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David Sedaris, meet your new obsession
June 25, 2014 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Living the Fitbit life.
posted by ellieBOA (90 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Of course he picks up trash off the side of the road.
posted by The Whelk at 11:06 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


And he walks around Arundel which is my teeny home town! (whelk there's a castle you would love!)
posted by ellieBOA at 11:13 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I tried to buy one of these but got confused and ordered a Bitfit by mistake. I put it on and it vibrated to signal 'good enough go sit down and maybe have a beer'. Five Stars!
posted by srboisvert at 11:18 AM on June 25 [15 favorites]


I hooted my way through this. So did the people to whom I emailed it. I have learned not to listen to his books when I am driving since the last time I laughed so hard I almost crashed. (What a great way to go.)

Speaking as someone who daily wears my Fitbit Force because I don't have the skin allergy that led to its recall, this is all sadly so true.
posted by bearwife at 11:21 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I want to believe this is fiction, but it seems so plausible.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:22 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


What might I have thought if, after seven hours of unrelenting agony, a creature the size of a full-grown cougar emerged, inch by inch, from the hole at the end of my penis and started hassling me for food?

I'm second-guessing my pull quote to accompany this sentiment, but it's what prompted my feeling this way so: Thanks for this ellieBOA, I've missed David Sedaris for his way with words. Great link!
posted by carsonb at 11:22 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Heh, that's a lot of walking. I've been thinking of getting a Fitbit but I don't do much moving aside from intentional exercise and my phone can already track that just fine. Can relate to the joy of just walking miles an miles while absorbing audiobooks and podcasts and how used to it you get after a while. My local park has a bike and hike path that's a little over six miles. When I first walked it I felt like I had just won a marathon I was so proud, now it's a normal day's hike. Really like walking as exercise, wish our busy schedules gave more people the time to dedicate to it.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:22 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I want to believe this is fiction, but it seems so plausible.

The description of the areas in West Sussex that he treks around are spot on, and growing up there was boring enough I could see him being reduced to walking and walking.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:26 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


It [ten thousand steps] sounds like a lot, but you can cover that distance in the course of an average day without even trying, especially if you have stairs in your house, and a steady flow of people who regularly knock, wanting you to accept a package or give them directions or just listen patiently as they talk about birds, which happens from time to time when I’m home, in West Sussex, the area of England that Hugh and I live in.

At this point I was convinced he was going to just keep writing longer and longer sentences to mirror his goals, but I guess then he wouldn't even be done writing by now.
posted by psoas at 11:28 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Well, at least he's making England a cleaner place. And keeping the roads clear of adders.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:29 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


The 13,000 steps I took yesterday suddenly feel like nothing.
posted by Area Man at 11:30 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


So a Fitbit is just an accelerometer, right? And then it does some software interpretation on basically the "number of shakes recorded" using algorithms to guess at distance walked, calories burned, etc.

It's amazing to me that such a product is so ubiquitous when you could get some real distance, pace and elevation numbers from a GPS watch for barely more than the $99 Fitbit has the audacity to charge.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:35 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Fitbit also monitors your sleep, checks for when you are in REM sleep and when you are tossing and turning. It also integrates with a number of calorie trackers and other fitness programs on the internet.
posted by Twain Device at 11:37 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


What might I have thought if, after seven hours of unrelenting agony, a creature the size of a full-grown cougar emerged, inch by inch, from the hole at the end of my penis and started hassling me for food?

This phrase is why there's Coke Zero on my monitor.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:39 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


"It's amazing to me that such a product is so ubiquitous when you could get some real distance, pace and elevation numbers from a GPS watch for barely more than the $99 Fitbit has the audacity to charge."

As much as I love my Garmin for running mileage, waiting around for the thing to get a signal before I walked anywhere during the day would be a bit much. And it doesn't work indoors. And it's ugly (I've got the Fitbit you just stick in a pocket).
posted by dyobmit at 11:42 AM on June 25


Garmin 220. It vibrates every mile.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on June 25


Fitbit knows you had a frappucino *and* a scone, based on your hand movements, and is disappointed. But the real betrayal was the 3 minutes of popping and locking at your desk starting at 25-06-2014 11:38:16.
posted by smidgen at 11:45 AM on June 25 [12 favorites]


I feel the need to confess that I went over to dailymile to log my lunchtime 5 mile treadmill run in the middle of reading this. Felt so much better after I did.

also, I see used condoms on the side of the road all the time, too. ugh
posted by activitystory at 11:48 AM on June 25


It's not just the device but the Fitbit site that monitors trends and numbers and the tie-ins with other services like Beeminder that make it appealing.

One can argue about whether the quantified self is really an improvement. Luke Wroblewski posted about a series of Polar quizzes about devices and whether people still used them.

Fitbits did really well, FuelBand and Google Glass did not. (Which struck me as odd, since if you're going to shell out $1500 for a device that makes you a social pariah, I'd think you'd be more invested in sticking it out.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:49 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


It's so much fun to read this with David's voice in my head.
posted by MtDewd at 11:52 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Can a Fitbit differentiate between say, sprinting for twenty minutes, and a session of vigorous masturbating?

Asking for a friend.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:55 AM on June 25 [17 favorites]


I got one a little while ago, and in recent weeks I've discovered a number of my friends and relatives have them as well. So I added them to my friends list. That's when it started being on some next level shit. For a while I was triumphing handily but then I added my 22-year-old cousin who works as a summer camp counsellor. At the moment he's 30,000 steps ahead of me. So of course I started a 10K training program to catch up...
posted by Diablevert at 11:56 AM on June 25 [16 favorites]


Just checked. 36,010. Grrr.
posted by Diablevert at 11:57 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


My FitBit asked me some deeply disturbing questions, and at the end of it, started shocking me when I say the word "freedom".
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


I've been dithering with getting the FitBit.

Now that David Sedaris has one, I'm afraid I'll have to just commit.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:58 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


"It's amazing to me that such a product is so ubiquitous when you could get some real distance, pace and elevation numbers from a GPS watch for barely more than the $99 Fitbit has the audacity to charge."

You could get the same thing by launching a free app on your cell phone too. But Fitbit works because to a certain degree it just abstracts out all the details and gives you a simple number to hit.

No start or stopping an app (or the equivalent on a watch) required, no active checking needed either (with the wireless sync capabilities).

When I had my old style fitbit, I would keep it on all the time, but still load up RunKeeper if I was doing an "activity" because I wanted all the data. But I didn't need all the data for everything that I did in my life.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:03 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


I love my Garmin running watch, really I do, but it's not the same thing as a daily tracker. First, the battery life would be an issue. Second, it loses satellites indoors or in densely built areas (so much for tracking my trek from the T station to the office). Third, the thing is hella uncomfortable. (Maybe the $129 ones are better on the comfort side. Their battery life is worse, though, based on the product page: "For typical use (with GPS on 30 minutes per day), the battery life is 10 days. If used continuously with GPS, the battery life is 5 hours.")

Where the Garmin wins: Information display (you can look down and see time, distance, pace, etc.), mappability (for people with newer computers than mine, at least), superior accuracy at tracking actual distance/pace, ability to set it to beep/vibrate at given thresholds or intervals. Heart rate monitor integration.

They're just two different tools, y'know?
posted by pie ninja at 12:04 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]


That's when it started being on some next level shit.

I am deeply afraid of this happening to me.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:05 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Beeminder's motto is "Be a slave to your second-order desires."

That is some seriously honest and painfully logical sloganeering right there.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:10 PM on June 25 [10 favorites]


Such a complicated metric for fitness.

If I can see my feet in the shower, I'm walking about the right number of steps in a day.
posted by sonascope at 12:22 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


But you're not really being a slave if you can consciously manipulate your unconscious nature to achieve desired outcomes. It's more like you're a self-programming computer.

We're slaves to desire all the time. Things like Fitbit are just ways of gaming that process for one's own benefit.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:23 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


First, the battery life would be an issue.

Withings has a new tracker coming out in August that they say will run for a year without charging. I'm a bit skeptical, but the design is pretty neat.
posted by effbot at 12:30 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Re: Withings: The press release makes it sound like it works like a pedometer, though? Rather than a GPS? From their press release: "Inspired by the invention of the pedometer in France in 1723, the Withings Activité is a sophisticated tracker and advanced accelerometer"

As far as I'm aware, the two options for activity tracking right now are pedometers (accelerometers in a dedicated pedometer or a smartphone) or GPS/locational tracking (whether actual GPS units or via location-tracking apps in a smartphone). Anything involving GPS or location tracking tends to burn battery life; anything using accelerometers tends to be inaccurate on distance traveled. (I am oversimplifying, since there are hybrid systems, like syncing a foot chip/pedometer to your Garmin to run on a treadmill. But I'm not aware of a GPS option with a long battery life.)
posted by pie ninja at 12:44 PM on June 25


My favorite bit:
“It’s like a pedometer,” she continued. “But updated, and better. The goal is to take ten thousand steps per day, and, once you do, it vibrates.”

I forked some salami into my mouth. “Hard?”

“No,” she said. “It’s just a tingle.”
8,665 so far today. My personal best is 30K.
posted by editorgrrl at 12:48 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I've listened to almost every episode of This American Life (it's the best soundtrack for action RPG games) and I could hear every aspect of David Sedaris's voice while reading this.
posted by Ouverture at 12:54 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I'd like one, but I know Apple's new wearable is gonna blow it out of the water, so I wait. and wait. and wait. and wait.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:54 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


Before the Fitbit, once we’d eaten dinner I was in for the evening. Now, though, as soon as I’m finished with the dishes I walk to the pub and back.

No kids, I guess.
posted by 256 at 1:27 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I have an adidas Speed Cell, it's an accelerometer that fits in a cavity in the bottom of my cleats. I've been wearing it playing soccer for about 3 months and I'm obsessed with all the data it collects - top speed, average speed, distance covered, number of sprints - speed reached on each, duration of each, etc. It's really changed the way I play the game, not just when I sub off or when I make runs, but what I have for lunch on game days. On May 15th, after having a massive burger for lunch my top speed was 0.5mph down from normal and my average was 0.2mph lower than it usually is.
posted by IanMorr at 1:31 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


I keep considering getting a Fitbit, but my health is such that I'm unlikely to ever get the tingle in the first place. (Also I may need to hold out for the Apple wearable. We got Nests and see where that got our all-Apple-ecosystem house. Oops.)
posted by immlass at 1:32 PM on June 25


I love my fitbit. I'm currently in a competition with my sister to see who walks the most by the 4th of July. There's one thing he didn't mention, that horror and realization at the end of the day, especially powerful when it's been a day where you know you did a lot of walking, only to realize that you did not put on the fitbit (less of a problem for you fancy wrist wearing fitbitters).

I did this yesterday. I'm still upset over it.
posted by Atreides at 1:33 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


I would love one of these, but if it can't go in the pool and track my swimming, it's dead to me. Dead!
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:38 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I was a total nutso Fitbit fanatic till mine died on me last week, barely a year into using it. Had to go through gymnastics to replace it and it wouldn't have been possible (I don't think) if I'd bought it anywhere other than the Fitbit online store. Nonetheless, I'm an addict and will sorely miss mine when I'm away on a trip this week (replacement hasn't arrived yet, Fitbit jonesing).
posted by blucevalo at 1:45 PM on June 25


In an effort to get my parents to exercise more, and deeply cognizant of their slightly unhealthy competitive behavior, I got us all fitbits, the kind you put into your pocket, and then created a series of challenges for us. Then, because I run several miles a day and go backpacking/hiking all the time, etc., I gave them handicaps.

Not long after we started, my parents both started catching up to me, even without the handicaps. This is great! I thought. And because you can't help but compete with your own fitbit, I started upping my daily totals. And so did they. And so did I. And so did they.

At the end of the first challenge, at 3 months, we sat down and pooled our data to see who won. I was absolutely amazed that they had beaten me. Both of them. And they did it again at 6 months. I was so happy! The exercise they were getting was incredible!

Then, driving through my hometown on a business trip, I surprised them. They came out, looking remarkable the same. Then their 2 big dogs came bounding out. Previously, both dogs had had the same, er, waist problem as my folks, but they were looking great. And bending down to pet them, I discovered why: attached to the collar of each dog - in its own, handmade little pocket - were my parents' fitbits.
posted by barchan at 2:01 PM on June 25 [349 favorites]


I have come SO CLOSE to getting my 25,000 step badge....
posted by bq at 2:09 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Our company gave out pedometers years ago. They were cheap ones and broke easily. When mine broke I got one off of a co-worker who didn't want hers. When that one broke I got another one. I think I broke 4 of them and then gave up.
This post caused me to download an app for my iPhone, so thanks!

(Hope the phone doesn't break as well...)
posted by MtDewd at 2:11 PM on June 25


Can a Fitbit differentiate between say, sprinting for twenty minutes, and a session of vigorous masturbating?

Mine definitely gets tricked by the bumpiness of driving my truck around.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:38 PM on June 25


This kind of extrinsic motivation never seems to work on me. I synced my fitbit, and my brain said, "Yes, that is the amount you walked today. Same as yesterday. And the day before that." So I sold it.

I do miss the vibrating alarm on my wrist in the morning. So much more pleasant than an obnoxious sound followed by fumbling for my iPhone every morning. I may have to buy one again.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 2:38 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I've been waffling on getting one of these because what I really need is a tiny R Lee Ermey that I can strap to my wrist to yell at me every hour or so to get off my ass.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 2:51 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


i am a loyal fitbit user. i had historically never been a "healthy" person, but when i won one at a company health fair three years ago, i figured i'd give it a try. since then, i have lost 30 pounds (and have kept it off), and have started exercising, and keeping an eye on what i eat. it's a good news story.
i have also been very pleased with their customer support, and responsiveness with replacements when there have been technical problems with the hardware. it's also easy to have a geeky conversation with their technical folks once i am able to establish myself as someone they can speak geekily to. i sure hope fitbit survives the next wave of wearables (including apple), and the mass adoption of the quantified self. i worry that their first to market stature might be overtaken by the next big thing, but i am optimistic, because they seem to be doing a number of things right.

also love david sedaris, so bonus points for all.
posted by rude.boy at 2:57 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


As someone who is, at heart, a stat grinder, I have to stay far far away from these kinds of things. Cause I like making progress bars go up and hitting round numbers more than is healthy and pretty soon that goal of eating only a thousand calories turned into five hundred and then it's passing out time. I don't even display the "estimated calories" feature when I use cardio equipment cause I can very easily become obsessed with making it hit six hundred or something and bam you've damaged your knee ...again.

Plus the creeping fear this will be used against me somehow, and the knowledge that I can literally throw it into the garbage if I wanted to. YOU'RE JUST A WATCH YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.


I really need is a tiny R Lee Ermey that I can strap to my wrist to yell at me every hour or so to get off my ass.

my go to inner motif for motuvation is Captain America looking very disappointed in me.
posted by The Whelk at 2:57 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


"It's amazing to me that such a product is so ubiquitous when you could get some real distance, pace and elevation numbers from a GPS watch for barely more than the $99 Fitbit has the audacity to charge."

All of the GPS watches I've seen are ... well, they look like GPS watches. Big, bulky and "outdoorsy".
I think a large part of the initial appeal of the fitbit (and competitors) is that it is small and somewhat unobtrusive. It just looks like one of those charity rubber band bracelets you see everywhere.

On a side note, my android phone has started presenting me with monthly "distance walked" summaries.
Which amusingly have been the exact same distance for the past 4 months, since I take my phone out of my pocket for anything vigorous.
My current gamiication is to see if I can walk the same distance for an entire year.
posted by madajb at 3:01 PM on June 25


And bending down to pet them, I discovered why: attached to the collar of each dog - in its own, handmade little pocket - were my parents' fitbits.

My plan, should I ever be involved in such a contest, is to strap the thing to my preschooler.
Could probably do 10,000 steps just getting ready for bed.
posted by madajb at 3:02 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Yes well there is the problem that even at thier small size they still look stupid. Nothing I wear goes with a fitbit, and if I'm at the point where I'm dressing to work out I'll be at the gym anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on June 25


I have a jawbone up. Yesterday I hit my 500,000th step. Although the walking is great I'm really liking the sleep tracking and gentle wake up in the morning.
posted by birdherder at 3:16 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


"I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area, wondering which of the many people around me will die first, and of what."

God I love David Sedaris! And yes MtDewd, reading it in his voice makes it all the funnier. Thanks for the post!

This thread has also made me covet a fitbit. I'll come back to either thank y'all for making me fit or curse you for making me pointlessly poorer. Stay tuned.
posted by billiebee at 3:28 PM on June 25


Can a Fitbit differentiate between say, sprinting for twenty minutes, and a session of vigorous masturbating?

Mine definitely gets tricked by the bumpiness of driving my truck around.


I love "driving my truck around" as a euphemism for masturbating.

Okay, I have a coworker who is constantly *constantly* suggesting we take the stairs, instead of the elevator. She cheerleads, scolds, demands, and after reading this article, I asked her if she had a Fitbit.

Yup.
posted by MoxieProxy at 4:01 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


OK, as a gadget nerd I have an Ipad, and New Yorker on my Ipad. So now I can't wait for my bus ride so I can see if this is one of the many New Yorker articles with the super duper author reading it audio feature. If so, I will be the one laughing maniacally and missing my bus stop.
posted by bearwife at 4:03 PM on June 25


I met him once. He asked me if I liked to play golf. I don't think he has any interest in golf.
posted by Fleeno at 4:07 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I could totally be remembering this wrong, but I think there's a bit in one of his audiobooks where he says that at signings he asks every person a random question. At one long signing he was running out of things to ask, and when the next woman's turn came he asked "What's your favourite monkey?" And it turned out she worked at a monkey sanctuary which tickled him greatly, and he was thrilled when she arranged for him to visit.

(I'm open to being corrected about any part of this story.)
posted by billiebee at 4:22 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


So this watch, it vibrates?
posted by ostranenie at 5:39 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Not hard.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 6:28 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I could totally be remembering this wrong, but I think there's a bit in one of his audiobooks where he says that at signings he asks every person a random question. At one long signing he was running out of things to ask, and when the next woman's turn came he asked "What's your favourite monkey?" And it turned out she worked at a monkey sanctuary which tickled him greatly, and he was thrilled when she arranged for him to visit.

I hope that story is true, because I love it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:00 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I figured out a way to game the system by repeatedly dropping and lifting my pants.
posted by ryoshu at 7:25 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


I'd like one of these devices except for flatulence. Just so I could get all competitive and then say "Shit just got real yo!"
posted by srboisvert at 8:03 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, the newest low-end Garmin GPS running watch has a fitbit style step tracker built in.
posted by smackfu at 8:31 PM on June 25


You could get the same thing by launching a free app on your cell phone too.

Anyone know an Android app that actually works for this? There seem to be a few out there, but the reviews haven't been encouraging.
posted by limeonaire at 8:49 PM on June 25


Runkeeper?
posted by Drinky Die at 9:47 PM on June 25


First, the battery life would be an issue.

Withings has a new tracker coming out in August that they say will run for a year without charging. I'm a bit skeptical, but the design is pretty neat.
--effbot

People here have talked about the short battery life of Garmin trackers. Garmin also has a Fitbit type watch called the Vivofit, that has a battery life of one year.

I wondered if the article was satire. Fitbit encourages longer and longer walks or runs. What's the (ill)logical conclusion? Walking from morning till night, needing a flashlight to get home--60,000 steps.

If it isn't satire, I think it should be read as satire anyway, because that's just ridiculous.
posted by eye of newt at 9:56 PM on June 25


I hope that story is true, because I love it.

DirtyOldTown I'm supposed to be studying tomorrow but instead I'm going to be listening to all of my Sedaris audiobooks again in an attempt to verify it. I'm just selfless that way :)
posted by billiebee at 1:52 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


It's a slow work day so I found it! Talking about book tours:
For hours each night I would talk to people, asking pretty much whatever I wanted. The trick of course is to match the right person with the right question. Take this young woman I met in Boston a few years back. I'd been signing for almost six hours, and when she finally stepped up to the table my mind went blank. "When, um...when did you last touch a monkey?" I asked. I expected "Never" or "It's been years", but instead she took a step back saying "Oh, can you smell it on me?" The young woman's name was Jennifer and it turned out that she worked for Helping Hands, an organisation that trains monkeys to toil as slaves for paralysed people. At her invitation I visited the facility outside Boston, and spent a pleasant afternoon having my pockets picked by some of the cleverer students.
From "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls".

As random questions go "When did you last touch a monkey?" is awesome.
posted by billiebee at 4:25 AM on June 26 [16 favorites]


Used fitbit yesterday for first time. I walk a lot anyway and this makes me feel better about it and is encouraging. So far, like it a lot.
posted by claptrap at 5:08 AM on June 26


Anyone know an Android app that actually works for this? There seem to be a few out there, but the reviews haven't been encouraging.
posted by limeonaire at 10:49 PM on June 25 [+] [!]

Runkeeper?


Good luck using your phone for calls because the battery will be dead. At least for me the GPS + runkeeper is a wicked drain. No way I could use it for daily tracking. At best maybe 3 or 4 hours tops.
posted by srboisvert at 7:16 AM on June 26


Yeah, it's for exercise tracking, not daily tracking.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:25 AM on June 26


oh huh he moved to england from france
posted by rebent at 7:36 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


I hooted my way through this. So did the people to whom I emailed it. I have learned not to listen to his books when I am driving since the last time I laughed so hard I almost crashed. (What a great way to go.)

I am now convinced I will never understand David Sedaris. He is simply not at at all funny to me. I didn't laugh once, the story just seemed boring.

I have one and like it but I'm waiting for an accelerometer that also is a heart rate monitor AND allows data export. In my dreams.
posted by epanalepsis at 7:38 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


I don't trust these things. My friend wears one and routinely hits 13,00 and 16,000 steps. She's not a walker by any means. Something is fishy about these fitbit things.

I prefer to just count my steps throughout the day aloud. Makes people leave you alone, too.
posted by sockermom at 8:05 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


The only over counting I've noticed with my fitbit force was earlier this month when I attended the Rotary International convention. Each day, even though we were constantly together, my wristband fitbit was getting about 6000 more steps than my boyfriend's, which he carries in a pocket. Because of previous tests on walks, I knew that the step counts usually matched if we'd walked the same distance, so I was a bit mystified.

Then it hit me: the applause. Rotarians sure do like clapping, and I was probably clapping for like thirty minutes each day, all together.

After that, I paid attention: it wasn't counting every clap as a step (the exclusion algorithm is actually pretty good) but it made errors often enough that with all the applause I participated in, it was adding up.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:20 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]


I accidentally washed my old Fitbit. The laundry room is close enough to my office that the base station got signal. (Achieved four floors, in case anyone was wondering.)
posted by telophase at 8:59 AM on June 26 [11 favorites]


I hooted my way through this. So did the people to whom I emailed it. I have learned not to listen to his books when I am driving since the last time I laughed so hard I almost crashed. (What a great way to go.)


I am now convinced I will never understand David Sedaris. He is simply not at at all funny to me. I didn't laugh once, the story just seemed boring.


You should listen to him in your car to maintain a safe, solemn driving experience!
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:04 AM on June 26


The weather must be lovely in West Sussex. Out here in the wilds of North Dakota, it's fit for walking maybe five or six months of the year. This past winter kicked in on November and didn't let up until almost May. June has been cold and rainy. I love this state but it is not conducive to exercising outside year round.
posted by Ber at 11:21 AM on June 26


Yes it's on the coast so doesn't get huge amounts of snow, rains a fair bit though.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:02 PM on June 26


He drew a feather in my book and then asked "What's this?" "Um… a feather?"
It turns out he was charmed by the New Zealand accent and how we pronounced it "fither"

I had a fitbit but I put it through the wash twice clipped to my bra.
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:38 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


I have the little Wii Fit U pedometer. It's actually been pretty good for me. I wear it around, I log my steps in the software, my little avatar jogs around Hawaii. Just wearing it I tend to walk more.

What I really wish is that I had some kind of game on my phone that tracked steps and then let me use them for something. I know there were little Tamagotchi-type things that used to do this, but I don't think there are any apps that currently have this feature. If I knew that walking or running around would give me some kind of fakey game energy I could use to build things, I would.. walk a lot, I guess, is what I'm saying.
posted by curious nu at 7:46 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


A real world MMO would be neat. Even could have PVP if you encounter someone else running it.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:49 PM on June 26


What I really wish is that I had some kind of game on my phone that tracked steps and then let me use them for something.

When you use the Zombies Run app, every few minutes of walking/running you randomly collect supplies. (A little voice says something like "You pick up three waterbottles"). When you go to your "base" in the app or on their website, you can use the supplies to build new buildings, expand or upgrade old ones, and improve your defences. It's quite motivating.
posted by lollusc at 9:33 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


A real world MMO would be neat. Even could have PVP if you encounter someone else running it.

Run An Empire (Kickstarter) is a game where players compete to capture and maintain control of as much of their local territory as possible. To capture somewhere you have to run (or jog, or walk) around it.
posted by meowzilla at 10:45 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


You might enjoy Ingress, then. Google's augmented reality MMO--some friends of mine are obsessed with it, and it sounds like driving around looking for Ingress nodes is the new wardriving.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:04 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


The creators of Zombies Run also made The Walk
posted by pixie at 6:25 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


> I keep considering getting a Fitbit, but my health is such that I'm unlikely to ever get the tingle in the first place

You can choose what your goal is. Get that vibration at 2,000 steps if that's all you can do.

I recently went camping with a friend, and we spent all day together doing exactly the same things. We both wore Fitbits, the same style. At the end of the day mine showed I'd walked 18,652 steps, while she'd done 22,145, and the mountain we'd climbed gave her at least 10 more floors of elevation. It's possible the step count is accurate -- I'm taller than her -- but I now give our seven-day totals looks of suspicion.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:49 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Mine just came in the mail!!!
posted by MoxieProxy at 4:43 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


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