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!

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!

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!

Outdoor Dinnerware

Rustica_Antique_White_12pc__20049_zoom Summer’s almost over, which means this is a great time to shop for sales on patio and yard items. For example, I’ve been meaning to buy some outdoor dinnerware because I’m sick of using cheap paper plates whenever we decide to barbecue. But usually these sets are so expensive that I just give up and resign myself to another summer of slumming.

Today, however, I came across this pageOutdoor Melamine Dinnerware Sets | Home and Patio D├ęcor Center, which features some excellent deals on very nice looking sets. My favorite so far is the “Rustica Antique” design pictured here. I love its simplicity, and the fact that it will match any kind of patio furniture. That means I don’t have to worry about changing dinnerware if I change my table or chairs in the future.

Anyway, the Rustica Antique design is available in service for four, eight, or 12 people. I’ll probably just go with the four-person service, which includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four soup/cereal bowls. That would be perfect for my family.

Then again, it might be smarter to choose the eight-person set. That way I’d have backups in case anything breaks and would also be able to have matching dishes and bowls even when we entertain.

Hmm…something to think about for sure.

Once I make a decision and use the dinnerware a few times, I’ll come back and post an actual review!

PanaVise Miniature Vise

PanaVise_Model_201 I occasionally have need of a vise for light filing work, and didn’t want to shell out big bucks for a top quality one that you’d find in woodworking shops or whatever. So after a bit of searching I came across this PanaVise Mini Vise on Amazon. The reviews sounded good and the $30 price tag was acceptable, so I bought it.

It’s been pretty much what I expected/hoped for. The base is made of metal, which gives it some heft. And since I’m not wrenching on whatever is clamped in the jaws, this means I don’t have to secure the vise to the table in any permanent way (though there are three screw holes in the base if that were required). In addition, the vise jaws are mounted on a nicely rotating ball joint, which allows for 360-degree turning and rotating, as well as 350-degree tilting. This is more than adequate for my purposes.

All in all, this little mini vise has been a good buy. For very light, non-impact work, it’s a good buy.