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Monday May 1st.

Payphone location: Big Basin State Park, Highway 236, Big Basin California. The phone number of the current phone (this page is an archived phone) is, as always, displayed via the logo to the left. Here's a short list of all the ways you can work the payphone magic.

Picture of payphone

These two payphones are only a few steps away from a giant cross-section of a tree killed so you could see a giant cross-section of a tree. The other phone number is 831 338 9914, they're both sitting just to the side of the Park Headquarters. The shiny new Mohammed plaque on the tree puzzled me for awhile until I worked backward with Occam's Razor as my guide: some self-righteous sumbitch stole the plaque and they had to replace it recently. That's my theory, prove me wrong.

Tuesday, May 2nd.

Didn't work. Sounded like a fax machine answered.

Tried again. This time a man answered before the first ring was over. Went like this:

Him: Hello?
Me: Hello. How are you?
Him: Fine. This is a payphone.
Me: I know. (I then explained the whole website thing)
Him: Ummm....OK then.
Me: How's the dead tree looking?
Him: It's still dead. And big.
Me: Cool, I guess. Are you a tourist?
Him: No. I work here. I keep the place clean.
Me: Oh...OK. Am I keeping you from your work?
Him: Thats alright, I'm just passing time.
Me: cool. How's the weather there?
Him: A little chilly right now. Where are you?
Me: Central Kentucky.
Him: Huh...like the chicken place. That's funny though.
Me: What? Chicken. Only if it's a rubber chicken.
Him: Yeah. I guess.
Me: Have you had any other calls today?
Him: I just got here. Will there be more?
Me: I dont know. Maybe.
Him: That would be funny, if I got like 1000 calls today on this phone.
Me: But not as funny as a rubber chicken, dude.

Then he hung up. Overall, a weird call. Maybe Ill call back later with a few one liners for him.

Called about 10:05am PST, first try rang through to a fax machine sounding thingy, guess that is what payphones do if nobody answers. Second try:

Her: Hello?
Me: Hi, are you enjoying the big tree?
Her: I guess so.
Me: Are you a tourist?
Her: Yes, we are from out of state?
Me: Cool, which state?
Her: We're from Washington.
Me; Really?! I'm calling from Seattle, where are you from in Washington?
Her: Oh, we're not from Washington, we are just from there.
Me: ???? Ok then. Have a nice time at the park.
Her: Thanks
Me: Bye.

Hi there. My name is Ed, and I live in the United Kingdom. I'm wondering if it is possible for people like me to call from outside the US, and if so how? Do I have to follow international dialing rules or is there something more complex involved? Also, any ideas about the cost to me? Thanks a lot.

Try this: Interntional dialing codes.

Wednesday, May 3rd.

I've been to this tree more times than I could tell you. The plaque wasn't stolen, it was destroyed. Very sad.

I just tried calling a couple of times and nobody answered. I'll keep trying.

How was it destroyed? Did someone take an awl to it?

yes, definitely something sharp and pointy. screwdriver, pocketknife, etc.

Thursday, May 4th.

There is an RSS feed available for Phoneswarm. Details are here. Special thanks to B for setting that up, certainly.

The folks over at Bell Core Radio had a second "Phoneswarm Special" episode and you can listen to the first (#24) and second (#29) episodes, they're listed in the Bell Core Radio archives (I originally found the listing on Hacker Media). They start making calls around eight minutes into the program, then a few more times peppered through the broadcast, though unfortunately they never reach anyone.

Monday, May 15th.

ok you prolly get this all the time, but there's no year on your website so that's why -- is it stilll active? i'm ready to phone-a-stranger but i'm afraid.

-scum

DO NOT BE AFRAID