I had a dream…it was the 12th night before Christmas and all through the house, my true love had ordered great inline skating crap for me, her spouse. From Hammacher Schlemmer she bought me cool gear, and it was on this night that my gifts did start to appear.
I’ve always enjoyed gadgets and gizmos and such, but this year t’was goods from Hammacher Schlemmer I desired so much. The catalogs they’d sent, I’d received, count ’em, three. So I stashed one in each restroom to scan leisurely. Each morning I woke and sat reading with wonder, dreaming thoughts of great skating and trails I would plunder. I spent s’much time in there o’er pictures salivating, who’d blame my wife who’d thought me just ‘bating. Alas my hands clean I’d emerge eyes a gleaming, thinking of ways to get these great gifts, I’d been scheming. So join me friend as I share with you here, my inline skating vision of holiday cheer…and take all this rhyming and stick it in your ear.
Like any red-blooded American male, I’ve always loved Hammacher Schlemmer, The Sharper Image and Brookstone. It’s always been about the coolest, latest, and most expensive toys you can find, right? Not really. Here’s the ugly truth – so much of the stuff these retailers sell doesn’t hold its novelty anywhere near as long as I held my own once I discovered my “manhood” as a wee lad. While I’ve always pined for the stuff they sell, once I get it, I usually end up with buyer’s remorse.
Not this year though. This year, for whatever reason, I started to notice that the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog actually has a lot of stuff for skaters. Cool stuff. I could actually make a case for how a lot of their wares can be used to improve my athletic performance, and hold my interest longer than the latest Katy Perry video. (OK, that may not seem like a long time, but for the record, it’s not my interest in her videos that leaves me after about 20 good seconds…)
So, in a manner that won’t offend Christian sensibilities, I’m going to lead our pace line though The Twelve Days of Inline Christmas as a run up to the big day, as opposed to the traditional span between Christmas and the Epiphany. (If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it, you’re going to hell anyway for wearing that skinsuit in public. Dirty sinner.)
Our first item is probably one of the coolest I’ve ever seen, and something I’ve spent some time dreaming about before I found it…
The back story: A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away, I spent a winter on the elliptical reading Star Wars fiction. You know, because Star Wars nonfiction is just so…academic. Anyway, it was in The Republic Commando novel Hard Contact that I first learned of the concept of a H.U.D. – the Heads-Up Display. It’s a tactical display (oh wait, isn’t that from Star Trek? It’s not like I really know…) in the visor field of those cool republic clone trooper helmets. It delivers all kinds of statistics – vital signs, environmental conditions, targeting guidance, hostile readouts, long range scanning information, texting, IM, Twitter, Facebook, you name it.
I always thought it would be cool to have something like that to replace my Garmin Forerunner. Imagine, never having to look down at your wrist to see your pace, heart rate, distance, total time, training partner…you could have it all right in your field of vision. Well, my prayers have been (somewhat) answered by the buyers at Hammacher Schlemmer…
These goggles use GPS and state-of-the-art sensors to track maximum, average, and current speed, current temperature, latitude and longitude,and a bunch of other cool stats. OK, so they’re ski goggles, but who says we can’t hack this for our own application, right?
Check this…the unobtrusive 2″ display is an LCD “dashboard” that continuously displays performance data inside the goggles’ right lens frame and alerts when speed or other milestones are achieved.
A built-in stopwatch lets you time and “flag” runs for posterity. The goggles store up to 24 hours of data in internal memory that can be uploaded to a computer via the included USB cable. The goggles themselves feature permanent anti-fog, polarized lenses that block 99% of glare and automatically transition between yellow and deep amber as light conditions change. The GPS is powered by a Li-ion battery that lasts up to six hours on a three-hour charge. These are…the bomb. The technology is so close I can taste it. If they’d just integrate a heart-rate monitor…but we can work around that.
On the second day of Inline Christmas I’ll share something more, so come back tomorrow and see what I’ve in store. Ho, Ho, freaking Ho…