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The Basics

Be­cau­se I am going to be tra­ve­ling for th­ree weeks, I was thi­nking to­day about pa­ckin­g. Last yea­r, I spent fi­ve weeks on the road, and I pa­cked a ca­bi­n-­si­ze sui­tca­se, plus a me­ssen­ger ba­g. Did­n't feel like I had for­go­tten an­y­thin­g, so I guess I did­n'­t.

That was spring and this wi­ll be la­te fa­ll, so I wi­ll add a swea­ter and a be­tter ja­cke­t.

So, it see­ms the amount of things I need to take wi­th me on a trip does­n't co­rre­la­te wi­th the du­ra­tion of the trip be­yond a cer­tain poin­t. It see­ms that all the ma­te­rial asse­ts I need to li­ve fit in a sma­llish sui­tca­se (plus a ba­g). I mo­ved to Bue­nos Ai­res twel­ve years ago wi­th a sui­tca­se, a TV and a ca­t.

So, ig­no­ring de­tails su­ch as fa­mi­ly and sen­ti­men­tal va­lue (whi­ch, for me, ma­te­rial things ha­ve no­ne), su­ppo­se eve­r­y­thing I own bur­ned do­wn in a fi­re. How mu­ch mo­ney would I need to miss no­thing I los­t?

As­su­ming I am mo­ved in­to a ba­re appart­ment wi­th the usual things in it (no fur­ni­tu­re, but has a sto­ve and a fri­dge), he­re's my lis­t:


7 t-s­hir­ts, 3 pan­ts, 2 shor­ter pan­ts, 2 pairs of sneaker­s, 2 swea­ter­s, a coa­t, mis­c. About $400 or so?


I am con­si­de­ring upgra­ding the one I ha­ve for a $800 one, so su­re­ly no mo­re than tha­t.


I ha­ve a $90 pho­ne, but le­t's re­pla­ce my kind­le too, so a ni­cer one: $250


A ta­ble, a few chair­s, a ma­tress (I had to re­pla­ce my bed re­cen­tl­y, ma­tress in the floor for a week was sur­pri­sin­gly ni­ce!). Perhaps $500?


Cu­tle­r­y, dis­he­s, a po­t, a fr­ying pan, to­wel­s, be­d­s­hee­ts, co­ffee mu­g, toi­le­try ite­ms, blanke­t, ex­ten­sion cor­d­s, etc. $1000?

No­thing el­se co­mes to min­d, so, it see­ms I need a bit over $2000, le­t's say $2500 to be on the safe si­de. It's in­te­res­ting to ima­gi­ne I could mo­ve to, sa­y, Cos­ta Ri­ca, by just ha­ving a job the­re, $2500 in my po­cket and no ba­gga­ge.

A Year With My Kindle

I got my first Kind­le a year ago. I qui­ck­ly re­pla­ced it wi­th my cu­rrent and se­cond kind­le, a Kind­le Tou­ch.

So, how we­ll has it wo­rke­d? Pre­tty damn we­ll. I am a fair­ly hea­vy use­r, I thi­nk, and the Kind­le has tra­ve­led qui­te a bi­t, in bags, sui­tca­ses and car­go po­cke­ts. The on­ly ca­re I take is to use a lea­ther co­ver when ou­tsi­de the hou­se.

I ha­ve rea­d, ac­cor­ding to goodrea­d­s.­co­m, so­mewhat over 17000 pa­ges in this yea­r, in 61 books. Tha­t' a lot of pa­ges. And if you look at the ga­dget no­w, it sti­ll looks brand new. No scra­tche­s, eve­r­y­thing ope­ra­tes co­rrec­tl­y, even the ba­tte­ry sti­ll hol­ds the char­ge fi­ne even if it's do­wn to about two weeks per char­ge ins­tead of al­most th­ree.

I sti­ll miss the ol­der kind­le's pa­ge-­tur­ning bu­tton­s. Using a tou­chs­creen to turn pa­ges is idio­ti­c. but he­y, it wo­rks, and I can sti­ll do it one-han­ded (yay for hu­ge-hand boy he­re!)

The on­ly things I do­n't qui­te like are the sa­me ones as when I bou­ght it.

  • The pa­­ge has too li­­ttle contrast when not idea­­lly li­­gh­te­­d.

  • You can't read in the da­­rk.

Sin­ce the new pa­pe­rwhi­te fixes bo­th of tho­se, I am ge­tting one. I ha­ve al­ready sold this one, and the di­ffe­ren­ce is not a lo­t, so it's a ve­ry cheap upgra­de.

Qui­te ha­ppy about Ama­zo­n's abi­li­ty to not su­ck at gi­ving me goods in ex­chan­ge for mo­ne­y, too! It's ra­re that I want a book and it's not out the­re in Kind­le for­mat (s­ti­ll wai­ting for Evan Da­ra's Ea­sy Chai­n!)

So, no unex­pec­ted is­sues, has brou­ght a lot of fun, was chea­p... tha­t's the de­fi­ni­tion of ga­dget pa­ra­di­se to me.

Small Things Break Big Things

I ha­ve been wa­tching Ga­lac­ti­ca (the newer one) on and off for a few mon­ths. And the­re is one sma­ll thing that dri­ves me nu­ts eve­ry ti­me I see it. It th­ro­ws me off the sto­r­y, and com­ple­te­ly breaks the worl­d-­buil­ding tha­t's going on.

Oc­to­go­nal pa­pe­r.

This. Makes. No. Sen­se. Ni­ce fon­t, thou­gh.

Wh­y? Be­cau­se pa­per is squa­re for func­tio­nal and ma­nu­fac­tu­ring rea­son­s. You take a spool of pa­pe­r, you cut it, you end up wi­th rec­tan­gu­lar pie­ce­s.

Are you ma­nu­fac­tu­ring li­nen pa­pe­r? Then you need to build fra­mes to do it, and making oc­to­go­nal fra­mes is mu­ch har­de­r.

To make oc­to­go­nal pa­per shee­ts you need to cut eve­ry one of them from squa­re shee­ts. That is stu­pi­d.

Oh, it ge­ts wor­se. In the BSG uni­ver­se, they ha­ve oc­to­go­nal *trac­tor pa­pe­r*.

What sort of idiot ca­me up wi­th tha­t? How can that even wo­rk!

So, a fun se­ries but eve­ry ti­me I see a pie­ce of pa­per I want to screa­m.

Company Men (The Diaspora Trilogy #3)

Cover for Company Men (The Diaspora Trilogy #3)


I just don't like this se­ries. The sci­ence is mud­dled, the char­ac­ters are stilt­ed, and the ca­su­al way they are dis­card­ed when they die is off­put­ing. "O­h, sure, that guy killed my moth­er. Oh, well!" (not a lit­er­al quote).


El vier­nes que vie­ne me voy a Pa­rís. Me lle­vo a mi mu­je­r, a mi ne­ne, y a mi vie­ja. Me lle­vo a mi mu­jer por­que nun­ca tu­vi­mos lu­na de mie­l, en­ton­ces cual­quier ex­cu­sa es bue­na, me lle­vo a mi ne­ne por­que tar­dé mu­cho, y me lle­vo a mi vie­ja por­que se lo de­bo.

Mi ma­má tie­ne 78 años y cuan­do es­tu­dia­ba, pu­pi­la, en un co­le­gio de mon­ja­s, es­tu­dia­ba fran­cé­s. Y cuan­do es­tu­diás fran­cés se­mi­pre­sa, las lec­cio­nes so­bre Pa­rís, el li­bro con fo­tos de la to­rre Ei­ffe­l... se me ha­ce que de­ben ha­ber si­do ma­te­rial de los sue­ños de esa pi­ba de quin­ce. Yo sé que mi vie­ja sue­ña con es­te via­je ha­ce más de se­s­en­ta año­s.

Tam­bién lo so­ña­ba mi vie­jo que siem­pre con­ta­ba de cuan­do te­nía que es­cri­bir una re­dac­ción (en fran­cés ob­via­men­te) so­bre el puer­to de Le Ha­v­re y co­mo no la ha­bía he­cho la in­ven­tó al vue­lo, hi­zo co­mo que la leía y le pu­sie­ron un diez igua­l, en su se­cun­da­rio en Re­sis­ten­cia, pe­ro mi vie­jo se en­fer­mó y se mu­rió.

En­ton­ces aho­ra que pue­do, por­que con la tar­je­ta la sa­co en mu­chas cuo­ta­s, y ten­go un des­cuen­to, y el pa­sa­je mío lo pa­ga un clien­te, y Ta­to pa­ga la mi­ta­d, y al­qui­lar un de­par­ta­men­to allá sa­le lo mis­mo que en Mar del Pla­ta (o lo mis­mo que una car­pa en La Per­la), y ten­go un aho­rri­to, ha­ce un tiem­po le di­je a mi vie­ja que sa­ca­ra el pa­sapor­te, que se ve­nía con­mi­go.

Y que no, que es­toy gran­de, que qué me vas a lle­va­r, pa­ra qué, qué voy a ha­cer allá, pe­ro el ojo bue­no se le ilu­mi­na­ba, por­que mi vie­ja por aden­tro es to­da­vía esa alum­na pu­pi­la del co­le­gio en San­ta Fe, que te­nia que es­tu­diar en si­len­cio sus lec­cio­nes de fran­cé­s, so­bre esa tie­rra le­ja­na, exó­ti­ca de gen­te con boi­na.

Y la pla­ta no com­pra la fe­li­ci­da­d, pe­ro es­ta pla­ta, jus­to es­ta pla­ta, me de­ja dar­le de re­ga­lo del día de la ma­dre un via­je con el que sue­ña ha­ce mi vi­da y me­dia, ir a Mont­mar­tre, sen­tar­nos en al­gu­na par­te, pe­dir dos ca­fé­s, mor­far­nos dos croissan­ts, dar­le un be­so a mi Ta­to, abra­zar a mi mu­je­r, a mi vie­ji­ta, salu­dar a mi vie­jo, y sé que se me va a pian­tar un la­gri­mó­n, si se me es­tá pian­tan­do aho­ra, mien­tras es­cri­bo, có­mo no se me va a pian­tar allá.

Y me la lle­vo pa­ra allá. Y va­mos a ser fe­li­ce­s.

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