Thursday, January 7, 2016

Why Is A Raven Like a Writing Desk?


So, it's a good idea in theory.  Two birds (ravens?) with one stone.  I'm writing this while I'm walking on the treadmill.  And it works.  Mostly.  The seed of the idea came from a blog post written by YA author Arthur Slade.  It's here...Arthur Slade's Magical Writing Desk.

So it's more or less been something that I thought was cool but didn't really give a lot of thought to until recently.  I was brainstorming Christmas ideas and thought...why not?  I looked on Amazon.  They sell treadmill laptop desks.  You get what you pay for, I suppose, so my version of the magical writing desk is essentially a molded piece of polycarbonate that straps over the treadmill and gives your laptop a shelf upon which to rest whilst your fingers do the walking.

Arthur's version is looking like a good investment.  I don't mean to complain...this is actually pretty cool.  But it's really more intended for people who want to do a little light web surfing or watch movies/read emails while they walk.  Not necessarily for people who want to walk and write.  That said...I'm walking and the same time.  Two birds.

This ties into my birthday present which was a fitbit.  And all the various step challenges my fellow fitbitters invite me to that I subsequently lose (by a small margin sometimes) because sometimes when given the choice of working out, writing, reading, or...whatever...sometimes I don't pick walking.  And so now walking comes standard with  

The downsides:

  • no real convenient mouse placement.  I can use the laptops little pad, but it's a laptop I bought Leslie, and I'm not super familiar with it, so when I unplug the mouse, the pad is still not functional.  I just have to mess with it.  
  • the mounting height is not...ideal.  I can already feel my back twisting up because the height of the keyboard is about 6 inches above what good posture dictates.  
  • it's not spectacularly sturdy.  I can feel the laptop shift subtly as I type.  It's actually only a minor issue, because I'm really not struggling, but it's there.
The upsides: 
  • I'm writing.  And I'm exercising.  And I don't have to exercise for 45 minutes and then think...well, too bad I can't's getting late.  
  • I can finally charge my phone while I'm on the treadmill.  About this time of night it's spent, and I text while I walk, but the charger doesn't quite reach the wall outlet.
  • It was $35.  There are LOTS of options on amazon.  One was $775.  I have no doubt that desk is a legit DESK, and if I were writing about THAT desk, I would just delete bullets 1-3 above from the "downsides".  But they'd be replaced by..."Jesus, I just spend $775 on a treadmill desk"

You guys seem to like dividers.


Lily loves going grocery shopping.  I took her Saturday.  We shop at the Giant Eagle.  When we shop at Giant Eagle we get Advantage Card savings which I can then cash in at Giant Eagle's gas station chain, "Get Go".  So I'd accumulated enough points that I could afford a full tank of gas.

Okay.  Because I'm "clever" I downloaded an app called "Key Ring".  It allowed me to combine all my little key fobs on one app and scan them at the register right from my phone instead of leafing through them on my actual literal key ring. It's super convenient.  I have at least four key fobs on it.  What I did NOT realize was that the Get Go would not be able to scan my phone that way at the pump.  It forces me to go inside to talk to the clerks.

THIS is where I found myself on Saturday.  I parked the car in front of the window at the gas station, turned the key, leaving the radio on for Lily, and walked in to get the guy to authorize my free gas. I pumped the gas, hopped in the car and ...nothing.  Battery dead.  

I called my buddy Jimmy and he...between about a dozen phone glitches...agreed to come give my car a jump.  Lifesaver.  In the meantime, I went back into the store to explain that I was stuck in front of the pump and that my autistic daughter was in the car and I would be in the car keeping her company in case she got anxious.

A few minutes later he came out and told me that his manager would give me a jump.  I called Jimmy the car started and drove home.  Monday my car started and I drove it to work and home again.  Tuesday my car started and I drove it to work and home again.  Wednesday my car started and I drove it to work and home again...but today?  No.  It was dead again.  

A couple years ago I impulse bought a battery charger from Sam's Club. Honestly I didn't need it just seemed  Anyway, every year we pack this battery charger in the minivan and take it on vacation or camping because it has a comopressor for flat tires, jumper cables, and a phone charger on it.  And I figured...worst case scenario I never use it because:  I never ever have a flat tire or a dead battery.  And BEST case scenario, battery dies and I get a flat and I use the thing to jump start myself or fill my tire and it payed for itself in one use ($89).  

So I used it this morning!  Woohoo!  And then I packed it in the car on the way to work and tonight...HURRAY!  Battery was dead again. hop in the wayback machine.  About 8 months ago, I had to take Leslie's minivan in to the shop to get the battery replaced because it was dead.  So at LEAST i had the minivan to fall back on in the event that my car battery was dead, right?

Wrong.  Because they told me to make sure every couple weeks I get in the minivan and start it and run the engine just to keep the battery full.  And I didn't.  So it's dead. dead the auto doors won't auto.  And the key doesn't click and the engine doesn't whir or rev or lurch.  It just...mechanically turns and nothing happens.  

So as I was leaving work today, I AGAIN used the battery charger and it got me home.  And THEN...I used it to start the minivan.  And THEN I waited 20 minutes or so to let the battery charge and shut it off and let it cool off and do you know what?

It was dead again.  Fucking thing.  So essentially I have to carry this battery charger with me everywhere I go like a damned oxygen tank which gives me PTSD anyway because of REAL oxygen tanks (not really, but come ON!) and I literally pray every time that I use it that it has enough charge to get the car started.

I think I'll be stopping to get a new battery for my car tomorrow.

But hey!  Writing and walking!  Doing it!

1 comment:

  1. Check to make sure nobody put a dime in the cigarette lighter/power port. Don't ask me why I know about this.