Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving the Blog

I decided to combine my web domain and my blog. From now on will be the proper address to access my blog. This page will soon become inactive.


Breaking the Travel Bag Paradigm

This travel tip came to me from John Davison–an extensive world traveler. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to read some of his thoughts on India.

Old nerdy joke from my high-school math club: a pessimist says the glass is half empty, the optimist says half full. The engineer says it’s twice as big as it needs to be. For whatever reason, the average traveler is forever doomed to the paradigm of taking much more than what’s needed for a bag– be it in terms of features, capacity or price.

As an Eagle Scout I can understand “Being Prepared,” as it is after all the Boy Scout motto, but I also argue that there’s a right tool for every task. If you’re traveling, and not backpacking–for a long distance that is, your best bang-for-your-buck, practical option is to pick up a Seal-Line Boundary Pack.

Boundary Packs - what you should be taking to Europe.

Boundary Packs - what you should be taking to Europe.

It’s water tight – as in, it floats. If you’re in a jam you could even use it as a buoy to float back to your ship (just ask John). A lot of packs are “water-proof” and made of water-proof materials but not made with “water-proof construction” and then there’s Gore-tex and eVent and…none of it is going to be as impenetrable as this bag. It’s made of thick vinyl and holds air like an opera singer, an especially fat one.

Weight wise, how does 2lb. 9oz. sound for a 70L bag? Yes, it’s only a single compartment, but how many times have you lost something because you forgot about it in your ultra-secret security pocket? What good are all of those pockets if you still can’t remember where you put things? One compartment is awesome for finding your stuff and just think of how fast security checkpoint will be when there’s only one space to open. If you’re that worried about organization, just get some Eagle Creek bags or Sea to Summit stuff sacks.

Maybe you’re leary about its practicality. Did you see the available colors? You could find your socks in the bottom of this bag in a black hole–that’s an insane yellow! Nighttime be damned! Sure it’s a little ostentatious, but I can almost guarantee that no one will mistake your bag for theirs at a baggage claim. It has a breathable shoulder harness, a waist belt and on the 70L and up models a harness that acts as a load-adjuster and grip if you’re just lugging it around. The face that it’s vinyl also means it’s not going to absorb your sweat all day while you schlep it around looking for the Hofbräuhaus. Should you need to check it on the plane, boat, etc. the harnesses come off and you’re left with a seamless, secure and water-tight bag.

John’s advice made a convert out of me so I picked one up for my upcoming trip to the Czech Republic (9 days). Packing my 35mm digital SLR, a few lenses, my clothes, shoes, books and toiletries, I know I’m going to have just enough space for my girlfriend’s things as well – and I bought the 35L. It’s also perfect carry-on size, so I won’t be waiting in any long lines once I hit the tarmac in Prague. I also won’t be rethinking the price. At $70 for a 35L, $80 for a 70L and $90 for a 115L bag, you’re still looking at one third to one quarter of what a full-fledged backpack can cost. My advice is to save the money on the pack, spend it on travel clothes (hence my two shirts for 9 days) and carry less overall.

As a caveat, it’s not a trekking bag and shouldn’t be used if you’re knocking out the Camino de Santiago or the Ho Chi Minh, but if you’re hostel hopping, island floating or just traveling around for only a few miles at a time, these bags are worth checking out.

Keep an eye out for my Prague recap in early September; I’ll let you know how the bag goes.

Blowin’ the dust off…I hope

Almost 9 months later, I thought it would be good to update my blog. Boy is it going to get serious.

In a nutshell, which won’t really say anything, work has been great. Sometime after my blogging stop, I entered a love/hate relationship with design. I probably loved to hate it. It just didn’t really make proper sense to me, and I felt like a crusader – like Bruce Lee rejecting traditional martial arts. My studies of typography and museum visitations continued, and I was even on the verge of getting fired from work (I think). Alas, my wilderness survival training paid off and I survived the urban jungle onslaught.

Now I am working at the same place, thankfully, and am a Producer – the first person at our company to hold such position. I wear a lot of hats, though usually a fedora, and am flourishing. My job is ambiguous, meaning it is whatever I am needed/ I want it to be. My responsibilities wax and wane with the moon, with the option for me to assert more than what is expected as I am willing and able. I write a lot at work now, both copy and business proposals. It’s reinvigorated something that I’ve always loved to do.

So, not to sound like a Newly-Resoluted shmuck, I do intend to write more and not just about kerning and design. Anything that I would write on design would probably be offensive and opinionated anyway so I will aim to not alienate myself from my constituents (both of them). Look out for commentaries on Mad Men, the state of the Union, psychology, my neighborhood and anything that strikes my fancy. If I fall into a 9-month hiatus, please email me and remind me to write around day 5 please.