Tag Archives: No Doubt

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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Sunday Stop Light

To help promote A Dude’s Guide to Babies, Barry and I made a whole bunch of postcard-sized copies of the cover, with information about us and the book on the back, and many more business-card-sized promotional bits as well.

We’ve been making sure to give them to anyone who will take them. They’re scattered around at local grocery stores, in convenience stores, in comic book stores, and in schools. I’ve also created some car magnets featuring the cover so I can cover my sweet, sweet mini-van ride with them. A little mobile advertising to supplement the stay-still advertising where we’ve been placing the ads.

Basically, anywhere that will take them, we’ve left them. Even some that didn’t know they were going to take them.

I’ve taken to saying that I’ll give one of these to anyone who’ll stand still long enough for me to give it to them. It turns out, I’ll even give one to someone who doesn’t stand still, but doesn’t run away fast enough.

I was in the mini-van with the magnets on the side with Zippy the College Boy. We were stopped at a stop light. He said that there were two ladies in the car next to us who were looking at the car and giggling. I was getting a bit upset, thinking they were laughing at the sweet, sweet mini-van, when I realized what was going on.

They were looking at the magnet advertising A Dude’s Guide to Babies. I quickly rolled down the window and invited them to do the same.

I explained that it was a book I’d written with a friend. They laughed, said how wonderful. Then they said their neighbor had just had his first child.

The light was still red, but not for long. I grabbed a couple of copies and leaped out into the street.

The light turned green, but I made it to their car and handed over the cards, thanking them kindly.

They drove off, no doubt thinking it was a narrow escape from the crazyperson back there. I hopped back into my sweet, sweet mini-van and, to the accompaniment of many melodic car horns, drove away.

Yeah, I will do just about anything to promote the book. Why do you ask?

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10* Things I Hate About You**

by Richard

If you dudes watch tv (and, would you be dudes did you not), you’ve no doubt noticed the following commercial screaming off your screens so many, many times.

After watching it the first time, I actually had to rewind the tv and watch it again. While, on the surface, I’m sure the folks who created the commercial like the sound of that, it wasn’t because it was so good. I just couldn’t believe any company could be so stupid as to run a commercial like that.

Here. Take a look and I’ll be right back to talk about it.

Yeah, so there’s that. I’m not even going to get started on the obvious misogyny of the whole thing, but let’s talk stereotypes. There’s so many in such a short period of time, I’m not even sure where to begin. Women only like romantic, smooshy movies. Men only like testosterone-fueled action movies. Really? No, not really.

The strangest thing I get out of the commercial is the implication that drinking a diet drink somehow makes you less of a man. As if there’s something wrong, something “limp” about drinking a coke with no calories. That’s bad, you see, but we put in 10 calories for our coke because we’re MEN! None of that wimpy healthy drink for us! We’re MEN! No one, no one at all, in the entire approval process thought this was a bad idea?

I get that this is supposed to be funny and ironic and all that. I get it. Really I do. But they’re wrong. The only thing I found myself laughing at was the poor people who actually came up with this ad.

Because, you see, here’s the big reason this ad is so wrong. In the majority of homes, women do the shopping. So a coke that advertises itself as not for 51 percent of the population has already lost a significant customer group. And if they don’t like it, they’re not going to buy it for the males in their households. So that’s a large portion of the remaining 49 percent gone as well. What? Dr. Pepper’s target demographic is the tiny section of men, aged 18-40, living alone? That’s a pretty small demographic.

Sure, predicating sales on a model of exclusivity can work, provided your business model is geared toward high prices selling at a lower total amount. But Dr. Pepper, like every other coke company in the world, has a business model geared toward selling large amounts of product. I just don’t see that happening.

So, really. What’s wrong with these dudes?

*or possibly fewer. Or maybe more. (Definitely fewer. A lot fewer.) I picked the title before I started writing. Bad habit. Sorry. I’ll try to get over that. And I’ll try to get over using all these *s. I understand they can be annoying. So. No more of those.

**Not you you. I was talking in general. And to the commercial. And, well, obviously I just blew the resolution not to use the * but I think it was understood that I was talking about not after this post. I mean that would be pretty silly of me to promise not to use something and then use it right after. I mean I’d have to be some sort of idiot dude to do something like that. And I’m not. Really.

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