Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ironically, the ringtones suck

I've never had a stellar track record with cell phones (one of my early cell phone was killed when I dropped it off a 30 foot cliff while climbing in New Mexico). However, this latest string of phones has got to break some kind of record for shittiness. About a year ago, I got a razor with my new contract, and despite treating it very kindly, a structural problem in the hinge made it unusable after only 11 months. When I called in my warrenty, I asked if they could send me a different kind of phone, but they claimed that "it was impossible on their computer system". The razor they sent me worked for less than a month before refusing to recognize any input from the keypad. I had a long, heated discussion with a customer service representative, waited on hold for 15 minutes, and was rewarded with the evil customer service rep's sunny twin, who told me that "as a valued customer" I was eligible to receive a phone that didn't suck.

All of which is a long way of saying, I now own a phone that is way cooler than I am. An example: the customer service rep asked me whether I wanted a black or a white model. I figured I'm definitely not pimpin' enough to rock the white cellphone, so I asked for black . What they didn't tell me is that it's black and metallic orange. The color of cool, apparently. The rest of the phone kind of fits that general cool-dude vibe--the keypad slides out from behind the screen, it plays mp3s and video, and the whole thing puts on a mini lightshow when I get a call or message.

It's enough to make me want to put on a polo shirt, pop the collar, and head down to the local dance club.

As you might expect, I don't actually use most of the phone's features (although I did set the light show to "glimmering ice"). In fact, the only feature I use regularly is the nerdiest one possible...the pedometer. It's a really simple application, yet totally addictive. An accelerometer in the phone counts your steps for the day, and estimates how many miles you've walked. The count automatically starts over at midnight every day, and it stores your daily stats, so that you can track it over time.

I am totally obsessed.

Today marked the first full week of data from my new toy. This past week was a fairly low walking week. Ross and I usually take 2 or 3 recreational walks each week, including a walk to the farmer's market, none of that happened because of project get-a-job-already. Nonetheless, we averaged 3.6 miles a day. The high value was 4.7 miles (a day with a super short lunchtime walk) and the low was 3.0 miles. I'll be interested to see how it changes over time--especially as winter descends and I start debating whether the world outside my bed is really all it's cracked up to be. When I start graphing the results and running multi-variate regressions to determine the effects of temperature, percipitation, and workload...well...you all will just have to stage an intervention.

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