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I Want a Robot April 12, 2007

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, marriage, robot, Technology and Gadgets.
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The Distant Future

It used to be that if a guy wanted someone to handle household chores like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and picking up a stromboli from the stromboli store, he would get himself a wife. Though often expensive and requiring attention and maintenance, this was the best solution. It was the only solution.

The problem with getting a wife, however, is that before too long you are likely to also have children. Children are wonderful of course, but they require even more work than does a wife. Not only that, much of the wife’s attention and energy goes into dealing with these children instead of getting me my stromboli.

That is why I want a robot.

Some professor at Stanford said that it was “just a matter of time” until I had a robot. I’m going to hold him to that. After taking his school’s achivement tests for years, I think they owe me.

So, what should my robot look like? Many people seem to think robots should be basically human shaped bi-peds. I feel like there are already enough bi-peds that are basically human shaped living in this house, so I think I’d want something different. I guess that makes me more of an R2D2 guy than a C3PO guy. The problem with R2D2 is, I think he would ding up the stairs if he tried to climb them, or worse if he used his jet rocket things.

So how about a robot that could hover and float around? That would work for me. I picture it being about the size of a basketball with some sort of appendages that were strong enough to carry the Costco sized bag of dog food, but delicate enough to write “Happy Birthday Andy” on my Carvel ice cream cake each year. Love me the ice cream cake.

So, robot scientists of the world, get busy. Stop wasting time reading blogs, and go invent me my robot. Meanwhile, would someone please build a restaurant that delivers delicious strombolis to Adamstown, MD?

The Good Wife’s Guide August 15, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, marriage, soapbox.
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My dad just sent me this article from Good Housekeeping, circa 1955. I’m not sure if he thought it was funny, or he was being nostalgic for the Pleasantville days of yore (Note: he got married in 1963, so he may have missed this).

According to this article, wives should strive to make the home “a place of peace, order and tranquility.

Some of my favorites:

  • “Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by.”
  • “Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.”
  • “Don’t complain if he is late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.”
  • “You have no right to question him.”

Wow, and I thought breakfast cereal had changed a lot over the years!  I forwarded it to Shelley and suggeted she should try following this guide.  She reminded me that it would not work for us since I telecomute and never leave the house, and therefore, never come home.  A good wife always knows my place.

Note: Upon further research – it turns out this may or may not be a hoax.  Maybe the good ol’ days weren’t so good afterall.

Getting Your Wife To Let You Buy Toys August 2, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Gadgets, marriage, soapbox.
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From 5-May-00 

I’ve been married for nearly two years now, which I realize to some does not seem that long but to others seems like forever. One thing I learned early on in the marriage is that my wife, and therefore all women in general, don’t share my enthusiasm for buying gadgets. Right now the married men that are reading are nodding their heads while the women are thinking “Your wife is right, what do you need all those silly gadgets for anyway?” I’ll get to that in a moment.First though, a piece of advice for any impending grooms, buy as much as you can before you are married. Otherwise, you may discover as I did that once you tie the knot, purchasing decisions will be made by a committee.So, what if it is too late for you and you are already married and are getting your planned purchases vetoed? What can you do? Well, here are some simple steps.

1) Start Early Anticipate when you are going to need something. If you know you are going to want something, plant the seed at least a month or two ahead of time. This will allow your bride to tell you no. When she does, put up something of a fight, but eventually let her win. This will make her feel good.
2) Be Subliminal Well, almost subliminal. Let a few days pass after you lose the first fight without mentioning your desired gadget. Then, as subtly as you can, make some off hand comments about how the gadget would improve whatever you are currently doing. Don’t make a big deal about it.
3) Stack The Cards OK, this is where you will start to make progress. I can best explain this by using an example from my real life. A while back I wanted a GPS. My wife could not see why we would need one. Well, one day we were driving somewhere, and wouldn’t you know it, we got lost. Then, still being subtle, I mentioned how it sure would be nice if we had a GPS to tell us where we are in a situation like this.
4) Don’t Measure The Cost At least don’t measure it in money. Instead measure it in terms of things that either your wife has bought for herself or that you have bough for her. So, instead of a DVD player costing $250, make it known that it costs the same as 2 dresses, a sweater, and a pair of shoes. This strategy can wind up costing you twice what your gadget would cost otherwise if your wife has to get as much as you do, but then fair is fair and you gotta do what you gotta do.
5) Wear Her Down She can only resist so much so often. Keep mentioning how nice the gadget is, and how much you would use it, and how it would improve everyone’s lives so much. This is the same strategy used by kids for generations when they want a dog (but I’ll feed it, and play with it, and take care of it…)
6) Create A Window Of Opportunity Finally, after going through the first five steps, what you need to do is find some great opportunity to acquire the gadget that will be over very soon. This could be a big sale that is ending, or a store that only has one left and doesn’t know when they will be getting more. Then, ask your wife again, and make sure she knows you have to act right now. This could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, and you could soon be enjoying your new toy. If this doesn’t work, go back to Step 2.

So, there you have it. And to answer all you women who still want to know why we men need these gadgets, well, I think it is just part of being a man. We like gadgets, they make us happy, and get us closer to the ultimate dream of the Bat-Cave filled with things that light up and beep and the Batman Utility Belt with gadgets to use in any situation. It all works out for you too though, especially if you share interests with your husband. Though my wife objected at first, she sure seems to enjoy the home theater, the GPS, the scanner, and the dog. She also enjoys all the woman things she was able to acquire in order for me to acquire my toys. Hmm, now I’m wondering if she doesn’t have a strategy of her own….

On Becoming Plural July 13, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, marriage, soapbox, startrek.
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From 1997

Today I was updating various parts of this website, and I noticed that I was changing a lot of “I”s to “We”s, and a lot of “Me”s to “Us”s. The reason for this is because in something like 211 days I will be getting married. In some ways, the Andy that I have been will be no more as he becomes a part of the Andy-And-Shelley Collective (Resistance is futile). Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad about this. In fact, I am looking forward to it. It’s just a new way to think about life and the future. I went through a stage of life where I was dependent on my parents and others to provide and take care of me. Then, I went through a time where I was independent and I took care of myself. This next stage I see as being one of “inter-dependence” where I rely on Shelley and she relies on me. I realize that this is no earth-shattering realization and that millions of people go through this same thing. This is however not their SoapBox, it is mine, and this is what I feel like talking about.

At the same time all of this is happening, there are some things about me that will remain just me. This SoapBox, for example will not become “Andy & Shelley’s SoapBox”. You don’t have to worry about that, and not just because Shelley has no interest in being part of the SoapBox. If she does, she can have her own page for that.

Now that I have a woman, I don’t have to worry about being too geeky and making Star Trek references. If you were paying attention, in the first paragraph I made a comparison of getting married to being assimilated by the Borg. In many ways, I think this a good analogy. Certainly I refer to ourselves in the plural, just like the Borg. There are also many times when Shelley and I seem to share thoughts. Also, if for some reason we had to leave the collective, we would both be in pretty bad shape. There is one very important way however that getting married is different than being assimilated by the Borg, and it has nothing to do with traveling around in a big cubical space ship. The difference is this: We want to be married, we choose to be married, and we are thrilled and excited at the prospect. With that thought, we will sign off.