Fitness Trackers are the WORST!

Airing of Grievances

It’s time for my next New Year’s Resolution post. As you may recall, my resolution is to complain more often. And just as I haven’t exactly been consistent in my resolution, the same could be said for most people and their personal resolutions, can I get a witness?

I sit here, typing away on a keyboard without a fitness tracker on my wrist because it is charging, as it has been for about 48 hours now. Not because it takes that long, but because it’s presently “out of sight, out of mind” and yes, that is a lame excuse. Why should I go for a walk now if I can’t get credit for it? Yes, that’s another lame excuse. I still slept last night, even though my tracker didn’t monitor the quality of my sleep.

But that’s not even the focus of my rant. Oh no! The problem I have with fitness trackers is the same problem I have with Instant Messaging programs. They’re all proprietary, and they’re actually pretty stupid. And I’ll address each complaint directly.

Proprietary components and programs are the result of anti-consumer, pro-greed sentiments. The only reason the masses haven’t marched on Washington to protest them is because the biggest offender is Apple. And based on the number of iPhones you see in the vertical videos of protests on YouTube, protesters love their Apple products and are immersed in proprietary chargers, headphones, messaging apps, and more. They don’t try other products, claiming these products don’t meet their needs. And what are their needs? They need to work with their iProducts that they are already so heavily invested in.

And the same is true, to a lesser degree, in fitness trackers. One has the better app. One has the cooler wristband. One syncs with a few other apps that you already use or would like to. All of them do a few things great. None of them do everything the consumer wants them to do. And they won’t open up their API’s so you can use the better tracker with the preferred software. Why? Because then you would be managing your healthy patterns using components that they can’t control and leverage for their benefit.

Now to address the stupidity of the fitness trackers. This has nothing to do with my belief that your sleep data can only be estimated based on your nighttime movements or that if you walk like Fred Flintstone with your arms motionless at your sides your steps will be miscounted. This ties into the proprietary nature of fitness apps again.

I want a smartwatch. I want a nice one that looks like a nice watch and also has the features of a smartwatch. A smartwatch will do the same things as an exercise tracker, but I would take it off before I go swimming or jogging. Stop laughing. It could happen. I’d also take it off while sleeping.

I want a smartwatch that would be put on and taken off regularly. But I also want to wear a fitness tracker on a more semi-permanent basis. Is it too much to ask for software on my phone that is intelligent enough to recognize when two reporting devices are reporting the same activity? I do, but I don’t want double credit for when I exercise.

Why isn’t this already a thing? Why couldn’t the there be a universal phone app that takes all of the data collected about my activity, and credits me for the steps that the devices collects, divided by the number of devices? Or the most reliable device is counted and the others are discounted?

So there you have it. My rant about proprietary devices, with most of my wrath directed toward fitness trackers. Now I take a deep cleansing breath, let it all out, and go for a walk. Which isn’t being counted. Because my tracker is still at home. On the charger.

Hyper-Seasonal Clothing

Airing of Grievances

With the holiday season recently behind us, you probably think I’m referring to ugly Christmas sweaters here, but oh no. It goes far beyond that! Sure, Christmas clothing tends to be obnoxious, and poorly made. Why? Because you can only wear it for 2-4 weeks a year, that’s why. You can get away with that awful shirt and light-up pants combo from Black Friday to December 27 at the extremes, though it’s really a borderline faux pas to wear it before December 15 or after midnight Christmas day.

But 2-4 weeks is actually pretty good! Think about it. Would you wear hearts for more than a week before or a second after Valentine’s Day? What about clovers beyond St. Patrick’s Day? That ‘Merican Flag T-shirt looks great at the Independence Day carnival and fireworks, but it really starts to show it’s age by mid-July.

Your better plan is to dress for the weather or to just avoid going outside altogether. The clothing will be of better quality and much better taste. Plus you won’t have to have totes and bins holding all of the egregious clothing that you really can’t wear right now unless you want everyone to think that you just haven’t had a chance to catch up on your laundry.

I get it. I really do. I have a couple AWESOME Christmas sweaters. And my “Triple Dog Dare You” t-shirt is the shizzle! I have a few patriotic shirts and there are a couple pastel shirts tucked away for Easter in my closet, because nothing speaks to the resurrection of Jesus quite like a shirt that shows everyone just how confident I am in my masculinity. But really, why do I need these limited-use garments? If we can ship our “Detroit Lions NFC North Champions” shirts to third world countries, can’t we do the same for our kitschy clothing that we bought in last year’s after Christmas clearance sale anyway?

This whole “Complain More Often” resolution is kinda fun!

NFL Wild Card Weekend

Life

Just a few quick thoughts.

Oakland vs Houston should have been an easy win for the Raiders, but Derek Carr is out with a broken leg and their QB will actually be a third string guy. What a shame for such a great team in a great year. As it is now, I really can’t say who will win as both teams are in a QB funk. All things considered, I’m rooting for the Raiders.

Does anyone think that Miami has a chance to beat Pittsburgh? I mean really? You’ve had a great season, marine mammals. But it’s over after this weekend.

Seattle hosting Detroit is one that should be closer than some are saying. But ultimately I expect the home team to win this game, sending Detroit back… to Detroit. Which sounds really depressing to me.

And the highlight of the weekend for any football fan without a rooting interest in the previous three games is the New York Giants at Green Bay. Green Bay won in the regular season, in a lower scoring game. I expect the score to be higher for both teams and I expect to see Green Bay travelling to Dallas next week for the divisional round. #RunTheTable #GoPackGo

Home teams all around. That’s my prediction. To hedge my bet, historically the home teams win on wild card weekend 75% of the time, so one of these predictions will likely fall through. I hope the Packers win, so if I’m to be wrong in any of these predictions, I suspect the Texans could take advantage of a wounded Raiders team.

When Escalator Steps Move at a Different Speed than the Handrail

Airing of Grievances

My New Year’s Resolution, decided upon just recently, is to complain more often. If you like, we can call it an “airing of grievances.” Before you correct my attitude or behavior, please know that I am doing this for comedic purposes, not serious ones. If you have read this before, maybe just a day ago, save it. Yes, I understand that the airing of grievances is associated with Festivus. No, I won’t include the unadorned aluminum pole or the feats of strength. Maybe, I will label easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles”. What, you demand an unadorned aluminum pole? Fine. I’ll include a picture of one. Good enough.

I was at the mall recently, against my will in case you’re wondering, and I had to change levels, or floors if you will. You’ve done it before. You know what it’s like. You get on the moving steps a little tentatively at first to make sure your Crocs aren’t anywhere close to the edge of the step, then you reach out with your free hand and grasp the safety rail next to you. As you go up (or down if that’s your trajectory) you notice that your hand is no longer right beside you. And by the time you reach the next level of the mall, you find yourself standing at a 45 degree angle, possibly with a dislocated shoulder.

This is completely unacceptable! Do they expect you to let go and reposition your hand as you look at all the next floor of the mall has to offer? Don’t they understand the annoyance of that? Isn’t the customer always right? The whole purpose of an escalator is to move customers from one store to another with minimal effort. The only rational response I have left is to buy a baby stroller so I can take the elevator without looking like I’m too lazy.

/rant