Archive for Electronics

10 Technological Life Changers

Earlier this year Travel Man and I were driving back home from a road trip we took to Arizona. We were jabbering about this and that, and got on the topic of all the gadgets (because Travel Man is known to be a gadget guy) that our grand-kids will never use. These are the things that they will not have a need for, and that most of us grown-ups will miss. Here is the list of the top ten gadgets that made our lives complete, and that our grand-kids will never own.

1. Record Players – I remember riding my bike to the Ben Franklin to get the latest and greatest 45 record.  I distinctly remember buying one of Donny Osmond’s 45’s. Oh, and I had a portable Panasonic record player that I could play my 33’s or 45’s on, and I could take it to a friend’s house!!  That made for some great slumber parties.

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2. Black and White TV-  My memory of watching black and white TV was when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.  We watched that event on our black and white in our family room.  I don’t really remember when we got our first color television, but I may ask my Mom about that.  When we were kids black and white was the norm for us.  We did not know any better.

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3. Kodak Instamatic Cameras- Remember how you had to have the little flash cubes, and they would rotate to all four sides?  We always took our Instamatics on vacation with us.  Then my parents would lovingly get the film developed, and then we would have tons of random, silly pictures.

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4. The ever famous home phones (of the rotary variety) with the long squiggly cord.  That would have normally been the phone in the kitchen.  The cord was long so you could walk around the room and talk or hide in a corner for some privacy.

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And then there was the princess style phone.  If you were lucky enough to get your own phone in your bedroom this was the one to have.  That was every teenage girls dream.

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5. Polaroid camera’s -Do you mean I can take a picture, and it will spit out the front of the camera, and then a picture will appear? That’s amazing!  I remember the flash bar on the front of my Mom’s Polaroid camera.  Do you have an extra flash bar?  That was almost as distinct a question as, does anyone have any double AA batteries?

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6. The Sony Walkman for your cassette tapes.  This was the best way to walk around with your music while listening to it.  That’s amazing!  I can listen to my music by myself and ignore everyone else!

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7.  Cassette tape players- I can remember when my kids had these when they were young.  We got each of them a little portable cassette player for listening to their music “tapes” and for making their own recordings.  That way they could each have their own “music machine” and there was no arguing.
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8. Fax machines- I can still remember how cool I thought it was when our office got its’ first fax machine.  Do you mean I can place a document on this thing and it will transmit the same image to the person I’m sending it too??  That’s truly amazing!

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9. Electric typewriters-  When I started my career as a professional administrator we still used an electric typewriter.  Shortly after I started, probably within 18 months , my boss bought the company’s first IBM computer.  So now I could learn word processing, make my corrections on-screen, and then print my document.  Wow! That was amazing!

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10. VCR- This is really a more recent electronic wonder, yet it has already become a thing of the past.  The VCR tapes used to be stacked all over our living room and game room.  Then we transitioned to stacks of DVD’s.  My kids would always want to watch the same tape until it you thought it should  be worn out and ready for the VCR tape graveyard.

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Looking back I can see that all of these “gadgets” changed our lives in one way or another.  And I am certain that as our own kids and grand-kids get older they will have just as many if not more gadgets than we did.
What was your favorite gadget that is no longer around that you will be sure and tell your grand-kids about?

 

Do You Have the Time?

IMG_0139 Digital, analog, or pocket watch- do you still strap on a watch when you start your day?  A few years ago my watch wearing fixation took hold.  I had not worn a watch consistently in quite a while, and then we went on a vacation to Disney World with all of our teenagers in tow.  While shopping for souvenirs there was a certain Mickey Mouse watch that I had my eye on.  And then my loving hubby bought that exact watch for me as a gift for our 5th anniversary, which we celebrated at Disney World with all of our teenagers in tow.  I wore that watch quite a bit when I first got it; to work, out to dinner, it was my everyday watch.

Then my life path took a turn, and my status went from corporate administrator to “Domestic Goddess”.  When that happened I ditched the daily watch wearing along with my 5am alarm clock.  I would only wear a watch when we were going out to dinner or definitely when we went on a trip somewhere.  Besides,  I carry a cell phone so it was easy to find out what time it was when I needed to.

Sometimes depending solely on your cell phone to find out the time of day can become a precarious situation.  Maybe it’s in the back pocket of your jeans and you are out in the garden with super muddy hands.  By the way do not try to take your cell phone out of your jeans pocket with muddy hands.  I have personal experience with this situation, and it did not end well.  Maybe you tossed it in the bottom of your purse and if your purse is a bottomless pit like mine, it could take you hours or even days to dig around the bottom and find it.  Using your cell phone to tell the time of day is not always the most convenient tool.

IMG_0140This past Christmas I asked for a new Timex watch with “Indiglo”, and Santa delivered.  I now realize that it is so convenient to strap on my watch, glance at my wrist and know what time it is.  I love wearing my watch, and leaving my cell phone alone for a while.  This seems like yet another friendly reminder to take a break from electronics world.

What’s your favorite way to tell time these days?

 

Take Just One Day and Unplug

ID-10011760Last month and in the month of December I tried a little experiment on a few random Sundays.  I did not use the computer or do any surfing on my other electronic devices at all.  I did use my iPhone for phone calls only (I have to talk to my peeps).  My unofficial conclusion to this experiment is that this is a nice way to start a new week.  You see since I am a Domestic Goddess now, I am discovering that I need to unplug from the internet-sphere one day a week.  This is especially true if Travel Man is away on a job assignment.   It seems that I can become entirely too dependent on the interaction with my “social” media.  The second Sunday of  unplugging myself, Travel Man was home with me to experience my “unplugged status”.  He was reading something on Facebook or an online news story and he said, “Did you see???”. And then he remembered, “Oh that’s right you’re off of the computers, etc. today”.

For myself,  I find that it is far too easy to spend far too much time browsing and perusing the internet for information.  And it’s most likely information that I may or may not need, and may or may not use in my everyday world.  I just felt like I was becoming too dependent on the Google factor, and not spending enough time on my other interests. It also made me realize I need to just pick up the phone and call and have a conversation more frequently than I have been.

Now I did make phone calls to a couple of my kids, you know a Momster check-in.  How’s life? Are you taking care of yourself?  Are your finances doing ok?  Will I be seeing you anytime soon?   Just a few minor questions that every Momster must ask to get the conversation ball rolling.

On that particular Sunday when Travel Man was home he and I got to watch some football together and had a chance to visit with my brother.  All in all a nice relaxing Sunday. With Travel Man’s schedule, this type of weekend day doesn’t roll around too often.  Staying unplugged when Travel Man is home on a Sunday is essential to my sanity.

So I ask each of you, do you unplug yourselves from the computer, smart phone, gadget world at any point during the week?  If you haven’t tried this I highly recommend it. Your brain will feel so much less cluttered, particularly at the end of the day when you need to be falling asleep.  Free your minds.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Near Electronics Mishap

Last week I was in my kitchen working on chopping up some apples from our own tree, for an apple crisp.  Many recipes that I use in the kitchen these days reside on my iPad.  I use a program called Evernote to store a lot of my family favorite recipes, and also favorites that I have found on the internet.

I was diligently working, talking to the kids, and as I moved the cutting board I knocked over a glass of water, and it splattered my iPhone and iPad.  My twenty-somethings jumped out of their seats, and got my iPad out-of-the-way.  I grabbed my iPhone, and I was ever so thankful that I had the Otterbox cover on it.    The twenty-somethings quickly grabbed some towels while I was tending to my iPhone, and we got everything dried up.  Oh, and I also had my favorite Pioneer Woman cookbook sitting on the counter.  This was a big glass of ice water.

Without the Otterbox cover on my iPhone it would have been toasted.  I got the Otterbox for my iPhone because I’m always carrying it with me outside, especially when Travel Man’s on the road.  And since I garden a little everyday it becomes a necessity when I am working outside.  My Otterbox has saved my phone a few times now.  Totally worth the investment.

There was a little skosch of water underneath the screen saver on the iPhone, and I had to remember how to get the darn Otterbox off of my phone.  I could not remember which tabs to push or pull, so my daughter when on the internet and googled it for me.  She tried to find a you tube video for me, but Travel Man knew how to take it off and saved the day.

Normally I don’t have a glass of anything liquid anywhere near my electronics.  But I must have been extra thirsty on this cooking day, because I wasn’t really paying attention to where my glass of water was.  I was focused on apple crisp (Which is a great recipe for another day).  With so many electronics in the house it’s a wonder we have not had more mishaps similar to this one.  Fortunately for me,  this one turned out A-ok.

Have you had any electronics mishaps recently?

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