Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pageviews and Phones and Payments, oh My!

Interesting: my Lapse... Brain Dead blog has 10,236 page views, while my Not-tional Geographic blog has 3,203 pageviews (per Blogger's statistics). Yet Lapse has 428 posts to Not-tional's 7. That leads to a per-post pageview average of 23.9 for Lapse and 457.6 for Not-tional. And this despite 7 followers of Lapse and only 1 of Not-tional, and Not-tional hasn't been updated since 2008 (May of that year, specifically). I guess I have better quality on Not-tional (and obviously higher quantity of crap over here), huh?

I must say, I think I'm happy with my new phone, a Samsung Stratosphere (on Verizon). We'd intended to go to the T-Mobile store (on New Year's Eve day) to add a 5th line to our plan (we get our kids phones when they turn 15, which my third child turns this January) and replace my wife's phone (hers had quit charging), and decided to drop by the Verizon store just to see what they could offer, as T-Mobile's service is pretty lousy in our area. I hadn't expected much, as the few times I've priced Verizon online it was pretty expensive (T-Mobile is still the value-leader, and in places where it works - Birmingham, Atlanta, etc., it's pretty good).

Enter Angelica. (Well, enter us into the Eastern Shore Verizon store in Spanish Fort, where Angelica was already.) I explained what we were doing, and she said, "Let's see what we can do." She then looked to see if my company had any agreement with Verizon for a discount (which they didn't), and then asked if I was retired military. "Not retired, but I was in the military previously." She asked if I had a veteran's card, I said, no, she asked about a DD-214, which I do have (that's the military discharge form). "Oh, we can get you a 15% discount off your base plan rate with that!" Kept going, and she managed some discounts on the phones themselves through her manager (although we're waiting for some mail-in-rebates, too). Very pleasant, and very helpful; if you're in south Alabama, I'd highly recommend her if you're in the market for a new phone or cellular service! She even drove across the bay to Tillman's Corner to pick up the phone I wanted that they didn't have in stock in the Eastern Shore store, and then back, called and met us at the store, and worked past their closing time on New Year's Eve to get my phone set up and configured.

Anyway, to the phone... while, no, it's not the latest & greatest (I was tempted by both the Motorola Droid Razr- super thin- and the Samsung Nexus S- Ice Cream Sandwich, and if that doesn't make sense to you- it's Android 4.0, the latest- you probably don't are much about the technical details of the phones anyway, or maybe you're an iPhone person), and the hardware specs aren't particularly dazzling these days (single-core, 1GHz processor, for instance). However, it has a nice display, and a good slide-out QWERTY keyboard (with a dedicated row of number keys), something the super-phones don't offer (yet, anyway; maybe in a couple of years when I have an upgrade available there will be a Droid Razr QWERTY with ICS). But it's much better than the HTC/T-Mobile MyTouch 3g Slide that it replaces (for instance, Words with Friends actually runs decently on the Stratosphere), and has room for apps (unlike the MyTouch, which nearly has "storage space low" with nothing more than the stock HTC firmware). The battery life even seems good- I unplugged it yesterday afternoon and it ran for well over 24 hours before getting to the "critical battery alert" a little while ago. And, yes, I used it - some phone calls, emails, lots of Words with Friends. Of course, I may still want to get one of the extended batteries (and their ugly covers) at some point.

I got the younger boys each a Nook Color (refurbished, from Barnes & Noble via eBay) for Christmas, and also got some covers for them off eBay. However, the covers didn't fit - they were about 1/2" too short (that is, they were for the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Blackberry Playbook, but not the Nook Color). I double-checked the eBay listing, and it definitely claimed compatibility with the Nook Color (technically the Nook Tablet, but it's the same form factor). So I contacted the seller, and they offered to refund the purchase price, and asked that I return the items. In retrospect, I should have just kept them and relisted them on eBay myself, as the return shipping cost pretty much wiped out the refund (yes, the seller is out his "free shipping" cost, but I'm out as much, and it's his fault due to the incorrect listing). Ah, well, next time, I guess.

So, anyone need some T-Mobile phones? I will have some for sale very shortly!

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