Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I awoke to hail this morning

Well, more properly, I was lying in bed waking up after my alarm went off and an odd noise started. It was hailing against the window. Apparently we've had severe thunderstorms all night (oddly, for a mostly former brontophobe, I sleep well during thunderstorms, as long as they're not rocking you out of bed).

It's just getting light outside and I ventured out to the laundry room for some caffeine. It has rained a lot over night--the front walk, which steps down to get from the parking lot to the front door by three steps, is flooded. I haven't even tried looking at the creek out back (always a concern, but there's a high bank, although I've seen it almost crest before). The lightning is apparently 4-5 miles away and getting closer. I decided to sign up with the Weather Channel for text alerts. My notifications tone won't wake me up or anything, but I'll have more info if I'm awake.

It's odd to up so early on a Saturday. But I woke up at 4:30 am mostly rested, and reset the alarm for 6 rather than 9 as a result. Here's the agenda for today:

  • Laundry.
  • Game notes.
  • Kroger run.
  • Trash/recyclables.
  • Clean up my computer space.
  • Water the plants.
(Now this is how a hoarder's mind works--I went to type 'recyclables' after trash and almost typed collectible instead. Coincidence? I think not.) Since it's raining at the moment and the thunderstorms are supposed to be scattered, I'll hold off on the Kroger run a little while, although I don't have anything else in the house to eat and will eventually get hungry enough to go out and do it. Laundry and cleaning I'd rather do when there's more light and less rain, since in involves trips across the parking lot. So I guess it's game notes for now. Incidentally, my phone came with the read-only version of Documents to Go and I thought, what the hell, let's see what the game notes in PDF look like on the phone. Tiny. Oh, you can make it bigger, but it doesn't flow well; you have to drag the screen around quite a bit. Granted, when I prepare a PDF for the Kindle, I make the font big at first and that helps. I haven't tried that with the phone. Only problems I've had with the phone so far:
  • Figuring out where to add music, documents, etc., or where the images you take are. My Nokia had specific folders set up on the memory card. The Comet is very much just an extra disk from the computer's point of view, and there's nothing that automatically sets up that tells you where the camera images are going, or where to put the music or documents. Plus, to access the memory card you actually have to do some stuff on the phone that is simple but not intuitive, and it is discussed only briefly in the manual. But hey, I figured it out. (PS The image on this post was the first one I took off the phone. It's my desk at work. The cat is a very realistic pillow. I'm used to the stares (from the cat, not from people who wonder why I have a cat pillow next to my monitor). There's a Himalayan on the other side of the screen. Yes, I'm weird. I don't have cats so I have fake cats.)
  • The music player. Apparently Android 2.2 has problems with WMA files, or at least maybe WMA files that have digital rights management, I'm not sure which. That was the belief of someone on the Internet who was answering a question similar to my own. I didn't realise so many of my CDs have it. The songs show up on the player, but not the tag information and says it can't play that kind of file. I had to convert them from WMA to MPG using a free converter, which was fine for a couple of albums, but if I'd had 5,000 songs like some folks out there?
  • The manual and getting started kit are very basic, and cover nothing about Android, even though it's an entry-level Android device. I guess they figure there's the Internet for that, and you can get that on the phone. Still, if I hadn't watched videos, surfed, etc., I'm not sure I'd figured out how to use it.
  • I'm having headphone issues. I've tried a different couple of headphones, one of which is meant for the computer. It works better. Generally, it's incredibly easy to dislodge the headphone connexion just enough to stop the player. If I'm at my desk, no problem. If I'm on the bus or walking and trying to either put the thing in my pocket or purse, it shuts off. It doesn't feel like the plug is seating well in the jack. Maybe I just need to see which headphone is best. I've got something like five pairs. I've tried turning off the screen before putting it away to see if it's something about the display being touched by the pocket, but that doesn't seem to help. I remember having this trouble at first with my other phone and found a good pair of headphones that until a few days ago I was still carrying in my purse, but I'm not exactly sure where they are at the moment. I'll try to find them today and see if they do better. The only trouble with them is the cord is fairly short. The computer one is so long I have to bind part of it up. The ones that are just right in length seem to pop out of the phone. Go figure.

But generally I'm very happy with it and have already done lots with it in terms of experimenting and I've found very helpful things about it. Not bad for less than 48 hours. I'm so glad I got the unlimited plan, though. And I made sure I got an application killer to help with battery charge/memory. The latest one I got, though, was one for keeping track of my bank account. See, I don't write cheques except maybe to the bank to withdraw money. But I wrote two for my tax bills. Plus I have the IRS back payment coming up. So I wanted something portable to tell me how much money was really available (there's a huge difference between what's in the account right now and what I can actually spend). So I downloaded that, popped in the information, and it's very simple to update, plus it doesn't contain any account info or anything I'd want to be very secure, just a running total of balances.

I haven't bought an application yet. Or even downloaded a free game, although there was one called Bubble Buster that looked a bit like Snood that sounded fun over on the Amazon Android market. But some people said it made it very sluggish when returning to the main menu and even with the program that turns off the applications, I didn't want to risk any issues since mine has a slower processor than the high end phones. I'm really more of a utilities girl myself. I don't want a phone to play games and waste a lot of time; I want a phone that will help me do things easier. Games are okay, I guess, and I have a few on the Kindle for when I'm at a doctor's office and don't feel like reading. But they are silent, and the ones on the phone probably have sound. Taking off the sound takes off a fun part of the game. But they're pretty clear on the bus that they don't want you to play a lot of noise without headphones. And there's the headphone issue.

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