Surf's up -
Case No. 1: It happened in one of the splashier restaurants in St. John's, and we were out for dinner with one of our favourite couples. Several tables over, a cellphone started ringing. And ringing. And, minutes later, ringing yet again.
We suspect the well-heeled folks at that centrally located table were pretty significant, because the wait staff and managers at the restaurant did not ask them to turn off or even mute the phone - which, incidentally, was never answered - despite several requests (including from our table) to do just that.
Case No. 2: Recently, I watched a table of four thirtysomethings wait for their dinner, all while they individually checked their phones, sent messages, browsed, Tweeted or whatever it was they were doing. It made for quite a sight - a quartet of bobbing heads and fixed gazes.
Obviously, the first case was more annoying, both because of the noise and the restaurant's refusal to address the loud elephant in the room.
But, more and more, Case No. 2 is becoming more of a nuisance, even as the phenomenon - a full table of adults all consumed with their SmartPhones - becomes more prevalent, and even though they don't actually make any noise.
Maybe it's because it's so distracting; I can't help but notice all those turned-down heads and the flicking and clicking of fingers and thumbs.
Or maybe because it's so sad. Yes, a tricked-out, app-heavy phone can be amazing, but the time and place for it surely is not a night out in a restaurant with friends or loved ones.
After all, if the mobile web, like the desktop web before it, is all about connection, why turn your back - or your forehead - on one of the most wonderful ways to connect? What, really, is a meal but a chance to share and to delve deeply into the lives and thoughts of people who matter to us?
I haven't been tempted, of course, to complain about a table of phone-addled customers. For their sake, maybe some day I will.
Elsewhere this week
If you were at MUN in the early 1980s, the name Captain Leisure may mean something to you. It was a comic strip that appeared in The Muse, the student paper, and it was the creation of my friend Tim Peckham.
Tim has gone on to be a graphic artist and cartoonist in Toronto, and is now the creator of an app at the iTunes store. Loading TimWit will give you 200 editions of a single-panel strip Tim created. It's a great chuckle, and it's free.
Republic of Avalon Radio
ROAR, as it's also known, bills itself as Newfoundland's first podcast ... which sounds about right to me. It's a product from singer and musician Jim Fidler, and it's back on track after being a little dormant for a while. Click on the website to subscribe and have new editions delivered straight to your drive.
Sistine Chapel 360
Years ago, I had the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel for myself, and although one of the highlights - Michelangelo's full-wall fresco, "The Final Judgment" - was not then visible because of restoration, I found the experience almost overwhelming.
This panoramic view of the Sistine Chapel is provided through the Vatican's website; it's not as engaging as the real thing, but it's still pretty absorbing.
Need proof? Just try the zoom function, and see the stunning detail of Michelangelo's work.
A message from your conscience
Finally, I leave for you a bit of wisdom and common sense.
What is it, you ask?
Well, you'll have to find out for yourself.
John Gushue is a writer and web editor with CBC News in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com.