I left the house one bright, sunny, and rather balmy afternoon only to find the oddest contraption sitting in the driveway. It was brand new, made by Honda. A mystery. I dutifully moved it over to the side, and still had no clue what it was. It had a cute little motor and some small wheels. A handle was prominent in the front so you could apparently push or pull the thing. It looked new so I guessed it was a new lawn motor. The only problem is that we don’t have one—nary a blade of grass. We have planting beds, rockwork, a trellis with a vine, and some nice stone pavers, but alas, no lawn. And thus, we never had a mower to replace.

Was this to be a gift for my husband’s brother? I don’t recall an upcoming birthday or landmark event. Plus, he is not known as a do-it-yourself type at home. No, not handy. Maybe it’s for a friend, but isn’t this a little extravagant, even for Christmas. After all, it is a real machine of sorts. (Still not sure what for.) I get it. It must be a generator. It is made by Honda and I know they make portable camping stuff like that. Some uncle of mine has one. Leave it to my techy husband to get something so practical. I am going to start packing now. We have not had a power outage, mind you, ever, if he has the generator in mind for our house. I guess you can’t be too careful or proactive.

So… rather than speculate any longer, I waited until my guy got home to bare the facts. What was this gadget for? When he arrived, without a confrontation and after a nice dinner, I asked. Can’t you tell, he cried. I can clean anything. It’s a power washer, “the best pressure washer online”, apparently. It will take the oil stains off the driveway and dust off the old garage door. It will clean caked-on dirt from the windows, and adjusted for flow, the car. Can you think of anything else? He smiled.

The first thing that came to my mind was, I’m not going to do this! He really didn’t expect me to, but then he had made a little investment here and I didn’t want it sitting around. He has a lot of gadgetry already and something will have to give. There are only so many hours in his day.

In reality, the thing is kind of fun. It has a pump on it, and I started one morning with the sidewalk. Then the front door and walk. Who doesn’t want the neighbors admiring a clean front of your house! I found it fairly light weight but effective at doing its job. I could attack that nasty boy down the street if he disturbs my dog one more time. It has good power but not enough to scare the devil out of you. I’m hooked! Hey roof, here I come. Chimney, get ready.

This kid came around to the house the other day and rang the bell. He was canvassing the neighborhood for a scrap metal recycling project of some kind and asked for donations of objects and wares. The ultimate purpose was kind of vague. I’m not sure what organization he represented—maybe the Boy Scouts? However, I was a bit puzzled at the request at first. Who has any scrap metal lying around the house anyway and what does this kid want with it? Surely it couldn’t be sold for any meaningful money. Just pocket change.

I was thinking way too literally perhaps. I was envisioning a bunch of old metal junk like appliances or hardware that people could reuse in construction or even art works. I had thoughts of rusty bicycles, old tin cans, mixers and blenders, and garage castoffs. Broken toasters (don’t we all have at least one?), yard tools, and came to mind. This particular miscellany of metal was probably far off the track. Now that I have spent a moment more on the topic, he probably wanted recyclable electronics—anything from shavers and cell phones to laptops and hard drives–no doubt the basis of my husband’s old tech (and there is lots of it collecting dust).

You could build an inflammable pyre with these old devices, a monument to the dusty past. You could put some in a time capsule for posterity. Maybe a sculpture made of computer mice would amuse your kids. Use your imagination! It could be a therapeutic family project and moral lesson about waste.

Technology goes out of style mighty fast these days making the new obsolete in a matter of months some times. It is built into the industry for profit—the almighty dollar is king—and the sheep follow. You can recall how people line up for days to get the latest iPhone or iPad—even when the dated models work just fine. Not everything can be resold or turned in, creating a vast pile of junk waiting to be discarded. Most of us have a drawer in the kitchen somewhere full of old stuff we have forgotten existed. You would be surprised at how much goes into that one little space. So if I can recycle my husband’s rejects, so much the better. Less waste for the landfill. I don’t know how they use it—maybe just the parts—but who cares. It is always good to recycle anything in principle I suppose. I was surprised at all the metals that can be recycled and their prices on scrapsales.co.uk.

A kid that come around next time will get a real find at our house—hidden treasure of all sorts. If he doesn’t want everything, I can toss the rest in the trash. At least it will be a reduction in quantity for eventual burial. The tech age brings with it a certain disregard for the longevity of things and this certainly has been an eye opener—hence the blog. I think we could all do some soul searching and dig around the house and garage.

Body fat. These two words evoke fear and trembling of the worst kind. It is a true existential crisis when you confront it in yourself. Have you seen the photos of celeb beach bodies lately? In the old days they would look like concentration camp victims. Now, zero body fat is the ideal. You could die trying to get it.

The scales don’t lie. Those digital demons tell the truth in blatant easy-to-read numbers. You can get on and off a million times, and the fact remains: you have gained weight (and therefore body fat). I almost wish I hadn’t purchased that state-of-the-art tech best digital scale that gives every statistic you want and more. Yes, now you can get body fat at a glance. Dieters beware. It will keep you endlessly pursuing that elusive dream and may even populate your nightmares with hellish images of obesity.

There are charts and graphs that tell us what we show weight at what age and height. If you work out a lot, you may have muscle weight. You should factor in any clothing you wear while you get your numbers. Then look at the real truth and make a decision. Is this going to be a new diet day?

It is a digital dance dance in effect. The old scales weren’t any better at putting off the inevitable. They just weren’t that accurate. You can now buy reliability and it won’t make you feel any better. Few people lose weight consistently. Few people sustain the results. Yo-yo dieting is the worst way of life. It is a ticket to the digital dance competition and there aren’t many winners.

Weight is such a prevalent issue. You can’t avoid it. People talk about food endlessly and describe their diets and unwelcome restrictions. Now they are adding their fabulous new scale to the conversation. You get every last ounce. No more pizza, sodas, ice cream, or hamburgers—the joys of life. Sometimes you have to subject your husband and loved ones to a reduced-calorie concoction of kale salad and pine nuts.

I feel like putting the darned scale in the closet and locking it up. It can ruin your life. But you get into the daily routine and wonder with every bite of food if you are gaining or losing weight. It is an endless, mindless pursuit of unhappiness.

I found the best body fat scale on line at a discount site so it was a must-have purchase. I didn’t get the one that takes voice commands, but it can store information in my smart phone so I never forget. Just keep it away from social media. Things have a nasty way of leaking over to places where they are not wanted.

I do appreciate the “body analyzer” features (that adds to the room temperature and air quality) that come in the form of graphs and charts if you want. These pricey scales talk and instruct. They become your mechanical health advisor. The next generation will probably give you pep talks and recipes!

What do you buy a man who has everything? It’s my husband’s birthday soon and I am really not sure what to get him. If I were to get him a cool gadget, I wouldn’t even know where to start looking to buy him something that he doesn’t already have. He buys all the latest gadgets online himself and signs up for all the pre released gear before it even hits the shelves! Apparently we are getting a handful of different products over the coming months that he has prebought on Kickstarter. I’m not sure what half of them are, but according to my Tech Head husband, they are all going to be really useful.

We were at a dinner on the weekend and someone mentioned his birthday and asked him what he wanted. His reply was, “I’d love a backpack!” I was stunned. A backpack? What for? Apparently to carry his ‘tech stuff’ around with him. I couldn’t really see the point, but if that’s what he wanted, then that’s what he’d get.

I started looking online this week and was blown away. Did you know that there are a whole range of backpacks available for Techies and Geeks? There are rechargeable knapsacks, tech-savvy backpacks, touch screen book bags and superman vision knapsacks. I started looking at the most popular ones to try and figure out which one would be best suited to his needs – after all, I love my husband so I’d want to make sure I got the best backpack for him.

I liked what they called the rechargeable knapsack. This had a built in charger that recharges up to three gadgets and a laptop all at the same time. With all his technological gadgets he lugs around, that would be pretty useful. It also comes in his favorite color – blue. The only thing was that you had to plug it in to a wall socket first, which I thought was fine, until I read about the Tech-Savvy backpack.

The Tech-Savvy backpack was really cool! It generates its own power as you walk. You don’t have to plug in any of the gadgets to charge them and the backpack has a wireless charging pad which would be really handy for all his little gadgets like his cellphone and MP3 Player.

I then found two more popular backpacks that were really advanced (in my eyes, but probably not in his).

The first one was a touch screen book bag. This bag was interesting because you could do so much with it! It had touch screen straps that played music or displayed pictures. It was USB compatible and could link up with other backpacks of the same brand if they were in the area. So I guess I’d have to get a matching one so we could, ‘hook’ up?

Finally I found one that fulfilled my husband’s fantasies. A superman vision backpack. My husband’s always been a Superman fan and would love to have superpowers. This backpack would let him do that. Apparently it has a portable radar system which lets you see through walls. It then sends a live 3D map of the next room (and everyone in it) to your smartphone. Amazing!

After all the searching and being blown away by all on offer, I decided that as much fun as he would have by playing Superman, the world wasn’t ready for him yet – and I went with the Tech-Savvy Backpack. It arrives in a few days, so he can have fun getting fit while charging his gadgets!

My grandmother was a sewing whiz but had an old black Singer sewing machine inherited from her mother with lovely decorative gold scrollwork that was a classic of its kind. She could have had a modern one but said she couldn’t part with it; and besides it did everything she needed. Of course. She did embroidery by hand and hand-stitched her seams so she didn’t need zigzagging. The thing went back and forth, had adjustable stitch sizes, and could do a button hole with a special attachment. What more could you want. The nice thing was you didn’t need a manual and a Ph.D.

My mom first got a hard plastic upgrade in high school. It was a big advancement with special settings for knits and stretch fabrics and the early stages of computerization. You could program it to do various types of basic decorative embroidery, for example. Very cool and less Victorian.

Not good enough for me, said my husband who decided to give me something for my birthday he would want to own. Only state-of-the-art high-tech to the max would do. (It didn’t matter that I am an average seamstress at best.) He did his research and read sewing machine reviews online, asked around, set a budget, and brought home a giant box. We are talking about the Brother SE400. Now I have complete computerization. Home and craft projects, here we come!

I can’t count the number of patterns and stitches available. I will never remember them, so I will stick with 10 or 12 favorites. It’s all digitized and amazing. They should give a Girl Scout badge just for this one machine. I didn’t feel worthy of it at first and started with an apron festooned with streams of flowers. I made a few more for Christmas gifts. Then I started to explore.

I love the ergonomic design. Sewing machines are basically the same as always, but they do look more intimidating. They have worked hard to make them more functional. They also try to make than easy for novices so they will enjoy all the bells and whistles without quitting. I really should make some baby clothes for relatives and friends. People still like the old-fashioned details this kind of machine can create. It’s sad that handwork has bitten the dust, but women just don’t have the time, and the machine does it so well.

A week later, I took out my grandmother’s christening gown. It has been sitting in a drawer for years, and before that in my mother’s sewing room. It has the most exquisite crochet work you can imagine along the hem and sleeves. The bodice is all embroidered in ecru against fine white cotton. It’s stunning and I decided to recreate this look.

The Brother SE400 doesn’t disappoint. It has everything including an old-time grandma-like stitch and a simulated crochet one. Making the dress was the easy part. I experimented on some old sheets, and when I felt secure, I graduated to the real thing. It was really very pretty. I would never had the dexterity or patience to do it on my own. It was a good facsimile and ready to box and wrap for the next occasion.

My husband is a real stickler about his personal stuff while camping. He totes a bunch of hand-picked items to enrich the experience, saying they are must haves, but I am not too sure about the real outdoor utility of most of them. Who needs an iPod dock, an LED lamp, a hairdryer, fan, electric blanket, or a cell phone for that matter? You are supposed to be roughing it and enjoying nature in the raw. You are supposed to fend for yourself and learn survival strategies. He says ingenious devices are part of the camping package and the more the better. He wants to test a few new ones this time around.

This man wants his preferred gadgets by his side while taking in the fresh air and scenic vistas. We are not talking about standalone fishing equipment like a rod and reel, but things that need to operate electrically. Of course, you need a generator to keep all this humming and purring for the entire duration of the trip. Your generator better be a good one, preferably new. So we need to go out looking right now and forget borrowing dad’s old standby. This is at the top of our list of priorities.

We are searching diligently on line and reading reviews on sites like this and are overwhelmed by the fancy units available: battery-powered, invertors, gas driven, and more. Some are a simple as ABC, some as complicated as algebra. All nicely compact however. I think the generator has to be light enough to carry with ease and not too big or noisy. These aren’t issues much anymore and designs and features have come a long way. Replacing an old model is the answer to any problems.

I, for one, value reliability first and foremost. This is why I think after reading the solar generator reviews online, we’ll be getting a solar generator for our camping toolbox. If you are going to bring a generator with you, it should work perfectly. Camping is tough enough in some ways, and you don’t want to add to your stress. An energy device with multiple uses is a great addition to your gear, but some of my hubby’s accessories could and should be left at home! Small unobtrusive lights make life easier on the road and cooking and preparing for bed a breeze. Keeping food cold is a must.

I am afraid that once we get a great generator, my guy will find many more appliances and useless objects to accompany us. He’s like this at home, so it is really no surprise! Ladies, heads up. The more stuff in the trunk, the more to lug around and pack – that’s usually your job. If you live with an implement collector, you hear me loud and clear.

Why can’t he crave a Swiss army knife or a hand-cranked can opener. A battery radio will do just fine. We can stay in touch with the world, get the news, and listen to music. Batteries I can accept, a generator….well, maybe. It seems contradictory to the camping ethic. But for the sake of peace and a pleasant vacation, I will remain mum.

TERMITE5There is a barn in the distance, covered in a light morning mist. It is a bit ramshackle yet picturesque in the soft glow of the new day. There are no sounds. It is quiet, like a tomb, or better yet, a still photograph.

I have the idea to make it my own. I want to preserve this vision for posterity—even if just for my own enjoyment. My equipment can be readied in minutes. I study the scene looking to mentally crop out extraneous details. I don’t want to eliminate anything. It is all so very lovely as an extended image. Why segregate a piece like a lost portion of a total reality?

The barn upon closer inspection is laden with color. The wood has been eaten away by termites, their tiny wings in evidence. The carcasses are stacked in morbid piles. They sit in stark contrast to the beauty of the barn. Reds and ochers stream through the brown structure, enlivening the almost dead wood. Bits of other hues are remnants of long-ago attempts at beautification and a modicum of décor. The window ledges are green, the door is red. The barn suddenly blooms with tints of delightful intensity.

The camera goes in deeper to reveal abstract patterns and swirling designs worthy of the best abstract expressionist painter. This kind of isolation makes sense. It is a microcosmic world never before seen in just this way. The termites have been left to attack the barn, its owner obviously deciding that the cost of termite treatment was far higher than the value of the old wooden barn. They’ve worked their way through the structure and eroded the wood unevenly, giving the barn surface the feeling of a living creature in the process of metamorphosis—right before my eyes.

The camera is quick. Shot after shot from close and then from afar. Snap, snap, snap, it devours the subject with greedy glee. I let it roam freely, an instrument of revelation. Slowly and surely, after a time, I rest and stop to contemplate the wonders of my new discovery. The light has changed in the sky, and surrounding trees are more aggressive as afternoon shadows loom. Perhaps the late day will bring out more beauty in this diamond in the rough.

Patiently I load my gear, drugged with the exhaustive scrutiny of the day’s photography. I am captivated as local colors withdraw their intensity and the world grows dark. I feel like Monet while painting that series of haystacks and those cathedral facades. Each moment in time is on display. It is a sort of loose time lapse technology at work, but oh so simple in conception.

I have to give due credit to those termites who made such a glorious scene of romantic splendor—albeit unintentionally. Nature truly works in mysterious ways. They are my muses today in ungainly form in spite of their off-putting reputation. I will feel differently the next time I spray their translucent hides with toxic poison in the war zone of my kitchen. For now, they have given me hours of visual pleasure and sensory richness of a kind not experienced as deeply ever before.

dv-35in-33lThere’s just something special about a good fireplace on a cold evening. I think my love for wood fireplaces goes back to the days of summer camp when I was a kid, sitting in front of a fire with a blanket around my shoulders, singing songs with a guitar. After getting married, I knew our home would need a quality fireplace because I want my wife and my future family to have this same love for a warm fire that I do.

Sure enough, the home we decided to purchase has a central wood burning fireplace. The only bad thing about the fireplace is that it has been well used. Despite my best efforts over the past couple months, I just can’t get the scorching off of the interior bricks. My wife says it doesn’t bother her… but it bothers me.

I was attracted to the idea of having the Finest Fires in my living room. I’m tired of scrubbing bricks. I might be a low-tech kind of guy, but this fireplace emergency cried out for a high-tech solution. That’s when I discovered a fireplace insert that would work.

Here’s Why I Love a Fireplace Insert

I don’t mind putting in a fair day of work for a fair wage, but let’s be honest: I don’t like having to work harder than is necessary. That’s why I was attracted to the concept of a wood burning fireplace insert in the first place. It basically just slips into the fireplace that we’ve got in our home and that’s all the work that needs to be done!

Of course I’m over-simplifying the process. A new fireplace insert means needing new flue piping to exhaust the fire box. To make that happen, I bought some flexible chimney pipe kit that could connect to the top of our chimney and have a rain cap that works with it too. It was a pretty messy installation and I figured out the hard way that climbing up to the top of the roof on a misty day is a bad idea, but it’s done and looks good.

I also had to line the chimney with our building codes. I decided to hire someone locally to get that done. It cost me a couple hundred bucks for the labor, but the job was done in less than a couple hours and the work was guaranteed. I don’t know that I have the same confidence in my work… but we’re going to try it out!

Connecting the Fireplace Insert Was Simple and Easy

If you’ve ever connected a dryer vent to your exhaust port in a laundry room, then you can connect a fireplace insert. The insert slipped right into the existing fireplace and the faceplate created an instantly beautiful addition to the home. Clean lines and dark metal gave us a modern boost, and more importantly for me, it hid the scorched bricks on the fireplace that I couldn’t get scrubbed clean.

My one piece of advice is this: light your fire box outside before installing it in your fireplace. When I lit ours for the first time, it smelled like someone was melting a plastic water bottle in the fire! This lasted for the first couple of lightings afterward as well. Overall, however, I’m very pleased with the outcome. It gives me my second love of life back and I can enjoy it with my first love every evening.

I have an amazing husband. He is smart, funny, good looking and a bit of a tech head. We own every technological gadget you can imagine – compliments to my darling husband’s eagerness to make our life ‘easier’.

Lately he’s been discussing our music. His playlist consists of thousands of songs more than I have, but fortunately, we both enjoy the same music. He’s already set the house up so music is piped into every room as you walk in. Every room is connected except the bathroom. Originally, I didn’t see why we would music blasting in there. You went in, had a shower, brushed your teeth and left. Right? So at my insistence, the bathroom didn’t get music.

But last week something happened to change that. After reading some shower head reviews online and sharing the links with me to see what I thought about replacing our shower head (I wanted a rainfall one myself), my husband decided to order a Kohler Moxie Shower Head which was delivered on Thursday and promptly installed by him that night. This is a shower head that is Blue-toothed to your playlist. In his case, his iPod and in my case, my cell phone. At first I thought he had gone too far. I did not need to have music blasting in my ear while I washed my hair. My shower time was my thinking time. It was my alone time. But he wouldn’t relent. He was putting the shower head in. And he did.

We’ve had it for 5 days now and I must admit, for a non-techie person, it’s surprisingly simple to use. I walk into the bathroom, turn on my iPod, sync it to the ‘cone’, as I call it and slide the cone inside the middle of the shower head. I do love the fact that I can listen to my favorite songs and sing along to them in the shower. Of course, the downside is that I stay in the shower longer than I should, as I love my music and would stay in there all day, just to listen to my favorite songs if I could.

My husband listens to Podcasts more than he listens to his music. He follows quite a few professional speakers, but being the techno whiz he is, his favorite Podcast is all about the latest and greatest technology that is coming out. His Podcasts usually run for about 10 to 15 minutes, so it means that he comes out nice and clean after being in the shower that long. I tell him he’s shiny and new – just like his gadgets!! (It doesn’t always go down well).

Anyway, the wonderful Kohler Moxie shower head is here to stay and I guess I’ll have a nice clean husband to boot!

leake-main1In exactly a month’s time, we are going on a holiday. And I mean a real holiday. No internet, no iPad, no smart watch, no access to all the tech gadgets my husband and I have become slaves to.

It appears that somehow over the last 5 years, we have given birth to a range of great gadgets. Gadgets that tell you when to eat, when to sleep, what to cook for dinner, how many calories you have burned in a day and even having the ability to wake us up in the morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

I never realized how much these gadgets impacted upon our lives until we were at lunch the other day and used our smart phones to post pictures of our meals instead of eating them and then liking each other’s pics on our respective Facebook pages. We barely spoke unless it was to show each other a funny Instagram post or talk about what my smart watch said as texts and reminders came through. It was over that particular lunch that the idea was born of having a holiday without ‘the gadgets’.

So we have booked our ‘gadget free holiday’ and are getting back to the basics. We are going back to nature. We are going to lead a life for two weeks without all the modern conveniences that one would take for granted. We are going to wash our laundry by hand, listen to nature instead of the television or radio, and look at flora and fauna instead of our computer screens.

In the morning we are going to let nature wake us with the twittering of birds instead of the tweeting of Twitter and we are going to fetch water from the cool running stream to boil it and make a cup of coffee by hand instead of letting our programmed coffee machine make it for us.

There will be no blue toothed music through our Bose speakers or through our Pay TV channels. Instead, we are going to be at one with nature and listen to the musical sounds of the tinkling nearby stream and the rustle of the leaves as the breeze gently blows through.

I’m getting excited just thinking about it! No pressure to be the first to comment on a Facebook post or the first to tweet about my husband’s first words and actions of the morning. We shall be having real conversations where we listen to each other’s thoughts and feelings. We will have to actually look each other in the eye as we clink our glass of wine together as the sun sets over our cabin.

Ah bliss! As I look fondly at my husband who is sitting there with his surround sound headphones on, pouring over his iPad as he checks out the latest online shopping bargains, I realize that he is blissfully unaware of the full extent of where this holiday is going to take us. Right back to basics!

Yep! It’s going to be an experience alright!

We are now in a world where technology is continuously changing. It is the predominance of technology that has the biggest influence on our everyday tasks. Because of the rapidness that which it is changing, people are struggling to keep up. What happened to simplicity? Wasn’t it enough having a coffee pot with a single switch to turn on and heat up the coffee? Wasn’t it simple enough to turn off and on lights with the flick of a switch? To some, apparently not.

With a growing population and more kids being born, some parents decide it is best that one stays at home. Regardless of where you are, technology plays a part of the environment. We get comfortable with our appliances that we use at the house on a regular basis, but like everything else eventually they stop. Some of these appliances are designed to last for years before they stop working. By the time it is time for a new TV the one you used to have will probably be well outdated compared to all the ones that are available on the market. So not only do you have to get a new television, but you also have to get used to a whole new design and configuration. The remotes that come with the service provider are often set up differently as well. What a hassle just to watch Two and a Half Men or some Reality TV!

So now, we go in to our kitchen only to find that the controls on the oven and stove stopped working, and there is no way of replacing the parts themselves. The entire system has to be replaced. A man comes in and installs a new set up that operates by a touch screen. The touch screen works well on iPhones and other Apple devices, but not so well with a stove or oven. You have to make sure your hands are clean otherwise you will smudge the screen which causes the sensitivity to go away. And you have to be mindful of where you touch the screen, otherwise you will either have to start the process all over again, or you will end up burning your dinner. It might be a convenience, but then again there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the old set up.

The Internet is a convenience to everyone nowadays. The problem isn’t going on to the Internet from the computer itself. What is the real problem is setting up the means to access the Internet. Everyone has to struggle the first time when setting up a router in their house. Whoever designed them did not have simplicity in mind. Wires go every which way and connect to various ports and adapters. And after hours of setting it up, you have to keep your fingers crossed in hopes that it works. At this point the work isn’t done, because you still have to configure the router to your personal preference. You have to make sure it is secure so no one can access it from anywhere they wish. I’m lucky that I have my husband to look after any of those “geek” things.

These are only a few of the various complications that come about with technology. And it seems as though those of us who aren’t as good at picking up on new devices are stuck to figure all of this out ourselves – I know that I’m in all sorts of strife if something breaks down when my husband is at work.

I rang my best friend yesterday to vent about my upcoming holiday. She asked why I would get so stressed while planning the holiday of a lifetime with the most wonderful man in the world?

“Well,” I said to her, “Try traveling with a tech head husband!”

What’s a tech head husband I hear you ask? He’s Josh – a wonderful man whom I met and married. Yet, little did I know I would also end up with a myriad of the latest technology gadgets creeping into our marriage like a third party. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine to have great gadgets that work and are helpful when you are at home, but do you really need them when traveling?

Picture this. Imagine working long hours and not seeing your other half except over a quick cup of coffee in the morning (from our high tech coffee machine that does everything including talk to you). We were both suffering from too much work and not enough leisure time, so we decided that we both needed a holiday and couldn’t wait to get away from it all. But there the similarity ends and the story begins.

We sat down together over the weekend to discuss dates, places to go and where to visit. I had visions of tropical islands, sipping cocktails at sunset, secluded beaches and afternoon delights. Somewhere remote where we could reconnect and rediscover ourselves. Somewhere away from everything and everyone. I had gone to the travel agent and come home with a heap of brochures of exotic island getaways and romantic travel packages. Everything from cozy cabins in the woods to sun drenched beaches at Bora Bora.

As we sat down, his iPad came out. This is not an unusual occurrence, but I really just wanted to pour over the brochures and pick out something with a white sandy beach to walk along as the sun set in the sky. Or a lake that offered peace, calm, romance and serenity.

However, as I took a quick peak at the tabs on the screen, I can tell you right now, my heart sank to the bottom of my shoes. They read, “Holiday cottages with broadband access” – “Internet friendly holiday accommodation” – “self-catering cottage holidays with Internet access”….

I stared at him and he had that goofy smile on his face as if he was so pleased with himself. His goofy smile didn’t win me over this time though! He must have seen my frozen face because he then looked puzzled.

“What?” He said (In that man voice that says he has no idea what he did wrong.)

I proceeded to ask him what sort of holiday he thought we were going on. He still looked puzzled as he told me we were going on a holiday by ourselves.

When I asked him where, he showed me all the wonderful places you could go where they still had internet access and enthusiastically pointed out the fact that we would still be able to check on our home through the internet while we were away. He told me that even though we would be in a cottage somewhere away from everyone, we could still go online to order groceries that would be delivered to us. And the best part? We wouldn’t miss a football game because we could still watch it online!

I took the iPad off him. I switched it off and asked him to choose. Gadgets or me? Lucky for him he chose me. So now we are going to choose our holiday together and I’m glad to say, there will be no third party joining us this time round.

Hello again, internet friends and blog readers.  I have to tell you, I don’t know why this is on my mind.  I guess because spring is around the corner, and I can’t wait for the warmer weather.  We, my husband and I, go down to the beach quite a bit in the summer time.  We met at the beach. Actually, we saw each other there a few times before we even talked to each other.

One day we had the chance to talk.  I was attracted to him, I have to admit!  That is until I saw his toes. Poor guy, he had a problem with his toenails.  We were sitting on a concrete bank next to the parking lot, and I looked down at his feet.  His toenails were thick and yellow.  I admit I hadn’t really seen that before, and wasn’t sure what to think.  I didn’t want to catch it from him, and was a little concerned about it.

He had a case of toenail fungus.  He saw me looking at it, and was self-conscious.  He told me that he had tried a few different ways of fixing it, but was still consulting with the doctor.  There are a lot of ways to treat toe fungus,  he told me.  Over-the-counter medicine work for some people.  They come in the forms of creams usually.  If that doesn’t work, you may need a prescription from the doctor so the medicine is strong enough to really fight the fungus.

I hear the even use laser now to treat toe fungus. Amazing.  Some people try using home remedies, such as applying thymol oil or even Vicks Vapor Rub on the toenails to cure the condition.  Well, I guess that’s not the most pleasant of topics, but I know toe fungus does affect a lot of people.

However, while he had tried a few different things, he had not had much success until he found a product called Zetaclear, which he’d read a lot about online and he had discovered that it is one of the best and most effective treatments for toenail fungus.

It’s not uncommon at all for people to have a case of toenail fungus – almost 10% of the American populations have it.  And thanks to Zetaclear, my husband no longer has it!  He’s regained his self confidence, and I’m happy that his toes no longer look like they used to.

MacBook-AirWell, I’m just glad that I can finally sit down with a cup of coffee and write in my blog.  It takes a little thinking to come up with some fun topics for you all to read about! I do enjoy this time, and I hope you enjoy reading some of my thoughts, even if they come out a bit randomly sometimes.

I was thinking back to when I first met my husband.  We were getting to know each other a little bit, and I have to admit that I was at first a little impatient with his preoccupation with his gadgets.  I just had your basic clam-shell (or whatever they call them!) phones, but he had an iPhone.  I was a little curious about it, but didn’t get a good look at it for awhile.  Then after we’d gone out a few months, I had to answer it for him when he was driving.  That was the beginning of my love affair with the iPhone!  After we arrived where we were going, I made him show me what some of the little icons on the iPhone were for  – “apps” I guess I should call them.  There are so many things you can do with an iPhone, it’s unbelievable.

An iPhone isn’t just a phone, its my lifeline to the digital world..lol.  Seriously, I stream music from the Internet, text message my girlfriends, send pictures, or watch a video.  But, speaking of videos, they’re even better to watch on my MacBook Air.  Have you seen those?  I had an old MacBook, but it was really heavy.  The MacBook Air is so much lighter to carry.

I hadn’t really planned on getting the MacBook Air, but late last year (just around Christmas time) the old MacBook broke.  Wow – not fun.  I was really lucky I didn’t lose all of my data.  Like I said, it was Christmas time, so I had lists of things to do on there, addresses, just a lot of stuff I needed.  My husband had thought ahead and had a “back up” plan just in such a case.  We have this thing that he calls the Time Machine – some kind of box that lives in his office and which apparently helped us get all of my old photos and files onto my new MacBook Air I told you all about.

So, I have my MacBook Air now (with the Time Machine backups), Google Calendars (shared with my friends, so I always know what’s going on), as well as my wonderful iPhone too.  If I had to name one more techie gadget which I really couldn’t live I would say our Apple TV.  It’s like a little box that we have plugged into our TV and allows us to watch Netflix and get our favourite TV shows by subscription.  It’s really great.  All these things make my life so much easier and fun.

I’m a geek by marriage. Meaning I married a tech head. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is not a nerd. He’s a wonderful, funny, good looking man who just happened to fall in love with technology – before he fell in love with me. And he falls in love with it more and more each day. We have every gadget known to man and then some. Our car has the latest technology and even our dog has been signed up for ‘No More Woof’ – a headset that detects the dog’s needs and lets him communicate with us via short sentences.

I have technology too! My last birthday present was a smart watch (which I don’t always remember to Bluetooth to my phone) and I have my own Facebook page (which my husband insisted on setting up for me because I wouldn’t be in the loop otherwise).

I shouldn’t complain. I do love waking up in winter to a house that knows what a warm welcome means! Because of my Tech Head Hubby, I get to wake up to the smell of coffee brewing at a pre-set time and my favorite songs playing as I walk past sensors which tell the inbuilt music system to pipe the music gently through the house. We have automatic sensors in the shower which mean I can walk in and the water turns on at the perfect temperature and an internet fridge that lets me know when I need to restock. Who needs to think anymore, right?

But I do miss the days of simplicity. The days where I didn’t have to program the coffee maker in advance or miss 5 minutes of my favorite show because the computer thought it was a commercial break while taping and skipped it.

The days when I could walk into the room and pick up a real newspaper, not an iPad with a computerized voice named Siri (what kind of name is that?) who asks me, “what can I help you with?” and when I reply, “read today’s news…” she answers with, “Here are the Kings of the Kids on a Reading Mission.” What the? Sometimes I feel like throwing the gadgets out the window or at my husband!

And just when I’m about to pick up my iPad mini (a Christmas present from him) and throw it at him, he turns around from the three computer monitors at his desk, gives me the goofiest smile and says, “Honey, I’ve just found the most perfect app for you!”

And I put the iPad down, give him a hug and accept the fact that this is what my life is like now. I am the wife of a Tech Head.

Does anyone else share my problem? I’d love to hear your stories too!