Here are a few of my favorite things.
Why? Well, why not?
Diabolix Bottle Opener by Biagio Cisotti
I got this years ago when I worked at Stuff magazine, randomly, and I can’t explain why, but I just love it. One of my favorite things, even though it’s small and dumb and mundane. Makes opening a beer even more delightful than it already is, which is pretty delightful.
SwissGear Outdoor Smartshade Canopy
If you’re looking for an easy-set-up/easy-take-down lightweight shelter, you could do a lot worse. We use this on our back patio during the summer. Instant shade. And relatively cheap.
Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord
I can’t tell you what possessed me to order this stuff in the first place, but I did and I’m glad. It comes in handy more often than you might think. Plus, it just sounds cool: paracord.
Classic Embossed Alphabet Blocks
One of the first things I bought for our daughter after she was born. A low-tech “Up yours!” to the tidal wave of cheap, plastic, battery-needing crap that kids today are confronted with.
Rosle Can Opener
Much like my beloved bottle opener, a “small” thing that really isn’t. I can’t believe how much of my life I wasted using horrible, cheap-ass can openers that left cans with jagged-edged lids just waiting to slice my hands open. You’ll think I’m joking, but I’m not: This thing is a joy to use. Yes, a can opener. Yes, a joy. So worth the extra few bucks.
I resisted the whole “tablet” stampede thing for a long time. Finally, grudgingly, I held my nose and got a Kindle Fire. I won’t say I love it or anything crazy like that. But. Okay, I’ll admit, it’s pretty cool. Very quickly it became my preferred method for reading The New York Times. And I’ve found some fun (and free) apps to keep the baby entertained. I’ll be very surprised if I don’t gradually do more and more of my reading on this thing. I’m a convert.
Sharpie Retractable Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker
The power of a Sharpie Ultra Fine… in a retractable body! I am not exaggerating when I say I got giddy when a reader handed me one of these to sign a book for him. Given my obvious delight, he insisted I keep the pen. I did. (Thank you, reader!)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This book by the late Douglas Adams (and the subsequent titles in the series) literally changed my life. NOTE: I was in high school when I read them, so to get the same effect, you may need to travel back in time to read them. Your problem, not mine.
SmartWool Barn Socks
I got my first taste of SmartWool many years ago, as a freelance writer on a press junket. (Yes, the first taste was free.) Almost immediately after that, I’ve bought — and worn — nearly nothing but SmartWoool on my feet. Good, good stuff.
Wahl Clip N Trim 2 Blade In 1 (21-Piece Kit)
If you don’t mind buzz cuts — and I certainly don’t — a decent set of clippers will pay for itself pretty darn quickly. Even if you usually just go to Supercuts or something. No appointment, no waiting. All you need is someone to give you a hand with the back.