Indianapolis training camp.

The Wandering Nerd July 23rd, 2007

One of the best things about coming back to Indy to visit all my friends is the feeling that, no matter how long I’ve been gone, I’m still just as good of friends with everyone up there as if I did live there. In some cases better, as if they don’t see me too often they have a better chance of putting up with me and my….idiosyncrasies. I had a great time just taking some time to relax and dork around playing video games, drinking and just generally being a group of friends again. Haven’t had that in Nashville for a long time.

I got the last few bits of my stuff stored/donated/thrown out, and completely got my backpack for this trip prepped up. I’m using an Eagle Creek Switchback 22. It’s a go anywhere, do anything sort of contraption.

eagle_creek_switchback_full.jpg

That’s it, fully packed and loaded down, I used the only items I had at hand to give you an idea of the size of the thing. It’s pretty bulky, but the thing splits apart:

eagle_creek_switchback_2pc.jpg

and is just the right size for a rolling carry on, and a computer backpack. I’d say all total it’s somewhere around 30 lbs, maybe 40. The fold out shoulder straps and waste belt make it a pretty negligible load on me, and it still manages to be big enough to hold everything I could really think of. If anyone is interested in the list of what all is going on this sojourn read on, otherwise skip to below the bullets.

  • Silk Trousers (Black)
  • Poly/Nylon Trousers (Beige)
  • Hiking Shorts (Green)
  • Under Armor socks, underoos, and longsleave top and bottom heatgear
  • Water Wicking Towel
  • Silk Sleeping bag
  • Hennessey Hammock
  • Toiletries in the appropriate 3-1-1 sizes(….sorry I’ve been hearing about it all day, had to get it in there somewhere. The announcements @ ORD keep going on about the DHS and how we’re on Orange alert, so we can’t take more than 3 ounces of a aerosol or gel on the plane unless it’s in a 1 quart ziptop bag, and then only 1 per passenger. More on the state of security soon….)
  • General Purpose Antibiotic
  • Malaria Pills
  • Ibuprofen (never leave home without it)
  • Sport Hiking Boots
  • Sport Sandals
  • Wrinkle resist dress shirt (White)
  • Long Sleeve Columbia Poly/Nylon travel shirt (Grey)
  • Short Sleeve Columbia Poly/Nylon travel shirt (Khaki)
  • Ultralight T-Shirt (Black)
  • Sport Tank shirts (Black and White)
  • Federation of Horsepower” T-shirt (Black, and chock full of face melting ROCK! New album is out, check it.)
  • “Broi 3:16″ hat, ’cause one must cover one’s siege tanks….long story, maybe some other day.
  • Ipod Nano 8gig
  • Sony 7MP Camera (I know I swore I wouldn’t by more Sony gear, but it was the only one that use the MS Duo and normal batteries, my two requirements. I’d also planned on bringing the big canon digital rebel, but discounted that due to weight and volume concerns.)
  • Dell E1505
  • Cell Phone
  • 2 Pairs of sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • Writing Journal
  • Documents (passport/international driver’s liscence/Etc.)
  • Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead
  • Lonely Planet’s Europe on a Shoestring

I waft back and forth between thinking that that is all way too much, or way too little. Since I have no earthly idea where I’m going or what I’ll do I’m just hoping it is a good start.

Last night I had a rare moment of “WTF am I doing?!?!” This morning though, when I got dropped off at the airport, I was back with the program. There were some interesting things at IND:

  1. American Airlines now charges $2 per bag to do any sort of curbside check-in. The little man that was doing it was adamant about telling the guy in front of me that the gratuity isn’t included. He said it a number of times and I was thinking how tacky it all was when I noticed the sign above his podium which did indeed state that gratuity wasn’t included and looked corporately produced. This tells me that they aren’t paying these people a real salary, or they are just grifting more and more money out of the consumer rather than fixing their broken business model.
  2. Speaking of tacky - There is this new ’service’ called a Clear Registered Traveler. This program basically runs you through a TSA screening process and gives you another ID card to allow you to skip through some of the security at the airport. The catch is, it costs $100 per year and a $30 initial screening fee. I want to do some more research but I suspect if you really went to digging to find out who owned what, some of the fear mongers have a hand in both that company and the legislation required to get it to pass TSA mandates.
  3. Finally, the security, IND has an explosives ’sniffing’ machine. Supposedly it puffs air at you and then tests the air you give off for any sort of ‘flagged’ residue. Good in theory, but it takes at least 30 seconds to run a complete cycle, and in this case they only have the one but they have two security lines, so only half the people are going through it, and you can see which line is going into it really early on. *sighs* Not to mention I know some guys who could walk in that thing and let one go that would leave the machine with tears in it’s circuits. I’m not naming anyone by name, but his name starts with ‘T’ and ends with ‘ony.’

Made it to ORD with no trouble, and started the long layover off right. There’s a bar that’s already open there you see? So here I sit at the gate, just three more hours and I’m gonna’ be up, off and away. A very exciting time…

The next post should be made in a new city, county, country, continent, and hemisphere, so until then, I’ve been practicing my Irish…*ahem* G’Day mate! Not bad eh?

i don’t have a chance at writing the book
i just wanna be a page

-the eels

One Response to “Indianapolis training camp.”

  1. Rincewindon 23 Jul 2007 at 7:18 pm

    So here we are, doing yet another core cut, and as we wait for the site to finish testing we begin to think of those that have gone before us. I have never found that sleeping on a switch stack was that comfortable, so I have nothing to do but read your latest posting, and sit here thinking, why the hell are we not going with him!

    It’s not the same without you, (it’s actually worse) but knowing that you are out there spreading your own particular brand of anti-cheer helps to get us thru those long nights.

    Long live FTR.

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