Friday, 28 December 2007

The Fan

A few weeks ago I wrote how tight we are for money in the face of major oncoming house projects. One of those projects was the installation of a ceiling fan in our living room.
They say that miracles happen from time to time. Well, those that say it seem to be stupidly wrong; by definition, a miracle is an event where the laws of nature have been put aside for a minute in order for someone to enjoy something, and let’s face it: there is no proof whatsoever that the laws of nature can or have ever been set aside. And it’s good that things are this way, otherwise we would be living in a very chaotic world.
So miracles don’t happen, but lots of other good things do happen. For example, friends can often make things happen, and a week or two after I wrote about our ceiling fan aspirations friends of ours gave us a brand new ceiling fan they’ve had no use for. And it was even one of the models we have already shortlisted for purchase! Obviously, they could have gone a step further and installed it for us, but I was still thankful (and I still am).
The fan is not a standalone example. Friends have been helping us a lot, especially since Dylan came on the agenda. Financial help, as in the form of the fan and the tallboy we received earlier this year is the most noticeable, but tips and advice and the good old “just being there” are just as good if not better. I guess what I’m trying to do is to thank all those that have helped us lately.
I will go a step further, though, and extend the thanks to all those that have been reading this blog. Although the blog is highly eccentric, I cannot think of any better way for people who are not with us in our daily lives to get to know what is going on in my mind, which in turn is a reflection of a lot of what is going on in our lives. I would say that as far as I can tell, it's the second best thing to actually being there. I know it’s strange and I know it may offend certain family members when I say this, but the reality is that I feel much closer to those that read the blog and respond to it than to most other people, regardless of physical distances and regardless of how much of our genes we're sharing. I know that I am also fairly unique in running a very personal blog, but the benefits are there to be reaped: through the feedback I get to know what goes on in the lives of my friends who do not necessarily maintain a blog or anything similar. Most of my friends do a very good job keeping to themselves, so anything coming from their direction is a big bonus.
That, plus I get to have a free ceiling fan from time to time.

I will actually abuse my blog and move on to list the things I would like to have. I mean, it worked with the ceiling fan, maybe it would work again and some friend will just happen to have a spare of what I would like to have.
So here goes, in no particular order of wanting:
1. Nikon D300 SLR camera: Now, that’s one mean camera! Think of all the ways I could shoot Dylan with such a camera! Thing is, however, my current camera – a Nikon D70 – is not that bad either. Sure, it’s a few generations behind by now, but the D300 will be a few generations behind shortly anyway. The reality is that I really like my D70 and I’m not feeling like I’m missing anything. The D300 is nice and I would gladly buy it for $10; it's not, however, $2500 nice.
2. Nikon 18-200 VR lens: This new generation Nikon lens offers stabilization, allowing photos to be taken in darker conditions without the aid of a flash and still look sharp. The 18-200 range also sounds too good to be true, covering everything from wide angle to quite a high zoom. Thing is, it is too good to be true: as the linked review says, any lens covering such a range has to suffer significant compromises, and that’s while ignoring the hefty $1000 price tag compromise. Looks like I’ll stick to my 18-70 lens, vignetting issues or not.
3. Nikon SB-600 flash: An external flash can do miracles. Unlike most cameras’ built in flashes, the power an external one has means that it doesn’t have to ruin your photos when you use it; it can just add a touch of light, and you can even adjust it so that it provides its light indirectly. For indoor baby photography, a flash would be very good. Thing is, so far I have been using my camera hand held even in the darkest conditions and the results have been quite good; there’s not enough of a motivation for me to go out and spend north of $400 on a contraption I’m not sure I’d be bothered to use or carry around in the first place.
4. Asus Eee PC: As has been recently discussed in a post that broke this blog's record for number of feedbacks that are not mine, a small portable notebook would serve as an excellent blogging facility for me. I could blog on the train, blog in the toilet, blog all over the world. Not that I feel inhibited by my current blogging facilities, though.

The thing that most noticeable to me about the above list is its shortness. I’m not asking for a Ferrari and I’m not asking for lots of other things that people could wish for if they had the opportunity to ask for anything they could think of.
The second most notable thing is that none of the above mentioned items are things that I truly need, nor do I have any hopes of them solving all my problems upon this earth; they are all compromised by design, and acquiring them just means exchanging one set of compromises with another.
The reality is that I’m very happy with the things I already have, and the main things I wish for are not things that money can buy. Until someone comes up with a working design for a time machine, time is not something I can buy, and time is the one thing I want the most: time as a healthy person, quality time with friends and family, leave time, sleep time.

It looks like the reality is that I am quite a happy chappie. And it didn’t even take a winning lottery ticket to achieve that.
So thank you all.

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