Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plan B

About this time last year, way back before I fell into the hands of the Croakers, I figured the Long Sufferin ought to have a better camera.

The camera she had been using was my old Fuji FinePix S3100 which we bought on mark down at Target just before we made the journey with three dogs, nine cats and the Long Sufferin in an RV over Donner Pass and into Oregon.

The little camera served us well and lived to struggle on for two years after we settled in Coos Bay, and then I got a better camera and the Long Sufferin got my little Fuji.

The Long Sufferin being the Chancellor of the Exchequer never allows a spot of waste or a dollar spent when it isn’t absolutely necessary and that is a very good thing cause the Ole Trawler would easily fritter away all of our money and have us living in a cardboard box and eating dry cat food, so it isn’t a bad thing that the Long Sufferin keeps a tight hand on the tiller and the draw-strings of the family purse pulled tight.

So she got the old Fuji and lived happily with it until last year when the little devil made a break for it and fell, tragically three and a half feet to its untimely death.

In the meantime I was on to my next camera and so there was a spare and she took that one, but hated it and wouldn’t let go of any of the vast Trawler fortune to get another so there I was feeling extremely guilty and needing to do something to make myself feel better about having a camera while the Long Sufferin had none, you didn’t think this was motivated by unselfish desires, didja?

Fortunately in all of the years the Ole Trawler has been kicking around the photography world he has discovered one important fact, okay, maybe two or even three but this is the important one for this story so we’ll ignore the other two and go on to the heart of the beast, electronics work or they don’t.

Now this may not seem terribly important to you but it comes in handy when you are planning to do something which requires money not in the budget and you know that spending money not properly allocated without prior authorization is likely to have you sleeping on the deck and in this climate that is a rather frosty prospect and not wishing to wind up with frost on my pumpkins I tread carefully with non-budgeted items, so the knowledge that electronics either work or they don’t comes in pretty handy.

This means that you do not have to buy the electronic goody new and in the box, a reasonably treated vintage item will do the job and ninety percent of the time it will work just the same as the one in the box and you do not have to decide if recycling the box and all of the packing is the responsible thing to do or maybe this once you could just chuck it all in the compactor, but then the Long Sufferin would get you by the ear and drag you back to the compactor and wonder aloud what in the hell you think you are doing tossing recyclable materials in the compactor so it is best to just go ahead and put them in the right bin in the first place and save all of that drama.

So not having the packaging is a good thing and eliminates one more chance for you to screw the pooch and so doing the responsible thing and buying vintage is best all around.

And it happens that here in beautiful, downtown Coos Bay, (and North Bend); we have two great places to find that vintage item, Goodwill and The South Coast Hospice Thrift Store.

So off I went and as luck would have it I found a camera that looked like it might do and so I grabbed it and headed home.

It took only a day and a half to collect all of the necessary and missing parts to restore the Olympus Stylus 600 to prefect working order and get a snazzy, green, (The Long Sufferin’s favorite color) gift bag and the Ole Trawler was set for Christmas!

And you know what happens when you make plans without consulting the Fates? Yeppers, I got sick.

I’m sure you are sick to death of hearing how I fought with the Quack and the Croakers for my very life and that was just over the bills and had nothing to do with what was making me sick and so insert time-lapse, it was a year later, okay ten months if you want to be picky and there on the shelf was that green gift bag and on one had touched it in a year.

The situation hadn’t changed, I had a camera, the Long Sufferin didn’t and the budget still was shut down by House Republicans.

I fished out the camera and powered it up. It started after sitting on a shelf for almost a year without touch up charging! That’s some battery life.

I took the little plucker out for a spin and it does a good job for being smaller than the average Iphone and having no viewfinder just an LCD which is a pain and the camera makers should be ashamed that they would eliminate the viewfinder to cut costs and make people ruin their eyes squinting at the LCD any time the sun comes out but seeing as how this is Oregon that isn’t as big a problem as it would have been in Texas and that is why the little camera work out so well.

Now the point of this story is that if you don’t have a camera you can stick in your shirt pocket or if you are a non-shirt-wearing female lady type of person and would not want a camera banging around like a bell on a cat, you can stick it in a jean pocket and not look like one of those horror movie girls who get infested with the bug that ate Cleveland and have bulges sticking out every which way and you want one or maybe you just want something inexpensive which you can stick in the glove box so that you actually have it when you see the herd of elk cross the road and you have nothing but a silly grin or maybe you have a kid or relative or pal serving in that big sandbox and you’d like to get them reconnected with the homeland but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg cause they might have to duck under a Humvee cause the folks over here are shooting at them, this is a way you can do it and not wind up in a long-term budget battle and have the shutdown loam or a default hanging over your head and that is a good thing.

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