Buster's Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: Pocket, Facetime, Next Desk, Brian Lam, iPad Mini | Cult of Mac

Buster’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: Pocket, Facetime, Next Desk, Brian Lam, iPad Mini



Happy Thanksgiving! This year to observe the holiday we asked each of our writers to tell us a bit about the things they are most thankful for in 2012: specifically, the Apple product, app, service, third-party accessory and person they most relied upon and were grateful for this year. All through the rest of the day, we’ll be posting these thanksgiving observances. Here’s Cult of Mac Social Media Editor Buster Heine’s list of the things he’s most thankful for this year. You can find the rest of our Thanksgiving Smorgasbord entries here.

By the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be close to dead. I mean, if my Thanksgiving doesn’t end with me collapsing into a food coma after dominating Connect Four and Scrabble for a few hours with a drumstick in one hand and an entire pie in the other, then I’ve failed as a human being.

It’s Thanksgiving, so I’m supposed to be “thankful” and I am. 21012 has been an incredible year both on a personal level and for Apple. So before I pass out from the sheer power of my mom’s triumphant cooking, here are some Apple things I’m grateful for.

App: Pocket

Even though it’s my job to be on the Internet and read a lot of stuff and then write about it, I still don’t get to read all the stuff on the Internet I’m interested in. I love Pocket. Rather than keeping a tab open with a promise that I’ll come back in a few minutes to read it, I can just “pocket” it and read it later.

My Sunday mornings are usually spent diving into the Pocket app on my iPad mini. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of Internet articles, expect the food is freaking good. If anything, I’m thankful for Pocket because it keeps me organized and helps me stay up-to-date, even though I don’t read half of what I put in the app.


Service: FaceTime

Most of my friends don’t use FaceTime all that often. I don’t even use FaceTime a lot, but I think it’s one of the greatest things Apple’s ever added to iOS because it keeps my family close together. I love that my nieces and nephew can pick up their parents’ iPads and FaceTime me all on their own.

FaceTime has the magical ability to remove all 680 miles that separate my parents from two of their grandkids, even if that magic only lasts for a minute. I always felt blessed to grow up just down the street from my grandparents, so I think it’s awesome that my parents can see my sisters’ kids anytime they want.


Apple Product: iPad mini

Every Apple product I own is great, and I love the hell out of all of them. But the one Apple product that makes the most positive impact on my life is the iPad mini.

My iPhone distracts me from the “real world.” My iMac has a tendency to hypnotize me for hours at a time. My iPad mini on the other hand, is only used sparingly throughout the day, and it’s main function is as an eBook reader that holds a trove of literature I could never carry around in a backpack.


Third-Party Accessory: Next Desk

Is a desk really an accessory? Not really, but it holds my iMac with such grace that I don’t care what category it fits in. This thing is changing my life. There’s a lot of hype around standing desks. They’re trendy. They look funky. They’re also totally worth it.

The Next Desk isn’t just great looking, but it also helps me work better. For instance: anytime my lovable editor, John Brownlee, asks if I wrote an article while sleeping because Steve Jobs’ “window” most definitely can’t be named to Stanford’s board of governors, I can say, “oh damn. You’re right, I am sucking right now, lemme stand up while I write for the next hour.” It also helps me be more active and avoid diabetes which is another plus.


Person: Brian Lam / The Wirecutter

Don’t ask me for advice on purchasing gadgets because I suck at it. “Hey, should I buy this Canon DSLR or the Nikon one?” “Buster, what do you think about this Samsung 3D Plasma LED Ultra-HighDef TV?” Sure, I have an opinion on all that stuff, but it’s usually not the most informed opinion, and a lot of times I’m completely biased, so I tell people to just get whatever makes them happy.

Thankfully Brian Lam created his website TheWirecutter.com. It’s amazing. It’s basically a site that recommends the best gadget for every product category in the world, but it feels like so much more than that. Everything’s written like it’s your best friend chatting with you about the benefits of each gadget and then concludes with the best choice.

For the first time ever, I have a website I trust completely and I can send my friends links to Wirecutter anytime they have a question about buying a TV, smartphone, headphones, camera, or even LED bulbs and water bottles.

Beside running an awesome tech site, I just think Brian Lam is one badass motherf***er. Not like, I’m-gonna-fill-a-pillowcase-with-bars-of-soap-and-beat-the-shit-out-of-you badass. But more like, I-know-all-about-gadgets-but-I’m-having-hella-fun-doing-stuff-outside-the-tech-world-too badass. Following Brian on Twitter and Instagram gives me an extra injection of motivation to get the hell away from my iMac and iPhone and go climb a mountain or something and enjoy the real world.



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