Monday, October 28, 2013

The Little Things

In my article Schlepping the Gear, I gave a brief rundown of all the stuff I kept in my steno bag. But I'd like to speak in more detail about some of the less obvious items I carry every day, and what I use them for. None of these are specifically steno-related, but they sure do come in handy every now and then.


* Gum/breath mints (Most onsite CART jobs involve sitting next to the client. Make sure your breath is fresh! My favorite gum for this purpose is Ice Breakers Ice Cubes, because I love popping the tiny liquid mint bubbles with my teeth.)


* Screen cleaning kit (I used to carry a pen-sized bottle of screen cleaner, but these days I find it's more convenient to use the pre-moistened cloths from Staples, which pack flat and have no danger of leaking. Having a clean laptop -- especially your screen -- is a subtle but vital aspect of professionalism when providing onsite CART. You don't want your client to have to squint through the grime to read your captions, and you don't want them to get grossed out when you hand them a tablet to carry. I also have several cans of canned air, which I keep in my home office, and I try to spray the crumbs out of my computers on a regular basis, but those are too bulky to carry on the job. Single-use screen cleaning cloths work just fine.)



* External battery for phone (I don't know about you, but my Motorola Droid 4 barely holds a charge past noon, no matter how sparingly I use it. Admittedly, that might be because I often get up at 5:30, but still; if I don't get home until 8:00 or so, that's eight hours without a phone unless I find some way to charge it. Typically I'll just plug it into my Surface Pro's auxiliary charger slot. But if for whatever reason I don't have the opportunity to connect it to AC power, this little external battery is there to save my bacon. I can plug my phone into it and leave it in my pocket. It takes an hour or so to charge it back up to full capacity (longer if I'm using it while it charges), and usually has enough juice for about 1.5 full charge cycles. I love it so much I'm thinking of buying another one just to have on hand. They can be pricey, but they're ridiculously useful when you can't get to an outlet, you don't want to drain the power on your laptops (or inconvenience your client) by plugging your phone into their USB slots, and suddenly going incommunicado is not an option.)


* Flat spool of gaffers tape (This is one of my easiest hacks: A length of plastic shelf divider snapped off so it's about 6x4 inches, with a few hundred lengths of gaffers tape wrapped around it. This way, I don't have to bring the huge, bulky spool the gaffers tape comes on, but I always have 30 or 40 feet of it at the ready. Gaffers tape is special because it doesn't leave behind adhesive residue on floors or carpet, and it's easy to tear off pieces either transversely or along its length. I use it to cover over extension cords when my laptop is placed at a distance from an outlet, so that I don't create a tripping hazard. I also use it to cover the indicator lights of my laptop when I'm in a theater or other situation where light leakage would be distracting.)


* ID card on retractable cord (The building I work at requires me to flash my official Contractor badge when I come in, so I hooked a retractable badge holder in to the breast pocket of my ScottEVest jacket, which has a special loop just for the purpose. This way I just have to unzip the pocket, reach in for the card, show it to the guy at the security desk, and then let it go; it'll spool back into my pocket and I can go on my way. Very convenient.)


* Business card case (I have a slim leather one, with my business card on one side and Plover stickers on the other)


* Towel tablets (As Douglas Adams so rightly pointed out, a towel is a ridiculously useful object, especially when you own a lot of expensive electronics. I keep a few lightload towel tablets on hand in case of rain, spills, puddles, wet subway seats, or anything else I might encounter. Extremely useful little objects!)


* Water bottle (I'm extremely happy with my insulated Kleen Kanteen. It keeps stuff cold for hours and hours, and it's got a nice big plastic loop in the lid. I made a length of Velcro tape with the hooks on one side and the loops on the other and ran it through one of the straps on the side of my backpack. Now I have to do is run it through the water bottle's lid and close it on itself, and I know that the bottle will stay in my backpack's mesh side pocket no matter how much bumping and jostling I put it through.)


* Multitool (I love my Leatherman Sidekick, though I admit that frequently I have to take it out of my backpack when I know I have to go through a metal detector or security checkpoint of some kind, and sometimes I forget to put it back in. Still a tremendously useful thing to keep around.)


* Superglue (Individual use tubes of Superglue can be absolute lifesavers when you need to do last-minute repairs to a steno machine that's been knocked to the floor by a careless student. Oh, yes, that's happened to me. More than once. Not fun.)


* 3-to-2 prong adapter (Use these sparingly; I understand that if you don't actually screw the metal bit in, they're not completely safe. But sometimes there just isn't a three-prong wall outlet anywhere, so these can mean the difference between running on battery and possibly going dark during a job or being able to plug in. I always make sure to keep a surge protector between the outlet and my electronic gear, and so far I haven't had any problems at all using this thing, but as with any electrical improvisations, be careful.)


* 1 foot extension cord (More common even than a two-prong outlet is a situation where I just can't fit my surge protector in the available outlet no matter how I twist and turn it. This short extension cord is much more convenient than my usual 15-foot-long one when the problem is just finding space around the outlet to plug in my stuff.)


* Sistema cutlery set (not to be confused with Systema, the scary Soviet martial arts technique. My lovely Ladybug Spork broke off one of its wings a few weeks ago, which of course was heartbreaking, but I have to admit that the Sistema Cutlery Set is actually way better. It takes up just a little more space in my bag, but it lets me assemble a full-sized spoon, fork, knife, and chopsticks to suit the needs of any meal. I really like it. I've also started using a Muji bento box, which fits in my backpack's other mesh side pocket, to supplement the stuff I carry in my lunch bag every day. It works really well, and holds more food than the small Tupperware containers I was using before.)

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this post on Depoman. Below is a selection of things they carry in their bags. Click through to the post for more, especially for court reporting-specific items (about which I know next to nothing. Is an exhibit sticker the same thing as an exhibit label? I have no idea!)


* campus map (for onsite CART)


* cough drops (for scratchy throats)


* Fingerless gloves (for chilly mornings)


* Garbage bags (for putting over steno bag if it rains)


* Kleenex (for spills, runny noses, or emotional witnesses)


* Colgate Wisp toothbrushes (when you have garlic bread for lunch)


* Magnifying glass/whistle/compass (For... Um... I got nothing. Is this another court reporting thing?)

So that's all the non-steno stuff I keep in my bag. Have I left anything out? What bits, bobs, and gewgaws do you bring with you to every job?

51 comments:

  1. Good god. What a useful, well thought out list. I'm sending this on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the kind words! I really need to update this blog again. It's been far too long. (':

    ReplyDelete
  3. These little things are very helpful, and needed. if we see all these things it's look very normal and useless but when you don't have these when you need so this is just. the famous scholar said "don't underestimate the power of single man and small things". today whatever i am is because of cheap essay writers so i am very thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This Article as the name of Little Things is exceptionally supportive for all of us. Every little thing is accessible in great work. As when I was student, I thought dissertation writing is a piece of cake but when I start writing it I come to know it's notably challenging but I discover Cheap Dissertation Writing assistance online at $4 and got amazing marks as well as now I know how to draft best dissertation papers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your website is so cool. Thank you for sharing a superb information. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. Thanks a lot for sharing. custom thesis writing service

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for providing the important information. If ever you feel any problem in writing something you can click here Assignment Help Online
    Java assignment help
    Accounting Homework Help

    ReplyDelete
  7. Assignment Help is the good and reliable source of completing your work on time by spending minimum effort. All students who need help for raising their marks, they can connect with academic experts of greatassignmenthelp Don’t spend your time and place your order right now.
    Assignment Help Online
    Online Assignment Help
    Assignment Help Online Services
    Assignment Helper
    Assignment Assistance
    Assignment Help Experts
    Online Assignment Help Services

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for this wonderful information looking forward for more. We are providing the best quality online assignment help. There are professional experts from various esteemed universities in almost every field. Well if you get time you must read more
    programming help
    do my assignment
    Assignment Writing Help

    ReplyDelete
  9. Assignment Help allows you to connect with experts even in Dubai. With them, you can meet the due dates and score good grades by choosing the option of Online Assignment Help in Dubai.Visit us : Assignment Help Online

    ReplyDelete
  10. When I activate my QuickBooks desktop on my computer system, I am hardly experiencing QuickBooks error 3371. I am facing from a long period, so I am not able to complete my all accounting tasks. My QuickBooks is not loading the license data due to this error code, hence my all important tasks are pending. It is really a big problem for me. As per my bookkeeping knowledge, I am trying to sort out this error code, but nothing is extremely helpful. Can anyone share the simple ways to solve QuickBooks error 3371?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Take assignment help when you want to get subject matter experts' assistance in the UK. Establish a strong connection with your service provider and share your queries or requirements with them if you don't want to lose your money.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello everybody! Thank you so much for providing the important information. If ever you feel any problem in doing Excel assignments you can click on the link. If you are always wondering, “Who can do my excel homework?” – be sure that you can definitely rely on our custom writing help.

    ReplyDelete
  13. PNJ Sharptech offers the best Custom Website designing services in India along with digital marketing services at affordable prices. We expect to think again about your character with the target that you increase extreme mileage from the online commercial center. Lead your Business Forward with our Web design Services. For More Query Contact Us +918527749441.

    Also Read: Google My Business – For Boosting Your Online Presence

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gmail account as it is required to mention when you register any new form or application. But there are times when you confront various technical gmail issues such as can’t send or receive any mail, Gmail login page is not loading, not remember the Gmail password, Gmail account gets hacked, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. On a regular basis, many users are using canon printer for the excellent printing services. Users prefer canon printers for their personal or official usages. It is certain that user can face minor or major technical issues while printing procedure. If your canon printer is not printing the documents, you can get connected with live printer experts to get full technical support to sort out canon printer not printing issue immediately. Our canon printer troubleshooting team is highly skilled and rich experienced to recognize the major reasons of canon printer not printing and apply the best technical resolutions to resolve this error within a few seconds.
    canon printer troubleshooting

    ReplyDelete
  16. sbcglobal email settings: If you are going to use Sbcglobal for your email applications I suggest you should discuss the pros and cons of sbcglobal from the sbcglobal customer service team. They know more than you and they will guide you properly for the sbcglobal.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am going to construct my residential unit, so I want to use PEB building solutions in my building. I want to use steel structures in my house, and want to modernize it in the unique ways. I look for modular steel structures, permanent roof steel structures, top quality materials and best quality PEB steel building materials, so my residential unit can take the shape of modernized house. I also look for the cheap and best construction materials and full safety. There are many options in the market, but I look for a reliable Pre Engineered Building Manufacturers for my affordable PEB building solutions. I have small budget for PEB steel building structures. I don’t have sufficient knowledge to find out the best PEB building provider. So anyone can suggest me a reliable PEB building manufacturer as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am unable to download AOL desktop Gold for Windows 10 PC, so please suggest me easy tips for the AOL desktop gold download process. Please share your opinion here.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Vous aimez la gamme de la variété du mobilier de bureau à Toulouse? Eh bien oui est votre réponse, alors vous n'êtes pas celui sur la liste. C'est l'une des meilleures entreprises qui sont très chéries parmi les clients pour sa gamme incroyable de divers types de mobilier de bureau à Toulouse. Voulez-vous en savoir plus sur elle? Si oui, laissez-moi vous dire que c'est l'un des célèbres meubles de marques. C'est la société qui apprécié pour son œil accrocheur conception et la finition de meubles. Si vous voulez acheter des meubles à partir de là, il serait certainement ajouter plus de beauté à votre bureau.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Want to know more about the top law firm in india then there is only one name that you can consider i.e. RK Legal Advisors. It is one of the best and top nri legal advisors in india able to deliver the best nri legal services to all their clients. If you want to know more then visit the official website of RK Legal Advisors.
    --------------------------------
    For best image optimization tool visit : jpeg optimizer online.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Are you looking help for completing your academic assignments? If yes, then you are at right place. We are a company who provided Assignment help for students. We have a team of professional academic writers who can help in completing your assignment before deadline. If you want to avail our services then call us on our toll-free number or visit our website for more information.

    ReplyDelete
  22. crack QuickBooks Desktop Password by using the Automated Password reset tool Keeping your data protected while accessing the internet is our Responsibility and QBSsolved constantly works to keep your company files protected. You can keep your data safe is to use only trusted and reliable tools and software. QuickBooks provide complete protection of your data from the misuse and theft.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Finding the perfect casino for real money slots couldn’t be simpler. We start you off right by providing you with a well-researched list of the very best real money casinos online for you to choose from. This means you can leave all your worries behind and concentrate on spinning those reels and hitting the jackpot! So how exactly do we pick the best real money casinos?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wales Publications is a research publishing solution provide best Publication Research In UK
    in all issues from research to the journal publication are catering in your discipline based on your requirements.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Are you using QuickBooks software for accounting purpose? If yes then you have to know about some troubleshooting tools which are very useful during finding solution of any error. For example if you are getting QuickBooks error 15215 and you have no idea about this error then you can use these tools. Still facing issue then contact us our technical team for further support. For more information visit our website or call us on toll-free numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Currently, I join the homework writing platform to share my knowledge and experience with scholars by providing Homework Help services. Using this platform, students can share their doubts and concerns with me about any subject.

    ReplyDelete
  27. If you have Outlook file that is locked by mistake and you want to recover them so in this condition LMbyte best ost to pst converter tool is perfect to solve your issues. This software is creating a master key to LMbyte Outlook Password Recovery and it key has power to unlock your file and it also has ability to recover lengthy and difficult password in few steps. If you use this software then it also protects your PST file by virus.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Get Support for HP Printer Problems. Call 24/7 Toll Free HP Printer Support Phone Number. For HP Printer Help & HP Printer Support. +1-863-913-1001
    To Complete hp wireless setup, The WI-FI network password is Essential. Find your Password from the Wireless Router. The wifi network password is offered by your Internet service providers (ISP) after you got Wireless Internet Connection Service. This password can be obtained by the wireless router. WPA2 Password, Labelled wireless key, security key, WEP key are treated as your Password.
    Likewise, we can also able to find your Password from WINDOWS and MAC Operating Systems.
    For more information visit:
    https://mchelperprintersupport.com/hp-wireless-printer-setup or Call us now on our toll-free number: +1-863-913-1001
    HP Wireless Printer setup HP Wireless Printer HP Printer Wireless Setup HP Printer Issues HP Printer problems HP Printer Troubleshooting
    For Canon Printer Setup (toll-free +1-863-913-1001)
    Visit: https://mchelperprintersupport.com/canon-printer-setup/
    Canon Printer Support Canon Tech Support Canon Printer Phone Support Canon Printer drivers Canon Printer app Canon Printer Troubleshooting Canon connect Printer to Wifi Canon Printer not responding Canon Printer offline Canon Printer setup Canon Printer software Canon Printer Wireless Setup Canon Printer wont print Canon Customer Services.
    For Brother Printer Support ( toll-free +1-863-913-1001)
    Visit: https://mchelperprintersupport.com/brother-printer-support
    Brother Printer Support Brother tech support Brother Customer Service Brother Service Center Brother usa support Contact brother support Brother Support drivers Brother Printer Helpline
    Help with any model, any brand, Available 24/7


    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Everyone, the Article is amazing and informative. Thanks for sharing, If anybody who wants to take help with us so contact us. we provide the cheap essay writing services in UK.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Looking for a thesis writing company in UAE? if yes then UAE Assignment Help provides a 100% plagiarism-free thesis and delivered it before the deadline instantly.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your post surely hits the right emotion. Kudos for the beautiful write-up. If you are struggling to play exceptionally well with your words while writing your academic online homework help in USA, you can get in touch with the committed writing and editing team of the Myassignmenthelpau platform at a time that suits you best.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Many students create a misconception about online learning that you can’t interact with the professor if you want to clear your doubts regarding the subject. However, this is not the truth. You can contact them at any time to take assignment help online to solve all your queries via email, texting, phone calls, or chats. You can’t meet them in real but you can solve your doubts by talking to them virtually.

    ReplyDelete
  33. But if you already study at college, you probably have to deal with obligatory disciplines and plenty of homework assignments. If you need some fresh air, apply to our service. We’ll help you to get cheap college paper writing service better grades effortlessly! Our expert writers provide students with plagiarism-free samples to help them with their homework. Place your order and improve your academic performance now!

    ReplyDelete
  34. These are the benefits that you can enjoy if you ask for buy dissertation. In case you are looking for make my assignment at an affordable rate, then we are here to offer you guidance. So matter what type of assignment you bring to us, we will fulfil each and every requirement. Just make a call and avail the services from us.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Are you being tired of writing assignments non-stop? Is it being tough for you to manage academic tasks simultaneously? If yes, we are here to help you for
    write my essay
    assignment with some simple and easy suggestions that can bring major changes in your outlook towards these tasks and your overall academic performance.

    ReplyDelete
  36. If it has been a long time since your trying to ace your assignments but nothing is working out, let us tell you there is always an option of availing online dissertation writer. Just make sure that while you are trying to reach helpers you don’t stumble upon fraudsters. Before choosing any assignment help provider do check their previous work samples. This will let you know the way they work. Along with this, never undermine the importance of user feedback while judging a website. Go through the student reviews carefully and see whether maximum users have criticized their service or loved it. Then make a decision that you deem fit.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Heyy friends!! i'm a working women and currently i'm working in a well known writing firm

    Assignment help UK .After reading this blog i thought it would be fun to share what's in my bag too but i'm not going into detail i just have to say that my bag is a whole lot messier than this!! Embarrassingly so! there are all sort of mysterious objects hiding at the bottom;it usually a hole of a lucky dip when i put my hand in there .

    ReplyDelete
  38. We're committed to providing the solution for Roadrunner users. By having us on your side, you need not worry. All that you've to do is reach out to our help page if you have any troubles with your account. You can look for the solution related to sign in, Roadrunner Login, password reset issues. Also, if you've any other queries, you can drop a line to our experts to know more details.

    ReplyDelete
  39. We ensure to fix the issues with Twc mail accounts in the best possible and straightforward way. So you can always rely on us if you're a Twc mail account holder. You can reach out to our help page whenever there is an issue with sign-up, Twc Email Login, settings, etc. In addition, we understand that sometimes users need to get in-person help, so it would help if you get connected to our experts for instant inquiries.

    ReplyDelete
  40. We can help you to identify and solve complex issues with the Spectrum Email. So, whenever there is an issue with your mail account, you can consider browsing our help page for the solutions. We ensure to provide accurate and authentic solutions to fix the issues with server-side settings, login, and accessing other email services through the spectrum page. In case you want any further guidance, then please consider addressing your issue to our professionals.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Each writer follows a unique pattern of generating a plagiarism-free piece of writing essay.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You can't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    야한소설

    ReplyDelete
  43. I just could not depart your site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often to check up on new posts 립카페

    ReplyDelete
  44. After looking into a few of the blog posts on your site, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging.

    타이마사지

    ReplyDelete
  45. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me your opinion.

    안마

    ReplyDelete
  46. It is not a big problem if you are facing some technical issues with your Quickbooks subscription lately. You can get resolution of all issues related to Quickbooks by merely contacting our Quickbooks support center.

    ReplyDelete