Tuesday, June 12, 2012


My anniversary present from B. came on a trip to the mall. We were driving back from elsewhere and decided to stop at West Valley on the grounds that if the thing that I wanted actually existed, it'd be at the Sharper Image store.

Well, West Valley no longer has a Sharper Image store. (It also seems to have lost the candy store that carried the one treat that I, not fond of most sugary stuff, like that nobody else does: chocolate-covered gummy bears.) But it does have a Brookstone and B. knew that that was a likely substitute.

What I got is called a key finder. It's a button-shaped item about an inch in diameter and close to half an inch thick, with a ring clip to fasten it to another ring. The point of this is that it comes with a large remote-control-like device, and if you press that device, the button beeps. That enables you to find it, and if it's attached to something that you keep misplacing, how useful that is.

As the name suggests, it's intended to go on a key ring. But I almost never misplace my keys - maybe half a dozen times in all my life - so I don't need it there. What I keep misplacing is my calendar/address book: what I'd use a PDA for if I had a PDA and weren't still wedded to a paper version.* I constantly need to check it when I'm various places around the house, and sometimes I leave it either intentionally or otherwise in my car, and I can never remember where I last had it, and it's deucedly hard to find on a quick glance.

This item has taught me that "It's always in the last place you look" is a false bromide. Sometimes it's in a place you previously looked, and you have to go back there two or three times before you can find it. Sometimes it's in no place at all, and you have to wait for it to show up later. This gets tiresome.

The address book is a tiny ring binder about 6 x 4 inches, and I can fasten the button to one of the rings. I hope it will stay on when I stuff the thing in my trouser pocket. I'm not happy that the button is so honking large - I was hoping for something more like a paste-on RFID chip - but it needs to beep and there's a huge button battery inside that's apparently necessary for that. So no attaching another one to my watch or my eyeglasses, which are the other items I spend the most time looking for.

So far the only time I've actually used the device is when the button slipped when I was trying to attach it and rolled under my desk where I couldn't find it. But patience; it will prove itself soon enough.

B. got the serpentine earrings we'd been admiring at the last local arts festival we attended.

*I have never seen a digital calendar app that's anywhere near as flexible or usable for my needs as a simple paper monthly grid is.

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