Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Favorite Places, Part #2 {Life's A Beach}...the new Nikon Camera

Patricia and I headed out to Wally World yesterday afternoon....needing to pick up some plants for mom's place, a few bananas, and to look at cameras, since the kids decided to replace my less than 2 year old Fuji for me.  If you recall the Fuji took a cold stream bath while I was hunting mushrooms back in mid May, and although it still takes decent photos, after the drying out period, it does not work 100% when setting up the action.  Thus there is no play back and some of the indicators are shot.  Granted it still works, but the family or at least my wife decided a new one was needed.  And with the way the technology changes, I was more than happy to go along.

After talking with the expert at the Wally World electronics area(and this guy seemed to know his stuff)...I decided on a Nikon, with 14 MPs and 3.6x Zoom.  I could have went a bit more expensive with a 16MP and as much as a 10x zoom, but the more zoom, IMO, the more unstable the shots can be.  On his advise we opted for the less expensive version, that takes two AA batteries, rather than the Lithium type, which frankly needs recharged when there may not be a place to recharge them...the AAs, you give the heave-ho and put two new ones in.  This weekend at Hal and Lisa's, and the Reds/Toronto game, the new camera should see it's first real action.

Storms are set to move into west Ohio within the next two hours or so...this may cancel Garry and my game up in Kalida....but you never can tell what these crazy fronts will do....Sam and I both got our games in last night, him here in Celina, and me at Parkway(Rockford).  The home teams won both contests.

My Favorite Places part #2______

I sent a certain amount of time yesterday thinking about where I have been in my life, and the places I enjoyed.  Not only if I lived there, but if I just visited a time or two, for a short while.  That got me to thinking...."This is going to take up a lot of time and space, on this blog".  For I have visited a vast number of places in my years, lived in over a handful for at least 6 months or longer, and traveled through, or at least made a stop in 48 of the 57(up yours Obammy), er, 50 States... in short I have seen a lot of places, at least in the states and Canada, not so many 1n the International setting.

So here goes:

Life's a Beach:

Favorite Beach locations:

Venice, Florida

We as a family took our first long vacation back in 1997...the boys were old enough to figure out what was going on and enjoy the trip.  After stopping in Kentucky at Mammoth Cave, for some cave tours, we headed south to Florida and ended up in my old home town of Venice, Florida(see yesterdays blog).  We had no set itinerary, so we stopped for the night at the Inn at The Beach(which if you look at yesterday's post, is located at the exact spot that old photograph was taken), just across the street from Venice Beach "The Shark Tooth Capital of the World", or so it claims...we ended up staying for 3 days.  Ever since that day vacation, nearly 14 years ago, we have stopped at the Inn for at least a couple of nights on our trips through Venice and on the Gulf of Mexico.

Key West, Florida

That same year, 1997, we headed south from Venice, stopping at youngest sister Kelly's place in Naples, so 90 miles to the south....after a day there, we made the trek down the Tamiami Trail,, old US 41, through the Everglades and then south on US 1 down through the Keys and Key West, at the bottom of the United States.  Key West in not the place for the moral values crowd...but if you know what to expect, it's a fun trip.  The freaks of nature plant themselves in Key West, kind of like the San Francisco set, only sunbaked.  Fruits and nuts abound in the Keys...but you can still enjoy the place.

We  stayed for a few days in 1997 and then again the next Summer as well.  The first year we elected to stay at a Hampton Inn, outside of the main drag on Duval Street, in 1998 we went full tilt, and stayed downtown at the purple behemoth called the Pegasus.  The southern most point, the Hemingway House, Captain Tony's Bar, Sloppy Joes, the now burned down KW Cigar Factory, and others were my haunts...usually opting to have a cold one in the confines of Captain Tony's as Patricia and the kids walked around seeing the sites.

Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam

I arrived at Nha Trang on July 2, 1969...the first of my two stops in Vietnam during the war.  The AB and the town still live vivid in my memories, even some 42 years since I first stepped foot on that base at the beach.  Not sure how many days I would wander down to the beach, located just outside our main gate(which I worked on numerous occasions as an Air Force Security Cop)...but in my six months there, I would venture to say I soak up beer, sand, and sun, at least a couple of times a week.  A clean beach with Shark Nets to protect the swimmers.  I was never into getting into the South China Sea...but did get my feet wet on a number of occasions.

Today the Beach and town are tourist traps, at least from what I read and see on you tube and the Internet.  Seriously I have little desire to visit Nha Trang or Vietnam, like many of my fellow vets do...I prefer to remember Nha Trang and it's beach in my memories.  It was after-all, my favorite stopping point in the 4 years of Air Force toil.  War or no war, Nha Trang was then and still is in my memories today, my favorite base and town.

So there you have my favorite salt water beaches....there were others as well, including Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from my early Air Force days at Dover.  Ormond Beach and nearby Dayton Beach, where mom used to Condo for the decade of the nineties into the early 2000s, and where, along with Venice and Lido Beach(Sarasota), Patricia and I spent our Honeymoon in 1977.  So I've got to admit, sometimes "Life is a Beach".  And finally,  I cannot forget where I spent my 5 days of R&R from Vietnam in April 1970...Waikiki Beach, Hawaii...a few days respite from the sites, sounds, and smells of those days in Vietnam.

On the next blog I will look at Lakes and Streams in my favorite places.

back later>>>>

Photos-top left...A shot I took of a fishing boat off the Key West Pier in August 1997.   The new Nikon Camera, which will be getting a workout this weekend.  The Inn at the Beach on Venice Beach Florida...where we have spent many days and nigbts, enjoying my old home town on the Gulf of Mexico.  The Southern Most Point....we got a couple of "beach guys, looking for a couple bucks in the summer of 97, they needed a couple of beers, and took a great shot of the family...Me with the obligatory Black Label Beer, on Nha Trang Beach, my first week in Vietnam, in July 1969...Nha Trang Beach as it looks today, and finally me in April 1970 standing at the water's edge at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.


Deborah Wilson said...

Beautiful beaches I'm sure. Mom said that her and stepdad had their pic taken at the southern most point also when they went to Key West. Mom said they went to the pool and stepdad went over to get a couple of lounge chairs for them and that all of the men were lounging there, butt naked. hahahaha

Speaking of the camera, glad you got another one - looks like I'm going to have to order a new one tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, as I was getting into the truck [camera in my right hand] - I don't know what happened, but I turned loose of the camera and it fell into a extra large glass of McDonald's sweet tea! Mom was in the truck, she just stared at me for a minute and then said, "I told you to put a lid on that when we left McDonald's!" I just looked at her and laughed - there was nothing I could do about it then. Guess Karma bit me in the arse for laughing about you slipping and dropping yours in the beer cooler!

My kodac was a 8.2 MP with a 4x zoom.

I've got my eye on a FugiFilm HD 14 MP with 30x zoom. I wanted a good zoom because I like to take pics of animals and birds and a 4x zoom just isn't enough for me.

Now I'm worried because you think shots can be unstable with more zoom....

But I've got to try it just to experience it, gonna need it this summer.

The olympic camera that I dropped last year can be fixed - only knocked something loose. It's a 8.2 MP too but it takes way better pics than the kodac. I'm going to get it fixed and give to my granddaughter.

PRH....... said...

Will put the new Nikon to work this weekend...if we don't get rained out....14mb with 3.6zoom, should be good enough for what I use if for. If I have to think, I usually blow the shot opportunity. :{

PRH....... said...

Actually Deb, high zooms such as 8x or 10x are OK...but I don't like to use a tripod and carry one around. Otherwise I'm just too damn shaky...

Deborah Wilson said...

I get shaky too sometimes, but I found a trick around that - unless I'm taking a special pic, I keep my camera set on 'action'. In this way if I shake or move just a little bit, the pic still comes out good 95% of the time. Works real good at events, sitting in traffic, and when kids and animals are around...:)