Blackberry week 1

Well, this week has been fun. The end of the week is here and the phone is still working.

I’ve had no problems with voice (thanks to the Airave) and no problems with data. The only real issue with the phone has been the signal bar, and my lack of experience with the device itself.

The signal indicator likes to fluctuate around from full signal to nothing, and between 1x (basic voice) and 1xEV (full 3g speed). After doing some research at, I’ve found out that my phone, a 8330, is actually an 8330m…an upgraded model with slightly different circuitry than what’s been sold over the past year. With this change, came a new operating system…

Another carrier’s model has version 138, and I tried it. It made the signal much more steady, but I had something against running a different OS that is neither stock, nor tested by others. There is a Hybrid OS in the works at Crackberry, but 54 pages of text made me decide against trying it as there are 4 carriers and 2 versions of difference that I have to contend with.

The connection changes between 1xEV are due to Sprint’s network. They say that voice and data cannot be done simultaneously as AT&T does with the iPhone (from what folks have told me), therfore the phone is constantly checking data, then checking voice, checking data, checking voice, and so on. It’s kind of backwards though considering that it’s a Blackberry…a data device that should have access all the time. lol Sprint has said that they are working to improve the way data and voice work to allow both, but there isn’t a time-line on when they will change it.

Other than these issues, I’ve had no problems at all. I’ve downloaded programs, games, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and they all work great. It’s nice when I’m browsing the web and I get a Tweet and Facebook message. I’ve got a Star Trek communicator sound that notifies me, and teh screen shows a red star on the icon of the notifying application.

For missed calls, messages (SMS and MMS) and e-mail, the star shows on a general Messaging icon that has everything under one “hood”. I open the app and there is a list of each item: an envelope for e-mail, an italicized envelope for texts, and a little phone for missed calls.

As a Blackberry exclusive, they include the Blackberry Messenger. Think of it as an IM client for Blackberry-only communication. Each blackberry has a unique PIN number. When someone gives you this number, you put it in here and you can contact them at any time (with delivery and read notification.) It works just like AIM or Yahoo. Any messages also show in the Messaging icon, but as a smiley that includes the entire conversation.

It’s really a unique device, and after being with mine for less than a week, I think I will have one from now on…it really is addicting. Now I know why Obama didn’t want to let his go. LOL


worry2On the other front…I haven’t been able to sleep very well.

Right now, it’s 2am and I’m not even sleepy. I took Tylenol PM. It usually takes about an hour for it to start affecting me, so I should be ready for bed by the time I’m done here.

I’ve started to realize that without a job, Life sucks. lol For the past 11 years (23 including school), my days have been spend either at school, or working. My time has been worth something. But now, nothing.

I have spent the past few weeks putting in job applications, sending correspondence to the VA, doing chores around the house, and playing with the blackberry. Up until now, I’ve spent my days trying to keep myself occupied. But at night, that is when my mind has been free to wander. And wander it has…

I’ve thought about my future. The future of my family. Where will we be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? What will happen if the VA shafts me as the military had? What if I keep getting rejected for jobs? I know that I have a skill-set that is useful for military contractors and/or the government. The problem I run into is this:

I have 11 years experience as an aviation electrician. I can’t get a low-paying job because the potential employer thinks I’ll run away. I’m over-qualified to them. I can’t get a job doing what I did in the military, because I don’t have a degree. I’m stuck between a rock, and a hard place. On one hand they are afraid to hire me even though they want me, and on the other hand I’m not qualified.

Right now I have an accepted application as a “Helper/Support-Trainee” at Tinker AFB. They haven’t done interviews yet for any of the accepted, so we are all waiting for them to call. This is an entry-level job that can place me anywhere as a full-time employee where they will train me in the job they select for me…just like a brand-new military recruit. They could also place me in a position that is suited to my qualifications too, so I’m hoping for that.

I was contacted by a company in Greenville, TX this week. Once that I found at the career fair a couple of weeks ago. They have me set for an interview on Monday, and are assisting my financial needs to get me there for it. They sound interested, and after my research in the company and the area down there, I’m actually optimistic. The company does research/development for new military and civilian avionics systems, and that is what I am looking for.

My early years as an airman were spent working in a cage on new and innovative systems for C-130s, and MH-53s. It was mainly for the new satellite communication systems, but I also worked on normal communication and navigation units as well. I spent 2 weeks in Las Vegas for the testing of a glass-cockpit and satellite upgrade, and was also involved in the upgrade of the satellite system on the 53. the latter was supposed to be a 1 week ordeal, but problems arose in the first week and they called me in during the second week. I volunteered to do the troubleshooting of the system, and after 1 day I found the problem (with the help of my coworkers experience of course). I resolved it, made a checklist for it and explained it to the civilian company that owned the system. They pretty much let me have my way in repairing it and writing the checklist. After the fix was verified, we took the resolution to the base commander and he signed my application to have it installed in the entire MH-53 fleet. I got the Commander’s COin and an Achievement Medal for that one. I loved that job.

OK…I made it sound like I was the only one that could fix this thing, but honestly if it weren’t for my coworkers and my civilian counterparts, the problem would probably still be an issue. They all gave me a lot of latitude, and I owe it to my boss for trusting me to get the job done. I’m glad he did. He gave me a chance, and I wasn’t going to let him down. He knew my experience, but he knew what I was capable of.

Because of Jerry Smith, I was a more confident airman…a better team-worker…a better person. That week I learned that I was capable of anything.

Now, I sit here, typing this blog wondering what I will be doing next. Sweeping floors, passing out hamburgers, or just being a dead-end blue-collar worker doing the same job for days on end for the next 30 years. I could be doing these things, but I have higher standards for myself.

It is correct that beggars can’t be choosers, but I’m not begging yet, and I’m still choosing. I choose to get the job I want, and choose to enjoy it. It’s just a matter of time until I find that job, that employer, who is willing to trust me and give me a chance to not let them down.


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