When I was a cashier at Walmart, we really didn’t get a ton of perks. Sure, we got a ten percent discount on merchandise in the store–excluding food–but we really didn’t get much else. Our MyShare bonuses were few and far between and most of the time, they weren’t great. But we did get something right around this time of year that didn’t suck: an extra ten percent off of one item in the store.
One year, I used it to buy an actual digital camera. I had grown exhausted of taking film, batteries, and a camera to BotCon. Some years, it wasn’t awful but on the years we had to fly? It was a royal pain. I had to declare the film and get it checked by hand; it was 800 or 1000 speed. An x-ray would have ruined it. So it meant extra time in security, getting my items manhandled by someone I couldn’t trust as far as I could throw them with a bad shoulder, fractured elbow and sprained wrist. I’d had enough of that.
So, I splurged one year. I got myself a Kodak digital camera. One with a fairly good zoom and eight megapixels. It wasn’t tremendously expensive but it was expensive enough for me to hold off on making that purchase until I had the extra ten percent discount.
Not long after, I grabbed some SD cards for it, as well as some batteries and a case. I didn’t touch it until we were packing up and getting ready for BotCon.
It saw a lot of BotCons. It was one of the items that I absolutely had to have on my person when I was at the convention. It took pictures of new toys. It recorded audio during the Hasbro panel. It took videos of the dealer room while I walked around, taking in the atmosphere. I got photos of the statues in the convention center. I snapped pictures of some of the vehicles used in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I got pics of cosplayers. I took shots of the crowd, whether we were in line at the Club Store or queuing up for an autograph session. I took photos during the tours like a tourist. Whether it was in my pocket, riding in my fanny pack, or in my hand, that camera was everywhere I was during BotCon.
Some of those pictures ended up on my previous blog. I used to post what I called “Friday Photoblog”, which featured a photograph from a BotCon or some other event I attended. It was like a digital scrapbook of memories I treasured and wanted to share.
I still have the camera. It still functions. But it won’t be leaving the house anymore. Its days of attending conventions are over… Finished!
My cell phone has pretty much taken up the mantle as the “must have” electronic item. With my phone, I can take photos and videos, then upload them to my blog without having to pop an SD card into a reader on my laptop. My phone also takes up less space than the camera. It does the jobs of several different electronics and it fits in my pocket with room to spare. As much as I loved that camera, it’s become obsolete.
It’s not going anywhere, however. I’m going to keep it. There are too many memories attached to it, too much nostalgia. To get rid of it now would feel like a betrayal; it got me some wonderful photos during some of the best times in my life. Sure, I might be retiring it, but I’m not turning my back on it.
Besides, I may have to pick it up again. It’s always a good idea to have a spare, just in case.