I don’t feel very popular.

I was just poking around on Nokia’s site, helping Danielle shop for phones. Since – of course – the US site features few of the really interesting models, i usually switch regions and browse the UK portal (for simplicity) or the Italian or German ones (for practice).

When i flipped back to the US one today, i observed an interesting/disturbing trend that may or may not come as a surprise to you, gentle reader: Europeans don’t think very highly of Americans! Yes, i know, it’s too crazy to be true, but still… look at the subtle hints Finnish Nokia has worked into their international web presence:

Kevin, back me up on this? – i think it’s safe to assume that a skateboarding, sun-worshipping Canadian blond indicates someone from Nokia spent a really great semester abroad in Vancouver and thinks Canada is just swell.

I’ve been cheating on you with a Finnish girl.

I realize it’s been a long couple of weeks. It has for me, too, but in a good way. I’m sure you’ve all been managing without me, finding your dosage of ‘)”>ugly animal pictures that are their antidote. You’ve probably turned elsewhere for your stories of stupid people making the news and found new examples of ‘)”>random humorous anecdotes to keep the internet spinning ’round in my absence. Really, i’d be surprised if you’re back at all… there really is so much out there.

For my part, i’ve been keeping a full social calendar thus far in 2006, partly as a recovery from a holiday season filled with traveling, errands, career moves and 27 consecutive days of rain and partly because i feel i can afford it now, even though a first paycheck from the new job won’t arrive until Feb. On the job subject, i’ve been doing a bit of working 😉 and it’s going very well. A great new team that i’m really beginning to feel at home with and only one more week of walking halfway across downtown from my old parking spot because i refuse to not park in a spot that’s still paid for.

I’ve also been geeking out with my ‘)”>amazingly cool software that i was totally unaware of until i joined the Bluetooth cool kids’ club. Unwrapping some new tech is always fun, and no disparagement intended for my new ‘)”>FrontRow using my phone as the remote. And then there’s the RSS reader and the tiny-screen-sized versions of Opera, Google Maps and pretty much the rest of the internet. It’s such a powerful device i’m finding new things it’s capable of every day. You’ll know these moments by the giggling accompanied by a look like there’s a balloon being blown up inside me and i just need to tell someone what i’ve discovered or i’m going to explode.

Regardless of my preoccupations, however, i’m still committed to pointing out the ‘)”>Finnish mistress and i have a very open relationship.

Oh, and don’t mind the beeping coming from my head. That’s just my neural implants reading my SMS messages.

I need a gadget. I mean, like *need*.

Okay, i’m going thru withdrawals here. I need something shiny, flash, beepy… with buttons and/or a screen… i need a new toy. My old toys just aren’t fun anymore! 🙁

I’m not saying my old toys aren’t any good. Although some of them are showing signs of wear. A year and half later, my iPod is down to 5 hours of play instead of eight. But that’s nothing serious… what’s serious is that i haven’t been able to put any new music on it or take the bad stuff off for like 9 months! So those same stupid tracks keep popping up when they’re not wanted. Argh! I really don’t have the $$ to buy a new one, and a shuffle just isn’t the same. :p

And then there’s the phone. I still really like my Nokia 7210… but man i wish it had bluetooth! Cause i have this nifty bluetooth headset, and bluetooth for the Powerbook… and the phone is soo out of the loop. Plus i somehow cracked the faceplate while i was home in MT… apparently the environmental extremes of my jeans pocket were too much for the high-quality plastic. Now i could just buy a new faceplate on ebay for 25 bucks (which would include a new keypad, too, to replace mine with the dangling 1-key)… but that’s no fun. I just want a new phone… something shiny and cool like a 6230. (Cause i don’t think i’m cool enough for a 7610. Sigh. How am i supposed to feel socially confident with a wireless clunker?

And speaking of clunkers… ooh, don’t get me started! The Z is doing this weird thing now where every time the driver seat shifts, the sub cuts in an out. Since the driver seat is missing a bolt (don’t ask) every curve, brake, bump and (especially in this car) hit to the gas makes the sub go “thub… thub thub” as it turns on and off. Sooo annoying.

Now i’m not so desperate for a cool new battery-sucking toy that i’ll take anything. I certainly have no use for a nail polishing kit powered by USB, or any of the weirdness that such a juxtaposition of tasks implies. I also have almost no desire for a hello kitty cellphone. But i don’t think the Koreans are completely crazy to build wireless phones that monitor your blood sugar, body fat, or who knows what all else via some undisclosed cyborg link. How cool would that be?

Well, enough linking you to weird electronic stuff. Screensavers is on, and according to Sage the lovely Morgan Webb has new photos up since yesterday (probably of Adam doing stupid things, but i still have to check… can’t dis on my dream girl). So I’m gonna go do that… and maybe do an ebay search for “3G ipod for parts.”