Spring, Shooting, and Spending

It's pathetic when you find yourself smack in the middle of May and have nothing good to write about.

We have had the worst (meaning coolest and wettest) spring I can ever recall.  We have set the record already for the coolest April on record, and it's looking like we're on our way for an equally crappy May as well.  We have had something like 4 nice (meaning only dry and sorta warmish) days all spring so far.  We inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest have become a group of morose, surly shut-ins.  Don't mess with us... We're already pissed.

The good news it that I have managed to ride my Harley to work twice already, and given the days that it was really even feasible I'd say I'm running 50%.

I have had thoughts of selling the Harley recently.  I know it will probably pass, but the reality is that I don't ride it much.  I don't think I rode it to work one single time last year.  My fickle nature once again?  Maybe. I do have a tendency to be into something 200% and then have it fall completely off the radar.  Truth is, we seem to have more fun traveling by car doing our photography thing.   Today's market is not conducive to selling a Harley though.  That doesn't surprise me really because the Harley marketplace was hugely overpriced for a long, long time.  Now that everyone is in dire financial straits, there are lots of them for sale--Most of them nicer, newer, and cheaper than mine.  Given that, I'll probably just die with it whether I use it much or not.  Time will tell.  My fickle nature also covers the desire to sell it--meaning that too will pass.

Photography.  I miss it.  I know I've mentioned this before, but I find myself craving it, and yet being frustrated by it at the same time.  I would be happy to wander city streets for hours on end (weather permitting of course) looking for candid shots of people or whatever.  Since my 365 photo blog ended I have nothing forcing me to take shots, but I still feel the need.  It's probably just as well the 365 ended because I have little imagination, and I was running out of inspiration and ideas.  The factor of having little imagination is probably why I'll never be a good photographer.  I lack the creative gene.  Still, I enjoy it. I have been perusing Craigslist and other places for several months now, looking for someone selling a Canon 50D.  They don't make them any longer (having replaced them with the 60D), but I wanted one anyway.  They are highly regarded by photographers and have lots of great features.  Then recently I decided a 60D (which is on Sue's shopping list) would be just fine.  It has several new upgrades over the 50D, but is also short an item or two from the feature list of the 50D.  The plus is that they can still be bought new unlike the 50D.  Then a few days ago I had a realization:  I have no reason to upgrade my camera body.  My photography just isn't that good.  Sure, everyone likes buying something newer and better no matter what the category is, and I think I was caught up in that.  Realistically, I may buy a lens or something, but no new camera body is going to make me a better photographer.  I would just be a cool upgrade.  It would also be costly.

Ah, financial matters.  Given today's economy I'm very lucky to have my job, but the reality is that it's one job.  Suzie has a job now working part-time for the Auburn School District, but it hasn't really gone gangbusters on how many days she gets called in to substitute.  It's kind of like we are a one income family with 1.2 income's worth of expenses.  That means that little by little our savings are waning.  Now I have the news that Sarah's college scholarship ends after this semester, and that means her mom and I will have added expenses that we didn't have before.  It probably weighs on Suzie--me having marriage expenses like child support and such--but at least it was already "on the table" before we got married and therefore not a surprise.  I guess that's just the way things go.  Neither of my parents went to college, nor did any of my brothers or sisters.  I sorta did if you count my sporadic classes as Green River Community College for a few semesters (thanks to the G.I. Bill) but they didn't amount to anything.  Neither Sarah's mom or her brother went to college, nor did their parents.  Nobody in Suzie's family went to college either.  The reality is that we all came from working-class families and there just wasn't the money to go around.  Sarah is very, very lucky given our family history of being working-class blue-collar people.  I do feel good about what she has accomplished though.  While many people that go to collage are only concerned with social stuff and partying, she has done very well at holding two jobs in addition to keeping grades up.  On a related note, I told Suzie recently (I was having dreams of philanthropy) how--if I had the means--how cool it would be to send her son, Dane, to college.  He expressed and interest in going back to school.  He is a whiz at math, and Sue said he had always loved school.  I have to wonder:  How many millions of people in our country could have been "movers & shakers" if they had only had the opportunity for higher learning?

Let's talk health.  No, wait--let's talk about my lack of health.  Lately I have had itchy skin and it drives me crazy.  Small patches that itch below the skin.  At first I thought it was some sort of hives or something, but it won't go away.  Hot water seems to exacerbate it.  I have been thinking about going through the battery of allergy tests to see if anything has changed during aging.  I did it a few decades ago and wasn't allergic to anything then, but time changes people so who knows.  I keep putting it to the back of my mind because it was very painful and uncomfortable.  Also, I have been plagued with headaches for quite some time.  I've grown accustomed to that.  Although they are obviously a nuisance, I can usually alleviate the pain quickly with two Excedrin.  I keep wondering (and I've shared this with others) why those giant CAT-scan thingies or whatever they are still cost so much.  There is little or anything that anyone has to do unless you are going through a dye-injection/tracing procedure.  You lie down on the table and it rolls you into the machine and gives you a complete body scan.  The computerized machine is doing all the work, so why do they still cost so much?  They should be FREE for all of us just based on the amount of things they might detect before they might become a real life-threatening problem.  That's our health-care system for you.  Money talks.

Oh, my computer just reminded me:  Child support due today.  Sigh.