My wife teases me occasionally about the number of cameras I own (if you count the hand-me-down from her Dad, the one with the broken light meter and the video camera I own 7). I regularly use three - a digital camera bought shortly before we went to Quebec in 2003, the waterproof digital camera I use when kayaking, and a 35mm film camera. The 5 year old digital camera is the work horse of the bunch. At least it was until yesterday. The shutter release stopped working consistently yesterday afternoon, and by this afternoon it stopped working completely.
After trying all of the non-invasive options we could think of, I decided to open up the camera well aware that at some point I would cross the point of no return. Fourteen teeny-tiny screws later a 1/4 inch piece of metal fell out. We were able to figure out that it was one half of the spring mechanism for the shutter. The completely worn out half, and it was not going back where it came from.
The good news is that I have other cameras. I will miss this camera, though. It has taken pictures of wonderful trips - snow in Quebec, the beach in San Diego, our honeymoon in Mexico, smiling children, softball games, flowers, most everything you've seen here that wasn't taken from my kayak.
I'll be adding another camera to my arsenal soon. Until then my waterproof digital will be pressed into service.