Archive for the 'Personal Stories' Category


SB-400 Flash for Nikon D40!

After taking some pictures lately, I realized my indoor pictures more or less sucked. I did some reading, and found some good reviews on a relatively inexpensive flash unit: the Nikon SB-400.

I actually placed an order for it on Amazon on Sunday night, but for some unexplained reason, they decided to cancel my order. Since I had to drive to Huntsville today for classes, I made a trip over to Wolf Camera. It wasn’t much more expensive, and they let me play around with it for a while, so I decided to go ahead and purchase it. This worked out well for me, since I am basically too impatient to wait on shipping.

Another thing I’d been looking for was a remote shutter control, so that I wouldn’t have to rely on self-timer, and they happened to have one of those there as well!

So far, from shooting with it a little while, I can already tell a drastic difference in image quality. Here’s a shot I took of my nephew Caleb with it today:


I Thought I’d Seen It All…

There are a lot of people who are set in their ways, who don’t like change. Then there are others who just don’t care enough to change. Well, then there are people like those whose computer I went to work on Monday.

Now, I’ve worked on some fairly old computers, Pentium IIIs with 128 MB of RAM, stuff like that, that’s fairly common. The computer I got to work on, the specs were:

  • 166 MHz processor
  • 16 MB RAM
  • 3 512 MB HDDs
  • Windows 98

Only thing it was missing was a 5 1/4″ floppy drive. :D

Oh, and the icing on the cake (for those who remember 98), his background was the bubbles pattern.


Cracked My Windshield

What a great way to kick off my week back to school after Thanksgiving break. I was purposely running a little late to class Monday, trying to finish up some homework that was due (really, what kind of sick person gives homework over Thanksgiving break?), and then I headed out to class.

So I’m driving along down 565, and all I hear is this loud crack sound. Never saw anything, just heard something hit my car, so I’m kinda looking around and don’t see anything, so I get back to driving. A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I see this radial crack at the bottom of my windshield, and sickeningly realize that wasn’t there before. So I’m still driving, trying to do a Google search on my phone for how to stop a crack from spreading, and by the time I make it to class, it had already spread about halfway up the windshield, and it’s still slowly making its way across toward my side.


So I head on into class realizing there’s not really much I can do at this point. I was talking to some of my classmates about it, and I decided I’d give my insurance company a call to see if it would be covered. So I call them up, and they tell me that yes, I have glass coverage on my insurance plan. That’s great, right? Then she tells me that there is a $500 DEDUCTIBLE. Huh? I don’t know, I guess that’s usual for insurance places, but seriously, it isn’t going to cost anywhere CLOSE to $500 to fix. What do I pay them for again? *sigh*

Oh well, so basically that was just a long, drawn out way of saying I’m getting my windshield replaced today for $150. :/

And wow, it’s been a month since my last post, I need to update this more frequently, haha.


1,000 Hits!

Just thought I’d throw another post up here to celebrate 1,000 views on my (not-so-often-updated) blog, and a whole 22 comments from y’all. ;)

Not really much else I can say…um, Bellsouth sucks? That works.


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Rhapsody: Not Music to My Ears

You would think I’d know better than to mess with anything related to Real.

So if you didn’t know, Rhapsody (the music subscription service by Real), Verizon, and URGE (Microsoft’s music store) have merged recently (read more here). Well, I’ve always had issues with RealPlayer—it’s buggy, slow, and a resource hog—but I figured I’d give the Rhapsody store a spin.

They were offering a free 30-day trial on their site. You sign up, give them your payment information, and you have 30 days to cancel before you get charged the $15/month. Okay, sure, I’ve done this before plenty of times with other services, why not? So I sign up, and download the software.


Okay, not the nicest looking player, tried too hard on the shiny, glossy effect. Sorry guys, Apple does it better. Anyway, so I go in and download a few albums, then go listen to some radio stations, and it’s all pretty cool. However, I have an iPod, and subscription tracks aren’t supported on it. I knew that going in, of course, but after giving it some thought and realizing I really don’t download that much music, I figured it wasn’t worth continuing with, and so I went to go cancel my subscription.

Yeah, this was the fun part.

So I log on to the website, and go to My Account. I hunt through a few menus on there until I find a button that says “Cancel Subscription”. Great! One click, and I’ll be done, right? If only.

So I click “Cancel Subscription”, and I’m greeted with this lovely screen:

To cancel your subscription, please call us at 1-866-597-5465.
Thank you,
Real Customer Support

Wait, what? Why do I have to ca—ah, forget it, it’s no big deal. So I give them a call, and am again greeted with one of the most bizarre, but not completely unexpected, messages on a support line. “Due to an extremely high number of calls (let’s not forget this is a Sunday afternoon), wait times may be as long as ten minutes. You might want to try calling back some other time.”

What happened to “Your call is very important to us; Please continue to hold”?

So I set my phone on Speakerphone, and listen to the crappy elevator music for the next EIGHT MINUTES. Finally, someone from India picks up, and asks for my email address. Two minutes later, I’m finished repeating myself for the tenth time, and he gets my name, and all that information. Then he puts me on hold again. More elevator music.

He comes back, and the dialogue goes something like this:

CSR: “So how are you doing this morning?”

Me: “Fine I guess, I just need to cancel my account.”

CSR: “Can I ask why you wish to cancel?”

Me: “I just don’t have any plans to use it”

CSR: “Well, what features was it that you were needing?”

Me: “I – nothing, I just don’t want to use it”

CSR: “Did it not work correctly? Was there something we can help with?”

Me: “NO. I just need to cancel my account.”

CSR: “So, were you just not happy with the software, or was there any other issues with it?”

Me: *sigh* “No, just cancel my account.”

CSR: “Okay, give me just a couple of minutes here…Okay, I have cancelled your subscription, but it will not expire until Oct. 10. Were you happy with your call experience today?”

Me: “Well, no, not really. I’d much rather I could do this online, since I can easily sign up online, but yeah, sure, it’s fine now.”

CSR: (insert generic conclusive greeting)

Why do they have to make it so dang difficult to cancel with them anyway? I sent them an email afterwards, after I hunted it down off the website (conveniently hidden away off of the main page), basically comparing them to AOL. Meh, I guess just take it as a heads-up, and don’t bother with their software unless you plan to stick with it.

Total Call Time: 15m 28s.


Back to School!

Just started up at UAH today! Right now I’m taking 2-D Design & Color Theory, Western Civilization II, Art History, and Introduction to Drawing (in that order) from 8-5. As expected, the first classes were boring, just the teachers going over the syllabus for the entire class period. I take that back, in the first class, we watched a video on the Medici family—rather, I slept through it— after going through the syllabus. :)

Parking up there is horrible though. I’d parked fine originally—I got there pretty early—and made the mistake of trying to drive over and meet someone by the University Center before my next class. I ended up driving for the next twenty minutes, and eventually parking even further than I was parked originally. Hopefully it’ll quiet down like it did at Wallace after the first few weeks. For now I’ll just walk. :)

Ugh, it’s getting expensive already though. Both art teachers gave us a list of supplies that were required for the course, and after getting most—but not all—of them, it came out to $150! Oh well, should be fun, we get to sit there for 2 1/2 hours and do nothing but draw, and we can listen to music or pretty much do whatever we want, as long as we’re drawing.

There’s my excitement for the day!

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Got my New Car!

Well, I finally got my insurance payment for my old car, and got a new one today! It’s a silver ’98 Ford Taurus, it’s only got 105k miles (as opposed to my old one with 250k, lol), and doesn’t really have any major problems that I could find.

Humorous bit of information – The car–a Taurus–came with undercar glow lights installed. :P That’d be awesome, IF THEY WEREN’T PURPLE! Haha, stephen says I should be able to buy different bulbs for it, I haven’t had much chance to look at them, though.

Here’s a pic:

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