All posts by Michael Bock

EternalCase Metal Flash Drive

Ever had a flash drive or other removable media device that met its untimely demise via – ohh, say – a raging stampede of pissed elephants? Consider the tough-as-nails, stylish EternalCase flash drive to protect your precious files.

Pre-orders available in either 32 or 64gig (3.0 and backwards compatible) flash drive form, or just the metal housing itself, the EternalCase comes in a choice of three alloys: Medical stainless steel, “aircraft” aluminum, or titanium. Just how ‘tough’ are these little buggers? The makers ran a battery of grueling tests on their EternalCase flash drives (and “non-flash drive” cases), including:

  • Being baked in a 392+ degree (200+ Celsius) oven for a whopping five minutes
  • Being frozen in a -22 degree Fahrenheit (-32 Celsius) fridge for hours-on-end
  • Being run over by a car
  • Subjection to five minutes in a hellish bath of water + crushed stone in a freaking concrete mixer
  • Being struck at full force with a golf driver
  • Getting drowned at several hundred feet underwater

And guess what? They passed the hardware equivalent of Navy Seals’ Hell Week! The flash drives go for a mere $30-$45. The EternalCase – sans the flash drive – which provides equally safe, secure storage for the likes of microSD cards and other small media, go for around $10-$15.

The HuMn Wallet: Mini

Who isn’t tired of lugging around that old, clunky billfold, filled to the brim with old (and new) credit cards, business cards, photos of exes (whoops!) and so forth. Time to upgrade your wallet to the times…

The HuMn Wallet is an ultra slim, contemporary take on the traditional wallet. About the size of a business card itself, the HuMn Wallet Mini is made of top-shelf aluminum and coated in a silky smooth powder. Talk about durability and longevity: The Mini will, claims the manufacturer, outlast its leather/fabric counterparts by many years. It’s also totally customizable.

But the most significant thing about the HuMn Mini lies in its ability to protect your sensitive, personal information – i.e. credit card numbers – via two RFID-blocking, laser-cut aluminum plates, which securely envelope everything from business and credit cards to cash, and thwarts any thief’s attempt to use a RFID scanner to steal, namely, credit card numbers without you, the potential victim, ever suspecting a thing until it’s too late. FYI: Thieves use RFID (radio frequency identification) scanners to pick up the RFID transmitters already embedded in many credit and debit cards.

So, like you do other things in your life – e.g. car, cell phone, TV – it’s probably a great idea to give your billfold a sleek, secure, 21st-century makeover.

Projecteo Tiny Instagram Projector

Remember the pretty-much default standard for taking and developing pictures and now (basically) defunct technology called “35mm?” If so, we regret to inform you that, well, most young teenagers nowadays don’t even know what that is. Feel old yet? Let’s digress, though.

The Projecteo Tiny Instagram Projector converts Instagrams into tiny, 35mm wheel-slides and projects them using the almost-ridiculously small projector. The slides are uploaded online, whereby the manufacturer (or some third party) develops each one onto single-frame, stock Kodak film that stores up to nine photos per slide. When you receive your retro-tastic 35mm slides, just pop them into Projecteo, focus them using the lens barrel, and enjoy the up-to three feet projection slideshow. Claims the inventor, since Projecteo Instagram slides have no pixels, the common issue (with digital pictures) of pixelation  is completely moot. Oh, and it comes with “cute little feet” (snark: their words, not ours) for effortless placement on nearly any surface.

Although we, the (wannabe) tech savvy folks at inStash, can’t for the life of us imagine there being a huge market for the Projecteo, it just may give – cough – older folks yet another reason to claim that “35mm ain’t dead yet.”

FireWood Desk Fireplace

FireWood Desk Fireplace

We at inStash love a one-off, quirky gadget as much as the next guy. That said, urban dwellers who don’t get to experience the natural world – or those who simply lack fireplaces – as much as the hardcore adventurist should check out the Japan-based FireWood Desk Fireplace.

Think of the Desk Fireplace as your personal mobile fireplace or ‘open’ fire pit. It reproduces the charming sounds of burning wood and embers and emits a soft, amber glow via small LED lights disguised as miniature logs. Connect your iPod/mp3 player/smartphone to use it as a portable speaker, or select one of three modes: “Outdoor,” which “simulates” (we can only speculate) a not-so-raging fire, “music” that functions as the portable speaker, and “lighting,” which allows the user to adjust the brightness by – no kidding – blowing on the thing.

According to the maker’s website, the Desk Fireplace “will transform the atmosphere in your home (or your desk) at the flick of a switch.” Now, while the product would certainly make a great gift or stocking stuffer, we’re pretty sure that the former claim is a bit of an exaggeration.

Hard Graft Grocery Bag

Hard Graft Grocery Bag

Ordinary grocery bags are just so… so pedestrian. If you’re one who won’t even leave the house without looking like you could grace the cover of GQ magazine, then this, presumably the Coach of all grocery bags that ever has been and ever will be, is for you.

Hard Graft U.K. designs and builds primarily high-end cases for the likes of iPads, iPhones, laptops and so forth; and its grocery toter fits right in. The grocery bag by Hard Graft is, according to the maker, one of the most durable, stylish, ergonomic ones around. Featuring “extra wide,” extra comfortable shoulder straps, it’s constructed of premium, brown Italian leather and high quality, durable (including water resistant) waxed cotton (i.e. uber sumptuous wool felt) canvas.

If price simply isn’t – or, if you refuse to let it be – a sticking point in your quest to be the most stylish bloke in the neighborhood, we’d definitely recommend (for all intents and purposes) this, the Fendi of all grocery/shopping bags.


Legacy Power Wagon

Legacy Power Wagon

Have an insatiable affinity for vintage trucks? Do you have a spare 100-grand laying around to plop down on a fully-restored, customized truck from a past era? Read on.

The self-proclaimed “Old Dog, New Tricks” Legacy Power Wagons (by Wyoming-based Legacy Classic Trucks) are restored and customized luxury trucks painstakingly handcrafted over 600 hours by the artisan-mechanic genius of Winslow Bent and Erik Johnson. Here, have a quick gander at two examples: The Legacy Power Wagon Woodie Conversion is a 10-passenger, Jeep Wagoneer-esque truck (on mega steroids) conversion that boasts a 360hp-powered 5.9L Dodge Magnum V8 and real mahogany and ash wood on the body, doors, and interior. It also has all of the expected modern conveniences: A/C, leather seating, disk brakes, power steering and so on.

Then you have the 2-Door Legacy Power Wagon (see feature picture), an extensive beautification and customization of an old-timey Dodge Power Wagon. After restoration to its original condition, Bent and Johnson throw in all kinds of luxury touches and amenities, as well as more modern tech than you can shake a stick at. The outcome is, according to the Legacy Wagon dream team, one of the most rugged and durable truck conversions on the road, ever.

Seriously, though, old trucks have NEVER looked better outside the hands of the folks at Legacy Classic Trucks.

Breitling Avenger Seawolf Blacksteel Code Yellow

Breitling Avenger Seawolf Blacksteel Code Yellow

Never mind brands like Rolex and Cartier: Those are for Yankee sailor boys from Nantucket. No, you want the ultimate, yet most badass-looking (and sounding) timepiece. Look no further, soldier.

Consider the Breitling Avenger Seawolf Blacksteel Code Yellow (see? uber macho-sounding indeed!) watch the equivalent of a James Bond-Chuck Norris-Jackie Chan hybrid and, well, you get the idea. For starters, the waterproof-to-3,000-meters (10,000ft) (is it even possible to dive half that deep??) Seawolf Blacksteel Code Yellow case is fashioned from ultra-durable carbon fiber. Its inner bezel, seconds hand, and “Automatic” insignia on the dial ring yellow, while large, luminescent accents, stenciled numerals, and a thick, sapphire crystal glare-proofing glass housing add to the timeless aesthetic. Add a Breitling-certified chronometer, balancing security valve, unidirectional bezel and a computer-designed case and you’ve got yourself a top-shelf, practically second-to-none diver wristwatch from the prestigious maker of timepieces, Breitling.

Or, you can simply go with a Rolex, which may or may not be the du jour special of the local street “vendor.”

Trek Madone 7.9 Bicycle

Who, save for cyclists of Lance Armstrong stature (RIP, your career, Lance), needs an eleven-thousand dollar bicycle? Hardcore bikers, that’s who.

Consider the Trek Madone 7.9 race bike the Cadillac Rolls-Royce of bicycles. Not only is it one of the most aerodynamic, lightest race bikes, Trek claims it’s one of the fastest in the world. And it’s hard to not believe them. Made from ultralight, ultra-strong 700-Series OCLV (Optimum Compaction, Low Void) carbon fiber and exacted to KVF (Kammtail Virtual Foil) standards, the Madone 7-series sports 11 speeds, body-integrated front and rear brakes, Bontrager wheels and tires, and much, much more. The end result of all of these really serious-sounding terms and technologies? A bicycle that hauls serious ass and compromises on nothing. Nothing.

Oh, and Mr. Armstrong totally approves.