Sunday, May 30, 2010

The continuing adventures of Farah in SmartPhoneLand

Two weeks ago, Patrick asked if I'd gotten the text he'd sent me around noon. "No," I replied. We compared phones. He'd sent it, but it never arrived.

The following day I picked up a phone call, which apparently had been the caller's third consecutive attempt to reach me. As far as my phone was concerned, it was the first.

Since then I've been using the hubby's old RAZR V3 while waiting for my phone plan to end. Patrick's had an HTC HD2 for a couple of months now, and I've had smartphone envy for about as long.

Yesterday I was excited because we got me a Samsung Behold II. I didn't have any requirements at the time, though Patrick tried to help me narrow things down, enumerating factors that had helped him decide: screen resolution, size, build quality, etc. I just wanted a smartphone, and I wanted an Android so I could have the newfangled Swype texting capability. I'm sure you've seen the commercials - the one about the world's fastest text message?

Anyway, someone had messed with two of the demo phones at the T-Mobile store, and they were busy, so we just bought the Behold and left. When I got home tried texting. It was such a mess. I'd gotten used to T9, and wasn't ready for a QWERTY touchscreen. Even the T9 keypad was difficult for me, since I'm used to larger, tangible keys. Also, I'm not used to typing with two thumbs. I tried one-finger typing since that's easiest for me, but the calibration seems to be adjusted for two thumbs: keys on the left side of the screen register taps slightly to the right. There doesn't seem to be a way to calibrate it. Or i could be wrong and the phone just needs to be calibrated, but I've already tried resetting the phone and it hasn't helped.

And the Swype feature I wanted? Not available on my phone. Apparently, it's limited to just the newer models of three phones: the HTC HD2, myTouch 3G, and the Motorola Cliq.

We revisited the T-Mobile store again today hoping to exchange it for a myTouch 3G, but after learning that the myTouch 3G Slide is coming out on Wednesday I reluctantly agreed to wait till then. The Slide features, among other things:

the new Android 2.1 software;

Faves Gallery, which is kind of like the social feature of the Cliq, but narrowed down to only all the (email, text, twitter, IM, social networking) updates of your 20 nearest and dearest;

Genius button which allows you to talk to your phone and for it to talk back. I'm not kidding! We're talking commands, calls, texts, emails, even web searches.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bruce Wayne's house

There's a huge house we always pass by on the way to visit friends. Not knowing the owners, we call it Bruce Wayne's house. From my vantage point along Independence the house seemed merely big, until one day I realized the little, distant cars parked there were actually SUVs, and the house itself is humongous. It's also for sale right now.

Patrick and I made a deal: if we win the Powerball jackpot, we're buying this house. I guessed it was maybe $1M to 2M, he pegged it at $5M. We were both wrong: it's $3,500,000 even.

It's really not my style - I've always favored Mediterranean houses with modern sensibilities. I like open floor plans, light-colored stucco and red tiled roofs. I don't really care for their darker, Tuscan country-style cousins.

I can still appreciate the owners' homey touches: it's clear throughout that their home reflects their style: warm, down-to-earth, and welcoming. It's not the overstaged design showcase that most homes in this price range tend to be. A family lives here, and from the look of it, quite comfortably indeed.

Feel free to buy it for me: it's a lovely place. I could probably get used to

"...a tennis court, 3 sports fields, a barn, a pool and a gazebo. The property has a privacy gate, circular drive, porte-cochere and separate study with a full bath connected to the garages. The home has 5 Liv. areas, granite counters, sub-zero, hand scraped hardwoods and many built-ins. Feels like living in the country!"

Okay, the barn, not so much. Ebby link below.

11900 Independence Parkway
Frisco, TX

Thursday, May 27, 2010


On nights when the sky is clear, and the stars bright
and Orion's belt clearly visible
-the one constellation I know, the one you taught me that night
under so many stars, long ago -

I think of you
and hope, wherever you are
you are happy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Talking to Myself in Private

Have you ever been so bored you were not only talking to yourself, but psychoanalyzing both sides of you holding the conversation? The predicament I find myself in this week reminds me of the scene in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" where Jack Sparrow is alone with an entire crew of himself (himselves? his selves?), none of whom would listen to Captain Jack.

I'm a little bit of a bitchy boss, and an unenthusiastic underling. Work is getting done regardless, I just wish it weren't so booooring.

The goal is to get my apartment from "OHMYGODWASTHEREANEARTHQUAKE?!" to merely "I'm so sorry I didn't call ahead; clearly you weren't expecting company."

My kitchen. Before:

And after: I have counters?!