The three best purchases I made this year

Ortlieb office bag — Early this year my trusty backpack finally wore out and I replaced it with a pannier bag. Taking my laptop off of my back and onto my bike has made cycling much more enjoyable. The bag is waterproof, which is a must in Portland. The weight isn’t much of an issue while riding, though it does make the bike a little unwieldy while walking it. The bag itself isn’t cheap and I needed to buy a rack and laptop sleeve too (with corduroy lining!), but the added time I’ve spent biking has been well worth it.

Rice cooker — I’m not one to stock up on excessive kitchen appliances, but when even Fuschia Dunlop wrote, “If I could have only one modern gadget in my kitchen, it would have to be an electric rice cooker” I thought it might be a tool worth having. And it has been, mainly for the benefits of consistency and not having to coordinate rice preparation too closely with the rest of a meal. Most of my cooking interests lean Asian anyway, so the ease of this tool has me in the kitchen more than I otherwise would be.

An unnamed magic pamphlet — I’ve spent thousands of dollars on magic books and videos over the past decade, but very few of those sources have been as useful as one $10 dollar pamphlet detailing a single card sleight that I came across this year. No, I’m not going to link to it. That would defeat the purpose.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Someone is gunning to be the new president of the Magician’s Alliance…

  2. Fr. Spike says:

    What rice cooker did you get? About a year ago, my wife and I dropped a wad of cash on a Zojirushi Fuzzy Neuro rice cooker in one of those fits where financial sense vacates you for just long enough to make an Amazon purchase. We already had a decent $15 Rival rice cooker that did the job, and we don’t normally make rice that much. So when I say that it was a terrific purchase that has paid for itself twice over, I’m as surprised as anyone. Perfect rice is an understatement. We’ve started to use it for oats and congee in the mornings, so on average we use it at least once a day. It feels a little like I splurged on a $30 citrus zester, then discovered that I use it more than my chef’s knife.

  3. Jacob Grier says:

    @Fr. Spike: I bought this one from Aroma:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000W2RFBS/eternalrecurr-20/

    10 cups, mid-priced, works well so far.

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