There are a small number of products in my life that, in little ways, are life-changing. These are them.
I wear a belt every day. I used to buy a new one every 1–2 years, then I got this belt.
That was 10 years ago. I have worn it > 95% of days since then and it shows nearly no signs of wear. I expect I will never buy another belt.
Micro Four Thirds
For photography folks.
Micro Four Thirds is a camera and lens conector. Unlike most proprietary systems, it's an open standard with many companies participating. The de facto flagships are OM System (formerly Olympus) and Panasonic.
Its biggest advantage is its high
photo quality : gear size ratio.
My archenemy is not having my camera with me;
every time I have to settle for my phone camera I question having a camera at all.
Since I switched to micro 4/3 I can fit my setup in ~half the space as before. That means a full-day setup in a 20L backpack, a camera + couple lenses in a 6L sling, or a camera + lens in a 2L chest pouch.
A Long, Mountable Power Strip
Mounting a hilariously long power strip under every desk in my house, paired with any cheap cable basket, has given me the best and easiest cable management I've ever had.
It's important to overbudget your outlets by ~2x and to go long, not fat, so cables can plug in where they are instead of playing musical chairs with a rat's nest of wall warts.
As a noise-sensitive person whose hobbies involve computers, silence is important to me in a gaming machine. Noctua makes giant, silent, brown fans. That's it.
Once I got one I could never switch back. My build is centered around their obnoxiously large fanned heatsink, and has been purring for six years. I expect to reuse the same fans for my next build, whenever it is.
Jetz Scrubz Sponges
These kitchen sponges are easily a 10x–100x improvement over the traditional sponges, in all of these categories:
- Lifespan before getting damaged
- Lifespan before getting permanently gross
- Tendancy to get temporarily gross
- Ease of cleaning once temporarily gross
They're pricier upfront, but cheaper long-term.
If someone came up to you in the street and smeared poop all over you, would you wipe it off with a paper towel, or would you take a shower?
Before I tried one, I had three fundamental misunderstandings about bidets:
- Bidets are separate from toilets.
- Bidets are expensive.
- It's a big deal to install a bidet.
None of these is true. It takes about 15 minutes to install a bidet onto your toilet, and you can get one for under fifty bucks. It's just a piece of plastic that goes between the toilet and the seat. You do not need to put your hands inside the toilet bowl to install it.
Bidets pay for themselves in unused toilet paper. I use between 1–10% of the toilet paper I used before. Its only function now is drying.
Bidets feel weird for about 10 seconds, then never again. It's honestly disgusting not to use one now.
Buy whichever one makes you try it, but here are some options:
- ($) Attachment: Simple, replaces nothing about your toilet, sprays cold water only. I promise it doesn't feel like a cold shower. That area of your body doesn't experience temperature the same.
- ($$) Seat: The weight distribution of my seat got worse with just an attachment, so a combination seat/bidet is something to consider if that bugs you. Otherwise, the functions are ~the same as the attachment.
- ($$$) Air Dry; Seats that plug in jump in price and feature set drastically, but I think air dry is the only big one to consider. Warm water is overrated. If you're not sure if you need a heated seat, you don't.
In Search Of
I'm in search of a life-changing product for these categories. Please email me if you have recommendations.
I am in search of a reusable water bottle with the following qualities:
- Can last 10+ years
- Can last a week of no washing without getting funky
- Is less than ~9cm in diameter (i.e. a comfortable size for a Peak Design Everyday Backpack V1 20L cup holder)
- Holds about 1L
- Attached or attachable lid
- Ability to stay cold ~1 day preferred
The closest I ever came was the Thermos Element 5 32 oz, but I lost mine and the product has since discontinued.
I am in search of a combination beard and head trimmer with these qualities:
- Can last 3+ years
- USB-C chargeable
- Has two or fewer attachments, or a good organization system for attachments
- Can trim beards in the 1~6mm range
- Can trim head hair in the 1~3cm range
- Requires no more than two passes for reasonable coverage
The closest I've found in my research is the MANSCAPED Beard Hedger, but it seems to need five or more passes for good coverage.