Puffin Picks 8.24

Puffin Picks

I’m in the midst of a super race-heavy August, so I’m not venturing too far afield into new things (I stick with what I know when a marathon day is close at hand).

This can make finding things making me happy more of a challenge since it’s easy to become blind to the good things in your life, but there is always something to make you happy if you look for it!

Puffin Picks

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

Adobe Creative Cloud Chat Customer Service

I know this is a pretty niche thing, but it, more than anything else this week made me happy – the online chat help service from Adobe.

I know!? A customer service experience was not only not miserable, but was genuinely amazing?

So rare.

I use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of products in most of my little blogging adventures. Illustrator for graphics, Premiere Pro for my YouTube videos. Overall, I’ve been happy with them, but Illustrator recently stopped working on my laptop. Not good.

I originally tried calling Adobe phone support, but that was the typical miserable customer service experience. After nearly 10 minutes, I was still trying to get the lady to spell my name correctly. I straight up hung up on her (I’m not proud).

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of chat support, but I needed my program to work, so I figured I’d give it a try.

He found my account in seconds (take that phone representative), proxied into my computer and pretty quickly diagnosed the problem (it was a conflict with fonts – I didn’t even know that was a thing).

He went into various directories and fixed this and changed that. Definitely not something I could’ve done myself, even if I knew what the problem was.

In the end, it took nearly an hour to fix (largely because I had to restart my computer several times), but it was efficient, pleasant and effective. And I didn’t have to actually talk to anyone!

While I hope I never have another problem, if I do, I know exactly where I’m going first.

Check Out Adobe Creative Cloud

Omnibus Podcast

Omnibus is a twice a weekly podcast hosted by Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy fame) and John Roderick (the indie musician from the Long Winters).

As they describe it, ‘Omnibus is an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories that they are compiling as a time capsule for future generations’. It’s supposedly a record of Earth’s esoterica for future beings to discover and know about Earth in the 21st century.

It more than fulfills my love of random trivia and it covers a wide variety of topics (pop culture, history, science are all covered in equal measure and with an equal amount of importance).

What I enjoy most about Omnibus is it’s unapologetically smart.

As you’d expect from trivia-geek Jennings, references and asides occur often, and he doesn’t feel the need to explain those references, trusting listeners of a podcast such as this either 1) know the reference or 2) are quite capable of looking it up if they care.


I’ve been trying to eat more like an adult lately. Part of that is eating more grains and vegetables.

At a recent blogging event, Bob’s Red Mill (specifically their ‘Grains of Discovery’ products) sponsored our food. We had quinoa, farro, and a grain I’d never even heard of before: kamut, a grain from Egypt.

It’s nutty and a little crunchy. It’s been a great addition to my freezer full of staples (poached chicken, pulled beef, beans, rice, frozen veggies) that I can pull out, mix together in some grain bowl combination, and turn into an easy and healthy meal.

I’m a little surprised my body hasn’t totally revolted yet with all of this healthy food.

I’m sure it’s confused.

Toddy Cold Brew Maker

I really like cold brew coffee, especially as we are entering our hottest time of year.

Nowadays there are all sorts of specialized cold brew bags and makers, but I’m sticking by the original (and in my opinion best) cold brew coffee maker: the Toddy. I’ve had my Toddy for nearly a decade (does that make me a cold brew hipster since I knew about it before it was cool?)

It could not be simpler – you dump in ground coffee, pour in room temp water (note to Starbucks: if the first step in your ‘how to make cold brew coffee’ instructions is ‘boil water’ you are no longer making cold brew coffee), let it sit overnight, then pull out the plug at the bottom of the Toddy and the cold brew concentrate filters out.

It’s important to note the Toddy makes cold brew concentrate. You can mix it with water or milk. If you don’t, it’s waaaaay too strong.

My summer go-to drink is Toddy concentrate, a splash of water, a splash of milk, and a spalsh of sweetened condensed milk.


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