Wednesday, August 26, 2009

110 camera

I lied to you the other day in my instant camera post. I told you that I moved from the instant camera to a 35mm. But I couldn't remember what that camera looked like, which I thought was strange. I realized the reason I couldn't remember a 35mm camera, because I didn't have one! I had a 110 camera. I still have it, as you can see by the photo. It took square pictures, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". Is that right? Did the 110 produce square photos? I did have access to a 35mm camera, at least the photos, my brother's, so I do have rectangular photos interspersed here and there. The rectangular ones are 3 1/2" x a little less than 5". They are from a 35mm right? I'll tell you more about his camera later when we get to those photos.

I also forgot to mention other camera topics in my high school life. I might have used his camera to take some pictures for a photography class I took in high school. Maybe I borrowed one from the school; I don't remember. I didn't learn much. The teacher wasn't hands on, he asked one of the other students to show me how to develop pictures. He told me to take pictures and develop them without giving any guidance as to what he wanted. Maybe artistically that would be good, but without any basic idea of focusing, depth of field, etc., it is hard to be artistic when you don't have the mechanics down. I went from a point and shoot camera taking snapshots to one I had to manually focus, and make decisions about. I did take a few good black and white pictures though, although my criteria for "good" may not be quite as high as other people's.

There isn't much to tell about the 110. It is small, much smaller than the Polaroid, and lightweight. So it was much more convenient to take places. Which explains the million photos I need to scan from 1984. It is point and shoot, fixed focus thing, so you can take pictures of things up to twelve feet away. If you go to the wikipedia link, it shows you a picture of what the film cartridge looks like. It was quick and easy to change film. I paid for my own film and developing, and found that I really enjoyed taking pictures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Think About It

As you know, the Back to School sales have been in full force for many weeks now, and I have been shopping every week to get the free or nearly free items. My daughter hasn't mentioned a need for anything, even when asked, and sometimes is frustrated when I buy things because she hasn't told me she needs it. I figure I can use it around the house, even if she doesn't take it to school. And I would much rather buy it now when it is free than wait until she asks for it, when I have to pay, gasp!, full price.

I've thought about it, and decided that there might be another reason for her hesitation. Maybe, she simply doesn't want to think about it. The longer she waits before starting to get ready for school, the longer her vacation is. I understand that. Sometimes I am surprised that people start talking about dreading the upcoming workweek on Sunday afternoon. You've got the rest of Sunday to enjoy!

I think she might have gotten it from me. Even though I've read about the change of seasons from other blogs, it wasn't happening in my neighborhood. It's cooler today, and there are leaves on the lawn. Autumn around here isn't going to happen until I am good and ready, and hopefully after September 22. It's not that I don't like fall, I really do. It's just that winter comes after fall.

The leaves here are just there because the squirrels shook them down.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Instant Camera

Sorry about leaving the cleaning post up so long. People probably think that I either have a very messy house or a very clean one. It is neither. I took a break from the machines and read a book. It talks about adding historical information to your genealogy, so you are writing a social history and using your family as characters. No need to fictionalize. And there is a broader audience than just your family. Of course, I can't do this, because my family is very private. If I do write anything, it will have to be sealed for a 100 years or so.

I've been scanning instant pictures, and although I haven't done the historical research, I thought I would tell you the story of my instant camera.

There was a fund raising at my high school, and we were to sell raffle tickets. The person who sold the most raffle tickets would win a prize. There might have been three prizes total, one each for the top three. I took my role of fund raiser seriously, as I did everything else, and went door to door to sell raffle tickets. This is very different from the way we handled fundraisers with my daughter, where I bought a few raffle tickets and decided that was enough, and we definitely wouldn't be going door to door.

I didn't sell tickets to win the prize, but after a while, I found that I was pretty successful, and that maybe there was a chance that I would win a prize.

At the same time, our "family group" which is what we called our homeroom class, had a Secret Santa. We drew names out of the hat, and we were supposed to do nice surprises for the person from time to time for the prescribed time period - two or three weeks. My Secret Santa did not get me anything for a while, and I felt gypped, but I was enjoying thinking of giving little gifts to my person. One day, my Secret Santa asked me how it was going. I didn't know it was him at the time, but I had to be honest and tell him that I hadn't gotten anything yet. He only gave me one gift that I can remember, but it was a big one. He had been selling raffle tickets as well, and he had given them to me to claim them!

I won my Kodak instant camera. It wasn't the first prize, but I preferred it over the other prizes. Film was expensive for the 35 milimeter camera, but it is even more expensive for the instant camera. The difference, of course, is that you don't have to pay for processing. You also can't make copies or enlarge, etc., but at that time, I wouldn't have been able to afford to do those things anyway.

I also bought a 35mm camera. It was a fixed focus kind, with no zoom. I went to college with the cameras. My camera usage went up dramatically that year, both with the instant camera and with a 35 mm camera. I have one picture dated 8/30/1980 with the instant camera, and 27 in 1982. Since there were 10 pictures in each pack, I'm not sure if I am missing pictures from 1980, or if I used the same pack in 1982 that I started in 1980. The picture is of my dorm room, so nice and neat. Te hanger is holding my necklaces. All the posters were ones that had been given to us for free. By this time, Polaroid was suing Kodak for copyright infringement on the camera, and I thought that it was possible that my days with the Kodak were numbered. Both Kodak and Polaroid had film that would only fit their camera, so if Polaroid won, Kodak would stop making the film, and I wouldn't be able to take any more pictures with my Kodak instant camera.

One day, a boy asked me if he could borrow my instant camera. I didn't know him very well, but I saw him around from time to time He lived in another wing of the dorm, and I said yes. He would borrow it from time to time, and return it, but eventually he just kept it, and I knew where I could get it back if I needed it. He probably had it for at least a couple of months when one of my friends suggested that we go to his room. I still didn't know him very well, but since I was going with my friend, I said okay. It turns out that he was selling fake drivers licenses using my camera. He had made a big poster of a drivers license, and had the student stand in front of it and take a picture of it. He offered to pay me, but I decided that I would rather have my camera back. It wasn't that it mattered to me that he did this, but I just didn't want to have me or my belongings associated with illegal activities. I was over 18 and legally old enough to drink, so I didn't need a fake drivers license.

Oh and in case you were wondering what happened to the white border around the photo, I cut it off! I had seen some scrapbooks, when scrap booking first became introduced, where people had cut photos into interesting shapes to put in the book. They don't do that as much anymore, but I have many old pictures where the background has been cut off. I was worried that the chemicals might spill out on the instant photos, but I tried it on one, and it was fine, so I did the rest. I only have two photos without the white taken out.

Kodak lost the lawsuit, but by that time I had switched over to using the 35 mm camera completely. According to the Kodak website, rebate checks and certificates were issued beginning November 4, 1988.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Slave to My Machines

I've been playing Machine Master here on the High Road. To keep the house running, I've been working on keeping my machines well orchestrated. The clothes washer and dryer have to continuously be working. No slacking off! It's never ending. As soon as it is finished with one load, there is another load miraculously waiting for it. The dishwasher has to do its share.

Of course, the scanner must always be working on scanning some pictures. It is an obedient servant. It even asks "Would you like to scan another picture?" It seems like a polite question at the beginning of the day, but at the end of the day, I distinctly sense an attitude in the question. It's halfway through box two! Remember the good old days when I only found about 10 pictures worth taking a year? Thank goodness I don't have to scan recent pictures, where the average is about 10 pictures a day!

The lawn mower and the vacuum cleaner also have to be kept supplied. The unfortunate part of all this, of course, is that someone had to be there to supervise, and keep supplied the washer and the dryer and the dishwasher and the scanner and especially the lawnmower and vacuum cleaner.

Which gives me no time for cleaning - I still want to clean the garage and the basement before the summer is up. And do some painting jobs. But that's manual labor, and I'm too busy supervising my machines.

Hopefully, one of these days, I can get the sewing machine into action. It is a machine, after all, and it's got lots of work to do!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Refried Beans Face-Off

Some people find it easy to determine what is healthy. What criteria do you use to decide which one is healthier? Will you help us with our debate?

We have two contestants. Your challenge is to choose the one which is healthier. They are both 15 ounces and both say "Refried Beans" on the front. I am only going to list the lines that are different from each other.

On this side, we have the Kroger brand. It says "Fat Free" on the front.
The nutrition facts are as follows:
Serving size 1/2 cup (125g)
Servings Per Container about 3.5
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Diegary Fiber 6g
Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
It also says it provides 15% of Iron
Note the ingredient label on this one says it has partially hydrogenated soybean oil with a footnote that says adds a trivial amount of fat

On the other side we have Old El Paso. It says "Vegetarian" on the front.
The nutrition facts are as follows:
Serving size 1/2 cup (118g)
Servings Per Container about 4
Calories 90
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
Sodium 570mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 5%
Diegary Fiber 5g
Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Provides 6% Iron
It is made out of soybean oil with no footnotes.

Which one would you choose and why?
No I don't know the answer, that's why I'm asking.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Scanfest Decisions

We (well mostly I) have been continuing the Great Scanfest 2009. We're past the halfway mark on the first box. Luckily, we can scan 4 pictures at a time. The daughter made a great decision early on to scan each and every photo. There are some - the blurry ones, the ones of old friends we no longer keep in touch with, the ones of things we don't care about, etc.- that I thought we could skip, but I now agree that this way we don't have to worry about which ones have been scanned and which ones haven't. It does save on the decision making, so it probably makes the process go much faster. The problem is the free double prints we have a lot of. It is fine when the prints are next to each other so only one has to be scanned, but you know, they almost never are right next to each other. Which means I scanned this blurry photo twice. The other one was turned the right way, but this one hasn't been.

The tagging decisions are harder to come by. I had a trial version of Adobe which did a great job of categorizing location, person, event, date, etc, but with tagging all those things get jumbled together. I thought keeping them separate would make them easier to find, so I thought "Location: Washington, D.C." would work better than Washington, or Washington D.C., or D.C. The kid thinks that is too much work. I think it is fine to tag it whichever, and we can move them to the right place as a group, so it isn't really an issue right now.

In the meantime, I am still working on the Blushing Bride quilt. I am really liking the variegated thread I have chosen to use. I am anxious to get on to the next quilt - hopefully making another coins quilt, but simple this time around.

I am also shopping to take advantage of all those great back to school sales.

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Reading

Sometimes I get pulled away from quilting by genealogy, and it has happened again lately.

Before you skip this post, I should tell you that has their 1930 U.S. census available for free for the whole month of August. Even if you aren't interested in studying genealogy, you might want to see where your parents and grandparents were living in 1930. It will tell you if they owned a radio, if they owned or rented their home, who they were living with, their occupations, their place of birth, their parents place of birth, their neighbors, etc.

I read a couple of books. I'm reading the book pictured. Also a book by Vicki Dell Tieche called 16-3-3. There is no picture available on the internet, and I returned it so I can't photograph it for you. It is the story of the settling of some new land in Delaware County, Ohio. She took the historical information and created a fictional story. I really liked the way it made the history come alive, and showed some of the hardships a family had to face in settling a new frontier. I liked that she used real people instead of making up her own. The details about whether the settler took one road or another road or which direction he went were fine fictionalized. The fact that he didn't tell his wife that he was going bothered me, but I guess that fits into the time frame that he might not have, although if I had written the story, since she mended a cloak for him for his journey, I would have said it was her idea!

The details about the first white burial in the county bothered me a little bit because reading the end notes shows that she knew nothing more than the fact that Mr. Harris was the first burial. The history books don't tell you who Mr. Harris was.

The thing that bothered me the most was the story she built around the fact that one couple only had one child. She said it was because the wife withheld affection, and that he had to resort to going to town for his needs. I think if I was related to this family, that might bother me, even knowing that this is a fictionalized story. There are so many other explanations for this situation. And as a story writer, I think the best thing to do would have been to have the main couple speculate on the reason, but not have provided the answer.

P.S. Patrick Lose responded to my last post and he has a blog!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I know Christmas is supposed to be reserved for July and December, but here on the High Road it is Christmas time! I won a book from the C & T Publishing blog. They have giveaways every Tuesday. Yesterday, the Fed Ex man delivered A Patrick Lose Christmas book. Thank you C&T and Patrick Lose! I thought it would be very clever of me to make one of the projects and then show you the book with an actual project, but then I got smart and figured that you wouldn't get to see this book until next July if I tried to do that!

I have to admit that I wasn't very excited about winning this book. His work is cute, don't get me wrong, but I was intimidated that I might not be able to make any of these things. Look at all that applique! All those little pieces! Look at all those little trees in the background that you wouldn't even have noticed if I hadn't pointed them out! But they look great and set a scene, so I wouldn't want to leave them out either.

But I have the book now. The first thing I noticed is the full size patterns that are attached to the back. Very nice. I think that would make the patterns easy to handle. Then I flipped through the book and noticed that he is using fusible applique. Ahh, I don't have to turn the edges of all those tiny trees. There are so many cute patterns. I particularly like all those designs in the border of Joyride. Wouldn't they make great ornaments?

There are also patterns that don't require any applique. It looks like Patrick (yes we are on a first name basis now that I have his book) likes checkerboard as much as I do. Sorry for the crappy photos. Poor lighting, shiny book. At least now you know what my knee looks like!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Great Scanfest has Begun!

Every time there is a birthday in our family, my sister and I talk about creating a slide show for that individual. It is really fun to arrange the photos, and choose the special music, and select the theme that would really show the birthday boy or girl how much s/he means to us. We did one slide show for our mother, and she really enjoyed it. We managed to get her to laugh and to cry in one five minute presentation.

The problem with creating the slide show, is that a lot of our pictures are in photo format. And it just doesn't seem right to have a birthday slide show that features just the last few years. Both of us - my sister and I - take a lot of pictures - although she would win any contest hands down, and we have boxes of photos. - (my daughter and brother-in-law also get in on the act from time to time; there is a picture of a sock in the batch of pictures with this box.) I started out with albums, but with the magnetic pages deteriorating the photos, I wound up with boxes. I have purchased albums, but I think the boxes work just fine, and digitizing the photos will make them more accessible if we tag them properly.

I mentioned the idea of scanning the photos to my daughter, and she jumped on the idea. I think it is her way of getting copies of all of my photos. She is scanning everything - even the blurry ones, and the unimportant ones (really do we need copies of all of the animals we saw at the zoo?) Whenever I ask her to do anything for me, esp anything that involves cleaning, she reminds me that she is going to scan pictures for me.

My mother doesn't understand why we want to scan pictures when we already have the prints. I do see the logic of that, but someday we might even make prints of pictures we only have digitally.

My daughter was explaining the process to her friend, who mentioned that there were a lot of pictures in the box. Daughter told friend that there were four other boxes where this one came from. I decided it wouldn't hurt her to think four, when the actual number is almost double that. That paper that is sticking up, that is the marker that shows how far she's gone.