Saturday, February 10, 2007

Clicking a bird

One of my sons got binoculars with a built-in digital camera for Christmas. My younger son got a cheapie digital camera, too. These things won't just show up as a removable USB drive on the computer. You have to install the software that comes with them. Ugh, more junk software on my computer, just what I need. Thank you, Santa.

So, I finally get the blasted software to work and recognize the camera. First I installed it. That wasn't enough. Didn't help if I plugged in the camera first or if I started the software first. Then, finally, I had the Windows new hardware wizard search for the drivers, but not on the web and not on the CD*. Incredibly, this worked and the next time around the software could find the camera. I guess it found the drivers that the software had installed (in the wrong place). Clearly, the boneheads in China that developed this stuff have not heard of Windows XP! (*I had a bad experience with trying to let Windows install the drivers directly from the CD with another cheapie kid's camera. Yeah, I know that was dumb.)

Now, let us view the first work of my wildlife photographer, prodigy son. ... OK, buddy, let's try to hold still while we're taking the picture. There were many like this first one. This particular one I thought looked pretty cool so we saved it anyway. And, I don't mind. It gives me a chance to talk about exposure times and other technical camera stuff that I know little about, but sounds really intelligent. (And, you don't want to try that crap with adults. Could backfire.)

But, I've got to hand it to him, he did come up with one pretty good one. Check this out. Very nice. Some sort of woodpecker maybe. I say it's a sapsucker. Mainly because I just like to say "sapsucker."

Anyway, there's more. There's always more. Now he wants to know what all of these different birds are. Come on. They're birds! They're all the same. It doesn't matter if you call it a black-capped chickadee or a tufted starling. All they do is fly around, wake me up too early, and then relieve themselves all over my damn car.

Fear not. I didn't tell the boy that. It will be many years yet before his natural sense of wonder and curiosity are finally crushed like a dumb squirrel under an Expedition. (... I mean, the squirrel was three quarters of the way across the street. Why did he turn around!?)

I don't know how the kid found out about these special books where they list all the different birds with pictures. Maybe his darn natural sense of curiosity and wonder again. But, it looks like I'm fixing to be out ten bucks.