Friday, May 09, 2003

Hi. My name is ML and I am a big fat idiot. Please, pull up a comfy chair, maybe get some refreshments, sit right back and I'll tell you why.

My camera has been broken for about 4 years now. Specifically, the light meter inside of it wouldn't move. So, I had no way to telling if there was enough light for taking a picture. Seeing how I used this camera for artistic purposes, I thought it was imperative to get this fixed. Unfortunately, I lacked the money to get it fixed.

I ended up using my Pentax K-1000 less and less. It's hard to be arty without being to tell if the lighting is right. Eventually, I would take it out only when something needed to be preserved in pictures. That occasion was very rare indeed. It was easier to use disposable cameras for memories and scrapbooks, but I'm not about to use them for art. My art (*ahem*) suffered.

The last occasion I used this camera was for taking acting resume headshots for my wife. We had no idea how any shot would come out, if at all, but we snapped a full role of film just to see if we could get one good shot. That's all we needed. A good scanner, photo software, and printer were waiting to make copies for various local theatres.

We hung some brown fur - that's all we had for a backdrop - in the living room. The lighting was stictly the overhead 4-light fan and a halogen lamp. That would have to be enough. My wife posed and - *snap* *snap* *snap* - before long we were done. We had no idea if there would be a single useable shot. I took the roll of film to Walgreen's for one-hour developing.

As it turned out, we had quite a few shots to choose from. We scanned the one we liked in, changed it to black and white, fiddled a little with the contrast and brightness and - voila!- printed. Several people who saw them thought the headshots were very professional-looking. A friend asked me to take his headshot based on this picture. I had to tell him it was a fluke that it came out so well because my camera was broken. He offered to help pay to get it fixed if I would take his headshot.

So, today I called Wolf Camera to get an estimate. Over the phone, the guy asked what kind of camera I had. "A Pentax K-1000," I replied and then heard some typing on the other end.

"And what's wrong with it?"
"The light meter doesn't move for anything."

More typing on the other end - perhaps he was troubleshooting or looking up something on their estimate price list. "We can ship it off and to fix, it'll be $140." Holy croley! I ain't paying that, much less halfies with a friend. I called my friend to tell him the bad news. He crapped his pants and said I might as well try the Houston Camera, just to see what they would charge.

When I called, I told them the problem. Immediately, the voice on the other end said it could be one of three things. They'd have to crack it open to see, but they provide free estimates. I hopped in my truck to see what the damages would be.

You're not going to believe this part. Well, maybe if you know me, you will... Anyway, I give my camera to the guy to check and he says, "Well, first thing to check is the battery. When was the last time you changed it?" My blank stare soon clicked into the realization that, yes, the correct answer was... say it with me now... "Never." Trying hard to wipe the egg off my face, we struck up a polite conversation about photography. Mostly small talk as he rang up my charges. $14 bucks for a new battery and a lens cap.

Ok, so now I'm just gonna bend over. Does anyone mind giving me a swift kick in the booty? That might help me. Thank you.

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