Sunday, March 29, 2009

A new compact camera with a more powerful zoom capability

I was looking for a compact camera with a greater zoom power than what my Canon Powershot SD800 IS is capable of. I found one with a 10x optical zoom with the Panasonic DMC-TZ5, a compact camera a tad bulkier than my Powershot which was on sale at Costco for $269 minus a $70 discount. I am a sucker for what I perceived as a good deal, so I went ahead and bought it. So far I am happy with the results that I am getting out of it and for a price that I considered a steal LOL.

I took a shot at this Monarch butterfly at a Nature Restoration project.

I took this shot....

and this one....

and I stitched them together into this photo of a small lake.

In the background (slightly left of the midpost) too far to notice, are two guys doing clean-up work.

I zoomed on them (10x) and this is the result. Probably with a top of the line camera, I can do better but I am happy with what I am getting with this compact camera. What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2009

What a difference a meltdown makes

The current economic meltdown in the US of A has affected my 4o1K retirement nest egg. It is now down to 201K and still going down LOL. And with all the stimulus money being pumped by the government to the ailing economy, its inflationary effect is going to further erode my nest egg. As a move to neutralize the decline of my buying power, I am going to seek the best value for my money from now on.

This piece of chicken and plate of chicken caesar salad which I got from Costco cost $9. This is good enough for two, maybe even three people.

This half-chicken with a piece of corn bread and sides of corn and green beans from Boston Chicken costs a little over $8 with tax.

I paid $17, exclusive of tax and tip for this plate of grilled trout with broccoli and baked potato at a Red Lobster resto.
Guess what I am going to do more often from now on? LOL. This economic downturn is now worldwide. Thanks to the greed of corporate America and the shakers and movers of Wall Street! How are you guys coping with it?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A walk in the park

One of the things I enjoy is to walk to the county park across our street for a couple of hours each day. I find this daily walk very relaxing and very beneficial to my health. I used to drive to the national parks and hike some of their trails; but now, even the ones classified as easy takes me a longer time to negotiate than before. The gain in elevation makes a big difference - the higher the summit, the harder the hike. Sometimes it is even necessary to camp overtime before hitting the trail back. With most county parks, the "trails" are paved in concrete and there is almost a negligible change in elevation. It is a cakewalk even for those whose mobility is impaired to a degree.

I have to walk through our community greenbelt area.....

and cross a major street.....

to get to the park.....
then I follow the paved trail (good for walking, jogging, biking and skating) winding around the park.
The park has unisex restrooms and drinking fountains like this one.....

and a couple of lakes, often stock with catchable fish (trout and catfish).

This is the smaller of the two lakes and the one where the fishes are more friendly to fishermen LOL

There is also a nature walk that is gradually being developed and a group campground for youngster. There are several soccer and baseball fields and an archery range. The park is barely use during weekdays but during Saturday and Sunday afternoons, especially during the summer months, the park is alive with people.