Today’s mundane tale is about a trip to the local mall. It usually doesn’t get more dull than that. But first we start with the fact that I have a new four gig compact flash card. I’ve always liked photographing street scenes in NYC and last year I finally got into using the “Motor drive” function on my camera. That means instead of taking one picture of a scene I’m taking two or three in rapid succession. This, of course, fills up a memory card two or three times faster.

In preparation for such a shoot I went out to the mall to see if I could get a compact flash card locally and pay cash for it. I like to use cash. It helps me budget a little easier. As expected they were way too expensive at the mall. I dropped around twelve bucks on it online and they were going for about thirty at the mall in a couple of different stores. That’s a significant difference.

Another thing I also noticed was that Best Buy had the prices jacked up on some camera batteries. Camera batteries tend to be expensive as small form factor digital cameras use proprietary batteries but I have noticed that in the last five years or so battery prices have dropped from around fifty to around thirty dollars a piece. I saw a few camera batteries in Best Buy at around fifty bucks. I’m not sure why as I just glanced at them and maybe those ones are the same price online but it made me suspicious. The cameras all seemed to be priced competitively so I could be mistaken about the battery prices being high. Well, fifty bucks for a battery is too high no matter what.

I rarely go to the mall these days. First off it’s one of those giant malls, the Palisades Center in Nyack NY, that’s it’s own small town. It’s tough to get in and get out of it quickly. Mostly because of the miles of ring roads and huge parking lot. I tend to go at off peak times but still it’s a chore to drive around the place. Plus a lot people drive like maniacs in a parking lot. It’s like there are no rules anymore and it’s Thunderdome. Not an environment in which I find it pleasant to drive.

It’s also weird that I can’t really tell you what the Palisades Center looks like from the outside. It’s huge and there is no place to back up to and look at the mall as an architectural whole. I have no mental picture of it as a building. Just pieces of a building. Somewhere in the mall they have a big display that features an illustration of the whole building. The first time I saw the illustration I said to myself, “Ah ha, that’s what the place looks like”. I’ve lost track of where that illustration is now. Like I said it’s a big place. It’s just as well anyway because there is no real architecture to speak of. The mall is a collection of boxes strung together.

There is not much I want at a mall. Most of the stuff I tend to be into in life is fairly obscure, not very mainstream, and won’t be found at a mall. I used to go to the video games store all the time at the older Nanuet Mall but the store closed and I’ve grown less interested in gaming. I also used to go to the record store but they don’t really exist anymore. I stopped going in the mid 90’s anyway when CD’s started going for twenty bucks a piece. A bit too expensive for me. Of course it ended up that the record companies were price fixing (at least they settled the suit while admitting no wrongdoing). I used to hit the book store too but Amazon replaced that. I get most of my books at the comic shop anyway.

I ended up going to the mall just to get out of the house for a bit. The compact flash card was just an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, I would have bought it there if it were cheap enough but I knew odds were that it wouldn’t be. I stumbled around for about half an hour looking at a bunch of stuff I had no interest in with no money to buy before I got bored with it all and left. Even when I’m just looking to get out of the house the mall isn’t much of a place to go.

There was almost a little bit too much excitement on the trip home. As I was driving on the Palisades parkway and almost hit a small deer. It was about 6:30 PM and there was a lot of traffic on the road. I was heading north and was about at Exit 10. Up ahead, on the side of the road, in the tall grass, I saw a small deer and he looked like he wanted to cross the highway. He dashed out onto the road and then towards me. I had to brake from about 60 mph down to about 30 mph. I just missed him as he cut across in front of me and made it to the other side.

It was only then that I noticed the cars behind me. There was no accident as the car right behind me had room to brake but the car behind him had to swerve to the right into the merge lane. At least I think he did. It was only then that I realized that I could have been hit from behind and was glad I wasn’t. I like to drive with many car lengths in front of me but not everyone does and it was a crowded road that evening.

So that’s a trip to the local shopping mall. Hardly exciting but what the heck. Most of life isn’t.