When news this week was announced that my current cell phone carrier, T-Mobile, is going to be merging with AT&T, I was less than thrilled. This comes after last week’s rumors that T-Mobile and Sprint were going to be merging. I was hoping this was just another bad rumor but the fact it was being reported by real news organizations, not just websites that post rumors, meant there was more to this one than the speculation about the merger with Sprint. With official announcements coming from T-Mobile, it just confirmed what I hope was not going to be the case. I’m not a happy camper about the news.
Why would I be not happy about the news? Well first off, I’ve been a very happy T-Mobile customer since 2003. I originally switched to them from my first cell phone carrier, which was Sprint. I didn’t leave Sprint because I was not happy with their service, I switched because Sprint is a CDMA technology carrier and I wanted to go to a GSM carrier as it’s more of a world standard service and since I do like to travel outside of the United States, I wanted a phone I could easily use outside the US. T-Mobile also offers to unlock their phones when you’re one of their customers so that when travelling abroad, you can easily switch out your T-Mobile SIM card with a pre-paid SIM card in the country you’re in to get a local number there. It’s a great option.
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When it comes to ABBA Tribute Bands, Arrival from Sweden is the world’s best. It is the most authentic recreation of an ABBA concert you’ll ever see, and Vicky Norbäck-Zetterberg, founding member of Arrival, has gone to great lengths to ensure the most authentic show possible, including enlisting the help of ABBA’s costume designer, Owe Sandström, to recreate some of ABBA’s signature costumes and choreography that’s be researched to match how ABBA originally performed the songs live. All the music is created live, unlike some ABBA tribute bands that actually bring recordings to sing to their shows. And who can resist authentic Swedish accents as they are real Swedes who are able to accurately sing the songs the way ABBA did.
Arrival’s performance in Palm Springs was part of the 2010 Evening Under The Stars charity event benefiting Palm Springs AIDS Assistance Program. The event was held on the grounds of the O’Donnell Golf Club, just a short walk away from Downtown Palm Springs. As the event was $395 a plate for the charity dinner, I was attending as a guest of the band. I had the opportunity to hang out with the band before and after the performance along with a couple of other guests the band invited.
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I stopped by to visit my parents yesterday at their new home in Temecula. The main reason for my visit was to spend more time with my Grandfather before he flies back to Canada on the January 4th. While there, my mom starts telling me about the adventures she and my dad have been through deciding on a television for the family room of the house.
They had visited the local Best Buy in Temecula and spent some time in the Magnolia section within the store. Magnolia is kind of like a store-within-a-store as it’s Best Buy’s “high end” shop so you’re going to find the fancier home theater equipment in that section. In the demonstration room they saw a Mitsubishi 52″ LCD TV that had a built-in soundbar and they were really impressed with it and the model in the store was on sale for $2,399.99 and they were including a free subwoofer with it. Well my dad isn’t quite so keen on spending that kind of money and I can’t say I blame him, that’s quite a bit of money.
While they were taking some time to think about it, my Mom finds another one on Best Buy‘s website that is a slightly older model of the the same TV on sale for $1,799.99. And after a bit of back and forth between my mom and dad about whether or not they should go for it, my mom decides she wants to go for it and has enlisted me to go down to the store with her to get it. I told her, that I wanted to look up the specifications on the TV first, so we looked it up online. So I hopped onto the mobile version of Best Buy’s website on my iPhone and looked up this Mitsubishi TV they were so intent upon getting.
Continue reading Assisting My Mom To Purchase A New TV
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Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.
This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.
I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.
I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.
Continue reading Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009
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Earlier this month, my good friend Vito Grandolfo, said that he was going to upgrade his iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS phone and wanted to know if I would be interested in his iPhone 3G. I was definitely interested and I asked Vito if he was interested in my older Blu-Ray player, a Samsung BD-P1600. And he was interested so we decided to do a swap. A older Blu-Ray player for an older iPhone.
Vito got his new phone on Christmas Eve and we arranged a time to the technology exchange on the day after Christmas as Vito was flying out to another assignment for his job the very next morning. I helped Vito set up the Blu-Ray player on his TV and gave him a couple of the freebie Blu-Ray discs I had gotten by mail order rebate with the purchase of the player and we made sure it all worked.
Because I’m a T-Mobile customer and not an AT&T customer it was going to take a little bit of time to get the new iPhone ready for use. I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to use the 3G network as AT&T’s 3G network operates on a different frequency than T-Mobile’s 3G network and they’re not compatible. But what I was looking forward to was the integrated GPS as the older original generation iPhone I was using was only ever able to approximate my location using triangulation between cell phone towers and was not always the most accurate, especially when trying to use Google Maps for directions or having the phone identify the direction I was traveling on highways for one of the traffic monitoring applications. Additionally the iPhone Vito gave me was double the capacity of the small 4 GB iPhone I was currently using at the time. So plenty of room to expand.
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Yesterday I decided to redeem the wonderful free burger coupon I got from Red Robin restaurant on my birthday. It had been a while since I last visited Red Robin. Usually I go with my roommate but today I went by myself.
I waited to go until about 1 in the afternoon so that I’d miss out on the lunch crowds. No need to tolerate a busy restaurant when you don’t have to that’s for sure. When I got there, there were just a handful of tables filled with people which was perfect. I got seated in a booth well away from the others already there, which was great.
My server ended up being a woman named Amy. She was the friendliest server I’ve ever had at Red Robin, which is a great compliment because I’ve had a lot of really friendly servers over the years of visiting Red Robin. In fact, I only once had a bad server at Red Robin and I never saw that guy working there again, so I can’t complain about Red Robin.
Amy saw I had one of the email coupons with me and asked to have it when I ordered so that she could get it entered right away instead of at the end. I think she assumed initially it was one of the current email coupons for $5.99 burgers as was surprised it was the birthday coupon. She immediately asked if it was my birthday that day to which I said it wasn’t. I mentioned I had gone up to Disneyland on the day of my birthday. She said her son was currently up at Disneyland that day to celebrate his birthday. She also said that he was an annual pass holder, so he was using the option of getting an additional admission to the park for a friend of his that didn’t have the money for the admission to go with him.
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