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Monday, May 29, 2006

Of Tires, Jobs, and Cameras

We picked up The Boy yesterday, planning to help him put a tire on his car (parked near some apartments close to the retail district). The tire part went by the wayside rather quickly: the rim he had was a six-holer, and his car is a five-holer. He (and a friend) came home with us anyway. I tried grilling some burgers & frying some bacon, got distracted by the guest(s), and ended up burning everything. Fortunately, Mrs. Fetched had some chicken in the oven.

So after borrowing the Barge, and a failed attempt at an unauthorized side trip, he came on home and spent the night with us. He agreed to help with the chicken houses in the morning, but it took me an hour & a half to get him moving after Mrs. Fetched left.... I ended up getting him there with the job about halfway done. I rigged a mulch bag onto the chipper and had barely started chopping some pine limbs when they returned.

With The Boy back, the next order of business was to get a tire for his car. He said his jack was no good, so I grabbed one we had laying around and off we went... only to find two tires flat. The one he knew about was ripped open pretty good, and the other (both of them were on the front) was showing metal at the corner. Fortunately, his “no good” jack turned out to be serviceable, and we hoisted both sides of the car and got the tires. We put the fake spare (which is flat) on one side and left the other jacked up, then went to get the tires.

Two hours and $150 later, we were back at the scene. The left side tire was giving us trouble, primarily because the jack wasn’t lifting high enough, but The Boy hit on the idea of putting the second jack under the axle and we got all the lift we needed pretty quickly. We told him he needed to either repay or work this off — he’s still sticking to his story of instant riches in August, but he said he’d work it off.

As I was getting ready to head home, Mrs. Fetched called — turned out she was just across the highway from us. Upon joining them, I wound up with M.A.E. as a passenger; Mrs. Fetched was going to get some groceries and she didn’t want to hang around. We got a mile down the road when she gasped, “Crap! I’m supposed to talk to the Fire Mountain people today about that job!”

“It’s 3:00,” I said, “and you’re supposed to be there some time between 2 and 4. Looks like a good time to do it.” I turned around at the builder supply place and took her back. Good thing... she got the job. They wanted to see if she cared enough to show up, she did, they needed to fill a position, everybody’s happy!

With a few minutes at home to wash my face and arms, we then went to see the guy Mrs. Fetched has worked with on video projects in the past. He’s retiring, selling his house, and leaving for smaller pastures. Mrs. Fetched has lusted after his XL-1 camcorder for a while, and he was ready to sell everything for fire-sale prices. She wound up with two pro-level camcorders, a seriously high-end tripod, and a VHS duplication rig, for $2700. Then he said, “I’m also going to sell my portrait camera.” He named a price for the entire kit that was ridiculously low. “You can turn around and sell it, or keep it, whatever you want to do... I don’t care.” This isn’t low-end stuff... a Mamiya RB-67 with several lenses, extensions, backs. Pretty much an entire portrait studio (minus lighting) in a hard-shell case. My first thought was a co-worker who’s single and a camera buff... he might want a medium-format camera. My second thought was that I’ve been taking a lot of product portraits lately, maybe I should keep it and stop wrestling with my digital camera. I could probably get a digital back for this thing, but it would be a) overkill b) hideously expensive.

I’ve floated by Mrs. Fetched the idea of starting our own documentation service — she does video, I can do text and still photography. We could pretty much cover everything between us. Maybe with some good equipment in our hands, this is the time.


  1. It sounds like things are staying normal at your place.

    The camera equipment sounds like a very good deal indeed. I never could get into taking pictures with film. Usually I would get the prints back and two or three would come out good.

    Good Luck.

  2. Yes, good luck with however you decide to use the new equipment. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun!


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