Tuesday, August 5, 2008


On my side of the family, we have some gadget-lovers. We love different types of things, but we have these funny passions. My passion is art/office supplies: any kind of writing implement and paper products, journals, etc. (and shoes, but they are not gadgets).

I will tell you just how much I like office products. When Katie was first admitted to Children’s Hospital, she was moved to the ICU for her first round of chemo. This is because the tumor had grown from her adrenal gland’s cortex, encased one of her kidneys, entered a lobe of her liver, and grown up to completely fill her inferior vena cava, and enter her heart. This gave her heart an irregular rhythm, and it caused considerable alarm and concern among the doctors. They were also concerned about the flaky and unstable condition of the tumor, but that’s another story.

When we were first in the ICU, we had a number of wonderful doctors and residents working with us. One of them was a gentle, quiet, slender young man (most of them seemed young, to me) whose name I cannot recall right now. What I do recall is the fact that he came from a family that owned an OFFICE PRODUCTS store. (How much fun! Almost as good as coming from a family that owns a jewelry store, in my book.) Even though things were a bit crazy at the time, when I found this out, I was delighted; when things were quiet and more stable, I told him how much my family and I love office products. We had a good laugh, and it got even more interesting when I found out that another, brilliant doctor (Dr. Elaine) had the same passion. I eventually bought one of my favorite pens for her (I figured that Dr. Office Products Store had access to as many pens as he wanted).

Back to the story at hand: my brother loves electronics, pens & mechanical pencils. My dad loves pens, GPS and sports equipment. David is into electronics (but isn't his entire generation into them?). He just purchased a new watch, which has an altimeter in it. I need to add here that we live at sea level. I mean, right by the sea. I now know that our house is situated about 36 feet above the beach, thanks to this watch.

David spent hours yesterday and today programming and learning how to use his new watch. When we were deciding where to go to get some exercise today, he let me know that we needed gain some altitude. So we designed a route that started on the south end of Bainbridge and went from sea level to about 300 feet over a big hill. We walked a little over 4.5 miles, and he reported all along the way about our gain or loss of elevation, our altitude, etc. It was a scream.
[David says that I need to tell you that the "hill" at the top of the photo of the watch represents our gain and loss of altitude. The 1:16:00 is the time it took us to make this trip, including stops for water and traffic. You are also to know that "peak" is the highest point in our walk.] Can you tell that he is loving this gadget?

After our walk, we had lunch at a little cafe, and then drove our route to check the mileage; after that, we drove over another nearby hill, because we were trying to estimate its altitude at the top. More fun for the gadget-lover. This watch also tells the time, by the way. It has a stopwatch, alarm, depth-meter, storm warning, graphs, thermometer and barometer, sunrise and sunset times (anywhere in the world), compass and more. I just wish it would wash the floors for me!


suz said...

sounds like a fun new toy. I understand the love for office products too....I love anything that looks like it can organize and make my life easier. I DO love certain pens....my writing is better with certain ones.
This will be fun for you both. Enjoy!

Kay said...

I love office supplies too! Pens, paper, fancy pencils...evvverything. When Bub got sick, my cousin mailed me a huge box of office supplies.. cards, pens, stamps, stickers and stuff. It was such a blast! Isn't that funny?! My hubby is very tech toy oriented. Me, not so much...although here I am, BLOGGING. Go figure! LOL

Beth said...

Hi- I'm a friend of Heathers and I came across your blog. Your story is very touching and remarkable!

This gadget story is funny.....I love how in families everyone is into something different it makes us all well rounded! My favorite part of this story is when you GIVE the Dr. a pen. You can tell just by that little thing that you are a giving person.....in a really hard time for you....you were still thinking of someones else! You seem like a wonderful lady thanks for sharing your stories on here. I will definitely be back!

Maggie said...

I have a passion for cleaning supplies..sad, I know.

Smileygirl said...

Just for kicks when I move up there we'll plan a day at Staples and REALLY go to town!!

And then maybe we could even hit Office Max but I don't want to send you into a frenzy...

Susie Parker said...

I am a gadget goddess. I mean, I am so into gadgets and can spend hours programming, testing, reprogramming and one of my favorites experiences in NYC happened in October 2006 when I was invited by my editor to tour PC Magazine's in-house testing facility. It was crazy cool and so so so high-tech (to me). My French friend Michel accompanied me and I think he was impressed, too. One of the things I love about sailing is the gps, inputting waypoints, and trying to determine how the winds will increase or hinder progress. I am sure I was a geek in another life. I now have, thanks to your post, watch envy. I hope you're happy. :-) Susie