Five Things I'm Diggin' – 12/1/14

Back by popular demand (of one)!  Five Things I'm Diggin'.

  1. Fall in North Carolina – It's over now, but I really dug the falls colors in NC. I spent the majority of my life in Texas and the Southwest, so having a real autumn with knock-out colors is a such a treat. Unfortunately I didn't have a feel for the timing and the peak of the season so I really didn't photograph the colors at their best this year. (The photo you see here is not mine!) Next year I'll do a better job of it!

  1. Gerber Dime – I've been getting into EDC lately. Not the survivalist/weapons flavor of EDC, but the one concerned with optimizing what and how you carry the stuff that you are likely to need everyday. I'm fairly minimalist, so small, light, and pared down to the basics is what appeals to me. The Dime is pretty much perfect for that. It's tiny, about the size of a pair of AA batteries. The tool set is pared down to the stuff I would actually use. Great for carrying in my pocket, backpack, or messenger bag. All the tools are usable, except the file which sucks. It's built reasonably well for purpose, meaning it's okay for my light duty IT, photography, and home tasks, but if I've got a heavy duty task I still need to break out the proper tools. Best of all, it's also only $15 or so depending on where you get it.

  1. Master Magnetics Stud Finder – I had a cheap magnetic lever stud finder for years. The magnet in it was really tiny so it could take a long time to find a stud with it, but it worked reliably if I was patient. I bought a fancy electronic studfinder, but it wasn't as accurate, so I generally preferred to use my cheapy finder. I recently found the Master Magetics finder and finally retired my old finder. It solves the one problem I had with the lever finder – it uses a wide magnet that covers a larger area as you sweep it across the wall so it finds studs quickly. The magnet is strong enough to stick it to the wall so you don't have to mark the stud. And you can even tie a line and weight to it for a simple plumb bob, if you want.  $8 and highly recommended. 

  1. Citizen Hyper Aqualand – I bought this watch almost 20 years ago when I was dabbling with diving. Diving never really took hold with me, but I always liked the watch because it was rugged, waterproof, and kind of cool looking. Even if I wasn't diving I did have a boat and it was nice to have a watch that I didn't have to baby. However, about ten years ago, it needed some servicing. It worked fine, but I'd scratched the crystal, the band had broken, and it really needed to have its seals replaced to ensure water tightness. I'd bought a nice titanium Seiko that was a little more dressy and I started using that and never got around to repairing the Citizen. It sat in a drawer for a decade. Right before moving to NC I finally got inspired and sent it in for the needed repairs. Ah, now I remember why I like this thing so much! Now the Seiko needs a little work (the capacitor that stores the kinetic energy needs replacing; and it too could use a new crystal). Hopefully it doesn't take me ten years to get around to that.

  1. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 – This is the audio interface I finally settled on when my Tascam recorder went south. I like it because it has been reliable (so far), the build quality exceeded my expectations, it's expandable, and it has a nice, transparent sound. It also pairs well with my mixer so I can augment it's inputs easily and record a full band. Now if only the new laptop I ordered would arrive I'd have my studio 100% ready to go.