I remember that toy boat and gravel truck

An evening that included seeing some of Mom’s old slides got me in the scanning mood. It took a long time to get successful scans of slides and I ended up with only a couple of test cases.

Gosh, I never thought the Topcon was that bad. But slides don’t lie. It is truly amazing how much improved photographic equipment is from the past.

As if to prove that point, I found a box of old pictures that Mom had said years ago, “I’m going to throw these away.” “No! Wait!”, I said. “I’ll keep them.” She was in a house-cleaning mode and perhaps they were dupes or dregs.

Ok. Well, they are almost certainly dupes and rejects. But, they are what I have, so I scanned about half the box.

Eric and Bruce in the woods below the Tillamook house Click for “rb” Pictures

Here are lessons learned.

  1. Figure on scanning 30 to 40 pictures an hour, tops.
  2. You can save them as 24-bit, 2400dpi, lossless TIF files, taking about a nickel a piece to redundantly store at todays prices. (2.75×2.75 inch pictures)
  3. Or you can store them at a 10th of that price or less in JPEG form.
  4. On the monitor, you won’t be able to see the difference.
  5. So, any way you count it, the “cost” of digitizing old pictures is in the labor. And it’s high.

You won’t be able to do anything but brainless, clerical work while you’re scanning. I ripped an audio book. The python rip script automates all but feeding CDs every few minutes. I played Sudoku, but goofed up 3 or 4 times on the same puzzle – so apparently, an easy Sudoku required too much care.

If the pictures mean anything to you, you’ll spend all your time and thought daydreaming – perhaps remembering things long out of mind.

We take pictures for memories. But what do you want to remember?

I wish there were a couple of better pictures of Socko. I wish there were more landscape pictures of the Tillamook house and “yard”. For instance, put the sand box (which I hadn’t thought of in at least 50 years) in context. There’s a picture of Eric with a hammer. Where’s the white handled hatchet whose wielding is a key part of the folks’ memories? I sure remember the hatchet. And to me, and me alone, probably, the title of this post says a lot, though I’d not know what without the picture.

These pictures mostly come from Tillamook. A couple pre-date Eric and me. One is probably the earliest picture of me, if you don’t count that to actually see me, you’d need to be a bat or dolphin. Most have me in them, with a lot of Eric thrown in. (This box appeared filtered, as it contains some specific, Alex, stuff that is not scanned yet. Air Force stuff, for instance.) To me, anyway, the pictures are very evocative of the life we had at the time. The house was out in the woods and Eric and I had an idyllic life, running around in our coats and boots in the woods and the dirt. The folks were very young.

I’ve only one idea of what antique thing was going through my head at 9 years, xmas time. Some Davie Crockett thing? Fur!?! Beats me.

Answering Machine Greetings

Speaking of oral tradition, there may be no written record of a couple of answering machine greetings I thought up on a long commute or two from San Dimas back to Compton.

Ring, ring.


How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could talk to the Robinsons.“, but have not had the chance?

Well, now, for a limited time only, in this special telephone offer, you, yes, that’s right, you, can leave your message after the tone.

Act now. You can’t afford to pass up this amazing opportunity!

And, remember, this offer is not available in stores.


Ring, ring.


How many times have you said to yourself, “Why did I dial this number? What made me do this sinful thang?

Well, God has the answer for each and every one of us. Let me quote to you from the scriptures, Geronimo two, verse five.

“And, behold, when he called, the Lord did answer unto him, ‘Leave your message after the tone.‘”


They need a good reader. Who, in the van roaring south on 605 through the sleepy, 2AM darkness, was me.