Gear Review: High Density Polyethylene Rain Cover Carry All

The rain cover carry all in action, protecting my backpack from road spray after a mildly wet rain. Base model comes with 3D integrated handles. Bluetooth optional.

Today I’m stoked off the charts to review what has become a key element in my gear arsenal, the high density polyethylene, multi-purpose, rain cover carry all.

It is lightweight, reversible, foldable, reusable, and hypoallergenic. Six gold stars and three thumbs way, way up for this revolutionary product.

Shown here in standard top-down mode, optimized for traditional, vertically descending precipitate. Note the reinforced seams and high-definition OmniShield™ finish.

Maximal Versatility

Designed with the on-the-go metro multi-tasker in mind, some verified uses include:

  • Rain protection – cover your books, bags, monocle, mustache hair, etc.
  • Carrying things – insert things and carry

And the list goes on. The things it can cover or carry are truly limitless. For the animal lover, be confident in picking up:

  • Dog poop
  • Cat poop
  • Any species of poop, really
  • The dead possum that the kids found down by the creek
Easily compresses into compact travel mode, making it perfect for people with tight pants.

The shod of feet will enjoy these added benefits:

  • Quarantine your muddy loafers when in transport
  • Wear between socks and shoes for emergency winter warmth

Dare I say that this staple resource rivals duct tape in versatility and potential for extremely satisfying feats of ingenuity.

Only 2 Cents

Single-use plastic grocery sacks cost stores around 2 cents each. For only 2 cents, they save us the immense trouble of having to either

  • carry our purchases in our hands like some kind of animal,
  • install an oil well in the backyard, refine the crude into molten plastic, and engineer a manufacturing system so as to create our own bags on demand, or
  • fashion another cargo device out of scrap wood, cardboard, mustache hair, or the bags we got last time we went shopping.

With stores willing to defray the upfront cost, and the environment willing to absorb the unseen impact of humans producing and then disposing of over 500 million bags per year, its no wonder that we as consumers prefer to take a new bag rather than inconvenience ourselves with the forethought of bringing our own.

Our Legacy of Plastic

An empty plastic bag bounces down the highway like an urban tumbleweed before snagging on a haggard oleander bush. It flaps there in the breeze for the remainder of its 180,000 days of life on earth, content in having successfully accomplished its single-use, but restless with a feeling deep inside that it is capable of so much more.

The ephemeral plastic bag will outlive us all, a lasting emblem of our obsession with convenience.

We can do better, people. Let’s consider the true cost of convenience. Let’s acknowledge that the single-use lifestyle, though efficient in the short-term, is unsustainable and irresponsible in the long-term. Plastic is not our legacy.

Let’s give our high density polyethylene a second chance at life. Let’s reuse the environmentally subsidized plastic we’ve already created. Then, let’s say no to both paper and plastic. If we forget to bring our own portable carrying technology, we take the shopping cart to the trunk of our motorized carrying technology and we transfer our mostly unneeded purchases by hand. In the time it takes to complete the task, we don’t see any plastic bags blowing across the parking lot. Our legacy will be actual tumbleweeds.

Earth Day 2011: Talking Toilets

This earth day we taught the kids about water conservation by reviewing all our home videos involving toilets. Turns out there are two worth posting online. In the first, my son, as a toddler, explains the mechanics and hydraulics of the traditional toilet. In the second I demonstrate how to empty a waterless toilet.



Some background for video number 2 (pun): in 2006 my wife and I spent four months in southern France, in the foothills of the Pyreness mountains (some pics and a spider video), isolated from other human beings and from air conditioning and plumbing. We lived in a 500-yr-old shepherd’s cottage which my great aunt and uncle had retrofitted with a windmill and a waterless toilet, among other ultra-green technologies.



If you aren’t up for doing your business in a bucket, which you empty by hand every two weeks, a simple water saving trick is to drop a brick in the toilet (not a euphemism). Actually, drop it in the tank, and rather than a brick use a water bottle filled with sand or gravel or adamantium (not water, as the plastic will float). You’ll save a few hundred gallons of H2O per year.

Lego Adventures: Fishing, Saving Planets, Getting Bad Guys

My son made a laser flier digger booster without destroying the Lego picture frame:

Lego laser flier digger
Laser flier digger booster mobile

In his own words:

It’s called a convotomater, because it catches fish, and this robot machine that goes down on this thing actually catches sharks, because some people say that they want sharks, so that’s why they catch sharks. Do you know what the threetow is on this? It’s the thing that spins and shoots the fish out. And what do you think this one is? This sucks up fish and then shoots them all the way to the city so people can eat them. They land in front of their houses, in a bucket.

This one has little bugs on top and you push this button and it goes into the water and it’s poisonous so the fish eat it and die. And this one looks under the water and takes pictures of fish, so they know what kind of fish it is. It’s called a three-moto-headed skywalker.

Sounds like Deadliest Catch, only more inventive and more efficient. From the sea to your doorstep – genius!

The design is all his own, but we do try to balance out the destruction and bad guy getting, which seems to come innately to a 5-yr-old boy, with something constructive like space exploration or rescue missions. The laser flier digger booster, aka convotomater, does it all:

And it can turn into a ship. Actually, this is a space ship, it’s not a water ship. It fixes other ships if they break. And it has special tools and it can fix the planets, so if Zupiter broke they can put if back together with this robot. This one drains holes in the planets so they can put nails in them so fire can’t get in and break the whole planet and it would explode.

And this robot in space keeps electricity in this wire thing that spins around, and gives electricity to any rocket that doesn’t have electricity. And this bullet one shoots out of the front and goes and makes sure the planets aren’t chemicaled.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the best robot ever. This one on the side that has the rocket launcher on the bottom, it takes pictures of planets so they know which planet it is, and it knows how to spell it. So that’s how this spaceship works. Isn’t that cool?

The coolest. Of course, we’re always prepared for the bad guys:

And if bad guys come it will shoot this laser thing out, and it has cracking chemicals.

Dr. Suess: Model Outdoorsman

This morning we impromptued a scene from The Lorax, where the Lorax (played by Mom) reprimands the Once-ler (our 1-yr-old):

Your nose chugs on day and night, without stop, making gluppitty-glupp, also schloppity-schlopp.

Then, our 5-yr-old joined in:

And what do you do with this left over goo? I’ll show you, you dirty old Once-ler man, you!

He did not proceed to show us what the baby does with her snot. That would have been gross, though funny.

The Lorax – inspiring countless kids to get outdoors and hug a tree, one of the few books I would ever bring camping.

I’m sure Dr. Suess was a minimalist camper and ultralight backpacker, keeping it simple, enjoying the Grickle-grass and the Swomee-Swans song, and leaving no trace. What a model outdoorsman. I can picture him crossing the Sierras with John Muir, swinging their knapsacks, and whistling “Rocky Mountain High.”