Words, words, words -- 06/10/07

Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
               William Shakespeare -- Hamlet -- Act II, Scene II

So that's what you get today: words, words, words.

No pictures.

I think I killed my digital camera. Drowned it in wine.

Okay, while I'm doing 17th century quotations, how about Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) "Wine hath drowned more men than the sea." And now it has drowned an Olympus D-520.

Janet and Tom had invited us to dinner last night -- well, it was originally supposed to be a cook-out on their deck, but it rained on and off all day long, so it became an indoors gathering. The occasion was our niece Sarah was visiting from Chicago with her two year old daughter Emma. I had a glass of wine in my left hand and my camera in my right hand (with its strap around my wrist). I wanted to take a picture of Emma and was trying to slide the lens cover open when I lost my grip on the camera and it fell length of its strap and then swung like a pendulum into the side of the wine glass, shattering it. It had been a full glass -- fortunately it was white wine, not red -- but unfortunately some of the wine got onto the camera and also into the camera.

I was able to dry off the outside of the camera. I tried to take a picture -- to see if the camera had survived -- and it did take a picture but the flash failed to go off -- and then it stopped working altogether. I tried to dry it more -- taking the batteries out and drying the battery compartment -- but nothing helped. This morning I tried new batteries but the camera remains dead.

I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of this camera, almost four years of use, but I'm going to have a difficult time replacing it. This D-520 was itself a replacement for an Olympus D-380. Both of them were two megapixel cameras, producing 1600 x 1200 pixel pictures. I don't think Olympus makes a two megapixel camera anymore -- all of the ones I've seen in a bit of Web searching were in the six and seven megapixel range. I don't want pictures that big, almost four times the size that I have been taking. I don't usually print pictures -- and when I do have them printed, I almost never print anything larger than maybe six inches wide. Two megapixels is fine for that. When I put pictures here online, they are usually reduced to anywhere between three hundred and five hundred pixels wide, and once in a while six or seven hundred pixels wide. The pictures from the D-520 are less than half a megabyte. I don't want to start eating up disk storage space at four times my current rate. (Yes, yes, I know, storage is cheap and is constantly getting cheaper....) My old D-380 took the same size (two megapixel) pictures but it was larger than the D520, weighed two or three times as much, and required four AA batteries compared with two for the D-520. In fact, the D-380 still works for indoor pictures taken with flash; its problem was that it stopped taking acceptable pictures without the flash -- natural light photographs were all far too bright and shifted way into green (too many bumps and thumps?).

So I need to find a replacement camera. I may just wander into Staple's on my way to grocery shopping today and see what they have that doesn't cost a lot or I may wait a bit and shop around. We have plans to go into New York next Sunday to see Adam & Leah & grandson Sam, but I could always grab one of those disposable cameras -- or I could even drag out my trusty old Konica 35mm SLR.

In the meanwhile, I've got garden work and grocery shopping to do and need to get in a run. Yesterday's rainy day has been replaced by a pleasant sunny day, currently 63°F (about 17°C), a lovely day to be outside, so I am going to close this pictureless, words-only entry.

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