Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday...

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much.  My brother invited a buddy of his over and we all ate too much.  For as long as I can remmeber,  we've hosted friends who didn't have anyplace else to go.  Honestly,  though, I've gotten to the point where I'd rather just go out to eat.   Probably because it takes so long to cook everything and I end up stuck doing clean-up.  A couple of years ago my brother actually cleaned up everything, but last year he fell asleep and my mom was tired so I 'sent her to bed', which left me to clean everything.  Fortunately this year, though, I was able to able to get my brother to do *some* of the clean-up.  I gave him the choice of doing the dishes or putting away left-overs and after some hemming and hawing he agreed to deal with the left-overs.  He tried to get out of it by saying he did the dishes two nights ago and I said that was different because Thanksgiving generated more dishes and such than a regular meal amd it would get done a lot quicker if we worked together.  Guess who ended up dealing with the left-overs...?  Me.  Oh, he put them in containers, but he didn't make sure there were matching lids first so he was getting mad that he couldn't find lids for the containers he picked so I had to step in before he blew a gasket.  You wouldn't believe how bent out of shape he can get over tiny things.  Anyway, I found a couple of matching lids then moved some of the left-overs into containers whose lids I already had.  Figures.   Oh well.

As I mentioned the other day, I've had the week off from work.  My office was going to be closed Thursday and Friday anyway so I just took the other 3 off.  On Monday I drove down to Tucson to go to the Reid Park Zoo and even though I was only there for a couple of hours, I saw all of the animals I wanted to see.  The 3 month old African Elephant calf was super cute.  When I first got there, Nandi was in the yard with her mom Semba and older brothers Punga and Sundzu.  The other adult female, Lungile, and the adult male, Mabu, were in a different area of the exhibit not visible to the public.  Sundzu and Punga are 4 and 7 years old respectively and Punga is almost as big as Semba the mother, it seemed, but the two brothers kept sparring.  Quite interesting to watch, but it concerns me about the ability of keeping the family together long-term.   Anyway, little Nandi just ran all over the place and avoided her wrestling brothers, but then suddenly there was another big elephant in the mix and the youngsters took off running.  It was the adult male, Mabu.  I'd been hoping to see him so I took some pictures then moved on to the Grizzly Bears next door.  I was disappointed because the keeper was in the exhibit doing some clean-up so I sat on a nearby bench to wait a bit and soon the keeper was putting out some food for the bears and I knew they'd be out soon.  From the bears I went and saw Junior, the Black and White Ruffed Lemur.  He came from the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina and they're waiting for a week of warmer weather so they can 'take delivery' of 3 siblings from South Dakota.  The lion family was last on the list, but they were snoozing in the back of the exhibit and not really very visible.  I took a bunch of pictures and will post some here next week when I can get them uploaded to my computer at work.

Wednesday I went horse hunting.and saw one horse, but there was evidence others had been in the area recently.  If it was still summer I'd say it was probably people out trail riding because in the Phoenix area you don't generally ride in the heat of the day so it's not unusual to see trailers parked at the trailheads at 7am.  This time of year, however, when the sun is still pretty low at 7am and it's too cold to ride before the sun is really up so it had to be wild horses.  I took a few pictures then returned home to take my mom to lunch.

Well, if those 3 days (including my trip to the Phoenix Zoo Saturday) have shown me anything, it's that I need a new camera.  While horse hunting it wasn't an issue because there was only the one I saw and he didn't move a whole lot so there was plenty of opportunity to 'fix' it without missing any good shots, but there've been times when they were moving and with my camera locking up like it has, at the zoo animals move and if a lion or cheetah or something yawns, I like photographing the yawn.  That's really something I love about digital cameras:  the ability to take a bunch of pictures and not have to waste film or pay for prints that are blurry or simply didn't turn out.  So anyway, I spent Thanksgiving morning looking at different possibilities.  My first ever SLR camera was a Pentax and every now and then I think about going back to them.  They have in-camera image stabilization and are weather sealed, but because I have Canon lenses, I'd have to buy new lenses for a Pentax.  Even so, the set-up would be less expensive than Canon
I am a bit weird. I actually only like the above one because it lights up. Not a reason to buy a camera, but the cheaper price tag is

As you can see, two of them come with 2 lenses while the third is a body only and I'd have to add a lens.  The K-5IIs is more in line with the Canon 40d I have, which is considered mid-level.  The first 2 are considered intoductory level so I feel it would be a step back, but considering how affordable they are, I may just decide it's okay.  I'm not going to be able to buy a new camera for a few months, yet, so it's not a big deal right now deciding which to get.

Or, I could stay with Canon.  I wouldn't need to buy one with lenses since I already have some, but even just a body only would be a little more expensive to get one equivelent to what I have now
But that's not even the current model and I'd kind of like to get the most recent model, which is the 70d
B&H has a really neat package deal, but it comes with a pretty neat price.  The current battery grip I have*might* work on the 70d, but I don't know.   The cost of the above kit is about what I paid for my 40d back in 2008 so it's a good price, but more than I have now or even soon because of my car payments, once they start.  They have less expensive kits, too, and cameras without the whole she-bang that I can consider
But it would be a step down from what I'm used to.  Again, though, I have some time to consider my choices.  I certainly don't *need* to buy an equivalent camera to what I have now,  but, well, the higher-end ones tend to be a little larger and beefier and fit my hands better.  A battery grip might improve the feeling on a lower-end model, but I don't know.   It kind of sucks, though.   I'd hoped to go spend a couple of days in San Diego for my birthday, but now it looks lime I'll have to spend the money on a new camera, which is fine since I'll get more use out of it for the money than 2 days in California.   I don't know.   I don't like having to make decisions.  Hahahaha.

Well,  I guess that's it for now.

**update**  call me crazy, but I bought a new camera.  The Canon 70d body.  Not the fancy package shown above because I didn't get it from B&H, but rather another well-known camera store in New York.  I would've gotten the package one except B&H didn't have a buy now/ pay later-type feature and Adorama does.  Adorama has package deals, but none like the one at B&H, but that's okay.  I didn't expect to be approved for the credit so I started with just the camera body.  When I was granted that credit and I saw how much, I went back and ordered a battery grip and memory card.  I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, but the damage has been done, so to speak.  The camera is now in 'shipping' mode and will be shipped by the end of the day.  I expect to get another email shortly about the rest of it since both are being sent expedited.  For those who are wondering about the older camera I gave my brother that I said I could use until I could afford a new one, we couldn't find it.  This camera will be my Christmas and birthday gifts for awhile.

This is a huge drawback to having improved my credit rating over the past year or so...I'm no longer just rejected outright for lines of credit.  Even with small lines of credit I can easily get into trouble so I need to be careful.  Being offered credit every time I turned around is how I got into trouble the first time.  Hahahaha.

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