Five Things I'm Diggin' - Cinco de Mayo Edition

1. GSI Personal Java Press - Now that I've mentally accepted that I won't be primitive camping with a backpack for awhile (until my kids are old enough to schlep a pack for a few miles), I've decided to embrace the relative opulence of car camping. And the most enjoyable luxury is the GSI press. After a fitful sleep on an uncomfortable camping mattress, fine pressed coffee is ambrosia. The GSI is a design marvel as well . It's insulated to keep the coffee warm and the filter is o-ring sealed to prevent you from sipping sludge.  The mug, carafe, plunger, filter, lids, and coffee all nest together like a caffeine-injected Matryoshka doll for easy packing.  If and when I do go primitive camping again, this will probably make the cut list of crap I'm willing to carry.
 2. Somebody Else Doing The Lawn - OK, I'm something of a perfectionist, I'm a DIYer, and I can be kinda cheap.  All put together,  I've always opted to mow my own lawn.  But mowing your lawn in Houston with it's 100+ temperatures and 100% humidity is a whole other deal.  It wears me out for the rest of the day.  Plus, I hated having my precious weekend monopolized in terms of time.  So I finally gave in this year and started paying somebody to do it.  And boy, am I digging it.  It's like having an extra free day added to every other week.  I can always find a way to make more money, but this is as close as I can find to making more time.

3.  General Finishes - After my brother completed the lion's share of it, I'm wrapping up finishing bookshelves and cabinetry for my wife's library.  It's coming out great.  I'm using a water-based stain and top coat to make it easier to clean up.  This stuff is expensive, but it looks great, it's easy to work with, and it seems durable.

4.  Op-Tech straps - These aren't the fanciest camera straps available, but they are well-made, affordable, and extremely comfortable (the padding system is particularly excellent).  But my favorite aspect is that they're part of an interchangeable system.  You attach a set of quick release clips to your camera strap mounting posts, then you can easily attach it to a regular neck strap, a sling, or even to backpack shoulder straps.  It's kind of complicated figuring out everything you need (and the web site ain't much help) but once you suss it out, it works wonderfully.

5.  V-neck T-shirts - I'm a T-shirt guy.  I like to wear them under my dress shirts and I like to wear them by themselves. And I like to wear them in the rain.  And in the dark. And on a train.  And in a car.  And in a tree.  But I hate how the collar gets wrinkled and you have to iron it out if you want to look nice. Like, say, when you're going to a Dr. Suess convention.  Enter the v-neck T-shirt.  Problem solved. However, the deep v-necks with the plunging neckline – yeah, they look pretty douchey.