Filed under New York

Ten things crazier than waiting in line for the iPhone

Between last year’s campout (18 days) and this one (8 days), we have had numerous reactions to the length of time we are willing to wait in line. Some of the more popular reactions are:

“Wow, good for you! I couldn’t do it.”

“This is so stupid.”

“That’s awesome! I wish I could join.”

“That is ridiculous and you need to get a life.”

“Apple sheeple, bow to the church of Apple.”

“You must have a lot of time on your hands.”

“Do you not have jobs?”

“You should have just preordered!”

Some would just take photos…and then quickly try to hide the camera and pretend they weren’t when they saw us looking. Smooth move, ex-lax.

But the most common word we hear is simply: CRAZY. “You guys are crazy.”

To them I say, maybe we are, but that’s not always a bad thing! I think we have been called crazy in every language, including sign language, and looking back I wish I’d put a quarter in a jar every time I heard that…I could buy an extra iPhone! 64 gigs with Apple Care Plus and accessories! My favorite still has to be the person who called us “nuttier than squirrel poop” last year on MacRumors forums. And as i responded before, at least we don’t go around inspecting squirrel poop.

But is waiting in a line really quite as crazy as people seem to think? I think I can think of a few things that are even crazier, and here is a very small sampling.  Feel free to disagree.

 

TEN THINGS I FIND CRAZIER THAN WAITING A WEEK OR MORE IN LINE FOR AN iPHONE:

 1) BUYING THIS iPHONE CASE

Paying $100,000 for an iPhone case is not just crazy, but batshit nuts. This case had better double as a teleportation device, time machine, private jet, and robotic maid that does my laundry and makes my coffee. Hazelnut. With 2 Sweet N Lows and 2 Equals. And yes, I am aware that they are totally artificial and nasty. Deliciously nasty.

 

2) THROWING YOUR TRASH ON THE GROUND

I never understood how anyone could just throw the garbage on the ground when there are garbage cans all over. There is no excuse whatsoever for littering, and I have no patience for it when I see it. How can people be so disrespectful to the planet we all live on? It’s just an assholian thing to do…and yes, I really wanted an excuse to use the word assholian. One day I saw a guy go down an escalator, walk out the door and around the corner, just to throw throw an empty cigarette pack on the ground (five feet away from a trash can), then turn around and walk away. I feel myself getting irritated, so before turning into the Hulk, I should also mention that I recently saw another guy actually stop and turn around when he  tried to throw his garbage in the trash can and missed. His friend said, “Hey it wouldn’t be the first time someone has left trash on the ground in NYC”, but he replied that he didn’t care, and went back to pick it up and throw it away. Hulk transformation intercepted by awesomeness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) HERE COMES HONEY BOOBOO

Why is this even a thing? It’s not even the content, necessarily, but the fact that TLC is taking a child and telling the world to laugh at her. Most kids are a little kooky, some more than others, but setting a kid up to be the butt of jokes (face it, she will probably still be trying to live this down when she is 45 and a nuclear physicist) for the entertainment of the percentage of the population that prefers reality tv to actual reality is kind of sick, if you think about it.

 

4) THE HONEY BADGER

Honey badger don’t care, it’s pretty badass. It’s just crazy.


 

5) COMPLAINING ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, AND THEN NOT VOTING

Seriously, if you live in this country and are eligible to use the right that gives you even a tiny say in the outcome of an election, but refrain from actually voting, then I don’t want to hear you whining about the state of our country. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, vote if you can…and once you do that, you can bitch all you want.

 

6) MIDDLE-AGED MEN MAKING WOMEN’S HEALTH DECISIONS

Recently, it seems middle age to elderly male politicians have been trying to take control of women’s health issues, including wanting to ban or limit access to birth control, and expecting it to have positive results. Well, there will be plenty of positive results, in the form of plus signs on the end of the little sticks that will suddenly be sold out from all the local drug stores. Hey, I’m voting, therefore I can bitch.

But, since we have been labeled “early adopters” based on camping out for products before release, I NEED to ask…who wants to camp out for these?  G.O.B. Tampons!


 

7) CANDY-FED COWS

Soon, the Hershey’s cows that give chocolate milk will be a reality, and when you order your beef rare, there will be high fructose corn syrup oozing out instead of blood. Truth. :P

Cow candy dispenser…it poops skittles and such. I used to have something like this, except it was a reindeer, not a cow, and it was a novelty, not a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

8) THE FACT THAT THIS GUY DOESN’T HAVE MILLIONS OF VIEWS

This is brilliant, the best science lesson ever.  How does he not have more views?

 

9) PASSING COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY JUDGEMENT.

Seriously, what is with the constant judgement? I’m not talking about us. I am extremely hard to offend, so when we get flamed online for doing something like this, I am more likely to laugh about it than get all pissy. Fair is fair…when you do something like this, you set yourself up for negative comments. It’s all good, I can dish it and I can take it.
I’m talking about actual prejudice, which apparently still exists. o_O If you can put a person down based on race, class, gender, sexuality, or appearance, then your opinion on anything “crazy” someone else does is kind of negated, because THAT is crazier than almost anything I can think of.

 

10) NOT DOING ANYTHING CRAZY, EVER.

You are going to sit there and complain that you are bored? I see it all the time, and I just don’t understand. If you live somewhere like New York, how can you be bored? It’s not even possible. But no matter where you live, you can always do SOMETHING. One particular example: people tell me on a regular basis, “I wish I could move to New York!” I always tell them they CAN. They usually quote money as the prohibitive factor, and say once they save enough they will move. I’ll tell you, if you wait to move to NYC until you have enough money, you’ll never get there, because nobody has enough money to move to NYC. What I did was decide to make it work in spite of money issues, hopped a bus, and relied on Craigslist for a long time…and I didn’t even have to use the adult section, imagine that!!! I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, but at the risk of sounding like a cliche, it made me stronger. I eventually realized that life doesn’t wait for you or anyone. The day I decided to have no regrets and not let other people’s opinions dictate my owns thoughts and actions was one of the most freeing of my life, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, sometimes doing something a little (or a lot) crazy is the best way to embrace life. :)

My reptilian welcome home!

Home again and charging my devices!  

Of course, since my tortoise thinks she is a cat, I left my suitcase open for 5 minutes and she managed to climb in.  I think she is telling me she wants to join in next time!  I don’t know how to break it to her that I didn’t bring her an iPhone 5.  Think she will settle for my 4S?  ;P

Ávila is either looking to see if I brought her a present, or telling me she doesn’t want me to leave her home next time.

I love technology, and opening a new device is always exciting.  So far, I like these headphones a lot better than the old earbuds, because they feel more comfortable.  They are still not the greatest headphones ever, but they work for my purposes.  I don’t necessarily need $300 headphones for what I use my phone for.  And even though it’s annoying that I can’t use any of my iPhone cables (I have 3 or 4) with the new phone, I like the Lightning connector much better.  It’s smaller and more convenient, and I especially like that it can go in either way, because with the 30-pin connector, if it only went in one way, i’d always choose the wrong way first.  I really am loving this phone!  Now the big test is the battery life.  I really hope it’s an improvement from the 4S, which started out  with great battery life, but over time left me needing to charge multiple times/day.  Crossing my fingers!  

Unboxing is like iChristmas!!!!!

I haz an iPhone 5!

And just like that, it’s all over and I’m home, and it kind of seems unreal yet again.  This year, the pre-launch night wasn’t quite as exciting as last year.  I mean, how can you top cows and goats?

Keenen is over-excited.

Either way, once I woke up, the approaching launch event was even more evident by the news trucks parked all around the plaza, the line that not only filled the barriers within the plaza, but stretched around and down the block by FAO Schwartz, and the fact that people actually had to sign out to go find a bathroom.  We couldn’t use the Apple Store bathroom, but luckily the new Starbucks across the street was open.  How cool is this setup?!

All Starbucks should have log seats!

Over the next couple hours before the launch, we waited and watched as the cube (which had been draped in black) was unveiled. Ooooooooooh! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! And all that jazz.  We tried to get everything in order so that we would be ready to go for the countdown.  Katie was at the Gazelle event at Grand Central, where they have a whole marketplace going on (buying, selling, prizes, etc), so Michelle, another Gazelle rep, came and watched my stuff.  Of course there were some freebies, like screen protectors, coffee, and peanut chews.  We got our gift cards and, just a little while later, the releases for the Apple video crew and the cards to get our phones.  I was debating between the colors, so I ended up getting cards for one black and one white phone so I could choose.

Mine, Keenen’s, and Mike’s gift cards, iPhone tickets, and screen protectors. Almost time for launch!

You can tell it’s just about time when you see a sea of blue…the Apple employees are out in full force on launch days.  They formed a tunnel outside the cube.  Then there was the countdown…5, 4, 3, 2, 1…GO!  We moved quickly through the Apple sea, giving high fives to the employees on either side as we went.  Then down the stairs into another parted sea of blue shirts, cheering and clapping and high fiving the whole way.

I was greeted by Lori, who was bubbly and sweet, and seemed to be having fun herself.  She didn’t even seem put off by the fact that I was completely out of it, saying she would be, too, after 8 days of camping.  She got the phones for me, 32 gig black and 32 gig white, and i chose to activate the white phone.  I’ve never had a white phone before.  I debated last time and ended up choosing black, and later realized I really liked the white version better.  So this time I was planning to get a white one, but the black one looked sleeker and prettier because of the back panel, so I decided I might want the black one after all.  I went back and forth until Jacob, the first person to ever write to us about our camping adventure last year, and a bit of an Apple expert himself  (at the ripe old age of 14), told me that reports said the black iPhone 5 got scratched easily and silver would show through, making any marks on the black phone more evident than on the white one.  I figured that made sense and went with the white version as my new method of communication.

Oooooooooooh!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went through the payment process and I had to sign the electronic thingy (yes, thingy, because I don’t feel like looking up the actual word) with my finger.  Obviously, I rule at writing electronically with my finger.  At LEAST second grade level handwriting!

I swear I am not in kindergarten. The machine is rigged!

Then the moment of truth…I got to open the phone and we set it up.  And my verdict?  I LOVE IT.  Love it love it love it love it love it.  The internet is fast, the camera is fast, the screen is larger and crystal clear, and even though I was skeptical about the size (the phone is slightly taller that the 4S), it feels great in my hand.  It is super light, but somehow feels sturdier, like it won’t break easily.  Once we had it set up, which took a little while, I thanked Lori and headed up to meet the others, who were waiting outside.

THANK YOU, Lori!!!!!

I didn’t see Brian and Joe after that.  If you guys are reading, thank you for being awesome and making the wait fun!  I hope your music careers take off!  I met with Mike, Keenen, and Jackie, and we did several more interviews.  There was another booth this year with the NYPD, who were helping people register their phones so in case they were lost or stolen, they could be more easily returned to the proper owner (and the serial number would be unable to be activated by any carrier once reported stolen)  Finally!  I hope this system works! I know I wrote about my first two stolen iPhones, but I never wrote about the third, which was literally stolen OUT OF MY HAND a month after the last campout!  It was stolen in Chelsea, a really nice area of Manhattan, on a Sunday afternoon…go figure. Even though I tracked it to a specific corner in Brooklyn via Find My iPhone, the police did nothing to help get it back except file a report. I had to get a new one.  I really hope the police are finally stepping up.  They never seem to take stolen phones seriously, but with something like an iPhone (or any decent smartphone), it is expensive to replace (enough to make it a felony if stolen) and is often integral to a person’s life, containing a good deal of personal information.  Kudos if they are starting to realize this.

Go, go, NYPD! Registering our new phones.   Photo by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

I hope any of you who got the phone are now enjoying the heck out of it!  I’m loving the light weight, the speed, the big screen, and the integrated Facebook and Twitter capabilities (FINALLY)!

Let us know what you think…and who knows…maybe Keenen will post a blog on his first impressions.  Hint, hint, Keenen. Ahem, HINT.

 

 

 

 

Not gonna sleep, not gonna sleep, not….Zzzzzzzz

The line is slowly growing, OWS is gone, the cube is covered so nobody can see inside, and the store is closed (as only happens on launch days)…I should have thought ahead and not had 3 large coffees in a row on the only night the bathroom is inaccessible, but you live and learn. I swore I wouldn’t go to sleep, but now I’m crashing from the coffee.

Aaaaand…I am finishing this 2 or 3 hours later, at 5:30am.  That was, funny enough, probably my longest and soundest sleep so far, even though I wasn’t even planning on sleeping at all. They are handing out the cards. I was going to get one phone, but I ended up asking for two cards. I figure I’ll buy two, one white and one black, see which I like better. Only a little while to go till launch! :) I’m excited, but that excitement is contained for the moment as I finish actually waking up. Those coffees from last night are catching up toe and I don’t know where there is an open bathroom.

Oh well, coming down to the end now…not sure what I’m going to do later, since I’m actually considering heading straight to Pennsylvania to visit my family…that, or sleeping all weekend. I have work on Monday, so the prospective PA trip would be a little short. Whatever, I should probably leave the thinking for later…my brain is not currently functioning properly.

NYPD Alarm Clocks

So my mistake…I THOUGHT since the barriers were finally put up yesterday, the police would leave us alone.  But instead, right on cue at the asscrack of dawn, our NYPD alarm clock came to wake us up.  How kind of them!  At least the officer today was nice enough.  The guy yesterday woke us up to the tune of “Move your shit and get the fuck up!”   I am now seriously considering getting an alarm clock that yells at me to “get the fuck up” since, as crude as it is, it just works.

Good morning, Brian!

(Photo credit: Greg Sandoval, CNET, from an article written a few days ago)

 

Occupy Apple Store? Occupy Wall Street has arrived.

And now it gets interesting.  So far there were approximately 20 people in line and it JUST stretched around the corner.  Suddenly, a little while ago, the line doubled as protesters took their places in anticipation of a staged protest tomorrow.  I was so confused, since not one person in this line is in the villainous 1%. Also,from what understand, a fair percentage of Occupy Wall Streeters actually OWN Apple products…

Occupy Apple Store just doubled the size of the line within minutes.

I found out from a UStream recorder that they are protesting Foxconn and the slave labor in China, where Apple products are made.  Makes sense, in a way.  I don’t have a set opinion on the movement as a whole.  There are both good and bad points, which I’m not going to go into here.   Regardless, I don’t think it’s going to accomplish much of anything, plus the tents they plan on pitching are probably going to be immediately vetoed by security.   This building’s security does not play around. And one person from OWS asked if I felt it was weird that they let the iPhone campers sleep there, but didn’t want OWS.  Really? That’s weird to you?

It’s not that I disagree with the sentiment behind the Occupy movement.  Hell, I’m probably somewhere in the BOTTOM 15%, if you want to view it in terms of income. I just make it work because I’m not one to frivolously spend money, plus I very rarely drink (which eats away at more money than most people even realize), and I treat myself once in awhile to something nice rather than spending on everything that catches my eye.  So yeah, I definitely agree with many of the points OWS makes.  Just kind of think they go about it in the wrong way sometimes (this being one of those times).  Even Sage (a staunch Occupier) thinks this is a bad idea on their part.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  But one thing is sure…this is the first night they put up barriers for the line, and therefore won’t wake us up at 7:30 am to the tune of “Move all your shit and get the fuck up!” Point being, this protest better not wake me up before noon.  lol…j/k. Sort of.

 

Keeping a Straight Face

Keeping a straight face while Don (a new friend who will be joining the line soon) sat in Hazem’s chair and gave a full interview while pretending to be first in line, excitedly listing the features he was most excited about in the iPhone 5 – features it will definitely NOT have, such as a keyboard- was hard.  Never mind, I won’t lie…I didn’t keep a straight face (not many of us did).   I wish I saw the interview when it aired last night.

Wouldn’t be the first time they didn’t fact-check. ;)

Nothing wrong with having some fun.  Sometimes we like to tell people who ask what we are doing that we are lined up for the Justin Bieber concert.  “Lyke oMgZ!!!!!  Bieber fever!!!!!!”

And when asked how we eat or go to the bathroom while in line, the correct response is:  “We don’t eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, or shower.”

Speaking of which, the next Apple product should be the iCatheter: a breakthrough product that will render going to the bathroom unnecessary while turning waste into energy that can power your electronics, which will in turn render manual charging unnecessary.  If they can make this happen by the next iPhone launch, then I won’t even ask for any royalties.

Dear Apple, MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

*Disclaimer: This product idea may or may not be the result of laziness and/or hallucinations induced by sleep deprivation.  It may also lead to laziness, mild discomfort, unpleasant odor while turning your computer on or off, electric shock when ingesting water, and/or death.

Greg Packer has arrived

Greg Packer has arrived.  Last year he came four days early, but Rosh Hashanah pushed back the start of his line-sitting this time.  And yes, he is wearing a shirt again…I hear that he used to go shirtless for a good bit of his professional line-sitting career, but has consistently been clothed as long as I’ve known him.  Welcome back, Greg!

I SEE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!

I don’t know what it is, but I seem to be attracting the crazies.  For me to say that, it is pretty extreme, since I’m not all there myself.

First, there was the woman last night who kept coming up to me, speaking really quickly, laughing, and walking away…and doing this intermittently for a couple hours.  Then she said “I’ve been watching out for you long time.”  I must admit, I was a little creeped out.

Then there was the guy who was acting very erradically last night in the plaza.  He actually went into the Apple Store, said he needed an ambulance, but then fled before it came.  Keenen had to explain that the man had left once the paramedics showed up.  Long story short, the man was back this morning, and suddenly popped up behind me and said, “Why are you playing chicken with me?”  o_O

Like I said, I see crazy people.

 

Another article and blast from the past

Last year, Philip Elmer-DeWitt paid us a visit near the end of our campout, and this article was published later that day:

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/10/13/17-days-in-the-iphone-line-wet-cold-smelling-like-cheetos/

^^^Copy/paste, like in the good old days when you were a youngun, since the link isn’t working at all.  I obviously have mad HTML skillz.

I remember Phil was a great guy, fun to talk to, and the article cracked me up and choked me up at the same time. I am not a professional writer by any means, but i do love to write, and having an established writer compliment your work feels good. Honestly, though, I’m surprised I even remember our conversation, considering it was only hours after I cracked my head off a wall.

Anyway, Phil came to visit the line again today, and posted his new article just hours later (again, same deal, copy/paste since I can’t make the link work). I must say, he is one of the few who have spelled Keenen’s name right!

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/09/16/iphone-5-customers-in-the-big-apple-camp-out-8-days-early/

 

Philip Elmer-DeWitt interviewing Jackie, Brian, and Joe

Philip Elmer-DeWitt interviewing this year’s first-in-liners, Sage and Hazem