Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Ode to Gear

After months of playing the field, I'm finally going steady with Unit 3.

Some people work from home, others have a cubicle. Photogs have an office with a 360-degree view. Our news units are more than a conveyance from calamity to catastrophe. They also serve as our shelter from the elements, a mobile dining room, and a quick place to catch a cat-nap while the scanner mutters sweet nothings in our ears.

For the last several weeks I've been assigned Unit 3 for my entire work week, which makes it officially my responsibility. Poor Unit 3, she's one of the oldest steeds in the fleet. It's a dirt-brown Chevy Blazer with bits of door-seals flapping like streamers in the breeze - a breeze that becomes a roar at highway speeds. Until I got her, she'd been worked hard and treated even harder. The floor was covered in a layer of dirt that I'm sure would have produced fossils if one were to look, and one reporter even remarked that she felt the need for a bath every time she got in the vehicle.

That was it. Unit 3 might be a broken-down piece of crap, but it's my piece of crap, and its condition is a reflection on me. Now she's been through the carwash for the first time since before I started here in April, and I can actually see the carpet. Who knew there was a hole worn in the driver's-side floor mat?

Along with the car comes the camera, mics, tripod and other assorted gear. All of it is in relatively good condition, since no one really wanted to use it. I even have a dream light kit that I don't even have time to look at, except when I'm beginning my shift. With a little time I'll get it all into shape, except for that dead pixel on the camera's imaging block. It only shows up in darker scenes, looking like a lone star in an overcast sky.

I guess you could call it the bright spot in my nights.

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

Well played, sir. Well played.