Adventure! (given I have a low threshold before things hit “Adventure!” status)

Uhaul, Ihaul, We all haul together…. well after a good long wait we do.

One thing I have come to learn is that if you are going to deal with this company you best pack along with you a giant bucket of patience. I won’t ramble long on this part of the day – I took the Uhaul back this morn (if you keep one for more than 30 days the Uhaul computer system which must be circa 1989 goes Chernobyl) suffice it to say I spent a good 30 minutes watching the sole employee hook up a trailer before I could hand him my key and tell him to email the receipt. I view each trip to any Uhaul location as a potential for personal growth – to my credit I have yet to club anyone to death.

 

I bought a camera from a real live person!

No it wasn’t out of the back of a van either 😛 I actually bought something at a real store instead of online. **Yes – PACHOOOWWW! Mind blown I know.** I am upgrading from our trusty old Cannon GL2 to a shiny new HD Cannon XA20. When you work for a non-profit you try not to ask for upgrades too often – you want that money going directly to the organizations mission – so upgrades generally come when things break and the cost to fix is really close to the price to purchase a new one. This upgrade was different as the GL2 still works good itself. I am just having huge firewire issues with my new Tecra and the camera. Hauling around a separate old laptop (with a broken keyboard) just to do tape capture is a super pain in the butt on top of the fact that capturing from tape when it works properly is a pain in the butt to start with. Normally I would just start buying a few different firewire cards (pretty darn cheap now) to try to get it to work (I have already been through the driver shuffle) but the camera itself is like 13 years old and I bought it used, SD is starting to just look odd in a HD world and I want to be able to share footage with the professional company that does our important videos.

I did a lot of research online and trust Cannon as a brand but was uneasy having never seen one of these cameras in the flesh – I wanted to see the connections and controls and just how big they actually were. I pulled up the web site of this great store in Tulsa called Video Revolution and sure enough they carried the camera I was after. I have had great experiences with these folks in the past and today was no different. The gentleman was very nice and agreed that the XA20 was a good upgrade and didn’t try to up-sell me into the more expensive models at all even when it turned out they did not have but the display model of the camera at that store. He even offered to loan me the display model until he could get a brand new unit in – been along time since I have been treated to that level of service. I did not need the camera immediately but that was a very nice gesture. The store’s 5 year warranty (which will also supply a loaner if needed) was also very affordable and the price of the camera was approximate to what I found online too. Next time I buy a TV I will shop there too – they have about a billion different models. Hopefully he will get it in soon and I can get to learning all those new functions during our fourth of July break this week.

Here is an example of how well the camera handles low light – which I seem to get stuck in about 50% of the time.

One kind of embarrassing part was when both the salesman and I both were too blind to read the part number off the battery – if Elizabeth had not been there no telling if I would have gotten the correct spare pack 😛 which brings me to the next stop of the day….

The Eyes Have Had It!

I stopped in to see the eye doctor today and it turns out (despite my youthful age… cof) that I need bifocals.This was actually no surprise as I have been taking pictures for weeks now without being able to tell if everything was in focus or not. Sore eyes and a good start on a headache by five in the afternoon daily have been a good indicators too. Man getting old sucks – bifocals lenses made with no line for computer geeks are really damn expensive even with insurance. Without insurance we are talking major appliance expensive. On top of that cost I had to get a new pair of frames because my current frames (which I love sigh…) have lens that are not deep enough to accommodate the added bifocal part at the bottom. I found another RayBan frame that does not instantly make me look like someones grandpa – way too many do these days. Whoever does the design for the RayBan optical line deserves a gold star – they are solid, modern, a tad eclectic and very comfortable. That kind of design fits me as person and since I will never see a day without glasses – it is important they are good ones. The reason for that is that I am partially blind in my left eye so the doctors are even more nervous about protecting my good right eye with a nice poly-carbonate shield than I am. Kinda depressing to hear the phrase “… since you only have one good eye” tagged on to a dozen sentences in less than 10 minutes conversation. My body has pretty much totally compensated so I really do not notice … well except at the eye doctors. When it came time to test my left eye, which I am not sure why the bother with, my head firmly planted in that contraption so I could not move to see with my peripheral vision – my answer to the doctor when he asked me to read anything I could make out on the chart was – What chart? I even told him he should just do the “how many fingers am I holding up” before but nooo… make me feel blind… it is ok really… meh.

 

The end… and you thought this was going on forever

So that recaps yesterdays adventures – time for more! Once my new glasses come in I will update my mugshot on here and likely will be inflicting some bad video from me learning a new camera on you soon too. I love this gem of a week nestled snugly in the middle of the brilliant glare of the Oklahoma summer. Family and fireworks await!

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