Thursday, August 18, 2016

Scanning Along

Over the weekend, I received a chat message from my brother Eugene.  He lives along the Texas gulf area.  He let me know my brother Dean's lung cancer had returned and he would not be seeking further treatment.  I don't know the current status after his doctor appointment on Tuesday where he planned to ask 'how long?'.

Sadly, our family is one that has always had a lot of issues and strife.  Dean "disowned" me after my Mom passed away due to a misunderstanding of a request I made on behalf of my Dad, and no attempts to rectify it have worked.  I pray for him and leave it at that.

Eugene asked about the photos that had been separated by sibling and when he was going to get "his" and also asked about Dean's.  I told him I had taken Dean's to my aunt last April and she gave them to him, but he was not happy with what he got.  I guess he had expectations of more, but at this time, the siblings are only getting the childhood photos in which they alone are in, and any photos of their offspring.  Before sending those, I am scanning them.  In fact, I scanned most of them after my trip north a year ago.  My plan was to send them their own pictures in addition to a thumb drive containing all the family photos - including any I've acquired from other family members over the years.

When I scanned them, I did so at 200 dpi.  As I prepared to package up Eugene's photos, I realized that maybe 200 dpi was not adequate, so I set to re-scanning all of his photos at 600 dpi, which is better should any larger reprints be made from the scans.  Now, to get them packaged up and sent to him.

Going forward, the question will be whether to re-scan ALL the family photos.  This small segment took me the better part of three days.  It could take weeks to re-do the entire family set, and I no longer have the originals of Dean to re-scan.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Shades of Summer

Today, I thought I'd share just a few shots of our summer.  I haven't carried my camera with me much, only my cell phone, so most pix are from that, and unedited.  "Summer" was short this year from a school standpoint; barely over two months.  Nick started back on the 11th, and today he started his very first, paying job.  He's a bus boy/cleaner at a local franchise of a nationally (?) known restaurant. 
Smoke & fire.
Shortly before leaving to head north, we had a fire not so far away.  Smoke could be seen from our back yard. There was another very bad fire a bit further away while we were gone. 
Lake near Shasta
From a bridge while Nick was driving; this being up in the Mt. Shasta area.  For late July/early August, despite being "in a drought", the lake level is much higher than in recent years.  My personal thoughts, but no proof to back it up, are that the pictures frequently shown via social media of this area with barely any water in it are somewhat staged.  The lake is, I believe, a man-made lake having been created by use of a dam.  There has been a major interstate bridge being built at this location for the last several years.  To work on / create the footings and base structure, water needs to be low or non-existent.  To me, that's a convenient opportunity for certain special interest groups to make their points on water shortages, global warming, what-have-you.  I'm leaning on the side that a great amount of water was drained from this lake to accommodate the construction of the new bridge and now that it's almost finished, and with a good snowfall this past winter, the water level is back to "normal".  It's even higher than levels of decades ago when I've traveled through here at this time of year.
Bright tanker trucks
This has fascinated me for the past several years with my trips to Oregon.  I love these shiny, brightly colored tanker trucks.  I've wanted to get a photo of them since I first saw them but there's no convenient place to pull over to get a shot.  On this day, Nick was driving and traffic for some reason was very slow.  This is around the Black Butte area of Shasta, just north I think. Please excuse the intrusive antenna running right through the middle of the pic - I was just happy to be able to get the picture!
  Nick in the aircraft.
We were in Tillamook one day, my aunt, Nick and I.  This is the inside of this 'guppy' Erickson crane aircraft that's sitting there at the Air Museum.  The building that currently houses the museum (which will be moved to Madras, OR within the next year) was built during WWII as a blimp hangar.  There were two such buildings, but one burned in 1992.
The exterior of that aircraft - 'guppy' face, lol.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory
When I was growing up, a field trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory took place during my elementary years.  I'm not sure why I wasn't on that trip, but I wasn't and I was always curious about it.  In the past couple years, I've been there just for the ice cream, but this year with Nick along, I wanted to see what was there.  They now have a self-guided tour with huge windows that look down on the factory processes and kiosks that have photos and explanations.  This image shows giganto blocks of cheese rumbling in along a conveyor belt to where the woman is (just left of center).  She is manning a station where the cheese, as it moves left, passes through cutting "wires" and after that, she then pushes the block away from her which causes the block to go through another set of wires thus creating rectangular blocks of cheese, I'm guessing 2 - 4 pound blocks after cutting and she places those separately onto the curving conveyor belt that goes to the next step.  The trimmings go into the bin on the cart to her left, which when full is placed onto the conveyor shown towards the bottom of the image.  I didn't read the kiosk info so I don't know what happens to those trimmings.  Maybe pet food or dried and shredded/ground to powder?  Another window area looked down upon the smaller blocks going into the plastic wrappers.  This particular cheese wasn't being encased in the more well-known orange Tillamook Cheese wrapper though.
My graduating class of 1971 had it's 45-year picnic reunion.  My sister is on the right in the hot pink, and the gent on the left in black, was my high school sweetheart.  His hair is longer than mine!  The lady barely visible behind him in white, is the home-town gal who keeps us all together and has for the last 45 years.  We have a picnic gathering on every 5-year anniversary, and a bigger event held over three days on our 10-year level anniversaries.  I've missed a few over the years.  One of the classmates and her husband, own the property the picnic is held on and it is a wonderful, park-like setting next to a creek with some well-planned features - it's their own private 'park' they've created and I'm thankful they welcome the whole class (or those who actually attend) for the reunions.  Being a small town, our graduating class only had around 70 students.  We've lost eight or nine of the guys already and that of course, is very sad.  Others, though they live within just 20 miles, have never shown up for a reunion.  That too is very sad.  We had a wonderful time.  One of the classmates, and the old boyfriend - his best friend, even during school years, would run Dory fishing boats out of Pacific City as commercial fishermen.  They had gone out on the two days prior to the reunion and caught crab and other fish, bringing both as their food contribution.  The crab was cooked and cleaned.  Towards the end of the day, he told us he didn't want to take any of it home with him, and had brought gallon-size zip-top bags for anyone to take home any amount of crab they wished.  My sister and I filled three bags, still leaving a LOT (we nearly the last to leave), to take back to my aunt's where we stayed.  My aunt, and Nick, were in 7th Heaven that night enjoying the crab.  In fact, we enjoyed it for several more days!
My dad.
 Nick and I visited my dad.  He'd had his back surgery in May.  I didn't think he looked as well this time as he had in April.  He's very unhappy.  As I knew beforehand and tried to tell him, his plans in moving to this location didn't go as he thought they would.  He is wanting to move back to the town where he and my Mom lived, but now has no place to go, and probably can't afford to move back if he could even find a rental apartment.  He should not live alone regardless of his thoughts that he can care for himself (he can't).  Medically, he's a non-compliant patient, so his back is not healing as well as it should...and he's 83.
Nick the mad painter.
OK, well Nick wasn't mad, but he does look a bit devious in this image.  When my uncle had deteriorated to the point he could no longer maneuver the stairs, my aunt had their bedroom moved down to the guest room.  Now that he's gone, she wants to be back upstairs, but wanted to clean, paint, and refloor beforehand.  The younger set were given the task (with some $$ incentives) to repaint.  They had a blast.  My aunt supervised, and I peaked in now and then.  The blue is now a very soft yellow.
Even Bo got in on the act.  He had his own "brush".  Well, sort of, he likes to wag his tail - even against the freshly painted wall.  This black lab was trying to bring out his golden retriever genes.  He weighs 125 pounds.  His full sister is golden retriever in appearance and only weighs about 75 pounds.  They get to play together frequently as she lives right next door with my cousin and family, and the respective fenced back yards have a connecting gate.  
My cousin's son has been in 4-H for several years.  He had a pretty mellow sheep this year.  Stewy was a market lamb destined for 'the table'.  This was at the Yamhill County Fair.  In this class, he placed last because he hadn't cleaned the shavings off his sheep's belly and legs.  It was a showmanship class.  He was in another class in which he received a blue ribbon.  While there, I wandered over to the horse barns and took in the familiar (and missed) smells of horses, leather and manure.  I got to pet many a soft equine muzzle and became quite melancholy.  I had horses in my childhood, and showed at this very fair while in 4-H.  When you go to the fair to view the animal shows, one goes early and only pays parking and leaves when the show is over.  The second day of showing, I chose to drive separately as I wanted to take in some of the horse shows and my aunt planned to leave right after the sheep show.  I sat in the bleachers of the arena and reminisced with great joy of my own years there.  Before that though, as we walked up to the sheep arena, there was a lady holding a beautiful saddled Arabian.  I walked up and conversed with her.  She allowed me to get more of my 'horse fix' by petting him and even hugging his neck.  Nothing like the feel and smell of a horse.  No, I didn't ask to ride - though it was tempting.  It's been 10 years or more since I've been on the back of a horse.

Is that an eruption?
We had a traffic construction stop at a good place for a shot of Mt. Shasta.  The clouds make it look like she's erupting.
Nick showing off his work cap.
Nick needs a hair cut.  That poufy hair looks cute under that cap.
Dressed for work.
About 40 minutes before he had to start work.  His 'uniform' as required.  Just one more step of realizing that my baby will eventually be out and on his own.  Makes me sad.  In the meantime, he has another year of school, and maybe he'll even stay here with us as he looks into his college years.  He wants to take a year off.  I'm recommending he doesn't for a number of reasons.  Even if he continues with only one or two classes a semester, it'll be easier than taking that year off entirely, for him to return when he decides his career direction. 
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