After a long search, I finally found a man bag/murse/gadget bag that fit my criteria for a perfect portable utility carrying device. Since a couple of my friends asked, and the general voyeuristic masses on the internet love to see this stuff (and I include myself in that category), I thought I'd share my find.
My general criteria was:
Requirement 1: Manly looking...shouldn't look like a purse! :-)
Requirement 2: Not as big as a messenger bag...not as small as a pouch. Must be able to hold a wallet, Blackberry, Grail diary, small Moleskine notebook, pen, bullwhip, Sony Cybershot digital camera, Dell DJ.
Requirement 3: Over the shoulder only. I'm not secure enough to carry a clutch!
Final Decision: A WWII Mark VII Gas Mask Bag! Just so happens that this is the bag that Indiana Jones had in the movies (although in reality it wasn't yet invented in that time period). If Indiana Jones used it, then it's good enough for me!!!
Unfortunately, finding the real deal at a good price is hard, at least here in the States. I checked out some military surplus stores, but to no avail. I found some on eBay, but they were pretty tattered and dirty. Well, proving once again that you can get anything on the internet, even if it's just a replica, I found a guy in Singapore who creates these new. Doesn't have quite the cachet of the real thing, but it gets the job done.
Manly and functional! :-D
Also cool that I ended up paying around $30 total rather than the $150 I was going to spend on the runner up. I'll include some pictures in a future post. Now if I could just get my autistic daughter to stop telling everyone that "my dad bought a purse!" :-)