Uber oops.

When I was catching up with Lori in Charleston, one of the things she mentioned was that Mike had left his phone in their Uber on their last trip.  I sympathized as I listened, thinking what a pain it would have been to try to get it back.  Well, as luck would have it, I ended up doing the exact same thing three days later!!

We had just tied up at the marina in Savannah.  I took a quick shower and tidied up.  Then we all bundled into an Uber in the rain to get to Amy Lee’s office to meet up with her and Chris.   We enjoyed a really great tour of the historic building that they had restored in Savannah.  Then Amy Lee drove us around, giving us a wonderful car-tour that only a decades-long Savannah resident could conduct.  Eventually, I patted my jacket pocket, dug through the day-pack that I brought from the boat, only to realize that… I couldn’t find my phone.  Lori called my number.  We didn’t hear it ring.  It wasn’t in our car.   Most likely scenario… it probably fell out in the Uber that I had summoned with my phone an hour or two prior.

How was I going to get my phone back?

– Amy Lee called her offices to see if I had dropped it there.   Nope.  And then she graciously continued our car-tour, while I tried to figure out how to locate my phone from the back seat, and get it back before we had to depart for Brunswick the next day.

– I borrowed Monte’s phone and installed the Uber app, and tried to logon to my account, but I couldn’t recall my password (seriously?!).

–  Then I tried to logon to my gmail account via Monte’s phone to see if I had received a message from Uber about my phone.  But I couldn’t recall my gmail password (OMG!).

– In the meantime, I sent my phone a text from Monte’s phone saying that if someone found my phone, to please call Monte’s number.


– Then, Lori asked me if I had Find-my-iphone service installed on my phone.  Yes, I did!   A quick google search told me that I could use icloud.com/find to logon to my apple ID via a web browser and it would help me locate my device.  Mercifully, I was able to remember the correct password to my Apple ID.  So I was able to logon and quickly saw that my iPhone was in the vicinity but on the move.  Brilliant!  We tried to track down my phone’s Uber based on the phone’s location, but it was moving faster than we were.  So, I used the iCloud.com find-my-phone utility to ping my phone, which sounded an audible alarm on my phone, wherever it was.

Within 5 minutes Monte’s phone rang.  A person in the Uber had heard the alarm, found my phone wedged between the backseat and the door, picked it up, saw the text message I had sent, and called Monte’s phone from their own phone.   A few minutes later we met up at an agreed-to location for me to get my phone back.   I was very lucky.  And I was oh so thankful for the outcome. The ordeal had lasted about 30 minutes.  I tipped the Uber driver again when she handed me my phone, and we went our separate ways.

Take from this story what you will.  Turn on your phone’s find utility if you have one.  commit a few passwords to memory.  Make sure your phone is secure in your pocket or bag.  And travel with a friend with a phone.  🙂



Sheila’s law.

Murphy’s got a law.

Here’s mine:

Whole-house interconnected smoke detectors shall only sound their deafening false alarm in the dead of night.


1. They shall do so several times in the same night, for non-deterministic lengths of time, leaving only enough time between alarms to allow sleep to nearly be achieved.

2. The one of all the sounding units which can silence all alarms must be difficult to determine, and must be located at or above 12 feet of elevation from the floor.

First world problems.

The culprit.
The suspect.

We, in the modern and developed “first world,” enjoy luxuries that are inconceivable by those living in developing “third world” nations.   In the real scheme of things, any woes that we complain about related to technology are nothing more than noise.  But it doesn’t make them less annoying because of that…

Our latest first world problem:   when I use the treadmill, our DSL modem drops its connection to the internet.

Ah yes.   Quite a quandary.  A recent development — and an unacceptable one.   Imagine the fun we’ve been having trying to talk to AT&T about it for the last few weeks to get help with troubleshooting.  So we’ve been trying to debug our modern conveniences ourselves to find the root cause.  We suspect a new DSL modem which we got a few months back (a Netgear), because the old one (a 2wire) worked fine when the very same treadmill was on.

If we plug the treadmill into an outlet on the other side of the house, it does not interfere with the modem.  So we could move either the treadmill or the modem.  Both of which would be a major pain.  So in the mean time, I hope to find another solution… i.e., finding another brand of modem, like the 2wire that we had for many years until it went kaput.

Anyone out there have a better suggestion?

Update:  I think we fixed the problem!!  (through no help of AT&T, by the way).  After a month of trying to figure out what the problem was, in desperation and frustration I dug out our old 2wire DSL router out of the closet.  It had worked (and coexisted with the treadmill) for about 10 years before crapping out this summer.  When that happened, we replaced it with the AT&T-recommended netgear DSL modem product, which is the one we’re currently struggling with.  In the old 2wire DSL modem box I found the original  DSL phone line filter dongle thingies that we also replaced when we got the new netgear modem.  The ones we got with the netgear modem say “Pace America” brand on them.  In a desperate attempt to try just one more thing, I changed out the Pace-America brand DSL phone line filter dongle with the 2wire brand one that we had used with the previous 2wire modem for many years.  And…(drum roll) it fixed the problem!    I post this update in the hope that it will help some other poor schmuck that has resorted to google for help on how to fix their treadmill / DSL router interference problem.

Best of luck!

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