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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Gadget Guy

Contributed by Jerome Galvin

Gadget Guy lives in a modest, well-cared-for Hyde Park home. To look at it, you’d never know its owner lives in there surrounded by dozens, maybe hundreds of entertainment, security and easy-living “gadgets.” For purposes of this article, let’s call the owner Guy.

All the Galvin’s remotes contrasted against Gadget Guy’s single remote that does way, way more 
Gadget Guy’s real name and address must remain a secret, because even though readers of Hyde Park Living are renowned for their honesty, a copy of this issue could possibly fall into evil hands and make someone decide to steal Guy’s gadgets. Well, that won’t be easy. His front door handle “reads” his touch, sends a message to his phone, which authorizes the motor inside the door’s lock to unlock the door. Happens in an instant. Since Guy doesn’t hide inside his home armed and quivering with fear, you might ask why he needs a such a security system. He doesn’t. He just loves gadgets, and that lock qualifies. 

It’s worth noting that Guy is not some crazed spender buying gadgetry and then hiring technicians to do the installations. He’s actually a very skilled do-it-yourselfer who enjoys figuring out how to install, wire and integrate available technology into all aspects of his daily life.

His ButtKicker amplifier is a perfect example. A ButtKicker is a heavy steel unit about the size of a large loaf of bread. It has a powerful piston inside. Guy wired the unit to the sub-woofer of his sound system, and then installed it overhead in his basement between two joists that support the floor of his TV room directly above. When there’s an explosion in a movie or pounding bass notes in a song, the entire room shakes as the piston bangs back and forth against those floor joists in precise unison with the notes and booms.

Sausages cooked with Guy’s laser precision taste just like …. sausages.
I watched, amazed, as the famously long train crash in the movie Super 8 marched my large glass of water – untouched by human hands – from one side of Guy’s coffee table to the other.

Inside his kitchen are enough gadgets to fill this article all by themselves, so let’s consider just one that may scare you when he whips it out. It looks like a pistol, but Guy’s not going to shoot you, thereby splattering your blood all over his shiny appliances and technological cooking aides. What he’s whipped out is actually a laser gun that reads the precise temperature of any cooking surface. You’ll never be served an overcooked fried egg or an undercooked steak at Guy’s house. 

Read where Gadget Guy ranks the beer cozy among mankind’s most monumental inventions.

One day when I asked to use his bathroom, Guy said he had to warn me about something. I assumed it would be the standard warning in bathrooms all over this country, so I said, “I know. If the water keeps running in the toilet, jiggle the handle.” But he surprised me with this: “There’s no handle. Just wave your hands over the toilet’s tank and it’ll flush without you having to even touch it.” Guy, who’s not a germaphobe, had bought and installed a motion-sensing amazement in his bathroom simply because he heard that toilet-flushing gadget calling his name from clear across the country.

Most of us have two, three or even more remotes controlling various audio and video components in our homes. Not Guy. Years ago he discovered a single remote that would replace every remote he needs, as well as handle other household duties for him. It turns on and controls the audio and video equipment in his entertainment room, of course. But it also dims the lights in there, turns off everything when the evening is over, and then switches on the lights up in his bedroom. All done with one gadget. Guy was using his single technologically advanced remote many years before Amazon’s Alexa weaseled her way into our homes.

All car guys do something very loving and special. By car guys I mean both women and men who see automobiles as something way more than just transportation from point A to point B. Car guys cannot walk away from their vehicles without taking a quick and loving over-the-shoulder look back at them. Gadget Guy is, as you might expect, also a car guy. He has an app on his phone that lets him control and track his car’s activities from anywhere. It’ll start his car in the airport garage via a signal he sends from baggage claim. If a valet goes joyriding in it while Guy’s having dinner, it’ll alert him. If a friend needs to get something out of his car’s trunk, and he’s out of town, no problem. He can pop the trunk from anywhere in the world. 

What’s coming next is proof that Guy is not some snobby elite wallowing among all his gadgets. He’s a true Everyman. When I asked him what he considered to be the world’s most monumental technological invention, he responded with this: “The beer cozy.” 

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