Stuff I Own

Some stuff i own and recommend to friends

I get emails all the time asking what I use to produce podcasts, so I thought I'd put together a page with that stuff. That got me rummaging around in old Amazon orders, and I thought I'd add a few other things we've bought over the past few years that have proven to be solid products. You may ask yourself, "Why should I give a shit what vacuum cleaner Chris Ryan uses?" Good question. I have no answer. But if you're curious about what you'd see in our place, here's some of it. This is all stuff I bought on Amazon (except the Tom Bihn bags), and all these links take you to Amazon, so if you end up buying anything, from 4 to 7% of what you spend gets kicked back to support the podcast (at no cost to you). So that's cool.

I used a Blue Yeti usb mic for a while for the home recording stuff (intros and ROMAs and TOMAs), but I recently switched to this mic because the headphone jack on the Yeti got a little loose and I like the sound a bit better. Plus, it's smaller, so it's easier to take it on the road when I'm out vanthropologizing. I don't love the included headphones (see the Sony below), but the mic is great.

This is on my desk, with the Rode mic mounted on it. Perfect.

These are the handheld mics I use. I was using lapel mics for a while, but then my annoying friend Kyle Thiermann kept telling me how much the audio sucked on my podcast, so I finally went with these. I liked the lapel mics because people could forget they were being recorded and relax -- but he's right that the audio quality suffered, so I caved. These are great. Very solid, with coaxial cables.

Aeronaut 45 (carry on)

Aeronaut 45 (carry on)

When they heard I was traveling around the world and wasn't thrilled with the bags I had, the fine folks at Tom Bihn agreed to send me a couple of bags I could sample. Well, I love both of these. They're made with materials that sit right at the sweet spot where durability and not-too-heavy meet, and the designs go places I wouldn't have thought to ask for, but really appreciate in use. They're not cheap, but I don't anticipate buying replacements for years, both cause these will last (and have lifetime guarantees) and I can't imagine features I'd want that they don't have. Plus, made in USA. I don't have any promo code or affiliate link, so if you buy anything from them, please tell them I sent you so they'll know their generosity is paying off. 

Part of my home set-up. These are plugged directly into my microphone.

I love this thing. I started with the H-4N, but upgraded to this when it came out. Love the on-board mixing and ability to record in so many formats. I record high quality mp3, which gives me tons of space on a 64 gig card. The only downside to this thing is that it eats batteries pretty fast, and if they die while you're recording, you can lose everything that hasn't been saved. After I'd been complaining about that (on the air) for a while, a listener wrote to me and said, "Hey dumb-ass, why don't you get back-up power for your Zoom so we don't have to listen to you complain about it?" Good question. So I got this, and it works great.

My buddy Kyle Thiermann has one of these on his car, and it's great. I got one for the van so I can leave the keys locked up but not worry about locking myself out of the van if I lose them out on a trail or whatever. Very cool unit.

HitchSafe HS7000 Key Vault
FJM Security Products

Love this thing. If you write or do anything else at a desk, one (or two) of these can make life a lot easier.

Have a couple of these by the bed for late-night reading. I like the recharge-ability. I like the adjustable LED lighting and it's always good to have that USB port on the desk.

I wasn't one of those kids who couldn't wait to shave. I hate it, and knew I would. Where's the thrill in scraping a sharp knife across your skin every morning? Not to mention, a lot of it is the skin over your neck! I've been one of those guys who shaves once a week or so, often oblivious to the patches I missed (I shave in the shower, so I can't see myself). This thing is amazing. You can run it over a week-old beard and you clean up great without that feeling you've scraped a few layers off your face. I use it outside, in the mirror of the van, so the hair flies off into the Topanga breeze. It would probably make a bit of a mess over a sink, but you can use it wet in the shower. Anyway, I love it. Easy, clean, reliable, no cuts or painful pulls. Seems like shaving has been solved.

My wife is a tropical creature, so she's often cold at night. We've gone through a lot of water bottles. They always end up leaking, which is a freakin disaster. These things are built like BMWs. Solid. Thick plastic. Serious stoppers. Not gonna leak. Like what grandma used.

I'm not a big watch guy, but I really like this one. It's not that shitty glow that fades away an hour after sunset. You can see this sucka all night. And it's a nice glow, too. Looks like a solid watch without screaming, "Look how rich I am!"

Pretty much all you need. This thing is heavy, but if you take care of it, you've got it for life. Goes in the oven, on the stove, or in the fire. Cowboy tested.

You never need more than eight inches. Am I right, ladies? This thing holds an edge and has a smooth grip that doesn't get slippery (and dangerous) when wet.

Hot water all damned day. Sometimes, I'll brew up a thermos of green tea in the morning and go through it at my desk. So, even though I know my body is slowly melting away cause I just sit there all day, at least I'm drinking green tea! That's something, right?

On the low setting, this thing is as silent as a ninja. Even on higher settings, you barely hear it. Great bedroom ventilator. Silently blows those farts away.

I was gonna be on a pilot Dan Savage was recording for HBO (didn't get picked up), and I needed nice shoes. I showed up in these and Dan's assistant said, "I wish I could get Dan to buy a pair of those!" I thought, "If I'm giving fashion advice to a gay dude, I'm doing OK!"

Andrew Weil told us about these things. They work great. No more sticky fingers with garlic paper all over the place.

This thing sucks (in a good way). No bags, no crazy Dyson prices. Love it.

My pale eyelids are useless at blocking light, so I always travel with a sleep mask, and this is the best—hands down. It molds to your face, doesn't touch your eyelids, doesn't make your eyes sweat, etc. I've left a bunch on planes, but always buy another one. They're not cheap, but for me, definitely worth the price.

I love hammocks. Love em. I think the hammock was probably human-kind's first idea, and still its best. Get one of these, and you can throw away the rest of your furniture. I've given a lot of these to friends as gifts over the years. Great for travel.

Not as good as a hammock, but close. Love this thing.






Got one of these bad boys and have been cooking up some great stews, soups, chili, oatmeal.... I love that you just throw the ingredients in, push a button, and half an hour later, you're good to go. It's like a whole kitchen in one pot. If you like home-cooked food, but aren't into lots of pots to clean up afterwards, this thing is for you.