Friday, May 30, 2008

Machine or mannequin

I've been thinking about the technology that I use without which my life wouldn't be complete after a conversation I had the other day wherein it occurred to me that, in comparison with some of my associates here, I am what others call an early adopter of tech. Which realization, when I told the husband, made him laugh and laugh because he knows my bordering on Ludic ways when it comes to many things tech. He, on the other hand, reads things like Apple RUMOR blogs (can you even imagine? stories like "someone on the assembly line in Taiwan said") and is eagerly awaiting the second generation iPhone because said blogs helped him decide to wait until it went from 2 to 3 something or other (yes, tg, sageblue, and fronesis, laugh, laugh, laugh at my inability to talk the talk).

BUT, here in the red state world, I am a minor tech goddess so I wondered which were my most essential tech items. And I decided to share them with you, in no particular order (except for the first):

#1 has to be the computer, in this case the husband's iMac. I have a Dell that I love to pieces, but it is buried right now in the maw that is my unorganized office (and is, in fact, in pieces, as the husband pointedly enjoins me to tell you--hey, don't you have your own blog somewhere?), so I will return to it some day but not right now. With this computer, I do many things, chief among them being blogging and research on the Internets (i.e. why are my son's fingers and toes peeling, please?).

#2 is Skype which I credit with being the single most important reason my parents and my in-laws continue to allow us to live so far away with one of their grandchildren. J has become so used to video calls, he thinks everyone on the TV (shown on the same screen, confusingly) is talking to him: "Why yes, Oprah, I do think it's atrocious what they're doing in those puppy mills."

#3 is our nifty Panasonic phone. This is the niftiest device we've owned in a long time, with all kinds of helpful features, not the least of which is the fact that the second handset doesn't need a phone jack to operate since, as I must have said somewhere before, one whole side of our house is without phone jacks. Ooops!

#4 is my cell phone, though it's in serious, even dire need of an upgrade (I'm not even going to link to the model; it's too embarrassing) and isn't getting as much use now as it was before Skype, but I still value the convenience and it's very handy in all sorts of situations, particularly during travel.

#5 is our HD antenna which allows us to catch HD television signals for free and broadcasts them on our computer. Granted, there are only a few stations right now, but I have a feeling that in 2009, when everyone switches over, our options might open up quite a bit and still be free. Plus, it looks all groovy and 1970's futuristic.

#6 (though this should potentially be #1) is our infra-red video baby monitor, that shows me a grainy but comforting video image of J throughout the night so I can tell if A, he's still breathing, B, he's actually awake, or C, he's just being a typically loud and restless sleeper and I should ignore him. During sleep training, this was our best friend.

#7 is on-line banking. We don't have a bricks and mortar bank; we bank with a bank that only exists via the web for us. It's been incredibly convenient since it moves with us, and we can check in anywhere there's an internet connection. They let us use any ATM we want and take care of the fees for us. And they let us put a mortar and pestle on our checks!

Actually, now that I think about this, the list could go on an on, because how do you define "technology?" Something electronic? Then the baby swing (blessed, blessed device) counts, as does the oven, the fridge, the clocks, etc. etc. etc. So I'm stopping now. And then there's always the flipside to all this techno-love, which is that sometimes (often) it doesn't work when and how you need. Sigh...can't live with it....

cartoon from


Jeff said...

Hi Lil,

I've got another candidate for your list. I got an early birthday present this week--the Kindle. I LOVE it. It's actually quite nice to read on, it holds hundreds of books, and when you want a new one you can buy it right on the device and have it in minutes.

Lilita said...

Oh good, I was wondering if someone I knew was going to get a Kindle. You'll have to tell me how it works out for you. I really wish I had one while breast feeding but I'm wondering if I need one just because!