Monday, March 21, 2022

A blog version of a ‘haul’ video

I watch a lot of YouTube Channels across a lot of types, genres, fields, etc. While there’s no single unifying factor in my choices, the most common thing would be an engaging or entertaining host. Among them are “lifestyle vloggers”, for lack of a better description, which includes many gay and gay-friendly hosts who are so chipper that they provide a welcome antidote to much of the negativity I run across on news and political Channels (which I also watch).

This was on my mind because yesterday I was getting ready to put away the stuff I bought on my outing to Mitre 10 (etc.) last week. All the stuff was still together, and as I looked at it I realised that some of those vloggers would do a “haul” video of such a collection of newly purchased stuff, basically, a kind of “show and tell”.

I don’t make YouTube videos right now (and may never do so again), so it wasn’t that I was thinking that I could make such a video. Instead, I was just kind of amused by the thought that I could—until I realised that I could come up with a way to do a blog version of a “haul video”. This, then is that attempt.

This blog idea is actually nothing new for me: I’ve frequently posted photos of some tech thing I’ve bought, sometimes in some state of undress—sorry, unboxing. Back in September 2020, I talked about my compost bin and showed photos of the box and once it was opened, saying in the caption, “this is as close to an ‘unboxing’ post as I'm likely to get.” That was literally true—I’ve never done an “unboxing” post—but I’ve come pretty close, photographically, at least.

This time, I’m skipping such a reserved approach. So, as so many YouTubers like to say, that being said, let’s get into it (I wanted to add a layer of authenticity).

The photo above is everything I bought at Mitre 10 Mega that day, apart from hand sanitiser I keep in my car.

In the background is a new laundry basket, which was actually the one thing I intended to buy at Mitre 10 that day (mine had irreparably broken a couple days earlier). This particular one is a brand called Sistema, which was founded in Cambridge (about a half hour south of Hamilton) in 1987. In 2017, company founder Brendan Lindsay sold Sistema to American giant Newell Brands. As part of the sale, Newell Brands agreed to keep manufacturing the products in New Zealand for 20 years. I also remember reading that they also agreed to provide lifetime employment to Lindsay’s first employee.

So, for now, the BPA- and Phthalate-free plastic products are New Zealand made, though foreign owned; I always choose NZ-made when possible. In this case, the basket was about 50% more expensive than the cheapest one (made in Thailand), but cheaper than some others (I didn’t consider them, so I didn’t look at where they were made). The one I bought is also far more robust than the cheapest basket, or the one that broke (a roughly 20 year old one that was also made in New Zealand, by a different company).

The other things in the “haul” are pretty simple.

Leaning up against the right side of the basket is a trigger that can be put onto a can of spraypaint. I saw similar ones used on furniture makeover and some decoration Channels I watch, and had never seen them in NZ—until last week. Basically, they make it easier to paint with a can of spraypaint, making it work more like a paint gun. I have several things I need to paint, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well it works.

Leaning horizontally against the basket is a telescoping magnetic stick that makes it easier to pick up screws, etc., that have been dropped. This, too, is something I saw on furniture makeover Channels. Anything that can reduce how much I have to bend over is a very good thing these days (Nigel and I bought a magnetised metal tray that screws are put into so they won’t fall all over the place before they’re needed).

Moving forward from the telescoping magnetic stick is a tool with curved picks on each end. This particular tool is used to remove O rings (like from a motor), however, I’ll use it when I’m refinishing furniture to clean out grooves, particularly when I use paint stripper. Many years ago (seven? More?) Nigel and I saw a set of dental instrument-like picks at a home centre on Auckland’s North Shore. He joked about buying them so he could do the periodontal work I needed. I’ve never seen them in New Zealand since. This tool will be good enough for now.

To the right of that is a set of foam earplugs for when I’m using power tools. I already bought safety glasses, replacing a pair that was cheap and nasty (and probably thrown away) and one that wasn’t a lot better; the ones I bought are good quality, but not top of the line). I think the conventional earphone-like hearing protection would be too hot, so I thought I’d try these first.

Finally, at the bottom of the photo, is the ruler I bought (I’d already returned the one I hadn’t paid for). As with everything else in this “haul”, I haven’t used the ruler yet, but will soon.

And that’s it. Not exactly a big “haul”, but I’ve seen some YouTubers who could make a video about this stuff last 15-20 minutes. Mind you, I suppose a slow reader might have the same time commitment with this post?

This time, I’m not going to daringly (recklessly?) declare I won’t do a “haul” again, which would be similar to what I said about not doing an “unboxing” post. One just never knows, really, especially because when I talk about my projects, talking about anything special I needed to do or buy is kind of part of it. So, maybe a “haul-lite” part of future posts?

Mainly, this whole post was intended as a bit of fun. My teasing YouTubers in this post is done with affection (I love watching their videos, obviously), and respect (I don’t make any videos about anything, yet they do videos one to several times a week). If I ever did make a “haul video” it would, no doubt, poke just as much fun at myself.

Right now, though, I need to haul myself out to the lounge to take on another part of a mini-project, and that, too, relates to recent blog posts. It’s the circle of blogging, or something.


Roger Owen Green said...

One of these days, I should link to my YouTube channel.

Arthur Schenck said...

Indeed. I'm still trying to decide what to do about mine.