It’s 5am on a Sunday morning and I’m enjoying the quiet of the morning. Daughter and grandson are staying at a friend’s house, G’s still sleeping (unusual this late – he’s normally up by 5 most days) and even Ye Puppy of Doggy is out cold. Must be the rain – we got a good soaker overnight. Since I live in the desert, that’s a wonderful thing. Up in the mountains, where the low desert gives way to Ponderosa pine forest, the fire season has slacked. Fires are still possible, obviously, but much less likely when everything’s dripping water from the monsoons.
We did our yard sale run yesterday with limited success. It happens; you’ll have a few weeks of one proverbial jackpot after another, then hit a dry spell. Sometimes the dry spell lasts one round, other times it’ll run a couple of weeks or so. We brought home a couple of tripods, a book and some other nominal goodies. My one score of the day was a pair of sandals. I have a VERY hard time finding shoes that fit and these are a godsend. I can’t usually wear wide or even extra-wide in most shoes; the lace-up detail means these literally adjust to my weird feet. (My right foot is always ginormous during a flare up, which also means I have to accommodate two very different sizes. The lace-to-adjust option is AWESOME on these.) The ones I got yesterday are gladiator-style, comfortable and dead-center in style. I can’t remember the last time I wore a pair of shoes that could be remotely called stylish!
For those of my limited readers here who also read my Facebook notes, you’ll probably remember a couple of weeks back I forgot my spousal unit’s birthday. He wasn’t mad so much as resigned. He remembers everything. EVERYTHING. Man’s a frigging idiot savant when it comes to dates. Me? Not so much. I can’t even remember my own birthday, much less anyone else’s. I know the dates, I don’t mean that – I just don’t keep close enough track. Probably has something to do with the fact that with working almost nonstop, one day’s pretty much just like another.
Birthdays are a huge deal to G. It’s a Dutch thing. I read about it. It’s not just G. In the Netherlands it’s custom to wish a happy birthday all around when one family member has a birthday. G’s sister sent me a congratulatory message the morning after G’s birthday the morning after, with her apologies for the delay.
That was my first clue that I screwed up.
I made an early morning run – albeit the day AFTER G’s birthday – and bought him a nice digital cam. I really hadn’t altogether forgotten his birthday, believe it or not. I’d been comparing and contrasting cameras for a while ahead of the date. He’s a truly good photographer and was using a very battered $2 yard-sale find. I had put back the wherewith to get him a decent point-and-shoot. Still not an SLR, which was what I’d eventually like to get him – but at $500 and up, an SLR and my budget aren’t on speaking terms. He got a Nikon instead and is like a kid in a candy store ever since. He got his tripods, and took the money he’d put back for a new graphics card for his computer to get goodies for the camera (spare battery, memory cards, etc.) He’d been planning forever on the graphics card and all of a sudden it dropped back to “I don’t need a new graphics card” territory. So yeah… late or not, the camera was a hit.
We’re going today on a photography run. The air after the rain should be nice and cool and clean, and the moisture means anything living will be greened right up. (If you’ve ever been to the desert you know what I mean: it’s a huge and instantaneous difference after a single summer storm.) Should give several opportunities for good shots. And while G enjoys the heck out of photography for its own sake, he also sells his pics through several photography sites. Not a lot of money so far, but he hasn’t had a decent camera until now. The higher profile sites require a minimum resolution well beyond the cheapie yard-sale machine’s capabilities, and the higher profile sites provide a lot more opportunity for making money. Best part is he only takes the pictures once; any residual income requires no added effort on his part.
His new camera also has close-up settings and other little goodies the cheapie didn’t possess. Example below:
I still to this day get paid average about $1.75-$2.00 a month or thereabouts from Yahoo, all for some tech articles and other verbal flotsam I wrote five years ago. It’s not spectacular work overall, though a couple of the articles weren’t half bad. I haven’t touched them in forever, though, and didn’t do all that much writing for the projects originally. I get solicited now and again to write something more for them. I guess I should add more to my portfolio. It’s all numbers: if I had kept writing consistently, even a couple of short articles a week, I could’ve been bringing in a monthly income that would pay for a pair of shoes or pay the water bill, something monthly that makes an actual difference. It also helps bolster my portfolio if I get a wild hair and send off a portfolio to an agent.
Oh stop laughing. It could happen.
Same principle applies to the photos, though they actually represent more money per item than my writing, since images are sold and the photographer gets paid per piece. (Writing is based on ad revenues.)
G’s awake now so we’ll probably be headed out soon for a shutterbug run. I’m taking my scooter chair and my camera, too. I don’t have G’s expertise, not even close. I also don’t have his snazzy camera. I do, however, have a very OLD Nikon (3mp, if that tells you anything) that works just fine for me. I have the occasional decent picture and the anti-shake mechanism I need. My hands haven’t been steady for several years, so shots with a typical camera or smart phone don’t do it for me. Almost all my iPhone shots were blurry. (Back when I still had an iPhone.) My stuff’s mostly for blog posts or FB. No photo sites for me – I’d be laughed off the site, and rightly so. I can use a tripod and do pretty well though, so maybe I’ll come back with something nice today.
Wish me luck!