As you read this post, cue up this music.
Strange things are afoot. For one thing, September was like August here, and Winter still hasn't arrived...we've had shirt-sleeve weather, and, in the middle of December, there's been some nice warm rain but no snow in Buffalo. This is what Winter normally looks like in Buffalo. (I live two hours east of there.) The average first day of measurable snow in Buffalo is November 5th, and the record for the latest-ever first measurable snow was December 3rd, set back in 1899. Two days ago it was 71°F there.
But I quote The New York Times:
Is El Niño good or bad?
Neither. It’s weather.
Which made me laugh. (That's kind of eerie too. The New York Times is seldom designed to make one laugh.)
Eerie event 2: I dug the Sony A900, an early full-frame 24-MP camera, out of the much-reduced camera closet yesterday, for a test I shall soon tell you about. But, in the box, no charger. So I went to the barn. From amid a sea of still-unpacked boxes, I went right to one of the boxes that is full of wires of every description. If you're not getting goosebumps yet, I then pawed through hundreds of wires and immediately put my hands on...the Sony charger. And, from a different box, an extra A900 battery.
If you don't find that odd, consider that what is more normal for me is to look for my glasses for ten minutes and then notice that they were sitting on top of the speaker next to the computer all along, not only in plain view but about 20 degrees off my direct sightline.
As strange as September in December.
Eerie event 3: Sports Illustrated named a woman, on her own, as Sportsperson of the Year, for the first time since Mary Decker in 1983. Richly deserved, too.
Eerie event 4: I'm going to report on another Sigma lens.
I know you're scared. Calm down. Deep breaths.
It's just that I try to be aware of my own prejudices, because only by observing and engaging with your mental habits and investigating dispassionately and objectively can you duel ignorance. I detected that I had acquired the habit of throwing off snarky and acerbic cracks and quips regarding the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM Art lens which has gained such an enthusiastic following on the Web, and I decided I had better see for myself.
If there's one lens brand I've had a rocky relationship with over the years, it's Sigma, starting with an early aftermarket zoom that performed fine when it was new but deteriorated markedly and rapidly as it aged, prompting me to learn quite a bit about how build quality affects lens performance over time. Whether my bad experiences have been because of the brand's vexed and contentious historical relationship with quality, or bad luck, or some combination of the two, I know not. But, time for new data. I dialed up LensRentals in the address bar, and the Art lenses arrive tomorrow.
I said lenses, and therein lies another oddity. But I shall leave you in suspense.
(And it's sunny today—normally, me renting equipment is a ruthlessly effective rain dance.)
Try not to be freaked out. These are strange times.
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Featured Comments from:
adamct: "Yesterday I slung my briefcase over my shoulder and prepared to head into the office. I opened the door to our 'shoe closet' and started looking for my black work shoes. They weren't there. In the place where they normally are, I only found a pair of my slippers. I checked in the mud room. They weren't there. I thought maybe I had left them in the bedroom, so I went upstairs and turned my bedroom inside out, but...they weren't there. Back to the shoe closet—no luck. I checked the kitchen, the bathroom, among my wife's shoes, among my kids' shoes, but...nothing. I returned to the shoe closet a third time. As I stood there wondering whether maybe the shoes were in my car, I noticed something with my peripheral vision. What I noticed, was...that I had my shoes on my feet.
"I often lose things (last week alone I lost my wallet, my passport and an important key), but I have never felt as stunned as I was in that moment, looking down at my feet in astonishment."
Mike replies: That really made me chuckle. And yes, I could do that. It's not age, either...I could have done it when I was 30.
Steve Renwick: "I work with the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer organization including (chronological) adults as well as teenaged cadet members. At the squadron meeting once, I asked a cadet, 'Cadet [Snuffy], have you seen the [important gizmo]? I need it for a presentation.' Cadet looked at me and respectfully said, 'It's in your hand, sir.'"
Mike replies: Funny. This is the kind of thing that makes older people seem like categorically different creatures to the young. Cadet probably tells that story on you. And Cadet might even recall that story once he's the age you are now and doing the same kinds of things.
I have to say I've been fascinated watching the decline of my own brain. It's actually very interesting. It has its consolations, though—I'm both wiser and more knowledgeable now than I used to be. And quite a bit more confident, in a quiet sort of way. An interesting tidbit I read once about the aging human brain: you're likely to get better at the things you were always good at, and worse at the things you were always bad at. I was always bad with numbers and with names, and...sure enough. :-)