Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fruit vs Vegetables

Instead of going to a Farmer’s Market or grocery store for my fruits and veggies this morning, I dropped in AT&T and Verizon shops. I’ve been debating for quite a few weeks on the pros and cons of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), without much success in establishing an ultimate victor. What a frustrating debate. Two years ago, it was clear(to me) that the iPhone 3G trumped all phones, at least all phones in the market that I admired. Recently, however, these robot phones and the powerhouse Google, decided to add 50 new variables to the mix. Thanks a lot Google (but say that line as Alan would say, “Thanks a lot Bin Laden.” If you don’t get this, we probably cannot be friends.).

I miss the Blackberry vs iPhone debate. #sad

These robots and their android software looks Incredible, wait, isn’t that the name of one of HTC’s robots? Odd. The diversity and slight differentiation of the heard of smart phones has become more grueling than picking a topic for a college research paper. Here’s MY stereotyping, and this helped a little:

iPhone 4 – That fun, cool kid in high school that hit up every party

Motorola Droid X – The stud athlete that is having a stellar season so far (Let’s just hope it doesn’t suffer the Madden Curse).

HTC Incredible – The smart kid that everyone likes, but is ½ step behind the party animal and captain of that sports team. “Guys, check out my keyboard!”

Motorola Droid – The extracurricular king. Need help with a project? “I have a keyboard too!”

Motorola Droid 2 – The new kid on the block. Who knows what they’ll be like, but my bet is a standout, with a keyboard. Might appeal to everyone?

Samsung Captivate – The new kid, hanging in the iPhone’s group. Who’s going to be top dog next semester? Seems fun and one of my AT&T reps pushed this pretty hard.

That debate, well, just sucks.

Next step, let’s analyze the services, maybe that’ll help me cut some fat. AT&T claims to cover 97% of the USA; however, my retail representative at Verizon commented to this statistic, saying, “That includes landlines.” I asked if that meant that if someone had AT&T for business, a home landline, and/or a mobile phone, if that counted as double or triple. Her response: a smile and a brief nod. Hmmmm… If that is true, those folks in the marketing department are getting more and more clever (I have not actual stat or fact to support this.). She was Incredibly helpful either way.

At AT&T (I went to two AT&T shops, but I won’t differentiate and confuse you.) my rep suggested, for better call quality, that I disable 3G and use EDGE. “You will still be able to use voicemail, but data may be slower,” she points out. I had to verify, because what was all the craziness about 3G and awesome calling when it came out a couple years ago?? Apparently this is true, verified at my second AT&T stop. I’m lost. Why have two networks, one superior at one task, the second the forerunner at the other? Ideas of [in]efficiency and logic are zipping around my potentially soon-to-implode brain. Am I missing something? Shouldn’t the focus be on the ULTIMATE network? Wasn’t 3G, a.k.a. 3rd Generation, suppose to be the next step in the awesomeness that is cellular phone service? Is this similar to saying let’s recruit a stud power forward to take this team to the next level, and we will pay stupid $$ millions to sign him; however, we’ll keep the old guy around because he’s better at...ESPN Classic?? Shouldn't this investment be to move the strategy forward? This is probably why I don't own the LA Lakers. (Side note: the Miami Heat could easily disprove this thought overthe next couple of seasons.)

Verizon’s service seems solid, right? I don’t know. I don’t have it, but people that do like to chuckle(or is it chortle?) whenI drop a call OR when I pull the [Verizon] “can you hear me now??” I actually was talking to a friend, who works for Verizon, and when I called them back…after my call was dropped, I didn’t receive a “Hello/Hey/What’s up?” No, upon accepting my call, all I heard was “hahahahaha.” Jerk. Oh the little things in life.

Price: for unlimited, about the same. That doesn’t help.

Music: Android software(maybe the Droid phone) converts iTunes music in to mp3 when loaded to phone.

Camera: All great. Captivate cannot record HD video(didn't ask on a couple). iPhone has face-side camera as well.

Contacts: Android syncs with Google contacts. iPhone with Address Book on Mac(Google contacts on Windows?).

Service: 3G (or EDGE...)

Screen: Big and crisp all around. What is the marginal benefit if the screen is better than my eye can actually process? Zero?

Included: Standard chargers, but I already have car charger and extra chargers for iPhone (about $20-30 for car charger?).

It’s coming down to which fruit or vegetable do I like. The Android software is full of social-aiding minerals and vitamins, but an Apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. After all, most of my techie toys are fruits. Maybe I should stick to simplicity and consistency. Then soon enough, my mom will be Facetiming me to ask why I don’t call as much as I “should.” #Awesome.

What do I choose? Apple (fruit) or a Droid (vegetable - whatever, vegetables have minerals. Robots are made of metal; minerals. Use the transitive property of addition.)?

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Get/Got Punked

What makes you like to run errands?  Anything?  I'm not a fan, especially after a mentally draining day doing the work thing.  However, there are a help places I enjoy visiting.  You may know the first couple; coffee shops, bookstores, Chipotle, and REI.  The other end of the spectrum includes liquor stores (judgement is always passed on your purchase), grocery stores (temptation everywhere), movie rental stores(now obsolete), and automobile-related places(always $$$). With that being said, I dedicate this post to a great dude, who works at Firestone Complete Auto Care on Forest Lane @ Greenville, in Dallas.  


As I said, today was mentally draining. I would tell you more, but I can't/don't want to freshen the memory.  Leave work, think, I need to get my tires rotated. Cue iPhone 3G (NOT 4...sad) Maps feature.  BOOM. There is one near work.  Quick side note, when you buy tires from Firestone, they give you "free" tire rotations for the life of those tires. I quote 'free', because tires are EXPENSIVE, and it's not like they are super important or anything.  Upon completion of the rotational service the talented employees preformed, "Mr. Watson, you're car is ready."  Sweet.  Let's blow this joint.  "Ok, that'll be $354.76."  I froze, would have stuttered if I could think of words fast enough, and had the standard "What the..." shock look all over my profoundly confused face.  3 long seconds later, laughing "I'm just kidding. I got you man.  You should have seen your face."  Giving this a few seconds of my own to sink in, I joined the laughing sesh.  


If you know me, you should realize that I appreciated this.  What any awesomely punk move to make.  Naturally I thanked him for breaking up the flat-lining mood of the day and told him I respected his move.  


The relation of this event to my blog trend: my day took a turn toward the pondering world.  It's the little actions and comments that make me appreciate that event.  Obviously this move wouldn't work if you were a Congressman and told the US public that this bill was going to cost $12 trillion, the threw out the "HAHA GOT YOU!" 

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Participate, don't be passive.

I'm doing the straight hipster move of chillin' in a Starbucks (FREE WIFI!, ok, I'm not really that excited, but its new, sooo why not), hangin' out on my MacBook. Word. Here's the kicker. I'm sporting a Geek Squad shirt. This is the key point to this post. I'm not doing a post about what I'm doing, but I'm taking a new approach to People Watching (capital letters on purpose).

Laugh away.

People Watching, which is easily the greatest activity in airports, coffee shops, during break periods on campus, and pretty much anywhere, is awesome. That's it. What better to do than guess conversations or thoughts or even the story of why Victim X how they are at that moment.

To the point. I rambled, sorry. I'm wearing this shirt, because everyone that walks in to order and does the casual look around notices the shirt. They look/stare longer, and you know they want to ask for help on a reoccurring issue at home/work. Boom. I just participated. Why just be passive, when you can launch the experience to a new threshold?

Ideas for improvement:

How can you set the stage?

Add props?

Wear a rainbow, clown wig.

How about set yourself up to be People Watched. Why not? If you can get people to start wondering "What the hell is HE doing??" Then you have just warmed up the playing field. They're bound to act different. Wear boots, with athletic shorts and a button down (This is actually a personal favorite wardrobe set-up).

OR my current favorite People Watching set-up: At White Rock Lake on Sundays, on the West side, there is a couple that sets up a "Free Advice" area, complete with extra chairs and wisdom. I'm dumb for not stopping by, but think about this one. They get to People Watch, and at some point, they get to solve the daunting (a dude just wandered over to me starring at the shirt, but when I looked up and looked preoccupied, he walked away. Sad.) mystery of "What is that person's story?", because they actually get to talk with Victim X. And, they get to People Watch hundreds drifting around the lake: those Lance Armstrong biker gangs, dog walkers, silly-loner bikers like me, and families(always good).

There you go. Mix it up a bit. Get it shaken, not stirred.

I think I rambled again. Cool. By the way, that's really how my thoughts work...interrupted and tangent-filled.

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