Daily Archives: October 30, 2002

You’ll have to pry the remote from my dead fingers

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Digital cable rules. It also rocks. Just for the record. The channel guide, title searches, pop-up reminders when a show is on, instant taping. Yow! Plus, something’s on when there’s nothing on. Last night, it was Louis Vuitton yacht racing, a sport that for unfathomable reasons I am actually interested in, but which doesn’t receive a whole lot of coverage 150 miles up the Hudson from the ocean. Well, here it was on the Outdoor Life Network, wall to wall (shore to shore?) coverage, complete with computerized graphics and magnetic boats on a board to show how they were lined up and their positions in the race. Very cool. I had never given much thought to the start of a short course race, but it was clear from this that a chunk of the race comes before the starting gun, because the boats have to keep tacking and circling so they’re in the best position, close to the line and on the right side of the wind. And if one overshoots, it has to come around and recross the line, which is what happened in the heat I was watching last night, but then that boat made up all its lost time and then some. Fun to watch while sorting through old photographs and picking out which negatives would be worth scanning. The answer, by the way, is damn few.
When I started out, I was very much the artiste, working hard and pretentiously to get things just right, and especially to shoot situations in the lowest light possible (to judge by the outcomes). I never liked flash. Still don’t. Then I put the camera down for a few years, and when I picked it up again was able to afford color (and didn’t have time or inclination to do my own darkroom work), I really fell back to just taking snapshots. Poor exposures, poor framing, and an inexplicable willingness to use the highest speed film possible (ASA 1000, anyone?) rather than resort to flash. As a result, I have boxes and boxes of truly shitty photographs. Then, once the girls came, photography became nothing more than documenting babyhood and birthday parties. I got real about film speed and a couple of years ago got a cheap travel camera that still kinda outperformed my old Mamiya, and the pictures for the past few years have been pretty decent. I should have jumped over to a better camera years ago (one which I could buy new accessories for, for instance, since my Mamiya was discontinued shortly after I bought it, and “universal mount,” which sounded like the way to go, was the Betamax of lens technology). Happy with my new digital Nikon now. Seriously cool camera. Now, through the magic of digital, with its wide range of exposures and built-in filtering capabilities, a decent zoom range on the camera and a passing knowledge of Photoshop, I feel like I’m making photographs again instead of just taking “snappies” (as the Aussies would have it).
Allergies hit their peak yesterday, so I stayed home and choked on snot. And watched digital cable. There was actually something on during the daytime. It was amazing. I wanted so much to go out for a bike ride since I had time, but the whole point was that I was too sick to work, so I must be too sick to exercise. I needed rest, not exertion, but it’s hard to tell myself that. I haven’t been running because of a sprain in my left foot and a little knee pain. The price of trying to run faster. Might pick it up again tomorrow, when it’s a little warmer. Below 40, my lungs start to complain.