Tech­ni­cally Speak­ing

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It has been get­ting more dif­fi­cult ev­ery year and af­ter al­most 40 years it is al­most im­pos­si­ble…to find a good Christ­mas gift for my lovely bride. I have failed many times with gifts that can only be filed in the “seemed like a good idea at the time” cat­e­gory in my fee­ble mind. We can now laugh at some of those mis­er­able at­tempts at clever and thought­ful gifts, or at least I think we can. In yet an­other at­tempt at be­ing clever and thought­ful, I have de­cided to pursue gifts of the tech­ni­cal na­ture for my bride and some of my “old” friends and fam­ily. Af­ter climb­ing on board the in­ter­wwweb, I pointed and clicked my way to a site that was a sight to be­hold. Toys are not just for kids any­more and for a techyguy or techy­gal there are so many neato-groovy-cool grown up toys avail­able. I am pos­i­tive that Mrs. B would enjoy a re­mote con­trolled fly­ing drone with cam­era that could de­liver beer and sand­wiches to a cer­tain hus­band (hope­fully me) nap­ping in his ham­mock. For a mere 800 bucks, she can serve me re­fresh­ments and never leave her work space…er kitchen, and she can mon­i­tor how pleased I am to have a cool brewski and a sub de­liv­ered to my ham­mock. This is a way more thought­ful gift than those snow tires I thought­fully gave her a few years ago! It seems that dig­i­tal cam­eras are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more pop­u­lar and more pre­cise with im­prove­ments in the tech­nol­ogy and bat­ter­ies. Self-sta­bi­liz­ing cam­eras like Go-Pros are now able to cap­ture events that are only lim­ited to one’s imag­i­na­tion or in some cases, one’s fail­ures and flops. The in­ter­wwweb is full of suc­cess­ful GoPro recorded events and feats. They can be im­pres­sive but the Go-Pro recorded epic fails far out­num­ber the suc­cesses and are way fun­nier to watch. If Mrs. B was to re­ceive a Go-Pro as a gift for Christ­mas, she would have to take up a sport or hobby that is way more dan­ger­ous than her pre­ferred pas­time of gar­den­ing. There just aren’t that many gar­den­ing fail­ures that are recorded on Go-Pros and re­played on the in­ter­wwweb. Too bad! Af­ter giv­ing a great amount of thought to be­ing thought­ful, I had a won­der­ful thought! What if my gift to my bride was one that would chal­lenge her cre­ativ­ity and al­low for artis­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tion? For un­der $2000, Mrs. B could have a com­plete 3D printer/ scan­ner and ac­ces­sories to man­u­fac­ture any­thing she wanted to give me like a 3D sculp­ture of a cer­tain hand ges­ture for ex­am­ple. If an item will fit in the scan­ner, it can be 3D printed…hmmm I won­der if that will work with beer. There is yet an­other cam­era-type gad­get that is ac­tu­ally a new spin on an old fa­vorite, the in­stant cam­era. The old big and bulky Po­laroid Land Cam­era was pop­u­lar with the Baby Boomers be­cause it pro­vided an in­stant record of a pho­to­graphic event. It does not seem like a big deal th­ese days be­cause of the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion that has cam­eras and re­plays on phones, watches, glasses and what­ever, but 40 years ago it was cool to snap a pic­ture and watch it de­velop right be­fore your eyes. The neg­a­tive, was that there was no neg­a­tive for prints and the orig­i­nal seemed to be­gin fad­ing af­ter a few days. So if you were a black­mailer, you had to act im­me­di­ately. Th­ese days, with a dig­i­tal in­stant cam­era, you can black­mail some­one in­stantly and still have dig­i­tal mem­ory or the “event” for fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions. Not that ei­ther of us are ready yet, but there are some elec­tronic giz­mos that keep track of old folks and can help a se­nior re­trace their steps, should they get lost or con­fused. Some of th­ese gad­gets can even call an­other cell phone if the user gets lost or be­gins to wan­der aim­lessly. Th­ese “Per­sonal Lo­ca­tors” would never work for me be­cause I am al­ways wan­der­ing aim­lessly and it would never be able to de­cide what was out of char­ac­ter. If the per­sonal lo­ca­tor did phone an­other se­nior’s cell phone, there is a good chance the other se­nior will have dif­fi­culty op­er­at­ing a mod­ern cell phone. So, the smar­ty­pantsknow­itall­guys went back to ba­sics with a se­nior’s cell phone. This is just a phone that can make and re­ceive calls on a large easy to read num­ber board and screen with no cam­era, video, com­puter, games, GPS, mu­sic li­brary or tex­ting to worry about. Easy peasy, if I could just open it! When it comes down to the crunch, I hope to have my Christ­mas shop­ping for Mrs. B com­pleted be­fore Christ­mas Eve so I will not have to make a last minute trip to the Marty Mart for snow tires and lottery tick­ets. Tech­ni­cally it is the thought that counts…right?

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