In Michigan

Steve and I ambled across the state lines to spend some time
in New Buffalo.  Yeah- a vacation
from his vacation, as Steve called it in his own blog.  I am always up for a change of scenery,
especially since I have a living room without seating, currently warehousing my
dad and mom's deconstructed life. 
I could have called a painter, ordered a couch, gone through the 50
years of photo albums....or I could ditch. 
Ditch wins.  I paid for my
freedom by deep cleaning our bedroom, where other Joliat remnants now look
slightly more at home.  We loaded
dogs and a few things and were off.  

I had a job on the way:  to photograph a billboard that Steve admires.  It is for a gentlemen's club, and has a
very accurate motto:  All the
drinks, with none of the clothes!
 

That is a very pithy slogan.  The Chicago Now people asked  me to come up with a pithy description of Janet Dahl et al,
but nothing I came up with could begin to compare to this ad. I could blog
naked, I suppose, and say all of the words with none of the clothes, but any fool would ask me to please not create such an unpleasant image. At any rate, I
had my camera poised, and Steve counted down the miles, reduced his speed,
placed himself in the closest lane, and I was on guard.  As we approached, I raised my hands
like Annie Leibovitz, if Annie had a cheesy camera, and went for the money
shot.  My camera, sensing I was no
Scavullo/Leibovitz/Skrebneski auto focused and gave me a great shot of...a pole-
the closest thing it sensed. 
Crap!  I am a loser.  Steve is a loser to have me.  My camera, a Casio Exilim that has
always had a mind of its own, and whose chief attribute is its tiny size, is A
LOSER.  All my pictures in recent
memory have been taken with this kind of camera- I have been seduced up the
pixilation scale to 10, but all three of my cameras were identical.  I dropped #2, and used its cracked case
as justification to advance to the demon that betrayed me.  It was not the first betrayal- it was
just the latest in a series.  The
camera has always paused 6-10 seconds 
as it sends the image to the card, with a smug "busy" message on the
LCD. New cards, faster cards, and new settings yielded no improvement.   

At Mr. Skin's 10th
anniversary, Pat wanted a picture of himself with a body painted go-go dancer to
tease his wife with.  That was a
photo op that rarely (if ever) repeats itself.  The posing had to go on forever, since the camera refused to
reveal if it had captured the image for an eternity.  Pat is not so confident of his charm that he wants to conduct
business with a (basically) naked girl while Mom takes and reviews pictures. I
am a compulsive photographer- I need my tools.  I have 25,000 pictures on my computer (backed up, don't
worry- our history, including pictures of most meals I eat, are safe.CIMG1213.JPG

First effort- not impressive

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Third time is a charm- after much awkwardness

 I had been researching cameras for months, acknowledging
that failure is not an option. I am ditching Casio.  Canon or Panasonic? 
I consulted Pat, whose discomfort with the dancer made him anxious to
facilitate my purchase.  His
father-in-law took great shots of their recent trip to Machu Picchu with a
Canon.  It had a pop-up flash, and
lots of cool features.   The
video camera on this model did not zoom. 
Do I use video?  Not so
much, but maybe I will someday.  The dogs look cute when they move around or swim.  Maybe I'll have grandkids doing cute stuff.  Pat sent reviews from every geek site.  To the critics, it is a draw, except for zooming video. By default, and so I can be different from his
father-in-law, Panasonic wins. 

I  know that in
life, you give, and you get.  (How very Ditka of me!) I am
giving up compact size and portability. 
I am getting a wider angle lens, zoom for videos, and I hope, a shot of
that darn billboard.  This camera is a luxury item.  I will have to keep it in a case, and carry a bigger purse if I am to retain my official photographer of everything title.  I need to earn it with beautiful pictures, no red eyes, and constant publishing in the Chicago Now.  I don't really get paid here, but this is how I am cosmically writing it off.  

The camera is
scheduled to be delivered right here to New Buffalo with Amazon's 1-day
service.  Come back to see what I
hope will be amazing shots of the best places to eat and BE in Harbor
country.  

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Sure it is gratuitous- but here is my itching-to-leave-because-he-does-not drink-husband, and Mr. Skin ( Jim McBride) himself.  I hope it is the last picture I post from the cursed Casio.  My new camera will be so cool that it will shave Steve.  Maybe it will have  x ray vision so I can contribute to Mr. Skin's collection of ....skin. But I doubt it.

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