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SMART STUFF | ARCHIVE | LEISURE |..1..2..3..4..5.....>...........................USEFUL TIPS AND TRICKS

Welcome to the Smart Stuff leisure and off hours section with some of the world's smartest gadgets, inventions and ideas for getting the most from your free time. Also browse the useful tips and tricks page for some clever and useful ideas.



Outdoor gas cooker and wok
Have a wook-out!
If you have tried, you know it is great. If not, you are in for a treat. Cooking in a wok outside on a warm summer night is something to long for. It is even okay on a rainy afternoon on the porch. You do not really need a fancy gas cooker like the one above, even though it makes temperature control easier. You can actually just put the wok down on the hot coals in your barbie. Doing this, the simplest kind of round bottomed wok, one without frills like non-stick coating and such, works best. Make a rather large and hot bed of coals before you start, and make sure all your ingredients are chopped and ready beforehand. Once you start, you do not want to go into the house to look for the fish sauce, believe us. You can find woks most anywhere nowadays, but if you have an asian grocery store nearby, try them first. They usually stock the simple and cheap wok you want. Pick one with a rounded bottom if they have both kinds (the flat-bottomed ones are for electric stove tops). Gas cookers are found in fancier kitchen supply stores. They usually cost like a better BBQ.

13 may 2005 (Friday the 13th, actually)



A.Stilic Force bag hanger B.Designtorget bag hanger C.Design Against Crime bag hanger chair

Three solutions to the bag saving problem.
Many women feel unsafe at restaurants when they are forced to hang their hand bags or purses on the back of their chairs. They feel that they run the risk of having their possessions pinched. This problem has been addressed in the form of a chair (C) by , that has a cut out section in front of the seat to allow the handbag to be put there. The chair won a design award, if we are not mistaken, but the problem is that as long as restaurants do not replace their chairs, nothing has been accomplished.

The hooks above are a couple of attempts to solve the problem in a simpler and more economical way. The one on the left (A) comes from Stilic Force. The one on the right (B) from Designtorget and set us back SEK 75:- (about USD 10:-). Both have pro's and con's. (B) has a large rubberized footprint on the table or counter which suggests stability. On the other hand it is made from three different components that has to be assembled. This should make it more expensive to manufacture. Although we have not had the chance to see (A) in the flesh, we think it looks stamped or cut in one piece, which should be less costly. The very narrow footprint could make it wiggly, though. If any of you, dear readers, have had any experience with any of these two hangers, please do not hesitate to let us in on your findings.

11 May 2005




Snow Peak titanium spork
Ultra lightweight titanium spork.
Packing for an expedition, you tend to count every ounce of weight. After all, you are going to be carrying it on your back for the duration. This can be equally important regardless of the destination; Patagonia for six months or just down to the fishing stream or for a hike around the block. So for those among you that just have to have the lightest stuff available we present the amazing titanium spork from japanese Snow Peak. It will not get much lighter than this. The titanium spork is USD 9:90 on Amazon.

1 May 2005




Last Line bookmark

Bookmark remembers your last line.
We found this little bookmark today at Akademibokhandeln in Stockholm as we were looking for other things. And as we have (well documented) difficulties in resisting clever little things like this, it followed us home. It is a plastic clip with an oblong opening in the middle of the top. You are supposed to match the opening with the last line you read before you were interrupted. The clip seems tough enough to stay in place, so it seems to have a good chance of remaining where you left it. The bookmark is called LastLine but it gives no clue as to who the designer or manufacturer is, except that it is made i China (but so is a lot of stuff these days). It was SEK 19:- at Akademibokhandeln.

18 April 2005


Smartwool merino wool socks

Walk further in merino wool socks.
We suppose these socks are made for the sportier among us. The people that spend their off hours hiking in the mountains or distance skating. But that does not mean these socks are not very comfortable for the rest of us, too. We use the thin inner sock like an ordinary sock in regular shoes. They are knitted to be comfortable and provide support for your feet and ankles. They are cool in hot weather and warm when it is cold outside. Combine the thin inner sock with one of the heavier socks for hiking in boots, etc. They are not exactly cheap at SEK 120:- (USD 15:-) a pair at the Playground store in Stockholm, but our happy walking feet are worth every penny. Smartwool.

11 February 2005



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