The Travel Bag Winner? Red Oxx!

and the winner is . . . Red Oxx!

Last month I posted about how I was trying to find the perfect travel bag for carry-on (nothing with wheels as they just add weight, you lose 1/3 of the space for the wheels and handle, and it will not fit in European carry-ons). Both bags I examined were wonderful. In many ways, they were even comparable–the weight, the thickness, the quality. I even considered keeping them both, though could not justify this to myself (at least for now!). While the Tom Bihn Aeronaut seemed a little more stylish and eye-catching, I really do not want to draw any attention at all to my travel bags. The more attention, the more somebody, somewhere, on some airline will want to measure or weigh or otherwise examine my luggage, potentially delaying me or separating me from my luggage during the flight. You see, style for me translates as attention, and I do not want to attract any of it, for any reason, when I travel.

To be honest, the other deciding factor that had me settle on the Sky Train from Red Oxx, besides this bag feeling a little more rugged, was what I perceived as being stronger backpack straps and hardware. Nothing plastic in sight, the straps had solid metal hardware, felt a little more padded, and appeared to be more firmly attached to the bag itself. Let me be clear, I cannot carry any bag for long on my shoulder, as it will throw off my alignment and leave me nursing knots in my back. I am fully planning to use the backpack straps as I navigate the public transportation, trains, and walking to and from airports (not to mention navigating between terminals), as I move to and fro for the academic conferences I attend. Filling this bag with 20 pounds of clothes and books to test it as I walked around my apartment clearly showed me the Sky Train would be the hands-down winner carrying this on my back. Of course, only time will tell, so expect an update after my next travel in September.

Now I settled on a bag, all that remained was to get the assorted peripherals to help me organize the minimal load I will carry. That box just arrived, so let me share what else will travel with me (all in the colors I ordered to fit together!).

For my computer, I ordered the Metro Briefcase:

For my toiletries, I ordered the Tri-fold Shave Kit:

For my socks and such, along with assorted small items (like a clock, slippers, vitamins, etc.), I ordered 2 Nomad Shave Kits:

For my electronic items, such as chargers, camera, cords, adapters, and the like, I chose the Lil Roy:

And finally, the Travel Basket so I can have a central place in the hotel room to put my wallet, watch, hotel key, and such when I am in the room (as these things always get spread around since there is not a central home for them):

The colors of all these items fit nicely together, and will help me organize (and locate) things along the way.

I spend  a lot of time thinking about travel, due in part to the fact that the trips I take are often very busy and commonly involve a number of side excursions. The less I have to consider how and what I transport while on the way to seeing what I am really traveling to see and experience, the better. Let’s hope all this gear from Red Oxx will work as I am planning; I am confident it all will.

Internet Research 12.0 (2011) Call for Papers

Thrilled to see that the AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers) call for papers for the  Internet Research 12 Conference IR12 is now available on the conference website. I liveblogged and wrote obsessively about the current year’s conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, and took many ideas away with me that are now beginning to influence my own research.

Did I see that the focus this coming year will be Performance and Participation, with a smattering of issues around identity (the interest of mine that is becoming all-consuming)? Take a look at the focus this year in the call for papers:

To this end, we call for papers, panel and pre-conference workshop proposals from any discipline, methodology, community or a combination of them that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following:

  • Creative performances and digital arts
  • Participatory culture and participatory design
  • Critical performance and political participation
  • Identity performance
  • Exclusion from participation
  • Economic performance of Internet-related industries
  • Game performance
  • Performance expectations (as workers, citizens, etc.)
  • Ritual performances and communal participation

This increasingly looks to be a place for my work, as all of it involves Internet Research, focuses on identity formation and development, and is about as interdisciplinary as the social sciences themselves. Hope to attend and present my work for more engaged and constructive peer feedback.

SnagIt for Mac (Beta)

In case any of you have not heard about this, SnagIt, one of my favorite apps from Techsmith (a really cool company that I wish were closer to Manhattan so I could work for them!), now has an active (and open) beta download of SnagIt for Mac available.

I have used SnagIt for a long time, and must say I was most surprised with how this version of the application stays mostly hidden along the right of the screen, ready to be used as needed. While this is still a beta, and will undoubtedly be changed in the final version, it is exciting that it is being developed to finally meet the growing Mac user base.

Switch: Follow-up to Made to Stick

I just ordered my copy of Switch, the new book by Chip and Dan Heath (best-selling authors of Made to Stick). I thought the brothers’ earlier work was wonderful, and am looking forward to reading their follow-up work.

Not sure when I will have time to read it; perhaps need to find (or create?) an online book discussion for this???