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What's in my bag? — Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn writes on DIY media, tech, and culture. He's been an editor at Wired, Boing Boing, Mon

What's in my bag?

July 10 · Issue #6 · View online
Each week, one interesting person shares four favorite things in their bag.

Gareth Branwyn writes on DIY media, tech, and culture. He’s been an editor at Wired, Boing Boing, Mondo 2000, and Make:. He is the author of ten books, including his most recent Amazon best-seller, Tips and Tales from the Workshop.

I have carried Moleskine Cahier Pocket Notebooks (3.5" x 5.5" Plain/Blank) in my pockets and travel bags for decades. I have many dozens of volumes of them, filled with book and article ideas, dreams (both the waking and sleepy-time varieties), writing fragments, research, etc. If I ever woke up to a fire in my house, these are what I would grab on my way out of the door.
A Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen (black) has been next to my Cahier Notebooks ever since I started carrying them. I love the flow and feel of the nib. I buy a dozen every year. Years ago, I realized I was losing my ability to write (after years of all-day typing). I now love switching between keyboard and notebook. Sometimes, if I get stuck writing something, I’ll change to handwriting to help stir things up.
I have had the same Maglite Solitaire flashlight in my laptop bag for over 20 years. It runs on a single, long-lasting AAA battery, has a decently-bright, adjustable beam (for its size), and fits on a keychain. Perfect for finding your car keys or the keyhole of an unlit door. For more powerful lighting, I usually have a Maglite Mini not far from access.
Several years ago, my son and I designed and printed Artistic License cards after I saw several friends issuing their own (one was an art teacher who issued them at the end of the year). I get these printed, laminated with rounded-edges, through Moo Cards. I’ve issued hundreds of them and have even made some money selling them online and at art shows. I mean, hasn’t everyone been in a situation where they needed a little artistic license? What’s in YOUR wallet?
About the bag
I have carried the same Brenthaven laptop bag since 1997. I reviewed it for Wired back then and raved so much about it, they used my review on their hang tags for years. I guess my glowing assessment was correct because, all of these years later, I’m still happily carrying the same bag and it shows few signs of wear. If it ain’t broke …
More about Gareth
Gareth recently launched a new weekly newsletter, Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, published every Tuesday. You can subscribe here.
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