June 2004


Frank (Christine’s Dad) scanned in a couple of old baby photos of Christine.

I put them online here and we’re both looking forward to finding more old baby photos of ourselves and scanning them in to put them online.

Christine and I visited the Grand Opening of the Barton Creek Apple Store today, and while there, we spotted a Fischer FVD-C1 CameraCorder. The CameraCorder is an amazing little piece of engineering and swayed me with it’s tiny form-factor and great specs.

The machine is small (very small). It’s less than 3 inches front to back, 4.3 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide. It weighs about 6 ounces (about a third of a pound)

The specs from the sales website look like this:

  • DVD-Like quality video resolution (VGA:640 x 480; Full-motion 30 frames per second)
  • True 3.2 Megapixel digital still images
  • 3.2-Megapixel CCD
  • CD-Quality stereo sound (AAC Audio)
  • Up to 30 minutes of DVD-Like quality recording or 80 minutes of VHS-quality recording (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
  • Up to 491 pictures in high 3.2 megapixel resolution (2048 x 1536) mode or up to 3931 pictures in normal 0.3 megapixel resolution (640 x 480) mode (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
  • 5.8 X Optical zoom lens; 10 X Digital zoom
  • Lithium-ion battery and AC operation
  • Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD, with 110,000 pixels of resolution

The specs and manual say that the battery should last an hour under normal video shooting conditions, and the 512MB SD card that came with the CameraCorder should shoot anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes of video, depending on the quality setting being used (actually, it says it can shoot a lot more than that, but I don’t anticipate shooting at the worst quality setting available ever). It also supports USB 2.0 transfer of data, so it shouldn’t be too slow to use (I was afraid it might be USB 1.1 or slower at the store). So, I’ll play with the CameraCorder this weekend and see what I really think about it.

The Apple Store will take a return for a 10% restocking fee, so even if I only use the thing for a week and take it back, I figure it’s a great price to test it out for a full week.

If I like it alot, I’ll turn to Amazon.com to buy a bunch of 512MB SD Cards for ?$75 each, and I’ll start looking for an extra battery for backup use.

Here’s what’s funny about the whole purchasing process. While at the Apple Store, I was able to go to Fisher’s website, Apple’s website, Amazon.com (and any other shopping site I wanted to) to research the product and the price at different retailers for the CameraCorder and the SD cards that it uses. I found the CameraCorder at Amazon.com for $40 less than Apple was selling it (and $140 less than Fisher was selling it directly). The 512MB SD Cards for $75 at Amazon, while the Apple Store was selling 256MB SD Cards for $99, so I waited on buying that at the Apple Store, while buying the CameraCorder for a slight premium, because it’s easier to return something to Apple than it is to Amazon.

It’s interesting to me that Apple allowed me to price-shop and compare other retailers while at their store, knowing that I’d still choose to buy things there if the benefits of doing so were worth it to me. Granted they lost a SD card sale, but they didn’t even have the 512MB card I wanted, so they’d already lost that sale.

Anyways, the new CameraCorder is charging now, and we’ll test it out this weekend to see how we like it.

One of my best buddies from the Army visited us in early May.

Bob and Jen were our best friends in the Army.

You might remember some pictures we posted of Bob’s beautiful daughter Sophie Kate from back in 2001 (gosh that seems like so long ago).

We missed Bob for the last year while he was in Korea, so when we heard that he was coming to visit we were super excited, and then we found out that he was leaving for Iraq in less than a week. Man, that sucks… Bob was home for 3 weeks or so before he shipped off to Iraq.

While it sucks that Bob’s in Iraq right now, I’m also very proud to call him my friend, and one of my dearest friends at that. We had a good time visiting a few hot spots in Austin, and seeing the sights with him.

We want Bob to come home soon, and thank him for his service to his country.

Christine and I went to Fayetteville the weekend of May 21st, to attend the Fayetteville Crawfish Boil with Evan and Shadel, and a few friends.

Boy did we have a wild time! There must have been 800 people there, and 4,000 pounds of crawfish at least.

Amber, one of Shadel’s closest friends from high-school, brought her fiancee, Jason, from Phoenix in for the weekend and we all introduced him to crawfish with big warm Texas-sized crawfish boil. Jason didn’t have a single problem slopping down the mudbugs with the rest of us, and even learned how to suck the heads.

suck the head

Ryan was there with his friend Jack.

Ella was just a tad fussy once, but was a model child most of the night, especially when Kelly held her.

All in all, I think the girls had a good time, but didn’t eat as many crawdads as the big boys, or drink as much beer (evidenced by the fact that Jason was caught relieving himself in the parking lot before the ride home)

We retired to Evan and Shadel’s house in Sealy and kept the party going into the wee hours of the morning, out on the front porch.

We had a great time and hope to do it again sometime soon.

We went to the State UIL Track meet this year to watch Kari “K.K” Burt run the 300 meter low hurdles. Kari ran a fantastic race against some fantastic hurdlers and came in 5th place overall in the state.

That’s quite an accomplishment and we were glad to get to go watch her run and visit with her, her mom, her sister, and Nanny and Bussy. Seeing Coach Seals and Mrs. Seals again were a delight.

Bussy and I remarked on how much of an accomplishment just making it to the State level was, before the race. All of us are very pround of Kari’s performance. 5th place in the whole state sure isn’t a bad place to be in, when you consider just how many athletes that means Kari beat to get to where she is in her game.

Kari’s going to start attending Texas A&M later this year, and we wish her the best of luck there. If she shows half the competitive spirit there that she did running track in high-school, we know we can expect great things from her.