Category Archives: Karma

Don’t Check Your Valuables

Another lesson learned the hard way — on the flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco on US Airways my baggage was delayed, and then when it arrived the following morning all my camera equipment was missing. Since I had just been to Italy I was carrying more than usual. The toll ended up being:

  • Nikon D3
  • Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF
  • Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • Leica M8
  • Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux
  • Cards, cases, etc.

I’ve traveled so many times with things in my suitcase I just don’t think about it anymore, literally over a hundred trips over the last 4-5 years. This has shaken me a lot more than the incident a few weeks ago and I’m probably not going to check any electronics anymore. Jon Udell had something similar happen and found a story about packing a starter pistol to get your baggage treated differently. (Hat tip: Lloyd.)

Since relating this story a few other people have told me they’ve had things stolen when leaving Philadelphia specifically, it sounds like there might be a serious problem there, one that warrants investigation. US Airways is just sending me through the “lost luggage” form, so I doubt anything will change or happen. Be extra careful if you travel through there.

Giving Back

In August of this year I started thinking a lot more about philanthropy and giving back. I was raised with a strong emphasis on civic responsibility and volunteering and though I’ve been very lucky in this world but haven’t found a way to connect back philanthropically beyond sporadic donations to open source, freedom, or music organizations I’m passionate about. There are a million places you can give money to, but it’s tricky to identify where it’ll be best used and have the biggest impact.

Spurred on by a lunch I attended with Peter Diamandis talking about the prize-based philosophy behind the Xprize and goading from Tim Ferriss I’ve stepped things up in the latter part of this year, starting by matching Tim on First Giving (something I hope to continue though he’s ahead right now). If you’re thinking about dipping your toes in giving back, Donors Choose is a great place to start.