Sunday, February 19, 2012

Update: Slideshow wasn't workin'

I fixed the slideshow from the last post if you're interested.... Blogger doesn't like Apple it seems (How shocking! Competing companies that don't get along?? This is the first I've heard of it.... *cough*). I've now updated a Picasa web album and posted the slideshow. On another note... Did you know you know you can pay Google (or many other websites I'm sure, but since I use Blogger it's handy for me) for additional storage to store your pix??? Another back-up option and I LOVE my backups......

 Link to Slideshow

and since I'm here, I thought I'd share the Calgary Zoo's new Penguin Exhibit (Penguin Plunge). I took the kids out of school on Wednesday afternoon for a preview (Zoo Membership holders had the privilege of seeing the exhibit before it was available to the general public). It was fabulous! We stayed and watched them for over an hour (45 minutes when we arrived and another 20 minutes on exit). I love those birdies....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fait Accompli

It was rough, but I am done! Every negative in my house is scanned, sorted, dated and edited and TOSSED (there is no going back.. negatives and photos are Gonzo! Kaput! In the Great Photo Album in the Sky! Garbage City! Houdini-ed out of the house! You get my drift....)! Total number of negatives organized: approx. 5,000. Total negatives kept: roughly 4,000. Number of marbles left in brain... two.

Things I learned from this process, both practical and emotional:

1) Both the scanner surface and the negatives must be free of dust. Somewhat difficult when a person decides to spin Cashmere and silk while scanning negatives, but lesson learned rather quickly. Only a few negatives were so dusty they had to be rescanned.

2) Spray air is handier than heck, much better than a swiffer, although I do think that it may have altered the colour of some of the negatives, I'm not entirely sure.

3) Computers can make most pictures look decent. Not blurry ones or really bad ones (maybe they can, but I was doing the quick and dirty method of editing... "press button to fix".. Film cameras were, by no means a guarantee of a good shot, usually discovered at the moment of developing...... I managed to save a few pictures that would have been garbage without a computer and I'm sure if I spent the time editing in a proper editing program I could make them even nicer....

5) Scanning is a messy job. Photo Albums, negatives, packaging and storage containers were everywhere and were not to be touched by other residents of the household on threat of immediate dismemberment. I had a rather loose organization system and NOONE was messing it up.... It felt really good to clear all that up today.

6) I have some really great friends. Friends I've had for many, many years and I feel lucky to still have them in my life.

7) Eli was freakin' tiny.... Intellectually I knew that, but emotionally, I had forgotten and to SEE the pictures and have the memories brought back was a bit of a shock.... 3lbs 5oz is teeny weeny.... I also really like to take pictures of my children crying... Let's face it, toddler temper tantrums are hilarious (as long as you're in the right frame of mind.... after 3 days of constant crying/tantrums they are less cute)

8) Photos are a great way to remember. For the most part, I could remember approximately when, where and why each bunch of photos were taken..... even though I thought that I have forgotten..... I'm glad that I will have them in my regular circulation so that the memories stay fresh.

9) I have had a great life. Dale and I have been together for almost 19 years and most days it really feels like it, but looking back at the photos makes me realize that there is no one else I would rather have in my pictures and I am glad he'll be in the next 20 years worth.... (at least I feel that way today... we'll see next week/month/year... Marriage is tough!)

10) I look pretty good for nearly 40...... I haven't really changed that much in the last 20 years. That could be due to the fact that I need glasses, but I choose to think otherwise.....

So here are a few pictures that I thought I'd share and a link to a separate page with a slideshow. It is difficult to fit 10 years into 50 pics, but I tried.

Honeymoon in Mexico

3 days old. The first time I got to hold him.

Look at how big that Preemie outfit is on him!

Eli holding the same outfit.. He couldn't believe it either.

Here is the link (in case you missed it above) if you'd like to see these and a few more in a slideshow. I apologize for the music. I disabled it, but the computer decided I needed music...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Electronic Hoarding......

I think I might have a problem. I am afraid to delete ANYTHING off my computer. The permanency of the electronic delete scares me....I have "accidentally" deleted the contents of an entire hard drive in the past and only my backup saved me from running through the streets crying and pulling out my hair. As a result of this fear,  I have managed to amass a rather frighteningly large collection of photos. Now, if you know me at all, you might find my inability to delete rather humorous.... I SO am not a "keeper". I am the person you call when you want to get rid of stuff or organize stuff (which means getting rid of stuff, trust me). I don't collect stuff (my yarn doesn't count! My yarn is not stuff! It is a carefully stashed safety net for when the world ends... or all the sheep die... or uh, all the yarn stores burn down... or maybe all of the yarn mills in the entire world are devastated by a mill-specific earthquake phenomenon..... or there is a sudden stoppage of mail delivery.... or, ummmm, uhhhhh.... Anyway! It is NOT a collection or clutter.... It is... It is INSULATION. Yes! INSULATION that SAVES us money! Ha, Ha!! )

 Normally, my delete-a-phobia is ignorable. Digital photos do not take up physical space. No one has to worry about whether I've been crushed by a pile of photo albums or DVDs or CDs. There are no winding corridors in my house where blurry photos suddenly attack when a haphazard pile is accidentally upset. Instead, when I run out of virtual space, I buy a larger hard drive. I only have a few thousand of my favourite photos on my screensaver which is connected to my TV so that I can enjoy them. The other 30,000 photos are easily ignored. The rather enormous collection (considering that I am not a photographer, it is not my hobby or job and I have only had a digital camera since 2003)  has all come out of the closet in the past couple of weeks because we bought a new computer after Christmas. And with the new computer came all kinds of fancy new photo software, including one with facial recognition. It was during the set up of this program that I came to the realization that something had to be done..... How many blurry pictures of trees and flowers and mountains and children and strangers does one need??? How many pictures of the same pose or flower or building or mountain or butterfly or event does one need?? Why did I take so many pictures of other peoples children at our events?? Or crowd shots... how many crowd shots does one need?? You can see where the problem was and so did I. I went through all 35,000 (yes, that number is thirty five THOUSAND) pictures and deleted all of the blurry pictures, the miscellaneous group shots that were not relevant to our family, the school event pictures where Eli is in the back row and you might be able to see one of his hairs behind the kids sitting in front of him. Instead of 20 pictures of a flower, I now have one, or none (a daisy is a daisy after all. Did I really need a crappy picture of it??). It took me a week, but in the end I deleted 14,000 pictures.... Forty percent of my photo collection is now gone. The clutter is reduced and Wow, did that feel good!

The only problem is that I have since decided that I want ALL of my photos to be digital. I started out by paying London Drugs to scan my negatives, but realized rather quickly that I would save a whole bunch-o-cash if I purchased a really good scanner and did it myself. I started scanning three days ago. I have gone through, probably..... 800 pictures so far and kept only 300 of them. It's a big job, but the memories are worth it..... events that I thought I had forgotten are being relived. Here is a very small sample of the pictures I've scanned so far (Kelowna 1993-1995 or 1996)..... none have been "fixed" you're getting them exactly how they scanned.......

Were we young... or what!