Tag Archives: Airplane

Dude Review: HighView iPad Hangers

Written by: Richard E.D. Jones
Listed in: Charlotte Parent Stay-at-Home Dudes

Sofia Rodriguez was traveling on an airplane and barely made it through an appalling First-World Problem.But that’s not why I’m talking about her here. And it’s not what happened directly after. You see, Sofia decided to use the solution to her First-World Problem to work on solving a Real-World Problem. And that’s important. Read on to find out more.A First-World Problem, for those of you who don’t know, is something that could only go wrong for people who have more money than the vast majority of people throughout the world. Not being able to find the charging cord for my iPhone 6 Plus. . . That’s a First-World Problem. Not having enough to eat. . . That’s a Real-World problem.

So, Sofia was having a real First-World Problem.

“I was on a flight, watching a movie on my iPad when I realized how uncomfortable I was,” she told me in an exclusive e-mail question and answer. “There was no way to watch my movie, be comfortable, and have space on my tray table for food or drinks.”

Yeah. A real First-World Problem. The thing of it is, though, instead of whining about it and complaining on Twitter or Facebook, Sofia decided to do something about it.

“I decided to create a solution. After several months of sketching, designing, and trying out different options, the HighView iPad hanger was born!”

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign that was funded in October, Sofia started up her own company selling the HighView iPad hangers to whoever would buy one.

Which, you know, good and all.

Before we get much further, I do want to say that I’ve spent some time with the HighView iPad hanger and thought it was a really nice solution to the problem of how to use an iPad and still have use of your hands and feet. (Feet, because I’m sure some of my readers more closely resemble chimpanzees than to the rest of you.) The hanger comes in all different sizes, one for every type of iPad. You slip it into the hanger and then, using the straps that come with it, you (hang on, this is the brilliant part) hang it on something.

That way, you get to watch whatever is on the iPad while also filing your nails, or eating or, and this is the case of the young Spawn on whom I tested my HighView, doing unspeakable things with a broken pencil and nasal excreta. While I can’t say I approved overmuch about the activities themselves, we both thought the HighView did an admirable job of making sure the iPad stayed watchable. It stayed snugly attached and out of the way. Really, it was all you could ask for in something like this.

I’d highly recommend this to dudes who do a lot of driving in the family mini-van with young spawn in the backseat, screaming for entertainment that just isn’t coming unless you pull over to the side of the road, stop, hop out of the car and suffer a complete nervous breakdown from all the screaming, with a breakdown consisting of break dancing, twitching like St. Vitus and spewing ball lightning from your ears. Well, come one. No doubt about it: That’s entertainment.

I’m going to suggest, however, that having a HighView iPad hanger on hand to hold the all-knowing source of Spawn-ish entertainment might be better for your long-term electability prospects. I do highly recommend it. I also need to point out that Sofia sent me one for my iPad Mini for free in return for a review. This isn’t that review. That review is going up on Amazon.

This — what you’re reading right now — is because of what I found out while talking to Sofia about the product.

Sofia, being a native of Guatemala, knew first hand the grinding poverty experienced by many living there. Things that we here in America take for granted — access to food that won’t kill us as well as access to water that also has no designs on our lives — isn’t available to large numbers of rural Guatemalans.

“I believe education is very important to end poverty, and, unfortunately, one of the main reasons why Guatemalan children miss school is due to drinking unclean water,” she said. “These water-borne diseases can also create a strain on a family’s finances. By providing clean water to children, we are able to help them stay healthy and in school.”

The question remained, though: How to address the issue of providing clean water to children in need? Which was when Sofia had her epiphany. She decided throw money from her solution to the First-World iPad problem at it.

HighView partnered with Ecofiltro, a Guatemalan company with designs on providing safe drinking water to more than 1 million rural Guatemalans by 2020, to give a month’s free water to a class of school children with the purchase of every HighView iPad hanger.
Ecofiltro’s business model consists of selling water filters to rural villages and then having the new owners charging a small amount to receive the safe, filtered drinking water. It’s basically the same as the city pumping water into your home, for which you’re charged, only it’s out in rural Guatemala, it isn’t pumped into your home (yet) and means the difference between life and death.

When someone buys a hanger from HighView, the company donates enough money to Ecofiltro to pay for one month’s free water at schools in the rural areas of the country.

“I’ve always admired companies that are able to be profitable and also give back to individuals or communities that are less fortunate,” Sofia said. “An example of such a company is Toms. We decided to follow their model which is One for One. In our case, it’s One HighView for One month of clean water to Guatemalan children in need.”

So, yeah, I’m a big fan of Sofia and HighView. I love the idea of socially responsible corporations making money for themselves, but also making sure to spread some of the wealth around to those less fortunate.

If you’re looking for something to keep the Backseat Spawn busy and — oh, please, FSM — quiet, give the HighView iPad hanger a try. Of course, you’ll need to have your own iPad, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Unless you’re suffering from out-of-date-iPad blues, which is, really, sort of a definition of a First-World Problem.


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Stand Up, Sit Down, Live, Live, Live

Just to get your new year off right, I thought I’d send you dudes crashing to the floor.

Sort of. See, the thing of it is this: I just know that once you dudes and dudettes read this little story, you’re going to be sitting on the floor within the hour. Not that it’s that shocking that you’ll fall there, but you’re going to want to sit down just to see.

If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand – or even better without the help of a hand – they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so.

The test was a simple assessment of the subjects’ ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor. The assessment was performed in 2002 adults of both sexes and with ages ranging from 51 to 80 years. The subjects were followed-up from the date of the baseline test until the date of death or 31 October 2011, a median follow-up of 6.3 years.

Before starting the test, they were told: “Without worrying about the speed of movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed.”

As it turns out, the people who were able to stand and sit without using any help or using their hands had a much higher level of survival than did those who needed assistance.

Yeah, as soon as I read that, I sat down and then stood up rather quickly. Without help or using my hands, I must add. Feeling pretty good about my survival chances. So good, in fact, that I’m contemplating jumping out of an airplane.

Although I’m not sure this test actually considers that sort of thing.

Over the study period 159 subjects died, a mortality rate of 7.9%. The majority of these deaths occurred in people with low test scores – indeed, only two of the deaths were in subjects who stood and sat unaided.

Sounds good to me.

 

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The Differences Between Us

by Richard

If I ever needed confirmation that Zippy the Monkey Boy and I are two very different dudes, despite being father and son, I needed to look no further than our recent trip out to San Francisco for his spring break.

This being the last time we’ll be able to go out on a break with him not being in college (theoretically the last time he’ll be in high school and, thus, more amenable to spending time with his parents), we thought it would be good to make it memorable. Of course, he wanted to fly all the way across the country.

And therein lies the difference.

Whenever I’m on an airplane, I really feel the need to sit in an asile seat. I feel like I’ve got a lot more room if I can, for the most part, lean out into the asile and away from the dude sitting in the middle. Not that I have anything against sitting between folks, but if I’m going to be pinned in for an entire trip, I want to have as much room as possible.

I mean, no one wants me snoring and drooling on their shoulder if they can help it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy, on the other hand, actually requested to have the window seat. He wanted to be pinned between the middle seat and the bulkhead.

Now, I could understand this if he were a young dude, say under 10 or so, but he’s almost 18. He only looked out the window a couple of times, usually at the desert for a quick glance or the mountains for an even faster one. It wasn’t the scenery.

I think, for him, what it was was a leftover from when he flew as a young dude. All the kids would fight over who got the window seat so we had to rotate it. I think he’s still — unconsciously — fighting that fight to get the window seat from his brothers.

Still, it worked out pretty good for us. On the way out, we had no one in the middle seat. On the way back, the middle seat was filled by a youngish dude who was skinny and too worried about his wife, who was giving birth during that plane trip he was taking, to be much of a jerk.

Another difference: Zippy spent the trip listening only to music. I spent the trip trying to talk to him or reading. Words, words, words. Who’d have ever thought I like words?

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