Friday, February 15, 2008

A few disjointed ramblings

I finally got rid of the cell phone from hell. The chump phone. The one that cheap people get for $9.99 with a contract. It had no bells and whistles. Not even a camera.

So I'm not considered a "connector," mostly because I didn't do much with my cell phone. I rarely gave out the number. I only turned it on when I wanted to make a call. I'm not much of a home phone user, either, to tell the truth. In my book, the cell phone was for calling AAA to tow my aging Jeep to a garage. I hate text messaging - why am I playing with these silly keys when I can make a phone call? To tell another truth, I've never been all that keen about being findable at all times. When I'm in a meeting, I feel I should be in a meeting. When I'm visiting a friend, I'm there. I feel like a jerk answering MY phone at someone else's house - and I sometimes offer to mosey on when a friend spends more than a couple minutes answering their phone when I'm visiting them.

Then again, I don't even have TV in my living room - when I'm having guests, unless the purpose of the gathering is to watch a movie together, I have the TV off. On New Year's Eve, we all crowded into my home office to watch the ball fall and sip champagne for 10 minutes.

I know people who have the TV going all the time. ALL THE TIME! And a couple relatives of mine have a TV in just about every room in their homes, including the master bathroom! There just isn't that much on TV that I really want to see. I don't even have digital cable. I never liked having that darn BOX in my home.

Still, I love gadgets. Did I mention that I got GPS for Christmas? I love it, even though the darn thing can't find the Abingdon branch - it thinks I work about 1/2 mile down the street. There's a pool there...maybe I could just turn up there every day in the summer, and tell my boss that "the GPS said I had arrived at work..." And I bought one of those DVD recorders (not TIVO. I only have one show I actually record - not worth paying for a service).

Since I've got so many other gadgets, it hardly seems to matter that I'm getting one more. I discovered that I'm paying way too much for my internet/phone/cable TV, so I'm taking the plunge (Since I'll have no choice anyway by next year this time), and I'm dropping my Verizon Freedom with DSL (they never could get my phone number right, anyway - but that's another story), and I'm getting Comcast's "Triple Play" package. This means that I'm sucked into a low-cost package for 12 months, then I'm gonna pay through the nose next year. That's okay, though, because it's still going to be less than I was paying before!

So the BORG will be assimilating my TV/phone/Internet next Sunday.

Back to the cell phone. I got so fed up with my lousy phone that I fired it as well. The darn thing wouldn't hold a charge for longer than one or two SHORT calls, even after the battery had been replaced. People like me should probably buy one of those pre-paid phones, but I decided to give Sprint a couple more years (contract, y'know). So I got my new, sleek, RED Samsung M300. It's actually still the chump phone, the one that didn't really cost anything ($50 that I might get back as a rebate, depending on Sprint's whim), but it's got FEATURES.

After seeing the crappy phone I had put up with for 2 years, the guy who sold me the phone made a half-hearted attempt at selling me some accessories, but I'm a hard-nose. I know that I can get a case cheaper than THIRTY freakin' dollars! I had also decided that I would use my old hands-free headset, but discovered that (of course) the jack has the wrong shape. So I started looking into headsets. Just on a whim, I decided that I might price out a Bluetooth one. The ones in the Sprint store started around $35. ("Ma'am, with Bluetooth, the less you pay, the worse the quality of your sound will be"). I decided to hold off on that decision for a week or two.

Then I discovered the selfsame Jabra BT125 Bluetooth headset at Tuesday Morning ($29.99)that Sprint was selling. Over the week, I had seen it in a lot of places from $35 to 50 dollars! I didn't buy it because I wanted to do a little consumer research. In, it was listed with the 3 or 4 they reviewed as pretty good. Since it is a little on the old side, I decided to see if I could get it anywhere online for cheaper. BINGO! I found it at someplace in NJ for 21.08, no tax, plus $4 for shipping. They got it to me in 2 days, too.

Since I got the earpiece on Tuesday, I have discovered that my "chump" phone has voice-activated commands (I knew that, but didn't think it was worth learning, when I could just type in the 3 phone numbers I'll dial this week). Voice-activated technology really lends itself to Bluetooth use. You tap your earpiece, speak a few words or numbers, and you don't wrap your car around a telephone pole. Nice.

So, as you can see, I have been "assimilated" in several arenas recently. I even get to look like a member of the Borg Collective, with my beeping car, and my glowing earpiece, as I walk or drive down the street, looking like a schizophrenic talking to people who aren't there. Just like all the other kids now. I had no choice, really. Resistance was futile.