Ever read the collected stories of Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried? It is a group of stories about a platoon in the Vietnam War, and what they carried with them into war. Even thought the subject is about death and destruction in the everyday lives of these guys, I still found it an amazing read. Now, I'm packing for a short jaunt soon. Here's what I'm carrying in my backpack. Got copies of Mens' Health and Rolling Stone, an ipod, cell phone, a few meds, pens, a journal, notebook, my IU sweatshirt, an extra t-shirt, 2 small boxes of Mike and Ike candies, camera, headphones, a couple of bottles of water with iced tea mix to add, my sunglasses and two bananas. Yes, my laptop must be in there too and a pile of notes. I have some work that I need to take care of, hence the computer. It'll be a pretty hefty pack, but I'll unload stuff depending on the day and the itinerary. My money clip will ride in one of those side pockets.They'll probably be a couple of cigars hidden in there too. Shhh! Don't spread that around. Each one of these items is needed and has, as you might imagine, a little tale of its own. Of course, if it's in there it's important and has some measure of meaning. Honest. Which thing and story might you be interested in?