Apples and Oranges

This title is going to apply to two topics:

1. A quick comparison between eReading on a Kindle 3 and an iPad 2, and

2. My first impressions of Weight Watchers

Kindle 2 vs. iPad 2 as eReaders –

I love to read. I love books, I love the feel and smell of paper books, I collect certain authors in hard cover, and no matter how awesome you make an eReader I am always going to have paper books. Period.

However, there are undeniably times when having books in electronic form comes in very handy…thus my interest in eReaders.

I had a second generation Kindle and liked it well enough, but didn’t really care for the navigation and the white color of the device was sort of distracting to the page. So when I found myself not really using it that often (and actually preferring to purchase the trashy summer novel in paperback rather than electronic form) I knew it was time to sell it.

Enter Kindle 3. Grey device, more intuitively laid out navigation…sold! I bought one for myself and never looked back. Somehow much more desirable size to carry around (even though it isn’t really that much smaller than its predecessor) and with the price point, there was no need to resist.

Now that I have my birthday iPad however, I find the Kindle once again falling into disuse. There are a million and one reasons why, as a dedicated eReader, Kindle beats the ever-living snot out of an iPad (the weight of the thing being the first to come to mind) but the fact of the matter is this: the iPad does oh-so-much-more than allow me to eRead. So that is the gadget I cart around with me now, rather than the Kindle.

As much of a uber geek as I am, no way I’m lugging around both, know what I’m saying?

Happily, there is always a market for a pristine, latest generation Kindle, so I easily sold mine for full retail to an office-mate.

But back to my practical comparison…

Truly they are Apples & Oranges. You can’t really “compare” them per se, as each excels at different things, but nor is this a full-fledged review of either, so we’ll just go with comparison for now because I’m lazy.

The Kindle 3 is a MUCH smaller, lighter device than an iPad. Holding it in your hand to read is effortless, while the iPad gets heavy after a while unless you rest it on something. This really isn’t an issue for me, as I tend to read seated most of the time and can rest it on my meaty thigh.

The iPad screen isn’t worth a damn outside in the sunlight. I plan to investigate an anti-glare screen protector this weekend and will let you know if that makes any discernible difference. I have one on my iPhone and it works spectacularly, however I don’t do any long-term reading on my iPhone either.

The other side of that coin, of course, is that I can read without having a light on because the screen is back-lit. This is handy for reading in bed or other times you’re in a poorly lit environment.

The Kindle’s eInk technology is really unbeatable if you are going to read outside, say at the beach. Again, not an issue for me since I would personally bring neither device to the beach for fear of sand infiltration and/or thievery. I prefer to either swim, walk, forage for shells, people watch or sleep at the beach, so I seldom read and if I do it is generally a magazine (behind which I hide and pretend to read so that I can perform the aforementioned people watching surreptitiously).

I took the iPad out onto my deck over the weekend to read The Daily (more about that later in the section where I totally gush about how phantasmagorical the iPad is) and struggled to read in the bright sunlight, even under my patio umbrella.

Happily, being more than an eReader, I turned off the screen, cranked up some tunes and chilled with my iced tea undaunted.

It’s been said a zillion times, but now I can tell you from experience – if you want strictly an eReader, go for the Kindle hands down. But if reading electronic documents is only one of the bangs you want for your buck, hold out for an iPad.

Now to the part where I rave about the iPad.

The thing is so incredible…it really is. For media consumption in general, you can’t go wrong. Yes, I have eBooks (or should I say, iBooks) but I also have my magazine subscriptions IN COLOR. Currently just Vanity Fair and Allure but still…no more piles of magazines I don’t know what to do with after I’ve read them. Even the ads are interactive and (dare I say it) fun.

The Daily, a news app specifically designed for the iPad is insanely cool. Yes, you have to pay to subscribe to it ($0.99 per week…yes that’s right, I said per WEEK) but it has new content – you guessed it, daily – and is akin to, but better than, a USA Today type newspaper.  I love it.  Well worth a buck a week in my opinion. It even has a daily crossword & Sudoku. And there are no strings, so if you get bored with it, you simply don’t renew for the following week.

I have games (don’t even get me started on Angry Birds or you will die of old age as I go on and on and on about that particular addiction), I have an app that lets me access and watch whatever cable TV channels I pay for at home. From anywhere with WiFi. Which means I can catch up on Nurse Jackie in Panera as I nosh on my overpriced, foofy lunch.

I can Tweet, update and moderate this very blog, read up on all my favorite blogs by you guys, check in on Facebook (ok not Facebook…”Friendly” which is the App Store’s version of Facebook for iPad, but you get the idea), email, read work documents (which lets face it, I don’t…but I could if I wanted to), listen to music, watch a full length feature movie, show off a slide show of Sophie or do my banking. I’m sure there are things I’ve left out, because it is pretty overwhelming to think about all the possibilities for this device, but pretty much whatever you can imagine doing, there is indeed an app for it.

So yeah, I’m not that annoyed that reading on it outside in the sunlight sucks.

Oh, another thing I can do on my iPad (this is going to be a segue, so hold on tight) is calculate WW Points or add stuff to my WW Points Tracker for the day.

My First Impressions of Weight Watchers –

See, I told you it was a segue.

I have now been on Weight Watchers (WW for short) for 4 days. Today being day #4.  I must say it sucks a whole lot less than I thought it would.

Since you eat your own food I didn’t have to change my grocery shopping habits (just what I bought) and dare I say it has saved me money already.

Saturday night I went out with my girlfriends and had one glass of wine (4 points) and seltzer with lime (0 points) for the rest of the night…and had as much fun as I always have, but without the day-after headache.  Sunday I skipped my usual movie night with pizza (which I generally put down all by myself, thank you very much) and had air popped popcorn instead (a measly 2 points for an entire bag).

This morning I got up a bit early, went to the grocery store, bought my work food for the entire week and brought it in with me. Again, saving myself not only precious Points, but also even more precious dollars.

I know it is impossible, but even after a mere four days I feel as though I am losing. My pants feel looser. I have WAY more energy throughout the day and much to everyone’s glee (and frankly amazement), I am in a far, far better mood.

I can’t quantify that “feels like I’m losing” comment, as I am holding to the instruction to only weigh yourself once per week, consistently at the same day/time of day, and that ain’t happening until Friday…but I will certainly let you know what it shows then.

Turns out, this isn’t torture at all.  Huh.

And the part I really dreaded, the tracking of everything I put in my mouth, isn’t that bad either. It took an initial time investment to enter what I generally eat (or, what I will be eating going forward) into the favorite food database on Friday night, but that was actually pretty interesting and I did it on my laptop while watching television, so I can’t complain.

This is typically a task I would obsess psychotically too much over, but since there is an iPhone app (sadly not an iPad specific app yet, though you can use the iPhone app on it…it just appears smaller and more pixellated on the large screen) I don’t need to.

The app has a handy Points calculator for seeing what stuff will “cost you” in your daily Points allotment if you choose to eat it, as well as the Points Tracker, which will tell you what you have left for the rest of the day once you do consume something. There is a huge database of restaurant food and brand names, so this part of the process really can’t be an excuse for failure.

Sneakily, they have made fruits and veggies zero Points. My co-worker said this was not the case formerly. So if you’ve used your Points budget for whatever meal you’re on, and you are still hungry but don’t want to blow the rest of your day, you are trained to reach for a piece of fruit (or, as I type this, raw carrot sticks…zero points…HOLLA!!!!) as opposed to that bag of chips.

If I get distracted and power through my bag of carrot sticks the worst that will happen to me is I will end up with very keen eyesight. Not so if I get distracted and blast through an entire bag of chips.

For this half of the post Apples & Oranges is about healthy snacking.

See what I did there?

Also underhandedly, physical activity gains you points. Granted not many, but my morning half-hour jaunt with Sophie gets me 2 Points. Now, were I to go over my daily food Points allotment, I could use those 2 exercise Points to break even. Or, I can bank them for the week and, since Sophie & I walk ever day, I could save them up and have 10 Points worth of wine on the weekend.

Wait until I get back to my strength training three times a week…that’ll help my wine allowance fo shizzle.

So while you’re not paying attention, you are figuring out how to work exercise into your day so that you can drink wine, and relying on fruits and veggies as snacks.

Bastards!

In all seriousness though, it really isn’t a bad program to be on. In fact, you could argue that it is better to be mindful of what we fuel our bodies with just anyway.

I, for one, have certainly not been fueling it very well lately and weight aside, if I can get back into healthy habits, have more energy and FEEL BETTER well then, this will have been well worth the effort.

Maybe by this time next year there will be a Weight Watcher’s ad featuring an awkward blonde girl holding a Filofax, surrounded by dogs with their heads cocked in agony (because she can’t sing to save her own life) in place of Jennifer Hudson!

But if I were you, I wouldn’t hold your breath ; )

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caribbean Princess
    May 02, 2011 @ 20:14:25

    Oh yay! I am so glad that you are enjoying your iPad! Are you able to skype video call on it too (may or may not be a good thing!) it is really an amazing device and my favourite gadget. Good luck with the weight watchers regimen. It is great that you are enjoying it 🙂

  2. kanalt
    May 04, 2011 @ 23:14:51

    I have yet to get into eReaders. I like the idea of them but I prefer actual books. If I traveled, I might be tempted. But since I don’t travel all that much, it’s not an issue.
    I like the iPad and in theory I want one. But since I have a laptop and an iPod Touch, I don’t feel I *need* one (yet anyway).
    The iPhone, however, I so totally want one!!!

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