I've certainly mentioned in the past my bookbag, which it turns out is actually a genre of luggage that the office supply stores, I learn, consider to be a messenger bag. I'm glad to have a reasonably proper name for it, since ``bookbag'' is so general a term that lends itself to misconceptions. Anyway, my current bag has been in use for about two years now, which is on the high side for this model of bag, and it's breaking in a completely new way that I haven't suffered before. Ordinarily these bags wear out by the fabric strap which goes from the bag to the metal hook growing frayed and then snapping, usually while I'm as far from home as I can be, so that I have to carry it all the way home using the smaller hand straps, which gets old fast.
This time the shoulder strap is breaking instead: at just the point where the strap tops over my shoulder the two outsides started tearing apart, and this has been growing in time so that only about half the strap is still together. For the record this tearing started before we got the WiiFit, so it's not as if the sharp boniness of gradually-exposing bones that go towards the shoulder is specifically trimming it. So while it is breaking I have the novel opportunity to fix the bag just by buying a new shoulder strap.
This plan presupposes the existence of stores which sell shoulder straps. It turns out that quite a few places which sell luggage such as messenger bags, including Sears, Target, Office Depot, Staples, and the Samsonite outlet store, have employees who are shocked to learn that they don't sell shoulder straps. All agree that they should be sold; it just doesn't quite happen. The person at Target was also confused by the fact I'd brought a messenger bag from the shelves so I could exactly demonstrate what I wanted (I hadn't figured the specific term at that point), as she expected I wanted to return or exchange the one I had in my hand. I explained I hadn't bought this one yet and after thanking her tried to get lost deep within the aisles, which will not work. The lady at the Samsonite store suggested I try a music shop, and see if straps suitable for carrying organ cases might do. That's a great suggestion and I like it a lot, except the nearest music store I know of is in Plaza Singapura, so this has an implementation difficulty. We shall see.
Trivia: Rene Descartes wrote a book about fencing. Source: Civilisation, Kenneth Clark.
Currently Reading: Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength Of Architecture, Mario Salvadori. So why does Modern architecture look so good in drawings or scale models and so unspeakably awful after being built, anyway?