So, in no particular order, my favorite inventions of the past few months, or millennia.
The mute button on multi-line phones. I never knew how important that little button was until I got a job that involved conference calls. Lots of them. No longer are you reduced to merely rolling your eyes at idiotic comments. With the all-inclusive mute button, now you can snort, guffaw, choke, roar, and raspberry. All without the party on the other end being the wiser. With the flick of a button a well-planted, “Oh, I agree”, or “What do you think the long term ramifications of this plan will be” ensures another round of discussion that you don’t have to take any part in! Sheer genius, I tell you…
Next is the automatic light sensing rearview mirror in my car. I love this partially because I have bad eyes that have difficulty to adjusting to changing light levels, but mostly to dim those annoying truck lights that are set on “bright enough to illuminate the surface of Mars – from Earth” and successfully blind the general public for moments at a time. Not to mention most of the vehicles behind me are huge pickup trucks with headlights on level with my back window. My nifty rearview mirror automatically adjusts and tones the searchlights down to a tolerable level, thus reducing incidents of temporary blindness and road rage on my part. Believe me, when you drive a car in a mega truck town, you need every advantage you can get.
Food processing machines. I blame this fascination on the Food Network, and programs like Unwrapped. Who thinks up machines that can not only slice and dice, but coat, dip, sort, wrap and package every sort of food stuff under the sun? Rube Goldberg would be proud. Luckily for us, the machines haven’t taken over yet. They still need humans to dump the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, etc. into the hopper and push the start button. But if machines ever figure out a way to take over our candy making, they could bring us to our chocolate covered knees.
The person who figured out that the bean from the plant family Rubiaceae, when dried, roasted, and combined with water made an interesting and stimulating beverage. Elixir of the gods, writers, and procrastinators everywhere. Coffee. Enough said.
Easy Mount stirrups - Stirrups that lengthen for mounting are the greatest invention. I'm short, and the prairie is devoid of convenient tree stumps. If I get off a horse to scope out some particularly interesting rock or plant, Mr. Horse isn’t going to kneel down to make my life easier. Nor is he going to be thrilled when I have to clamber up his side, pulling on the saddle and thunking him in the sides with my elbows and toes. If Mr. Horse is in a bad mood that day, I could be in for a long walk home should I fail to haul my butt back into the saddle. I’m getting older, muscles aren’t as flexible. I’m not a circus trick rider is all I'm saying. Don’t look for me to be making a flying leap into the saddle any time soon. (I may not be able to, but I’ll make darn sure at least one of my fictional characters can leap onto tall horses in a single bound. Call it writer’s revenge.)
So those are things I thought of today on my wander about