iPhone Envy


It has taken a great deal of soul-searching and courage for me to finally write blog entry number 2.  First of all, I feel like I set the expectation way to high with my first entry, and just couldn't come up with a 2nd blogworthy topic.  Then, once I decided what I needed to write about, I nearly chickened out, but I decided it's something I need to do...for my own cathartic value if nothing else.

Many of you know I'm kind of a gadget geek.  I don't really spend a lot of money on gadgets, but I really like to stay up on all the newest, coolest geek toys and have been known to obsess at times over a well designed gizmo.  I remember saving my lawn mowing money as a 15 year-old so I could buy my own Sony CD player (which I spliced into an old record player/amplifier that Aunt Calene gave me).  I remember getting very excited in college when I bought my first DVD player, not so I could watch DVDs, but because it was the first and only model at the time that could play MP3 files (before MP3s were cool).

My latest gadget and tech obsession is my totally awesome <a href="http://www.t-mobileg1.com/" target="_blank">HTC G1 (The Google Phone)</a> running the Android OS 1.5.  This phone can do anything.  It scans barcodes and looks things up for you on the web to make sure you're getting a good deal (Suz and I used this a lot while Christmas shopping in December).  It will search by voice command and give you directions to any place using gps and Google Maps and even has a sky map that you just hold up to the sky and since it knows where you are and what direction you're standing and everything, it will tell you what star/planet/constellation you're looking at.  It's incredible.  The only thing is, it's sort of the not-as-cool kid in class who knows everything and can answer any question, but wears sweaters with colorful abstract patterns on them.  You totally want to study with this kid and have him in your group when you're working on a group project, but he's not the kid you want to be seen with later at the football game.  That other cool kid is, of course, the iPhone.

Again, I totally love my phone and don't regret getting it, but that iPhone is just so shiny and sleek and smooth and flawless and...did I already say shiny?  And the apps that you see on TV and on others' iPhones are just so well built and handsome (yes...I did just use the word handsome to describe mobile phone software).  Now of course I can rattle off half a dozen things my phone can do that an iPhone can't (the list was a dozen before the release of the new iPhone 3G S this week) and yet I continue to have these regular episodes of iPhone envy, which brings me to the larger issue at hand here.

I'm just not sure I'm cool enough to be a Mac, iPhone person.  And this is where my deep-seated feelings toward Apple are rooted and why their cute "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ad campaign has totally backfired when it comes to consumers like me.  Sure, I could get one of these things, just like anybody else (I actually do own an iPod), but just owning one of them will not make me as cool as the guy in the Mac commercials.  I'm pretty sure I have more in common with the PC guy and would probably end up feeling like a total poser if I did get one.  So am I destined to always have the smart, sweater-kid phone?  Not necessarily.  It is entirely possible that as soon as my T-mobile contract is up that I will just give in and get one.  It wouldn't be the first time I've stepped outside of my own personal coolness boundaries (some of you may remember that whole post-mission long hair thing).  But I would prefer that, between now and then, somebody catch up with Apple in the slick design department and come out with that totally killer Android phone that I can really get excited about in all aspects, so that I can be confident enough to carry it around in my hand all day like those dang smug iPhone users do.

Where do I start?


I used to think that people with personal blogs fancied themselves a little too much to believe that the rest of the Internet world actually cared what they have to say.  I guess my view has changed somewhat over the past couple of years as it has become a simple thing to sign up for blogger/blogspot accounts and as I've watched friends and family spill their guts for the civilized world to see.  I kind of see it now as a way of writing and publishing your own autobiography as you're living life.  We all know we should be recording our deepest thoughts and passions in a personal journal, but since none of us remember how to write on paper anymore, why not do it on the computer and why not put it out there where family, friends and wierdo stalker people can enjoy it as well.

Now, just for the record, I actually had a blog set up about 5 years ago, but, as I said, I didn't really see any point in posting my own personal rants, so I used it as a family message board for a year or so and then converted it into my full-blown family forum and meeting place that now exists.  But I've had a few things happen lately that made me realize that 1) as a professional web developer, I should have some sort of web presence and 2) I actually love to write and might as well create an outlet for that urge and 3) I don't see my siblings/parents/aunts/uncles/friends as much as I'd like and it wouldn't hurt to give them all a little news about me and my family every now and then.

And so begins the personal blog of me.

Now, a few notes about the blog itself.  It's based on a great piece of open-source blogging software called BlogCFC written by a great guy and hard-core geek named Ray Camden. (UPDATE: I'm no longer using BlogCFC, but Ray is still a great guy.)  Next, the images in the page header are all images taken by me that represent some place or moment in my life that has significant meaning to me.  They're not all great pictures and a real photographer could have done so much more with these moments, but I don't really care.  These are the bits of my life that I always want to remember, and what better way to remember than to have them at the top of my personal homepage.  Now I say images (plural) because I've actually programmed this page to pull one of 10 or so random images each time you come to the page.  In fact, if you refresh the page right now, you'll most likely see a different image.  I plan to keep adding to the collection of images that are used in the header as I capture new moments.  Also, I was going to give credit for the title of this website, "A Good Life...all in all", but first I'm going to see if anybody besides my wife knows where it comes from.  Those who know me well should be able to come up with the source without too much trouble.

So anyway, I hope that this site will be of interest to a few people out there in interweb land.  But if not, that's ok.  It's really more for me than anything, so that I can liberate some of the thoughts and feelings that come to me which normally stay all cooped up inside my head or which my patient wife has to sit and listen to while she tries to get things done.  I'm sure I'll cover wide-ranging topics, but for now, I've created the following as my list of entry categories: General Musing, Family, Music, Soapbox, and Tech.  We'll see how far that gets me.