Thursday, February 18

Zombies!!!

I am not a zombie professional or a zombie historian. I am a fan of zombies and I have liked them for some time. I am not going to lie and say I have been a zombie guy since 1978 (which was 4 years before I was born) or say I have seen every foreign zombie movie out there. What I will say is I enjoy a zombie flick more than the average schmo. Also, on an unrelated note a penny just fell on my toe.
My first memory of anything zombie was watching Night of the Living Dead at my Grandma's house on a VHS tape. I was probably like 6 or 7. I am not sure if the movie was hers (doubt it) or if it was left behind by my Uncle Chris (probable). I watched a weird collection of movies at her house: The Lost Boys, The Disorderlies, Dumbo, and Night of the Living Dead. In retrospect I would like to imagine my Grandma watching Night of the Living Dead after a long day of doing what grandmothers do.
Fast forward a few years or a little more than a few. Fast forward all the way to 2002 when 28 Weeks Later came out. I had an idea of what zombie movies could/should be, but that changed it. The movie was a good zombie movie, and personally fast zombies scare me. Then the Dawn of the Dead remake came out and added a classic spin to the new fast zombie genre.
Anyways this is going to be another list post of my favorite zombie stuff. Lets do 5 different things shall we?

  1. Fido
    • Fido is a really cool movie that I can best explain by mixing Leave it to Beaver with a zombie. It is a really cool comedy and I hope you can check it out. (Add it to your Netflix instant queue).
  2. Dead Snow (Zombie Nazis)
    • Dod Sno is a Norwegian movie. It is super violent and slightly funny. The movie will not win any awards, but very cool mindless fun.
  3. 28 Days Later
    • Although this is not the prettiest Blu-Ray I own (video wise it is probable the worst) I love this movie. I love the sequel as well. 28 Days Later does a great job of making you feel lonely in a world that would be lonely. Has very fast moving zombies and the spread of the disease through blood or vomit make it disgusting and even scarier.
  4. Night of the Living Dead
    • I would say if you could only watch one zombie movie watch this one. This slightly edges out 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead (remake) for me. It is a good movie. It is scary and could be one of the only black and white movies I like.
  5. World War Z
    • I didn't say I was only doing movies, did I? Out of everything zombie I have experienced this is my favorite. I cheated and did not read the book, I listened to the audiobooks to and from work last summer. They chronicle different aspects of the zombie outbreak and different times. The book talks about the spread of zombies from a military standpoint and beyond. It is a great story and I hope somebody can translate it into a movie of trilogy. If you like zombies this is one of the coolest things to check out by far.
Sorry if I did not mention the shark killing zombies or zombie nachos. I would love to hear what you recommend or what you think of my list. Hasta las nachos @gizmoalex signing off.

Tuesday, February 9

My Android Must Have Apps

It has been some time since I regularly wrote for a blog and if you would like to see some of my writing or some general tips and tricks check out http://www.thephonestoreinc.com/blog/. One of my favorite posts that relates to this one is http://www.thephonestoreinc.com/blog/2009/09/the-beginnning-of-the-end-for-dumbphones/. Check it out and let me know what you think. I was a late comer to cell phones. 
I am not a person that can say I had a bag phone, or that I used to crank my cell phones for 20 minutes by hand before I could make a 30 second call for $20.00. I never wanted a cell phone for the simple reason I did not want to be reached. I worked many hours and I felt if I was not at work they could wait a few hours until I was back again. Well, I initially had Alltel (which was a decent enough company), then ATT (reception issues), and then I went to Sprint. My time with Sprint I have had a few dumb phones, a Motorola Q, a Blackberry 8830, Blackberry 8330, and now I have an HTC Hero.


I knew for some time I wanted an Android phone. I was waiting for two things, an Android phone worth having, and an Android phone that was based on CDMA and not GSM. I did like the G1, but I was not ready to go back to having a GSM carrier. So after some time I eventually came off of my 3rd party employee plan for Sprint and I upgraded my phone. 
I have had the phone for a month or two now and I really love it. The thing I miss the most is Blackberry Messenger and an actual physical keyboard. I think the iPhone has a superior touch keyboard to the HTC Hero, but it is not a deal breaker.The thing that is making us choose phones now is not necessarily the hardware, but the software that is on it.
When I say software I mean a few things. I mean the OS (Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, iPhone OS, etc.), the UI (Sense or MotoBlur), and the applications available for the phone. 
So after a 10,000 word introduction, here are my favorite applications for Android so far:

  1. Handcent SMS
    • A great text messaging app that can replace the stock application. It is free and has many customizable options. I like that it will autosize a picture for you before you attempt to send an MMS.
  2. Seesmic
    • My favorite Twitter application so far. I have tried Tweetcaster, Twigee, and Peep which comes stock on my HTC Hero. Seesmic now has multi-account support and when you refresh it will keep your place.
  3. Ringdroid
    • Awesome free application for clipping music on your phone and turning it into ringtones for you.
  4. Foursquare for Android
    • I was late to the Foursquare bandwagon, but it is a fun little application that allows you to check in where you are at. You can become the Mayor of a place if you check in more than anybody else.
  5. Advanced Task Killer
    • Useful application to help you bulk close several open applications on your Android device. MUST HAVE if you want to keep everything running smoothly.
  6. Amazon
    • I have never been much of a shopper, but Amazon allows me to find the stuff I want fast and usually reasonably priced. The app allows you to view recommendations based on your purchases and track your packages.
  7. Abduction
    • Fun game that allows you to make a cow jump from platform to platform until he gets to a spaceship. Much cooler than it sounds.
  8. Astrid
    • Great to do application for Android. Allows me to stay on track especially since I am a born procrastinator.
  9. Video Player (Jeff Hamilton)
    • Allows you to easily play MPEG4 or 3GPP files from your SD card. I recommend Videora to convert your video files to make sure they work. 
  10. Google Voice
    • I hate listening to Voicemail. This application will transcript it for you and allows you to listen to your Voicemail in no particular order.
If you have any questions let me know. Best way to contact is to e-mail me or send a reply or DM to @gizmoalex on Twitter.

Thursday, February 4

First Post Since 19 odd 6

As my good Twitter friend @geekshui pointed out, I have not written a blog post in a really long time. I initially wanted to write my blog as something I could do maybe two or three times a week, but it has been a slightly strange last few months. 
First of all, do I still love my daughter, the answer is yes. Since I have become a Netflix member (which I love) I have been trying to introduce my daughter to some classics we do not have. She is currently watching An American Tale.
Second off, I am actually not currently employed. It is weird for me to say that, a little embarrassing, but my company lost our biggest client and did some major (99% of staff) downsizing. I am staying positive and looking for a job I can grow into and be awesome at. I have been doing sales for some time. I love sales, but I also want to get into something that I can help people out and really make a difference in lives. 
Thirdly, my beloved Dallas Cowboys lost. I have liked them for about 18 years, ever since I could really understand the sport. They were America's team then. Through the good times and the bad they are my team and will always be my team. Something that really bothers me is people that love the Cowboys when they are winning, but bad mouth the team when they are not. It is not that people can't change teams, it is the hypocrisy of it all. 
In recent times Laura and I have been wanting a new animal more and more. We wish we could find somebody as awesome as Velveeta Sedgwick Miranda esq., but we are still looking. We want another male cat (to balance things out) or we would also love to have a French Bulldog.
So that is a summary of the recent times. I will write more soon......
Oh yeah WE MADE TAMALES!!!