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Word to the wise: Don’t drop your Droid on its head.

December 11, 2010, 8:54 PM

Those of you who follow me on the Twitter know when I’m riding Metro. After all, during those times, many of my tweets have the #wmata hashtag on them. And usually, one Metro ride in a day is followed later in the day by another (after all, after going somewhere, I usually have to go back). But on Friday evening, I was notably silent. See, I had broken my Droid.

What happened is that I had just gotten off the phone with Mom. I usually call my mother during the walk from the office to Dupont Circle station, and we stay on the phone while I go down into the station and wait on the platform, only saying goodbye once I’m safely on the train (there’s a dead spot in the tunnel between Dupont Circle and Farragut North, so we have to end it by then). This particular evening, Mom had to get off the phone early, because Dad had dinner ready and she had to go. So we said goodbye while I was still waiting on the platform, and got off the phone.

Once I get off the phone, I usually switch to my iPod and resume my Randi Rhodes podcast. So I tucked the phone under my chin and held it against my chest with my chin. However, my winter coat, zipped all the way up, got in the way, though I didn’t realize it at the time. So while I was pulling out my iPod and my headphones, the phone dropped from where I was holding it, and landed headfirst on the platform. If you’re holding it upright, the top of it is what struck the platform, and it hit with enough force to knock the snap-on case off of it. I picked the phone up, and to my surprise, the screen was black.

I did some troubleshooting with the phone, mainly consisting of removing the battery, putting it back in, and then starting it up again. The verdict ended up being that everything worked, except for the screen itself. Seriously, the functioning of the Android OS was not affected, and I still could get responses out of the touch-screen. So I was able to do everything, but I would have to do it blind. In theory, I could use it entirely by feel if I was able to, but I can’t do that.

Getting home after what I would consider the most boring Metro ride ever (having done Glenmont to Dupont Circle a zillion times, I skip the railfan window), I got home, put one bunch of stuff down, and grabbed another. After a quick session on Facebook and the Twitter to let people know that I temporarily had no phone, and after blind-rescuing the fire alarm pictures from the phone’s SD card (all I have to do is activate the card as a drive, and it takes two clicks – both of which I could find blindly), it was off to the Verizon store for me, to get this fixed.

I ended up going over to the Verizon store on Rockville Pike, and I made a rather daring (for me) slice across three lanes of traffic in order to be in the correct lane to make my left turn. Normally, I wouldn’t merge across that many lanes in one continuous motion, as I prefer to merge one lane at a time. But there was no time for such a move. For those familiar, I took the new ramp from Randolph Road to northbound Rockville Pike (MD 355), and the Verizon store is close to that interchange, on the left (here’s where the store is). Not a lot of time to go, so ziiiiiiiip! Done.

Getting into the store, I signed in, and it was obvious that I had done my homework. The phone is not working correctly, this is what it’s doing, and if we can’t completely resolve this matter tonight, I would like my service put on this old phone in the meantime. I had the feeling that the phone would need to be replaced, and so either they would have a replacement in the store, or they didn’t. They did, much to my delight. So they dug it out of the back room, activated it, and got the screen protector on and everything. We were good to go!

So the replacement was easy enough. Now comes punishment. I had to download ALL of my apps again. I’ve had the Droid for almost a year, and as a result, I’d been through a lot of apps. I had to remember which apps I had, and where they used to be on my home screens. The difficult part was that for some of them, I remembered what they looked like, but not what they were called – a pain in a Market with a textual search. But I managed to find all of them. I ended up staying up for hours getting everything back the way it used to be. The hardest parts of the search were in relocating the clock widget that I liked, as well as relocating “Bubble Popper”, which is a variant on The Same Game. Otherwise, it was just tedious, re-downloading all of these bloody apps.

And then there are the settings. I had to go back in and set all of my settings again – in everything. Not fun. Sign into this. Sign into that. Accept these Terms and Conditions. Accept those Terms and Conditions. Yuck.

So the lesson is learned, the hard way, unfortunately: make sure your phone is being held securely the whole time. Apparently, snatch-and-run cell phone thieves, as the media likes to discuss so often, aren’t the biggest hazard to my enjoyment of my phone. Turns out, as is so often the case, that the biggest hazard is me. Apparently, give me enough time, and I’ll destroy it myself…

Web site: PhoneWreck disassembles a Motorola Droid

Song: Whatever - I wrote two Journal entries back-to-back, and so I'm out of music.

Quote: Unrelated, but funny: One can actually buy unofficial Bonnie Grimes Elementary apparel online. You can even customize it, to change the sport to whatever you like. I got a huge kick out of changing it to "DETENTION", since I was assigned to that in elementary school more than I wish to remember. I sat out quite a few recesses in my day. A "BONNIE GRIMES DETENTION" shirt... now that would be a funny joke gift for a few people I know...

Categories: Cell phone, Rockville