Got Android 4.0.4 on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus today – almost!

As you can see, I still have the old version.
As you can see, I still have the old version.

Something very strange just happened. I had read the news that Android 4.0.4 was coming to the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, so I was not surprised when I turned on my phone and got what looked like a screen that showed I was getting a system update.What’s strange is it had a big green arrow at the top, pointing to the start button on the right, that said “Start! —>” yet at the same time it said “Downloading” in the middle of the screen with a warning, “Do not turn off target!” So I figured I’d leave it alone. Then I thought I’d maybe tap the “Start!” arrow to see if anything happened. Thought I’d leave it alone again. Left it alone for 40 minutes. Then I thought it must have been long enough to download the update, plus there was that arrow pointing to the start button saying, “Start!” So I pressed the start button on my phone, and it started up as usual. I checked System Preferences > About phone, and saw that I still had 4.0.2. Do you think it would take longer than 40 minutes to download the update? What’s more, do you think whoever designed the update screen could write it so it doesn’t contradict itself? By the way, I did try System Preferences > About phone > System updates > Check now, and it told me my system was currently up to date. Very weird.

Did you get the Android 4.0.4 update on your Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and if so, how did the process go for you?

My photos on Cabela’s t-shirts!

Yes, that’s me standing in Cabela’s store in Glendale, AZ, holding up two of the t-shirts my photos were used for– and I’m standing right in front of the taxidermy specimens I photographed! I was so excited to see the fruits of my labor that I bought two of these t-shirts for myself and one for my mom and one for my dad. Not bad that I earned $600 for selling four photos for use on graphic tees, either!

Here’s my photo of the African Lion:

Cabela's 21.JPG

And here’s General Sports Apparel‘s design using it: (more…)

Wii and Wii Fit Review: First Impressions

Wii! It's Mii!

It’s been over a week since I bought a Wii and just under a week since I bought a Wii Fit. I’d like to share just a few brief first impressions (not a lengthy review but a bulleted list of likes and dislikes).

Wii: Likes & Dislikes

  • Likes

    • Active, physical involvement in the games
    • Something fun to do with my husband besides the obvious
    • Great fun when friends & family are visiting
    • Opportunities to play over the Internet
    • Internet connectivity for news, weather, etc.

  • Dislikes

    • Graphics at a maximum of 480p with the component cable I was lucky enough to find on sale for $19.99. Not much better than the 480i graphics with the composite cable that came with the Wii. I’m not saying they suck; I’m just saying HD graphics would be preferable.
    • Music is, well… not bad, but it gets old fast. It would be nice if the system and each game would play different music sometimes or have better, less “canned” sounding music.
    • The number of nags you have to click through to do anything. “Remember to wear the wrist strap” Click A. “Make sure there’s enough room around you” Click A. “Hold down the A and B buttons on your remote.” Okay, already!

Wii Fit Likes & Dislikes

  • Likes
    • Balance board. As a gaming peripheral, it’s a marvelous invention.
    • The ski jump and ski slalom games. I bought the Wii fit mostly for these.
    • Even more exercise than you can get with the Wii alone.
    • Measuring, charting, goal-setting (imperfectly implemented, but good per se).

  • Dislikes
    • Being told I’m overweight when to the world, I’m normal.
    • Not being able to set a BMI goal. The Wii tells me I’m overweight because my BMI is around 25, but it doesn’t let me set a goal for a lower BMI; it only lets me set a goal for a lower weight. At 5’10” and 175#, I don’t really need to lose weight.
    • The number of nags you have to click through to get to anything you want to do. This is even worse that with the Wii in general. There’s all these little fitness tips and cheerful banter you have to click through, such as “Winter’s almost gone, so it’s a good time to take some of the weight off our bellies” and “Good morning! Do you feel refreshed?”
    • The emotional roller coaster of positive and negative feedback it gives you. You make it through the slalom, no matter how badly, and the graphic shows your Mii with its ski poles in the air (Yay!) and the caption says, “Goal!” But the very next thing you see, if you didn’t do a near-perfect run, is your Mii hunched over, panting, drooping, sad-eyed, like a big LOSER! A sore, petulant loser at that. It’s ridiculous. Best to ignore it and enjoy the game. I’m certainly not slumped over like my Mii!
    • A word about step aerobics. I’m a singer with lots of music and dance training. I played tenor drum in a marching band as a teenage. Like Gene Kelly, “I got rhythm.” Now don’t you tell me that my steps are “OK” but not “Perfect” because I don’t keep in step with the other Miis! Urgh! I’m telling you, the movement of the Miis is OUT of step with the music. The only way for me to move ahead and unlock the advanced step aerobics was to step with the other Miis, which felt very dysrhythmical! Can I get an Amen?

Improving at Wii Fit Slalom!

Summary

All right, I know it sounds like I don’t like the Wii Fit because my dislikes were longer rants than my likes. But I really do like it overall. I love the slalom and ski jump. I haven’t actually skied in years (decades), but I love the sense of freedom I get from “skiing” with the Wii Fit. Which brings me to a final “like” which applies greatly to both the Wii and the Wii Fit: the opportunity to play all these different games without having to haul out all this different equipment. The opportunity to jump from playing “virtual” golf, tennis, bowling, baseball, boxing (Wii) and aerobics, yoga, balance games, and strength training (Wii Fit) all in one place with minute changes to the “actual” world must not be underestimated. Think of all the tennis balls you don’t have to go chasing and collecting! It’s no replacement for the real world, but it’s damn cool virtual one.

My Favorite Shaving Cream – Discontinued!

Edge ActiveCare Shave Cream has been discontinued. I am sad and frustrated because it was the best shaving cream I’ve used in over a quarter of a century. It is rich and creamy, helps the razor glide across my face and slice through my beard, rinses clean, and leaves my face feeling calm and moisturized! It’s not drying or sticky the way so many other shaving creams are. And now it’s gone! My husband loves it too, and this is our last tube of it. I looked online, and you can’t even get this stuff on EBay anymore. (Someone was selling it for $10 a tube, but they ran out. Someone else was selling it on Amazon for $14 a tube, and only had 5 left as of last night.)

But there is a sliver of good news. I called S.C. Johnson & Son just now to verify that the product had been discontinued and to request that they start making it again. They told me that the product was, indeed, discontinued in March, but they also told me something great. When they discontinued it, they bought it back from retailers so they could sell it by mail order to customers who loved it enough to call and ask about it. And they’re not selling it for $10 or $14 a tube– they’re selling it for $4 a tube plus shipping and handling. I just bought four cases, six tubes per case! The shelf life is two years, so that should last me and my husband for the next couple of years or so.

Sure, I could buy a bunch of cases and sell it on EBay for a profit, but I’m going to do loyal Edge ActiveCare customers a favor: just call S.C. Johnson & Son at 800-558-5252, tell them you wish they would put Edge ActiveCare Shave Cream back on the market, and order a case of six for yourself while supplies last. No, I am not employed by S.C. Johnson & Son. I just love this product and want to get it back on the market. Selling it on EBay for a profit is not going to accomplish that. Sharing this information with fellow customers and asking them to call, voice their demand for the product, and order it from the manufacturer at an affordable price just might do the trick! (And it couldn’t hurt my karma, either.)