The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Rugged pedal board?

My nephew is set to graduate in a few weeks and has asked for a pedal board as his graduation gift. Knowing how he usually treats his stuff, I need something very rugged and durable. So far this skb pedal board is on my radar, but not much else. This one has received some very good reviews, which is why I’m considering it. But I don’t want to limit myself unnecessarily.

Anyway, if anyone has other recommendations, let me know!

Decluttering my home

Like most people, I periodically go through phases where I simply MUST declutter my home and empty it of as much junk as possible. This is happening right now, with my focus being on the kitchen.

I am not big on cooking, so I’ve gotten rid of a lot of frying pans, saucepans, and other accoutrement that I never use. In addition, I’ve gotten rid of all those plastic grocery bags that I’d planned to use as garbage bags. I end up accumulating far more than I could ever use in a reasonable amount of time, which is extremely wasteful — not to mention horrible for the environment.

While cleaning, I came across several reusuable shopping bags that I’d acquired as promotional gifts over the years. I’ve used them occasionally, but am going to make a concerted effort to rely on them exclusively from now on. That will prevent me from stockpiling plastic bags and make me feel better about being green.

With my kitchen almost finished, I’ll start tackling my basement next. That chore won’t be half so easy!

Nike Max Air Team Training Backpack

nike team training Most backpacks available today are more or less the same. You can expect a couple of main compartments, exterior water bottle holders, and a laptop/tablet sleeve in almost every model. So when I recently started shopping for a backpack, I wanted something with a feature or two that really set it apart from the rest. I found it in the Nike Max Air Team Training pack.

This backpack comes in several different sizes, including Medium, Large, and Extra Large. I went with the Extra Large version because I plan to use it for lugging my workout gear (including clothes, shoes, and towels) to and from the gym. I couldn’t fit all that stuff in my last backpack, and ended up having to walk with shoes and a wet towel in my hands.

So besides the size, the other thing that drew me to this particular backpack is its “hydration pouch”. This is an insulated pouch at the front of the pack that is meant to hold a Camelbak hydration device or something similar. I’ve been using it to keep protein shakes, extra water, and even sandwiches nice and cool until I’m ready to consume them. So far it’s working out great!

This backpack cost about $60, which is reasonable for the size. I think I’ve got a good one here, and just hope it lives up to expectations for at least 2-3 years.

Guitar Effects Processor

One of the items on my nephew’s Christmas list this year was something called a guitar effects processor. I didn’t really know what it was, but I dutifully performed some research and discovered a good selection at Musician’s Friend. I finally settled on the Prophesy model by Rocktron, and was all set to order it only to see it was temporarily out of stock. Luckily, I can reserve one for the next shipment, which will be here in a couple of weeks. Now let’s just hope my nephew doesn’t mind getting an IOU under the tree instead of what he asked for!

Memorial Token from Etsy

custom token I don’t shop on Etsy very often, but the few times I have purchased items from there have been good experiences. So when I was in the market for a pocket token with custom text to use as a memorial piece, I decided to go there first.

After a bit of searching I found a store that had just what I wanted. I ended up ordering a token similar to the one pictured here. I was able to select the metal and finish I wanted, as well as the font for the engraving. I then input my custom text, made my payment and waited.

This particular store required a 3-week lead time. That’s a little longer than I’m used to, but since they are very up-front about it and since I wasn’t in a real hurry, I decided to go with them anyway.

I’m glad I did. The result was a very nice piece that came out exactly as advertised (and expected). It’s 1-1/2 inches across, about 1/4-inch thick (or less; probably less), and feels quite weighty and substantial. The engraving is readable and the text was rendered perfectly. I plan on giving this as a gift and am sure the recipient will love it!

Restoring old cars

bend pak My cousin has become more and more of a gear head over the years, and is always talking about the various tools and equipment he needs in order to restore old cars. I don’t have the first clue about auto repair or restoration, so most of what he says just goes right over my head.

But recently he sent me this link and asked me to check out Best Buy Auto BendPak car lifts on that page. Apparently, if he gets one of these lifts, he’ll be able to do any kind of repair or project out there. He might even be able to complete some custom orders that people have asked him about. That would be great for bringing in extra money — and who knows, if things go just right, he might even turn this into a full-time career.

Anyway, the bottom line is that he asked me to help him buy one of these BendPak lifts. I don’t have the full amount in cash that I could just give him, but I’d be willing to help out a little bit. After all, Christmas is coming up and I can just count the contribution as my present to him!

Moleskine Pocket Notebook

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.16.19 PM I’ve been hearing about Moleskine notebooks and how *special* they are for a while now, but had always been too put off by the price to actually try one. I just didn’t feel that I used notebooks enough to justify paying $14 for a pocket-sized notebook when I could just as easily get a pocket notebook at any dollar store. But finally I decided to see what the fuss was about and purchased a soft-cover ruled notebook of the aforementioned size (3 1/2 x 5 1/2).

The notebook comes with 192 ruled, acid-free pages and has a string bookmark, elastic closure, and expandable pocket inside the back cover. I actually didn’t know that Moleskine was famous for this back pocket, so I had no idea what to make of it at first. But the handy enclosure said it was good for receipts, business cards, etc, so that’ exactly what I’m using it for.

I’ve been carrying around my Moleskine and writing in it for a few weeks now, and I do have to admit that it feels kind of good to have it. Like a quietly luxurious item that 99% of other people wouldn’t recognize as such if they saw it. I can’t say that I’ll continue buying Moleskines exclusively, but if I manage to keep going and fill this notebook up, I might go ahead and replace it.

Noise canceling vs. Noise isolating

noise isolating I think I bought the wrong kind of headphones. I wanted to buy noise canceling headphones to replace my old ones that suddenly stopped working. As I was shopping around, I found the pair shown in the picture here and liked the price enough to buy them.

Apparently, I didn’t read the product description carefully enough. These headphones are best noise isolating headphones available, not the best noise canceling headphones.

What’s the difference? I can’t explain it on a technical level, but the headphones here are used by drummers and other musicians so they can listen to their instrument in real time without damaging their hearing. Noise canceling headphones, on the other hand, block out ambient sound to make things more quiet. I wanted the latter.

Back to shopping, I guess!