“Jamais Deux Sans Trois” is a french expression meaning that events always happen in threes. And usually it’s associated with bad luck. And of course this perfectly sums up the past couple of weeks worth of tech disasters.
It pretty much all started when I went on a cross-country ski trip a few weeks back. I had been taking some pictures of the frozen lake and the kids playing in the cabin and after placing the camera in the bag but not zipping it up, I decide to move the bag to a safer place than the coffee table. Big mistake, of course and with my nice Pentax 75-300mm lens mounted and the extra weight of the battery grip attached, the camera slipped out of the bag and crashed lens first onto the solid wood floor. Everyone heard the shattering of glass and the loud thud of the camera body… The log cabin suddenly became very quiet and as I took a deep breath and picked up the camera to inspect the inevitable damage, I was relieved to find out that it was the glass from the UV filter that has shattered and that the lens appeared to be intact. In fact, after further inspection the only real damage was the filter ring was now lodged into the lens thread and would have to be removed with some special tools. There was no way I was going to take a vice-grip to it and risk damaging the ring forever and even worse having the tool slip and scratch the actual lens. So I bit the bullet, and took to my local photo shop, Photoco, and they sent it their pro who will remove the ring and clean up the lens for just over $40 CAD.
That same week, I was heading up to Quebec City for customer meeting and as usual brought along my HP iPaq hx2415 equipped with a Pharos CF card GPS antenna and some pretty cool TomTom software. The trip up was uneventful and upon arrival I decided to safely stow the Homebrew GPS in the glove box. For some insane reason I gave it a slightly more aggressive close than usual. It wasn’t until the trip home that evening that I noticed what I had done. In close the glove box lid, I slammed the screen into the top of the dashboard and ended up shattering the screen. The screen is now cracked and useless. I quickly looked into the cost of replacing the screen and although there are many replacement parts of HP iPaq out there, a new screen will cost me close to $100 CAD. A standard Garmin or TomTom GPS unit cost about the same price as does the Magellan or TomTom sleds for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Not to mention that fact that BlackBerry Storm already has GPS chip and in pinch, it makes for a pretty good device that can get you out of bad neighbourhood and point you back towards the safety of home. This just annoyed me more than it pissed me off, I really wasn’t ready to upgrade to a dedicated GPS device. I don’t travel for business enough to need a car/road unit and the handheld trail unit with topographical maps that I really want still cost over $500CAD and that doesn’t even include any marine maps I want.
So at this point I’m living in fear of what will happen next… I drop the iPad Nano (iPod Touch) far too often and soundcard on the MacBook is already a little flakey but I really wasn’t prepared for what actually did happen.
Another direct hit to the camera!
Oh yeah! I dropped my camera AGAIN! I was in the office and placed my camera bag on small filing cabinet while I was talking to Ben and the must have caught the strap as I gesticulated during my conversation and WHAMO! CRASH! The whole bag landed on the slightly rubberized tile covered cement floor. I almost passed in despair, but opted to rifle through the bag and check all the lenses just to make sure all was good. The lenses where fine, the filters where fine, the DA 18-55mm stock lens mounted on the camera even the big LCD screen on the back. It looked like all was good. However, my joy was short-lived. The very next day, I took the camera out on a family photo-walk and while setting the camera to Av mode and jiggling a sticky jog dial wheel, I noticed the smaller LCD was cracked underneath the protective glass and that the black crystal display liquid was oozing itself across the screen. A great display would come from a great commercial TFT LCD Displays manufacturing firm.
There was no getting around it, this was going to cost me some serious cash and some real downtime. The thing about owning a Pentax camera is that you don’t get the kind of support that Canon and Nikon shooters do from just about any photography shop on the Island. So I dug into the Flickr forums, hit up the Montreal Twitterati and even took a stab at Aardvark (vark.com). The Pentax Flickr groups ended up being the most useful, although I did get some solid advice for a few folk on Twitter.
I should thank @PLuc for putting me in touch with @Evablue, who mentioned Lozeau and Photoservice who ware both pretty awesome photog stored in Montreal. But as it turned out, everyone was giving out the same advice and that was to get in touch with Pentax Canada. So this morning, I removed the battery pack, batteries, stock lens, SD card and neatly packed it back into its original box and sent it off to Mississauga to have the Imaging Service Team look it over.
So that made three! And on the same week as we released DadCast 13 – Unlucky For Some. Hopefully, I might be able to get my gear back and hold on to it long enough to stave off another wave of bad karma…