I am acutely aware that the vast majority that log onto Lame Adventures do so primarily to view the stellar images on this site stemming with the one of me being shot out of a cannon over the Central Park Reservoir while cradling Gazoo. Initially, I suffered some anxiety about that image, not wanting to reveal too much about what I do for pleasure in my remarkable private life, but I overcame my hesitation fast, especially after Ling, my graphic designer bud, very persuasively said, “Here’s your banner, take it or leave it.”
The real obstacle to launching this blog was my not having a digital camera. I recall that Stu, the husband of Elsbeth, my boss, had found a Canon Powershot in one of our tile showrooms some years back. The owner never claimed it, so after a while, Elsbeth began using it. My boss is an amateur photographer with an excellent eye and a dark room where she does her own printing. Until this digital camera fell into her life, she had exclusively shot film. Elsbeth now enjoys the immediacy of digital photography very much, so much so that she soon purchased a high quality digital still camera for herself and shoots in both formats.
My digital camera needs prompted the following exchange between us last January. The setting is Elsbeth’s office. She is sitting at her drafting table designing something extraordinary. I am doing her filing, and I have just accidentally slammed the filing cabinet shut on the leather fringe of her Prada handbag. Fortunately, I unslam the filing cabinet in a nanosecond, Prada is not junk, so there is not a dent. Elsbeth is focused on her work. She is completely oblivious to me lurking, much less almost damaging her designer handbag, until I initiate blathering.
Me: Hey Boss, what’s the story with that digital camera Stu found a few years ago?
Elsbeth: I dunno. It’s someplace.
Me: Can I borrow it?
Elsbeth: Sure, if I can find it.
Elsbeth finds it, but the one thing it lacks is a USB cable to download images. Unfortunately, whoever left it in our showroom forgot to leave that handy accessory. How thoughtless. I consider calling Ulla and Coco, our sales team in that location, to ask them to post a sign requesting whoever left that camera behind in September 2007 to please provide the USB cord without further delay, but I do not want to draw attention to my neediness. Needy women are such pills. Therefore, I resort to Plan B and decide to invest $10 in my neighborhood Radio Shack and buy my own cable, but there’s a catch.
A digital camera USB cable from The Shack costs $23.99! It is also sealed in one of those heavy seamless plastic packages that requires no less than twenty tons of TNT to detonate open. “Holy crap!” I think. “Holy crap!” I say to the sales clerk, a teenager who is about half the age of some of the fillings in my teeth.
Me: For that price, I should just buy a new camera!
Radio Shack Clerk: That one does look kinda old.
Me: (defensive) I got it for free!
Radio Shack Clerk: It shows.
Me: (still defensive) From my boss!
Radio Shack Clerk: He doesn’t like you much, does he?
Me: (quickly approaching coronary-inducing defensiveness) My boss is a woman and she likes me just fine!
Radio Shack Clerk: So you want the cable or what?
I want the cable, but decide to pursue the “or what” option, and leave. There has to be an affordable USB cable somewhere out there that does not require a government loan for me to purchase. Where to look? Where else but Amazon?
As fate would have it, this model of the Canon Powershot, the A520, was launched during the Sputnik era, but with a little digging almost anything can be found somewhere on Amazon, or Amazon’s Marketplace, the area of their site where there are even better bargains from sellers that have the Amazon seal of approval.
It is indeed on Amazon’s Marketplace where I am able to find the exact cable I need for a single cent and $2.98 shipping from a company called Cmple based in Brooklyn. Cmple has a 96% positive rating from their many satisfied customers. I place my order on a Saturday and I receive my cable the following Wednesday – during a blizzard and days ahead of scheduled delivery. Also, my cable is nicely packed in an easy-to-open plastic bag within a padded envelope. One other important point, it does not look like it was jerry-rigged by a Unabomber-type in his garage. It looks legitimate and smells brand new, providing me with a contact high.
When I first connect my one-penny cable to Elsbeth’s camera and my computer, I will admit that I am a tad nervous, wondering if anything might explode since Ted Kaczynski is heavy on my mind at this moment. The download works fine and neither the electronics nor my computer are damaged. It was, dare I say, real simple. Afterward, when I tripped over the USB cord and the camera went flying, I was even able to access my circus acrobat skills and caught it mid-air.
Good for you on saying “NO” to Radio Shack!