I love Lenovo/IBM/Thinkpad to death. I'll write more about their laptops soon, but for now I'm going to talk about this new power adapter.
My old one broke in Panama, so as soon as I got to the US I ordered this one. Shipped overnight, it was expensive but worth every penny.
It's very thin, which makes it easy to pack. Just wedge it in next to something else. I had a similarly shaped one from Targus many years ago but it broke and I could never find a replacement.
Even though it's super thin it can also be used in cars and airplanes, unlike my other one. This would have been very useful on my trip to Tokyo, but United Airways doesn't have power jacks for some reason.
You can also buy an adapter to simultaneously power a phone or mp3 player.
If you have a thinkpad (it even works with the older ones), get this thing. It's great.
I'm pretty happy so far with this Mobile Gear slim adapter I picked up at the Singapore airport the other day, for about $65. I had planned on ordering the Lenovo adapter, but when I saw this in person I decided to take it. It seems decent, though the build quality isn't as good as Lenovo. I think it's a little wider than Lenovo, but a millimeter thinner (Lenovo lists the depth and height on their website, but not the width as far as I can see).
Other than the main unit being so thin, another big gain for me was the thin profile of the cables and plug. My Lenovo adapter that came with the machine uses the huge UK-style three-prong plug. The Mobile Gear plug is a very flat, two-prong style that will serve me well around asia, and especially Korea where I live.
This DART adapter is getting a lot of press lately and looks pretty cool... but still I think thinness is more important than just being small. I want to be able to put it in the outer slip pocket of a laptop bag or laptop sleeve, without having a stupid looking bulge on the outside of the bag. The Mobile Gear adapter accomplishes that.
Our most popular Life Nomadic article last year was our complete packing list. Since then we've learned a lot, made a lot of changes, and managed to pack a lot more into the same tiny amount of space.
There are a few areas where slight improvement could be made, which you'll hear me talk about in the video, but overall this collection of stuff represents everything a traveler needs to travel through just about anywhere on the planet, live comfortably, and keep connected.
I've consolidated most of the stuff I pack into an Amazon store, which you can access here: Life Nomadic Store. If you use that link, or the Amazon links below, I get a commission. Other good places to buy this sort of gear are ebay and outdoor shops like REI and MEC, although neither store carries most of the gear.
My two little ones have had some strange health issues lately. One of them being late night gas. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's really not pleasant. When Noah had his episode, we actually took him to the ER. Just to discover that he had lots of gas. And then, there was the long night with Hope a few nights later.
Hope is two. She's 18 months younger than Noah. She hasn't quite developed the communication skills needed in a stressful, painful situation. When Hope woke up around 1 am, I found her heaving her body off her bed, rolling around on the floor, and totally unresponsive to any questions or attempts at comfort I offered. She would only relax to cuddle for a few minutes at a time, during which she was fast asleep and still unable to tell me what was bothering her. Knowing I wasn't going to be leaving a peaceful, sleeping Hope in her own bed anytime soon, I tried taking her into our bed in hopes that she would be more comfortable. But the pain kept coming. My little two year old girl thrashing her body from one end of our bed to the other. Knocking her head against the wall, kicking her feet on the mattress, and occasionally falling asleep wherever her head laid, whether that was on my pillow or on my ankles.
Without any obvious signs of sickness or injury, I thought maybe she was having night terrors. It was a terrifying thought. To think that a tiny little body with that small little heart could be experiencing a reality conjured in her brain that I was unable to be a part of. I was unable to tap into. I felt so helpless. I felt like a failure.
Sleep deprivation can make you pretty frail in a situation like this. After a couple hours, I just broke down. I was so frustrated that I couldn't fix the problem, even with my super-mom cape on. Kevin had been in the bed this whole time on the other side of me, and noticing my tears, took Hope into the living room to sleep with him. Eventually, the flatulence starting flying with Hope laying on her belly on her dad's chest, and gradually, the head-banging juggernaut turned into a sleeping little angel.
During this whole episode, especially after Kev took Hope into the living room, I knew I should pray for my daughter. I knew my first instinct should be to cast my cares to the Lord. But I have to say...it wasn't easy. My head was filled with cynicism. My body just wanted to rest. My pride wanted to figure it out and be the hero...the problem-solver. I heard myself questioning, "What's the point? Will it really make a difference? Does prayer REALLY change things?"