Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/09/19

No thanks Apple

A few weeks ago, I busted my Samsung Galaxy S-III pretty good. Without an insurance policy and being only 10-months into my 2-year contract with Verizon, replacement options were limited to buying a) a brand new phone through Verizon (approx $499+), b) a refurbished phone through Verizon (approx $249+) or c) a used/refurbished phone through a 3rd party vendor (starting around $139).

I chose option C. Which was an iPhone. And after two weeks, I can honestly say that I don’t like it.

It should be noted that it was an iPhone4. It should also be disclosed that my familiarity with, and tolerance of, any Apple product is pretty low. I have an iPad and an iPod and am not overly thrilled with either. And no. I don’t like Mac’s.

Still. For $149 I figured that buying one of America’s most highly sought after brands of phone would be more than sufficient. Oh how mistaken I was…

Maps and Directions

The biggest complaint I have with the iPhone4 is its inability to provide me turn-by-turn – voice – directions. As someone who gets lost frequently (I flunked flank), I depend on the calm, friendly, computerized voice guiding me to various destinations. With the iPhone, I have to hold the phone and read the directions while driving – which isn’t very safe.

Oh! And should I deviate from the original route, the iPhone doesn’t seem smart enough to adjust my map.

Face Dialing

I get that I have a fat face yet I can’t recall a single time since owning a smart phone that my cheek has hit the ‘speaker’ button or other key on the number pad creating a loud, ear-bleeding, beeeeeeep to both myself and the person on the other end of the line.

Looking online, do you know what the solution is for this? To create a black picture/image and to display it on your screen immediately after dialing (or picking up) a call. Therefore making your (or in this case my) cheek bump against the picture and not the keypad.

iTunes

iPhone screen print

I just want to install “It’s the wife!” ringtone.

The need to hook up my phone with a desktop computer in order to do virtually ANYTHING is ASININE. I downloaded a ringtone app the other day, for my phone mind you, yet cannot use it because, and I quote, “To get ringtones, you must sync with iTunes. It’s not a ZEDGE thing, that’s just how it works.”

This is wrong.

Oh. And the other day I downloaded an app in iTunes and was having issues syncing with the iPad. Yet after an hour of trying to figure out what the hell was going on – I noticed the app was installed on my phone. So I now I have to experience a near-daily fight among a pair of 6-years olds who want to play ‘Angry Birds GO!’.

Camera Settings

On my Samsung Galaxy, I was able to choose between a low-resolution pictures and videos and a high-resolution with several in-between options. This was good for both posting images and videos online and saving them for other purposes offline. Now I can only choose between HDR-on and HDR-off (in which I have no idea what either option does.)

Miscellaneous

To top it off, I have no Siri. I can live with that, but the expectations of owning an iPhone – even an iPhone4 – is the ability to screw with artificial intelligence. The battery life is also questionable and I can’t always tell when I’m on WiFi or if WiFi is available.

And last, but not least, is the various notifications – the buzz, dings, vibrating, volume, etc. Maybe I just need more practice messing with the settings. Or maybe Apple needs to get bent.

Vague status Facebook meme

One of my favorite memes.

Yet somehow it could all be worse. Going nearly a week and half without a phone wasn’t easy (first world problems, I know.) I can still send/receive text messages, post annoying stuff on Twitter and ridicule people on Facebook who often post vague status updates soliciting attention from others. (Oh. You know who you are!)

I just wish Verizon could’ve done more. I think what really bothered me was their continued, yet eerily positive, message that I wasn’t due for my upgrade for another 14-months. Which was basically a nice way of saying, “You must wait until your contract is up before we can help you at all.”

Ha! Upgrade my ass.

Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/09/03

Spartan Anniversary

About a year ago for my birthday my wife bought me a Groupon for some boot camp type classes. Spartan X I believe they were called and were run by a man ominously named Coach ‘Pain’ Dewayne. He’s perhaps 5’9″, 175-lbs with MAYBE 4% body fat.

I know. I know. At the time I was thinking the same thing you are right now: “Dude! His middle name is ‘Pain’! Why didn’t you just quit?”

After just one session – and barely being able to walk upright for a week and spending hours icing every part of my body – trust me, it crossed my mind, but let me tell you: it was worth it. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

I’ll stop short of saying that boot camp class was “life changing”, but in some way it was just that. Coach didn’t have us use a single dumbbell, pulley machine, treadmill or adjustable bench: all equipment you’d find in a decent gym; the same equipment I’ve been using for decades.

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Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/08/26

Arizona IEP

Let’s get the definitions out of the way now: IEP is short for Individualized Education Program. It defines the objectives of a child who has been found with a disability, as defined by federal regulations, and is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would.

Basically it’s a game-plan; a road-map that says “Ok. Your child is currently at Point A. He needs to get to Point B. Here’s how we can get him there…”

Your child's education (advocate4specialed.com)

Your child’s education (advocate4specialed.com)

Over the past few years – including just this week – I’ve sat in on several meetings with school officials to discuss the educational needs and goals for my son. An IEP is a great thing, but for a father of a child with autism it can also be scarey.

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Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/08/12

Blogging A to Z: R is for I suck at this.

This is just another part of the whole Blogging A to Z series where I pick a letter and just write.

Months ago – and yes, it’s been that long – I put together a list of topics beginning with the letters A-to-Z in which I was going to write about everything from being an Asshole to what should be today’s topic de jour, Reality. So far I’m failing on several levels.

For one, it shouldn’t take this long. There are only 26 letters in the alphabet and I’m on what, blog number 18? Eighteen blogs in four-months? Pretty weak if you ask me.

Two, after coming up with five potential topics for the letter “R” – and settling on Reality – I’ve realized that my thoughts on all of them are either a) uninteresting to anyone and/or b) do not provide enough content in which to fill a 500-word blog.

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Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/08/01

Blogging A to Z: Q is for Quick-wit

This is just another part of the whole Blogging A to Z series where I pick a letter and just write.

Technically, I believe the spirit of this whole Blogging from A-to-Z concept is so that others can learn a little bit more about me: my likes, dislikes, personality, etc. Although why anyone would care about the interests of some no-name internet blogger is beyond me. Seriously, get a life.

Today’s topic de jour is ‘quick-witted’. (And for a moment, put yourself in my shoes: if you had to think of 26 topics to write about, each starting with a different letter, what would you pick for the letter ‘Q’? Trust me, it kind of sucks.)

Sarcasm T-shirts from Zazzle.

I’m not rude. I’m funny. (Photo from zazzle.com)

I’ve been told that I’ve got a quick-wit. Some might use the term ‘dry humor’ or perhaps ‘sarcastic’. Sometimes, people just think I’m a ‘funny guy’.

The bottom line: I’m a smart-ass*.

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Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/07/23

Political Debates

Warning: the following is political in nature and should not be read by anyone. Oh! And since “P” was next on my ‘Blogging from A-to-Z’ list anyway, I’m going count this for that as well.

On their Facebook page, 3TV here in Phoenix recently posted the following questions in regards to an upcoming political debate between six (party name not important) candidates for Arizona governor: What issues matter most to YOU in the upcoming election for governor? What would you ask the candidates?

Arizona Primary Debate '14

Photo from 3TV News Facebook

Aside from the usual stupidity and insults displayed by people on Facebook when it comes to rationally discussing ANYTHING political, this story, these questions and of course people’s responses actually ticked me off. (I know: looks who’s being irrational now, huh?)

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