Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Great Grandma Camera Campaign

Alright folks, the drive to get a camera that actually works to film grandma begins today. I've gotten several e-mails and a comment saying "The Canon GL2 is the finest camera known to man. It also makes French Fries. It not only captures your subject it captures their soul. You can also use it for amateur MRI screenings to find tumors. It's THAT fucking awesome." Look, I love French Fries, and I've used the GL2 before; it is a beautiful machine, but dude. It's $2,799.99 plus shipping. It's a great camera, but it's a bit more than we need. Also, I fear that if we ever raised that much money and didn't add it to a humanitarian cause, I would be clubbed to death by my Jiminy Crickett conscience, or my mother. Which ever is more disturbing.

I think we found a MiniDV camcorder with a much more appropriate price range: The Sony DCR-HC21 Cheap Ass Handycam. I use the phrase "cheap ass" as a term of endearment; Sony has always been good to Grandma- case in point:

One day, Grandma's PS2 stopped reading discs. I believe the game at the time was Final Fantasy X; not one of Grandma's favorites, but worth finishing. After about the 100 billionth cutscene with full dialogue (a reasonable estimate) the game froze; flickered off; reset; and said simply: DISC READ ERROR or some such horrible message. In a panic, Grandma grabbed the manual and found Sony had a tech support number.

...Long story short, Sony sent Grandma a refurbished PS2 at no cost that she still hammers on today. In addition; we had the tattered unit repaired at a low cost which performed well in my apartment at Case Western and now performs well in the living room here. This was back before Grandma had a following, Sony was just doing their thing. We like Sony.

So here it is:
Check the specs: It has a 20x optical zoom; 800x Digital (like anyone ever uses digital anyway); 2.5" Touch Panel SwivelScreen (there is a funny story about me trying to find the "Menu" or "Exposure" buttons at Wal Mart before some lackey comes over and pokes the screen for me; I'll tell it to ya' one day... ...you know, when your older) ; PCM Stereo (I liked what I heard through the headphones); A/V, DC, i.Link IEEE 1394, and USB input / outputs.... and the best part is: it isn't three grand. With 7.5% Portage County sales tax (I already have tapes and an external mic that will work and a Bogen Tripod with a decent fluid head courtesy of my days as a wedding photographer) the total comes to a reasonable $428.78!

I think we can do that. That's only 22 donations of $20; or 43 donations of $10; or 86 donations of $5; or 429 donations of $1.00. If you think like grandma, it's only 15 games of bingo @ $30 a game!

We just put the donation button up last night and we already have $5.00; so we're not doing too bad. Usually when I listen to NPR and they have some sales thingy, I turn the station because I figure All Things Considered has a lot of affluent followers that can do better at donating than me. Yes. This makes me a horrible person. That's why I feel awkward doing this now. NPR has Around Noon and The Diane Rehm show, bringing insightful commentary and hard hitting political action. We give you Grandma Hardcore, so it isn't quite the same. If you like Diane Rehm, go donate to NPR, they need it more. If you like Hardcore Grandma, clicky the little paypal button on the right and send some love.

--The last video the Optura 20 spit out is being cut right now, so come back to see us. Thanks everybody!--


  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Aim higher! You can get a used GL2 on Ebay starting at about $900. Here's one that seems pretty okay, and closed at around $1300:


    Or...a Sony VX2000 (Ebay starting at about $800), which is a very nice alternative to the GL2, and this package had a wireless mic, which grandma would need to match her wireless controller. :)


    If you're careful and ask a lot of questions you can get a big ticket item on ebay for a great deal. I got my VX2000 there and it was like-new.

    Whatever you end up with, it will be better than the webcam. Rock on!

  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger DY357LX said…

    Good luck with the donations.

    Are you going to have some sort of progress bar to indicate... er... progress on the site?

  • At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you've got my $5.00. rock on.

  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ya know. I think its cool that you're working on getting a functioning camera and I do like the videos - but really its the writing and the still pics that keep me coming back every day.

    What I want to buy is the OGHC game review guide. I would take it with me on trips to Gamestop so I would know what I was getting.

    - Mama Lombax

  • At 7:37 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…


    EBay is a wonderful site; but really it's all about the warranty. If you buy something new and not Grey Market, you help yourself more than you help Sony or Canon. Like I said, SonyUSA took care of us when we had a PS2 problem because we had a valid warranty. I suppose it's not the best course to feed the beast; but at least when I buy from Wal Mart I know I'm getting the cheapest price for the camera so I don't have to ask too much in donations.

    Thanks for the donation!!

    Don't worry; I wont forget my roots Mama :) It's still all about telling the story that is Grandma. When Grandma likes a game, you'll know about it. When Grandma hates a game, you and everyone that lives within an earshot of us will know about it. Dogs will bark.

    Oh you wants a progress meter? You GOTS a progress meter!

  • At 2:53 AM, Blogger Slimboyfat said…

    So what's the Sony camera model number - it looks good enough for what I'm after....?

  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi how are you that was very nice but i thought you could do alot better than that ok so that sucked

  • At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A more expensive one at Tweeter (Sony DCRPC55 Ultra-Small MiniDV HandyCam camcorder), but may be worth it.

    May somebody give me any advice on how to get donations? I've been working at home for the past few years after losing my job. Then we lost almost all our savings in stock market while I gave birth to my second child. It has been ok (just enough to pay off our monthly expenses) till now we have to worry again. My husband is losing his job due to the department is seeking outsorcing to India. If he's lucky to find another job the pay would be a lot less than he's making right now on this job (he's with the company for over 6 years) and no way we would have enough to cover our monthly expenses. God, thinking about the days with no health insurance!! My situation may be not too bad, but I definitely feel the needs for people to help me to some extent. I wish the whole world could be more fairly balanced in terms of income.

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    Video Game Snake-

    It all comes down to the state in which you live. There are a whole bunch of financial assistance programs for struggling families, and a whole lot more "debt consolidation" scams that want to convince you they can help. The legitimate programs are difficult to get into; (think lots of paperwork) and many times one is left feeling like they're asking for a handout, when really all they need is a little help. Try to find a State Sponsored Financial Assistance program in your county. The fact that you are married and have children coupled with the fact that your husband might lose his job in a lay-off rather than a punitive action (firing) gives you a leg up in these sorts of programs- and they do work.

    It's hard, I won't lie- but they can help.

    Grandma isn't struggling; she has enough from month to month and I pick up money here and there with photography; but if we were struggling- if we were having serious financial problems and we put up a donation button on a website for that, we would get very few donations.

    My family is doing alright now, but we did go through those problems way back in the day, so if you e-mailed me I could help you do some research.


  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    (I'm the same Anonymous who posted the Canon GL2 / microphone / softie recommendation comment a few days ago.)

    I wouldn't be so sure about Sony fixing problems. When my camera was just a couple of weeks out of its six-month warranty, Sony would only send me to a local electronics repair shop for repairs. I couldn't send them the camera. Also, within the past few weeks I called Sony for help replacing a screw that had popped out of a side panel somehow. They were willing to sell me a baggie containing the missing screw, but they were NOT willing to tell me anything about the screw, like its length or diameter.

    I don't know if that behavior is better than average or worse than average for camcorder manufacturers in general, but I didn't appreciate it. Be careful that you don't assume the Sony division building video game consoles is the same Sony division that builds camcorders.

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