Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Polaroid x800,

I needed a camera I could use while snorkeling on my next vacation.  You were an affordable digital camera that was supposed to be waterproof up to 30' deep.  It seemed like a match made in heaven.  I had visions of taking you all the places my Other Camera was too awkward to go - like into my pocket so I don't look like a dweeb with a giant camera around my neck at every school function and field trip.  We'd take beautiful pictures together, you and I, and maybe you would even be tough enough to withstand my daughter's love.

I realize now that ours was a relationship doomed from the start.  How could you withhold so much information from me when we first met in the store, like what size memory card you required?  And how was I supposed to know your, um, batteries were so small, since there's no mention of your AAA requirements on your packaging?  If you had just spelled out plainly what your needs were, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time running back and forth.

You left out a few other things, too - like the wrist strap that would be sort of necessary if we, I don't know, actually went into the water.  Thanks for making me take an hour to make one the day I left for vacation - I needed the extra work that day.  And your owner's manual ... oh, a digital one is nice and all, but not all of us have time to boot up the computer every time we want to check to see how to take a closeup shot.  Way to go green and make me waste more than 40 pages of my own paper!

Maybe it's me, not you, I thought.  I was willing to overlook your faults, if only you could perform as you boasted when we first met.  But alas, you couldn't walk the walk.

Sure, if I took you out in bright light and focused on things at a distance, you performed acceptably well.
Of course, your screen is so small and poorly designed that it's damn near impossible to see anything on it in the full sun, but I can point and guess if I have to.  And yes, that's pretty grainy for a photo taken with an 8 megapixel camera used in full sun, but maybe I just needed a period of adjustment.  I had been with my Other Camera - you know, the one you saw me with on land all the time - for several years.

The real problems started as soon as I got you wet.  Trying to take pictures in the pool without putting my face in the water was futile; you can't see the viewscreen unless you're directly in front of it, and the refraction of the water wasn't helping things.  A few of the pictures in the pool turned out completely black, which is tricky to do when you're photographing in bright Jamaican morning light.  I tried taking some shots in the ocean, too, finding actual things to aim at that I could (sort of) see on the viewscreen.  I got pictures like this one of a rock with fish around it:
At least I think that's what it was.  For comparison's sake, here's a picture of the same area, taken from above the water with the Other Camera (so you can see it's not a silt issue, it's your performance issue):

(That picture, by the way, was taken from my fourth floor balcony at 6:30am on a cloudy day with my 5 megapixel camera that's more than four years old.  Yay for 10x zoom, a steady hand, and a good camera!)

After trying to take a few pictures in the water, I took a few more in the air, and I was surprised that the best of them looked like this:
Some people would pay $5 for an iPhone app to get that effect, but all I wanted was a clear picture.  I checked to make sure I hadn't inadvertently applied suntan lotion to the lens, only to find condensation all over the inside of it.  Inside the waterproof camera.  Don't believe me?  How about a picture from a few minutes later, after I had let you sit in the sun for a while and half of the condensation was gone?
Oh, and did I mention your lack of stamina?  After only a few dozen pictures, your battery indicators were already showing you were down to less than 1/4 of a full charge.  Between that and the fact that the batteries fall completely out of the camera any time you open the door to get the memory card or connect the camera to the computer to transfer pictures, I think you aren't exactly the smartest camera on the block.  More like, "the camera on the block that was designed by an idiot with a complete lack of understanding of how an underwater camera - or a camera of any sort - will actually be used by a consumer."

To say I am displeased with you would be understating it.  Pissed off, wrathful, intent on vengeance ... that's more the level we're talking here.  I could have gotten better photos with a cheap point-and-shoot sealed inside a ziplock bag, for god's sake.

I'll be calling your parents about this tomorrow morning, you can be sure of that, and they'd better be prepared to make restitution.  Because I'm not going back to Jamaica anytime soon, and thanks to you, I have exactly ZERO usable shots from the water, you stupid piece of useless misrepresented underpowered poorly designed crap.

Also, you're ugly, and your mother dresses you funny.  So there!


Your ex-owner

What I did on my spring break in Jamaica

I spent last week at a resort where there was a nanny to take care of my kid and I had no responsibilities other than to sit on the beach while enjoying the view and drinking Adult Beverages.  I knit an entire tank top, most of a size 13 man's sock, and 1/4 of a skirt for the kidlet.

I knit on the beach.

I knit on the balcony.

I knit on the beach again.

I knit on the balcony again.

I knit in the bar.

I did not knit on the glass-bottom boat (too wet), in the restaurant (too many nom-noms in the antipasto bar to try), or while sleeping (at least intentionally).

I also took more than 1,000 pictures and videos, read 3 books and played a lot of Angry Birds.

It was a good week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is probably a bad idea

Found a video that was so funny, I had to stop watching it after a minute just so I could catch my breath.  I haven't finished it, so the last 5 minutes of it could suck, and the commentary is seriously NSFW, but daaaaaang, the first bit is funny.

So here it is:

ETA: Oh, sweet baby jeebus, playing this is so much fun! The "Crunch!" when his head hits the track is classic, as is the fake Chariots of Fire theme music that plays if you actually get ANY forward motion going. You have to try it:

Also, some of my favorite comments from the forum where I found this:

So you KNOW I had to try it myself. I thought I was going to die laughing just at the impossible contortions I was making this guy do. Then he backflipped and his head actually made a thundering CRUNCH on the ground. Now I am dead from laughing.
ETA: I think I’ve got the moonwalk down pretty solid.
ETA: I got to 2.7 meters before he decided to fuck the ground furiously and then crack open his skull on his own knee.
ETA: I got to 10.8 meters! This guy is really good on his knees. (his trainer must be nellum’s mom.)
Somewhere between the starting line and the finish line is an actual fucking hurdle you have to manage to jump in order to win the race. Seriously, I’m not even sure how it’s physically possible, although I’ve never gotten that far. Most people just wind up pushing it to the finish line as the ground-hump their way along.

Knocked that hurdle down and humped my way over it.
Course, nobody warned me there’s a fucking jump at the end.
I am currently attempting to hump my way to victory. I take breaks sometimes. I do love how each time I sort of move him forward the inspirational music half starts to play. Go QWOP!
ETA I hit the part where you need to jump and I managed to hump the bar to the ground but it is stuck in the characters crotch. I may have to hump it the last 50m.
I think “Humping our way to victory” should become the official LSG motto. I know it’s going to show up in my vocabulary as soon as I can work it in, as a synonym for slogging on the face of ridiculously epic failure. Kind of like this last job I’m winding up.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, this is awesome

For more details on just why this is so awesome, you'll have to visit the other blog.

Again with the tiredness

Thursday night I made 10 shirts for Liza and the spelling bee contestants from Kindergarten.  Do you have any idea how hard your hand cramps after using that much puffy fabric paint?

Friday I watched Liza at the spelling bee, where she won "Bravest Speller."  The judge said it looked like she was thinking, "Okay, Mr. Microphone, I know you want to eat my face off, but they told me I needed to use you to win, so I'll just stand way over here and be prepared to run away if you make any sudden movements."  What do you think?
Oh, and I hereby declare that the silent "h" in words like "wheel" is stupid and should be abolished.

Saturday I was getting ready to start painting the bathroom when the power went out.  You know, on the day when it was raining.  And the battery backup on our sump pump was out of juice.  So I got to bail - over the course of 3 hours - 60 gallons of water out of my sump hole, or, as I like to call it, The Black Hole of Olmsted Falls.

In the 10-minute increments between bailings I managed to get the basement even more tidy than it was before.  Um, yay?

When the power came back on, Jason asked if I still planned to paint the bathroom that day.  Two-word answer that starts with "f" and ends with "no."

Sunday I finally got the walls painted.
Monday I got the trim painted.
This morning I got the caulking done and moved all the towel rods and cabinets and curtains back in.  After another hour of cleaning all the dust off of everything, it looks pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

Even if I still don't have a fucking faucet, which, if you recall, was THE ENTIRE REASON I STARTED THIS PROJECT ALMOST A MONTH AGO.

This afternoon I went outside to look at something other than my bathroom or basement for the first time in like a week and a half.  It was worth the trip.

Don't ask if you don't want to hear the answer

She's not even six, and she's already pulling an attitude on her homework? God, it's going to be a long 12 more years ...