I recently acknowledged to the New York Times that I "travel heavy." At the moment I'm on the road for 3+ weeks—a rare occurrence. And I'm weighed down. (Necessarily so, as I see it.) I will spare you the whole list, but I laid out EVERYTHING this morning in Stockholm, and organized it. Even I was occasionally surprised ...
Computers: 1 Dell, 1 Gateway. (Yesterday a flight attendant spilled sparkling water on the Gateway—named EDDA; we name my 5 computers so we'll know who's healthy and who's not. Edda was fried—and not available for about 15 hours. Way to go, Tom: I resisted using a hairdryer on Edda!)
Techie accoutrements: 2 DSL cables (long, short); 2 phone cables (3, actually—I dunno); 2 sets of overseas plug adaptors for each country I'll visit (I CANNOT TELL A LIE: I found 6 British adaptors); 2 12-foot extension cords (I like to work in any corner of a room, even the bathroom); 2 backup batteries per computer; one airplane-car adaptor-transformer; 3 cell phones (2 U.S., primary and backup; 1 international); 1 Blackberry (charger cords for all the above); one toolkit; miscellaneous batteries; 1 Bose headset; 6 memory sticks
3 flashlights (one above normal; you know ...) (ENOUGH BATTERIES TO POWER A SMALL ARMY)
4 watches (It's not me, honestly—they just accumulate)
2 alarm clocks (1 on home time, 1 set for the road)
1 pair chopsticks (Forget it: I LIKE TO EAT WITH CHOPSTICKS IN GENERAL—and it slows my eating down)
1 stapler (Critical!)
1 pack blank 5 X 7 cards, in case I have to give an impromptu speech
11 file folders (1 for each of 8 events, 3 for work-related material)
Kit with Tabasco, mustard, balsamic vinegar (spicing food slows the metabolism—plus I like spice, especially Tabasco)
1 big Leatherman, 1 small Swiss Army knife (and 1-pair v. sharp scissors)
26 ball pens (EPIDEMIC!)
15 (about) spare Ziplocs, incl. the all-important 2-gallon size!
Mucho dietary supplement pills (plus a few prescribed meds, and emergency meds such as antibiotics (may end up God knows end-of-nowhere) (NO FLU SHOTS)
11 "trip" books (4 non-fiction, 7 fiction—none of my own!); 6 DVDs, 3 music CDs (my meditation tapes); 5 standard take-along books (2 meditation, 1 World Atlas, 2 OAG flight guides) (Also, whoops, maps to 3 cities I'm not visiting—and 1 that I am)
Miscl currency (India, Russia, Australia, Euros, British Pounds, Thai, Canadian, Japanese Yen—you never know!)
3 tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes
7 ties (depends on the mood—it's my only color, in contrast to DARK Blue & GRAY suits); 6 dress shirts (and ... YEGADS ... 41 little plastic thingeys for the shirt collars—must have watered that pot too vigorously); 2 sweat shirts; 1 sweatpants and one sweat shorts; 2 pairs winter gloves (DAMN WELL NEEDED ONE OF 'EM IN STOCKHOLM TODAY); 5 pair sweatsocks (1 pair dress socks—avoid me after Wednesday); one kneebrace (left, and thanks for asking); 1 fleece; 5 baseball hats (Red Sox, SF Giants, Canyon Ranch, Rosie-the-riveter, Poole's Fish on Martha's Vineyard—4 is below average)
1 silver Ganeesh, for good luck.
A signed picture of Roy Rogers (JUST KIDDING)
3 balls-in-a-bag (NOT KIDDING) (1 baseball, unsigned; 1 Australian cricket ball; 1 wooden ball used by the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico—again, thanks for asking)
And some other stuff ... but that gives you a flavor, I trust.
(HINT: MY CONCLUSION AFTER READING THIS ... ABSURD!)