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Archive for the ‘LIVE LAUGH LOVE’ Category

I’ve heard the commentary many times. This morning I took it to heart. “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” The question and answer were dancing around in my mind as I worked.

It wasn’t the first time I had decided to do it. In the past, I’ve tried negative scanners and flatbed scanners and completely overwhelmed myself with trying the do-it-yourself route a couple of times. I would work really hard on it for a little while and then wander off because it really wasn’t easy the way I was doing it. Then I had a hard drive crash that lost them all.

I reminded myself of the end result I was looking for: I want to digitize all of the negatives from my days of 35mm photography and before. So that I can share them with my children and even my ex husband. There are a lot of moments in those snapshots.

I broke it down into steps. First I called the local Walgreens and asked them “What does it cost to have you convert a 36 roll of film to digital format?” She checked and replied “It’s about $6.22 per roll.”

I wrote the amount on a post it note and stuck it where it was in my view all the time. Every time I looked at it, I thought about what I wanted to do.

I tossed around various ways and means to accomplish my goal. This morning, I broke it down.

Step 1: Determine the number of rolls to be digitized.
Step 2: Calculate the cost per and then total cost.
Step 3: Break it down into manageable pieces.

This is how I attack elephant projects, always. I see the picture of the end result and then work my way backwards.

I started counting…. first there was the album of negatives from 1985. All neatly in sleeves with a typewritten page folded in the bottom. 3/85, Brandon’s birth…..2/86 Jacob Gibbons baptism…. moments and memories in carefully typewritten notes. I was impressed with my notes. I must have really had it together then.

I counted all the rolls in that album. Somewhere around 60 from the mid 80’s. Then I collected the two tupperware boxes bulging with negatives. I counted out the rolls in the first one. Somewhere around 50 rolls. I looked at the second box and decided to estimate. To complete my task I would have to process about 200 rolls of film. I punched up the calculator. $1244.00. Whew!

This could be an expensive undertaking. I then looked at how many rolls I could do each week and not hurt myself. I had originally estimated 10, today I decided to be conservative and say 5ish.

I pulled the first page out of the album and also gathered the few strays that never got returned to their places and drove up to Walgreens. The gentleman behind the counter was slightly whelmed when I told him what I needed. He wasn’t sure of the cost. I told him “It’s 6.22 for each 36 roll.” He looked suprised. I explained to him what my project is and noted that he’d be seeing me every week for some time. He sorted the negatives into about 7 rolls and handed me the slip.

Hesitantly, he asked “And when do you want these back?” I told him there’s no big hurry, tomorrow would be fine. After all, these negatives are close to 25 years old, another day won’t hurt.

And so it begins, this task of eating an elephant. One byte at a time. Or, in this case, 7.

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It’s been almost a week since she left, quietly going to sleep and not coming back. I’ve noticed her not being here at the oddest of times. . . when I’m eating dinner I miss the conversations we used to have. When I’m lying on the couch, I miss her climbing up onto my stomach and resting with me. I notice that I don’t have to brush white hairs off of my black wool coat anymore.

It’s odd, after all these years, to not have her here.

My cat died last week. After 14 or 15 years of keeping me on my toes, she just went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It was a comfort, in some ways, that she passed on that way. There was no pain in her face or posture. She was stretched out in the sunshine, apparently resting. Until I reached down to pet her and realized she was cold.

I notice that I have more leftovers after a meal. She used to take care of those for me, patiently waiting 2 feet (no more, no less) from my chair until I threw her some scraps. If there were shrimp on my plate, she’d inch closer and then grouse at me if I called her on it.

Everyone was entertained by our “conversations”. “Mischief, you are TOO close, step back” I would say. She’d make a little noise that sounded suspiciously like a bark and stay. “Don’t you talk back to me, you KNOW you’re not supposed to be that close! Step BACK!” Grumbling, she’d inch her way back, watching me the whole time to make sure I didn’t trick her by throwing food her way while she was doing it.

Her favorite trick was to hide in the cabinet under the bathroom sink and wait for someone to come in and use the bathroom. When she heard the door close, she’d wait a few moments and then pop out to see who was there. If you didn’t know about the trick, it could be pretty startling.

Mike put a stop to it after she caught him off guard a few times. He took one of my hair scrunchies and wound it around the two door handles so she could no longer get in the cabinet. She continued to try, but wasn’t able to get it open with that in place. So, she moved her trick to the bathtub.

She would come to a whistle, like a dog. And sit on command like a dog. I trained her to do that with Kraft Slices. She would do almost anything for a Kraft Slice. Last year, I taught her to beg, also. Well, sometimes, when she was ambitious enough to lift her front paws all the way off the floor. Not an easy task for a cat her size and sometimes, she was just too tired or lazy. On a lazy day, she’d give a half hearted half hop and then look at me to see if she got the cheese.

Ah yes, old cat. I do miss you sometimes.

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I awoke this morning to the sound of loud singing. Not from people, they’re all still snoozing. It was the birds. It’s one of those things that I noticed right away when I moved into this house – there are birds that start their singing early in the morning. On sunny mornings, they seem to be a little more loud and boisterous. I can relate, I tend to get that way myself when the sun comes out.

This morning was the first bit of sunshine I’ve seen for a while. It was creeping through the front window, making a halo of sorts around the cats sleeping there. My hand reached for the camera, as always. I stood on the front porch and captured the first few rays sneaking over the horizon.

Then I returned to my desk. After a few moments, it became suddenly brighter in the room and I felt compelled to look again. From my vantage point in the window, I could see the huge ball of fire that was the source for the little rays I had photographed.

I reached for my camera again and stepped onto the front porch. In that moment, I had a deep appreciation for the beauty of the world. The birds were singing loudly, the sun was making a blazing arrival on the horizon. There was a slight chill in the air, but it wasn’t so cold that I needed to bundle up. The old Beatles song “Here comes the sun” began playing in my head and I smiled.

It’s a beautiful day. Make it a great one!

The Birds were singing.

The sun sneaking up.

Sunrise!

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One of my Face book friends frequently posts links to music videos on youtube.com. I love watching the clips and listening to the music. It hasn’t bothered me much that Google ads pop up at the base of many of them.

Recently, I’ve been paying more attention to the ads, wondering if the AI software of today is any better than computer generated marketing of the past.

I’ve determined that they’re not quite there. As evidenced by two events I’ve witnessed in the last 24 hours.

One was when my ex-husband joined Face book – and Face book recommended I send him a friend request since we had two friends in common (our children). Face book did the same thing a few months ago when his girlfriend joined.

I shrugged it off with a grin. The computer has no way of knowing. Facebook is like Spock in the old Star Trek series. No emotions, just facts. It’s perfectly logical that if someone were friends with both of my children, I would likely be that person’s friend as well.

The more fun one was the google ad on one of my friends music suggestions today. I had to look twice before I figured out why it was advertising what it was advertising. After all, it’s a computer. It only knows what it reads.

Targeted Advertising

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Mike’s son Bradley and I were discussing butchering. His grandfather butchers every winter and fills their freezer with meat for the year. It’s a subject that he and I have in common. He always goes out and helps his Pop. I remember doing the same when I was young.

We were having the conversation while I was driving him to a birthday party. He was in the front seat and his younger sister and older brother were in the back. I told him “I do remember having a freezer full of meat always. But if we got tired of beef or deer, we would kill a chicken for dinner sometimes.”

He noted that he hadn’t experienced that, although he’d heard stories. Based on the stories, he thought he’d enjoy it.

I laughed and told him “Well, the first time a chicken with it’s head cut off ran at you and squirted blood all over you, you might just change your mind.”

As I laughed, the little girl’s voice in the back seat joined the conversation. “But, if their heads are cut off, how do they see where they are going?” That took a little time to explain.

I was spoiled, having two male children. Somehow, I remember their questions being easier than hers.

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Hercules is recovered, pretty fully I believe. Last night, a friend of mine was here picking up his repaired computer and he brought Herc a bone. Hercules sniffed at the foil wrapped treat and then nudged it. When the bone fell to the ground, my friend reached to pick it up to give to the dog.

He straightened up immediately and took a step back when Herc swung his head around with a mean sounding growl (letting him know that it was NOT ok to touch the bone once it hit the floor).

Tonight, I cleaned out the fridge. There was some lunch meat that was nearing it’s end of life and a little bit of ham left. He devoured it as though I’d been starving him (which I have not!). And then he circled me, asking for more.

I don’t know if it’s because the weather is a little warmer or if it’s because I’ve been slipping him the medicine every night that the vet gave me for him.

Whatever it is, I’m incredibly grateful. There’s still a lot of life in that old dog. Ask my friend who tried to touch his food!

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“News – Breaking news
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
Wife allegedly changes wires on saw to shock hubby
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Court papers allege that an Olympia woman, angry that her husband left her, tampered with his power tools so that he received a powerful electric shock. Carolyn Paulsen-Riat was booked Friday into the Thurston County Jail for investigation of third-degree assault, domestic violence, and second-degree malicious mischief. A judge released the 33-year-old woman on her own recognizance.

The Olympian newspaper reported that court documents said that on Jan. 1, the man was using a 220-volt table saw when he received the shock, knocking him to the ground. Thurston County sheriff’s deputies said the man did not need to go to a hospital.

In the documents, deputies said the woman told them she had reversed the wires on his power tools because she was angry he was leaving.”

And I contemplated all the terrible things I wanted to do to my ex-husband when it was all new and fresh. And I’m mostly glad I didn’t. Although that one might have been worth it.

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