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So much stuff

Now that that we've been in the new house for about a month and are getting settled (we're about 95% unpacked), I'm thinking about "stuff"...as in "how do we have so much" of it? Now, I don't think we have much more than couples similar to us. It all fit in one medium-sized truck and three guys moved everything out of our old place and into the new house in seven hours. In the grand scheme of things, we're probably about middle of the road in terms of how much baggage we're carrying around. It's ironic that this has been running around in my head given that our new house is huge and we don't have nearly enough stuff to fill it. But it got me thinking...How much stuff do I really need? After backpacking through Europe out of one bag for three weeks, I know I can survive on less than half of a truckload of possessions. So, what would be the keepers? 

1. My iPad. I could forego physical copies of my favorite magazines (e.g., Fretboard Journal) and books. It processes images pretty well (e.g., the Snapseed app). With a data connection and Skype it can make and receive phone calls. And you can take notes and write on it (in fact, I'm writing this on it!). I've got a desktop computer at work, so if push came to shove I'd choose my iPad over a laptop in my bag. And I'd choose it over my phone. 

1b. An Apple TV to hook to whatever display/speakers I have access to. Bouncing video and music from an iPad to the Apple TV (e.g., the Tour de France streaming app) is awesome.

2. A guitar. I have several nice ones to choose from, and all of them are "lifetime" quality instruments, so I'm sure I could be happy with any of them as my only instrument. Luckily, I don't have to pick which one would be the "chosen one," but if push came to shove today, I'd probably take my D-18. One guitar, one capo, and a handful of heavy picks and I'd be all set.

3. Music…Since I ripped all of my CDs, this isn't so much of an issue since I can take the files. But my choice of an iPad make this a bit harder, since there are too many songs to fit on the tablet and I'd be without a computer (i.e., can't store everything on a hard drive). I could cop out and say that I'd run iTunes with all of my music off my work machine. Or I could go the iTunes Match route (i.e., in the cloud), if I paired things down to 25k songs, which I'm sure I could do if you made me. Videos I can get from Netflix. (update: Spotify goes a long in helping with this.)

4. A camera with a handful of lenses. Something wide, a fast/normal lens, and a portrait/macro lens. Coincidentally, this sounds like the available Fuji X-Pro1 system. Or it could be a Nikon body with the Tokina 11-16, a Nikon 24mm prime (this would be a new purchase), a 50mm prime, and the Nikon 105mm micro. I'd probably take my Nikon FM3a, with a lens or two, since shooting and developing black and white film is still awesome. 

5. A Wustof 8" Classic chef's knife, a serrated knife, and a 4" pairing knife. A nice omelette pan (like one of our All-Clad stainless ones) and a Le Creuset Dutch oven (~5 qts.). And a single-burner portable induction cooktop. We've got one of these on our counter and it rocks.

6. My desk. It was hand-built built by a friend of mine along with two matching chairs. Simple, solid, and one of a kind.

7. My bike…A LeMond Poprad cyclocross model...steel-framed goodness (that they don't make anymore, unfortunately).

8. Dropbox. This isn't a physical thing that takes up space in a bag, but Dropbox has become a core element of my workflow. All my documents are in Dropbox, so they sync between computers and I can access them via my iPad.

9. A pair of flip-flops, a pair of hiking boots, and a pair of light/causal shoes. It's likely that two out of these three would be Chacos.

10. A couple of pairs of jeans, some long-sleeve Smartwool base-layers, a few t-shirts, and a hoodie. Simple and comfortable.

Things I could give up:  

  • My Legos, I guess. I'm almost 40, so those don't seem essential.
  • Most of my books and journals. See above comment on the iPad and also downloadable journal articles as PDFs.
  • Electric guitars (and amps). When is the last time I plugged in?

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