How do you manage to be offline around a child?

Going on a digital sabbatical is in fashion these days. I´ve been on extended digital sabbaticals before I knew they existed. But back then, I wasn´t really addicted to the internet yet and so I didn´t need one. I only installed an internet connection in my house about two and a half years ago. Yes, in May 2014. And 8 months after that, I left my house to go on a trip, while starting a business online. I went from internet-free to internet junky very fast and then I skipped to a more stable and healthy relationship with the cloud. Before having internet at home, I’d use it on cyber cafes or at friend´s houses. I´d go to a cyber cafe and spend from 30 minutes to two hours connected and then skip a day or two or more. Then, I had it installed in my room, 24 hours. I was connected to it for 6 hours a day (or more), all of the sudden. I thought that I would be exaggerating just in the beginning, like getting a new toy and then I’d leave it alone, but it didn´t work like that. I got addicted to internet browsing, reading and watching interesting and useless stuff. Most of my online hours were when my daughter was at her kindergarten or at a friend’s house, but she had to put up with many occasions in which I was glued to the monitor, unable to do much else, getting impatient because she couldn´t understand my need to be at the computer (a 3-year old…). I realized I was neglecting some attention to my baby and that had to change. At home, I started to put my laptop in the closet while I was with her, but it didn’t work very well, I just had to pick it up again and click click click type type type when that urge came. So I was happy with my new project of travel-work to come. Going on a long trip (initially 7 months, about to be extended) where I don’t have internet at home, and only use it during those less than 4 hours that I have while Luísa is at school. We spent 3 months without a cell phone (and I finally bought one because people in the 21st century seems to no go without it to meet each other in the physical world and I needed friends, so the cell phone helped a lot in that). And I do keep my connection to only the mornings (8-12), from Monday to Friday. So, I’m not on a digital sabbatical as in away from the screen altogether, but I’m in a sort of half digital sabbatical to what’s normal these days, where people have the internet in their pockets available all the time. This controlled hours on the net (I’m on it for 5 months now) made me more present to my daughter who doesn´t have to put up with my expressionless face while I look

Yellow & White Diet

My daughter Luísa is now on a yellow and white diet. She’s been only eating bread, rice, pasta, chicken, and potatoes. For fruit she’s all about bananas (some days she will have three – making my nutritional worry be gone for the rest of the day, I can’t really explain this feeling) and apples. And lots of milk that she serves herself to the point it´s just annoying. The colorful exceptions are tomatoes and watermelon. As monotonous as this looks, it has foods from the main four groups needed every day: cereals and potatoes; fruit and vegetables; milk and dairy foods; meat, fish, and alternatives. I do get stressed about her diet and think she needs more diversity, more colors. What happened to old spinach she used to like? But somehow I trust her diet, or rather I got tired of trying to make her eat what she doesn’t want.  She manages what goes inside her body in a satisfactory way. She is healthy after all. Stressing about what the child eats – who doesn’t do it? Can you picture a more common scene than a parent trying all different tactics to make his child eat? Can you remember seeing a parent trying to give more food than what the child wants or will swallow? Hey, you´ve been that parent! Come on, be honest, don’t you feel frustrated when your child eats less than half a plate? From what I see, Luísa will change her colorful diet every now and then. Some days she will eat lots of everything, some days it looks like she is fasting, she won´t take anything rather than a snack. “Aha”, you may be thinking, “So when she doesn’t eat any real food, you do give her some cookies!” Guilty as charged, whoever let their children fast in peace, please throw the first stone (or simply browse off of this page to punish me). What’s unfortunate is that most parents simply lost the ability to see what´s really necessary to feed their kids and the proper amount. This is a mea culpa here. Maybe I should talk only about myself, about how I lack the balance to see what’s right and what´s wrong in my own eating habits. But one can learn how to foster eating habits in children from various sources. A bit of my own eating habits Well, for one thing I’m sure. I lost the ability to tell when I’m truly satisfied. I will eat until my plate is clean. I’ve been taught that. The culture behind my actions is too strong for me to get rid of it. My Italian background tells me to eat everything. Don’t I know that in war times they would each have only one tiny spoon of grated cheese over their pasta? That you can’t throw food away even if that means eating more than you need to be satisfied? Having to clean my plate and not feel the guilt of throwing away some leftovers have

New Technology

The Internet and related technologies are changing the securities business. Buzzwords such as “investor empowerment,” “democratization,” and “paradigm shift” only begin to suggest the extent to which the industry is being transformed. But if technology is the driver, regulatory change is the pit crew. Consider a few recent examples. A couple of years ago, Congress repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, eliminating barriers between commercial banks such as Citibank and investment firms such as Salomon Smith Barney. Later, Congress was debating whether to repeal the ban on trading single stock futures (surrogates for the underlying securities) and which set of laws – securities, commodities, or both – would apply to that area of trading. U.S. exchanges shredded trading in fractions in favor of decimals. In the following years, the securities settlement cycle shrunk from three days to one day, dramatically reducing risk in the financial system. Eventually, a security may trade globally and continuously as firms pass their trading book from closing markets to open markets. Those considering the effect of technology on the U.S. securities markets must assess the fate of traditional market intermediaries, such as brokers and floor-based exchanges. Even the most casual observers note that new competitors are upending the established order: online brokers threaten mainline firms with their traditional sales forces; unregulated Internet portals are evolving into account aggregators that compete for eyeballs with brokers and banks; electronic communications networks (ECN, sometimes referred to as alternative trading systems, or ATS), and foreign exchanges threaten traditional floor-based exchanges; and commercial banks aim for size by merging with securities firms. LEGACY FROM THE 70’s In one sense, this change has been coming for at least a quarter-century. Before 1975, brokers operated under a fixed-commission rate structure. On May Day 1975, the SEC eliminated fixed commissions, opening up rate competition among broker-dealers and fueling the rise of discount brokers. For the past 25 years, investors who wanted professional investment advice used full-service brokers, investment advisers, or financial planners, while investors who wanted to direct their own trading used discount brokers. The Expanding Universe In the past year, we have discovered that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and is probably flat rather than curved. We have found evidence that dark matter fills the universe. We have completed the first draft of the human genome and started building the fastest computer to solve even more complex problems in biology. All these events and more are hints that a scientific revolution is under way. They challenge old accepted ideas and ways of doing things and open pathways into the future. A world of accelerating discontinuities was the core of the message in Future Shock. The next scientific revolution, which we can now see emerging will bring at an even faster pace still greater discontinuities. Recent developments in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other disciplines will alter in revolutionary ways our understanding of the natural world. Such shifts in our worldview often lead to fundamental shifts in social and political thinking

How to Donate Money in a Healthy Way

A new University of Copenhagen study reveals that people who are deprived of donating substantial sums of money suffer from various afflictions ranging from sleep disorder and frequent episodes of severe depression. “The study showed test subjects had diminished cognitive abilities during the donation-free period”, said Uschi Znamenak, lead study author. The overall functionality of the body-mind system is decreased by at least 25%. On the other hand, the study volunteers who were navigated to and allowed to make donations, even people who usually are very careful with spending their salaries slept calmly for eight hours or at least until they felt rested. The control group had no medical or other disorders and expressed no need for medications, nicotine, alcohol or caffeine. Nine of ten excelled in difficult math tests and their physical fitness was evidenced by the fact that five of them completed the Cooper test in less than 10 minutes. “This is the first time anyone in the world has quantified the effects of donating deprivation,” said Znamenak’s assistant, Soeren Krakengaard. “The most evident example is the test group 2. Before the test itself, we subconsciously questioned them to confirm that they hadn’t been donating for at least 5 years. Subconsciously – which is the key term here – they were exposed to seeing various subliminal advertisements, web pages and alike offering the relieving opportunity to send money away. However, the direct connection to the subject of the charity was at least confusing, not to say distressing.” The debilitating effects have implications for many areas of life, including medical and safety personnel, which may have critical impact on important public services. The study also illuminates the challenges faced by everyday people who are forced to make crucial decisions throughout the state of constant donationless deprivation. “If a policeman is suddenly posted outside the station, for example, to save a helpless kitten stuck in a tree from certain death, his or her motivation may be insufficient to overcome the effects of what we now call the money-clog syndrome,” said Dr. Uschi Znamenak. However, the Copenhagen study shows one fact of which most scientists are not aware of. Any sign of donation purpose or attempts to “validate” reasons why one should donate for that particular institute/NGO/ZOO greatly increases the state of nervousness within subjects. This may be a groundbreaking point for thousands of suffering patients around the world. Located at Copenhagen’s Wolfowitz and Women’s Hospital, the donating lab used in the study contained infrared video cameras, audio equipment and physiological recorders to monitor behavior of subjects. As the researchers said, not revealing the target beneficiary requires some discipline. “People here in Denmark seem to dislike hearing anything about discipline. It sounds so German”, they said. Anyhow, no one seems to have come up with a solid argument against the results. More probable scenario is that we shall hear more about the Copenhagen study in the future.  

My Christian Ghetto

There are two great temptations every Christian faces in regard to how he relates to the world. The first is that which we are most familiar with, that narrative of a boy taking his inheritance early and running off to cavort with heathens. Stay out of pool halls. Check. Don’t rush down to Cancun on Spring Break. Check. I was in Bible College when I started hearing about the second temptation, to withdraw from the culture-at-large and hang out with only Christian friends. Some people referred to it as “the Christian bubble” that arena wherein inhabitants are shielded from the evil realities of the world out there. Jesus famously instructed, “Be in the world, but not of the world.” Okay, Jesus.  You lost me. Are you saying you want me to go to Cancun? Not exactly? Well, then I don’t get it. I really liked that verse though it may have been the eisegesis talking. It meant that I could go to the pool hall or to the beach or even to a bar to hear a band but I had to go as a Christian. I could go anywhere but I had to go in the name of Christ. I didn’t think much about that part. I just used it as fodder for people who wanted to tell me what kind of places good Christians should go and what kind they shouldn’t. I’d tell them, “in but not of, brother.” Conversation over. In any event, I knew better than to shut myself off from sinners. I figured making connections was a necessary ingredient in making converts. That lecture could be reserved for someone else, someone less spiritually astute. Besides, who would want to live in a ghetto? All this time, I’ve been proud of myself for getting that right but then I realized something: I’ve made my own Christian ghetto. In theory, I will be friends with anyone. For the most part, this holds true in reality. I have many friends who share those basic conceptions of God and others who do not. I like to think that people feel accepted by me. With me, there’s no need for anyone to censor themselves or perform. But Twitter is a different story. I had a follower who saw the humor in my tweets. I followed him back because I thought much of what he had to say was funny. Until one week when the bulk of his tweets were, by my judgement, in poor taste and by his admission delivered with the intent of attracting attention. I told myself that this was not good for me. After about 2 minutes of deliberation, I unfollowed him. I could have messaged him about it but I didn’t. I could have treated him with some respect and had an adult conversation about what bothered me but I didn’t. When I checked his account, a week later, I saw that he had reciprocated my unfollow. Now he’ll never see when I tweet about Jesus. Opportunity

Our Dorothy Days

In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Darcey Steinke reviews Mary Gordon’s Circling My Mother: A Memoir, what seems like another really excellent book by a really excellent Catholic writer. In the review, Steinke, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, reminisces about the days when priests were not just respected, but revered. A time, frankly, when American Catholicism seemed to have something to offer to America. In literature, AC gave us Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy; in politics, the Kennedys; in Hollywood, the convert Gary Cooper; and in the world of service, reform, and activism, two more converts, Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day. Today, sex scandals, outmoded approaches to birth control and abortion, and, says Steinke, a lack of writers with the religious imagination and literary command of Merton or O’Connor (except, perhaps, Gordon), have diminished AC. (And while I agree that AC has diminished, for my sake, and the sake of a few other Catholic writers I like, I hope she’s wrong on the last point.) Steinke is not alone these days in seeing something unique, and even inspiring, in the less-tarnished age of AC (I can’t in good conscience, or good faith, talk of a golden age). And of all the figures she mentions in the Gordon review, Dorothy Day continues to define the religious impulse to serve. Lately, though, while progressive Catholic apologists (myself included) are faced with the task of shaping up the church from within and/or deciding what it might mean to call oneself a Catholic while opposing many of the Church’s official positions (e.g., on birth control, abortion, women clergy, etc., etc.), Day is cropping up as an inspiration to the religious apologies of non-Catholics. Like Day, who founded the Catholic Worker, both Sara Miles, a convert to the Episcopal church, and Eboo Patel, an American Muslim of Indian descent, have begun organizing people in the spirit of service; and like Day, in Take this Bread(Miles) and Acts of Faith (Patel), both have written elegantly about their work. While I’ve always loved Dorothy Day — she’s shaped my approach to religious writing more than perhaps anyone else — temperamentally I’m not an organizer. Unlikely inheritors of the Catholic Worker, non-Catholics Miles and Patel are. And, in this, they share a faith. Peter and I read from the book this past weekend at The Church of the Ascension, NYC, in an event co-sponsored by the church and the NYU Episcopal chaplaincy. A handful of my students attended. I got some thumbs up. I discussed my facial tic — technically, a typical trigeminal neuralgia — which I think at least some of my students were dying to hear an explanation of. They’ve often looked at me funny after my face dances under the pressure of this in-treatable neurological disorder. After the reading itself we held a small-group discussion with Fr. John Merz, the NYU chaplain. He seems like a very good, very smart priest. One of my students approached me this afternoon after class. She’d enjoyed

Clean Shaven Legs

It’s Saturday night and I’m exhausted. Things have been so busy these days that I feel like I’m just rushing through the day from one thing to another with no time to sit back and enjoy any one of them. Today, I was so mixed up that I went to a birthday pool party an hour EARLY! I was standing there with my son looking around and wondering why no one else was there (we were supposed to meet at the pool of an apartment building complex). Then when I called my friend, I thought it was strange that she sounded surprised to hear from me and said that she wasn’t ready yet but would come and get me at the pool as soon as she could. Aren’t we supposed to meet out here? Why isn’t she here already? It took me a good three minutes to figure it out. Duh! I’m super early. She kindly let us hang out in her apartment as she got ready for the party. I felt so bad. This is not how I imagined coming to her place for the first time. It gets better. I was in such a rush this morning that I forgot to shave my legs for the party (it had been on my to do list for days but I just hadn’t gotten to it!). But this was a pool party and my son would surely want me to go in the pool with him. After a few minutes of thinking about the awkwardness of what I was about to do, I asked my friend in a sheepish voice if I could borrow a razor to shave my legs. Yup, I did! I figured I had an hour before any of the other guests arrived so I might as well squeeze in one of my to dos. That’s what my life has come to. I don’t even have time to shave my legs!! So there I was in my friend’s bathroom shaving my legs and thinking about how crazy I was when I just started laughing at myself (you know what they say about laughing so you don’t cry!). The rest of the day was one event after another…and now it’s 10:30 pm and I’m about to pass out from exhausted. My one big consolation…I have clean shaven legs! NO ARMPITS, PLEASE Ladies, please don’t show off your armpits. It’s a private area and should not be displayed! I understand that it gets really hot in the summer and sometimes you want to wear a pretty dress or top that happens to be sleeveless to work or a formal event. Go ahead. Wear it. But please, I beg you, resist the urge to stretch your arms above your head or lean back in your chair casually and put your hands behind your head while in contemplation. You see, when you do that, you expose your naked armpit to the world and that’s just not right. And it’s not just

When I have to wear a suit to work

For one or two days out of every year I have to wear a suit to work.  This is one of those days.  I hate it.  I can’t stand wearing suits.  I feel like I’m at my own open-casket funeral.  I don’t mind tuxes, in fact I quite enjoy wearing my tux.  I think a man in a tux is just about irresistible.  And most men look pretty darn good in a suit.  I just hate wearing one.  They are itchy and stuffy and blah. I own two suits.  The first one is now a museum piece, as I had a small waist when I first bought few years ago.  Days gone by, my friends, days gone by.  The second is a chunky dark gray suit that looks like it was taken right out of The Sopranos wardrobe.  It was poorly tailored in a rush to have it ready for my grandfather’s funeral and completely unsuited (ha, unsuited!) for business use.  Unless I’m conducting business in a titty bar. Since I almost never have to wear a suit I don’t like the idea of spending money on a new one.  I pulled out my mobster sack suit this morning and tried it on.  I felt lumpy and misshapen and unattractive and looked like I should be peddling encyclopedia sets door-to-door or drinking whiskey out of a bottle in a brown paper bag while feeding pigeons in the park with the other eighty-year old war veterans. Fortunately, I am a homosexual.  Even better, I am a fashionable homosexual.  And best of all, I am a fashionable homosexual with an equally fashion-conscious homosexual lover who is the same jacket size and only one waist size bigger than me.  That means that I can double my wardrobe at a moment’s notice.  He owns two very nice suits, both of which happen to fit me quite nicely. Today I am in his sleek charcoal gray pinstripe with a lavender shirt and white, grey and lavender diagonally striped tie.  And I have to say, I look pretty damn good.  But still, I can’t wait to get home after the day’s work functions, tear the clothes from my body and run around the house in the freedom of the only suit that really fits me:  my birthday suit. SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME Dear Higher Power, Today as I was returning to the office from lunch I realized I had an extra fifteen minutes to kill so I decided to sit in the plaza and relax.  There was an empty bench under some trees and a chair next to the fountain.  I started towards the bench but something moved me at the last second to veer towards the chair.  I sat down to commence my relaxation.  A few minutes later a woman sat down on the bench to eat her lunch.  She had just opened her carry-out dish when she suddenly screamed in horror as a pigeon pooped all over her and her meal. Whoever/Wherever/Whatever you are, I wanted to say thank you for guiding me to the

The $100K trigger finger

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Six Million Dollar Man, and most of us have eaten a Hundred Grand Bar (the candy bar formerly known as the Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar). But what about the Hundred Thousand Dollar Trigger Finger? This story concerns an acquaintance of mine who is a sworn officer for a state law-enforcement agency. One weekend, while doing a little home improvement, he accidentally cut off the tip of his right index finger, just above the first knuckle. Since the guy is right handed, his right index finger is his trigger finger—a fairly important digit for someone in law enforcement. After the accident, he and the severed fingertip were rushed to the hospital. The doctors called in a hand specialist—there’s a specialist for every body part, apparently—who attempted to re-attach the finger. The hand specialist was unsuccessful, so he called in a plastic surgeon to sew up the shortened digit in a way that would minimize scarring. All in all, my acquaintance spent two nights in the hospital. The total amount that the hospital billed his health plan? You guessed it—one hundred thousand dollars. Think about it. A hundred grand for a stitched-up finger and two nights in the hospital. (As far as I know, there was no mini-bar or pay-per-view in my acquaintance’s hospital room.) And the doctors weren’t even able to re-attach the finger. How much heroic effort could they have made to ring up a hundred grand in charges? Is it any wonder that health care is so expensive in this country? This incident just shows that when discussing the ever-rising costs of our health care, we should look beyond the usual suspects—liability lawsuits and other boogeymen—and investigate another possibility: that of good, old-fashioned overcharging. Another term is price gauging—or, as Tony Soprano would call it, a shakedown. As for my law-enforcement acquaintance, he learned to fire his weapon with his middle finger. How appropriate. A FOOTNOTE TO BARRY BONDS’ RECORDS Last night, on “The Colbert Report,” author Rick Reilly was plugging his book Shanks for Nothing (a “golf novel,” apparently). Reilly being a sports writer, Colbert asked him to weigh in on the Barry Bonds controversy: Should Bonds’ imminent home-run record, for instance, be allowed to stand despite his use of performance-enhancing drugs? Reilly replied that yes, they should be left in the books—but with a little syringe icon next to them. THE FOX EFFECT Boy, those Republicans are smart, smart, smart. Unlike Democrats, who pay serious money for conventional political spots on TV, Republicans have an entire TV network that broadcasts their propaganda for free. Not only that, but this GOP propaganda channel even makes money for its owner, Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. It’s a true win-win situation. What’s more, there’s a virtuous circle at work: The more effective the propaganda is, the more people vote Republican. The more people vote Republican,the more money Rupert makes through GOP tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, relaxed

February Expectations

So first off, we’ve already had 1 month of 2016 – will somebody apply the brakes, please? February is a little bit of a funny month – it’s the one that I never really remember, or pay much attention to. It’s just a bit of a filler if you ask me – once March kicks in, then the year really starts but I have certain expectations about February… 1. Expect more blog posts about my placement because it’ll be in full force this month – I just completed my first full shift and it went quite well. I’ve got plenty of jobs to be getting on with (possibly too many) so there’s lots of new stuff to learn – slightly gutted, but oh well, what can you do? 2. Taking on Math. I found this really good website with Math questions, so I am getting ready for my Math exam. How good is your math? Check if you can pass these tests: 3. Money will be tight. Every bill known to man looks like it’s coming out of my bank account in February – credit card, subscriptions, phone contract… *sigh* Last month I think I had about $5 to last me two weeks – very tough, and I delved deeper into the credit card pot, but I came out the other side which I expect to do this month too… ask me that at the end of February. 4. Friendships will no doubt get that tiny bit stronger due to the fact that most of my group work at university involves working with friends. I do worry sometimes that we will sit about chatting rather than doing actual work, which showed last semester, but I suppose you’ve just got to pull your socks up and bring up any issues before they get out of hand. 5. I’m trying to put things in place to make something happen this month – I’m not going to jinx it by mentioning it but you’ll be the first to know if anything does materialize out of this something. Progress I have nothing to discuss in great detail at the moment – no tragedies, no huge excitements, I’m just plodding along with my life at a steady pace. I’m definitely ready to head back to school next week – as much as I hate the workload, I like to have a bit of a routine. I’ve been off since the end of December and I’m bored now – you can only watch so many re-runs of HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother) before Joey makes you want to rip your eyeballs out and eat them. I accepted the placement at the academy – Chiefy e-mailed me this afternoon and actually used the words, “You can have a placement on the understanding that we don’t have anything for you to do, and don’t have the time to supervise you.” Yeah, the optimism is increasing by the bucket load as I type… not. Who even says that? Do they

I am exhausted and I’m not even sure why

First of all, thank you everyone for the prayers concerning Nathan. I received a reply from him this morning…And he is fine. Yay! He actually had not yet made it to Baghdad yet at the time he had emailed me…and while he had heard about attacks, he had not even heard that there had been soldier casualties. Anyway, thank you. I’m still feeling nervous for him, however, and that will probably continue. Nothing you can do about that. So yesterday was a non-stop panic attack. If you don’t remember me talking about Nathan, my childhood friend who is currently serving in the Army, …and you obviously haven’t read enough of the archives to know about him. The guy that is going through the divorce, I’m going through a break up…and we’re both too vulnerable to know better. Yes, I think I kind of have feelings for this guy. But I can’t act on them right now even if I wanted to, you know? We’re both in the wrong place right now. He’s broken. I’m broken. We’re both a mess and for now we have sat and written endless emails to each other in an attempt to vent out our feelings. There are things we have shared with each other that we would not and have not shared with our other friends and/or family members.  It’s been nice to have him in my life. And well, yes, I have developed some sort of feelings. I’m not sure what kind but yeah. They are there. In an attempt to vent to myself and not to him about my frustration with my feelings, I wrote this faux email to him. Basically stating that we could not speak anymore because, well, I had these feelings (which I went on to describe about how wonderful and magnificent he is, etc…I laid it on pretty thick)…It was one of those things that I don’t think I ever would have sent to him. Or ever even told him. It’s that kind of situation. So yeah. I hit send instead of save. And all day I freaked out just waiting for a response from him. FREAKED OUT. I nearly threw up a billion times. I still am upset to my stomach today. Anxiety kills me. If I have a full day of it? The next day, I feel like crap. Hence why I even rescheduled  my ladies night out to see Sex and the City. So, yeah. Anyway, after that mess, I ended up writing this long ass email to him apologizing. Telling him that I was so freaking sorry. He is not in a good place and I’m not that kind of girl who would take advantage of his vulnerability, etc. I also would do anything and everything to not lose his friendship. I could not bear it if I lost him in my life. He is slowly becoming the one person in my life I trust the most. And I don’t trust anyone. He ended up

Black Friday Dilemma, Shopping deals for runners

Today is Black Friday but it is also Buy Nothing Day however, one should be prepared for the other 364 days when you can spend, without worrying about your conscience, therefore I present to you the, The Ars Technica Holiday Gift Guide. This year they’ve conveniently divided it up into sections. Under the kitchen section for example, the first item is an Impressa E Espresso Machine, made by Jura-Capressoit it will set you back an astonishing $899 although, when it comes to the coffee fiend who shares your bed you should spare no expense. Moving along the next section to catch my eye was the fitness section. The first item on the list is the Gramin forerunner 310 GPS. It’s a special gadget made for runners. You strap it too your wrist like a watch. If you are a runner and feel the need for something to track how far, how fast and at what pace you are running you want this. It also comes with a heart rate monitor you strap around your chest so it can send data wirelessly to the GPS. The cheapest place to get this is at or .com. For a cool $169.95 CAD you are saving $80 -$100 over the competition. Mine arrived in the mail two days ago. I will post a review in another week or two once I get on to it. Next up is the Spibelt running belt. At an affordable $21.95 it would make a great stocking stuffer for your favourite runner. The belt is also the same price as the Road id, a bracelet, engraved with your name, address and phone number, that you attach to you wrist. In the event you get run over by a car or slip and bonk your head, while running, this will let the paramedics know whom to contact. You shouldn’t depend on your technological device to provide all your details since it could get broken in your fall. For the price you should get the belt, just throw in your drivers license. The pocket expands to accommodate your ipod, car key, lip balm or other small items you deem necessary to take on your run. Under the iphone section RunKeeper is listed as being the iphone ap of choice for those fanatical runners on your shopping list. It takes advantage of the iphones GPS to map your run much like the Garmin does. The app costs $10 for the pro version. While it sounds cool I’m a little worried about how much it would actually cost since the iphone has to dial through the phone line to connect to the satellite and with my runs lasting 1.5 hours or more I can see the dollar signs piling up behind my eyeballs. I’ve thought long and hard about what gear to get for running. Apart from buying good quality shoes and replacing them when they wear out these 3 items are extra things I want. Update: If you are buying the
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