HTC Droid Incredible

The below is the review I just posted on Amazon for my new HTC Droid Incredible:

I echo what so many other reviews have said about this phone – great device in so many ways, not so great battery life. The hardware is nice, great screen and good functional buttons across the bottom. But the hardware is not where this phone distinguishes itself. After spending the last two years with the BlackBerry Storm and RIM’s OS 5.0, moving to Android 2.2 is so satisfying, especially since I am no longer doing battery pulls throughout the day. I finally feel like I arrived at the app party, as the BB App World just wasn’t doing it for me. And while I was sad to leave BB Messenger (the strongest reason to stick with BB for your personal device needs and the only thing that is keeping RIM alive outside of corporate email), I easily found an app that essentially replaces BBM for free. The Android Marketplace is easy to navigate and includes anything you would want, and often multiple versions of it. And while it is true that Android OS makes this phone what it is, users also get the benefit of the HTC user interface. In my mind, the HTC Sense interface is why people love this phone more than anything Motorola puts out. Needless to say, I am extremely happy with my switch and there is little I would change with this phone. I have customized this phone and this will be my can’t-live-without device for at least the next two years. To beat the battery issues, I have taken to bringing my charger with me to work and charging it fully before I leave for the day in addition to charging it over night. Yes it’s a pain, but this is what’s necessary when you must always be connected. When I think back to my first cell phone seven years ago, it is incredible how far we’ve come.

Neko

Over five years ago I finally gave in to my wife’s pleas for us to get a cat. We were in a small apartment at the time and I was hesitant at first. But I eventually agreed and we brought home a beautiful, mixed female cat from the local animal shelter. Her name in the shelter was Vixen. Once we brought her home, we named her Neko. That cat, thanks to her friendly and loving nature, soon became a good friend and a stable and fun part of our household. After living in two different apartments, my wife and I bought a house and in we moved in with our two daughters and cat (who, by the way, we have had longer than either one of our daughters). In our house, she had more room to roam, but also had easier access to get outside through the front door. The first time she escaped, I didn’t think I would see her again. But she soon came back and we cleaned her up. We then developed a scheme to keep her in the house as we were entering and leaving. But she still whined by the door at times, yearning for the adventure and excitement of a few hours outside.

Last week I was in Switzerland when Neko got out again. No one at home was concerned, as Neko had always come home before after escaping from the house. It was cold and dark and it was expected that she would return shortly. But today, more than a week after she sprinted down our front porch steps, she has yet to come back. I like to think that she might find her way back one day, but it has been unbearably cold and snowy. It is sad to think that Neko has either found a new home or is sadly dead. I can’t think of any other alternative, but hope she is okay wherever she is.

So this post is for her. Yes, I know Neko is a cat (and I swear I’m not a cat guy). But she was our cat and I took care of her more than anyone else in our house. She was a fun addition and I will miss her. Wherever you are Neko, know that we won’t forget you.

One Liter of Tears

I recently enjoyed a Japanese television drama on DVD entitled “One Liter of Tears.” It was a heartwarming and touching story of a young girl in Japan named Aya that is struck with a fast-moving degenerative disease called spinocerebellar degeneration. Shortly after her diagnosis, her physician encourages her to begin keeping a journal of her thoughts, experiences, pain and emotions. She was diligent in keeping her journal and the entries and poems she wrote began to be published while she was still alive. The television drama is based on the real life story and writings of Aya Kito. The drama series took Asia by storm a few years ago and I finally caught up with the craze. If you don’t mind crying, I highly recommend the story. The entire drama can be viewed here.