Thursday, October 27, 2011

Faces of the Season

Finally, after a long and pleasant summer, it rained like crazy for a couple of days straight. It seemed unusual just because it hasn't happened for awhile, but soon it will be almost a daily routine. I love the rain, so no problem here. The piece of two-by-four is a harbinger of real logs to come as the rains wash the shores upstream. I took this picture on October 22, and today there was one of those interesting reed mats that cover the water just in the area of the photo. I got distracted before I took a picture of it, and soon it was gone.

You can't see their full beauty in the bright light and high contrast of the photo, but these flowers outside my front door have been my friends all summer. They found a niche, then withstood all events, including someone pulling off the bloom either because they liked it or "just because." There is a ton of foot traffic on the River Walk, so you never know. Anyway, they came back wonderfully and are still looking good today even after a couple of days of our first cold-snap. I'm sure they like the reflected heat from the building and the blacktop!

When I see a pink glowing sunrise like this one over the water . . . 

. . . it usually means there's a brilliant sunrise over the River Walk.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Few Chapters and a Bunch of Notebooks

I've been stuck in bed with a horrible, exhausting cold for two weeks now, so the work goes slowly. I had the good fortune to aquire an iPad before the cold struck, so I've been fiddling with that. If you don't want to work, there's not much of a learning curve and everything is almost seamless, but if you're like me and try to make things do what they were not intended to do, it can be quite a curve. I LOVE my iPad. It does many, many things, is light weight and pretty, but it's not a laptop. I had to learn a lot more than the basics (while sniffling and coughing) to do actual work along with playing games, listening to music, and making some notes. What I learned was how to make eBooks that can be read in an iBook reader. Big smiles here! In the end, it's easy, and they look fantastic. I had to figure out what I could and couldn't reasonably do so I would know what direction my project might be taking and whether I should be focused on scanning to PDF, making Word files, or whatever. Meanwhile, the mid-project results are less elegant, but are fully functional.

The shelf in my photo shows one set of the Chapters I published from 1992 to 1995. I got a smidgen of the way into the project before it got derailed. That's OK. It was huge and I was no longer clear how I could get it where I wanted it to go. Meanwhile, I had transcribed a lot of information, researched the references, filled in the blanks, and presented it in readable form. A glitch came a number of years ago when I found that my old WordPerfect 5.1 files would not convert completely intact to Word, but I've now scanned the printed copies of the chapters, and anyone interested can find downloadable PDFs on this page of my web site. The Word files remain for me to do something with as the project progresses.

The notebooks you see to the right of the chapters in the photo are filled with pages of chronological project data - research, synopses of material, etc. These notebooks are labelled by year(s). Some of the notebooks are alphabetical files of people, places, historic events, etc. And there are more notebooks in the other room.

I'm getting a certain amount of clarity about the path I want to walk through this mountain of fascinating information, and even some clarity on the results I want to achieve. It's a process, and, I'm really excited to be getting back to it. I'll keep you posted. (By the way, if you have an eBook reader (or at least it works with some brands), you can import the PDF files. They don't work as perfectly as a real eBook, but the graphics, captions and footnotes are intact, which is perfect for this stage of the game.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Energizer Bunny and Storage Boxes

Still going here. More and more, this (above) is beginning to look like this (below) . . .

. . . and this (below).

There is still some of this (below) left and it actually seems very manageable now.

These fantastic bankers' boxes (I love them) moved me from Colorado to Oregon in 2001. They are so cool. The size is easy to handle, they are modular and stackable, and I used minimal padding because the boxes are sturdy and the stuff inside didn't get crushed. And, they have lids (easy as pie to open and close). An added bonus: when you arrive at your destination with almost zero furniture (plus you have things that are not easy to find a place for in your new apartment), you can stack them and drape with nice fabric and have instant tables and headboards. I did that for a number of years, and now I'm down to my final few unpacked boxes. It's kind of sad, really. I've grown to love the look. Maybe I'll keep a few for old times' sake.

Just briefly, one of the things that got me started on this Total Cleanup thing besides my new NeatDesk scanner was the desire to start working on the old letters project again. Seriously. The Hudson and Joy: A History in Letters blog that I started was a good first step into the digital media era, but it was becoming cumbersome, and I'd barely started. A couple of weekends ago I set up a new section of my web site for the project, and it's a lot easier to manage and should make a good presentation of the mass of material I'm beginning to bite back into. Here it is! There are already some sizable downloadable files, and (as I said before of the blog) I'm just getting started.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.