I am scrambling today, gathering my gear for my weeklong stay in Kalamazoo, MI. This will be my sixth consecutive month of visiting shows around the U.S., and I’m starting to get it right. I am packing lighter. I bought a new carry-on bag and a new computer bag for this trip. What is it about modern life that requires us to travel with more electronic gear than underwear?

It’s not that I object to all my electronic tethers to the world. Cyberspace has become my backyard fence. (You have to be over 50 to appreciate that reference.) I love being able to check in on friends around the country and around the world. However, why does each device have to have its own charger? This trip I will take an iPhone, an iPad, a netbook and a camera, each with a charger. So far, out of five trips, I have lost two chargers, two flash drives & a hat. I don’t know how I forgot that hat.

I may bring my camera that uses AA batteries. Then I won’t have to take a charger. I can buy extra batteries when I arrive. I read on some travel site that you should try to travel without what most consider essentials. After all, toothpaste, deodorant and disposable razors are readily available everywhere. I have even bought portable chairs upon arrival and left them with local exhibitors at the end of the cluster. I suppose I could buy socks and underwear upon arrival as well, but then there are some things I don’t like to leave to chance. Besides returning home without my underwear is likely to perturb the wife.

I have to admit that the electronic devices have helped with paperwork reduction. I used to travel with two separate folders. One had the usual travel stuff – airline information, rental car reservations, hotel confirmations, etc. The second would have all my show stuff – judging programs, the names of dogs and their owners/handlers I wanted to seek out, show committee contacts, etc. The electronic gear has allowed me to travel with more information than I could have put in several file cabinets.

After looking at the ring schedules for the Apple Blossom Cluster, I am hoping to watch at least 21 different breeds judged, as well as all the Groups & BISs. I will be posting it all here on The Back Story, starting at approximately 10 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 23rd, with updates every couple of hours. Remember, you can find show results in lots of places, but you can only get up-to-date standings at Dog Show Poop and The Back Story here on Best In Show Daily.