Technology

As much as I hate to admit it, my husband Dave was right. It hasn’t happened often in our over ten years together – married seven with nary an itch – but it has been occurring more frequently, much to my dismay.

theband2.jpgHowever, I guess even he has to be right some of the time and in the instance of his “insane” (my words) purchase of the video game ROCK BAND last November (2007) I would actually say he was a genius. If you haven’t heard of it you must not have teenagers or been living under a rock. We, like all of our friends’ kids, are completely addicted. In fact, the upcoming release of ROCK BAND 2 has us almost as excited as we were about the iPhone.

What’s crazy about our behavior is we are not video game people. Actually, we both were in the arcade heyday of the 80s, but now most of the games have too many buttons to push and too much violence to lure me into wasting my time. Though Dave’s the King of Technology, except for the Wii, he’s rarely tempted into the gaming world. That fateful day in November changed everything. He suckered me into going to the Best Buy on a Saturday by promising to let me purchase a new game for our Wii console. I don’t know if he was already planning on buying Rock Band, but once he saw they had a few kits in stock, he just had to have one. It was rumored to be the “must have game” of the holiday season and Dave is never one to be behind the technology curve.

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spying.jpgMy junior year of college I worked as a spy. At the age of 21, I liked to refer to myself as The Youngest Spy in the World. There was no real way of knowing if this was true or not.

There was no Facebook.

This was 1989. Before the Internet. Before hostesses stopped asking “Smoking or non?” and before toothbrushes started looking like sneakers. 

Today, kids probably have more opportunities to become spies at an earlier age because kids now do everything at an earlier age. They go through puberty earlier, they experiment with sex at an earlier age and they probably get hired as secret agents earlier, too. Which means I probably no longer hold the unique distinction as being the guy who was once The Youngest Spy in the World.

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baguette-incident-5251.jpgThis is not about making a Christmas list, although I should do that, I guess. It is about my need to check and monitor things constantly, as if I were the Chief of the Baguette Patrol for a supercollider. Not all things. I do not monitor the dust balls in the corners of my dining room, the balance in my checking account, or Sam’s grades.

These things I consider on a need-to-know basis; if company is coming, I vacuum, if I get a menacing call from Comcast, I check the bank account, and if Sam claims he has no homework for the third day in a row, I check his grades using the magic of Power School. I know people who are very concerned about one or all of the above, which is why they have cleaner houses, better cash flow and more disciplined children than I do.

The things I am compelled to monitor include my e-mail, Facebook, my blog stats, and (when I am away from my computer) my Blackberry. I cannot walk by the computer without looking at my Inbox, deleting all irrelevant items, and (unless I am dragged away by a raging family member) answering the legitimate messages.

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iphone-6-620x480I’ve had both the new iPhones for a little over a month and at this point I can safely say they are the best smart phones ever made and if you are eligible for an upgrade I give you the top reasons to pull the trigger adn perhaps get one for someone special (or yourself) this upcoming holiday season:

BATTERY LIFE:

It seemed that battery life was getting worse with each new phone advancement since the original iPhone debuted in 2010. Actually I think it’s more a case of how much we now use these devices to track weather, stocks, activity, traffic, etc. in real time causing the device to be “always on”. With the new 6 and especially the 6+ I’m shocked at how long I can go in my busy day before I even see 25% remaining.

APPLE PAY:

This is going to be huge!!! No more handing my card to someone who now knows my name, number and that “secret” security code on the back!! With Apple Pay you never give up any information, just enter your card numbers into the phone, it secures and stores the info only on the phone, and approves my purchase without anyone else knowing it was me.

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fitbitamy ephron colorI have a curious on-line/tech dependency on my husband. I do not have an iPod – therefore I am totally dependent on him at times (on road trips, for example) for “his” music choices. His daughter tried to fix this for me and loaded some of my favorite albums onto his iPod which was very nice of her but his songs still outnumber mine about 50 to 1. I do not have an Amazon account. That’s not true – I do have an Amazon account but I can’t ever seem to get it to work. I am constantly emailing him links to things (books, mostly) with a plaintive email that says, “Pls buy this for me. Thanks.”

I am, in fact, a hopeless on-line shopper. Every time I shop on-line something goes wrong. It doesn’t arrive. It is the wrong size. I thought I had success the other day on E-Bay. I bought four curtains for a house we’re presently renting as there were no curtains in the office. The ad said in its headline: Two Sets. For the record, "Ms. eBay Retail Offerer" a set is two curtains. So I thought I was buying four panels which is what I needed. In fairness, the somewhat complex paragraph I checked after only one set of curtains arrived, said two panels, but the headline was completely deceptive and, of course, her ad said, “Final Sale. No Returns.”

I am also somewhat tech-deficient. I don’t have a Kindle (but I don’t really want one.) I don’t have an iPad (about which I’m somewhat more ambivalent.) I do not have a GPS and my relationship with Siri is fractious at best. But my husband bought me a FitBit a month ago. Let’s not discuss the fact that it was an anniversary present (read: jewelry preferable) but for a moment I felt free. I actually had a device that synched to my computer that was just about me. It told me how many steps I took each day. He thought it was remarkable that I could collect 10,000 steps and never leave the house but other people who know me and know that I can’t sit still for very long didn’t think it was that strange.

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