Friday, January 02, 2004

Quest for a Cam
I have to go back to work soon, and I am dreading it. After this weekend is over, my vacation finally ends. It went pretty quick this time. Last year, that vacation seemed to last forever. Maybe it's that we have kept busy this year. All of the various Christmas parties and family get-togethers were spread over the course of a week. In my spare time, I have done some work to the ol' Volvo to get it in running shape again. And in all this ... I am still looking for a damn camera.

I went to Media Play the other day. This week I have visited three of their four stores in search of a camera that will work on my Mac. I bought myself a nice Creative Labs camera that didnt work, and now I have been carrying a list with me. I found it odd that each store has completely different stock. None the less, it's all brand new stuff. I need an older camera that has had time to sit around and become cheap for the people writing these drivers. I have now given up. And here I sit with a $32.02 gift card for Media Play. Oh well. There is a box set of the first season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm coming out in a few days. Maybe we will get that with this worthless store credit.

In the meantime I have still been trying to compile gphoto2 on my iBook ... which doesn't work at all. And reading through support, etc I can find there are other people who are just as screwed as I am trying to make this work on OS X. It sucks, because I think this camera I have is supported with it. Oh well.

In about 6 hours, an auction ends on a camera that *WILL* work on my Mac. Starting (and current) bid is $2.00 with $5.00 shipping. Hopefully I can score on that, and put up the "RAY-CAM". Oh yeah. All of my Blog readers will get to follow me, or my laptop around 24 hours a day! What fun!

Did I mention I have been fixing up my Volvo? You may say "Ray, why would you want to drive that old car?". Well, I will tell you. My Honda Civic is going away. As in ... they are coming back for it. I have argued with the loan officers for too long. I have been behind on the payments for about a year. And now I am on a plan to catch up with my mortgage. Making a car payment will make me late on my mortgage, which I *CAN NOT* do. So ... bye car. I can't say I will really miss it. That car has done nothing but drive me into debt and make me never want to answer the phone or check voicemail.

My conversation with the first bill collector was pretty easy. I simply stated "I want to give up the vehicle". And I was asked "do you know what that entails?". Yes, I do. It means, they take the car. They auction it off. And I owe them the balance. Not a very good deal right? Well, once the car is converted into un-attached debt, I can get a damned loan to cover it! As of right now, NOBODY will give me an auto loan. Unless of course, I go and get another car I can't afford to pay this one off. No fucking way am I doing that. I need to shake this payment.

So after thinking it was a done deal, I get a call from a second bill collector. This one is a little angrier. She asks "are you buying time?". She had that *snotty* bill collector tone, that I fucking hate. I sware these people act as if they will strike a nerve if they sound forceful or angry about the debt. That tone doesn't work at all with me. It gives me the urge to reverse the conversation, and strike *real* angry feelings with the collector. So I did. She was nice at first, but then she started on on me. Trying to threaten me with all sorts of things like 'garnishing your wages'. I've heard that one before. I told her I would be fine with that, because I am not making enough for them to take anything.

So during a moment of silence (there were many) I say "If you ask me, it's fate". That didn't work. So I said "Actually, it's Gods will". You know, it's Gods fault that I can't make my payments. Not my employer. Not me. God did it. And judging by the tone she got after that, I knew I had done it. I had offended her deeply. I had some holy roller who was about to tell me a thing or two about God. She asks if I read the Bible, to which I chuckled. She got angrier. She asked me to go look something up. I agreed to 'Google that later'. So she rolls off a biblical verse to me, and then quickly wraps up the conversation, giving me what I want (a voluntary surrendering of the vehicle).

Why does life have to be so complicated? Whatever. The car is going away, the payments wil become smaller, and I will get out of this debt. The bad news? I guess the bad news is I have to drive my old Volvo. Not so bad really. I did a number on the broken headlights (don't ask, they work) and I spent a few days ripping out the headliner (it was gross), fixing the brake lights (I need those!), and even replaced the little heater control. About the only problem I have now is a bad heater core. Which is ... far too expensive to even dream of fixing. To hold that off, I bought a little container of "stop leak" and shot it through the cooling system. That seems to have plugged it 'enough' that I don't get an anti-freeze bath when the car heats up.

Anyhow, that fulfils my Blog duty of the 'week'. I will post a little more when I have something entertaining to share.

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