Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Should I join the Premier Club?

I am running out of time to decide.  I think it closes at midnight tonight.  I have the money for the "deposit", but all the problems people have been having with the models they're getting, plus the cost of the models themselves...and if you opt out of one you're out of the club the rest of the year.  But they've been doing some pretty nice ones this past year that made me wish I was in it, like Latigo and Carrick.  I'm still hoping to get them on the secondary market.  I've tried buying Latigo twice, but ended up having to back out for one reason or another.

The first model for the new club year is called Wyatt
The molds that come out for the Premier Club are brand-new, never-been-released before and while I don't particularly care for Wyatt, he is starting to grow on me.   And if I decide I don't like him after-all, it seems like there's a few people in Blab-land who DO want him and aren't in the club that maybe would be willing to buy him.  In addition to the neat new molds, they often come with concept drawings that are kind of cool
I would say maybe I should sleep on it, but I think I have to sign up today.  It says "by January 1st 2014" but I don't know if that means I can do it up until tomorrow or if it has to be done today...And in addition to the deposit of $100 I would have to pay an additional $20 to make my Collector Club membership "current".  I am a current member, but since it's not from after August 2013, I'd have to re-subscribe.    <sigh>  I think I'm talking myself out of it.  hahaha.  I think it's really stupid that you have to have the membership be from August or later.  As long as it's current it should be fine.  I think that alone might be enough to make me not do it.

Today is the last day of 2013.  Where did the year go? I have no plans for tonight.  I'll probably take a couple of sleeping pills and sleep through the fireworks my neighbor is likely to shoot off.  They're illegal in my city, but people still shoot them off.  Just like they still use their fireplace/woodburning stove on No-Burn Days.  Oh well.  I have tomorrow off.  Yay!  I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Back at work...

Well, after having all of last week off, which was really only an extra 3 days since we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off already, I am back at work today and super busy. I start at 7am and my first break is at 9:30. Usually I'm not very busy first thing in the morning, but since I'm covering for a co-worker who is out all week, I was pretty busy. Only 3 of us know how to do this particular type of work and only 2 of us are supposed to be doing it. If both of us are out then the 3rd person, who used to do it all the time, will step in and cover. I'm not complaining, mind you. I was out all last week so "T" had to cover for me. We don't get anything on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so it won't be so bad. We're also going to be down 2 more tomorrow so that'll make a total of 3 people out tomorrow and since we are a pretty small unit, that's going to "hurt". Oh well. We've been down 4 people before. We can do it. We all have Wednesday off.

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I think I already mentioned I got to new models. I took pictures, but I don't have my camera to upload to my computer because there's something else I want to take a picture of for a planned blog post. I enjoyed having the week off from work, but it went too quickly and I didn't get anything done that I'd planned to. I did go horse hunting on Friday, like I'd planned, but that will be another blog post.

So, over the weekend I found this group on Facebook called "As Seen Through Horses' Ears" and it's for people to post pictures taken from the saddle. The very first post on the group, the one you see Every. Single. Time. you go to the group page is about how the only allowed photos require the horse's ears in the picture. It even gives example photos of what is allowed and what isn't. Even with that at the top of the group page, there's still a lot of pictures being posted that don't show any of the horse, they're just scenic. It's annoying when people don't follow the rules of a group. Oh well. Anyway, I spent much of the weekend looking at all the pictures that had been posted. Many of them were taken in Europe, but every now and then there's one from the US and today someone posted one they'd taken last December
She said it was taken at White Sands, New Mexico. I didn't know you could ride there and I posted asking her how she was able to ride there. Now I feel kind of stupid because apparently, the missile range is only PART of White Sands, not the ENTIRE thing. Oh well.  Hahaha.  What can I say?  I had a friend whose parents were into hot air ballooning and she told me they did a festival at White Sands one year and the area was opened to them to be able to do it, but they had to follow all sorts of rules and stuff, which enforced my belief that White Sands was closed to the public.  Their festival actually took place on part of the missile range.  The balloons were allowed to land there but the chase vehicles had to get them out the moment they landed.  I think it would be pretty cool to go riding at White Sands, don't you?

I don't guess, though, that it would be much fun for the horses.  Not in the areas with lots of sand anyway.  Maybe there's more flat areas where it would be easier for them. 

Well, I guess I'd better get back to work.  Yay!  Happy Monday.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. I got two Breyers...my first ones at a holiday in I don't know how many years. I'll post about them later.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peter Stone Sneak Peaks...

Happy Soggy Friday!  It started raining last night at about 6:30 and has been raining off and on since then.  Let me just say, I'm glad my brother has use of our mom's Jeep Cherokee as an alternative way to work so he doesn't have to ride his motorcycle.

Anyway, on with the show.

Until recently, I'd read people on Blab mentioning seeing sneak previews on Facebook of different Peter Stone models as they're being completed and sometimes have even caught a glimpse of one they've ordered.  I'm on the official web page for Stone and I'd never seen any previews so I was confused as to how they could see them.  Then I found out about a different page where you have to "friend" in order to see the pictures so I sent them a friend request and Viola!  I can now see the previews.  Well, yesterday they posted a bunch of pictures and so I decided to share some of them here...Some are real neat and others have me scratching my head.

Ready?  Here we go.

The first thing that caught my attention about this photo was the angle of the head and the "in your face" feeling to it.  Almost like someone was trying to take a picture of the ones in the background and this little fellow popped up and said "Hey, look at me!  Ain't I cute?"  The model horse version of a photo bomb.  hahaha
Then someone mentioned the antlers and I was like, oh yeah.  He's got antlers.  I'm not real sure of the purpose of having antlers on a horse, but to each their own.  He's still cute.  Another model had antlers, too...
Next we have this line-up of Arabians.  Quite a nice line-up of pretty colors, but that isn't what caught my attention about these lovelies...it's the fact that they alllllll have the same 2013 blaze on their faces.  And I imagine that's why they were lined up together because they'd all gotten their blaze at the same time.  Well, not exact same time, but maybe just one person paints the blazes and so if the models have a similar or identical marking they stay together.  Most of them also have two low socks in front.  Only one has a slightly higher right front and nothing on the front left.
And finally there's the hopefully still un-finished ones...
I say 'hopefully still un-finished ones' because of the tails on the two closest to the camera.  I can't imagine having a horse with a tail with such abrupt coloring like that.  Like it was dipped into ink or something.  I'm hoping more color will be added to the top half and blended in with the black bottom half because it looks bizarre the way it is now.  No offense if these are your horses and you're in love with how it looks...it's just not my taste.

I don't think they've even started, yet, on my DAH I ordered last week, but when they do I hope I'm able to catch a glimpse of him here.  He shouldn't be too hard to pick out.  I had ordered the 2012 Equilocity Appaloosa with the 2013 blaze and one medium sock with hoof stripes, but until yesterday I thought I'd ordered him in black.  Well, I called Stone yesterday to make sure they'd gotten my email about wanting the short m/t ISH because I hadn't heard back and while I had her on the phone I wanted to verify they had the correct options and I said black and she said they had me down for Silver Bay.  Huh?  Oh yeah!  I'd forgotten that was what I'd ordered.  hahahaha.  So, if you're "friends" with Peter Stone Horses on FB and you happen to catch one of their preview photos of a Silver Bay 2012 Equilocity Appaloosa with a 2013 blaze and one white sock...that's probably mine! 

Well, I guess I'd better get to work.  I have quite a few things to wrap up today since I'm out next week (yippee!).  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Still here...

Hi gang.  I know I've been kind of quiet lately, but I haven't really had much to blog about.  Thanksgiving was nice.  We had a turkey and several sides.  My brother invited a buddy of his over.  Then everyone took naps and I was left to clean it all up.  That didn't make ME very Thankful.  But I was Thankful for another year of relative good health for my mom and brother and myself.

Last week, my brother found out he has Bell's Palsy and was out of work for about a week because he works customer service and talks on the phone, but he couldn't talk very well so he couldn't go to work.  He finally was able to go back yesterday, but when I left the house this morning he still wasn't up so I don't know what's up with that.  He starts a new job in mid-January so I know he's not real eager for his current one, but considering last week he said he'd rather be at work than home with BP, I don't know...Not much is known about Bell's Palsy so we don't know if this was a one-time thing or if it's something he'll have to deal with on into the future.  I hope not.  But if it was just a "simple" inflammation, why give it a scary name that has the word "palsy" in it?  He's super sensitive about it, too.  I've always made strange expressions with my face and now when I do he asks if I'm mocking him.  I don't even realize I'm doing it because I've been doing it for so long.  I just don't know.

On the horse front, last week I decided to order another Peter Stone Design-A-Horse to make up for not being able to get anything at the warehouse sale due to my car deciding to get a flat tire.  I went for the $10 Equilocity pattern from 2012
but ordered it in black with the 2013 blaze and one medium sock on the front left leg with hoof stripe.  I never get glossy.  Anyway, so yesterday I get an email from someone at Stone saying I had selected "Custom Body" from the drop-down menu but didn't select a body and if I just reply back to the email or call them with my body choice, she can PayPal me an invoice.  What?  I don't think so.  So I replied back saying I assumed the pattern came on the short mane/tail ISH body and that's what I wanted and was it going to cost me extra because they've already charged my debit card for what I've ordered.  I'm not going to pay another $50+ for a custom body.  So now I'm waiting to see what the answer to that question is.  For shits and grins I went back and ordered the same thing but selected the short m/t ISH and it gave me the same price I already paid so we'll have to see.  If it's going to cost me extra hopefully they'll let me cancel the order.  I want the horse and I could afford a minor charge, but it'd be on principle.  I need to stop impulse buying models.  hahaha.  I was treating myself, though, because I worked OT last week and felt I "deserved" a new pretty.  hahaha.

So, Christmas is next Wednesday.  I have the entire week off.  We already had Tuesday and Wednesday off from work and I won my unit's lottery to get the rest of the week.  I was going to go to Tucson on Sunday, but my credit card decided it was the perfect time to charge me the yearly fee so there went those plans.  I'm going to try to clean up my model horses...literally.  Dust them.  Plus organize them.  Try to get all my Stablemates in one spot, too.  On Thursday or Friday I'll go horse hunting again.  Hopefully I'll have better luck than my last trip.  Not even the domestic horses cooperated for pictures.  Oh well.  That happens now and then.  I did get a Tonto Pass, though, so now I don't have to worry about getting in trouble for not having one when I enter the national forest areas.

Our weather has really warmed up, too.  It was 79 yesterday.  Ugh.  I really dislike Arizona sometimes.  I want snow!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Stone Warehouse Sale...

Well, tomorrow Stone Horses is having a warehouse sale.  It's predominantly for people who can attend in person, but they will have people available to take phone orders.  I looked at the horses they were going to have available and was all fired up when I saw the Ideal Stock Horse models they were going to have...

Aren't they pretty?  I just want all of them!  The first two are probably going to be more expensive than the second two, but I'd take any of them.  And I was hoping to buy at least one of them...until this morning.   I was driving to work and was making a left turn from one road to another when suddenly my tire felt bumpy.  Knowing it was under warranty, I still wasn't too worried.  I pulled off the road into a parking lot and called the auto club.  Yes, I can change my own tire, but it was 39 degrees outside and I just didn't feel like it.  Besides, I work in an office and I don't think they would've appreciated me showing up smelling like I'd been working on a car because while I can change a tire, it takes me awhile and I would've worked up a sweat doing so.  So why not let the auto club do it?  Since my spare tire is only a donut, I had to go to the tire place right away.  I had already called work and told them I'd be late, but the tire place didn't open until 8 and it was 6:30 when all this was happening.  So I got to sit in the parking lot of the tire place for an hour.  Fun!  Fortunately, though, my next door neighbor is one of the service writers and as soon as they were open he came out to help me (he'd seen my car when he'd gotten to work).  Anyway, the bad news was that my tire was worn down and not eligible for free replacement.  I would need a new one for $64.  Not a major deal, but apparently my other front tire was wearing down the same way and would need to be replaced soon, too.  I should also look into having my alignment checked.  Great.  The dollar signs just kept adding up.  I told him that would have to wait until pay day (they don't do that there anyway) and he said he'd see if they had any used tires if I was willing to get those.  Sure.  No problem.  Then he remembered he had two tires at home that would fit my car and he didn't need them and he didn't want them to go to waste.  So he ran home and got them.  I did end up having to spend $53, though, when he asked if I wanted to convert my donut tire, which was wearing out, too, to a full-sized spare.  Sure!  So, while I lost my pony spending money for tomorrow, I got two new/used tires for free and I now have a full-sized spare.  Yay!  Not to bad.  And I ended up only being 2 hours late for work.  No big deal.

I'm bummed about not being able to do the warehouse sale tomorrow, but maybe the 4 models above will eventually go into "Overstock" or something and I can buy one of them there.  We'll have to see.  I shouldn't be spending that much money anyway.  And no, buying the tire didn't take all my money from my bank account...I'm not that broke.  hahahaha.  But I need money for other things, you know?  Oh, the joys of being a grown-up.

The weather is supposed to be cold all weekend.  I wonder if we'll turn on the heater at all.  I thought it would've been warranted this morning, but...It was supposed to only be a high of 47 on Sunday, but now they're saying it'll be 52.  We'll see which one it'll turn out being.  I don't have any major plans.  Grocery shopping on Sunday as usual.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I will leave you with pictures of some really beautiful horses.  I forget if they're Hanoverians or American Warmbloods.  I know I was looking at pictures of both...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 5th...

I couldn't think of a good enough title so the date will have to do.  I know I've been kind of lax in blogging lately, I just haven't had much to say.  Thanksgiving was last week.  My mom made a turkey and a bunch of sides.  My brother had a buddy of his over.  We've always had "strays" when we've hosted dinner at our house, and occasionally when it was at my parents' house up north.  It's just the 3 of us now and my mom lives with us so there is no alternating homes for holiday dinners.  Christmas dinner is usually just family, though.  Last year we had prime rib and I think that's what's on the menu this year, too.  I hope so.  hahaha.

Today is the annual holiday buffet at work.  I didn't go.  I haven't gone in several years.  I just don't enjoy getting there and getting my food then trying to find a place to sit.  If I find an empty table, I grab that one and other people come and sit down, but they don't socialize with me.  I'm in a different location than where the buffet is held so I don't know them and they don't know me.  They talk to their co-workers and friends and I just sit there.  If I'm not able to find an empty table then I have to try to find a place to sit and I'm quite shy about stuff like that.  It's just easier not to go.  The people in my unit, they have their little groups and they don't invite me to join them.  Oh well.  I'm not looking for sympathy or anything, just explaining why I don't go.  The food isn't that good anyway and I don't like having to ride the bus they hire to take us from my building to the other one up the street.  Oh well.  My unit is having its own holiday gathering.  We're ordering from NYPD Pizza and we're going to watch a movie.  We're also going to do a Secret Santa.  Usually they do a White Elephant and I don't participate in that because I don't like the concept of being able to take away someone else's gift if you like that one better than one you might get.  So I'm glad we're having a regular Secret Santa and everyone who is participating has a list up at their desk.  The first things on my list are probably the least likely I'll get because they have to be ordered from a web store.  It's one I order from often and have been wanting these items but decided to put them on my list.  One of the items is a cute cell phone holder...
and the other is a bento box from Amazon...
The third item is also a bento box from the same website as the cell phone holder.  On my list I put the web address and the name of the items so hopefully they're easy to find.  We'll see.  I know I will be happy with whatever I get.  I also put on there gift cards for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.  The only thing I can use the iTunes on is my iPad mini since my mp3 player is by Sanyo and my laptop doesn't like iTunes.  hahaha.

I have a confession to make...I'm addicted to horse pictures.  Even though I have tons of them, I keep looking for more.  Several times a week.  And when I have enough of them built up, I have them printed.  Originally I started collecting them to use as inspiration to get back into riding shape, but now I can't stop myself from collecting them and having them printed.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these pictures.  I'm rather picky about them, though.  I prefer the shots taken from the saddle with the horse's ears visible, but there has to be a certain amount of the ears visible
(gee whiz info: I know the girl in the middle)
I don't like too much of the head showing or just half the head/neck because the horse is off-center.  Now I've started collecting ones that are a bit different and interesting...
(wild horses from the Salt River herd)

I wish I could stop myself from looking for the pictures and having them printed because I really don't know what I'm going to do with them.  <sigh>  Oh well.

Today the weather has been really cold the past couple of days.  It's only supposed to get to be 56 today.  It was 46 when I left for work.  They're getting snow up north in Flagstaff, which is only about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where I live.  I wish it snowed more often at 2500 feet because that's close enough for me to drive to without having to worry about lots of hills and my car potentially breaking down.  It's supposed to get colder in the coming days.  I can't wait!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I want one!!!!!!!!

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, CA is having a cool fundraising campaign right now called Change for Cheetahs.  They're trying to raise money to help build a new multi-species exhibit for African animals and an anonymous donor will match up to $1,000 of all change collected during the first week of Zoo Lights.  The new exhibit will be:: (from their Facebook page)

"A series of new African exhibits, many multi-species, that together will emulate the African plains and savannas. African Adventure will be a brand new, state-of-the-art home for a pride of African lions, a family herd of African elephants, white rhinos, a brand new giraffe feeding station with 360 degree views of the savanna, a new dine-in restaurant called Kopje Lodge and, of course, cheetahs complete with a cheetah run!"

Very cool!  Especially about the Cheetahs and Cheetah Run.  I got to see the original Cheetah Run Safari at the San Diego Wild Animal Park a few years ago and it was amazing.

Anyway, fundraising isn't any bit new thing for zoos.  Since most of them are non-profit, they always seem to be having some sort of fundraising going on to help improve the lives of the animals in their care.  What Fresno Chaffee is doing that makes it a bit unique is their method of collecting money...

They had these "little" paw print banks made and when you fill it up you take it to the zoo to turn in the money then fill it up some more.  At the end of the campaign, you get to keep the bank.  I wrote on their FB page that I wanted a bank but was outside the area but I'd still be willing to raise money for the new exhibit.  I doubt they'll give me one, but I'd LOVE to have one.  They're so cute and I'm a sucker for Cheetahs!
If I knew someone who lived in that area I'd ask them to get me one, but...I know nobody in Northern California.  Oh well.  Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll be willing to send me one. 

Anyway, they're supposed to break ground for the new space next month with a completion date of Summer 2015.  I've been wanting to go back to the Bay Area and now I've got good motivation to save for it.  I don't know that Fresno Chaffee currently has Cheetahs so that would be neat to have another zoo with them.  And I've never been to that zoo or any of the others in Northern California.  My zoo travels have really taken a nose dive.  For awhile there I was visiting a bunch of different ones, but it's been a couple of years since I've been to a new one.  If my friend comes out from Utah next month maybe I can talk her into a drive up to Bearizona...I know she's been wanting to go since I told her about it.  It's been open for about 3 years now and I have yet to visit, but with someone else driving (it's about a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive) I think I can handle it.  hahaha.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Today's Blog Post is Brought To You By the Letter..."R"

"R" is for rain, which is what we're having today and I didn't want to bring my camera from my car to the building where I work as I don't have adequate protection for it.  Yes, I have an umbrella, but it doesn't work very well when it's windy and pushing the rain sideways. 

I had yesterday off and went out horse hunting...I took this picture with my cell phone...A cute little Section D Welsh Cob I found near one of the lakes in Papago Park...

It's supposed to rain for most of the weekend.  Oh joy!  Today we're very short-staffed.  Double oh joy!  The owner of No Line Farms blog, Christine, posted a photo for me on her blog of a horse in a field being snowed on...they're getting snow and I'm getting rain.  We're getting snow about 2 1/2 hours north of us in Flagstaff, but all we have is rain.  Where's the justice in that, I ask you?

I'll hopefully have more pictures from yesterday's exploits for you on Monday...Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hurray! There's horse pictures!

Yup.  I brought my USB cord from home and plugged my camera into my computer at work and voila!  Pictures!  The ones I've been promising since last week.  Sorry it took so long to get them up, but hopefully it'll be worth it.

Okay.  So.  Here's the story I said that went along with these pictures.  I found a Facebook page about the Salt River herd and on it was some locations to find the horses that I didn't know about so I decided to head out to one of the locations in hopes of spotting them.  When I got to the river, though, there was no sign of them.  I was bummed, to say the least.  I might have hung around a bit to wait and see if they showed up, but there were signs all over the place stating you needed a Tonto Pass if you planned to park your car and I hadn't been able to get one so I didn't want to stay in one place too long and potentially get a ticket.  So I left and got back out on the road, which led me to my discovery...as the road curved around towards the Beeline Highway, I happened to look over and...O.M.F.G!!!!!  A BIG herd.  But I didn't stop right away.  Don't ask me why, but I didn't.  I got out on the Beeline heading back south towards Fountain Hills and where I'd seen the other herds but I kept thinking about the big one I'd just seen and how there was a nice big place to park on the side of the road so I got turned around and went back.  Because I didn't want to startle them, I parked a little ways down the road and got out to walk in on foot.  They were in a little small gulley and there was a wire fence near the road so I just stayed up on the road.  There were a couple of youngsters.  This foal and its mom were a little ways away from the herd...
They were more towards where I'd parked so I got pictures of them first.  They were just hanging out.  Didn't seem too disturbed by my presence.  I tried to be as quiet as I could and they didn't even twitch.  Then I went to check out the rest of the herd and I saw my first greys.  I'd seen pictures of them, but had only seen chestnuts and bays up until that point so I was quite excited to finally see some greys...

Again, I didn't want to disturb them so I took a bunch of pictures then left them to their eating.  I was smiling soooo big that I didn't care when some idiot pulled off the road east of me then honked when they drove by.  I went back by two more times during the day and the 2nd time they were still there, but the 3rd time they'd left, but that was okay since I'd seen them already and had plenty of pictures.  I tell you what, though, that was such an amazing experience!  They all looked healthy and decently fed.  There's plenty for them to eat out there.

Usually when I'm off work for the day and go out and about, I try to find domestic horses to shoot, too.  I usually find a place that looks like it has horse property then follow different roads.  Sometimes I get lucky and find horses near the fence and sometimes there's no horses or they're too far away.  I try to find horses that I can shoot through the fence without getting out of my car because I don't want the owners to think I'm harassing their horses, but sometimes that's not always possible and I'm getting bolder about getting out of my car so I can shoot over or through a fence.  Most of the time the horses ignore me...

but every now and then I encounter ones that are friendly and come over looking for attention or snacks...

Don't worry...I don't feed them or touch them.  I know better than to touch horses that don't belong to me and the chestnut on top is at a show barn so I wouldn't want something happening to him just because I couldn't keep my hands to myself.  hahaha.  Both photos were shot from the inside of my car.

Well, there you have it.  Finally, huh?  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  I'm off work tomorrow again so I'll be out hunting.  This time I'm going to get a Tonto Pass because not only do I want to be able to safely hang out at the river in case there's horses there, but I don't want to have to worry about encountering a Sheriff's deputy like I did last time.  He was just sitting there and probably not paying any attention to me, but why risk it?  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pictures of Wild Horses!!!!!!!

Well, not quite.  I brought my camera to work so I could upload the pictures to share...
but would you believe I didn't make sure I had the right USB cable to connect it to my computer?  I have several in my desk drawer, but the part that goes into the camera is either too flat or just plain too small.  I'm sorry.  I tried.  I really did.  So tomorrow I'll have them for sure.  In the meantime, I have proof that I have the pictures on the camera...you know, in case you're beginning to doubt their existence...hahaha.  I apologize in advance for their crappiness, but it's the best I could do using my cell phone.  Tomorrow.  For sure I'll have the pictures up to share tomorrow.  I'd better since I'm going hunting again on Thursday...depending on the weather.  If the weather is rainy like they're saying then I may not be able to.  I took the day off, but depending on how heavy it's raining I may do something else.  We'll have to see.  Anyway, on to the crappy photos!

The last photo is a group of 3 or 4 grey horses.  Most of the herd was bay and chestnut but there were a few greys and this was my first time seeing them.  I'll share the whole story about it when I put the real photos up tomorrow.

In case you're curious, the camera is a Canon 40D.  I've had it for....4 years?  When my great uncle died he left me a small inheritance and I used some of that to buy the camera.  Okay, I just looked it up.  I've had it since May 2008 so that's 5, going on 6 years.  It still does quite well, too, except the flash won't stay down anymore.  hahaha.  It's been dropped a couple of times and has had waves of 55 degree salt water splashed on it many times.  I guess you could say it's like a Timex watch...takes a licking but keeps on ticking.  I have no idea how many clicks it has on it and I know digital cameras have a shelf life, so to speak, so I imagine it's only a matter of time before it stops working.  I use my smaller Kodak C182 more often since it's so portable, but for some stuff I use this one.  Especially if I need the reach.  Attached to it is a Canon 70-300mm IS lens and a battery pack.  The battery pack adds weight to it, but makes it more stable as well.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Uniden Scanners...

So, as I mentioned in my blog post on Friday, there was to be a launch party on YouTube by Uniden for at least 2 new scanners.  They said it would start at 12pm CST, but when I went to the link at the appropriate time, they were doing a 5 minute countdown, which was a little odd especially since it turned out it wasn't really a live broadcast but rather a taped video.  Anyway, the broadcast started and we were introduced to the new BCD436HP
and the BCD536HP
Initially I was pretty excited, especially about the handheld one.  The unit size is about the same as my Pro-106, but the screen is much larger
It also looks like a radio that police and fire use, which is pretty cool.   On Saturday I had been looking at the Uniden Home Patrol-1
because I could take it with me and be able to program any zip code in and instantly listen to what was in the area where I was...perfect for traveling.  But then it turns out the new scanners are sort of a new version of the Home Patrol, which is what the "HP" means at the end of the model numbers.  Not only can you program your scanner by hand but also through the computer or you can enter the zip code of where you are and listen in.  Like the current Home Patrol, you can hook a GPS device and literally be able to drive from California to New York and never have to touch the scanner because the GPS will "talk" to the Home Patrol and change it as needed for each area you pass through.  Pretty cool.  The base unit of the 536 also comes with a wifi set-up where you can put it in one room and listen to it via a microphone throughout your house.  Pretty cool.  I'm not sure what the range is so you can probably go outside and do yard work and still be able to hear what is going on.  Unfortunately, that little feature comes with an additional cost and it's not something you can elect to have or not have.  If you want the 536HP, you have to have the wifi feature.  So, I figured I'd just get the 436HP when it came out in January.  But then, I was able to get my hands on the preliminary users guide and my excitement started to lessen.  I'm not a programming expert of digital scanners by any stretch of the imagination and even with using the computer to program it, it still looks VERY complicated.  Add to that the WEEKLY database updates and I'm thinking I'm not liking this thing so much anymore.  Sure, I can use just the zip code feature to find what I want to listen to, but I'd still have to update it weekly and I don't want to do that nor do I want to spend that much money on something I can get for almost $100 less (the Home Patrol).  Then...someone who lives in Arizona expressed concern on how it would handle Phoenix PD's Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC) radio system.  The RWC is made up of 19 police agencies across the county and each has their own radio tower system and talk groups.  It can get quite confusing.  The guy expressed concern that the new radios could even handle it because of the interoperability, which made me start to get concerned, too.  I'm not real sure where his concerns lie since you can use the software to program it like you can the Pro-106, but the whole thing is enough to make me wait to see what Whistler Group comes up with.  It's already been said there will be a replacement radio made for Radio Shack's Pro-106, it's just a matter of when...and for how much.  Whistler bought out GRE and GRE made the radios for Radio Shack and their first scanners to hit the market will be to replace the two digital and two analog radios that were most sold at Radio Shack.  I guess we'll have to see.

At any rate, I'm anxious for these scanners to get going and hit the market.  The new Unidens won't be out until January 2014 and I have no idea when the new Whistler ones will be out other than the first quarter of 2014.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine wasn't too bad.  Nothing too exciting happened.  Did my laundry on Saturday and took a nap.  Went to breakfast with my mom Sunday then went grocery shopping.  Took a nap.  Hahaha.  I have such an exciting life!

I had wanted to upload those wild horse photos I mentioned last week, but I was running late for work today and so I'll get them up tomorrow.  :)