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08 March 2009

Laundry, Camera, Apartment, and Daylight

It's late. Or rather, it's early. Depends on how you look at it, I suppose. But the bottom line is that as I write this sentence, it is 04:11 EDT. And what am I doing, apart from blogging, you ask? Laundry. Of course. Isn't that what everyone does at this hour?

I kid. But the last two weeks have been especially busy, and now (once again, as evidenced by the fact that I'm actually blogging) I'm leaving town. Specifically for Hartford. Specifically in under three hours from now. Specifically having clean laundry... something I don't have right now.

Anyway, I've been wrapping things up that required wrapping up for most of the evening. Namely getting a long-overdue newsletter for Music Camp put together. Hopefully I'll be able to initiate the sending process from the hotel computer in Hartford in the afternoon. And then I went to dinner, did a little research on my camera issue, and then started doing laundry, right through the temporal oddity that causes a load of wash started at 01:44 to finish at 03:22 because we feel like winding our clocks forward a bit.

Wow, that was a dense paragraph. Let's see:

As far as laundry goes, to get that out of the way, I've got until 04:41 before the first of my seven loads is ready to come out of the dryers. And once I've got everything nice and folded, I've got about two hours to pack (and perhaps finish this post). Which isn't unprecedented. I figure, though, that:

  1. I'll be able to sleep through most of the first leg of the bus ride, which is true, since everyone will likely be too tired to watch a movie until after we've made the first stop which will then wake everyone up.
  2. If you're going to stay up all night, it's significantly easier when the night is an hour shorter to begin with. :)
Moving on to the camera, it occurs to me that my blog readers don't know what happened to my camera. Really, honestly, the only clue people on the Internet would have (apart from the occasional whining on Twitter) is that my February 2009 calendar on Flickr, which should be the easiest month to complete, is actually quite sparse. So what happened?

Well, hearken back to 1 February, when there was this little event in Tampa Bay known as the Super Bowl. You may have heard of it. And apparently a local team came out of the event victorious. And apparently, it's a little tradition to cause $150,000 of damage to our campus when said victory occurs.

Naturally, I was out filming the happenings, since similar celebrations are practically all that's on my YouTube channel anyway. (Except Ramen. What I wouldn't give for some Ramen right now...)

I was walking up Forbes Avenue, with three or four of my closest friends and three or four thousand of my furthest strangers, and observed, among other things, that rolls of toilet paper had been thrown at the street from one of the residence halls. Elise was next to me at the time, and picked up one of these rolls of toilet paper. Since it's obvious that throwing a roll of toilet paper in celebration only once is wasteful, she attempted to procure more enjoyment from it by throwing it upwards so that it could fly through the air a second time.

Unfortunately, she didn't throw straight upwards, but rather at an angle that caused the item's trajectory to collide with my camera. With quite some velocity.

Strangely enough, Marie was actually filming in my direction at this time, and so I can actually show you the event by having you watch from 0:20 to 0:31 in this video:

I don't fault Elise for this, but really I can't fault myself, either. It was just an unfortunate accident. I was lucky enough to find the camera itself and both batteries that had fallen out within about 20 seconds despite the onslaught of stampeding Steelers fans. The only damage seemed to have been a small crack in the battery cover. Or so I thought, until I started getting this screen every time I turned the darned thing on:

Eep! I actually use timestamps to figure out what a picture is for! And here, I must either spend precious time setting it upon each startup, or just not set it and have less context when I go back through my photos. This would not do.

(Thanks to Will for letting me photograph my camera with his camera, by the way.)

So, I'd talked to Elise, and I told her that although it was important for me to have a fully-functioning camera, I could do without for a little while. She offered to pay for a new camera entirely, and I said that although I agree in not seeing why I should pay for the whole thing, I certainly don't see why she should pay for the whole thing, either.

So I did some research to no avail, and started looking up new cameras. I had my eye on this model's successor, the 8-megapixel Canon PowerShot A590IS at $130. Then Best Buy removed its online listing, so I had an alternate plan for the Canon PowerShot A1000IS at $170. Both were actually cheaper than the A570IS when I bought it in July 2007, but still quite a bit of money for an incidental expense.

And then, earlier tonight, I found a site that made mention of a CR1220 battery and I had a "Eureka!" moment. So I instantly sought out ways to find out where this battery was and how I could find it. I stumbled upon this page which contained the following image of a similar model:

See that little panel that says "CR1220" next to the AA batteries. Compare with mine as shown in this picture just taken by my comparatively shoddy phone camera (which you have to forgive, because what else was I going to do?):

Well, there you go. I guess that had gone missing, too, and has since been run over by a million cars and/or swept up by a street cleaner, or something of that nature. A little more research, and it turns out this things typically retail for two or three dollars. One place even advertised them at 89¢ each. And to top it all off, it's a pretty standard battery, so it should be available somewhere in Hartford if I can get to the right place.

So guess what, Elise? If this works, you may not even owe me a whole dollar! And then I'll have pictures for my trips again! And decent ones at that!

* * *

Uh-oh. You know a post is getting long when it requires its own set of asterisks to keep things in order.

In other good news, I finally have an apartment for 2009-2010, which is quite a load off my shoulders. In the last two weeks, I missed a whole choir rehearsal, parts of two ChE 0400 classes, and an OChem lab recitation to go to all sorts of viewings. But the fact of the matter is that it's done. The lease is signed, the deposit paid, and the paperwork is off to my parents to co-sign.

For obvious reasons, I'll decline to state here exactly where or what my future apartment will be, but it is in Shadyside and was a bit of a compromise between the "Let's live four miles away from campus because I have a car and this place is loads cheaper" camp and the "Let's live closer even though this place is a bit pricier because we don't all have a car" bunch. The four of us were successfully able to find something that was middle-of-the-road in both regards (distance and price), and once we viewed it to make sure the interior wasn't crap, we took it.

Those of you in my extended family and friends list will be sure to get the address come August, especially those on the Baxter side, since we've got that family directory thing now. Aren't you glad I resurrected that?

And oh my goodness, Daylight Saving Time. When the dates were first changed to the way they are now, I immediately knew that having eight months of DST would only accentuate the other four months, and boy did it. It sucks finishing up for the day with the sun already far below the horizon.

So I will be very excited this evening when the sun doesn't set until (realizing I'll be in Hartford) 18:51. Eh, that's a half an hour's improvement, but that's the penalty for travelling to the east. I'll get the other half hour when I come back to Pittsburgh.

Which hopefully won't be for a while. Since I am going to Hartford and New York for basketball tournaments, our return to Pittsburgh is entirely contingent on the successes of our basketball teams. Pitt's women earned a 3-seed in the tournament, and play (6) DePaul at 20:00 EDT tonight. If they win tonight and Monday, they'll be in the championship game on Tuesday, which means we won't have time to come back to Pittsburgh and will go straight to New York. The men earned a 2-seed, and will play some random team from the first two rounds on Thursday night.

I say "some random" team because the Big East have changed the format of the tournaments this year. Since both our teams are in the top four, both get two byes in the five-day tournament. It's a little weird, but it's basically a convoluted way to have all 16 teams in each tournament while still rewarding those who perform well in the regular season with a little extra rest.

* * *

There it goes again...

It may be hard to believe, but I actually had more to write. I'm running out of time now, and that's the main reason I'm stopping. And I know back when I first started this blog, I would say "I'm soon going to write about all these things," and then never did. So I don't want to do that.

But other things on my mind at this time include:
If a post about these things never materializes, feel free to ask me about them at any time. Just don't ask me here, and don't ask me now.

I'm now just 40 minutes from being on a bus to Connecticut (albeit in a sleepy state), and I just want to let everyone know that you can follow my updates on the basketball trail this year on my Twitter page, since I can SMS now, and I can no longer access the mobile site I wrote last year. It'll be infinitely easier to just send a few quick text messages than peck out long and painful password-protected updates into a mobile web form.

And if you don't have or want Twitter (although the real question here is "Why?"), my recent updates are always in the sidebar of this blog and are also linked to my Facebook status. So that'll work, too.

To my Pitt friends: I hope you have a wonderful Spring Break this week, whether at home, elsewhere, or even with me at the tournaments.

Au revoir!


Lexi Elizabeth said...

I don't have or want a Twitter. And I'm very glad for this long update, though I'm sad that I couldn't get to it until now, since my roommie does not have internet at her house. Have fun on your trip with the basketball team, and good luck!

Troll said...

I promise I'll get that 3 bucks to you at some point. Or would you prefer payment of another sort? I'm thinking food here, of course, but whatevs.

Tim Parenti said...

If it were $100, I'd say "pay me back right now!"

But since it's $3, take your time! And yes, I'd accept a lunch or something. (Although even lunch is more than $3...)

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