The Allure of a New Gadget

I was link-hopping this morning over breakfast and I landed on this post at “Steak and Legs” about the iPad. And with one exception (I’ve crossed those words out, you’ll know it when you see it) it is my exact feelings about the iPad in a nutshell. So much that it’s a little eerie and a relief simultaneously. (I’m not alone! It’s not just me!)

It just looks so cool! I spent a couple days trying to think up what I’m sure were probably the most incredible excuses Legs has ever heard. I need an eBook reader… But I never read books anyway. I need something to go browse the web around the apartment… but I’m never more than 3 feet from a computer in the Apartment anyway.

What it comes down to is that I don’t need one. I have no real use for one. I even went to Best Buy and played with one and couldn’t think of anything to do with it that I couldn’t do with the iPhone in my pocket. But I still want one.

I’m addicted. I just love the feeling of coming home with a new toy to un-box and play with. I love learning the new system inside and out and then showing my friends all the cool stuff it does. If only my toy’s weren’t $500 this wouldn’t be an issue.

To be fair, I do have an eBook reader already. If anything, it even reduces the need for an iPad further. But they’re still awfully cool. Fortunately I am in the process of trying to save up a lot of money, so concentrating on that long term goal is a good way to keep me from blowing all that money on something I sooooo do not need.

(But if someone is going out of town and needs an iPad babysitter, please, let me know.)

Late Adopter

It’s funny, with some technology I’ve been an early adopter; I had a Wii before anyone else I knew locally, for instance, and I was using a second generation iPod before there was such a thing as Windows support. (Ah, back in the day where you had to use something like XPlay to transfer your music to and from your Windows machine.) I had my Palm Centro before the advertising campaign even really kicked in.

But in the past week I finally embraced the Bluetooth earpiece for cell phones, and bought an iPhone. Which makes me perhaps one of the last people on the planet to do so.

Dark Side of the Tooth [365portraits: 313]I’d actually given a Bluetooth earpiece a try a few years ago. The experience was horrible; constant crackles of static, echoing voices, and sound regularly cutting in and out. I try and use a hands-free device for if I have to use my phone while driving and after a week I gave up on the Bluetooth and went back to a wired earpiece. Said earpiece just died a few weeks ago, and after a trip to Target revealed no wired earpieces being sold, I did some research and gave Bluetooth another try.

The nice thing about not being an early adopter? They fix the bugs. It’s amazing how much better things sounded. So while I still feel like an extra in “Rise of the Cybermen,” I’m sold. Mind you I only use it while driving. I still draw the line at just wandering around with it on. It always makes me think that there are crazy people talking to themselves walking down the street until they get close. Why give people another reason to think I’m nuts?

As for the iPhone, while I liked my Palm Centro, there was a lot less functionality between it and what was coming out now. I thought about a Palm Pre, but a combination of there being far less apps available (and let’s face it, that’s half the attraction) and Sprint not offering a reasonable deal to re-up my contract and give me a discount on the phone, and the choice was easy. So, my contract expired on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon after brunch I walked out of the Apple Store with my new phone. So far, so good. (Although I am a tiny bit surprised that plugging the iPhone into the computer won’t charge it, like any other iPod-like device up until now. Slightly annoying.)

And of course, one nice thing about being the last of my friends to get an iPhone is that I already have their huge recommendation list of apps to get. I’m already on the third screen worth of apps…

Cutting Edge and Old Classics

I only just heard of “netbooks” in the past week or so—those laptop computers that are stripped down in power but perfect for checking e-mail and surfing the web when you’re on the go. I’m intrigued and fascinated by the idea; if I’m not on a business trip, all I really need on my computer is a web connection and something with which to write. (Being able to watch DVDs is nice, but with the PSP it’s not quite as necessary as it would’ve been in the past, and I know that adding in a DVD-ROM will spike the price.) Being in the $250-to-$400 range makes them perfect, and awfully tempting.

Well, until I was looking at SlickDeals today and noticed someone selling 4GB flash drives for $8. And that’s when it hit me that five years ago, those little numbers were priced through the roof. And even when it isn’t some sort of crazy deal, they’re still pretty cheap these days. (I think I got my 4GB flash drive for something like $35.) So in a couple of years? Those netbooks might very well be even cheaper. And since I do have a fully functioning laptop anyway… yeah, I can wait. If anything, that makes me all the more excited for when I eventually get one, mind you.

At the other end of the spectrum, my latest “on-the-bus reading” material is something a little more old-fashioned: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Considering my major at university was English Literature, you may find it a little shocking that I have never read anything by Jane Austen before. (Or, I might add, any of the Brontë sisters.)

My guess is that each professor assumed that one of the others assigned it to be read, and the end result was an Austen-sized hole in my knowledge; the closest I’ve ever come was seeing the movie adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Oh, and having Clueless on my Netflix queue for over two years and counting. Anyway, a discussion of the ITV series Lost in Austen brought this to light, and I’d decided it was time that I should fix this gap in my knowledge.

So far? I’m really loving it. I knew I’d hit pay dirt in the second chapter when I hit this little gem:

“…What say you, Mary? For you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.”

Mary wished to say something sensible, but knew not how.

“While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he continued, “let us return to Mr. Bingley.”

I swear, I could almost hear the ker-pow noise at that little zinger directed at Mary. And I am wondering if Mary was based on someone that Austen hated, because wow, the shots keep coming as I chortle merrily away. (“Mary had neither genius nor taste…” “Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family…”) I also picked up a copy of Wuthering Heights so I’ve got all sorts of classics of literature just waiting to be read.

Good times, good times.

Ka-boom Ka-boom

I upgraded my personal website as well as my reviewing website today, pushing them both from WordPress 2.2 to 2.3. And everything on my personal one blew up. Which is sort of apt, because I’ve been dealing with a pain in the neck for a while, now.

In this case, the pain in the neck is a literal one; I’ve been having some neck and shoulder stiffness/soreness/tension for the past week or two. Today, though, was the absolute worst day. It honestly felt like moving my head was difficult at best, at one point in the afternoon, and I began to wonder how the heck I was going to drive home. Fortunately we’ve got a wonderful accountant who is also a licensed massage therapist who worked on my neck and shoulders a bit today, and I felt better enough that driving was once more an option.

Warm Comfort FoodSince then I’ve been using a heating pad, having some comfort food in the form of miso soup and some chocolate mint truffle tea (somehow warmth just seemed right to be inside as well as outside), and just trying to take it easy. I took a little medicine as well, which honestly doesn’t seem to have helped that much. But I’m going to have a little more work done on the neck and shoulders at work tomorrow, and if it’s still bothering me after that I’ll book an appointment to get some heavy-duty attention paid to it.

Meanwhile, the personal website was almost at the point where it was back in running order, but just enough was still broken that I finally gave up and installed a different look-and-feel. We’ll see what I think of it in a day or so; for now it’ll do, and that’s all I really care about. Getting through to the next day, that’s the current motto. We’ll see how it all shakes out tomorrow, right?

(Oh, and yesterday was the return to running after two weeks off. A little bit of soreness in the foot, so if it persists it’ll be back to the doctor who will no doubt give me a jab of cortisone, which sounds pretty nice. Today, though, was fairly amusing because even though I used the elliptical religiously for two weeks, my legs were definitely knowing that they had not really run in all that time. Yeesh. I felt like I’d run 18 miles on Sunday, not 8.)