Monday, September 26, 2011

Another One

This is another of those "things" I talked about the other day. Who wouldn't want an 18-inch cow with shades posing in their living room? Not as many people as I would have thought, it seems. When eBay didn't work, I pawned it off on Laurel's garage sale. I haven't asked yet what happened. 

I like the cow. It came as an attention-getting display for the animal-shaped eyeglass holders we sell at Tapir and Friends Animal Store. When I switched back from Internet-plus-storefront to Internet-only, Mr. Cow got laid off. If I had one of those houses from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, I'm sure I'd keep him in a niche on the staircase overlooking the open-concept foyer. But, alas, space is limited. I have this photo for the memory book, and I hope Cow is grazing in greener pastures.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Plastic Toy Cobra

I took this photo for a customer who wanted to know what the plastic coiling cobra would look like size-wise if wrapped around her neck. The t-shirt dummy I had on hand is probably a bit larger than the potential snake-buyer, but it gave some clue. That transaction is finished, and I'm left with an eerie photo. 

One of the great things about photos is, they help you remember "things." Often it's events and people, but sometimes it's just those things we surround ourselves with. I've been cleaning up collectibles or things that were useful at one time but no longer are. Years ago I learned that if I really don't want it physically in my life any more, but I I'm hanging onto it for some reason, it may be a good candidate for the "photo cure." I'd never called it a photo cure until now, but that's what it is. 

Often, for me, taking a picture releases me to find another home for the thing (friends, Craig's List, eBay, the women's shelter, thrift shop) or else send it off to the landfill. The t-shirt dummy ended up at a friend's garage sale, and when there were no takers at the sale, it turned out that a friend of hers saw it in their porch and actually wanted it. Great news! The dummy has a loving home. I have some more space.

Space can be physical, and it can also be psychic. To anyone who has felt "the tyranny of possessions," no explanation is needed. As for the snake, you can buy it here  :)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where He Went Down

The title sounds ominous, but this is no drowning or untoward event. I had been hearing something whuffing outside my office window. It was unmistakable - or was it? Each time I went onto the back deck to look for the "whuffer," there was nothing but the sound of water slapping on rocks and pilings. And then I saw him, her or it. I was too slow to catch sight of the velvety nostrils, fish-frightening teeth, or the big Labrador eyes. I only saw the sealion's huge, rounded brown back as it broke the river's surface not 20 feet from me and plunged lazily beneath the beams that support the pilings. I've seen many sea lions around Astoria, but they rarely come into the small bay at the back of my building. When they do, they're almost never this close for viewing. In fact, I've never seen one in so close at just this spot. It's always an experience to connect with a wild animal at this range. I'll stay attuned to the sound of sea lion breathing. I hope he comes back.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Flat Rabbits


They usually come in shades of white with various odd markings on them, although other colors can also be found. I'm fond of them - probably overly fond - and I adopt them on a regular basis. They breed rapidly. They don't take much care and feeding once you file them away, but after years and years, they can overwhelm your life. Flat rabbits. Simple, garden variety information on paper.

Everything you see on the chair except for the file folders and a couple of envelopes has made its way through my scanner in the past two days. I'm on a roll or on a tear, take your pick. Digitizing and trashing.

This flurry began when I was contemplating buying yet another filing cabinet - then two related bits of information came my way. First, I read that you can now forget keeping all receipts for seven years, and three will probably do in most cases. Since bank statements and such are downloadable, you don't even have to keep those past their useful date. With both business and personal records stored not only in file cabinets but also in overflow boxes, this was fantastic news. I don't know why I hadn't heard it sooner, but better now than after having another four-drawer delivered. I love file cabinets, but in limited quantities. Second, I paid attention to the NeatDesk scanner ad I'd been seeing on TV, and I bought one. More on that another time. I love it. It's not perfect, so don't throw all of your originals away just yet, but it's about as perfect as it can be and still be fast and efficient.

I started with the unclassified piles around my office, then moved on to vendor receipts and such, but I have numerous categories. For the past couple of days, I've been into the tapir archives. There are an obvious few that will be refiled and kept (and I'm only in the paper file drawers, not even into the image drawer yet), but for the most part I am lightening the load and plan to make the useful stuff available online . . . very soon instead of "in my dreams." Meanwhile, it is on my hard drive (and, yes, backed up onto Carbonite), which is also new in my world, and what a cool discovery!

The project I really want to get to is that history thing. . . . More on these exciting developments coming your way. Stay tuned.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.