Tag Archives: camp

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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Fight The Power

I know you dudes have all heard a lot about the mutant menace, but I want to talk about the other menace, the one you don’t even notice because it’s been there for so long.

For more than 40 years, Trask Industries has been hanging around, building bombs, weapons and genetic bioweapons designed to find, suppress, and, when possible, kill mutants.

This is just wrong. I mean, I know that mutants have been a major destabilizing force for years, ever since they came out of the genetic closet after the near-miss during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but come on.First they came for the mutants. . .

These mutants aren’t scary creatures from the depths of space, operating on unknown logic. They’re people. They come from families just like you and me. They’re raised in our cities and on our farms and in our suburbs. Just because they have powers and abilities that are different from those we humans have, that’s no reason to round them up and toss them in camps, to presume they’re guilty.

Mutants are just like people. There are some good, some bad and the great majority somewhere in between.

And yet Trask Industries keeps pumping out Sentinels. These monstrous robotic killing machines — yes, I said it, killing machines — are found on every corner all over the world. This is big brother. Really big brother.

The one thing that has allowed this to take place has been the dehumanization of the mutants as a whole. We’ve followed along in the steps of demagogues who keep telling us that mutants are less than human. And then, when Bolivar Trask said he found a waylist-trask to electronically differentiate an active mutant from a baseline human. . . Well, all bets were off. If they’re different, then we need to kill them before they kill us. And who’s to say these Mutant Detection Devices even work? I mean, Trask Industries calls it proprietary and won’t let anyone take a real good look inside. 

If you want to talk scary, let’s talk Sentinels Mark I. These aren’t even human at all. There’s no human in the decision loop. Each one of these operates on a set of software code, but it operates independently. If it decides to shoot down a little dude or little dudette just because they have the x-gene, something they might not even be aware of, then we can’t stop it.

Image2_FullAnd the government just allows this to happen. Heck, Bolivar Trask got rich selling these metal monstrosities to governments all around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if some day these things just decided the best way to protect the human race was to take over completely and sterilize anyone found with the x-gene.

Seriously. I mean, have you looked — really looked — at the propaganda posters that are going up lately? If that thought, that image, doesn’t scare you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

To make matters worse, there’s talk that Trask Industries now is developing a Sentinel Mark X, which is going to incorporate some sort of genetically engineered bioweapon on board.

People, this just isn’t right. We need to do something. Write to your congressman or congresswoman, to your senators. Heck, why not write to the great Bolivar Trask his ownself? Let them know we believe mutants are human, too.

I started going bald early, about the time when I was 16 or so. That’s considered a mutation. Not much use in sowing terror or combatting dangerous criminals, I’ll grant you, but a mutation nonetheless. Am I next? Do I need to start fearing the sound of those soulless monsters clanging down the street after me?

We need to do something. Now. Not next week. Don’t wait until 2014. By then it could be too late.

Director B. Singer with Sentinel from the movie.
Director B. Singer with Sentinel from the movie.

 

This post brought to you by X-Men: Days of Future Past, because I stumbled on the movie’s Trask Industries viral site and just got so geeked out I couldn’t help myself. Sorry if I went overboard, dudes. It’s just I’ve been wanting this for so very long.

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You’d Better Watch Out

Run for the hills, dudes!

Run for the hills!

In less than a month, it’s going to be Valentine’s Day! And then. . .

And then. . .

You know what? It’s just not working for me today.

Here I was, all set and ready to rant about how Valentine’s Day has completely changed from the sweet and innocent day to declare your infatuation with someone else and into an over-commercialized sex-sells camp fest and then. . .  I looked out the window.

Policies-and-FAQs-Header-Photo

It’s sunny and warm out. I mean, it’s in the mid 70’s here in Key West. There’s a lovely island breeze blowing across the porch, bringing with it the smell of crabs boiling in Old Bay seasoning. Somewhere, probably just out of earshot, someone’s playing a steel drum.

There’s fun to be had, but I’m not going to find it chained to a computer screen. No matter how much fun it is to work myself up into high dudgeon and rant and rave.

Relaxation is the business of the day. And, dudes? Business is a’boomin’.

Check you on the flip side.

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