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Posts Tagged ‘Imagination’

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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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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“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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I woke up this morning contemplating all the questions I get from the folks around me regarding the “Law of Attraction” that’s being marketed worldwide as the “way to get what you want”.

I’ve been told by a few people who interact with me that I’m good at using the Law of Attraction to get what I want.  Manifesting my desires or – more often, assisting others in manifesting theirs.

I break things down in my mind sometimes.  When I build a piece of furniture or a toy, I “see” it in my mind – then I draw a picture of what it will look like when I finish building it.  Then I take it apart mentally then on paper and determine the parts that are necessary to build it.  I almost always see the end before starting the project.

This morning while I was in the shower, an idea jumped into my mind and would not leave.  I felt inspired to share it here, where it might help others.
I share my ideas in stories and analogies much of the time.  This morning an analogy hit me right between the eyes and demanded that I write it up
And so, my friend Edward, this is for you.

The dynamic behind what I’ve always experienced is this – it’s the difference between “the check’s in the mail” and “direct deposit” from the Universe.

Let me expand on this a bit.  Mike gets paid on Fridays – his paycheck goes into the bank and becomes available to him on Friday morning.  He can often calculate based on the hours that he worked how much it will be.  He then anticipates how he will spend the amount he expects to have.  He’s usually pretty accurate.  And there is always a limit, based on the number of hours he’s worked.

My paychecks are sporadic – I live the life of commission sales and on the spot fixes.  I do everything reverse of what Mike does.  I set on my calendar what I need to cover and when it needs to be covered and then I take inspired action to ascertain that money is in the bank when the bill gets paid.

Sometimes I get a check right away when I do the work.  Sometimes I give companies payment terms and they pay me a piece in 30, 60, 90 days.  Sometimes they pay with a credit card and there’s a bit of it that goes out to the credit card company.  Sometimes I’ll be at a point of absolute destitution and an opportunity will arise that puts relatively large amounts of cash into my account.

The difference that came to me is the difference between EXPECTING and KNOWING.  I always know that something will happen that will get me what I need and want.   It’s a definitive difference in attitude and feeling.

I’m pretty sure it’s the same as the difference between believing and having faith.  I live in faith, absolutely.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that things will always fall into the right places in the tapestry of my life to create the beautiful vision that I’ve seen.  I don’t believe it, I know it.  Doubt and fear are not a part of it.  And I don’t question it.

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It’s a new policy we’ve instituted in our home.  It started last month, when Mike took the boys to Monster Jam and the princess and I were left to our own devices.  As we returned from dropping the older boys off downtown, I looked in the rearview mirror and asked her just what she wanted to do with our evening.

She thought about it for a moment and just really didn’t know.  I suggested perhaps we get a movie and some popcorn.  She wondered aloud what the girls across the street might be doing.  I picked up my cell phone and called Trudy and asked the question.

They were in the process of making a big spaghetti dinner.  She was teaching the girls to cook.  I explained to her that we were on our own for the evening and were thinking about getting a movie that had just been released and making popcorn.

Thus the plan unfolded.  In the end, the princess and I picked up the movie and some ice cream and popcorn.  And we stayed within the budget we had set.  We invited the neighbors to join us in our movie night and they invited us to join them for dinner.

This is how our first girls’ night in began.   We all had such a good time that we decided it should be come a tradition.  The next day, the five of us worked on a plan.

Everyone had input.  The princess asked if she could invite friends from school.  I told her “Absolutely!”  The neighbor girls chimed in asking the same question and receiving the same answer.  Absolutely!  The more the merrier, but please don’t get too carried away.

It was determined that the second saturday of every month we would have a “Girls’ night In” and the males in the group would have a “Boys’ night Out”.  We set up our plans for the next month.  The princess suggested board games and they selected several that they could all agree on.  The menu was planned.  Trudy and I had suggested that the girls cook.  They determined it was a better option to order out from a local italian fast food restaurant.

It was something for all of us to look forward to and we talked about it periodically over the following couple of weeks. 

Saturday night was girls’ night.  We adjusted our menu to order from a different restaurant where I had a coupon that made it more affordable.  The princess forgot the phone numbers that she had gathered to call and invite her friends.  The boys – well they didn’t have a plan so we determined that they would go across the street and play video games on Trudy’s PS2.

Trudy and I had concerns that the princess would feel left out – as all of the other girls were much older.  The difference between 7 and 12 is rather a big one.   We plowed forward anyway.

Dinner was a hit, all 8 of us gathered around my big oak kitchen table.  The big girls were amazed at the amount of lasagna and spaghetti the princess put away.  Conversation flowed and there was laughter and fun.  In the middle of dinner, Mike needed to come over and get his inhaler.  His allergies were kicking up.  He came in the front door and everyone at the table howled “Oooooooooh No, No boys!  This is GIRLS night!”  I followed him down the hallway proclaiming “I’ll take care of THIS!”  After giving him a hug and laughing together at the “girls only” attitude, I escorted him firmly back out the front door.

After we cleared off the dinner mess, it was time for the board games.  We split into two groups.  Four of us started a scrabble game at the kitchen table and the other 4 started a rousing game of Trouble in the living room.

Somewhere in the middle of the scrabble game, the 4 from the living room wandered back in to the kitchen stating they were bored with the board games.  I noted that there was an Apples to Apples game tucked away in the corner and that satisfied them for a while.

When the Scrabble game was finally over (the moms won!), we floundered for a moment or two trying to decide what to do next.  One of the girls looked at me and said “Do you have a piece of paper and a pen?”  I grabbed a notebook off my desk and a pen and watched as she tore of pieces, wrote a single word on each one and folded them carefully.

“And what is this game you want to play?”  I asked curiously.  “Murder at Midnight.”  Trudy declared “I vaguely remember this one.”  I’d never played before so I sat and watched.

Everyone drew a piece of paper which had a role written on it.  You had to take on the role that was one the paper you drew.  You could either be “Witness” “Killer” or “Detective”.  As the girls started to play, Trudy and I adjourned to another room for a few minutes.

As we talked in the back room, we heard a scream.  I was a little alarmed until I realized it was part of the game.  They turned out all the lights, the detective left the room and then the killer touched someone who then had to scream and “die”.

Trudy and I joined the game after the first two rounds.  And they added another role “psychic”.  The psychic listened to the “dead person” and gave clues about the killer.

It wasn’t in any way the plan we started with. The girls who planned the party had a stack of board games all ready.  The transition to an imagination game went smoothly.  They had entirely too much fun making up interesting stories about where they had been when the murder occured.

The princess was COMPLETELY in her element.  She welcomed the unexpected change with absolute enthusiasm and instantly became the hit of the game.  She died in odd and unusual poses and was very convincing as a witness.

The creativity of this group of girls entertained me.  One girl was the killer and killed herself, leaving no witnesses.  As the game wore one, two of the girls sneaked into the kitchen where they couldn’t be killed.  When the lights came on, not only did we have a dead body, but we also had two missing persons.   The variations were almost endless!

I woke up the next morning thinking about the life parallels in that game.  How we are assigned “roles” as children and carry them with us for our entire lives.  Every now and then I contemplate who I am now versus the role I was “assigned” as a child and guage my evolution.

In the end, I had a great appreciation for the young lady who suggested the game.  The princess wants her to come to our next girls’ night.  The boys had fun – just the three of them.  It will be interesting to see how this tradition evolves.

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