The new Phischphone

So earlier this week, I decided I had had enough. The Sony Ericsson T616 was obviously having issues with its Bluetooth hardware, as it continued to drop connections with a brand-new Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-602 Bluetooth headset. It is very frustrating to be in the middle of a conversation with someone, then suddenly you can’t hear them and they can barely hear you, because the phone dropped the Bluetooth connection with the headset, and picked up the call itself. And the phone is in one of the cargo pockets of your shorts.
I stopped by my local Cingular Wireless store, where I have always gotten excellent customer service, and the sales guys know what they’re talking about. I extolled my tale of Bluetooth woe to one of the guys, and informed him I was in the market for a new phone.
First, the bad news:
The way Cingular works its contracts is that you are locked in to that contract. There’s no coming in and getting a new phone with a new contract, unless you want to pay the termination fee, which runs between $125-200, if memory serves. Thanks, but no thanks. If I wanted a new phone, I would have to pay full price.
Now, the good news:
I have insurance on my phone. My phone is damaged. The Bluetooth hardware is flawed. I can file a claim, and for $50, receive, within two business days, a new, comparable phone. (Didn’t I tell you these guys provide excellent customer service? Pity more wireless shops, including other Cingular stores, aren’t this on top of things.)
I was told it was unlikely I would get another T616. The sales rep and I were both hopeful I would get a Sony Ericsson T637, which was the model replacement for the T616.
So Tuesday evening I called up the third-party insurance provider Cingular uses, filed my claim, agreed to the $50 charge to my next monthly statement, and was told they did not have any comparable Sony Ericsson phones available to ship. My heart began to sink. I was getting a Motorola v551, the most popular phone in Cingular’s line-up, according to the rep on the phone.
The phone arrived at 3:30 PM CST on Wednesday. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, though the druthers I do have ensure I will not be getting another Moto phone in February, when I am “eligible to upgrade” with Cingular. (At the 21-month mark of a two-year contract, Cingular is then willing to sign you up for a new contract, and you can get a new phone.) Full impressions, and the aforementioned druthers, on the phone in an upcoming post.

Howard Dean is on drugs

How can anyone, including the Kool-Aid drinkers on the Left, honestly take Howard Dean seriously when he says tripe like this?

“The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is ‘okay’ to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is,” Dean said…
First, the President has not, to my knowledge, commented publicly on the Kelo decision. The only thing I found at the White House site referring to Kelo was when someone asked Press Secretary Scott McClellan about the campaign by a California advertising magnate to acquire Justice Souter’s home in New Hampshire so he can build a hotel on it.
Second, how much dope does one have to grow and smoke in the hills of Vermont to say the current make-up of the Supreme Court is “right-wing”? The dissenters in Kelo were the Court’s acknowledged conservatives, Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Justices Scalia and Thomas. The left’s favorite swing-vote justice, O’Connor, was the fourth dissenter. The justices voting against property rights were all from the left, the same side of the political spectrum Dr. Dean-mento inhabits.
Why is no one in the mainstream media pointing this out? Sorry, sorry, rhetorical question, I realize…

Betting on Thomas

Yes, parents, that Thomas. It went something like this:
Mrs. Phisch: “Who are the blue engines? Thomas, Henry, and Edward?”
Me: “No, Gordon’s blue. Henry’s green.”
Her: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Yes.”
Her: “No he’s not! You’re thinking of Henry!”
Me: “No, I’m thinking of Gordon. He’s blue. He pulls the express.”
Her: “Come back this up!”
She refers to the godsend of modern television, TiVo, upon which many an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends has been preserved for the little phisch. She currently has the little phisch in her lap, together in one of the easy chairs, and the remote is across the room.
Me: “I’ll back it up, but you’re wrong. Gordon’s blue.”
Her: “Want to bet?”
Me: “Sure. What’s the bet?”
Her: “The loser has to drive to get ice cream.”
She refers to soft-serve sundaes from Carvel. We pinkie-shake to affirm the bet.
I back up the episode in question to the spot she ordains as telling us which engine the one I say Gordon is.
I await my hot-caramel sundae after the tyke goes to bed.
Update, 8:45 PM CST: A sly one, that Mrs. Phisch. To bathe the little phisch, she changes in to pajamas and sweats. She then uses this as an excuse to not go get ice cream. She barters a trade that I make the ice cream run, while she cleans up the tyke’s bathroom, traditionally my post-bath duty. I retain full bet-winning gloat authority. And I do want a hot-caramel sundae…

You And Me

The womenfolk certainly have a way of making us insane–in a good way–don’t they, fellas?
You and Me” – Lifehouse
What day is it, and in what month
This clock never seemed so alive
I can’t keep up, and I can’t back down
I’ve been losing so much time
Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to lose
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you
All of the things that I want to say just aren’t coming out right
I’m tripping on words you got my head spinning
I don’t know where to go from here
Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to prove
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you
Something about you now
I can’t quite figure out
Everything she does is beautiful
Everything she does is right
Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to lose
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you
You and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to prove
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you

–written by Jason Wade and Jude Cole

Published by G-Chills/Songs of DreamWorks (BMI) and Jude Cole Music/Warner Chappell Music (BMI)
© Copyright 2005 Geffen Records

We’re not allowed to have this why?

So next year’s Civic for the States is ho-hum, but the European version of the 2006 Honda Civic kills. The Euro-Civic has the Si-inspired hatchback-style rear, but that could easily be elongated for Stateside sales. Plus, selling the same style as the Euro-Civic would be very, very popular with the kids. Why oh why, Honda, are we not getting this car here?
Update, 2:00 PM CST: It would appear we’ll see the Euro-Civic in America as the new CRX, or at least a variation thereof. Still, the front end of the Euro-Civic needs to be standard across the board, not just on the sporty, hatchback coupe model.

When a serial number really isn’t

I’m installing a new hard drive in my wife’s PC, to replace the 5+ year-old that has died. I dutifully noted the part number and serial number for warranty registration purposes, since this drive has a 5-year warranty itself. Calling it a “serial number” may be stretching it, however: Y2CJECZE.
Can you call a string a “serial number” when only one of the characters qualifies as a numerical value?

Our modern hubris

Senator Rick Santorum, (R-PA):

A generation ago, liberals figured out something that most conservatives couldn’t have dreamed of in their worst nightmare. A few well-positioned autocrats can do what most Americans thought, and the Constitution says, takes two-thirds of the Congress and three-quarters of the state legislatures to do: namely, change the Constitution to mean whatever they want it to mean. The plan was simple. Put justices on the Supreme Court, backed up by lower court judges, to “modernize” our Constitution by fiat, with the claim that Supreme Court decisions, whether based on the words of the Constitution or not, have the same status as the Constitution itself.

How often do we hear that our founding compact needs to be a living, breathing document whose meaning changes with the times? Never mind what the words of our Constitution actually say; never mind the clear intent of the Constitution’s writers and signers; never mind two hundred years of judicial interpretation; never mind the centuries-old wisdom of the common law: We are much wiser today than our predecessors. Or so goes the liberal boast. In fact, it is said, we are now able to see just what they were “getting at” even better than they could — as if the U.S. Constitution were only a “nice try” at a plan of government.

Jeff is bored

Jeff Harrell:

People from time zones west of here should iChat me immediately. Especially if they’re twentysomething women who like to tell weirdo Internet writers how great they are all the time.

Middle-aged men pretending to be twentysomething women are okay too, as long as it’s convincing. You let it slip just once that you’re actually a forty-seven year old tire salesman who’s sitting in his enormous store-brand boxers with a Gateway on his lap, and the whole fucking thing is just ruined.
At least I can go to sleep tonight with something truly funny rolling around in my head. Come on, people, tip the man.