The Camera Came Back

Posted on
Oct 30, 2009

Many months ago, I lost our camera.

It absolutely sucked. We were coming back from Germany, and in my usual frenzy of documenting every damn thing I see, I had my camera out. I thought it was in my pocket when we deplaned, but it must have fallen out onto my seat, and the second we were past security, I realized it.

We immediately went to the NWA counter and told them what happened. I figured that unless someone had grabbed it off the seat, they’d find it. Hell, the camera was even a bit unique – it was blue, so it could be easily identified. The clean-up crew was currently going through the plane right now, but the guy at the counter told us they hadn’t found anything.

We filled out a lost item form and left. I felt awful, and not terribly optimistic. The camera was brand-new (I had only had it a few months), and if they didn’t find it in the minutes after it was lost, they weren’t going to find it later, it seemed.

Rand, never one to blame, responded to the whole situation by buying me a Canon Rebel. Have I mentioned how awesome my husband is?

I figured that was the end of the story. We had already uploaded some of the photos from the camera before it was lost, so I was out $200 and a few days’ worth of photos.

Fast forward six months, to September. Rand and I were in Oslo, when he received an email from someone at Delta. They had found our camera. Rand woke me up to tell me the news, and in my jet-lag haze, I didn’t really understand what was happening. But basically, the story went like this:

  • Our camera was at the Delta lost and found. I don’t know why, since we lost it on a NWA and not Delta flight (I know they’ve merged, but they still have separate counters at SeaTac).
  • It sat there for months, and was going to be sent to the salvage lot. Apparently, even though we filed a lost and found claim, it was with NWA, and they haven’t merged their info with Delta.
  • Some seriously awesome (and evidently bored) Delta employee named Steven Roos decided to see if he could figure out who the camera belonged to.
  • Steven found some pics of Rand speaking at a conference on the camera, and looked up the conference name online. He then looked at the speakers’ page, found Rand’s bio and pic, and realized he was the guy in the photos. He did a search for Rand’s name, found his email address on the SEOmoz website, and contacted Rand.

It took some seriously awesome research skills, tenacity, and quite a bit of going out of his way. Seriously, that dude needs a raise. Do you hear me, Delta? GIVE STEVEN ROOS A RAISE. Incidentally, Steven’s email address is a address, which means they’ve merged their emails, but not their Lost & Found system. Someone really needs to get on that.

But honestly, I shouldn’t be criticizing. Because my camera came back, and with it came all the photos I’d thought I’d lost. Here are a few gems from that memory card that I never thought I would see again:

This is my father, feeding the birds outside his house. He complains about them, he curses them, but he keeps feeding them, and wonders why they don’t go away:

This is the breakfast prepared for us at my dad’s house. He complains about us, he curses us, but he keeps feeding us, etc., etc.:

The joy that comes from a perfect pretzel. Notice how my eyes are unfocused? I am drunk on carbohydrates.

The title I entered for this image is German Pretzel drunk with happy

This image is tagged "German Pretzel drunk with happy"

Here’s a photo of my dad smiling. This never happens. I was a little worried it was a facial tick or something, but apparently he was just … happy.

There are fewer photos of my father smiling than there are pictures of Bigfoot sightings.

There are fewer photos of my father smiling than there are pictures of Bigfoot sightings.

Seriously. The man never smiles. He could frown his way through eating an ice cream cone. Which, by the way, he has:

I actually love this photo immensely, because it captures my dads essence so well: cantankerous, but endearing.

I actually love this photo immensely, because it captures my dad's essence so well: cranky.

I also took bad-karma inducing photos of unsuspecting women eating sausages (which is why I think I lost the camera in the first place). I’m posting the pic anyway because I thought it was funny. However, for the sake of anonymity and human decency (see? I have some), I gave them Geordi LaForge visors.  

My husband contemplating Lederhosen:

Hmm ... its either these, or assless leather chaps ...

"Hmm ... it's either these, or assless leather chaps ..."

And, to top it all off, the lady who does Delta’s in-flight safety video. Rand was really, really scared of her. And for the record, he likes red heads.

For some reason, in my head, she speaks LOLcat: I IZ GONNA EAT UR SOLES.

For some reason, in my head, she speaks LOLcat: "I IZ GONNA EAT UR SOLES."

Did I mention that I am so, so happy I have my camera back?

Leave a Comment

  • I know what you mean about that merger — currently fighting the get miles for a flight I took that I bought on The mishap is directly attributable to the merger. But who can be that upset when this happens!

    A story like this makes me pleased I stockpile miles on Delta. YAY, Steven Roos! Dude, you are awesome.

    I’m so glad you got your pictures back!

  • What about assless leather lederhosen? I see no reason to compromise.

    Agreed, Steven Roos needs a corner office and a big fat raise. Also, he showed much more restraint than I would have. Were I in his position, your camera would have been returned, but there would have been many photos of me on the memory card. Not that I’ve ever done that sort of thing. At a banquet. With someone else’s camera. In the men’s room. Then put the camera back. (If I ever run for public office, I suspect I will finally see those theoretical photos.)

  • Geraldine

    Rach – apparently they’ve figured out how to combine the miles from both airlines. I just read something about it recently, while finding links for this article.

    Philip – Eeeewwwwwwww. Awesome, but ew.

  • Love Steven Roos. Love your dad. The red-head scares me too, even if she does speak LOLcat. And is the “Eeewwwwwww” for Philip because of the camera or the assless leather lederhosen? I’m kinda liking the idea of those. For Christmas. For my husband of course, not me.

  • Geraldine

    Trisha – I think we’ve started to corrupt you. Welcome to the dark side.

  • Jen

    The chick on the in-flight video? She is a real Atlanta based flight attendant, and while I don’t know her name, her nickname is Deltalina.


  • Lois Mazza

    I love how she wags her finger when she says: ‘and NO smoking’. (you know excactly who I mean, don’t play dumb)

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • The final, finished copy of my book arrived at our house today. Rand is very excited about it. (Everyone else has to wait until May 2nd, but you can pre-order it now. Link in bio.) #AllOverThePlace #AOTPbook #everywhereist #happydance
  • 9 foods we ate in Japan that I'm missing now:
1) Sushi! 
2) Kaiseki (a multi-course meal with tons of delicious little plates)
3) Croissants (Japanese bakeries seem to have mastered them) 
4) Okonomiyaki (multi-layered pancakes with noodles and all sorts of stuff)
5) Takoyaki (octopus balls) 
6) Ramen (so many styles, all so good) 
7) Yakiniku (grill your own meats!)
8) Tempura (so light and crispy) 
9) Onigiri (Geraldine was crazy for these - the best ones came from 7-11 of all places) 
#foodsofjapan #randtookthis #latergram #tastebudsforeverspoiled
  • Geraldine bought this frickin' adorable tea cup in Tokyo and I'm kinda jealous (even though everyone knows cups that hold hot liquids need handles!). #studioghibli #totorotea #randtookthis
  • Sayonara Japan. We loved you so much, we're already planning ways to come back. Thanks to @nicelleh & @wescarr for insisting we go, and for being our tour guides. #randtookthis #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • It's not often you get to meet up with friends at Tokyo Station on the way to Narita, but we lucked out. Thanks @benhuh @emilyphuh for the great lunch and amazing company. #randtookthis #lastdayofvacation #selfiesatthetrain
  • That's no way to describe how stunning the ryokan & onsen is here. Maybe these 7 photos will help. It's definitely modern, but the landscape, the food, the lobby, the architecture, the service... everything is just spot on. And we even get to wear yukatas! #randtookthis #hoshiniya #karuizawa #beautifulhotels
  • Karuizawa has its own creamery, and they make both matcha and black sesame gelato. It's frickin' tasty. Who cares if we have to wear coats to eat it. #icecreamtime #lastdayofvacation #nagaifarm
  • Waiting for the bus. With a friend. 
#randtookthis #totorotime
  • This stone church in Karuizawa was designed by an American architect, Kendrick Kellogg, and serves as a popular wedding facility. Fascinatingly, it has no right angles in the design (though Geraldine spent most of our visit trying to claim that angles on exit signs or edges of photos inside technically violated this rule). #randtookthis #stonebuildings #curvyarchitecture
  • We have been incredibly lucky to stay at many beautiful hotels around the world (mostly thanks to generous conference organizers). But, #hoshiniya in Karuizawa almost certainly belongs in the top 3. Every detail is stunning here. It's almost sad to walk out of the resort! #randtookthis #randaldineselfie

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!