December 1, 2019

A Few of my Favorite Things

It’s getting to be that time of year when people buy presents, gifts, and other little things for each other. It occurs to me that anyone thinking of getting me a gift might desire to get me one that is actually appreciated. So here is a list of things, some great and mostly modest, that are some of my favorite things.

Things That Aren’t Things

I am in a quite lucky and privileged position that my physical needs are taken care of, and I have many extra things that I enjoy but that are not strictly necessities. If you’d like a thoughtful gift that doesn’t add to clutter, here are a few ideas.


A donation in my name to any of the following organizations would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Camp. Going to summer camp and working at summer camp was a very formative and inspirational experience for me. I often joke that everything I need to know I learned at camp but it is only half joking. You could donate to the camp I went to, Camp Shaver, by donating to the Y of Central New Mexico and putting Camp Shaver Scholarship in the memo field of your check. Your donation will directly fund campers who otherwise could not afford to go to camp. You could also make a donation to the American Camping Association, which I worked with briefly.
  2. The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico(TGRCNM) provides services for youth and adults, many of whom do not have the resources to properly advocate for themselves or to keep themselves safe. I would be honored if you donated to them in my name.

Gift of Knowledge

Information may want to be free; but knowledge currently isn’t. Both of the organizations/subscriptions below are established research organizations that I would have liked to subscribe to last year but couldn’t due to cost. Each would provide me with access to up to date research and clinically actionable knowledge I could put into practice in 2020.

  1. Society for Acupuncture Research seeks to improve the quality of research into acupuncture, herbal medicine, and related techniques. Also provides research summaries and patient handouts to help communicate evidence based acupuncture knowledge. Cost $225/yr or $20/month
  2. The Journal of Chinese Medicine provides current research and access to a 34 year back catalog of research. It is one of the oldest acupuncture/TCM journals in English. Cost $72/yr

Things That Are Things

There is a link to an Amazon wish-list at the end of this section, for those that prefer it; and there is a saying about what you should and shouldn’t do with gift horses. However, if it’s all the same I’d appreciate it if my gift horses didn’t support billion dollar companies that engage in union busting. The first three items are from small, even one person, companies and provide hand made gifts at reasonable cost. I’d recommend them for your other gift buying endeavors as well.

Of course with hand made / limited quantity items I understand that the exact item listed may not be available when you do your gift shopping. I’d appreciate a similar item from the same vendor over a knock off from a large corporation; but that’s always an option as well.

Key-chain Dice Bag A long handmade bag that attaches to a key-chain, purse, or other convenient location. Designed for holding dice for table top role playing games, but also a good size for pens and pencils as well. Cost $25

AcuArtistry Mark makes custom acupuncture tools from fine metals (copper, silver, gold) that are non insertive and reusable. Each item is hand made, and he is a practicing acupuncturist so he understands how the tools are used as well. Anything from him would be a very nice gift, though I don’t use silver guide tubes so not those unless you have a compelling reason. In order of preference from AcuArtistry: 1. The gua sha tool cost $99 2. The copper ChokiShin cost $79.99 2.5 The silver ChokiShin, same link but cost $89.99 3. The Classic Teishin in copper cost $45 NB: I already have a silver Teishin, so the copper one would be a better gift.

This notebook from Redbuble. Redbuble allows artists to put their art on stuff and Redbuble sells it. This is the only one of the products in this section that I’ve not dealt personally with the creator; however, the actual artist has made their work available and gets a commission from Redbuble. I would prefer the ruled version. This artist, Rosalia, has a lot of other designs that would be good gifts for a wide variety of people. cost $12.62

Curated Amazon List

I’ve made an list on Amazon here and I will probably add more things this week. Here are the highlights. No links are included, as they are all on the wishlist at the above link.

  1. YubiKey is used for two factor authentication and is much more secure than texting a confirmation code; because the sms network cannot be guaranteed to be secure. The one on the list is usable by phones and my iPad, and would allow me to do something else cool which is store my GPG keys on it and not on a computer.
  2. Of the two nonfiction books The Training and Work of an Initiate is probably the better. It is by Dion Fortune, who I have read many works by before and greatly admire. The other one I probably had at one point, but might have been lost in the apartment fire.
  3. Bad Food Bible Dr Carroll is a pediatrician and does a popular youtube video series, which I watch. I am sure this book is well researched and entertaining to read. The kindle edition would be great, so I can read it on my iPad.
  4. Patterns of Practice: Mastering the Art of Five Element Acupuncture is a book by an author that I have two other of her books. I am sure it is insightful, and would be good to read in clinic between patients. Unlike the above, I would prefer the hard copy paperback of this book.
  5. Moleskine notebook: I have one of these that is almost full with meeting notes and other things I jot down. I like the layout of the PRO version with the divided pages.
  6. Pens Despite my poor handwriting, I am trying to develop the habit/practice of writing certain things like notes/letters by hand. Micron makes some of the best pens that are practical price wise. I am also trying to practice calligraphy of Chinese characters, so the brush pens would be useful for that.

Too Long; Did Not Read

Amazon wish-list is here or, you know just ask Santa because he knows these things, right?!

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© Steven Malins 2019