Saturday, August 14, 2021

Random stabilised memory

This morning, Facebook served up a pretty random sort of “Memory” (image above), about the time I bought a stabiliser for my video camera. I never got it to work, partly because it was badly designed, and also because my camera was too light. So, I never made, let alone posted, any videos using it, and I posted my last YouTube video about four months before Nigel and I shifted to the last house we lived in together (oddly enough, that was also my most-viewed video by FAR, with some 15,000 views to date—I wonder how many of those were mine…).

The thing that’s odd about this Memory is that until I saw it today, I was sure Nigel bought it for me. Over the years, he bought me lots of things, especially equipment, to help me do creative stuff: Microphones and other equipment for podcasting, camera equipment, even computers & peripherals to help with literally everything I did. Maybe I only asked his opinion before I bought it? I know I asked him to see if he could make it work, since I couldn’t. Turned out, neither could he. I can still picture him walking around the house on Auckland’s North Shore, camera swinging around wildly as he moved.

Nigel almost never stopped me from buying equipment for my creative endeavours, not even when (I now realise) he should’ve. Maybe it was because I almost never talked him out of anything (except for when he wanted to buy a JetSki and, later, a motorcycle). Generally, if he wanted something for one of his projects or hobbies, I was all for it—and I’m now paying for that as I slog away in the garage. I don’t mind that, though: That stuff brought him a lot of joy over the years, and that made me happy, too.

However, I clearly remember one time a few years ago when he didn’t encourage me to get something, and it was a camera stabiliser. It was 2017, and we were in Australia for his sister’s birthday. We went to some sort of tech store (I don’t remember why) and they had a stabiliser on display. I didn’t notice until Nigel pointed it out and said how good it was. I always valued his judgment on such things, and him saying that something was good was always enough for me. But he kind of discouraged me getting it—I don’t know why, though he may have known he could get it cheaper, or maybe he wanted to get me one for my birthday. No idea. All I know for sure is that less than two years later he was dead, and I didn’t care about such gear anymore (I can’t even remember what brand the thing was).

I still struggle to meet my tech needs without him, which isn’t a surprise considering how much I still struggle in general without him. But tech stuff is by far the worst, actually, and it takes me much longer to figure out than I generally have patience for (which just adds more time onto the process, and so, adds more lost patience). Still, I always get there in the end, and that’s in no small measure because I had 24 years with the best teacher ever.

I never did get a camera stabiliser that works, and I don’t actually need one now. But every time I run across it in my box of camera-related equipment, I think of Nigel, and also how much I learned from him. That stabiliser never worked, but for it to still deliver those good and happy thoughts? It was worth every cent we paid.

This post is a revised and expanded version of what I wrote on my personal Facebook earlier today.


Roger Owen Green said...

Memory is DEFINITELY a sometimes thing.

Arthur Schenck said...

Yes, and triggers can be completely unexpected, regardless of whether the memory is happy or sad.