Toiletries Kit Setup

Refining and reducing my toiletries kit for travel.

I’ve talked a lot about setting up my EDC kits, but one topic I gloss over a lot is my toiletries. Which until my last trip I thought was a refined masterpiece. Turns out, it was far bulkier than I need. And given that I am regularly keeping track of my packing lists now, some things are glaringly obvious.

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  • Engadget’s Article ‘How to actually get work done on an iPad’ misses the mark

    Bad advice, decent advice from me, Nebo, backpack sale.

    In browsing around tech-blog-land, I came across this post which I was naturally excited to see, despite the overall condescending nature of the title. I took a read and quickly realized the article was a pile of trash, so we start this week looking at that, before moving on to good tips, Nebo, and backpack sale.

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  • Casio G-SHOCK GPW-2000 ‘Gravitymaster’

    Let’s talk about this amazing G-SHOCK watch I have fallen in love with.

    When I reviewed the Lum-Tec, I talked about what I am looking for in a watch, and truth be told I have tried to sell that Lum-Tec a couple of times, not because I dislike it, but because I wanted to try this watch. Luckily, I found this watch for a bargain price and thus I was able to keep both watches for the time being. This Gravitymaster is one I’ve been drooling over for quite some time.

    And yes, we are really talking about a G-SHOCK.

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  • App Odds and Ends

    My iPhone home screen layout, kid app IAPs, Pages Collaboration, Basecamp 3,, call blockers, and an illness tracking app.

    I’ve got a lot of random things to go over as it relates to apps today.

    iPhone Home Screen Changes

    Talking about your iPhone home screen used to be a thing, even on this site, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve talked about it. With the iPhone X I originally set up the device with 3 rows of apps and the dock. Recently though I changed that to 5 rows and the dock, or all but one row. I’d do the full screen of icons, but I really can’t figure out which others ones I would possibly want.

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  • Machine Era Field Pen

    Another brass pen, but this time it writes in space.

    A new brass pen, that uses a Space Pen refill and just might be far more durable than the Space Pen refills themselves — which is saying quite a bit. But it’s quite heavy, so let’s start by talking about that.

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  • Allow me to introduce Charles

    Basically every cheap and free app is violating your privacy in ways you didn’t expect.

    There’s long been a development tool called “Charles” and in simple terms (as I understand it for you readers, not developers) it’s a way to see what you are sending over the network from software projects you are developing. Think of it as a way to debug where the problem lies in a piece of software (am I sending the wrong data, to the wrong place, or everything from the app is fine). Just a bit ago Charles Proxy came out for iOS, and it’s pretty amazing and terrifying at the same time.

    What Charles for iOS allows you to do is to create a local VPN proxy, which sends all your network traffic on your device through the Charles app — thus allowing it to see everything sent, and record that for you. This data doesn’t leave your device, it’s not some remote server providing the logs, it’s all local. This is kind of like running Little Snitch on your Mac, except it’s a log and not a tool you can use to block stuff.

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  • Lum-Tec B38 GMT

    A new go to watch for me.

    The first thing we need to get out of the way is that this is a quartz watch. I wrote a bit about my evolving thinking about quartz versus mechanical watches, here. Basically, the lack of accuracy and the delicacy of mechanical movements can make bad options for watches when used particular ways. More than that, I wanted something which could be a better everyday watch, which can blend in many circumstances, while looking sharp.

    This is where the Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military failed me: has lovely as the watch is, it really only worked with a couple NATO straps and the bracelet it came on. But it had one feature I didn’t want to lose: great lume on the hands and dials. I could read the time at 4am without squinting.

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  • Watch Water Resistance

    A few quick notes on what water resistance means to me with watches.

    I’ve been talking about watches a bit recently, and will keep doing so for a bit longer, so I thought a quick post on what water resistance ratings mean to me would be handy to post.

    The first thing to note is that no watch is really “waterproof” which is why you see the term “water resistant” and typically this is given in one of two metrics. As a pressure metric, 10bar/ATM (I’ve seen it both ways, no clue) water resistance, or as a depth, 100m water resistant. Both of those are the same (because of how watches are tested) what is being tested is how resistant the watch is to pressure from water. The deeper you go in the ocean, for example, the more pressure is being exerted on the watch.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 3/26/18

    Continued thoughts on why the iPad Pro is really the best computer people can buy right now.

    Some apps are really starting to get good, and the tools are really shining through, let’s take another moment to talk about why most people don’t actually need anything more than an iPad Pro.

    After all, what’s a computer?

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  • It’s About Care

    Some thoughts on podcasting, long ass blog posts, and stuff like that.

    I’ve long been critical of two things: overly long blog posts, and podcasts. I’ve done both, to be clear, but I’ve come to realize that both of these things suffer from one core problem: a distinct lack of care.

    If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. – Someone, depending on who you ask

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  • First Look: Aer’s Tech Pack

    A couple weeks in with Aer’s latest backpack offering.

    Note: this backpack was sent to me for review purposes.

    Aer has built a brand around well-designed, purpose-built, bags. From their excellent Travel Pack, to the hybrid EDC-Gym backpacks they are known for. They recently released a new line they are calling “Work Collection” which as the name implies is for those who need a bag for work, not for travel or gym/work. The designs in this collection stand out as they all utilize a coated nylon as a key feature.

    The Tech Pack is the largest offering of this collection and is what we’ll be talking about today in a brief post as I’ve only had it a couple of weeks.

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  • Airlines and Airports

    My many thoughts on air travel that I’ve come to believe is worth a post.

    Some random musings and thoughts about air travel, which I have been observing over the last couple of years of travel for work and pleasure. Your mileage may vary.

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  • Better News Using an iPad

    My news reading strategy.

    A popular post last week was from Farhad Manjoo, where he talked about his experience only reading newspapers for two months (or maybe not). In the article, Manjoo wonders how he can replicate something similar in a digital landscape — and this is more or less what I’ve been doing on my iPad. So let me detail how I got over my “all-the-news–right-now” addiction and moved to something much more manageable and sane.

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  • Flowfold Conductor Limited – 40L Duffle Bag

    A versatile and very light weight duffle bag.

    Note this bag was sent to me from Flowfold for the purposes of this review.

    Despite my predilection for backpacks, I’ve always been a huge duffle bag nerd, and so when Flowfold asked if I wanted to try theirs out — I jumped at the chance. I typically use duffle bags in one of two settings: I need to check luggage when I fly, or I am traveling with my kids or wife. Or, I guess, “all of the above”.

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  • A Modern Watch

    A look at the changing use and goals of watches, and what kind of watch really matters to me.

    Over the past couple of years I’ve been spending more time thinking about the tools I use at a deeper level of detail. One item I’ve been thinking about is watches — in part because of the Apple Watch and looking at how that distorts watches in general, but also because I’ve been generally unhappy with my current slate of watches to wear.

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  • Triple Aught Design Context Organizer

    Taking a look at a new gear organizer, which is quite a bit larger than you might expect.

    I’ve been looking for a solid organizer to use in place of my other options for carrying everything in my EDC kits. The idea being that if I can keep my standard gear all in one thing then I can have only one set of gear. As it is right now, I keep an entire set of gear in each bag, since I don’t have an easy way to move it from bag to bag. Thus I either spend a lot of money buying the same gear, or I have one kit of gear which is my favorite and the other kits made up of lesser goods (which is the reality).

    I’ve tried GORUCK Field Pockets and a few Maxpedition pouches, but today I take a look at Triple Aught Design’s latest offering the Context Organizer. The Context Organizer is fairly unique in this admin pouch realm, as it is expandable, able to hang with built in straps, and yet has tons of organization abilities in it. And it’s huge.

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