Quirks of the Nikon D750

"It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

I really like my shiny new Nikon D750 DSLR camera, but there are a few things I noticed within a few hours of using it that really drive me bonkers.

1. Remote shutter release settings

Why use a remote shutter release? A remote shutter release is helpful for long exposures and landscape photography because it eliminates the chance of camera shake due to pressing the shutter button on the camera directly.

There are four ways, that I am aware of, to cause the shutter of the D750 to fire without having hands on the camera.

  1. Self-timer
  2. Wired remote
  3. Remote control mode (ML-L3)
  4. WiFi operation via an app like Nikon's WMU app or by using a computer.

Self-timer works well but is not very convenient, and is time-consuming when doing multiple exposures, as would be done with exposure bracketing for HDR.

Wired remotes are reliable and don't depend on batteries external to the camera, but are limited by the wire that connects it to the camera.

Both the IR remote (ML-L3) and WiFi options in the D750 are crippled by the software in the camera, detailed below.

Remote control mode (ML-L3)

Being a former Canon user, I assumed the IR remote would be dead-simple to use: compose the shot, pick up the remote, aim it at the camera and push the button on the remote. With the D750, the IR functionality needs to first be enabled through the menu, and the shutter release mode needs to be selected, choosing from Single shot mode or Mirror up mode. Normally this additional functionality is useful, and I appreciated the thoughtfulness of Nikon for including this. However, this appreciation quickly deteriorated into confusion and frustration when I discovered that the setting turns itself off after one minute by default. There is an option to leave the remote on for up to 15 minutes, but no way to leave it on indefinitely.

With the way I typically shoot landscape pictures, I first set up the shot on a tripod, check my drive mode and exposure controls, use a remote to take some pictures, then move the setup to another location. With the remote turning itself off now, I had to go back into the menu to repeatedly re-enable the remote.

Nikon, if you're reading this, there is no reason whatsoever to auto-disable the IR receiver on the camera. If I choose a setting in the menu, I expect the setting to "stick" and not change itself back.

WiFi

The option to use WiFi is one of the features on the camera that attracted me to purchase it over the D610. What kills this for me is the same issue I have with the IR remote: the WiFi setting turns itself off when the camera is switched off.

This means that when moving between locations with the camera off, it isn't as easy as simply turning the camera on, waking up the phone, waiting for the phone to reconnect to the camera, then taking the picture. Instead, the camera needs to be switched on, the WiFi needs to be enabled in the menu, the phone then needs to be re-paired to the camera, and then you can use the phone with the camera.

I totally understand the reasoning behind not wanting the WiFi on for long periods of time, since it can easily drain the battery, but I want to manage that, not have the camera decide what's best. At the very least, there should be a setting that allows me to leave the WiFi on.

2. Intervalometer

The intervalometer, or "Interval Timer" as Nikon calls it, is incredibly useful in the D750, but I had significant trouble trying to figure out how to enable it. I was able to locate where the option was in the menu easy enough, but the option was greyed out, with no indication as to why.

Of course, I discovered this only when I wanted to actually use the feature out in the field, expecting it to be easy, instead of trying it out at home first. Luckily, I had previously downloaded the manual on my phone, so I was able to study the section on the Interval Timer right there.

The manual states that two conditions must be met, that the date/time be set, which it was, and that any release mode aside from Mirror-Up mode (MUP) or self-timer be used. I had the camera in Single shot release mode and the time was set properly, but the menu option was still disabled!

After several minutes of head-scratching and unkind thoughts about the documentation team at Nikon, I discovered that because I had the IR remote enabled and set to MUP, that was enough to cause the setting to be disabled. Once I had turned off the setting for the remote, the Interval Timer option became available, and I could take the exposures.

This is insanity! Because I use the remote almost exclusively in MUP, I need to disable the remote to use the interval timer, and because the interval timer essentially uses MUP-style operation for single exposure mode anyway, a simple fix for Nikon would be to implement this drive mode mapping for the interval timer:

remote set to 2s Delayed remote?        > use single shot
remote set to Quick-response remote?    > use single shot
remote set to Remote mirror-up?         > use single shot
camera set to self-timer?               > use single shot
camera set to mirror-up?                > use single shot
camera set to any other drive mode?     > use that setting

Yosemite, Spring 2016

Having recently given up my Canon 5D mk2, I was on the market for a replacement. This time around, I wanted to go with Nikon, so I picked up a Nikon D750 on Amazon and would receive it on Friday. I could barely wait, and wanted desperately to try it out.

The day after ordering the camera, my father happened to send me a text message:

Hey, g'mornin! I hear the Yosemite waterfalls are running full bore, which is pretty rare. If you can get away this weekend to go see them, should be pretty cool. Call ahead though to check traffic into the valley.

This was all I needed to decide that on Saturday, I would make the four hour drive to Yosemite to learn the camera. I wouldn't have everything I needed to take proper landscape pictures, like an ultra wide angle lens or some saucy neutral density filters, but who cares! I hadn't been to Yosemite in ten years and I wanted to photograph it!

I sent off some messages to a friend of mine, Vivek, and coaxed him and his girlfriend, Ari, to join me on the two-day trip with only two days of advanced notice.

We left San Jose at 5 a.m. to try to beat the traffic. We succeeded and were able to make our way into the park and find a parking spot by 10a.m. After having lunch and taking some photos. We hiked most of the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, each of us carrying a single water bottle. Two hours of switchbacks and panting left our bottles depleted, leaving us with nothing for the long hike back. Note to self: bring more water next time! By the time we got back down, we were all extremely exhausted and thirsty. Beer and pizza worked their restorative powers, and we found our way to the Red Bud Lodge for the night.

On day two, we woke up at 4am to attempt some dawn images, hiked the trail for Mirror Lake, and said our goodbyes to Yosemite.

Despite the exhaustion and sunburn, I am so glad we went! I feel like I learned a lot from the experience and can't wait to return to take another stab at it. Here are some of the pictures I got.

 Dawn above Half Dome

Dawn above Half Dome

 The falls certainly were going! 

The falls certainly were going! 

 A tribute to the master

A tribute to the master

 A sliver of Mirror Lake

A sliver of Mirror Lake

 Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

 View from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, about halfway up

View from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, about halfway up

 Ari and Vivek mid-hike

Ari and Vivek mid-hike

India Update #6 - Day 2 in Hyderabad, Ramoji Film City

Today, we visited the Universal City of Bollywood, Ramoji Film City. Being one of the highlights of Hyderabad, Swathi came here with Melony via a bus tour just a week ago and wanted to show it to me. We had to get an early start because of the long drive to the film city. Our breakfast was appam and potato stew which was delicious.

Appam and potato stew

We were taking the Nano again, Swathi's mom and dad sat in the front and we sat in the back. Mohan loaded the car with a 5 liter container of water and we left to go fill the fuel tank with petrol. I took a minute to photograph the service station workers who were more than happy to pose.

Mohan and his Nano

Gas station workers

Once we were loaded and had set off in the general direction, Swathi checked the GPS on her phone and discovered we were heading in the wrong direction. This was the beginning of another adventure, courtesy of the shortest route directions provided by Google Maps on Android.

Cows!!

A clay Ganesha statue on the side of the road which will be painted and used in an upcoming festival

It quickly became clear to us that this was not the route commonly taken to go to Ramoji Film City. We had wandered onto seldom-traveled roads which connected rural villages on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The roads were in extreme disrepair and we had to travel at speeds less than 50 kph for most of the way to avoid the potholes, people and cattle which were everywhere.

Following motorcyclists

To make matters worse, the battery charge on Swathi's cell phone dwindled quickly under the draining load of the constant GPS use. We were in the middle of nowhere, following turn after turn on the instructions of a device which would soon abandon us with no knowledge of the way back or forward. On the positive side, I was able to see what the outskirts and villages of Hyderabad look like. The roads had no name or distance markers. There were no standardized directional signposts, no service stations or shops. It was mostly huts, rice fields, the occasional Hindu temple, and people who worked hard to do whatever it is they do to survive. If we had stopped and asked someone for directions, it was unlikely that they would be able to help us. People out here use feet, either their own or an animal's, to get around. Traveling great distances was as alien to them as navigating these streets was to us. It was an interesting sensation to realize the benefits and disadvantages of using technology. There was a brief moment of wondering if I would die out here. I put my camera down and helped Swathi find a pen and paper so that we could write down the rest of the directions (for roads which had no name) while we still had charge. Just as we finished, the phone died. Using our low-tech directions, we managed to get back on to the main highway and found our way to Ramoji Film City.

We made it!

Swathi and her mom

Swathi en-queued

We found a parking spot, purchased tickets and entered the complex. Charlie Chaplin, Batman, Spiderman, and the Terminator, and a few others were all there in painted fiberglass renditions to greet us as we entered the main gate. Dancers were dancing in Bollywood fashion under a tent. We walked to the nearest attraction and stood in a queue. Once in, we were placed in front of a green screen and our picture was taken, we were then loaded into an open-roof train for a tour of the world, not unlike the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney Land. We saw figurines waving at us and representations of famous landmarks from different countries. America is represented with New York's shopping and Oklahoma's tornadoes. When it was done, we looked at the resulting image of the green screen photo and Mohan purchased a copy which I will scan and upload. Next up was the "Movie Magic" attraction where we would observe the creation of a scene. We waited in the first quadrant of a four-chambered, circular building and waited while a volunteer was chosen from the crowd to be be the star talent and we entered the second quadrant of the quadruplex. As we waited for the volunteer talent to come onto the stage, we watched an introductory video of Mr. Ramoji himself as he explained the origins of his love of film and what we could expect to see. We were recreating a famous Bollywood scene of a horse-drawn carriage being chased by men on horses. The talent, now dressed in costume, came out onto the stage and sat down on the rig, which was in front of a green screen, and tried following the instructions she was given on how to move to make it look more like she was driving. The effect might have been more convincing if she could stop grinning and focus more on whipping the imaginary horse.

our talent

After the camera had recorded a sample of the action, we moved to the next quadrant to observe the process for creating sound effects. The sound stage had various instruments used to make noises like wind, rain, thunder, horse hooves, and jingling harnesses. Once the audio samples were taken, we moved to the last chamber to watch the final rendition of the scene which mixed together the audio, video, and other scenes to make it look like our volunteer really was trying to evade the horsemen.

making sound effects

It was time for lunch, so we ate in the only restaurant in the complex which had air conditioning. It was a Hollywood themed cafe which served a buffet of Indian food. I put whatever I could recognize on my plate and happily munched away, enjoying the respite from the heat and delicious food. For dessert, we were served weird spongy milk balls, submerged in a sugary syrup called "rasmalai", yellow sweet twisty "jalebi", and ice cream.

Apparently, the Hollywood sign is in Hyderabad. Who knew?

Once fed, we wanted to watch a stunt show in the western-themed area, but had just missed the last performance, so we went to a "Spirit of India" dance which was just starting, and saw a performer lay on her back while she tried to maneuver a series of pole-mounted platforms using her legs in order to get a ball to a basket at the top. She dropped the ball a few times (both literally and figuratively), but eventually succeeded, with the reward of applause. After the ball lady, we watched a dance which stayed true to the Bollywood spirit in being flashy and elaborate. The costumes were in the colors of the Indian flag: orange, white, and green.

stupid human tricks

dancing!

more dancing!

We then took a bus tour of the various sets which had been used in films. There was little expense spared in creating the various settings. It was all here: a fake airport, the streets of London, fake government building, fake train station, leg garden. The complex was vast and the number and kinds of sets created were astounding. I wondered how many or which movies used these items. Judging by the sheer number of buildings, it seemed possible that they might construct a whole building or town for the sake of a single scene in a film.

One of the many elaborate fountains

A set of a temple

photo by Swathi

a replica of a government building

another fountain

Leg Garden

on the tour bus, photo by Swathi

It was 45º C (113º F) outside, so we cooled off with sprite and water before going back to the car. The journey home was almost as adventurous as the one which took us to Film City. We decided to try using the TomTom which was in the trunk of the car. After we had set the destination, it led us through more sparsely populated stretches of land and bad roads. In choosing the path, Swathi and I both thought that we had selected the one which the tour buses usually take, but it was difficult to tell on the screen which roads were the highways and which were the rural routes. It turned out fine in the end, and we were able to see some beautiful scenery.

sunset in rural Hyderabad

a river we crossed

Water Buffalo on the road

After some time, the TomTom took us at an empty plot on the wrong side of Hyderabad and announced that we have arrived at our destination. "You have reached your destination" must mean something different for the people at TomTom than what is commonly understood. After asking for directions, we finally did reach our destination. Once settled, we feasted on a starter that was made by Jyothi which was breaded fried egg with onion rings over a bed of cilantro salad, the remaining leftover pizza that Swathi and I could not finish previously, and some delicious chapatis made by Swathi's mom.

Jyothi's fried egg and onion ring starter

Having been thoroughly entertained and stuffed with food, I will fall asleep tonight with ease and dream of my own Bollywood movie, complete with a float of dancers among streets lined with freshly-constructed houses and shops.

India Update #4 (Meeting the parents)

As we stepped off the train in Hyderabad, her father, Mohan, was waiting on the platform. He greeted both of us, turning to me with a warm handshake then led us to his car. As we put our backpacks in the trunk, beggars began to swarm, some with trinkets in hand, asking for money. Mohan and Swathi both firmly ignored them and got into the car, and I took their lead. On the way home, he warned us about pickpockets and thieves. It was not uncommon for people appearing to be destitute to have lots of money in their bank account. It is very profitable to beg in large cities like this. He said that for every honest man there are two dishonest men. Thieves were professionals in these cities, wearing blades on their fingertips to cut open and loot a pocket without detection. I could tell that he cares very much about the safety and well-being of others, especially his daughter.

The Lal residence

A vigilent guard

When we arrived at the house, we went up stairs, past the bronze soldiers which lined the entrance way, and I met Swathi's mom, Shoba, a very kind and hospitable person. I was shown the way to a room which was used by Aditya, Swathi's younger brother. The room has a door which leads to a balcony barred off from the outside, but otherwise so that clothes can dry on lines which are suspended by a pulley system. Next to the room is the washroom which has a raised platform for the commode and adjacent hand sprayer, and a shower head facing the wall next to the sink. A squeegee sits in the corner for pushing water into the drain. I would make this place my home for the next four days.

Clothes are suspended to dry and Swathi peeks around the corner

Indian washroom

India Update #5 - Day 1 in Hyderabad

My visit to India so far seems to be one adventure after another. Today, Mohan wanted to show us the NTR Gardens, an urban park and memorial for N. T. Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Regrettably, I did not bring my camera, so the photos included here were taken by Melony Chakrabarty, Aditya Roshan's girlfriend who had just visited the week earlier.

Mohan was driving to the park in the Tata Nano and stopped to pick up "appam" dough for tomorrow's breakfast. As we were pulling away from the store, we drove off a small ledge which caused the car to be stuck with the front-left wheel in the air. Swathi took the wheel and Mohan and I were able to lift the corner of the tiny car so that Swathi could reverse it back onto solid ground.

Once we reached the memorial, we removed our shoes out of respect and left them in the car while we explored. The entranceway was a stone walkway which passed under an array of black spires in the form of hands making the respectful sign, "namaste". The memorial was a large square slab under an open dome supported by four pillars. A grass garden and walkway framed the black stonework.

NTR Gardens entanceway

NTR memorial

Some damp mats were set out to make it bearable to walk without shoes, but they were only at the entranceway and around the memorial. The other paths were bare stone which was hot under the sun and Swathi quickly had enough of burning her feet, so we headed back to the car to put our shoes back on. We were planning to go to the neighboring amusement park, so we sat in the car, put our shoes on, then locked the doors and walked away. About 20 paces from the car, Mohan instinctively feels his pockets for his keys and realizes they are not there. We go back to the car and see them sitting in the ignition switch, quite content to stay there behind the locked doors. I have experience opening locked car doors in situations exactly like this; I was a roadside assistance person for quite a few months but felt powerless without the proper tools. Swathi and I looked around the ground among the usual piles of refuse for something that might suffice but came up empty-handed. Mohan eventually phones Shoba and asks her to bring a spare set of keys.

While we were waiting, we walked to the park part of the NTR Garden. Entering into the complex, we went through a security screening, with the typical two lines, one for Gents, the other for Ladies. The security was more relaxed than, say, airport security, but still had metal detectors and a security pat down by armed guards. Once cleared, we purchased tickets and fought the Indian “queues” in order to get our chance at the turnstiles to get into the park. I put queues in quotes here because a queue in India is not like your normal line, where one person patiently waits behind another person who got there first. Here, if there is any free space to stand near where you are trying to go, you stand there, regardless of order. If there is a gap, you fill it and try to get in before the person beside you. It’s chaos, but once you understand how it works, you too can get through a “queue” and still be home in time for supper.

Once inside, I impressed by the size and contents, but was unable to determine who the target audience was. There were fountains, some of which were dry, very large and detailed plastic models of insects, long walkways which went around and throughout the park, slides, and some carnival-style rides. If you liked, a small train could take you on a tour. There was a bonsai garden and a desert plants exhibit which was only open from 5-8 pm, or when convenient, since it was closed when we passed by at 6 pm. A "Fruit Restaurent" [sic] was present but very vacant, with an eating area shaded by plastic palm trees. The ground was littered with mango seeds and coca-cola bottles. After strolling around the park and exploring everything there was to see, we cooled off in the shade and watched the other park goers. At 7 pm, we exited and found Shoba and Jyothi on the sidewalk among the street vendors, ready with the keys. The moon was 3/4 full and fruit bats filled the skies.

Once all five of us had crammed into the Nano, we went to "Natural", which served ice cream flavored with fresh and seasonal fruits. Jyothi and I selected chikoo, Swathi fresh mango, Shoba had chocolate with almonds, and Mohan had mulberry but did not like it.

India Update #3 (Indian trains)

On the evening of the 22nd, we had just finished packing for Hyderabad and beyond. Our tickets said the train station we were leaving on was "SBC" and Swathi said this meant Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station, and were going to hire an auto. We walked down the alley to the main road, laden with our two backpacks: my Osprey 34 liter and Swathi's Quechua 40 liter, and Quechua 20 liter, my camera, a Canon 5D mk1. It took some time but we finally flagged down an auto that was willing to take us to the station for ₹80. The three other autos we caught were trying to charge almost double.

Once we got to the station, Swathi headed to the ticket counter to find our seat assignments when the cashier told us our train was at another station; Cantonment's code was "BNC" and we needed to be at Bangalore City Railway Station! We had about 45 minutes to hire another auto and fight traffic to try to catch the train. There were several autos waiting for passengers outside the station, but haggling over price would be difficult. Once the drivers were aware of where we needed to be and when, we had little options. We found a driver and agreed upon a price of ₹200 to take us to the other side of town. He proved his worth by taking us safely to our destination in record time, expertly maneuvering between cars, autos, and motorcycles, dodging potholes and pedestrians.

Speeding Auto

In the end, we did make the train and found our private, first class, air conditioned sleeper compartment. There were four beds in the compartment, and we were the first to arrive. "Durgadas", a middle-aged businessman, dealing in kitchen accessories, soon joined us and sat down on the lower bunk which faced the two of us. I said "hello" and smiled at him, trying to break the silence and maybe make the next 12 hours a little more pleasant. He could not speak English, so spoke to Swathi in Hindi. He was a very strange man and stared at us flatly and unwaveringly with his mono-expressionist frown. I had Swathi ask if I could take his picture and he consented to have it done. Just as I had set down the camera, he asked if he could get a picture with Swathi. I encouraged the idea and she sat next to him, but not after some hesitation. I took the picture, and then he asked if he could get a picture with me, so I handed the camera off to Swathi. Here are the results:

Durgadas Durgadas and Swathi Durgadas and Kyle

India Update #2 (planning)

Swathi and I have solidified our travel plans beyond Hyderabad. In a nutshell, we are leaving tonight for Hyderabad, visiting with her parents for a few days, then flying round trip to Delhi on the 26th. After touristing about, we return to Hyderabad in time to bus to Goa on the 31st (Happy Birthday, Mom!). After admiring the beaches and local scenery, we will be bussing back to Bangalore on the 5th.

Wish us a safe and happy journey.

India Update #1, Impressions of India (days 1 and 2 in Bangalore)

It was 1 a.m. as I slogged my way out of the Bangalore airport, laden with luggage. Swathi was standing by Subway when she saw me and rushed forward to greet me with a hug. To my relief, she was not wearing any perfume, and only smelled faintly of the shampoo she uses. I had been slightly anxious about how she would smell because of a scented letter she sent me earlier in the year. Fears about of her smell were quickly replaced by the sudden awareness of the other smells around me. Driving away from the airport in the taxi, I could see cows and dogs rummaging through the mounds of trash on the side of the road. The driver stopped on the side of the road without warning to partake in some tea a man was selling on the side of the road, then resumed honking and swerving around the other taxis on the road. He complained to Swathi in Hindi about the other drivers being asleep. Eventually, we made it back to her place without incident.

Swathi and I are getting along just fine and have been exploring the city by three-wheeled auto rickshaw and motorcycle. She has been taking excellent care of me, making sure I get three meals a day and am drinking plenty of purified water, which she keeps on hand in abundance. I have not yet gotten sick, and am already completely accustomed to the time change.

Swathi lives on the third floor of a concrete house owned by a man who lives with his family on the second floor. This house is built in the traditional manner, using rebar, concrete, and brick, with a parking area and underground water tanks on the first floor, and an open terrace on the roof where she dries her clothes using a line. In south-Indian fashion, a gargoyle is perched on the corner of the property.

Water for the house comes from water tanks on the terrace. Water pressure is courtesy of gravity, and a manually-activated pump moves water from the ground tanks to the terrace tanks. Care must be taken to not leave the pump on too long, or water will be wasted on the roof. A tanker comes when requested to periodically to refill the ground tanks.

The house faces an alleyway where children play cricket and dogs laze, panting in the heat. The neighboring plot is under construction. As with most buildings under construction, its bare concrete and rebar are an eyesore. I found it difficult to tell whether a building had fallen into disrepair, was recently a victim of terrorism, or is in process of being built. Just down the road is a small vegetable shop Swathi frequents. Bicycle wheels and steel bars serve as carts for selling and transporting goods.

The view from the balcony outside Swathi's front door

Swathi's gargoyle

Swathi's veggie shop

Asian tourists make use of a parasol to ward off the heat

A gross misuse of bicycle wheels

Once we had settled in and she had shown me the area, we headed over to a nearby mall to watch the new Star Trek movie. The film was interrupted halfway with an abrupt intermission for snacks, which she tells me happens in every film shown. We picked up some caramel popcorn and orange juice, then shuffled back to our seats. Afterwards, we ate a traditional Indian (Punjabi) meal. and at the request of her Aunt, picked up some Indian clothes for me. We then hopped on her motorcycle and headed back but were caught in a downpour, which only added the chaos and excitement on the roads.

The torrential rains subsided after we dried off. This allowed us to go back out and meet with two of her friends at a local hangout called "Rewind." There, we ate more Indian food and conversed about their recent trip to Goa. I sampled two varieties of the Indian beer, Kingfisher. Ads are everywhere for the brew, and despite Swathi's warnings, I wanted to know what all the marketing was about. After I had tasted both the "premium" and the "blue", I can safely say that in every respect, it is just as foul as Swathi had said. Calling Kingfisher a beer is a stretch of the imagination.

India is very hot, there is trash in the streets and the drivers are insane. India's third-world roughness contrasts its occasional first-world comforts, producing a charm which is captivating and inviting. I look forward to exploring it more over the next few weeks. Swathi has not purchased a car yet, so we need to re-formulate plans about where we will be going and how we will get there. One thing is certain though, and that is our trip by train to Hyderabad tomorrow to visit her family.

High Fashion

I was an intern at some high-fashion place where new outfits were sourced and modified for people with too much money. It was all very "Devil Wears Prada".

I was sent to go pick out a new fall fashion item for men. I was wholly unprepared for this task and hold little interest in high fashion. Despite this, I was dressed up in a thick, semi-dressy overcoat in an orange-brown hue. It was kinda fun, but I felt ridiculous.

I arrived at my destination. It was a complex housed near the docks, a few blocks from the water. This was the import hub which closely guarded all the imports of the latest clothing from countries all over the world. Inside, I began to joke with the receptionist about how ridiculous I felt wearing the overcoat.

"Your employer is subject to fees, up to and including import and port of goods fees for the use of our service..."

I zoned out as she was talking, beginning to wonder if there even was such a thing as a "port of goods fee".

She stopped talking and glared at me. "You couldn't even afford a port of goods fee, could you?" "Nope!"

Here I was: a fashion-agnostic person in a place that only cares about fashion, and I was already found out before I even began to look at the goods.

I was given the key to the warehouse and allowed to pass through, into a dark hallway which opened up into a dome-like room with doors labeled according to the contents of the connecting rooms.

One of the doors was made of brightly-colored but transparent glass, made up of varying shades of yellow and green. Inside this room was a play area for children, presumably to keep them entertained while the parents shopped for clothing or whatever else was kept in the complex. Godzilla was being shown on the TV and just then, the towering lizard started his rampage on Tokyo and the movie was paused. "Anyone see Josh?"

"Where is Josh!? He's supposed to be Godzilla today!"

A panel which had formerly looked to be a part of the play area's wall creaked open and out stepped Godzilla, only it wasn't Godzilla, it was Josh wearing a Godzilla costume. He was completely out of character for the part, making weak but deliberate steps towards the children. The potential for this magical was getting murdered with every moping step he took.

"Rawr... I'm going to stomp on this building now... ready? ready? Okay, here I go..." step

I was in total disbelief. Had I been in the suit, I'd be tearing the place up and leveling the toy houses and dolls which lay scattered on the floor. Fear and intimidation would be palatable. Therapy would become a way of life for these kids. The destruction and decimation of the terrain would be forever etched in their impressionable minds.

Alas, I was not wearing the costume. I was only an observer to this other kind of decimation which trod on the imagination of children.

I woke up.