New phone!

My household, we think a great deal about the purpose of technology. This comes about in large part due to the differing attitudes the three adults have towards technology and its newness.

N: NEW! It’s NEW it’s NEW it’s NEW! Look at it! It’s NEW!

Me: Huh, I think there are some things I could find to do with that. I bet it would be useful to me.

J: … But my old thing still works.

But this does mean that I, personally, find myself having to explicate my position regarding a new piece of technology. To sum up, I buy new tech when I want to do a thing I have heard of which my current tech does not do for me.

For example, I resisted buying a tablet for forever. Why would I? What would it do for me, that my laptop and smartphone would not do? But, then, the infrastructure and market, the, the ecosystem of ebooks and of digital comics finally developed to the point that both of those things are easier and more comfortable on a tablet than on my phone or computer. So I got a tablet.

Did I need a tablet? Of course not. Do I enjoy having one? Yes, yes I do.

My old phone was an HTC Evo. I had not wanted this phone. I had gone in to Sprint when my Nexus S4 broke, and asked for a replacement. Sprint gave me the Evo. I sulked. I disliked a huge number of things about the Evo. And, for a device that I hold in my hand about once every ninety seconds, I hated the way it felt. This was irritating.

After much consultation with N, we decided to jointly get Verizon plans and share the costs. So I went to Verizon last night intended to get the Samsung Galaxy III. I picked it up. I held it. It was fine. Then I went and picked up the Droid Razr Maxx HD. And this felt fantastic. It fit. The size and shape and feel of the phone was great. And, incidentally, it supposedly has the best battery life of any smartphone available today. So, cool!

Despite the name of the phone, I bought it. (Razr Maxx HD. Seriously. Who thinks that’s a good name for a phone? It’s just flat-out stating, “the person who came up with this name is very concerned about their ability to maintain an erection.” Someone at work has a truck in the parking lot with the name “Dodge Ram Extended Max Explorer” on the side of it. Every time I see it I snicker, because my head reads that as “I cannot pleasure women sexually.”) It’s a great phone. It does the things I want to do, and I enjoy using it.


This is NOT the big post

I’m in the midst of two very long posts, the Best in Fandom 2009 post and the Music of 2009 post. Not the best music of 2009, you understand, just my music of 2009. Both of those are going to be long, and in the meantime, I have Vitally Important Life Events to share with the internets.

1. I am still pretty happy with the Palm Pixi as a phone. It does exactly what I want — it texts, runs a Twitter app, checks and sends email, and looks up webpages. On Thursday morning while I’m teaching school to one kid while the other is in swim class, I can read the latest Fantastic Fangirl essay posted by one of my compatriots! From my phone!

2. The Christmas presents are arriving at the house, ready to be placed in stockings. At my house, we give gifts with a couple rules. No more than $50.00 can be spent by the household on any one person. And ALL the gifts for a person must fit in their stocking. So this means a selection of small, thoughtful things for each person each year. (Larger requests from the children are parceled out among family and friends.) So, I think everything is here. Perhaps tonight, after the kids go to bed, we’ll fill their stockings. It is, after all, only twelve days until Christmas.

3. This week at work I’m running the non-radar problems I was talking about designing a few weeks ago. This means another controller and I go up to the lab and set up the problem, then try to see if it’s possible to do. We’re getting through about six problems a day, which puts us ahead of schedule.

4. I am obsessed with a playlist I made. Here’s the tracklist:

“Rude Boy,” by Rhianna
“Bad Romance,” by Lady Gaga
“Rockstar 101,” by Rhianna
“Monster,” by Lady Gaga
“Weekend Without Makeup,” by The Long Blondes
“Dance in the Dark,” by Lady Gaga
“Night Watch,” by Tegan and Sara
“Once and Never Again,” by The Long Blondes
“The Cure,” by Tegan and Sara
“Te Amo,” by Rhianna
“Heaven Help the New Girl,” by The Long Blondes

In my head, this is a narrative. A story. Which is what I do with all my music, makes stories out of it. In this playlist, the protagonist falls for a guy because he’s powerful and possessive and controlling and he wants her. He wants her because she’s beautiful and talented, and she slowly recognizes that he wants to possess those qualities in such a way that prevents her from owning her own life, her own self. Then the abandonment and emotional abuse kick in. During this time of decision, the protagonist of the playlist is invited by one of her close female friends to leave the guy and be with her. The protagonist turns that offer down, but does leave the guy and goes off to get over him with the female friend — who may or may not be controlling and possessive as well.

This, this is what my head is doing when I am listening to music. When I’m driving to and from work, listening to Lockheed on Random Play, I am doing this. Putting the songs together and trying to make sense out of unrelated things. Humans are pattern-making mammals — we’ll make sense and meaning where none previously reside. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the definitions of art.

Blogging from Aleph

I love living in the future.

I also deeply question the collective cultural and marketing decision to call the object in my hands a “phone.” I mean, seriously, people. This bears almost no resemblance, other than an atavistic legacy function, to a telephonic communications device. What I am holding is a, a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy crossed with a tricorder crossed with machine telepathy. This is not a phone.

Now, I wax rhapsodic because I care. I love mobile technology. I love the communications possibilities of smartphones. I have friends all over the world and devices like this “phone” enable me to stay in touch.

“Phone.” Soon this word will have meaning equivalent to “c.c.” Carbon copy.

Anyway. I got a Palm Pixi. I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Blogged from the YMCA, the dining room table, the hallway, and the kitchen.)

Linkspam Tuesday

A few things I’ve seen around —

1. Warren Ellis goes on about print. I find Mr. Ellis’s musing on the using of media formats to be fascinating.

“I keep wondering. What can a one-writer magazine look like? What does a magazine do? You associate “magazine” with disposability: but on the other hand, I’m a hoarder, and magazines will live on a nearby shelf or stack for years in my office. Perhaps it’s simply a modular presentation. Perhaps it’s a tract. These things need considering.”

2. Tech Crunch looks at the available Android phones. This is useful to me. Unlike a lot of tech I hear of and think, “what the heck would I want THAT feature for,” I pretty well know what I use in a phone. I need easy texting — this means I need a qwerty keyboard that is study, easy to use, and has good feel-in-my-hand. I need internet access. This means I need a good screen of suitable width. I need a camera and the ability to easily upload video and image to said internet. What I don’t really need is a phone, so much. Or, rather, it can be a phone-as-afterthought. (Witness my monthly bill for August: 23 minutes of phone use, over 4000 text messages, over 500,000 units of data streaming.) It may well be that my next phone is an iPhone, yes, I understand that. But I still mistrust the touch-screen technology. I am hard on my phone. So I read these reviews with interest.

3. Mention of the fashion photography of Nontsikelelo Veleko. South African street fashion. This, this looks amazing to me. It looks compelling. I love how this looks.

4. Today’s Fantastic Fangirls Q&A is What comic book character should win the Nobel Peace Prize? I have to tell you, I had a tough time with this one.