Category Archives for Other

Nikon P1000 – My Newest Toy

Nikon Coolpix P1000

​I am a long time Nikon camera fan. I owned Nikon's back in the film days and my very first digital camera was a Nikon D100 that I got in 2002. Georgia and I both had other Nikon digital​s after that. They were, and are, great cameras. If fact, I still have one D70 that ​almost never gets used.

When we started doing a lot more traveling by airplane and ship, we found these camera kits to be a problem for us. We needed a couple good sized ​camera bags to carry the camera, extra lenses, flashes, batteries and chargers and all the other stuff that we needed. So, a few years ago, we switched to what are often called bridge cameras.

​These cameras have built in ​flashes and non-removable zoom lenses that cover a wide range of focal lengths​. They ​may not the best at ​anything but they are good at a lot of things. They are the "jack of all trades" tools that are great for traveling. We bought two Canon SX-40HS cameras that ​served us well for several years.

Canon SX40HS

The Canons are still great travel cameras and we take them with us on big trips. For other occasions we usually just use our mobile phones for picture taking. The cameras in these devices have gotten really good and they serve us well for casual picture taking.

I have been eyeing other options for a while now though. The newest cameras have feature that the Canons lack. WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS ​location tagging for a few. I ​was also​ envious of the longer reach of the super zooms like the Nikon Coolpix P900 that reaches out to 2000mm. I have been hoping Canon would come out with a new model that would match or exceed what Nikon has. It hasn't happened yet though.

Then, a few moths ago, Nikon announced the Coolpix P1000. It would have all the connect​ivity of the P900 ​with a 3000mm equivalent lens. I wanted one! So, when Georgia said get it, I put in my preorder. Nikon released the camera on September 6th and Friday (September 14th) mine finally arrived.

This is a large camera. It is much bigger than the Canon SX40HS and more like a DSLR. With the big lens extended it is really a monster. You can click on the pictures below to see a larger version of the image.

Canon SX40HS vs Nikon P1000
lenses extended

​What to you get in that size a package? The camera body itself isn't that big. It is the lens that makes it huge. It is a 125X optical zoom (​4.3-539 mm, angle of view equivalent to that of 24-3000 mm lens in 35mm format) that opens up to f2.8 at the wide end and f8 at the extreme telephoto setting. There is also a digital zoom that can take it out to 12000mm but with some image degradation. Good if you need to get a shot of bigfoot standing on the next mountain over I guess 😉

Besides the long zoom, the features that I especially like are:

  • Shoots Raw, JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal or a combination of Raw + JPEG
  • ​Will shoot as close a .4 inches in macro mode
  • 5 stop vibration reduction makes it possible to shoot handheld at long zooms
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    ​Still images up to 4609x3456
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    Video at 4K UHD, 1080P, 720P, high speed video at 2x or 4x
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    Built in flash with accessory shoe for external flash or other accessories
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    Flash settings include Auto, Red Eye Reduction, Slow Sync and Rear Curtain sync
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    Wide range of scene modes to cover any situation including dedicated moon and bird modes
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    ​WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity with connection to Nikon Apps for image transfer and remote camera operation 

There are a few things I would like to change about it though:

  • ​Smaller minimum aperture, f22 or even f32 would be nice
  • ​Touch screen monitor
  • Bigger buffer for longer continuous shooting

Overall though, I am impressed with the P1000. I have only had ​it a couple days and there is an awful to learn about the camera and what it can do. I'm sure I will be writing other posts about it in the future.

Here are a couple quick snaps that show the sharpness and image quality. Click them for larger views.

Test Shot of Max the Photographer
Shot of Dogwood Tree Fruit

It Was Fifty Years Ago…

​In 1968, I graduated from Bruce High School in Bruce, Wisconsin. This past weekend my classmates and I celebrated the 50th anniversary of that event. I haven't attended many class reunions but, fifty years is special. I had to go!

Welcome Banner
Orange Moose

​Georgia and I left home on Thursday of last week and spent the first night at Black River Falls, Wisconsin. We have driven past the Arrowhead Lodge there many times but never stayed​. Lately it became a Best Western Hotel and we decided to give it a try this trip. The hotel is old, it has been there as long as I can remember, but it is well maintained and we had a great room.

If you are driving on Interstate 94 and see a twelve foot tall orange moose, consider stopping to spend the night. Besides the hotel, there is plenty to do in the Black River Falls Area.

​We continued to Bruce on Friday so we would have time to spend with family before the reunion on Saturday. We spent the afternoon visiting my Mother and took her to dinner at the Wonder Spot Resort on Amacoy Lake.

​Saturday we had a chance to see more family before going back to ​our hotel in Ladysmith to get ready for the reunion.

Class of 1968

​The reunion was not actually held in Bruce but a few miles away​. Bruce High School ​is a consolidated school with students from there and from the town of Exeland attending. This get together was at the Buckhorn Bar in Exeland.

​​The turnout was excellent with over half of the class returning for the reunion. We gathered outside for a group photo before sitting down to dinner.

It was a great evening of catching up with old friends. There were many classmates, who came to this reunion, that I hadn't seen since graduation and it was good to see them again.


​On Sunday, Georgia and I left to return home. We drove as far as Wisconsin Dells where we spent Sunday night and Monday morning at the Ho-Chunk Hotel and Casino. Ho-Chunk is a favorite "playground" for us. We visit a few times a year and always have fun there.

​We got back home on Monday afternoon with another road trip to remember completed.

Catching Up and Future Plans


Before I retired, I thought retirement would mean I had more time to pursue my own projects. In some ways that is true. I can now spend my time doing what I want to not what a "boss" tells me to. Still, I never have enough time to do everything I want to do.

This blog is a good example. I have had the best intentions about keeping it up and making regular entries. Obviously, that hasn't worked out for me. A big part of the reason is that I have five web sites to maintain. What that means for me is that none of them get the attention they deserve.

​Because I think Winging It is the most important of my web sites, I am going to concentrate on this one and eliminate the rest of them.

As the other sites expire, I will not be renewing the domain registration on them. For my genealogy and 3d printing sites, I will post my activities in those hobbies on this blog. I will also keep my Facebook pages devoted to those hobbies.

My marketing web sites will just go away. I am retired after all and I don't choose to keep promoting those sites.

So, here is a brief report on what I have been up to lately. Sort of a "how I spent my summer" report.

​Summer ​Catch Up

Max at Carnival

Our Grandson Max still stays with us two days a week and we love having him visit. We had several outings to carnivals and events with him this summer. He is four years old now and really keeps us going when he is here!

SS Badger

​In late June and early July, we took a road trip to Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. We were celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary with this get-away.

We started out by driving north to Door County Wisconsin where we spent three days sight-seeing, shopping and eating out. We had to go to a fish boil and visit Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant.

From Door County, we drove to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to catch the SS Badger car ferry across Lake Michigan. ​In the ​more than twenty five years we have been going to Michigan, we had never gone by ferry so we wanted this experience. It is a four hour trip but a relaxing way to travel. We arrived in Ludington, Michigan in the evening and spent one night there.

​The next morning we drove north to Arcadia and checked into the Pleasant Valley Resort Motel. This place is a family tradition. Georgia stayed there several times as a child and her and I stay there every time we go to the area. It was our base for the next few days.

From Arcadia, we made day trips to ​Glen Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Maple City (where Georgia's family is from), and generally exploring the area​. On one rainy day we even visited a casino.

On the 4th of July, we made our longest drive of the trip from Arcadia to Shipshewana​ in Indiana's Amish country. We stayed at the Farmstead Inn across from the huge Shipshewana Flea Market grounds.

The next day we went to the flea market for a day of shopping and lunch. That night we had dinner at the Blue Gate Restaurant.

​The next day was spent shopping in downtown Shipshewana and visiting some of the countryside. We had dinner at a local spot a friend recommended.

That night, we both got ill with what we assumed was food poisoning. In the morning, Georgia was feeling better but I was still pretty sick. We just stayed in the hotel all day while Georgia did some laundry from the trip. That night, Georgia was feeling sick again too.

​Out last destination of the trip was going to be Fort Wayne to do some genealogy research at the Allen County Library. Since we were both still sick, we debated about going there or going back home. In the end, we decided to go to Fort Wayne since it was a short drive. If we felt better we would go on with the research. If we didn't feel good, we could rest in the hotel. We were both sure we would be better soon.

We made a stop at the library but Georgia was getting pretty sick again and I was still feeling bad myself. We called the hotel and asked if we could check in early. They said it was OK so we did that.

The next morning, I was still feeling a little bad but I was OK to drive home. Georgia was still pretty sick. That drive back to Wauconda seemed like it would never end!

The day after we returned, I was doing a lot better but Georgia wasn't. Her doctor told her she should go to the emergency room so we went. She ended up being admitted to the hospital and was there for almost two weeks.

To top it all off, we learned that our credit card number had been stolen and several thousand dollars charged to it. MasterCard caught the fraud and, in the end, we didn't have to pay any of the charges. Still, it took ​almost two months to the investigation completed and a new card issued.

So, what started out as a great trip ended up a with a horrible last couple of days.

Oldest family members

​​My Grandmother's maiden name was Dearhamer and this summer, the Dearhamer family held a reunion ​in Bruce, Wisconsin. Georgia and I just had to go up there for it.

In preparation for the event, I put together two genealogy books for my great grandparents Charles Dearhamer and Chloe Weller​ who were married in 1904.

The reunion was held at Trails End Youth Camp in Bruce and was very well attended. It was great to see so many aunts, uncles and cousins gathered together.

We were only able to stay in Bruce for a couple days but it was a very nice visit.

​Besides these special events, we have made a couple short trips to Wisconsin Dells over the summer and one other trip to Michigan.

Georgia is on a planning committee for her 50th high school reunion which is coming up next year. We made the trip to Michigan so she could attend a committee meeting in person. For most of them, she is on a net meeting.

We took a couple extra days while we were there so we could visit family and friends in the area.

Now that summer is over, we are starting to make our fall and winter plans. I am going to try to stay up to date with this blog. Eliminating my other sites will be a big help I am sure.

Happy New Year 2017

Our Arizona vacation is done and we will be back home on New Years day. I hope you all had a great holiday season!

Welcome to 2017. I hope it is the best year ever!

Bye-Bye Kodiak!

Good ByeWell, our Kodiak travel trailer just left our driveway for the last time.

It has new owners now and it is off on other adventures without us.

Because of health issues we have noy used the trailer since August of last year. Now, Georgia is having hip replacement surgery next month so most of this summer she will be doing rehab. We decided it was better to sell the Kodiak to people who can get good use out of it than to let it set motionless.

Maybe some day will have another RV. The Kodiak was our fifth so it certainly is possible there will be more. For now though, the parking space next to the garage is empty.

Do I hear a fishing boat calling my name?


Happy New Year! 2016

Happy New Year!



I hope you all have a wonderful 2016.


Boy, Am I Behind!

Suddenly I realized that I haven’t updated this blog in over 2 months. I blame retirement! I seem to be busier now than I was when I worked.

There has been a lot going on. Georgia and I made a couple trips to Wisconsin Dells. Then there were trips to northern Wisconsin for my niece’s wedding and one to Grand Rapids to visit Georgia’s family. It is great to be able to travel during the week and avoid that weekend traffic.

Max in the snowWe still have Max with us two nights  a week. He is growing fast and learning new things every day. He is also a typical toddler and pushing his boundaries.  Most of the time he is very good but he can be a handful when he wants his own way. Terrible Two can’t end soon enough.

Lately he has gotten very polite in his stubbornness:

“Max, can you pick up your toys?”

“No thank you.”

“Max, time for your nap.”

“No thank you.”

“Max please sit down and eat you lunch.”

“No thank you.”

What are grand parents to do?

I have also taken on another project. I am working on making a business of online marketing as a way to supplement our retirement income. I have built two new websites as part of that effort. They are Affiliate Marketing for Retirees and Wealthy Affiliate How To. Working on those takes a lot of my time too.

We had some bad luck last Friday. We were driving to a doctors appointment when we hit a deer. Georgia and I are fine. The deer died and the Jeep was totaled.

We had been talking about trading this Jeep anyway – it is a 2004 – but this isn’t how we wanted it to happen.

We have been car shopping the last couple days and last night we brought home Jeep Grand Cherokee number four. It is a 2015 Overland. Red like all our other Grand Cherokees.

Jeep Overland

Hopefully this new vehicle will take us on many fun road trips over the next few years.

I am going to make a real effort to find the time to update this blog more often. It gets hard though. Please bear with me if there are occasion gaps.



Going Places – Entertaining a Toddler

Our grandson Max stays with us a couple days a week. It used to be easy to keep him entertained at home. Now that he is two and a half  though, he tends to get bored just playing with his toys. We have been finding places to take him that will hold his interest and allow him to learn a few things at the same time. Here are some recent favorites that we all enjoyed.

Lake County Discovery Museum

This very child friendly museum is just minutes away so it is easy to visit on rainy days. Most of the exhibits encourage children to touch, push, pull and play with them. Max loves it!

Right now they have a special exhibit called “Growing Up in Lake County” that let’s kids see how life was in pioneer days. Max doesn’t understand all of what they are teaching but he did like playing in the school house and cabin. He even met a couple new friends to pretend with.

This is one place we can go back to even when winter hits. I don’t think Max will get bored with it for several years at least.

Lambs Farm

Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Lambs Farm is a non-profit organization in Libertyville, Illinois, that provides vocational and residential services for over 250 adults with developmental disabilities. Located on a 72-acre campus, Lambs Farm includes several family attractions, including a petting zoo, a pet shop, a miniature golf course, several small amusement rides, a restaurant, a thrift shop, a country store and a bakery. Lambs Farm community members work at these attractions, or at a nearby vocational center.

MCowax really enjoyed seeing the animals – except the cow. I don’t think he realized just how big a cow is. When one put its head over a door right above him, it scared him. Once we got a little more distance from it he was fine.

Surprisingly he was fine with an even bigger horse. Probably because he saw it through the fence first and wasn’t surprised by it.

Pygmy GoatsHe really liked the pygmy goats though. We could go into their pen and interact with them. I had a hard time getting Max to leave. He also got to see donkeys, ponies, horses, sheep, chickens, turkeys, geese and more.

The carousal was another big hit and I’m sure the miniature train would have been but it was closed for repairs. That is something for next time.

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch

Goebbert’s is a whole lot more than just a pumpkin farm. It’s an amusement park, zoo, playground, farmer’s market, restaurant, fair and entertainment venue all rolled into one.

The Fall Festival started last weekend and we were there. Highlights for Max were the corn pit, his first pony ride, the pumpkin eating dinosaur (we had to back up a little though – it was a little scary up close), the train ride and exotic animals.

The corn pit, which is sort of a big sand box but with corn kernels, was one of your first stops. Max had a blast. The only problem was getting him to leave. We should have saved it for the end I think.

He was looking forward to the pony ride right up until I actually sat him in the saddle. Then he had second thoughts. I assured him I would walk beside him and he ended up really enjoying the ride.

We had lunch at the Farmer’ Wife Cafe. That gave the adults a little break at least. It’s hard keeping up with a toddler.

We watched videos of the pumpkin eating dinosaur the night before to prepare Max for what it would be like and he thought he really wanted to see it. The reality of that big head right next to him was too much though. Her had to back up a few feet so he could enjoy the show without worry of being eaten.

The exotic animal display surprised me with the number of animals they had. There were giraffes, monkeys, llamas, antelope, tiger cubs, a bear, camels, kangaroos, cranes,parrots and a lot more. They even had a bearcat which is something you don’t see often. The zoo was Grandpa’s favorite part of the visit.

Max loves trains and Goebbert’s has an old one they acquired from an a closed amusement park in Wisconsin Dells. It has been fully restored and runs on a half mile of track. Max and Grandma took the trip together. He especially liked the “bone people.”

There was more to do at the Pumpkin Patch than we could get to in one day so we will have to go back before the season ends.

So, where do we go next? It’s going to be hard to top these adventures for a two year old!

New Amazon Fire Tablet for $49.99

New Kindle FireAmazon has introduced a new tablet that will sell for only $49.99.

It has a 7″ display, 8GB of memory, WiFi, front and rear cameras and more. It might not have the specs of a top of the line model but, this is a real tablet for a bargain price.

If you need a cheap tablet or need a back up device, this looks like a good choice to me. I am seriously considering getting one.

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