I broke my leg and foot in a skateboarding accident (and no, it wasn't on the ramps in JB's old Hangar studio before his recent move). Unfortunately, my studio isn't wheelchair friendly, so when I'm circumambulating the studio in my crutches, I can't carry anything with my hands. Furthermore, I need to spend a good deal of the day on a couch or bed with my titanium-reinforced leg propped up. So, being the Gear Geek, I've been trying out various products to help me with my physical impairment. I'll name a few of them that I think could be useful to other recordists — whether mobility challenged or not. ••• The Rothco 8567 Plainclothes Concealed Carry Vest ($54 street; www.rothco.com) is what I call "my nerd vest." There are plenty of these types of vests around, but I decided to purchase this one because it's affordable, it has great ratings on Amazon, and it comes in studio-friendly black (as opposed to the usual camouflage, olive drab, or khaki). Inside, it has four Velcro-flapped pockets for magazines — not the kind that are periodicals, but the kind that go with the handguns that you're supposed to conceal in the two padded pockets that are also inside the vest. Each of the magazine pockets can hold a small smartphone like an iPhone 5, while the handgun pockets easily carry a rolled up copy or two of Tape Op, or a small tablet like my Nexus 7. On the outside of the vest, three of the pockets are Velcro-flapped and big enough to securely hold my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones without fear of them dropping out when I hang the vest on my chair. Two of these are also expansive enough to hold my indispensable (even more so now) Camelbak Better Bottle [Tape Op #82, #87], or even a bottle of Sriracha. A zippered pocket holds my wallet, and various other pockets are good for pens, tools, USB drives, batteries, etc. ••• When I don't need a full-blown nerd vest, I pull out my Runnur "Hands Free Carry-All" ($40 street; www.gorunnur.com), which is kind of like a tool-belt that you sling over your shoulder. I call it "my nerd bandolier." Like many products marketed to techies, the Runnur must have been designed by someone who carries a vintage Nokia, because the two pockets that are supposedly phone pockets just barely fit my bare, caseless Galaxy Nexus; and my slightly larger Nexus 4 has to go instead into a zippered pocket that is labeled for "valuables." Neither is a current-gen phone. Thankfully, my Better Bottle fits into a purpose-made pocket that has a strong, grippy elastic band that prevents the bottle from inadvertently falling out. A carabiner on the bottom of the sling is useful for keys and other clippable items. 3D-mesh material on the inside surface of the sling reduces the possibility of a diagonal sweat mark forming across my chest. ••• When I'm using a laptop on the couch or bed, I place it on a Logitech Comfort Lapdesk N500 ($55 street; www.logitech.com). I've had several laptop platforms, and this one is the best. The top surface, big enough for a 17'' laptop, is a gloss white plastic that allows the grippy feet of my Toshiba Portégé to firmly take hold. Stick-on rubber pads are included for slippery MacBooks. A rigid under-frame, with comfortable padding covered in breathable 3D-mesh, positions the Lapdesk at an ergonomic 12° angle, with plenty of airspace, and I can turn the Lapdesk around for the opposite angle. Ingeniously, the rigid frame allows the Lapdesk to be stored vertically when not in use. Importantly, it keeps both my laptop and my lap from heating up. - AH

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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