Saturday was sort of a “big deal” in our house. Two major events happened. The first, and most important, is that Robert came over for a visit. While some guy named Robert coming over for a visit may not seem like that big of a deal, some background information may be helpful in understanding why. My wife and I have known Robert for about 15 years or so – we met while living in the same townhome complex. Robert eventually moved out of the country, then back, then out of the country again, and for several months even lived with us while he was trying to figure out his living situation. Then he moved out of the country for good several years ago. The last time we saw him was 5 years ago.
One of the jobs that Robert has is as a tour guide for a travel company (which I don’t want to name for a variety of reasons). Robert takes groups of people throughout Spain, one of the countries he has lived in, as well as Portugal, where he intends to move next. Every so often, tour guides are required by this company to attend a meeting on changes in the route, company policies, etc. While successfully avoiding this duty for a while, it has caught up with him and he needed to come back to this country and attend these meetings. While he is in the United States for work (and to attend a few personal matters, since he is still an American citizen) he is staying at our house.
So, having Robert, a close friend whom we have not seen in a long time, with few prospects of seeing him for another few years, visit is a big deal.
While this would normally be enough for most people, our Saturday was big in another way. I upgraded cell phone plans, to the point of having to purchase a phone. A little background on this might also be in order. I’ve had no problem signing contracts with a wireless carrier for a set amount of time in order to gain a preferred rate. Usually what I have done over the course of the last few years is get the best available free phone whenever I renew my contract or sign up for a new one. I never jumped on the iPhone bandwagon, partly because I don’t like iTunes and don’t want to use it, and also because I don’t want to ever have to go back to using AT&T for my wireless service (or anything else – but that’s another matter).
More and more my wife and I have been wanting more functionality out of our phones, such as using the calendar function to keep track of events, texting each other instead of leaving voice messages, and more. While it has been tempting to get an iPhone or something similar, I have resisted. That is until now.
The Motorola Droid looked great, providing a lot of the additional functionality that my wife and I were looking for, but most importantly, it was available for our wireless provider. Our wireless contract was up for renewal, and there was a special deal, where purchasing (at a discount) the Motorola Droid would enable a second similar phone to be free. Looking to upgrade, and the timing was right, and the prices were … well, not nearly as bad as they could be. I purchased the Motorola Droid for myself and my wife got the HTC Eris Droid.
It was a tough pill to swallow, but purchasing the phones feels like the right thing to have done. We were ready to move up in our technological use. As for myself, I was looking forward to possibly getting something similar to the Droid when it was first revealed, only dreaming wistfully that I might actually get the thing. Saturday afternoon I went into the Verizon store, asked about the package deal along with upgrading and renewing our contract early. It took some work, but I am not among the many people who have a phone that functions as more than just a phone.
While most people in my line of work, colleagues on both sides (both press and public relations/marketing) have had these types of devices for years, it’s new to me. Saturday all I wanted to do was browse through the marketplace and find various applications to download and install. I began to do so, but then I had to head to the airport to pick up Robert. I was equally excited to explore my new toy as well as visit with my friend.
It wasn’t until the next day when my wife and Robert went out to do some errands that I was able to spend some quality time exploring my new device. Much of what I am discovering may be “old hat” for many people, but it’s all new to me. I was able to transfer a song and edit the MP3 on my Droid establishing it for my ringtone. I’ve downloaded several local oriented applications, such as traffic cams, as well as some more entertainment oriented ones. What I’m really pleased with is that so much is available for free.
As I explore more of my new phone, I’ll most likely blog about it. Yeah, I might write a little about Robert’s visit too.