What’s in my bag, 2021

Years ago I used to carry a bag with me containing laptops, battery bricks, cables, in fact loads of stuff! They weighed a tonne but it was what I needed. Nowadays, however, my “bag” is variable depending on what I intend to do. These are the items that go in my full size travel bag; but obviously I do change from day to day and sometimes by bag read pockets.

1. Top left – T-Core power brick. It’s a decent two charge brick with USB C support. I also have larger bricks for weekends but this one is a good daytrip one.

2. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone – the powerhouse of my setup. The reason I don’t carry a laptop everywhere.

3. Cheerdots “Cheerpod” (with it’s case and USB C cable) – A Kickstarter I backed for an air mouse/desk mouse combination. It turned out to be a great little device and it can replace both a presentation controller and a mouse; plus it’s a USB C charger.

4. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (the beans) – I have very small ear canals and these fit great. I can wear them for a few hours without even realising I’ve got them in. Plus because they’re not “in the ear canal” I don’t get the perpetual ear infections I get with regular in ears.

5. Andoer LED video light – a multi function full RGB video light and emergency battery bank. Great for the never ending live streams and video chats we have these days. Superb for throwing effects onto photos and multi directional lighting.

It has a 4500 mAh battery bank built in which is a great saviour too.

Finally, the thing I get asked most about is the keyboard.

6. LG Rolly 2 – a roll up keyboard. Of the portable keyboards I own this one is the best to type on. It’s great on a flat surface. The length of it can be a bit off-putting as it is about a foot long rolled up, but it fits inside my coat pocket and I don’t notice it’s there.

It even fits in a jeans pocket… Sort of. But you might not want to sit down. These are some of my looser fit leather jeans and the pockets are quite big. I dread to try this with my slim fit latest pair.

So that’s the contents of my bag. Tiny isn’t it! I often keep it in a retro Gameboy Advance case although the keyboard is the issue here – I do a have different folding keyboard that fits in there but I’ve never found one as nice to type on.

Perhaps in a few years it will change again, but for now it’s been stable for quite a long time.

Growing up with Trifles

Those of you who followed me from Blogger to WordPress may remember when my website was called Growing up with Trifles; or More Trifles. At one point I even had the domain same moretrifl.es (a Spanish domain, which when we were in the EU I could legally own*)

I fucking love trifle. I was pretty much weaned on the stuff. Growing up near a large dairy manufacturer meant regular supplies of trifles. We all knew multiple people who worked there (2 of my cousins!) and it was staple work on the run up to Christmas as demand for trifles increased.

The staff knew the trick – damage a pallet of top quality M&S trifles with sherry and the next day they would be in the factory shop for 10p each. It was guaranteed that if there was a big event coming up a “whoops” would happen.

Every resident of the town had a bag of trifles in the freezer for emergencies. Even now when I see “do not freeze” embossed on the top of pre packed ones I quietly think “bollocks”. I ate hundreds of them that had been frozen and I never ailed anything!

So occasionally these days I get trifle. In the Brexit cupboard we have quite a few Birds trifles.

You wouldn’t like me if I’ve been deprived…

*don’t get me started on Brexit.

I’m in love with Samsung Gear again

I need to stop rush buying. I’m never happy. When I bought my Galaxy Watch it was an impulse buy. I saw it on display, the shop had them in stock, and I walked out with one.

The problem is, looking back, I walked out with the wrong one. They asked me if I’d like the 42mm or the 46mm size; I asked for the 46mm – they said it would take a few days to arrive in but they had the 42mm and like a fool and with no research I bought it.

It looked nice. The smaller size even fitted my wrist rather well – for a big lad I don’t have huge hands or feet and my wrists accordingly are quite slim.

I then spent 18 months regretting it.

Whilst there was nothing ultimately wrong with the device; it ran Tizen, it did everything the Galaxy Watch 46mm did; it wasn’t for me. The tiny battery and my lifestyle meant that at the end of every day I had to charge it. If I didn’t then I wouldn’t get through the next day.

I even bought a Garmin Venu back in September as I was really pissed off with Samsung gear in particular. My Galaxy Watch was really running like a dog and I lost faith in it after about 4 days in a row I was left at 10am with a rather expensive but incredibly useless bracelet with a flat battery.

The less said about Garmin’s platform the better, but let’s just say it’s not the place for me.

Earlier this month on the other hand I had the opportunity to upgrade to a Galaxy Watch 3. I took it, but it was an absolute insistence that I got the larger size; this time 45mm.

Yes it looks a bit bigger on my wrist, and yes it feels heavier to wear, but wow the battery anxiety is gone! I can finally use it as it is meant to be used without worrying that every single screen touch is 2% off the battery.

I also, again, opted for 4G as I can then leave my phone behind in an emergency or if I’m running really tight on space (have you ever tried to fit a Galaxy Note 20 into latex jeans, especially when there’s an event camera ban so it’s moot even carrying it?)

Beautiful!

My uncle always used to admire my photography. He said I had an eye for amazing scenes and I’d often go for the obscure view.

This was taken this afternoon using a Galaxy Note 20 ultra