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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I think I need to take a gadget class

I had to set the alarm again last night so I’d wake up in time to get to the VIS and open it by 8:00.  I would have made it too, if I hadn’t got stuck behind a huge slow moving farm tractor. 

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As you may recall, I chose to operate the VIS rather than teach 100 first graders from the Anahuac school district.  The classes were to take place around the pond which is now behind the new VIS.  All of the volunteer teachers were there early to review their materials and wait for the kids to arrive.75 Anahuac NWR 2013-201427

And arrive they did.  Each class lasts about 12 minutes or so, and then the kids march around to the next of six stations.  I think there were six ‘rounds’ today before our teachers then took their last group on a nature hike to the Willows where they board their buses once again.  In the meantime, I handled all the adult visitors to the refuge, and battled with the latest glitch in the touch screen computerized cash register.  It seems the touch screen feature has decided to take a vacation, and I had to struggle with no mouse.  I have an awful time with that pad where you use your finger to move the cursor.

Afterwards, I had a sandwich for a quick lunch before I took Colin and Denise to Bush International Airport in north Houston.  They’re flight really doesn’t leave until tomorrow, so I actually dropped them off at a nearby motel.  None of us could drive them there tomorrow since we’ll all be busy with 239 students visiting our sister refuge, McFadden NWR.

I didn’t get home until almost 5:00, and then I thought I’d check out how to operate the going away gift I was given yesterday.

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Here it is.  Looks pretty innocent doesn’t it?  It’s a Travel Sound Therapy System (what ever that is).  I thought it was a digital clock, but it turns out to be much more than that.  Did you notice that on the bottom of the unit it says “Thank you for your time”?  Ha!  Time is what it took to figure out this little gadget.  It amazes me that when I bought my new laptop with Windows 8 last summer, no instructions came with it, but this puny little machine has a 30 page instruction booklet!

Okay, I’m one of those people that actually reads instruction booklets.  It took me almost a half an hour just to figure out how to set the ‘home’ time.  There is also an option to set an ‘away’ time.  Huh?  If I’m away from my bedroom clock, I just look at my watch.  I really don’t need to know the time in Paris, France, for instance, so I’m thinking this is a feature I can live without.

Since I need to set an alarm for tomorrow’s wake up, I thought I’d try to do that.  OMG!  What a convoluted deal that was.  I thought I did it, but I wasn’t sure.  You see there’s this setting for a 24 hour clock or a 12 hour clock.  I chose 24 since that’s how long a day is.  Mistake!  The alarm went off at six this evening to the sound of a waterfall.  I thought I had chosen a chime.  So, I reset it to a 12 hour clock after figuring out I’m not in the military. Things were not going to get any better…

I had it working on electric at the time, so I installed four back-up batteries, not included, so I could move the clock and its settings to the bedroom.  Well, you can guess that that didn’t work.  When I unplugged it to move it, all the settings went back to the factory setting that showed it to be 12:00 on Jan. 1, 2008.  Crying face

I guess I didn’t mention that there are also Sound Therapy settings for sleeping or relaxing or recording a custom sound.  There are eight different sound settings (like white noise, rain, thunderstorm, or ocean surf to name a few)  And of course there’s also the volume for everything and the sleep enhancement feature with supporting scientific breakthrough evidence of its usefulness.  I think I need to take a gadget class.

I didn’t think I needed stress therapy, but after trying to get this wonderful(?) gift to work, maybe I do.  Surprised smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

 

33 comments:

  1. I am just laughing out loud at your description of this. Would love to have been a fly on the wall. I'm sure you didn't think it was as funny as I did. :-) I have one of those "wake you up with wonderful sounds clocks". I use it mostly to cover up noises while I sleep if I am in an "unfriendly" (meaning not quiet) area. The rain or the water fall or the stream settings are pretty good at that. I don't even bother with the clock since I don't use a clock any more. It's the main thing I LOVE about being retired. That and forgetting what day of the week it is.

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  2. Oh Judy. I'm sorry, but I'm sitting here absolutely, literally laughing. With you, of course. I think it sounds (no pun intended, really) like a cool gift, but I use much more simpler things. My iPhone serves as my alarm clock. Our environment is very quiet, but if I do want something floating around in my head at bedtime, I have an MP3 player with some lovely meditation/Reiki/Native American tunes. Both are very basic compared to your nifty-keeno gadget. Thanks for the entertaining post!

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  3. Hahaaa ... well? I had one that with the 24 hour clock ... it wanted me to set it like military time... liked 2400 is midnight then ... aw hells bells ... I'll google the difference ~ this gives the 12 and 24 hour...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-hour_clock

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  4. Looks as if it takes an electronics degree to operate that clock (is it a clock? No, it's so much more).

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  5. I've had a good laugh reading this post. But I'm laughing WITH you, not AT you! i've prided myself on being able to set new watches, radios, etc.; however, I recently tried to get rid of most of the 1,287 emails I had on my iPhone. What happened? I deleted my email account on the phone so now I have NO emails to read unless I'm on my computer!!! I've been reading instructions and trying all kinds of things for days now - still no email!!! I need a gadget class, too!

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    1. Haul it back to the kids in the Apple store. No worries.

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  6. I don't do gadgets for that reason. Figuring out the new camera is a big enough challenge.

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  7. That's quite a gift that causes the stress that it's supposed to relieve. I wonder how many of those have been sold? ;-)

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  8. Gadgets and I don't get along either! Just an on and off button works just fine for me. Speaking of the sleeping and relaxing sounds...when I taught kindergarten, we had a rest time right after lunch. I love the sound of the ocean so I played this peaceful CD. After about three days, I figured out several children were having accidents because of the water noise.

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  9. You are definitely more persistent than I am. I would have put it back in the box and put it in a back cupboard somewhere. But I have to agree - it makes for a very funny post. So does Gay's comment.

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  10. It is a good experience to take the kids for a trip. They too will enjoy and learn many things from it!

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  11. If you think dealing with your clock was frustrating, you can look forward to the day when some well-meaning person may give you a clock with verbal input/instructions. Our daughter did this some years ago. The verbal input was very shaky, like you could speak the proper command to set the alarm for 6 AM and it would change the time zone to Calcutta. After a while we accepted that the feature really didn't work and it became a source of amusement rather than frustration. Hopefully if anyone acquires such a thing in the future, the technology will have improved.

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  12. I have found most of the newer gadgets to be very user friendly and intuitive and rarely need an instruction manual. I still like to read a manual myself though. Remind me not to buy one of those things.

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  13. What I find so exasperating about new gadgets is that young kids can figure out how to use them in 3 minutes.

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  14. Does the clock keep all the settings when you're on the road? Our "electric/battery back-up" clock needs reset every time we move... don't know what use the batteries are..... I think i'd like the white-noise backup... but probably should take Gay's advice and not play the waterfall or waves noise while sleeping ;-)

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  15. Thanks for my morning chuckle--loved your description. In all the 12 years of travel I did for work, I prided myself on being able to set any hotel alarm clock--the one you have might have defeated me!!

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  16. I'm with you Judy....gadgets cause me a lot of stress...including this computer!!!

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  17. I have never heard of a Sound Therapy System. I think it is just another gadget someone came up with to make a fast buck.

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  18. And yet if you handed that "evil" device over to a kid, they'd have it up and running perfectly in mere seconds with just a button push or two.

    30 page instruction book? I'd bet the first 20 pages were product warning labels...have to keep lawyers employed somehow... ;c)

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  19. Great fun, reading this post!

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  20. Why do they gotta take a simple thing like a clock and make it difficult??? Actually, we have one of those clocks/thermometers that projects the time and outside temp alternatively all night on the ceiling....BIG..so even I can see it..and plan what to wear for our early morning walks...We love this thing!

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  21. It is a nice gift. I am sure you will figure it out and wake up to wonderful sounds when you need to set the alarm.

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  22. Excellent post, Judy. Taking a break from loading my car to eat breakfast before starting out on my last day of work. That post was definitely a stress reliever. Probably the funniest one you've written. Oke can't give gifts to departing volunteers but Gracie had a watch she had stashed away and gave it to me. It has the blue goose emblem on the face. So far, I can't find the buttons to program it, but it does had a little thingy sticking out on the side. Do you know how to operate it?

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  23. Wonderful reading.
    Why can't they make things simple for any body and everybody to understand.
    Give those old clocks with the small needle and the big needle. . . . so easy to tell the time.

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  24. Sure was a good read, Judy. Sometimes, the original mousetrap is still the best idea. I'm thinking the old wind-up alarm clocks!

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  25. Gadgets are my nemesis. Hate them, and have convinced myself I can't figure any of them out. True? Hard to say. Maybe not..probably is though.

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  26. Boy you know, I have the hardest time commenting lately. I have to do this in some sort of order (is this a gadget moment?) or my comments just disappear. And of course I never know what I did when it works. :) Didn't want you to think I have been ignoring your posts...just haven't successfully commented!

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  27. Oh for the days of a Baby Ben and a twisty knob on the back end and a pull control to turn it on and off. I fear my grand parents would laugh themselves back into the grave if they saw us futzing around to try to set a time saving clock! And I can't help waking at sometime between 4:40 and 5:00 a.m. anyway....

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  28. Seems like you need to listen to the Sound Therapy after the stress of figuring the gadget out! I agree, by the time you figure a new gadget out, a person is about worn out.

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  29. Gadgets are invented to drive the owner insane...I am sure of that fact!

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  30. Judy,
    This post was great fun ..... I know the thing is nothing but trouble from your play by play !!! Maybe you could regift it at the next assignment ...... Or you can settle in and try to master the thing ..... Gay sure had a funny experience with that ocean sound during nap time !!! Think you better stick with your old alarm for now the stress of this thing could put you over the top !!!

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  31. We use a simple noise machine at night, nothing like the 'star trek' model you got.

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  32. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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