To help make your life easier and maybe a bit more fun – here are some pretty good products that I use and recommend – that can help make your life better.
If you buy something through this web page it will provide a few dimes to help reduce costs to run this “free” website.
And it won’t cost you a penny more to buy them through the links here. In fact, because of my extraordinary shopping skills to find you and me the highest quality products at the lowest prices – they may save you considerable money over their life span – all the while making your life easier.
Beautiful Backups: You backup your vital data and photographs regularly don’t you?
Uhh . . . don’t answer that. Lots of people (like me) make too much money helping folks who should just back up their data before its almost too late.
Amazing drives – 1 to 3 terabytes of data or photographs (~200,000 raw images) you can hold in your hand – and they don’t need a separate plug for a power supply ! All power needed comes in through the very fast USB (3.0) data cable. They are made by Western Digital – most reliable. (I will never, ever buy Seagate !) They only cost $55 for a terabyte and $96 for 3 Terabytes. Frigging fabulous.
Update May 2017: This is a new version that has 4 gigabytes! Plus there are some concerning reports on Amazon of a few of these drives failing after only a few months of light use. If your drive arrives dead on arrival – send it back ASAP and Amazon should pay for the shipping. If it fails within a few months file a Warranty claim asap. I use more than one to keep one offsite. These are just too good to ignore.
Shoes that pop on and off – comfortable, tough, good looking and excellent for hiking in mountains (like Big Sur). And when you don’t have time to change after an outing — elegant enough for formal events. About $70. Though after 10 years, they just made them narrower so now we have to pay an extra $10 to get the wider ones.
Majorly Cool Travel and “Party” Camera —
50-1 zoom & RAW images and a good lens for under $250
The 50-1 optical zoom lets you take portraits of family and friends and seconds later, zoom across the street to catch sharp images of the feathers on an Eagle that just landed.
It also takes fairly high quality RAW images so you get the full benefit of dark and bright areas of your photograph (beats JPEGs sideways). These sell Refurbished for under $250. Spare batteries are under $15. Put a 32 gb SD memory chip in and you can shoot several thousand vacation photos.
Cons: The only drawbacks I’ve found after using it as my “party” camera for a year is it normally can’t take pictures of stars or our spectacular galaxy (because it forces an ISO of 80 for exposures longer than 1 second), and it has a hard time focusing in low light. Both completely normal for this type of camera.
One cool advantage is you can fairly easily program this camera (for free and choose any ISO with 64 second exposures, and a bunch of other things that normal cameras can’t do. Then you can make those Milky Way images.
Good Camera Bag – Big enough to carry most DSLRs and a couple of lenses with good padding and loads of pockets for all the stuff you need to take “along with.”
Con: It has a badly designed top cover. It inexplicably has two (2) tops. So to close the bag and carry it you must pull at least one zip and fasten two snaps. What were they thinking ? Well, its only abut $25, so I am putting up with that for now. If I find a better one – I’ll let you know asap. Please let me know if you find a better one as well. Thanks.
Your back hurts — Zero Gravity Chair – for your Back when you need to take the pressure off your spine.
Great Car Cover to keep your car as clean and shiny as when you parked it.
This is the truly amazing “Two-Second Tent.”
You show up at your camping site, tired from a long drive or hike and ready to drop off. Take out this tent and only 30 seconds later (really) its totally ready for you and your sleeping bag and protecting you from the rain and wind.
It actually takes about 5 – 10 seconds to fully “inflate,” and a previous 15 seconds to get out of its bag. But it is still amazing. Even more jaw-dropping is it has a built-in Rain-fly and a water-proof floor.
OK, it does take a bit of instruction to figure out how to fold it back up. But once you’ve done it – the second time only takes about 30 seconds to pack it back up. I highly recommend it.
Ever used an old fashioned crescent wrench that rounded off the edges of a stubborn bolt ? (Yeah, me either. )
Well, here’s the new, modern and improved version of a Crescent wrench – all the way from Germany. They’re expensive, but oh so satisfying to use. No more rounded off bolt heads. You deserve tools this good. Besides isn’t your birthday coming up pretty soon, and the Holidays are right around the corner – heck if nothing else – next week has a Tuesday in it. So lets celebrate yourself already !
That’s all for now, but stay tuned – more to come . . .
( This page will get updated as products are discontinued and as new ones meet my impeccable standards of adequacy.)