August 2002

“When it comes to passing, nobody beats the Bear Bads.”

- A wife on “The Newleywed Game,” filling in the blank regarding which football team is the best



After months of waiting, AT&T finally released mMode, their high-speed data and voice service, in Southern California. Now instead of settling for the Motorola phone (which was cool, but not the coolest) and T-Mobile or Cingular, I can get a really cool Ericsson T68i or Nokia 8390 and keep my service with AT&T, which is definitely better than Cingular or T-Mobile.



So there’s this phone called the Motorola T193m.

According to Motorola, the phone is available with both T-Mobile (formerly VoiceStream) and Cingular, it’s relatively small and lightweight, and it has GPRS for high-speed internet access.

Unfortunately, T-Mobile doesn’t list the phone on their site at all (although the original VoiceStream site does), and Cingular offers the phone but won’t let me choose any internet options for it. Other sites like GetConnected and Point.com offer the phone (for free, after rebate), but they don’t offer the internet options either.

Meanwhile, Motorola claims that the phone is 3.3 inches tall, while the other sites say it’s 4.7 or 4.1 inches tall. Judging from the ratio of its height to its width (because they all agree that it’s either 1.7 or 1.8 inches wide), I’d say it’s about 4.3 inches tall. But I think the only way to know would be to see it in person.

And of course, the only way to actually purchase the phone and internet service for it at the same time would be to go to a store and do it in person, since the web sites either a) don’t offer the phone, or b) don’t offer the internet service.

So although all of these companies have gone to a lot of trouble to make it possible to purchase a wireless phone and service over the web, I still need to make a trip to the store if I decide to get a new wireless phone. Arrgh!



The week that I moved into my apartment in Irvine (the last week of January, 1999), I got a haircut at the Supercuts on Barranca.

The girl who cut my (bright orange) hair that day was eighteen years old, just like me. Also just like me, she had dropped out of high school when she was sixteen and gotten her GED. Then she had learned a marketable skill, gotten a job, and moved out of her parents’ house, just like me.

Today I went to the Supercuts on 17th Street to get a haircut, and the same girl cut my hair. Apparently, just like me, she moved from Irvine to Costa Mesa because Irvine was too hot and too expensive.

Sure, that’s not as weird as running into the DOC waitress at Denny’s in La Mirada, but it’s still pretty weird.



Well, today is Stephanie’s last day in Irvine.

She’s been my friend for a little over a year now, and it’s been a lot of fun. Amie, Jonathan, and I spent a lot of time trying to help her learn about the ways of the world outside of her small, maternally-imposed bubble, and now comes the true test to see if our help has helped. Our little one is going off to college in New York City.

Thanks to us, she knows that Irish Cream isn’t just cream. She knows that normal people don’t vacuum their shoes. She knows that you don’t have to stop at the meter if you’re using the carpool lane of the onramp. She knows how to put in a tampon.

The funny thing about Stephanie, though, is that she seems really naive and helpless when she’s in a group, but somehow she’s amazingly resourceful and independent when she’s alone. If she needed to get to Los Angeles and didn’t have access to a car, she’d find out the bus schedule and get herself there. She’s that kind of person. So I think she’ll be okay in New York.

Regardless of that, I’m sure she’ll have great stories to tell her friends back home about her strange and unusual experiences there. And I hope she tells us those stories often because we’ll really miss her in the meantime.



Anyone who’s interested in the Muppets should check out Kermitage, a web site which lists every character, every episode of the Muppet Show, and (soon) every piece of Muppet merchandise and memorabilia ever created.

Did you know that the guy in Mahna Mahna (from the first episode of the first season) was performed by Jim Henson? And the two pink cow-like creatures, called Snowths, were performed by Frank Oz (with one in each hand, I presume).



I put together an album of digital photographs called “Eating Out” (because I tend to take pictures whenever I go out to eat with friends), uploaded the photos to Shutterfly, and ordered 4×6 prints.

When I got them in the mail, I was amazed! The quality of digital prints is astounding. They look the same as traditional photographic prints! Part of that is due to the two-megapixel nature of my new digital camera, but most of it is due to the way they print the pictures. I mean, I printed some wallet-size ones on my little Polaroid printer (which prints digital photos on Polaroid 500 film), and I also printed some on my HP DeskJet (complete with Premium Photo Paper), but those couldn’t compare with the prints from Shutterfly, which were actually developed on photographic paper. The prints from my Polaroid printer were waterproof, but they were also grainy. And the prints from my DeskJet printer were rather crisp, but you could still see the dots, and they were easily smudged and easily ruined by even one drop of water.

So yeah, I’m in love with Shutterfly now. However, I heard that Walmart.com is offering a similar service for nearly half the price, and you can pick up the prints in your local Wal-Mart store instead of waiting for them to arrive in the mail. That would be really cool, but the last time I checked, their web site wasn’t working.





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