Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Sunroof, No Kindle, Camera Dying

We succeeded on one front today: Speedy Glass replaced the broken sunroof on the car. We dropped off the car around 8:30 this morning. While they were working on it, they gave us a ride to the visitor’s center in downtown Anchorage, and we took the 50-minute trolley tour. Then we visited the displays and saw a couple of movies in the Federal Building. By the time we got back around 11:30 the car was finished. $500 deductible and the glass shop will get our insurance to cover the rest. We’re lowering the deductible on the motorhome because it will probably need a new windshield by the time we return to the lower 48.

On another front, we suffered a failure. The replacement for my Kindle, that was supposed to be shipped by 1-day UPS on June 2, was actually shipped by USPS (Postal Service). Since the address I provided for the Black Spruce Campground isn’t valid for the Post Office, and I wasn’t here to physically register at the Post Office in advance of the package’s arrival, it was rejected and returned. All those trips I made to the P.O. on base were futile. Don got an email from Amazon saying they received our return package. Didn’t say what it was, but we assume it was the Kindle.

So, this morning I had another conversation with yet another customer service rep at Amazon. After covering all the details, Steven arranged to send me another new Kindle, and also added a credit to our account so I can replace the colorful skin that Don gave me to make my Kindle distinctive from his. I can now order a new one, if I can get their web site to accept the order. It’s one of those ‘glitches’ that I hate online. I press Continue and the screen simply re-paints.

The final frustration today was to learn that there’s dust (or something) inside my camera, and it would cost more to repair than the camera’s worth. At least, that’s what the camera shop employee told me. And he wasn’t particularly interested in selling me a new camera, either.

Here’s how I discovered the dust, which I thought was a scratch on the lens but I couldn’t clean it off. Yesterday I posted this photo.


I used that version after cropping out the part that shows the flaw in the lower right quadrant.


It’s particularly apparent when I used “I’m Feeling Lucky” in Picasa to enhance the image.


There’s also a clicking sound in the camera I’ve noticed lately. I thought maybe it was the auto-focus feature, but the camera shop guy said it’s not a good sound. The camera’s doing something it shouldn’t.

So, I guess it’s time to go shopping. I like the really small size of this Nikon Coolpix S630, and the quality of pictures it produces with very little effort on my part. It fits in my pocket, purse or even the case with my binoculars. I don’t like the fact that the 7x optical zoom is hard to control at intermediate levels. And I hate that it doesn’t have a viewfinder, but a 2.7 inch LCD that’s really hard to see outside. And it was expensive to buy a second battery, but it’s nice to always have a spare charged battery on hand. It would be more convenient to be able to use AA batteries. So, I’m open to suggestions from anyone who has advice on a small, easy-to-use but highly capable camera!

With one out of three successes today, and knowing that my Kindle won’t be here for another several days, we’re free to roll down the road tomorrow and join our compadres in Ninilchik.

Thanks for all the anniversary greetings from everyone! We appreciate the messages.


  1. so nice that you got your sunroof replaced. I have a small Nikon CoolPix P5100. Not sure if they still make them, but that is what I used until I recently bought the DSLR, so everything on the blog so far is from the coolpix except for the last post. It only has a 3x zoom, but it has a viewfinder in addition to the LCD. Great little camera, only thing it doesn't do is make the horizons on the oceans completely horizontal. Then bend down very slightly at the edges. Still, maybe you can find a similar Nikon with a viewfinder.

  2. I love my little Canon PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Elph. It the time I bought it (2-3 years ago), it had the widest angle lens of all the pocket sized cameras, which makes it particularly well-suited for travelers... but does tend to bend the verticals a bit. No viewfinder, but the big LCD screen CAN BE SEEN IN FULL SUNLIGHT, a miracle! 3.8 "real" zoom (can't remember what this is called), to 15X digital zoom.

    I don't know what the current version would be, but I love this little camera. Seems to be holding up very well to heavy use (including a lot of time spent in the pocket of my jeans). The battery recharges quickly and holds for a long time, and you can make videos, too. Highly recommended by me.

  3. Canon has the best point-and-shoot cameras around. I have 5 of them, and love them all.


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