Tech tools offer cure for brain hiccups
THERE ARE two distinct kinds of Digital Slob forgetfulness: convenient forgetting and actual forgetting.
For example, when double-dating in a fancy restaurant, Slobs "conveniently" forget to bring our wallets. But if we're frantically searching our car's floorboard for cheeseburger money, then we "actually" forgot to bring our wallets.
Such contrasts are commonplace. Conveniently forgot to take out the trash; actually forgot that decomposing salmon smells really bad. Conveniently forgot a dental appointment; actually forgot how a loose filling negatively impacts the ice-cream experience.
Over time, however, convenient forgetting can morph into actual forgetting.
Still have your buddy's "Kill Bill" DVD box set three months after you borrowed it? You conveniently forgot.
Three years? Actually forgot.
Knowing the evil that lurks within, I've been known to prop items up against the inside of my front door right before bedtime, just so I don't forget to take them with me when I leave home the next day.
I've also been known to pick up said items the next morning, place them back on a desk while I answer a quick phone call, then leave them (again) as I exit the house.
My apartment is like an inescapable Alcatraz for overdue intellectual property -- there might as well be sharks circling in the hallway.
This is why before we married, my wife made me sign a prenup forbidding me from getting within 200 feet of a Blockbuster Video store.
But if you've ever tried to verify your identity by entering a PIN code of "Matthews" and a mother's maiden name of "9772," help is on the way.
Digital Age developers are working on ways to reconnect us with our inner to-do list.
If you are all thumbs with plastic money, panik-design.com offers the Card Beeper, a credit-card holder that chirps like a hungry baby bird if your VISA goes missing for more than 20 seconds. This could not only protect you from theft and your own absent-mindedness in the unforgiving consumer jungle, but would also give the Wal-Mart clerk that extra auditory incentive to keep the line moving.
Based on this same premise, Babyalert.info offers the Child 'Minder, a device that blares an alert if you get more than 20 feet away from your offspring in his or her stroller, car seat or even the Wal-Mart toy department (first the VISA, now this -- you'll probably be banned for life).
Also, Discovery.com reported earlier this month that Canadian students have created the Ladybag, a purse fitted with RFID technology that informs you when something is not where it should be.
Try to leave the house without any vital handbag accessory, be it your keys, your phone or your chihuahua, and a neon-like sign will emit from the purse illustrating which item is missing in action.
And finally, Google has released an online calendar that promises to sync with your Gmail account. After a few clicks, the application vows to recognize e-mail text such as "birthday party tomorrow at 8 p.m." and, knowing how to put words like "tomorrow" in context, add the event directly to your online calendar.
It's not fully functional yet, but I've got high hopes. One day it might even help me remember how bad tossed-out fish smells before it's too late.