With my OmarKnows Newsletter you can participate in my quest to find the best things (mainly gadgets). Selected articles from this blog will be published to the newsletter. Newsletters are delivered no more than once a week (Sunday 12pm PST) on weeks where I have written an article.
You can also visit the Archive of old articles.
Every household has a Vacuum cleaner and the other day my sister asked me what kind to get to replace her Dyson. I love Dyson products, but after reading this Wirecutter article I replaced our Dyson with a Miele Vacuum Cleaner.
I always though “bagless” was better but have since decided it’s not. The Miele has a Hepa filter meaning it is putting filtered air back into your house and trapping 100% of muck in a bag that you only need to empty or replace every few months (no pets). We have had ours for over a year now and are using the same original box of 4 bags that came with it.
Wirecutter recommend the Compact C2 Electro+ which is really nice. Miele makes many many other models and the main differences are the features (such as attachments) and other bells and whistles - but pretty much they all have the same mechanism.
I always ask myself - “does this spark joy” - if you read or follow Marie Kondo then you know this is core to her philosophy.
I try and apply this to most of what I own - including - yes - my umbrellas. Up till now I generally did not think of them and when I did, disliked them. As such I looked to my friend Kelsi who loves her Blunt Umbrella and decided to replace our mismatch of umbrellas.
Blunt umbrellas are quite cool. They are not built like a regular umbrella. They come in many shapes and sizes.
They are the “Away Luggage” of the Umbrella world.
Good luggage doesn’t need to be expensive. I feel that you should have some decent carry on and checked luggage.
However, you can spend a lot of money on luggage - and like anything - meet any budget.
My personal favorite luggage are the Rimowa Aluminum luggage. They are incredible bags. German engineering but outside the price range of most people. I love the black aluminum bags and have them in their carry-on size (36L) and checked luggage (68L). Their hybrid luggage is polycarbonate but lacks zippers and is also a great choice.
But I’m here to write about Away Luggage. For the money, I don’t think you will find luggage as good as theirs. They make their bags in polycarbonate and aluminum (like Rimowa) but cost a third as much. They also have some very innovative features such as a batter that is built into their carry on bags and can be removed as well.
I’ve written before about my love for Peak Designs bags and products. My current Peak Design bag lineup includes
Black 5L Sling - this is what I use when I’m shooting with my Leica camera or as an accessory bag for flying and family vacations to store a water bottle, battery.
Black 10L Sling - large enough for my MacBook, camera, 2 lenses I travel a lot with this bag.
Black Everyday Backpack 20L - this is for trips where I’m bringing most (but not all) of my camera gear, one or two laptops, headphones, Nintendo etc
Peak recently launched a new “travel” line that starts with the Travel Backpack 45L. This is an incredible bag but it’s large and designed as a primary bag for travel OR a back that I use for photography trips where I am brining 2 bodies, 4-5 lenses, iPad, and all the necessities for a flight.
2 years ago, we replaced all our Dinnerware with products from Heath Ceramics. After more than 10 years with our previous dinnerware we wanted a product that would last a long time and was incredibly durable.
Heath Ceramics has been making Dinnerware since 1948. Some of their pieces will be found in many restaurants around the country. Their products are hand made.
Last year Apple released the iPhone X. This was arguably the biggest change in the iPhone since the introduction of the “Plus” sized phones a few years prior. You can read my review from last year.
I was very bullish on the iPhone X and I regard this as the best phones I have owned… until now.
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are an evolution of this product. The changes are not significant but they are meaningful. Whether they are meaningful enough for you to upgrade - that’s up to you but I will spell out some scenarios to consider.
The biggest decision when considering the Xs is the size. I decided to purchase the “Max” or the bigger one. I will admit that this was the toughest decision or me to make. After living with the phone for a week, I’m glad I made this choice - but it’s not a perfect choice. I think the size of the new iPhone Xr (which I won’t plan to review) is closer to what I’d want.