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24 June 2008 @ 11:23 pm
There's nothing quite so much fun as a good rant, is there? I think I will have a positive rant in the near future to balance things out. In the meantime, a few short notes.

Nothing quite says 'You have procrastinated too long in the finishing of this fic' like reading through earlier chapters and saying 'Gosh. Really? Oh I like that bit, I wonder what it means?'

I recently paid a pittance for an account so that I could post Sansa's birthday image. I have just realised that I can post other pictures. Thus I give you



Cookie is the adult black cat, Monster is the tortiseshell kitten. And yes, she does have laser eyes, very handy for drawing straight lines in the dark. That tube has three arms and a central hole and is possibly the Greatest Cat Invention Ever. Alas it was a catfood company freebie constructed of cheap nylon and is falling apart. This means I will have to rebuild it, I foresee over-engineering and procrastination. Perhaps embroidery ...

They are both adorable wee things and brighten our days, despite the fact that there is still a palpable Min-cat absence. Mon likes to sleep on one's head, because you may have wanted to wear a fur hat to bed but not wanted hat hair in the morning. She is also obsessed with water, to the point of jumping into the shower and having a good paddle between our legs. Any running water is like a Siren singing and she has been known to sit in the basin in hopes of a sudden need for handwashing.

When she was very new J was in the loo and I could hear him laughing uproariously. When he came out, I asked why. His words: "You should be very proud of me, I wazzed on neither the floor nor the cat."

Her other great trick is the shoulder cuddle, where she will nestle on one shoulder and nuzzle into your neck and hair, purring madly. This would be wholly delightful, were she not a slightly farty kitten.

Cookie is calmly in charge, and pretends to be a delicate wee princess (she now weighs over 3kg as opposed to the 2kg she was when we liberated her from the pound). This image is maintained until Monster walks by below any of her perches, when she transforms into Death From Above. She is incredibly fluffy now, and Mon is a lot bigger, but alas they broke my camera in a Loeb vs Solberg-style rally round of the living room and I have not replaced it yet.

So I am in the market for a new camera. It needs to take pictures of cats, embroideries and textiles in museums, cities, sport, and my friends. Perhaps the odd plant. It needs a good optical zoom and high megapixelage, with a good range of automatic settings and manual overrides. It MUST be able to take good shots in low light conditions, and preferably have excellent textural representation, that matched with accurate colour would be ideal. Above all, it needs to be usable by a moron. I do eventually read the manuals, but can never remember them. I have the photographic talent of a fern. Short video capture would also be good.

At the moment I am looking at the Canon G9, since it comes in around my price point (under $800/£400) and my old camera was a Canon Powershot so I should have some familiarity with the interface. Also, anabellhenry uses one for her gorgeous flower shots, which I adore, so it clearly does a good job. Any suggestions/warnings?
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pingridpingrid on June 24th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
I love your cats! :D

And you describe exactly the camera I need, too (which is perhaps not wholly a surprise). I thought maybe I had found it when the Fuji FinePix F30 was recommended to me on an online forum based on pretty much the same description you give, but alas, I can't seem to take a completely clear pic with it in _any_ lighting, despite the adjustable ISO and all kinds of theoretically good things. So my only advice is to not buy that one if you're as much of a photo moron as me. I'll be following the comments to this post eagerly. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
I'm going into town to play Test Driver tomorrow, so I'll let you know if I find anything good!
(no subject) - pingrid on June 24th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on June 24th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
I have no camera suggestions, since I own a Canon Powershot and you know all about it already but hee for the kitties. Especially Mon with her farty shoulder cuddles - too cute! Our dog is thankfully not overly farty but if he gets into plastic wrap then he farts - little squeaky things that come out eight or nine in a row while on a walk. Cracks me up every time!

And I totally lol'd over the water cat thing - I can just see her darting through the shower!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Oh Monster, truly she is a stinky kitty ... but so cute! Does your dog often eat plastic? Mon id having a bit of a go at hair right now, which would be less bad were it not on my head.

It's not even darting half the time, a leisurely stroll and then a little sit down over the plug!
(no subject) - bryoneybrynn on June 24th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on June 24th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
No suggestions for cameras (I use my crappy old cell phone camera out of sheer convenience) but Monster seems to be aptly named! Looks like she's well able to defend herself.

My Uther is fascinated with water too: and he used to jump into the shower, though he hasn't done it recently. He doesn't care for baths, but he's very easy to bathe when necessary (such as after a skunk encounter).

blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Oh SKUNKS! I always thought that was one of those 'things' that people do for foreigners, the same way that Britons will take you on historic walks and Australians will cheerily point out all the poisonous fauna (all of it). Americans, I thought, say "Oh yes, and you should SMELL the skunk, phew!"

And then I did smell one. From about a mile away. And as we got closer, it grew stronger and stronger. Until I had my scarf wrapped around my face and my sunglasses on in a bid to stop the smell coming in through my eyes!

All the cool cats like water. Min would sit on the edge of the bath and occasionally bat it with her paw. James bought them a water fountain that has constantly recirculating water. Hippie.

And yes, our next cat will be called Perfect, or Thoughtful.
nahimanaemerald_dragon8 on June 24th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, the cats are adorable! If they were here right now, I'd be cooing at them and calling them pumpkins (a sure sign of my affection which has led to me calling my dog by nicknames ranging from Bunny to Pumpkin more often than I use her real name, Milly).

As for cameras, I'm pretty much a camera dummy, but I use a Kodak ZD710 and it works pretty well for me. I'm not sure how much it cost because it was a gift, but I know it was under $500. Good luck!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
I don't desperately need it *now* so I am going to compare, contrast and try several out. Grown up shopping, I can do it. Unless I spot leather gloves in which case I instantly turn into someone with no willpower.

Pet nicknames are the best! These two are still evolving theirs, but our much-loved Min was variously the Mookie, Moochops, Muppet features and so on. The girls would love you and provide many cuddles. Monster might even hold off farting.
i can see your house from herewho_la_hoop on June 24th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
This would be wholly delightful, were she not a slightly farty kitten.

*giggles madly* That is all kinds of hilarious.

I fear I have no camera wisdom to share. Mine broke a while ago, and I still haven't replaced it. I'm not much of a photo taking person!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
It's very bad, because the cuddling is so cute, but the smell is so bad ...

I'm a dreadful photographer (witness headless cat above), but I have a lot of museum visits happening over the rest of the year and want to have records of the artefacts. And I feel that I should record some aspects of my life, especially the kitties.
Leochileochi on June 24th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
Maybe you'd like to have a look at this camera:
LUMIX Panasonic DMC-FX12

I'm a sucker for cameras (I own half a dozen of them) and taking pics all the time; I bought my LUMIX a few months ago (it was a special offer and didn't even cost 200 Euros) and it's the only one I've used since then. The whole thing is tiny and fits into the palm of your hand, the rechargeable battery lasts for ever (I've used the camera on our 7-days field trip, taking photos every day whithout having to recharge it).
And it has a simple mode, a more sophisticated scene mode where you can choose between more than a dozen of options including pets, landscapes, sports, sensitive (no flash allowed but dark objects) etc.
Not to forget the film mode too.

The only thing I don't quite like is the lack of a viewer. You can only use the fairly big screen that you can switch into economy mode to save power.

All in all a nice an nifty little thing that you can carry around in your pocket all the time. :-))
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Leochi! I hope the trip has been brilliant! I will put this on my list to look at in the shops tomorrow.
(no subject) - pushdragon on June 25th, 2008 10:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leochi on June 25th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kayleigh_jane: Approve of Postkayleigh_jane on June 24th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
I bought the bf a camera for Christmas. It's a Kodak ZD710, like emerald_dragon8 has. It's got 7.1 megapixel, which is quite good for a very small mirrorreflex camera (it fits on the palm of my hand). It has several functions, including a museum feature(no flash and no noise) and a smart picture feature. You can also set the settings to your wishes. The lens is not changeable, so that might be a minus. But, it weighs practically nothing!

Google gave me this website, which seems to have a lot of cameras with all kinds of information, including reviews.

Your kitties are very cute! Mine like to sleep on the clean laundry, which is not something I like... But they are very cuddly, to the point where Merlin has to come and cuddle every night before he will go to sleep. This includes 'persuading' him to suckle on the point of his own tail. Fittingly, he is mostly called Baby instead of Merlin...
kayleigh_jane: Approve of Postkayleigh_jane on June 24th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
beatnikspinster on June 24th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Oh! Your cats are so much fun!

As far as cameras, the best review site I've found is http://www.dpreview.com/. They cover every aspect including picture quality in every environment. I think they also have comparisons.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
They are hilarious, though Monster, the kitten who thinks she is a puppy, will drag her favourite toy into the bedroom once we have gone to bed and drop it on our faces until we play with it (it is a feather on elastic on a stick). Not conducive to sleep, but too cute to ignore!

Thank you so much for that site; I will have a good pore over it tonight. And I am taking the computer camera shopping with me so that I can compare online prices, too. Then we are going to visit the new Sydney Apple store, which is rather like going to see a cathedral ...
Catscatsintheattic on June 24th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)

They are sooo cute and adorable, both in dream and reality.

One of the cats of a friend also loves water. She likes to sit in the bathtub and watch the water running into the drain. But she isn't fond of getting wet feet.

As for cameras, I like my Canon IXUS - very light and small. I don't know about low light conditions and stuff like that, because I mainly make photos of my flipcharts - sad, isn't it?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
They ARE adorable, but you may not have them. Feel free to stop by and play with them if you are ever in Sydney, though! I will make cake.

Mon doesn't mind getting her feet wet, but she then comes and jumps up on me with her sopping paws, which I mind quite a bit! I am sure I will like it by the time summer rolls around ...

And it's not sad, though I think that model is a bit small for what I need. Thanks, though!
(no subject) - catsintheattic on June 24th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Meredythmeredyth_13 on June 24th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Wheee, Kitties!

*makes toddler grabby hands*

I know what you mean about fic, I had to go re-read whole sections of my wip to see what I had actually established between a couple of characters *sigh*

We have a Powershot, don't know what model, but it does most of what you were requesting. Canon are usually pretty useful - although ours recently stopped zooming, but apparently it was a 'known problem' and they fixed it free of charge. C uses all the settings - I set it to A for Artifical-brain and push the big button.

Kitty tubes are the best - we have a long straight one with ambush holes. Those pop up linen laundry baskets are also fun. My two story (with ramp and craft sneak attack ports) kitty castle has been put in the corner for now to allow more tube room, but it will make a comeback soon - possibly with new sundeck and lounge bar.

I know what you mean re water - Mon must be part Bengal - Loki refuses to drink unless it's running fresh from the tap, and both cats are in sulk mode because we can't fill the bath again until C fixes the small hole we found in it. They both insist on climbing into the shower when we're done to roll in the water and fight over the shower stool. And yes, male urination is a thing of wonder, and danger... >.>

Last night Loki stole my plastic medicine cup, dropped it into the basin, spent five minutes chasing it in the basin (which has water in it at all times for the cats), fished it out on one paw, then proceeded to carry it off downstairs. C later found it 'buried' underneath the family room couch - where we routinely find a stash of play mice, balls of alfoil, plastic cutlery, and hairbands.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
Heheheheheh! They have their own toy chest!

The bad thing about the water is that Mon has Cookie doing it now, too. So when I go to brush my teeth, I have to lift kitties out of the way repeatedly Happily they are light and it is funny.

I have been looking at the straight ones, do they enjoy them as much as the multi-armed? There was a cat at the cat protection society who would defend his tube by main force, rolling it across the floor to escape from aggressors; alas our house is too pokey to offer great expanses of floor!

Kitty castle rocks. The girls are finally taking turns at kitty tower here, after the horror of the tail wars was settled once and for all by them both learning to tuck them up beneath them whilst on the top tier.

Mon does have a pointy little head, there may well be a bit of Bengal in there.
It's a Deensedeensey on June 24th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
This means I will have to rebuild it, I foresee over-engineering and procrastination. Perhaps embroidery ...

The thing is, knowing you, I believe this utterly, and expect to see patterning bits and corset boning lying about.

Strathfield apparently has all their camera on sale. Give them a shout?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
I am tossing up using silk tafetta for the fabric. On the one hand, that's silly. On the other it would keep that pawable-through effect that they like about the current tunnels, while being far more rip resistant than the current nylon versions. And if I use a linen twill tape to make the channels for the wire (I can just re-use that), then it will look nice as well as being tough.

And the embroidery would be textural, for the kitties to enjoy!!

Will look at Strathfield, I have decided to sit i a cafe for an hour then tidy for an hour before coming up to see you rather than shopping today, since I may be paid by the weekend, which would mean instant purchase opportunities!
(no subject) - deensey on June 25th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kieranfilmatleven on June 24th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
*pets da kitties*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
*Kitties purr and give Miss Mic and neck nuzzle (with no claws, because they are kind to guests)*
Leelaleela_cat on June 25th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
We have a boy cat named Monster who has exactly that same expression as your Monster does in that top picture. And he likes water... a lot. It's kind of eerie, actually.

We have a Canon camera (I don't remember the version), but we like it very much.
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on June 25th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
That kitten is ADORABLE. And shiny.
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - homerinexile on June 25th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
kestrelsparhawk: rainbowkestrelsparhawk on June 25th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Oooh, kitties. They do help with the hole in your heart, don't they? Probably by helping fill it with cat fur....

My current cat was raised by our dog, and took everything she said for gospel. Our dog liked to eat used kleenex. Therefore, Amelia eats toilet paper -- deliberately when she wants to be annoying, obsessively other times -- and barks at the mail carrier. It will be interesting to see which of your cats train the other -- I got a second at a rescue shelter a year later (because Amelia's version of cuddling regularly drew blood) who'd been a stray. He taught her to purr and meow, she taught him to use a litter box. Honors about even, I think....
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
That is brilliant! I would love to hear Amelia bark. I think the teaching honours do sound evenly split; and both beneficial to you, which is handy.

And yes, if nothing else, I can't sit around being miserable when I am being jumped on by Emo Kitty and the Goth Fluff as they were last night.
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on June 25th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on June 25th, 2008 06:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 07:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
AMY 凛☆ラブ☆アタックtomatoe18 on June 25th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC)

Your cat Cookie looks like the cat we lost last year, Nera. ;__;

Brings back memories.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)
I do know how you feel, Monster looks a bit like Min, the cat we lost a few months ago, and increasingly acts like her. Cookie is a lovely cat, I know that Nera would have enjoyed living with you as much as Cookie does with us.