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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple 3G Phone for Dummies

I hate talking about relationships on the internet, but this one isn’t with another person, it is with my iPhone.  Almost two years ago, I got an iPhone.  I was so excited to have it since it was considered an “exclusive” for cell phone users.  It was a gift.   I saw how much other new users enjoyed it and I was thrilled to have one.  I’ll admit that I enjoyed all the bells and whistles that came with it.  Once the glow of having one wore off, I started to see if for what it was.  Oh, wait, this seems like a “person” relationship.

Here are a few things that have become a source of frustration over the last 20 months of my relationship with this phone.

You can have full bars and the call still gets dropped.  3G and full bars mean NOTHING!  As with any phone, the calls get dropped in the middle of huge cities where cell phone towers are abundant… but, it seems to enjoy the outskirts of towns.  When you get out in the country, well, your phone is about as worthless as a tin can…okay, not that bad, you can still text but using the phone as a phone is not an OPTION.

Although 3G was “the best” when the phones came out, my iPhone tends to forget that it is a mobile phone.  The phone works well in the house, most of the time, but get it in the car and it suddenly gets Alzheimer’s.  It can’t remember where I am or where I want to go!

GPS navigation?  You have got to be kidding!  This phone has serious issues! This navigation can’t take you anywhere…ok, maybe to the bathroom, but most people remember that one on their own.

All those apps are fun at first then you realize you can’t use them for very long since the battery wears down so quickly.  The battery needs to be recharged about 3 times a day.  Yes, it eats more power than most humans eat food!

The inconsistency of alerts is amazing!  You chose one tone for the text messages and the crazy phone will do another sometimes when a text comes in…what tha…?  In fact, it uses the same tone you have picked for your “new email” alert.  GREAT!  So, you think an email came in and can attend to it later when it was really a text saying, there is an emergency at work you need to make a PRIORITY!  The reminder of appointments is annoying since you put them in your phone thinking it will be nice and remind you of them, sometimes the phone reminder won’t go off until you slide the slider.  Can you say, ANNOYING?

The auto brightness is inconsistent also.  You can go out in the sunlight and it should automatically be brighter or go indoors and it should be darker…but that isn’t what happens.  Sometimes it works and sometimes…well, you are on your own.  Why take the time to set settings that just can’t seem to work for you 85% of the time?

One last thing.  The phone will allow you to multi-task when you are on a call…sometimes.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason for when it allows you to multi-task and when it doesn’t.  It just seems to allow less and less access to the things I thought I needed to make my life EASIER.

On the PLUS side, the phone does have an on-screen keyboard, so it saves you from flipping the keyboard out each time you need to use it…BUT, you guessed it, it is again inconsistent as to when the keyboard shows up.  Sometimes, it never does…like times when you want to make a list; it seems to forget that you need the keyboard to do that.

You need a crystal ball to work this phone!!!!!

Tell me, how do you like your cell phone?  Is it what you thought it would be when you signed up?  Has it made your life easier or more complicated?  Has it become one of those necessary evils in your life?  Has your relationship lost its new spark before the contract is up?  Is this all too familiar?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Southwest Airlines Rules and Regulations

Okay, I get it that I am a very “interesting” person.  I have been told that many times and if I had a quarter for each of them I can remember, I would not be writing to you today!  I would be sitting on a beach in Cancun sipping a fruity drink.  Since that didn’t happen, here I am today, writing about something equally interesting…Southwest Airlines’ special luggage rules.

Ah, come on, don’t be like that. 

Here are some rules I thought were unique and because I like to give fair warning, please make note of these in case you are planning a trip soon!  Southwest takes these rules seriously!

Alcohol content may not exceed 70% by volume (140 proof).
I didn’t even know they made alcohol with that large of a percentage!  Shows you how long it has been since I had a drink!  Sounds like it would kill anything in your body and maybe your body too!
Can you even read the bottle after you have drank alcohol that is 140 proof?  Who would care what proof it was?

Dry Cell Batteries (these are everyday batteries)
Any Alkaline, NiCad, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Silver Oxide and Carbon Zinc batteries similar to those used in flashlights or commonly used electronic devices are allowed onboard the aircraft.

These items must be securely installed in equipment or have exposed terminals protected in a manner to prevent short circuit. Electrical tape, individually bagging batteries in sealable plastic bags, or plastic covers designed to protect the terminals from short circuit would all meet this requirement.
Are you kidding me?  They have to be securely installed in equipment?  Who knew electronics would work if you didn’t do that?

The screening equipment that inspects your checked luggage may damage undeveloped film in camera equipment. We recommend that you put undeveloped film and cameras containing undeveloped film in your carryon baggage. The screening equipment will not damage camera images.
There are two different types of screening equipment?  One for carry on and one for baggage going in the baggage compartment?  Does the baggage in baggage compartment get screened better?  Or maybe not at all?  How can the carry on screening process not damage film but see through my clothes?  Technology!  Ain’t it great!?

The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.
No mixing species, people!
The animals must be harmless, not disruptive, odorless, and require no attention during flight.
Good thing there are no rules like this for the passengers.  The plane would be mostly empty!

Musical Instruments
Reservations must be made and a ticket must be purchased at a charge no greater than the Child's Fare. Musical instruments cannot be transported in place of a free companion under any fare promotion.
Okay, you know this rule was made because someone tried this and because there wasn’t a rule yet, the airline had to let them do it, once.

Our Customers must declare the gun to the Customer Service Agent at the ticket counter (no firearms will be accepted curbside) and ensure that the firearm(s) chambers are free of ammunition and the magazine clip has been removed (when applicable). Paintball guns and BB guns are considered the same as all other firearms.
Can you just see someone getting tired of waiting in line, shouting, “gun” so they can cut ahead?  Everyone would move out of their way and let them through!  No one would be angry at them for it; at least not the first time they did it.

Parachutes are allowed in checked or carryon baggage, but may not be worn in flight.
You know it will be a bad flight when you see a passenger wearing a parachute!  Without any announcements, you might as well grab your carry-on bag and get off the plane NOW!

Overnight Amenity Kits for Lost Luggage
One of the best kept secrets is the small overnight kits available for lost luggage.  The most you will get is:  shampoo, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor and sometimes a little laundry soap to wash out those undies you will have to wear again tomorrow.  ;-)  I know, it sounds gross but you will survive.  You think going without underwear would be better?

When you receive your kit, you will quickly realize that you have been over packing all this time.  Amazing what you can and do get by with in a pinch.  We are all survivors!  (can you hear the “Rocky” theme song?)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Recently, I took a short trip within 70 miles of my home. What in the world was I doing on this trip? Actually, I am always thinking and I do my best thinking when I am doing something else that may be “automatic” for my brain…driving happens to be one of those things, for me. I needed a break from writing sales copy…FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY…YOU HAVE BEEN EXCLUSIVELY SELECTED…and all of that other crazy stuff written on sales letters.

One of the things that caught my brain cell was a sign that read, “Trucks entering highway”, which appears on many different roads in our wonderful, colorful state. I found this interesting and I am going to share my thoughts with you whether you like it or not.

If a truck is entering a highway, I do believe, even with my limited vision, I would see it and don’t need a sign to tell me there is one coming (which could make me paranoid) and I could run off the other side of the road watching or looking for a truck which may or may not be coming my way. Something much smaller could justify a sign…a snake, wildlife, glass on the road, a stopped vehicle, or a pedestrian? I can see a truck! I would probably see the other stuff too, but I am trying to make a point.

Another sign I thought was an interesting one was a sign that says what county you are in. Does anyone really care what county they are in? Couldn’t we save the material that goes into that sign for license plates of something useful? Can’t we find a better use of the person’s time than putting up a county sign that only I will see? I could have done without it, truthfully!

I care about what city I am in, but only barely. I care more about an address or street name than anything…beyond that, I don’t think I need signs that tell me where I am and mile markers that tell me how many miles since I entered the state.

And speaking of mile markers, why do we need one that says, 67.5? Is that information relevant to anyone? I guess for someone whose car just broke down…possibly it could be important when you were calling for help. Generally, people just look for a person, not a mile marker, don’t they? Who can see those little things in the dark? Besides, your car knows better than to break down by a mile marker…that would make it easier for you to actually be located and for someone to help you.

Life doesn’t always make sense, does it?