Handy products this week...

While I've been going through this adventure with my Achilles rupture, there are a few apps/utilities that have been especially useful. I thought it'd be worth expressing some gratitude to these folks...

The first is NewsGator Go! for Windows Mobile... As I've mentioned here before, I'm primarily a FeedDemon user, but I really like the entire NewsGator Online service for keeping my feed subscriptions in sync across FeedDemon instances at home and in the office. I added NewsGator Go! to my phone (Samsung i730) shortly after it was released, but have used it sparingly... mostly because it takes time to sync 300+ feeds over EVDO and I don't often find myself with that THAT much "sitting and waiting" time.  

I've worked with Kevin Cawley (primary developer of Go!) in the past and he's a top-notch mobile developer. His work really shows in the Go! product, as it's got a number of nice touches that I've come to appreciate this week. With all the time I've spent in various emergency rooms, waiting rooms, and exam rooms, there's been plenty of "down time". Reading my feed subscriptions on the phone is a much nicer way of spending that time than going through months-old issues of Newsweek or People magazine. Putting Go! through its paces over the last week or so has made me appreciate that common sync platform all the more... and has also brought to mind a few enhancement requests I need to send off to Kevin and the NG folks. :)

The other product/service I've come to appreciate over the last week is Xbox Live Arcade. I'd played Marble Blast Ultra with my daughter in the past and it became a regular favorite for us. I also picked up the Texas Hold'Em game when they offered it for free during its initial release (though playing for funny money is a far cry from "real" poker). Beyond that, though, I didn't play many of the Arcade games... I just found the elaborate retail games to be more enjoyable.

This week, though, I've obviously had lots of time on my hands so I downloaded some demos for other Arcade titles. Some of the games I've purchased and been playing more regularly now are Uno, Backgammon, and Bankshot Billiards. Uno was an inexpensive no-brainer and is an easy one to play when on pain meds... Backgammon requires a bit more thought (and I had long forgotten how to play), but is a lot of fun. And Bankshot Billiards is a little steep at 1200 Microsoft Points, but it's got enough variety in it that it's been worthwhile.

I also got Crackdown this week, which is a lot of fun. And while I'm enjoying that game a TON, it's not something I can play all the time (violence)... the Arcade titles fit the bill nicely for a change of pace that I can play with the two little ones around. And in a few cases, can enjoy playing along with my older daughter (7 yrs). She had a blast playing billiards for a while earlier today and was starting to get the hang of the angles and consequences for hitting the cue ball too hard.

I've got a bunch of options for passing time while I'm off my feet -- napping due to meds, a laptop and wireless broadband, lots of books/magazines, the Xbox 360, and regular games with the family. But I still find myself battling restlessness and boredom. I just want to be able to walk outside!

Heaven help us if our power should go out for some reason...