on “standby”, meaning that you weren’t guaranteed to get a phone even if you stood there for the approximate two hours it was gonna take before we got into the store. Earlier in the day, the Apple store employees had been handing out “reservation cards” to everyone in the line, designating the carrier, capacity and color of the iPhone they wanted, and that card served as a guarantee that the specific model phone printed on it would be held for the customer. I did not get a card.

After bailing on that operation, this morning I called the same store back and asked what their inventory situation was. They must have received a final shipment late yesterday, either that or they were only reevaluating their leftover stock last night when I got put on standby, because today the guy on the phone reported that they had the iPhone I wanted in stock — specifically, a black 32 GB AT&T model. Okay, this is excellent. I snarfed down a bowl of cereal, hopped in the GTO and headed out there.

The line wasn’t very long, and this time I received one of the fabled reservation cards, essentially guaranteeing that if I just stood around long enough, I’d end up with what I came for. And it was fortunate that I didn’t dork around for too long before leaving the house, either, because shortly after I received my card, I heard the store employees reporting to new walk-ups that all AT&T iPhones had been spoken for, and that it was completely unknown when a new shipment would arrive. (I’ve heard, however, that depending on the Apple store, during launches they may receive new shipments as often as every day.)

My iPhone 5 reservation card

I only waited in line for a little over an hour before being called into the store, whereupon I finally got to lay hands on my new device. My AT&T contract wasn’t up for renewal but I had been granted the fabled “Early iPhone Discount”, which is essentially full subsidy pricing plus $250, so the total cost of the phone I picked out was $594, tax inclusive. Since I sold my iPhone 4S to Amazon for $455, that’s essentially a net cost of around $150 for a brand new iPhone just one year into a contract. Not bad at all, and well worth all the grief I went through to actually trade the 4S in.

All-in-all, it was a pretty fun experience; sorta “iPhone launch lite” in that I didn’t have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and stand in a queue for eight hours, but I still got to experience some of that launch day energy. Not to mention some friendly chatting with some of the people in line and some catching up on my eBook reading. Then I got to head home with my new device about 90 minutes later. A+, would do this again.

So now my wife and I both have matching iPhones for the first time. Well, matching in the sense that they’re the same generation. Hers is white, and mine’s black — the perfect pair. Now we’ll be able to make FaceTime calls with each other, share photo streams, iMessage (oh, how I missed iMessage!) and all that other Appley stuff. It was fun to watch her walking around swooning with delight over the device in her hand.

I’ve still got some setup to finish on my phone; rather than restore from a backup of my 4S, I set it up fresh, which I’m convinced leads to a better experience and a lesser likelihood of problems. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the new iPhone 5’s features, given that I’ve been focused on getting everything put back where I want it — but I am completely blown away by how thin, how light and how screaming fast this thing is. It bears a resemblance to the 4 and 4S that preceded it, which has drawn a lot of snarky criticism, but The Verge was right when they said in their review that you don’t know anything about the iPhone 5 until you’ve picked it up. It feels like some kind of mock-up; like the chassis just has to be empty inside. Very impressive.

It’s also the first iPhone with super-fast LTE data connectivity, meaning that I think my ancient unlimited data plan is about to finally get its chance to shine. AT&T doesn’t offer LTE in very many markets yet, but Dallas is one of them, and it’s one of their better ones from what I hear — offering up to 50 megabit downloads in the right places. Also, this week AT&T lit up LTE service in Detroit for the first time, which is coincidentally where we’ll be headed pretty soon to visit with family and friends. I’m excited to test the LTE goodness up there too.

Now that I have a decent phone back in my pocket, I’m going to try to augment my newfound Oddball post-happiness with lots more photos. For some reason, though, lately I seem to have a difficult time remembering to take pictures of things that are photo-worthy. I’m going to work on that. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this parting shot of my phone and my wife’s phone together. What a cute couple.

It’s like a black and white cookie, only more…phony.

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