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If You’re In The Picture By Yourself Then It’s Ok? December 20, 2008

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My Sweetie is, uh, conservative.  Asking her to do things that are, uh, out of the norm is usually out of the question.  Nuff said.  Together we were watching VH1’s “Real Chance At Love” reality show.  I know, I know – but we were flicking channels as we finished lunch on our way out the door to start our Saturday afternoon:

Act 4

The Parent Trip: Act 4

Anyway, the show is of The Bachelor’s ilk where one character picks from a collection of suitors after going through a collection of staged scenarios with the potential suitors.  We stumbled onto the show as one of the suitors (named “MILF”) was confessing to her Bachelor’s (named “Real”) parents that she had done soft porn in her past.  I almost choked on my turkey hoagie(!) and couldn’t wait to hear My Sweetie’s feelings about her confession.  Remember,  My Sweetie is not liberally minded, particularly not about matters of hanky panky.  I almost choked twice when she asked me if I could google her.  In 2.65542 seconds, I grabbed my laptop, opened a browser and had the Image Search results for “Ahmo Hight” (nevermind how I knew MILF’s real name).  Well, we started sifting through the results and found some, uh, quite intriguing images.  I was sure that once we’d seen the images that My Sweetie would be reading MILF the riot act (via my ears).  Shock #3.  Sweets not only wasn’t fuming after seeing the first risque photos, shock #3 came when she said “Well, she does have a bathing suit on”.  I couldn’t believe it!  I thought my uber-conservative sweetheart was DEFINITELY going to go off after seeing tons of pictures of a scantily clad woman out there for the world to see.  Wrong.  Unbelieveable.  So I had to reconfigure my search defaults to NOT filter, uh, grownup stuff.  I did.  And then I re-performed the search…

BING!  BING!  BING!  Gotcha.  The unfiltered search results got the response I had always expected from Sweets.  “Umm, is that her on the right?” she asked.   “Which one?  There’s a bunch of girls in that banner,” I replied smirking.  She says back “The one holding the…”  Nuff said.  ROFL!!!  I was almost in tears from laughing.  “No, that’s her in the middle without any…”  Nuff said.  More laughter from me.  Finally, finally my Sweets’ ranting begins (I think it was my laughing that finally triggered it):

  • “Ain’t no way I’d want a woman with all her stuff all out for the whole world to see!”
  • “There are plenty of jobs out there.  Why do you have to do that?!”
  • “Ain’t enough money in the world.  I’d work at McDonald’s first.  Well, not McDonald’s.  Maybe Macy’s.” Laughing
  • “How are you going to be on TV trying to find a man and the man can go right to his computer and see you %pleasuring% another man?!”

There was so much more.  All of it completely hilarious to me.  The funniest thing is she thinks I’m ridiculous for finding it funny.  I tried to tell her it’s the irony of how common this whole thing is contrasted against how uncommon she thought it should be that makes me laugh.

She just looks at me stupid.

So I laughed some more.  ROFL!

I Can’t Afford To Make Dumb Purchases December 20, 2008

Posted by geek-ish.com in Deals, Tech.
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I like to say I’m a person who spends his money as efficiently as possible.  You might call it being cheap.  Lol.  I don’t mind.  Smart spending isn’t a bad thing no matter how much you have in my book.  In any case, I was confronted that I was being phony with my complaints about how expensive the iPhone is when my own cell phone’s monthly plan is $100.  “Touché.”  What the confront-er did not take into account was the details of the initial cost of my cell phone and what I get for that $100.


Almost 2 years ago, I bought a Helio Ocean and loved it.  Then (2 years ago) and now the Ocean:
  • is a dual slider with both a qwerty keyboard and a standard phone keypad
  • plays audio files
  • plays video files
  • takes pics
  • shoots video
  • accesses the internet
  • has Yahoo Mail, GMail and Hotmail apps
  • has Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger apps
  • has a great You Tube app
  • records voice memos
  • sends voice memos via SMS or email
  • has GPS
  • plays card games (like Spades!) and classic arcades game (like Centipede!)
  • etc.

The Ocean is and always has been LOADED with features.  Sharing the details about its feature are for another blog, another reason (ABAR); but the features and the price of the device AND the device’s plan made it a no-brainer choice for me.  I purchased my Ocean for $149 and selected an all-you-can-eat unlimited voice AND UNLIMITED data plan for $99.  I did feel compelled to modify my landline service (ABAR) to accommodate the higher plan costs, but considering my new plan had unlimited voice, I didn’t have any home phone concerns.  I recognized then that it wasn’t the coolest device, but it easily satisfied all my needs.  The coolest device at the time was the iPhone.  Do you recall what the iPhone cost 2 years ago?  $600.  Yes,  six hundred Sam Fram dollars when there were very, very good cell phones available at that time for FREE.  Another question:  do you know how much voice and data plans for the iPhone cost 2 years ago?  Me neither.  Lol.  But I do recall doing a little research at the time and remember being surprised that AT&T didn’t even offer an unlimited data plan for less than $100 alone.  Couple those monthly data costs with the additional costs of an unlimited voice plan and it immediately became obvious that it was totally infeasible to buy an iPhone given the features I needed in a phone – whether I could afford to buy one or not.  I just couldn’t make buying an iPhone make sense to me given the other choices available.  In spite of that, I still went and test drove one.  I know, I know – I couldn’t resist.  The iPhone wasn’t just cool, it was geek chic cool too.  Products like that don’t come along often.  Again, I couldn’t resist.  So I fought through the crowds and took the test drive.  Honestly, I just wasn’t impressed enough to get past the price tag.  Although me and my “girthy” fingers hated the touch screen, the iPhone was a really solid device with a great viewing screen.  Everything it did it did superbly.  It was a really nouveau device, but I just couldn’t get into the hype.  I think I came into the test expecting much more out of the web experience and the music experience than I should have.  Other than iTunes, there really wasn’t much more the iPhone offered to either experience than I had already seen.  Furthermore, at that time when no one was scared or cared about the RIAA, I was still in bed with Napster and hoping Clarence Thomas couldn’t live without his radio.  iTunes just didn’t do it for me.   The iPhone was a good device and far, far more than just aight.  It just wasn’t a device I could justify buying whether I could actually afford to make the purchase or not.

To refocus, this entry is not about the iPhone, nor about comparing the iPhone to the Ocean, nor about how my monthly charges have NEVER spiked because of any surfing|downloading|video uploading I’ve done.  This entry is about making it clear that I want to make my dollars make sense.  As a working stiff, I don’t think it should be any other way.  If I’m wrong, teach me better over dinner at Damon’s.  I’m buying.  It’s one of my favorite restaurants to watch hoops & play trivia.  Besides, I’ve got a year old Damon’s gift card that I want to make sure doesn’t evaporate.
Bye.
ps – fyi:  Helio actually has an Ocean vs. iPhone comparison chart here:  http://compare.helio.com/

;-)

Who Knew#2: TNT’s NBA Overtime Is On The Web! December 20, 2008

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I’m not the biggest Charles Barkley fan, but the collective of Charles, Kenny Smith, Ernie (last name?) and whomever else guests with them during bball games is most often light fun and entertaining.  I happened to be up late watching the Cavs at the Nuggets and decided to actually visit the NBA.com link like the announcers promoted to see what kind of video they had there.  Most of what was there was clips, and most of those clips I had already seen; but when I looked a little deeper in the cliplist, I found almost 30 minutes of TNT Overtime coverage online:  http://www.nba.com/video/channels/tnt_overtime/2008/12/18/nba_20081218_insidenba.nba/index.html?player=tnt_overtime.  Nice suprise for a hoops addict like myself.

Zune List: “Fatals (Fems)” December 20, 2008

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Sad to say, I caught myself on the way home from an office party in the Explorer not only singing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies(Put A Ring On It)” but also doing the little hand thing she does in the video:

I know, I know – I’m losing stripes; but you’ve GOT to admit the song is inescapably catchy.  And since I’m confessing, I might as well take it one step further…  I actually bought Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows”.  I know, I know – but ditto.  It’s XY sacrilege to even acknowledge these records much less actually BUY them.  I know – but you can’t deny Jazmine Sullivan’s voice is the truth:

Since I was feeling so Oprah-ish, I figured why stop there.  I decided to make a playlist of irresistible, man-killer music:

Songs for Thelma & Louise

Songs for Thelma & Louise

TODO = [1]Re-rip “Jagged Little Pill”
TODO = [2]Get XYClub uniform tailored

Should Bailouts Come With Exec Pink Slips Or Coupons? December 7, 2008

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Here’s one of the reasons I’m really skeptical about federal bailouts for publicly owned companies:

“AT&T to Cut 12,000 Jobs as Landline Losses Grow”

That headline & article raised a few questions in me:

  • Since Caller-ID, can you remember the last time your landline brought you significant new utility?
  • If you’re over 25, is Caller-ID useful for anything other than phone-SPAM (aka telemarketers)?
  • Is phone-SPAM a problem on your cell phone?
  • Since you bought your cell phone, hasn’t your landline usage declined considerably?
  • Has your landline bill declined considerably too?
  • Isn’t AT&T the one and only carrier for the wonderful iPhone?
  • Don’t you want an iPhone?
  • Even though Apple graciously dropped the price of an iPhone to a mere $300, as a person who works for a living don’t you still have a hard time justifying paying $300 for a cell phone – particularly when netbooks and some laptops are priced the same?
  • Don’t you still want an iPhone?

What’s my point?  AT&T invests in what they choose to, and they chose to not invest in fortifying the utility in their landline business.  Over the years, AT&T never chose to package a mobile<->landline bundle that would easily hypnotize consumers into holding on to their rarely used landlines.  If they did offer a bundle, I never saw it.  You know who I remember offering home phone service bundles?  Comcast.  Comcast execs almost single-handedly re-coined the word “bundle” when offering their cable, ISP, VoIP phone services.  As a matter of fact, The Slowskys have their own website now:  http://theslowskys.com.  You know who else was after home phone business these past few years – Vonage.  Vonage attacked the home phone business with aggressive promotions and advertising.  They were a company no one heard of a few years ago.  I doubt there are many reading this who don’t know about them now.  I also doubt Comcast and Vonage are losing money on their phone service businesses.  I could be wrong, but I honestly don’t care if I am.  I don’t want to have to care about the year-to-year financials and inner workings of a business I am not invested in that sells products I can’t afford to own and don’t need.

My point echoes:  businesses have choices in how they serve consumers their value.  It’s a relationship.  Consumers buy stuff.  Businesses supply good stuff to buy.  It’s a rocky relationship, but it’s the best in the capitalist world.  Ironically, I read it was AT&T’s Bell Labs that actually proposed the “cellular” (phone) system to the FCC decades ago.  Had they known that, they might have given their iPhone a new name – Oedipus.  In any case, it seems to me AT&T (and other landline home phone services providers) rested on their laurels and thought home phone service was a commodity that people would continue to pay for just because they always had.  I could be wrong with my assumption, but regardless I would rather not have to deal with the guilt that comes from headlines about major business’ bad decisions leading to a bunch of fellow little guys losing our jobs.  I wish somebody would have decided to instead place an ad for an iPhone<->homePhone deal.  I might have bought it.

Todo: Finish the ‘Auto-off switch’ project for toilet December 6, 2008

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I know this eye-cam sounds creepy but oddly cool too:

Filmmaker hopes to replace false eye with webcam, become a superhero

Hey, when Life gives you lemons…  Three rooms at home.  YouTube flood.

Scrabble Entry: S-h-a-q-t-a-s-t-i-c. Challenge? December 6, 2008

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You love Shaq, not just for his HILARIOUSLY stoic  “Don’t worry about it.” response to ESPN’s Stu Scott’s questioning Shaq about how he got so many ‘Q’ tiles in this game of Scrabble: 

You love him because shaqtastic is actually LISTED in a published dictionary:  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Shaqtastic.  I know, I know – but it’s published and the first ‘shaqtastic’ entry was in Sam Fram 2003.  If challenged…  it’s arguable :-).

All hail, The Big Aristotle!  The game should miss him when he’s gone.  I know I will.

iRobot Attacks. Press Reset. Change Cartridge. December 5, 2008

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The iRobot quip got quite a response (but no comments), so I feel compelled just this once to “expound” on my remarks.  First things first though, this blog is not a place where I post my opinions just to invite jousts from contrary opinions.  While I enjoy jousting, I have no intention or possibilities of giving tons of time for online exchanges.  You might think I’m geek-ish, but I do have a real life that regularly includes daddy duties, dinner plans, a gym membership, charitable|volunteer activities, civic association duties (i.e. the fire), and tons of other things.  Updating a blog for more than 5 minutes will not likely ever make my Top Ten Daily Todo List.  But just because I don’t commit myself to blog jousting doesn’t mean you can’t.  Leave a comment.  You don’t have to email me or stop me in the gym or even call me to joust about a blog entry of mine.  Leave a comment and I’m sure others will gladly engage your joust lust.  I’m just not one of them.  I only say this now because I haven’t said it before.  I don’t anticipate saying it again.  Nuff said. With that said…

I didn’t think the iRobot barb was out-of-bounds.  I started the entry calling myself a Microsoftie.  I’ve called myself more flattering names.

I don’t expect the Zune to “catch on”.  I’m pretty sure the market for portable media players is mature.  I don’t expect there will soon again be tons of consumers rushing to buy players.  As such, I don’t think any player will take iPod’s position as the leader and standard for the market.  And I really don’t care.  Market share and popularity are Apple and Microsoft’s worry, not mine.  I’m just a consumer.  I worry about about getting the most for my money, not popularity, hype or cool (well, sometimes :-)).  I bought my Zune after a fairly detailed comparison of price & features against other players including the iPod.  Again, the comparison (at that time) of price & features was a no brainer.  If you’re interested, I still have some of the notes.  We can joust about my notes over dinner.  You’re buying.

I’m not “blindly loyal” to Microsoft.  Lol.  The idea of that is genuinely funny to me.  What I am is unruffled by the PR attacks Microsoft seems to be embattled in lately.  Microsoft has made products that provide considerable utility for my life (personal & professional) and they have been at it for a good portion of my life.  As such, I believe they have earned my trust as a consumer.  It will take more than a few commercials and Vista to ruin that (although Vista has personally caused me real professional hades!).  I don’t work for Microsoft.  My Zune wasn’t free.  My consumer loyalty is still blindly held hostage by my wallet.  If you work for a living, I imagine the rules are the same for you too.  If I’m wrong, teach me better over dinner.  I’ll buy (expect coupons).

Cool?  Cool.  Bye.

ps – this entry is being submitted while I wait (and worry) for my Explorer to finish being lubed so I can take care of some medical, family issues aka during Real Life.  Avoiding bad news from mechanics is likely #4 on my Top Ten Daily Todo List.

Microsoft Sticks By Their Products December 4, 2008

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I’m a Microsoftie if for no reason other than I’ve seen them be going in the right direction with a product, but the product doesn’t catch on (aka become popular); yet in spite of that, they stick behind the product because it’s going in the right direction.  That’s a tough value for a company|business to stay true to.  I like tough companies.  I’m a Microsoftie.  With that said, I’m also a 1st generation Zuner.  I know, I know – it hasn’t caught on.  But as a music LOVER who felt like it was time to buy a decent portable player over a year ago, a comparison between Microsoft’s Zune and every other product available at the time was (and probably still is) a no-brainer.  The Zune was cheaper, more feature-rich than any of its competitors, and its companion software offered a subscription model.  Honestly, the decision wasn’t even tough; although it was challenged ad nauseum by everybody.  I found the elite iRobots were particularly offended.  Lol.  Whatever.

In any case, it seems Microsoft is really focusing on both the music relationship & the device for its Zuners:

Zune sends free playlist downloads via email

Zune sends free playlist downloads via email

I just found a link in an email from Zunes that gave me a list of free Xmas music to download, and free is my favorite price!  Although I would have assumed I would NEVER add a Clay Aiken Xmas song to my library (regardless of the price), that song was actually not so bad (nor were any of the rest); and it was really nice to have the free choice anyway.  WTG, Microsoft!

Johnny Depp MUST Be The Man! December 2, 2008

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Pirates.  Pirates?!  Pirates in Somalia in the year 2008:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7760216.stm

On 2nd thought, maybe the BIG trip plans shouldn’t be to the mother. Sam Fram pirates!  Knock it off.