Friday, September 25, 2009

What's on my DVR this Fall

So the popular Fall TV show season has begun and I cleared out my DVR of old shows, movies, and anything else of little value to make room for all the show's I'm recording on tv.

Current show's I'm recording (don't judge me!):
One Tree Hill
Grey's Anatomy
Flash Forward
Defying Gravity (ABC just pulled the plug, lame)
The Office
The Big Bang Theory

What are your current favorite shows?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Picking seats is a science not an art

I am not talking about the seat picking involving uncomfortable
britches here. I'm talking about the seat you sit in. Whether it's in
a classroom, at the movies, on the bus or in a plane; you are
practicing the science of seat picking. Art is subjective and
requires emotion and feelings. Science is methodical and rational.
When picking your seating you are actually performing several
evaluations quickly in your mind before you settle down.

1) The seat environment
First you must determine the seating environment for you situation.
Are you in a classroom? If yes, you don't want to sit next to any
crazy looking people, not in a location that is too hot or too cold,
not too close to the front or too far back. If you are on a bus or
transit, you want to be close enough to the door relative to how close
or far your stop is. You definitlely want to avoid any dirty or sticky
looking seats. Watch out for transients, gangsters or crazy people.
If you are on a plane you have two options- some airlines have
assigned seating in which I suggest If you fly
Southwest then you should check in online early and print your
boarding pass the day before. Note that as you board open seating
planes it's obvoius that you want a window or aisle, near or in a exit
row (leg room) and in the front (more comfortable and less noisy. Note
that drunk people can be removed from the flight during boarding if a
flight attendant is notified (ask me about my recent experience).

2) The type of seat
Next part of the process involves an evaluation of the seat itself.
What is the material and design of the chair. Is it a plain wood one?
Does it have armrests? Is it vinyl, fabric, leather or plastic?
Folding chairs, no matter how much padding, are rarely comfortable. In
a classroom setting, look out for left or right hand specific chairs.
Chances are there are only one or two seats for lefties so if you are
not left handed don't use it (we lefties hate that).

What are your tips and methods for picking seats? Any crazy stories?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My iPhone, a revolution in the history of cell phones

So as some of you know, I recently purchased an iPhone on September 8th. The actual purchase was simple and took no more than 15 minutes from the time I walked into the store to when I was out the door using the newly activated phone. The Apple employee who was helping me was also named Ryan, so I knew it was a sign that this was the phone for me. I wanted to give a review of the phone, my past phones compared and any disappointments I've had so far.

You're probably saying "get on to the good stuff, talk about the phone already". First I want to explain my particular "picky-ness" about cell phones, and all electronics for that matter. Fit and function are on the top of my list, so is the design and "fashion". It better look great and work great. Since getting my first phone (a Nextel flip phone) I've had quite a few. I've been on AT&T since about 2000 or 2001. First phone of my own was a Sony Ericsson T610. It was a sturdy candybar style phone that played music as well. I really liked that phone a lot. Sony Ericsson makes really great products. The phone had it's own operating system which was pretty easy to use. It also had a proprietary headphone/handsfree plug which was a negative. The next phone I grabbed was a Sony Ericsson W810i. This phone was also pretty awesome in the fact that it had a dedicated "walkman" mode to play music from an expandable memory card in the phone. At the time having 512mb of music on your phone was unheard of. This phone too had a proprietary headphone/handsfree plug which was a negative. I ended up trying out an unlocked Samsung SGH-T509. The phone was super light weight, thin and easy to carry in your pocket. It had some poor sound issues, but I think it was mostly due to poor signal in my house at the time (AT&T later added a tower just 100 yds away). It was a shame this phone didn't work well because I really liked the size/profile. I went back to the W810i for a while.  In February 2007 I got a Samsung Blackjack II. My brother had the Blackjack I and this seemed like a nice upgrade over the 1 since it had more memory, better screen and Windows Mobile 6 (instead of 5). This phone had a proprietary headphone/handsfree plug, but I bought some better aftermarket headphones for it since the OEM ones weren't very comfy. There was an expandable memory slot that took up to 2GB memory card which I loaded up with a few pictures and tons of music that played in Windows Media player. Making ringtones was simple to do with sound editing software. The internet sucked since it used Internet Explorer. I canceled my data plan after a couple months since the web experience was so bad. I used this phone for 2 years and it worked well. Windows Mobile allows for some cool stuff, but it too has it's own problems, its Windows.

First, I wanted to make sure I took care of the phone so it didn't get scratched or beat up so I put on a free ZAGG invisible shield that I won at a conference. The ZAGG invisible shield is nice, I like the screen protection, but I didn't like the part that covered the back of the phone. It didn't want to stick on the corners so I pulled that off. I picked up an Incase slider case in black (although mine didn't come w/ the stand) to help protect the rest of the phone. I already had some Skullcandy Inkd earphones in black/gray. I don't like the feel of the iPod/iPhone headphones. I have a Jawbone bluetooth headset so ear buds not having a microphone was okay with me. I really like the fit and comfort, and the sound quality as well. In-ear buds help also block out the sound, which is important since I take the subway to work and its pretty noisy.

So now the moment you've been waiting for. Life with an iPhone. It is life changing. I can be connected to whomever via whatever, whenever I want. Everything is in the palm of my hand. Internet, check, Email for personal and work, check. texting and chat, double true. I'm still getting new apps everyday. The phone is pretty easy to use, but I'm learning more shortcuts everyday. I wasn't a big fan of iTunes but I'm learning to live with it. It's also nice to have more than 2gb of music, as I was using a 1st generation iPod nano. I don't use Outlook (or a Mac) so some of the common ways to sync data like contacts and calendars required some workarounds/less common methods. I wanted to make some ringtones (other than the standard ones) which I had to find a work around for too. The biggest problem I have is getting all my old numbers from my old phone to the new one. In the past I've just swapped in my old SIM card chip and import the numbers then put the other SIM card back in. Apparently I haven't found a way to do this. I want to add a couple new sounds too for alarms or text alerts but haven't found a way to do this either. Currently we get bad service in our office downtown, but it's not just an "iPhone" problem as non iPhone users can't make or receive calls even though they have full bars too. I have to say I really like the phone. I don't want to put it down. This phone is history changing in my opinion. You see them everywhere, millions sold. Lots of apps and accessories. It has more computer power than what was in the lunar lander, all in the palm of your hand.

I will keep you updated on the things I find for the phone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Slowly making the switch

To Google Chrome! What did you think I was going to say? I really am starting to like this web browser more and more. It's so lightweight when its running. I can have 10+ tabs open and it is using less than half the memory that Firefox would be using. Don't get me wrong, I still use FireFox regularly, especially for some of the great plugins/extensions that are available, but for daily web surfing, Chrome is my browser of choice.

Next you'll probably hear that I'm starting to use iTunes now, oh wait I am.

New iPhone

I am posting via email from my new iPhone.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My current "favorites things" list

Just thought I'd share some of my current favorite things in no particular order.

- Winter wonderland sushi roll
- Nightlife at academy of sciences
- Semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies and gourmet cupcakes
- Sneaky little post it notes
- More computer memory
- Cheap southwest flights
- The new saosin "in search of solid ground" album

What are your current favorite things?