I recently acknowledged to the New York Times that I "travel heavy." At the moment I'm on the road for 3+ weeks—a rare occurrence. And I'm weighed down. (Necessarily so, as I see it.) I will spare you the whole list, but I laid out EVERYTHING this morning in Stockholm, and organized it. Even I was occasionally surprised ...
Computers: 1 Dell, 1 Gateway. (Yesterday a flight attendant spilled sparkling water on the Gateway—named EDDA; we name my 5 computers so we'll know who's healthy and who's not. Edda was fried—and not available for about 15 hours. Way to go, Tom: I resisted using a hairdryer on Edda!)
Techie accoutrements: 2 DSL cables (long, short); 2 phone cables (3, actually—I dunno); 2 sets of overseas plug adaptors for each country I'll visit (I CANNOT TELL A LIE: I found 6 British adaptors); 2 12-foot extension cords (I like to work in any corner of a room, even the bathroom); 2 backup batteries per computer; one airplane-car adaptor-transformer; 3 cell phones (2 U.S., primary and backup; 1 international); 1 Blackberry (charger cords for all the above); one toolkit; miscellaneous batteries; 1 Bose headset; 6 memory sticks
3 flashlights (one above normal; you know ...) (ENOUGH BATTERIES TO POWER A SMALL ARMY)
4 watches (It's not me, honestly—they just accumulate)
2 alarm clocks (1 on home time, 1 set for the road)
1 pair chopsticks (Forget it: I LIKE TO EAT WITH CHOPSTICKS IN GENERAL—and it slows my eating down)
1 stapler (Critical!)
1 pack blank 5 X 7 cards, in case I have to give an impromptu speech
11 file folders (1 for each of 8 events, 3 for work-related material)
Kit with Tabasco, mustard, balsamic vinegar (spicing food slows the metabolism—plus I like spice, especially Tabasco)
1 big Leatherman, 1 small Swiss Army knife (and 1-pair v. sharp scissors)
26 ball pens (EPIDEMIC!)
15 (about) spare Ziplocs, incl. the all-important 2-gallon size!
Mucho dietary supplement pills (plus a few prescribed meds, and emergency meds such as antibiotics (may end up God knows end-of-nowhere) (NO FLU SHOTS)
11 "trip" books (4 non-fiction, 7 fiction—none of my own!); 6 DVDs, 3 music CDs (my meditation tapes); 5 standard take-along books (2 meditation, 1 World Atlas, 2 OAG flight guides) (Also, whoops, maps to 3 cities I'm not visiting—and 1 that I am)
Miscl currency (India, Russia, Australia, Euros, British Pounds, Thai, Canadian, Japanese Yen—you never know!)
3 tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes
7 ties (depends on the mood—it's my only color, in contrast to DARK Blue & GRAY suits); 6 dress shirts (and ... YEGADS ... 41 little plastic thingeys for the shirt collars—must have watered that pot too vigorously); 2 sweat shirts; 1 sweatpants and one sweat shorts; 2 pairs winter gloves (DAMN WELL NEEDED ONE OF 'EM IN STOCKHOLM TODAY); 5 pair sweatsocks (1 pair dress socks—avoid me after Wednesday); one kneebrace (left, and thanks for asking); 1 fleece; 5 baseball hats (Red Sox, SF Giants, Canyon Ranch, Rosie-the-riveter, Poole's Fish on Martha's Vineyard—4 is below average)
1 silver Ganeesh, for good luck.
A signed picture of Roy Rogers (JUST KIDDING)
3 balls-in-a-bag (NOT KIDDING) (1 baseball, unsigned; 1 Australian cricket ball; 1 wooden ball used by the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico—again, thanks for asking)
And some other stuff ... but that gives you a flavor, I trust.
(HINT: MY CONCLUSION AFTER READING THIS ... ABSURD!)
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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