Posts tagged Sprint
Shannon and I were both tired last night. REALLY tired. She ran a marathon (26.2 miles!) and I had just spent the entire day washing, waxing, and detailing a black sports car. Thus, we went to bed early so we wouldn’t be (completely) dead to the world today.
Then we heard an explosion of sound from either side of the bed. BOTH our cell phones starting going off with what I can only describe as a fire alarm sound. Here’s the text we both got:
Seriously? ”please check local media”???
If you’re going to send out a text like that at some God awful hour (which would lead me to believe that it is an IMMEDIATE emergency) then get me IMMEDIATE information! Hell, even the road signs on the highway give a more detailed description of an amber alert usually including a make/model of a car and more.
WHO is the Amber alert for? WHERE specifically? WHAT am I looking for?
You ever hear the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf? Yeah. Do this enough and the impact of an “Amber Alert” gets devalued to a nuisance.
Hopefully someone from Sprint replies to this.
Tomorrow night I catch a plane and head west… really really far west. I’m flying to Tokyo, Japan for the Tokyo Anime International Fair next week. Before I go, though, I want to make sure I have all my proverbial ducks in a row.
(And all five of you on Google+)
Please check my two lists and let me know what I’m forgetting/what else I need to know. Thanks!
- I called my cell phone company. My cell will work in Japan. Texting will work in Japan. My Internet will NOT work in Japan.
- I called my credit card and bank card companies. They have been notified that the strange charges in Tokyo aren’t from some hacker who hijacked my info.
THINGS TO SEE:
- The team I’m going with plans on visiting Disney Tokyo Sea.
- I want to visit Tokyo Tower.
- I plan on visiting Shibuya Station.
- There is talk of trying to find time to make it over to Mount Fuji. This one is a “maybe” based on scheduling.
- Word has it that I may be visiting Sanrio Puroland (aka “the Hello Kitty Theme Park.”)
Any feedback in the next twenty-four hours would be appreciated. Thanks, folks!
In case you missed it, read this post about my epic adventure walking in (and out) of the Grand Canyon.
My legs still hurt when I look at the post.
The Grand Canyon defies words. As glorious as it looks in photographs, textbooks and PC desktop wallpapers around the world, nothing can effectively convey how spectacular that place is unless you see it in person.
It honestly and truly took my breath away the first time I looked into it.
I’ve seen a lot of amazing things in my life: pyramids, monuments, skyscrapers, mountains, oceans, and dozens of majestic sites in between. None of them compare to the size and scope of the Grand Canyon. Being so close to it, you get overwhelmed with the feeling of how small you (as a human) really are compared to the entire planet. Epic. Majestic. Grand. The place is everything everyone who went before you told you about and much much more.
When we made the decision to go, I knew that this would probably be a once in a lifetime trip – so I opted to make sure I did it right. The closest you can stay to the southern rim of the canyon is a place called the El Tovar. The El Tovar opened its doors in 1905 (over 100 years ago!) and has housed the likes of Albert Einstein and Teddy Roosevelt. How close is it? About twenty feet away. Check it out:
(Click here to see the larger version. That’s Shannon on the far right.)
Not one for just idly watching from the sidelines, I decided that we should trek down into the canyon to see it up close. We walked out of our hotel room at 6:30 AM to watch the sunrise over the canyon and, with latte in hand, we started the walk down the trail. It was 18°F and it had snowed the night before so OF COURSE I was wearing shorts. Along our way to the entrance of the trail, we ran into this:
Up until that moment, all of the elk we ran into were docile and just ignored the passing humans. This one, though, was not in the mood to put up with anything from anyone and would make noise and charge at you if you walked by on the trail. SO, I took that picture and we snuck around by entering and exiting the resort behind us. The photo doesn’t do justice to the fact that those things are HUGE.
So we walked six miles into the Grand Canyon by way of the Bright Angel Trial. I continued to get cell phone signal all the way in and, as a result, I managed to score a check in on Foursquare at the end of the trail at Plateau Point. (Kudos to Sprint and my Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G phone for pulling it off!)
Here we are looking around at the bottom:
It could babble on here for hours about it being a whole different world, connecting with nature, the peacefulness of you feel… or I could just tell you to do it yourself. No amount of grammatic gymnastics on my part will ever do the experience justice. This photo, though, is one of my favorite ones from the trip that kind of captures the “feel” of being there.
After the moment of Zen in the canyon, we started the hike back. Then I saw this:
(No, I didn’t see a red arrow; I added that to the photo.) I saw how far we had to walk back. The arrow is pointing to the small speck that was our resort – a six mile walk away. Refer to the post I mentioned at the beginning of this one for details after that.
THE EL TOVAR
The El Tovar is expensive and it sells out fairly quickly; if you ever plan on staying, make reservations months in advance. The money you pay for staying, though, isn’t for amenities or comfort. The rooms are small and, while they have been kept up well, they show their age. Every penny paid is the price for ambiance and location.
The place is as much an old museum as it is a hotel. We loved it. The lobby, aside from the addition of modern furniture, is almost identical to they way it was in 1905. After a cold evening in the canyon, nothing tops sipping hot chocolate next to the fireplace. It was all so, well, grand.
My only complaint was the food. The restaurant in the El Tovar is the top notch/reservations only class of eatery. This is great except when you’re lying half dead in your hotel room jonesing for room service. Room service to me means a burger of chicken fingers (neither of which are available there) – not roast duck. If you have kids, the El Tovar is DEFINITELY not the resort to stay at.
The mornings are just as amazing. This was the view outside our window:
You just don’t get much more “back to nature” than that.
Thus endeth the Vegas Vacation posts!
For those of you that know me, I have had a long standing boycott of the iPhone due to the fact that I need a physical keyboard on any texting or smart phone that I own. I have tried time and time again and I just can’t seem to get used to the whole touch screen keyboard thing.
Thus the Sprint version of the new Samsung phone was a total win for me since it includes the sliding keyboard. Buying this phone also introduced me to the world of Google’s Android OS. Previously, I owned a Palm Pre which used the WebOS platform… and even though I LOVE my new phone, there are still things that the Palm OS did just a little better.
Anyway, in playing with Android, I have found some pretty snazzy apps. If you like to suggest some others I should try, please let me know. Here’s the ten that I have been the most impressed with/enjoyed the most so far…
AndFTP - the best of the free FTP apps I could find.
Angry Birds – when is the full version coming out??!!! Even Palm’s WebOS has a full version already. Dammit!
Google Goggles – I am yet to actually use this app for anything practical, but there is something to be said about the fun involved in taking pictures of things and see what Google finds as a result.
Google Voice – the ability to call from my Google Voice account on a whim gets built into my phone via this app. This is extremely useful when using the phone for the business line (which is a Google Voice number.) Pure awesome.
gReader – I still keep track of websites via RSS, and this little app allows me to keep plugged in to my Google Reader and updates the articles. This is a great for when I want to keep caught up on reading and there isn’t a PC around.
Hootsuite – just like the online website, I can manage and play with a number of the Twitter accounts I manage. Now if they’d only get Facebook integration built into the Android app, too…
Mojo NES – old school Nintendo goodness that plays classic NES games on my phone. I am using the free one and it seems to work fine.
RockPlayer – this lets me play DivX files on my phone. With the extreme prettiness of the screen’s resolution, this is VERY important… and it looks DAMN GOOD.
WordPress – how awesome is it that I can make posts like this from anywhere?
ScanLife - an app that scans bar codes and then looks them up on the Internet for price comparison. I see this getting a lot of use this Christmas while shopping.
So after some long thought (and the usual arguments with Sprint to convince them for the hundredth time that bending the rules in my favor IS the right thing to do) I went out and picked up a new phone.
NOTE: To make sure I am not one of “those” husbands, I also bought my wife a new one too. It’s pink.
I am the proud owner of the Palm Pre – basically a smaller iPhone with a keyboard. After a weekend of playing with it, here’s the good and the bad:
-Smaller than my last phone (an HTC Mogul).
-Multi-tasking! Instead of calling the programs “windows” they are called “cards”.
-Super hi-tech charging without a wire (click here to read about it.)
-Fast… switching from program to program happens really quickly. VERY impressive.
-The contact list integration with AIM, Facebook and Google contacts is beyond awesome.
-The Twitter app (Tweed) allows you to stay logged into more than one Twitter account at once.
-The Pre will “spoof” iTunes and pretend it is an iPod and sync with it.
-The Twitter app (Tweed) does not have Twitpic support… yet.
-Outlook syncing is not built in – but there are a couple of apps in the works (the one that exists now requires that the PC and Pre be on the same WiFi network to sync.)
-The keyboard takes some getting used to – but it is still (in my opinion) better than a touch screen keyboard (which is what keeps me away from the iPhone.)
-If you run a lot of apps for a decent period of time – the sucker gets hot.
-While the camera is higher in resolution – it does not record video. Boo.