Sean Bonner, Street Photographer


Cool Tools Show 303: Sean Bonner

Our guest this week is Sean Bonner. It’s hard to explain what Sean Bonner does exactly. I’ve known Sean for a long time. I know that he is an author. He’s an artist. He’s an activist. He’s a musician. Entrepreneur is really kind of impossible to describe what he does. He calls himself a misanthropologist. He’s been credited with changing the world more than once, and uncredited even more than that. You can find Sean on Twitter @seanbonner.

Show notes:

Bugera PS1 ($110)
This is a power soak which allows you to play tube guitar amps at full power but lower volume which is helpful for playing at home and not making all of your neighbors hate you. My musical interests have ranged from the noisy to the even more noisy. And one of the things that helps in making noisy music, especially with the guitar is having tube amps turned up very, very loud, which is very hard to do in a house with other people. The way that guitar tube amps work is if they’re turned down pretty low, you don’t get the power through the tubes. And it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. So it’s not like, just turn it down and it’s fine. You got to really crank it in order for it to work. So what this thing does is you just plug it right in between your amp and the speaker cabinet, and then you can crank the amp all the way to 11. And then this thing sort of eats the power before it gets to the speaker. So it just lowers the volume while keeping the power very, very high. And it’s wonderful.

Bit Bar Inline ($100)
This is kind of a revision on the kind of pocket screwdriver that we all know that has two caps on it with four tips and you can swap them around. This is just a super over engineered version of those things. But rather than having a tip on either end, it’s more like a pen with a lid that is a full body lid. So you kind of pull the whole thing out of the middle and turn it around and it’s made of titanium. So just on its own, it’s like a really, really solid screwdriver. But then it also has these openings on the sides so you can pull the piece that you’ve stuck out and then stick it into the middle. And then it becomes like a T, so you can have it across your whole hand with the screwdriver coming out between one of your fingers to really kind of wrench it, if you need to. It’s got a bunch of really high-powered magnets in it, so you’re not going to have the little bits falling out all over the place, and a wonderful clip that sticks right in your pocket.

Pen Type-C ($50)
Currently my favorite writing tool, uses the best filler — the Pilot Hi-Tec C — and is flat so it clips into a book or pocket beautifully. It is like 10 pieces of paper stacked on top of each other flat. It is really, really flat. And it has a clip that is also super, super, super flat, which means you can stick this thing inside of a book, a notebook or something, and you barely know it’s there. So it is wonderful for carrying around in a little journal or just taking notes on stuff. And there’s a little spring bar that flops back and forth and acts as a cap. So it locks into place in front of the pen tip, or you can spin it around and then it flacks and extends the thing further back. It’s actually quite comfortable to hold. It actually feels very comfortable kind of like a carpenter’s pencil or something that you might hold that’s got a bit wider and you’re grabbing it and making marks around. I also love their Herring Blade and use it every day. It’s a similar style in that it is a tiny little piece of titanium that is barely larger than the razorblade itself and has a really strong magnet in it. And it just slides out and I just keep it here on the desk.

Fellow Ode Brew Grinder ($299)
This is a grinder that I got a little while back, and it replaced the diehard grinder that I’ve stood by for many, many, many years. It has really, really wonderful burrs for grinding. It doesn’t keep a very large hopper. So you’re just putting the beans in that you’re using for that day, which helps you keep them fresh in another container someplace else. It grinds super fast. It is just really impeccable in every way. Looks really nice on the counter. I just love this grinder. It’s got one big dial and one start button, and then it automatically turns off when it’s done. There’s no messing around. And, if you see this thing or you play with it, that dial feels so wonderful. It’s got clicks on every single setting. It’s like an old stereo, like a really old stereo volume knob or something where you lock it into place where you want it to go, and then you never have to touch it again.

Sean’s projects:

Don’t Go Outside: Tokyo Street Photos


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