The sage of Goose Creek, Fred First, lives under a cloud these days when it comes to online vendors. All he wanted was a laptop so he ordered one from Dell. It arrived with a non-functional touchpad. He decided against a replacement, returned it, and ordered another laptop from IBM, which has yet to confirm his order from last week.

This is the price we pay for life in the boonies. You can’t just hop down to the local CompUSA to check out the latest laptop (the nearest one is in Winston Salem) and the nearest good Apple retailer is in Charlotte. So we must depend on online retailers and UPS or FedEx to fulfil our technological needs.

God knows we’ve had our share of problems with vendors, installers and the like (i.e. the Great Water Heater Debacle from a week and a half ago) along with some excellent experiences (Hot Tub Heaven for example).

Another pleasant experience this week with the arrival today, via UPS, of my new high definition camcorder, Sony’s highly-acclaimed HVR Z1U. I expected some problems getting a unit because it was backordered in many places but B&H Photo-Video came through. Then I wondered if the camera would live up to expectations. It didn’t. It exceeded them. An incredible high definition, widescreen image that is sharp as a tack on our HDTV plasma screen.

The editing deck and other accessories arrive tomorrow. Lights. Camera. Action!