Gifts for My Accessories

After several holiday seasons of retailers exhorting me to “be good to your gear,” I have pretty much accessorized all of my technology to the limit. It started simply enough, with a case for my notebook. But then I was worried that my phone would get jealous, so I had to buy it a case, too. And a screen protector. Why I got the screen protector, I don’t know, because then I was afraid my monitor would feel left out. And so it went. Within a couple of Christmases, I had purchased multiple accessories for everything. No one’s equipment is more pampered than my equipment. 

But this posed a two-pronged challenge of its own: First, how would I be able to do my civic duty and spend lots of money indiscriminately this holiday season? and; Second, how could I reward those hard-working accessories who have done so much to enrich the lives of my technology products? The answer, of course, is that this year I shall start redressing my thoughtlessness towards my accessories and purchase gifts for them. But I’m not a wealthy man, so I’ll have to start slow. Here’s a look at what will be under my accessories’ tree this year (note to self: buy accessories a tree):

For my Kingsman DataLite EG+ 6GB thumb drive: a Popi Universal Thumb Drive Cashmere Cardigan

For my EgoTron GSB19 Articulating Monitor Stand: StandShine Advanced Protectant Polish with UV Blockers and Carnuba Wax, 16 oz. commemorative edition bottle

For my SlipShod Peek-a-Boo Polycarbonate Laptop Shell: SlipShod PolyProtect 100% Polycarbonate-Free Laptop Shell ShockSorber®

For my Kisco All4Web Wireless 802.1A/B/G/N Home Network Router: LiteWerks Good Mood Photon Therapy Router Case, with 4 Automatic Presets that Mimic Natural Lighting Conditions of Various Router Habitats

For my Belchnin DockMate Powered 12 Port USB 2.0 Hub: Kreller PowerSentry USBPro Alternating Current Conditioner for Powered USB Drives

For my NoMoreBirdsNestDesk Crap Scanner/Archiver: Elvonics ScanSoSoft Desktop Scanner Lightsource Moisturizer/Emollient with free Evonics Tote Bag Bonus Gift, an $89 value

For my SeaGull XT50 50TB RAID 10.0 DataVault II Autonomous Network Data Backup System: a Froswell Storzall NX100 100TB RAID 10.0 Autonomous Network Data Backup System Autonomous Backup System


Hey, Apple—I want an iPhad


Sometimes my iPhone is too small and underpowered, but my iPad is too unwieldy and brings more horsepower to a task than it requires. For users like me, Apple needs to invent the iPhad.

This new device would offer me the best of both my iPhone and my iPad in a convenient new, “just right”-sized form factor.

The iPhad would feature the same OS as my iPhone and iPad, so it will be easy for me to learn and use. And then I’ll be able to buy the same apps in three different versions: phone, tablet and, um, phablet.

With it’s big (but not-too-big) display, and it’s small (but not-too-small) form factor, the iPhad would be the perfect way to keep Apple technology in my hand and plugged into my brain during those few remaining waking moments when I’m not using my iPhone, my iPad or my MacBook.

But mostly, I want Apple to bring this device to market so that when people stop and ask me, “Hey, is that an iPhone or an iPad,” I can reply, smugly, “Neither. It’s just a phad.”


Fruit stickers! Inspired by fruit stickers!

Fruit stickers! Those annoying little adhesive patches you must remove from fruit before you eat it. If you’re like me, you don’t just mutter under your breath, “Goddamn fruit stickers,” as you try to peel them off without denuding half the nectarine in the process. No, you also mutter under your breath, “How the fuck do they get stickers on each and every piece of fruit?! Someone must have invented some kind of amazing machine to do that.” Near as I can tell, that someone worked for or licensed the idea to Sinclair International. They seem to be your 900 lb. gorilla of the fruit sticker world. Although technically they refer to them as fruit labels, not stickers.

This is the Sinclair RM6, which can sticker 720 pieces of fruit per minute per lane. That’s faster than a person could do it, I bet!

Also look for the video on the Sinclair info page. Hilarious for a few seconds just because the interviewer is much more stiff and amateur than the company CEO he’s interviewing. Stick with it (heh!) if you want to see a glimpse of a pretty sophisticated universal action hand labeler, kinda like a human powered robot arm. For putting stickers on fruit.

Fruit stickers carry a 4- or 5-digit price look-up number (PLU) that grocery checkers use to ring up the correct purchase price. This became necessary because A) consumer demand for more fruit variety led to the introduction of fruits that weren’t Red Delicious apples or California navel oranges, and B) the influx of a generation of grocery store workers who never encountered fruit that hadn’t been tanned into a leather-like “roll-up” or juiced into an aseptic box. There are at least several really bad YouTube fruit sticker videos, a serious collector site (he calls them labels, too, but says don’t confuse them with fruit crate labels!) and a defunct blog named for them.

collage#23, mixed media: pink lady apple (PLU #4130), red plum (PLU #4042) and navel orange (PLU #4012) fruit stickers, corian countertop.