Basically, iOS 7 killed my battery life. It seems to be going around; I have the very iPhone 5 on Verizon that Ars Technica famously reported to be pummelled by the upgrade. They have since run the test with an AT&T phone and with all cellular connectivity disabled on the VZW phone and found some slight improvement, but nothing great.
Well, today I took the phone to the nearest Apple store and two young ladies gave it the full rundown, checking the logs and running diagnostics. They found that among other things, the battery is very near the borderline of requiring replacement after only 10 months; in fact they intimated very strongly that a battery replacement would be inevitable before long and would be covered irrespective of warranty status. They also found no less than thirteen processes with fairly regular crash issues since Sept 21 when I restored the phone from scratch, of which fully have were system processes rather than apps in user space.
So for the time being, they wiped the phone completely and set it up brand new with iOS 7.0.2, and I manually filled in the account info and re-downloaded apps. No sync with a desktop, no restore from backup. This is clean and pristine as I can make it. If the problem persists after a couple of weeks, and the logs don't show any more crashing issues, it probably means a battery replacement. But if the logs show the kinds of continuous crashing we saw today...
I don't know. If I had to guess, right now, I would say there's something squinky in the specific build of iOS 7 for the iPhone 5, model A1429 (the CDMA-enabled one), and that the impact on battery is made worse by the fact that Verizon never seems to have more than 3 bars of LTE service anywhere (and thus pulls harder on the battery). And that the physical battery itself in my particular phone has been taxed something fierce (which this year at work strongly supports).
But if the phone still dies on the regular after all this, I think it may be time to give some serious consideration to getting off VZW and going back to a GSM carrier where the fallback from LTE is something at least potentially faster than 2.4 megabit downstream.
OK, let’s start with the obvious. In the grand scheme of things, this game does not matter at all. The sun will rise in the morning. War will rage on in Somalia, Tibet will still be under the thumb of Red China, my house will still be standing irrespective of the result of events in Nashville.
Add to this the following caveat: there is nothing I can do to affect this game. Maybe if I’m there in the stands, I can contribute to the extra bit of noise or the one random shriek that causes a false start, or I contribute to the yell that rallies the spirits of our offense, or otherwise have some infinitely small impact on events. But I’m over two thousand miles away, and I know intellectually that nothing I do – watch, don’t watch, play the stream on the radio instead, wear this shirt or that hat, sit here, stand there, drink this, hold my head a certain way, mumble the same things at every snap – nothing makes one tiny bit of difference. Unless you are prepared to believe in the existence of a deity that takes an interest in the prayers of college football partisans and acts in the affirmative on their behalf, the fact of the matter is clear: there is the outcome of the game, and the influence I have on that outcome, and the Venn diagram of the two looks like a stripper’s fake tits.
Nick Hornby, in Fever Pitch, goes on at length about smoking goals in, or not smoking, or wearing this shirt or not listening to the radio or this or that – indeed, he describes a ridiculous ritual where he and his friends go to the sweet shop, buy sugar mice, bite the heads off, and throw the rest into the street as some sort of bizarre votive offering – because it worked once. I have broken myself of all manner of Rain Man-esque behaviors at Cal games, though to be honest, it mostly stems from the failing fortunes of the team and my resulting diminished emotional engagement. I myself almost drank myself blackout drunk one night because Vanderbilt basketball was playing better against then-#1 Tennessee when I drank bourbon than when I drank Guinness. I came within an eyelash of burning my apartment down in 2001 because Alabama was pounding Auburn relentlessly whenever I had my pipe going, and the fug of tobacco smoke was all the way down from ceiling to ankles.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen when you have abject confidence in the results. If you know you suck, you don’t get enmeshed in all this. If you know you’re going to win, you don’t have to bother. It’s only when the result teeters on the edge of a knife, when things are close to perfectly balanced, that your mind starts to go to these places.
When things are so precarious, and when you have an emotional investment in the team, it seems like anything – no matter how small, no matter how stupid, no matter how logically irrelevant – anything that might take that elephant on the head of a pin and tip its balance…well, if you can do it, you have to, right?
Last night, I tried to assuage my anxieties by looking at old posts on Anchor of Gold around the time of the Franklin hire. And what I saw was remarkable in retrospect…
Maybe this is realistic, maybe not, but here’s what I want to see:
Season one: more than two wins.
Season two: not less than 5 wins (including, by definition, at least one conference win)
Season three: not less than 6 wins (which would assume a bowl since they hand those out like candy now)
Season four: not less than 7 wins AND a bowl bid outside the 615 area code.
Season five: all of season four PLUS at least one big-ticket win over the Penitentiary of Tennessee, or some big-ticket foe like Florida or Alabama that we haven’t beaten in years.
If we win out the rest of the way, this season, we can hit my goal for season five. This year. Even if we were to lose everything the rest of the way and finish 6-6, as disappointing as that is, we’ve met the goal through season 3 a year ahead of schedule.
Ultimately, I suppose that’s all you can do. Step back, take a look at what you have, and be thankful for it. And whatever happens, happens.
I guess about seven hours from now, we’ll know how it worked out.
Anchor Down. Sink the Vols.
Fourteen years ago, I was where you'll be tomorrow: stood out on Alumni Lawn under a bright blue May sky in Nashville, wearing a robe and a mortar board - in my case for the last time. Graduating from high school was like ripping off a Band-Aid. Graduating from college felt like my life’s work was finally complete and I could move on with what I wanted for myself. Graduating with a master’s from Vanderbilt, especially under my unique circumstances…
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to think. When I'd left Nashville a year before, it was with no idea where my life was headed and no clue what to do next. That was the first week of May, 1997. Four and a half months later, I was living five hundred miles away, with a job working for an organization that needs neither introduction nor description, making better money out of the box than I ever could have expected from my first job in my original profession, in a field with no connection whatsoever to what I’d spent the past seven years studying and preparing for. Or, as my wife would say, “then time happened.”
Legend has it that the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi bore an aphorism over the forecourt that read “Know Thyself.” Ultimately, that’s what the college experience is meant to do. Sure, you majored in something. Or you played ball well enough to do that for a living. Or you met the friends who will ultimately hire you into something unlike what you trained to do. Or you're just headed for grad school to kick the can down the road for a year or six.
In the end, though, you didn't come to Vanderbilt for vocational training. You came here to learn – to learn what you think, to learn how to think, to take another step into a wider world. I can’t say it enough – college IS the real world, it’s just not the WHOLE world. Things as simple as fending for yourself on laundry, or trying to make $23 in your checking account last the whole weekend – that’s not going to end just because you’re in an apartment somewhere cashing a bigger check than ever.
College gives you a chance to reinvent yourself. You’ve been able to try out all manner of things – interests, aspirations, intoxicants (let’s not kid ourselves) – and see what you like, what you want…but now you have a chance to do it again. Another fresh start. Another new group of people to meet, maybe another town, maybe a completely different realm than you thought you’d be going into when you first set foot in the West End four, or five, or however many years ago.
I can’t speak to what kind of college experience you may have had, or how much you loved being here, or didn’t love being here. Maybe these were the best years of your life. Maybe you just want to get out as quick as you can. But whatever you are now, it's not the same person who walked through orientation at the Commons all those years ago. Maybe you don’t know what you want to do. But hopefully you know who you want to be. And if you don’t…well, you just have that many more options to choose from now. What I was taught at Vanderbilt didn't have nearly as much impact on who I am today as what I learned at Vanderbilt.
But for now, enjoy yourself. Academia really is the last medieval profession. You have to put in the years, you have to earn the credits, you apprentice yourself and carve out a future with your fingernails – and God help you if you go for something beyond a bachelor’s degree – and the fact that you’re standing here today means that you've climbed this particular mountain. Whether you enjoyed it or not, whether it’s something you wanted your whole life or something you want to be shut of as soon as you walk off that stage – you can leave in the knowledge that you can bear down and endure and achieve something that takes your time and your sweat and your tears to get. You’re going to have to do it again, you know – tomorrow, and the next day, and for the rest of your life – but remembering that you can will make all the difference.
I’m going to shut up now. Tomorrow is your day. Treasure it, cherish it, and if you bought that ring, wear it where people can see it, because this is your championship parade. Congratulations. You earned it.
Anchor Down! WHO YA WIT?
So after a little boredom, I have decided to goose this up with a list of my everyday loadout. Part of this is because I have been slowly paring down the crap I carry ever since moving to California, and part because I switched to my super-light bag with the move to a MacBook Air.
So right now, my everyday carry, on my person:
LEFT FRONT POCKET:
• Keys. Only four or five here, different houses mostly, and attached to a ring with a thumb-sized LED flashlight and a pinky-tip-sized lighter. (Yes, a whole lighter with flint and fluid.)
• Leatherman Squirt PS4, the last in a long line of multi-tools. This one has scissors AND pliers and is still finger-sized.
RIGHT FRONT POCKET:
• iPhone 4 with headphones. In DC, this role was filled by a cellphone, a pager, an iPod, and an old-style Blackberry with CDPD data only.
LEFT REAR POCKET:
• Handkerchief. Come on, I grew up down South.
• Moleskine Cahier. Sometimes you need to be able to jot down something quick and it's not really suitable to try to thumb it into the phone. Plus try tearing off a page from the phone to leave on someone's desk.
RIGHT REAR POCKET:
• Wallet. Small bi-fold leather thing that could probably stand to be lightened a little.
• Pen - in my case, a CountyComm Embassy Pen with a Fisher space pen refill. Big enough not to lose and I don't have to worry about it breaking in half or leaking or drying out or screwing up the click mechanism. I've been carrying a pen in my hip pocket next to the billfold since 7th grade, because that's what we did in junior high, and it's stuck for almost thirty years now.
• Watch. Because I don't want to have to pull the phone out to see what time it is.
And that's pretty much it. Since I've more or less given up smoking, I no longer have the pipe-Zippo-tobacco pouch load, and the iPhone has done for three or four devices at once with one package smaller than any of the four old individual gadgets. Thanks Steve!
So we have this couple we're friends with - at their engagement party, his dad (an astronaut. No kidding) was talking with her grandfather (a WWII Navy vet) who had the best line ever:
ASTRONAUT: You were at Pearl Harbor that day?
ASTRONAUT: What were you doing?
VET: Running like hell, mostly.
Cheers, lads, and GO NAVY. (Subject to change on Saturday.)
"Do you have any information on when [COMPANY] anticipates being able to offer the iPhone 5 and also what the differences are between the iPhone 4S, that was just announced, and the iPhone 5?
Honey, there is no iPhone 5. You made that up inside your head, you and the rest of the paste-eaters. Why don't you sit down for a while...