Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I threw caution to the wind, said money is no object, the sky is the limit, and finally hit the road to go get the most high tech top of the line camera I could possibly find.
I went back and fourth between Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc and after very thorough research, and convincing myself I would not have buyer's remorse because I need high quality photos of the kids growing up, I finally settled on the nicest Canon camera that money can buy.
That's right, I got the 110 ED. 36 more payments, and this baby is all mine:
I know what you are saying "That is to much camera" and you are probably right but you know what? My kids are worth it so keep your crappy opinion to yourself.
So I might have one a bit over board but I couldn't stop with just the camera, I made sure I got the deluxe model that comes with a state of the art "Flash" For you common folk, this is like a bright light bulb that "Flashes" or comes on and then goes off real quick.
I am sure you are thinking "Why would I want this flash?" well this camera can take pictures in the dark.
I am sure you are thinking "Why would I want to take pictures in the dark"
These are all good questions and if you wait til the end, we can get to all your questions. In the meantime, let me go over some of the advanced features that put this camera leaps and bounds above the rest.
These days, people are interested in getting their photos onto their computers and are always concerned about different memory chips and megabytes.
Well, this baby has the most advanced memory system available. Pictured below is the latest and greatest in camera memory. It stores the pictures right on the memory device and although I haven't located t yet, I think it has a USB plug on it somewhere for uploading pictures. Acutally, I bet it has Wi Fi because I am not seeing any sort of attachment on it for a cable. It says 24 pictures, but I am sure that means 24 thousand. or maybe million.
How many times have you been out and about and suddenly, your camera is no longer charged. Never happens with this model. This camera runs totally off the power of the very common "N size" batteries that can be found in a lot of mom and pop type convenience stores throughout the midwest:
I know, these batteries can get expensive, but life is too short to save your hard earned money for things like food and rent. Sometimes you have to splurge and for me, that time is now.
That is a cat jumping through number nine by the way which as we all know is the universal sign for long battery.. um it means they are like cats. these batteries are like 9 batteries each and they
So where was I? Oh yes the more advanced features. So let me ask you this: Do you know how much time the average person spends in their life zooming in and out before taking a photo? I have looked it up, and the answer is an astonishing 34 1/2 years. That is a lifetime to someone like me who is 34 1/2 years old. For some of you it is just a drop in the bucket and you don't care. To you I say "keep zooming" I am getting my life back. I have found the fountain of youth in this camera.
What I am getting at here is simply that this camera has eliminated the need for a zoom.
How has it done this? Well, the camera makers at Canon have decided if you want to see something close up, walk up to it. Canon wants you to experience life not watch it from afar.
The last thing I will mention about this camera because you are all thinking it. Ths is too nice, how do we keep common thieves from stealing it. Well, that is where the special camera case comes in.
Canon has created a camera case that is disguised as a 1950s style shaving kit.
Why would they do that? Think about it. Criminals since the beginning of time have all had facial hair. It is a proven fact. Many Many studies have been done at universities around the U.S. on this very subject. There is no arguing about this. Check this link for proof. This is a link of infamous criminals that would not think twice about killing you to get to your new canon camera: Bad Guys
So a criminal sees your "Shaving Kit" (I added the quotes there because remember, it is really a camera) See.....
Anyway, the criminals see this and they don't want to shave so they move on. Its fool proof.
So, now lets see the quality output from this piece of machinery. Below are some photos that this baby took. I am not sure about the mega pixels on this, but it has to be a lot.
First I want to say, none of these images has been airbrushed or photoshopped. Obviously, I can't prove that to you but It is a fact. This is Hi Def at its finest.
Here we have a shot of the white house. I took this when I was there visiting my friend George Glass (3 of you will get that reference but I am proud of it)
You can see how this camera brings out the depth and richness and symbolism that was popular during that city.
If you look close, you can see the president in the window there waving. He was very excited to be the first sitting president captured on the canon 110 ED
Next we have (like I have to tell you) this is obviously the statue of liberty. Now this is the perfect example of using the flash. A normal camera would not have been able to capture her in all her majesty but because of this camera's ability to turn night into day, we have this crisp picture of her guarding our country from riff raff that we don't want here.
This picture makes me proud to be an American. She has stood there since 1981 scaring anyone that comes here into thinking we are all giants w/ torches. A lot of you don't know this but before we surrounded the country with status portraying us as giants, we had all sorts of issues with people who are not from here, coming here and trying to be like us.
You know what this is. It is the Great wall of China.
Interesting fact: this is the only man made land mark where you can look up at night and see space.
Well, I am done showing off, so I will leave you with this serene and peaceful view of the Atlantic ocean.
Okay, I will take your questions now.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The more I thought about those balloons, the lighter the camera seemed to feel in my hand. This was never a part of my plan, but I had momentum now. I had other plans for this new camera but the stupidity had set in and sometimes, that’s all it takes.
I got the first balloon. For the remainder of the story it will be known as "Balloon One" I attached it to the camera. It wasn't enough.
I got a second balloon. We will call this one "Balloon One" also because there is no real need to differentiate. Stop getting hung up on the small stuff.
After attaching the 2nd balloon one, I knew this could totally work. although I had not yet defined what "work" would be.
I got the third balloon to which we will not refer again because it is this one that is the reason I now own several weapons, some sporting goods equipment, and about 50 feet of 3 quarter inch, class 200 PVC pipe which by the way is all for sale if anyone is interested.
So here is what we have.
1. Smallest video camera I could find.
It is disguised as a keyless remote
(no seriously, look into my keys and say that)
2. The lighter than air vehicle to carry it.
All I needed was an anchor of some sort because we want to be smart about this. Well fortunately, we had some special tangle resistant kite string that I could.... wait... what was that?? Tangle resistant? Yes, it has a special coating on the string that makes it difficult to tangle or knot. It would have been smart for me to think about that feature of the string but this was no time for thinking.
So, I tied the string to the camera, and headed off to my backyard for the official launch. It was cold and quite gusty out but I decided to throw caution to the wind. And by "caution" I mean my camera.
The whole thing rose higher and higher until it went above my roof and the wind began to push it. The string tightened and I fought with the thing for a good 3 seconds before the kite string's defense system kicked in and set itself to "detangle mode" It was at that point that I realized how unfortunate it was that I had put my Cell phone's memory card in the camera without first backing it up. Off it went my contacts, texts, some documents, emails, pictures, and of course my new camera.
My first reaction was to grab the kids, get in the car, and follow those balloons until they landed gently and easily retrievable in a field somewhere where I would simply pick them up, and head home.
My second reaction was "Oh shit, my balloon is going to get stuck in the top of that tree"
So there was my sophisticated surveillance system precariously stuck on a branch of a tree threatening with each gust of wind to detach and fly away delivering my camera and memory card to some lucky person downwind from Lewisville.
I did what anyone would do. I gathered up the kids and went to Wal-Mart to buy a BB gun. This is probably a good time to point out that the camera cost $18.00 on eBay.
There I was at Wal-Mart with my babies in tow on the BB gun isle looking through the various air rifles. I found the perfect one, some air cartridges, and some BBs. I was about to head out but then decided in order to get on the “people of Wal-Mart” website I needed to add to the equation.
In all seriousness, in the checkout line, people were staring at me like crazy. I don't know why.
That night after everyone was asleep, I grabbed a beer and the gun and headed to the greenbelt which is a fairly common practice in Lewisville.
I walked out to the tree, and I could see the shadow of what was either my balloon up there or possibly a bald Eagle. It was hard to tell because it was dark. I started shooting wildly at the shadow, and accomplished nothing. I might have missed. This is when I decided if I put 10 BBs in the barrel and fired it I would likely... well I don't know what it would do. It would do something and the one at a time method wasn't working.
I filled the barrel with Ammo, fired once, and it destroyed the Eagle (Oh yeah, at some point I renamed the aircraft to "The Eagle").
So, my first success. I managed to pop the balloons so they could not fly away. They were deflated now but still stuck up there mocking me from above.
The next day I got up and spent a good hour shooting at the wad of Mylar and ribbon in the top of the tree hoping to somehow dislodge the thing and retrieve my camera. I also secretly hoped it was somehow still filming my efforts.
After a bit of time, I noticed a helicopter circling the greenbelt and thought "here I am in the green belt firing a gun up in the air" I quickly went to the house and checked the news to make sure there were no reports of a lone gunman shooting up the greenbelt. It was just a car wreck.
I decided that wasn't going to work so it was back to Wal-Mart; this time for less conventional weaponry.
The thought was to tie (A damn good knot this time) the string to the tennis ball, and launch the tennis ball into the tree with the slingshot. I did a few practice shots with some free range tennis balls to see if I could even hit it.
You can't launch a tennis ball with a slingshot. It doesn't work.
I began throwing the tennis balls at the branch and was getting close to it so once I felt I had my aim down, I launched the one with the string attached.
So now my tennis ball was stuck in the tree next to the balloons.
I went home dejected.
I explained the situation to Jack, and he came up with the best solution yet.
A few days had gone by and I had come up with several other ideas
1. Crossbow w/ String for a mini harpoon type device
2. Ladder + Chainsaw
3. Screw large bolts half way into the tree creating steps. Add a new one as I go till I reach it
4. RC Helicopter that shoots model rockets (I will probably do this anyway. I have already designed the remote launching mechanism. It needs to be done.)
It was off to Home depot.
This is the point every man struggles with in life. It is dumb to spend this much money and effort on an $18 camera but I had already spent too much of both to just give up. I know I know... It makes sense to me though. Shut up.
I began gathering all the items I needed to make the ultimate "camera Balloon caught in a Tall Tree retriever"
I came home all excited to use the new tool and retrieve what the wind and trees had taken from me and I'll be damned if the balloon and camera weren't just sitting on the ground next to the tree. I could see Elmo on the balloon staring up at me and laughing his fuzzy red ass off. The only satisfaction here was that Elmo was riddled with BB holes
Incidentally, Here is some of the footage I got from the camera after I got it back:
At any rate, I got my camera back. I also got a kite. I think I will see if I can get some good aerial footage of those new power lines behind my house.