It seems that I-Phone users who live or hang out at or near the Rogers Park lakefront are grouchy people with drinking problems.

Since moving back to the neighborhood just over a month ago I have seen more than a handful of I-Phone users slam their phones against their knees in exasperation, turn to anyone standing near them, and exclaim:  “God damn it. I can't get no bars when I'm on the beach.". Or, “How can I function along the Lakefront with only one single bar?" (Or did she say “with one singles bar?)

Now, throughout my life loved ones have admonished me not to interrupt other people's conversations, that other people might not necessarily want me to offer them my opinion. But feeling as though I have special insight on this subject, I felt a need to intervene.

“I'm sorry." I once told a woman, clutching her I-Phone. “You complained about a dearth of bars along the Lake Front. Well, we do have one and it is a great one. “The Lighthouse on Chase, just east of Sheridan Road, across from Chase Cleaners, is an awesome place: great people, wonderful camaraderie – down to earth, though not necessarily a singles place, – if that is what you want"

Then, in the midst of describing to her the free hot dogs that Lighthouse offers during Bears games, I noticed the woman staring back at me, reminding me of the glare I occasionally get from my high school daughter when I suggest that she ought not Facebook her friends and do homework at the same time. You know, that “You are too stupid I'm embarrassed that you are my father look"?

Now that I've lived near the lake for a while, I've learned that I-Phone user's complaints about a lack of bars near the lake has nothing to do with watering holes and everything to do with erratic phone reception via AT&T mobile service, appears as randomly as me, to Temple on Friday nights.  The “bars"  that they are referring to are the number of bars that appear on the upper left hand corner of the I-Phone's LCD screen- five bars offering great reception; a single bar or less means reception sucks, and one might just as well toss the phone into the lake, or, better, give to a neighbor's noisy and ill behaved dog as a toy. A quality AT&T signal at or near the lake simply rarely happens, and when it does, it is extraordinarily erratic.

I tried calling AT&T once – just as I imagine has everyone who proudly invested in this otherwise awesome device. (The I-Phone is great: I particularly enjoy how the Mobile Me service allow my desktop, laptop and I-Phone to automatically sync with each other.) The technician simply explained to me that there are adequate transmitters in the area to service our needs, and that I ought not have a problem.

Alas, moving by the Lake has caused me to lose cell phone capabilities (except for a small corner in my apartment), forcing me to invest in that soon to be obsolete 20th Century device: a land based phone!