The first thing I asked Rachael to do when she came home late last week was put together a "need" list and a "wish" list for the summer. We started on the "need" list Friday, with a trip to the DMV, passport photo stop, and visit to a local post office to get her passport renewed. Five hours later and we were home. I worked Friday night and Saturday night, so we didn't get back to the list until Sunday, when we took a trip to Target for some clothes, a new wallet and bag, and the writing of thank you cards for graduation money toward the Mac fund. Yesterday we started out with a "lame" visit to Starbucks (who knew I've been lame for the past two years in bringing a computer or book and working?) that turned out not to be lame after all, what with the possible job offer that came within the first five minutes.
Sidebar - Second interview at the bookstore should occur at the very end of the month, first interview at Starbucks should occur later this week or next, and we-don't-yet-know-if-it's-sketchy possible interview at a CPA office might occur if it's deemed unsketchy.
Then it was off to Chase to cash out the custodial savings account I'd set up for Rachael when she was a baby, then to a BofA (there's plenty of BofA branches in Conway...we didn't find a Chase branch) to set up a college checking/savings account with online banking for all the money and checks. She's already requested a tutoring session, but after having read, watched, and listened to Dave Ramsey this past semester, we think she's got a solid financial base. If not, she talks a good game.
Because we have a whole summer ahead of us and I have a life, such as it is, we are only doing a few things each day. Our last stop yesterday was the Verizon store to reactivate my old Envy (a great texting phone) for her. Neither my husband nor I had realized it, but the air card for my laptop was long overdue for an upgrade, and now I have a cool USB modem that only cost me $30 (it retailed for $250-ish) and is faster and more powerful than my old card.
Next I told Beau, the salesman, how very much my husband hates his Blackberry Storm...it's a wall-banger for him for sure. I find mine can be a pain in the ass as well, but have managed to do some phenomenal things on it, including writing and editing reviews for PW. That wowed the salesman as most people, I don't think, get desperate enough to make that kind of thing work on a device that really was not meant for such intense use.
Long story short - by the time we left the store an hour and a half later, we had two possible deals on the table, and an appointment at 7:30 in the evening for Beau to meet with us and perhaps walk out with two Android phones, one for free.
After buying my Storm, I vowed never again buy a first generation anything. The Storm II he showed me yesterday was an improvement over my Storm, but it's still a "click" screen as opposed to a touch screen. The Droids are as close to an iPhone as I'm liable to get, and though the best of both worlds would have led to two of the phones that have both a touch screen and a pull out actual (not virtual/touch screen) qwerty keypad, even I could not wangle that deal.
Sidebar - For some reason I seem to enjoy working on cell phone "deals." I've done them for us three times now, and for a b-i-l, niece, and nephew as well. I don't like dickering for anything else because I don't exactly have a poker face, but where the Verizon store is concerned, I'm your girl.
The end result is that we walked with deals for a Milestone by Motorala for the DH and the HTC Eris for me.
The final price for his phone matches the online current sale price, and with an actual keyboard in addition to a true touch screen and great camera (I will say the Storm's camera was terrific), he will no longer call his phone a piece of shit while wanting to hurl it, full force, against the wall. That was my ultimate goal; I was going to be happy regardless. Had he not liked the Droid, the other option was for him to get a Blackberry Curve and I'd get a free Storm II, but since he chose the Milestone, I got a free Eris, and as soon as I can figure out how to use it, I'll be cool. And even an eensy-teensy bit happier when a Kindle for Droid app is released. (Yes, I have actually read a book on my Storm, and it wasn't bad. More than that, I liked being able to buy Kindle books with my Storm because I always have it on me whereas I don't generally tote around my Kindle on a daily basis.) We also saved the activation fees for both phones and the USB modem...those charges tend to add up if you're not careful.
Before we left, I asked Beau - who'd come back to the store after a pre-wedding dance lesson to do the deal - to write down the name of the system apps he likes best. No, even though Rachael thought the "steamed up shower door" app was cool, I was more interested in things like a soft boot app and other tools than anything else. He showed me some on his Milestone, including a barcode app that looks promising, wrote them down, and we said adieu.
For somebody who once thought cell phones were ridiculous, who then vowed to never use a smartphone, I've come a long way since the car phone (an actual car phone!) I had in the early 90s. Today I'll be devoting time to learning how to use the damn thing. But I love the widget idea and how it all ties together with other Google products. I've already created a Twitter widget and set up Facebook to tie into my contacts. Now if I could just figure out how to send my husband my work schedule (it was a breeze on Storm)...