Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quest for the Perfect Bag - Think Tank Retrospective 5 - Follow Up

Well...its been awhile since I have logged in here and shared my travels.

I have been in China for the last almost 3 years, living in the Southern China city of Xiamen.
And no different than before , things like this blog, Facebook, anything Google and even other sites are blocked form internet access from China.

Anyways I thought it was time for a folloup to my Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag posting that I had done back in October 2011 - my Quest for the Perfect Bag (click to jump to that posting).

The bag has been with me, since then , if not as a camera bag, then as my day bag. Its attended concerts, shows, events, meetings, flown around the world.
Sat on the floor of planes , trains and automobiles.
Held the things I have needed to hold, yes sometimes i wish it was a little bigger, but then that just makes you carry more stuff.

With a little bit of convincing it now holds my Ipad 4 and even a thin notebook , in the back zippered pouch, and yes the zipper still works fine.

Have been far from gentle with it.
It does get thrown around, banged about.
the bag sits on my left shoulder, just always has , feels weird on right side.

The bag has performed flawlessly, honestly of al the bags I have used, this one I have no problem praising it.

These days in China, the Think Tank Retrospective 5 is my day bag , its with me everywhere.
so it does need to carry those things that I deem essential or at least what I like to have handy.

In my bag most days are the following :
- IPAD 4
- Thin notebook
- Passport (essential must have always , here in China)
- Pens
- cleaning cloth for glasses/camera/devices
- Battery pack for charging Iphone (and yes it will power IPad if needed)
- IPad charging adapter and cable
- Camera (Canon T1i with Sigma 30mm f/1.4)
- Umbrella (never used umbrella until I came to China, now its always on hand)

This bag will not be leaving my shoulder anytime soon.
Unless the strap breaks, which is most unlikely.

Think Tank offers one of the best Warranty (click to read the warranty)  , Lifetime warranty
Like all warranties it does have some limitations, normal wear and tear and abuse dont qaulify.
But then as their warranty states, build products that dont need fixing.

One the most obvious places for failure on any bag is possibly velcro closures. They consist of two pieces the hooks (hard ) and what we will call the receiver (soft fuzzy stuff) . What i have seen in most bags is the the receiver fails first, it either gets matted, worn out or falls apart.
Both sides of my velcro closures are in great shape, its actually threads , hair etc in the hook side that causes it not to work so well. Simple cleaning helps that out.

Now being in Southern China, I will tell you it get hot here. Hot as in 35c to 39c on summer days, and 80% plus humidity. Simply standing for the bus finds you wet , dripping.
For me that means my bag is getting it also , strap gets wet or damp, can feel it in the shoulder strap material. Also because I have a tendency to grab the strap with my left hand , usually at the strap adjustment buckle, its actually affected the metal plating on the buckle.

Again not the fault of the bag , just the corrosive power of nature at work.
The other buckles have some color changes but then again between me, the weather, the sun all is good.
The buckle is not going to fail anytime soon.

That the other thing about this bag, it comes with a distressed look already when new, really that hasnt changed , it looks as good as Day 1.

now basic wear and tear does come into play, small things that i know are my fault.
Nothing to do with quality of the bag.

One is because of how I wear the bag on my left shoulder, I found that the bag was hitting the rivet in my jeans pocket. That caused premature wear and eventually wore away the material , exposing the nylon interior shell.

The other wear point has been just below, on the bottom corner.
This was cuased by combination of the bag rubbing against my leg and the corner of the ipad , making a wear point.
Again nothing to do with quality of the bag.

Ao yes I want to repair the bag, not sure what the best way to do it would be , but will figure it out at some point.

Of course a new bag would be kinda nice , though admit that once I spend money on something of good quality , I will hold on to it forever.

The question is of course, would I buy another ?
Without thinking the answer is yes, really well made , well constructed, great materials, good layout.

Now I wonder if Think Tank could repair this or can i find some grey canvas or some kind of material to fix those two small wear spots ????


Thursday, April 23, 2015

This is later ....

well back in Canada...via San Diego , California

Not sure how long I am here , there are things to be done.
Am living in a fluid state of not sure where to be or what to do.
Though I ain't complaining.

Really have to say I feel like I am living in the now.
I do have plans to be completed , goals to achieve , but really it's about right now.

While heading to the airport in San Diego,  because of hotel location , they had to call a driver for me.
After we got on the highway I noticed his coffee mug.

Nothing special except being one of those " I am a travel mug, but look like a camera lens"
It of course opened the door for conversation , " are you a photographer?"
We would expect the answer.

Actually he is a painter of abstracts.
We got into discussion about , where, what and who we are.
Painting being a relatively new pursuit for him.
A desire to let out what he feels and sees.

He suffers as we all do being creative, finding that spark to do what we do.

Our discussion lead us to why we were talking and what we were talking about.

I cannot even begin to recant everything we said , but it really came down to the moment , making a connection with someone and leaving that time and space , feeling like you learned something.

After I was dropped off , while waiting in line to check in to my flight, my new friend Momo appeared. Now realize he is a mountain of a man , parked in the drop off zone, hurrying through the Departures area, a man on a mission.
To tell me that the coffee mug was mine, that sharing that , passing it on, a symbol of those moments.

Because of a simple question I have made a good friend., a fellow artist , learned something and took some of what was said to heart .

That moment was in the now, you reading and taking something away from this , is in the now 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Getting Connected

Lots to write about.

but lots of time to do it.

For now just a quick update , some pics from the last weekend.

Living in Xiamen, China, southern part of the country , just across the water from Taiwan.
Been here since end of November and getting settled, though easier said than done sometimes.

Did get my first volunteer experience here, got to take photos for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chia Foundation.


They were distributing basic personal items (tooth brushes, soap etc) and food (rice, oil, noodles) to the Elderly and disabled living in one apartment complex on Gu Lang Yu, an island off of Xiamen.

The island has no cars or bicycles and one of the top tourist places in China, though there are about 20,000 people living here.

We were only in one place for the day and left after all the residents had come to get the donations.

Good to see people trying to make a difference, in a place that has a tendency to bypass and forget those who are in need or not able to make do for themselves.

This is definitely a place I would like to come and spend a day or more walking around, it does have quite a history. Of course there are enough people walking the streets to attract the camera

And no lack of color in peoples fashion choices


Friday, November 28, 2014

Shanghai Bound

Shanghai bound , once again.

Even though just got back at the end of July and it's been 4 months back in Canada, it feels like it was yesterday.

This trip will be a little longer.
Visa good for 90 days multiple entry, which is something new.
Last visa was only 60 days and 2 entries and I had to leave every 30 days.

There is more work and things to do.
New things to see and new things to learn.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Getting Back into it !

Was not back a few days, barely had my head back on and was out taking pics.

Friday night was the fabulous Irene Toress and the SugarDevils.

This girl could sing !!

And the band was not bad either.
The drummer is actually local session guy, Ted Peacock, who filled in for the night - was hard to believe , he was tight and on the mark, all night 

Gotta like big electric hollow bodies !

Got those out of the camera and then got an invite from my #1 customer at Chanel , The Bay Masonville, tho grab some shots from the Gala on the 26th that happened all day .

Nice to see some girls all dressed up and out enjoying the day !
These two girls were in all decked out and looking good.

Gotta like the shoes.
Of course we know how the Canon loves red.

The Anita Norris Model Agency was out , doing a fashion show with their lovely models and The Bay fashions.

 Not bad for first weekend back.

Admitting it is tough getting back into the swing of things when away for so long, and yes 25 days away is a long time not taking photos.

More to come as always.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back home !

Made back home !

Got things to write about but still getting my head back on straight

this trip kicked me good
Sleepless nights,
Endless moving around

Will catch my breath
and get back in gear shortly

and speaking of gears !!
Another Lambourghini in VIP parking at Mall of The Emirates


Sunday, April 20, 2014

been awhile....

Been awhile since I have done any kind of update.
Feel like i will be repeating myself , though I do have a couple reviews that I want to post and small updates to make.

Am sitting in Dubai after a whirl wind tour of Bangladesh and India.

Kind of last minute trip.
So last minute, I received my passport back from getting required Visa's on Mar 28th , the morning of my flight to Bangladesh.
Cutting it close was not the word for that one.

Saying that if you are looking at applying for a VISA to travel anywhere , check out VisaHQ , these guys were awesome at managing the whole experience, and even let me apply for two VISAs required in one easy step, saved me a few bucks and best of all monitored my passport as it moved around.

Will do something more unsubstantial as the mood strikes me.
Right now need some rest and relaxation , this was a real ball breaker of a trip !!

Stopped at Mall of the Emirates to have a Venti Americano and some food.

You know your in Dubai when ......
You see Maserati and Ferrari at the Mall !!
and lets not forget the Bentley that pulled in as I was leaving
quick snaps with ipad