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OATS in the overhead mirror.
November 17th, 1999

As The Holiday Approaches
Mine, along with every other household in the universe (I am assuming) gets a mail order catalog from Critic's Choice Video and I have on occasion ordered their movies. Two weeks ago I received their catalog with a note that said I'd better order something soon or they wouldn't send them to me anymore because I was breaking the agreement: They sell, I buy.

Now, I don't really have a proper television set. I have a five inch color model that once sat up above my hobby bench in the kitchen and another small screen black and white set my sister gave me fifteen years ago for Christmas. My big Sony monitor recently died in a power surge and I junked it. Cheaper to buy a new one. I have a VCR and I can play tapes through the black and white set, but, you know, it's pretty funky so I haven't been renting movies until I get a new one. So I have no reason in the world to buy any movies out of a catalog until I have something to display them on. Right?

But here is this catalog through which I have purchased videos in the past suggesting I order something right now to keep my name on their list (I mean, how dumb is that, anyway?) and although I can't display them right now for the reasons mentioned I naturally went ahead and bought some. It was clear I needed some Johnny Depp, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Cry Baby with other titles too hokey to mention. Why? I don't know. Something like not being hungry but it's time for lunch so you eat a three course meal and polish it off with a pint of ice cream because the sky is blue and the night is cold and it's raining in Brazil. Some little gene subroutine that kicks in and says take out the card and dial. I wonder if it has survival value?

I will be pleased to have these movies and I'm sure I'll play them over the Thanksgiving weekend, black and white or not, but why? And that catalog I needed to order from today or they'd cut me off. I went to their web site to place the order. They're going to cut me off anyway.

This translates easily to cameras. A lens here, a body there, a cute little strobe light for Fellow employee. the den in an ergonomic goes with the drapes magnesium casing that I will use maybe once if I ever get around to ordering the proper connector to attach it to the cameras. That will stand there with the rest of the stuff I will never use again and yet I sit here thumbing through a catalog calculating the cost of my next order thinking these very thoughts. I'm close to that edge now with the Nikon equipment. If you shoot a lot of pictures there are certain lenses you eventually purchase. A really nice selection might include, say, half a dozen lenses that cover most of the situations I would ever run into and that's about the place I'm at now. Two good quality camera bodies and a half dozen lenses, two of which I use 90% of the time and the rest of which remain in their cases. A 80mm - 200mm 2.8 zoom. Nice lens. I forget what it costs, but it's close to a thousand dollars. I haven't used it in months, yet I'm thinking of buying another lens much like it that can sit in its case beside it and keep it company while I continue to use those same two lenses that I've always used. What is this? What this is, my friend, is a lame kid has too many toys entry that I'm too lazy to rewrite and that I almost didn't post but decided to post anyway. Fretful behavior as the holiday approaches.

The banner photograph was taken in the overhead mirror at a recent lunch. The well fed looking fellow is a fellow worker in the desktop standards group.