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Doran's Journal - 14 August 1997

Wow! I haven't written in 5 days! Don't you feel fortunate?

Sunday, as planned, we again headed out to the site of the St. Croix Railroad. Frank was pretty impressed and just could not stop taking photographs. Tim was there, of course, in his train engineer garb, and gave us a nice tour of the smaller 4 inch line which he says may be the nicest 4 inch line in the states.

On Sunday morning, I checked my e-mail as I always do and found a particularly interesting message from my parents. Along with the subject line of "Congratulations" was a letter telling me that they had decided to give me my graduation present, a camcorder, to me early so I could take some nice video pictures while in Minnesota. Wow! Now aren't my parents something?! I'd have to say my parents are pretty neat stuff.

So, Sunday after looking at trains, we couldn't resist stopping at Circuit City... just to LOOK at camcorders.

Frank left Monday morning back to Salt Lake. We had a lot of fun while he was here. He got us off our lazy butts and we did some fun stuff for a change. Eventually, I'm hoping he'll put the pictures he took on his www site. I guess you can check it out every once in a while and see: http://www.xmission.com/~fharris/ >.

Also on Monday, I called B&H Photo and Video, a mail order shop that sells cameras and video camera equipment. I got a price quote from them for the Sony CCDTRV-62 camcorder and took it with me to Circuit City. While the Circuit City sale price was still about $160 less than the list price. It was still more than $200 more than B&H was selling it for.

I figured part of the reason the price was so much higher was because Circuit City throws in a tripod and case with the camera. So I asked to look at the tripod and case that comes with new cameras. The case was really cheap and ugly and I could have broken the tripod in half across my knee. So I talked the salesman into throwing in a much nicer tripod and nicer bag and cutting $40 off the package price. It was still about $175 more than B&H but I was getting $75 in a tripod and bag and I was purchasing from a local company where I could take the stuff back if ther were any problems. We were set and ready to go. Then the salesman started talking about Circuit City's extended warranties. Another $180 to protect the camcorder for 3 years. Christine and I both started getting bad feelings about getting the camera there. So we decided to buy just the tripod, the case, and a couple of tapes.

When I called B&H on Tuesday they were closed so I called again on Wednesday morning. I ordered the camcorder along with an extra battery and a U/V filter which will also protect the lens from scratches and dirt. All together with the tripod and case, we paid as much as we would have paid Circuit City and we got an extra battery and a U/V filter. Wahoo!

B&H really impressed me. Not only did they give me lots of good advice, but after I finished placing the order with the salesperson, I was transferred to a verification person who verified all my information and called me back to verify I was at the number I said I was. They wanted to make sure I wasn't some jerk using Doran Barton's VISA card. I was pleased with the fact they were taking such considerations.

So, the camcorder should be here tomorrow. But because of FedEx's extra business due to the UPS thingie, it might not be here until Monday. Cross your fingers.

I've uploaded lots of new pictures to the WWW site. There's new photos for the St. Croix Railroad, the Science Museum, and others.

36 days left.