Heed not Steve

Category: General

Burning A Hole In My Pocket

Okay.  When the iPhones 11 and 11 pro were introduced, Lucie asked me, “Are you going to update to the new iPhone?”

And I was all like, “I hadn’t really planned on it.”

And she was all, “Oh, I figured you’d want it because of the new, improved cameras.”

And I was all, “new improved cameras? huh…”

I’m paraphrasing.

Then, I saw a youtube video where some talking head discussed how the new iPhones have the hardest glass of any smartphone!

And I was all, The hardest glass of any smartphone?  I MUST have that phone!


So, I payed the last installment on my iPhone X, and ordered an iPhone 11 pro max in gold.  I gave Lucie my iPhone X.  She’d been using my old iPhone 7.

She’s more impervious to technology’s siren song.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, siren song…Wait, Steve, you might be saying, I thought you didn’t like the plus sized phones.  Why’d you get the 11 pro max?

You weren’t?

Well, I’ll tell you.

A coworker got a new 11 pro and he mistakenly referred to it as an 11 pro max.  I looked at it and thought to myself, The max isn’t that big at all!  I’m going to get the max!

He didn’t actually have the pro max, but, it turns out, I like the bigger size very much.  It’s not as convenient to carry around, but, I’ve got big hands so using it isn’t any harder for me, and I like the extra screen real estate.

Initially I wanted the midnight green color, but it was further back ordered, so I got the gold.  It matches my watch.

Wait!  You have the gold watch?

Oh, yeah.  I guess I haven’t mentioned that.  Back in January, I splurged on a series 4 gold stainless steel watch.  Do you remember, way, way back when the first watch came out, they had the gold edition version with the midnight blue leather band?  Remember how much I coveted that watch?

Well, there’s no way I can spend $15,000 on a watch.  But the gold stainless steel version is a different story.  Also, the series 4 was getting rave reviews.

I like to buy Apple watches on eBay after the initial rush, but, for this one I paid full retail.

It’s gold!  It’s got rave reviews!

Lucie now has my old series 2 black, stainless steel, watch.

As far as the series 5, I’m in no rush.  I’ll likely start scouring eBay.  I kind of dig the titanium edition, but I don’t want to spend 900 bucks on it.

Time is on my side.


Anyhow, as much as I liked the iPhone X, I very much much like the 11 pro max.  I’d show you photo of it, but I don’t have any way to take a picture of it.

Well, hold on.  I have an idea.

I’ll be right back…


umm, I’ve only got one phone…

Okay, there, you get the general idea.  I’m sure you’ve seen them on the TV.

That’s an aramid fiber case which works with a magnetic car mount so I don’t have to keep the phone in my lap while I drive or risk the phone sliding all around the passenger seat.

I guess I should’ve taken the photo without the case so you can see the stainless steel band around the phone.  It pretty much matches the gold stainless steel watch.

Oh, here…



Btw, Arrow and Board sells gold watchband adaptors which match the gold stainless steel nearly perfectly.  I’m wearing a midnight blue sport band in this photo, with no adaptors, so, ahh, I guess you can’t actually see the adaptors of which I speak.

I guess my photos aren’t especially useful today.


Maybe later I’ll do another post about the watch and the adaptors and my blue leather watch strap.

In any case, that’s all, I suppose.

Every two years I get Apple tech fever.

Functionally, the iPhone 11 pro max isn’t much different from any other phone.  It’s a little faster.  The cameras are very good.  The battery life is great.  For now, at least, this phone is top-of-the-line.

I like it a lot.  It’ll hold me awhile.


Are We Nature?



by the sun


© Steve Mitchell 2019

Two Weeks On

Hey, Steve, you may be asking, how’s it going with the empty nest and all?  It’s been two weeks, right?

Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s going quite all right.


It’s been two weeks since we moved Alec down to Tucson for college.  As I write this, he’s got two weeks of fancy book learning under his belt.  So far so good, by the way.  He seems to be settling in with no drama or trauma.

Lucie and I are still adjusting, but, on the whole, we dig it.

We expected we’d be more sad.  We expected more tears.

Don’t get me wrong.  We certainly miss him and it is sad.  The sadness hits in little waves.  But, it’s more of a wistful sadness, a nostalgic sadness.  I still feel (to a lesser degree) the same way about three year old Alec and eight year old Alec and middle school Alec.  I miss all the childhood chapters of both my boys.

But, do I want to go back?

No, Sir!

I told myself the very first day, Self, that’s what I call me, Self, when you feel sad, remember Alec is off having a terrific adventure.  He’s starting his adult life.  He’s exactly where he needs to be.

And that cheers me up.

Also, having the house to ourselves cheers me up.  We’ve been enjoying that.

So, it hasn’t been as sad as we expected, but it has been weird.  For the first time in our marriage, for the first time in decades, we don’t have a constant where-is-my-child-what-is-he-doing-what-does-he-need loop running 24 hours a day in the backs of our heads.

It’s weird.  It’s foreign.  It’s nice.

There’s no one to check on.  Nothing to listen for.  No interruptions (as pleasant as they may be).

It’s just us.

For the first few days, as we acclimated, the house felt incredibly quiet and impossibly large.  The days felt slower and more spacious.

Time at home has become a lazy river.

It’s hard to describe.

But, we like it.  The possibilities are beginning to dawn on us.

Lucie and I have started a new chapter of our own terrific adventure.

Asked and Answered

“What is this?” He asked.

“A question,” I answered.

“Ah, yes. Thank you.”


Off To College


Alec is officially moved and living in Tucson and ready for school.  His current goal is to earn a degree in optical engineering.  He starts class on Monday.

And, now, Lucie and I are in an empty nest.

Well, it’s empty except for, you know, us.  And except for the dog.  And except for the cat. And except for all the traumatized, near-dead lizards the cat brings in.

Otherwise, it’s empty.

We’re sad.  We miss Alec.  But, we’re not too sad.  We’re not overwhelmed.

When I feel his absence, I remind myself he’s off having a grand adventure.  He’s starting his adult life.  He’s enjoying the correct and proper order of things.

I’m resisting the urge to weep nostalgic.

And also, not for nothing, I didn’t have to put on pants before getting coffee from the kitchen this morning.

That’s a nice perk.


Yesterday, there was a lot of moving parts involved with getting Alec relocated.  We used two vehicles to take his stuff.  Cos and Laura also came, in their own vehicle, to help unload and get Alec’s room situated.  The unload/move in was scheduled for 12:15.  Alec also had an orientation to attend at 10:15.  And he had to get to the bookstore to pick up his books.  And we needed to get him a bicycle while we were down there.  And we met friends for dinner, to make introductions, so Alec will have a friendly, local, emergency contact, if needed.

The day was a hot, sweaty blur of navigating parking garages, driving around Tucson, walking around campus, and getting stuff done.  But, it went fairly smoothly.  There were volunteers to unload the cars and schlepp his stuff up to the room, so that went very quickly.  Alec is on the fifth floor and shares his room with a buddy he’s known since sixth grade.

It was a nice way to transition.  We got to help him move so his absence feels less abrupt.

I hope it all goes well for Alec.

We’re proud of him.



setting up his stuff




the view from his room



Alec with Cos and Laura (Cosmo’s wife)



elevator selfie!



one more selfie before our final hugs and goodbyes



kick butt and take names, Alec!


The Inexorable, Desirable, Heartbreaking March of Time

Today I started a week off from work.  Normally, I look forward to time off and, as soon as Yaba Daba Doo time hits, I loosen my belt, swap my watch band, and go into deep  ahhh mode.

But, this week, not so much.  I’ve been simultaneously looking forward to this week and lamenting it.

Why, you ask?

Well, because Alec is moving out this week.  He’s starting college and will be moving down to Tucson.


Our little Goober is moving out.

We’ve never had an empty nest;  Cos was five when we got married.

And the idea of a house without our children makes me and Lucie sad.

And it excites us.

We’re kind of all over the place.

I’m sure the Germans have a word for it, for the combined emotion of happiness and sadness and excitement and relief and anxiety and compression and joy and vacuum and possibility and completion and heartbreak and . . .


We’ll miss him.

But it’s time for him to go.

Sometimes, Just Sometimes, If The Light Is Just Right And If You Squint Just So, When You Really, Really Look At A Plant, It Almost Seems To Have A Human Personality…


On A Slow, Bright Night

Hey! Hey! What is that?

It’s your finger. You’re pointing it at me.

Huh. And who are you?

I’m the moon.

Ah yes. Yes. I see that.

I’m not your finger

Well. Yeah, I get it. Sure.

You can stop point-

Yeah, I’m going to stop now.

It’s rude.

I know. I know. I’m just – I’ll just go inside now. Goodnight.



© Steve Mitchell 2019

The Mighty, Mighty Comma

“I wouldn’t worry about it, John. I’ve crapped myself.”


“John! Wait, John! I meant to say: I’ve crapped, myself.”


Fourth of July and Not For Nothing, But

I woke this morning with a proverbial start.  Self, I thought to myself, people are maybe gonna think your post two days ago with the mermaid statue was some sort of commentary on the brouhaha surrounding Disney’s casting of the Little Mermaid.


It wasn’t.

It was none commentary.

Lucie and I were at a friend’s house for dinner and swimming, and our friend has that mermaid statue.  So, I took a photo of it.

I posted the photo with a little haiku.  Then, after the post, I saw, on social media, people losing their little, white minds because a black actress has been cast as Ariel for the live version of Little Mermaid.



Here’s my unequivocal take on that:

Being so overtly, publicly angry over who plays a character, no matter how beloved the character, is a complete waste of outrage.

How fragile are we, as white Americans, we’re unable to share anything with people of color?

I’ve never seen the animated movie, but, so far as I know, there’s no compelling requirement for Ariel to be white.  It’s not a central part of her character.  It doesn’t define her in any way other than her appearance.

What does this casting choice hurt?

Nothing.  It doesn’t hurt anything.  It doesn’t take anything from anyone.  It doesn’t erase the original, animated film.

It hurts nothing but the delicate sensibilities of folks who can’t abide anything not about themselves and their own experience.

She’s half fish, for crying out loud.

She’s fictional.


Although, now that I think about it, they’d better keep her fish parts green.  They’d better not change that.

If they make her tail blue, ohhhhhh!  I’ll be sooo mad.

I’ll be outraged!

Happy Birthday, America; these are not your best years.