Finally, a new fitness watch and a bag…7 days and counting…

One year ago, we posted this photo we’d taken in 2013 while on a road trip. Bourke’s Luck Potholes was our favorite photo of the day on our three-day tour of the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon. See the original post here.

Yesterday, after completing the post, I headed out shopping. I don’t care to shop for anything other than groceries which I find quite enjoyable. Browsing through any department store makes me cringe. 

I wasn’t this way in my old life, but with my limited wardrobe over the past seven-plus years, knowing I have to toss something from my one suitcase of clothing to maintain the consistent flight approved weight if I purchase something new. This fact makes shopping less than fun.

Over the past three years, I have been using a blue cloth grocery bag as a means of carrying the necessary items with me when we’re going out for an extended period.

On shorter outings, I only bring lipstick to be stuffed into my or Tom’s pockets. (Many women’s pants don’t have pockets). Now that my flip-open RFID phone case has space for ID, cash, and credit cards, I no longer need a wallet.

Over the past three years, I’ve become tired of using the navy blue grocery bag. With the long and arduous upcoming flight to India, I reconsidered if I wanted to carry that blue bag one more time. I do not.

What I wanted to find was a cloth-type bag that can be squished enough to fit under the seat on an airplane and yet large enough to hold what I usually carry with me onto the plane: phone, camera, cosmetic bag, hairbrush, earpieces, and charging cords and a wide array of odds and ends.

(With this upcoming flight, we’ll need to bring along a few toiletries based on traveling for almost 30 hours, including an eight-hour layover. In checking information on British Airways, it appears they provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, our biggest concern).

As it turned out, I found the perfect item at TJ Maxx, a black Steve Madden padded, parachute material bag that zips with several pockets, all secure, leaving the contents relatively theft-proof. Sure, a thief could steal the entire bag off my arm, the reason I haven’t carried a prominent handbag all these years. This new bag is more of a carry-on type bag.

The next item I wanted was a fitness watch. I’d ordered one online in December, and it never arrived. I am now awaiting a refund. If I don’t see it come through in the next few days, I will contact the credit card company to remove the charge, especially since I have an email apologizing for their error in not sending out their product.

After the trip to TJ Maxx in Mesa (a 20-minute drive), I followed the road circled the mall to the Best Buy store. They had several models, but many included music and Amazon’s Alexa. 

Since Alexa doesn’t work in most countries, I saw no need to purchase the more expensive Fitbit Fitness watch. I selected the FitBit Charge 3 that suited my needs at a fixed price of $149. I’d shopped quite a bit online over the past week researching models and settled on this particular watch.

Yesterday, while wrapping up the completion of setting up Tom’s old laptop for my use, I also set up the watch itself and the app for the device on my phone and the computer. 

By dinner time, I had everything set up and was thrilled with the results. I love my new FitBit. Overnight, last night I downloaded all the photos from my old laptop onto our external hard drive, My Passport. 

Now, I can reformat the drive on my old laptop and offer it to Tom’s sisters if they’re interested. If not, we will recycle it at a proper facility, as mentioned.

Tom just left for the Mesa airport to pick up his sister Rita from South Dakota, staying with Margie for a week. It looks like some fun card playing is on the agenda! There will be nine of us, including Mary and Eugene’s son, Kevin, who’ll be leaving in three or four days.

Once Tom brings Rita to Margie’s home, we’ll pack up food for me and beverages for both of us. This morning Tom purchased a roasted chicken for me to bring today since they’ll all be having sandwiches and chips.

That’s all for today, folks. We’ll be back again tomorrow with more. 

Have a fantastic Wednesday!

Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2019:

Basket, the Bully, was feeling sad after his right ear was nearly torn off in what must have been as a result of a fight he most likely provoked. We comforted him with pellets, apples, and carrots before he took his nap in the hay. For more photos, please click here.

Technology updates…new items, photos, prices…

Note:  Please keep scrolling down to the end of the post as you read.  Copying photos and descriptions from other web sites prevents easy editing.   

Without a normal mailing address, other than our mailing service in Las Vegas Nevada, fulfilling our needs for specific equipment not generally found at local computer stores presented us in a quandary.

The best solution was to order our equipment now, head to Las Vegas next week as planned to visit family, and get to our mailing service’s office to pick up our awaiting equipment.  If, a few items don’t arrive by the time we return to Scottsdale, we can pick it up when we return to Las Vegas a month later for the holidays.

Before we arrived in Scottsdale, we contemplated a few options for receiving the items we wanted, not sure as to the situation until we actually arrived. There was a waiting list for a PO box at the Scottsdale post offices and we didn’t want to incur the cost of yet another mailing service for the short period in Arizona.

As a result, it was necessary to hustle to do the research in the past few days to determine which newer products have hit the market since researching months ago.  A few new item had in fact be released, much to our delight. (Ah, my delight.  Tom doesn’t seem to get so enthused over this stuff).

With the learning curve for Windows 8, transferring over all of our files we hadn’t placed in Dropbox (now to be transferred to Windows Sky Drive) and the difficulty I encountered getting all of my Outlook folders containing all of our travel information, confirmations and contracts, I was concerned. 

To facilitate the process, I made an appointment and brought my old and new laptops to the Microsoft Store in the Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale for a 15 minute $49 session.  Arriving on time, hauling both laptops through Nordstrom’s, I made it right at 10 am, when they opened. Tom had offered to go along and carry but, I insisted I could go alone. 

Waiting for my turn for over 20 minutes, the tech seemed annoyed when I told him my plight with Outlook.  He said if he couldn’t fix it in 15 minutes, I’d have to leave both laptops resulting in the price going up substantially.  

OK.  In a situation like this, after calculating the prospect of $196 hourly rate increasing “substantially,” I decided to recall the value of Minnesota nice with a dash of warmth and charm that I’ve called upon in the past to have a good end result in a win-win for everyone.

Fifty minutes later, after considerable chatter and chuckles the tech sent me on my way, both laptops in their respective bags, one on each shoulder ouch) and…he waived the bill!  No charge!  No bill!  No $49 fee! Thanks, tech! 

By the way, on my way out of the mall, I stopped in that Nordstrom’s store when a table of sale handbags caught my eye.  All of my bags were sold at the sale, except for a few smaller bags and the awful bag I had been using since leaving Minnesota.  I needed a huge fully zippered leather bag and had yet to have time to look for one suitable for travel. 

My new roomy, fully zippered leather handbag ideal for travel.

Ah, success!  Minutes later I walked out the door, a laptop bag on each shoulder and a Nordstrom’s shopping bag in my hand containing my new purse, on sale for $99, as opposed to its regular price of $249.  Designer name, I didn’t notice.  Quality and function, I did. 

Hurrying back to our “home,” Tom still sitting in the same spot as when I left him, he picked up his head from his new laptop long enough to say “Hi, Sweetie” with a big grin on his face when I told him about the $49…and the new purse.  He didn’t ask about the price of the new purse.  He never does. I never offer it. (Its a girl thing).

Immediately getting to work online to continue the search for a few more digital items for our world travels, most of which I have mentioned in the past in this blog, knowing precisely where and what to purchase:

1. Mini portable projector, purchased for $269 (no tax, no shipping) at B & H Photo, that we will plug into our laptops, find the external hard drive and project the TV show or movie on to a wall for up to an 80″ viewing area.

The manufacturer claims the resolution is so good that one can project a movie on the back of the seat in front of you while flying in an airplane.  We shall see about that.

(Please bear with the inconsistent editing on the photos and information from the three items below.  Copying and pasting from other websites is discouraged and thus, doing so is cumbersome).

Price: $248.00

Product Highlights

  • 50 Lumens
  • 1024 x 600 Resolution
  • 15,000 Hour LEDs
  • 60+ Minute Battery Charge
  • Full Function MP4 Player
  • Full Size HDMI Port
  • 1W Audio
  • USB Host Reader
  • Smaller than Two Stacked Smart Phones
  • Headphone Jack x 1

For the purpose of watching the  many movies and TV shows we’re downloading now from Graboid, a web site that, for $19.95 a month, allows downloads of unlimited movies, TVs, and Audiobooks.

We’ve begun the process of downloading videos onto our new “My Passport,” the two terabyte external hard drive we purchased a few days ago at Costco for $159.95 with tax at 9.5% totaled (as mentioned in a previous post), $175.19.

Our new external hard drive, My Passport.

If we download videos, as opposed to streaming, we can watch them without an Internet connection at our own pace.

2.  Mini Portable Scanner, purchased from for $196.27, no tax, free shipping.  We’ll be keeping records of all of our travel expenses.  Traveling with hundreds of receipts for every expense is bulky and ridiculous.  Every few days, we’ll wirelessly scan (Bluetooth) all of our receipts directly into the app Evernote on my computer where we’ll keep all of our travel records going forward. 

This app is also available on mobile phones.  Once we get our new phones, I will download Evernote and be able to scan receipts while sitting in restaurant, right to my smart phone while we’re sitting in the restaurant.  Cool, eh? (The printer and scanner will fit into my new purse!)

Doxie Go - Cordless / Mobile Paper Scanner

Doxie Go – Cordless / Mobile
Paper Scanner

by Doxie

List Price: $199.00
Price: $196.27 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.



Product Features

  • Doxie Go delivers smart and simple scanning you can take anywhere – no
    computer required
  • Doxie’s tiny size makes it easy to scan at your desk or on the go – just
    insert your paper. Scan full color pages in just 8 seconds
  • Scan up to 600 pages (2400 photos) with built-in memory, or insert an SD
    card or USB flash drive for additional storage
  • Award-winning ABBYY® OCR technology recognizes the text in your document and
    creates searchable PDFs
  • Doxie 2.0 included: Amazing scanners deserve amazing software. Doxie 2.0
    syncs scans, creates multi-page stacks, and sends directly to your favorite apps

3.  Portable mini printer, purchased at, for $176.51, with no tax and free shipping:  Since we won’t be staying in hotels very often (in between cruises for a night) we won’t have access to the hotels printer to print boarding passes, itinerary and copies of our legal documents that some countries require in order to gain entry at the time of arrival.  The thought of finding our way to a printer is outrageous both in cost and time.  We found a tiny paper storing mini printer that is amazing. 


by Planon

the first to review this item
Like (1)
Planon Printstik PS900 Portable Thermal Printer
  • Battery Powered
  • USB Interface & Charging
  • Compact & Durable Design
  • No Ink or Toner

List Price: $199.00
Price: $176.51
You Save: $22.49 (11%)

We’ll share our own photos once we receive the scanner and printer.  Now I am wondering if we’ll need some type of mini sound system since the external hard drive doesn’t have external speakers.  But then, maybe the sound will come out of the laptop while it plays.  Of course, we’ll test it all before we leave the US in 54 days. Any suggestions would be appreciated.   

Hummm…more on the “to do” list.