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My favorite toys

Every so often I read a post about a blogger's favorite or not so favorite toys on the tech side. I've gone through a few iterations to arrive at what I think just F'ing works for me. I think I've reached that point at least until I get iPhone 13 pro envy when I go back to the US for a short visit in March. Without further speculation; what you have been waiting for. My toys.

  1. MacBook Air M1. I bought this laptop while still in Vietnam and it has been a love affair since the first day. I got the base level model. I would never buy an Intel MacBook now or ever again. The Air is just that good. Quiet, fun, impressive battery life. Easy to position on coffee tables or the lap or when moving around slowly. The ease of removing this from my cheap bag which carries it all when I travel is so legendary. I don't go for backpacks at all because they are dumpster dives in the functionality area. I'll cover the only non tech toy down a bit though. The MacBook Air is a delight to use day to day. My needs are pretty slim so the base model works a treat. I do enjoy running two photo editing apps (not Lightroom) on it which are universal apps. Darkroom and Raw Power are wonderful apps which just fit in with my non workflow method of minimally editing photographs.
  2. iPhone 12 Pro. I really like this device. It does the day to day heavy lifting for me. The cameras are just what I need to feel I am capturing the daily life around me. It is not a professional setup because I am not a professional. I am just someone who enjoys taking lots of photos and then having them right there to share on my blog. I don't need the frustration of cables and SD cards and chargers when my goal is to simply record my moments and daily life.
  3. Kindle Paperwhite some generation. I don't care for others and I won't read paper books ever. I don't care for the texture or the smell or the weight. What I am after is a simple way to just read and use the Amazon ecosystem for it or use Calibre to find free ebooks, convert them, and mail them to my kindle. All this works very well. If I had a cable that was Type C to Micro USB I would not need to mail them. Perhaps when I get back. Meanwhile for me, the kindle fits inside a smaller day carry bag which is also cheap that I bought here. And it all just works to do unobstructed and unfiltered reading. I don't want to read on some iDevice. I want my reading to be the only thing I do if I sit in a park or restaurant or beer garden. You may not like the Kindle or Amazon. Good on you. I don't live to make you happy or resolve your device dreams.
  4. Cheap carry bags. I despise backpacks, daypacks. What I do like is the cheap ass messenger bag I found which holds everything when I move. I found it on Amazon for about $35. It has several but not too many compartments, a central pocket for the laptop and the little cover I bought, and pockets for my minimal wallet, passport, pens, kindle, phone. Stuff. So why do I hate backpacks? Because they all want to be everything or nothing. Too many or not enough pockets. Straps that are nice but I still need to wear on my back or front. I really dislike wearing a backpack like it is some appendage on my daily walks. My cheap little artisan created bag I bought here for $10 carries the every day carry without straps and zippers and frustrations at either too much or not enough room. The bag has one central compartment which holds the kindle, iPhone, money, AirPods and my anker MagSafe compatible charger.

I don't do expensive travel duffel bags either. Gone are the days of desiring an Osprey this or that or some other few hundred dollar bag. Instead I have a 65 liter travel duffel bag that folds up into itself if I want. It has a large central compartment, shoe section, side pockets. It is not for carry on. I don't really care to carry on bags too much. I hate people that carry roller bags and insist on rolling over my feet or removing them from the overhead and having the bag bop my head while I sit. So I check my travel duffel bag because since when I am in any hurry to get somewhere?


All this simply works together for me. The MacBook, iPhone and kindle all fit in my messenger bag (did I mention it was cheap?). The daily carry bag also cheap carries the stuff I need or want on the go without the goofy straps and too many or too few pockets. The duffel is perfect for what I carry. Which is everything. I don't have stuff like TVs or chairs or other crap. In fact, I have not had any real property for some years which could be considered "stuff".

I'm not saying this way would work for you and, in fact, I bet it would not. I just reached the plateau of wanting just enough luggage or bags to carry what I have. So I am not some minimalist forever burdened with enough, too much, get rid of, or the lofty thoughts of the upper mental levels of minimalism. Instead, what works for me is realism. I cannot fit a sleeper sofa in my duffel. I don't need warm coats or jackets where I go so why carry them. I have been able to find cheap hoodies everywhere for... cheap. I don't wear jeans but I do have a pair which are folded up in the duffel. I do like T shirts so I tend to get a t shirt wherever I go and wear it until I tire of it and then I find another. Then another. And on. I most often buy shorts and socks wherever I am but only enough to be real about it. I don't need 30 pair of socks. I only have two feet. Shorts are the same. Two pair of shorts is enough. I only can wear one pair at a time.

I won't share my messenger bag selection but you can find cheap ones on Amazon easy. So if you just wanna go forever with no ties that bind, don't be a minimalist. Be a realist. Pack like you are going for a week or so. Don't take toiletries. Buy good shoes. I like Merrell Moab shoes. They last with my walking at least a year. Sneakers are not walking shoes and they wear out. I have had terrible luck with New Balance shoes wearing out in months. I do about 5 to 6 miles every day so your mileage may vary. The Merrell shoes are more expensive but my feet are worth it.

That's it. My toys all tailored for an old retired guy that has no home and moves about every few months. Where do I go?

Wherever the f I want.

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