Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Fremont Street

Fremont Street on Halloween night is many things but boring is not one of them. Some of the costumes looked like they were done by Hollywood special FX artists. Unfortunately, my new Nikon camera did not do as well in low light conditions as I would have liked as a number of photos came out blurred and unusable.

I started out the evening by having a "single by-pass burger" at the Heart Attack Grill where customers were given a hospital gown to wear and your server was a "nurse"...

This place is definitely not for the politically correct

Then on to the Fremont Street Experience...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Camera Update

The more I use my new Nikon CoolPix S9700 camera, the more I like it. The quality of the photos appears to be as good as those taken with my older Nikon D80 and the 1080i video is outstanding. Although I initially envisioned it filling the niche between my cheap Sony point & shoot and my more expensive DSLR, I am beginning to think it may replace both of them.

There are many features to the camera that I am still exploring but the two I have found most interesting are the built-in gps and wi-fi. The gps function inserts a waypoint into each photo's "exif" data. This can then be used to show where the photo was taken on a map. Google's Picasa Web Albums makes this very easy to do.

The wi-fi function lets you wirelessly transfer photos from the camera to your smartphone or tablet via Nikon's free Wireless Mobility Utility app. My Samsung Galaxy S3 is a good phone but not a real good camera so I can see me using this feature occasionally.

Lastly, while downtown on Fremont Street this morning, I came across a sign that I thought a certain individual, who will remain nameless, would enjoy (hint: she eats like a lumberjack but never gains any weight)...

And it seems only fair that if she gets a sign, her husband should get one also...

Update (10/31/14) - I have had cameras that shot horizontal panoramic photos but never one that does vertical panoramics as well. Should be good for taking pictures of skyscrapers, rocket launches, tall blondes, etc.

One negative for the camera is it does not work well in low light conditions without the flash. I found this out the hard way by losing a number of Halloween evening photos which were too blurred and under-exposed to keep.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Evening In The Desert

Tonight was one of those near-perfect evenings in the desert. It was around 80 degrees with a gentle breeze so that sitting outside in a t-shirt was quite comfortable. For medicinal reasons, I was working on a bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon while listening to Enya, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett and gazing at the stars and an occasional jet making its approach into McCarren.

I recognize that the RV lifestyle is not for everyone but for me it has been about as good a retirement as I could have hoped for. A friend once referred to it as "living the dream". And this evening was one of those moments.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nikon COOLPIX S9700

eBay gave me a 10% off coupon that was just the incentive I needed to buy a factory refurbished Nikon COOLPIX S9700 point & shoot camera which arrived this afternoon. It's too early to review the camera but the initial impression has been very positive.

What I do want to show you are photos taken with the incredible 30x optical and 60x digital zoom lens. Here is a wide angle shot of a couple of RVs behind mine (the focus is on the table so it's not a great picture). What you cannot see in the photo or with the naked eye is a smoke cooker between the two RVs...

Click on photos to enlarge

The next shot is taken at full zoom from the exact same spot...

Simply amazing! Now where's that "clothing optional" pool everyone talks about.

Monday, October 13, 2014

CA RV Show

The CA RV Show in Pomona is huge! I started at 10 in the morning and finished at 2 in the afternoon when my knees gave out from all the stairs and saw only a fraction of what was there. Every major manufacturer and model appeared to be represented.

Generally, I do not see many toyhaulers at these shows. Today, however, they were everywhere including this monster with not one but two patios...

The new RVs were fun to explore but it was the nostalgia associated with the vintage RVs that brought back the great memories ...

Here's one for you trick or treaters...

Lastly, if I ever win the lottery...

Monday, October 06, 2014

Fun Photo

Not exactly what I had in mind when I bought my RZR...

Friday, October 03, 2014

Bureaucratic Brazenness

I just read a Wall Street Journal article regarding government officials testifying before Congress. Here's an excerpt:

"We’re all used to a certain amount of doublespeak and bureaucratese in government hearings. That’s as old as forever. But in the past year of listening to testimony from government officials, there is something different about the boredom and indifference with which government testifiers skirt, dodge and withhold the truth. They don’t seem furtive or defensive; they are not in the least afraid. They speak always with a certain carefulness—they are lawyered up—but they have no evident fear of looking evasive. They really don’t care what you think of them. They’re running the show and if you don’t like it, too bad."

I suspect this is because no one in government ever seems to get fired (you are more likely to die of natural causes) or is punished. They simply resign and take their generous government pension with them. Case in point: "Lois Lerner of IRS fame planted the question, told the lie, took the Fifth, lost the emails and stonewalled. Her punishment for all this was a $100,000-a-year pension for the rest of her life."

If you or I acted this way before Congress, we would probably be tasered, handcuffed, charged with molesting a dolphin and thrown in a jail for psychotic perverts.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ultimate Gift

Looking for a unique gift for that very special person in your life. How about a roll of 22 carat gold toilet paper. Granted that at $1,376,000 AU ($1.6 million US), it is a little expensive but remember it is personally delivered and comes with a bottle of champagne.