I've been using these silicone dish scrubbers for about a year. They are far less gross than sponges.
All the tales of sponge-nastiness got to me last year. I decided that some silicone scrubbers were worth trying out, and a small expense if they did not work out.
These silicone scrubbers work fantastically!
Pictured are the two that currently live in my sink. The blue one gets more use, but both have been aggressively used for scrubbing over the last 12 months. They have not worn out, they have not become so fouled or toxic that I've had to toss one. There are still 3 others in my kitchen drawer waiting to be employed.
The only trick I find to cleaning with these, is that silicone scrubbers don't hold soap like a sponge does, so I'm either applying soap several times during a big wash-up, or I capture a bowl of soapy water at the beginning of cleaning.
You can just rise these off in the sink with water, but every few dishwasher loads I throw one or the other of the scrubbers into the machine. They come out almost as-new. I have heard tales of folks boiling these, but the dishwasher seems to handle it.
I still use a sponge sometimes, but these are where the cleaning starts.
If you bake, or diet, this $10 food scale is super helpful to have around.
There was a crepe recipe I really wanted to try, but everything was all in measured grams. I am far too lazy to bother converting the 3 or 4 ingredients from grams to ounces, even with the help of Alexa in my kitchen. Luckily, I had this cheap food scale sitting around.
The included batteries were dead by the time I got around to trying this out, but everything else about the scale is exactly as ordered. You can turn this scale on. You may also zero this scale out. If desired you may easily swap from metric to imperial measurements. The scale turns off automatically, if you forget to do so yourself.
I have been told that baking-by-weight is far superior to baking-by-feel.
Yes, a PR video and yes, the music is kind of terrible. But man, I learned so much watching this video churned out by the folks at Victorinox. Given the ubiquitous nature of the Swiss Army knife, I'm surprised by how much of the tool's production is still done with human intervention. Being as the video was only produced two years ago, I have to assume that they're still making their knives in the same manner. If anyone knows different, I'd love to hear about it.
If you've ever owned a Swiss Army Knife or want to understand more about how an iconic piece of hardware is created, taking in this 13-minute film is time well-spent. Read the rest
I keep an Opinel No. 8 pocket knife in most of my jackets. This one has been with me for years.
I buy Opinel No. 8 pocket knives for a lot of reasons. They are elegant in their simplicity. The carbon steel blade is excellent, stays sharp and develops a lovely patina. The handle is a simple piece of wood that fits well in your hand. The locking neck ring is pretty ingenious, and down right fool-proof if you use it.
Best of all, they are cheap and I don't mind losing them when I've forgotten to remove one on its way to the airport. The "No.8" 3.35in blade, perfect for most of my camping needs, is not allowed to board a plane on my person. Frequently, like last weekend, the heroic defenders of democracy that are the TSA just let me pass thru, but on occasion they will confiscate it.
I've had this blade since 2012. The patina started out by stabbing a lemon, but over the years has taken on a life of its own. While the ink on the side of the handle has slightly worn off, this knife just keeps getting better.
I hope I don't lose this one, it has ranged from Baja to Canada.
You can decorate, carve or otherwise modify the handle to your liking.
You should have a Sawyer Mini water filter in your emergency supplies.
As a life-long camping gadget freak, the Sawyer Mini may be one of the best tools I've seen yet. Weighing in at only 2oz the Mini will filter 100,000 gallons of water with only minimal maintenance. No awful to use UV lights, no crazy big pump. Just squeeze a bag of water through the filter into your waterbottle.
The base kit comes with one 16oz reusable squeeze pouch. You'll likely want to get a few larger bags, I like the 64oz for fairly easy filling in a river or lake, and also being a decent size of water to process in one quick sitting. If you have running or gravity fed water that needs filtration, you can also splice the Mini in.
The Mini has a .1 micron filter, and Sawyer claims "this filter was tested to 10 million parts of bacteria and one million parts of protozoa without a single breakthrough — the highest testing level for filtration." The water doesn't taste like chemicals. I remember a boy scout Sierra backpacking trip and iodine purification tablets galore. Gah!
For under $20 no emergency survival kit should be without one of these filters.
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System via Amazon
Image via Amazon Read the rest
QuillBot rewrites phrases, making it easy to tweak results and understand what it's up to in each variation.
Four and seven years ago our fathers gave birth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and consecreated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Let's try that America. Read the rest
Whenever I have to turn a screw, I turn to this easy-to-find, yellow box of bits.
Flat? Phillips? Torx? Square? Any time I run into a standard-style screw head that needs turning I reach for my drill and add one of these bits. There is a pretty fair assortment, though some repetition, of sizes and shapes in this yellow box.
The metal the bits are made of? Good enough. What I really like? The "tough" plastic case! I dunno how tough canary yellow is, but it is easy to find in my tool bag, or left about the house.
I also have a black box of bits, I can never find them. Yellow it is!
Image via Amazon Read the rest
I traveled to Japan to buy a notebook.
As a tech journalist and hardware reviewer, my primary function is to tell you whether or not the products you may be thinking of buying are, in a word, shit. It’s not typically a job that requires I leave my home. Hardware companies or my employers have products shipped out to me. I play with them for a few weeks, or less. Then, most of the time, I ship the stuff back to make room for more stuff. Occasionally, I’m offered the opportunity to travel for work: a cellphone company might be showing off a new version of something they released last year. Sometimes, a well known company wants to give me a peek behind the curtain to see how they build the things that I'll wind up calling shit somewhere down the road. Such an instance happened this past August. I was asked by a well-known peddler of audio equipment if I’d be willing to travel to Japan to take a look at something new they’d been cooking up. I agreed, but warned that if they didn’t show me anything compelling while I visited their manufacturing facility, I wouldn’t be writing a story. They agreed to the terms.
A few weeks and a long flight in coach later, I was in Japan. I’d been sent an itinerary a week before I was due to fly. It detailed a stacked week of factory tours, site seeing and cultural events. In the middle of all of the goings on, was a single day where I could do whatever I damn well pleased while I was in Tokyo. Read the rest
This $7 paring knife feels good in my hand, and unlike my other paring knives it is not lost.
In my home, paring knives disappear almost as frequently as socks and Apple Lightning cables. I was buying really cheap replacements at the dollar store, but they'd pretty much come apart in my dishwasher after a few cycles. This Victorinox will be lost long before it breaks.
The Hang and Level is a pretty great tool for hanging pictures, mirrors and the like.
Every piece of art I hung in my near-an-active-fault-line home would go crooked in days, or hours. I got a Hang and Level, and now most of them stay in place. With built in levels, and easy press tabs to mark the wall, it is hard to go wrong -- but I still can.