What #SmallChange Can’t Live Without

Based on the New York magazine series, here.


I was not much of a tea-drinker back in the old-country, but genes will assert themselves eventually. My wife discovered this particular brand and I like it so much that the raspberry flavor has become my “treat myself” tea on long work days. I’m prepared to experiment with other flavors, though, for I am a risk-taker and adventurer.


Where once I might have had my blankie, my teddy, or whatnot, now I have my phone. I clutch it tight for security whenever I may wander away from home base. I get the biggest screen I can because I use it mostly for photography and my eyes are old and tired. This also means that my trousers look ridiculous with this brick-shaped bulge in them, but those belt-holster things are apparently the epitome of uncool, so what else is there to do?


I’ve bought a few cameras as I try to find the one that works with me. I think this Nikon Coolpix P900 might actually be it. I don’t need complicated options – just focus and give me good macro and long-distance options. This one does the lot.


Working from home, the urge to snack is ever-present. Rather than the chocolate, the sour candies, or the licorice that I’d naturally choose, I’ve given myself these almonds instead. And it works – these have been my breakfast for a while now and I’m not bored and resentful yet.


I work in a small home office and, at time of writing, I have 4 pugs as office-mates. I need scented candles.

I don’t like the overly perfumed ones; they give me a headache. But something that smells like coffee or vanilla or coconut – that masks the pong-du-pug that would otherwise infuse my whole day.

Poop bags

Any poop bags are better than no poop bags, obviously, but look for the biodegradable ones if you can. Otherwise, you’re putting something that’s very biodegradable into something that will keep it fresh for thousands of years – and there can be no more perfect illustration of humanity’s hubris than that. 

Tooth picks

During a recent check-up, my dental hygienist identified a “food trap” in my back teeth and grossed me out forever. And now I’ve passed that feeling along to you. You’re welcome. But she recommended these tooth picks – more like tiny little arrows for your trapped food – and they’re genuinely life-changing.

Chocolate milk

I haven’t had a big-boy drink since Xmas; instead, I drink things that actually taste good, rather than something you have to train yourself to like. So, this is me now: drinker of chocolate milk. 

Bluetooth speakers

Music should be readily available, high quality, and portable. And these two speakers do the job. Because of them, we can never again live in an apartment or any home that shares a wall with someone else. They fill the room with the kind of music middle-aged men can’t help but sing along to, loudly. These ones are Bose, but the options are almost endless. Test out the options and make your choice.

Coffee grinder

I grew up drinking Nescafe: freeze-dried coffee granules with two decent teaspoonfuls of sugar to take the edge off. Forgive me; I knew not what I was doing.

Now, my wife has introduced me to the joys of grinding my own coffee and this little device does the job very nicely. And yes, I do think it’s going to take the tips of my fingers off every time I clean it out. 

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