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Recent Recommendations

A list of my recommendations.

Fire Blanket

Prepared Hero Emergency Fire Blanket - 1

I hope I never need to use this. I will fully admit to having seen this in an advertisement and immediately added it to my Amazon cart. Essentially, you hang this on a wall near where fires may occur (like a kitchen). In the even of a fire, you pull the tapes at the bottom to remove the blanket and then smother a fire with it.

Fire thrives on oxygen as you know, and this blanket snuffs it out, or significantly reduces the spread. We have this in our pantry (very near the gas cooktop) along with a fire extinguisher. It was $25 USD when I bought one. I’m going to buy one for my father. A fire can start with an electric or induction cooktop as well, so this isn’t just for gas cook-tops. You might want something like this if you go camping and should have a small fire emergency.

Fire Blanket Front Fire Blanket Back

Buy Prepared Hero Emergency Fire Blanket - 1

Elgato Wave:3 USB Condenser Microphone

This is a great little USB Type C microphone that definitely improved my audio quality on video/audio conference calls. I bought it during the early stages of the pandemic as I was cycling through options. I went from headsets with mics, and more headsets … constantly trying to find a good combination that I was happy with. I settled on a good pair of very comfortable wired headphones and this mic in the end and have used it for years since. I’d had it on a fixed stand initially, but I changed to a microphone arm (see below) that allows me to get it out of the way when I don’t need it.

Some of the things that I really like:

I have a non-Elgato POP filter installed on the microphone. I’ve not done any testing to see if it’s preventing the “plosives” and hisses from being as noticeable in a conference call. It was inexpensive and worth trying.

Buy Elgato Wave:3 Microphone

Elgato Wave:3 Microphone

Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP

I had the above microphone connected to the included stand at first. Then to a floor stand that was right next to my standing desk. Then, this. If you’ve got desk space and the ability to clamp to the back of your desk, I suspect you’ll be as happy with this as I am. When I don’t need it, it pivots out of the way and under my monitor. It has standard microphone mounting screw/attachments so it accommodates many different microphones (up to 2 kg/4.4lbs). It has a cable channel which for some reason I’m only using for one cable … odd. 😀

Buy Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP

Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP

ESR for MagSafe Car Mount

I’ve had a MagSafe iPhone for 3+ years. I’m embarassed to admit that for an even longer period I’ve had a cell phone sliding around our cars or in a cup-holder. Interacting with the phone according to local laws and being safe while driving is very important to me. The least likely ‘safe’ method is what I had been doing, especially when the phone would slide onto the floor at my feet. 😬

So, I’m very excited that I upgraded to this MagSafe car mount. Installation is a snap: there’s a small dial that tightens the mount to the vent so that it doesn’t move. Once tightened properly it’s solid and won’t move (I did need to loosen it quite a lot for the car I installed it in first). Then, MagSafe snap,and the iPhone is very securely attached. I can’t imagine it ever coming loose unintentionally. And that’s it. I didn’t need a model that offered wireless charging as I already have a charging cable for my phone (or my wife’s phone) ready. I’ve got CarPlay set up and the phone for example can show the next turns while CarPlay shows a map.

It’s inexpensive at under $20 USD and awesome. There are other brands and models that include charging, but I don’t mind attaching a cable when I want the phone to be charged.

Buy the ESR for MagSafe Car Mount

ESR for MagSafe Car Mount Front ESR for MagSafe Car Mount Side