Yearly Archives: 2016

2016 in Review — Amazon Purchases

I placed 13 orders with Amazon in 2016.


Jan 12 — Round Ring View Binder, 1.5 Inch, 4 PackAvery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Box of 100

My scrapbook binder was full. I also started a goals binder filled it with journal entries, google docs, diagrams, etc. from the last 4 years relating to personal growth and career. I’m a  believer in typing out goals, desires, etc.

It makes you think about it, which is the first step. Secondly, it’s cool to look back and see that you’ve accomplished something, or made some steps. If you don’t reflect on what you’ve accomplished it can seem like nothing much has happened.

Tablet StylusJan 12 — elago Stylus Grip

I was curious if this stylus would work on my magic trackpad — it didn’t. It was kind of fun to use on the phone w/ a drawing app though. Not recommended.


Jan 12 — Extra-Rigid Fiberboard Photo/Document Mailers, 9 x 11.5 Inches, Box of 25

Just to have on hand in the office. Mainly for sending Doodl Club issues to contributors.


Jan 20 — AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor

Our apartment gets kind of cold in the winter, and I wondered “exactly how cold?” Now I’m kind of into checking the humidity too. Usually we’re at “OK.”


Jan 20 — #6 3/4 Security Envelopes

I thought I’d ordered #10 envelopes (these are the small ones). I put these out on the curb and someone picked them up right away.


Jan 20 — BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors, Fine Point

These came up on reviews as ‘least smelly’ permanent markers. Sharpies make me nauseous. These are better, but I still don’t like them that all that much. For me, it’s good old felt tips.


Jan 20 — Slik Sprint Pro II Tripod in Gun Metal With Quick Release Ball Head & Case

I wanted a tripod for making my Doodl Club time lapse videos. Usually I really belabor reviews and specs, but I bought the cheapest one recc’d by wirecutter in this case. I thought it had a 90° head, but it doesn’t. I make it work anyhow.

Now that Doodl Club is retired, I’ve been using it for product shots for Makrosha.


Feb 3 — Futurebatt® AC Adapter Charger Magsafe 2 45W 14.85V 3.05A for Apple Macbook Air

My original charger was all frayed out, but still worked. I’d left it at the advertising agency office and they threw it away. Rude! This one was like $12 and it works fine.


Feb 23Wacom Intuos Pen Small Tablet

Sometimes I leave my wacom at the office, or home. I have a hard time getting any work done without it. A bit frivolous, but I got this one as a backup. This new one doesn’t work with the wireless adapter though.


Apr 12 —  Minimalist Slim  Wallet

My previous slim wallet was purchased at Dillard’s in 1999. This one is pretty great, with lots of pockets while remaining slim for about $15. In a store like J. Crew they try and charge you $80 for something like this! This one blocks RFID readers, which I don’t care about too much, but is interesting because I had credit card info stolen right before I got it. Great wallet.


Apr 12#10 Envelopes

Because I got the wrong size before.


Apr 12 — Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

A guy I met said it changed his life and I suppose I wanted my life changed too. I think about the nature of work more than doing work. Remains unread. I did read the intro and there a good line about your pay being called “compensation” because it’s not something you’d do otherwise.

I have 5 books next to my bed. If I read them, I’m going to buy myself the kindle paperwhite that I’ve been eyeing.


Apr 12 — 4-inch Pizza Wheel

We eat more frozen pizza than I care to admit. I buy them when doing the shopping thinking it’ll hang around in the freezer in case we don’t have any real food and it always gets eaten within 3 days. I like Digorno and the Paul Newman ones the best. This big pizza wheel cuts em up pretty good.


Apr 12 — Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Esha used the pillow I got last year and wanted one of her own. Now we each have our own contour memory foam pillow.

May 11 — Rubbermaid Commercial High Heat Silicone Spatula, 13.5″, Red Handle

The old spatula was crumbling apart (I always wonder if we end up eating the bits of utensils that seem to chip away … especially our knife). I think America’s Test Kitchen said this was the best, and it is. I’ve noticed it being used on the cooking show I like (A Chef’s Life) too.

May 11Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Headphones

My office neighbors at the coworking space were talking all the time and driving me crazy. Got these fancy headphones thinking they were noise-canceling, but they weren’t. I moved out of the co-working office in July, and didn’t use them that much. Sold them on eBay in December for $50.

cheap x-acto blades

May 11X-acto Blades

Not sure x-actly why I needed these. These were the best price for the quantity and good to have around.

bike stuff from amazon

July 26Chain Lube,  Bike Lights, Bike Tires

Some stuff to fix up my slowly rusting bike. I’d started working in the city again, and figured I’d commute to get some exercise. The ride from my house to the flatiron was so stressful, it just wasn’t worth it. By the time I’d get to work I was in a terrible mood. I rode a handful of times and gave up. It’s also kind of a pain to get my bike in and out of the house. I should probably get rid of it, but I daydream that I’ll live somewhere with basement next year and I’ll be a cyclist again.

Aug 11 — Prospectors Gold Rush Pomade

There was a hip barber shop in LIC that I’d gone to pretty consistently for about a year. They did a good job, but it was $40 and after I’d move offices, not that convenient. This is the pomade they sold me, it’s light and not too sticky. Now I get my haircuts on 23rd Street for $25.


Oct 3 — Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano FortunyIn Bloom: Creating and Living With Flowers

I got these for Esha’s birthday. She said she liked the textile history one.

Oct 3S.W.A.G. Bar

Also for Esha’s birthday. This was on Shark Tank a long time ago, and she seemed interested. I think it’s a loofa with soap in it? She liked it.

Oct 30 — Fire HD 8 Tablet

I’d been kinda wanting a tablet for a long time, but didn’t think it’d be worth it. The good ones were like almost the price of a decent laptop. I got this kindle one for $85. I love it and use it way too much. This dirt cheap tablet works pretty good, but they try to lock you out of all the decent apps. With about 20 min of research I ‘hacked’ it and got the regular apps on it.

I think I’m going to have to start shutting it off and putting it in a drawer because I waste hours on it every night. Tablets are the biggest time-wasters because you can only consume with them. Nothing about them promotes creating. And they’re a better experience than a phone, so you don’t put it down. Great purchase, but too much.


Nov 16 — Leather Writing Journal Notebook, The Westing GameEscape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Pokemon Headphones

Meredith at work signed us up to buy presents for kids. We got letters from the kids saying what they wanted. I think my kid is sensitive. He wanted specific pokeman cards (didn’t get b/c it’d have blown the whole budget), a diary for boys (is this a thing? I saw someone else posting about it), books, and headphones. I compromised on the pokeman thing and got poké headphones. Hopefully he likes everything. I signed the cards as if I were Santa and encouraged him to stay cool.

Dec 5 — 6.5 x 4.5 Rigid Photo Mailers

Surprisingly hard to find a small rigid mailer. Bought these to send out pinpal pins in. They didn’t come in time, and ended up using random envelopes from the 99¢ store.

Pleased with how pinpal worked out. I’d felt sheepish because I tend to search for reasons to discredit and not follow through with ideas. Several people wrote articles about how the safety pin was lazy and passive. I kinda agreed. I also heard from people, like Esha, that thought it was good to show and wear your support. Thanks to lots of friends, we sold out pretty quickly and sent $1450 to the Southern Poverty Law Center — that felt good. A goal for 2017 is to find or create more volunteer opportunities.

The Election

At this point I’m not that interested in what the pollsters got wrong and theories why Trump was elected. I’m very bothered by the reports of harassment carried out in Trump’s name by bigots emboldened by the election result. On Tuesday night my wife repeatedly asked “are there really that many racist people in America?”

I don’t believe racism was the priority for most Trump voters.

I give most of the Trump voters the benefit of the doubt — my instinct is that they voted out of: party loyalty, dislike for HRC, the establishment, desire for non-progressive supreme court judges, and the magical return of ‘good’ jobs. Despite anyone’s reason for voting for Trump they did so in spite of his hostile rhetoric, and looked the other way.

Trump’s campaign was built upon scapegoating the most vulnerable for America’s problems, and taking the country back from “them.” While he was quick to speak out on behalf of Mike Pence for being confronted at a Broadway play, Trump has done little more than shrug when it comes to sticking up for hundreds of Americans being harassed and intimidated in his name. I was anticipating a strong denouncement from him last week during his 60 Minutes interview. This is what we got:

When we interviewed him on Friday afternoon Mr. Trump said he had not heard about some of the acts of violence that are popping up in his name… or against his supporters.

Nor he said had he heard about reports of racial slurs and personal threats against African Americans, Latinos and gays by some of his supporters.

Donald Trump: I am very surprised to hear that— I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that—

Lesley Stahl: But you do hear it?

Donald Trump: I don’t hear it—I saw, I saw one or two instances…

Lesley Stahl: On social media?

Donald Trump: But I think it’s a very small amount. Again, I think it’s–

Lesley Stahl: Do you want to say anything to those people?

Donald Trump: I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together.

Lesley Stahl: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims—

Donald Trump: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.

Compare that to how McCain shut down this BS in 2008:

I mistakenly believed that Trump’s behavior would disqualify him. His voters compromised on decency.

When it comes to these views I will never understand the amount of capacity attributed to immigrants, poor and powerless to conspire and execute complex ploys to ruin the country they live in.

The only good thing that may come of the election is that people like me will be moved out of complacency to help our neighbors. I’m looking for a positive way to help out in Queens. In the meantime, I’ve put this together a small fundraising project along with my friends at Studio Rodrigo called

I hope it helps.

Fake Shoes

Esha was looking into sourcing some some stuff from Alibaba, so I got to looking around the internet for how-to guides and insights. In my search I got sucked in to the world of fake shoes.

Chiefly, the repsneakers subreddit — these dudes scour Chinese websites and create detailed reviews examining every little detail, and how they compare to real shoes.

My fake Pirate Black 350s
$50. Fake Yeezy Pirate Black Boost 350s I’ve worn for ~2 weeks

If you don’t know anything about this whole streetwear / sneakerhead thing — these brands release limited amounts of product and limit the amount an individual can buy. There’s a whole secondary market of waiting in line, buying, and reselling for profit. For instance, the hot shoe is Kanye’s YEEZY Boost 350. It retailed for $200, but is sold out and goes for nearly $1000 on Amazon.

$50. These aren't as popular as Yeezy's. If you can find them, they go for ~$200

$50. These are NMDs — not as popular as Yeezy’s. This colorway is hard to get. But others are readily available

The repheads develop relationships with the suppliers. “Did you see David’s 7th batch” “Is Jessie answering messages?” “Have you seen Eva’s new pics?” … they know there is no “David” but the supplier has taken on this handle and become their own mini-brand with distinct reputations. Some of them work with the suppliers to refine and develop the details on each new “batch.”

Insider lingo and acronyms:

  • LC — Legit Check, having the group check to see if they’re getting ripped off by a reseller of retail sneakers
  • QC — Quality Control photos … users ask Chinese suppliers to send them verified photos of the actual shoes they’ll be getting, usually via WhatsApp
  • W2C — Wanted to Cop
  • TD (turtledove), PB (pirate black), MR (moonrocks), OT (oxford tan) — the various colorways of Boost 350s

Ordering is reminiscent of the wild west days. You might get a confirmation number, it might work, you aren’t really sure when they’ll arrive, if they’ll get shredded by customs, or if there is any recourse if the shoes are messed up somehow. The anticipation of what will show up and when is half of the fun. People get pretty worked up about the customer service they’re receiving and how soon they’ll get their illegal shoes being shipped from the other side of the world, showing how much we’ve come to expect from e-commerce.

Sometimes they don't ship in a box. Just wrapped in plastic
Arrived like this

For the price, the shoes are fairly comfortable. I suspect the retail versions are a bit better, but not enough to justify the cost. I’ve only seen one other person wearing 350s in the wild. A few people on the street have asked me about my shoes, and I tell them they’re bootlegs. Most people have no idea what the shoes are in the first place, but my heart does race a little bit if I’m approaching a group of high-schoolers.

TD Boost 350s

These TD Boost 350s came with some Tommy Hilfinger socks and a fake receipt
These TD Boost 350s came with some Tommy Hilfinger socks and a fake receipt

They seem like regular old shoes once you get them. Looking at the logos printed on the side really puts in to perspective that all things are hand made — by someone, somewhere. There’s no Adidas machine spitting these out. Now, if you so desire, you can have anything you wanted produced in a factory if you bother to send a few emails.

The fact that we’re now so connected that a high school kid in the suburbs can negotiate textile swatches with someone on the other side of the world over text message is a mind boggle for sure.

Sellers modify the logos — but they arrive w/ real logos
Sellers modify the logos on their listings — but they arrive w/ real logos


What I Read On-line

I made a tweet last week that I’ve hit “peak revelation.” I can’t learn about what I didn’t know that I didn’t know any more! I never even deploy the new knowledge. I’m on the lookout for things that are plain entertainment, or art. Maybe I should read a book?

I also made a facebook rant a while ago, that I think some ppl took the wrong way, about lack of pure status in the feed. Over the last 2 years, every time I see a shared article I go up to the top right and click “hide all from” or whatever it is…

— the result of which is that I only really see actual status updates (maybe 4 ppl I know regularly post), instagram reposts (I find annoying, and you can’t block) and things ppl liked “John liked this” … usually some other person’s status.

That said, I look forward to email newsletters, in this order:

I pruned my RSS feed to:

I scan nytimes app headlines, but really only read the weekend printed edition.

And niche subreddits.