Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cell data options for under $30 per month

Yes, I’ve lost that loving feeling with AT&T GoPhone.  We started off passionately at 10 cents a minute and a data package.  Then AT&T sent out their first “Dear John” letter to let me know that they didn't love me that much and could no longer add a data package… they needed more commitment.  Yes, they would “grandfather” me into their $1.00 per day plus 10 cents per minute plan so we could stay friends and they would be willing to offer a data package.  I guess they decided being friends wouldn't work because AT&T has now taken action to end this relationship and replace it with their “resolution” which is to place me on their flat $2.00 per day plan…they say it’s better for both of us that way.  The AT&T customer service rep told me they would restore the (over) 500mb of data that had stripped without notice; yes, they restored it right after they charged me $10 to purchase it.  Unfortunately, I prepaid for a full year so I am stuck in this one sided relationship until the end of this year, but I've decided it’s time for me to start dating again.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A trip to Whole Foods Market, Albany, NY

As the locals are aware, a new player has entered the grocery market in Albany, NY opening their first store on the Sears end of the Colonie mall.  Many have eagerly awaited the arrival of Whole Foods Market although my perception was that the fanfare was not as intense as the welcome given to Trader Joe's a few years back.  The first and most striking thing about Whole Foods Market is

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reinaldo Arenas

I have chronicled my penchant for reading and as is reflected within this blog, I steadily acquire books through the Book Nook at the Crossings, the Colonie library, Goodwill and the Salvation Army in addition to an occasional lawn sale.  The hunt for new material is often as much fun for me as the actual reading.  Oftentimes, I have some inclination to make a purchase such as having previously heard of the work through the New York Times book review or some other source.  Other times, I gamble with fate and pick up something I had never heard of based on interest piqued by a read of the covers.  Such was the case with Before Night Falls, by Reinaldo Arenas.  This book had piqued my interest as an autobiography of an individual who was severely impacted by Fidel Castro.  For us around 50ish who were not directly impacted and not students of Cuban history, Cuba and Fidel are generally given little thought.  Sure there are murky memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban boat people, but it is hard for us to feel it and truly get it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My migration from iPad 2 to an iPad 4

I recently had the opportunity to pick up an iPad 4 for a great price ($250) through Craig’s List.  I was somewhat hesitant as I currently had an iPad 2 with 32gb and 3g whereas the “deal” iPad 4 was only 16gb and wifi only.  Losing the 3g was not a big deal for me.  As all should be aware, using this cellular feature is at an additional expense and I did not have a need for it and had never used this feature in the 2 years or so that I had owned the iPad 2.  I was a bit more concerned about giving up the 32gb of space.  My music collection is around 16gb alone and I did not want to be tight on space for apps and pictures.  While somewhat concerned, this too was not a big issue as I seldom listened to music using my iPad (unlike the iPod, it is simply too big to conveniently lug around and I never purchased a player for the iPad).  I found using a cheap USB drive in the car and my Android phone at work pretty much covered my music needs.  While I had loaded many apps onto the iPad 2, the reality was that most of them were infrequently being used (and some were never used… having been acquired during promotions as a free app).  Thus, when all things were considered, I saw little downside to parting with my 32gb 3g iPad 2 and I was able to sell my iPad 2 on Craig’s list for the same price ($250) that I bought my iPad 4.