For a long time, I’ve wanted to have a web page or some other way to share my enjoyment of various products I’ve found that I really like. This may be a holdover from my days as a fan and later employee of the Whole Earth Catalog. Former co-worker Kevin Kelly suffers from the same affliction, to the extent that he maintains an entire blog just for that purpose, and solicits contributions from others. It’s a favorite distraction of mine.
As opposed to the Whole Earth Catalog, or Kevin’s site, I’m not going to apply criteria of usefulness or superiority to the products I write about. While it is true that I am a man of discrimination and taste, these are just things that I like enough to want to tell someone about. Your mileage may vary. And I’m not going to devote a blog to the stuff, merely the occassional blog-post.
Today, a few items to get things rolling.
Targus Notebook Portable LapDesk™
One of my favorite items, which probably deserves its own post, is my Apple iBook G4. The one drawback of this lovely, light, notebook-like computer is that its bottom gets very hot in use. Lap-burning hot, in fact. The solution I found to this problem turns out to be a real enhancement. It provides the necessary ventilation under the iBook, but it does more. Unfolded, it provides a wide, stiff surface to hold the computer when I’m sitting cross-legged. Were I a mouse-user, there’d be space to move the mouse. But I use it mostly in its folded configurations. It’s cleverly designed to also serve as an adjustable tilt-stand, and still be wide enough to hold the iBook and fit my lap. There’s an advantage to being able to tilt my keyboard while I’m working. I sometimes use the LapDesk at my desk, or at cafe tables for the ergonomic value. The LapDesk is light, stiff, and compact, so that if fits nicely into my laptop bag, providing an extra layer of protection for the iBook in travel. Very nice.
I’m hardly so dapper or hip as to fit the term “metrosexual”, but I have managed to stumble across some shave and skin care potions that are much, much better than what’s available at the local drug store.
California North Skin Care Products
Part of my affection for these particular products comes from the fact that they come from Sausalito, CA, and their office is just a couple blocks from my old Whole Earth haunts. Their Razor Shavecream is perhaps the best thing for shaving ever. It’s slippery, non-foaming stuff that has a very light citrus scent. It’s not soapy, or gummy, it has nifty skin-moisturizing ingredients, and best of all, razor blades slide extremely smoothly across your skin, with no irritation. It’s definitely worth the price. It puts traditional cans of foam, mugs of shaving soap, and even newer offerings from Gillette and Nivea to shame.
Now, as viewers of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy know, it’s important to follow your shave with a good moisturizer. Especially for those of us over 40. The California North Action Moisturizer is absolutely the best. It smells good but not strongly, unlike those girly moisturizers available all over. It’s light and absorbs well, so it doesn’t feel like wiping some sticky synthetic coating onto your face. It has a built-in SPF of 4, and beta-hydroxy acids, which the skin-care industry would have me believe are quasi-magical. Since I’ve been using it, my skin looks better, no doubt about it. After I started using it, my wife gave it a try, and she really likes it too. I now buy the gigantic pump bottle. The special added feature, for those men still a bit uncomfortable with the idea of moisturizers: it’s used by mountain climbers and triatheletes. Instead of feeling vaguely wimpy using it, you can imagine you’re preparing to start up El Capitan. After all, it’s an Action(!) Moisturizer.
Origins Fire Fighter®
While you’re using up the last of your current shave product, and are left suffering the irritation and burning that so many think is an integral part of shaving, you may want to try this product from the Origins company, who specialize in herbal potions. It’s a light gel with cooling herbal ingredients that quickly soothe the skin. It really makes your skin feel better immediately. I like its light, fresh scent, which is why I keep some around for occassional use, even after discovering California North.