Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 4.026: Ohm - aye!

It was supposed to be so easy*... drop Exile #3 at a birthday party, get a haircut, put the car through the car-wash, buy a DC adapter for the camera (ready for the next time-lapse opportunity), maybe fit in a bit of window-shopping then back in time to pick her up 90 minutes later.

A simple Saturday morning in the consumer capital of the world (I mean the USA - not this particular corner of upstate NY!)

Except it didn't quite work out that way.

The car-wash was closed. The usually-quick no-frills hair salon had a one-and-a-half-hour wait and the store I wanted to visit is not open on Saturdays. OK...

At least I could get the DC adapter. I hoped. The camera is clearly marked as taking a 6.5 V supply and the polarity is specified but since I didn't have the specification for the connector I took the camera with me and went to Radio Shack.  The very helpful attendant found a 6.5 V adapter, worked out which 'tip' I needed to fit the camera's socket. All this time he was telling me that he wasn't sure this was a good idea but couldn't tell me why except that my camera looked expensive. Finally he said he would try it to check it worked before he sold it to me. He assembled the parts he needed then he stopped and went to talk to the manager.

He came back and said that no he wouldn't sell it to me. When I asked for an explanation - all he could offer was that the 2 amps that the supply could produce might be too much current for the camera and they couldn't take responsibility for potentially damaging it and I should contact the camera manufacturer. I took a moment to think it through.

My thought process amounted to this:

I always think in chalk-board (I am over 40 remember).  I told him I would buy the adapter without trying it and take it away without any suggestion that he was taking responsibility for the reckless act of attaching it to my camera**.

So that was it.  It was time to go and pick Exile #3 up - one job out of four achieved - and that was spending money against the will of the store clerk and his manager.  Maybe the US is losing its grip on consumerism?!

* This is a reference to the opening track on Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free. If you look it up be warned that it contains a lot of profanity and a moment that makes Exile #2 and me laugh very hard because he panics that he has lost something - but it's in his pocket - a scene which has been played out by me (usually involving car keys) countless times in our marriage.

** I don't expect everyone to understand how electricity works - but maybe at least a basic understanding would be good for people who work in that store.

Oh yeah - the adapter works fine - now I just need another project.


  1. I think I might be the target audience for a photography / Ohm's law / Streets Blog Post. John.

  2. Dear John,

    You have been selected for a focus group questionnaire because of your interests.

    Please answer the following questions:

    1) Did you read "Day 4.026: Ohm - aye!"?
    a) yes
    b) no (choose one)

    2) If you did, did you find it to be
    a) much better than
    b) better than
    c) about the same as
    d) worse than
    e) much worse than (choose one)
    other posts you have read about Ohm's Law, photography and the music of Mike Skinner a.k.a. The Streets?

    Exiles in New York quality control representative.


Please use Name/URL (just a name of any kind is fine) unless you really want to be anonymous!


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