Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Assault of battery

posted Mon, 18 Sep 2006

I know many of you read this blog to answer just one question: “How is the Class Factotum avoiding the humiliation of the job search today?”

Some days, I don’t have a good answer. Some days, my goofing off is completely worthless. I do nothing more than sit at my computer and pretend to look at monster.com and company websites, silently hoping that someone -- someone -- will be seeking an employee just like me on whom they want to shower lots of money and lots of vacation in return for not much effort.

But once in a while, I have legitimate goofing off to do.

Today is one of those days. Today, after a tortuous yesterday. For yesterday, SH gave me my birthday present early. (He has so many good qualities, even if he does insist on fixing things I can fix myself.)

He gave me – ta dahh! A fancy schmancy digital camera!

I didn’t even know I wanted one until recently. I bought a regular ol’ digital camera last year and it was just fine for a while – until I realized it wouldn’t focus up close and didn’t have great resolution. It took snapshots – and I wanted to take photographs. It was the equivalent of a camera that uses 110 film (do those even exist anymore?), which was what I had when I was 11.

When I was 14 or so, I used my babysitting money and bought a 35mm camera and a 50 mm lens. (It was an Olympus OM1, which right now resides in the closet behind me, along with a zoom lens, a 28-70mm lens, and a flash – all of which work great – and none of which have been used for years).

So for the past few months, I have been coveting a good digital camera. But when one is unemployed, it is not a good use of one’s savings to buy a digital 35mm camera. It just isn’t. I had to keep reminding myself of that every time I tried to do something with my little Canon A150 that it just wasn’t designed to do. (“Buy nice or buy twice” kept running through my mind, one of the most rueful things one can say to oneself. Also on that list are, “Why did I ever go out with him?” and “I wish I hadn’t eaten that.”)

On Saturday, as we stood in line for a Pronto Pup at the Cooper-Young Festival, SH mentioned casually that he had already bought my birthday present.

“A subscription to People magazine?” I asked hopefully. Steve got that for Megan one year and I still think that’s one of the coolest presents ever. No more looking around carefully while you’re in line at the grocery store to make sure there’s no one you know watching so you can read it.

“No,” he said.

“A membership to Rush Limbaugh’s website so I can download his podcast when I miss his show and read his stack of stuff and the show transcripts?”

“God, no!” he laughed, shaking his head. “Do you really think I would get you that?”

“You like Rush when he’s not talking about politics,” I reminded him. (And SH is coming over to the right side – he’s even realizing that Wal-Mart is not evil. He’s always shopped there, of course, because of the prices, but not wanting to incur the wrath of his Lib friends, he has to say all the nasty things about Wal-Mart that the Left does. But I have barraged him with data about Wal-Mart and he is actually changing his tune. Course, I’m a Target shopper myself. Wal-Mart hasn’t been the same since Sam died.)

But I didn’t think he was actually going to give me the present early. I guess he’s one of those people who can’t stand to not give a present once he has it. I’m like that, too. Once I buy a gift for someone, I want to give it. I bought some calendars of nekkid English farmers that I was going to give to Lenore and Leigh as Christmas presents, but I couldn’t stand to wait, so I just gave them to them when I got back from England. Then I found some other cool stuff at an art show for Christmas, but I’m holding onto that.

He couldn’t wait, so gave the camera to me yesterday – a Nikon D50, which is very, very nice.

First thing I wanted to do was play with it, but the battery wasn’t charged. It took two hours to charge the darn thing. SH kept telling me I should read the manual while I waited. Right. I don’t want to read the stupid manual, OK? So I put in the memory card, put in the battery and turned the camera on.

Nothing.

“I told you to read the manual,” he said.

“I think I ought to be able to turn it on without reading the manual,” I said through gritted teeth. “Don’t you think they ought to design it to be at least that uncomplicated? I have a damn master’s degree, OK? I think I know how to turn on a camera.”

I took out the battery, cleaned off the connections, and reinserted. Camera still wouldn’t turn on.

SH heaved a great sigh and opened the manual.

I rolled my eyes and looked over his shoulder.

Guess what? I had done everything right.

Now he was worried. “I hope the camera’s OK. I got it from a place on eBay that refurbishes cameras.”

I shrugged. “It might be the battery. I’ll take it to the camera store tomorrow and ask them to check with a good battery. Then we’ll know.”

Turns out it was the battery. Which is nice. Because all I had to do was get another battery (I borrowed Stephen’s until the eBay store can send me a new one – they’re too expensive to buy at the drop of a hat) and I’m in business.

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