Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We've Got Your Number

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Happy back to school (notebooks!). Happy back to work (progress!). Happy end of summer (sweaters!). Happy everything.   And what’s your must-have item for all these great beginnings? 

Yup. Your cell phone.

The brilliant and wonderful Laura DiSilverio has been a treasured friend of mine for—gee, I don’t know how long. She’s a retired Air Force intelligence officer (is anyone ever retired from that?) and a devoted mom and wife and an astonishingly prolific and successful author (ooh, and see below for an amazingly generous giveaway of her newest CLOSE CALL!) 

 But. Up until very recently, she didn’t even…

Well, I’ll let her tell you.  And, because it’s back to school after all, here’s a quiz!

appy back to school. happy end of summer, happy back ot work, happy everything.
 Close Call
          by Laura DiSilverio

Most of us have them. Some of us think we couldn't live without them. Some of us wish we could chuck them down the nearest sewer grate. What am I talking about? Cell phones, of course.

In my new release, CLOSE CALL, my heroine, Sydney, picks up the wrong phone and stumbles on a plot to assassinate a Congressman. Since a cell phone plays such a central role in the book, I thought it might be fun to do a little cell phone trivia quiz on JRW today. For instance, did you know that the first commercially available cell phone came out in 1984 and cost almost $4,000 dollars? That's a long dang time ago and makes the latest iPhone look cheap!

Guzzle some caffeine now and put on your thinking caps. Free copies of CLOSE CALL to everyone (okay, max of five winners) who gets 100% (without cheating). I'm counting on your integrity while taking the quiz and reporting your scores! 

Answers on the comments page.

We'll start with some matching. 
Match the number in the first column with the fact it goes with in the second column.

1. 340,000                     A. Percent of mobile phone malware aimed at Android users
2. 18                             B. Number of iPhones sold every day in 2012
3. 250,000                  C. Number of times the avg person unlocks her Smartphone each day
4. 110                                    D. Number of cell phones dropped in UK toilets every year
5. 100,000                    E. Percent more bacteria on cell phones than toilet handles
6. 99                             F. Number of separate patents for technologies in your Smartphone

Now for some true/false.

7. More people in the world have cell phones than have toilets. True or false?

8. Scientists have invented a way of charging mobile phones using urine. True or false?

And we'll finish with a couple of multiple choice.

9. Who invented the mobile phone?
         a) Anderson Cooper
         b) Martin Cooper
         c) Cooper Cronk
         d) Alexander Graham Bell

10. In what country is mobile phone throwing an official sport?
         a) Finland
         b) Ghana
         c) New Zealand
         d) All of the above

Tell us how you did (if you want to) on the comments page. 

Otherwise, when did you get your first cell phone? (I confess that I didn't get a Smartphone until this year.)

 Are you one of those people who suffer from nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, or are you just as happy to leave your phone at home?  

What's your biggest pet peeve about cell phones?

CLOSE CALL comes out in two days. Preorder now! 

HANK: Oh, dear, don’t even ask me. I actually, seriously, get nervous if I can’t find my phone on the first pawing through my purse. I know this is bad.  I am trying to calculate how often I unlock my cell phone each day, And I can’t. 

But hey, Reds and readers, how about you?

About Laura:
A retired Air Force intelligence officer, Laura DiSilverio is the national bestselling author of 19 mystery, suspense, and YA novels (including the Lefty- and Colorado Book Award-finalist Swift Investigations series, the Readaholics Book Club series, and the Mall Cop series). Her standalone suspense novel, The Reckoning Stones,was a Library Journal Pick of the Month and won the Colorado Book Award for Mystery in 2016. Incubation, the first book of her young adult dystopian trilogy debuted in April to rave reviews. A Past President of Sisters in Crime, she pens articles for Writer’s Digest, and teaches writing in various fora. She plots murders and parents teens in Colorado, trying to keep the two tasks separate.

Living through the media shaming of a political sex when she was in college, Sydney Ellison fears notoriety above all. So when she stumbles onto a plot to assassinate a senator, she resists telling the police. Before she can make herself do the right thing, the hit man tracks her down and kills her fiancé.  Now a murder suspect and a killer's target, Sydney needs help. She reluctantly enlists the aid of an investigator, the estranged sister who betrayed her fifteen years earlier. Sydney must overcome her distrust and put all she has worked for on the line to stop the hit man and his employer before more people die.

“DiSilverio’s excellent plotting in her stand-alone thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats rooting for Sydney to triumph. A treat for Megan Abbott fans.” (Library Journal, starred review)


  1. I'm reading the blog on my phone right now. They're mini computers, aren't they? My phone does a million times more things than my first computer did, and can make calls. We navigated all over northern California today with mine, found a motel room, a good restaurant for dinner, looked up the difference between a madrone and a manzanita, and checked weather, email, texts, and Facebook. And made and took phone calls. No wonder we get anxious without them!

    We got our first cell phone about 18 years ago, and it was huge. My friend had a car phone before that, though, until I closed the car door on it. She wasn't upset though, because that made it possible to get the new model, one without a twisty cord to the handset!

  2. I’m not certain if we were supposed to post our answers to the quiz or just tell how we actually did answering the questions???
    I guessed on a couple, but managed to come up with all the right answers . . . lots of interesting facts!

    I’ve had a cell phone for about sixteen years now . . . the first one came in a case and was like a handset on a regular phone, curly cord and all. My smartphone is so much easier to manage!

    I love being able to text my grandbabies and a cellphone does come in handy when the car breaks down when I’m on the parkway. But I’m not a check-the-phone-all-the-time person [I have it set up to tell me when the girls or the grandkids send a text] and, truth be told, I really don’t like talking on the phone at all.
    My biggest peeve about cellphones are rude people who can’t ever manage to put them away and actually talk to the people they are with . . . .

    Laura, “Close Call” sounds so exciting . . . I’m looking forward tor reading it.

  3. Laura, congratulations on the new book! Can't wait to read it.

    Fascinating stuff. I do assume there are more people without toilets.

    I carry around a cell phone but I rarely actually use it except when I'm traveling and then it's essential. I mean, how did people ever find each other in airports and flea markets before cell phones? I'm always amazed, riding the subway, how most of the other passengers are riveted to their cells. It's scary.

    I got my first, a flip phone, about ten years ago. It still works and my husband still uses it.

  4. Congrats Laura--you are amazingly prolific! Sadly, I have become a cell phone addict. Though I do not check it at the dinner table, which is a pet peeve.

    Much success on the new book, which is so loaded with plot that I'm drooling with envy!

  5. Answers!

    1F, 2A, 3D, 4E, 5B, 6C, 7T, 8T, 9B (Note: Cooper Cronk is a rugby player), 10A

    SO--how'd you do?

    It's POURING in Boston, and I had to resent my whole cell phone this AM because it did some sort of update overnight..rrrr.

  6. Looking forward to reading this book. We have a cell phone in the car for emergencies! It does not do anything but make and take phone calls. We have too many computers to count (almost) though!

  7. Oh, my first cell phone? was a flip phone..so I had Charlotte McNally have one, too. When I updated the TIme books,I had to take them all out and give people smart phones.

    It was a loss, dramatically--snapping a flip phone closed was a nice bit of business.

  8. Hi, all! Joan, congrats with getting all the questions right! You and Karen have had your phones for so long! Early adapters, I think that's what the marketeers call you guys. It took me soooo long to cave and get a cell phone. First, I got a pay-as-you-go flip phone and only carried it when I traveled. Tiny, no text capability really. Then, when my daughter was headed off to college, I finally got a smartphone so I could text with her. Now, I love it. I'm not addicted to it, but it's handy.

    Hi, Hallie. My hubby still uses a little flip phone too. He works in a secure facility and can't have a cell phone inside, so what's the point of him having something fancy?

    Hi, Roberta. I know what you mean about people checking them at dinner. Grrr. We have a strict no phones at the table rule which my youngest occasionally tries to circumvent.

  9. I resisted having a cell phone for a long time. Though I work in IT, I hate the idea that I'm supposed to be always available and in contact with... anything! When our older son got married a few years ago, my wife went up early to help with various things, and with both of us hopping around, we needed to be able to connect, so I allowed myself to be dragged into the cell-phone world. Younger son took a look at my flip phone and said, "Way to go Dad! Welcome to the 20th century." (This was 2008). I still use it for almost nothing but a phone and a camera... no Facebook, no email, just the occasional looking up of an address or such.

    Close Call sounds like fabulous fun!

  10. I got my first cell phone - a Nokia candy-bar style phone - back in early 2002. I was pregnant with my son, my husband went away for three months to Officer Basic School, and I refused to be driving around, pregnant, with a 15-month old (my daughter). I upgraded to a smart phone in, let's see, 2007 or so? But it was a Windows phone. Android didn't exist. I didn't get an iPhone until they came to Verizon (the iPhone 4, I think). Now all four of us have them (just got The Boy one as he started high school).

    We technically have a landline in our house, but we don't have a phone hooked up to it and I don't know the number. It's bundled with our cable and internet. And if we manage to ditch the cable, we'll ditch the phone. No one important calls us on it. Family all use the smart phones (it started years ago when Verizon offered free Verizon to Verizon calling, so no long distance - my family was scattered over the East coast).

    Addicted? Hmm. Yes and no. I mean, I don't usually leave the house without my phone, although these days I'll leave it behind when we, say, go to church as long as one of us as a phone - and the kids always do. They are very useful for "Oh, pick up X" messages if someone runs to the grocery store. It is sitting beside me at work, but I won't check it unless I get a text from the family (each family member has his/her own text tone so I know how fast I have to look at it), or I get bored at work. Which happens occasionally.

    But no phones at the dinner table and ABSOLUTELY no texting or checking the phone while I'm driving. That's something we are beating into The Girl as she starts to learn how to drive. That's my pet peeve. Texting and driving. Put the #$%@#$%# phone down and pay attention!

    Oh, I did okay on the quiz. And yes, I do believe more people don't have toilets!

  11. My first cell phone was a Nokia and then I got a flip phone because my purse kept making calls on the Nokia. Now I have a smart phone and I use it mainly to read text and check on social media.

    Congrats on the new book, Laura.

  12. Jim--I completely agree with not wanting to be connected all the time. I want to be "offline" more than I want to be "online." I need time to think, to observe, to write (duh). And people get made nowadays when you don't respond to a text or email almost instantaneously. They think you should be glued to your phone. That's one of my pet peeves.

  13. Mary,

    The texting and riving thing--so scary! My youngest just got her license a couple months ago and we've put the fear of God into her about using her phone while driving. Scares me to death. NOTHING is that important, but "important" to a teen is different than important to you or me.

  14. Thanks, Dru Ann. I'm excited about Close Call. It's been a long time in process, since I wrote the original version of it in 2009, I think. It wasn't very good, but I liked the story idea, so I came back to it and COMPLETELY re-wrote it.

  15. Well, I didn't do very well on the quiz... :-(

    But...I've had a cell phone for at least 15 years. I had an iPhone for years, but when the old one conked out I couldn't afford a new one so I switched to android. Not thrilled with my android, I have to admit. But I find I spend less time on it than I did with the iPhone. That is a good thing, I think.

    Cell phones come in handy, but I hate it when I see people staring at screens when they're out to dinner, and last week a woman in the theater kept checking her texts during the movie. The screen was bright and distracting. At one point I said, "Turn it off," and the screen went dark, but it came back on about ten minutes later. Very rude.

  16. The quiz was hard, Laura! Some of the numbers astonished me. And I will say that even though I like my phone, I like my toilet more, so if I could only have one, the phone's a goner. :-)

    I've come up against rude texters in movie theaters and, like you, I ask them to turn it off, with mixed results. About the only place I never see people on their cell phones is church.

  17. My first cell phone looked like the clunker at the top of your post -- I won it in some kind of contest, I think. Boy was that awkward! I have a special cover on the back of my iPhone, so it's pretty distinguishable from any other iPhone ~

  18. Celia--Hopefully, that special cover will keep you from exchanging phones with a hitman like my protagonist does! :-)

  19. Hi Laura! The book sounds great. I can't wait to read it!

    I did pretty well on the quiz, but I didn't get Finland. How funny!

    This was so interesting. I had to look up a history of mobile phones. We actually had an attached to the car phone (so not truly a mobile) so I guess I'm an early adopter:-) Over the years I had various versions of Nokias and Motorolas, and then the first smartphone was a Blackberry! With a QUERTY keyboard! I think the Blackberry Pearl came out in 2005, so that's at least ten years with a smart phone. A few years after that I switched to Samsungs. I am an Android girl!

    As much as I love my phone, however, I'm not obsessive about it, and there are times when I just don't want to be connected. And I don't check my phone at dinner or when out with friends, etc. I want people to talk to me, not look at their phones!

  20. I have a vivid memory about getting my first cell phone. It was the early 1990's, and I found them pretentious. (Because it was still really just early adopters at that point.) I had told my husband adamantly that I DID NOT want one. One day, he came home with one for us to share. I went off at him about not listening to me, and after I wound down, he replied, "I really don't care if you want it or not. In your job, you drive a couple of hours on country roads at odd hours a few times a month. When you're doing that, I want to know you have it, so that if anything happens, you can call for help." Couldn't really stay mad at him after that.

    Oh, and an interesting footnote: we shared the one phone up until 1995, when we relocated from a small town to Columbus, with it's million-plus residents and commensurate traffic problems. Within three months we upgraded to a cell phone each, as we had childcare issues to coordinate and each day brought a new adventure. And today, we're both pretty addicted to our smart phones.

  21. Hi, Deborah. I know--Finland. Who'd've thought? You have to wonder why.

    I have a Samsung, too. Very happy with it.

    Just got two more Duncan/Gemma books in the mail yesterday! :-) I'm having so much fun reading them in order.

  22. What a sweet man you're married to, Susan. It is hard to stay mad with our men when they disregard what we say in the name of keeping us safer or making us happier. :-)

    For those of you with kids, at what age did you let them have phones? My oldest (a sophomore in college now) never asked for one until she was sixteen (I know--right?) and my younger (a HS senior) wanted one about a year before that. The older uses hers mostly for keeping in touch with us and her friends; Younger is on hers CONSTANTLY, playing games, downloading apps, surfing the net, etc.

  23. My daughter got hers when she was 10 from her Grandfather who could never say no to her. It was a juke phone, I think, which was mostly for playing music. We had a plan where she could only make calls to or receive calls from family members. Now she has an iPhone which always at her side. Yesterday, we used it to take her Pokemon eggs for a walk so that they would hatch -- I guess that is probably the only good thing about Pokemon Go -- you have to do some exercise to get certain things to happen~

  24. What sold me on carrying a cell phone all the time, besides driving alone all over the country, was the time my daughter and I came home to find that someone had broken into our house, and they were still inside. It was dinnertime on a Friday, and not a single neighbor was home to call the police. My pay-as-you-go phone was sitting inside the house, with the burglars.

    After that, I started carrying my phone with me, and soon after got a real cell phone.

  25. Oh please! My 13 year old grandson has an iPhone --and if you ask me :-) it is a PROBLEM! Seriously, I worry about how much he loves it. But I am only the Grammy... And I spent much of my youth with a transistor radio earplug in...

  26. Great trivia questions, great blog posts, and I'll bet a great book. Thanks

  27. Laura DiSilverio - my favorite phone story (and I was not there) was when a phone went off during the homily at a church AND THE PARISHIONER ANSWERED IT! The priest stopped his sermon, glared at the guy (he was in the first row, if you can believe it) and said, "It had better be God himself on the line." The parishioner hastily ended his call, silenced, and stowed the phone.

    My daughter got her first phone (not a smart phone) when she was 9? 10? She was spending 4 hours at a stretch at her dance studio and I was not going to sit there the entire time. The studio owners actually charged for telephone calls (50 cents, I think) so if something happened, she'd have to borrow a phone from another student, which made the teacher even more angry because now TWO students were leaving class...just a nightmare. So we got her a plain Jane phone. She didn't get an iPhone until 8th grade but she did the meal planning AND cooking every night for a year to "pay" for the privilege.

    We got my son a phone a little later - 10 or 11, and again it was because he was spending significant time at activities (plus by then we'd disconnected the house phone, so we wanted both kids to be accessible). He didn't get his iPhone just before this school year (his freshman year) because we didn't think he was responsible enough.

    But both of them spend a lot of time off their phones, so it hasn't been a problem.

    And I remember my youth, walking around with my Walkman (later Discman) headphones on and my grandmother swearing I was rotting my brain. =)

  28. I've been on walks with my girls to get Pokémon eggs to hatch, too, Celia. Too funny!

    So scary about the break-in, Karen. I hope no one was hurt.

    I agree with you, Hank, that the phones are a problem for kids. My daughter can barely make a phone call to make a haircut appointment she's so used to texting. It's got to be hurting kids' communications skills. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeonly Luddite.

    Thanks, Barbara!

  29. I got my first cell phone in 1995 - it was almost like the one in the picture that cost $4000, but only was a couple hundred bucks! You were charged by the minute for talking, and texting was not invented yet. We called them bricks because they were so huge. I had to carry one around on the weekends in case I got called in to work, plus my personal one so I always had a big bag with me. I have never dropped a phone in the toilet, and I know there are more cell phone users who don't have toilets than we can imagine.

  30. Oh, texting! That is the scourge! I hate when my phone pings… It's so demanding.

    And hilarious, isn't it, that actually talking on the phone is so unusual!

  31. I meant to comment on this before. When we were in Tanzania the weirdest thing was to see the Masai walking around in and with all their worldly possessions: a length of fabric as garment, sandals, a machete, their herd, and a cell phone. We visited a boma, or Masai compound, and there are no toilets, but they all have phones because the government provides cell service everywhere, no matter how remote. All the guides keep in touch via texting, too. It just amazed us.

  32. My husband has always had something for communication. Since he's in loss prevention/security he was usually on call. First it was pagers. That was annoying. Then the huge mobile phones. Eventually the cell phones. He was actually carrying two on his belt at one point. Crazy! I am a luddite in comparison. I finally got a flip phone sometime in the early 21st century. I did not really use it though until 2006 when my youngest sister was at the Mayo Clinic for major surgery. It was one of those pay as you go deals and I got super frustrated everytime I tried to top it off. Eventually I got an android but was frustrated with it because it was so hard to get online and check email. Bleah. Iphones must have been made for idiots because we get along so well now that I have one. My other sister is really into texting and using her phone as a camera. It took me a while to catch on to that, but I am slowly adapting. We do text back and forth when we are both watching the same TV show and make snarky comments. Cell phones must be miracles for people in poorer countries. We visited Guatemala a few years back to meet our sponsored child. Her mom had a cell phone and kept it tucked between her boobs. If I tried that my phone would be on the ground in an instant!

  33. I recently upgraded . . . to a flip phone. I thought a friend was getting ready to make fun of it, but instead she wanted to know where to get it -- Consumer Cellular. My phone is mostly for emergencies, as we all said when we got them, back a couple of decades, and for long distance since it's free on the cell. Most know to leave messages on the home phone because I might not turn on the cell for weeks.
    Pet peeve is people out for meals who need to check their phones, or have conversations on them, instead of being with the live humans in front of them.
    Pat reminds me that I knitted little pouches for friends who wanted to keep their cell phones in their cleavages without losing them. What I won't do for a friend . . . ;-)
    Adding book to the infinite TBR list -- I shall be entertained splendidly!

  34. I did not do well on the quiz, but I am an avid cell phone user. With my husband living in Kansas for his work, our son three hours away, and our daughter an hour away, I want to be able to have contact when we need it. I also do FB and email on my phone when I'm away from home and my laptop. I also use my iPhone as my alarm clock, and there is the GPS function that is wonderful. And, since I drive by myself so much, my husband is glad that I have a cell phone along.

    However, I do not text while driving! I read an article in Sunday's paper about how the problem with texting drivers is growing by leaps and bounds. Some policing departments have taken to unique methods of trying to control the texting problem, with the use of eighteen-wheeler cabs to see down into cars and bicycles in mass. I saw another article with a video showing a motorcycle almost sideswiped by a woman, middle aged, texting all the way down the road while driving.

    I can't remember exactly when I got my first cell phone, but it was the flip kind. My husband also works in a secure facility, Laura, and since he can't have his cell phone all day, he still has a flip one. I was laughing earlier as I told our daughter that her dad has now discovered texting and seems to be enjoying using it. Our children didn't have cell phones until they started driving, when I worried a little less about this new freedom with a way to contact them. My fifteen-year-old granddaughter has a very basic cell phone, no iPhone much to her disgruntlement. I'm glad that my daughter is holding firm on this point and makes granddaughter put the phone on a table in the family room before she goes to bed. I'm not happy seeing so many teenagers completely glued to smart phones.

    Cell phones are not necessary at the table when eating. I do keep my cell phone close in my purse when eating out, in case of emergencies, but I think it highly rude for someone to sit playing or texting or whatever on their phones at the dinner table. Eating should be a great opportunity for talking and sharing your day. My husband and I were recently eating out, and as we left we ran into a couple we knew. The wife was lovely and we chatted while he husband didn't take his eyes off his cell phone to even see who we were. When we parted, I made a point of saying his name and saying goodbye. Hoping he got the message.

    Laura, your new books sounds so good! I love the premise of a cell phone mix-up causing all the drama that follows. Close Call is definitely going on my wish list.

  35. There was a car accident in downtown Boston recently, and there was a great photo of a guy dressed as a Minuteman, who is a tour guide, calling the police on his cell phone. It is classic!

  36. Pauline--I've never dropped a cell phone in the toilet, but I did lose a pager that way once when I used to have to carry one!

    Karen--It's amazing how cell phones have infiltrated every culture and what seems like every corner of the earth. I guess that's a good thing, although it's disconcerting to see things like your Masai warriors, or Hank's Minuteman. Funny that sci fi movies don't seem to have them, isn't it?

    Storyteller Mary--I can't believe you knitted cleavage pouches for the phones! Maybe some entrepreneur should design bras with pockets for cell phones. Hm . . .

  37. Kathy--I had no idea your family was so spread out. :-( Does your hubby get to come home on weekends, or do you get to go to Kansas to see him? Thanks for putting CLOSE CALL on your wish list

  38. Mary--Hard to believe a parishioner would be so clueless as to answer a phone in church. Great comeback from the rector.

  39. My first cell phone as in 1992 it was a Motorola analogue and I bet it would still work if it didn't jump in the toilet. Seriously. All by itself. I had it on the tank while I washed my hands and next thing I know - splash. What is that affinity about? I'm still learning all the options and apps on my Smartphone...and really, I just traded in my "dumb" mil spec flip phone for a Smartphone two years ago. It was the GPS that sold me.

    Wonderful blog, Laura. Great story premise.

  40. Thanks for your kind words about the post, Kait. You were ahead of me with getting a smartphone. I do like the GPS for finding my way around, but I don't like the idea that I'm "locatable." I'm a bit paranoid and disable a lot of functions and don't get apps that require me to give them my location or anything else.

  41. Laura, my husband would rather come home than me visit him, as he wants to see the grandkids. However, I think we are going to take a train trip to Kansas in the fall. Oh, and I should have said that I'm pre-ordering Close Call because I just did.

  42. Thanks for pre-ordering, Kathy. The train trip sounds like fun. My hub and I were talking just last week about taking a train trip when we become empty nesters next fall (stifled sob).

  43. 1. F
    2. C
    3. B
    4. E
    5. D
    6. A

    7. True
    8. True

    9. D
    10. A

    Got mine in about 1991 when my daughter went to college. So I could talk as long as she wanted.
    Yes. I hate being without it. I spent too many years in bad cars stuck on the side of the road. ��

    1. Did I miss the answers somewhere?

    2. Answers are above! Comment number… Four or so! Xxx
      How did you do?

  44. Storyteller Mary--WHoa. I keep thinking that would be itchy.

  45. We have had a cell phone for what seems like forever. Husband had the bag phone and the one in stalled in the car (these were for work). Right now I'm at the point where I would like to throw them all out. So tired of trying to talk to people that are so busy on their phones that you want to scream. Also what happened to actually seeing people instead of text, text, text.. Ok I'm on an anti technology bent right now. It's not that I don't want change, I've always been ahead in tech , I just feel we've gotten away from talking to each other.

    Ok, enough of a tirade. I got my copy of Close Call today, so I'm getting off the computer and going to read. Love all your books.

  46. Hi, Ann--

    The answers were way up near the top in Hank's first comment, but here they are again:
    1F, 2A, 3D, 4E, 5B, 6C, 7T, 8T, 9B (Note: Cooper Cronk is a rugby player), 10A

  47. Thanks, Karen. Always nice to be appreciated (or to have my books be appreciated).

  48. Everyone: Thanks so much for stopping by today and for taking the cellphone quiz and sharing your phone stories. If you got 100% on the quiz, email me at ldisilverio AT gmail DOT com with your address and I'll send you a copy of CLOSE CALL. Yay!

    And thank you, dear Hank, and all the Jungle Reds for hosting me here today. A joy, as always.

  49. You are perfection! And readers, CLOSE CALL is, too.

    See you all tomorrow!

  50. I remember the advent of cell phones, which prompted me to get cochlear implants! I was so mad that cell phones made it more difficult for people with hearing losses to use cell phones. However, I have a friend with a 85 decibel loss in one ear and 65 decibel loss in her good ear. She can turn up the volume on her cell phone and listen with her good ear.

    My first "cell phone" was actually a pager from Wyndtell, which was ok. It had a feature where I could send text and have it translated to voice if I called someone. Unfortunately, the computer voice was Awful. Someone told me the voice was loud and awful.

    The next one was a pager from Motorola and it worked only if the other person had a Motorola pager too.

    Finally got my first flip phone from Nokia Ericsson in 2001. It is funny because a friend's husband showed me the text feature on his cell phone AFTER my cochlear implant surgery.

    Happy that I could use text on cell phone. Loved my cell phone. Unfortunately, I dropped it and it broke! I tried to replace it with a new phone and the place where I got it had gone out of business. The Nokia was so great that I was able to use it when I went to Europe in 2006. I did not have to worry about using a fax this time. I used a fax when I went to England in 1991. I went into a dress shop in Oxford and asked them to send a fax to the USA and I gave them four pounds, which I thought would cover the charges. It did not arrive in the USA until 2 weeks after I gave four pounds to the dress shop in the UK.

    First smartphone was in 2010 and got it at the Apple store. Loved the smartphone. For a person with profound hearing loss, it is my lifeline!

    I remember when the new iPhone had the alarm feature. I could use it to set the alarm and wake up in the morning.

    I have a password so only I can access my smartphone. I had two replacements since I got the first iPhone. I think it is time to replace my 3G iphone.

    Thank you!