Category: Communication

Sep 15

muffsCait & Marty do not hunt, unless you count their scavenging forays at estate sales. Cait’s Baby Boomer friend, Steve, does hunt and knows what he’s talking about when it comes to protecting his hearing. Steve owns Gimpliment he uses in the field:

I have been using hearing protection for 40 or more years for shooting, and operating noisy equipment. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to use electronic hearing protectors, one of my favorites is the Howard Leight Impact™ Sport Earmuff with a jack to plug in an iPod.

I love listening to books-on-tape and use my iPod for the treadmill at the gym, for driving, and for the deer stand. If you get engaged in a good story you will probably last longer on the treadmill, and it’s always more pleasant. The iPod also makes driving more pleasant, keeping me awake and alert on longer drives as it does in the deer stand.

I jack the iPod cable into the earmuffs to listen to books-on-tape for lawn mowing and sedentary hunting like sitting on deer stand, or waiting for a turkey. Turn the iPod off and turn the earmuff volume up and you can hear game sneaking around.

A friend missed a nice deer years ago using headphones to listen to a big sports game. The headphones did not have an external microphone, like my Leight earmuffs do, so he didn’t hear the deer sneak up. When he moved slightly, not knowing the deer was practicaly in his lap, he spooked it and the deer bolted.

Eds. Note: Cait thinks bird watchers would find these useful, too.

Dec 17

Computer programs created by some of the country’ brightest students would let vision-impaired shoppers point cellphones at supermarket shelves to hear descriptions of products and prices.

Another program lets a Gimpy person guide a computer mouse using brain waves and eye movements.

The programs featured in Read the story were among those created by eight groups of volunteers at a two-day software-writing competition in California.

Nov 30

Read the story illustrates how computer learning centers across the country are helping older people gain computer skills needed to return to work.

Oct 26

If you know someone who takes medications and frequently has their cell phone with them, e-mail them this info about The Pill Phone - a wireless software application for medication management.

The Pill Phone is available through Verizon and AT&T for about $4 a month and is based on the best selling guide The Pill Book, which features information on more than 1,800 prescription drugs.

The Pill Phone reminds you when to take a medication and can even notify someone else - say a family member - that you have taken your medication or missed a dose.

The Pill Phone is the only FDA-approved wireless application for meds management, though given the FDA’s track record in recent years that may not be the best endorsement.

Click here to see a video of The Pill Phone in action.

Sep 26

The Lap Strap is a stretchable shoulder sling used to carry your laptop.

picture-5.pngWe see how the Lap Strap would benefit Gimpy people who are unsure of their grip and it might keep a valuable laptop from falling off a desk or the folding tables of planes. The Lap Strap also makes a laptop that much more portable because you don’t have to carry the computer in a bag.

However, while the Lap Strap might make it easier to tote a laptop around the office, half the point of putting it in a bag is to buffer it from getting knocked around.

If you’re on the move, it’s likely you’re still carrying a purse, a briefcase or a book bag large enough to store a laptop. So they’re either bumping into each other with the Lap Strap or you store the laptop in the bag sans Lap Strap.

You decide. Click here to see a video of the Lap Strap in action.

Sep 15

What a handy item for people with neck issues who want to know what is happening behind them when they’re on the computer.

mirrors2.pngAttach this to the edge of your computer and you can see what your spouse, your children and your pets are up to behind your back.

The 3-inch convex mirror, which attaches to the computer with Velcro, gives a wide-angle view of the scene around you and the secure feeling of having eyes in the back of your head.mirrors1.png

Gimpliments - is more expensive than similar items on the market. But it looked better made - and more attractive - than the others we considered.

Aug 22

Our favorite pen remains the UGLEE Pen, which has just come out in yellow with an even more comfortable grip.

mag-neck-pen.pngBut not all of us have our hands free.

So for those of us who use a walker or carry a cane there’s the Mag-Neck Pen which uses standard Parker pen refills.

The Mag-Neck Pen hangs from a cable lanyard and the cap of the pen attaches magnetically for easy access to the pen.


Aug 9

Paul and Patricia Geers developed Fingerspelling Blocks to help their son, who is deaf, more easily learn Sign Language.

fingers.pngThe Geers knew young children had difficulty translating two-dimensional drawings of the alphabet into three-dimensional use with their hands.

But when they developed a set of ABC blocks with a Sign Language hand shape on top, their son and other children rapidly learned it and were signing and spelling short words as early as the age of three.

Fingerspelling Blocks include 26 durable plastic blocks embossed with brightly colored letters on the front and sides. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a hand shape on the top and an object on the back that begins with the corresponding letter.

With Fingerspelling Blocks, children can feel and and see the hand shapes from various angles, making the signs easier to reproduce with their own hands.

Aug 6

Marty’s favorite pen has been a Viagra promotion pen she lifted from a hospital desk last winter. It writes nice. It looks nice. It says Viagra down the whole length of one side.

Marty thought she couldn’t like a pen more until this week when the mailman brought us the UGLEE Pen - ‘UG’ standing for Ultimate Grip and ‘Lee’ for the physician who spent eight years obsessing over the pen’s design.


Most pens must be gripped a specific way, with a specific amount of tension, which eventually makes your hand feel crampy. (In Marty’s case, she holds a pen too tightly, which means cramps after about five minutes.)

Not so with the UGLEE Pen - which is quite homely. With the UGLEE Pen, you pick it up and it sort of sticks to your fingers without being sticky. It’s very comfortable and we’ll be buying more.

Dr. Lee, who has a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from including this one, which explains the thinking behind his pen and how it works.

He’s also handsome, which always helps, and so we have a crush on Dr. Lee, though he’s already told us via e-mail that he has a wonderful wife and his only mistress - now and forever amen - is his pen - remnants and prototypes of which litter his garage.

Eds. Note: Marty only lifts “free” pens. She cannot recollect every knowingly stealing a pen somebody bought, though being a Pen Klepto of long standing it’s entirely possible she has and just can’t remember.

Aug 5

If you’re like us, you’ve found learning about Social Bookmarking on the Internet intimidating and frustrating.

But we understand its power and how it makes web pages easy to organize, remember and share - all potent tools for aging boomers and for those of us who are disabled.

The old and unwieldy way of bookmarking meant linking a site to our browser Tool Bar, but that left us with lists of Web sites which we tediously had to scroll through to find anything. Too complicated.

Now we’re using, which you will see when you click on “Share This” at the bottom of each of our posts. is free, helps you link to sites you like and then organize those links so you can access them with ease.

To help you, and us, we’re periodically going to post the clearest and simpliest videos we can find that explain the ins and outs of social bookmarking, networking, widgets and other gizmos that can make it easier for us to use the Internet.

Let’s start by clicking on the video below:

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