Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SNOW DAY!!!!!!

I can say without hesitation that the glee one felt as a child when a snow day was called and school was canceled does not diminish when one is an adult, and a snow day is called and work is canceled!!!!

South central Nebraska, where I live, is among the areas across the plains and the midwest that are being blanketed with a mountain of snow today in a massive winter storm front.  So severe is this storm system supposed to be that the university I work at actually announced last night - before it even started snowing - that it would be closed today.  In the seven years that I have worked there, that has never happened before.  How it normally works is that we could be knee deep in snow and all public schools within a 50 mile radius could be closed, except the university.  So when I found out last night that I wouldn't have to go to work today, I shouted for joy!  :)  And then proceeded to stay up until 1:30 am watching old movies.....lol.

Husband and I have been out to shovel the driveway a couple of times this morning already - much easier to do if one keeps up with it in small increments than trying to dig through 12 inches all at once.  No complaints here, I actually love snow.  Yes!  I love snow.  I know, I'm weird.  Here are some photos I just took of the lovely snow....

This is the view standing on my front steps and looking across the street

This is at the kitchen window looking towards the backyard

The thermometer is blurry but it reads 10 F degrees.

Not very good pictures, right?  Kinda blurry, not crisp, and no ability to alter that because the camera doesn't have any features to do so....our camera sucks.  I know that's not a very ladylike thing to say, but sometimes there's just no other word to adequately describe it.  ;)  I have been griping about this camera for years; it was our first digital camera that we bought in 2005, and even then it was considered cheap....the kind of no-name item encased in plastic that you find hanging at the checkout aisle cheap.  But, it initiated us into the digital camera age and served its purpose.  Until now.

Each Christmas for the last three years, Husband and I have been saying that instead of buying presents for each other, let's just buy a really good camera.  For one reason or another we never did it.  This year I broached the subject again.....but then we had some unexpected expenses pop up (thank you, stupid malware viruses!) so I figured it was a moot point.  But.....*squee!!!!!*.....Husband gave me the green light to start looking for a new camera! 

I've been researching cameras online, trying to learn everything I can about what makes a good digital camera and what doesn't, before making the decision.  Oh.  My.  God....this shouldn't be rocket science!  Aside from the fact that there are 50 billion camera models out there, each one has its own set of unique features that don't seem to carry over into other models.  Argh!  I'm not a professional photographer, I just want a camera that I can take decent pictures with.  Shouldn't be hard, right?  Here's my criteria so far:
  • ability to do close-ups that aren't blurry - I've now learned that's called a macro feature.
  • a stabilization feature that eliminates "camera shake" as you're holding it
  • decent optical zoom capability
  • crisp, sharp images
  • shots as close to the real color as possible
  • does well in low light situations, like indoor shots
  • doesn't eat through batteries - therefore must have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • the ability to do quick action, fast motion shots (like for taking pictures of pets) - I've now learned that's called fast or quick burst
  • isn't going to require us taking out a home equity loan to pay for it!
After researching this for days, the camera I keep coming back to is the Canon Powershot SD1200 IS.  So far it seems to be the only one that meets my criteria in full.  The problem?  Mixed customer reviews.  Some rave about it, some say it's the worst camera they've ever used....but I guess that's going to be the case with every camera out there, right?  Maybe I'm over-analyzing things, because I feel if we're going to spend this kind of money, I want to make sure that it's going to meet my requirements.....but then again, anything we get is going to be better than what we have....

I haven't made a final decision yet, but I thought I would ask for some feedback from you, my lovely readers, as I'm aware of how behind the times we are and that most people have had "real" digital cameras for years, lol.  What kind of camera do you have?  What do you like about it?  What do you dislike about it?  Any tips or suggestions? 

On a final note....I've lost 2 lbs since last week!  Woo hoo!!!  Now to just keep on track.....oy.

Have a great day, and if you're also in the snow path today, stay warm!

Update:  9:31 pm here and I was just notified that the university is closed again on Wednesday!  *does happy dance*  This is like an extra Christmas present!!!  :)


  1. Congratulations on the weight loss!

    Our digital camera was expensive several years ago. Takes okay pictures, but is sllllowwwww. It is also a pain to down(up?)load pictures from camera to computer. That is why I seldom put pictures on my blog.

  2. Mr Valentine is an amateur photographer/film-maker and is constantly swapping and changing cameras, the longest he's kept one for is 6 months i think. At the moment he's talking about a Canon D-something or other, my eyes tend to glaze over when he starts techy speak hehe!

    I am so jealous about the snow, here in Blighty we had quite a bit in March this year but never around Christmas time :(

  3. OMG I LOVE SNOW. NO SNOW DAYS HERE THOUGH. California sucks, and yes, I mean SUCKS. ;) I was always jealous of snow days.

    As for digital cameras, mine is about 5-6 years old. It was like, f***ing $500 at the time! And it is just like, sort of like the one you have pictured. It's a Sony Cyber-shot. And it has a cute square shape. I'm not being sarcastic either, I like the shape.
    But I don't really know much about different features. Just sounds like a lot of research, which you've done. I was going to suggest an SLR before I saw you gave a link to what you wanted... so I'm going to take that as a NO on one of those cameras.
    Well, some people have a grudge against Canons so they may be extra critical. Same with Nikons. People usually go with one or the other. Then there are the 'lesser' or little guy brands, like my Sony, that aren't caught up in the battle.
    I like your snow pictures. :)

    And congrats on the weight loss! Getting closer to vintage shopping! You know, not all vintage clothes are super small. If you go to the vintage shops or expos, they definitely have all sizes.
    I've been wondering if I've gained weight. I really want to find out, but I have no scale.

    It's so sunny outside. It was perfect and raining yesterday... what happened? :(


  4. I have a Sony Cyber-shot that I've had for 3 or 4 years and since I've had the blog and a store on Etsy I've been trying to educate myself on close-up photography (for jewelry). Most of the time I can get pretty good shots but I don't think it has the "no shake" feature which I would definitely recommend for close-ups. Also, the battery wears down pretty fast but it's rechargeable. I just stepped outside and it is so humid (I'm in south Mississippi) that my concrete front porch is sweating! We had a tremendous amount of rain last night and now it's uncomfortably warm. Really puts you in the holiday spirit when it's hot and humid. . . NOT!

  5. Hey, Bets,

    I happen to own a Canon PowerShot SD1100 1S. LOVE it! But I'm not a serious photographer, just a snapper. My only gripe is that it is so small that you can lose it easily. Andrea

  6. Packrat: Thanks! :) That's another reason why I want a new camera, because I'd love to put more pictures (of my own) on my blog!

    Stefanie: I can relate to the eyes glazing over thing, the same thing happens to me when my Husband starts talking about guitars and amplifiers (sorry honey!).

    Lauren: But as a trade-off for the lack of snow California has, you have a gazillion more resources for vintage shopping than I do....no expos here and if an antique store has "vintage clothing" it's usually only one or two crappy pieces from the 70's.

    I'd love to get one of the SLR cameras, but I need to keep the price under $250 and the ones I saw (the good ones anyway) were in the $400-500 range. I hate that all the good stuff is sooo expensive!

    I prefer gray, rainy days over sunny ones too. :)

    Vintage Christine: the no shake feature is something that is really appealing to me because I'm horrible at keeping perfectly still while I'm waiting for the camera to focus and do its thing. 'Course, this awful thing we have now takes forever to take a shot, so that could be part of it ;)

    I'll take the snow...I don't do well at all with hot humid weather; summer is my least favorite time of the year. I'm a winter girl! :)

  7. ...the weather outside is frightful...however, the pictures aren't to undelightful...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!

  8. I like the Anonymous admirer comments... :)

    You'd think, but some of the best stores are in the middle of the country!! I'll bet there's something in Nebraska, though I've never been there. But the shops I've been to in Illinois and Missouri have the things I'm most interested in, which are from the first half of the 20th Century.

    There are SLRs for $500? Last time I checked they were all $1,500-$2,000! Yippee they are getting cheaper!!

    As for standing still, either use a tripod, or make a tripod with your body when you take the picture by widening your stance and leaning against something. It works better that way for me.


  9. Andrea: Hey, thanks for popping in! I think you just made up my mind for me. Thank you! :)

    Husband: Are you sure you just got an A in your advanced poetry class? ;)

    Lauren: My town does have a great store downtown called From The Attic that I've fallen in love with; their focus does seem to be more on the 30's - 50's with their things, and they do have some clothes but they're mostly 60's and up and the only people that I've seen checking them out have been students looking for costumes for halloween and such.

  10. ANOTHER SNOW DAY? Not fair. >:( While I'm sitting through one of the worst finals of my life.
    Happy dances are a great way to exercise too.

    There are probably others. I can try google maps and see what I find.


  11. Oodles of congrats on your weight loss, sweet dear, there are few feelings as lovely as stepping on the scale and seeing a lower number as a reward for all your hard work!

    We've been blessed (or cursed - or anything in between, depending on how one looks at it! ;D) with snow here this week, too, and it's really starting to come down in spades. Not quite snow day weather yet, but who knows what the rest of the season has in store!

    Thank you ever so much for your wonderful comments and visits, honey, I really hope you're having a delightful week!

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  12. I think Lauren and I are pretty much in the same boat concerning snow, or the lack thereof....we do get a couple of 'dustings' each winter in the Ham... of course it paralyzes the entire region, and everyone runs in a mad panic to the store and buys milk and bread...why, I am not sure... it's an old Southern Tradition when snow is a possibility...

    Hope you find a cool camera, G-La (is that an appropriate 'abbreviation'? sounds kinda cool to me...)...we have...er...honestly not sure - my wife handles all the camera work... but it works pretty fair. (hope that isn't too technical for you :-] ) ...I think you pushed a hot button with Lauren - she is a passionate shutterbug... first time I've ever seen her have to 'censor' one of her posts! heh heh heh...
    AND, keep up the good work on the weight, or (again) the lack thereof!!! :-)

  13. I loooove my Canon Powershot S2 IS.

    It's a few years old already (maybe 2?) and it's fabulous.

    It can't always focus on teeny objects well, but I just use my photo editing software to crop.

    Canon's the way to go, IMHO.

  14. No snow here in Florida. If it did, everything would close! For weeks, I think!

    I'm afraid I'm not the photographer in the family but in terms of reviews, what I look for is that the customer service is nice. There always seem to be mixed reviews but if the service is good, they'll help you through whatever glitches you have!


  15. I love old postcards! Your photos are beautiful. In Northern Ohio we only got about 1/2" which melted by morning.

    Wonderful blog you have here!

  16. We have a Canon and I've been very impressed with it. In general, I really like Canon's cameras. If I were in the market for a new one, it's one of the three companies I'd look at first (the others being Olympus and Nikon).

    Oh, ours doesn't have any sort of 'no shake' thing, which makes macros (of which I take a lot.... usually of chocolate!) tricky, so we got a little mini tripod.

    I don't know if that helps.

  17. Jessica: Thank you! :) The first few days of a major snowfall are always the best, when the world is covered in a sparkly blanket of white...then it gets all melty and slushy and dirty...ick. That's when I *don't* like snow!

    jwalker: Ah yes, I've heard about when it sprinkles snow down south, hehehe. I know I shouldn't, but I always giggle when I hear of schools closing and there's only an inch of snow on the ground. ;) I think I have my mind made up on that Canon....now all I have to decide is what color I want it in, heh.

    Kathryn: thank you for confirming my decision to go with the Canon Powershot! If I end up not liking it, I'll just blame you all for making me choose it, muahahahaha....kidding. :)

    emma: you know, customer service is one aspect I didn't even think to consider! Thank you for giving me something else to think about. :)

    Su Le: Thank you! I love old pictures too, I wish Blogger had more options to stick them all over my blog layout rather than just at the top and at one side.

    Richard: In my research I saw those little mini-tripods you're talking about and it's something I just might consider. I do have a telescoping tripod for my video camera; I'll have to check to see how short it will go.

  18. I'm with the snow lovers. Can anyone else remember turning your radio to AM to find the REALLY local station that might be the first to break the news? I can still remember that radio host's voice and how thrilling it was to hear the list of schools that we're opening late or (please, please, please) closing...


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