Traveling Light


Tomorrow morning I drive to the airport for a two week vacation with my mother and sister. Under normal circumstances, I would take my MacBook Pro 17, my iPad, my iPhone, my iPod Nano, half a suitcase full of books to read and notebooks to write in. But I need to test out my new tool in a way that others may be using it in the future. So I’m going to be using the tool a little but testing the method in handwritten notebook. I figure that if I can’t do it on paper myself, what chance to I have convincing anyone else to do it that way. When I leave get in the car tomorrow, I will only have three books, my iPad and iPhone, and an analog version of my FileMaker Pro application. And I’ll have several of my favorite pens.

Why leave the laptop at home? Because if I take it with me, I might be tempted to change things while I am away. I already know that the current version of my tool is painfully slow to use on the iPad, but maybe that perception comes from having a full keyboard and a second monitor for my laptop. Will I be happy with the iPad and a wireless keyboard, typing on the tray of my seat in coach? If I’m not, I’ll get out the notebook and my favorite blue Pilot Precise V7 and scribble some notes.

But sometime tomorrow, I hope to draft a blog post in my application and be able to drop that into WordPress tomorrow evening. I might even write a couple of posts so I don’t have to think about what to say Tuesday or Wednesday. It will be busy those days, and Thursday as well, because my 88 year old mother will be swimming in the Senior Games. She won Gold and Silver medals in 2009 at the Palo Alto games, but may have less luck this time. A bunch of girls from the 80-84 age group “aged up” into her bracket, the 85-89 group. One of them does the 50 yard freestyle in less than a minute.

Mother is going to have a great time however, as we had shirts made for the three of us saying “Reigning Gold Medalist” so everyone is clear on her results in the past. I suspect we’ll wear the shirts all the time even after the event is over, so she has a chance to talk about it when people see us.

Life is funny sometimes. Here it is, twelve hours before I need to be at the airport and I haven’t started packing. Everything else is ready to go, but I haven’t even picked out which suitcase I need to use. I want to take as little as possible, but the second week we’ll be in Pasadena, California visiting cousins. Our brother is coming down with his family from Seattle, making it a mini-reunion. How does one pack for Texas and California when it will be 60 degrees here tonight, and raining? I hate hot weather, and have no idea what I will want to wear when I get there.

I suppose I could try the strategy that a recent TED speaker used. She only takes underwear when she visits a new place, then buys all her clothes at thrift shops as soon as she arrives. Of course, she has a fashion sense that call pull that off. What is an overweight 62 year old guy going to do at a thrift shop, other than ask about how well the clothes were washed before they were offered for sale?

Am I over my head taking a trip with so little in my suitcase? I suppose I need to find out and just get on with it.

If I’m not back tomorrow, it will probably be due to slow or minimal wireless access at our hotel. I can’t imagine writing a post on my iPad and forwarding it to my iPhone so I can post it that way, but if push comes to shove, that is what I will try.

And with that, I’m finished. Good night to you all. Sweet dreams.

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