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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    Dick's Blog & Log...

    Here's stuff that's more than 140 characters so it won't fit on TWITTER, or photos or videos, stuff that I found interesting, and hope you might find it interesting too.



    A waist pack with a unique safety feature.

    Most any waist pack has room for your keys, phone, camera, wallet and more. But the iSafe Waist Pack adds something none of the other waist packs have. The iSafe Waist Pack is equipped with a powerful (LOUD!) concealed alarm system. This can offer personal safety and protection in dangerous or harmful situations. In addition to the alarm, there are four flashing red LED’s that activate along with the alarm. This is a great way for people to see where the sound is coming from in the dark. The Waist Pack joins the existing line of iSafe products: the iSafe Backpack and iSafe Messenger Bag. The alarm system is incorporated seamlessly into the waist pack. No one will know it’s there until you activate it. The iSafe Waist Pack weighs less than a pound including the batteries. The built-in alarm system is shock and water-resistant. If you find yourself in a threatening situation just pull down on the inconspicuous activation cord. That sets off the audible alarm and flashing red lights to attract attention. It should really startle any would-be attacker. I was expecting to hear the alarm when I tried the alarm function on a product sample, but I was still startled by how quickly the alarm went off and how piercing the sound is. You silence the alarm by replacing the pin. If you are in a strange or isolated area, the company recommends keeping one hand one hand close to the activation cord.The flashing LED’s can also function as a rescue beacon in the event of an accident or other emergency. The alarm can run continuously for up to two hours on two 9-volt batteries. Alternatively, the alarm can be switched on and off in intervals to conserve battery power. The one size-fits-all iSafe Waist Pack is available in black and blue/gray and comes with an adjustable belt strap for child and adult use. Dimensions: 11" x 6.5" x 5.5". MSRP $39.99.


    A very versatile flashlight.

    Most everyone knows the huge advantage of LED flashlight over conventional incandescent bulb flashlights is a bulb life that is an average of 100 times longer, up to 100,000 hours of burn time. Plus there's the additional advantage of less battery drain. But the Pocket Detective compact tactical flashlight has many additional features. It has a Striker Head designed to be used in self-defense situations as an impact weapon. The crown shaped head has “teeth” as tough and sharp as screwdriver tips that can be used for striking or nerve point manipulation. I know that’s a scary thing to think about it, but darkness is more inviting to crime. The Pocket Detective flashlight is manufactured from hard aircraft grade anodized aluminum alloy that’s both shock proof and corrosion resistant. There are four modes: NORMAL MODE - 10 bright  white LED lights offers about 20 hours of continuous run time with 3 AAA alkaline batteries. It has a 50 Lumens output. NIGHT VISION MODE - 5 Aviation style yellow/green LED lights that are easy on the eyes and provide night viewing and map & chart reading capability. Great for night walking with your dog. LASER POINTER MODE – A red laser pointer LED light that can be effective up to 300 ft away or close up for presentations. FLASH/STROBE MODE – The 10 white LED lights in flash mode that can momentarily blind or disorient an attacker when pointed directly in their eyes. It can be also used as an emergency distress rescue signal. Under $20.


    Regis says "farewell", but hopefully not for long.

    I showed gadgets on Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee for only 7 years, but Regis was on for more than 28 years! That all ended with his farewell show on Friday, November 19th, 2011. I was really grateful that Michael Gelmen invited me to be in the audience for that final show. Dozens of past producers came back, and it was a teary-eyed show for most everyone. Regis, of course, kept it together, but I think he's eyes were a bit moist during his final goodbye. It was a great event!

    On the Red Carpet I met Doctor Ruth. (I was going to ask her if there was anything new in sex, but resisted)

    It was a totally invited audience, bringing back many segment producers and 'family' members from past years. I'm at the top of the frame, center. Kathie Lee was in the audience but had to leave half way through the show to go back to her Today Show job.

    Regis' wife Joy, Regis, Kelly Ripa, Michael Gelman & Trumps' hair.

    The Amazing Kreskin says to Regis: "You look familiar - do I know you from some place?"

    Backstage Katie Couric  gives Regis a present - a Hirschfeld rendering of Martin & Lewis. During the taping of their one hour special Regis told Katie how he loved seeing Martin & Lewis in person when he was younger.


    Backstage, champagne, cake, and seeing lots of familiar faces. Recognized some of them. Tony Danza, Donald Trump, Judge Judy, Diane Sawyer, Bryant Gumbel, Joy Philban, Robert Iger - CEO of Disney --- lots more.

    Alone for a moment backstage - is Regis biting his lip so he won't shed some tears?


    Working with Regis was fun. He was not a fan of complicated gadgets. Once when I brought one of the first pocket computers (The Atari Portfolio) I said: "Regis, with this device you can upload work at the office -- and then download it to your desktop computer when you got home." Regis looked me straight in the eye - paused - and said: "You know what, Dick? I don't know what the hell you're talking about!" And he was serious. Next time when I was on showing a PDA, I said: "Regis, I have a special one for you!" And I handed him a pad and pencil. Regis said: "Perfect, this I understand!" I'm sure Regis will be on TV in a new venue again soon. At least I hope that's the case.

    Mayor Bloomberg presented Regis with a Key To The City. Next time I go to Dick's Gadget Warehouse I have to find my Word Lock and sent it to Regis. If he loses the key, he can still use the lock. Oh wait a minute, he'll never figure out to set it!

    Best of Luck, Regis! May all the happiness you spread over the 28+ years come back to you ten fold.


    Here's a great interactive museum for anyone who loves the history of movies, television set and all moving images!

    You have to leave NYC to get there, but it's only a 25 minute cab or car ride, or about a 45 minute train ride. I think you'll find it really worth the trip! I spent three hours there that just flew by. It's th Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

    The Museum of the Moving Image is the country's only museum dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image in all its forms. From nineteenth century optical toys to the latest in digital art, the Museum explores every phase of the production, promotion, and exhibition of moving images.

    Everything about the museum is at their website:


    About to foul up the mails and smell up your local newstand.

    MAD 512! December, 2011 Issue.

    In this issue there's a full-length spoof of The Walking Dead, but you may have guessed that from Alfred's fans feasting on his body. Sergio offers a MAD Look at the Apocalypse, and Al Jaffee serves up another Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions! If you're into all things "green" you can cut out and hang up my Recycling Poster.  (Then you'll have to pick up another issue to replace the one you just ruined by cutting out the poster!) Most of the other regular features are in there too. The Fundalini Pages, The MAD Strip Club, Planet Tad, Spy vs. Spy, and the MAD Fold-In. But wait, there's more! A special 2012 MAD Calendar! Yep, something else to tear out and ruin another issue!