June 23, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:07 pm

What do you think this list is?

Stars and Stripes Forever
Washington Post
Soap Bubble
Horse power
Little Bear
Flower viewing
Go on a visit
Song of baby
Dream Land
Carlos Latin
Rock’n Roll
Rock Waltz
Salsa Marimba
Tonky Rock

No, it is not the song list from a Slim Whitman disc. Nor is it a dance recital program from Miss Sally’s School of Dance.

What we have here is the list of “Ringer Types” that I could choose from for my new cell phone. I had thought that the “chimey” thing that sounded like an ice cream truck playing the theme from the “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” show when I fire up the phone was an anomaly, and that I could find a “ringer” that sounded like a telephone. You know what I mean? I wanted something that sounded like, well, … a bell.

Actually, given the damage that I managed to do to my hearing by playing drums in a loud rock and roll band for decades (my left ear is worse, as that’s where the monitor speaker — the one that lets you hear the vocals — was always placed), I really wanted something that sounded like a killer bell or maybe even a fire alarm. “Ding, ding, ding,” or “Brrrrrrring, brrrrrrring, brrrrrrrrring.” In a crowded saloon, there is no way that Jimbo is going to hear a dainty version of the “Polonaise.”

In the spirit of candor, I must admit that I left five choices off the above list. They are:

Bell 1
Bell 2
Bell 3
Bell 4
Bell 5

These choices are at the end of the list. So, after listening to the twenty-five bizarre “ringers,” I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking, “Yes! Bells!” Well, none of these babies sounds anything like “Ding, ding” or “Brrrring, brrrrring.” They are little chimey ditties the notes of which seem to be plucked almost randomly from the chromatic scale.

Somewhere in the mondo manual I recall seeing how one can “download” ringer types. To that I say, “Are you shitting me?” Download a farookin’ bell for a phone? It took me a week of hair-hurting aggravation just to put a button on this blog. I could see myself screwing up Mr. Computer and Mr. Cell Phone by trying to download a ringer.

I’m afraid that my age is showing. Hell, I remember when you were considered pretty hip to have one, black, rotary dial phone in the house and when there was no such thing as area codes. Phone numbers began with the location of one’s residence, such as, Essex (for Essex County), and the number would look like “ES-3-4567.”

Hell, I can even recall my grandmother having a “party line,” a phone line that was shared by several households. You had to know “your ring,” (for example, two shorts and a long, all controlled by – get this – a telephone operator) to know that the call was for you and not for the Smith’s down the road. If you were a louse, you could eavesdrop on the Smiths’ calls, but that was streng verboten in my grandmother’s house.

So, now I can actually have my phone play a “Mr. Softee” version of “Stars and Stripes Forever.” How very thrilling.

I chose Bell Number 3, even though it sounds more like an ice cream truck on crack driving by at seventy miles per hour than it does a farookin’ bell.

Time marches on, I suppose.

BRRRRINNNNNNG……….Hello? … *sigh*


  1. Tech fun

    Cousin Jim selects a “ringer type” for his cell phone. I’d suggest that he download “Moon Dawg,” but that whole process would probably make his hair hurt….

    Trackback by Jack Bog's Blog — June 24, 2004 @ 5:48 am

  2. I dunno. “Bell #3” just doesn’t sound like the name of something *nearly* irritating enough to get my attention in the back aisle of a (formerly) quiet bookstore. Couldn’t you download a version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” or something, and then set the ring volume to “severe tire damage”?

    Comment by topdawg — June 24, 2004 @ 6:35 am

  3. “Grandmother”? Hell, we couldn’t even get a phone until I was 14 or so. When the phone company finally ran the line out our way, there were 6 families on 1 party line. Made for a great excuse when I was a wild teenager:

    “Why didn’t you call & let us know you were going to be late?”

    “I tried for 30 minutes, but I couldn’t get through. Really. Honest.”

    ; )

    Comment by Rita — June 24, 2004 @ 8:35 am

  4. Heh, in my Grandmother’s town, you only had to dial the last 5 numbers if you were calling someone else in town.

    Now, here in the vast lands of Chicago, you have to dial all 11 digits (including area code) no matter who you’re calling – even those in the same area code, like your neighbor next door. *sigh*

    Comment by Teresa — June 24, 2004 @ 9:15 am

  5. My phone has the exact same ringer list. Most of them sound horribly annoying, as a cell phone isn’t quite a symphony orchestra. I downloaded the themes from The Munsters and The A-Team which actually both sound better than the default list. I use Stars and Stripes as an alarm in the morning; though I am a huge Sousa fan (what brass player isn’t?) it sounds obnoxious enough to get me up in the morning.

    Comment by Auskunft — June 24, 2004 @ 11:01 am

  6. A technology challenged co-worker has his cellphone set up to ring like an old dial-up model.

    How Luddite can you get?

    Comment by Jeff — June 24, 2004 @ 12:44 pm

  7. I wish I could get my phone to sound like a phone. It walks, it talks, it does windows, the one thing it won’t do is ring like a phone.

    Comment by azygos — June 25, 2004 @ 1:37 am

  8. Sounds like you got the exact phone I did a few months ago. You don’t need to hook it up to your PC to download ringers. Just hit the … followed by 4 followed by R, and you’ll be connected and can download ringy things right from outer space. I managed to figure it out and now have Gilligan’s Island and the theme from Austin Powers. Never did find a plain old ring.

    Comment by Exit 109 — June 26, 2004 @ 9:31 am

  9. My son’s phone rings with the music from Monty Python…..The Liberty Bell March by Sousa, I believe. I would have opted for the Stars and Stripes until you described it. Personally, I’d like to have the piccolo solo or tubas playing the piccolo solo, if it sounded realistic.

    About party lines….we had one when I was a child. The boonies weren’t wired for private phones yet. It WAS considered tacky for people to listen in on calls, but they did it anyway.\\

    Teresa….it’s possible that you only have to dial the area code in Chicago proper. Out here in the burbs we can get away with seven digits.

    Comment by buffy — June 27, 2004 @ 9:24 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress