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Adam Doppelt

Magnolia • Seattle, WA
Fresh Chalk founder and seeker of pros.
Connected with Fresh Chalk
Joined over 2 years ago
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Chef's Planet Preptaxi Food Scoop
CrankBrothers M-19 Tool
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Adam Recommends


4 in 1 Emergency Tool
Emergency Preparedness
Seattle is at high risk for a quake, and broken gas lines often lead to fires after some shaking. Stash this sturdy tool nearby so you can shut off the gas. This is also your chance to be a hero as you dash around the neighborhood turning off everyone's gas.
I've experimented with many note taking apps, but this one is my favorite. The notes sync across all my devices using iCloud. The app is beautiful and minimalist, getting out of the way so I can focus on the task at hand. Oh, and it uses markdown under the hood so formatting is a breeze for my many, many bulleted lists. I like the app so much I gladly pay $1 a month for the pro features.
Channellock Ratcheting Screwdriver
This is the most commonly used tool in my house. After years of fumbling with a dozen screwdrivers, I finally tossed them all and switched to this one. It sits in my desk drawer and I use it all the time. The ratcheting is smooth and reliable, with a chipper click for each twist. The bits are stored in a cozy chamber inside the handle. The blue and red body has a pleasing amount of friction, the kind that makes you want to use this tool above all others. The whole thing feels sturdy and well made. Seriously, you won't regret spending $30 on this.
Circle Parental Controls
Parental Controls
My kids just love the Internet. Love love love the internet, including all the dark corners where kids should really not wander... I never thought I'd be censoring my kids, but it's an absolute necessity in my house. To that end, I bought a Netgear router that came with Circle Parental Controls. Circle takes over all the DNS traffic on your network and can block any websites you choose. For example, my younger kid has everything blocked except Minecraft. My older kid is allowed to use Amazon, but not Youtube. It can be a bit tricky to move beyond the built in rules, but Circle can block (or allow) any website based on the domain name. It's all controlled with the Circle app on my phone. Whenever a new device joins the network, I get a notification from Circle and I can choose whether that device should be treated as a "kid" device or an "adult" device. Handy!
Coway Air Purifier
Air Purifier
When you unbox the Airmega 300, you immediately sense the time and care that went into the design. It feels like unboxing an Apple product. The materials were lovingly chosen and it all slots together in a satisfying way. When you switch it on, it automatically detects how much filtering is required for your air. It'll run on high until your air is clean, and then back off to a quieter mode. I put it right by our front door. When Seattle was slammed with wildfire smoke, each time I opened the door the Airmega would kick into high gear for a minute before settling down again. It really makes you feel like your air is clean. Immensely satisfying. Internally, it has a couple of high quality HEPA filters to strain out the dirty wildfire smoke. If you can afford it, definitely pick one of these up for wildfire season. Don't wait until fire season, because you won't be able to find one! We also bought a couple of smaller Coways for other parts of the house. The build quality is just as good and they seem to run the same software, but they are built for fewer square feet. Highly recommended.
Doane Paper
I bought one of these based on a recommendation from a friend. I'm glad I listened! Though I am usually sitting in front of a keyboard, I always have paper nearby for taking notes or even just doodling my way through a meeting. These notebooks are high quality and reasonably priced. The spiral is sturdy and hasn't bent yet, unlike the cheap notebooks I used as a kid. The cover is a thick material, perhaps hardboard? The paper itself also has a pleasing texture and won't tear loose by accident. I also like that each page has grids as well as slightly darker lines for writing. If you use notebooks regularly, consider upgrading to a Doane. Great experience.
Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin
Compost Bin
This is a hardy little compost bin. The lid contains a charcoal filter so there's no smell. Every few years we replace the filter. Still going strong after seven years, totally worth the money! Pro tip - wrap a rubber band around the rim to keep the bag tight.
Eufy RoboVac
Vacuum Cleaner
After scanning the reviews, it became clear that the Eufy was significantly cheaper than Roomba but had several advantages. Just the kind of purchase that appeals to me. The Eufy wanders randomly around the house, digging into corners and under cabinets. Unlike the Roomba, it makes no attempt to build a "map" of your furniture. It just zips around haphazardly, using sensors to avoid stairs and furniture. It works shockingly well. The vacuuming is effective and it seems perfectly capable of cleaning our entire house. After an hour or two the battery runs low and it slinks back to its charging cradle. As vacuums go it's pretty quiet. The chamber is easy to empty and the parts are holding up well. If you are thinking of getting a robovac, definitely get a Eufy!
FakeTV Burglar Deterrent
Home Security
A friend recommended the FakeTV. Definitely one of the best things I've purchased this decade. It's a tiny device, about the size of a hockey puck. At night when the house gets dark, it turns on automatically and projects LED lights onto a wall. It's built to simulate the light from a large TV. If a burglar happens to be in your yard at three in the morning, they will think you are up late watching TV! Who in their right mind would break in when I might be sitting there watching TV? When I think of the expensive security systems I've laboriously installed, maintained, and upgraded, it seems like the FakeTV works nearly as well. All for only $40.
Feelle Solar Charger
Emergency Preparedness
If you lose power, your phone will instantly become your most precious possession. Keep it juiced up with a solar charger, ideally a compact one that folds up when not in use. The RAVPower one I own isn't offered anymore, but people seem to like this model on Amazon.
Fenix E12 V2 160 Lumen LED Flashlight
Emergency Preparedness
There are a lot of people who are obsessed with flashlights. I'm not one of them, but I love my Fenix E12. This little guy lasts for ages on a single AA. It's small enough to leave in my jacket pocket. I doubt it's waterproof, but I've used it many times in the rain while walking the dog.
Hydro Flask
Water Bottle
I picked up five Hydro Flasks to replace our motley collection of decrepit water bottles. I even tossed my beloved Nalgene. Top pick on Wirecutter. I paid around $30 a pop direct from Hydro Flask. Very happy so far, well worth the money. Specifically we got the 21oz standard mouth in five chipper colors. 21oz is the perfect size - plenty big enough and fits nicely into a cup holder. 18oz is fine for a kid size. Don't get the 24/32 unless you really need something huge. The construction is sturdy and feels solid. The lid is easy to twist, even for the kids. The opening has a pleasing curve that makes for easy drinking. Like most water bottles these guys aren't dishwasher safe. Personally I'm happy to wash once a week using soapy water, or perhaps a bottle brush if I'm feeling ambitious. Major upgrade!
iPhone SE 2nd Generation
I'm a bit of a luddite. By day I work hard writing cutting edge iOS apps, but the actual phone I carry in my pocket is typically years out of date. After years on the inside, I am unmoved by sales pitches and the yearly upgrade cycle. I'd already replaced the battery in my trusty iPhone 6S twice. The screen was flawless and the device worked perfectly. Did I really need to upgrade? I don't think people realize this, but the iPhone SE 2nd Gen is an amazing phone. It's basically all of Apple's modern chips crammed into a $400 price point. It's way faster than my old 6s, and the battery lasts longer. Plus it comes with portrait mode, so I can finally get depth of field on my family photos. Only downside is the lack of headphone jack. Highly recommended if you are considering an upgrade. My spouse got one too.
Kelty Outdoor Blanket
Outdoor Blanket
Seattle's summers are famously beautiful, but also fleeting. During the summer we aim to sit outside on our patio as much as possible, either for meals or quality time with the dog. But how can we stretch the season? The answer is something called an outdoor blanket. This is a durable blanket that's water resistant on one side and cozy on the other. The Kelty will keep you warm during Seattle's late spring and early fall, even if it's a bit chilly out. You can also throw it on wet grass, unlike those nice blankets in your house. I don't know how we survived without this blanket for so long. Only problem - we might need two since my spouse likes to hog the blanket.
Leatherman Free P2
I like to have a multitool around the house. I use my Leatherman a surprising amount, and it's handy to have one nearby for many kinds of emergencies. It's one of the few things I'd throw in the car if we had to leave unexpectedly. I also love my Gerber Dime, which is roughly the size of my pinky. I use it every week to break down boxes in the garage.
Use this free app to open up the amazing world of library e-books. I started doing this a few years ago and it's a big hit in my family. Most public libraries support Libby. Place books on hold, wait a few weeks for the app to notify you, and then read on your phone or kindle. This really feels like the way libraries should work in the modern era.
Magna Tiles
Our three kids have been through a lot of toys in my house. Honestly, most of them are junk. Poorly made plastic that barely survives unboxing and then rots in a drawer for a year or two before getting donated. Most of it comes from grandparents. Only two toys have withstood the test of time - Legos and Magna Tiles. Both toys share that combination of durability and creativity. Magna Tiles are thick plastic shapes with magnets inside. Snap 'em together to craft little buildings or other structures. They come in a variety of colors and shapes, mostly squares and triangles. This toy is indestructible, and each of my kids has spent several years playing with the tiles. We always find an excuse to keep the Magna Tiles because the kids still use them.
Metro Datavac Electric Blower
Air Compressor
It's like a leaf blower in the palm of your hand. Crazy powerful. Bugs run away, or are swept helplessly aloft. Point it at your kids, they will laugh or possibly cry. I use it to sweep leaves out of the garage, clean whiny smoke detectors from far away, maintain our crusty air filters, etc. Also good for airing out an old PC or anything else with a fan. Some of the best money I ever spent.
Mountain House Freeze Dried Food
Emergency Preparedness
If your city loses power for a couple of days the food will be gone. Consider picking up a "meal bucket" that holds 30 days of freeze dried meals. I picked the Mountain House bucket because I like their camping food, but there are plenty of other brands out there. The shelf life is thirty years!
Parental Controls
In my quixotic quest for proper parental controls, I finally found NextDNS. You might be familiar with "family friendly" DNS services that screen out adult websites, force Google to use SafeSearch, etc. See or Cloudflare's DNS server. NextDNS is different - it offers configurable DNS for ambitious users. It has excellent DNS-based ad blocking, just like pi-hole. It also has a large list of questionable websites that you can easily turn off. Like "no tumblr". You can also tell it to block EVERYTHING by default, and then just turn on the websites that you want your kid to be able to access. In my house we have two different setups. One kid has everything turned on by default, with a few websites turned off. The other kid has everything turned off by default, with a few websites turned on. Incredibly helpful when getting the kid laptops sorted out for school. Great product. New and improving rapidly. Mostly of interest to tech savvy users, I think.
Nordic Pure MERV 12
Air Filter
Air purification is important, turns out. It reduces your risk of covid and keeps your home free of dirty wildfire smoke. But you gotta install the right filters and the correct size. It pays to take a few minutes and order strong filters from Nordic Pure. From their site you can easily pick out exactly what you need, ideally MERV-14 to protect against covid and smoke. Much easier than trying to use Amazon, and it feels good to support an independent business. Reasonably priced as well. Don't even bother trying to order in late summer during wildfire season. Stock up during winter or spring!
OHM Electric Bikes
After much dithering, I bought a gorgeous OHM ebike in the weeks just before lockdown. It turned out to be a fantastic purchase. I spent weeks researching before pulling the trigger. I wanted something that had a mid-drive motor, weighed no more than 50 lbs, and handled like my regular bike. The OHM is a dream come true. Just turn it on and start pedaling. As you pedal, the bike adds power and it makes you feel like a superhero. A quick twenty minute ride around the neighborhood is a joyous experience, especially with no sweating or lycra. I rode the bike constantly during the summer, including many lunch trips into Discovery and down the big hill to the beach. So nice to zip back up that hill in my jeans. Only downsides - (1) This bike is not cheap. No complaints about the value, though. (2) OHM is swamped and their customer service post-sale is hit and miss. This is problematic since you'll probably need to work with a local bike shop to assemble the bike. (3) I can't seem to pry my bike away from my spouse! She loves it too.
A hugely popular and feature rich podcast app for iPhone, from superstar developer Marco Arment. As an iOS developer I really appreciate the extra effort that went into creating this gem. A cut above the builtin Apple app for podcasts. Better design and a few nice features make it a standout.
Oxo Little Dustpan & Broom
My kids are crumb machines. Food sorta goes in the top, and crumbs inevitably scatter all over the counters, chairs and floor. I keep this little guy within easy reach in the kitchen to avoid a crumb catastrophe. I love it. It's just the right size and very cheap. We use it daily and it has a major role in keeping our kitchen clean. Plus the little broom snaps into the dustpan in a satisfying manner.
PaperPro 1100 Stapler
Ah, my beloved PaperPro 1100. With four students in our house, our printer gets a workout and we regularly need a stapler. Everyone is familiar with traditional staplers, which jam regularly and often fail to staple entirely. I've used them for years. We've tried Swingline and various other brands, along with the occasional electric stapler for serious use. Somehow the staplers are always terrible. The PaperPro 1100 has a completely different design. It contains a powerful spring that just... NEVER JAMS. We've used it hundreds of times and I've never seen a jam. How do they do it? I have no idea, but I'll never abandon our trusty PaperPro. Just pay the extra $5 and get this one.
Potable Aqua Purification Tablets
Emergency Preparedness
Iodine tablets are an easy way to purify water. It's not quite as good as boiling, but it'll work in a pinch. 50 tablets will purify six gallons of water. Pro tip - mix with gatorade powder to cover the mild flavor.
Rachio Irrigation Controller
Irrigation Controller
Is it weird to love my irrigation controller? It took fifteen minutes to install, requiring only a lowly screwdriver. It talks to your wifi to look at local weather and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. I'm sure it saved me hundreds of dollars this summer. A bargain, and good for the environment! I love getting the emails reminding me how smart I was to buy this thing.
Ravpower Power Bank
Power Storage
I thought I wanted a power bank, and ultimately ended up buying a RAVPower on a whim before one of our trips. This thing is amazing! Juice it up the night before, and then use it on the plane, at the beach, or in the car when there's only one charger. One of the rare devices my spouse and I both covet. We have a smallish model built mostly for phones. It'll power your phone all day in a pinch. The blue glow makes me happy too.
Roku Ultra Lt Streaming Media Player
Streaming Media Player
We've been through a number of streaming devices in this house, including obscure stuff built into TVs and crappy set top boxes. Roku is the best. It's independent, so all the apps work great and nobody gets special treatment. The software is excellent and easy for all the kids to operate, unlike many other devices that claim to be "simple". The thoughtfully designed remote doesn't require line of sight since it doesn't use infrared. This is a big deal in our house. Plus it talks to our TV so we can use it for power and volume. Plus it's cheap, at least IMO! Addendum: The Roku comes with a nice Apple TV app so we can watch all of our previously purchased Apple movies. Roku is completely agnostic when it comes to content.
Sandisk Clip Mp3 Player
Mp3 Player
Purchased a couple of these recently for my kids on a road trip, based on a recommendation from @tlaramee. Cheap ($30!) and works just as well as those iPods we cherished not so long ago. I loaded it up with music, books and podcasts for the kids. They seem sturdy and the battery lasts all day. Exactly what we needed, at a great price.
Skip Bo Card Game
Fun card game, by some miracle enjoyed hugely by adults and kids in our family down to the age of five. I'd compare it to Uno in terms of difficulty. Some strategy, some luck. We are all competitive and try hard, with the kids winning just as often as the adults. We play almost every night. Guilty pleasure.
Food Thermometer
Quite possibly the world's best meat thermometer. Quick readings, cheerful colors, easy cleaning and roughly $30. I believe this was a top choice on wirecutter.
Vont LED Camping Lantern
We seem to lose power once or twice a year in my neighborhood. One memorable winter outage lasted for several days. These LED lamps are a lifesaver. We have three, stored right next to a huge pack of batteries. I've heard good things about solar lanterns too.
WaterBOB Bathtub Storage Emergency Drinking Water
Emergency Preparedness
One of the first things to do in any major emergency is to fill up the tub with extra water. Everyone in Texas learned this quite recently. The WaterBOB is a giant plastic bag that sits in your tub and keeps the water clean for a few weeks. You can easily pump water out into a cup.


Albert Lee - Seattle
I spent so much money here. Many times. Great service including delivery. Oh, and the warehouse sale is actually fun. I just need to show some restraint when faced with all that chrome.
Appliance Service Station
These guys have been out to work on my fridge. And my range. Several times. Both were under warranty, so I can't advise you on price. They were very competent and friendly. One guy even had to jump up and down on my (gigantic) range after it cemented itself to the cabinet due to wet paint.
August Taylor Design
Interior Designer
We've used Jenny Taylor twice now and been quite happy on both occasions. She even setup a house from scratch when we unexpectedly moved to another state! She did a nice job figuring out our tastes and working within our budget. We've tried other designers in the past, so I know for sure that Jenny is a cut above.
Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning
They did a nice job with my attic AC install. There were bumps along the way, but they fixed the problems quickly and threw in some free maintenance to smooth things over. Clearly they care about the customer.
This company put in all the lights around our house. I think we'll use them again for more lights next time. Nice work, still going strong after several years.
City Rain
Once you are on the list they swing by your house twice a year to handle irrigation startup/shutdown, then leave you a bill. So much easier than other things I've tried. Great company.
David M Sommers, Decks & Waterproofing
Very down to earth. I liked that he took an incremental approach and wanted to save me money.
Energy Works
Artisans. They ripped out my terrible tankless system and put in a custom boiler/thermos. Beautiful work done on time.
Gabe's Lock and Key
Local to Magnolia. He's responded promptly every time I've called and seems quite competent. Reasonably priced. What more could you ask for?
J.A.S. Design Build
General Contractor
Finally JAS started offering handyman services. A real lifesaver. Organized and reasonably priced. Nice work.
John Gasser (Redfish Construction)
I just completed my first project with John. He was responsive, competent, and reasonably priced. He even rented a large ladder so he could caulk the upper floor on my house. That's going above and beyond, I think. Also did a great job texting me updated and keeping me informed. Showed up on time. Recommended! Update: Got a call from John. He's retiring! So long, and thanks for all the help.
Mr. Antenna
Home Automation
Greg showed up at my house, climbed into our (hot) attic, and did a beautiful job installing an antenna. This saves huge $$$$ every month instead of using cable, and I can still watch the Seahawks. He did a nice job communicating before and after the job as well. Highly recommended.
Northwest Arbor Care
Tree Service
They did a nice job with my trees. Reasonably priced. Found on Angie's List.
Out on a Limb
Tree Service
They were great! Very organized and professional compared to some other arborists I've worked with. They did a nice job working on one of our problem trees. Crew seemed to care about our trees. Recommended!
Price Busters Plumbing
They were hardworking and competent, plus they had the cheapest bid. Highly recommended.
Recycling Services
Great way to responsibly recycle old batteries, build and those guilt-inducing styrofoam blocks. Local business, just getting started.
Rockwell Energy Systems
This guy came in and fixed my broken gas fireplace. Also replaced the little burny bits, cleaned the igniter, etc. Reasonably priced and highly recommended.
Sandor Juarez
Sandor was excellent. Showed up early, competent, and extremely friendly. I didn't pay him directly so I can't speak on price, but I will definitely be using him again.
Seattle Holiday Lights
They did a fantastic job hanging our holiday lights this year. Very happy with the results. They are good people too, which is icing on the cake. Thanks guys!
Seattle Rubbish Removal
Junk Removal
They were great. Easy scheduling via email/phone. Showed up on time and they were all smiles. The two guys were very efficient with our old king mattress, which was not light.
Sok Landscaping
I've had so many landscapers in Magnolia, with varying results. Sok is on time, reasonably priced, and does nice work. No complaints whatsoever.
Swansons Nursery
My family loves Swansons and we go there several times a year. They put on a great show for the kids. Before Halloween we bring the kids for the little hay maze. During the holidays we visit for Curly the camel, the reindeer, Santa, and the train set. It has a special place in our family history due to all the photos we've taken. Fun!
Vien Nguyen
I've used Vien for over ten years, both at my old house and the current one. The lawn looks nice when he's done. He loves his work and is very dedicated. Very cheap and reliable. He just shows up each month during the growing season, does his thing, and leaves me a bill. Zero effort on my part. Plus he has super interesting stories about his families flight from Vietnam. 206 363-2763 (or email son Kevin)
Home Automation
These guys have hung several TVs for me, and also run high/low voltage wires through some walls in my house. Great work, very clean. Professionals.


Ashley Schmitz, AuD, CCC-A (Children's Hospital)
We've had appointments with several audiologists who work at Children's, both in Seattle and Everett. There was something very special about Ashley - she was kind and really connected with our child. She also cares deeply about her work. She's booked months in advance, but we already decided to request her next time. And probably every time! Thanks Ashley.
Dr. David Russell
Recommended by a friend, used for years. Excellent work and I like my hygienist too.
Dr. Fred Drennan (Virginia Mason)
Voted one of Seattle's best gastro doctors a few years ago. Did a nice job with my scope, I think. Hard to tell, really. Virginia Mason.
Dr. Robert Hogg (Swedish)
My primary physician. I've been with him since I came to Seattle. Very capable and calm, easy to get an appointment over at Swedish Ballard.
Koh Orthodontics
Our dentist said he was the best ortho in Seattle and our daughter has a complicated set of teeth. After interviewing a handful of orthodontists, my wife picked him because of his calm and patient bedside manner. We didn't feel rushed. Together with the recommendation from our dentist, he's clearly a great choice.
Phinney Ridge Eye Care
Eye Doctor
Great mom and pop optometrists. I can say with complete sincerity that Rob and Cynthia will go above and beyond to help you with your vision. I had a minor eye infection and they worked tirelessly to get it resolved, experimenting with dozens of lenses, contacts, and eye drops over several months. My calls were always returned promptly and they were often able to schedule me within a day or two. Thanks guys!
Yingxuan Law Dnp, Arnp, PLLC
Child Psychiatrist
Really enjoyed our visit. Very professional and a good listener. Smart, organized, and busy!




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