The name of this sounds like a typo, but I actually saw this word once before on a marquee. In downtown Lincoln in the spring of 2005, there was an independent outdoors outfitter named OuTek, and their marquee I saw every day when driving toward a parking garage to go to my morning classes at UNL.

The marquee one time said,

“Hiking, Camping, Backpackpacking Gear Here!”

Though I didn’t go on an outdoors adventure last weekend, the idea of packing still was salient to me to write a blog post. Why?

Well, I realize that even for short weekends, I tend to be quite absentminded when packing.  The following are examples:

  • Frequently during the summer, I used to neglect to pack a swimsuit in my suitcase when travelling, even if I knew that there would be an opportunity to swim.
  • I sometimes forget a key item and have to turn around to get it. That might even include my wallet or phone!
  • And yes, I locked myself out of my apartment after absentmindedly locking my keys inside toward the end of this last summer.

Why do I write this post? Last weekend was an example of Absentminded Packing:

  • I didn’t adequately prepare for the rapidly changing weather! Though I brought a warm jacket, I did not have gloves or a winter hat. The good news was that I wasn’t outside for long periods of time.
  • I packed clothes for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. However, there were a few other items that I forgot for Monday:
    • Despite my plan to go to services on Monday morning (which came to fruition!), I did NOT bring a טלית ותפילין (prayer shawl or phylacteries) for those services. Thankfully, there were spares at the synagogue.
    • Despite my plan to go to bridge club and have a pickup partner, I failed to bring my set of convention cards for easier discussion. The good news is that we played a simple system and had no bidding debacles.
  • And then this weekend, I’ll probably have clothes in both of my backpack and travel bag. I’ll make sure to not forget toiletries, clothes for four days, or my journal.

Oh, and since I mentioned one of my favorite OuTek marquees, here’s another set of them.

“Run Porkchop Run”

“Go Ninja Go Ninja Go! GO GO GO!!!”

and a few weeks after the former, it said:

“Tired of Ninjas? We’re Not.”


Lincoln: 26 days

J-Term: 40 days

Israel: 192 days

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