Wednesday, December 01, 2010

PRESERVING OLD FAMILY MEMENTOS

LIVING IN THE 80’S: My Adventures in Preserving Old Family Mementos

By Cindy

Nothing like spending 2010 reliving the last 30 years.

It all started earlier in the year when my daughter-in-law, searching for something else, noticed a box of old cassette tapes in our closet. “Oh! Let’s listen to these!” she said, pulling them out and looking for a tape player.

“Nooo!” I quickly replied. “I have to go through them!” It was something I’d been meaning to do for years—listen to the old audio tapes I’d recorded of the kids—made mostly before we got a video camera in the mid 1980’s. In the days before digital cameras and instant videos, I had recorded these cassettes to capture the boys’ first words, cries, birthday party banter, family dinner times, story times and endless playtimes. Besides my journals, it was all we had back then—a virtual “slice of life” one could not get just by reading the written word.

All this time I knew the cassettes were still tucked away in the closet, but the boys grew up, life went on, and I had temporarily put them at the back of my mind. I couldn’t remember exactly what was on them, but I wanted to make sure they contained nothing personal or embarrassing before being made available for general listening. When we taped them all those years ago, I thought nobody else would ever listen to them. I couldn’t even imagine the kids growing up, much less one of their wives discovering those recordings. But that day had come, and I had to deal with it. So, after wrestling the box away from my daughter-in-law, a few days later I began listening away. Week after week, hour after hour, tape after tape I played. They begin in 1981 with our first baby’s cries, all the way through his first words and onto adventures, skits, chatter and sometimes squabbles with his little brother and Mommy and Daddy into the 90’s. There are also some phone conversations with friends and family, where I’m talking about the kids, setting up babysitting swaps and playtimes with my friends’ children, and lots of other young mother talk I’d long forgotten. Some segments are only a few minutes, others more than an hour. And sure enough, I did come across a few tapes where the boys are yakking and playing away but you can still hear Mom and Dad discussing slightly personal matters in the background, or the odd times when Mom and/or Dad sound perhaps a bit too “frazzled”—nothing major but things I did not necessarily want immortalized for all eternity. So they were edited out or simply summarized.

I transcribed as best I could most of the conversations and chatter, to have a complete record of what was on each tape. It was very time-consuming, because unlike video tapes, you can’t just fast-forward and write down a general description of the event. You have to LISTEN to every bit, or you might miss the cutest thing your child ever said. And if you miss something while transcribing, you have to stop, rewind and listen again until you get caught up on the keyboard. Although it was fun and brought back a lot of memories, there were times I felt I’d NEVER get done. But after working off and on for several months, finally I finished. I also printed up an index, assigning a title for each segment and listing them in chronological order with a brief description. The actual transcripts are too lengthy so most of them will remain in a digital word document rather than print. In many ways the transcripts are funnier than listening to the tapes! We have laughed so hard reading some of them that tears were streaming down our faces.

PHOTO FRENZY

And then I started on the photos. Oh the photos. That was yet another project I wanted to do, as did my older son, the family historian. While he searched away on the Internet to unravel complex genealogical histories (“I don’t have time to deal with the pictures—YOU do it!”), I began pulling out all those hundreds of photos, scanning month-by-month, year-by year, all the way through the mid-90’s. I have temporarily stopped, but there are still more to go. Fortunately we went mainly digital beginning in the late 90’s, so the pile does get smaller, but still, there were tons of pictures to scan, crop, rotate and label. Many were unidentified and I had to do investigative work with my old diaries to determine dates and places. Thankfully I had already scanned my childhood and youth photos several years ago so that didn’t need to be done. I had also scanned and photographed all my youth mementos—toys and dolls, knick-knacks, jewelry, piano books I wrote in, pictures and drawings, etc. Again, these are things that cannot be replaced, so it is nice to have at least a photographic record of them in case they were ever lost or destroyed.

Like the audio tapes, the pictures from the 80’s and early 90’s were another trip down memory lane. In many ways, that time period seems more real to me than today. I guess it has to do with the “heyday” thing, being younger myself and so busy raising my family. And in the 80’s I was so young and svelte. I was in my mid 20’s and early 30’s, but, as my daughter-in-law remarked, I didn’t even look like the mother but more like the “teenage babysitter”. And then we get into the 90’s where the photos become almost painful to look at as I turn lumpy and dumpy and the boys enter their awkward stage (which they have yet to outgrow, haha).

DEAR DIARY

All of this transcribing and scanning came not long after the arduous project of typing all my hand-written diaries—something that literally took years to accomplish. I’d started keeping them when our first son was born, and wrote almost every day, religiously documenting the boys’ antics and our family activities. I had felt compelled to chronicle those tomes in digital form when one day I looked at my massive pile of journals, planners, calendars and notebooks, and realized that they really were my most prized possession, something that could not be replaced if there were a fire or other catastrophe. They’re all terribly boring to anyone else but interesting, entertaining memories to me (“Baby had diarrhea and spit up a lot today…went to store, dropped son off at Scouts…took cookies to son’s class for Halloween party…junior said the funniest thing today…toddler was crabby, got into a lot of trouble…watched The Flintstones and then took a walk…planning to serve chicken tonight…”). Now they are all digitized with most of the bulky originals discarded, and a backup copy in the safe-deposit box. Again, it is another way to have peace of mind, and it was also handy when I came across mystery pictures while scanning and wanted to find a date or place or identify people in the photos. All I had to do was a quick word search on the computer and usually I found what I was looking for. Much easier than weeding through pages and pages of hand-written journals!

I began keeping a digital journal in mid-2008, when I realized the longer I kept writing longhand in my cutesy girly diaries, the more I’d have to type down the road. It was hard to break the habit but I’m used to it now. And I can write even more detailed accounts of each day, because typing is faster and there is no space limitation. I can tell all about what I did, what I ate, if I worked out, what I watched and read, where I went, what I bought, who I talked to, what they said, every cute little thing my granddaughter did, every cute little thing the cats did, and so on. 2010 alone is over 100 pages, typed single space—enough to put anyone to sleep.

Years before that, in the 90’s while I was still young enough to remember things, I wrote my life story. Again, this would be incredibly boring drivel to anyone else, but necessary for me to get in touch with my “inner child.” That alone is several hundred pages, typed single space and in digital form. I also wrote tons and tons of miscellaneous memories and “deep thoughts”, everything I could recall from my youth, college years, wedding and first year of marriage—about my family, friends, neighbors, holidays, vacations, teachers, school experiences, pets, favorite toys, books and television shows, you name it. That is another several hundred pages, neatly arranged year by year, and brought me up to 1981 when I started keeping a daily written record. Actually, I used to keep a daily diary in junior high, filling up several of them, but I destroyed them all when I was in high school and caught my little brother and his friend reading them. At that time, I thought I didn’t need or want them anymore. I sure do regret doing that—what treasures they would be to me now! I wish my mother had kept a written record of my early years, but all I have are pictures and a few home movies that stopped when I reached age nine. I did find my baby book in the house after she died. It contained one photo from when I was two, and nothing else. One would barely know I existed from that! There was absolutely nothing for my brother. Both of our sons’ baby books are meticulously filled out and have been scanned as well.

Along with the diaries, tapes and pictures, there are the family videos. We had acquired over a hundred of these things, all taken with our big, clunky video camera that we paid big bucks for—over a thousand dollars in 1986! It was high technology at the time, but we figured it was worth it since the kids were young and we wanted to capture all those family memories. Now you can buy a small, lightweight high-definition video camera for under $100. Oh if only we’d had one of those when raising the boys! All the videos would be digital already and take up a lot less space. Instead, a few years ago my husband spent months transferring all those long video tapes to DVD. They still aren’t in digital format, but at least they fit neatly into a binder, rather than taking up tons of room in boxes or cabinets. Years ago I had meticulously composed an index to all our videotapes—fast-forwarding through hours and hours of birthday parties, opening Christmas presents, school plays, Scouting events, playtimes, silly skits, etc. That index is printed up in chronological order with brief descriptions of each event. And, as with the photos, we were all young and cute in the 80’s, and dumpy and awkward in the 90’s.

Also a few years ago I typed up all our Christmas newsletters into word documents (we have been sending them out since 1982) and digitized a scrapbook I had made of family vacations with pictures, itineraries, summaries and keepsakes of each journey. It begins with our first official long-distance trip in 1988 to visit relatives and view a few sites in Iowa, and continues on through our other excursions to places like Disney World, the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, various day trips to the zoo and Chicago, and finally our last big family vacation to Colorado in 1997 where we could still force our older son to accompany us since he hadn’t yet graduated high school. By this time neither son wanted to go at all. While viewing this scrapbook, it is amusing and somewhat disconcerting to see the transformation in the boys from smiling kids happy to be with Mommy and Daddy, to surly teens glaring at the camera with a “I want to be anywhere but here” look. Oh I miss those days when they were young.

In addition, I had written several family history books in the early to mid 90’s, where I interviewed relatives—sometimes traveling long distances to do so—and composed their life stories and memories they had of various ancestors. All of this is now in digital form, pictures included. My son continues to expand on these works, using the Internet which I did not have during these early efforts to trace the family tree. Oh how much easier it would have been!

THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Speaking of technological advances, while going through all of our memorabilia I was reminded of how far we have come, like when I found some photocopies of Polaroids of the kids. For you youngsters out there, Polaroids are like “instant pictures”, where you could push the button and out popped a photo. At first it was dark and didn’t show an image, but if you waited a few minutes, there was the picture! It was magical! You didn’t even have to take it to the drug store to be developed! (“Developing” is when you give your film—a sort of dark, transparent roll that comes out of cameras— to the nice man at the drug store, who takes it into a special room with some chemicals, turns it into pictures on photo paper, and then gives them back to you for a price.) I remember when the kids were young, there were times I wanted to send a Polaroid or two to some friends I corresponded with. But I still wanted a keepsake of the actual pictures. So I would give these Polaroids to my husband who then took them to work and made a photocopy and brought them back to me, and I’d mail out the original (in an envelope with a stamp) and keep the photocopy. Of course now one would be able to email all the pictures they wanted, or just post them right up on Facebook! But we could not even conceive of such an idea back then. And now I have lost touch with those people I sent the original photos to or they have long since thrown them away, so I’ll never even get them back and all I have is a blurry photocopy.

I was also reminded of our snazzy new “electronic typewriter” we bought in 1988. A Sears SR3000 model. Woo-wee!! We were so proud of it, we even took a picture! Why, it even had a “correcting key”, where you backspaced and it magically typed over your mistake with a white ribbon! Then you didn’t have to use “Liquid Paper”, that little bottle of white stuff you painted over your flub-ups. That reminded me of how I used to type the church newsletter on our old portable manual typewriter—the only thing we had. People would give me articles or if there was enough time they’d mail them to me (in an envelope with a stamp). I typed them up, bundled up the kids, drove to the printers in the next town, unbuckled the oldest from the car, unbuckled the baby from his car seat, put money in the meter and ran into the printers for the two seconds it took me to slap the manuscript down on the counter (I couldn’t just leave my kids alone in the car or leave the car unattended with no money in the meter). Then I ran back out to the car, buckled the kids in, drove home and waited for the printer to call, picked up the newsletter while going through the whole buckling and unbuckling and parking meter routine, drove back home, sorted and collated all the pages, and handed them out at church first thing Sunday morning. What a job! If I was still in charge of the newsletter today, people could just email me their articles and I could copy and paste them onto some newsletter-like template and post it on the church’s website, never once having to drive anywhere or even open a bottle of Liquid Paper.

WAS IT WORTH IT?

But back to the tedious scanning, typing, transcribing and indexing. Did I have to do all this work? No. I could have left a mish-mash of photos in boxes, along with my journals and tapes, the world would still turn and my offspring could sort it out when I die. But did I want to do it? Yes and no. It brought back a lot of good memories, as well as some bad. It also gave me a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind. And it’s definitely easier to find things, as well as more convenient and enjoyable to view the pictures and home movies—photographs, especially, “come to life” on a large, bright monitor and you can zoom in on whatever you want to see. It will also help preserve all these mementos for generations to come. But then it was also a LOT of work and in many ways I feel like I missed out on living for today. I think of all the sewing I could have done and other projects I wanted to accomplish. Sometimes I felt like I was living in a time-warp. I remember one day my older son walked through the door and I pretended to be in a trance, mumbling something about how I’d pour his juice as soon as I changed his brother’s diaper. “Oh wait—you’re almost 30,” I then said, snapping out of it. He laughed.

Also, I read the news and it is so depressing sometimes; what if we get nuked or global warming catches up with us and we died off as a planet? What would it matter if all our family pictures and my diaries were scanned and typed? But, I still felt compelled and I’m glad I did it. It is neat to have almost everything fit on a little thumb drive or flash drive I can carry with me, with backups in the safe deposit box. At this point we do not have most of the videos and audio tapes in digital form, but that’s a future project. At least I have written indexes and transcripts, and I do have a few screen caps of some of the best videos.

But it is pretty cool to have my life on a thumb drive. I could tell you exactly what I did on September 14, 1997, or show you what I looked like at my third birthday party and on my 30th. It also might prove invaluable if I ever found myself in the midst of a murder investigation. The prosecutor demands to know where I was on the night of October 12, 1989? No problem—just pull out the thumb drive, pop it into a computer and start reading a long, detailed journal entry from that very date, possibly accompanied by photos, a transcript of a tape, and video screen caps. “I’m innocent, I tell you! Innocent! And this proves it!” However, I’d be guilty of boring the jury to death! But for me it would be fun, invaluable memories, and that’s all that matters.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A PICTURE WORTH THOUSANDS OF DUMB WORDS (OLD PHOTOS)


A PICTURE WORTH THOUSANDS OF DUMB WORDS

And I thought I was dense.

A recent Yahoo story about early pictures of humans proved to be a testament to just how clueless many people are when it comes to the history of photography.

The article is about a photo taken in 1848 by two men standing on one side of the Ohio River, and shows what appear to be two humans on the dock across the river. Known as a daguerreotype, the figures are blurry and look “see-through” due to the long exposure time it took to chemically treat the metal plates. As the article clearly explains, “If someone or something was moving within the frame, it wouldn’t show up in a daguerreotype photo.” I already knew this from looking at old family photos as a child, where the subjects were often blurry, and I have come across these kinds of pictures while doing genealogy research as well. The story also includes a link to an 1838 picture of a man on a busy Paris street, getting his shoes shined. Since he was standing still long enough, he appeared in the photo while moving objects did not. This is thought to be the first photo of a human and was taken by Louise Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype process, the article explains.

I admit the headline of this story is a bit misleading: “Very Early Photographic Images of Humans Discovered.” It almost sounds as if the photo across the river is a picture of the earliest human beings in the world. But one would think that most people would realize this could not possibly be the case, and that they would read the story further to clarify the facts. However, after spending time on the article’s accompanying message board, it is obvious that LOTS of people jump to conclusions, don’t take time to read, and are totally ignorant of how pictures work.

I remember seeing that article when it first came online, and I was one of the first to comment, saying that I thought it was a very interesting story—and I meant it! I didn’t think anything of it again until the next day when I decided to check the board and saw that it was really jumping. I was so flabbergasted by many of the comments, I couldn’t pull myself away.

The most common misconception was that the photo had to be a fake because you could see through the people. One poster named Daniel commented:

“Hello?!? Do you guys honestly think those people are real? It’s kinda odd how EVERYTHING around them is well defined and distinguishable…and then the “people” look like two stick figures with round heads. See them through the boards? Get real, those look like planks…stacked up on top of each other laying in a pile on the bank. This photo is fake, at least some of it is anyways.”

“Airforcewife” said that “If these are real people, why can you still see the lines of the boards thru the bodies? Are they going to change the story and say they are ghosts now?? I think it’s a fake! May be a really old pic, but the people dont belong there.”

In the words of Cody: “Wait, this isn’t real…If you look very closely, they are transparent, suggesting, as someone said earlier, “painted on”. But you can be sure if they are real figures, that they aren’t part of a dock or something? I think everyone’s too quick to assume and not look at the fine minor details…”

Caitlin: “Why are they transparent? If I had to take a wild guess I would say this is a hoax.”

MacGyver: “I don’t know if this is just me, or do the “people” look see through? Just something I noticed.”

Honest: “if you look real close you will see that these guys were painted after. You can see threw this guys like they are transparent.”

Nonbeliever: “It isn’t people at all…am I the only one that can see through both of these “people” to the steps they are in front of??!!! Don’t believe everything you see..this photo may be old, but in fact the people in it are non existent!!”

Anthony: “Clearly a fake. I mean, you can actually see THROUGH the ‘person’ on the left. Some fact checking should be done before you post an article like this, shouldn’t it?”

Karen: “This looks like it was touched up or added at a later time.”

Kevin: “Anyone noticed you can see through them. These are the first ghosts to ever be photographed.”

JaclynB: “Am I the only one that sees that the two men are TRANSPARENT? Could someone clear this up for me? Or is this something paranormal?”

Kay: “They look like two ghosts to me – Can you say PHOTOSHOPPED!”

Keep in mind that these are actual quotes from real people, misspellings and grammatical errors included, that I copied and pasted into a Word document. I have not changed them in any way. I was so amazed, I had to save some of these as proof! Shortly after I had joined the board that second day, one man who had spent a considerable amount of time trying to help people understand how early photos worked decided to give up and leave. “You can’t fix stupid!” he declared. But there were others who stayed on, myself included, determined to try. Take the “how can these be the first humans” misconception, for instance. Someone whose name I missed said, “I don’t get it, why is this so rare? Who else do they think built the buildings and the big ol ship that is floating there? Oh! And WHO took the picture!!!??? I honestly cannot understand ‘news’ somedays…good greif…”

There were many others who had the same thoughts. Here are just a few of them:

LadyD: “I’m still confused. Who wrote this article again? Of course there were humans!! HELLO!! Did you figure that out ALL BY YOURSELF or did you need help? 1848? Yeah there were humans then and WAY before then TOO!!”

Julio: “what? Of course I can see a boat it got be people around, what is the deal whit this report,sounds stupid,if they took picture of the city it has to b some people in it lol”

Meme: “why is hs even news??? Hate to break it to you folks but PEOPLE EXISTED IN 1848. Big deal that the photogs didn’t realize THEN that there were humans in the photo. This article makes it seem like it’s so mysterious that human beings would be in early photographs when humans CREATED PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT. DUH!!!!”

Michael: “sooo the camera was invented before they thought humans were around…sweet…this is a stupid ass post”

Bourre: “The headline is ridiculous. Did an alien write this article? You reckon a human took the picture?”

Testa: “I had to laugh a lot about this one..!!Who do you think took this picture ?? A dog,, a cat,, No a Human.!! Boy that took some real smarts..lol”

Holly: “tHIS IS IMPOSSIBLE or a painting because i f it was first sighting of humans or whatever, who took the photo??!!!!”

Jonas: “wait how’s the guys take the pic if there were no humans?”

J: “what’s the big deal about people in the picture ? who built that ship and who took the picture ? animals? Give me a break”

Mizz Attitude: “Wow I dont understand why people r getting so excited or amazed about two people in an old picture..there’s a steamboat in the background if people didn’t already exist then who controlled the boat and I;m sure the buildings didn’t magically just appear and made a town out of the blue…come on people something like this isn’t really amazing..there were people way before 1848 and everyone knows this..the things that just amaze some people makes me laugh.”

And then there were the endless comments that these were “ghosts” because you could see right through them. Or, for the people who understood the see-through image, many said over and over that it looked like a marriage proposal, because one of the human images is on his knees. And people explained over and over that they aren’t ghosts and that it could not be a proposal because women wore long dresses then. (Many also rightfully mentioned that it could be one person rather than two, and that he just moved during the course of the photographic process.)

This kept going on throughout the day. Every time I checked the board, people were saying the same things, blindly posting their opinion without reading the story or the many comments before. And most of them thought they were the first one to notice that you could see through the people or that it looked like a marriage proposal or that someone had to take the picture of these “first humans.” Many of the same people continued trying to educate to no avail. Someone named “Dave and Sarah” said they were having “too much fun” updating the page and reading everyone’s comments. “Clearly most people don’t understand the process of the photograph or reprographics,” they said.

Oh, and then there were the “Why is this a big deal?” comments. Someone said how “it’s only natural that someone had to take the very first picture of a human but what’s that mean…It’s not like they took a picture of something extraordinary or anything. It’s a human being and last time I looked there are plenty of us around. Now, show me a picture of big foot, the loch ness monster or something that’s rare and hard to prove exists.”

Chava malka cooper: “if you can take a picture of a boat you can take a picture of people. Don’t know why they are so amazed at this ‘photographic image of humans’.”

Sirmaster2: “I dont get it. Who cares about the photos. Humans created those cities and towns in those pics. And they have been around for many years before cams were invented. So whats the point here? If this is exciting then you have seen nothing compared to what I can show you that no cam has ever photographed. Geesh. Wanna see a pic of the 1st maple leaf on a ‘man or woman’?? LOL.”

Lane: “what you mean there were people in that lil ol’ town holy s@*t you dont say…how strange???? this is dumb.”

Angelique: “I still don’t understand what the big deal is about the picture. Is it that is ‘humans’ are ghosts or what?”

And here is a sample of some of the attempts to enlighten:

Lonesilverwolf96: “The reason this is a big deal those of you treating this like its nothing, if it wasn’t for Daguerre and his talent we wouldn’t have the digital cameras and video cameras we all love to use on a daily basis. He was like the inventor of the “Wheel” in photography. It’s not earth shattering no, but have a little respect, no, gratitude for the things we have today. These pictures sometimes took hours to take and even longer to develop. We have come a long way to the half second click we have today. And besides, if art history doesn’t interest you, why are you looking?”

Robert: “To all of you who are incredibly stupid to say this is fake, these are ghosts, this is stupid or what is the big deal, please keep your ridiculous comments to yourselves and comment on articles that require less intelligence to appreciate. Anyone with a basic understanding of history, especially history of technology or history of photography, would appreciate this article. First and foremost, the picture’s authenticity is not in question. It is legit and accepted as such, so move on. Ghosts? Really? If you paid attention in school instead of playing your stupid video games and watching reality TV, you would know that photography is a new invention, going back to the early 19th century in France with cameras with such slow shutter speeds, that capturing the image of a mammal would be almost impossible since they move. That is why Daguerre’s original Paris photo, which most people should have seen at least once in their life, captures nothing but blurs where people and horses moved slowly, and one blurry man, captured on film only because he was standing still getting his shoes shined. It would not be until many years later that moving people would be captured on film, and at the time of this photo, there were no still photos of people yet produced. The fact that this is the first photo to capture a person in the United States is very impressive to those who appreciate history. If you have no clue about history or just don’t care, then go read a worthless article on a celebrity and comment on that instead.”

Rockngold: “Seriously are the people commenting here really this ignorant?! I’ve read stupid comments about of course there were people before this picture because where did the boats and buildings come from…other comments about why is this news worthy when we can do so much more with photos now…and countless comments with misspelled words. OMG! This article is of interest because it was in the earliest developments of photography when it was rare to photograph a busy town or street and have people show up in the pictures because non-stationary subjects could not be captured. Of course there were pictures of people prior to this when they were stationary, the interest is in the fact that these figures showed up in this particular TYPE of photograph. It is historical because of the development in technology of photography and the beauty of this early time in the art of photography, Its newsworthy and interesting for the same reason that many intelligent cultured people enjoy museums and art galleries…People PLEASE get a clue!! If you are really this ignorant keep your comments to yourselves.”

Robert (another one): “Still ?? wow..no wonder this country is going down the drain..dumb people. Right after I explained the process people are saying things like, Why are they transparent and Why aren’t there more people in a busy town? I am just a regular guy who works on cars for a living and I get it. Don’t you???? 20 minut exposure times burn an image onto a silver plate..equalls---nothing can move or it will not be in the photo. If you were there for half the time you would be half transparent….Got it now????”

But unfortunately many DIDN’T get it. I’d go away for a few hours, come back, and the crazy comments were still coming. A woman named Lyn attempted to get the more intelligent posters to throw in the towel.

“To the literate folks out there, please stop wasting your time in trying to logically explain anything about these photos to the numbskulls posting about ‘ghosts’ and ‘fake photo’,” she said. “You’ll just wear yourself out for nothing!”

I laughed and told her that I agreed, “But I can’t tear myself away!” to which Lyn replied “It’s like a train wreck isn’t it!!! LOL!!!”

By this time I also began to get rather snarky. I usually try to be considerate of people’s feelings and don’t make fun of them for personal matters like looks, weight, or intellect, but these posts were just sooo off-base I couldn’t help myself. On a few comments where people would say something like, “Am I the only one who notices that you can see through them?” I would reply that yes, they were the ONLY person to mention this, and that “wow, it really must be a hoax then!” Or I’d say that nobody has mentioned that before and they should get their vision checked. I know, I’m mean-—what can I tell ya.

I did try to make some informative posts, but when it became apparent that trying to educate was fruitless-—you just couldn’t keep up with the vast number of “numbskulls” coming in—at one point I made a tongue-in-cheek comment that this picture had to be fake because you can see through them, and if they are the first humans then who took the picture, and that of course humans were here in the 1800’s. “I mean, I bet they were around in the 1600’s even! Boy are you people dumb,” I added. I’m sure the intelligent people who had seen my earlier posts knew I was joking and got a laugh, but of course there were some who just joined and took me seriously. What’s scary, though, is that it sounded like one person partially agreed with my fake post. As Becca said, “You are so correct its takes a dumb person to think its real ,,I mean unless its ghost,,and besides there were people around before 600bc hello God created the heavens and the earth,,people get serious without God there was no history!!!!” The other person who replied to my comment asked if I was serious, and then gave me a stern lecture about how long people have been on the earth and how photography works. She also told me to not be a hypocrite. “You’re probably the dumbest person to comment so far,” she said. (I did go back and tell her that I was just poking fun at all the silly comments, but who knows if she ever saw my post. Oh well, I tried.)

Speaking of humor, or attempts at it, there were some comments that made me laugh:

Jon M: “It’s too blurry, couldn’t they afford a better digital camera?”

Art Vandelay: “It’s a shame this came out…the one didn’t want his wife to know where he was that day…”

RS: “You people disgust me with all your hair-brained theories. Those aren’t humans. They are the first water Martians to come out of from under the water in an attempt to populate the earth.”

Harry P: “My question is: did they get releases from these individuals to publish their image?”

And finally, Gary summed it up well: “I was going to leave a comment. Luckily I read some of the others and was instantly reminded that the comment rules at Yahoo specifically state that one must be committed to a state operated mental institution to be eligible to make comments. Wow, that was close.”

Let’s hope at least some of these people read the story and comments after they posted, and came to understand the true significance of the photo. I’d like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I did not see any evidence of that, however. Nobody coming back to apologize or say “my bad—-I understand now, I should have read more,” etc. And the scary part is that these were just the people who posted on the board—think of all the other thousands out there who thought the same things but just didn’t bother to type it on the Internet! Whether it is because people are too young to know, just plain ignorant, or both—who knows. But after being on that board, I not only feel a little better about myself but I also see how truly uneducated many people are. My conclusion is that in order for them to “see the light” perhaps they should go into the dark—-in the form of a darkroom—-and develop some pictures the old-fashioned way!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sorry I haven't updated for awhile (not that anyone cares)...I have been busy and sick, sick and busy...sigh...But I do have ideas and rough drafts in the works for all kinds of things--articles, features, investigative reporting, rants, lectures, humorous vignettes, photo montages, one-liners and tell-all books (what?? No...) Anyway, I did want to point out the new banner above, which was made by my talented friend Jeannette. Thanks Jeannette! It includes pictures of SOME of my favorite things, including Summer (a West Coast Kids doll), Bert and Ernie, a Fuzzy Nation dog purse, my cats Brisco and Bowler, my favorite couple Juan and Norma from Pasion de Gavilanes, a lowcarb mushroom pie, and dark dark chocolate! Yum! Hope all is well with you and try to check back soon--maybe I'll get something posted sometime.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Here are some of my other sites you might want to check out (I don't regularly update most of these, but you never know when I might suddenly add the most entertaining, thought-provoking and inspiring feature you've ever read in your entire life!):

Somersize and Low Carb Weight Loss (includes my weight loss story, recipes, blogs and before/after photos)

Cindybin's Yahoo Blog (still the bestest blog ever)

Cindybin 2's Yahoo Blog

MySpace

MySpace 2

Flickr Photos