Kevin on May 10th, 2015

This almost makes me want an Apple Watch, but not quite.  Maybe the best thing, if you really want to go this way, is to way for Gen 2…

Will the Apple Watch become as indispensable on the road as a passport? Siri won’t say. But we will.

Source: Apple Watch: A Test Run for Travelers

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Yet another report came out this week, this time from the United States Travel Association, all about the state of domestic air travel – how much we, the

Source: 11 Reasons Why Southwest Is the Best Airline You’re Probably Not Flying – Blog – Airfarewatchdog

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Approximately once a year, many of the U.S. frequent flyer programs offer a bonus when you purchase miles. American’s program is open right now, and represents a compelling way to get extra miles. Bonuses start at the 6,000 mile level (e.g., buy 6K miles and get an extra 1,500 miles for $177. In that case, after taxes and a $30 processing fee are added in, you’re paying $ .029 per mile, which is a pretty good deal.

The more miles you buy, however, the sweeter it gets. If you go whole hog and purchase 100,000 miles, you’ll receive a bonus of 60,000 miles, for a total cost of $3200, or $ .02 per mile. With 160,000 miles you could purchase two round trip business class tickets to Europe, a very solid deal. Click here for details: American Airlines Buy Miles Bonus

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No, this isn’t the second installment of a series of posts involving straws!  I’d seen this somewhere in the past and just this morning stumbled across another post on the topic at Lifehacker.  Courtesy of Lifehacker and the Mighty Girl site, how to make your own mini-sized toiletry “sticks” with plastic straws.  All you need are straws, Q-tips, toiletries, a Sharpie or similar marker, and an inexpensive bag sealer.

mini toiletry straws

Full instructions are at Mighty Girl:  Make Travel Size Toiletries With a Heat Sealer

 

 

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Hold It is one of those little tools that I suspect many of us never knew existed.  If you’ve ever lost the little tube off a can of WD-40, brake cleaner, compressed air or the like, this inexpensive widget will prevent it from happening in the future.  Available from Amazon.  $1.98 for a package of 2.

Hold-It Straw Holder

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Kevin on January 12th, 2014

I stumbled across this in Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools book, and thought I’d pass it along.  If you travel internationally, you’re likely aware that it’s a good idea to carry your passport with you when out and about.  Personally, I don’t like doing that out of fear that I might lose my passport.  Instead of bringing the real thing with you, make a proxy with a color copier and laminator.

Create a passport proxy - Cool Tools

Here are the instructions from the original post on Kevin’s site:

Make a good color copy of your passport, including the covers. Align the inside sheet of your passport data with the outside passport cover sheet. Glue together. Laminate. Score and fold. You now have a fairly official looking travel document.

I have found that for most purposes — changing money at a bank, rentals, hotel front desks, and even police — this passport clone is sufficient. You hide or store your real one and use this one for everything else except crossing borders. I don’t know why, but most people seem happy to accept it. It may be because it seems like some new futuristic version 2.0 passport and who are they to question it?

I’ll be making mine soon!

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Kevin on December 29th, 2013

 

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools bookI’ve linked to Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools website since 2008, and have found numerous neat tools and gadgets on the site over the years.  So I was happy to learn that he’d decided to produce a book containing all the best tools and gadgets he and his site’s contributors have discovered and reviewed.

The result is a sort of “Whole Earth Catalog” of great tools.  The oversized paperback clocks in at 472 pages and is an absolute delight:  leaf through it for just a few minutes, and you’re sure to find an intriguing device that suits your needs and which you never knew existed.  Like the Whole Earth Catalog, you can pick up Cool Tools, flip to any page, and learn something neat or useful while being entertained.

If you love clever, useful gadgets and gizmos, this book definitely should be in your library – or on your coffee table.

Here are a few randomly selected spreads from the book:

Cool Tools 005

Cool Tools 002

Cool Tools 003

Cool Tools is available from Amazon; $30.38

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