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I use Blokada to reduce the amount of advertisements on my telephone.

Blokada registers itself as a VPN service on the phone so that it can intercept all network traffic. It then downloads filter lists to route the domains of known advertisers, trackers, etc to a black hole, exactly like what I do on my real computer with hostsctl. For me it has had no noticeable impact on battery life. I have found it especially useful when travelling internationally and purchasing cellular plans with small data caps. The only disadvantage I have found is that Blokada must be disabled when I want to connect to a real VPN via WireGuard or OpenVPN.

Blokada must be installed via F-Droid (or directly through the APK) because Google frowns upon blocking advertisements (but at least Google allows you to install software on your telephone outside of their walled garden, unlike their competitor).

Last year I bought a set of Orfos Pro lights.

The Orfos Pro is a simple and flexible LED light that is powered by a separate USB battery. I use the white light model as my bike headlight. This means that, when not in use, the light has a male USB Type-A plug hanging off the bike. In inclement conditions I usually want light, so I’ll have the connector inserted into a battery. I haven’t been too worried about protecting the plug when not in use. Over the past 14 months I haven’t noticed any problems. But when I saw the CozyCaps USB Caps I decided they would be a worthwhile addition to the setup. I expect they will do a good job of protecting the connectors from dirt or light moisture.

Orfos Pro with CozyCap USB Cap

I power the headlight with an Anker PowerCore 5000, which mounts to the down tube via a Twofish Bikeblock.

This post was published on . It was tagged with micro, bicycle, gear.

This time of year it is traditional for me to treat my saddle.

While the weather is still warm and pleasant here in Baghdad by the Bay, the hot sun and ass sweat of summer is fading into the past, and The Great Wet is on the horizon. Tonight I took my saddle to the sink and rinsed it off with some Dr. B. I don’t wash it every year, but it looked like it wanted it. After drying, I treat it to a sensual massage with a healthy helping of Obenauf’s LP. Obenauf’s products have served me and my leather well for a while now, and it’s a nice treat for my skin. The saddle will take a couple of coatings tonight. In the morning I’ll wipe off the top, and then give it an ass polishing with the day’s riding.

Obenauf's Saddle Massage

This post was published on . It was tagged with micro, bicycle.

I store bread in my pillowcase.

If kept in a paper bag, bread will become dry and stale after a couple of days. If placed into a plastic bag, all the moisture is retained, the crust looses its crunch, and the bread is as disappointing as if it was stale. By keeping the bread in the paper bag it is purchased in, and inserting that into one of my linen pillowcases, moisture is retained but the bread can still breathe. I find it stays fresh for about 5 days when I do this. I don’t know that linen is superior to plain cotton for this use case (but I do know that linen is superior to plain cotton for sleeping on).

Apparently you can buy linen bread bags made explicitly for this purpose, but I prefer things that are multifunctional, and I already have a good set of pillowcases taking up space in my bedding box. The small size of my pillow means that I can just squeeze two normal sized loafs of bread into a single pillowcase. To store a baguette I first cut it in half.

This post was published on . It was tagged with food, micro.

Many reusable bags leave something to be desired when transporting bulk rice.

Bags intended for produce are often made of a mesh too coarse to contain granules of rice. Others have a weak drawstring closure that fails to resist a couple pounds of rice pressing against it when the bag gets tossed around. My solution to this problem is to use roll-top dry bags when I’m buying rice from the bulk bins. I’m partial to Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks. At home I store these with my other grocery bags, so that I don’t have to remember to dig them out of my backpacking gear before heading to the market.

Rice Run

The cashiers are always impressed with my bags.

This post was published on . It was tagged with food, gear, micro.