Death of a Rebel

After eight years of faithful service, my beloved Canon EOS Rebel 300D abruptly lost its memory while I was trying to shoot a Special Olympics softball practice this evening.

It was a sad moment, made sadder because A.) the players really would have enjoyed seeing themselves in the paper, and B.) I didn’t have a spare CF card, so I lost everything I’d already shot when I reformatted the card in the mistaken belief that it had corrupted.

Bad timing, but I don’t suppose the Rebel owed me anything. I bought it in 2005 and used it on a near-constant basis for most of the next eight years. It’s been to 21 states; met a Hall of Fame baseball player, a Grammy-winning folksinger, the First Lady of Country Fiddle, and the inspirations for at least three characters from the movie Cars; documented my visits with my niece and nephews; boosted my career in various directions; captured the happiest moments of several people’s lives; served a variety of charitable organizations; taken road trips on the Mother Road, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Father Road, the Loneliest Road, the Devil’s Highway and the Blues Highway; and provided literally hundreds of images to illustrate this blog.

The 300D will be missed. I intend to donate its body to science, by which I mean that sometime in the not-too-distant future, I will invite Jamie — who shares my fondness for photography and already has a better eye for composition than I do — to help me disassemble it and see how it works.

I didn’t really have the luxury of taking a few days to grieve before jumping into a relationship with a new camera, so after I filed my story tonight, I dashed out to Target and picked up a Canon EOS Rebel T3. It gets stellar reviews and cost less than half of what I paid for its predecessor. It also weighs quite a bit less, has video capabilities, and doesn’t have that excessively-hot-internal-strobe problem that the 300D had. (That last bit is a huge improvement. The flash on the 300D was so intense that it blew out everything.)

I’ve got the next two days off, so I should be able to road-test it pretty thoroughly once the battery charges. We’ll see how it does. Stay tuned….




I realize I’m outrageously late to the party, but while I was busy ignoring my blog for extended periods of time, we bought a TV, whereupon Ron kindly downloaded several seasons of Dr. Who for me.

If you are a woman, and you can look at David Tennant without thinking, “Yeah, I’d swap life as I know it and face down an army of Daleks to go joyriding around the universe with that,” I’m gonna have to ask you to surrender your nerd card. I mean, dunno if I’d trade the Phillies’ new manager for him, but I’d probably consider it. I don’t think the Doctor ever hit two home runs off the best closer in baseball, but as far as I know, Ryne Sandberg isn’t a Time Lord, either. Which is a shame, because he’d look good wielding a sonic screwdriver and battling Slitheens and stuff.

Aaaaaanyway …

We all know I have never been disinclined to drive all over creation looking for ridiculous things to photograph, but my newfound fondness for the good Doctor gave me added motivation to make a mad dash over to Metropolis, Ill., a couple of weeks ago to visit a comic-book store whose owner, a devout Whovian, has constructed a replica of the TARDIS under a giant fiberglass ice-cream cone in his parking lot:



The TARDIS is still a work in progress, as evidenced by the fact that it’s pretty much the same size on the inside. Its owner assures me it will be more convincing when it’s finished. In the meantime, it’s certainly suitable for photo ops.

While I was in town, I had to take a picture of Metropolis’ other alien resident, who probably ought to buy the Doctor a beer and have a chat about what it’s like to be the only surviving member of an alien species with a penchant for rescuing humanity from extinction on a regular basis:


I wonder how the Man of Steel would fare against an army of Cybermen?

There’s more geekery in Metropolis, but I was running out of daylight, so I didn’t have time to go looking for it. I’ll have to make another trip over there when I have more time on my hands.


Squatters’ rights don’t apply here.


About four or five years ago, I started seeing teenage girls change their marital status to “married” on their Facebook profiles. I rolled my eyes. Married. Right. Whatever, kid. You’re 15. Here’s a cardboard box; go cut some windows in it and pretend it’s the tract house that you share somewhere that’s green.

Shortly after that, some of my then-students started posting status updates: “Who wants to get Facebook married? LMS.” It became something of a game, with kids coming up with various criteria or creating contests to be “Facebook married” for a day.

Ridiculous, but kids do all sorts of ridiculous things. Again, I say: whatever.

Unfortunately, being “Facebook married” has led to an insufferable little trend in which women in their late teens or early 20s (frequently drama queens who are incapable of maintaining a relationship for more than an hour and a half) refer to their boyfriend du jour as their “husband” and then deliver (often obscenity-laced) tirades expressing moral outrage if other young women try to break up their Facebook marriages by flirting with their Facebook husbands.

I’m all for daydreaming, and if you want to play house, it’s no skin off my arse, but understand: This practice of referring to your boyfriend as “my hubby” has precisely the same legal standing and commands approximately the same level of respect as my rat terrier demarcating his personal territory by urinating on objects he encounters. Feel free to do it if it makes you happy, but please don’t expect anybody to take you seriously or treat you like a grownup when you’re just peeing on fire hydrants and yipping at people in a futile effort to make them respect your authoritah.