Friday, June 13, 2014

Camera Almost Dead (I think). Dead Neighbors Lawn Mowed!

My beloved camera has been giving me problems for a month now, off and on.  Sometimes it works, often it won't work now, seriously underexposing even outdoor photos.  Sometimes it still works ok, but most of the time it doesn't and I have to photo alter the brightness.  Here is an example of a photo I took outside this morning and have not altered brightness using Picassa.

Looks for all the world as if the photo was taken in the dark.

Yes, some guy came and mowed down dead Jack's yard this morning, but left somewhat of a mess, like the white siding splattered in grass clippings.  At least its mowed.

I saw another neighbor from down the block writing down the contact info from the sign inside the window.  I knew by then, that company no longer manages the house, so I went out to talk to him and told him about the new company, Five Brothers, who manages it now.  He also intended to call the city.   I guess he got results because it got mowed!

But what to do about my failing camera. I have read all sorts of things online.  I guess this can be a problem with even new cameras of the same brand as mine and mine is many years old now.   The battery compartment latch failed about three years ago, so I rigged a fix for that.  But up until a month ago, it still took great photos.  Not so much anymore.  Makes me sad.

The camera's auto ISO sensor is not working correctly, is what I have determined, reacting to cloudy days by exposing with a sunny outside ISO number, 80 in the photo at the top of this post. Even sometimes inside it refuses to adjust correctly, almost like it forgot to turn on. I push the dedicated ISO button a few times, and sometimes that helps. Although image quality will be reduced, I switched to auto "high" setting for now and may resort to manual, instead of auto settings, to extend the camera's life. In Auto settings you can choose either standard ISO or "high" ISO, but, the downside of choosing the latter is reduced image quality so I don't usually use that but I will try it, when the darn LCD screen changes to a dark screen just as I try to take the shot, which is what is happening. Looks nice and bright and normal in the LCD, then just as I push down on the shutter, changes to dark. A brand new camera of the same make and model costs about $200, and I'm going to start saving up. Sometimes the camera ISO auto setting works just fine but not so much lately. The camera is beyond its rated longevity in average number of shutter clicks birth to death by many thousands.

But maybe it's not all that bad.  I probably will not have internet beyond October of this year, since that is when my deal with comcast ends. Maybe its November.  I can't remember.  I got the deal for a year.  But I don't think I'll get another I can afford.  In fact, Comcast has been assailing me with fliers urging me to take some $99 a month deal for TV and internet.

LOL   Like I have that kind of dough every month.  Internet and TV are a luxury.   I barely watch TV now that I watch only what is currently coming through the air and my rusty old roof antenna can pick up.  I have become very used to the picture pixelizing into nothing, vaporizing before my eyes, often in the most crucial time of a TV show.   I've learned to survive the disappointment, turn it off, and walk away.

I suppose I'll survive without internet, too, after an adjustment period.  I don't have much hope I'll score another cheap deal through Comcast, especially since they conglomerated with some other big company they just bought.  My stomach churned over that deal when I heard talk on the news of comcast and some other company trading off "assets" to each's benefit and realized by "assets", they were talking about us, the customers.  We are not even human beings anymore.  We're just globs of flesh to be traded by big corporations for their benefit.  I thought, "Shit, man, that's cold," when I realized.

So, no affordable deal, means no internet and no internet means I won't be posting pictures anywhere, so no need for a camera either.

I might be really lightening up soon.  The camera and the computer are about the only things left in here I play with daily.  I'll adjust, I suppose.  I always do in the end.  Might do a lot of grumbling during the adjustment period.  Probably there will be some swearing.

Miracles happen.  Comcast could come up with another cheap deal to appease the masses.  It could happen.  If it does, awesome.  If it doesn't, oh well.

For now, all is good in my little world.  Dead Jack's lawn got mowed.  It's raining, and I'm not for that, I'll just add.  Nope, not for that at all.  This is summer, Oregon.  Enough with the rain.

There's plenty bad in the world.  Another school shooting, up outside Portland.  But, the murderous teen was stopped in his tracks, loaded to kill hundreds, when he encountered a teacher, a track coach, who ran like the wind.  The teacher was grazed by a bullet.  The kid chased him, but it was a track coach he was chasing.  No chance of catching him!  That teacher got to the office and initiated lock down.  Within moments, school resource officers were after the shooter, engaging him.   He ran into a bathroom stall and ended it himself, with a shot to his own head.

One bright light, a 14 year old, was snuffed out by the killer teen.   The young man killed was a soccer fanatic and played on a team.  At the Portland Timbers game last week, at minute 29, which was Emilio's jersey number, the game stopped and the crowd stood, chanting and waving their Timber scarves in honor of Emilio.  This display of remembrance broke me down in sobs.

I was up at the lake two days ago, to row. I need exercise. I love the lake and water.  However, I encountered some youngsters, although some were older youngsters, probably late teens and early twenties.  I talked to them, from my raft, just asking if they were having fun.  I think there were a dozen up on the rocks there and swimming.

I rowed off, and suddenly there was a loud bang.  I whirl to see the hot tip of a flare skipping across the water, maybe 25 or 30 feet from me.  I stare at the rocks and realize they've shot a flare gun my way and I could have been hit or my raft destroyed.  I try to think quickly of what I should do.  Another bang and a flare hits on the other side of me, also skipping along the water before bouncing into the brush, where it could have started a fire.  At this point, I start rowing hard as fast as I can, to get out of their sight and range.

Flare guns don't aim well.  They missed to one side of me the first time, overcompensated and missed to the other side.  I was below them and the water was choppy.  These things were to my favor.  Those young people, whom I'd just chatted with, were they now trying to hurt me or scare me? And why, I wonder, just for fun?

I reported it to the sheriff the next day.  I knew there was nothing the deputy could do, but I had no cell with me up there, on the raft or even in my car.  I tried to e-mail a report to the sheriff that night, but the e-mail got bounced back.   I will  have a cell with me at all times in the future.

I was taken aback by the episode.

I am also glad I am alive and my raft wasn't trashed.  Why do kids do such things?  Don't ask me.  Never, even in my rebellious young years, did I consider shooting anything towards another human being.  There is no way I can understand a person who does that.


  1. Take a look at EFN's low-income rates:

    It's unthinkable that you wouldn't be on the net anymore.

  2. Shooting at you with a flare gun? WTF?
    I am very, very glad that their aim was off.

  3. The picture certainly looks underexposed. Does your camera have any exposure settings? If it is, maybe increasing the exposure might be a quick easy cheap fix (the best kind!)

  4. That's only available in Lane County, Snow. Besides, I have no land line, to carry dial up or DSL.

  5. Jim, I use the camera's auto setting. It has always worked, until about two months ago. The LCD screen at first will show it bright, then changes to dark and exposes it dark. I don't want to set exposure manually. EC, exactly my sentiments, WTF!

  6. Snow, with internet, I either get it coming in over my phone line, on a cable, or through the air. I have no phone line, could not afford to keep it and a cell phone. I chose a cell, to carry for safety and when my car breaks down. The only broadband (cable) in the area is Comcast. Peak has a wireless offering, but your roof top has to be line of sight to one of their towers and mine is not. So my only option is comcast here, sadly. We shall see if they have an affordable option when my current deal expires. Won't know til then.