The Gadgets Page

December 31, 2008

Mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone

Filed under: PDAs and Phones — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The fact that I can’t replace the battery on my iPhone has never been a problem for me. I’ve had pretty good luck with it, but I miss having the backup of an extra battery that I had with my old Treo. It’s one of those things that kind of sit in the back of my mind nagging me a bit.

Mophie Juice Pack 3G (Black/Green) at

Now, the Mophie Juice Pack can alleviate that nagging worry, but only if I’m willing to pay a hundred bucks.

Mophie Juice Pack 3G (Black/Green) at Amazon.comThe Mophie adds quite a bit of bulk to your iPhone, but for those of us used to dealing with the Treo, it feels like old times.

When I used to be a real estate agent, I was on my phone all day long. There is no way the iPhone would have lasted me. I would have had to keep it plugged into my car the entire time I drove from listing to listing. Is that people are doing now?

If you’re willing to bulk up your phone a bit (it was never a problem for me because I keep my phone in my purse), then the serenity of have twice the battery time is worth the extra money.

December 30, 2008

Ziotek USB Camera Wrist Strap

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

USB Camera Lanyard, Wrist Strap at Amazon.comThis ingenious device is EXACTLY what every camera needs. It looks like an ordinary wrist strap for your camera, but when the time comes to download your photos onto your computer, the wrist strap opens up and becomes a USB cable.

USB Camera Lanyard, Wrist Strap at

Ziotek USB Camera Lanyard, Neck Strap at Amazon.comI can’t believe ALL cameras aren’t equipped with this feature. Ziotek makes the strap in two sizes: wrist strap and neck strap:

Each of them cost as much as a normal camera lanyard would cost, so they are inexpensive as well. Try them out!

Via: Camera Strap Doubles as a USB Cord »

December 29, 2008

Coleto Pilot Hi-Tec-C Pens

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I have never considered myself a pen snob. I have happily written page after page in my personal journal with a lowly Bic Pen. In fact, for years, my favorite pen was the Bic 4-Color Pen. That was until I was introduced to the Coleto Pilot Hi-Tec-C Pens.

Coleto Pilot Hi-Tec-C Pens

They come in 3-Color and 2-Color sizes, so you can have three colors in one pen, which is very nice if you like to write in a variety of colors. More importantly, the pens come EMPTY and you can CHOOSE the color of ink that you put in them.

Lots of ink colors to choose from.

When you use up all the ink in one color, changing it is easy. You just lift the lid, remove the empty ink cartridge and replace it with a new one.

It's easy to replace empty ink cartridges.

In fact, since I’ve started using these pens, I’ve refused to use any others while writing in my journal. I love the color selection. The gel ink NEVER skips and the pens are easy to hold. The only problem with these pens is that they aren’t readily available in Utah. I can’t just run over to Office Depot to get refills.

I have been ordering them through Jet Pens:

Aside from the difficulty in obtaining the pens and ink, I LOVE them. I wonder why the Pilot company hasn’t released them in the U.S. because I absolutely adore them.

December 26, 2008

Meteorlight Light-Up Dog Ball

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Meteorlight Light-Up Dog Ball at Amazon.comSince I’ve been walking the dogs with NakedJen recently, we have had to go quite early in the morning before she heads off to her glamorous work for Sundance. That means that we are trying to play fetch with the dogs in the dark and it’s hard for them to find the normal tennis balls in the unlit areas of the park. On those dark mornings, Jen brings her Meteorlight Light-Up Dog Ball. It works with the Chuck It, so she can throw it for yards and yards, but the dogs can still see it because it lights up.

Here is the best video I could find of a dog playing with one of these balls:

It’s so fun watching Buddha and Stella chase after the light up ball and watch them run back with it flashing in their mouths. If you have to exercise your dogs in the dark mornings and evenings of winter, this light up ball is a must-have.

December 25, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas

Filed under: Site News — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

USB Christmas Tree with Multicolor LEDs at Amazon.comMay you have a lovely Christmas and may you receive all the gadgets of your heart’s desire!

Take the time to enjoy your family and the other important people in your life. What’s the point of having cool gadgets if you can’t show them off to anyone?


December 24, 2008

Chuck It Ball Launcher

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Chuckit Ball Launcher at Amazon.comContinuing with dog gadgets that NakedJen has introduced me to, there is the Chuck It Ball Launcher. If you have a big dog that needs a lot of exercise, this is an easy way to play fetch without getting slimy hands.

Here is a video showing how it works:

Not only can you pick up the ball with Chuck It, you can throw it further than most normal humans could. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you learn how to throw the ball with Chuck It, you’ll be able to exercise your dog with little effort on your part. Here’s a video of a black lab running the length of a football field over and over:

Buddha and Stella have enjoyed many mornings of chasing after tennis balls and lacrosse balls with the Chuck It, all without us having to endure slimy balls. If there is a dog in your life that loves to play fetch, try using the Chuck It.

December 23, 2008

Halti: Safely Walk Your Dog In The Winter

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Halti Head Collar - Size 3 at Amazon.comSince I started joining NakedJen and her dogs, Stella and Buddha, for their daily walk, I’ve been happier. The icy winter sidewalks however are a constant threat. Stella and Buddha are huge black labs and when Buddha sees a cat, he could pull my arm right out of its socket trying to get it. Earlier this month, Jen started using the Halti Head Collars on both of the dogs and suddenly, it is SO much easier to take them on a walk.

The Halti doesn’t choke them, like a choke collar would. It pulls their heads toward you if they try to run off. It’s pain-free for BOTH of us. More importantly, since they can’t pull, walking on the icy roads is merely a matter of keeping myself upright instead of trying to battle an energetic dog AND keep myself upright.

If you have stopped walking your dog because training didn’t work or maybe because it’s just too icy outside, try a Halti and see if it transforms your dog the way it did for Stella and Buddha!

December 20, 2008

Obscure Problem: How To Reset Default RSS Reader in Firefox 3.0

Filed under: Software — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I realize that this is an obscure problem that hardly anyone will need an answer for, but if you do, this will be a godsend.

For years, I used Bloglines for my RSS reader, but it has been sluggish lately. Everyone was raving about how easy Google Reader was, so I decided to try it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was easy to use and updated the blogs quickly, so I have been using it regularly with Bloglines a distant memory kind of like Netscape became after AOL bought them.

My only problem is that Firefox still thought that Bloglines was my favorite browser, so whenever I would push the handy RSS button on the location bar…

RSS button on the location bar in Firefox 3

…it would automatically take me to Bloglines.

EVERY recommendation that I could find online just said that I should choose Google when the subscribe box came up, but it never came up. It just took me to Bloglines, which took its sluggish time loading before I could scream in frustration.

I FINALLY got an answer from Mozilla’s Help Forum:

The most excellent and patient eisneun helped me reset it, but be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart. Read more here: (Continue Reading…)

December 19, 2008

Zenses for the Nintendo DS

Filed under: Toys and Games — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Zenses: Ocean Edition at Amazon.comThe reason most adults play video games is to RELAX. We have a few minutes before we go to bed or maybe want to unwind during a stressful flight. The Zenses games from The Game Factory understands that perfectly. The games come in two flavors: Ocean and Rainforest. They both have beautiful soundtracks with relaxing sound effects that make playing the games fun and meditative.

Zenses: Rainforest Edition at Amazon.comIn fact, you can download the soundtracks right now. Go to their website and click on the Music Downloads section:

I bought the Ocean Edition while I was traveling so I could have something to do on the four hour flight that would distract me from the cramped quarters. Instead of turning off the audio (which is what I do on many video games), I put in my headphones and listened to the calming water while I moved around seashells. All the games are fun, casual gaming type of games that are easy to learn and addictive to play.

Here is the trailer for Zenses: Ocean Edition:

Here is the trailer for Zenses: Rainforest Edition:

I am getting the Rainforest Edition for my next trip and the flight should be an easy escape.

December 18, 2008

ForeverLawn: You’ll Never Mow Again

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

K9 ForeverLawnI know it’s winter and my grass is currently hiding under a layer of snow, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about what to do with it when spring comes. I HATE to mow the lawn. I HATE to maintain a lawnmower. I’ve never found a competent landscaper. Right now, the idea of ForeverLawn sounds wonderful.

I first saw ForeverLawn in Las Vegas, Nevada at an outdoor shopping mall. Ironically, they feature that mall in their advertising:

ForeverLawn in Las Vegas, Nevada

When I first saw it, I thought that maybe this kind of lawn wouldn’t work in Utah because of our snow, but there is a dealer in Utah AND they even have synthetic lawns that are specifically meant to withstand dogs. It sounds like a dream come true to me.

If I had to choose whether to put in automatic sprinklers or just replace my lawn with astroturf, I’d choose the ForeverLawn in a heartbeat. It’s not as good for the environment as growing your own garden, but honestly, I’m never going to do that. This way, I save water and still have a gorgeous green grass.

Now, I just need to convince Mike that it’s a good idea…

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