Friday Four

Friday, November 18, 2016

Today, I'll write about four things that have made my life easier lately.

1. I needed to change the configuration of our car's luggage rack one day and discovered a shoddy, substandard bolt had been installed in one place. Its Allen wrench socket almost instantly stripped when I had to remove it. Fortunately, a solution was already a trip to the hardware store away, in the form of a SpeedOut Damaged Screw Extractor & Bolt Extractor Set. That has been the best eight bucks I've spent in a long time, and it's even cheaper on Amazon. It was also ridiculously easy to use.

2. I don't normally use the term "karma," but my mental nickname for the cubical plug I carry around in my computer bag is, "the Karma Plug."

Crowded outlets are almost never a problem for me, because I can whip this thing out, and either share with someone else, or triple the number of plugs I can use. An added benefit comes when, for whatever reason, my laptop charger doesn't draw current from an outlet. (I think it has slightly short prongs.) This plug solves that problem for me, too.

3. Back in St. Louis, when we were deep in the throes of raising an infant and a young toddler, we shipped and received lots of clothing to and from relatives and friends. One afternoon, I wanted to ship off some things that had gotten too small for our kids. They were already in a box and the Post Office was ten minutes away. Naïvely, I thought I could tape this box up and send it within the thirty minutes or so I had before I needed to retrieve the kids from daycare. I had to send it later because I spent twenty minutes fighting the crummy packing tape and dispenser just trying to tape the box shut. I couldn't even see the edge of the tape, and whenever I finally clawed around enough to start peeling it, it would split.

The next day, thanks to Amazon reviews, I discovered this packing tape and this dispenser. Now, I enjoy taping boxes together, but the pleasure is too short-lived to become habit-forming.

4. I had become annoyed with my nice-looking laptop case. Putting anything else in was unnecessarily challenging. Even packing my charger left a bulge in the thing.

So, on my birthday, I moseyed on over to Best Buy and found a case that was cheaper than what I had, but superior in every way. My new Insignia Laptop Briefcase is well-padded, lightweight, and astoundingly well-organized. For example, the outer pouch you can see at the link is exactly the right size for a small tablet or an ebook reader. Gone are the days when I have to pick what I'll leave out of the bag on trips requiring my laptop. It's as if someone interviewed me and designed a case to my exact specifications. I am astounded at how much I like this thing.

-- CAV


Vigilis said...

Excellent tips, as usual, Gus!

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks. Hope they help.