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Brushing off the dust

I guess I hit a bit of a blogging slump. I’ve had no flashes of inspiration for anything to write about other than things that I don’t want to post publicly. Since I haven’t been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, what have I been doing?

Reading – At the end of January my sister loaned me 19 books. Eight of those were the rest of the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I’ve only read two of them because I’ve had enough of Richard and Kahlan, thank you very much. Those who have read the books know what I mean. Those who haven’t… let’s say that if Romeo and Juliet were starcrossed lovers then these two are walking disasters. I don’t want to spoil anything but there is always something that happens to them that separates them for months at a time. This usually happens in the first couple of chapters of the book. The rest of the 600 pages are devoted to them trying to get back together. Instead of continuing after I read the sixth book I started reading The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb. I read these long enough ago to forget a large part of the story but recently enough to be able to remember bits and pieces. I’ve almost finished the final book so I’ll need to move on to something else.

Photography – I’ve been keeping busy with my new camera. I started a new 365 project with it to help myself learn how to use it. The week after I got the camera I bought a 50mm lens for it. I’m loving it so far. It could only be better if I could use autofocus but I don’t have the right camera body. Manual focus is OK though it has made me wonder if I need to have my eyes checked. Lately I’ve been forgetting to check my ISO setting until after I’m done shooting which has resulted in some grainy photos that shouldn’t be grainy. That’s what practice is for, right?

Gaming – Once again I’m playing Ragnarok Online. It gives me something to do while hubby is busy playing Call of Duty of Halo 3. It can be a time sink like most MMOs but no worse than watching TV. While we were in for my dad’s 50th birthday party my sister mentioned that she had started playing Super Mario Galaxy again. I never finished that game; I got to the toy planet and hated being Spring Mario. I think I’d like to pick that up again as well as my replay of Twilight Princess. I’ll just have to wrest the TV away from hubby sometime.

Twittering – Most of what I’ve had to say lately has been short, random thoughts or sharing a random link. I’m glad that I placed my twitter updates on this site where they are because that at least gets updated almost daily.

Suffering – A bit dramatic but that’s what it is. I’ve decided (again) that I need to stop drinking as much soda as I have been. Last year I started out saying “I’ll only drink one or two a week.” Having that stuff in the house, though, was a bad idea. Sometime last fall it became a “I’ll only drink one a day.” That didn’t last for long either so some days I was drinking two a day. While I don’t plan to cut soda out entirely I don’t want to be dependent upon it to keep a caffeine headache a way. I should be over the headaches in a day or so, which is the worst of it. The other downside of not drinking soda is that the water bottle I bring with me to work runs out much faster.

Walmart irritates me

Let me start by saying that I have pretty high respect for retail and fast food workers. During high school and college I worked in both industries, primarily as a cashier. Customers can be irritable and highly irrational at times. There are instances, though, where their anger is justifiable.

Such was the case at Walmart last night. To start with, our area was getting some snow off and on all day yesterday. Snow isn’t all that common here so when we do get any quite a few people freak out and swarm the grocery stores because “It’s a blizzard!!” In my town that would mean Walmart and Save-A-Lot. By the time we got in line there were at least three people ahead of us with overflowing carts.

Oh, that raises a question that has almost nothing to do with this story. What do you call the metal thing with wheels at a store? A cart? A shopping cart? A buggy? See, all my life I called them buggies. Where I came from that’s what they were. No one would ever call it a shopping cart; it was a buggy, plain and simple. Then I came to college. One day I went to Walmart with some friends and I guess I asked if we needed a buggy. They looked at me and said “A what? Do you mean shopping cart??” Ever since then I have been trained to call them carts. It doesn’t help that my husband is from Wisconsin and laughs every time I say buggy. But I digress.

I didn’t look at the time when we first got in line. I later regretted that because I would love to know just how much time we spent in line. For a while the line did move. While we were waiting a lane beside us opened but before we could move over two other people with carts full jumped in line. We decided to stay put because it always seems that when you try to jump in a shorter line something happens and you end up taking more time to finish than if you had stayed in your original line.

Eventually, we got far enough to be able to unload our cart onto the conveyor belt. Then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. The customer in front of us had tried to purchase two Tracfone cards. The cashier had swiped and activated one of the cards but couldn’t remember which. After some time she got a CSM involved. Moments later a second CSM arrived. I think they eventually figured out which of the cards had been activated but I could be wrong. They were trying to determine if the woman had been over or undercharged and why the second card wouldn’t activate. At least, I’m guessing that was going on. They never once spoke to me and my husband to let us know that it might take a while or to let us know we should move to another lane.

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My Nikon D60

My D60 While visiting my parents this weekend my sisters and I decided to see if we could find any deals at Circuit City. I didn’t walk in intending to buy anything. I didn’t even know that what cameras Circuit City carried. When I saw their camera aisle I found out that they had Nikon D40s, D60s, D80s, and the D90, all marked down 20%. I guess you can see what I walked out with.

Even then, it wasn’t an easy decision. I had thought that maybe I would buy a D90 instead. I think I fell prey to the idea of “must have the latest, greatest, bestest camera” mentality. This, however, was my first chance to actually hold one in my hands. I found out that the hand grip is actually a little large for my hands. After just a few minutes holding it I knew it would be a very larger camera for me to handle. Add that to the fact that it cost twice as much as the D60 beside it; I decided I wouldn’t be buying the D90. Later I found out that the only one they had left was the display model. That would have decided it for me if I hadn’t already made the decision. Turns out that while I was there someone bought the display D90, a display flash, one of their over priced SD cards and who knows what else. (Really, even with memory cards at 20% off they were ridiculously priced.)

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