Category: Uncategorized

Building a Better Bag

There is a lot to say for “do it yourself.” If you have the time, energy, and skill, why not? This isn’t the first time I have opted to make it rather than pay for it. I have this weird attitude that “I can do better than that.” I say this to myself when I see what people write in blogs or eBooks, or when I see handmade artifacts at crafts fairs and art shows. I am not bragging, but just stating the reality of things. I have a lot of ideas and can devise things on my own by searching for the right materials and tools. I have made clothing for years now so why not a new bag. I bring this up today because I am sick and tired of looking for the perfect bag in a brick and mortar or online store. It is time to take matters into my own hands, literally. I can build a better bag than most out there.

For me, the ideal bag has certain features:

  • Great design and not the same old style you see everywhere
  • Top grade fabric that is durable and lasts for years and years without showing undue wear
  • Strong constructions which means that the seams don’t split if the bag is too full
  • Numerous separate compartments including a central lined area for storing a laptop
  • Several zippered pockets inside and outside the bag for small items like a wallet, car keys, cell phone, protein bar, or mini flashlight
  • Secondary pockets that are larger for bottles of water, an umbrella, a folded rain poncho and fold up rubber shoes (an ingenious idea by the way. Thank you Dr. Scholl’s)
  • Attractive piping on the outside no matter if the fabric is cotton, suede, leather, or coated plastic
  • A variety of available styles and sizes and at least one model suitable for business
  • An adjustable strap that is wide enough not to dig into your shoulder should you elect to carry it this way
  • Comfortable fit while on the back

I used the list from Business Bag Review to help me with the things that I might have otherwise missed on top of my personal list of demands. I have yet to locate this beauty and I am already drawing a replica of what I want. I know that the upholstery store has the right kinds of fabrics so I have many choices. An industrial sewing machine can put it all together. Some tailors have them or you can rent one. I am setting a timetable for the project.

But wait! My sister has found a photo of a new bag that has just come out and is being marketed as a real “marvel.” I have to see it just in case. My DIY plan will be on the table for a while. The two of us find the bag at a local luggage store and it is, indeed, almost perfect. I say “almost” because it is not quite there. However, it is close enough. It would be much easier to compromise on one small defect than go to the trouble and expense of making my own. It was a good thought for a short while.

Paging Dr. Internet

I heard that medical students become pretty serious hypochondriacs during their time when they’re in school. It seems that once people start learning about the symptoms of diseases, all of a sudden they start to think they fit the description. Of courseyou have cancer because you have a headache. It has nothing to do with the ridiculous stress, awful diet, and lack of sleep you’re actually putting yourself through. It’s an imaginary tumor pressing on your skull.

It’s pretty much the same with the internet. You have a weird rash and you make the mistake of looking up rash pictures on the internet (don’t do that unless you have a strong stomach). Now you’re convinced you’ve been bitten by a black widow and your skin is going to turn black and rot. Or you’ve got MRSA and you’re going to die. Or something.

Then there are those online symptom checkers. You know what I’m talking about. It asks you stuff like what kind of pain you have and it gives you choices. All of a sudden, now it is a stabbing pain. Or, come to think of it, my arm does hurt. It’s all power of suggestion. I’ve never filled out one of those where it wasn’t all, “OMG!! Get to the ER!” and I’m staring at the screen in disbelief and thinking, “But I just wanted to know if I might have pink eye.”

The worst for me is when the doctor prescribes me something and I go home and look it up. I guess for some people, this is OK. It makes them educated about their healthcare and their medications. Not me. I end up freaking myself out that I’m going to get every single side effect.Then I usually end up convinced that I’d rather not take the medication—the side effects always seem worse than whatever the medication was prescribed for in the first place.

And that brings me to the whole point of this post: I recommend actually talking to a medical professional when you have healthcare concerns. I can call, visit, or email my doctor when I think something is wrong. I’ll talk to a pharmacist if I am prescribed a medication I am not familiar with. I do whatever it takes not to fall down the internet diagnosis rabbit hole. Don’t let the internet be part of your healthcare plan because the internet doesn’t actually care about you. And you never know if you’re talking to a qualified person or a ten-year-oldwith nothing better to do at Weekend Daddy’s than sit at the computer and mess with people.