On The Street Where I Live

I have been living on the same street in NYC for almost 40 years. Here is a photo of what my window looks out on.

IMG_1032.JPGOnly in NYC can you find a hardware store, a Verizon store, a Subway sandwich shop, a UPS, a pizza joint, a nail salon, a cleaners, a Korean grocer, an Asian restaurant, a hair salon, a newspaper/magazine store, a wine store and a shoe repair shop on one block. This is all on the west side of Second Avenue between 61st St and 62nd St. Pretty amazing.

What’s even more amazing is that many of the shop owners know me by name. We have had a lifetime of experiences together. However, I now know that I have reached a new position in the community.

I was walking past the Verizon store today when one of the workers was standing outside in the doorway. A new three-person staff recently took over that location. Eliot was in there two weeks ago ordering a new iPhone 6 Plus for me. I haven’t been inside that store for over a year.

As I am walking past the Verizon store, I ask the worker standing outside, “When will the iPhone 6 Plus come in?” He looks at me closely and says, “Oh, I told your husband that I would call him as soon as the units arrived.”

How did this dude know Eliot was my husband? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. He put one older face, together with the other older face. My life just raced by me. This young sales guy was looking at an elderly lady, me. I might as well have been wearing a Greek mourning dress.

I was at least 40 years his senior. “Just called me grandma, kid.” He was probably wondering why I needed an iPhone 6 Plus. Do people my age use such an apparatus?

Then something miraculous happened. A strange car with a camera on top passed by. The kid said, “What was that?” “That, my dear, is one of thousands of Google vehicles that roam the earth taking a street view photo featured on Google Maps.”

Once again, technology breaks down the age barrier. We are all young in the world of digital.

iPhone 6 Plus Forces Fashion Industry To Rethink The Pocket

Left to right: The iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5

A few friends in the fashion industry have recently told me that larger pants/slacks pockets are going to be a key feature in casual clothing for the Spring season. It seems consumer research, among loyal fans for a number of brands, show that the phablet, the mega-sized mobile phone, is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

I guess I’m a prime example of why this is true. When I owned both an iPhone and a mini iPad at the same time, I mostly used the smaller device. It was easier to hold and much easier to manipulate. That’s why, when I lost my mini iPad a few months ago, I didn’t rush out to buy a new one. I wanted to see if the new iPhone 6 Plus would offer a better user experience for me. I will get my new phone in a few weeks.

People feel very devoted to the Samsung Galaxy. The phablet (half phone, half tablet) allows them to have a larger screen to read books and magazines while still providing a fully-featured mobile phone. Now the iPhone has two new larger-screened sizes, a 4.7-inch called the iPhone 6, and a 5.5-inch dubbed the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPad Mini, has a 7.9-inch display.

The big dilemma for most consumers who want to buy a phablet is where to store it? Cell phones easily slipped into a pants pocket or a tiny purse. I thought about this myself. The best way for me not to lose my cell is to put it in my pocket. This way I can physically feel it all the time. I can never find my iPhone in my handbag. The minute I put it in the side compartment or in the center, it falls into a big black hole. Five seconds after I put it in my bag, I go into a complete panic trying to locate it again.

Mashable, the tech site, recently surveyed designers to see their reaction to the phablet. Big changes are coming. While this may be a challenge for some design houses, others see this as a huge opportunity to sell clothes with new pocket dimensions. Click here to read what American Eagle, J. Crew, L.L. Bean, Levi’s, and Lee Jeans said about new pocket designs.

Email Curfew

IMG_1029.JPG Image: sharpenyourpencil.com

Germany has a very interesting proposition going on. The country is talking about passing legislation that would prevent late night work emails. In other words, business emails can only take place during normal working hours.

Personally, I like it. Everyone in the business world would have to agree not to send any digital communications after dinner. I would be a little dubious at first, but then I would easily get used to it.

I would not feel compelled to check my emails or write one if I truly knew that everyone just shut down after dinner. I would relish the time that the world stopped and I would not be forced to answer deadline emails around the clock.

Huffington Post recently said that Germany believes there is an “undeniable relationship between constant availability and the increase of mental illness.”

Does that mean if I stop sending emails after dinner, I will not be crazy anymore?

Automobile Extrication Tools

I wanted to devote one blog post to the automobile extrication product category because I don’t think enough people take it very seriously. A business contact of mine, who works for the American Automobile Association, better known as AAA, told me that more and more seniors are getting trapped in their cars on short road tips.

Either they accidentally drive their car into a some sort of a canal or get rear ended by a truck. Older folks are dying after accidents because they can’t free themselves from the seat belt or sealed windows. If they were able to climb out of their cars fairly quickly, they still would be alive today.

Two of the extrication tools I’m talking about are Life Hammer and ResQMe. They are used to shatter side windows and cut through safety belts. They only cost around $15 to $25. The manufacturer suggests you have these tools handy right above the windshield for easy access. The video explains how they can be safely installed and secured.



Polaroid Has A GoPro Alternative


For all of you who would have bought a GoPro a long time ago if it was more reasonably priced, there is now a great alternative.

The Polaroid of today (an entirely new company bought the name) just came out with a tiny Cube that is an active video camera. At $99.99, the Cube is almost a half the price of the least expensive GoPro.

People who have tested the Cube say that the GoPro’s videos are of clearer, brighter, and more vibrant. I’m not sure that really matters for the average person who just wants a record of where he or she has been. For those who jump out of airplanes or ski down the highest slopes, the GoPro is the way to go in order to show off to other professionals.

Meanwhile, the Cube has a magnetic area on its bottom so it can stick to exposed metal. That makes it easy to mount on helmets and other metallic materials. The top of the device is where you can find the camera’s record button. Very simple to use.

Polaroid says that you can get up to 90 minutes of recording time on a single charge. The Cube features a micro USB for powering purposes.

I don’t know if I am going to buy one. I’m so used to taking videos on my IPhone, that I just may make do. I also don’t think I do anything that requires 90 minutes of straight recording. If that need should ever occur, at least I know of the Cube option.

I’m Leaving The Dark Ages

If I had the product I’m about to show you a week ago, my pictures wouldn’t have turned out like this.
I waited months to attend the reunion of one of the first companies I ever worked for. I must have snapped 20 pictures that night during the reunion. I was so excited to review the photos the next day. I was really bummed when I saw that most of my photos came out way too dark to share with others.

That’s not going to happen to me again. My friends, Steve and Williams, gifted me the iblazr, the world’s first tiny flash for smartphones. It plugs right in to your earphone jack and works on all smartphone formats. It features four LEDs for taking clear and bright photos in low-light situatons. This is what the iblazr looks like.

iBlazr has a free companion app which allows you to control the brightness of the contrast light. it also has its own built-in battery so it will not drain a smartphone’s power. iBlazr can also be used as an independent source of light without connecting to a smartphone or other device. It really is quite amazing. Buy it on Amazon at $49.95.

Watch the video for more detailed information.

I Need Your Help


I’m looking for stories about good oral health care habits. I’m also interested in challenges you may have had with gum or teeth problems. I will keep everything confidential. Write to me at loisw@hwhpr.com.

The reason why I am asking is because our agency, HWH PR, has just been assigned the Water Pik account. We will be pitching a sophisticated line of Waterpik water flossers that make it much easier and more thorough to floss.

Water Pik will be making a donation for each pink model sold to “Hope Lives,” during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Part of our education plan is to inform everyone that more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives with some form of gum disease. It’s clinically proven that the Waterpik Water Flosser is 50 percent more effective than traditional string floss for improving gum health, removes up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas, cleans three times deeper than regular brushing and flossing and removes hard-to-reach bacteria and food debris that cause bad breath.

So, if you have any interesting stories that can help our pitch, I just might help you get a deep discount on the pink Aquarius™ Water Flosser which retails for $89.99. Or any other color you may desire.

Thank you

Duck, It’s A Drone



For most of our lives, we were careful not to get hit by a car, bicycle, or motorcycle while walking outside. Now, we have a whole new concern, drones. To learn more about a drone, read the balance of this blog post and then google the word “drone.” If you don’t, you just may get knocked over by one.

A drone is a remote-control aircraft. See above. These flying objects used to be toys, but now commercial enterprises, as well as hobbyists, are flying drones in record numbers. They retail from approximately $400 to thousands of dollars. This used to be a sport for those interested in aviation, but now the person who has everything is jumping in on the action. Drones are the new Harleys, you garner a lot of attention. To make matters worse, companies like Amazon are testing drones to make deliveries. This is not science fiction. In the next year or two, drones will be showing up at your front door delivering your new pair of shoes.

What’s wrong with all that? Drones are not regulated. That means drones can be flown anywhere and at anytime. It is just a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, a helicopter recently flying around New York almost collided with a drone. Drones are capable of flying a few thousand feet high and a mile-and-a-half away. Click here for more information.

My friend Andy Pargh of Palm Beach, Florida, flies drones. He graciously invited Eliot and I to visit him during one of his flying expeditions. Andy explained that he is all for regulations because he knows of too many near-misses. “The industry is growing so fast,” Pargh said, “there are too many careless people who can spoil it for the serious flyers.”

Andy explained that drones are divided into three groups, the hobbyists who build their own drones as a sport, the weekend user who adopts all new technologies and businesses who will use drones as a means for transportation for shipping goodies or taking aerial pictures with a GoPro.

IMG_0982.JPGAndy Pargh