Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Smartphone, Dumb Things

I have a new cell phone. A smartphone, in fact.

For those of you who know me, you'll know that this is Kind of a Big Deal. I use cell phones until they die. My second-most-recent phone was so busted I had to Liquid Nail the battery to the case; the smartphone replaces one I've had for 4 years, and the only reason I finally upgraded is because the screen was so busted from being sat on, that my workaround for reading text messages (zooming the screen and scrolling) didn't work any more:


So I finally gave in and got an HTC Evo 4G. I note with perverse glee, that days after I got locked into a new 2-year contract, the news came out that the Evo 4G will be discontinued this fall.

It seems perverse to do an unboxing for a phone that's been out for over a year, so here's a very uninstructive photo of the new phone and the old one:

New HTC Evo 4G and old Samsung M610
  • Battery life, or the lack of it, was the biggest shocker. I've got 2 replacement batteries now to have as spares, and am getting 2 more. They may or may not explode when used. I'm also getting used to the idea of having multiple chargers, carrying one around, and using a car charger with regularity.
  • Size and weight:  I'm still afraid of dropping the damn thing (cases are also on order) -- it's not really a one-hand phone. It's still pocketable, though, and am working on expanding my cargo pant wardrobe. I already have one clip-case holster too many on my belt.
  • Apps: After downloading an orgy of apps, I'm still figuring out which ones I actually need to use. I'm also trying to customize the widget and icon lineup on HTC's Sense interface so that the ones I need are where I need them.
  • Swype is neat, but there is absolutely no chance that I'll be texting while driving. It's just not workable.
  • The camera is really nice. One-handed photos are tough, due to the touchscreen button and because I keep putting my finger over the lens. I haven't used the front-facing one for anything yet.
  • Audio volume for phone functions (both handset and speakerphone) is way low. I know my hearing isn't great, and there's a software fix that could blow the speakers, but we'll see.
Other than that: I know it's really a palmtop computer, not a cellphone. As expected, my use of social and location apps has been getting more interactive (with my mostly-broken phone, it was a one-way, transmit-only experience.)

On the down side, phone sex is going to be a lot less interesting:


Pints of Guinness and Fountains of Wayne

Sunday was interesting. As threatened, went to O'Sullivan's for brunch, where I started with Guinness and Eggs Benedict, and ended with a Black and Blue:

Guinness layered over Blue Moon.

There may have also been a Baby Guinness in the mix, which would explain why I missed the opening act of the Fountains of Wayne show at the Birchmere.

One good thing about going solo to shows at Birchmere, though, is that you can get there an hour after the doors and still get a seat right up front:

Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood.

Of course, that doesn't help when your new (refurbished) camera dies after two shots because you forgot to check the battery.

I ended up using the new smartphone; this is the least unusable shot, when the band pulled up a few ladies from the audience to shake their maracas during a song:

Was it Mexican Wine? I forget.

Brightest Young Things has a writeup, which mentions the cover medley in the middle of Radiation Vibe, featuring Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like I Do; Mad World; and Blue Oyster Cult's Burning for You... though it notably missed the starter, Wings' Jet.

Another notable moment was when bassist Adam Schlesinger called out a guy recording video with a Flip mounted on a table, noting that he'd be getting great shots of the back of head of the guy in front of him.

Later, after noting the fellow had apparently gotten kicked out for violating Birchmere's "no video" rule, Schlesinger apologized, saying that in this age of YouTube, he wasn't trying to get the guy ejected, and invited him to come as their guest for Monday's acoustic show.

Speaking of acoustic, the band played an acoustic-ish take on Stacey's Mom to start out their encore.

It was a good show -- I picked up their new album to give a deeper listen (I hadn't realized they'd switched labels to Yep Roc), as well as a few t-shirts.

On the way home, I stopped by Galaxy Hut to catch a bit of the karaoke. It was not that crowded towards midnight, though I wasn't tempted to try singing any FOW songs (they're out of my very limited range, anyways.)

I'm not usually a Sunday drinker; between brunch, the show, and the post-show, it was not a very restful and recuperative way to end the weekend.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Oops, We Did It Again, Again

I'm not sure how we did it, but Turning Kicks won the FXA Kickball championship again:

Spring 2011 FXA Kickball Championship Trophy

This happened a few weeks ago (see the full photo set.) I had a fairly solid game, including diving to catch a foul ball and ending up doing a forward shoulder roll. (I made the catch.)

Also, I gave myself another raspberry sliding into second (not as bad as previous years' versions, though):

A week with a Tegaderm bandage and it's all better now.

In fact, my only major blunder was not getting the digits after talking to the two blonde lawyers from the team we played in the semis, after the game at Carpool. (Even though one lives in Manassas.)

Between the diving, sliding, and shots, I was pretty banged up the next day.

A championship retrospective:

July 2011

November 2010

July 2010

July 2008