Published at 2:14PM on the 26th of August, 2011 | Author: Timothy Harding

The Best Laid Plans

A bundle of nerves would be an accurate description of my current psyche. A week ago I turned in my three week notice and that information is now spreading through my current employer's network. The Peace Corps has yet to contact me since my acceptance and special passport application. Sato Travel, who are some sort of contractors for the Peace Corps, should be sending me my DC travel instructions within the next two weeks. This overlap with leaving my job and waiting for news is agonizing.

As far as packing and planning, I wouldn't be a proper geek if I didn't throw caution to the wind and insist on bringing way too much tech gear with me. The Pentax K7 is working beautifully, the new lens, a little less so, but it will suffice until my return or its inevitable theft. Shown below with my beautiful 50mm F1.7 manual lens.

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The laptop conundrum is still open for internal debate. I have yet to decide whether to mothball the brand new MacBook Pro for 27 months, or get a heavy aluminum waterproof Pelican case for it. It certainly will be useful abroad, but it will cut down on my mobility, as I'll need to bring it with me everywhere.

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As far as taking photos underwater, I picked up, and am currently reviewing a Ricoh PX. Particularly astute camera aficionados may have noticed the metadata in my most recent post alluded to its purchase. It has a very understated design, and is fairly compact. So far I have really been enjoying it, and it will be a great backup incase the K7 grows legs and walks away.

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Now, with all this gear, weight, and worry, I am required to add an additional dimension: Power. I may be in the bush as they call it, and have no reliable power source to keep all of this gear running. To solve this I turned to a company that provides solar solutions to the military, Powerfilm. I was particularly impressed with their reviews around build quality, and after receiving my F15-600 I can attest the craftsmanship is top notch. Sadly, in direct sunlight, the laptop is only charging at about 22% efficiency. To correct this, I think I'll need a charge controller and a used motorcycle battery (to be found/purchased onsite, no way I am taking a 40 pound deep cycle with me). I am still searching for a good AA charger that can cope with the varied voltages this putts out when not under load, but my USB charger and laptop charger are both rock solid.

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This covers all my tech gear I will be leaving with. My morning mirror conversations (with myself) are usually centered around me learning to cope without them, as all but the Ricoh PX will most certainly fail or be stolen within the first couple months. Robert Burns has it right, and I, almost sarcastically, repeat the first four of the following words aloud: The best laid plans of mice and men, oft' go awry.

Thanks for reading :)
Tags: packing, Peace Corps, Pentax K7, Powerfilm, Ricoh PX, Solarpanel
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