We can't do anything about delays, cramped seating, jetlag, traffic jams and noisy passengers, but these gadgets could make it easier to tune them out:
Livescribe Echo Smartpen (4GB: $170; 8GB: $200)
Pros: Livescribe makes pens that record audio and match it up with what you're writing. So people taking notes during a presentation can get away with jotting down keywords and then going back and listening to the conversation, cued up to different words on the page. Users can download free software to their PC or Mac that pulls in their notes, along with the audio, whenever they plug the pen into their computer's USB port. Livescribe claims the pen lasts five to six hours when it's recording audio, and it charges using the USB cable.
Cons: The pen works only with paper that's pre-printed with a special pattern. It comes in notebooks of different sizes ($8-$25), but each has the same icons lining the bottom of every page. Tap on the controls to stop, start and pause audio recordings, as well as do things such as adjust the volume of the pen's speaking voice.