Late adopter: smart phone

My wife and I have finally jumped on the smart-phone bandwagon. We’ve been hesitant for a long while, primarily because of the data plan costs associated with a device that is always being used in ways that Alexander Graham Bell couldn’t have imagined. We finally succumbed to the lure of always being connected. For some reason.

Don’t get me wrong–we’re both very pleased with our new iPhones. They are shiny and cool. And of course, there’s an app for everything. What am I most looking forward to? Using the camera, and sharing my images with pithy commentary. I’ve had a camera phone for a couple of years now, and I’ve taken some pictures with it, and even posted pithy commentary. But to do that, I had to a) take a picture, b) connect the phone to a computer, c) download the image, d)  upload the image to facebook/flickr/blog/google+/etc, e) write the pithy commentary. But that jut didn’t happen all that often, and up top are six examples of images that never saw the light of the internet because the process was just too time consuming. Now that I can post things on or Flickr or Facebook directly, there will likely be no shortage of my imaginative photos accompanied by pithy commentary. Unfriend me now. You’ve been warned.

We went with iPhones for several reasons, but it was a very close call. The Android phones were a very close second, until we walked into the Sprint store. I played with an iPhone for a couple minutes, and really enjoyed the experience. Then I walked to a large bank of Android phones, and all but one of them were dead, Jim, dead. Would not power on despite having power adapters plugged in. So I messed with the one that was working, and shot a short video of my wife messing with something. I then tried to play back the video and the phone locked up tighter than Mr. Scrooge’s purse strings. So the Androids sold us on the iPhone.

Now for my belated pithy commentary on the images above, from left to right, top to bottom:

  1. A typical meeting at work in a project I’m a part of: we’re in the meeting to discuss requirements for a large IT implementation. Only one person “needs” their laptop for the topic of the meeting. The rest are multi-tasking. I was the only person in the meeting who didn’t bring a laptop.
  2. A sign on top of a gas pump, advertising something, I care not what. “All products not available at all locations.” English fail. I think they meant “Not all products available at all locations” rather than saying that nothing was available.
  3. Opposing signs at the local grocery, “Mexican” and “Authentic Mexican”. Wow. Poor Old el Paso.
  4. “Cutter Repaie & Cleaning” sign that was duplicated all over a local neighborhood. Clearly hand made, but I saw several examples of it so someone made it (very poorly) then likely paid someone to make a bunch more of it. And didn’t notice the very prominent misspellings right at the top.  I wouldn’t have worried about the misplaced apostrophe’s if they were the only problem because they are so commonplace.
  5. “Halloween Candy” on the Christmas candy aisle. Whoops.
  6. The line at our local Target at midnight on Black Friday this year. Don’t ask why I was there…


Coffee Prohibited

Today my son participated in a Cub Scout “Belt Loop Bonanza” where hundreds of Cub Scouts spend 3 hours to earn three electives called Belt Loops (so named because they are worn on a belt). The event was held at a church as many scouting events are, but specifically it was at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

On the flier that advertised the event was the following message: “PARENTS AND LEADERS: PLEASE NOTE THAT COFFEE, TEA, ALCOHOL, AND TOBACCO ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE PREMISES.” (caps, italics, and underlines were on the flier). I was familiar that LDS generally has a prohibition against believers consuming caffeine and nicotine. Their logic for the prohibition isn’t even bad: don’t consume anything that might be unhealthy or cause an addiction. But it seemed odd to me that they would attempt to actively prevent me from taking a cup of coffee into the building. And yes, I’m aware that my own beliefs make the fact that I was even in the building a bit of a contradiction (agnostic atheist Cub Scout leader and parent). I did respect their request (well, mostly–there was coffee inside me!) since they were kind enough to allow the event with probably no cost to the Scout district.

But, what a silly prohibition that is. OK, I understand not wanting people to consume alcohol in the church–but come on, it was at 9AM in the morning. Was the explicit prohibition of alcohol necessary? And smoking is prohibited in nearly all public buildings in Ohio (not sure if that includes churches, but I would think so) so its not like a smoker is going to expect to light up in the multipurpose room. But they didn’t say that smoking was prohibited–tobacco was. Would they have been offended had a pack of cigarettes entered their building through the hands of a non-believer, and left in those same hands, unopened? And they got bent out of shape about non-believers consuming coffee or tea? Could I have brought Mountain Dew?

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely support their right to put restrictions on the use of their facilities. And clearly the Scout organization accepted the restrictions. I’ve even put odd-ball restrictions on people on my property too. I’m not even going to write to them to complain. But I likewise have a right to criticize them. I just think the restrictions were silly.

The Goatee Is Gone

I’m proud to be a late adopter when it comes to technology. I like waiting until technology has gone through a couple of generations before I adopt.

Unfortunately, the same thing happens for me with fashion. Sideburns? Only after a decade of popularity. Plaid Shirts? 4 or 5 years…

For me and fashion, I usually adopt the latest fashion just as it is going out of fashion.

So, for all of you goatee wearing bad-asses, this is your notice–it has been around for so long that I’m even giving it a try. Like most of my phases (sideburns, mohawk, beard), it probably won’t last long. I currently have 3 days of growth so it isn’t obvious from down the hall, but I got a few comments at work today. Fortunately Anne likes it so far. Otherwise it would be very short lived.

Late Adopter: DVR

We finally have a DVR. Ours came free with our cable package, and so far we’ve really enjoyed it. The usability is pretty good, and it only has a few quirks. My favorite feature: I can add an external drive with no hacking required. We are now a family nearly addicted to Myth Busters.

Tonight I watched my first football game that had been pre-recorded. We were at Beaver Creek State Park when OSU pummeled Purdue, so I didn’t get a chance to watch or listen to the game. Since I already knew the outcome of the game it was easy to skip from play to play. I didn’t need to hear any of the analysis or banter of the commentators. I was able to watch a 3.5 hour game in about 75 minutes. Anne was even slightly amused that I was still cheering at the great plays and touch downs.

All in all, the DVR has come of age, and its way easier than the VCR ever used to be.