Let’s get personal with our gadgets
Any Digital Slob who writes about gadgets has to earn the confidence of his readers. If I want you to trust me, then I have to trust you.
Thus, I'm going to reveal my own, personal, Top 10 hand-held gadgets that have gotten the most "hand time" with me so far this year. They don't all use microchips, but each one works Slob miracles in the Digital Age:
10. Archos 604 Wi-Fi video player: Sometimes I know I'm going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere. The dentist's office. An occasional plane ride. My entire mid- to late 30s.
For these times and more, I always take my Archos with me. It's got a 4.3-inch touch-screen interface for playing movies, mp3s or photo slide shows. It even has Wi-Fi for messing around on the Web. It's like the iPhone, minus the phone, and the 3 1/2 pounds of contractual obligations.
9. Teen Spirit Lady Speed Stick: My local drugstore sells these for less than half the price of the men's Speed Stick, so I usually buy basketfuls at a time.
That's right, I use teen-girl deodorant. There's no law against it. Let the cashier make any kind of face she wants.
8. Keyless remote car key: It's vital that I keep this on hand because even in an emergency, AAA refuses to take me to Taco Bell. And I have the Plus Service. Read the fine print, people.
7. Tongue scraper: Hey, I told you this was an all-inclusive Top 10 gadget list. You think I can stay married for almost four years without a little help?
6. Survivor USB Thumb Drive: This 8GB flash-memory stick is nearly indestructible, housed in a 4-inch-long militaristic-looking milled aluminum cylinder. But before entrusting it with all of my vital data, I put it on a weeklong nonstop road test in my back pocket. Let's just say it left a definite impression.
5. POWERade: To beat the summer heat, I have a highly sophisticated routine. First, I buy a bunch of the blue kind (my favorite flavor). Then I take a sip out of each and freeze them (so they don't rupture while expanding into solid form).
Then, I microwave a bottle for three minutes, creating a kind of slushy. Then I shake it like a martini to even out the icy parts with the liquid parts, and drink up. Flawlessly refreshing -- usually.
Unfortunately, last week I accidentally shook one with the cap off, and now there's a patch of carpet that looks like I murdered a Smurf in cold blood.
4. Motorola RAZR: I've got a year and four months left on my cell-phone contract, so I have to keep this device around, otherwise Verizon will leave me eerie voice messages filled with the sounds of my credit cards screaming for their lives.
3. Heinz Ketchup squeeze bottle: What can I say? "French fry eater" almost made it into the hobby section of my résumé.
2. iPod: I haven't turned on the radio since late 2004. By the way, anything new with Britney Spears or Imus?
1. TiVo remote: Still No. 1 after 84 consecutive months. How important is this magical key to my DVR video entertainment? Well, the last time I lost it, finding it meant missing my mother's 80th-birthday party.
OK, OK, not really. I wouldn't do that.
I made it in time for the cake.