If my house was burning down, I would rescue in order my wife, dogs, and a far third my computer. Everything else is replaceable. When I originally saw Fight Club in the theater I thought a lot about consumerism. I do buy/own things of because they bring some level of joy/fun/happiness, but I actively make sure their importance is where they should be - way below anything that really matters.
I had a "building burning down" scare a few years ago. Turned out to be stupid downstairs neighbors and there wasn't any real danger, but I woke up early in the morning and panicked. Once the pets and humans were out, I ended up making a second trip inside to grab my laptop (for a copy of my photo collection)+a folder that contained lots of important documents. The next morning I realized how stupid that trip would've been if there were real danger, and went out and bought a cloud storage account and a fireproof safe.
I responded to your post because one time there was smoke in my building and what I thought was a fire when alarms went off. I immediately ran to secure my pets before everything else without even thinking about it. I even had thoughts going through my head about how to jump off the balcony if necessary. The difficulty I had is that the loud alarms caused the pets to hide and it made it difficult to retrieve them efficiently in an emergency situation.
In a real fire animals are prey good at getting out. It's a tragedy for humans to die when they're looking for animals who've already escaped.
I had an extensive midcentury science fiction collection (about three thousand volumes) - most of those are out of print and a lot largely forgotten. That was a bummer.
I've been doing a fair amount of soldering lately, and for some dumb reason was resistant to buying helping hands for a while, instead building complicated fixtures that didn't work well. I was a moron, and those tentacle-clips are currently my favorite things.
I commute year round (even in the winter). Life is busy. It's not always easy to get to the gym or set aside time to exercise. But at the very least I do 20-40 minutes of cycling a day. It's an efficient way to transform travel time into physical activity.
My bike is not super fancy. It's an old Trek mountain bike, worth less than 80 bucks these days without the customizations. I've put some work into making it my bike. I swapped out the flat handlebar with a butterfly bar. I have Shimano pedals that are flat on one side and clip-in on the other. I also have a Topeak trunk bag that slides on and off the rear rack and a Nite Ize HandleBand to strap my phone to my handlebar. The HandleBand allows me to listen/watch to lectures while going on long rides (on secluded bike-only trails, I should mention).
I still have a smaller Leatherman tool on my keyring and use it not infrequently, but it seems a lot less awesome somehow.
I feel the same way about my Leatherman Charge, the toolset is great, it's solid and it does many jobs well. I don't think I ever used the saw but I believe I've used every other tool on it, even the ruler graduations.
Playing the guitar (or any instrument, I suppose) brings a level of calmness and serenity I know of know other way to capture. The only thing that comes close is the sense of peace I feel after a serious workout.
Practice != play
Regularly == every day
I was initially pretty skeptical of Grigris. Climbers have used far more primitive devices for a long time, why do I need a big, bulky hunk of metal and plastic to catch falls? But now that I have one, you'll have to pry it from my hopefully not cold or dead hands. I don't need to have a death-grip on my rope if my climber is hanging for a while. I can go hands-free on rappel to get stuck gear. Most importantly, it has certainly helped prevent some accidents that could have been catastrophic--one particular incident left me with a broken foot, but without the braking assistance from the Grigri, I may have instead walked over to a cratered climber. Best $99 I've ever spent.
Probably a close second might be my bluetooth Jaybird headphones (before it was sennheiser. The bluetooth cordless experience is amazing, they're waterproof (I sweat a lot when working out) and combined with Overcast, Audible, or Spotify - any situation has been vastly improved with audio. This by itself is how eons ago people would marvel at this ability once reserved for royalty.
My most surprising bit of joy that I never would have thought of, though, is a towel warmer.
There is something wonderful about stepping out of a shower and into a warm, fluffy towel and you get to have that every single day.
> There is something wonderful about stepping out of a shower and into a warm, fluffy towel and you get to have that every single day.
I "invented" a box with a heating pad in it, that I put my clean boxers in when I take a shower. That's a nice feeling.
My wife bought it but I think it came from Bath and Body Works.
First note: my high school was pretty bad, and being rural there were few opportunities that did not involve cows or driving.
The degree got me out of my town, started on my profession, even helped my find my wife (also in the list of best thing I've owned -- hey, weddings are expensive, and the process is the father handing her off to you, so...).
- A high quality pair of noise cancelling headphones. I use the Bose QC35. They're great for tuning everything out and either enjoying your music or focusing on work if you want. If you fly somewhat frequently, these are a godsend for tuning out plane noise and enjoying music/movies.
- A really high quality bed - a little while ago we splurged and bought one of the Heavenly Beds from Westin. It's seriously amazing, for me at least. Now everyone has their own preferences when it comes to sleep/comfort, but my larger point is that sleep is so important and you spend so much time doing it that its wise to invest in something high quality that works for you/your partner.
I refuse to give it up even though I have a kid now and it is REALLY hard to get a car seat in the back of a coup.
But close seconds:
- My Sonos audio system (I love music)
- My Audible.com subscription - I wouldn't have time to "read" otherwise
Not on the list:
- My Mac Book Pro. I love the computer, it's lasted me years, but it is overpriced
- My house. I wanted to keep renting, my wife insisted we buy. It hasn't been bad I just wouldn't call it "best"
- My Galaxy note 5. Awesome phone, battery life stinks.
Dunno if it's the "best" things I've ever had, but they have the biggest gap between expectation and reality.
Also a similar situation, there is an astonishing variety of earbud headphones that run the gamut from "absolute shit" to "not quite studio quality but as close as you can get without being there", and remarkably, they all cost about the same overall. I use these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WP67G5Y/ref=oh_aui_sear... (which, again, I want to emphasize don't substitute for studio quality but for what you can stick in your pocket comfortably and just always have on you, are pretty darned good)
Women can carry a purse and keep all kind of things in it, but for men it's not really the same.
Where do I keep my wallet, pack of tissues, some band aids, keys? A backpack is way big, too burdensome and overkill in most cases.
That's why a waist bag is so perfect, it's the right size for kindle, keys, wallet, etc. and is low profile.
Though I don't wear it as a waist bag, but diagonally from my shoulder.
My grandfather owned it well before I was even born, I got it from him and have used it in all of my offices or work spaces since I was in high school. It's seen very many different computers and electronics/mechanical projects over the years and is a very handsome and elegant piece of furniture on top of being highly functional, and it allows me to think of him having done the same with it whenever I have a spare moment to admire it.
I do not like to own things, but if I had to single out something : a simple kitchen robot which slices and chops things for me.
Also a good mattress, hard and not that expensive.
What I should invest in but somehow never have the time : a finance advisor, I am bad with money and have zero interest in the subject (I sure like to have lots of money, just not to deal with it)
Commodore64 used daily from '84 until '92. I actually still have it packed away in a box somewhere. We've moved 40-some times, so certain things just never seem to get unpacked.
Yamaha FG-110. Not the greatest guitar in the world, but my first. (bought in '73) Replaced the frets over the years, and it could use frets again, so other guitars get more use these days.
Several dogs and few cats over the years, but I don't consider family members to be possessions.
That's the only tool from Snap-On that I've ever owned, and since they don't make them anymore, I'd just about fight to the death to protect this thing.
A friend of mine once made the comment that "Snap-On tools feel like sex". That might be a bit of hyperbole, but they are very nice. But crazy expensive. I think that driver handle cost me around $80.00 back in the 90's.
I'm also fond of the Bluetooth speaker I use on my bike for my commute, UE Roll 2. . It works well, attaches quickly, is water proof and is plenty loud.
I have the impression that NorthFace later retreated from quality. I suppose this was to boost profits? In 2010 I got a cheap daypack which has bears the NorthFace branch. It gave out after 2 or 3 years. Not terrible, but nothing like the backpack.
Things I do today to earn a living and enjoy myself (Design, Music, Games) I got into via the Amiga ツ
(A great retrospective of the Amiga here - https://arstechnica.com/series/history-of-the-amiga/)
I do believe it is my single most used item, as I use it for my motorcycle, my gas-bike and my e-skateboard.
Haven't hit my head yet, but I feel confident that if/when I do, it'll be well-protected.
* 2000 Ford Mustang
* 2011 Lenovo T520
* 2008 Citizen 8651 watch
A modest, tarnished silver cross - The only thing I have from my grandfather
I use it for commuting, transport, and leisure. A good bicycle ride, like a good ski, is magical and freeing, and the object is imbued with some of that.
It doesn't require much maintenance, but it's fun to maintain, as well.
The other thing my Miata. It's a fabulous car. Mazda did everything right.
I don't think the question was about attachment, though. You can think something is good, or useful, while still acknowledging it's a thing that can be replaced if necessary.
Feels consumerist and horrible to say it, but it's lasted me almost 2.5 years without any issues. The gigantic screen is a great companion while I've been on the road. The case makes it almost comically large, but I can now use my phone as a coaster and never worry about tossing it in a bag.
Every smartphone I owned prior to this one wound up with some combination of bugs, hardware issues, and degrading performance. This one feels as good as the day I got it, and I never expected that to be true of a cellphone.
2) migraine meds. In terms of quality of life, I would rather go without clothes.
I use them more than anything else.
I have never owned anything this well made with such attention to detail and craftsmanship.