Tag Archives: richard e.d. jones

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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One Of Us, One Of Us

by Richard

Sorry for the interruption here, dudes and dudettes, but I thought I’d take a little time to let you know that The Dude’s Guide here isn’t the only place you can find us on the web. We’re everywhere in a couple of places that would allow us in.

Sorry. Pushing for a bit more honesty and a bit less hyperbole about now.

Okay. That’s done. Wow, thought it was the end of the world there for a bit.


The dudes are on a couple of different places and I thought I’d let you know about a couple of them.

The Dude’s Guide has a fan page on on a certain website the name of which I’m not allowed to mention. (Don’t ask why. It’s boring.) I know. Hard to believe. They’ve such stringent standards to uphold before they’ll let you set up a fan page.

We’re also on Twitter. Search for rjones64. Or you can just go right here.

We’re also down with a couple of newer formats.

Over on formspring, I’m answering all sorts of questions. Seriously. Go onto formspring.me and search for Richard E.D. Jones (my writerly name) or rjones64. You also can click here. Do either of those things and then you can ask me anything. Odds are, I’ll probably answer. Unless this is you Franko. You know I can’t talk to you about it without our lawyers present. Or the penguin. Either way, I’m not responding to you.

Finally, we’re also up on the google+ thingy, which is trying to beat the face off that certain social networking site that keeps getting hits about its privacy settings. It’s a nice enough platform and it might actually grow for now, but I think MySpace still is the king, as the kids all say. Right? Anyway, you can look for Richard Jones there as well. Or, to make it easier, just click here.

So, the next time you’re bored and surfing the internet, just click on a few of those places. It’ll probably be more of the same old stuff, but it will have the virtue of being on a different platform at least.

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Reptile Wisdom

by Richard

I’m in a sharing mood, dudes. Lucky you. Here’s a short beginning excerpt from my latest masterwork, Reptile Wisdom.

Don’t worry. It’s short. Well, shortish. Enjoy. Please. Please. Please.

Thirty-seven hours to event:

The customer is always right. It’s a facile sentiment, forced on helpless employees by Bosses more concerned with making money than keeping people who actually know what they’re doing. Or keeping me. Whichever.

Still, I ran that mantra through my brain again in a last-ditch attempt to avoid an aggravated murder rap. It didn’t help all that much when I kept wondering if there might be exceptions, like, for instance, when she’s an idiot. Or a moron. Or a brain-dead mouth breather.

“I’m telling you, you are wrong, young man.”

Case in point, Mrs. Joan Pilcher. Housewife. Neat freak. Voracious eater and reader. Pain in my once-tight butt.

“Look, ma’am, I’m telling you your husband is not a vampire.” I couldn’t help myself. My gaze darted around the room, taking in the built-in bookshelves lining the walls of the den. Each shelf was filled to groaning with front covers picturing sexy vampires, soulful vampires, tough vampires, funny vampires, sparkly vampires, other things with fangs. I didn’t want to think about sheer weight of stupid in the words contained beneath those covers. “Despite what you might read in all your books there, vampirism is one of the rarest conditions or curses around.”

Mrs. Pilcher drew herself up to her full five-foot height and inhaled. And inhaled. She reminded me of a frog swelling up to attract a mate, only this one decided growing a new throat sac wasn’t good enough and decided to inflate its whole body. I didn’t like my chances if she really let loose, so I decided to try and dampen the coming explosion.

“But just for the sake of argument–” and my paycheck “– let’s go over your evidence again. All right?”

She exhaled and I staggered back under the onslaught of gale-force winds backed by a garlic tornado. Breath mints much?

“Fine.” She harrumphed at me and sat back into her floral-print recliner, her legs crossed daintily at her ankles. Now that took skill, doing anything daintily when you pack a ten-foot body into the space designed for a five-footer. “For the last month, my husband hasn’t got out of bed before dark and is back in bed well before dawn. Also, when we were last, um, ah. . .  together, he bit me. He bit my neck. And he looks so pale. And his skin is so cold. And he won’t go to church or wear a cross. If that’s not a vampire, then I don’t know what is.”

I opened up the satchel I’d set on the floor earlier and riffled through the contents, finally coming up with the file I wanted. I flipped it open and read.

“Mrs. Pilcher, once the home office at CurseWerks assigned me to this case, I grabbed a couple of interns and we’ve done a thorough job researching your complaint. So let’s look at the facts. Your husband is working third shift down at the paper plant, which means he’s working at night, not during the day. That’s also why he’s pale, since he’s been sleeping during the day — the only time he’s not working. I’m guessing he bit you because he was. . . ah . . . I don’t know? Aroused? Anyway, it’s called a hickey. Finally, he won’t wear a cross because he is, as you might remember, Jewish. That about cover it?”

I slipped the file back into my satchel and tried to look professional — no easy task for a confirmed life-long slob used to sneaking around in back alleys and rooting through celebrity garbage. Still, I managed a halfway respectable impression.

Everyone has a super power. Mine is looking like I know what I’m doing.

“So, I’m glad to report, your husband is not dead, nor is he un-dead. Next time, seriously, check his pulse before you start calling vampire. All right?”

Mrs. Pilcher slowly nodded her head, her brow furrowed in a fat, pig-like look of concentration. I didn’t like that look. It worried me. All the more reason to make an exit, post haste.

“Our bill should arrive within the next few days, Mrs. Pilcher, along with a copy of my report. Again, thank you for calling CurseWerks.”

I had my hand on the doorknob — hell, I was almost gone — when she spoke.

“But. . . But, what about all the green slime?”

My hand dropped to my side and my chin drooped to my chest. Not again.

“It’s not mold, is it, Mrs. Pilcher?”

She harrumphed.

“Of course not, Mr. Jameson. I keep a clean household. Mold wouldn’t dare show it’s face here.”


“But this green slime, it does, doesn’t it?” I said to the door. “Show its face around here, I mean.”

“Every night.” She was really getting into it. Now that I wasn’t actively dismissing whatever symptom she brought up, her voice was rising in volume and octave, sprinting into that vocal zone that feels like a cheese grater is running over your nerves. “I have to wash the sheets on Henry’s bed every single night. I’ve talked to Henry about it and he says he doesn’t have any idea what it is. He actually accused me of not washing his sheets enough. Can you believe it?”

I didn’t need to look up from my shoes to know what she was talking about. When I’d first come inside the house for my fact-to-face meeting with Mrs. Pilcher, I’d been scared to even breathe out, for fear I’d leave some kind of visible residue. It was that clean. I dug my worn sneaker into the clean carpet. Sure, sneakers with a suit is a little strange, but the Bosses insist on the suit and I insist on being able to run away as fast as possible.

The green slime, though. . . That I knew. Or at least had had experience with before. On my last two field calls, I’d found basically nothing to be excited about. No real curses. No real mad science. No real, well, anything. Except for the green slime. Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times means it’s time to get rid of the tin-foil hat because they really are out to get you.

If you liked this, why not check out some actual finished stories. Head to Amazon.com to find The Accidental GhostThe Hand That Feeds YouService With A Smile, and Freakshow? You never know. You might like them.

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