Oh the beauty of the retail high…

About two weeks ago, I detailed my impatience in this post about how long it was taking to receive a brand new product I had procured, but the retailer seemed to mishandle my order.

After two phone calls. One nice, one in which I used the words “upset”, “angry” and “very frustrated” liberally, I finally got my package.

But true to Murphy’s Law, the ding-dang thing arrived when I was out of town.

That being said, it finally arrived. And it’s GORGEOUS!

What I ordered was a Sony CyberShot T200 in luscious red.

I have an old CyberShot that I have used and loved greatly for about five years. For a point and shoot, it takes really great photos. I have pushed the bounds of that little camera and it has stood up to the test. But it’s starting to show its age. I actually carry it with me every day and it’s great for that “just can’t miss” photo op. But the battery will only charge to about “23 minutes” which isn’t much, really, for a camera. I replaced the battery, but it didn’t help.

So this red beast is the new kid on the block. The coolest aspect? The gorgeous screen on the back. Not only is it glorious to look at, the camera is all touch screen controlled via this screen, and is surprisingly intuitive to use.

I only just got the battery charged and into the camera yesterday, so I haven’t taken but a few photos, but I already really love it. It’s an 8.1 megapixel (whoa!) and I bought a 4 gig memory stick for shockingly cheap on Amazon. This little camera won some awards for it’s design and I can see why. Tonight I get to play with it a bit as we are going to the Fan Fest for the San Jose Giants. I’ll share if anything comes out looking good.

New toy! New toy!!

Weekend round up!

With photos!

I have a little Sony Cybershot camera (an older version of this one). It’s about five years old and the battery doesn’t hold a charge like it should, but I carry it around in my purse in case photographic opportunities arise. Let me tell you, this little point and shoot has served me well.

I originally bought it to go to Spring Training because it has a zoom feature on it. A little zoom helps get the better shots at something like Spring Training (I now have a 75-300 lens for my big boy camera. Now that’s some zoom!). Over the years I’ve pushed the bounds of what this little silver wonder was made to do, and it’s always stepped up. It does get a little grainy when I zoom all the way out. And doesn’t always zoom as far as I want it to, but that’s ok.

So on Sunday, we had a *gorgeous* Bay Area day, so The Good Man and I met up with some friends in San Francisco’s Marina for some lunch and then a walk in the sun.

We ended up following the path that leads to the Warming Hut at Crissy Field and ends at Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge.

As this area is stunningly beautiful, I, of course, brought my trusty little silver friend. Thing is, I’ve already taken a lot of shots in this area, and also, I was feeling like an oddball (which, if you know me, isn’t all that rare) and wanted to take some different shots. Plus, as the youngest of three kids with older siblings who were closer in age, I learned how to entertain my ownself early on.

Herewith, Karen’s self-entertainment for a sunny Sunday:

Here are the four of us taking a break at the Warming Hut. As you know, most people aren’t interested in having their picture taken outright, so this was my sly attempt to capture the group. That’s me on the right. The lazy tired sitting one and we were only about a quarter of the way into our walk…

And while we were there drinking water and coffee, there was another gaggle having their own gathering. “Hey, you got something to eat? A brotha sure is hungry……”

Since they were in shadow, the color is a little off, but you get the idea.

Then we moved along. I pried my heiny off the wall and the walk continued on to Fort Point.

Proof of the truly gorgeous day we had…

And again, like the yahoolio I am, the “grownups” were having conversation and what was I doing? Dorking around with my camera.

Here is a self-portrait. I like it. I think my hair looks cool. Plus, I’m gratified to see that my nose-grooming regimen appears to be working. It seems to be “all clear” up there…

Then after we were kicked out of Fort Point (they were closing for the day) on the walk back we found this handsome guy. He’s a heron and was standing there posing for us like a supermodel. I got a couple shots mainly for my mom who I know is a bird person. Here ya go:

And I then moved slowly to the other side of him and got this one:

The day ended at Liverpool Lil’s with some more good eats and a tasty (and warming) glass of wine.

And more of me goofing around with my camera.

See, the restrooms had this really amazing warm yellow light. And it also had mirrors on opposing walls and I’ve always loved that tunnel effect it makes.

Like, whoa, duuude….

All in, it was a good day. I realize that none of these shots are very illuminating, but they are very me and also remind me of a fun day with good friends. It’s the kind of Sunday we should always have. Easy. Slow. Good eats. Friends.

Ah well, back to the sleep-deprived workday. I do love Daylight Savings but it’s always such an adjustment.

But I was psyched that there was still light at 7:45 last night. Yes!

The MacWorld Report

Back from a day playing boss-sanctioned hookey from work. Had a chance to head into San Francisco for this year’s MacWorld.

While there I tried to remember when, exactly, was my first trip to MacWorld. I believe it was 1994 and I was gainfully employed by Sandia Labs. Sandia, at the time, bought quite a bit of Mac gear. Because we were such a good customer, I got a ticket to see the keynote. This was before Steve had returned and Gil Amelio was still at the helm. Anyone remember him?

That was the year that Jeff Goldblum opened the keynote with a bit of promotion for the movie “Independence Day”, a copy of which was taped to the bottom of each of our seats. I think I still have that VHS tape in a box in the garage.

Ah well, the good old days. Back when grabbing the entire collection of Iomega Buttons was cool and schwag fell like manna from the sky (I still use some of the t-shirts gained at past Comdex and MacWorld shows to check the oil in my car and polish fingerprints off my guitar).

But those days are over.

This year’s MacWorld was….to say the least…underwhelming.

It’s hard to top the buzz and excitement of the 2007 MacWorld what with the lickable iPhones twirling in jewelry showcases, so close and yet SO out of reach.

But last year’s show had a lot of buzz for the iPod too. Lots of cases, accessories, and audio software to make it fun. There was some of that this year, but it was pretty much the same gear on display as last year.

A lot of the buzz was gone too, the energy was low, there were empty booth spaces and even the Apple booth, usually the showpiece of the floor, was less than usual.

Here’s the booth:

Here’s the show floor (taken from the Apple booth):

The Apple booth was the same sort of set up as in past years. Thick gray carpet, minimalistic fixtures, highlight on the “star” product.

Last year, as mentioned, the iPhone was this dizzying spinning tantalizing thing.

So I was excited to see how they would display the new MacBook Air.

Well, here’s the answer:

That is five MacBook Air bodies hanging from a string. Uh. Okay.

I went over to take a look, and it was cool, but the swinging MacBooks were not accessible, unable to be opened, and not actually functioning machines. So it was…odd.

I did get a change to belly up to the bar and test drive one with the help of a very nice and knowledgeable Apple employee. The thing is scary light. Amazing. Three pounds. Compared to my MacBook Pro, which now feels like a ton of bricks, this thing is a feather and I can see it SO easily tucked into a bag for hitting the road.

It has this cool flip out door for the ports. Only one USB port, which I’ve read some bloggers complaining about online, but I think that can be easily managed. The screen is delicious and it just looks good. Nicely done!

The rest of the show was only ok. Like I said, low energy and not really any new products to get excited about. I had expected to see a lot of accessories for the iPhone and was gravely disappointed. The Cute Boy™ bought a new case for his, I held off. Didn’t find exactly what I wanted.

Saw a pretty cool camera case/backpack that they wanted a lot of money for, but it was really functional. Didn’t buy it, but it was nice to dream.

Tried to get close to the Canon booth, but to no avail. That one is always very popular.

Got only a few schwaggy items, but came home mostly empty handed.

So to sum up MacWorld 2008, in my opinion, it was kind of like the keynote, to quote NewMexiKen, “is that all there is?”

Oh, I tried to “live blog” from the Microsoft lounge, but it was totally packed in there. I hadn’t brought my own MacBook with me to the show, and the few iMacs they had for use were taken up by squatters. Oh well, you get this reacap instead. It’s semi-live cuz after this day, I’m dead on my feet.

All photos by Karen Fayeth and grainy cuz they were taken with an iPhone.