Im pretty sure my I.Q. is a bit higher than my cell phones, and thats the way Im going to keep it.

How do I manage this? Well, for one thing, my cell phone is just a cell phone. It is not an Android or an iPhone or a Blackberry, its just a cell phone. It doesnt take pictures, but I have a camera; it doesnt play music, but I have a radio. It doesnt have a turn-by-turn navigational device, but I have a Tom-Tom. And I cant play games on it, but I already squander away too many hours that Ill never get back playing games on my computer.

I think I could text on that phone if I wanted to spend a few months learning how to master the art of texting, but Im satisfied with my old fashioned e-mail system, and as a last resort, I could just make a phone call to deliver my message, which is why I bought the cell phone in the first place!

You know, once you step into the world of texting and sending pictures, youre at the mercy of the instrument itself. Its smarter than you, and it can be stubborn and very user-unfriendly, completely obliterating any false sense of intelligence you may glean from holding that little gizmo in your hand.

I know this because last winter my dearly beloved decided to teach himself to text messages to the kids from Florida instead of phoning or e-mailing them. This was not a decision based on any cost saving or time saving rationale. Lord knows it probably cost an arm and a leg more than a phone call, certainly more than a free e-mail, and in the time he spent on this long-term project, I could have walked to Ohio and talked to them in person.

But besides all the wonderful applications available for use with these modern instruments of communication, theres a darker downside to this devious, scheming gadget - just waiting to invade your privacy and forward all your personal information to who knows who, where or what for.

For instance, with the proper spy ware application, these so-called Smartphones (which name alone implies that youre the dummy in this relationship), can automatically detect the names and types of places you visit and know when you arrive or leave, how many times youve been there and how much time you spent there. They even know if youre standing still, walking, or driving.

Granted, I could care less who knows whether Im at Krogers or Walmart, my time of arrival and departure, how often Im caught in the act of shopping, or if Im pushing a cart or riding around in a handicap scooter. But what if I decide to get a dye job or a face lift or a few Botox injections or God forbid, a fanny tuck? Not that I would ever dream of doing anything like that in a million years, but still, what if? That innocent looking little piece of plastic could cause these deep dark secrets to be broadcast to the whole world.

No thanks. Ive lived too many years without a sassy little doodad one-upping me in brainpower. Thats why my cell phone is just a cell phone, and as such, spends most of its time in the off position, gathering dust on top of the cabinet in the utility room.

And yes, I may regret its being there one of these days when my car breaks down on a deserted road and I need assistance. But wait! I have On-Star and a Triple-A card in my wallet, so Ill be just fine without a Smartphone. I can even have On-Star send a Taco Casserole from the nearest Mexican restaurant in case the AAA repair service is running late.


1 lb. lean ground beef

27 oz. canned dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup onions, chopped

8 oz. frozen corn, thawed

1 1/4 oz. taco seasoning mix

2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

15 oz. tomato sauce

2 oz. tortilla chips, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 7 x 11 casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a large saucepan, cook beef and onions until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning mix, tomato sauce, kidney beans, and corn. Simmer for about ten minutes. Spread mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle top evenly with cheese and tortilla chips. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through. Makes 4 servings. Ole!