Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Remote Life

I can’t just say to Kim, “Pass me the remote.” That could be any of almost twenty devices that I work with. Everyone has a lot of remotes, but I rely on them a little bit more than the average person.

I spend all my time in one of two places – my computer station in the living room or my bed in the, you guessed it, bedroom. Let’s start in the bedroom.

  • We have a television remote which we rarely use. (item 1, below)
  • Kim and I each have a DirecTV supplied universal remote that operates our TV and receiver. (items 2 and 3)
  • I have a remote on a lanyard that operates my overhead, Sure Hands lift system. (item 4)
  • I have a wired remote that operates my Power Bob bed. (item 5)

In the living room I have a few more remotes.

  • One of the people who lives in my house is pretty good with electrical gadgets. The ceiling light in the living room, the overhead light at my desk, and the lights in the dining room are all operated with small remotes. (items A, B, and C, respectively)
  • The gas heating stove that we just installed a few weeks ago is operated by a remote. (item D)
  • The shades in the living room are each operated with their own remote. (items E and F)

And finally, I have a Logitech Harmony Smart Control universal remote that operates my audiovisual equipment. (Item Z). It replaces all the other remotes shown in the picture below.

I’ve preprogrammed the Harmony remote for single button control of the four most common modes that I use:

  • Watching television fed by DirecTV, audio through Sony sound bar
  • Watching television fed by Chromecast device, audio through Sony sound bar
  • Watching television fed by Bluetooth player, audio through Sony sound bar
  • Listening to music through the Sony sound bar, fed by any number of Bluetooth MP3 players that we have

I also have a Harmony app on my iPhone, which provides all of the same functions.

Here’s a short video, which I narrate, that demonstrates how my Power Bob bed, my Sure Hands overhead lift system, my gas heating stove, and my living room shades operate with their remote controls. If you're reading this post as an email, click here to watch the video.

I know I’m not the most remotely connected person. Some people start their automobiles or adjust the temperature in the houses from anywhere in the world. I know wheelchair users who have a device built into their chair so they can control many household items in the same way they control their wheelchair.

I operate each of these remote controls with my right hand. My left hand is fairly useless. I worry about the day when my right hand becomes as useless as my left. That’s when things will have to get really high-tech.


  1. You lost me at television remote. Ha! Now if we could only get a remote that makes our legs walk!!!

  2. Hahahah. I am eyeballing the three remotes that I had to use last night to stream a movie from A****.com via my Wii.

    I used to be fearless when it came to this stuff. Now I'm just glad I can still manage this!

    Fun post, thanks!

  3. Seeing all your remotes reminds me of my own house. Remember when they didn't exist, and we had to do everything manually?

  4. Kathy, I never realized how many remotes I had until I sat down for this blog post.

    Daphne, if you need a better system get someone between the age of 12 and 16 years old to help you :-)

    Muffie, I remember our first remote back in the 1970s. We called it a "clicker" because of the sound that made every time you pushed a button.

  5. Now......the most important thing you have to have to operate all those devices.

    As my Dad calls it - a "PHD"


    Dee/OH (THE STALKER still lurks)