thanks for the scanner :)

probably the most useful gift i was lucky enough to receive this christmas was a scanner/(photo) printer/copier from my folks (thanks guys!). seeing as how i've gotten it installed (though not before i bought the wrong USB cable and ended up salvaging a suspect one (which seems to be working fine) from an old scanner i inherited from someone at work), i figured i'd get right to the task of scanning some pictures nearing the end of their lives, before they completely deteriorated. here's the results:

the following pictures were all saved from the inside of the lid of my toolbox, where they've been taped since 1996 and early 1997- that's 8 years of getting shuffled to and from work and having tools bang off them and scratch them up. i took advantage of the color copier at work and replaced the originals in my toolbox with color copies. these scans look much better than the color copies i made. when i have a few more moments i'll try to clean them up and re-print them, as sort of a photo-restoration-skills test.

this first picture's from december of 1996. if i'm not mistaken it was taken on christmas eve day (which would make it a tuesday). the higher-ups at the sign company i worked for at the time, National Sign in Seattle, allowed me and another employee to bring our sons to work that day. it was the day of the company christmas party, but everyone got some work done that day also- including Loren, who cut his sign teeth on a channel-letter project for this Campus Square sign which would eventually stand outside a strip mall in Federal Way. the blue letters he's working on have glass housings which screw into the sheet metal of the letter body, allowing the electrodes on the ends of the neon tubes to contact a spring which is in turn electrified with (generally) around 20,000V at approx 30mA, thereby causing the semiconductive gas in the glass neon tubes (still generically referred to as neon though in many cases the glass holds a different inert gas) to flouresce. Loren worked hard on these letters! eventually i'll get around to posting a picture of the completed sign, which was written up in a Signs Of The Times magazine (a trade rag for the sign industry). when i get THAT ambitious i'll update this post to include it that picture. incidentally, the sign in the background is part of a $1M assembly that was a completely overblown parking sign for a casino in Las Vegas; it had literally 60 transformers in it, and went out on 3 semi trucks!
Loren assembling channel letters at National Sign

this second picture is of Loren and the other employee's son (Taylor I believe his name is) inside the main body of the sign. it was fitting Loren spent some time in that sign because i did too- being the smallest guy in a shop has its disadvantages. no one else could fit inside it to terminate all the wiring, so Yours Truly got to spend a couple hours in there on his back. imagine climbing inside the motor cavity of your car and rewiring the spark plugs with the hood closed..... in any case, Loren had more fun in there than i did!
Loren and Taylor inside a sign

this last one is actually chronologically the first one to go in my toolbox, from july, 1996. yep, that's Loren, licking his Uncle Jason's bald head. everyone at work thought it was former Mariner Jay Buhner at first glance. always good for a laugh. Jason was a good sport about Loren teasing him like that- and it's obvious Loren was having a ball. this all took place on the back patio at my folks' house.
Loren licking Jason's head

ok that's it for now. hope y'all've enjoyed the blast from the past as much as i have-

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