Open thread

We have an open thread all day today.

L would like to know what items you carry around on a regular day.  In your purse?  Your pockets?  Your backpack or tote?  Your (gulp) fanny pack?  Your car?

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158 thoughts on “Open thread

  1. Purse: phone, wallet, a small bag with lip gloss, bandaids, headache pill, pocket knife, mints, tissues, a lipstick style portable battery, metro card in holder, pencil, and, wait for it, tape measure.

  2. Purse: wallet, phone, pens, keys, and small zip bag that has lipstick, band-aids, ibuprofen, chapstick, and gum.

  3. Nothing. I have a phone with a case that holds a credit card, my driver’s license and $20. Sometimes a blank check. If I’m driving, I pick up a key from my bucket o keys (electronic door locks, so I never have a house key). The end.

  4. I use the tape measure mostly when I’m shopping. If I drop in a store and see a container or something else but I want to know how it’ll fit in my closet or wherever, then I can measure it. I really don’t use it enough to justify carrying it around but it’s a habit now. I should use an app, but I think that might have limitations.

  5. Phone, large wallet with multiple credit cards, business cards, lot of cash, Chap Stick, allergy pills and ibuprofen, hair tie, keys (office, house, car), coin purse. Though this sounds like a lot of stuff, my purse is 80% empty (which I like).

  6. Purse: wallet with checkbook – holds driver’s license, credit cards, loyalty cards and reminder cards, change, health insurance cards, change, cash.
    In various purse pockets – pens, work ID, small pouch with mirror, lipstick, chapstick. Hairbrush, small ear phones, tissues, gum, band aid, feminine products, house keys, bottle opener (freebie from a lunch place that stayed in my purse).
    Laptop bag is separate.

  7. I’ve been thinking I should cut back, but don’t know what I’d remove.
    I have coverup for circles under my eyes, an eyeliner, (I always think I don’t want to do makeup when I’m home, then realize en route that just a little might be good) pen, notepad, phone, comb, lenses for the phone camera, my card holder (with space for cash) and a mesh bag containing decongestants, Advil, a tape measure (wrapped around the Advil tube, most recently used to measure hands to get glove sizing and a decor item I considered buying for my parents), paper clips, bobby pins, safety pins, blush refill, eyeshadow refill, needles and several colors of thread, tweezers, bandaids, nail clippers, nail file (used at stop lights far more frequently than I do my nails at home), golf pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, a comb, a hair band (holding the tape measure in place), neosporine, a 6” charging cord, and a tiny spoon.

    I want to add a small, unbreakable mirror and maybe a pocket knife.

    I recently removed a tiny turtle charm, finger flashlight & tiny magnifying glass—my phone is much better at both those functions—and Herpacine, which I hope not to need.

  8. In my purse right now – keys, wallet, change purse, makeup bag with lipstick, lip gloss, compact with mirror, chapstick, sunglasses in case, extra set of contacts, tissues, pen, head of Lego guy, hair ties, Advil, alcohol hand sanitizer, tide to go stick, tiny bunny rabbit figurine. Just the basics.

  9. My car – water, first aid kit, sunglasses, a pair of shoes usually and two umbrellas. I have another pair of sunglasses in my purse – forgot that.

  10. For work, my bag has phone in a case with main CC and ID, work ID, chapstick, keys, umbrella, reusable shopping bags, wallet with all the infrequently used cards and cash, Ventra card (public transit), sunglasses, lunch/coffee, hand lotion, and probably a lipstick that is old and rarely used. If I have my laptop, I carry it in a separate slim laptop bag.

    My office is stocked to the gills with lunch utensils/plates/napkins, makeup/lotions/chapsticks, cleaning supplies, and a whole file drawer full of shoes since I walk & change into work shoes everyday.

    Outside of work, I often just carry my phone + my ID and a CC, house keys, and a chapstick. That will usually all fit in pockets. If I need a bikeshare, I can use an app for that. I wish I could use an app to ride public transit, but that functionality doesn’t exist yet.

    For a night out, I will sometimes carry a small bag with the stuff from above plus a little makeup and hand lotion. But sometimes I just put my phone in my coat pocket & go without.

    I am one of those people who has chapstick stashed everywhere. Pockets of my coats, drawers in every room of the house, etc.

  11. My work backpack is insane – computer, file folders of active things, my wallet, sunglasses case, extra bag with pens/pencils/thumb drives, a fabric bag that folds down to practically nothing, lip balm, more pens, business cards, work ID, notebook, phone charger, computer charger, book for pleasure reading, and a bunch of other crap that could probably be removed.

    If I fly solo, my bagalini wallet and my phone. I may drop a bottle of water in the car. If I ever return to a purse, it will contain that wallet, my sunglasses, my phone, and lip balm. Maybe 2 pens, and some business cards.

    If I carry a diaper bag, I keep lip balm, pens, and business cards already in there. So I just add my wallet and sunglasses to the mix. Usually I carry my phone. I’m starting to use a collapsible water bottle for myself, so I may stash our extra one in the diaper bag.

    I seriously need to think about what I carry and why. I shouldn’t need a 15 lb computer bag (though arguably, the computer weighs 10 lbs).

  12. I also keep 1 set of keys – has house, work, and car keys on it.

    I’ve seen others who have 2 sets of keys – one for home and one for work.

    What do totebaggers do who have not upgraded to keyless everything?

  13. In the spirit of open thread, I need to see if we can deduct the approximately $3K per month we are spending on FIL’s assisted living costs. I took a brief spin through IRS publication 502 and it looks like we can deduct if he has a medical diagnosis (check: dementia). Anything else we need to be aware of? Thanks for any insight!

  14. I carry a lot, so I won’t list every item (tube of lotion, sunglasses, ibuprofin, chapstick, business cards, phone, wallet, hand sanitizer etc.) that others have already listed. I used to carry just a wallet, cell phone and keys prekids and was mostly at work where I could leave chapstick and lotion and drove a single vehicle with sunglasses, etc.

    Stuff I carry that others might not: restaurant packet of crayons, ball point pen, small paper tablet, tiny bottle of bubbles, spare toddler underwear, spare diaper, individually packaged Wet Ones, cough drops, gum, breath mints, plastic key for zoo soundboxes even though we rarely go to the zoo, travel tube of sunscreen, Band-Aids, badge for work, cardlock for childcare, change, thumb drive.

  15. Wow Rocky. That’s hard core. That said, you live in a dry, cold part of the country, so it makes sense.

  16. Level 1 – Most of the time: Wallet/coin purse with house key attached to zipper (holds car key fob, driver’s license, credit card, debit card, health insurance card, gas discount card, copy of car insurance and $20) and phone. But, my car always has – phone charging cord, sunglasses, tissues, nail file, hand lotion, and first aid kit with OTC meds, and pen/pencil and small notebook – and most places I drive myself to/from.

    Level 2 – Going somewhere for the day (like into the office) – Purse: Level 1 plus: add my small “personal care” bag (travel size: motrin, allergy meds, tissues, chapstick, nail clippers/nail file, hand lotion), sunglasses, reading glasses, work badge (if needed), and my “pencil case” (a red pen, blue pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, small scissors, small post-it flags, highlighter and sharpie), and usually a phone cord and plug and/or small charging brick. (If going into the office, will have laptop bag with laptop and note pad, plus any other required documents)

    Level 3 – Going somewhere with a long commute and/or waiting on someone – Small backpack or totebag: Level 2 plus: Kindle (with charging paraphernalia) and/or book, umbrella (if weather indicates), light weight pack-able jacket or pashmina (depends on what I am wearing), water bottle and small notebook. Sometimes snacks are added as is any event specific stuff like health care paperwork.

    For years, tape measure was either in the car or my purse because we were doing a lot of home repair/decorating and you want to know the size of things.

  17. My purse has wallet (credit cards, id, insurance cards, AAA card, cash), cell phone, ipad, notebook, pens, checkbook. The car has a case of water bottles, phone charger, coats/sweatshirts (yes, plural of each), and stadium seats).

  18. What do totebaggers do who have not upgraded to keyless everything?

    Live in the country with dogs guarding the house and cars so that I don’t really mess with keys.

  19. my purse normally holds a wallet, keys, phone, checkbook, an auxiliary battery, driving glasses, a Kindle e-reader, and a comb. If I am heading someplace where I may be stuck waiting and there is wifi, my Android tablet comes too. If kids are with me, I am likely to get stuck carrying their e-readers too.

    When I head to campus, I have a red tote style computer bag which holds decrepit university issued laptop, cord for the laptop, two mice (computer, not live) since I hate using the trackpad and am forever losing the mice, various folders with work in them, reading glasses, my swipecard to get into the building, several USB thumbdrives, business cards, a bottlle opener (I travel with this bag too), dry erase markers and an eraser, and an assortment of dongles

  20. “I’ve seen others who have 2 sets of keys – one for home and one for work.”

    I have my main key ring which has my office key, my bikeshare key, and my car key along with the house keys & mailbox key. It’s bulky. So on the weekends when I’m not driving, I usually just carry house keys on a single ring so it fits easily in a pocket.

    @RMS – I love it! I might need to get that. DS keeps stealing my chapsticks (always the good ones too – the last one he stole was Kiehl’s).

    I forgot that I also have my kindle in my work bag. I never carry real books.

    I have never carried a tape measure.

    I haven’t really carried much kid stuff since DS has been potty trained. He’s pretty low maintenance.

    I have a separate bag that I take to baseball games. It is nylon (so washable if spilled on), and I have a large assortment of scorecard pencils, hand sanitizer, gloves, and other essentials in there. I always bring water in too.

  21. I forgot – I usually carry a Nano too. It has my podcasts on it for listening in the car. And my keyring is famous. I have had it since grad school. It looks like a large jailers ring, and has every key I have ever needed in my life on it. I always forget to take them off. I love the large jailers ring since it is impossible to lose. At night, it hangs on one of the hooks in the mudroom

  22. OK, this will be a fun test. What I think I have in my purse: wallet, sunglasses with bag, keychain with zero keys I use but all my loyalty cards on it, separate keychain with office keys, reading glasses in old sunglasses bag, Tide to go stick, nail file, blistex, pens, gum, earbuds. Maybe business cards in the side pocket?

    [Pause to go check purse]. What I actually have in purse that is different from the above: no reading glasses (took them out last night to read a label), no sunglasses (but bag still in purse), separate CC + cash that I took out for an appointment this AM, no nail file, no business cards. In addition: two concealers, an extra blistex, a chapstick, a contact lens case, a paper clip, three expired CCs that I removed from my wallet on my last shopping trip but forgot to destroy when I got home, a Gum go-between, a receipt from having my cavities filled, an ATM receipt, a receipt from an Oregon wine tasting in August, three (clean but rumpled) kleenexes, a Reese’s cup wrapper, coins that fell out of my wallet, a miscellaneous teeny little plastic cap from who knows what (eyeliner?), and the baby from this year’s king cake.

    Nice topic — at least I got my purse cleaned out. ;-)

  23. For those of you who carry checkbooks, what and when are the last checks you wrote while you were out?

    I just added a cold weather essential that I keep in my purse — a fabric softener sheet. I use it for my hair and my clothes, rubbing it over them since after I take off my coat I’m a mess of static cling.

    Someone told me that Chicago mass transit accepts credit cards so there’s no need to carry around a separate transit card. I believe NYC will soon have that and/or an app.

  24. I have a sizable bag. Post-its, pen, one bobby pin, advil, Rx, travel size hand lotion, costco 1 liter seltzer, wallet (large), earplugs, sunglasses in case (I switch between sunglasses and regular glasses), makeup, phone. On the regular I carry eyebrow powder and brush, mascara, about 3 different eyeliner/shadow sticks, about 4 different lipsticks, and a sample size of concealer in the little Sephora sample plastic bag. They are all crayon-style so I often have to take a few out so I don’t accidentally color my eyes red or my lips black. ;) No tape measure!

    In my work bag (tote, large, to fit legal size files) I have a bunch of those files, gum, tennis ball for my plantar fasciitis, deodorant, pen, and occasionally extra socks and shoes.

    In the car I have chapstick (the Kiehl’s butter stick or Fresh with SPF), pen, and sour candy. Sour Patch Kids are the classic but I occasionally get the watermelons, brite crawlers, or octopi.

    The car is also (of course) covered with a thin veneer of cheez-its from the kids, but I try to get that with the dustbuster once every couple of weeks.

  25. I don’t carry much in my purse: small bag containing wallet, stamps, chapstick and lipstick, small bag containing reading glasses, sunglasses, pens, phone and royal blue Sharpie.

    Sharpie because all mail to DS must have a big blue oval near his address so it will find his unit faster. If no oval, mail arrives much slower and he gets “smoked” for the error – must do 9 million extra push ups or whatever.

    Stamps because I am forever sticking letters, cards etc for DS in the mail these days.

  26. I am surprised that most people don’t carry business cards! I carry a nice, big stack everywhere. Kind of like Rocky’s lip balms.

  27. Houston – my business cards are in my wallet, that way they don’t get squished/spilled coffee on/etc.

    The car also has kleenex, but I usually put that in my pockets (of coat) rather than in my bag where it will get squished.

  28. I won’t list my purse contents because it doesn’t really differ.

    RMS – lol on the chapstik – I am a vaseline devotee. Have some on my nightstand for lips and eyes, one in my car for my lips and a teeny tiny one in my purse. Nothing works better in my opinion. They also make tinted vaseline now which is awesome.

    DH does not even have keys to the house. I’m not sure if I do since I got a new car and carry around that stupid fob all the time now. If the power went out and we couldn’t get in the garage I’d have to go to my best friend’s house. She has a key!

    “For those of you who carry checkbooks, what and when are the last checks you wrote while you were out?” Man whenever I see someone writing a check at a store now I am equal parts annoyed and fascinated because WHO does that? Are you gonna send a telegram later and go home and listen to your phonograph or player piano? The only thing I write checks for are school fundraisers, and like my kid’s voice or music teacher. Never outside the home.

  29. I have a stack of business cards in my work back pack, my wallet, my purse, and all of my diaper bags. Poor DS carries a small stack with him in a pocket in his school backpack because that doubles as his diaper bag.

    At a mommy’s group, I did whip out a business card once. I didn’t know if I should run in shame for not being totally “engaged” with my kiddo, or be proud of the working mom I am…

  30. “For those of you who carry checkbooks, what and when are the last checks you wrote while you were out?

    The last check I wrote was for DS’s sports team. I rarely write checks, but I keep the checkbook in my purse because that is where I started carrying it when I started writing checks back in the 80s and I don’t like to/am not good at starting new habits.

  31. “For those of you who carry checkbooks, what and when are the last checks you wrote while you were out?”
    I write them constantly. Violin lessons – she only takes checks. Therapist – only takes checks. And of course the school district wants every fee paid by check

  32. Rhode, when my kids were little and went on adventures with people other than DH and I, we tucked our business cards in one of their pockets. We figured if they got lost, they might well be too upset to remember our full names, phone numbers and town. They never used the cards, but it made us feel better at the time.

  33. What do totebaggers do who have not upgraded to keyless everything?

    Take the keys when I leave. I have one key ring with all the keys on it, maybe 5 total. I’ve never understood having each car key on a separate ring and whatnot.

    I write checks at Costco, and that’s about it.

    And I have business cards in my wallet.

  34. This made me reflect on stage of life- when my kids were little I carried a huge amount of stuff. My office bag had a huge amount of stuff. Now that I am retired I carry almost nothing for everyday although I do have red lipsticks and hats stashed everywhere

  35. I write checks mostly for kid related stuff. The schools have online payment but outside teachers like checks.

  36. “Someone told me that Chicago mass transit accepts credit cards so there’s no need to carry around a separate transit card.”

    The CTA fare readers do work with some CC’s, but the CC issued by my FSA company isn’t compatible, so it can’t be used with the contactless reader. That also doesn’t work for reduced fares or monthly/daily passes. The app works well for the commuter trains though – you buy in the app & then show the conductor. The ticket expires within a certain timeframe to not allow cheating. Can also buy monthly passes in the app.

    I write a check every month for the condo association. I used to write a check for the cleaning people, but now I do that via Zelle.

  37. The all-time best lip balm was vaseline cherry and they stopped making it a couple of years ago. So disappointing.

  38. I also think that you get screwed on transfers if you use a personal CC and not a Ventra fare card, but I’m not sure.

  39. “I am surprised that most people don’t carry business cards! I carry a nice, big stack everywhere.”

    What do you use them for? I never carry them. I have a huge box that I opened once to take to a conference (and then didn’t really use them there either).

  40. I’ve never understood having each car key on a separate ring and whatnot.

    With push button start it’s not an issue. But, IIR, the GM ignition issue was related to excess wear on the ignition mechanism due to heavy key chains hanging off the car key. Even before that I was always told hanging things off the key in the ignition key would cause problems eventually.

  41. when NYC mass transit moves to phone apps, as I have heard they will, what happens to older people? Many of the older people I know, and even some stubborn middle aged people, don’t carry smartphones, or are not very app-adept.

    A lot of parking meter systems have gone to phone apps too. It has been a problem for DH, who carries a secured smartphone issued by his company. He can’t install any outside apps on it. He uses that phone because he isn’t allowed to use an outside phone at work, and he doesn’t want to muck with two phones. And quite honestly, he isn’t really into smartphones so he just doesn’t care. But increasingly, everything is app-based.

  42. I don’t carry a checkbook but I take the checkbook when I visit businesses that offer a discount for paying by cash or check or for places that don’t take cards. Off the top of my head, this includes the dentist, a furniture store, the fruit stand for large orders like peaches for canning and the butchery that grinds our elk/deer.

    Winco (grocery store) doesn’t take credit cards and just started taking debit cards in the past 5 years, so it wasn’t uncommon to see people writing checks there until recently.

  43. some stubborn middle aged people

    At this stage of the game, I say fuck ’em. The world does not need to cater to your craziness.

  44. “he doesn’t want to muck with two phones” – My husband has two phones and I can’t ever reach him on either makes me crazy!!!

  45. Before my millennial son entered the workforce after college, he used to say “no one talks on the phone anymore” and “no one cares about business cards these days”. Now, he spends a lot of his workday on the phone and he loads up on business cards whenever he’s out of the office. But seriously, are business cards declining in importance?

    I DETEST parking meters that require cash. I detest parking meters in general, but I really hate when they need coins.

  46. Our meters are app-based, but you can use cash or CC too. I love the apps!!

    The only thing that I can think of that is now 100% app based is the Chicago Cubs season ticket system for transferring tickets. I still get a big book of paper tickets at the beginning of the season, but you can no longer print, make PDF’s, or email physical copies from the website/ticket app. So if you want to transfer them to someone else, you have to either give them the original physical ticket or transfer it via app. There is no longer a “print at home” option.

  47. “But seriously, are business cards declining in importance?”

    I think so. When I network with someone, if I want to stay connected with them, I connect with them on LinkedIn on our smartphones while talking to each other. I did this just last week. I didn’t even bring business cards.

  48. So those of you who listed what you carry in your car, I notice you made no mention of coins. I carry around a little bag of coins for the stupid parking meters in town.

  49. Checks written in the past year: County (vehicle registration), IRS (federal taxes), Dues (local women’s club), Lab (can’t charge a copay less than $5 and they bill after the fact), Friend (reimbursement I had to mail), CPA (checks only), exterminator (one man shop, leave check under mat), Financial Firm (to open a new account, then autodraft could happen), Camps (one a refundable deposit, if the kid showed up I got my paper check back; one to pay upon arrival as we filled a waitlist spot and no time to pay online), School (one for a fundraiser – otherwise goes on our monthly charges) and dealership (new car).

    We have a file holder that is stuck to the fridge. The checkbook is in there unless it needs to go with me. At least there I can find it!

  50. July – I use business cards at conferences. In particular, attendees from other countries, especially Asian countries, really expect them.

    A lot of service people, like the plumber who unclogged some pipes two weeks ago, and the people who worked on our deck this summer, expect checks.

  51. “What do you use them for?”

    I give out business cards regularly. I meet with people and if I want to form a relationship with them, I give them a card. I am constantly recruiting, selling, networking, buying, volunteering, so I need a lot of cards.

  52. I have to keep checks around the house for the school ($7 for field trips, etc.), nanny (our nanny tax people don’t do direct deposit), cleaner, landscaping guy, taxes (the IRS website is constantly down), etc. I don’t usually bring them outside the house though.

    I never carry keys – DH is the only one who knows where the keys to the house are, but we don’t lock it except when we go on vacation.

  53. taxes (the IRS website is constantly down)

    Can you pay the IRS with a credit/debit card? They always route me to one of their payment processors like payusatax.com.

  54. Rhett – I think it’s an e-check? I only did it once when it was April 15 and our accountant was late and I wasn’t going to be home in time to mail a check.

  55. I wonder what the breakdown is on check writing by gender. I’d say 90% women to 10% men. For many reasons including women live longer and are often primarily responsible for paying for the sousaphone lessons, field trip, etc.

  56. I use checks for most school things, and for stuff like the electrician, HVAC etc. a lot of service providers that come to my house won’t take a credit card. I’ve been trying to pay other moms with Venmo when we split gifts or need to exchange cash.

    I spent money on stupid stuff today. I just picked up a three month supply of my thyroid medicine and paid $7. That is a great deal, but I had to pay $48 for a plastic air chamber for DD to inhale a medication. Our insurance will pay for her medicine, but they won’t pay for the device that delivers the medicine. Unfortunately, this can’t be bought OTC or in a medical supply store. If you’ve never seen one, it probably would cost a couple of bucks if it could just be purchased in a store. Total scam.

  57. L,

    https://www.irs.gov/payments/pay-taxes-by-credit-or-debit-card

    I used to send payments via certified mail* so the cost ends up pretty much the same – $2.65 for unlimited payment amounts.

    * I thought the price was the same but it says certified mail is now $6.95 so maybe there is another way that I used that was $2.50ish.

    ** I was just looking up the price and got a laugh at the questions:

    What are you Mailing?

    * Live Animal(s) other than Day-Old Poultry
    * Day-Old Poultry

  58. Lauren – If you need a nebulizer let me know. Not sure what to do with ours now that DS no longer needs it. I probably have one of those plastic air chambers too.

  59. Cars: mine has zero cabin storage. In the armrest storage container I have my EZPass, a small hairbrush, and a phone charger converter for the cigarette lighter, which together take up all available space. On the floor, I have two hats and a towel I use to sit on when I go directly from Crossfit to work (learned that the hard way, when I had a PT who used coconut oil, which promptly stained my new-to-me seat). In the trunk I have reusable shopping bags for when I go to ALDI (because they don’t have them there), the front license plate, and the special front license plate holder that I bought but haven’t figured out how to install yet.

    First speeding ticket, btw. Speed camera, on a 6-lane road off of a highway merge (so 8 lanes at that point), with a 30 mph speed limit posted on a well-hidden sign (it’s on the main road before the highway exit ramp merges in, and when you come around the corner on the exit ramp, you can technically see it for 2-3 seconds, but if like me you look back when you come around the corner to see if there is traffic coming or if it’s safe to merge, you’ve passed it before you even know it’s there — I had to drive by a second time yesterday before I even spotted it). Dammit.

    Car keys live inside in a drawer, which is on top of pull-out bins where my purses live. I started to do that when we bought the “fun” car and I was changing which car I drove based on the weather. Now I guess I could put the car key back on my key ring, but it’s so freaking huge I really don’t want to carry it around except when I’m driving.

    And I write no checks out of the house, ever. I still do have a few that I have to write by hand, like the cleaners who only take checks or cash, but for the most part even the small vendors offer Square or the equivalent.

  60. “my bag has phone in a case with main CC and ID, work ID, chapstick, keys, umbrella, reusable shopping bags, wallet with all the infrequently used cards and cash, Ventra card (public transit), sunglasses, lunch/coffee, hand lotion, and probably a lipstick that is old and rarely used.”

    Wow, that’s quite a phone case.

  61. “What do totebaggers do who have not upgraded to keyless everything?”

    I carry keys on a ring.

  62. Arrghh nebulizers, inhalers and spacers…..almost going fetal…… Seriously, is asthma realistically a manageable disease? I have been managing (!?!) it for decades now for my kids and me. I’m pretty sure I’m above average executive function and cognitive ability and I just can’t get it right. Between the different meds, the equipment and the reality that at least one of my kids doesn’t know what healthy feels like it seems like at least someone is always not well managed. How do people with less resources manage? Probably should take this to the political page.

  63. “I wonder what the breakdown is on check writing by gender. I’d say 90% women to 10% men.”

    Men have no convenient place to carry their checkbook.

    But I don’t understand why those who have to make payments by check don’t use the online banking version instead of actually writing one out by hand. You can’t do that with the plumber standing in your kitchen, but I can’t remember the last time I wrote a check for anyone other than the cleaning service or the plumber. If I could figure out a way to persuade the cleaning firm to accept a check mailed automatically twice a month instead of the one I leave on the table, I would probably never have to buy another box of checks again.

    There is an Aldi in town which requires customers to have a quarter to unlock the shopping carts, and that will probably keep me every from patronizing that store. I used to keep film canisters (remember those) filled with quarters in the car for parking meters and tolls, but no need for that and if you never pay cash you never get change to toss in the console.

  64. A simple but handy key ring that makes it easy to switch out keys and easy to spot since I own it in red: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SGFZCTA/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    We have small baskets on the wall by the door for keys and stuff. My basket has keys and sunglasses. My H’s overstuffed basket has lots of pens (with no ink), old medicine containers, half-eaten candy, broken sunglasses, etc., but no keys.

    In important news, I saw on Twitter that Blake Shelton may be named People Magazine’s sexiest man alive. Apparently there is some controversy.

  65. I have the key to the house and the fob for the car. I have keys to other things, but only grab them if needed. We had a “keyless” front door lock, but when the ground shifts (how wet is the ground), it would run down the battery trying to lock/unlock if you weren’t pulling/pushing on the door to line up the bolt with the slot. With no battery, you had to use a key. Got locked out once, after that, the keyless went.

  66. “Men have no convenient place to carry their checkbook.”

    It fits easily into my fanny pack.

    However, I don’t normally carry it with me. I use our bank’s bill payment service for most payments I need to make by check.

  67. LfB – why don’t you keep the EZ Pass on the windshield? I don’t understand keeping it in the car but not attached.

    Scarlett and Finn – I find that our bank is too clunky with the bill payment service (and it is a big bank!) so it takes more time to set it up than to write checks. Not user-friendly at all.

  68. “I want to add a small, unbreakable mirror and maybe a pocket knife.”

    You could use your phone as a mirror.

    Rather than a pocket knife, I suggest a multi-tool that includes a knife. I normally carry a Leatherman with me that, in addition to a knife, has a pair of pliers, wire cutter, screwdrivers, scissors, bottle opener, and even a small ruler. I really like the Leattherman’s knife– it’s held its edge very well, and hasn’t rusted.

  69. L, do you like your bank so much that you’d rather not look at other banks or credit unions that offer more and better services?

  70. “I have a separate bag that I take to baseball games. It is nylon (so washable if spilled on)”

    When I used to go to games BITD, we were allowed to bring in backpacks. I’d always bring a plastic bag, e.g., a shopping bag, big enough to hold my backpack. When we got seated, I’d put my backpack in the plastic bag before putting it down under my seat. This protected it, and its contents, against the not infrequent spillage of beer and soda by people seated above me.

  71. “DH does not even have keys to the house. I’m not sure if I do since I got a new car and carry around that stupid fob all the time now. If the power went out and we couldn’t get in the garage I’d have to go to my best friend’s house. She has a key!”

    That sounds far too vulnerable to burglary for DW and me. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people getting robbed by someone who gained access to their garages, and to their houses through unlocked doors from those garages.

    One common scenario is cars being broken into, especially at locations where they might be parked for a while, such as an airport lot. The thieves steal garage door openers, and car registrations for the addresses, then go to the house, let themselves in through the garage and, if the door to the house is unlocked, into the house, and help themselves.

    If you’re using keyless locks on the doors from the garage into the house, then you’re less vulnerable, as you would be if your garage opener is on a fob that you don’t leave in the car. OTOH, having the fob in your purse would leave you vulnerable if your purse were stolen; the thief could find your address on your ID, and use the fob to get into your garage.

  72. Kerri, thanks. She outgrew the nebulizer. I thought I was so efficient, and I already picked up the chamber at CVS. As soon as she got in the car at pick up, she old me that she will never use the chamber because she won’t carry it. She takes the rescue inhaler in a pocket, or to gym, camp etc. She told me that she can’t carry that chamber around, but I wish she told me this before I paid $48 because I don’t think CVS will take it back.

  73. “But seriously, are business cards declining in importance?”

    I collect business cards at trade shows. If a booth has something of interest, I’ll take a business card and make a note on the back of the card. Then when I get back to the office, I’ll access their website using the url on the card, look up what I’d noted on the back, and bookmark that page, or I’ll download product information.

    It’s a lot easier than lugging a bunch of catalogs and datasheets around and having them clutter my desk. But I will still accept free stuff. Lately, good free stuff includes power banks, charging cables, USB cubes, and USB car adapters.

  74. Lauren – if its unopened they might. Yeah, DS didn’t like the chamber and just used the inhaler the 2-3 times he needed it. I had to get a spare for the nurses office – medicine and chamber – that never got used.

    I tried to return the medicine to the pharmacy but they won’t take it.

  75. Mooshi, I think the MTA is planning to base this new system on the Oyster contact less system in London. I am sure they will have an alternate to phones for people that have or can’t afford an electronic device. That is how it works in the UK; you can use a smart phone or keep reloading an Oyster card that acts as the contact less device if you don’t have a phone. BTW, a bunch of us get yelled at by a conductor on metro north last week because we all flashed monthly paper tickets. He was yelling about all of the money that the MTA spent on that app and no one uses it. If the MTA wants people to use their app, then they have to provide free wifi. I know that I continue to buy paper tickets because I don’t have any cell service for about 1/2 of my train ride. I bet it is the same for other people because of the tunnels and dead zones. They FINALLY have wifi in GCT thanks to some paid sponsors, but it took them too long to get wifi in the station. They need it on the trains and in all subway stations if they want people to load a ticket on their phone to scan.

  76. I carry a small travel organizer bag with integrated wallet and credit card slots, and an external phone pocket. This style is not made any more.

    https://www.ebags.com/product/derek-alexander/alternatives-north-south-organizer-travel-bag/18291

    In the main sections are:

    reading glasses
    Kleenex
    One key ring with car fobs, house and mailbox keys, a few loyalty tabs

    A small sundries bag from Jet Blue Mint that holds:

    antacids
    vintage silver pillbox shaped like a wrapped candy with various pills
    bandaids
    eye drops
    inhaler
    DH hearing aid batteries
    tube of saline Nasal gel
    chapstick
    mini hand sanitizer
    all purpose wet wipe
    microfiber cloth for glasses
    cough drops

    I can also fit in a small hairspray and a travel brush if I am going to be out all day and foresee a need. Or a Kindle. Or distance glasses. I usually wear my sunglasses on an adjustable sports band around my neck. I put on my face products at home.

  77. I kinda wish our transit system had some options other than passes and cash, especially since they don’t give change. We have to keep a bunch of dollar bills and coins available for DD.

    OTOH, that technology would cost a bunch of money, and our County needs every cent it can find to pay for the train system it’s trying to build.

  78. Lauren – I have wifi for about half of my ride, the worst area being lower Manhattan and the best midtown. Weirdly when crossing the above ground bridge I sometimes have nothing. How is that possible?

  79. Some stations have great wifi now. I’ve been using the new Q, and I always have wifi when I am waiting for a train. The only negative seems to be the people that try to stay on phone calls on a packed subway car.

  80. SM, doesn’t sound like he’ll be accepted at all the Ivies, or any of them.
    The article said he’s planning to attend the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

  81. If you ever take the bus in NYC, I recommend the Bus Checker app. It tracks the buses via GPS and gives an estimated arrival time. Awesome in bad weather and it’s free.

  82. The wifi on the train (commuter rail) NEVER works for me. I have taken all of my devices (computer, ipad, phone) and it is always awful. I used to get mad but now I just read a book on the kindle (ipad) and don’t try to get anything done.

  83. “Between the different meds, the equipment and the reality that at least one of my kids doesn’t know what healthy feels like it seems like at least someone is always not well managed. How do people with less resources manage?”

    @Pseudo – I’m sorry it is such a slog. My kids had some health issues that were small and resolved and that was tiring. It must get really old!

    @Finn – well thanks for freaking me out. I’ll take the garage door opener out of my car when we travel now. The fob doesn’t open the door. Just starts the car. I usually keep it in my pocket because I leave my purse in the car. When I had a key, I left that in the car in the garage too but now this dumb fob communicates with the car and will run the fob battery down if I leave it in the car. I hate it.

    “In important news, I saw on Twitter that Blake Shelton may be named People Magazine’s sexiest man alive. Apparently there is some controversy.”

    @July, of course there is controversy given that Blake Shelton is presumably alive but not sexy.

  84. I used to carry a small multi-tool, but the second time I forgot and tried to go through airport security with it, I quit carrying it. So annoying.

  85. There is an Aldi in town which requires customers to have a quarter to unlock the shopping carts, and that will probably keep me every from patronizing that store.

    You get your quarter back, you know.

  86. Ivy, a metra has an app, so no more chard’s for me.

    I am surprised so few totebaggers carry a hair brush! My purse has my hairbrush, hair tie and hair claws. Cushion foundation case with mirror, 3 lipsticks and lately an eyeliner. Small card wallet and phone. These because I usually don’t find time to put ,makeup on in the mornings. Sometimes also my iPad Pro. In winter a tube of lotion and in summer a tube of sunscreen. Some cash with change rattling around.

  87. My office building recently built has no cash payment in the vending machines or cafeteria. Also the building is green so no paper cups or plates or plastic ware in the break room. The cafeteria is frugal in doling out these items. The vending machines mostly have alternative drinks – water, coconut water, flavored water etc. but hardly any soda and there is no snack vending machine.

  88. On Metro North are you talking about wifi or data? I have data as long as we are above ground, but I have never seen a wifi signal on a train

  89. Aldi is a German chain which is probably why they have the quarter system for baskets – very common in Germany and other European countries

  90. I am surprised so few totebaggers carry a hair brush!

    With curly hair, you get one shot a day to comb/manage it. After that…it is what it is

  91. RMS, that’s the biggest problem I have with my multi-tool. There’ve been a few times I forgot, but went through security with it. A few other times it got flagged at the security checkpoint, and I checked it as baggage; the Hawaiian Air personnel have always been good about finding a way to do that. On other occasions when I parked at the airport, I went back to my car to leave it there.

    I often will leave it home to avoid that issue on the return flight.

  92. Moxie, do you live in a very low crime neighborhood?

    The garage openers we keep in our cars are the ones sold to be installed outside the garage, and require entering a security code, thus minimizing our exposure to that sort of crime. We also have a deadbolt on the door into the house from the garage that we lock whenever we leave the house.

    When we leave the car at the airport, we lock the garage opener and the car registration in the glove compartment.

  93. ” If the MTA wants people to use their app, then they have to provide free wifi. ”

    This is an issue with the Cubs too. My friend who I share season tickets with had technical difficulties with data service one day and missed out on a really popular bobblehead giveaway & had to go through a lot of hassle with customer service to get into the game. Our season ticket rep made it up to her, but you can’t expect 40,000 people to use a smartphone app and then not have a strong enough data signal in the ballpark! The data signal in the ballpark is spotty during games when 40,000 people are there. It didn’t use to be so much of a problem a couple seasons ago. ;)

    I do carry a hairbrush but only in winter. My hair is curly in the summer & there is nothing to be done but maybe pull it back or slap on a hat.

    Makes sense about the business cards. Since I neither buy nor sell anything for a living, I don’t find them very useful. I used to use them to network, to give to guys I met who I didn’t want to have my personal phone number/contact info (so 15 years ago when I was single), and to win free lunch at local restaurants.

    @Dell – I thought the Ventra app worked great on Metra when I used it!

  94. “With curly hair, you get one shot a day to comb/manage it. After that…it is what it is”

    So, this will sound dumb, but I’ve finally realized that I do not have big frizzy hair that is hard to straighten and get to lie flat. I have curly hair. It’s not a tight curl but there is a curl. I now have appropriate hair products and am going to treat my hair like it wants to be treated – as curly hair. My hairdresser is so proud!

  95. @Finn, yeah, not a lot of crime around here but burglaries are not unheard of. We have the car opener and the pad on the outside, only one of which actually works. Maybe I’ll just get a keyless deadbolt for the door from the garage to the house. I have never given a key ring with housekeys on it to a valet. That’s about all of my security like that. I do have three dogs, two big and a home security system. They say you just need to make your house a little harder than your neighbors. I like to think that the dogs are a level of hassle with which one would rather not deal. I do have a friend who never locks her doors except at night. I go over to drop things off when she’s not there and I can just walk in. That’s crazy to me. I am locked up always, even when I am here.

  96. Some stuff I carry around in my car:

    Jumper cables
    Water bottles that I try to keep filled
    Reusable shopping bags
    Folding coolers (for when I go grocery shopping)
    Tissues
    Flashlights
    Extra towel, t-shirt, socks, shoes, jacket
    Flares
    Pump that plugs into cigarette lighter
    USB adapter and chargers
    Inverter
    A couple screwdrivers and a Crescent wrench
    Twine
    Tire pressure gauge
    Note book, pens
    A bunch of CDs
    Dark glasses
    Tape measure (I think it’s 10’)
    Feminine products
    Hand sanitizer
    First aid kit

    I might still have some TP too. When DD played softball, one park where they practiced never had TP, so I kept a roll in the car.

  97. “Maybe I’ll just get a keyless deadbolt for the door from the garage to the house.”

    The past few years, Home Depot has had keyless deadbolts as Black Friday specials.

  98. We avoid the issue with entering the house via garage door opener and attached garage by a) not having a garage door opener b) not having an attached garage….

  99. I carry a hairbrush and too many other items to list here! I am still struggling with a cough from a cold so I’ve added cough drops, a bottle of water, and extra tissues to my handbag this week.

    Mooshi, if I have to pull up my ticket in my phone whenever the conductor happens to walk into my train car, then I need cell or wifi service. I’ve been riding metro north for over 15 years and the service hasn’t improved on Verizon or AT& T in tunnels, near Fordham,?near Scarsdale etc. there are dead zones so the train would require wifi if they want passengers to use an app. There is currently no wifi provided by Metro North. There is only wifi in GCT and that was just started this year by five of the major carriers.

    July, it’s not too late to vote for the type of parking meeting that you would like to see in the future in the village to your north. They’re piloting four different types of parking meters, and there is an online survey to vote for your favorite. I’ll be very happy if they start taking credit cards. I need a lot of quarters for your Town and this village.

  100. “cough drops”

    I used to carry a few in my fanny pack, but they tend to get soft and gooey pretty quickly, so I stopped. But last Saturday, DW really wished I had them; we were at the symphony and her throat was a bit dry.

  101. “Mooshi, if I have to pull up my ticket in my phone whenever the conductor happens to walk into my train car, then I need cell or wifi service.”

    Can you store your ticket in your wallet? That’s what I do with my boarding pass when I fly.

  102. Lauren, I understand that you need connectivity. I was just trying to understand why you kept saying wifi. I don’t think they have wifi service on Metro North. They barely have it on airplanes, despite claims to the contrary. I thought maybe there was something special about this app that required wifi. Cell service on Metro North is the usual for Westchester, at least above ground. I do find Verizon to be better than AT&T which has a massive dead zone in Scarsdale, and has for years.

  103. I prefer parking systems that take credit cards. Although there is a lot in Mount Vernon that I have to use every so often where the machine always glitches on the credit card, and then insists on exact bills. Ugh.

  104. I never use the phone based boarding passes because they never seem to work well. I often get stuck behind someone whose mobile pass won’t scan correctly during boarding.

  105. Mooshi, if I have to pull up my ticket in my phone whenever the conductor happens to walk into my train car, then I need cell or wifi service.

    I just looked and it seems to work the same as New Jersey Transit. The ticket is saved in the app so you don’t need WiFi or cell service to use it.

  106. Moxie, looks like Lowe’s will have electronic deadbolts as Black Friday specials for $39 and $59.

  107. Ohh, Thanks Finn! DO I have to go there on Black Friday? I do like that you can bring your dog to Lowes. Saw a lady in there once with a giant parrot on her cart.

    Mooshi, that’s funny!

  108. Finn, I carry a paper train ticket in my wallet and I am happy to keep using a paper ticket. The issue is that the MTA spent a lot of money to develop an app so the passengers can store their monthly ticket on the app. The conductor has to see this virtual ticket, but sometimes there is not enough service to open the app on the phone. I prefer to have a paper ticket because it can be shared with other people if it is a monthly ticket. The MTA spent a lot of money on the app, and paper tickets cost money so they want passengers to start to use the app. A lot of people are resisting, and I guess they will eventually have to force the issue with a higher price if you continue to use a paper ticket. I don’t think they will be able to do this unless they install wifi.

  109. I think the issue that needs to be thought about is pulling up specific apps. You should just be able to connect your phone somehow to all the things that you need. Wave your phone without opening an app and off you go.

  110. The conductor has to see this virtual ticket, but sometimes there is not enough service to open the app on the phone.

    From the Metro North App FAQ:

    If I lose connectivity while riding the train, will my mobile ticket still work?

    Mobile tickets do not need phone service to be displayed or activated. If you lose cell phone service after boarding the train, you will still be able to display activated tickets. However, mobile tickets do need connectivity to be purchased. Therefore you must purchase your ticket before boarding a train.

  111. DD, obviously someone was thinking and using common sense, something sometimes apparently in short supply at our legislature.

  112. Lauren, I meant the wallet of your phone. With my iphone in airplane mode, I can still open my wallet and display my boarding pass (I still have one there from a recent trip).

    Do the conductors sell tickets? Rhett’s post suggests a problem if a rider isn’t able to buy a ticket before boarding and can’t buy it from a conductor.

  113. They sell tickets on board, but it is much more expensive. There is a new reason to keep paper tickets, but the MTA isn’t happy about it. The MTA would print a large M or F on every monthly ticket for the LIRR and Metro North. The tickets are not supposed to be “borrowed”, but some people lend the tickets to their kids for weekend trips if they are the same gender. This male/female thing prevented sharing tickets with friends, or other family members because the conductors usually check the gender thing. I’ve seen them humiliate or take tickets if it was the wrong gender because monthly tickets are not transferable. They finally had to stop placing gender on the tickets in September of this year for a number of reasons. I know this isn’t the political thread, but many firms, places or other institutions in NY are eliminating gender from forms etc. There were multiple lawsuits that were already filed, or about to filed about the gender designation on a ticket. I’ve had two different conductors that are transitioning so even some of their own employees don’t easily fit into the male or female category. I also saw one conductor get into an argument with one person about their gender and it really got nasty.

  114. The other week through American airline app was freezing and wouldn’t display my boarding pass. I had to go to the gate agent and ask for a printed ticket. Very annoying.

    On topic – I’m traveling today so my purse is full of random things – grapes, kind bars, handful of mints. I discovered a marble and a little dinosaur. Today at TSA I had to remove all food from my carryons as part of some “test”. I was so busy digging out my snacks that I left my liquids in my bag. And TSA didn’t even pull my bag to search.

  115. One thing we’ve done as a backup is to print our boarding passes to pdf and save that someplace, e.g., email it to ourselves so we can open the email if there’s a problem with the app. Another we sometimes do is DW and I both having everyone’s boarding passes on our phones.

    But so far we’ve not had a problem with boarding passes in the wallets of our phones.

  116. Always: wallet, phone, keys
    Workdays: (briefcase) usually work to read/review for early in the day, hardcopy wsj, some fruit, employee badge, postage stamps, pens; (gym bag) shorts, workout shirt, post-workout shirt, small towel, sneaks, padlock, the glasses I wear working out, fleece pullover, baseball hat
    In car: keyring with loyalty cards, altoids, loose change, car charger, sunglasses.

  117. I think the tape measure has joined the Totebag Hall of fame with the half cookie and dessert tomato.

  118. “LfB – why don’t you keep the EZ Pass on the windshield? I don’t understand keeping it in the car but not attached.”

    Because my parking pass already lives there, and adding another one would protrude into my field of vision. And I almost never use the EZPass (client in PA, travel to beach). And the car is a convertible, and I frequently park with the top down, it would be very, very easy for someone to say, “hey, look, an EZPass,” and I wouldn’t notice it was gone for months.

    “I think the tape measure has joined the Totebag Hall of fame with the half cookie and dessert tomato.”

    I vote for the Leatherman. Finn, you really are my DH. Although he goes for the “stuffed pockets” look over the fanny pack. ;-)

  119. This has made me realize how many different sizes of bags and such I have. I always like to bring the smallest thing I can get away with (the bigger my bag, the more likely I will end up carrying stuff for the kids — yes, DD, if you want your phone, you can either bring your own purse, or BUY SOME CLOTHES WITH SOME FREAKING POCKETS IN THEM). But my effort to carry minimal stuff with me has resulted in a maximal amount of stuff at home.

    My favorite is the cargo-type capris with zip/button pockets. Holds enough for, say, Rennfest or any other kinds of festivals where I really don’t want to tote a bag, or for wandering around town.

    Then I have a teeny mini-wallet that has slots for about 3 CCs and some cash. Perfect for small evening bags or pants pockets. Unfortunately, it is so teeny that it has disappeared somewhere.

    Then there is my awesome wallet, which zips closed and has a strap with a clip on the end, which means that I can either clip the strap to itself and use it as a small purse with the loop around my wrist, or clip the strap to a zipper on the inside of a purse, which is great for travel safety. It’s kind of like this, but without the funky rivets and with a longer strap — http://www.coach.com/coach-accordion-zip-wallet-with-prairie-rivets/11943.html?dwvar_color=BPL6N. And mine’s purple, because.

    And then there are the purses, which went from “I don’t carry a purse” to “I have two bins full” in about 10 years. Many sizes, from small to “dump everything.”

    And, finally, my other favorite: my leather cross-body briefcase-type bag for travel. Plenty of space inside for my client files, iPad/laptop, wallet/purse, blistex/gum/etc., plus two pockets on the outside where I store my phone, passport, and Kind bars, and two end pockets that I use for sunglasses and/or a bottle of water/drink. I love the cross-body for the hands-free operation.

    Oh: And I keep one solitary quarter in the bowl above the car key drawer for my ALDI trips.

  120. I used to carry a multi-tool knife but I found I didn’t use all those gadgets so that’s why I now carry a small pocket knife. I’ve had it confiscated once at the airport but it’s also slipped past security a few times. Also at concerts when knives are prohibited and my bag has been searched it’s never been found.

    Also, I own this running belt/fanny pack that I use for hiking. Maybe something like it would work for Finn. It holds my phone, lip balm, cc, keys, etc. It fits slim to the body.

  121. “I think the tape measure has joined the Totebag Hall of fame with the half cookie and dessert tomato.”

    LOL – I agree. Who knew so many people carried them?!

  122. For loyalty cards, if they use a bar code, iphone has a stocard app. I love it. No more carrying those loyalty cards around. I did have to find my hard copy AARP card to get the discount at the 1 hotel that made me show the card, but it did say so on their website when I booked.

  123. Lark, I was going to say if you buy that belt you’re guaranteed to look like those models! lol It worked for me. ;)

    I love my plumber. He just left and I didn’t have to write a check because he takes credit cards. And he took some pictures of our plumbing issue that he’ll email to me.

  124. Question – Is it still the rule of thumb that you should spend 2-3 hours outside of class for every credit hour in college? Meaning if you took 15 hours of courses, you should be allocating 30 to 45 more hours a week toward actual school for at total of 45 to 60 hours.

    I overheard DD#1 and a friend talking about this. Interesting conversation about it, but I won’t comment on it now.

  125. Austin – that seems crazy to me. I don’t know anyone who did that. Maybe one for one? But maybe things have changed.

  126. Is it still the rule of thumb that you should spend 2-3 hours outside of class for every credit hour in college?

    Only engineering majors :)

  127. Austin, that’s been the rule since the 70s, at least, and I think before that. But professors don’t think that hard about it. I certainly didn’t when I was teaching. Sometimes I gave out a lot of readings, sometimes there was something to write, sometimes it was a light week. My stepson could get his math and physics homework done in no time, but some of his classmates labored over their assignments. So it’s a rule that’s more honored in the breach, and anyway different kids have different abilities.

  128. I’ve been trying to make an appointment with my primary doc since Monday. I’ve called at least 10 times and if I can wait long enough on hold (5-10 minutes) it eventually goes to a voicemail. I’ve left several messages and have not gotten a call back. This morning, I’ve called three times and it plays the hold music, then starts ringing and then disconnects me. I’m thinking they might be having phone problems, but if so, it shouldn’t take 3 days to get it fixed.

    My dr and all her partners left their previous practiced about two months ago and went to a new practice together, and this is the first time I’ve tried calling the new place. And since I haven’t been seen at the new place yet, I can’t use the on-line portal to email my doc directly.

  129. RMS, Birdie and DD – They figured out they spend at least 1 hour on homework a week for each day they have a class. Given that they have 4 classes each day, 5 days a week, they are spending about 20 hours a week on school work (homework, projects, test prep). Given that some classes are AP with lots of reading and others require minimal outside work, they thought if all of the classes required AP level time, it could double, but they didn’t think triple.

  130. On the flip side, the cable guy came at 9 am as scheduled, and replaced my fios box to upgrade the speed. I made my biannual call to get a new deal and free HBO, and they “waived the fee” for the service call and upgrade.

  131. Is it still the rule of thumb that you should spend 2-3 hours outside of class for every credit hour in college?… My stepson could get his math and physics homework done in no time, but some of his classmates labored over their assignments.

    If it’s taking you 2-3 hours per hour of class time then you’re in over your head.

  132. “Only engineering majors :)”

    Ha! I certainly did not come close to 3:1 in college. I probably barely got to 1:1. I’ve said it before, but I had inordinate amounts of free time in college, even with an overload and a PT job. i spent a lot of time at the library, but I wasted hours reading periodicals and on the internet, socialized with friends who were also at the library, took naps in the comfy chairs, then did a little bit of work. I was in mostly social science classes (Econ and Psychology). But even my lab science class was almost all in-class work. I didn’t have to study much for the tests.

    Probably the class that I had the most out-of-class work was actually photography – all the shooting and darkroom time and then redoing things when they didn’t turn out or got ruined in the darkroom, etc.

  133. Austin, they are spending 20 hours a week on homework and such in high school? That’s insane.

    And I finally did get through to make an appointment (after 10 minutes on hold) and they actually had one this afternoon that I can make. But still ridiculous.

  134. I no longer carry a tape measure but I did for years — in addition to its measuring abilities, a small retractable tape measure is also a great way to entertain a small child when stuck somewhere toyless.

  135. I spent nowhere near 3:1. Then again, I read quickly, and cramming is my superpower, so YMMV.

    I also get the impression there is a lot more “process to document that you are spending the requisite time out of class” nowadays; I mean, I had some classes in which I had to do a paper a week, but if that paper took me 2 hours, no one cared. That’s very different than specific assigned homework packets and problem sets and such each night that will be quizzed in the following class period.

  136. “I’ve been trying to make an appointment with my primary doc since Monday.”

    I would’ve guessed your PCP is a NP.

  137. Austin, the rule of thumb I remember is 2 for 1.

    IME, that’s about right, but it varies a lot from class to class. I spent more than that on most of my math, science (especially physics), and engineering classes, and less than that on most of my other classes, especially econ.

    Most labs were less than 1:1, but OTOH we typically only got 1 credit for labs that took the same amount of time as a 3 credit lecture class.

  138. July, DW has a few of those small fanny packs for running.I’ve tried them a few times, and they’re OK for running, but I don’t like to run so I don’t have many occasions to use them.

    I tend to not be a minimalist in what I carry, so they’re smaller than I’d usually like.

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