Saturday, February 23, 2008

Early a.m. (snow day)

Because I have a new toy and absolutely no life, I went out at 5 a.m. and took some pictures of the snow. I wanted to see how the new camera handled low light conditions. I don't think Tater has anything to worry about, but I thought some of them were pretty nice.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Return of the prodigal

I got my cell phone back this morning. You know how you have those fantasies that the person who returns your cell phone, pushes you out of the ditch, helps you up if you slip in the sidewalk, whatever, will be Mr. Moviestar.

You know how it's always some shmoe that looks pretty much like you do.

Mr. Moviestar returned the phone.


And he's nice.

Double ugh!

When I went to get my phone this morning, I was expecting to meet some nice Joe who was just a good Samaritan. Instead I meet some 6'+ matinee idol with black hair and blue eyes, who has the nerve to be a nice guy.

It's discouraging.

He obviously didn't get the memo that if you are in your 20's, handsome and cause old men's tongues to drag on the lobby floor, it is your right, nay, your duty to be a complete and utter jerk.

At any rate, I offered him a $20 and he wouldn't take it. He told me he just wanted to do something nice. I said, you are saving me from a world of screaming from my AO, and he could look at it as my buying him his first cup of coffee for the week. He wouldn't take it.

So, I guess there are a couple of morals to this story. Even really attractive people can be nice in spite of some of our most dearly held beliefs. There really are nice people out there who just want to do the right thing in small ways that actually are important. I should hook my cell phone to my belt and not my pants pocket.

Oh yeah, I really need to start saving for that face lift.

New toy

I have been trying to get a new camera for the past few weeks. I mean how hard should it be?

The old Nikon Coolpix which has been a great camera has been getting a little... unreliable. Among other things, over the past year it has increasingly not been doing a great job of resolving reds. This is something of a nuisance when I am taking pictures in the garden. Last year, a lot of the pictures I took of poppies were blobs of red with black centers.

So, after being pretty responsible with most of my tax return and trying to get current on some bills, I had a few bucks to spare.

I decided to move up the food chain a bit with the point and shoot and get something with a decent zoom, so I could get better pictures of some of the birds that visit my garden and maybe catch the occasional rabbit or other cute critter on film, or jpeg, or whatever we are calling the medium.

Sounds easy enough. Go on line order the thing and be done with it.

Not quite.

I had decided on a Lumix. I was torn between the 12X and the 18X zoom and saw a refurbished 18X zoom for about the same price as the 12X. So, I ordered it. I waited a week before I called up Amazon to see what was what. They were no help and couldn't tell me when I could expect to receive the thing, so I canceled the order and decided to try my luck with an outfit called 6th Ave. Camera.

What a mistake.

I put in my order and waited 2 days before I sent an email off to them to see why I hadn't received my shipping confirmation. I got a vague email back from them, saying that they didn't have the camera in the warehouse and were waiting for one to be transfered from one of their retail stores.

The long weekend came and went and still no word, so I called to see what was up, since it had been a full week and I had payed using my debit card. They now had my money and I had no camera. I was helped, if you can call it that, by a young woman who told me, "Oh, there must be a problem with the website. They say we have black body cameras in stock, and we only have the silver ones."

I told her that a silver one would do fine, but that since I had been waiting a week, I wanted the camera overnighted. I was informed that she couldn't do that, but that she would expedite the shipping and I would have the camera in a couple of days.

By the next morning I had still not received a shipping confirmation. I had had about enough, so I called them up to see what was going on. I was informed in a very offhand manner that "The order doesn't seem to have left the warehouse." I said, cancel the order. Which she did without so much as a question or a protest. I guess they don't need the business.

I then surfed over to Amazon, shelled out for overnight shipping and now have my new camera.

It's pretty cool. I has all sorts of functions that I still have to figure out and it takes good pictures.

So, here are a few shots I took last night and today. Thanks to B. and M. for the pictures at the office.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good Samaritan

It has been an aggravating 2 weeks for me. With one thing and another, dealing with uncooperative businesses, new semester nonsense, the tail end of the cold that refuses to die and any number of small problems. Then, this morning, I lost my cell phone. Not my cell phone, my cell phone, but my work cell phone, cell phone.

I hadn't even noticed and then one of my coworkers called up to tell me that she had received a text from the work phone, telling here that someone had found the phone and would like me to contact him so he could return it.

I have never actually lost a cell phone before, but I have returned a couple and people were always stupidly grateful. Or so it seemed at the time.

My losing the phone would not have been the end of the world. I would have had to put up with a certain amount of grief from the Uberboss, who would have been very unhappy about replacing it and I would have had to try and retrieve all my contact information which was in my cell phone, which would have been a lot more aggravating.

As luck would have it I actually dropped the phone fairly close to home and the young man that found it lives one door down from me on my street. I will be getting the phone back (one of those blessing and curse situations) tomorrow morning. I am feeling pathetically grateful and have to figure out something nice to do for this guy. I figure I will offer him a $20 as a reward for his good citizenship. If he refuses, I will try and pump enough info out of him so that I can see if a gift card from Starbucks or something similar would be welcome.

At any rate, my faith in my fellow creature has been renewed to some extent for the day. Now if I can just get people to leave me alone so I can do my work.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fit to be tied

I am going to be getting an award from the school I work for. It's a pretty big deal. The award is given out by the school, not just the department. I guess I sort of felt pretty good about it when I first heard, but it took on a whole new meaning when I found out I had been nominated by the students.

The young people in our grad program are very busy. They probably have a heavier workload than the faculty. Putting one of these nominations through takes a lot of work and I guess that they were determined to see this thing through, because on the 26th, I will be getting a plaque from the president of the school and then eating rubber chicken. (I should also mention I get a nice fat check too.)

So, I feel like I have to do the kids proud. I went out and got a new suit that is at the tailors right now. Finding a 42 short is a whole blog post in itself. Hint to the clothing industry, it should be a 10 inch drop on the suitpants.

I was not feeling it with any of the ties that I have, so The Archduke Franz Ferdinand RG and I went out to look at ties.

I had decided that I wanted something loud in pink or maybe lavender. Then I saw the lime green paisley which even RG admitted was really me. There was a suit like the one I had bought, so we were able to check the colors against it. And yes I got a charcoal gray pinstripe. When you are as short as I am, anything too flashy and you look like you're with the circus. Another fashion hint, if you're under a certain height or at least if you have very short legs, avoid cuffed pants. But that may just be me.

At any rate, I went with the tasteful little number on the far right. As usual, I went to Chez Marshall's. Like I always say, only the best for me.

I already know that I am going to have to post a picture of me after I've been hosed down and had my barnacles scraped. You'll just have to wait. Like I said, the suit is at the tailor's.