Category Archives: The Life

Project Fi and it’s (lacking) trade-in department

A few months ago I wrote a(n admittedly weak) review of the Project FI phone service from Google. There’s an aspect I didn’t touch on which could and should be seen as a factor with people adopting the service — or a lack there of. It’s their trade-in service.

Yeah, theyIt’s not uncommon that someone can’t cover the entire cost of a new phone and a trade-in is vital for getting a new phone (and to join the ProjectFi network,a new phone is vital). Limited market for trade-in’s kill that option too easily. For others, like myself, they’ve held onto and utilized phones that were major names and brands but were old-old-old by smartphone standards. The option to trade in with ProjectFi isn’t there.

Take a look for yourselves at the Project Fi trade-in page. While there are plenty of major bands (Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, Motorola and Samsung) and models covered by major companies, there are too many not covered, such as the older model phone I was out to replace when I joined Project Fi.

Even without credit being scored to a trade-in smartphone, it’d be nice to have the option. Why? Tech recycling. You shouldn’t just htrow out technology like this! Making it more difficult to do the deed (recycling) is encouraging a negative environmental impact.

Being a very major business (Google) and having a company in the telecommunications market automatically puts you in competition with other majors in the industry. For Project Fi to only take in a percentage of phones (or be willing to) handcuffs them and limits the company’s availability to the asses. Damn shame…. There are more people out there who don’t go wild on phones unless they have WiFi coverage. The Project Fi WiFi-first for data/streaming has saved me (and many others) a lot of cash. It’d draw changes at other majors via competition.

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Contribute to my Neurofibromatosis Network charity drive (via Facebook) and aid research into the genetic disease

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Filed under interweb, Medical

Suffering an unsound situation – Epilogue: Sunrise

It’s odd when a song takes a new dimension in your life and you sob while listening to it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been locked on to The Beatles and their 1969 classic “Here Comes the Sun” as my intended first-song to listen to when sound was restored for me. It just seems so God damned fitting. The span of time between August 5th to October 24th seems comparable to an entire calendar season. One long, cold, lonely calendar season where this author was condemned to solitude by way of being shut out from the day-to-day goings on around him with thanks to audio impairment suffered by chance mid-summer.

Mr. George Harrison, who penned “Here Comes the Sun”, was inspired by way of coming out of a (repeated) boardroom blandness (the downside of Apple Corps LTD for the members of the Beatles) and seeing London delighted in the sunshine of spring. In my case, the silence is a night that lasted far far too long.

In some ways, this moment of my life is a learning experience as the technology difference between the Nucleus Freedom and the Nucleus 6 (which I was upgraded to) is profound. Many similarities are there, too… especially the root of it all: Sound.

It’s the dawning of a new day in my life, yet it’s a resumption of what I’ve known naturally and artificially through my existence. I don’t want to be without it again. It stands in its existence as a verification of who you are, where you are, who others are and the textures of life. Sound has that dimension. It’s not as if those who embrace deafness can’t find these through visual means and other senses. I’m just not one who embraces the silence nor found a direction in life as a late-deaf adult.

Where things go from here, I don’t know. That’s life, though, isn’t it? This is the dawn of the resumption of an aspect of life that makes me elated and optimistic at what the next day holds and where it will take me.

 

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Filed under Medical, Music / Lyrics, The Life

My mobile hosting experience with Project Fi so far

I left Verizon Wireless in a huff this spring. I’d been on the service since 2011 or so on one of their plans for the deaf which knocked down the standard monthly price to just under $60 but charges for any and all calls that your phone makes. Add to it the number of voice mails that I received and what it would cost for a person to review them… It was an annoyance, as was forced-on-me apps by the service. I won’t list a data-cap complaint because I did not tend to use my Samsung Galaxy S III for web browsing or social media / data heavy apps; TXT/SMS, photography and offline apps were more useful for me and using Wi-Fi was a work-around with data anyway.

It was because my Galaxy was aging that I wanted to get out and move forward. I was reminded by my older brother that Google has a mobile entity of its own called Project Fi. I had two friends tell me they used Project Fi and it worked for them – utilizing Wi-Fi for data knocked down prices. The prices were there already seemed low enough: $20 base rate (phone + TXT/SMS) and data at $10 a gigabyte… And money saved from unused data each month. It sounded like a good chance to take… Continue reading

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Filed under testimonial, The Life

The Starbucks Store online is ceasing

Well, damn…

Store.Starbucks.com is going
away, but you can still find all your
favorite coffee and merchandise at
your local Starbucks® stores.

This was sent via email this afternoon. It doesn’t reflect the frustrations that the store was causing me (and who knows how many others) this spring and early summer… Perhaps you can take that as a sign of what was to come?

I had been on the Starbucks Store site a few weeks ago as I wanted to see if its problems still existed. The shop had been upgraded, or so it seemed… and it’s product lineup thinned? I have a tendency to buy Verismo pods in bulk (and had done so regularly through the store) and that was no longer an option.

I took a run over to the onlien store after getting the email announcement, and while I ran into the login issue (“We must have taken a coffee break”), I found myself able to shop again. It made me wonder if I had been scammed with spam in my email inbox?

Nope. And you can read about it on BuzzFeed.

 

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Filed under interweb, The Life

Regarding Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria relief

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by | September 30, 2017 · 2:38 PM

Silence and song; the musical demo of “Slowly, Her Name Fades Away”

How does a deaf composer get the attention of the music industry? Think about that for a minute, would you? It happens to be a serious question asked by a man who is currently sitting in an unsound situation.

I’m not Ludwig van Beethovenfar from it – but I can say that my toe is in the proverbial water of the music industry at the moment. Okay, actually it’s actually my entire foot up to my ankle or lower shin (that comes by way of me having spent time trying to promote the Pretty Voices over the past year). It goes by way of words and actions, not so much plucking piano keys and writing orchestral symphonies.

See, I wrote a poem back in the fall of 1998 (a long long time ago in a galaxy not-so-far away) that I’ve clung to over the years. It’s a poem I had intended for inclusion in a self-published poetry book… It’s also something I thought could be done in a musical arrangement to make it into a song.

So, when I got frustrated and vastly slowed this past spring, and while I still had thoughts tying said-poem into a musical arrangement, I made an inquiry with the Nashville Song Service if the lyrical-verse really could be done as a song. Indeed, it got the green light. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Poetry, The Life

This Labor Day Weekend, in memory of Jerry Lewis, let’s fight MD

My reaction to the news of comedic legend Jerry Lewis’ passing two weeks ago was to urge friend son Facebook to make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the organization Jerry work for with his annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon which aired from Sunday night of Labor Day weekend until Monday evening on Labor Day.

It’s short notice and I would imagine more people are having a weekend than on the web reading blog entries from someone like me (“Who the hell is this  guy?” ). But I think we, the American public, should act this weekend for Jerry and for those stricken with Muscular Dystrophy.

I posted this on my personal Facebook account, aimed at friends. I post it here:

I’m not playing on this, ladies and gents: Starting tomorrow around 7 or 8 PM EDT (or was it 9? I forget) we may want to make donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (and press the idea until Monday night with friends and others we have contact with).

It’s in honor and memory of Jerry Lewis.

The idea of a time-to-do-the-deed is simply there for viral sake. As was already noted, the annual rite that was the MDA telethon’s hours of broadcast was from Sunday night until Monday evening.

It’s in honor of Mr. Lewis, ladies and gentlemen. It is out of sympathy and support of those battling MD. The time is not exactly prime for an effort like this, as the damage and suffering in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey has already drawn generosity from America and the world…

Just consider the donation. the battle with MD goes on with or without national focus. It’s just going to be a dimmer battle without Lewis at the helm.

The MDA donation page can be found here.

 

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Medical

Avenues to contribute toward aid and relief post-Hurricane Harvey (via Mile High Hockey)

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Filed under interweb, The Life

Daylight Standard Stupid

This is a simple public service announcement because of a pretty simple flaw I see repeatedly coming from businesses or those who are trying to be pretentious and official in declarations online (via social media or on their own web sites):

Unless you are in Arizona and a few other selective locations throughout the United States, you cannot schedule things for a Standard Time.

It’s ridiculous to have to explain this but the United States of America is currently in daylight savings time (or daylight time). That’s what the whole “spring forward” thing is in March. The country doesn’t move back to standard time until Sunday, November 5th at 2 in the morning.

So business posts something like this…

…they’re basically saying the event starts at 1 PM EDT because we’re in EDT now.  If you want to be pretentious on time and date and don’t understand the time difference, do yourself a favor and just list the time as ET, CT, MT or PT which applies specifically for the zone you’re in.

Really, it’s not rocket science to know the differences or to get around them entirely in listing a time. Don’t look so uneducated.

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Filed under Tampa Bay, The Life

Suffering an unsound situation

A little piece of electronics fell a distance that was just over five feet.  60 inches of travel, making contact with a wooden floor. It wasn’t a heard action. It wasn’t an outright noticed incident either. It had fallen from behind the ear of this author as he sat on the edge of his bed and made preparations for use of the device itself.

And the only action derived from noticing the fall and reclaiming the object has been silence.

I went stone deaf in 1997 after a necessary operation to reduce/remove an acoustic neuroma; an inter-cranial benign tumor from my head. That tumor had already played a part in me losing hearing in both my ears during the previous four years. The surgery, for the sake of having a life, had to happen though.  When the operation occurred in December ’97, I was also implanted with what is known as the Auditory Brainstem Implant, a variation of the Cochlear Implant – a device that brings the hearing world to those who are implanted with it and who use an external sound processor to enable it. For a deaf person to adopt this technology is a chore – to learn a new dimension of life. For a late-deaf adult? It’s a miraculous resumption of a realm of living.

I’m living in silence right now and I’m in hell.

Continue reading

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Filed under Medical, The Life

[Updated] For the moment (or longer) Beware Ordering from the Starbucks Store

I’m an espresso guy. I don’t tend to drink standard coffee but I have shots of espresso, that’s my thing and it’s long-time been my thing. I’ve owned espresso brew machines that required me to get bags of coffee grind up beans myself and do extra articulation to make an espresso.  Due process, y’know, can’t put it down (especially because …. well, Mmmmmmm!).

A couple of years ago I got a Starbucks Verismo coffee brew machivn, a simplified means to brew an espresso (and make a latte if I so wish). You just had to push a pod into the machine and behold — an espresso roast is ready for you!

Yet, with ease of use comes a growing demand and a supply that runs dry in short order. I’ve seen rates vary from $11.95 for a single box of 12 pods to $13.95; that makes Verismo usage into a costly habit.

But Starbucks online store offers cost-saving, bulk purchases of 96 pods 8 boxes for just under $80 bucks, with free shipping. It’s that aspect that’s drawn me to the Starbucks Store online.

All the above details are moot though; this warning of the Starbucks Store applies for anything and everything you’d potentially purchase through the store if you’re expecting timely service. Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, The Life

The Declaration of Procreation (A Different Take on July 4)

Maybe this is too much information but…

America wasn’t “born” today. It was conceived. Procreated if you will. There had been standing political tension in the colonies and during a hot (see what I did there) date in Philadelphia in 1776, the colonists finally consummated their political longings by signing the Declaration of Independence.

Want more proof? Why do you think we set off fireworks, people? In celebration, or in simulation of the impregnation that led to the creation of  America?

Warped, I know, but as a friend of mine  pointed out to me as I joked to her about things, the first president wasn’t elected until 1789… Which seems like a more applicable formal birthday.

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Filed under Politics, The Life

East Lake High School Class of 1997 Photo

I believe it was exactly 20 years ago today that I graduated from East Lake High School at a ceremony at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.  It’ll be this weekend that a few dozen of the 600+ members of the graduating class get back together for a little shindig. I won’t be participating because I’m waylaid with physical disability to the point I’d just be a fly on the wall, sitting in the corner and feeling awkward.

It’d be like I was back in school!

At any rate, I make this post because I want to make public (in a means beyond a scope of constraint)  something a few of my classmates have already seen online by way of me on Facebook , but it’s condensed (because… Facebook): Our stolid class picture.

I’m pretty sure I still have both versions of the class picture, but they are tucked in such a position in my closet it’s hard to get a hold of them. And the scanning / image merge function that I have to use to get the pictures scanned is a pain to do (it was tough with this one — and that process was a few years ago):

East Lake High School Class of 1997 Class Photo

Click on the image to get a better view at imgur, or click this link to go to the page. And you can click the image there to get an even more close-up view of the image.

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Filed under Tampa Bay, The Life

Social Media Reach and the Tampa Bay Lightning

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge, The Life