Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Been Quiet Around Here

Today marks day day 60 that Felicia and Alex were over in Romania.  When they first took off, I wasn't really sure what to expect.  And from what I can remember, neither was Feli.  I remember at the time thinking that 10 weeks was such a long time for them to be away.  Don't let anyone kid you, it is quite a long time for them to be away.  But I think it's also been a good time.

I do know that Alex has had a grand time in Romania with his grandparents.  And I also know that they have had a good time having him around.  What's funny is watching him via Skype and videos that Feli takes of him.  I think he's learned quite a bit of Romanian while he was there.  Not speaking it, but definitely understanding it when spoken to him.  It'd be rather interesting to determine who knows more, me or him.  I think I'd win that one, but only by a small bit.

If you've been reading the blog or following the trip on Friendface, then I'm sure you've seen just how much he's grown over the past two months.  I know that when I was there, he'd grown a bit, but over the last 4 weeks he really seems to have grown.  And not just grown, but matured.  He no longer looks like a baby, but looks like a little boy.

I will say that this time apart would definitely have been more painful if it weren't for the trip I took over there for 8 days.  In retrospect, I should have taken a bit more time there (especially since it wouldn't have cost much more and could have happened in and around Memorial Day here in the States), but at least I as able to see them.  I think that 10 full weeks would have been almost unbearable.

At least while they were away I was able to get some work done on the house.  RIght now, I'm sitting in Alex's room in the glider rocker typing this blog entry.  As I type this, I'm surrounded by not only his stuff, but a decent percentage of the furniture and stuff from the living and dining rooms.  Why? Well, that's because while they were gone I had both the upstairs and the main level's wood floors done.  The upstairs was a complete sand down and refinish (and man do they look different  … you can see pictures on my Google+ account if you're interested).  

The main level wasn't quite as invasive, though they were in much better shape too.  Instead of a complete sand down, these were just screened and poly's.  In fact, it was meant to be a single coat, but due to a technical glitch, our floor guy (if anyone needs a their floors done in DC, let us know, we can definitely recommend him) had to come back and redo the work.  So now the main level has two coats of fresh polyurethane on it and do they look shiny.

So, now as the last 10 days speed past I can look forward to having squirbles and @felioland back from abroad.  It's been a good time apart and now I'm ready to have them back home.  But if you happen to think of them on Wednesday night and/or Thursday morning, could you say a little prayer for them?  I'm not going to be able to help them as they travel back to the US and I'm sure the flight won't be the most fun thing they've ever done.  I'm sure Feli will have something to say about it here in a little over a week.

Cross posted from Alex's blog

My mobile phones

So, I saw an article today on The Verge asking what people's mobile phone timeline was.  Looking at some of the older phones people mentioned in the comments got me thinking about my phone history.  So, just for fun, here's mine:

Ericsson T28 (2000)


So, my first phone, that I bought myself, was an Ericsson T28 world phone.  I still remember buying this at the Best Buy in Rockville just off I-270.  I went with it because it was a GSM-based world phone that I suspected would work in Europe.  I would have been right, but I didn't realize they SIM-locked phones.  So, instead I used it when I was home and used something different over in the UK.  In fact, my first real phone was also an Ericsson T10, I think.  However, since this was a pre-paid phone that was loaded me by eGrail, I'm not absolutely certain it counts.

Nokia 8890 (2001)


I still think this phone was one of the coolest phones I ever owned.  I bought this little guy in the UK so I would have a phone of my own and to have when I came home.  It came unlocked and worked on the 1900 MHz frequencies that T-Mobile (then VoiceStream) used in the US.  I carried that little guy all over Europe with me.  Unfortunately, it developed a crack along the speaker (just above the Nokia logo).  This caused the screen to basically stop working unless I squeezed on the top really hard.  It was too bad too as I really did like that little phone.  In fact, I still have it today, though I doubt it would even turn on if I had to.

Sony Ericsson T610 (2003)

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My next phone was also a candy bar style phone.  At the time, flip phones were all the rage, like my older T28.  However, I wasn't a real fan of the flip phones.  For some reason, they never felt right to me.  The smaller, more svelte phones like the T610 always suited me better.  This one was no exception.  I really did like that phone and kept on using it until I decided I had to have a smart phone.  In fact, I really do believe I have this one still too.  It may even be unlocked.  I don't remember.

T-Mobile MDA (2005)

Tmobile mda views1


After a spate of "feature" and candy bar phones, I upgraded to a true nerd phone, the T-Mobile MDA.  This was a Windows Mobile 5.0-based phone.  Sometimes I do miss this particular phone.  Granted, my new phones are much more full featured and definitely have a better collection of applications available for it, but this phone had one thing my newer phones don't: a keyboard.  And it was a decent keyboard too.  By the time I'd had it for a bit over 2.5 years, I'd become quite adept at typing on it.  Too bad the browser stunk and towards the end it would lock up for no real good reason.

iPhone 3G (2008)


So the story goes like this.  I've been a T-Mobile user since 2000 and really didn't want to switch.  I needed a new phone, quite badly as my phone (the aforementioned MDA) was really flaking out.  In fact, our last night in Rome saw the phone basically throw an electronic hissy-fit.  It decided that the alarm needed to go off and keep going off no matter how many times I rebooted.  That was basically the final straw on this one.

I assumed that I'd end up with the T-Mobile G1, the first Android-based phone on the market.  My plan was to head to the closest T-Mobile store and pick one up once I got back the States.  However, a trip to duty free at the airport sort of derailed me.  They had iPhone 3Gs on sale and unlocked.  Granted the price was €699, so quite steep, but at least I could use it on my current contract and service.  With a little prodding from @felioland, I grabbed it and used it for a bit over 2 years.

It worked pretty good, though getting it to play nice with the T-Mobile network was a bit of work and it did take a bit of time to track down the right settings.  And, of course, it never would with on 3G as it was never compatible with the T-Mobile US frequencies.  But I did like the phone.

Samsung Nexus S

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And now to my current phone, the Samsung Nexus S.  Now, this phone I truly love.  The form factor is great and the OS, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (not pictured above), makes for a great phone experience.  Also, since it's a true T-Mobile phone, it offers decently fast speeds.  Fast enough to watch Netflix via WiFi sharing.  This almost consistently beats out hotel Wifi for performance.  It also came unlocked, something I didn't realize until I was trying to get T-Mobie to unlock my phone.  It took the rep chatting with her manager to realize that it was never locked to begin with.