Time to Update the Blog

I was playing around with my very neglected blog while writing my post about the Tigers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when I discovered that the WordPress Theme I had chosen is now retired. I tried to edit a couple of things here and there and it seemed like I couldn’t do it.  So, if I want to keep thing blog up, I guess it’s time to look into the themes that are available on WordPress and see if one of those appeals to me.

I don’t spend much time on this blog. I have ideas of things to write but lack the time to sit down and actually write them. Really, this means I value other things on my to do list more than writing a blog post here or there.

This all means that I am not willing to either buy a them (because some of the WordPress themes cost money) or design one from scratch. Guess that means some changes might be coming in the near future.

Stay tuned.

RSM

Baby Tigers Coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Sumatran Tiger at Disney’s Animal Kingdom- Taken June 2017 (pretty sure this is Malosi)

Our family has long been fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and not necessarily for the rides, but for the conservation message and the chance to see the animals in the beautifully themed wildlife areas. We spend a lot of time walking the self guided treks and talking with the cast members about the animals that live in the park. During our last two trips to Walt Disney World, we struck up conversations with the cast members stationed with the Asian Tigers section along the Maharaja Jungle Trek. We were curious about one of the Tigers they had and wanted to know his story and to learn things about Tigers in general.  They are amazing animals and my son and I were mesmerized by his beauty.

We learned that the one we saw on that day in April was Malosi (Seen above in a photo we took later in June of this year), a male Sumatran Tiger and that he was brought to Animal Kingdom as part of their conservation initiative to help build up a genetically diverse population of Sumatran tigers. He and Animal Kingdom’s other Sumatran Tiger, Sohni, were being brought together in the hopes that baby tigers might follow. They were getting to know each other’s smells through a separation but had not yet been together. Needless to say, my children and I were overjoyed.

When we returned to Disney World in June (yes, I know, we went in April and then again in June, we are HUGE fans) we stopped along the Maharaja Jungle Trek again to ask how things were going. Again Malosi was out, and Sohni was back in her enclosure, but they were hopeful that there might be baby tigers in the near future. The cast  member we talked to said that they might not know whether Sohni was pregnant until she was very close to her due date so there was even a chance she was already pregnant. Again, we were overjoyed and full of good thoughts.

Then last week, we saw the news reported on the Disney blog that Sohni was indeed pregnant. Turns out she probably was pregnant when we had seen her during our June trip! Disney expects the baby tigers to be born sometime during this month of August.

There are so few Sumatran tigers in the wild, I hope for the very best with Sohni and her babies and I am grateful for Disney’s Conservation Fund and its efforts to sustain populations of animals that are struggling in the wild, so that maybe one day we can help build up those wild numbers again.

In the meantime, I will be watching the disney parks blog in anxious anticipation of little tiger cub fur balls and cannot wait to return next year and hopefully see the new additions. All my love to Sohni and Malosi.

Thoughts about Star Wars Celebration 2017

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Starting tomorrow, the annual Star Wars convention, also known as Celebration, will start in Orlando, Florida. I won’t be attending, but I will be trying to follow along virtually via twitter and the various bloggers out there.

One such blogger,  at Inside the Magic, wrote his top 5 things he hopes will be announced at Celebration here.

I was going to reply on his blog with my own thoughts, but decided to post them here (so I didn’t complain about The Force Awakens on another person’s website).

I am on board with almost all of his hopes.

(5) George at the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star wars panel.

Say what you will, but George created this world and his absence is noticeable in the lack of originality and cohesive character actions in The Force Awakens (no, Han and Leia wouldn’t have failed parenting so hard and no, Luke wouldn’t have run away – I may have blogged about that in excess over the last couple of years). He needs to be there to celebrate the 40th. I hope Disney invited him, and I hope, as you say, he decides to attend.

(4) Announcement of Luke Skywalker / Ben Solo fill-in novels set between Episodes VI and VII

I don’t really care about Ben Solo/Kylo Ren so I am not at all interested in a book about him. I found him to be an entirely annoying character. Yes, I am one of those old “get off my lawn” Original Trilogy folks who really didn’t like TFA (but find things in this rebirth to love: like Rogue One, and especially the TV cartoon Rebels). On the other hand, more Luke Skywalker is always good!

(3) Lando in The Last Jedi! You bet. We need some “hello what have we here” after the depression of TFA. Fingers crossed.

(2) An Obi-wan Kenobi spinoff movie with Ewan and I am there opening day.

(1) Original theatrical release cuts on blu-ray without the special features would make my year. I’m more excited about that potential than The Last Jedi. 🙂

Are any of you going to attend Star Wars Celebration? I wish I could but I can’t convince the rest of my family to go with me, and I’d feel guilty leaving them. Plus, when you add up ticket prices and then the cost of autographs and photos (because why go without getting an autograph), and it’s a rather expensive few days. Still, Star Wars! Maybe next year. I have a feeing there will be many more Celebrations to come.

RSM

 

The Conundrum of General Leia

Shortly after Carrie Fisher passed away in December, worry about her role and the future of Princess Leia in Episodes VIII and IX started to surface online. My first feeling was a sense of loss of someone I’d looked up to my whole life. Although it doesn’t seem nearly as important as the loss of Carrie Fisher the person, I also felt the loss of Carrie Fisher as Leia in the still unfinished new Star Wars trilogy.  We knew long before her death, that Carrie Fisher had already filmed her parts in Episode VIII so that wasn’t in question.

Now that a little time has passed, I thought I’d pull together some thoughts on the options we Star Wars fans have for General Leia Organa. The way I see things, there are four options that Disney has for how to handle Episodes VIII (The Last Jedi) and IX (as yet untitled) without Carrie Fisher.

  1. Recast: Rumors are that Leia was going to have a larger role in Episode IX then she did in The Force Awakens or will have in The Last Jedi. One way to continue the storyline as originally intended is to recast another actress to play Leia for those scenes. I don’t want to even speculate potential actresses because for me, Carrie Fisher is Princess (General) Leia and no matter how wonderful another actress might be, I won’t accept another person filling her shoes.
  2. Digital Recreation: As they did with a young Leia and General Tarkin in the recently released Rogue One, Disney now has the technology to digitally recreate an actor or actress and inner them into a film, interacting with other characters. They could recreate General Leia using image data from The Force Awakens.  Thankfully, it looks like this won’t happen. Almost immediately, Disney released an official statement that they wouldn’t use the new Digital technology to recreate General Leia in Episode IX.
  3. Write in the death of Leia: While her scenes are filmed for Episode VIII, they could rewrite the storyline going forward to incorporate the death of Leia, either on screen of off. This could serve as a sort of catharsis for all of us who lost her, both Carrie and Leia, and allow us to say goodbye. I have mixed feelings about this option, because while I’d like to be able to say goodbye to my Princess, I want her to live forever. It was hard enough losing Han. I don’t want to have to lose Leia too in order to usher in this new generation of Star Wars kids. (Don’t get me started on Luke)
  4. Rework the scenes already filmed: This one hit me almost immediately but I didn’t see anyone suggesting it in all of the blog or forum comments I’ve read over the lat few months. If her scenes have already been filmed, why not rework when they would appear, and split them up. Use some of them in The Last Jedi and some in Episode IX. This would allow Leia to continue through both of the remaining films in the new trilogy without having to kill her off. Leia can live on, and she will always be Carrie Fisher’s performance.

After the fourth option came to me, that was the one I wanted most. I know that some scenes we would have gotten will never happen, but we will get the ones that are filmed. Perhaps through some sort of movie magic (shooting over the shoulder of someone about Carrie’s height or something) they can add in additional scenes here or there.  There have been rumors of reshoots being done next month swirling about the web.

I don’t know where the current creative minds wanted to take General Leia. I am sure that there were at least two key scenes she’d have before things were all said and done: Reunion with her brother and Reunion with her son. I don’t know if both of those were part of what she already filmed. I hope so, but I don’t know.

I’m ultimately torn. I know I won’t accept any other actress at Leia, so I’m prepared to skip the final episode if that’s what they do. If forced to choose between giving Leia a sendoff or allowing her to live on through another actress, I’d actually choose to say good bye.  I just hope that we don’t have to. I find the new trilogy sad enough already without the real possibility that the original Trio (Luke, Han and Leia) will all be dead by the time we’re through. Never did it enter my mind, when I heard that new Star Wars was coming, that I’d have to say goodbye. Perhaps if it had, I could have skipped The Force Awakens and spared myself the disappointment.

Fingers crossed that Disney makes the best decision, whatever that may be,  and that whatever they do decide brings us some sort of hope.

 

Ahsoka Tano Day – One Day Late

ahsoka1Apparently, yesterday, January 29th, was Ahsoka Tano day as celebrated on Twitter (#AhsokaTanoDay). Nine years ago yesterday, in 2008, the cartoon movie Star Wars The Clone Wars  debuted in theaters, and with it was the first appearance of Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano.

My children were young when Star Wars: The Clone Wars the movie was in theaters, so we waited to see it when it was on DVD. They immediately loved it. They were instantly huge fans of Anakin, Ahsoka and Jabba the Hut’s baby son, Rotta (whom Ahsoka called “Stinky”). We watched it over and over, and they watched it even more in the car on our drive to/from school.

I didn’t read much social media back then, and didn’t really pay attention to whether other Star Wars fans liked the new movie or the new characters. All I did know is that I was a fan, of all of them. Most of all, I loved Ahsoka. She was spunky and smart. She was a bit bratty but brave, and there was something about her. Something that said she had a journey to take and some life lessons to learn. The dynamic between her and Anakin did for that character what the live action Anakin and Padme were never able to do – it humanized him and made us realize how much was lost when he turned to the dark side.

It was only much after Clone Wars cartoon series was well in to its third season that I realized that some of the fans found Ahsoka less than wonderful during that first movie. They compared her to Jar Jar in their pantheon of hated Star Wars characters. I will break here in my Ahsoka narrative to say that I have no hatred for Jar Jar. I actually quite liked him and The Phantom Menace. That was the first of the Star Wars films that my children asked to repeat view. It was probably their favorite followed by Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks. Say what you will about the childish nature of those characters, but that was exactly the audience George Lucas was going for when he introduced them.

I watched only one season of Star Wars:The Clone Wars the TV series when it was originally broadcast. I had been watching it with my children, and some of the action was a bit too heavy for them. The loss of the Clones was often too upsetting for them and they found the Night Sisters really creepy, so we stopped watching as a family. I have since watched the series in it’s entirety on Netflix, and absolutely loved the arc they gave Ahsoka. My children are starting to watch it now that they are older, and they agree that Ahsoka and Captain Rex are their two favorite characters. They are easily mine as well.

In honor of Ahsoka Tano day, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to George Lucas, David Filoni and Ashley Eckstein for bringing me Ahsoka, in all of her layered brilliance. I never thought I’d love a Star Wars character the way I love Luke, Han and Leia. Ahsoka proved me wrong. I can’t imagine the Star Wars universe without her.

…and I hope I never have to…do you hear that Mr. Filoni. 🙂

 

RSM Review: Wishful Drinking

carrie-fisher-as-prinsess-leia-wishful-drinking-cover-2-shotA month before Carrie Fisher died, I wrote a blog review of her latest autobiographical work, The Princess Diarist. I’d decided after reading it that I’d go back and read them all and try to give them proper reviews. Then came December, and the heartbreaking news that Ms. Fisher had passed away. I’m still not entirely willing to accept it. Now all I want to do is to hear her voice again.

So I’ve continued what I started, and went back and purchased Wishful Drinking on iBooks on my iPad. I knew that Ms. Fisher had published several books, some autobiographical and some fiction, but I had just never gotten around to reading them. I also knew that this one had a live stand up show associated with it (HBO decided to rebroadcast it after her passing). It wasn’t until I read the book that I learned the show came first, and the book second.

Having just listened to Carrie read The Princess Diarist, I couldn’t help but hear her voice in my head as I read Wishful Drinking. I could hear her when she quietly told a story, or as she yelled an exclamation. I swear it felt like she was in the room reading it to me.

Like her most recent book, the stories told don’t necessarily come out linearly. They tend to jump around. From her interviews, I get the sense that this is what it would be like to actually talk with Ms. Fisher. Her brain moves so quickly, that her thoughts come out all over the place. I found it both fascinating and comforting.

Her first chapter focused on the death of her friend, Greg, who very famously died at her house and her subsequent depression, followed quickly by a chapter on her own family and the big scandal break up when her father left her mother for Elizabeth Taylor complete with family photos and a really awesome Hollywood 101 Family tree. I’ve read that she uses the family tree bit in the stand up show. A great deal of this book is dedicated to stories about her mother, Debbie Reynolds, some really very strange and some sweet.

She gets around to Princess Leia about half way through the book. Her first story, which I actually saw the clip from the tale end of her live show first and completely didn’t understand, involves a speech and drama class she took in London to which she credits the enunciation Leia has at the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope (especially in the classic Hologram dialog – Proper Copper Coffee Pot – read the book and you’ll get it). This is the chapter where she shares the story of George Lucas telling her she can’t wear a bra under her white dress on the death star because there’s no underwear in space.

The last several chapters are dedicated to her relationship with Paul Simon, and her depression and addiction. Every story is near heartbreaking, yet she tells them with such humor that you hope that she’s actually laughing behind the words.  Every interview with and article about Ms. Fisher over the years has focused on her honesty with her struggles. She is definitely honest. Sometimes honest to the point where I wonder where she got the strength to share so much. Perhaps sharing it made it a less heavy burden.

Having read Wishful Drinking, I want to see the live show. Now that we’ve lost her, I miss Ms. Fisher and want to watch, read and listen to all I can of her voice. As with Princess Diarist, this isn’t fit to share with my children. With the honesty comes adult language and stories that I’d just as soon they not hear yet. I wouldn’t have been ready to hear things like this from Princess Leia when I was a child.

Next up, I’ve requested Shockaholic from the library to read next. I already miss her voice and I want to hear it again.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

viii-logo-tall-1536x864-414669331908As I posted my tribute to Carrie Fisher yesterday afternoon, StarWars.com broke the news that the next installment of “the Skywalker Saga” (as they called it) has been given a name. Ready yourself for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. I delayed publishing this because I wanted my Carrie Fisher article to sit up on my site for a full day.

So, with that, We have a new title.

It will come as no surprise to you all that I greet this announcement with much trepidation. I still don’t like the new direction taken in The Force Awakens. I still don’t like how Luke, Han and Leia were all portrayed. I still don’t like how we just threw everything they accomplished in the original trilogy in the garbage to sell new toys and bring in new characters. I still hate that we killed off Han just to make Mr. Ford happy.

I’m also broken hearted that with the death of Carrie Fisher we will never get to give Leia her due. No solution either Disney or Lucasfilm comes up with will be as wonderful as what would have happened with Carrie’s inclusion in Episode IX. (this one is a topic for another post).

Things to notice, or rather things, I noticed.

This title is shorter than any title of the second in the trilogy titles

  • Attack of the Clones
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Last Jedi

The Star Wars words are outlined in what I can only call Sith or Darth Vader red, not the usual beautiful yellow. To me, that signals an episode where the bad guys might have the upper hand. I expect battles, with some small victories but the war will not yet be won.

The use of the word Jedi. Now the Jedi appear twice in titles in the saga. That will make the shorthand reference to movies just a little more complicated. Perhaps that’s only ever been a think for those of us who are old school. We refer to “Star Wars”, “Empire”, and “Jedi” when talking about the original Three. I’ve never heard anyone refer to the Prequels as anything other than their full names.  Same as TFA. So perhaps this isn’t going to be a thing.

The title itself. I feel like something else in the Star Wars extended universe, or comics or novels has been called “the Last Jedi.”  I am sure a quick internet search will find what my old brain can only vaguely recall. (and yes, it did, here is it: The Last Jedi which was not about Luke)

The tense of the word Jedi. As used in Star Wars, Jedi  can refer to one Jedi (as in, I am a Jedi like my father before me) or several Jedi (as in the Jedi order). We already were told that Luke was a Jedi, and that he was the last of the Jedi in Return of the Jedi. Presumably, Luke worked to restart the Jedi order, or something like it, after Return of the Jedi. Also, presumably, it didn’t go so well. Does this title refer again to Luke, or to someone to follow in his footsteps (Rey?) or to whatever happened to that fledgling Jedi order? What does this really mean for Luke.

Unlike the tact I took leading up to The Force Awakens, I plan to read any and all spoilers and speculation I can find out there on the internet. If I find that they do, indeed, kill off Luke, I just might have to catch this one on DVD.

 

Carrie Fisher: 1956-2016

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She’s been gone for almost a month now, and I still haven’t been able to put words together here on this blog. I keep waiting for the right words, the best words, but they don’t seem to come. Perhaps they never will. Until then, here are some interim words.

Princess Leia has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old. I almost can’t remember my life without Leia in it. I saw Star Wars when I was a young girl, and immediately started to want to be her (and Luke). I played with my brother’s Star Wars toys. I asked Santa for every Princess Leia action figure and doll they made. I had a doll house and Leia, not some doll, lived in it. I drew her image countless times when I was teaching myself to draw faces. I wrote letters to Carrie Fisher (the kind only a 10 year old can write) and have the autographed picture of her she sent me in response saved in my photo album of Star Wars memorabilia.

Yes, Princess Leia a fictitious character, but she was also a huge part of my childhood. Someone I looked up to. Someone I emulated. I know that the internet is quick to remind everyone who only mentions Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia when they remember that they are missing much of what she was and who she was and what she was important. For the me growing up, Princess Leia was everything.

Growing up, I liked science, math, and engineering. I knew I wanted to do something in the sciences from a very young age. While Leia wasn’t a scientist, she was an ever present example that women were equal to men. Women could be leaders, be looked up to, and take care of themselves and their friends. I never once thought I couldn’t do math, or I couldn’t go to college and graduate school. I never once thought there were things I couldn’t do because I was a woman. I just did them. If Leia could walk in to a room and immediately command respect of those who followed her, I could take advanced calculus and orbital mechanics.

When I heard the news over Christmas break that Carrie Fisher had suffered a cardiac event while on a flight home to LA from London, I braced for the worst. I searched the internet for news of her condition every day. I waited for something positive. When I heard she was in stable condition, I started to hope. Then the news came that she’d passed away and I felt empty. I know that Carrie fought her demons, but she seemed to have possessed some immortal quality. I wasn’t ready to lose her. Her story wasn’t over. She wasn’t done telling it. I wasn’t done listening to it.

My heart goes out to her daughter, Billy. My father died when I was only 26, so I understand the heartbreak of losing a parent (especially one that had their battles with their own chemical demons), just not losing one quite so publicly.

My biggest regret is that I never had the chance to tell Ms Fisher how much she meant to me, how much Princess Leia meant to me. I never got the chance to tell her that I am probably a Rocket Scientist today because her Leia instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I put my mind to. I am sure she heard this same story countless times, and after reading the Princess Diarist,  maybe if I had been able to tell her, I think her response would have been.

” I know.”

Rogue One: My initial reactions

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6I saw Rogue One this past Saturday, during opening weekend. As I reflected on that, it occurred to me that Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie to come out since I have been an adult, that I did not see on opening night. In fact, even though I wasn’t old enough to drive yet, my parents indulged me and took me to see Return of the Jedi on it’s opening night way back in 1983.  Up until a week ago, I wasn’t even sure I was going to go see it at all, let alone during opening weekend. I’ve lost much of my interest in the new Disney Star Wars movies after they undid everything Luke, Han, and Leia accomplished with The Force Awakens. These new stories just don’t feel like my Star Wars.

Happily, my initial impressions were very positive. Perhaps it’s because I went in really expecting not to like it at all. Or that this one was set during my favorite part of the Star Wars story: the rebellion. Or that I also went in anticipating the fates of the main characters. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it here, but suffice to say that I was correct in what happened to each of them and found I didn’t really get attached to any of them. It felt, sounded and looked like the Star Wars universe. The call outs to the original trilogy and to the current cartoon show on Disney XD Star Wars: Rebels were wonderful. I found myself laughing in delight and pointing at the screen several times.

I left the theater pronouncing that I really enjoyed and even liked this one. That it made up for my disappointment and dislike of The Force Awakens and all of its depressing storytelling choices. I thought the story of Rogue One was good, and the characters interesting. The special effects were, for the most part, wonderful. The last act was action and triumph and space battles. I even posted to my Facebook wall to let my friends know that this time I wasn’t let down by Disney.

Then I lived with the movie for a few days and now I am conflicted.

Rogue One’ story follows in the tradition of the great hollywood westerns or Shakespeare, but  I am one of those ‘not really grown up, grown ups’ who wishes that Star Wars would stay the gee-wiz happy story of my youth. (I know that it probably won’t given the story telling styles and interests of audiences of today.) Had I seen Rogue One as my first introduction to the Star Wars saga, I doubt I’d be the fan I am today. It was the sense of hope and triumph over bad guys in A New Hope (then just Star Wars) that so enchanted me when I was 8 years old in ’77. So, as much as I loved each and every shout out to the original trilogy and was overjoyed at the easter eggs for Star Wars: Rebels (my favorite of the new Star Wars offerings), I was still bummed at the ending. I saw it coming, but I wished I was wrong. If I could change anything, that’s what I’d change, but only for me. I realize that most of the audience loved it and would probably revolt if it were the way I would like it.  I also realize that changing it would change the gravity of the story and take away from what occurred.

(now I am reading that when the movie was originally pitched, the ending might have been closer to what I’d have rather seen).

As for some of the special effects, I will use initials here so I don’t spoil anyone. They shouldn’t be hard to crack, and those who can crack them probably have already seen the movie by now. I agree with a number of bloggers that the GMT CGI was a bit much. It stuck out as fake to me every time he was on screen. The reflections in the glass, or some holographic images would have been a better use of the technology. LO was better because she was used sparingly. These two instances are probably the only special effects I’d change, but it was an interesting attempt, so I can forgive it being a technology that’s just not quite there yet.

As I think about the movie and all of the things I love about it, I find that they had nothing to do with this new story or these new characters. All of the things I loved had to do with the easter eggs to A New Hope, and the original universe that George set up for us.  Aside from the wonderful K-2SO and Donny Yen‘s character, Chirrut, I didn’t find I cared at all about the new heroes. What I loved about Rogue One was the Star Wars goodness that came from George, not the new stuff from this new director. It was a good movie, even and enjoyable movie. I liked this one but not for the reasons I should.

Slowly, I am starting to accept that no matter where Disney takes the Star Wars universe from here on out, it won’t have “That Thing” that George infused into it (a Forbes writer sort of agrees with me here). It might be good but it won’t really be Star Wars. At least not for me. Maybe that’s ok. I haven’t decided yet.

iPhone 6s Battery Replacement Positive Story

A few weeks ago, I read in an article that some models of the iPhone 6s were having issues with shutting down, were covered under a new Apple battery replacement program. After checking Apple’s site for the details and inputting my iPhone’s serial number where indicated, I found out that my iPhone 6s was one of the iPhones covered by this warranty.

I had noticed over the last few months that my iPhone was starting to work strangely. It completely shut down a couple of times when it had over 50% charge remaining, requiring me to do a hard reboot for several panicked sections in order to wake it up again. Another time, it went from 100% down to 20% in the space of an hour when I wasn’t even using it. And lately it’s been going from 100% to 80% after 10 minutes of use playing the Disney Magic Kingdoms game.

Once I knew my iPhone was part of this repair program, I set up a Genius bar appointment and made my way over to the Apple store. The start of the process couldn’t have been easier. They looked up my iPhone’s serial number in their system, verified it was part of the battery replacement program and opened a ticket for work to be done. They don’t keep the batteries in stock, but they do perform the repair in the store, so all they had to do was order the battery and give me a call later. They expected it to take a week to 10 days for the battery to arrive. I was worried I’d have to be without the iPhone for an extended period of time as they shipped it back to Apple. Happily, I would only be without it for the hour it would take to perform the replacement.

As it happens, it took much less than a week before they called me to set up my appointment to have them replace the battery. Since I was on vacation last week when they called, I set up the next genius bar appointment for this week.  After having to reschedule the appointment 3 times in favor of meeting conflicts at work I have just returned from getting my new battery.

I arrived about 10 minutes ahead of my appointment, and checked in with the Apple store employee with the iPad who greeted me at the front door. They looked up my appointment, asked for my iPhone to look up the serial number and turned off “Find my iPhone” once they’d verified that my iPhone was covered by this warranty. The cost to replace the battery was $79 but since this was a covered replacement, I owed nothing.

They told me it would take just over an hour to do the replacement, so my husband and I did some Christmas shopping and grabbed lunch at Cheesecake factory. We returned about and hour and 10 minutes later and checked in again. The iPhone was finished, so they had me wait by the side for one of the Apple genius folks to bring it out to me.

Less than 5 minutes later I had my old iPhone back in my hands. No issues so far except that this new battery had only a 20% charge and was entering low power mode, but all of my photos, and games, and apps were all still there. I had made backups to both iTunes and iCloud last night just to be safe. I read an article on cult of Mac today that an Apple employee was lamenting that the replacement program was a mess. This was definitely not my experience. Everything seemed to move smoothly. The Apple geniuses did appear to be doing several battery replacements but they didn’t seem to be overloaded with requests. Perhaps it helped that I’d scheduled my appointment so they could allocate their staff accordingly.

Now I have a new battery, a year in to owning and using this iPhone, so when I hand this down to my daughter next year, I know she’s going to be able to use this one for even longer than I anticipated before we have to upgrade her. It is things like this that make me continue to be a happy Apple iPhone owner. This is my 4th iPhone model since, and including, the original and I am already planning to buy whatever wonderfulness Apple releases next year.