My Everyday Carry
The Quo Vadis Pocket Calendar is a great step up in terms of paper over the Moleskines have been using. The Moleskines seem to vary from disliking fountain pens to having an outright fiery hatred of them. The Quo Vadis, on the other hand, can get along when them quite well. Its not perfect paper, but it is much better than other stuff out there. As a lawyer, a planner is all but required. Lots of cases and lots of courts make thorough organization a must and sometimes my iPhone doesn’t cut it. The at a glance utility of a paper planner is hard to beat. It used to be that I had a paper planner as a back up to my phone, but the more I use the paper planner, the more I like it.
I know there are alternatives out there, but nothing works as well with the apps I need and use as well as the iPhone. Legal apps, such as the new and wonderful Lexis Advance are amazing on the iPhone, even better than they are on the computer, so iPhone it is. I had the 4 for about three years and then right before Christmas I switched to a 64GB iPhone 5S. The upgrade in processor has been a boon to some of my favorite games.
I am completely dissatisfied with the array of cases out there. I want something simple with no thin pieces of plastic (like around the Lighting Port or the switch). This was an Incipio Feather, but it just fell apart, so I am not going to bother to link it.
The Prometheus Alpha Pen (review) is perhaps the perfect pen for me, and this is coming from a person that detests pens with caps. The thing is that all of the traveling I do and all of the writing in rough and dirty places is hell on pens. I had three Retro 51s poop out on me, breaking or just not working after about two months each. I did the Zebra F-701 mod (more found here) and that lasted a while, but the writing performance on the Fisher Space Pen refill was never all that great. Fountain pens are my preferred writing tool, but they aren’t durable enough to last long, especially because I loan my pen out for people to sign documents all of the time. Watching someone crush a nib because they haven’t used a fountain pen before is painful. So in comes the Alpha. It is stunning to look at and solid as a rock. But the difference maker is Fineliner refill. Most Mont Blancs are more than $500 so its hard to experience the greatness that is the Fineliner on the cheap, but the Alpha lets you do that (yes, I know there is a mod of the G2 that lets you use some MB refills). Honestly, the Fineliner refill is probably 80-90% as good a writer as a fountain pen with much less hassle and much more durability. For me, the Alpha is and has been for about a year now, the best high durability writer out there—a perfect balance of toughness and writing performance.
The watch is a very good watch. Its not high end, but it has NEVER stopped working and I have worn it everyday for 15 years. It was a present from my wife for our first Christmas together and it looks good. I know there are nicer watches out there, but I don’t know enough about watches yet to figure out which four figure gem I want to buy. This will be replaced eventually, but for now I like it quite a bit—its like the Honda Accord of the watch world—suitable for lots of people and utterly reliable.
The 3” XM-18 (review) is not the best value in knives, especially at secondary market prices, but it is a superb cutting tool. At the very top end of any market, incremental improvements in performance cost a ton of money. Here the improvements aren’t worth the money when compared to the ZT0566 (purchase), but if performance is your key then the XM-18 is worth it. The 3” model is simply a better carrying knife than the 3.5” model. The flipper is much better than folks would have you believe, and the Duratech steel is amazing, probably my favorite overall steel right now (though ZDP-189, M4, and SG-2 are right there with it).
The Haiku (review) is a no-brainer. It is one of the best EDC lights ever made with a beam pattern so perfectly balanced between throw and flood that nothing I have reviewed in three years has ever come all that close. This is a big light for the format (1xCR123a) but it is tough, beautiful, and flawless. The UI is an old style clicky, but a good one thanks to excellent spacing between low, medium, and high, as well as a mode memory. Don’s stuff is the bar for flashlights and among his offerings the Haiku is the most mainstream. Its expensive, but worth it.
Wallets are in a weird place right now with only Bellroy really killing it. They have fallen into a few groups—the skinny wallets, the overbuilt wallets, and the weirdo Kickstarter wallets. None of them are exactly what I want and right now, this is the one I find least offensive. I’d love a Bellroy with an ID window, but alas no such thing exists. The Big Skinny is pretty cheap and surprisingly durable given how thin it is, but I’d happily jump ship for a Bellroy with an ID window.
The last piece of kit is the small key holder/organizer called the BladeKey (review). Its a very simple and creative design. It does exactly what I wanted for a key organizer without having to modify keys or being monstrously large or expensive. I like it a lot, so much so that it was only the second product I have ever bought after reviewing it (the first was the superior Tom Bihn Cadet briefcase, review).
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