17
Jan
13

A Glance From a Girl I Should Have Known

(An excerpt from the yet unpublished book, Coats in the Summertime, by Devron Grant)

Reflecting on my years and the actors who’ve participated in the screenplay that is my life, I’ve always been most intrigued by the supporting cast I’ve spent so little time with, yet whose faces I can’t forget.  I can’t even call them ‘relationships’.   They’re a more like acquaintances.  Extras.  Passers by.  The people you never really got to know.  Faces you only had passing contact with.  Folks with whom you may not have ever shared a word.   For me, Stephanie Moses was one such person.

Before you reach age five, your circle of friends is relegated to the kids your parents bring around — usually their friend’s kids.  I was a bit too young to really interact with one of those kids.  Her name was Stephanie.  She was about two years my senior.  Being that young during the time that our mothers were friends, I never really knew her personally.  We never said ‘hello’ in passing as we got older and I’m pretty sure she didn’t know who I was.  But I knew who she was.  Continue reading ‘A Glance From a Girl I Should Have Known’

11
Jul
11

Grey’s Anatomy – Season 7 Thoughts, Feelings, Ideas…

Of course we look worried - next season could probably be our last.

It’s kinda weird, this ‘thing’ I have with Grey’s Anatomy.  I don’t really watch many regular TV shows and of the shows that I do watch (or have ever watched) none of them have been hospital dramas. But there’s something about this show that keeps me coming back each year.  Some of it has to do with the writing. (Or at least the writing in the first few seasons). But most of the reason why I tune in has to do with the characters.  Creator Shonda Rhimes and crew have crafted a cast that, despite their unimaginable situations in love and life, seem to stay true to the integrity of the way that the respective characters are written.

Grey’s season finales have traditionally concluded with me scavenging for details from any Internet resource – credible or not – about what’s going to happen next season.  Will Izzie get kicked out of the surgery program?  Has Burke left the apartment (and Christina) for good?  Will Meredith and Derek stay together?  Yet having just completed a marathon session watching this, the seventh season, I find myself asking only one question: When will the writers bring this story to an end.  Clearly it seems to have run its course.  (Read on to understand my rationale).

Continue reading ‘Grey’s Anatomy – Season 7 Thoughts, Feelings, Ideas…’

29
Nov
10

Seeing the Droid X Through iPhone-Colored Glasses

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Last year about this time, I was using my iPhone and peering over at the screen of my Android-owning colleagues, envying the flexibility and customizability that they experienced. I had grown tired of looking at a screen with a black background and five rows of four icons. And while jailbreaking was an option that might give me a bit more control over my device, I guess what I was after was a clean break. I had been an iPhone user since it launched in the summer of 2007 and… well… it was time for a change. Or so I thought.

I’ve been using the Droid X for just over four months now and my experience has been mixed. There are many reasons why I like my Droid X running Android 2.2 (which I’ll go into here in detail) but the long and short of it is that I will be making my way back to the Apple Store, hat in hand, asking them to hand me one of those boxes with the "iPhone 4" stamped across the side.

Let me get this out of the way right now: anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m a huge Apple aficionado. I own three Macs, an iPhone 3GS, an Apple TV and an iPad. But what’s more important to understand about me is that I’m a technologist. I use and have experimented with just about any consumer electronics device and category that you could imagine. I truly wanted my Android experience to work out. Honestly I did. I wanted to carry an Android if for no other reason than to act as a counter to all of this Apple stuff that surrounds me. It’s like calling a guy a racist and then finding out that his wife is of the race you accuse him of showing bias towards. It doesn’t exactly relieve you of the accusation, but it does call it into heavy questioning.

Continue reading ‘Seeing the Droid X Through iPhone-Colored Glasses’

26
Nov
10

Paper is Evil

nopaperI’ve never been an environmentalist. I mean, I believe in the biblical principal that if you’re a good steward over what you have that God will bless you with more. But I’m not the guy who’s putting every can, bottle and plastic bag in it’s proper receptacle. Yet there is one area of recycling and conservation of the Earth where the ‘save the Earth’ folks agenda lines up perfectly with mine. And that’s when it comes to the topic of paper.

When I was a kid, I had an Okidata printer when most people barely had PCs with word processors. I kicked out my share of beautifully printed, double-spaced essays and term papers. It served me well over the course of it’s life and of the four printers I’d gone through subsequently. However, that was back in 1986 when I was using QuantumLink (which would become America Online) and dying to meet someone with an actual e-mail address so that I could communicate with them. It’s 2010 now and we need to take a long, hard look at our obsession with physical paper in all forms.

So why am I making all this fuss over paper? Well, it’s because I spend to much of my time managing it. And with no real benefit. You see, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and minor tasks for some are harder decisions for me. It’s not quite at the level of the folks on ‘Hoarders’, but at certain points of my life, I was close. Even today I keep every neighborhood collection of circulars that land on my front door and I can’t bring myself to throw them out until I’ve gone through them all. (Sometimes thumbing through the pages of stores I have no intention of visiting). For me, all of this paper gets in the way of living.

I have a friend at my job that likes to share things with me — by printing them out and putting them on my desk. It was a few months before I had to explain my situation. “I have to keep that paper and process it — that is, read it and understand it — and can’t throw it out until I’m done.” But there’s something bigger about the paper that landed on my desk than my disorder or the cost of the paper and the ink that it took to deliver it to me. My business mind sees the gross inefficiency that paper leads to.

Continue reading ‘Paper is Evil’

07
Aug
10

Everything I needed to know in life I learned from The Breakfast Club

dvd Anyone who knows me has probably heard me carry on about how incredible a movie The Breakfast Club is.  I’ve gone on about it on this very site and I might have watched it at least fifty times.  No other movie I’ve seen repeatedly comes close (although Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is coming close.  I think more than any other movie (except maybe WarGames) it affected me to the point that it changed how I looked at the world when I was in high school.  And even though it’s <gulp> twenty-six years old, it’s themes still hold true.  In fact, I’d venture to say that everything I needed to know in life I learned from watching it.  Oh, you wanna know why?  <In my best John Bender voice>… It’s real easy:

Continue reading ‘Everything I needed to know in life I learned from The Breakfast Club’

27
Jul
10

Droid X: Review

IMG_0002It was shaping up to be such a perfect situation.  I purchased an EVO 4G on launch day and life was good.  Yet, as I was nearing the end of the 30 day period after which I would be bound to a two-year contract, rumblings began about the release of Verizon’s entry into the 4.3-inch “super” Android phone.  Like many phones I end up owning, the Droid X wasn’t even a blip on my radar 3 months ago (and I’ve been known to plan tech purchases out for at least that long.)  Yes, it would have been perfect… My sister and a few other friends have EVOs.  We could have shared in exchanging handy tips and other best practices.  We’d be experimenting and learning the nuances of the device together.  And even now that I sit in front of what is essentially a phone running the same operating system in the Droid X (Android 2.1), I want to be able to tell the world that there is no difference… that somehow it’s just a matter of choosing between minor preferences.  The truth of the matter is that these phones – despite seemingly minor differences in form factor and chipset – do provide very different experiences.

(To get a better sense of my first impressions of Android going in cold with the EVO 4G, check out my comprehensive review of the EVO.  In this review, I largely be discussing my experience with the Droid X and how it differs from the EVO.)

Continue reading ‘Droid X: Review’

03
Jul
10

HTC Evo 4G Review (from an iPhone User’s Perspective)

evo-iphone After almost three years of exclusively using an iPhone, I’ve decided to purchase and bond with the HTC EVO 4G.  It’s been three weeks since I picked up the device and I’ve been tremendously pleased in some areas and downright frustrated in others.

So how does the EVO 4G shape up when evaluated by a seasoned iPhone user?  Read on.

(To learn more about my reasons for putting my iPhone aside and testing the waters with Android via the EVO 4G, read Part I where I detail how I arrived at this point.)

Hardware

A child can take look at the EVO 4G and the iPhone and tell you that ‘one’s a bit bigger than the other.’  And while many people think that a bigger EVO 4G screen (4.3 inches versus 3.5 inches on the iPhone) means it’s “better”, truthfully there are more important factors than screen size for me. Form-factor plays a small part in my decision about which device is right for me.  The phone that provides me with the most usable, functional experience will end up in my pocket. But there have been some things about the EVO’s form factor that have stood out since I’ve been carrying it.

Portability

The EVO has a pretty big footprint. When you lay it down next to whatever phone you have now, the EVO will probably dwarf it in size. At the same time, the EVO is not so big that you can’t conveniently carry it around with you.  For me, a 4.3 inch screen is probably as large a size as I’ll consider.  I always felt that my iPhone’s screen was sufficient (and I still feel that way.) But during the times when I was using both phones and went back to open my iPhone to get a contact that didn’t sync, I definitely missed the EVO’s screen real estate. The screen quality of both phones (I’m using the iPhone 3G, not the iPhone 4) is about even. The EVO definitely has the edge when it comes to screen size. Too bad they don’t use that size more to their advantage. (More on that in a bit.)

…But Is It Too Big?

A person with small hands might find the EVO a bit unmanageable.  A few of my female friends who handled the device had a hard time getting a comfortable position with it in their hands. I have relatively average sized hands. And the phone feels comfortable in my grasp. It’s not too heavy, yet it’s certainly not flimsy. But there were times when I was using the phone one-handed where I tried to use my thumb to push a button on the opposite side of the screen. Often, I’d find that my hand will glance past something and launch that instead of what I tapped with my thumb. With two hands, this isn’t a problem. So, as far as the size, it can be a pain depending on what device you’re coming from. The size factor basically comes down to whether you have activities like watching movies or web browsing where those extra pixels would come in handy.

The Wonderful Kickstand

The EVO definitely wins points by having a kickstand.  It sounds very rudimentary, but the kickstand combined with the EVO’s large screen is a dynamite combination. The kickstand works in landscape mode only.  (I kinda wish it worked in portrait mode).  It’s great to be able to use the kickstand to prop the phone up while watching movies. I like to use the kickstand while the phone is on my desk at work, turning it into an expensive desk clock. This is a great alternative to laying the phone down or having to buy an expensive docking station.

Continue reading ‘HTC Evo 4G Review (from an iPhone User’s Perspective)’




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