Virgin Mobile

Virgin-Updated-Logo-300x300I bought my first cell phone in 2002 against my partners wishes because he didn’t think I needed a cell phone, which if truth be told I really didn’t.  I mean, I don’t go to work everyday and need to make important phone calls, in fact I really hate talking on the phone lol.  I will call people from time to time, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it.  The main reason I wanted one was because I was traveling to visit family on the Greyhound and Amtrak busses back then two or three times a year and I didn’t like having to use dirty pay phones when I got there to have them come get me.  It was also difficult making and receiving long distance phone calls on their home phones, so I needed my own cell phone to call home.

nokia 3390 The cell phone that I bought was with T-Mobile and it was the Nokia 3390 which was fine at the time.  I had that phone for maybe 8 years and I hadn’t really used it for the last 4, but I kept paying for it just in case I needed it.  I had Gold Rewards, so I only had to pay for 1 month, but got a whole year of time.  I forgot to buy another card for another year and lost the number and the phone was no longer valid.

samsung-T401G-net10-hero-lg My next phone, which I am still using is a Samsung T401G, which is a great phone for texting, but the internet sucks on it and my signal is so weak that it drops calls on me all the time.  I got a “Are you there?” thing going on.  I have it with Net10 so I don’t have Gold Rewards which means I have to buy a $20 card every month to keep it even though I never use it.  I would use it more if it had more features though.

That’s where I am at now.  I really want to buy a smart phone to keep up with the times.  I have been shopping around, but nobody has given me any really good prices.  My partner has an iPhone with Verizon and he pays more than $100/mo for his service and he is stuck in a 2 year contract with 1 more year to go.  I don’t like that their smart (Android) pre-paid phones are $50 a month.  Net10’s smart (Android) pre-paid phones are also $50 a month, but they won’t sell one to me through their website and they are too expensive in the stores.

That brings me to Virgin…

I saw a commercial for Virgin, and even though I have seen this commercial a million times, it never clicked until last night.  They have Android smart phones and you never have to sign a contract.  You get 300 minutes with unlimited data and unlimited texting for only $35 a month.  That’s $15 more than I pay for my Net10 phone.  They also have another plan which is the same, except you get 1200 minutes for $45 a month and then unlimited everything for $55 a month.  That’s not bad.  Although I would get the $35 plan since I never use my minutes, I just want to use the apps with the unlimited data and texting.

What I really want a smart phone for is for certain apps that will make me money.  Like Staree which pays you when you take a picture and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  Viggle also pays you (with gift cards) when you check in when you are watching TV.  I mean, it’s not a steady income, but anything helps.  Plus I would like to read Kindle ebooks that aren’t available for my Nook without needing to buy a Kindle.

I also want a smart phone so I can do Facebook and Twitter updates and check email when I am not at home and don’t have a computer nearby, like at the doctor’s office while I’m waiting for him to come in the room for example.  I would also like to be able to play certain games that are only available on cell phones too.  My Samsung T401G has games, but they are nearly impossible to play with the numpad.

htcevov-gallery-angle-3 So, this is my Christmas wish.  I want a new HTC EVO V 4G Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile) .  Right now, this phone is $249.99 but on sale for $189.99 on the Virgin website, but it is on sale for $199.99 on Amazon.  Of course I don’t have the money for it now, but I will put money in PayPal every month until I can afford it.  I’m always broke so it’s difficult to save any money, and paying this much money up front for something like this would break me for the rest of the month. It’s not easy to just make a decision to spend that much money when I really don’t need to lol.

I chose this phone because it looks like a good phone.  It has a front facing camera and a 3D camera for video and pictures in the back.  According to a review, it’s good for playing games.  Even though this isn’t my main focus, I’m not going to buy a phone that doesn’t want to play games, because if it doesn’t play games well, then how would I expect it to run apps very well?

If/when I do buy this phone, I will probably give my current phone away to someone who doesn’t have a cell phone.  I won’t be able to keep my phone number, but I haven’t really given it out to too many people anyway, so changing my number won’t be a real issue.

I really don’t need this, but I want it, and why shouldn’t I have something cool, eh?

Oh and by the way, this is my commentary on my experiences and my wish for a new phone.  I am not getting paid for this.  It’d be cool if I were (hint hint wink wink Virgin Mobile).

Update: This is edited.  Previously, I chose the Kycera Rise and then I decided on the HTC One V.  I then decided that I wanted to spend a bit more and buy the HTC EVO V 4G.

Obviously I don’t have the money for this phone, but like I said in the paragraph with the phone, I will have to save up the money for it because this is a good phone.  Who knows, maybe by the time I have the money saved, it will go down in price and I’ll actually be able to afford it.

Bike Safety 101: Riding the Roads

This morning I had planned on getting up at 4:30am as usual for my bike ride but because I went to bed at 11pm last night, I was still too groggy so I decided to sleep another hour.  I don’t have any place to be so why not right?  Darrin, thinking that I’m awake comes into my room at 4:45am to make me read an article in the newspaper about bicycle safety.

When I got up at 5:30 I read the article and thanked him for thinking of me.  Fortunately I already know everything that was in the article so I was already covered.  Luckily I don’t have to spend too much time on the road with cars to have to worry, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be reminded of the rules of the road every now and again.

I noticed that the article was written by the Chicago Tribune so I went online to find it and here it is.  Bike safety 101: Riding the roads – Chicago Tribune

That article has some good points but there are some things that they didn’t mention so I am here to add something to the list.

When you are riding with a helmet, and make sure you are, also buy a helmet mounted rear view mirror so you can see the cars and cyclists behind you.  This helps me see the cars behind me on the road and it also helps me see when there are a bunch of cyclists speeding towards me.  The article says that assume that there are drivers who are either drunk, texting or just not paying attention.  You can’t be looking behind you constantly so it’s a good thing to have that mirror.  And not handlebar mirrors because in some cases you can’t really look down, that would be too distracting.

Unfortunately, as with cars there are blind spots, even with helmet mounted mirrors.  This morning as I was coming home, I left the bike trail and got back on the street with traffic and there is a stretch of road that curves.  Well, in my mirror I can see behind me but there is a blind spot.  Unless I turn my head to look completely, I won’t see the cars that are driving directly behind me in the right lane, only the cars in the other lanes.

I had stopped because of all the traffic.  I usually go out into the left hand turning lane in the center of the road to get back into the neighborhoods and it’s usually safe in that spot but this morning after all the cars passed by I started to ride again and as I was picking up speed I noticed out of my peripheral vision a black SUV that swerved to stop before it hit me.  That was my fault because I shouldn’t just look in the mirror, especially when I stop like that.  I need to turn my head around so I can see to make sure there aren’t any cars still coming.  I was still looking in the mirror so that’s why it was puzzling that I didn’t see it.

As I was getting in the turning lane I looked over at him and waved saying “SORRY!” and he waved back at me as if to say “it’s ok”.  If I had gotten hit, it would’ve been my fault because I wasn’t paying attention to my blind spots.

So that is another tip to think about when you are riding in curved roads with cars.  Check your blind spots before going into the turning lane otherwise you might get killed.

The funny thing is, I was thinking about that article when that happened so my mind was elsewhere.  I was thinking about bicycle road safety when I was unsafe.  Oh sweet irony.

I learned a huge lesson today about safety.  I also learned that if I can’t leave the house as early as 5am then perhaps I need to just stay home because it’s much easier to get into that turning lane early in the morning when there are no cars on the road.  I would much rather be safe with no cars than get hit by a car because of a stupid blind spot.

PlayStation Store

Wow I just read on the PlayStation Blog that the PlayStation Portable is going to get a firmware upgrade to 5.0 which will allow you to go to the PlayStation Store using the PSP to buy and download games, demos, wallpaper, themes etc.  All you have to do is sign in to your account and they keep your credit card info so you just buy something and you don’t need to worry about entering your credit card info.  Which is actually dangerous unless you have a very good password with at least 20 digits with random letters, numbers and symbols.

Ok so I just went to the PlayStation Store website and it says that the website is going to be down until late October cause they are totally redesigning the website so you can download to your PSP or PS3.  How will they make any money if their website isn’t operational for 2 weeks?  LOL.

Wow I just read the full blog and they are also adding a full keyboard for texting instead of like a phone.  That’s pretty cool and I can’t wait for that.  It will make texting on the PSP much easier I think.  They are also adding a sleep timer that can be used for playing music on the PSP.  I am not quite sure what that means, maybe if you set it for 1 hour then in 1 hour the PSP goes into sleep mode so you don’t waste your battery.  Like if you must have music on when you go to bed.  I actually like that idea because I do like to hear music when I go to sleep but don’t want it to run all night.