Friday, July 29, 2005

What's in your bag?

What's in your bag today?

I got reminded of the Flickr What's in your bag? tag project-thing today while reading Zen Pockets on my lunch break. It inspired me to check my current loadout, and see where I could make improvements.

So here it is, albeit without the fancy box-highlighted images from Flickr, more or less Left-to-Right and Top-to-Bottom:

  1. The Bag: My ancient Jansport bar-top messenger that I've had since my 2nd year of college. This thing has hauled everything from school books to hammers and raw steel. In fact, it looks like its sort of on its last legs. Its back in service because my daily collection of stuff was becoming too much for "on my person" carry, especially in the warmer summer months (shorts), and especially when I'm switching cars all the time. (I drive the Miata a lot more in the summer).
  2. Business cards, or at least last month's iteration thereof. We did a reorg again this month, need to check if everything is still correct...
  3. Loose change, for the odd parking meter or vending machine.
  4. Leatherman Squirt S4, my current favorite micro-multitool. I've got a whole mess of these things with various tools, this seems to be the current best mix. I carry it just about everywhere (except airports) because it sees almost daily use. It has a plunger quick-disconnect to:
  5. Keys #1: House, mailbox, office, etc. type keys. These go almost everywhere too, mostly because I like to be able to get into my house and stuff... :) Not to be confused with:
  6. Key(s) #2: The key(s) and whatever transmitters might be needed for whatever car I'm driving that day. Today its the Miata. These go in the other pocket when I'm bagless...
  7. Writing instruments: Usually some mix of fine and ultra-fine uniballs in black and blue, a 0.7mm mechanical pencil, and a new addition: a fine "sharpie". Added recently for marking silver coins prior to annealing for my stone setting class.
  8. Altoid's Tin turned iPod case: I trimmed the vacuum-formed plastic insert from the original Shuffle packaging to fit into a tin. It holds the player and earbuds in geek-chic luxury while protecting everything and keeping it clean.
  9. A stack of UCSD Evening parking permits. It was a major revelation when I figured out I could buy these things in bulk. For some reason it never occurred to me and I was buying them one-at-a-time for years.
  10. Standard Black "Comp Book", grid ruled. Mostly used for sketching pieces and planning work for my metalsmithing, but occasionally I take notes in it too.
  11. Letter-size accordion file. This holds the comp book and all the loose papers I seem to collect, like a list of local suppliers for my metalsmithing classes or a list of instructions from the Judge at jury duty. It also serves to add a little rigidity to my aging nylon bag, so the heavy stuff at the bottom doesn't make it sag when I don't have a book or my laptop with me...
  12. One 12" cable tie. Who knows, I must have thought I needed it.
  13. Semi-hard case for my Sunglasses, clipped to the bag's shoulder strap. Picked up a set of Maui Jim glasses on Oahu last month, its the first set of "nice" sunglasses I've owned in quite a while. We'll see how long they last.
  14. Motorola V600 Cameraphone (not shown) - I used to think cameraphones were silly, at least until I got one. I use it all the time now. Mostly I use the camera instead of taking notes. I'll photograph a price tag or store display to get a crucial model number or the physical dimensions of a piece of furniture. Also comes in handy for remembering the vintage of that great bottle of wine we had at dinner... I've always used my cellphone as a PIM, and that functionality keeps getting better, to the point that I just can't justify carrying a PDA. I just wouldn't use it. I've seen a Blackberry or two I could probably trade for my phone, but not many. The phone usually lives in the bag now, but I used it to photograph this whole mess, hence the less-than-ideal image quality. I didn't say it was a great camera.
  15. My Wallet of Doom (not shown) - This is the one thing I really need to work on. I've gone on several pocket diets, but I just can't seem to keep the weight off. My keyrings are now wonderfully spartan, but I haven't managed to shed all the club cards, discount cards, etc. that make a wallet so fat. Maybe I'll find a way to take a page from the Zen Pockets article and move some of that stuff off to a sub-wallet I can throw in my bag...

So, what's in your bag today? Next trick is to tackle Kim's bag, maybe we can shave 3 or 4 pounds out of it...

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