Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Like the Notion of Learning to Code

I've always been intimidated by coding because, well, programming isn't exactly my strong-point.  I always feel like I'm only sort of understanding all of the slippery syntax.  I know enough pseudo-code to break things down into logical sequences and tasks, enough SQL to take care of my queries in Microsoft SQL Management Studio and enough VB to figure out what macros are doing, and that's pretty much it.  But, as I get older, I find that I want to expand my options both in the technology industry and in professional growth, particularly after completing a Masters in Info Management program and now that I'm looking for career opportunities.  So, when I came across this Code.org promotional video today, it just seemed like providence.  This is just the catalyst to get started!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Like My New Vacuum Vroom Vroom!

I gave my somewhat average Hoover vacuum to my Dad as his was a complete piece of junk that couldn't even suck up lint.  So today, my husband and I went out and invested in a new one to replace our old one.
 We got this Shark model NV502 (click there for a video that shows all the cool stuff).
Photo from Bed, Bath & Beyond
So far so good; we're impressed with its power and versatility.  Overall, it consistently had very high reviews everywhere we looked.  The negative reviews for it said that it was top heavy and inclined to fall over when using the attachments.  We found that yeah, that can happen, but it's not a big deal because it's also overall lightweight, so big whoop - pick it up if it falls over.  And, if you bother to put it into the included wheeled base cart which turns it into a canister vac, then that takes care of that whole falling over issue, anyway.  Meh, the negatives with this machine are ultimately meaningless, while the positives are truly tangible - you can see how well this machine works immediately with dust, dirt, hair and lint -- and the air filters work great as the exchange vent blows out clean air instead of dust.  It is a lean, mean cleaning machine!

While not cheap, it was considerably less than the high-end models like Dyson and such, and had fabulous reviews everywhere we looked.  We bought it at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $250 in addition to the 20% off coupon, so 200 bones (plus a pile of tax because AZ has ginormous sales tax).  Not too shabby for a vacuum that I think works as well as the $600 ones, though.  Hopefully we won't need to buy another one anytime soon because the expenses really hit this month -- I also need new tires, my 40K tune-up, and car insurance renewals are due. 

That reminds me... I need to go buy a lottery ticket!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Like My Tardis Minihub

Hubster got me this awesome Tardis mini hub from www.thinkgeek.com, my most favoritest place to shop aside from Zappos and Amazon.  I have it at work.  Already, one or more of my coworkers has appended it with wicked sticky notes - so far no one will fess up. ..

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Like That I Can Post From My Phone

Well,  I finally installed the Google Blogger app for my phone, which by the way, I still love - especially various responses from people ranging from horror to wonder and bad "she said" jokes a la:  Your phone is so big!

Anway, he's my first phone post.   It's been pretty easy so far!  Awesome!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Super Like My New Phone and Case!

So, I went out with the hubster this last weekend when our contract was up with T-mobile and bought new cell phones and month-to-month plans at Verizon.  I'm just so over contracts.  And T-mobile, you were nice and all, but you were totally incapable of fixing the issue that we had no reception -- and our wifi stank -- in our new condo.  Since we decided that we weren't going to sell our home so that our phones would work, we requested to end our contracts early and please waive the termination fee; it should work in our area and doesn't.

And then we were denied due to them not being able to read the address on the copy of my driver's license that I faxed (you had to fax - couldn't email - or even talk to someone in customer relations; yes, you read that right -- no customers may have direct contact with customer relations). So, they sent us a letter in the mail, to our address, to say that they couldn't verify our address because they couldn't read the fax.  Um... you just mailed us a letter to our home.  At our address.

Anyway, I went and printed off a utility bill (we do all paperless so that was extra effort) and faxed that in, instead.  Waited a few weeks for processing, and then were denied again saying they'd like to try troubleshooting.  Um, yeah, what part of WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH TECHS TRYING TO TROUBLESHOOT FOR A YEAR NOW did you miss in our original letter?  And why can't I call you?  And why won't you call me so we can talk and I can at least vent to an appropriate party instead of the poor person on the general "customer service" number who also can't contact customer relations (service is different from relations, apparently)?

So, well, we just suffered for a year, then as soon as we entered the last 6 months of the contract where we'd be paying the princely sum (as opposed to the kingly sum) of termination fee of $100 per line (dammit - ouch!), we just sucked it up and paid the fu***** fees (I'll get a tax return soon, right?).  It's more important to have phones that work.  If I'm paying $130/month, it better be useful.   Buh - Bye.

But, I've been dealing with the negative aspect of contracts for the last 5 years.  Prior to T-mobile it was Verizon who refused to work with us on getting a different phone from the Blackberry that was terrible and that was refurbished 4 times for my husband; we begged - just give us some kind of near equivalent that's not Blackberry, please - that was a $500 phone that randomly reset itself all the time and took 5 minutes to boot up and was majorly buggy in the software; we hated it, but didn't have the money to buy another phone.   They refused.

And, while Verizon customer service was equally as impotent as T-mobile's, they actually weren't as nice.  So, said buh-bye to Verizon, and paid the early termination fees back then, too.  Well, I'm done with contracts now.  But this post isn't about cell phone contracts, it's about my SUPER AWESOME new phone and things I LIKE!

After those experiences, I decided that all cell carriers were pretty much apathetic toward the customer experience (read - alignment:  lawful evil), and that it didn't much matter what carrier we had as long as: a) it worked in our home, and b) it had cool phones that we liked.  So, back to Verizon we are -- but without a contract.  Yes, we paid a lot for the phones, and maybe we could have saved a little (something like a net of $20/saved per phone considering all fees) if we had gone with the 2 yr contract, gotten the discount price on the phones, and then decided to leave and pay the cancellation fee, but I'm done with all that bureacratic mumbo jumbo -- I have neither the time nor the energy to sink into that kind of hassle.  Again.  So, the phone... Right...

I not only like this phone, I think I just may be in love with it -- or at least infatuated.  I have a new Samsung Galaxy Note II.  Okay, so it's too big to fit in the cell phone pocket in my purse, but it freakin' rocks!

It's super fast for everything, has the awesome note feature with the light pen, the virtual keyboard has the numbers there and you can hold the button for symbols on the letter keys (a feature missing from the other Samsung phones) so you don't have to hit the stupid symbol button to go to new screens, the battery  lasts an eternity, and best -- my aging eyes can see everything effortlessly! Oh!  Oh!  And my husband and I have been having fun exchanging files and photos with the S-Beam feature where we just touch our phones together.  Did I mention he got one, too?

I got it in the gorgeous white color (and it also comes in a brushed gunmetal dark grey type of color), but I also got a cover for it because until I get a new purse (that probably won't happen too soon after this purchase), I have to toss it into my existing one and didn't want it to get damaged or full of purse gunk (ladies, you know what I'm talking about -- how does all that grunge end up in the bottom of the purse, anyway?!).  I actually wanted the white cover to keep the stylish clean look, but they were out, so I got the light blue.  It's so cool -- no one else has a light blue phone.  Here's what it looks like (the back is a full replacement cover that's all sleek and blue and snaps right on in lieu of the original backside):


Isn't it beautiful?

Hubster got an Otter Box case for his:   OtterBox Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Commuter Series Glacier Case - 77-24002 (Google Affiliate Ad)

I am so impressed with this amazing new toy productivity tool.  My only complaint is the cost.  Yes, these are incredibly expensive at around $700 each for the non-contract cost, so we're paying the handset insurance for both of them, which increases our bill by about $15/month.  That stinks, but it is feature rich, very pretty, sleek and powerful.  I like it, yes I do!