Spring has sprung here in northeastern Oklahoma. I noticed it carefully this year; it happened last Saturday. Every year, it seems to take me by surprise. One day, suddenly, the trees have leaves on them and the landscape has a faint greenish tinge. I always wondered that I was so unobservant (or sleepy) on the way to work that I didn’t notice this so this year, I paid careful attention. I found out that leaves just burst out very quickly. One day they’re not there, the next day they are. And they are there now, at least around here. Things are looking really pretty now. It makes me want to get out and fly a kite. Or play golf.

Erin really loves the golf; she likes to go with me to the driving range. She has never played “for real” since she doesn’t have her own set of clubs but all that will change this summer. She and Evan are signed up with the parks department to learn golf and they get a starter set of clubs in the bargain. Until then, we will just go buy the wash-tub sized bucket of balls and hit them towards the little fake bunkers.

Using my previously-mentioned HP calculator (before the batteries expired), I have made the following observations about film based photography:

  1. I use about seven rolls of film whenever I go on vacation.
  2. These are usually 24 exposure rolls.
  3. I spend about $2.75 per roll (I think)
  4. It costs about $7 to have it processed
  5. I like to have the photos scanned and put on CD which pushes the total cost to about $15 per roll

That means a vacation costs me almost $125 in terms of photo-indulgence.

I really like the digital versions of pictures since I can make a screensaver out of my vacation photos and enjoy them daily. I also like to build web-sites with them. I rarely look at the paper versions after the vacation.

To figure the cost per year, I should add one roll of film each to take care of two birthdays, two events at school, three photo-worthy holidays, and two more just for miscellaneous. That’s 9 rolls for another $160. So, that comes to about $290 per year in photo expenses. That means if I didn’t do that, I could justify a $500 digital camera in about 2 years.

And yet, one must not necessarily have a financial justification for everything. Just look at the number of people who subscribe to HBO for an example of indulgence that results in dubious returns. Or, closer to home, my own spending on tools (not all of which are powered, mind you). Besides, when I think of those people who decide to live without the trappings of modern life and its associated gadgets, i.e., the Unabomber, I’m not impressed. Who wants to live like that? For me, simplifying my life means living with only two computers in the house that are not networked.

And so, once again, I have succumbed to the siren song of high technology once again and ignored an investment in my children’s future education by clicking on the proper button to aquire a new digital camera. (I can already hear my sister saying to her computer: “You wrote all this crap just to tell me that?”)

A great many people never take any photos at all and seem to live perfectly happy, normal lives. But not me. I am imaging-technology co-dependent.

I feel a bit silly since I still live in the past to some extent. I remember the near-poverty of graduate school and so I still kind of get the shakes whenever I spend over $100 on anything. Of course these days, $100 is pretty much pocket change but I still have to use a crowbar to get that much out of my wallet so this camera thing almost made me ill. Still, I’m not so affected that I don’t still spend the money.

Expect more pictures soon.

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