Monday, November 23, 2020

Boondocking near New River, AZ

 Spent three days at my FIL's place in Sun City, working on the paperwork related to Fiona's insurance claim, the camera insurance claim and just trying to get my mind straight on this event.

Spent some time as well trying to clean up the tools I managed to recover from among the ashes in Fiona's trunk where I carried the tool cases.  Most likely will end up buying new versions of most of them I think.

As if to memorialize Fiona, the sunsets for visible from Sun City were pretty good:

Saturday, November 21's sunset, while I was standing by my FIL's gate entrance with the TCL 540 burner phone:

It proved to be quite the hassle to get a replacement phone as my account with Verizon had 2FA or Two Factor Authentication turned on and of course the burned up phone was the primary destination for verification codes.  The secondary option to use email worked for a while but then quit.

Lots of time spent on the line with Verizon Tech Support using the burner phone.  What a PITA.  All this so I could put in an order online for a phone which I'd been told would save some money.

Finally, all the security problems defeated their Tier 2 tech support puke and he said I needed to go to a "Corporate" store to have them fix my access.  Not just any Verizon store, but a "corporate" store.  Luckily there was one a few miles away.

They looked at me like I was crazy when I described what their own Tech Support had told me.  Once I got in to see a sales rep, I was being handed a replacement phone within 15 minutes!  The cost vs doing the ordering online?  $20 more, big whoop.  I should have just gone to the store first thing and avoided all the stress of dealing with tech support calls.

Got a Pixel 4a, a mid-range phone using Android OS.  It's supposed to be pretty fast (so far it is), seems to have a great camera (second sunset pic below taken with it) and there is a bit of a learning curve to overcome learning the Android interface vs the iOS interface but it's going well.

By Sunday, I'd recovered or ported over manually most of my data from my old phone which I'd backed up to the cloud.  I've now gone whole hog into the world of Google in terms of contacts, calendar, notes, music (via YouTube Music owned by google).  All hail our benign overlords at Google!  ;)

Sunday's sunset was "mo better"

Monday, November 23

Spent the morning cleaning tools and throwing away spare parts, bits and bobs which I either couldn't trust after cleaning or just weren't worth the time.  Packed up the URRV and after an early lunch departed my FIL's place for a few day's of boondocking near Lake Pleasant on the north side of the Phoenix Metro area.

I picked a spot on Arizona State Trust land near New River, AZ.  Pretty flat ground with some vegetation but no big trees to speak off, located near some low-lying hills.

As I was working on pics for this post, which are taken with the Pixel 4a, I realized I lacked a cable to do bulk transfers of pictures from the phone to the laptop.  Sure, I could have emailed them to myself but wanted the capability to both do charging and storage via cable to my laptop.

The nearby town of Anthem had a big shopping complex which included a Walmart and there I found a USB to USB-C cable.  The Pixel 4a uses the USB-C, something new to me as my electronics either used the Apple Lightning connector or the burned up camera used a Mini-DIN connector.

Traffic problems on the highway resulted in me taking the long way back, so an almost 32 miles loop instead of a 16 mile loop on Yagi.  Oh well.

Sunset was "OK", I realized that using a camera phone exclusively will probably not work for me as it lacks the ability to change the F-Stop to create lighting effects such as star burst patterns and different filtering themes while shooting.

One of these nights, perhaps tonight, I'll try the night shot capability of the Pixel 4a's phone, something their marketing department touted quite strongly in their advertising.  Apparently, you can get a picture of the Milky Way if the skies are clear, no light pollution and of course the camera is held steady enough by a tripod.


RichardM said...

2FA is a problem when it uses the phone, Is the second factor an app or text? This post got me looking into the backup and recovery mechanism of the 2FA that I've been using.

The photos look pretty good. I've just about given up using the DSLR. In fact, I don't even remember the last time I dug it out.

redlegsrides said...

The second option was email RichardM, but halfway through the grueling process it quit working so I was out of luck. I realized I forgot the pic of the sunset taken with the Pixel 4a, it's now been added.

CCjon said...

Glad to hear you are slowly getting back to your normal life. The new smartphone cameras are amazing. Yes you can change the f-stop, shoot raw, etc etc with them. Are many photo apps available. Look ay Camera +2, Slow Shutter, Lenka for B&W, Time Lapse, and more. There are also cheap remote shutter releases that eliminate the camera shake and you can be in the shot too.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon, I tried Camera+2 and it was okay but I don't recall it allowing me to change the app stop. I might take a look at the other ones you suggested. The remote shutter release option sounds interesting.

redlegsrides said...

Update for CCjon....while Camera+2 doesn't have a version for the Android OS my Pixel has, it also has no way to change the f-stop that I can find.
However, I found a remote shuttle release app that I can use with the burner phone acting as the remote control for my Pixel phone so we'll see how that one works out.
Also found the camera app that has all the bells and whistles except for the f-stop.... I believe it is a physical limitation with camera phones.

CCjon said...

There are small bluetooth clickers that work as a shutter button, sold at Wally world with a gorilla tripod. Cheap stuff but they work.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the tip CCjon....