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DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
29 July 2006
Anybody who has known me for any length of time throughout my life, from about age 10, knows that I almost always have a camera with me.
At the moment, there is no excuse for not having a camera with me at all times. I own a mini-DV camera, my regular digital camera, the little Casio that I bought in Australia, and my little "toy" camera, which doesn't take very good video, but which is small and easy to slip in a pocket.
I also carry a huge "bag" (I won't insult "purses" by calling it a purse) which easily holds two of the 4 cameras.
Today was the first day I had the car since the heat wave got really serious. Knowing that I had no desire to leave the cool air-conditioned house, and not really wanting Walt to have heat stroke biking home from the office, I encouraged him to take the car. Of course there was the dramatic hand to forehead in a "no...no... don't worry about me. I'll be fine" sort of movement, but really we both knew there was no way I was going to travel about town when the temperatures were hot enough to boil an egg on the sidewalk.
But today is the first day when the temperatures have dipped below 100. It's a cool, comfortable 98...and, amazingly, after temperatures that have crept up to nearly 110, 98 does feel almost, but not quite cool and comfortable.
I simply had to get to the supermarket today, unless I was going to give Walt fried flour for dinner. I also had promised to bring Steve a lot of CDs when I get to LA this weekend (we are flying down to see his partner Jimmy's acclaimed one-man show, Zero Hour), and needed to go to Office Max to get more CDs, so I ventured out of the house and into the heat of the midday sun. As I began the preparations to leave, the thought of packing up one of the cameras briefly crossed my mind, and I decided that this was just going to be a quick trip, and I wouldn't bother. So I left cameras at home.
All four of them.
What could be the problem with that?
Well, I arrived at the mall, where the supermarket was and there was a guy, standing there in the midday sun, giving a concert all by himself. Sounding for all the world like a young Willie Nelson. Hmmm...too bad I didn't have the video camera. Might have been interesting to film him but that single snippet probably wouldn't have been interesting anyway, so owell.
I walked into the supermarket with a group of school-aged children who were getting a guided tour of the place from an animated person who was showing them all the sections of the supermarket.
Hmmm...that would have made a nice addition to my mall musician video that I couldn't make because I didn't have the camera with me.
As I stood there trying to decide if I was willing to pay the ridiculous price for mushrooms, a huge cheer went up off to my left. Someone was giving a rousing speech. There was a huge circle of employees standing around and I assumed this was probably some sort of "graduation" exercise for new trainees.
Too bad. Another great thing to add to the video I couldn't make because I had no camera with me.
I turned my back on the group and started checking out spare ribs and trying to decide if chipotle sauce would be too hot for me and suddenly there was the sound of go! go! go! go! go! behind me, with cheers and screams and arms waved in the air.
Damn! They seemed to be testing people on their ability to pack bags. Damn! That would have been great video. But I had no camera.
As I continued to walk around the store, my travels were punctuated with announcements of the next contestant and more chants of encouragement.
When I was at the check-out stand, one of the girls from the group ran over to ask the woman checking me out of she could borrow that woman's shoes because they were better for the activity they were doing.
Someone walked me out to my car with my groceries and I asked her what was going on. I had shown up on the day of the annual Bag-a-Thon. Apparently once a year all the stores of this chain hold local competitions for all the employees. The winner of the in-house competition gets $100 and goes on to compete with other stores in the area. The area winner gets $1,000 and a trip to Las Vegas to compete in the national competition. One of the women in the group there today had competed twice before in the national competition.
What a fantastic video that would have made even if I had remembered to bring the "toy" camera with me. Even if I had brought the little Casio which doesn't record sound.
But I had no camera whatsoever, and so the entire thing the musician, the kids having their tour of the store, and the once a year competition which might send a local person to national competition in Las Vegas all went un-recorded.
I've learned my lesson. I'll never leave home without a camera again.
PHOTO OF THE DAY