Starting Over At Midlife: A Gear Diary Diary Entry

At 49 years old, I find myself on my own and “starting over.” I want my new place to feel like home. Fortunately I know what I like and, within reason, I can afford what I need. This post series will look at some of the gear that come into play as I start my life … at midlife.


New Place? You Need a Place to Get Some Sleep!

As soon as I rented my apartment, I realized that while I could get away without having furniture for a period of time, I really needed a place to sleep. Thankfully, during CES 2015 Judie and I were introduced to the Casper mattress company. Casper has set out to create a better mattress and to create a better way of doing business. In the same way that the Saturn automotive company tried to change the automotive business, Casper is trying to get rid of all of the shenanigans that are so much a part of the mattress and bedding industry. I just hope we have better luck and for a longer period than the Saturn did.


Casper revisited the materials from which beds are made, and came up with something that hits the “sweet spot” of comfort for most people. They then cut out the middlemen and, as a result, are able to sell their beds for far less than most mattress companies; a Queen mattress is about $850!

Just the right sink, just the right bounce. Two technologies come together for better nights and brighter days.

  • Premium Latex foam for cooling & bounce and Memory foam for supportive comfort.
  • Developed and crafted with exacting standards in the U.S.A.
  • Resilient enough to compress-ship and fit through any door (open the box and release your Casper).

Finally, Casper found that their combination of materials meant that their mattress could be compressed and shipped via UPS in a box. How cool is that?

Thanks to Casper I have one of their queen-size mattresses on the way for review. It will, in fact, be the first review in the series. Learn more about their mattresses by clicking here.

A Small Apartment Can Still Be a Smart Home

Moving into an apartment means I can’t take the degree of liberties with the property that I would otherwise take if I were the actual property owner. That does not, however, mean I can’t add some smart functionality to my new residence.


Once I settle in, I plan to try a few different approaches to smart lighting. I have review samples of a few different brands and will see which works best in my new setting. Once I determine that, I’ll invest in smart lighting throughout. I love the idea of being able to control the lighting of my place from bed, or Bedminster (it’s in New Jersey, for those of you who didn’t know). Learn more by clicking here.

I Reviewed It, and Now Use It

In this series we’ll also look at which previously reviewed items make it into my bachelor pad. I have the good fortune of numerous speakers from which to choose, and I certainly don’t need all of them in the small apartment with just one bedroom and an office. Space is at a premium and, for example, my awesome Sonos system is simply overkill. Sure I want music in each space, and I want great sound coming from my media center, but something a bit more compact and extensive than my Sonos components will probably be more than sufficient. Which speakers make the cut and find themselves employed? Time will tell.


Here is one speaker that Judie and I saw at CES 2015 that I think would work quite nicely in my new home; I’m hoping to have one of the JBL Authentic speakers as a centerpiece of my living room space. The Authentics not only look amazing in both black and wood, but they also employ Harman’s Clari-Fi technology that “corrects” some of the abuse digitized music encounters. Learn more about them here.

I Need to Eat, but I Don’t Cook

For the first time in a long time, I’ll need to be fending for myself for my meals. I know I’m not asking for pity; it’s just really silly and interesting to realize that this is the case. Because I’m not much of a cook, and because I don’t see myself having the time to throw myself into learning how to make healthy and tasty meals, I’ve searched out different approaches to healthy eating without having to go to the supermarket or the restaurant for the majority of my meals.


I settled on the Fresh Diet, which is a home delivery system of fresh gourmet food. I’ve signed up for a one-week trial, and I will be taking a look at that as well. Learn more about Fresh Diet here.

Mount This!

Finally, Judie and I visited with OmniMount and Ergotron while we were at CES 2015. They are going to be working with me to help me design an audiovisual system that is flexible and as functional as possible.

Their new, wall-mounted workstation will be ideal for my new, smaller space. Learn more about OmniMount and Ergotron here.

And There’s More

Other items that will likely be making their way into my new home? A 5K iMac, a new camera, a gaming system, and much more. If you have any suggestions for items that might come in handy or that are simply fun, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

The first review item, the Casper Mattress, has just arrived. I’ll be writing about it soon.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.