this morning i was greeted by a pleasant surprise, the arrival of my second replacement nikon coolpix 950, much earlier than when i was expecting to get it back, only 10 days having passed since i received the defective first replacement camera. this camera came in a smaller than usual box (i've returned so many cameras to have an "usual" box to recognize), which threw me off initially, but after reading the mailing label, "melville, new york," there could be no doubt as to its content. blurry eyed, without my glasses, i put in a set of newly charged batteries and a spare compact flash memory card, and started testing out the camera, making sure it was within specifications. i am happy to report that this new replacement camera has a clean bill of health, there's nothing wrong with it, other than in iso2 mode there's a few stray dead pixels here and there but that's fairly common. even though i know it's a refurbished replacement, this camera feels new. maybe it's because the response time for buttons and knobs are faster than my old cameras. this will all change of course after i've had some opportunities to ding the camera a little bit.

after five months, $200 in initial repair work, and 3 cameras later, my nikon coolpix 950 is finally fixed.

original nikon

1st replacement

2nd replacement

also this morning gary called me asking if i could accompany him to the lawyers' office this morning so he could file his divorce papers. he already had another friend going with him, he just wanted another person to hold his hand, because he told me he was in an emotional state and needed friends there for moral support. it was a strange request. i want to help, but i don't want to get mixed up in his personal affairs, especially after having to listen to him gripe for two hours last night, i didn't want to have anything to do with that business. i told him i was busy today. afterwards i felt guilty, but i trust my senses, and if it doesn't feel right, i say "no" and i run away and i tell an adult.

after cashing in my latest unemployment check (making sure nobody saw me endorsing it, i'm ashamed), i rode the motorcycle to cambridge, where rob house (16th) stopped by to pay a visit. i gave him a tour of the house, he wasn't so much impressed with the in-unit washer/dryer as he was with the backyard deck and semi-private perennial garden. we chatted for a while, about work, about screen house, then we went outside to take a look at the motorcycle, where we then chatted for something like two more hours, just standing outside underneath a shady tree. when he left on his bicycle, i went back into the house to log in an hour of paint stripping. today was an incredibly hot day, and because i came via bike, i wore jeans, which made me even hotter (note to self: bring a pair of shorts to change into next time). to counter the heat, besides having the box fan on serious high, i worked topless again, to emulate the image of the classical construction worker. all i needed was a hard hat and a tool belt.

back in belmont, took the new camera for a test drive in the backyard. there's a small sunflower growing wild on the edge of the yard, apparently a sunflower seed from this past winter that escaped consumption by hungry squirrels and birds. the orchid cactus flower still hasn't wilted yet since saturday night, when it first bloomed. maybe it's this recent flux of hot and humid weather that's keeping the flower alive for so long. finally, a really clear view of a planthopper, resembling a wedge of leaf.

orchid cactus