The Universal Packing List

An extremely useful travel checklist via Lifehacker: “

The Universal Packing List is a terrific online application that allows you to build a customized packing list, complete with reminders and tips, for any traveling you’ll be doing.

I put this to use this last weekend in preparation for my trip to Mexico next week. Now I’ve got a very thorough list of things I need to do before I go. I’ve printed it up and will be referring to it throughout the week as I get ready.

It works by having you fill out an online form with details about your trip, and some details about the kind of list you’re looking for. Then, based on your answers, it gives you a customized list of what to pack as well as some general advice and reminders. It’s very simple, yet very effective.

Man wallets – attack of the metrosexuals or liberation at last?

Diego from Metacool broaches a topic I have been thinking about lately

“To echo an infamous statement once made about the lowly shopping cart basket, the wallet is tyranny. In this age of the mobile phone, the PDA, the RFID fob, the massive automobile locking/alarm/ignition system remote, and the iPod, who can get away with carrying a wallet alone? Convergence isn’t going to happen any time soon, my friends, and clipping that phone to your waist band just ain’t gonna cut it. Aesthetics matter. The solution is quite clear, and yet… and yet the pressure to conform to societal norms is intense. Hence the tyranny of the wallet.

You heard it here first: I’m freeing myself from the shackles of walletdom, and I’m going to start toting a man-purse. MORE

Man-purses make me feel gay even though no self-respecting gay man would be seen with one.

I ditched my wallet when I moved to Belgrade (found that I had no use for my credit cards, membership cards or stamps and coinage is rare) and took to carrying just a wad of cash.

That was fine for going out at night, but I it has not solved the problem of my perfect setting-out-for-the-day bag.

As a bibliophile and gadget geek I have been forced to carry a bag with me since I was 6 years old.

I have made do with courier, laptop or reporter type bags for years.

I carry about three books, a Sony MP3 player, my iPaq & its keyboard, a fantastic mesh document wallet, keys, mobile, various dongels, medicines (Rennies, headache tabs, floss) and a writing pad. Sometime I want to add an umbrella, light jacket,clean T-shirt or my laptop.

Sp I pretty much need a decent sized bag. All attempts to go small have failed.

Perhaps the problem is one of association. I love Pit Bulls, but their owners (well the people walking them on the streets of London) are almost all power-chavs. I refuse to own a pitbull because of the company they keep.

So it is with man-purses.

In the Balkans man-purses are also associated with mafiosi. The summer uniform of the Serbian Mafioso is 3/4 length trousers, a vest top, sandals (white birkenstocks – seriously) and a man-purse (often holding a gun). Occasionally he will have an anchor sized porche symbol attached to his keys.

I refuse to own a man-purse because of the company they keep.

If you need great bags, in my view the absolute best bags in the world are made by Mandarina Duck.

If you must have a man purse, some commentators on Diego’s blog have some suggestions which I liked:

Domke F-803 Camera Satchel Shoulder Bag – Sand – reminds me of a fishing bag, which is great.

Freitag’s F-range: see the F96 Fritz and F97 Willy. The F95 is too small and..err..womanly for me.