And a good thing too. Cleaned out and packed the car, then my new camera came a day early. I had promised my old one to my great-grandson, who was elected photographer of the school yearbook. All he has is a cheapie point and shoot, so I wanted to get this one in the mail. A real fiasco and long story, but I'll tell it anyway. Feel free to skip.
First, I thought the outer box my new camera came in would be perfect for mailing the old one in. So I blacked out all 3 bar codes on it, address, etc. BUT, I left the label that said Lithium battery inside. Figured if it was needed coming, it would be good going. Then I packed the camera in its case. I probably would have kept the case but it didn't fit my new camera. I decided to keep the extra battery since it looked just like my new one. After I got everything sealed in the box with multiple layers of packaging tape, I discovered I'd forgotten to include the USB cord. So I cut a hole in the box and added it, then lots more packaging tape.
Before heading to the mailbox I read the rules on the application for the free 3 year warranty on my new camera (planning to mail it in at the same time). Otherwise, I would have only gotten one year, but the 3 yr. deal was a temporary promotion or something and is what propelled me to make up my mind to buy it. Well, the rules state that you have to send the barcode label on the box. So I got my box cutter out and sliced a hole into the ready-to-mail package... again. Patched the hole and applied lots more tape. Then I wiped the blacked out barcode with lighter fluid and it took off the barcode as well as the felt pen marks. I had thought I had put the clear tape on before blacking it out. Guess not. What to do?
I wrote a long explanatory letter to send with the application, explaining what happened and asked that if they couldn't accept it, could they please tell me what I needed to do to receive the extended warranty. Making sure to leave no stone unturned, I read all the long detailed rules again (3 pages). I had already had to get the camera store to email me an invoice, etc., as none came in the box. Filled out the long form and questionnaire. And then I spied another section that said the barcode label had to have the model and serial number on it. Must have cut out the wrong one. Checked the package again. Two other barcodes but none with model and serial number. Next I located the inner box the camera had come in (a smaller black box), and lo and behold, it had a small label on it that had a little barcode and the requisite numbers. Of course it was a tremendous relief, but I hated how I'd mangled the package to the kids. (Wish I had thought to take a photo of it.) Ah, if only that could be the end of it. Good thing my fingers aren't cramping, huh?
Ready once again to head for the post office, I first went to put the new battery into the new charger so it would be ready to use when I returned, only to discover it was different than my old one. So may as well give the old spare to the grandkid since I won't have any use for it. Out with the box cutters again. They're old and dull but I managed to cut out the hole again, shove the battery through it, patch, retape, you know the drill.
While I was out I went to Radio Shack for an SD card since my camera didn't come with one. Cost twice what it would have online, but oh well, I needed it now. I got a big 64GB so I won't need to ever buy a backup. A one-time purchase.
At the post office, alarms I didn't know existed went off when I walked through the door. I looked around perplexed and asked if I had come through a wrong door or something. The man at the counter asked what I had in the box. I walked up to him, apparently not noticing a woman in line. At our post office they don't line up at the counter, but at an island-counter a ways away and whatever window is open, the next person in line goes to it. It's nothing formal, just the way it's done. I was trying to show the man the label on the box that said Lithium battery inside. I didn't want him to think I had a bomb or something. He just told me to get in line, and the other woman, by then, had approached him. So shortly, I was at the window and explaining that after the alarm I didn't even know if I could send the package, so hadn't really gotten to the line part yet. Anyway, he said if I sent it ground mail and it was securely inside the camera, I could send it. But then I had to confess there was another battery floating around in there somewhere. He grabbed a box cutter and started slashing into the box, but I prevailed on him to let me do it because I knew exactly the little hole it was inside. (This has never been the friendliest post office.) So I took the package, cutter, and removed myself to the island-counter and did my thing. He retaped it after his next customer. I paid the $12.40, then asked how I could send the extra battery. Bought a padded package he approved and after another nearly $4.00, the deed was done. I hope it all arrives safely. (My son had mailed me my remote mouse that I had left in Austin last Christmas and the battery was ruined in the process.)
Finally, I dropped by the thrift store, which was having a half-price sale, and bought a padded "case" (I use that term loosely) for the camera. But it suits me. I think it was for soccer balls or something soccer related. But at $1.50, it'll be fine unless I find something I like better.
Never used, and came with a lovely "Puma" water bottle. I never drink enough when out oding, so that's good to have handy. Also the front pocket for snacks and on the other side, a pocket for the battery charger. The charger weighs nothing so I might as well keep it handy rather than alway having to track it down. I have a converter so I can use it in the car, at the oasis, or here in town. But only if I know where it's at. The camera will be safe in the well-padded bag. I leave the camera hood on it, which saves time, and helps protect it in the "case."
Finally, after supper I read the manual's pertinent parts and went out back to photograph any ode that would sit still. I struggled and experimented, very frustrating. After a long day of frustration. Had to come back in to check the manual several times, and get my monopod. No way can I hold it still while focusing and all. My next purchase will be a fancy lightweight, quick to use tripod. It was late in the day before I got a photo, that after photoshopping, is acceptable. But, heck, this is just the first try. I have all day tomorrow. As things stand now, an ode has to sit motionless for at least 10 minutes before I can get it. But I'll get faster. Here's the only still one I could find. It seemed every time I was just on the verge of pressing the shutter button, it departed. But it came back, or one like it, and I finally got a shot. I'm going to master this. I already knew this model is a focusing challenge, but others do it, so can I. So here's my first, and hopefully last, Familiar Bluet with my new camera. I know it's no better than the old camera or my big Canon could do, but I plan to improve.
Tomorrow I have to work on the lighting as well as the focusing. I don't think I'll be comfortable using it Saturday. I'm so comfortable and quick with my Canon, that rather than miss shots hoping for a better one, I'll take the sure thing. Maybe for as long as I can physically lug it around. But I won't give up practicing with the Lumix. And it'll be great for scenery and people shots.
CHIGGERS: I had totally forgotten that such things exist. When someone mentioned chiggers in a birding post somewhere, it registered on me. I'm real sensitive to chiggers... they bedevil me with horrible itchiness for nearly a month. Maybe as full as I am with steroids it wouldn't be so bad, but no dragonfly photos are worth a case of chiggers to me. Years ago I got nailed by about 50 of them near Christoval, TX. So I went online last night and read up on what to do. Everything necessary I already have on hand. Didn't have to buy a thing. I'm going to wear pantyhose, then spray my jeans and socks lavishly with Permethrin and Deet. As soon as we finish for the day I'm taking a hot shower with my Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. Changing every stitch of clothing, even shoes. Taking no chances.