Thursday, March 26, 2009

to sleep -- perchance to write

Two weeks ago, Theresa mentioned in Fabrege eggs and pasta francesa that she thought she might need to keep a notebook by her bed to capture those great ideas as she crosses the border from sleep to consciousness.

I thought it was a good idea. Several bloggers noted that they carry a pad and pen with them on their daily outings. I could have used one more than once when trying to understand cab fares.

It just so happened that I was about to throw out a gift I received on one of my cruises. It is a notebook held in place by a pen. The whole thing is on a lanyard. A bit geeky but it works.

Here it is in full write mode. More versatile than a computer. And the software is readily available.

But the real story here is not my recycling of arcania. It is the photographs themselves.

Rather than asking anyone to assist me (because like any three year old, I can do it myself), I had the brilliant idea of using a mirror. I don't have a mirror that large at home. But there is one one in the men's room at my office.

OK. You see problem number one already -- far better than I did. Taking a camera into a public rest room is at best eccentric. At worst -- well, let's not think about that on this G-rated site. And, yes, I did get quite a few odd glances.

If you look at the photograph at the top of the blog, you will note the second problem. Apparently, I thought the law of optics was suspended in rest rooms -- what I would call the Larry Craig effect.

The card is a name tag. It wasn't until I was preparing the photograph for this blog that I noticed what I had done. I will never again laugh at people who lock their keys in their car with the engine running.

Problem number 3 is just as evident. If you want to show how heavy the snow is falling, do not use a white house as your backdrop. The same rule should have applied here. If you photograph a navy blue object, do not dress up like Johnny Cash on shooting day.

But I did get the shot -- as the pros say. Without arrest or even the hint of impropriety.

And I have to tell Theresa that I now leave the notepad by my pillow. We will see what comes of that.


Calypso said...

" A bit geeky but..."

No - a lot geeky I think.

My wife carries a small pad and takes notes for me occasionallly.

Since you don't have a wife yet - you could get an appropriate small note pad and writing device to put IN YOUR POCKET.

Taking photos of yourself in the men's room at work - maybe you should consider getting a full length mirror at home or...never mind I have to get back to reality now. ;-)

Islagringo said...

Not the usual mirror shots one sees on the Net, but they'll do. I like the idea of a lanyard. I'm always digging in my Murse to get mine out. By the time I find it, I forget what I was going to write!

jennifer rose said...

Get yourself a netbook. Or a Blackberry.

Felipe said...

Yeah, a Blackberry. Then bring some contracts down from the office in Oregon. Maybe a suit a tie. Wingtips.

Keep in mind that Ms. Rose is not retired.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Steve, Husband has a tiny little notepad that goes in his pocket with a mechanical pencil. Of course,his uniform of the day is a guayabera and slacks so he has at more pockets than a normal person needs.
A notebook is less likely to grow legs than a blackberry, and doesn't need to be recharged and is fun to glance through when full. Also it's easier to hand someone else a notepad and ask them to write it down than try to explain how to use the blackberry. The blackberry will start all sorts of conversations but they may be ones you don't want to have. Such as how much does it cost?
I would give the lanyard a try, if it's too clumsy, then switch to sometime smaller.

Constantino said...

Well you could have set up a small tripod, the self timer and run in front of the camera. The picture usually shows the subject either tripping over something or in a pose that of a "dear in the headlights!"

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Maybe I am so accustomed to wearing my security badge around my neck at work, I do not even think about what items hanging on lanyards look like. Still. It is a semi-elegant solution. I hate having lumps in my pockets. Attracts the wrong attention.

Islandgringo -- Another lapse on my part. I could have reverse imaged the mirror shot. Too late now. But it was a good story.

Jennifer -- Try as you may to save me from myself, I will wander off into geekery. The BlackBerry is out. When I leave the office, I am leaving my PDA, cell phone, and BlackBerry behind.

Felipe -- Really! I can bring all that? Irony (or is that sarcasm) hangs heavy today.

Theresa -- The lanyard avoids the lumpy pocket look. None of my casual shirts have pockets. And I am with you on the BlackBerry. I enjoyed having mine with me on vacation in Mexico. It was easy to keep in touch with the office. But keeping in touch is about to be a thing of the past.

Joanne said...

DH still has a Blackberry, but even though we live in Mexico, he is still a working man.

I used to have a pocket protector in my lab coat at work and so did everyone else. When my professional association sent a new pocket protector in the latest scientific journal I would be so happy! My kids just would laugh and laugh at what a geek their Mom is. Never mind if you look like a geek (according to someone else). You will have all you need right at your fingertips!

Anonymous said...

It's not really clear why you had to be wearing the notepad for the picture since it's not really all that apparent that it's being worn. At least not until you read the rest of the post.

You don't have any attractive friends who could have modeled it thereby saving you the awkward men's room incident?

LOL... what an amusing post.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we (despite being fairly tech-savvy) resolutely still carry a paper day planner. And just as resolutely refuse to wear it on a lanyard.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Husband has a neck thingy very similar to that that is water proof. Very handy by the beach!

Steve Cotton said...

Joanne -- thanks. Geeky is in the eye of the beholder, in any event. Besides, I am not going to be on the cover of Vougue any time soon.

Kim -- Great idea. But it would have been far more fun to see the looks on my friends' faces if I had simply said: "Put this on. Now come into the men's rest room. I'm going to take some pictures."

AMM -- I have seen those waterproof containers. Do they work for him? Because I travel alone, I am always a bit reluctant to leave my goods unattended on the beach while I swim.

maria luz said...

Steve, go to: and you can buy waterproof bags of every size and description. The best brand has yellow webbing on it - "Sea" something. Some for cell phones actually float and you can clip them to the inside of your trunks.

My husband wears one while he is snorkeling when we cruise. He can carry a walkie-talkie in it and we can discreetly communicate while I stay at the pool on board when my back won't let me go along with him. He also uses them when he is on his boat sucking up to bass.

Had to laugh - I have my own collection of Royal Caribbean freebies. Who ever runs their Crown and Anchor Club PR department comes up with the nerdiest gifts on the high seas. They seem to get sillier with each new cruise.

maria luz

Steve Cotton said...

Maria -- While going through my Stuff, I made a pile of freebies from Royal Carribbean next to my bed. It looks like I gutted a herd of nerds.

Don Cuevas said...

I don't care if I am retired. I want an iPhone, or at least an iPod Touch. At least 16 gb, second generation.

Preferably by the beginning of next week.

I'll set up a PayPal account to receive your generous donations.

(It's o.k., Felipe; it would be for entertainment, not for w*rk.)

Don Cuevas

Steve Cotton said...

I have been a platoon leader in the electronic wars. But, I am ready to turn in my bars. I am not even taking a cell phone to Mexico.