Technology

saletag.jpgTis the season of Sample Sales, or so it seems when the mailers start arriving announcing this 40% off (but it's in downtown LA) or that 80% off, but not until two weeks from now when I’ve completely forgotten about it and f*#k it anyway, where’s the instant grat? I subscribe to Daily Candy and Top Button, the latter being exclusively an online sample sale site. There is also a mother at my younger daughter’s school whose clothing line I happen to love that has her sample sale around this time too.

It’s taken me a long time to become a savvy shopper when it came to these 'deals’.  I was the sucker that clipped the coupon for something at the market I would normally never eat. I would be under the illusion my family might try the yogurt covered zucchini chips for 50% off. Invariably it would linger past its expiration date and get thrown out. This always jettisoned me into the  ‘I’m gonna be homeless someday, why oh why did I waste my money like that??” fear fantasy.  I would vow never to make that mistake again and I finally learned that the only coupons worth clipping for me are batteries and toothbrushes.  Do I really need that 35¢ off the second four pack of Charmin? Hell no!

Read more ...

From the L.A. Times

heidi-banner2.jpg

There is nothing in this life to prepare a person to review “Heidi 4 Paws,” which premieres on KCET Sunday morning.

When my editor handed it to me with a gleam in her eye, she said: "It's Heidi. With dogs." I was confused. Did Heidi Klum have a new reality show involving dogs? Had Heidi Montag snagged a canine Christmas special?

"No, it's the story 'Heidi.' With dogs."

I began to feel bovine in my incomprehension. "Heidi" with dogs instead of goats?

"No, the dogs play all the characters."

Including, it must be added, the goats.

And there it is. "Heidi 4 Paws" is a live-action retelling of Johanna Spyri’s classic tale of an orphan sent to live with her cantankerous grandfather high in the Swiss Alps -- with dogs in all the roles. Dogs in kerchiefs and Swiss frocks, dogs in alpine hats and canine approximations of lederhosen, dogs in wigs and spectacles and, yes, little Clara's wheelchair.

Read article...

filofax.jpgFour people asked me what I wanted for my birthday last week and I gave each of them the same answer, “A new Filofax.” All four of them said the same thing. “No, you don’t. Nobody wants a Filofax any more. It’s so old-fashioned. Don’t be ridiculous. iPhone.” My daughter Maia was the harshest. She simply said, “Oh, Mom! iPhone.” It made me feel old-fashioned. It made me feel old.

For the record, I have an iPhone but despite the fact that four assistants over the last three years have religiously promised to transfer all my names and phone numbers into my computer and my iPhone, it hasn’t quite happened yet. And I never seem to have the time.

But I like my Filofax (even though it does sort of look like a truck ran over it.) It feels like a friend. I like it that it has names and addresses and phone numbers hand-printed into it. (Arguably, a few of them are dead, but I’ve learned not to notice. And I can’t quite bring myself to cross the names out. That would seem too final.) I use it in meetings to take notes. Sometimes, I’ll have a thought in the car or a random sentence for something I’m working on and I’ll pull over and jot it down into my Filofax. There are a few haikus that will probably never be printed anywhere else. I can gauge from them how sad I was on a given day. (Haikus are usually sad. The more comedic ones have found their way into my computer.)

Read more ...

ios-7-concept-simply-zestyMy look at the top features I’m loving in the new iOS 7 update to my iPhone 5.

Notification Center with Weather and Stocks – great to wake up in the morning and even with the screen locked you can swipe from the top and get a little summary of the day’s happenings. This screen just keeps getting better with each update.

Control Strip with Light and Calculator – They added a new pop up when you swipe from the bottom up and you get quick access to a calculator (awesome), Flashlight (super handy), Wifi, Bluetooth, Timer, etc. Again it works when the screen is locked so you can easily use the flashlight to find your way without having to enter your lock screen code.

Folders – Am loving the new look and multiple pages for icons. You can now store unlimited apps inside a folder. It shows 9 on the screen at a time, swipe right to left and see the next 9.

Safari Rocks – Much faster now with a great interface for open tabs, the ability to enter search items in the address bar, quick way to send a link via text, e-mail or social sites

Read more ...

phone.jpgWhen was it ok to just blithely accept that products are now engineered for obsolescence? Case in point: our stinkin’ Panasonic cordless phones!!!

We were perfectly happy with our KX-TGA650B Panasonic cordless phone when one day we found one of the handsets sprawled on the living room floor, like eviscerated lion prey. The antennae had been mangled by our dearly departed dog Satchmo. Here’s the evil part; not only had that model become obsolete, but once you’ve lost the use of one handset, you have to replace the whole effing system!

Now we have the Panasonic KX-TGA939T. We have 4 around the house and I hate it! The handset in my office, where I do all my work, is haunted. At first it was just an irritating quirk it had where if my ear was close enough to the receiver, my mouth wasn’t close enough for people to hear me and vice versa. So, my husband suggested I put all my calls on speaker. Personally, I think putting people on speaker makes everyone an automatic douche bag but what was I gonna do? And, it was no solution. The quality of the sound began to erode that way too!

Read more ...