Tuesday, March 15, 2011

iPad 2 Adventure


Well, it's official, I am now the proud owner of Apple's newest electronic marvel, the iPad 2. Getting one was a bit of an ordeal, however, and the story deserves to be told.

First off, I know many of you are already shaking your heads about getting an iPad at all since I already had a first generation iPad, but hear me out. When I first bought my iPad last year I wrestled with the decision given that, at the time, I thought it was going to be nothing more than an expensive toy. I had a difficult time justifying spending that kind of money on something that I felt wouldn't be useful beyond a few nifty apps and reding the news. Once I got my iPad, however, I realized just how valuable it would be as a companion to my computer. I quickly learned how to do e edgy ing from my lesson plans to my grade book on Apple's magical device. It has now become as necessary a gadget as my cell phone (another device I was resistant to at first).

I was never an Apple FanBoy and would never have considered waiting in line for an Apple product (in fact I was probably one of those people making fun of those people in line). All that changed with the release of the iPad 2.

Now I know what you're thinking, what could possibly be better about the iPad 2. Well, the truth is, everything. There are many skeptics out there that are adamant that the iPad 2 is not worth the money if you already own an iPad, however, I disagree. The iPad 2 eliminates every complaint (perhaps gripe would be a more appropriate word) about the iPad 1. It is MUCH more comfortable to hold, the screen is clearer and brighter, easier to read outdoors, the responsiveness is impressive and the difference in speed is more than noticeable. I use this device daily in the classroom and having something that is significantly more comfortable to carry around is a plus. The magnetic case is top notch and a credit to Apple's ingenuity. So while I may not convince everyone how much I love the new iPad I can certainly entertain you with the story of finding one,

I set out to find the new iPad on Friday, release day, right after work. I anticipated a line so I left as soon as I could. When I arrived, the line was not only long, it went down a block and around the back of the building. I got in line and they began handing out tickets for guaranteed sales. They claimed that the tickets were half of their stock. Given that I was six people away from the last person with a ticket, I figured that I had a pretty good chance of getting one. I mean how many people were really going to buy two iPads? Needless to say, after waiting in line for nearly three hours and getting within six people of the doors of the store they announced, to me and the two hundred people still behind me, that they were sold out.

I left the Apple Store empty handed and a bit disheartened, but I knew this was a possibility so I took it with a grain of salt and figured that it just wasn't meant to be. I resolved myself to just living with the one that I had and getting a new one later on when they were more readily available. Yeah, right! I was obsessed! I couldn't just let this go, I called every store in the area to see if they had any in stock. Every Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Apple Store had all sold out. I made it through the weekend without too much disappointment and continued to check around on the off chance that someone may get one in. I figured that, since it was Spring Break and I had the time, I would stop in on Monday. The Apple store was bound to get another shipment in.

I showed up at the Apple store in Grapevine an hour before it opened. There was already a line. I kid you not, there were already ten people waiting for this damned thing. I wasn't really surprised and I waited in line anyway. The Apple store en lyre was very nice and gave us all Starbucks Double Shots to make our wait more comfortable. Once the store was open for sales they came out and announced that they had gotten FIVE iPads in their delivery. They were the white models, 32gig storage, WiFi only. My heart stopped and I actually got a little dizzy because that was the exact model I wanted. She spoke with the people in the front of the line to see if that is what they wanted, and it wasn't. HOME FREE!!! I thought. How lucky was I that I was not only going to actually get one, but I'd bet getting the exact model that I wanted as well. Hooray!!! Wait... What...

"I'm sorry," the woman says, "but we were mistaken, they aren't the WiFi only, they are the 3G and the gentlemen at the front want them."

Ok, now you're just being mean!

I left, a bit more disappointed and a LOT more disheartened. I couldn't believe I was THAT close only to be turned away, yet again. I left the store and once again called every store within driving distance. No one had any. I stopped in at the Best Buy in Grapevine, since it was right across the street at that point and figured I'd just stop in rather than calling. The Geek Squad member informed me that while they were sold out, they would take reservations for $100 down. I contemplated it for a moment thinking of many bad experiences with Best Buy, but I figured it was better than driving myself crazy. I put down the $100 and felt better knowing I would at least have a new iPad in a week or two.

I could have ordered it online, but I would have had to wait two weeks to a month any way and at least if something was wrong, Best Buy would be there to return it to. I went home and worked on my book for the rest of the afternoon. Out of curiosity I kept checking local retailers online to see if any stock showed up. Nothing. Around 2 in the afternoon I got on Best Buy's website on a whim. The iPad I wanted was in stock at the Best Buy in Grapevine. I called, just to see what they would say. An associate named Melissa answered and said they had none in stock. Within 2 minutes of hanging up the phone, I got a call back from Melissa that my iPad was in. I'd go into the amount of rejoicing I went through at that point, but I'll spare you the details.

Needless to say I was a very happy camper at that point, having left promptly to get to Best Buy before my luck ran out. They were the only store in the Metroplex to have gotten a shipment of the iPad I wanted. The whole ordeal makes me appreciate that I was able to get one when I did, I never expected to be able to find one. I thought I would have to wait a month before they were available again. My mom is also happy because she is the recipient of my old iPad, she and my niece will enjoy every second of it. In the mean time, for all of you who think I'm crazy for going through what I went through to get one, remember, there's something in your life you'll get just as excited about.

Friday, March 4, 2011

PANTIES!!!

That was the subject of discussion today at work. Actually, the discussion was about words that annoy which naturally led to panties. Personally, I don't have a problem with panties (except when they ride up in the back).

Words are such interesting things to have such power over people that they can evoke such strong feelings independently from their true meaning. A word that sends chills up the spine of a coworker is the word moist. Don't ask me why, she couldn't explain it either but it apparently evokes such strong emotions for her it makes her want to puke. I don't get it. Who doesn't like moist cake?

Now if you take the two words I've touched on in this post and put them together I can certainly see where one might cringe. And if we can get back to panties for a moment, I just have to clarify that I have never actually worn a pair.

The word that bothers me the most is not actually a word at all, it's a name. Sorry True Blood fans, but just the mere mention of the name Sookie makes me want to run, screaming from the room. Don't know why.

So, while your contemplating your choice in panties and eating moist cake with your best friend Sookie, take a moment to share your most hated word.

Never underestimate the power that words hold.

Time Travel

Driving to work in the mornings I always see the electronic signs that announce "Travel Time to..." My fogged brain insists on reading them as "Time Travel to..." Which got me thinking about Time Travel in novels.  At the DFW Writer's Convention they mentioned that Time Travel was out as far as accepting manuscripts and I wondered why that is. I suppose it's overdone and difficult to execute successfully but I would love to read a really good Time Travel story. What are your thoughts on Time Travel novels?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ghosts

A coworker and I had a conversation today about ghosts and whether or not we believed in them. It got me thinking about the whole idea of ghosts and why they are so popular. I also wanted thoughts on how many have tried writing stories with ghosts in them. One of the books in my series is going to put a different spin on ghosts so I wanted people's thoughts about their own experiences or perceptions.

Harder Than I Thought

Wow! Setting up a blog was much more time consuming than I had anticipated. Of course, it didn't help that I started with Wordpress. I thought that Wordpress would be the best to use but it was very difficult to figure out how to use and by the time I got it all set up I kept having problems with it. I decided, after much frustration just to go over to Blogger. It took me half the time to set up the same things I had set up through Wordpress. Lesson learned, but I'm happy to say that I finally have a blog up and running. Now I just need to get published!

Getting Started

Ok, so I've never really done a true blog before so bare with me.  It will be a long time before this is ready for prime time, but if you're willing to give it a shot, I'll try my best to make it worth your time.  I'm new the the whole business of writing.  I started writing a novel years ago.  The original manuscript was actually a short story that has grown into a series.  I went to the DFW Writer's Conference for the first time this past weekend and learned a lot.  I was fortunate enough to get a pitching session with my first choice agent Amy Boggs with the Donald Maass Literary Agency. I can't help but be excited at the prospect of getting picked up by such a wonderful agent. I had researched her before and had already decided to query her before finding out she was attending the conference. I can only hope that she likes my manuscript. All in all, the conference was a blast!  I learned so much and realized how much more I need to learn (especially about blogs).