Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

A Cool Booq Bag

I'm just going to come out and say it, I have a bag fetish. You wouldn't know it from meeting me, but I LOVE organization, and I'm picky about what I use to organize. Sure, a bag is a bag is a bag; you put your stuff in it, take it to point B, take your stuff out and repeat. But good bags make the putting and taking out of stuff easier, and the finding of specific piece of stuff simple through organization. Bags can also be user friendly, or a user nightmare. In particular the laptop bag; It needs to protect a fairly expensive investment and tool, and then all the stuff that goes along with it, and the other stuff I need.
My first bag was bought quickly. I just got my laptop and needed to put it in something. It looked decent (also important in choosing a bag) but it quickly proved to not be a great choice. It was uncomfortable, a tad too small in what it could hold, and it was difficult to wear. It also had an odd vertical storage of the laptop instead of the more conventional horizontal, which I think aided in the difficulty I had in wearing it. So my next bag was going to be bigger, more comfortable, and more importantly, easier to get stuff in and out of.
I looked at the usual suspects when it came to bags, and tried to pull the trigger on a Timbuk2 deal, but they sold out of the bag before I could get it. I was hopeful there was a bag rating site, but there really doesn't seem to be a decent one. I took a look at the bag maker that makes the camera bag I use,Crumpler. Good stuff, but not enough pockets. I kept coming back to the BooqBoa Nerve Large, in part because it looks cool and because it looked to have the requisite organizational tools. 
So the bag. It's black. It comes in a blue that I was tempted by, but you can't go wrong with black. It comes with a laptop case, which is cool if I'm just slinging the laptop and nothing else (which never happens). It has contrasting green, and the inner sanctum, if you will, is white and green, the better to find that black thumb drive with the client's website on it. The main pouch has 3 velcro pockets which I use to stuff power cord, Mighty Mouse, and various USB cords to sync/charge/transfer my phone, camera, nook, and iPod. The back of the pouch has a separator to  put my laptop (in laptop case) which leaves plenty of room to stuff a sweater, my camera (in it's bag) and other odds and ends. I know this because it did just that.
In the front, under the velcro and optional zippered flap (for inclement weather) is a pocket for pens, pockets for small thin doo-dads, a stretchy pocket that fits my iPod touch nicely, and a key fob. And there's another zippered pocket to put more stuff in. I used it to put my spare Pre battery in, but if you're an iPhone user guess that won't apply to you!
The flap closes with velcro, the zipper that I must mentioned, and 2 fasteners. I think it would be pretty difficult for someone to get in your stuff without you knowing it. But having said that, the zippers aren't lockable, if that's something you need. The flap also has a skinny long pocket on it. At first I was using it to store my BART ticket and what not, but found it more useful for keeping documents that I need quick access to.
Around back there's another, what I call, magazine pocket. It's not a secure pocket in anyway, but it also pulls double duty as the luggage pass through pocket. This was one of the features I really wanted to have. The carry strap is nice and thick with a generously sized included pad (some bags have the pad as an option) with a stabilizing strap to help the bag sit on the back more like a 1 strap backpack. I found this to be more comfortable and more stable (hence the name) for longer trips of carrying it, otherwise I just lugged it around like a regular shoulder bag. Another nice touch on the bag is the rubberized bottom to help in protecting from the wet. The bag itself is water resistant, which is fine for most jaunts around town, but if you're planning on trekking all day in a monsoon I'd say look elsewhere. It also has two compression pockets on the side, which I would assume are for water bottles.
Oh, one other feature of the bag. It comes with Terralinq, which is a service that hopes to reunite a lost bag with it's owner. The idea is pretty neat, but I wonder what the success rate is for it. I suppose I could see the bag itself being returned sans laptop, but the service just registers your bag. Hopefully a good Samaritan runs across the large bag that you left.
The bag was my main companion in an all day trek around SF, and it was great. It gobbled up my jacket when it got warmer, and kept my camera and laptop protected. It was comfortable to wear, or as comfortable as a bag holding a whole bunch of stuff can be, and I could easily access what I needed when I needed it. All in all, a great bag.


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