Friday, November 13, 2009

Geek Alert: My Five Favorite Gadgets

Disclaimer: Just to be upfront and abide by FTC guidelines for bloggers and all the free merchandise we're hoarding, I want to state that none of the products mentioned below were gifts, but were purchased by either me or Rigel with money originally earmarked for our children's college fund. Well, in the interest of full disclosure I should divulge that I bought the alarm clock with a few dollars I 'borrowed' from Kiyomi's piggy bank, because when you think about it how much cash does an 11-year-old need to keep on hand? Also, none of the companies mentioned have contacted me or exerted any influence over the content of this post, although if Apple wants to send me a new laptop I would gladly give the iPhone a couple more paragraphs, or tattoo their logo on my neck or rename my kids iPod and Mac.

1) iPhone - Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think they'd invent something that could make phone calls, retrieve my email, help me find my way around Disneyland and pick out a restaurant for lunch. Now Rigel is free to do other things, like help me look for my keys.

My favorites apps are Shazam, Tweetie, Flashlight, Recorder and Facebook. Like most iPhone users, I like to bore everyone to tears by showing them all the great features on my phone. Trust me - nothing brings a dinner party to a screeching halt like whipping out your iPhone and telling everyone you're going to use it to guess everyone's weight.

2) Garmin GPS - I never leave home without this. I've been known to get lost backing out of my driveway, so having a little box on my dashboard telling me to, "Exit right, then turn left," in a British accent is a dream come true. Actually, the dream come true would be if I was sitting in the back seat and someone with a British accent was driving me around, but that was an extra $49.95 a month.

But my favorite part about Garmin is how I can punch in 'STARBUCKS' and it leads me straight to my double-tall-nonfat-semi-dry-cappuccino. Before, Rigel and I would pull off the freeway in some unfamiliar town and then spend hours searching everywhere for our caffeine fix. Now when we go on road trips, instead of looking for coffee we can spend our time bickering like most normal couples do.

3) Canon Rebel - This is the first digital SLR I've owned, and not only does it take great pictures it makes me look like I know what I'm doing when I'm clicking that shutter. You may have even mistaken me for a real journalist at events, pushing my way to the front of the crowd yelling things like, "Media!" and "Over here, Octomom!" I really hate it when some know-it-all gets off by pointing out that I still have my lens cap on, though.

But with so many dials and buttons it's definitely trickier to use than my old point n' shoot. Someone suggested to me the other day that I should read the manual, and I was about to give them a piece of my mind but then they told me they were just joking.

4) Keurig Single-Cup Coffee Maker - I have to admit that part of my motivation for buying this was that it was one of the only coffee-making devices I didn't already own. With a drip coffee maker, an espresso machine, a French press and a couple of stove-top espresso pots to my name I guess I unwittingly became one of those crazy collecting people! Next thing you know I'll be wearing a big sweatshirt with 'I ♥ Java' appliqued on it and getting together with other coffee-maker-collectors over at the rec center on Friday nights.

We've stopped buying the individual pods, though, in favor of filling up the optional filter basket with coffee - not only were the pods expensive, but the thought of several landfills being overrun with millions of small, plastic cups with our names on it gave us pause. Now I can sleep at night knowing that my carbon footprint will consist of only several hundred thousand metric tons of used coffee grounds.

5) $6 Target Alarm Clock - I don't have an alarm clock so this unassuming appliance actually sits on Rigel's nightstand, but it's truly the most vital device in our home. Without it, no one would ever get anywhere on time because we all depend on Rigel to wake us all up in the morning, and it's this trusty alarm clock that wakes him up. Sure we could all stop being so lazy, get our own alarm clocks and get ourselves out of bed, but what fun would there be in that?

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  1. I'm a Blackberry gal myself, mainly because i can't stand AT&T. But I am a little jealous of all the apps my friends show off on their iPhones.

  2. There was once a New Yorker article where someone from the Simpsons (Matt Groening?) talked about LSD being his favorite consumer product.

    If the New Yorker ever writes a similar article about me, mine will be the iPhone. Favorite apps: Facebook, TweetDeck, Yelp, Twitterific, Lose It (can I just tell you I've lost 20 pounds since downloading this app?)

  3. Clearly we were seperated at birth. I got my iphone...yesterday and I am already OBSESSED.

    I adore my Keurig or Kuerig or however the heck you spell it- right now I am enjoying PUMPKIN SPICE. Awesome.

    I am long long Canon user for all my professional photog equip.

    I have navigation in my car- and have announced I would never own another car without it. I love it. I named it. (Rosie in case you are wondering)

    And alarm clock? My husband is my alarm clock too.....I am not really crazy about his night stand clock- but I am crazy about him.


  4. I am with you on the iPhone and the Target alarm clocks ... I have one of those in EVERY ROOM (also? I love Tweetie, so VERY MUCH!!).

  5. I would put totally put Tivo on this list.

    We have a $5 Target clock and it slips forward 1-2 minutes every day. I'm glad yours works.

  6. Rigel and my son have the same alarm clock. Neat!

  7. I wish I had opted out of the built-in navigation system in our car (and extra $2500) because it constantly breaks down. Buying a Garmin or other portable GPS would have been a much better idea since you can also move them from car to car. oh well live and learn


  8. I love my Rebel will the heat of a thousand suns and will part with it when they pry it out of my cold dead hands.

  9. Good stuff!... love it!!!.. thanx.

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  11. Stumbled on your blog by way of a friend. So glad I did. Rigel and my son share the same clock (except ours is in 'nearly neon blue'), my nav system is built-in and my hubby's is a TomTom - never leave home without them, got the Keurig, but an older model without the basket option - so I limit myself to one cup a day(I've thought about breaking them open to empty and recycling the "cup"). I love my iphone more than my middle child (Shazam is voodoo - it's insanely cool). Now if I could just get the fancy new camera for Mother's Day, the two of us could hang at the W Hotel.


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