Jan 302010

After our long day trip to Yuma on Thursday, we didn’t feel much like going anywhere yesterday, so we spent the day doing administrative tasks. I think the only time either of us went outside was when I carried the trash down to the dumpster.

Now that I had a better idea of the size and layout of the buildings available at the Yuma fairgrounds for our rally, I was able to update and refine the seminar schedule. I posted the updated schedule to the bottom of our rally web page, but there are still some gaps that I need to fill in as other seminars are confirmed. This is still a tentative schedule, and there will no doubt be changes as we get closer to the rally dates.

While I was busy with that, Miss Terry was doing some paperwork, logging in rally reservations, and recording some receipts for expenditures we made recently. When people learn that we are fulltime RVers and that we make our living by writing about our travels, they say that it must be fun having a job that is a permanent vacation. Yes indeed, it is a lot of fun. But it’s not all touring interesting places and sightseeing. There are a lot of days just like yesterday, when we’re sitting at our desks working at mundane tasks. But I still wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world!

It was just as well, because even though the storm clouds had moved on, yesterday was pretty chilly, and we weren’t too interested in being outside anyway. We hope it eventually warms up enough that we can do some geocaching, or maybe even get our kayaks into the water.

Apache lake view webYes, there is a lot of water in Arizona, from small lakes like Lake Patagonia and White Mountain Lake, scattered all around the state, Canyon Lake view 2 webto some huge impoundments like 22 mile long Roosevelt Lake, northeast of Phoenix; or Lake Mead, which stretches for over 110 miles along the Colorado River, in the northwestern corner of the state.

Lately I have been looking at digital camcorders. I don’t need anything professional, but I’d like to experiment with putting some small videos on the blog from time to time. I’ve owned a couple of older style camcorders years ago, but the technology has changed a lot since then. I’ve been doing a little bit of research, and realized that I have a lot to learn, with so many choices and options on the market these days. I’d appreciate feedback from any of you who have camcorders as to what features you like and don’t like about yours.

I have to brag just a bit. A few months ago I collaborated with Christine Pinheiro on a new book titled The Step By Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit. Actually, Christine did all of the work, I just gave her some input, and she was kind enough to share credit for the book with me. Our book has won the Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award for 2010 in the writing category. I’ve never had one of my books win an award before!

Bad Nick didn’t want to go outside yesterday either, so he stayed in too, and posted a new Bad Nick Blog titled They Should Have Aimed Higher. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “An Administrative Day”

  1. How else can one fully appreciate the “fun” days if they don’t occasionally sip from the cup of the mundane and run-of-the-mill? Besides, one must maintain the infrastructure that support the “fun life” or the whole thing collapses.

    As for camcorders, one of the most valuable features is how well the camera can stabilize images. To me, this may be worth a bit more than super zoom capability, megapixels or larger capacity storage because it insures that whatever pictures I do get will be solid and not jerky. I can’t offer much of an experienced opinion as to comparing current models but the rule still stands… if its solid it does not look cheaply done.

    I would also suggest comparing the clarity of equally “zoomed” views to see which camera(s) truly give you a usable zoom capability. Some tests I ran quite awhile ago made it clear that zooms make image stability even worse so it might be a good way to stress test the image stabilization mechanisms.

    I frequently shoot a wider scene to get everything I might want and then crop or digital zoom it later in software to focus on a particular object or view. Lower megapixel cameras don’t allow as much latitude in doing this before the image is too degraded to be pleasant to watch.

    Just some thoughts.

  2. Nick, others may tell you the same thing: if all you want to do is post videos on your blog, using the “movie” feature of a new-ish digital camera might work for you. I was amazed when I saw the movies I can capture with my standard digital pocket-sized zoom camera – works great for the blog, where you need to be posting smaller-sized videos.

    Just a thought. Of course, if what you really want is a new gadget, this won’t be the right solution for you. 🙂

  3. No input on camcorders, but congrats on the award you are sharing with Christine. If I ever get my act together and get our book finished, I’ll glom onto yours to see how to take the next steps!

  4. We got a Flip Ultra XD from our kids for Christmas. Its tiny, simple to use and so far we’ve been really satisfied with the video clips we’ve taken. It doesn’t have a long telephoto lens but you can bring things in somewhat. The best thing is that you just plug it into the USB port on your computer and presto you can watch your videos. Ours has a 2 hour capacity. We save the video out the the laptop then erase it from the camera. It recharges when plugged in to the computer or with a regular plug. Great for travel. Smaller than my digital camera. Check it out.

  5. Chuck and Claire beat me to it. I recently used one while up in the states, now I’m kicking myself for not bringing one home with me. I think the Flip is what your looking for.
    Hugs Mimi

  6. OK, they beat us to it…we were going to suggest the FLIP video also…it’s the best!! So easy to use and small.
    And big Congrats! on the award..you are most deserving!! HUGS!

  7. Re: your request for info on digital video recorders- several months ago I purchased a new Panasonic HDC-TM10PP high definition video camera when it was on sale at Costco for $400. I’ve had several nice Sonys which served me well, but this one has a lot of features for the price. What sold me was its very small size and light weight, use of SD cards, (instead of a hard drive which can be easily damaged), an 8 gigabite built in memory in addition to using the SD card, a decent optical zoom at 16X, ability to take still photos and better image stabilization than the Sonys had. While I’ve only taken a couple of hours of video so far and have a lot to learn about its capabilities, I’m very pleased with it. The quality of the video is excellent and the sound, (which works in conjunction with the zoom to increase sensitivity), is quite good. Negatives are few and minor, (somewhat limited battery life, no viewfinder- you work with the touch LCD screen and software that takes a little getting used to). This is probably a lot more than you’d need to post videos on a website, but it is a neat gadget!

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