Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

It doesn't have to be this Christmas, or next Christmas, or even the one after that, but some Christmas in the future I'd love to have the following (in no particular order other than as they come to me):

1. A tripod. Considering I like taking pictures, you'd think I'd have resolved this issue long ago. But me being me, these things take a while.

2. A digital SLR camera. I've got a point-and-shoot camera that's served me well for the past five years. Considering it's five years old, it's only slightly obsolete. I'm sure I could get some more out of my point-and-shoot, but a Nikon D90 would be a great step up. Now if only I had a thousand bucks to spend....

3. A film SLR camera. Admittedly, film cameras are pretty cheap nowadays (because they're old and nobody wants them). Similarly, lenses are cheap too. And most importantly (and maybe somewhat surprisingly for most folks), film is still better than digital. In fact, considering how cheap film cameras are, you can get a medium-format or large-format film camera for way less than the cost of a 35mm digital camera and get pictures that a digital SLR won't be able to even come close to matching in quality for many, many more years.

4. Hiking shoes. I've always used my five-year-old pair of severely beat up running shoes for any sort of outdoors activity. They've certainly been through a lot over the years, including two trips to China (that took a lot out of them). They're lightweight, they dry quickly, and they have no grip whatsoever anymore, making any trip across wet rocks pretty much impossible.

I glued one of the insoles back together one summer in China, using some super glue sold in a supermarket. I should have realized that consumer safety in China is still a new idea, because I got just one drop of it on my thumb and index finger, and it instantly glued them together. I was a little panicked by that, especially since I didn't have any alcohol on me and it was midnight, so all the stores were closed, though I suppose I could have gotten some from a friend. (How would that conversation have gone...? "You got any vodka? No, not to drink, to use as a solvent.") Luckily though, after a few minutes, I was able to tear my fingers apart without too much pain.

As you can see, they and I go a long ways back. But it's time for them to rest.

5. Snowshoes. It snows a lot here. Plus it sounds fun. 'Nuff said.

6. A flag of Saskatchewan. See my previous post.

7. Going to Attu Island. It's remote, rainy, and windy. It's also the westernmost point in the United States. And it's in Alaska. Sounds like my kind of place!

8. Building a crossbow. I never really liked guns, but ever since I first learned about crossbows as a kid, I've always wanted to build one. Obviously, Santa can't really make me build a crossbow, but he could get me the materials, and maybe the persistence to go through with it and build it. Or he could just get me a crossbow. But that's not as fun. And they're expensive... as in $200-$400.

9. A repeating crossbow. Even better than a crossbow is a crossbow that shoots multiple bolts without reloading. But maybe that's a little excessive. Just maybe.

10. A lump of coal. Or rather, several lumps of coal. I've always been interested in rocks and minerals, and ever since I was young I've always wanted to get some coal. Since a lump of coal is a traditional Christmas gift (or "gift"), I figure this is right up Santa's alley.

So, Santa, can you do it? Pretty, pretty please?

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