Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 8, 2010
By day, Brian Greene works in the financial services industry. But come quittin’ time, he’s OfficeSupplyGeek.com. His blog and his column here at Lifework explore the world’s office supplies (not the boring ones you find in a standard supply cabinet at work, of course—the cool stuff you can’t usually convince your boss to buy). Take a listen at the music that fills his playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? When I’m working, I can listen to just about anything. I prefer music, but I’m also more than happy to listen to some talk radio as long as it involves baseball, politics, or finance.
How do you listen? I usually listen through a speaker system or through the computer and its speakers. I usually don’t have anyone around me when I’m working, so I don’t have to worry about distracting anyone.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? My XM Radio is by far my most preferred source for music. The depth and variety of what they provide far surpasses anything else out there. I’ve actually never even owned an iPod, nor do I care to. I’ve always found my XM to be worlds better than having to download and manage my own music library.
Does music influence your work? I usually try to find different music based on the type of work I know I’ll be doing. If I am going to sit down and try to fix a technical issue on my website, or try and make some sort of enhancement to the site, I usually go for something on the fast or loud side like Rage Against the Machine. If I’m trying to write a blog post or other content, I tend to look for something a little more calm and slow like Norah Jones or Frank Sinatra.
Where do you find music recommendations? Again, I rely on my XM Radio for this. I get to hear a ton of new songs and artists just by listening, so it’s a great source.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I would say if my work was a song, it would be In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly because much like the song, my work never seems to end, can get kind of confusing, but in the end, I find it really interesting and I like it.
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Pearl Jam
Yellow Ledbetter, Pearl Jam
Hunger Strike, Temple of the Dog
Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra
Sheena Is a Punk Rocker, The Ramones
What a Wonderful World (Cover), Joey Ramone
In a Little While, U2
Wait and Bleed, Slipknot
Star-Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
Always With Me, Always With You, Joe Satriani
Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
Killing in the Name, Rage Against the Machine
Image: Brian Greene
December 2, 2010
Everyone has heard the age-old advice that “it’s the thought that counts” when giving gifts, so I thought it would be fun to prove that advice wrong. The list below can go a long way in eliminating the need for you to think this holiday season, and giving one (or more) of these great gifts will leave your recipient thinking that you searched high and low to make them happy. These gifts are perfect for that person on your list that “has everything” or that just insists on great design and functionality in everything they own.
1. Saddleback Leather Co. Briefcase: Finding that “perfect bag” can be quite the chore, and I should know, it took me almost 3 years of searching until I came across this amazing briefcase from Saddleback Leather Company. The briefcase is made with 100% full grain boot leather, marine grade industrial nylon stitching, and pigskin lining and comes with a 100 year guarantee. As the manufacturer says: “This isn’t your next bag, it is your last bag.” $520-$610 via Saddleback Leather Co.
2. Magnetic Collar Stays by Wurkin’ Stiffs Anyone who owns a dress shirt has no doubt wrestled with some unruly collars at some point. These super strong magnetic collar stays by Wurkin’ Stiffs give you complete control over that collar situation. They are the perfect stocking stuffer for the guy who thinks he has everything. This set comes with three different size collar stays that should fit any dress shirt. $35 via Amazon
3. Contigo Westloop Stainless Steel Double Walled No-Leak Travel Mug These great looking and amazing travel mugs defy logic with their ability to keep hot drinks steaming hot for up to 4 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 12 hours. Beyond keeping your favorite drink appropriately temperature controlled, you will be hard pressed to have your beverage spill or leak on you. Although it is impossible to make this travel mug leak, it only requires a simple one handed push of the button to get access to the liquid goodness inside. No amount of knocking over or shaking will result in your beverage seeing the light of day. $15 – $20 via Amazon
4. The Longines Master Collection Mens Watch Nothing classes up a nice wardrobe like a great watch. The Longines Master Collection Watch is an amazing looking automatic watch that would look great with your jeans and dress shirt, or your best suit. The stainless steel case, alligator strap, and moon phase display are just a few of the great features that will make this watch a treasured piece for you and probably for some lucky recipient once your own internal clock stops ticking. This is generally considered to be in the “mid-range” as far as luxury watches go, and is a great value for the money. $2,500 via Amazon
5. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman I’ve only ever had the pleasure of sitting in the Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman once, but it resulted in one of the best naps I’ve ever had. These chairs are so ridiculously comfortable, that you need to be careful who you let sit in it. If you have a not-so-favorite in-law coming by for the holiday season, I’d strongly recommend keeping them out of this chair so you can spend your evening lounging and sleeping off that holiday feast. $3900-$4800 via Herman Miller