Stuff I use

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In addition to the writing and editing I do at CL, I try to work on outside projects whenever I have the time. Since I haven’t run it down in a while, here’s a list of the stuff I’m currently using in the execution of, well, everything I’m doing professionally when I’m not drinking wine with the wife, hanging out with friends or trying to catch up on a little sleep.

COMPUTER: I’ve got two 13-inch MacBook Airs (circa 2012), one I bought to be my main machine while I was still working for a marketing company—with generous help from my wife and friends who pitched in with some gift cards for my birthday—and one corporate machine I inherited when I came back to the paper last year. I’ve gotten into doing more basic image optimization/manipulation, and the work laptop has InCopy and Photoshop on it, but both still run fast enough for my needs. There’s also an ancient (white, pre-Retina) iMac in my home office that I still use regularly when working in the paper’s CMS, doing research or using Google Docs.

PHONE: HTC One M7 (2013), the first year HTC went all-out and released this top-notch flagship with the brushed-metal chassis. I side-loaded the Google Now launcher, and keep it as close to stock Android as possible without rooting. There have been two new iterations, but mine’s still plenty fast. I’ll probably upgrade soon anyway, however, because A) I’m leaving my carrier of more than a decade, Sprint, because I’m dissatisfied with their coverage and B) The ONLY thing that sucks about this phone is the camera, and I’ve been needing to use my phone camera a lot more lately for work-related social media stuff, which has gotten me in the habit of using it for personal social media stuff (my Instagram account is, like, a month old). Plus, I’m toying with the idea of going bigger, to a Note or Nexus 6, so doing blog stuff without opening my laptop will be a little easier.

TABLET: I bought a refurbished Nexus 7 (first-gen) a while back, and while I’m generally happy with it for daytime reading, second-screen social media stuff and updating the work site from bed in the morning, it does run a bit slow for my taste. More than anything, it’s my bedside alarm clock, and sometimes I stream movies from my home server to it while I’m lazing off a hangover. To be honest, I probably won’t be upgrading, unless I decide to start building my own multimedia iBooks, in which case I’ll need to grab an iPad.

NOTEBOOK: Moleskine. Just love ’em; I use multiple sizes—the pocket size for journalism work and a larger, thinner, ruled size (about the size of the Nexus 7, in fact) for music fakebooks, song lyrics and game ideas.

PENS: Sharpie Ultra Fine Points, forever and ever, amen.

BAG: A discontinued black Kenneth Cole Reaction laptop/courier style bag. Look, I’m not really a fashion brand guy by any means, but for some reason, when I go to Ross or TJ Maxx or whatever and see a bag or a jacket I like, it always seems to be Kenneth Cole. My old backpack that I still use for traveling is a Kenneth Cole I got from one of the discount outlets; even the wallet I pointed out in passing to Becky and she got me for some holiday or other—not really a wallet, it’s a credit card/ID sheath with a money clip on the outside—turned out to be Reaction.

APPS: Google Docs for all things text, at least in drafts. Google everything else—Calendar, Keep, Gmail, Chrome, etc. Celtx for script rough drafts. Dropbox for everything non-text (images, audio files and the like) and some things text. Evernote is where ideas go to be forgotten, then discarded as outdated two months later (I need to get better at organizing and taking advantage of Evernote). I don’t use Facebook a whole lot beyond posting work stuff, but I do have Facebook Messenger on my phone (not the regular Facebook app, that’s computer-only) to quickly contact those people I know are permanently logged in to that network. Chromecast and Roku for entertainment around the house (and on the go). IMDB for pop-cultural research. Feedly for newsfeeds. Twitter is my default social network.

ALCOHOL: I do drink a craft beer or two, but I really don’t keep beer at home; at home, we’re more wine people. I’m a big sparkling wine fan—cava or prosecco before champagne—but since summer is coming, red wine spritzers will soon be the go-to (hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, a splash of flavored soda water and some ice and you’re good to go). Liquor-wise, I tend to drink tequila in the summer; brown liquor is for cooler weather. We do have a bottle of Bacardi white rum in the bar that I bought for my folks’ visit, so some Moscow Mules or mojitos (or frozen drinks!) might find their way into the mix this season.

MISC: Spyderco knife, pencils and sharpener (this is relatively new, it’s been forever and I’m enjoying having them back in the rotation), Wellness CORE Grain-Free dry dog food (Ocean Formula), Red Mesa Mercado, New World Brewery, Sly Bar, Old Key West Bar & Grill, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Hulu Plus, SHOUT Factory, Friends reruns, The Weakerthans, Cappy’s Pizza, Warren Ellis, Fountains of Wayne, Gizmodo, Gawker, The Deadly Fists of Kung Fu.

What are you using/coveting—this crap or the wholly unrelated kind? Lemme know in the comments.

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