1.17.2008

Stories told by flowers: New digital camera

I'm sure you've figured out that Kim is a gadget geek, a lover of all things techno. Which is good. It means he keeps up on stuff that, if it were up to me, we'd be in the way back. He reads Popular Science and Wired and he gets feeds (what the %#$^??) of things moderne. So. He's owned a great Pentax 35mm camera for years and he's bought great lenses for it at no small cost. But who in the world is shooting film these days? It's just not right. I bought a Nikon Coolpix some years back and was mostly liking it. Recently we bought a little nothing digital camera, the kind you see people pull out of a pocket while sightseeing. It works -- it's good for the web, email, etc. You take pics with this camera, not images (see Photography sidebar).

Ta-da! We got a new digital Pentax that will accept the lenses from the old Pentax!! Yay! What a great idea. But this sucker is complicated, at least for me it is, Kim is patient and studies manuals. Well, naturally we needed to go try it out, right? Naturally. But where? We decided, after a brief foray on the web, to go to the West Tampa Historical District. That sounds good, doesn't it?

Here it is. I'm not kidding. And we were lucky to find this. We debated buying a Tampa map and NOT buying one won. Oh well. We drove around, trying to remember the streets that bordered the Historical District. What we didn't know is that West Tampa is primarily a very old, rundown area and the Historical District designation is an attempt to clean it up. Oh well again. We figured there were probably lots of old, getting-ready-to-be-renovated buildings like this one, if we could just find them.

But there was a small problem -- we hadn't eaten in hours and we were both starving. Plus, we didn't have a map. Plus, what passed for restaurants in this area were not places we could actually eat. We got back on the only freeway we recognized and headed back toward Clearwater, thinking we'd go to one of the places we were familiar with. Nope, you can't get there from here. Not without a map.
This is where we ended up -- a resort hotel restaurant on Tampa Bay. Works for me. I was so hungry and really needed a restroom. I do love a fancy, full-of-itself eatery with a chef. And this chef makes his own potato chips! Oh. My. God. They were marvelous. So was the rest of the food. It was lovely lounging on the deck, nice umbrella, being waited on. Maybe you think I'm going to say that something happened to wreck the idyllic scene, but no, nothing like that. It just stayed wonderful.

The first thing that came to the table was the usual bread and butter, but this time it included a special dish of salt. Salt. I don't know. Of course, the people waiting on us think we're completely bonkers, we're snapping pictures of the bread, the dishes, the chips. We probably did look sort of silly, but do you think I care?

Not me, I've got this little bit of paradise -- gorgeous day in January, nobody else on the patio (I hate perfume, even when I'm outside), tasty food, happy husband with his new toy. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I could sit here all day, sip my iced tea, watch the birds and the clouds. Mmmmm.

This was the best desert I've had in ages and ages. It was just this tiny glass of key lime pie with some graham cracker crust bits scattered around in it, topped with really sugary meringue. Yummy, yummy, yummy. Kim liked it too, darn it. It's probably better that we shared it. I would have moaned and groaned and whined about it if I'd eaten all of it myself. Isn't it so cute, with the little berries and the sauce kind of raked like that? Yes, this place thinks a lot of itself.
We admired this wall decor -- a fabulous sculpture of different kinds of birds, made just from different thicknesses of wire. I could do that. Just as soon as I get my new shop up and running. Heh, heh.

So, instead of the West Tampa Hysterical District photography day-trip, we took the let's-eat-at-the-
most-pretentious-restaurant-on-Tampa-Bay photography day-trip. And it was lovely. Just lovely.

We had a good time, a delicious, if overpriced, lunch and learned lots of cool stuff about the new camera. Next time, we'll take you along with us, okay? Don't worry, we'll go dutch.