Entries in stuff (5)


George Carlin on "stuff"

This cracked me up because I've been tagging recent posts with "stuff" lately. I'm admittedly a hypocrite because I both agree with the sentiment of this bit and also want more guitars.


"These are a few of my favorite things" #2 - Drybox wallet

This is an odd choice for a "favorite thing" in that it has been replaced by the previous item in this series, but my last wallet was awesome too. These little dryboxes are meant for kyakers/boaters to keep their ID/cards dry, but they makes for a perfect little wallet for a few cards and bills. There's also the benefit of the lanyard, so that (a) if you have no pockets you can wear it around your neck or (b) if you're paranoid about being pick-pocketed you can strap it to your belt. This one will probably come back during the summer at some point. The only downside to these is that they only last about a year before the hinge breaks, but $10 a year isn't bad for a groovy wallet.


"These are a few of my favorite things" #1 - DODOcase iPhone wallet

In the spirit of good old American consumerism and materialism, I was planning on writing a post listing my "Top 10 Favorite Things" or something along those lines. But generating the list became overwhelming, so I figured I'd just do a series of short posts with individual items that I find indispensible whenever they popped into my head...So here goes #1:

The DODOcase iPhone Durables Wallet is a sleeve for your phone and wallet all in one. This has effectively combined two pockets full of stuff into one. A few cards and a couple of bills* slip into the side pockets (one on each side) and your phone goes in the middle. If they could figure out how to get my keys in there too, I'd be down to one thing to grab on my way out the door each day. Simple + functional + quality = awesome.

*This works well because I'm almost at the point where I don't use cash for anything these days. I can go weeks with the same $20 bill in my wallet.


Things I'm waiting (impatiently) for...

1. Summer vacation. That's a no-brainer.

2. A trip to Europe; either Barcelona or the UK. Unfortunately, that might not be the same as #1 above. We had a trip to London and Edinburgh planned a few summers ago, but at the last minute our flight got canceled due to the Icelandic volcano ash cloud. Come to think of it, put Iceland on the "to go" list too.

3. Fuji's forthcoming 10-24mm f/4 lens. The recently released 14mm f/2.8 is tempting, but I'd be willing to trade one stop for the zoom range of the 10-24mm, especially given the impressive high ISO performance of the X-Pro1. I'm moderately tempted by the 55-200mm lens that is also on the roadmap; I'm not sure how much it would get used, but I can imagine it would come in handy once in a while. The other planned lenses are interesting too (23mm f/1.4, 27mm f/2.8, and 56mm f/1.4 f/1.2), but I'm not sure if I'll have a need for any of them, and the 18-55mm zoom looks like a nice kit lens, but I'm not interested in it with the primes that I currently have. Update: broke down and got the 14mm and 55-200mm lenses, but still want the 10-24mm! Update 2: I'm committing to the Fuji X system for my primary shooting. I got the X-E1 with 18-55mm kit lens when it went on clearance, and along the way have picked up the 27mm, 56mm, and 10-24mm lenses.

4. The backordered GateKeeper straps from F-Stop, to enhance the flexibility of the Kenti pack that I just got. Update 1: still no GateKeepers, but I've added a Loka pack and found an alternative to the Gatekeepers that should suffice in the meantime. Update 2: Gatekeepers have landed. Still waiting on the rain cover for my Loka...It's been almost 6 months.

5. The next iPad ("iPad 5"). I somehow put a small crack on the screen of my iPad (not in the viewable area, but annoying nonetheless), and rather than pay to get it fixed, I'm waiting for the new model. Hopefully it's spring 2013, not fall. Update: The iPad Air was announced in October 2013. I'll be queuing up to get one, unless I decide to downsize to the new Retina Mini instead...


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?