austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Here, where the lens is wide

I am, among many other things, a ditherer. Given a decision with small enough consequences I'll go thinking and rethinking it until the entire topic becomes moot. This relieves me of the need to actually come to a decision. But it can be frustrating, particularly to loved ones waiting for me to move.

I bought a camera in 2003, one of those little ways I treated myself in the flush of my sweet Singapore job. And I kept the camera since then, since after all it worked and I was familiar with its workings and knew how to get the best out of it. But over the years it stopped working so very well, most importantly with the internal battery dying, so I would have to re-set the date and time and other settings when I changed the main batteries. Then over the summer many of the buttons stopped working at all, so I couldn't even re-set the date and time. So, I started looking at cameras, without quite focusing on any.

Happily I discovered through alt.fan.cecil-adams a reference to a camera which looked exactly right for all the sorts of fiddly options that I want, that looked like the natural successor to my old camera (which is of a line discontinued five years ago). Unfortunately, as best I could determine, it's also a model camera not yet actually in any store. However, there was another camera, simpler and cheaper, and much smaller. It'd be pocketable, the way my old camera and my projected camera just aren't; just right, really, to have a decent camera around in case I needed to photograph something.

So after a lot of dithering, I just went to Meijer, fiddled with the example camera for a while, and bought it, catching bunny_hugger quite by surprise. And it was just in time for our big weekend.

Trivia: In the 1920s Chester Darrow tested a ``Photo-Polygraph'', in which pubescent boys and girls with gauges measuring responses to stimuli. For example, boys were read phrases like ``masturbation pleasant'' and then smacked on the head, while girls were read words like ``menstruation'' before being slapped. Darrow was apparently hoping to explore the relations between emotions and reflex reactions. Source: The Lie Detectors: The History Of An American Obsession, Ken Alder.

Currently Reading: Rising Sun Victorious: An Alternate History Of The Pacific War, Editor Paul E Tsouras. Most of these go for mock-pop-history style, although there are a couple which seem to be trying for a sort of story format. And then there's a lot of blurry talk about naval task groups forming and reforming in an array of numbers so complicated I realize I need a clear explanation of how naval task forces are gathered and numbers assigned. I appreciate though that the footnotes are marked so that it's obvious which footnotes reflect stuff from reality and which ones reflect the alternate-history things. Also, reading the alternate histories gives me this startling realization: Allied victory in World War II was probabily inevitable, and yet, it was also extremely contingent. Many, many things could have screwed it seriously up, but probably not have halted it forever.

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