Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

December 2nd, 2009:


(Playing around with blogging styles here.) We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago yesterday afternoon, just before the deep freeze closed in again. Low tonight 10; high tomorrow 15; low tomorrow night 4. This is the coldest damned autumn we’ve had since we moved here, as well as the snowiest. Still, I’ll take this climate over Chicago’s three-month gloomfest any day.

I stuck my nose in the attic earlier this afternoon, scoping out what it might take to finish the job of shielding the leads from my garage smoke detector from my new-and-never-used wire dipole. What it will take is gloves and a winter coat, and wistful regret over not doing this in the fall. Wait a sec–this is the fall. And it’s not like I have any sunspots to coerce my signals into a path long enough to be useful.

My venerable 2005-era Kodak EasyShare V530 pocket camera is malfunctioning consistently and is probably scrap. I’ve said this before and it unexpectedly and inexplicably came back to life, but it’s been sitting dead in its little cradle for a month now, and I’m trying to decide what may take its place. I have the superb Canon G10 for technical photography, at which I’ve gotten tolerably good, but I still need an unfussy camera that will fit in a pocket, not need a case, and take a certain amount of rattling around with keys and small change (or big change) without damage.

In truth, what I’m really looking around for in a pocket camera is the champ at minimizing shutter lag. When I press the button I want the picture now–or as close to now as the technology permits. (I know DSLRs are good at this, but I want something small.) All of my previous digital cameras have required an ungodly amount of time to calculate what they’re going to do with the pixels that they’re about to capture, and this has meant a lot of missed shots of cute nieces and rowdy bichons playing dog soccer with Katie Beth’s beach ball. Sony seems to lead in most of the stack ranks on the shutter lag front, so I’m thinking about the Sony DSC-WX1.

Elsewhere in the Dying Hardware Department is my poor HP Laserjet 2100M printer, which I’ve had since, well, damn, I don’t remember, but probably 1998. I have pumped an immense amount of paper through that little cube, and replaced its worn-slick feed rolls in March of 2006, expecting them to work for another six or seven years. No luck. Paper feed has gotten erratic once more, and I’m not sure I want to go through the gnarly process of changing the feed rolls yet again. (That said, I have another repair kit on the shelf, so I probably will. I was the Lord High Feed Roll Executioner thirty-five years ago when I worked the LaSalle St. copier territory for Xerox, and such hard-won skills are a shame to waste.) So this might in fact be a good time to pop for my first color laser printer. I’m still shopping, but the HP CP1518 is the current front-runner. I know that the color laser cartridge market is a racket, but there have been times this year when I would really have liked color output for proofing book pages and covers. I guess if I do change out the rolls on the 2100 yet again I could park it downstairs for volume runs and keep the color unit up here. We’ll see, and soon–I need the tax deduction this year, courtesy my assembly language book.

Dash is sliding into puppy puberty: I caught him marking the baseboards in the front hall where QBit often sleeps. I rolled him on his back and tried my best to sound furious. He wagged his tail. A disciplinarian I’m not. I sense (nay, smell) interesting times ahead.