The Tzumi Pocket Juice USB Charger

Okay, I know. It’s not a great name. Or it’s a brilliant name if you’re prone to making jokes in terrible taste. And I am. POCKET JUICE I MEAN REALLY. But 12-year old humor aside, this is the Tzumi Pocket Juice Charger, and this stupid little thing has saved my bacon so many times that I plug it in at night to charge just like my iPhone. And my headset. And camera battery. Anyways. It’s basically a portable battery pack that charges anything you can connect to with a USB cord.

There are a lot of versions of this little thing but mine is black and has a 4000 mAh output. I have no idea what that means. But I do know that I probably make north of a thousand calls, emails, texts, photos, social media, Kindle and Audible activities in any given day. So even though I start with it fully charged and it lives on a charger whenever I’m at a desk or in my car, I will inevitably run out of battery life just as I roll into Costco and really need to listen to music on my headset so I can drown out the screaming. (Mostly mine.) Or when I have a brilliant thing to say on video. Or have found a brilliant view that should be posted. Or if my out-of-town clients want to FaceTime through a property with me. “Low Battery” is my nemesis.

No more.


Yes I know it’s an iPhone 5, deal with it

This unfortunately-named device does the trick. I bought it before I had to do two 1-hour long FaceTime walk-throughs back-to-back. You can’t very well walk through a home while tethered to an outlet. So I literally opened this package, plugged it in, and 2 hours later was able to use it. It works like a supercharged wall charger; for my use that day I had it plugged into my phone so it was charging while I FaceTimed, charger in my pocket and my lightning cable hanging out connecting the two. It wasn’t the most graceful thing but it got the job done well, I was able to take care of my clients without any further delays or unprofessional technical difficulties.

It charges my devices faster than plugging it into the wall. (I have no scientific proof of this.) I use it on Open House Tour days, when we’re all bargaining for the one car charger which you can really only use for a few blocks until you get to the next open house and have to unplug it. But with this little devil, I can just carry it with me if times get lean. How about if I’m cooking dinner and need to be looking at a recipe or taking a call or running Pandora? I can throw the charger in my pocket and keep on keepin’ on. Truly, when I get the Low Battery notification anymore at home I just plug it into my charger, not my wall outlet. Also? I live in a 1955 house. Bless their hearts but in the 50s they couldn’t even fathom needing more than two outlets per room, so unless I want to lay on the ground underneath a precious outlet to finish a call, this solution is magical. Imagine airports! Conferences! The possibilities are endless.


Scratches! Not dog hair. This time.

There are a lot of versions Tzumi makes: mine is black and has the battery indicator in green on the front, and was $20. Four lights is fully-charged. Blinking is charging. Hold the power button for some amount of time and it turns a bright light on, which is helpful but curious, as iPhones have all but eliminated the need for pocket LED flashlights. But I’ll take it. The silver bits on the end do scratch very easily though. The photo above could just as easily be showing you dog hairs but for once, it isn’t. Mine came with a USB to mini-USB for charging, and I had to supply my own lightning cable to connect my iPhone and charger. But who cares? Bacon: saved.

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Magical, Magical Sugru

The only thing more fragile than an ego is a lightning cable. They must tolerate all manner of pushing and twisting and crimping so that we can use our iPhones every second we’re awake. And I don’t know about you, but mine seems to be made from tissue paper. (The cable.)

Which I why I love Sugru. It’s a self-setting rubber that you just roll between your fingers like Silly Putty and let it dry overnight.

Their website boasts all sorts of magical and useful tricks, like making rubber feet, comfort handles for your faucet, pulls for your zippers, repairs on your dishwasher. You can open up a few packets and wrap it around a ski pole, then grasp it firmly and TA DAH! A custom ski pole handle. Honestly, the only thing I’ve used it for is fixing those damn iPhone charger cables. Firstly because if it fixes that and only that then it’s a winner in my book. Secondly because I put the remaining multipack someplace so special and secret that it has apparently left the mortal realm.

But back to what it can do for your idiot phone charger. When my cable insulation started to split we pulled open a little packet of magic stuff, rolled it into shape and mooshed it on.

sugru-1 You should know the red will turn your hands red, the blue will turn your hands blue. It’s fine, it washes off. And it’s a lot more difficult to get a smooth, beautiful application than it looks. I don’t know what they used in their videos to make it so nice-looking but I’m sure it’s the same reason your gourmet hamburgers don’t look as good on instagram as Bon Appetit’s do. (A staff.)

We applied our Sugru patch almost a year ago and what would have been another trashed lightning cable became good as new. So when a new split started to emerge below the Sugru patch, I was disappointed but mostly grateful that I’d bought myself so many more months out of the cord. And I’m sure I can just apply another patch below the first one and it’ll work just fine.


Now if I could just find the rest of the multipack I’d be in business again.

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