December 5th, 2010

View from study (sunny)


A friend was talking about decluttering the kitchen and he mentioned the George Foreman grill that was never used.

I find with gadgets that I have some that I fall in love with and use them regularly while others languish. I do use the George Foreman grill at least once a week because grilling things under the grill scares me due to the risk of everything going on fire. (Yes, it has happened a couple of times over the years!) The breadmaker gets regular use and as I'm only making bread for me, it's more economical than heating a whole oven for one loaf. Of course some gadgets are so integrated into every day life that when they go wrong it seems like a major inconvenience. I'm thinking here of the toaster and the kettle.

Every camera I've bought so far has been well used. The Asus Eee doesn't get used every day or even every week, but it's invaluable for keeping on top of work when I'm away from home so I couldn't do without it. The new hard disc recorder for the TV means we always have something to watch and now is a "must have" item.

The Roomba vacuum cleaner though was something of a failure. Once the novelty wore off, it actually seemed easier to get the proper vacuum cleaner out than faff around with it's little tiny dustpan. The digital picture frame our daughter bought us for last Christmas has almost never been switched on.

Others fall into and out of favour, depending on circumstances. I used to use the slow cooker a lot. I could put a stew or a chicken in there in the morning and come home from work to have the main part of the dinner cooked. But now I'm at home all the time, I tend to cook things that can be done quickly in the evening. The food processor only gets occasional use for whizzing up soup, so if I'm not in a soup making phase, it sits idle in the cupboard.

It makes me somewhat wary thinking of buying new gadgets such as the iPod Touch. Would it be a passing fad? As it happens, the thing is hardly ever off. I love it as an ebook reader and I'm on about the fourth novel since buying it. I use it as a timer for time management -- it produces really soft gentle sounds so I'm not startled when it goes off when I'm concentrating. I can even listen to music and podcasts on it, though to be honest, I tend to use the old iPod Nano for that because it's smaller to slip in a pocket.
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