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Work/Life: If They Keep This Up, We’ll Never Get Better!

CEO Dad’s Tuesday Tirade….

CEO Dad’s Tuesday Tirade….

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Several of my contributions to the blogosphere have featured my own humorous takes on seemingly outrageous products and services designed to point up just how difficult it is to keep balanced on the work/life see-saw. Well, this time, as they say “you can’t make this stuff up, folks!” The following are actual products available now, and further proof that somewhere there is a top-secret branch of corporate culture, wherein a James Bond-style, evil genius villain is holed up in a hidden headquarters cut out of a cliff side in Katmandu, using mind-controlled minions to churn out products designed to make the distraction-addicted workaholics in this world succumb, finally and irrevocably. They are, literally, “toying” with us, and just when you think you’ve won, they show you how far you have to go. As with these choice products:

THE WI-FI DETECTOR T-SHIRT – It is what it sounds like, people. This battery-operated piece of clothing from Thinkgeek.com checks for wi-fi signals in your environs and lights up a little icon on the shirt to reveal signal strength.

I don’t know about you, but I can see slipping this baby on during a family vacation, and taking baby steps down the beach in Maui, staring down my chin at the shirt to see where’s the best place to stop and whip out the laptop. Meanwhile, my long-suffering family keeps colliding with each other as they walk in line behind me trying to anticipate when I will next stop to check my e-mail. Perhaps there is a t-shirt that lights up when one is exhibiting signs of poor parenting skills?

THE SLINGBOX TV SIGNAL CONVERTER – This little baby allows you to route into your laptop any signal from your cable, satellite or Tivo-like provider, thus enabling you to watch the NBA playoffs even if you happen to be in a foreign country where they couldn’t care less, or catch up on the latest episode of your favorite hour-long drama (once the Writers’ Strike is over, of course) from your room in Hungary where the hotel TV is just getting around to airing “Falcon Crest.” Here again, a wonderful invention which pulls one away from truly enjoying some time away from the hectic pace of U.S. life, and encourages one to engage in anti-social behavior at the same time. I don’t know about you, but if I want to strike up a conversation in the hotel bar with someone, it ain’t gonna be the guy hunched into one corner of the booth trying to get a good signal on last week’s season finale of “Ugly Betty” (Writer’s Strike settlement pending, of course).

THE INNOBITZ JOOZOO (KOREA ONLY…SO FAR) – There’s no other way to put it: this is an 18-karat gold portable MP3 player with a gold-encrusted chain meant to be draped over the neck of (take a deep breath) your DOG.

It doesn’t have a headphone jack, so whatever playlist your pooch likes best is the one everyone else in the park is going to have to hear when you take him out for a walk. As such, you might want to avoid downloading “Who Let the Dogs Out?” unless you want to call attention to yourself and get nasty glares from the young couple trying to make out on the park bench while Rover does his business. Basically, when they run out of ways to make you a complete slave to technology, they find ways to get at you through your beloved pet. Why do they have to hurt?

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Over and out for now. I’m getting an urgent message being translated through the complex phonic-reader I had installed inside my cockatiel. Honestly, it’s the only way to text these days. When it comes to the latest ways to hear your electronic message, you haven’t lived until you’ve gotten the bird.

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