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Friday, 22 July 2022


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There are times when I wonder why I have accumulated so many compacts, both 35mm film and digital.

I can rationalise it two ways. On the one hand, internet auction sites makes the acquisition of second hand cameras easy. On the other - especially in regard to film compacts - I have suffered the loss of three due to theft, theft or loss and in one case a design fault that leads to annoying electro-mechanical failures. I have replaced two of the three 35mm film compacts but why did I buy four more, three of which were unkown quantities to me?

I put it down to a period of madness! Thanks for the medical explanation. :-) I am relieved.

"regions responsible for craving and desire" Is this why we have the gawd-awful white flight McMansion neighborhoods ringing American cities and pretentious bling-filled SUVs? The search and acquisition is the reward.

In fact, I've gone back online to read reread reviews of things that I'd already bought and possessed. Sometimes there were legitimate owner concerns like maintenance or usage quirks, but other times it was for no real reason other than maybe to pat myself on the back, or to indulge in some second guessing. But I suppose there's more than one way to enjoy a purchase, and I wasn't harming anyone.

One thing I have learned is that for me GAS starts becoming a problem when I'm between periods of really intense work on a project.

If I'm eyeballs deep in a photography project, I'm not shopping for things, and I'm not looking for new options.

When I'm really working hard on a project, something amazing happens: all the gear I have already turns out to be fine. In fact, it's more than fine because I spent so much time carefully choosing and modifying it when I didn't have a project.

This is going to sound trite as can be, but if you're experiencing GAS, the solution might be to dive into a new project, and use what you already have...

Related, I think: When I have nothing from Amazon or B&H arriving on my porch, I miss it. Even when there's nothing that I currently want.

As Mr. Spock said, "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

Isn’t is just human nature that getting is more exciting than having?

Long known.
See Motörhead – The Chase Is Better Than The Catch:


The Spock quotation has it down right.

Cameras not so much, because as a pro, I only bought that for which I had a use; there were drains sufficient on income without GAS, a term that I’d never heard of back in the day.

Cars, though, were something else. I think I got the greatest acquisitive buzz the day I took delivery of my brand new Humber Sceptre, back in ‘74, and finally got to own the same machine as my wife’s Dad. At last I no longer felt any residual sense of being the poor relation. Of course, that I could buy the car didn't signify that I had the same earning capacity or bank balance! He ran his own company of surveyors whereas I ran, well, my one-man band of image makers.

I kept that car for four years, at the end of which time the sills had been painted black to hide the incipient rust damage. Cutting losses, I took advantage of my first middle-age crisis and bought myself what was then a rare (in the UK) Fiat X/1.9 that shared my life for just under two years, by which time it had driven me crazy with its lack of power, key to my venture into Alfa Romeo ownership. Eleven months later, the Alfa was gone as we moved from the UK to a life in Spain.

That X/1.9 would, today, be perfect for the singular lifestyle I unfortunately have to lead since the loss of my better half. Speed no longer means anything to me, and that Targa top would, in this climate, be ideal.

I suppose it kinda illustrates that GAS isn’t all bad, that the timing of the object of desire is key to a delighted relationship. Buying new, I’d currently opt for a Mazda MX5 [known as the Miata in the USA —Ed.], except for the fact that it costs too much (for me, in retirement) and does not have the relatively generous luggage capacity of the old Fiat.

For what it’s worth, my son has owned at least two such Mazdas, and keeps going back to them after ventures into hot saloons [sedans —Ed.] Maybe, one day, a cast-off may come my way? :-)

Talk about academic headaches!

Hardly surprising. Without the impulse to hunt and gather being stronger than consuming the results, it is unlikely humans would have survived and thrived. Then gone on to invent farming, photography, and better mousetraps.

Trouble is, in a time-frame barely longer than a human life, the incremental benefits of better mousetraps and their support structures have become exponential pathologies. With increasingly catastrophic outcomes.

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