I recently got one of them there new-fangled smarty phones to replace my prior mobile phone which is pretty old. "How old," you ask? I still have doctor's appointments in there from when I was pregnant with The Dormouse.

I've put off upgrading my phone for a long time because, well, MY PHONE STILL WORKS and I'm very familiar with it. But mainly, it goes against my grain to buy new technology just new technology's sake. My husband and family have been complaining long and hard about how old my phone is and how I've been eligible for an upgrade several times now and how I really should just get a new one. I did like I always do and thought about it, agreed they were probably right... and then ignored that feeling because spending an hour or more in the mobile phone store? That seems like a lotta trouble and there's this couch in my living room that needs holding down.

A few weeks ago as I was pulling my phone out of my purse for some purpose or other, the antenna came off in my hand and I was forced to admit that... yeah... maybe it's time. (But just so you don't think I make rash decisions or anything, let it be known that I stuck the antenna back on again and used it for another two or three weeks.)

Since I tend to keep phones for six years or more, I decided to get the most advanced phone I could possibly muster. I couldn't really do that iPhone thingy that all the kids are talking about because our family's two other phones are with another provider (and... it's irrational, I know, but also because there's something about all that proprietary nonsense with AT&T that really chaps my hide). So I got the next best thing.

Let me just interject to say... OH MY GOSH, WHY HAVE I WAITED SO LONG TO UPGRADE THIS THING? If it were legal to marry your mobile phone in some states, I might just have to move to where I could make that happen. I can even break up with my husband via text message, "Sorry, honey, but I've met someonething else."

The thing that has fascinated me more than anything else about this new phone is the sheer number and variety of applications that you can purchase, download and install. I've spent many late hours at night scrolling through them and announcing to The KingofHearts, "Hey! Here's an app to help your schedule your staff if you work for the New York City Fire Department!" To which his response is, "Zzzzzzzz," because he's long since fallen asleep.

It's almost become a sickness for me. I think "I have everything I need on this phone. I don't need anything else. There isn't one other thing I could use. Wait, what's this? I need this! The ashtray app, these matches apps, this paddle ball app and this lamp app and I don't need ONE OTHER THING...
except this." I've already installed a metronome, a chromatic tuner, a decibel meter, a bubble that tells you when your phone is sitting level against something, Google translate, the Scriptures, IMDB, a bar code scanner, a currency converter, an application that converts almost any unit into almost any other unit, and just for fun, a cat that you can repeatedly slap in the face.

I'm sure you've probably heard by now about the
guy who saved his own life with his iPhone app during the Haiti earthquake. In addition to that, there are apps to help monitor your sleep schedule, help you find a job, track your baby's feeding and pooping habits, tell you when you're going to menstruate, and to help you help you contact your congressman. (I'm not saying those last two are related, I'm just sayin'.)

Here are thirteen applications I've come across that you might find a little less life changing:
  1. Car Locator: saves your location when you park and helps you find it later.
    (This brings back memories of a Sting concert from years past were we repeatedly listened to some drunk guy walk back and forth yelling, "Duuuude! I'm NEVER going to find my car!)

  2. Find My Phone: if you lose your phone, you just send it a text message and it will reply with its current address and GPS location.
    (Can I get one that finds my keys too?)
  3. Diagnosaurus: Search over 1000 differential diagnoses by organ system, symptom, disease, or browse all entries to hlep you search an accurate diagnosis.
    (For those who want to take hypochondria to a whole new level)
  4. Fake Call Me: Get out of awkward situations by giving yourself a fake-call. Schedule multiple fake calls to make it like really urgent to get out what every situation. Play pre-recorded voice when call is answered.
    (In case you don't have a friend -- or, I guess, if your friend is the one you're trying to get away from.)
  5. Stud finder: monitors disruptions in compass reading to identify screws in the studs in a wall.
    (I thought this was going to go a whole different way when I read the title.)
  6. The Girlfriend App: generates random lovey dovey type phrases to send to a significant other.
    (For the guy who wants to destroy his relationship, but doesn't really want to work that hard.)
  7. Dog Distractor Sound: custom sounds designed to be heard by a dog's ears only.
    (Call me crazy, but any app that starts with "WARNING DOG MAY EAT PHONE!" is one I don't really need.)
  8. DildoDroid: Offers you a variety of rhythms for all styles and all pleasures.
    (It... vibrates... enough said.)
  9. Bouncy Body: Draw a box around the body part you want to jiggle and shake your phone to see what happens.
    (Some people really need more to do with their lives.).
  10. Mood Tester: senses your touch, makes some calculations and then quickly displays your mood.
    (For those who lack the ability to self-assess... "I wonder if I'm happy today? Who... who can I ask?")
  11. Sex Offenders Search: Locates sex offenders and predators anywhere in the U.S.
    (Look, I used to work with sex offenders. You don't really need an app on your phone to find one.)
  12. How to Knot a Tie: shows illustrated instructions for six important tie knots and the bow tie. Have fun. (...and don't blame the app if it does not work for you anyway ;-)
    (It literally says this in the description.)
  13. Sniper/Shotgun: turns your android phone into a deadly sniper rifle. Load, shoot and hasta la vista baby!
    (I'd totally send this one to Sarah Palin, but she's probably already got one.)
  14. Stadium Horn: Air Horn. Foghorn. Sporting event. Special sports. Special World Cup. Vuvuzela sound.
    (Because who doesn't want more vuvuzela? No one, that's who! It's the "More Cowbell" of the 20th Century.)
  15. Big Fart Button: It's just that - a Big Fart Button! Press the Big Fart Button and play over 30 different random farting sounds. Simple yet hilarious.
    (Why is it whenever some new piece of technology comes on the market, the first thing someone does is figure out how to make it fart?)

  16. Pick Up Lines: the most fun and effective pickup lines at your fingertips.
    (You should probably also download the companion app entitled, "Top Ten Ways to Wash a Drink Out of Your Clothes.)
  17. Tazer App: Have fun with your friends by pretending they will be electrocuted.
    (Because I know whenever I make my friends think I'm going to electrocute them, they always thinks it's HILARIOUS.)

Yes, I'm aware that's more than thirteen things. I'm sure there's a justification for that somewhere on my units converter.