An old comedy album, a new pair of headphones, and some tonka toasters
Photo: Flickr user RichardBH
Photo: Flickr user RichardBH

An old comedy album, a new pair of headphones, and some tonka toasters

Three staffers, three unabashed recommendations

The Firesign Theatre, How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All
I credit my Dad for introducing me to most of the pop culture I’m still into today. He has odd taste, and he spent most of my childhood ensuring that I would, too. So, it’s easy to see why I was listening to the comedy stylings of The Firesign Theatre troupe before I could fully pronounce my S’s. On my way into work last week, I stumbled upon my copy of How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. This was the troupe’s second commercial release and one of my all-time favorites—trumped only by I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus. Side one is a half-hour road trip into the heart of absurdity. The surreal, often dream-like scenes are peppered with nutty characters that have no shortage of philosophical one-liners. Side two is where the group took a shot at creating a more structured story line, as well as introducing their most well known character, Nick Danger, Third Eye. I could listen to nothing but Nick Danger monologues for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. From his 1940s film-noir style, to the incredible voice acting of Phil Austin, Danger is arguably their best character, and yes, I am including robot President Bill Clinton in that statement. How Can You Be In Two Places At Once is well worth a listen if you have an hour to kill. [Ali Bridges]

Pie Irons
Sure, roasting hot dogs over an open fire is a summer staple, but what if you want more? What if you’re not ready to settle? Step up your game and get yourself some pie irons. Also known as tonka toasters, these cast-iron, camping mainstays—don’t skimp, get the original Rome brand—are some of the best sandwich grillers around. Formed by two metal casting compartments that hook together using a hinge, a pie iron has metal rods with wood handles that extend from the base to ensure safe cooking for all ages--if you’re old enough to make a s’more on your own, you’re old enough for these. And though there is a myriad of recipes for sandwiches, fruit pies, crab cakes, cornbread, and more, my favorite tonka toaster treat will always be the pizza pocket:
1. Place slice of bread (I suggest English muffin toasting bread) butter side down on the lower half of cooker. Cover with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella.
2. Place second slice of bread, butter side up, on top of fillings. Latch hand, trim off excess bread if necessary. 
3. Toast over campfire, fireplace, or bbq until golden brown on both sides (this should take about four to six minutes). 
If you’re not sold yet, watch the video below and check out some of these simple recipes to get started. [Becca James]

LSTN Cherry Wood Troubadour Headphones
About eight years ago, I bought a $30 pair of Sennheiser headphones off Amazon. They’ve served me well since, though their 10-foot cord being coiled up on my desk got pretty annoying after a while. Thus I decided that, being a music writer and all, I should upgrade. Thus my new LSTN Cherry Wood Troubadour Headphones. While I’m still working on getting them to fit my giant melon correctly, I’ve been nothing but happy with them since they arrived. The reclaimed-wood earcups not only look classy, but provide a surprising amount of sound deadening. I can barely hear anyone in my office anymore, even when I’m not actually listening to anything. And while I’ve used them exclusively in the office so far, the headphone cable is equipped with an in-line microphone, meaning I could easily become that annoying person on the bus talking loudly about nothing to my friends and loved ones. More than anything, I’m also tickled that the headphones are semi-charitable, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each pair going toward helping someone restore their hearing via the Starkey Hearing Foundation. It helps me feel good while I listen to bad tunes. [Marah Eakin]

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