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Friday, December 26, 2008

Staycation, Winding Down

Me wearing antlersNow it’s Christmas Past. And the staycation is entering its final weekend (although I only have a two-day week next week, good way to ease back in after two weeks off).

I’m SO glad to have “all Christmas music all the time” in my rear-view mirror. They didn't do that when I was younger; they'd just mix in holiday music with the normal programming & that was fine. But I get burned out real fast on the same stuff constantly, and I about went nuts the year “Christmas Shoes” came out because they played it over and over… and over… and over… seemed like 3–4 times an hour. And I’m not a big fan of depressing songs anyway (I mean, come on, the kid’s mom is going to die at Christmas, and how is that going to affect his outlook in the years to come?). On the other hand, there are a few holiday/Christmas songs that I could listen to throughout the year — the instrumental version of “Sleigh Ride” comes to mind — just as long as it wasn’t a steady diet.

OK… I know I was good this year, but this good?

Canon EOS 40D

This (Canon EOS 40D) was the camera I wanted to get before my old PowerShot died… and would have, if the company stock hadn’t tanked in front of the rest of the market. I had pretty much hit the limits of what the PowerShot could do, and I used it to take photos that ended up in my documentation. According to the counter in iPhoto, I took just short of 5000 pictures with it… of course, I deleted a bunch of shots that didn’t turn out or were redundant. When it died, it wasn’t quite like losing a hand — maybe a finger or two. You can mostly get by without the missing pieces, but there are times when it gets annoying and a prosthetic (i.e. cellphone camera) doesn’t quite get the job done. It’s been too rainy for a photowalk, but maybe I’ll have a chance tomorrow. Fog in the morning may make for some interesting shots.

When I got Clickzilla, it came with a Metz flash. The battery pack is all but dead (good for like three shots), but looking around I find I can get it rebuilt for $60. That’s a dang sight cheaper than $300 for a new flash. Interestingly, with the Metz flash attached, I have to hit the shutter button twice: once to flip the mirror back and once to get the shot. I’ll have to go through the camera manual again to see whether that’s normal or if I can change a setting. There will be some learning once I get the battery pack rebuilt, but with that I’ll be set… this flash can reach out and light stuff up.

I think the camera might have seen some service as a floor model… there was a 2GB CF card already in the camera when I got it out of the box and there were a few pictures (that looked like stuff shot in a camera store) on the card — but hey, a free 2GB card is nothing to sneeze at. I also found an old Pelican bag that had a dead camcorder in it (a Sony, Mrs. Fetched’s first DV) and dedicated it to the EOS. Mrs. Fetched has some interesting stuff in her XL-1 bag, including some close-up filters that will fit. The lenses are supposed to be interchangeable between the two cameras, so I might have to borrow the humongo lens off her camcorder and try it out too. I’ve also heard of adapters that will let me use Clickzilla’s lenses with the EOS, and that would be nice.

Mr. Sunshine is up to play some Wii Golf. Hope everyone had a good Christmas. The new year will be quite happy about 20 days in.


  1. That's a beautiful camera FAR. It looks like it'll be a lot of fun. And you can really share lenses?

  2. Did you get that new Canon? I hope so, it looks good!

  3. Hi KB! Yeah, the mounts are supposed to be the same. I actually haven't tried it yet, but there’s a smaller XL-1 lens that I was scrounging around for yesterday & couldn't find. That was going to be my first experiment. But the filters, no problem… they both use 72mm.

    Boran, yup! I hope to be putting it to "work" soon…

  4. Nice Christmas gift FAR!! You must have been a "good" boy (chuckle)!

    I have a Canon EOS Rebel xTi with a 35mm lens and a 75-100mm along with several filters. Of course, I am not through adding to the camera toy chest, but that will have to wait for awhile. I have gotten some really great shots with it.

    Have fun with it and be sure that you get a decent camera bag to protect it when traveling.

    Nudge is blogging now:

  5. Hi Mrs M! You know, they say the best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you want to take a picture, right? No problem with the bag; we had an extra Pelican bag laying around and I appropriated it. I got out on this dim afternoon and took a few shots, not sure if they'll be worthwhile or not.

    Nudge is blogging? And she didn't tell me? [off to add follow marks]

  6. Yeah she has been thinking about it. She finally made up her mind yesterday when she came to chitchat for awhile.

    Yes, the best camera in the world is whatever one you have in your hand at the time. Sometimes the best photo is taken with a cheap camera. Heck, I started off with a Kodak point & shoot digital, then moved up to a bit better version Kodak. Then I went to a Minolta digital. I recently "graduated" to my Rebel. I love it. I do like to mess with the settings to see what effects I can produce in my photos. Although I love using my 75mm and zooming in on people when they aren't looking to get some really great candids!!

  7. Definitely. I've gotten some decent shots with my cellphone, but it doesn't mean I could use it as my primary camera.

    I left a comment for Nudge, but the verification word dialog ate it. :-P

  8. Hey FAR,
    Nice score on the new camera! Glad to know you can use all the bells and whistles, because I'm still figuring everything out on my S700!

    Can't say that I got anything nearly that impressive, but that's ok, because we deliberately dialed way back this year, thus both of us got new underwear and socks! LOL

  9. Yeah, IVG, that was totally unexpected. I had settled on a lower-priced model (Powershot SX10 IS) — and in a brilliant bit of misdirection, Mrs. Fetched suggested we'd do a little shopping after the holidaze.

    I'm not sure I can use *all* the bells & whistles, but there are shots I'll be able to get with this one that the old camera wouldn't have.

    New underwear and socks, huh? I could use more of those myself. Or maybe I could take charge of the laundry a little more often. :-P

  10. Hey Far! Christmas songs? Good thing Santa didn't hear what you had to say about them, or you might have not gotten that new camera! ha!

    Well, we're getting a blizzard now, to make up for the snow that melted yesterday....ha! Maybe I'll loose reception and be spared the Lions final lost of the season? ha!

    Btw, nice pic of you!

    Thanks, yooper

  11. Hello Far! I just know you're chomping at the bit and you'll have some time next week to explore this site http://www.detroitblog.org/?p=405
    that I was turned onto by a fine Russian gentleman... It's somewhat of a primer.. I really like this site and am exploring it myself just now. The photos and stories are just fantastic! Think, I'll turn John onto it also!

    Wish I had your camera! Although, I think, at times they may have shot me, to get it... How sad...

    Thanks, yooper

  12. Santa took pity on my no-longer-working Powershot S50 and replaced it with the SX110IS. I am way more of a casual photographer than Mrs M .. mostly I just carry one around looking for interesting-looking things.

    Santa heard my pleas after the 12/11 ice storm struck here and I found the S50 had already stopped working by then :(

    That ice was soooooo pretty .. but Mrs M got a few for me :)

    FAR, sorry, I didn't want to do a big announcement re the new blog. Am not planning on abandoning CFN but am also not leaving any address there. ZK was not working out for me anyhow.

    Yooper - thanks for posting that Detroit link. Interesting stuff. The look of it reminded me of something seen in Ohio the other year ~ parts of the outlying mega-urb east of Columbus.

    Out there, stuff was being added haphazardly to the landscape, with no effort to upgrade the roads or the traffic management. It was painfully obvious that the road with the condos on the one side and the mini-mall on the other side had been farmers' fields just a year or two ago. The roads there were those horribly bumpy/potholed kinds from the deep country, where road cars seldom venture.

    Some of those Detroit pictures look like the flip side of the Ohio thing. That was in 2007. I should go back in a few years to check out the differences.

  13. Here are some interesting things from that Detroit blog that Yooper linked:

    Solitary man


    Old timer

    May flowers

    Tomb raider

    Garden variety

    Lost in the woods

    Treasure chest

  14. Hello Nudge!

    The decline in Detroit, is just heartbreaking, eh? Many of the photos over at detroitblog are just great! Sure like the style of the writer also. Heh! This guy sure wants to remain anonymous! Can't say, I blame him...

    My photos, are somewhat different and sure to be a real eye opener as I describe catabolic collapse (much like Far's Future), soon, in the new of the year. I'll very likely provide supplementary links to detroitblog, as I describe over 40 years of history of the Detroit and surrounding area.

    Thanks, yooper

  15. Hey hey!

    Yooper, I started looking at Detroitblog over lunch today. The writer is obviously a journalist, you can tell by his writing style. I thought the article about the private clubs was fascinating — they could well be a model for people coping with decline all over the place. Melting, then blizzards? I saw where Marquette was up to 40F one day earlier in the week… looks like the whole eastern half of the country is getting Planet Georgia's bipolar weather. :-P

    BTW, Yooper… tap, tap goes my toe… pix coming soon? I'll post a pointer on CFN once it's up.

    Nudge, congrats on the new camera. You probably know by now, that "IS" means "Image Stabilizer" — the lens that came with my camera also has it. Canon claims that it compensates for camera shake for longer exposures (1/15 sec vs. 1/60 sec for non-IS lenses). Some stuff you said here got me curious though… expect an email soon.


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