One nice thing about the end of February, other than that it means this month is almost over, is that financially it is rather lucrative for me. This last week, I received my annual bonus and my raise card. The bonus comes on top of a regular paycheck, so one time out of the year I get a check that truly reflects my own sense of self-worth. Technically, I won’t start earning my raise until next week, but at least I know what it will be. In past years my bonus was usually spent before it arrived. The worst year was when we literally flushed the money down the toilet. We had a new sewer line installed that year. This year is different though. This year the bonus is effectively disposable cash. Also this year, the company offered the option to contribute part of the bonus to my 401(k), which I should have taken them up on, because all of my regular pay went to pay the taxes and whatnot on the combined check. My take home pay was almost exactly equal to the bonus.
This year’s bonus will finance our trip to DC. And it allowed me to purchase a new camera. It is a Canon SX60, which is the latest in the series of Canon point-and-shoot cameras that I have been using for some years now. It is the third one that I have purchased. New features include a 65X optical zoom, about twice what my previous camera had, HDR, Wi-Fi and a continuous shooting capability. I went to Forest Park this morning to experiment with it. Like most first attempts, this one was not entirely satisfactory. I got a couple of good shots that I’ll eventually post, but more importantly I learned a few things about the camera. It has a “creative” mode where the camera takes a series of near simultaneous pictures, all with different filters. I can’t really say how effective the camera’s HDR facility will be, because today was a rather gray day, so there wasn’t that much dynamic range to be had. I got the Wi-Fi hooked up to the iPhone, which will let me post photos from the camera, while in the field. In the past I always had to take a few iPhone pictures just to be sure that I would have something to upload. This feature alleviates that need. I had hoped to use my new super zoom power to get a better photo of the Great Horned owls of Forest Park, but I couldn’t find them. Before and after buying this camera, I also spent money on some photographic guilty pleasures. No, none of that. I got a set of three clip on lens for the iPhone, wide-angle, fish-eye and macro. They were only $15. I also spent money on some new photographic apps. Alien Sky supplied Saturn over the beach in this post’s picture.