Sony Kit Lens: Is It Any Good?

The Sony a6000 comes with what’s called a kit lens. This particular glass offers a small zoom. It’s flat, and that makes the camera easy to carry around.

Kit lenses are dissed because they’re free and therefore don’t get any respect. I keep wondering if they’re worth the time and energy, so yesterday I took off with the camera sporting that lens and took some photos.

We’ll start with a pic of back road nearby. Nothing’s been done to it. 

I wasn’t impressed, but admittedly it isn’t the best subject. There isn’t much noise and contrast is good. Color is all right. But it isn’t sharp.  Continue reading

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Facts and Figures: The Move

If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know I have no money. I do, in fact, land very close to the poverty line every year–a little over or a little under–and have for a while.

So how did I manage to upgrade to a Prius, albeit five years old, and buy a place?

The answer is simple: I had no debt, a little in savings, and I inherited $17K when my mother died. The important thing to note is that I had no debt. None. Both credit cards are paid off promptly each month. If I can’t buy something and do that, I don’t get it.

First, the car: I was driving a 2009 Yaris. I bought it used a few years before I left WI. Toyota makes THE most dependable cars, or at least I’ve always had really good luck with them. I decided on the Prius for several reasons: it was from Toyota, it had a proven track record, and the hybrid engine impressed me as a great way to save money on gas (price at the pump may be low now, but it won’t stay that way). No way could I afford a new model, but used was fine.  Continue reading

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The Move, Part 2

I slept about five hours last night, but only because I took half a Benadryl. When I woke up at 4 a.m., I was up. Damn it.

I researched contract law in the hopes I could find a way to break the agreement, just in case, but I came up empty. I’d found a couple of other mobile homes within my price range that were moderately suitable but not nearly as good as the one I’d already bought.

One was in Winter Haven, a place R said I’d really like (Chain of Lakes) but a two-hour drive from where I am now. Visiting him would be a pain. The place was beautiful, and near a lake, but didn’t have central air. In Florida that is simply not acceptable. Humidity causes mold; it’s inevitable. The other place was in Sebring, which is just north of Lake Placid, across a busy street from Lake Jackson, which is huge. Not a totally bad location (according to the current owner, there’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant just down the street), but the place was old, really small, and probably needed a new fridge plus a good pressure wash and severe plant pruning outside. There was also no carport, and in Florida, you need one to protect your vehicle and keep it somewhat cool inside.  Continue reading

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Nothing is Ever as Easy as You Think

I didn’t sleep last night.

I might have caught an hour or two between ten and seven, but I am exhausted as I write this. Why? Because people are shitheads.

Y’all know I’m moving at the end of January. The contract was signed, a deposit was put down, and the movers have been booked. There are packed boxes stacking up in the living room.

On that contract was a stipulation: a carport had to be added to the existing home in January, 2019. Why? Because park management insisted, and I wasn’t about to be held liable for something that was not my responsibility. It should have been replaced over a year ago, but the owner didn’t do it then and apparently, he still doesn’t want to do it.

I asked the realtor a couple days ago to check on this, and she told me the place had been painted and the damage caused by Irma repaired, but no new carport. She sent pictures. It looks very nice, and hey, the place already has a carport; why the hell would I need another one? I said the new improvements were acceptable but management had to sign off on it.  Continue reading

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Year-End Ruminations

It’s been an odd year. The first half sucked big time because I wasn’t getting work. It’s scary when bills continue to come in but income doesn’t.

So I put out a distress call to friends, asking for edits. No one responded. Maybe I would have had better luck with GoFundMe, especially if I’d said I was raising money for a wall.

I lived off my savings for a few months, gave serious thought to how I would handle being homeless, and then things turned around, and I was getting work from my usual sources again.

My mother died in September, after five years in a home. She had dementia and, according to staff, breast cancer. Why they would do tests like this on an old woman, I have no idea. She was almost 94 when she died, and it wasn’t from cancer.

My dad spent five years in assisted living, and they wanted to give him a colonoscopy. Mom refused, and she was right to do so. A series of tiny strokes had destroyed his mind; looking for something expensive to treat was ridiculous, and if he had it, well, the brain was gone, why save the body?

It’s no secret Mom and I didn’t get along. We fought most of our lives, and I considered her a poor excuse for a mother and a lousy human being. I still wonder what my father saw in her; he was hard-working, kind, generous, and laughed easily. Talk about opposites attracting!  Continue reading

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