What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the tag “gadgets”

Here a plug, there a plug

…and everywhere a plug, plug, plug! I foolishly thought that by the time I was this age, I could be relatively carefree. No deadlines, few obligations. Sure, I’m still working three days a week, but I have four free days. And I do enjoy those days, except for the need to keep charging my gadgets.

There’s my “smart” phone (well, it must be smarter than I am; most of the time I can’t figure out what it’s doing). The battery seems to last a nanosecond, and when I remember to do so, I plug it in to the outlet in my bathroom. But with my memory not what it used to be, I often find myself ready to go out…with a dead phone.

There’s my iPad. I have a first-generation model that is going out of its way to tell me I should upgrade to a new one. I get bounced out of Facebook after looking at it for 2 minutes, or if I try to Like something or add my comments. And it’s so slow, I grit my teeth until a page opens. Its virtue is that its battery lasts a long time (25 Solitaire games and twice as many Boggle games, plus email and surfing). But the time comes when I’m warned that only 10% battery remains, and I have to plug it in.

I have a Fitbit to track my (non)exercise—or more precisely, my steps, staircase climbs, calories burned, and miles walked. Its battery lasts several days, but there’s that moment when I go to check it and it shows the symbol that means “charge me now.” So I plug it in.

I have a Kindle Touch for reading. Because I’m a book lover (that is, actual, traditional books), I often let the Kindle sit for weeks. Then, when I’m in the mood to read one of my downloaded books, the battery is dead. Dead even though it did nothing! So I have to plug it in, and wait.

I have an iPod that I used when I went to the gym…regularly. We no longer belong to the gym because our visits became so infrequent, we were throwing away money. So I almost forget that I have a little device with over 200 of my very favorite songs and performers. On the rare occasion that I pick it up, it’s gone dead from lack of use and I have to plug it in, and wait.

I would have added my digital camera battery, but I take photos these days with my phone, which, as you’ll recall, has a battery that lasts a nanosecond.

Then there are the maintenance gadgets. My electric razor needs to be plugged into a charging stand every so often. There’s nothing like getting ready to wear Bermuda shorts and, after discovering that your legs are a little fuzzy, having the razor start up and then fizzle out to nothing because it needs a charge. (Yes, on occasion I do wear Bermuda shorts. It has to be pretty hot out though.)

In the past year, I’ve also used a facial cleansing brush that spins as you move it across your forehead, cheeks, and nose. It’s hype is that it removes all the gunk that you—supposedly—don’t get out with a hand wash. I’m a sucker for products that promise that “extra glow.” It too needs to be charged regularly…so I plug it in.

It would be nice to be proactive and remember to charge these gadgets before they’re flashing orange and warning you that the battery is about to drop dead. But if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you know that proactive is not a word that describes me. My other challenge is to figure out which cord and plug goes with which gadget…and where I’ve put it.

In light of all the serious issues a septuagenarian could have to complain about, I’ll stop whining now and be thankful that I’m able to use all these items …and that I still remember what to do with them.



My high-tech underwear

The title of this blog post is a bit deceiving. I don’t wear panties that tell me I need to lose a few inches or bras that notify me when I need to go up a size (wishful thinking?). What I do have is a little device that clips to my bra (or wherever I want to clip it) and tells me daily how many steps I’ve taken, how many flights of stairs I’ve climbed, how many calories I’ve burned, and how many miles I’ve walked. And if I wear it to bed on a wrist strap, it will tell me how I’ve slept. As in how many restless hours or how many good sleeping hours. I’ve decided not to track sleep for now. With all the times I get up to go to the bathroom or placate a meowing cat, I would drive it crazy.

This amazing little device is called a Fitbit. I got the bug to buy one when a couple of my friends and one of my neighbors showed them off. Since I have a hard time motivating myself to move, I thought this gadget would help. And it has. Once you have it, you register for the app and, if you like, you can set goals. I decided on a goal of 6,000 steps per day. I know we’re all supposed to do 10,000 a day, but did you ever try to do that every day?

One evening, after noting that I had walked 5,732 steps, I was playing Boggle on my iPad. (You’ll remember that this constant Boggle-playing is one of the reasons I gained weight.) Right in the middle of the 3-minute game, a notice from the Fitbit app appeared at the top of the screen: “You have only 268 steps to go to make your goal!” Nag, nag, nag. But I took the advice and started prancing around the house, checking the Fitbit every few minutes to see if I’d gotten to 6000 yet.The Fitbit

And here’s the cute thing about the Fitbit—although some may call it creepy. It talks to me, silently. Every time I pick it up in the morning, it greets me. My favorite greeting is “SMOOCHIES, BONNIE.” I’m not sure who would be doing the smooching, but I think it likes me. In fact, the other day it said, “I LIKE U, BONNIE.” It never seems to run out of motivational greetings. I still can’t figure out what “WOOT” means, but I’ve received that message twice so far.

At this stage of my life, it’s comforting to be liked by man and machine. And my cat too, I think.

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