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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the droid and other stuff

okey dokey. i've been on a computer blackout. and it ain't been pretty.
my palm centro was acting up again. with only 6 months left of my current sprint plan, i didn't want to spring for a $100 co-pay to get a new phone (yet again) . i wanted to switch to verizon, anyhow, cause there are places i have been (like the slabs) where i didn't get service and the verizon folks did. and i wanted to get a phone that did more and could combine tasks of several other things (think downsize) and maybe allow me to get rid of the netbook. enter the droid by motorola.
this little phone is pretty awesome. it has one of the largest screens of any phone i've seen, really intense graphics, amazing speakers and more applications available than i ever new existed. i can tune my guitar with this little thing! i'm serious! it has a downloadable app that is an actual guitar tuner! it also has a guitar playing app so i can strum or pick songs! think campfire karaoke!
some of my other favorite apps are the mindfulness bell which rings intermittantly to remind me to focus and center myself (you'd love it bri!), a virtual zen rock garden with sand and rake, a 5 megapixel camera with flash that does good closeups for taking hat pictures for etsy, satellite radio, gps navigator, slide-out and virtual keyboard.....
what's not to love? heh. the ONE thing i need my phone to do is to cut and paste and trim, especially emails.  and because of connectivity problems (especially at the farm) i need to have an email retrieval ability that will let me do it off-line.
the droid does none of that.
i think the droid was made for techno savvy folks who don't live in rural areas and have to worry about signal strength too often. so the idea of selling the netbook to cover the cost ($200) of the droid goes right out the window. i need regular online access to do the most important tasks for access and the ability to work with them.
it looks like i have several options. because i don't have cell access at my homebase, verizon will let me out of the contract no problem. because it's in the 1st 30 days of purchase i can switch phones and pay a $30 restocking fee. (i don't think i should have to pay this because i was very specific about what i needed the phone to do when i bought it, and everyone including tech support said it would, although no one could tell me exactly how (that shoulda been a clue) and it took a call to motorola droid support one week later to tell me in 60 seconds that the droid smply can't do that. it can be a metal detector, a vibrator (yes, a vibrator, ew!) or a flashlight, for heaven's sake, but it can't trim text?)
another option would be to switch to a basic phone plan, and get an air card for my netbook. the cost would be about the same as the monthly data plan of the droid, which was about the same for the sprint palm centro. then i would have broadband access even at the farm, and ditch the dreaded dial-up. or.....
i could switch to the "palm pre plus" which verizon just got in yesterday. the reviews have it almost as good as the droid, only smaller screen, only a 3 megapixel camera but a better flash, not as good sound quality, no speaker phone, but it will manage my email just the way i need to. the keyboard is better than the droids, too. i don't know if it can tune my guitar.....
if i go with a smartphone with dataplan, i can't add the cost of the aircard to my budget. the air card is an attractive thought, especially if i can use it at the farm. i'm waiting to hear from mar on her take on that, as she had a verizon aircard when she was here.
the other attractive thought, though, is having one device perform the task of many. especially when on the road.
so if anybody has any thoughts or feedback or ideas, i'd appreciate your comments. i have a couple weeks left in my grace period to make any changes. your input will help me make a better choice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

american nomads

photo taken labor day 2009 at the blue ridge rifles rendezvous
wayne and john discuss the future of the colonies

i've been thinking alot about the 'voo this week. hunkered down in this cold weather, i just finished "Centennial" by james michner, and am halfway through "american nomads" by richard grant.

my buddy brian recently recommended "american nomads", (click title above for amazon link) and i got it with the intention of reading it on my way west. since the trip was postponed, it didn't take long for me to cave in and read it to stave off my longing for the road. it did the complete opposite.


from the preface of the book:

"A Tibetan dignitary, visiting America for the first time, sits by the Green River in Utah, looking over the mountains and the high windcarved plateaus. His name is T.T. Karma Chopel. He has come to America to study the workings of its democracy, but that is not in his thoughts now.

Something about the landscape and the great sweep of sky reminds him of his homeland. He thinks of yaks and yak herders, making their endless migrations across the Tibetan plateaus.

He knows there are no yak herders in america but he assumes there must be some equivalent. "who are your nomads?" he asks.........."


this is a book to be savored. i read a little bit at a time, trying to make it last. the comforting thing while reading these stories is knowing that in a few weeks, i will be on the road again, making my own stories, and hearing yours.....