Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Signs of the seasons...

Without me realizing it, Boston has abruptly down-shifted into autumn. We've had some very weird weather over the year, so I'm not sure why suddenly tripping into fall (sorry, I had to) has me surprised. Yesterday after work I found myself scuffing my feet through the leaves, and apple and pumpkin picking trips are just around the corner.

All of these are pleasant for me as fall is my favorite season (and coincidentally the only time of year I actually like living in New England). What was unpleasant for me was listening to some guy repeatedly revving his engine just now. All that did was give me painful flashbacks to last winter when day after day I heard co-workers trying to get out of parking spaces buried in snow.

However, Dominic Skinner's delightful new mug may just change my mind about the dark days ahead. Living in Ireland turned me onto the idea of dunking chocolate cookies in tea, so I guess it's no surprise a man from the UK came up with the idea to put little slots in mugs so one can drink one's tea/coffee and hold his/her cookies at the same time. On sale at www.mocha.uk.com, it comes in both right- and left-handed versions, so you never toss your cookies. : )

Technology continues to advance in other more, er, widely relevant areas as well. The New York Times reported on how the introduction of the touchscreen phone, most notably the iPhone, has helped computer engineers move forward in their research on creating a touchscreen computer. The "tablet" computer has not made much progress in the last 20 years since the first one was lampooned in Doonesbury for its incompetence. Gizmo gurus expect the major players - Apple, Microsoft, etc. - to produce the next evolution of touch and tap devices in the next year.

All these high-tech magic tricks are perhaps having the other-than-intended effect of making me long for Lite-Brite and Etch-a-Sketch. I actually kind of miss the days of crappy animation and VHS tapes. My little apparently Luddite self takes comfort in my third gadget today, which I found on www.coolest-gadgets.com. Despite the slightly sketchy fact this children's toy comes from a company called "Uncle Milton's," I love the idea of a projected rainbow in my room any time I want it (no rain necessary). All I need now is the pot of gold...

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