What’s On Yer Keychain

Stuff that I carry on my keychain, left to right:
1) Bottle opener. I don’t drink much beer, but a lot of tasty diet drinks sold in NYC bodegas come in non-snap-off cup glass bottles.
2) Red Photon Light 3 from Thinkgeek. It came really handy during the NYC Blackout of 2003. (See my photos here and here. If you know somebody who can use those for a newspaper or a magazine article, please let me know.)
3) A 20x 5 element jeweler’s loupe that I bought in a store on 47th street. I don’t get that much use out of it, but it’s petty cool.
4) A Husky brand 4 way pocket screwdriver.
5) A Levenger single sheet cutter. This is one of the most useful little gadgets eve. A tiny ceramic shard on the end of the plastic holder cuts through a single sheet of newspaper. Awesome for clipping newspaper articles, taking out chunks of notes and trimming paper. With a bit more pressure it works on slightly thicker paper, like that in Moleskine notebooks. Also good for taking off cellophane from CDs and trimming gift paper. It’s next to impossible to cut yourself with one. The only gripe is had to notch up the case to make it easy to take the cutter out of it.
6) A Fisher Space Pen epoxied to a little ring. This way I always have a pen to take down notes.

Single sheet cutter in action from Levenger’s website:

The Guardian Of the Notes

For a while now I’ve been trying to organize all of my notes. For years I had great hopes of finding a perfect electronic organizer. My first love and biggest disappointment were devices created by Jeff Hawkins and Celeste Baranski.

I owned my share of Palms and Handsprings, even the first Handspring phone module, but the damn things just kept crashing, running out of charge, loosing data and breaking exactly when I needed them the most. Also, the phone module was probably the worst cell phone I ever owned. Arrrr, just the memory itself of the scurvy thing be driving me nuts.

Funnily enough, three or four of my co-workers who did not even want to listen to my raves about Handspring in those days now own latest Treo cell phones which are a little less terrible, but still not as good as what I use these days. What high technology do I use? I use an ugly brick of a cell phone with Verizon service which is easy to use, keeps charge well, never crashes, is comfortable to hold and manages to get reception even in some shallow subway stations. For a phone book and notes I use little black books made by Moleskine.

Because of its slowness and bad text recognition my Tablet PC is sitting on a shelf waiting for a Linux installation, but I am trying to organize all of my notes and transfer them from random pieces of paper into neat new Moleskine notebooks. Tilde the cat keeps a watchful eye over them.