Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gadget Geek

Today, as Diesel and I headed out for our walk I found myself doing things, that 5 years ago, I never would have thought to do.

I pulled out my phone just about as soon as Diesel was attached to his leash, turned on the GPS function and started the Noom app.  This application on my phone then started recording my time, distance, speed and kept a map of the route I had begun. Soon after that, I found myself checking into Foursquare to reclaim my title as "mayor" of the Clinton River Trail. As the check-in was posted to Twitter, I informed my followers that I would be posting a new blog soon using the hashtag, #DieselStomping.  Along our walking route I snapped a few photos of the sunset.  All the while, the little voice from Noom reminding me that I had to step it up if I wanted to make it all 3 miles in under an hour. WTH?

Yes, this is what gadget geeks like me do.  There used to be a time when we valued and protected our privacy, but things have changed with my generation and younger. A friend and I were talking about the use of Foursquare one day and about how when we had first discovered the App, we were checking in everywhere we went. The gas station, the gym, the grocery store, the gastroenterologist. Everywhere. So for a lot of people the allure to check in was lost. The whole purpose of the app when it first was created was to make a game out of going out. And by "going out", I mean hitting the night clubs, bars and other cool-to-be-scene-at places, the person with the most points wins and is thereby considered "the coolest."  My friend went on to say that he now views the check-in process as more an advertising tool.  We are essentially selling ourselves to our friends, family, and strangers.  By checking into new, cool, or unusual places we are telling people "Hey, look at what I am doing, I like it, and I hereby endorse it."  I completely agree.  I have started checking into places again, when I think its something that people will find interesting. I hope.

And then of course there is Facebook and Twitter.  I enjoy both of those applications for different reasons.  I like that I can keep up with my friends, family and favorite celebrities (I must know what Wil Wheaton is up to, something funny could happen!) Plus, I like that I can shamelessly plug my blog to all those same people and hope that they start reading. That reminds me, I also have a Google+ account but I really haven't gotten into that one yet.

While we were out on our walk today, we were passed by a guy on a bike that had a camera mounted to his handlebars and he was capturing video of his ride down the trail and that got me thinking about what other gadgets are fun to have while out on a walk/ride.  I used to carry my iPod, still do occasionally, but sometimes I use the Pandora app on my phone for music instead.  I have thought about figuring out a way to carry and record using my Flip camera during a walk, but it would be better suited to a bike ride as I have a tripod I could use to mount it.  And speaking of going on bike rides, I recently impulse purchased a Bike Computer made by Schwinn to record my speed and distance.  I'm pretty sure my Noom app could have handled that, but what can I say, it looked neat.  And I have to be honest, one of the reasons I joined Burn Fitness was because I could plug my iPod and a jumpdrive into the cardio machines.

Something I would love to own one day, and totally do not need to spend the money on, would be this: The DogTek Eyenimal Videocam for Pets. If I had the $100 bucks to spare on something I would probably only use once or twice, this would be it.  I would be so interested in seeing what Diesel sees for 8 hours while Mikey and I are away at work. Oh, and capturing the trail from his view, that would be all over YouTube in a heartbeat. Chances are though, I would end up catching 8 hours of the dirt spot near the fence where Diesel is usually laying when we get home. But, you never really know until you get one! For anyone that is reading, this is now on my Birthday/Christmas list.

So that's my nerd list of gadgetry I bring with me and wish I could bring with me.  What kinds of gadgets, apps or toys do you bring on your walks?

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