Monday, February 13, 2012

New cars and flea-bay bargains

Age 34 caught up with me while I was in Paris. I had planned to spend an entire afternoon walking the Seine and updating my portfolio with a new round of photos, but the sub-zero temperatures kept me indoors the entire trip.

I did snap one obligatory photo of the Eiffel Tower during the dinner cruise we took the first night.

Mandatory Eiffel Tower photo

As my interest in car racing had waned a couple years ago, I had decided one of my resolutions for 2012 was to sell the Porsche and get something both more economical and more conducive to carrying sailing and photography gear -- but I wasn't trying very hard at it. I was caught offguard that I had an offer on the car almost as soon as I got home, and I hadn't done any shopping for a replacement vehicle.

I spent Monday night doing some intensive research and by Tuesday night when they came to haul away my car to its new home in California, I had this in the driveway.

2011 Ford Escape

I'll always have a place in my heart for the 911, but I won't lie, I'm really enjoying the quiet ride and plethora of cupholders. The SYNC system and satellite radio are pretty great too. I really wish SYNC and Siri could get married and have a baby in my dashboard. Right now I just have SYNC switch over to Bluetooth Audio and then let Siri run the show from there, but it would be nice if Siri responded to the buttons in the car and could give SYNC more control to call up artists and whatnot. It's kind of like having two selfish robotic girlfriends that won't give up their control of each part of your life but are forced to share you while you're in the car.

So along with a new vehicle to carry all my camera gear, I finally hit one of those jackpot bargains on eBay. Somebody was selling a "junk box" of Leica accessories. $40 ended up scoring me a working Leica Meter MC, a Leica Meter MR, a complete mint condition Chico flash unit, and a leather M3 case.

Chico Flash Unit

I think I'm going to flip everything except the Leica Meter MR as that completes my ultimate film setup consisting of the M3 and the Summicron DR. I dropped the Leica Meter MR at professional camera repair this afternoon for a tune-up and cleaning. I've got two rolls of Kodak Portra 100 just waiting for a subject.

One more bit of good news -- I finally have a propeller ordered for the Starwind. I never did find a used one, but I tracked a new one down through CatalinaDirect.com. I think I'm going to order new cabin lights from them as well. All of the original lights that I put new switches in two years ago are starting to die on me.

February is proving to be an exciting month. Next weekend, after six years, my little brother is moving out of my house. Our 2.5 men phase is over. I'll finally have my garage back, and I might even have space in the house to set the recording studio back up. So much room for activities!
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