Thursday, April 30, 2009

MORE CELL PHONE THOUGHTS

My current thoughts on phone service--a cheap pre-paid cellphone from Verizon for day-to-day local and Skype for long distance. My parents and sister got Skype set up for some Grandma-and-grandchild face time, and my sister has Verizon. The plan is to get an iPod Touch when the new ones come out sometime this summer and use it with wifi, since there's now a Skype app for it. Qwest says I can start using wi fi in my apartment any time, since my aforementioned router is wireless. I'm not sure how that works, exactly, but I'll figure it out, right? I can finally get into that texting thing that the kids are so into as well.

The geek-0-sphere is also abuzz with the rumour that Apple is planning something with Verizon, but it doesn't do to take too much stock in that sort of thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NOW I HAVE TO PICK A CELL PLAN GODDAMMIT

So, stupid Qwest is stopping cellular service (I think they actually leached off Sprint's network or something, but now they are officially partnering with Verizon and trying to push us onto them) and now I have to actually research a new cell phone plan. Fun!

Consumer Reports says that Verizon and better service and connectivity, but T-Mobile is cheaper and offers more plans. An iPhone would be awesome, but A T & T is rated lower and I'd have to pay an extra $30 a month. What's up with that? You'd think some of these plans would have gone down in price since last I thought about it, but nooo . . . my current $29/month is about as low as they go, although some are more flexible and have texting (I don't care much about texting, but it would be nice to have the ability, not $5/month nice though). Billshrink is not helping me save any money. I think I'll have to go prepaid, see if I save money that way. It'd be nice to have an extra $5/month for better DSL so I can watch movies & TV online. Any thoughts?


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Now playing: Tricky - Antihistamine
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, April 12, 2009

ANIME DETOUR 2009


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Last weekend was time to be with my people--the nerds, the geeks, the anime lovers. Unlike what Anthony Lane would have you think, I find them mostly very pleasant and friendly. Even among the more male-dominated environs of superhero comics and role-playing games, I've met very few of the misogynist conspiracy freaks he mentions. Of course, anime fandom is quite female-friendly. Any he-man-woman-haters would be in danger of being whacked by the dreaded Yaoi Paddle.

The Crown Plaza Hotel was definitely a better set-up than the Bloomington Ramada. It had the luxury of a real hotel, not a motel with delusions of grandeur. At the Ramada, I was always scrambling down narrow hallways like a hamster in a giant Habitrail. The conference rooms were roomy and there were plenty of chairs, so I didn't have to wreck my back sitting on the floor. Of course, I know downtown St. Paul and it's skyways like the back of my hand, so that helped.

The only downside of AD 2009 was the lack of awesome anime, but some years just aren't as good as others. My favorites were Ghost Slayers Ayashi, a sort of mix of the X-Files with X-Men set in Edo period Japan, as a motley crew of people with special powers are hired by a secret government ghost-busting organization, and Baccano!, a crazy mix of cultists, gangsters and assorted weirdos looking for the secret of immortality in Prohibition-Era America. For the lovers of awesomely bad anime, there was Garzey's Wing, a confused tale of a normal Japanese boy whose consciousness is somehow sent to a Dungeons-&-Dragons-style world to save the good people from the evil people with the power of flying with wings on his feet. Almost every line was laugh-out-loud ridiculous. My favorite was something like. "I MUST leave this land--for I MUST . . . .attend my HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!