My everyday gear

Published , updated 2023-07-08.

I enjoy being anonymous when people aren't paying attention, but pulling off a futuristic aesthetic when people look closer. My work as a consultant gives me a lot of flexibility to choose and test my equipment, and my highly social personal life tends to keep my gear small and adaptable. I tend toward pared down, clean gear that blends into a crowd when I keep my head down, and stands out on the street when I pull my shoulders back.

Most of the stuff I carry has been vetted for months, and has very particular reasons that it has won out, though I constantly tinker and experiment with different pieces over time. It's part of who I am, at this point. Always forward.


My bike is a Norco Valence. The geometry feels agile and fast, though it expects you to be a good rider. I ride Shimano Claris because it's a cost effective "real bike" that gets you the quality of a branded groupset without going too far into the money pit. I've ridden Tourney, Claris, Sora, Tiagra, 105, and Ultegra for months each, and I have found that Sora is as high as a non-racer really needs to go.

It has a bunch of aftermarket parts, as any well-cared bike does:

My motorcycle is a Honda CB500F. I love the way Honda motorcycles ride, but they make some absolutely bizarre decisions about bolt placement and cable routing. The 500cc range feels about right for the US road system, though I preferred how light my 300cc was. I've ridden all the way up to 900cc, and while it's nice to have the acceleration, they just feel too chunky for me.

My gear is still settling in, but here's what I'm wearing right now:

Bags and their contents

I have three different bags that I carry, depending on what I'm doing: A Greenroom136 Genesis, Ogio Shadow Core Flux 420, or ORBITGear S401 FASTHAND. I do not leave the house without a bag, ever.

Greenroom136 makes functional, practical bags that are among the most durable I've ever carried. They have good organization and are overbuilt for their purpose, with things like triple-layering and attachment points that make sense. I've carried Greenroom136 bags for years, and they feel like an extension of me.

ORBITGear is a new creator for me. The S401 definitely has some "form over function" quirks, like the key lanyard getting in the way of the front zipper and the standard strap being an uncomfortable - yet attractive - compromise. I finally got fed up enough with the strap that I replaced it with a Greenroom136 cam buckle strap and a Hazard4 deluxe strap pad.

Inside are a few essentials that I move between bags:

When I'm traveling, I use REI expandable packing cubes. Arranging clothing and containing it in blocks makes it easier to pack, but most importantly makes it easier to live out of a bag. I went years trying to sort through my clothes as I wore them, keeping things shuffled properly to maximize wear, before finally getting some packing cubes and realizing why every serious traveler uses them.


Computers are tools that help me make things, talk to people, and coordinate, but they come with a lot of costs, so we have a very tenuous relationship. My phone is a Pixel 7. It's straightforward Android and it has an excellent camera. I have a Lenovo laptop because they're durable and maintainable. The hardware meets my needs with minimal fuss. Most of the software are functional utilities that make my devices better tools for me:

Firefox is my browser. I used to use Chrome, but Google has embraced, extended, and extinguished my willingness to deal with their opinions about how the web "should" work. Mozilla has had some sigh-worthy moments, but I expect they will be at least a little slower to make bad choices. I use several standard plugins to make it work the way I want:

AutoHotkey makes it easy to do text shortcuts like turning @nowd into 2023-07-08, which I use a lot when I'm renaming files or taking notes.

Syncplay lets me watch videos with my friends in a much smoother, more accessible way than screen sharing because we can each have our own subtitle, audio, and video settings. The only requirement is that you have a way to share the same video, but I use online file sharing for that.

Ghostwriter is my markdown editor of choice. I like it because it shows the text mostly as it would appear: Bold text is bold, but the asterisks are very low contrast and fade into the background, so the text "looks right" as I'm writing it.

I use Python and Lua for most of my scripting. I find Python almost frustratingly easy to write, compared to most other languages I've used, and Lua is my favorite "micro" language because it has just enough in there to get started, but lets me play with concepts on my own without feeling like I'm wasting my time not using the pre-made solutions.

My 3D modeling programs are Rhinoceros and Blender. I've used Rhino for several decades, so I'm very comfortable with it, but its implementation of parametric modeling is pretty severely lacking, so I'm trying to use Blender more often over time.

Depending on what else I'm making, I have KiCad for PCB design, Glimpse for image editing, for LEGO modeling, and tic80 and PICO-8 for game design.

I want to be able to work from anywhere that I have an idea, and minimize the amount of time I spend getting my tools set up the way I want, so I use Mega as a file synchronizing service to keep my devices up to date with everything I'm working on.

All of my "working" files go in Mega, and then once per quarter I back them all up to a USB hard drive. Based on my own experience and the research I read, a portable hard drive is the most reliable, accessible, best value way to keep data for a human lifetime, as long as you replace the hardware every 5-10 years.