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Column

Bring on the gadgets

I love gadgets.

I always enjoyed looking through those Harriet Carter catalogs when I was young. I can spend way too much time in kitchen collection stores just browsing through all the interesting items hanging on the walls or stacked on the shelves.

Maxwell Smart was sort of the “Macgyver” of my generation, only half as bright. Agent 86 had the best of gadgets, although most of them were designed to put a stop to KAOS or get Max out of some predicament he managed to bumble his way into. I use to trace the outline of my shoe onto some cardboard and cut it out. Then I’d make a rotary dial out of another piece and scrounge around until I found a small gold paper brad and affix the “dial” to the cutout of my shoe and strap the whole contraption to my sneaker with a rubber band.

If you’re under the age of 50, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. But for a kid of the 60s, that was imagination at its finest.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a rotary dial telephone in my home and even longer since I’ve strapped one to my foot, but my admiration for those inventors of gadgets continues to this day.

I don’t think I’m out to find anything in particular when I gadget shop which is probably why I can fritter away time strolling through the pages of Amazon or any of those other gadgety-type ads that pop up on my Facebook.

I’ve stumbled on some pretty neat stuff and have even purchased more than a few including my anti-snoring tongue device, my headache hat and some crazy looking food dishes for my dogs which look similar to a puzzle you’d roll a marble around in — it’s an attempt to slow down their eating.

So anyway ...

My most recent gadget purchase was my smartwatch. A watch that would basically double as a teeny version of my phone? Just like hitting gadget paydirt!

I didn’t order anything expensive. That’s kind of the point when it comes to my gadget fixation — I like to do it on the cheap when I can which is what makes it a fun, no-guilt hobby. Besides, I was venturing in to technology territory, and that is definitely not my forte.

I did make sure my smartwatch would be compatible with my Android phone — I’m at least savvy enough to figure that was a must. The photos of the watch showed it would have most of the features I use most often on my phone. Then I chose a color, dug out my credit card and two days later, stopped at my mailbox and retrieved my smartwatch.

As I opened the box, the first thing I learned is my smartwatch had instructions written in type too small for me to read, even with my reading glasses. Fortunately, I do have a magnifying glass at my desk at home to help thread needles. I also discovered the instructions were written by someone who did not speak English as a first language ... or second language ... actually, from the tiny words I tried to make out, I’m not sure they even spoke English.

A few hours later, just from trial and error, I managed to set the time on my smartwatch, but only in military time. Fortunately, with a husband retired from law enforcement, I’m proficient in military time. I eventually figured out a few other options, but if I’m totally honest, I’m glad I didn’t invest much money in my “smartwatch.”

Oh, it’s 16 hundred hours and time for me to head out.

Contact Dana King at
dking@shawmedia.com

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