An unranked, unfinished, and unapologetic list of stuff I own that has proven itself awesome. Criteria include awesomeness and ownership.
The ubiquitous Fisher Price Booster Seat – forget the high chair. This thing is easy to clean, portable, and fits in the dishwasher. And did I mention easy to clean?
My Little Snugabunny Cradle & Swing – this got used for her first six months every day for at least twenty minutes. If she’s happy in there for an hour, awesome. It’s super plush and comfy, adjustable a dozen different ways, and very stable. The speakers are pretty lame, but that’s what you’d expect me to say. Put this in the essential parenting gear column. Without it, there would be no such thing as having a meal with my wife.
Culligan RainDisc Showerhead – I can’t overstate the vital importance of a great shower head. If you can’t wash the world away under a proper deluge of hot water for a few minutes, then that world will keep on clinging. Like pine tree sap. Here’s where I admit I took out the filter so said deluge would be maximally deluge-icious. Like standing under a hot waterfall.
Apple – My MacBook Pro, my Mac Pro tower, my iPad, my iPhone, my Watch. While I don’t love absolutely everything about The House That Jobs Built (iTunes is pathetic, Pages etc can’t compete with Google), what works well works like a goddam. The rules are simple – gorgeous design and seamless integration across the product line. Nothing in the PC world can compare. Anyone who thinks it can either spends way too much time on the computer, or nowhere near enough.
Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic – I was not expecting that. They’ve always been notoriously sucky, a mere begrudging fulfillment of obligation when you buy an i-thing. These new ones, though. These are very nice. At the price, fantastic. Way stronger fidelity than my Sennheisers or Bose at four and five times the price. And pretty comfortable.
Canon EOS 7D – At about half the price of a 5D mkII, this was the choice for me. Dual processors offer fast and brilliant performance in low light – better than the mkII. 1080p video at a filmic 24 fps. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a full frame sensor. She holds her own, even doing grunt work in Marvel’s The Avengers. I will move on to a 5D mkIII one day, but there’s no rush.
Netflix – Thank you for taking the exercise out of movie night. And bringing me whole seasons of excellent TV like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Lost, Weeds, 30Rock, Louie, Battlestar Galactica, and so on and on.
Rain Design laptop desk – Some suckers out there actually pay money for lap desks with fans in them. This is simple folded aluminum. Works perfectly to keep your laptop (and your lap) cool. Don’t up-gadget if you can down-gadget with better results. It’s weird to see me write those words, but it’s true.
Gerber Shard – Screwdrivers, prybar, bottle opener. Air travel approved (no blade). Say no more.
Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet – Marjorie insisted our house wasn’t a home until we had a cast iron frying pan. Yep, it’s on this list.
Brita pitcher – New York has great water. It’s the best I’ve had (in a place I live) since Prince George. It still tastes better after running it through a Brita – and keeping that Brita in the door of the fridge. Again, perhaps a strange thing to have on a list of favourite things, but… but nothing. I love my Brita.
Jockey Pouch Midway Brief – I swear by them. Damn straight. Tighty whiteys squeeze your junk. Boxers are a tragic accident waiting to happen every time you sit down. The Pouch just… holds everything. Like a nice all-day cupping. On the list for sure. Which brings me to:
Fresh Balls – If you are a man, you sweat. If you sweat, you risk chafing. Don’t risk a chafed satchel, friend. Get the Fresh Balls. I use it on every shooting set (with a double down at half time on Steadicam days), and every hike. And some extended shopping excursions in the summer of New York as well, TYVM. Gotta protect the package.
Gmail – Apple Mail on the desktop/laptop sucks. It sucks way way more on iOS. Outlook is also a joke, in the sense that any desktop client sucks. Also all ISP WebMail clients. Also Hotmail. Did I have to tell you that Hotmail sucks? My mother still uses it. Somebody emailed me from AOL not long ago. I recently saw a Yahoo address. C’mon, people. Time to let your email grow up, to be there when you need it, and to not forget where you left your stuff. In 8 years, my Gmail has never been down, never plastered my screen with ads, never pushed me on exit to an ad-splattered “news” page, and has never lost any information ever. For $50 a year, Google Apps (basically Gmail Pro) cheerfully supports my domain names and handles all the email from all 24 of my domains with zero lag. If there is a good reason to use any other email client, I have yet to hear it.
GelPro work mat – I spent a lot of company money on a stand-up work station so I will live longer. I should use it more. Especially since I spent my own money on a cushy floor mat that lets me stand comfortably for a couple hours at a stretch. Get up off your ass, but not at the expense of your feet. And back. And shoulders. And hips, strangely.
Lego – I left it all at my parents’ house, knowing one day I would introduce my child to the best toy on the planet, and imagination would flourish and said child would one day build a NASA. Now I have a child. A girl. Probably she’ll make a house. Girls make houses. Boys make cars. Maybe she’ll let me put wheels on her house. I miss my Lego. And for the love of all that is holy, people, it’s “Lego”, not “Legos”. You heathens.
Glyph External HDs – So far, bulletproof storage. I still use my original 500gig Glyph PortaGig drive and I have six more.
Cardboard boxes – Growing up, these were few and far between. A treasure. Between FreshDirect and Amazon, Avery has a consistent supply of freshies and the possibilities are just as endless.