Mar 262017

Today we have to report on more Panasonic Lumix camera problems. I have two Panasonic Lumix cameras; a DMC-LX5 and a DMC-LX7.

Panasonic Lumix camera failures. LX5 has faulty control wheel, LX7 has OIS system failure

The cameras are well taken care of, never dropped, handled roughly or been exposed to rain or snow. Both have now failed with less than two years of use. Keep in mind, these are not cheap cameras. They cost about $350 USD each when purchased. The LX5 lasted a couple years before the rear control wheel that changes shutter speed and aperture stopped working. The camera is now limited to operation in “Intelligent Auto” mode, something any cell phone or $100 camera can do.

Panasonic Lumix LX5 failed control wheel

Since repair quotes from Panasonic cost 2/3 the price of the camera, and thinking I was just unlucky and Leica has always meant “quality” to me, I bought a Lumix LX7 to replace it. After about two years, about the same as with the LX5, the LX7 started showing “System Error OIS” messages and the camera can no longer be used.

Panasonic Lumix System Error OIS

Both the LX5 and LX7 Lumix cameras failed at about the same age; two years. Both problems, the LX5 control wheel and the LX7 OIS System Error(the OIS is image stabilization) are hardware issues; either low quality parts or poor craftsmanship. Panasonic Customer Service is not known for it’s excellent customer support and it certainly is not cheap, especially since they are replacing poor quality original parts with other poor quality parts, this time with no warranty, looks like these two Panasonic Lumix cameras will be headed to the landfill because of $10 worth of mass produced electronic parts.

Information about Panasonic factory repair. The repair estimate for each camera is $232. The cameras cost $350 new. The Panasonic Support online chat does not work, there is no email address and each telephone call regarding repairs is $9. That is piss poor customer support.

What about all the five star reviews for Panasonic cameras on the internet? If Panasonic gave me a free camera and wrote a review after using it for a few weeks, I’d give it five stars, too. How about a review of a Panasonic camera that cost $350 of your own money and only lasted two years? That would be about one star. Maybe a half a star. Needless to say, this will be the end of the Panasonic products for me.

Like all the product reviews here at, we pay for all this stuff with our own hard-earned money. I burned $700 on poor quality, big name cameras. Think about that if are planning to purchase a Panasonic camera.

Mar 242017

We are going through some old La Jolla kayak fishing videos and grabbed a still from one of them. This one is from August 2006

La Jolla yellowtail 8-29-06

Looking through the videos, 2006 was a pretty good year kayak fishing at La Jolla.

Mar 232017

We’ve been cleaning out one of the WatermanAtWork storage facilities when we came across this factory pack of Rick Griffin Murphy surf stickers. The stickers look to be in mint condition and the glue on the back of the stickers may still be good, but they might be worth a little more in the condition they are in.

Rick Griffin Murphy surf stickers

Rick Griffin Murphy surf stickers

Rick Griffin’s work was well known, especially among the surf crowd.

Rick Griffin Murphy surf stickers

Good times.

Mar 212017

It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter and we are anxiously waiting for the first real stretch of spring weather. The abundant snow has mostly melted away in the lower elevations, leaving plenty of mud, puddles and raging creeks and rivers. Good time of the year to look at the many waterfalls in the area. We will try and get out on the backroads to look for some of our favorite waterfalls off the beaten path as soon as the rain lets up a little.

We will also be getting out kayak fishing for big springtime smallmouth bass as soon as the water in the Columbia River gets warm enough. There are a lot of questions regarding this season’s fishing here in the Columbia River Gorge, especially with the salmon and steelhead fishing. After last season’s poor showing for the fall salmon run and the Trump administration’s plan for the environment and outdoors, there are a lot of anxious fishermen.

We here at WatermanAtWork are going through some considerable professional and personal circumstances that may result in lower than normal blog posting for a period of time. We’ve got some real cool plans for the future that will result in lots of exciting and new adventures, but between now and then, there may be some gaps, so we hope you will bear with us until we get going with future plans.

Mar 052017

We were sidetracked by a quick road trip but we are now back at the World Headquarters, where we are happy to report that the weather is warming up and most of the winter snow has melted! We thought this day would never come, it’s been a tough winter. We flew back east for a few days where the temperature one day actually reached the high seventies, which broke weather records by a long ways. It didn’t last long because the following day it was snowing, nearly a fifty degree temperature drop! On the way back to the Pacific Northwest, there was still plenty of snow in the Rocky Mountains.

The snowy Rocky Mountains of Idaho

It’s always nice flying west around sunset because the setting sun takes a long time to dip into the clouds.

Headed west towards the Pacific Northwest

We are back to work editing video and are hopeful the the snow in the weather forecast does not materialize so we can finally get outside.

Feb 182017

We’ve got more work in progress, this time around will be a couple more kayak fishing videos. We are seriously hoping we’ve turned the corner on this record cold and snowy winter. It’s warmed up a bit, but there is still a foot of snow on the ground in most places. We have seen the sun a couple times and the temperature has been above 40° a few days, so we look to be headed in the right direction.

Stay tuned for progress reports and video release dates. Who knows, we may actually get outside for some fun sometime soon.

Feb 072017

The 1995 Grundig World Cup downhill mountain bike race video has been uploaded to the website. From analog Hi-8 video tape in 1995 to the internet in 2017, finally got around to it.

These were the glory days of mountain bike racing. Full suspension mountain bikes were just coming out, but the inch or two of suspension wasn’t much by today’s standards. Clipless pedals and primitive disc brakes appeared. Full face helmets, but not too much body armor. Not super technical by modern standards, but the Snow Summit downhill course was plenty challenging with rocky, dusty trails, off camber turns, sudden steep sections and peddling(imagine that) for two timed runs down Bear Mountain.

Check out the video HERE or click on the photo below:

Click HERE for 1995 Grundig World Cup downhill MTB video

We will be uploading the video to YouTube, but the video quality is always better on the website.

We’ve had plenty of time to work on these videos because the winter here in the PacNW remains challenging. Lots of snow for winter activities is what you want, but there is a point when there is so much snow and/or cold, when the novelty wears off. If you can’t get out of the driveway, you can’t do much else. More snow today, but not as cold as it’s been, so we are hoping for a blizzard-melting deal.

Pacific Northwest blizzard 2-7-17

Work continues here at the World Headquarters. We have more mountain bike videos in the chute and kayak fishing videos and photos to get the 2017 fishing season going, whenever winter cuts loose of us. Stay tuned…

Jan 302017

The relentless winter weather has eased a bit so we’ve been working on a classic Grundig World Cup DH Mountain Bike video. Many people, including us, have been essentially snowed in for about a month. Lots of time we would spend working on photos and videos has been spent instead with endless snow shoveling sessions and clearing snow off the roof so it didn’t collapse. We are hoping the worst is behind us so we can get on with things. Anyway, the mountain bike video has a lot of great footage of some of the early generation downhill mountain bike racers like Myles Rockwell

Myles Rockwell-1995 Grunding World Cup-Big Bear CA

and John Tomac

John Tomac-1995 Grundig World Cup-Big Bear CA

Looks like another few days of crappy weather so we should be able to get a lot editing done. We really need to get outside and get some exercise, use the snowshoes for a walk in the woods instead of getting from the house to the truck. Stay tuned.

Jan 142017

We have had a series of winter storms here in the Pacific Northwest with intense cold and heavy snow. It’s been called the worst winter in twenty years. People around here expect snow and cold in the winter, but this prolonged stretch of winter weather is more like you might find in the Rocky Mountains, not a hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean at 700′ elevation. It’s been one blizzard after another leaving about three feet of snow on the ground.

Heavy snow for winter 2017 in the Pacific Northwest

Since a few days before Christmas, getting around has been very tough. The interstate through the area has been closed a number of times because of dangerous conditions, county roads remain anywhere from impassable to dangerous, with plenty of snow and black ice because the temperature has not been above freezing for more than a week. There were a couple storms that dumped about a foot of snow each just a few hours apart, burying the area with snow.

Heavy snow in the Pacific Northwest January 2017

It’s been difficult to get to the WatermanAtWork World HQ because it is on a hill. Snow, ice, vehicles and hills do not work that well together. When we finally are able to make it up the road, we must use snowshoes to get up to the office.

Snowshoe tracks up to WatermanAtWork HQ

Needless to say, work on the website has slowed down a bit. We’ve been mostly digging out, which is more work than one might think. We are hoping the life threatening weather will taper off and we can get back to work.