What's in My Bag

What’s in my NOW? — Gearóid “Ged” Carroll

Issue #145

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Irish brand planner in London, formerly of Hong Kong. Working in an advertising agency. In former roles I worked in in an oil refinery, manufactured optical fiber, DJed and worked on the line in a meat packing plant. I blog, read, listen to music and take pictures.

A move back to normality has meant that I am now using my trusty backpack again. I use the same pack that I have had for much of the last two decades. It is a Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault pack made in Bozeman, Montana. Mystery Ranch was founded by a couple of outdoor industry veterans Dana Gleason and Renée Sippel-Baker who were making packs before the outdoor industry became globalised. Mine is in black, which ironically makes it look less ‘tactical’, they now only make them in special forces ready coyote brown and Crye multi-cam. Mine doesn’t have the BVS bolsters as it doesn’t need to be held securely over body armour. Instead it holds my Nalgene bottle, assorted cables, Muji gel pens, Rhoda notebooks, instant ramen, a banana, granola bars and my trusty MacBook Pro. Occasionally, I bring a long my old but trusty Canon EOS 6D camera and a couple of lens. The pack has been a constant companion to me and its Futura yoke makes it so comfortable to carry stuff around in. It fits in most airlines cabin luggage specifications.

As London moves out of summer, a jacket with pockets but without a lining is ideal for showers, drafts and everything else that the city can throw at it. My two go to jackets are vintage Made in America with union labour duck canvas Carhartt chore style coats. One is Carhartt brown, very similar to the one in the line. The other is in a mossy oak camouflage print that ‘pops’ rather than conceals on the London underground. Six years ago these were easy to find on eBay and thrift stores, now its much harder to find an example in good condition.

My vices are Swiss watches, vinyl records, hi-fi, coffee and processed sugars and carbohydrates. I got a pre-owned Tudor Pelagos watch during lockdown. Its a very nice dive watch in titanium. It had a sophisticated metal strap and clasp with all kinds of adjustment. And a rubber strap. However I found that the edges of metal strap would sometimes dig into my wrist and the rubber strap lacked a micro texture backing that meant it became slippery and sweaty. It annoyed the heck out of me. I wanted a strap that was as well sorted in manufacture, materials and design as the Pelagos watch is in general. In the end I found Prometheus Design Werx NATO straps, that had titanium fittings and a tightly woven nylon strap that was more comfortable and could be put in the wash. So I keep one strap on the watch. One in the laundry and one in my sock drawer ready to go on my wrist.

One of the great things about the web a decade ago was the miracle of RSS, great content would come to you, rather than being fed content morsels by an algorithm. RSS disappeared for most people with the demise of Google Reader in 2013. Of course, the tragedy of Google Reader was that it wiped out an ecosystem of rival RSS readers that I enjoyed using like Bloglines and Fastladder before itself was shut down. However, there still exists an RSS user community of sorts. My favourite RSS reader is Newsblur, which you can train to prioritise the content you like. You have the option to see all of the stuff on the sites that you follow, or prioritise only the content you are most interested in, which makes it handy for professional and personal wider reading. The greatest feature of Newsblur as a digital tool is its longevity and stability as a digital tool.

I love watching horror films during the summer time. This summer I revisited the 1979 version of Salem’s Lot. This was originally released in 1979 as a TV mini series in the US. But in Europe and elsewhere it was shown as a film. It is based on a Stephen King book of the same name and was directed by horror royalty, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper. So you got something far superior to the usual TV mini-series wallpaper for the mind. But since it was a mini-series originally, Hooper had to be more creative in creating menace. If you haven’t watched it yet, you will have seen its influence in films like The Lost Boys. Story-wise its an interesting mix of haunted house and gothic vampire genres. Reggie Nalder plays the vampire which like Klaus Kinski’s character in Nosferatu the Vampyre released the same year owes a lot to F. W. Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu. Nalder is joined by an ensemble cast including David Soul (who was at the height of his fame as a prime time TV actor (Starsky & Hutch) and singer) alongside veteran English actor James Mason.

The idea of quality. As a child my Dad who is a mechanical fitter by trade instilled into me a deep sense of quality in things, in ideas and in people. At the root of what I do in work, even though I moved from manufacturing things to manufacturing ideas, that sense has driven me. It continues to do so.


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