Minimally, I carry an iPhone 13 Mini with a MagSafe wallet containing my license and a credit card. My keychain is either a hook (pocket) or a clip (belt loop) with at least two locking S-biners attached (one carrying house keys1, the other a ROAD iD dog tag and USB stick). Other S-biners include bike lock keys, car key, or destination keys. S-biners are awesome.
I always have earplugs (custom-fitted with Etymōtic cartridges) or AirPods Pro nearby. This used to be a habit from being around motorcycles a lot (plus some spontaneous concert-going) but they’ve become even more essential now that I have kids. I usually carry a Kershaw Scallion, which I love.
I’m writing this on a Keyboardio Model 100, which along with a Pro Display XDR is attached to a M2 MacBook Air via an OWC Thunderbolt Dock. I’ve also got a Logitech MX Ergo, but I feel like it could be better2. Mounted atop the display is a BenQ ScreenBar3 (controlled by a homemade pomodoro timer) with an Opal C14 perched haphazardly on top. I have an Uplift Desk5 with a reclaimed wood top6 and sit on a Humanscale Freedom.
Our house came wired with CAT6A in every room and those wires converge at a rack so I’ve gone full #homelab and embraced the Ubiquiti life7. Sonic rolled out fiber in our neighbourhood shortly after we moved in, now with a 10Gbe OWC adapter at my desk and appropriate infra between it and the modem I can download stuff from work faster than I can in the office. A Synology RS1221+ provides the house’s storage and compute, including a Scrypted container that manages the house’s many IP cameras8 and sundry. Tailscale keeps everything accessible, even when I’m away.
We have an odd collection of Sonos speakers about the house, plus Yamaha HS5s + HS8 in the garage, though these days I mostly use headphones; depending on the situation: a pair of Fostex TH-X00, B&O H6, or AirPods Pro.
Since 2012 I’ve been shooting a Canon 6D, and I still love it. I prefer shooting full frame, most of my subjects are adversarially lit or very dark, and I refer back to my photos by location a lot so its wide dynamic range and built-in GPS have been a perfect match for me, even as newer models have replaced it. I recently scored a battery grip for $40. I don’t like it quite as much as the grip I had on my 20D, but I prefer to travel with AA batteries.
Most of the time I carry a Nikon 50mm ƒ/1.2 AiS on a Fotodiox adapter, though I have a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 and a 2x extender for when I can’t walk closer or I need to flatten my field. I’ve also got a 40mm ƒ/2.8 pancake that I throw on if someone else wants to use my camera. Anything wider and I’ll (try to9) use my phone.
I put most of my commute miles on a Zero SR/S (love it), my group miles on a BMW R1200R LC (great), and occasionally Tanya lets me take her Street Triple R(R) into the hills (perfection).
I put a fraction of my commute miles on a bicycle frame made by NTP, around town I ride a fixed Mission Bicycles Sutro, and I take passengers (and more lumber than our car can carry) on a Riese & Müller Load 75. My best advice to anyone who puts a lot of urban miles on an acoustic10 bicycle is to get a hub dynamo and lights and never worry about lighting again.
We have an Audi Q3 for road trips and while it’s a better compromise for us than anything else available at the time11, we’re looking forward to the availability of an electric minivan that we can take camping.
I’ve crammed a complete wood shop, most of a motorcycle shop, and some fabrication capability into a one car garage.
I have a homemade split top Roubo with Benchcrafted hardware that I made based on plans from The Wood Whisperer. I accessorized with a swinging seat (which my kid loves) and Cosmanized casters to make it mobile. Benchtop workholding is done with Lee Valley brass dogs (prairie dogs over the bench’s legs) and Gramercy hold downs. Of the various hand tools my favourites are the Narex Richter chisels, Lie-Nielsen No. 60-½, and Lie-Nielsen No. 7, which I keep sharp with a Norton IM83. I’m bought into the DeWalt cordless tool ecosystem in part because they have the best trim router, but also because it’s the brand I’ve always used ever since I accidentally stole my dad’s drill when I was in college.
The “big four” power tools are a SawStop PCS 36” (with a router table featuring a Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift), a Laguna 14bx, and a Hammer A3 31. I’ve also got a Mastercraft drill press that’s as old as I am12 and a Bosch 12” Glide Saw. Dust is collected by an Oneida Supercell that I built into my cabinets. Above those cabinets, along the back wall, are french cleats topped by a lumber shelf.
My favourite tool over the years has been the Shaper Origin. I backed it during their Kickstarter campaign (though I’d buy it again at current prices) and it’s the only computer I’ve never been mad at13. I used it to make all kinds of things back when my shop was a tiny crawlspace under our house, and I still reach for it all the time now.
I also have a bunch of assorted corded and/or air tools, most acquired from garage or estate sales.
I have a pretty conventional array of auto shop tools, though there are a couple that stand out. A spinning T handle is a big quality of life improvement, as is a motorcycle lift. I got extremely lucky one day when a friend sent me a link to an extremely cheap K&L MC615R; had I not found that (or if I ever regret the floor space it occupies), I’m told Kendon has redesigned their lift so the anchors don’t move when you raise/lower it so I’d probably get one of those.
The lift sits under the garage door when it’s raised, which made lighting difficult in the evening. LED strips built into the garage door, while not specifically a motorcycle tool, has been a game changer.
I am still getting off the ground here, so it’s not worth writing too much about it other than I like my welder—an AHP AlphaTIG 203XI—well enough14, especially equipped with a Furick #8 Pyrex cup and gas lens.
Which I’d love to get rid of, but our current doors aren’t compatible with any existing keypad/NFC products ↩
The unfortunately-named MX Master—now three generations ahead of the MX Ergo—has a number of features that I covet but I prefer a trackball for at-desk tasks like CAD ↩
I’ve had one fail but I don’t know of anything else in this space and I absolutely love it ↩
Review: overally I like having a competent monitor-attached camera that I don’t have to mess with a lot but I’m having frustrating troubles with autofocus so I’m not sure I can reccomend it yet ↩
I only wish I’d gotten the bigger one so I could take advantage of their hammock kit ↩
The surface of which is maddeningly uneven. I would choose differently next time ↩
Including a couple of their cameras which, aside from being unable to monitor audio in the background, have been far better baby monitors than anything else on the market ↩
Also installed by our house’s previous owner ↩
I work at the phone company and carry pre-release software so my phone’s camera is often buggy/slow/completely broken. It’s a nice incentive to use my DSLR more, though nothing beats a working phone these days when it comes to capturing running children ↩
As opposed to an ebike, which will come with lights ↩
It’s 1” longer than the 2-door Civic it replaced, lots of cargo space, tows motorcycles well, all the non-infotainment controls use physical buttons, the 360° parking camera is great, and the automatic transmission is total garbage. ↩
I borrowed it from my dad before a garage fire destroyed all his tools so it’s good as mine now ↩
If you don’t know me, this is the highest praise possible. It’s truly wonderful ↩
The fact that it came with a Flex Loc head at that price point is incredible ↩