Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Photo Cleanout: Begin As We Mean to Go On

Or, Vol 1 if you really want to be picky about it.

Remember years ago, I had the audacity to think that I could actually maintain TWO blogs at the same time. The 100 Days Cleanout was a fabulous idea.....that I only made it 45 days through. I KNOW! I am an overachieving idiot. I actually did clean things out for much longer than 45 days, or at least it seemed like it anyways. And I got rid of a vastly larger quantity of things than was represented in those 45 glorious posts. Believe me, when you downsize from a 5000 square foot house to a 2300 square foot house you can't take everything with you. Well, I suppose you can but we surely did not want to.

Our watchword from 2010-2013 was DOWNSIZE IT!

You can't take everything with you....except for photos. Remember BIMNISDS! That would be why I currently have 73,861 photos on my computer. That is the actual number, I just checked it. We aren't even talking about my external hard drive, which might not, at this moment anyway, be harboring as many photos as my computer is. I am going to be cleaning out photos until the day the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come knocking on my door to let me know that the chaos is outside as well as inside. But, I have to start somewhere on this grand photo organizing adventure and this is it.

You see, I have to tell you something about myself. I know that there are many who would say, "Just start the project! Don't delay! Power up Lightroom and get things organized and keyworded and metatdataed and work through the deleting as you go."

Folks, I cannot work like that. It just isn't possible for me to do it that way. I am the sort of person who gathers all of her materials before she starts sewing. I am the person who has all of the ingredients for the recipe out on the counter, measured out into their own little bowls before I even power up the Kitchenaid.

Yes, I am that person. And because I am that person it is an impossibility of epic proportions for me to just power up Lightroom and add things to the cataloging system that is pure GENIUS before I have gone through and eliminated all the photos that I don't want to catalog. This is hardwired into my DNA.

SO, I think you should come along on the process with me. Who knows, I may blogfade on this idea in, oh, about 3.2 blog posts. OR, I might just keep going with this until all of you throw up your hands and yell, "STOP! Stop showing us these things. Our eyes are bleeding." I am going to try to put up one of these blog posts every week or so. I won't show you all the photos that I will be cleaning out, only the "gems" so to speak. The current crop are stored in a file on my computer that I am calling "Blog then delete".

I hope.

If you know me on a personal basis you know that there is no way I could ever have resisted taking a picture of this. I didn't buy it....although I wanted to very badly. I may however have put it up on Instagram.
 Hmmmmm, an artful picture of an onion, a knife and a cutting board. I just have no idea why.
I am obviously writing in my journal. I am also obviously cold as I have my Fetchings on. Other than that, I got nothin'

I think it was originally cottage cheese...or yogurt...or sour cream....or some science experiment from 2001 when I spent a year homeschooling Cartoon Girl. 

Baking gone terribly awry. I have no idea what these were even supposed to be. Did they taste good? What the heck happened?

Obviously an omelette. Obviously I made it. But why I thought I should take a picture of it is, at this time, unknown and shall remain so.

I am sad just looking at an entire jar of homemade yogurt splattered all over the garage floor. I do recall that I let Max the Magnificent take care of most of the clean up. He felt so healthy after.

 Obviously a path. I think at Sunny Lake. But why? Why?

I seem to be obsessed with Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, or at least taking pictures of them. Trying to go back to my childhood? No, that would be pictures of Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches, the bane of my school lunches. Sorry mom, I hated them....and threw them out. I would rather go hungry.

Obviously a meeting. Where? Why? A mystery I choose not to solve.

 My shoe. At the Community Center. Not walking but sitting. I think I will call it, "A Still Life After Weight Lifting Pain."
I can't even.......

There. They are blogged. Now I can delete them. Only about 30K more to go.

Is that the Four Horsemen I hear? 

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Yup, still here.

Nope, can't seem to get myself back on the regular blogging schedule. I actually think this is because I sit at a computer for the "real" job and when I come home I just can't even contemplate powering up the big computer to blog.

I could blog while at work....of course now that I have said that the the cat would be out of the bag as the boss (aka HHBL) reads my little words here. And besides, I just basically don't have a spare moment during the work day to contemplate doing that. It is hard enough to get all of my tasks done on any given day.

But I have digressed right off the bat.

When I am able these days I am in the very beginning stages of a massive photo restructuring/moving/purging project. I know that this might come as a shock to some of you but.....I might have a few pictures on my computer. One might be able to legitimately call me a picture hoarder. That is the downfall of the whole taking all of my pictures digitally thing. It is so very, very easy to just keep everything, and I do mean everything. Up until the last year or so I have had a very difficult time with the whole "ruthlessly culling your pictures" concept because, you know,


For the uninitiated that would stand for But I Might Need It Someday Syndrome, a little known section of the ever growing pantheon of medical issues that we face in the digital age. I fight against my BIMNISDS tendencies every single day. HHBL brought home a back pack from a recent conference. He held it up and asked, "Do you think you could use......"

YES! said I, not even letting him finish his sentence and snatching the item from his hand because my my said, you know.......


I completely do NOT need a poorly designed and made backpack with the logo for HIMSS plastered on the front of it. After about a week BIMNISDS! had worn off and I was able to consign the now unwanted backpack to the ever growing pile for Goodwill. A small triumph over BIMNISDS! I work for those every day.

And now has come one of the biggest BIMNISDS! projects facing me....all the photos that reside on my computer. This is a tedious process because I do actually have to go through the photos one by one and decide if I need to keep one of the thousand photos I took of a particular thing.

You think I am exaggerating, I know you do. You would be wrong. And of course it isn't just that I have to go through each photo, it is that I also have to check first to see if they are in my Lightroom photo catalog system. They must be removed there and then moved or deleted. I haven't even THOUGHT about Photoshop Elements yet. There are so many parts to moving photos to an external hard drive or deleting them permanently. What a pain in the patookis. Not all photos should be deleted, many photos that are work related can be moved to my external hard drive for "off site storage" if you will. I still refer to those on occasion and there are many that I use. It is just that storage on the big computer isn't quite at critical mass stage but I see it coming down the pike if I don't do something. Once it is ALL done, just about the time of the Apocalypse, I will then import everything into my Lightroom catalog, tag all photos and add metadata.

See, big project. But I am starting small. I am starting with my iPhone pictures, of which there are many and some are just ones that I scratch my head and wonder why.
 Can someone explain to me why I took a picture of the groceries in my cart back in 2013? I am sure I had a reason, I always do, but for the life of me I can't remember why. This is a perfect illustration of my problem. I routinely download my iPhone photos into Dropbox and then onto my computer, where they then sit in perpetuity, no matter how mundane they are.

Begone nondescript picture of my shopping cart!

Now to get to the other 5200 photos in the iPhone download folder.

If I never show up again, you will know that my photos staged a revolt and I am no longer among the land of the living.

Wish me luck.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Bitty Bits of Blather

I really should do some kind of graphic for these....but where to find the time.

Did I digress already? Oops.

This week I learned, definitiely, that I have high blood pressure.


Oh, I knew this was coming, I just hoped that I was wrong. It has been sneaking up on me over time. Even 15+ years ago, when I would go to the eye doctor, my BP would be elevated a bit. I laughed it off because who really likes going to the eye doctor. Or any doctor for that matter. Then I finally got to the OB/GYN in December, and I gave them a reading that basically scared them a bit.

Then I had my colonoscopy....and I did it again. But it came down after they gave me the Fentanyl and so all was well.

And then I had my physical this week. I could feel my BP rising as I was driving there but I figured it was just a bit of "White Coat Fear". But I might have been wrong about that because WCF (which is a known effect by the way) would not have given off a BP that made the nurse look at me like she wanted to make sure that I still had the top of my head. Even sitting quietly in a room for 5 minutes with the BP cuff periodically taking a reading didn't bring the numbers down all that much.

So now I take BP medication and take my BP every morning. Yesterday morning and this morning it was down a bit so I guess the stuff is working. We will see.

This week I also had to admit that my cholesterol is not what is should be. I saw the number on Wednesday night and thought that I had somehow misread it. And by that I mean that it is a number that is less that 300 but more than 200 and that is all that I am going to say about it at the moment. There will be some dietary changes made, not that we eat unhealthy because really we don't. But butter and I are going through a trial separation at the moment. We won't even talk about my relationship with bacon.

Breaking up is so hard to do. I am also sure I will blog on it more indepth after Dr. M tells me that I will also have to go on meds for the cholesterol.


HHBL and I are off this weekend to spend two days just hanging with these people.

We are sometimes serious, I assure you, but these people are the reason why I would say that if you don't have a core group of friends who you are absolutely assured will laugh and cry with you, will tell you the truth when you are being a butthead and will love you no matter what....

Then you need to go out and find them right now and keep them in your life.

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge does not know what it is in for starting about 6:30p tonight.

This is what that stupid FitBit makes me do.

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized that I was exactly 200 steps shy of 10K for the day. Most sane people would say, "Hey, I did pretty well today! Made almost 10K steps. I will pat myself on the back and get in bed."

But not me. Oh no, I have to actually walk around my house, in my pjs, hoping that my neighbors don't wonder why I am wandering in seemingly aimless circles, so that I can get that happy little buzz on my left wrist that tells me that I have made it to 10K steps.

That thing isn't the boss of me! Nope, not at all.

I started knitting another baby blanket this week. Thank goodness I can do this now without really thinking about it because this is the fourth baby blanket THIS YEAR and I am getting a bit sick of them.

I know, I know. I said that I wasn't going to do anymore for a while but then I get the baby shower invitation for one of TMO's friends and, well, every baby needs a baby blanket that is knit with love. So there you are. And THEN TSiL's twin brother's wife had baby #2 last week and he will also need a blanket I am thinking. I so want to cast on a sweater. The swatch is done and I was spot on with the gauge (patting self on back) and the yarn is a lovely brown with copper highlights. But I have told myself very sternly that I cannot cast on until I have finished at least one of the baby blankets.

We all know what I am going to be knitting in the car on the way to Maumee.

We had snow this week. Next week it is supposed to be in the 60's.

It has been a crazy weather year. We haven't had any huge snow storms. We haven't had any really cold weather for long periods. I am not complaining but it has just been a strange weather year. Let's hope that Spring doesn't bring us an April like we had several years ago where it rained every. single. day.

Not fun.

Instagram. Because now, with the changes that Instagram has made, I can post to the THREE accounts that I am in charge of. Let's post ALL of the pictures from ALL of the things.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lessons From the Inbox

A few weeks ago HHBL switched me from Pop! (whatever that means) to Exchange. The transition has gone well, most likely because I was already very familiar with Exchange and the whole if you delete it one place you delete it all the places thing.

But that is not what this is about. No my little email padawan, I want to speak about email management. 

I am, although I did not mean to be, an email hoarder.

I spent most of a Saturday morning working through all of the old emails that HHBL had saved for me from my old and now useless version of Outlook before the transition. Honestly, I don't think that I was really aware of just how many emails that I had laboriously stored in my email folder system and then had never gone back to look through. I might have found some emails that date back ELEVEN YEARS and didn't really have anything to do with my life now. They got "filed" and then slowly made their way to the bottom of the email pile, there to languish in email obscurity, presumably forever. They are now gone.

I might have found emails from Shoe Queen's high school detailing their new security measure....from 2008. I know that it was important....in 2008, but I think I can let go of them now. Nor do I need to keep her college freshman class schedule. Being the child/adult that she is, she would send me an Excel spreadhseet with her semester class load. You have to love a child that values Excel. And she had the good sense to marry someone who is even more Excel mad than we are.

Do I need to keep all the emails dealing with the progeny weddings? I am thinking not. There were A LOT of those. Weddings take a great deal of planning and emails flew back and forth from Illinois to Ohio to Uganda to India to Pakistan and back again. I have culled them, kept info that might be useful and then hit that big old Delete button to send them out of here and into wherever old and unloved emails go. Is it outer space? It has been fun to read through some of the emails that the progeny and I send to each other. We often have strange and humorous email exchanges. My gut reaction is to keep ALL OF THEM JUST IN CASE as they are sort of like a letter conversation. But I did not.

I found a treasure trove of emails that my father had sent me. I had thought that most of them had been deleted long ago but that is not the case. It has been so nice, especially as last week would have been his birthday week.

The thing about all of this is, it has taken time to go through all of these emails. Time right now is a precious commodity for me. There just isn't quite enough of it sometimes to get to all the things that I want to do. So let this be a lesson to you.

Clean out your emails and your inbox and your deleted folders. Or else one day they will consume you.