I’d like to thank Sudbay Motors of Gloucester for providing wireless internet in their waiting room, so that I could research and draft part of this blog while I waited for a small repair to be made on my gallant Jeep Commander (I love this car) this Valentine’s Day, er, I mean . . . Veteran’s Day. Jeeps being originally military vehicles, this seemed highly appropriate. Sudbay, I should say, has a really sweet waiting room, otherwise, as well, as it features leather couches and chairs and a stainless steel fridge stocked with drinks and free coffee and tea. (If you’re looking for a Jeep, Sudbay is a great place to buy. Ask for Dale.) And, my concentration in the waiting room was nearly unbroken until these kids came in and started watching iCarly. (This girl hasn’t done a thing good since “School of Rock”.) Oh, well.

Isn’t it funny when words get shortened, expanded or changed all together? Like, phone “applications” have become phone “apps”. Whereas, the American League “Gold Glove” for shortstop has become the “Derek Jeter Can’t Field for Crap, has No Range, is Overpaid (Like the Rest of His Teammates) and Should Not Even be the Starting Shortstop on His Own Team, And Yet Still Wins Gold Gloves Memorial Award”. It’s funny how life is.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what an iPhone is. You’ve also seen the insufferable “There’s an app for that” commercials. (Really. There’s an app for that? I guess so.) Of course, there’s the sanctioned App Store, where you can access the free and pay iPhone apps. That’s if you’re into being held down by the man. There’s also a bunch of apps that you can download from outside the Apple canon, should you choose to “jailbreak” your iPhone, allowing download of such rogue apps, or paid apps for free.

So, yeah, the iPhone has apps, and plenty of them, depending on how much of a bad ol’ country boy you are. And, lawyers have become hip to the iPhone revolution, too, which probably makes it something less like a revolution, actually, but . . . If you look online (or not, because I’ve already done so, for you . . .) you can find some of those ubiquitous Top (apps) for Lawyers Lists, including ones written by the Mac Lawyer himself, by Ernie the Attorney and for the Virginia Lawyers Weekly. You know when somebody writes a Top Ten List about something that it’s not really any longer a viral sort of deal. Just ask David Letterman . . . he’s made a career out of the concept. There’s even a blog devoted to lawyers and iPhones (and apps)–you knew that was coming.

But, we ain’t here to talk about the iPhone, or iPhone apps. We just ain’t. What we is here to talk about is those apps that are available on those other smart phones. When people say “app”, it’s generally assumed that they’re talking about an “iPhone app”, because the iPhone, through that another rather cheeky marketing campaign, has tied itself intrinsically to the term “app”. But, the other major smart phones have apps, too.

Like the Blackberry. (Busy ripping off the Beatles in their latest ad campaign. Sound familiar?) If you’re not using an iPhone, chances are that your smart phone is a Blackberry (I have no statistics to back this up); and, maybe you feel like you have to be app-less. But, that’s not true. Blackberry features an array of apps, at its recently-formed App World! Scooting around the App World, you’ll find some nifty applications, including some: free options (like Pandora, Facebook, UberTwitter (a Twitter client, interface), Trapster (if you’re Tweeting while driving) and the Y! Fantasy Football ‘09 app (although, I can’t say that I really need that, since my teams are a combined 21-6 and reside in 1st, 1st and 2nd place across three leagues . . . just saying, at the risk of completely jinxing myself for the rest of the season); legal-specific choices (like Legal Week (for law news), The Law Pod (complete federal rules, and parcels thereof), BillableGoal (for time and billing capture) and, of course, Law and Order Celebrity Betrayal (being Jack McCoy!)); and, just plain inane stuff, i.e.–what you’ll really like (like SketchIt (Etch-a-Sketch for your dang phone!), Yo Mama Jokes (finally, a collection of mother jokes for your smart phone), My Secret Diary (hhhmmm . . . putting your diary on your phone: sounds like a bad idea to me; little brothers begin to drool everywhere) and something called Reading Body Language of Woman (which, I think, if you have this app, you don’t have any woman’s body language to read) ). If you tire of the sanctioned Crackberry app world, there appears to be something of a small Blackberry jailbreak community online, which has not appeared to have gained steam as of yet. Maybe you could start it!

Now, the whole underground theme I am applying here is not to say that the Blackberry app is unpopular, or unknown. Lawyers
(some lawyers) have jumped on the Blackberry app bandwagon, and have (drumroll, please . . .) drafted Top (X) Blackberry App Lists for Lawyers, including Twitter princess Niki Black and the Young Texas Lawyer. Yes, he’s the Texas Young Lawyer. All you other Texas young lawyers step off.

So, we ain’t exactly dealing with an underground movement here when we’re talking Blackberry. If you’re into that sort of thing, maybe the Palm Pre is for you. (Yes. While you’re waiting there for the Palm Pre to kill the iPhone, I’ll be over here, petting some unicorns.) The Palm Pre has an App Store, too! The Palm Pre App Store, however, is the third degree: less impressive by degrees, moving out from the Apple store and the Blackberry store. The Palm’s apps are limited, mostly, to games, like the morbid “Deadman”. (For when Hangman just isn’t enough to satisfy your bloodlust!) There are however, some useful general apps, like: Tweed and Spaz (more Twitter clients), LinkedIn, CoinFlip (yes, it flips a fake coin . . . well, you never know) and the Canadian Press Mobile (hell yes . . . everything you wanted to know about Canada but were afraid to ask). And, there are some lawyer-friendly business apps, as well, including: The Missing Sync (for incorporating Mac contacts into your Palm), Fliq Bookmarks (for moving your Mac bookmarks to your Palm), gDial Pro and P2 Dialer (for Google Voice access) and Uber Pass (a password generator and password keeper). If you don’t like what you see in the store, though, you can always create and submit your own apps, using some of your Mojo; just don’t let anyone steal your mo-jo. But, I don’t know how the hell to do that. I’ll leave questions like that to be answered by more tech-savvy lawyers, like Nerino.

. . .

Liner Notes

In honor of the passing of Veteran’s Day, I’d like to focus on some American things, places and people, in this edition of “Liner Notes”:

Like Shelby Foote, my favorite Southerner who drools into his beard when he speaks. Seriously, though, Shelby Foote is the man. Check out his Greatest Hits, which include classics like “Pocket Handkerchief”, “The United States Is” and “She Even Let Me Swing the General’s Saber Around My Head Once, which was a Great Treat”. John Quinn knows what I’m talking about.

My dad used to love Toby Keith, and I very much enjoy his new “American Ride” song and video, which is a peppy assault on the political correctness, and other wack stuff we do, that is ruining our culture.

Keeping it country, Zac Brown Band does a rippin’ cover of Charlie Daniels Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, from the CMA Awards last night. (That’s right. I’m THAT current.)

Keeping it partially country . . . Have any two songs with the same name ever sounded as different as “Mississippi Mud” and “Mississippi Mud”?

If you missed Taylor Swift on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, check out her very funny monologue song. For rarer stuff, I also like this song she whipped up as a jingle for a radio show that airs in Michigan, even though it’s sort of commercial . . . because it is a commercial, for a show. Yeah, I like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. So sue me. Wait, don’t. You’re probably all lawyers.