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Mark turned 50 earlier this year and I had no idea what to get him to celebrate the big day.

After all, I got a cordless Dyson on my 50th, so the pressure was really on.

My friend Matt suggested I buy him the “Up” band by Jawbone.  It’s kind of like the Nike fuel band, but a little tougher looking.  Mark’s a gadget guy so it was the perfect gift. And to make it even more meaningful I got a matching one. We were going to get fit together.

Jawbone-UpThis thing is like Santa – it knows when you are sleeping, it knows when you’re awake – seriously. It tracks heavy (snoring) sleeping, light sleeping, when you get up in the middle of the night to pee. How long it took you to fall back to sleep after getting up. It was crazy.

You can set it to buzz after so many minutes of being idle. A subtle reminder to get off your fat arse and move around. You can log in your food intake. You can invite other people to watch you sleep.  It tells you when the battery charge is getting low – three days in advance.

It’s the most annoying thing I’ve ever owned – and one morning when it kept buzzing/bugging me I ripped it off and tossed it in a bathroom drawer. And there it sits. Alone, in the dark. Wondering what I’m eating.

I think the reason I hated the Up band so much was the dependency of the thing. The same reason I chose to not have children. They always want attention – you have to keep feeding them (so I’m told) and make sure they go to bed on time, etc. Who needs it?

Mark on the other hand LOVES his Up band. Just one more gadget to watch instead of talking with me. Mark has two iPhones, an internet radio, and a weather station on his night stand and sleeps with the UP band around his wrist. He knows precisely the temperature and humidity level outside, and how heavy the morning traffic is on the Edens.

We have an Octane Fitness elliptical trainer in our home. Mark works out almost every day on that thing. He has also entered into a competition at work through Nuvita. He wears a heart rate monitor while working out so he can reach his target cardio level,  the eliptical tracks calories burned so that can be charted, and then he logs in his minutes, uploads his steps on the Up band. It’s his Nirvana and he looks great.

I think I”m going to strap on my sneakers and go for a walk.

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August 2013