Oct. 5th, 2016

kv0925: (Gromit Reading)
For those of you who expressed interest in my experience with Canon Price Watch, here's your quick follow-up: Big Thumbs Up. The 7D2 arrived yesterday, a day ahead of when I was expecting it (and, I hasten to add, a day sooner than even Amazon said they could get it to me--and this from Canada!), and is indeed the real McCoy. New in box with all included accessories, Canon warranty cards, and though I only had time to configure a few settings and fire off a few indoor test shots, it seems to work just fine. I didn't actually try the battery grip yet, but it's impressive too: I bought relatively cheap aftermarket grips for my other dSLRs, and there's a definite look-and-feel quality difference in the genuine Canon grip (which makes sense given the price difference).

ETA: Just to be sure, I found a little application which grabs the shutter count from Canon dSLRs to verify the 7D2 was truly brand new, and it checked out. Around 99,500 actuations on my trusty old 7D, which sounds about right. It's rated for 150k (the Mk II is rated for 200k), so it should be good as a backup for some time.

So anyway, definitely give CPW a try if you're in the market for Canon gear (looks like they offer deals on some third-party lenses as well). I'm a believer!

Now back to hunkering down for this oncoming storm. But more about that in a bit.
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)
As a Florida native, I'm probably jaded about these things. The talking heads on tv always roll up their sleeves and look serious and advise barely-restrained panic, because of course they don't want to get the blame if things turn out worse than expected. Then we get some rain, maybe a gust or two, and everybody shrugs and says gee, was that it? So while Matthew will very likely make for some rough stuff on the coast over the next couple days, my feeling right now is that those of us a bit further inland will see plenty of rain but not much else. Probably a blustery day for sure, maybe even some tropical-storm-force gusts, but nothing sustained and certainly nothing like a category-4 hurricane. But the panic is certainly out there; the wife went to the grocery store this morning (for our regular stuff, mainly) and said it was rather busier than usual for a weekday morning, and the canned-goods section was pretty picked-over. Not surprising, really. Schools will probably be closed tomorrow and Friday, which means the girls' homeschool-enrichment dealio will be cancelled Friday as well. If it's an especially ugly day, I suppose I could beg off work myself on the grounds that driving is dangerous. But I live 3 miles away, so I doubt it will be necessary, really.

Of course, now the latest forecast models are starting to indicate Matthew will make a loop and swing west towards FL again next week. Not to mention Tropical Storm Nicole, also swirling and looping around out there. So it might be an interesting week indeed!
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)
In other news, you may recall some time back I lamented the fact that the girls weren't as much into listening to music as I'd like them to be, since I think there's so much to learn and gain from a love of music. Well, I'm happy to report that time seems to have remedied that. Hermione especially--she started paying more attention to the music on the radio when we're driving around, and then I got her an alarm clock for her room that included an FM radio, which she and Hallie would turn on while they played in her room before bedtime at night. After a while I got her a cheap little mp3 player I could load up with music, and a pair of computer speakers to plug that into. Since then I replaced that with a little shelf cd system, so they can also trawl through our cd collection in addition to the radio and mp3 player options. Since Hallie and Hermione are typically inseparable, Hallie's picked up on it as well. We're planning a road trip next month, for which the girls are already excitedly packing, and Hallie wants to take an mp3 player and headphones for her own entertainment (luckily I picked up another little player somewhere along the way). So that's a good thing in my mind!

So far their tastes tend to be on the mellow side. When we're all driving in the van we tend to listen to either country (from the aughts or earlier, none of this modern bro-country nonsense) or classic pop/rock stuff. When I take them somewhere in my car without the wife, I tend to go for slightly heavier classic rock and my beloved 80s hair metal. So they dig stuff like Journey, Heart, REO Speedwagon, a little Queen and Def Leppard, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Kansas, Bon Jovi, stuff like that. I'm pretty good with the variety they like! Hermione's been interested in learning to play some things on the piano like Journey's "Faithfully" and Heart's "Alone," both of which she's picked up very well. Hallie plays violin, so she's interested in learning the violin solo part of "Dust in the Wind," which would be very cool since I could accompany her on the guitar. Fun stuff!

One thing that meant a lot to me... "Lost in the World" by Green River Ordinance is a song I love that makes me think of my girls, so I'd put it on their mp3 player. I figured out the gist of how to play it on the piano, and was showing Hermione so she could pick it up too. I sang a little of it as I was playing to show how the piano part fit with the verse (usually I only sing alone in the car, since I'm a bit self-conscious about my singing voice) and Hermione said it was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever heard. So yeah, that was nice. :)

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