Useful Things...?

  1. I am seeing occupational therapists for my vestibular issues. Apparently a sturdy exercise ball can be useful, especially as a chair, at least part time. I currently use a computer gaming chair.

  2. I picked up an e-ink tablet, a refurb Likebook Mars. Between the small screen, autocorrupt, etc., the screen keyboard is a pain. I picked up a bluetooth micro keyboard and am wondering how to keep it in place to type. If I try to hold it with one hand and type with the other, it doesn’t detect every key-press. And it doesn’t enable Sticky Keys so caps and some punctuation involve a lot of fiddly coordination with both hands while firmly holding it with… uh… help?

2A. I haven’t found a folding tablet case with straps or clips and enough space to hold something on both sides. No luck so far. I don’t know if that would help with the firm grip problem.

2B. I am also considering adapting a clipboard or another hard surface. Or one side of a sturdy binder. I imagine something to securely attach the keyboard to the lower side, and temporarily attach the tablet in either orientation. I don’t know what would work there. Any ideas?


Commercially, most stores only carry the exact same six cases from the exact same manufacturer. Which means you’ll need to go the crafty route.

When I was younger I used to use a thin laminted wood piece / flooring (or, if desperate, 5mm thick particle board) to act as covers for my hand-bound books. Very durable.

Another option is to hack together a stand using clipboards, 3m command hooks, magnets, and fabric. Not quite a clamshell design, but using magnets embedded in fabric to “lock” the two halves together for transport might be an option?

Fabric elastics are amazing, really.


Thanks. I’m not fond of elastics with my allergies.

I mentioned it to my therapist, while discussing my motion sensitivity, and she suggested it might be possible to fit both the tablet and the keyboard into a case for a full-sized tablet.

Together, they’re 8" by 10.6", or 13" diag’nally.

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I got a couple canvas-covered boards at the local craft store, tried double-sided tape, gave up on the tape, and then poked holes in one board and threaded twine through to hold the keyboard and tablet in place.

It could use improvements, especially to tighten the twine, but it makes it a lot easier to type notes.

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Find your rattiest, most beat-up baking sheet, the one you never pull out when baking cookies, because they’ll just end up a mess. If you don’t have one, pick one up at the thrift store. It lives in your oven, now.

Whenever you cook anything in the oven that could splash, spill or bubble over, stick the sheet underneath it. Either put the baking dish on the sheet or if it must go on the rack put the baking sheet on the rack below, directly beneath your dish.

Why? Because it’s a hell of a lot easier to scrub a ratty sheet mostly clean than to clean the oven. I won’t guarantee that you’ll never have to clean the oven, but you won’t have to nearly as often. And if you have time remembering to do something “later” (like me), it’s a lot better to be able to just pull out the pan than forget about that melted cheese or sauce on the floor of the oven while you were waiting for everything to cool.

And it’s a hell of a lot easier than bending over to scrub out the oven and having to stuff paper in the gaps so caustic oven cleaner doesn’t leak all over the floor. It’s also easier than letting oil splash onto a hot element and having to do the insurance paperwork when the kitchen catches fire.


Need a quick and easy window covering to insulate during a cold snap? Get a couple of foil emergency blankets.

They’re lightweight, so much so that if it’s just short term, you can literally tape them to the walls.

They won’t work 100%, of course, if they can’t cover all the way, but even a 75% cut in heat loss is huge. More than enough to cover an increase in light usage (especially if you use LEDs).


I’m big on blankets for that sort of thing. And for draft snakes - you know, you put them at the base of a door - a towel rolled up and tied at the ends is a quick solution to under-the-door drafts. It may look like a big piece of terrycloth wrapped candy, but at least it won’t unroll, lol. Or use rubber bands, scruncies, whatever, to secure the ends.

I think the #1 thing that my parents held onto was cloth items, from blankets and towels to rags. I’ve got towels that came from

still that aren’t yet threadbare, and a few that are, lol.


Lots of people have this problem with latex rubber, but there are alternatives, if you can find out ahead of time what something is made of. Polyurethane and neoprene are two that come immediately to mind, but there are others.

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