Welcome to this edition of Southern Cross Enews.

The Job family has grown by one in recent times with the addition of a Border Collie puppy late last year. The family have wondered why I so vehemently argued against getting a dog over the past 16 odd years. Noticing that I can’t pass any dog without stopping to pat it and more often than not, talking to it like it could understand me, the family just couldn’t understand why I didn’t want our own. They know now.

Naturally from the day we brought it home I fell head over heels in love with her (and her with me of course) and now ‘Ellie’ dominates our every family conversation, is the centre of attention at all times and generally rules our lives. The backyard now looks like it has been carpet bombed, I can never find my shoes and our social life began to be centred on the dog park. On Christmas Eve she (being a Border collie) mistook a car for a sheep and got run over. But, after several operations costing slightly more than the gross domestic product of a small nation, she is almost as good as new again. Just a bit wobbly on her back legs still and this has only added to her inability to keep out of the way. If we did an OH&S audit of our household, she would be identified as a ‘tripping hazard’. So jump forward to a week or so ago, it is dark, I am hurrying around the edge of the pool and she gets tangled up in my legs and, you can work out how this ended. Me, fully clothed, in the pool, with iPhone in pocket.

I leap out, dry it off and stick it into the plastic container of long grain rice that we keep ready for just such occasions. (Sadly my clumsy gene has passed to my children). Now I was shattered, because of the hundreds of mobile phones I have destroyed over the years, this was the longest time I had ever kept one. I was mainly p#%ed off because I knew that this was going to mean another visit with my nemesis at the apple store – a place I swore I would never darken the door of again. Some of you may recall my previous tribulations with that lot trying to swap an iPad over. As I would rather poke myself in the eye with a hot fork than EVER go there again, I tried my hardest to rescue my poor old phone. Apart from the camera and the off button not working, the light staying on and the battery lasting about an hour it was fine at first.

But sadly, like a much loved elderly relative, it began to slip away. Vital functions stated to fail, its memory began to fade and its light grew dim. I resigned myself to the fact I had to once again enter the retail twilight zone that is the Apple store.

I steeled myself for battle. Now as you may know one doesn’t just walk into an Apple store and talk to a salesperson. No, no one must make an appointment to meet with a ‘Genius’. And you cannot make these appointments over the phone. And why would you. It makes perfect sense that a shop selling phones would not want their customers to use them.  So I go onto their website and after only an hour or so and about 2000 clicks I had my appointment for 1210. I even got 2 emails from them to prove it. I arrive 5 minutes early for my appointment and am accosted by the store greeter (a large chap in his 20’s who looks like he hasn’t seen sunlight since his days at kindergarten) and he sends me to the senior greeter (another pasty youth in a blue t-shirt but with even stranger facial hair). At least he has an iPad. He scrolls through this, confirms that I exist and tells me to sit at a table and a ‘Genius’ will see me soon. Clearly the person at Apple who came up with the term ‘Genius’ was also responsible for their interpretation of the word ‘soon’. So I sit there with about 10 other lucky customers and resign myself to a long wait noting that even though there were 22 Mensa members in blue t-shirts walking around, they were mainly talking to each other. On the table in front of me was an ‘Apple MacBook Pro’. I thought it was a laptop. Silly me. So I entertained my self-drawing caricatures of each of the ‘Geniuses’ on MacDraw and saving each one with their names underneath.

God I hope they found them. Anyway, eventually a blue shirted child prodigy served me and in no time they had my money and I had a new phone. With something called iOS 7 hiding inside it. So if any of you have been trying to call me to book on the Gladstone to Brisbane offshore trip, I apologise as I am still learning to work some of the more complicated functions. Like how to answer a call. Anyway as a result of this we still have a few places left on our first offshore trip of the year.

Departing from the fair city of Gladstone on Wednesday 23rd April this 5 day trip is an ideal for those wanting their first offshore experience or someone wanting to complete a qualifying passage as skipper for their Yachtmaster exam. The course takes you across the picturesque waters of Hervey Bay, through the beautiful Sandy Straights, over the wide bay bar and down along the sunshine coast returning to Manly on the following Sunday. Get in quick if you want a place by emailing or (unlike some phone companies) we are happy to take enquiries over the phone.

That’s all for this edition, until next time, keep your phone dry.

Cheers

Mike Job