Loren played basketball today. his team really had a shot at winning this game, but it got away from them at the end, once more. he played hard, and did his job on the court, but only managed to touch the ball once, and didn't get to shoot it. Melissa & Jason and Mom came out to see the game. it was also team picture day. my mother made the comment today that Loren really turned a corner in his participation in the sports this year, which i think is true. he's applied himself to improve his skills and become more competitive, and we're all very proud of him. he should be proud of himself, and i think he is, for the most part.
i got to see his report card today, and it was less than stellar. if i remember correctly he got an A, 3 Bs and 3 Cs, one of which was a C- in what they call "language" (reading and writing). mostly his grades go down from failing to turn work in on time or turning it in messy. a little too much of his father in him for his own good. all in all it wasn't bad enough to deserve punishment, but not good enough to merit praise or reward. i was really hoping to see some improvement in his grades, i got the sense that he's worked a lot harder this quarter than the last. i hope the (short) talk i had with him after his game (when his mother showed me his grades) is enough to stick in his head for a while. he simply needs to be more organized. shoot me now, i sound like my mom.
this last week i've spent mulling over the possibilities in front of me for future employment. though i'm not entirely discouraged by the prospects open to me at the moment, neither am i overly excited. changing employment always seems to require me to put my ducks in a row around the house before i can really get my mind around moving on to the Next Thing. so that's what i've done.
thinking ahead to what direction life's going to take me in now always seems to get me remembering the past, and that's been accentuated this week by the amount of scanning i've been doing. i'm determined to make it through scanning my entire photo archives; i've got it in my mind that i want to leave a permanent record in as complete a form as possible to 1) look back on when i'm older, should i be so lucky as to live to a grand old age, and 2) leave something approaching comprehensive to Loren and any future generations of my mind. this requires a vast amount of work and a great investment of time. i have thousands of pictures to scan. knowing every piece of equipment has a limited lifespan before it's ready for the junk heap, i've taken to scanning as many photos as i can fit on the scanning glass at a time. i've also been sampling them at high resolution to account for "resolution creep", by which i mean the inevitable increase of resolution on an average display, corresponding to a proportional decrease in the displayed size of a picture at a given resolution. in the 20 years or so i've been involved in computers i've seen the standard monitor go from 80 character by 24 line monochrome to grayscale to 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and higher. the advent of HD monitors and cross-platform media sharing technologies are also forcing higher sampling resolutions in media. if i don't want my full size pictures to display as thumbnail-size images in the future, i'd better sample them large now, and downscale them for the present- or rescan everything later. considering the huge investment in time this project will take (i'm guessing most of the next 1-2 yrs, on and off), i very much doubt i'll be willing to do it all again. so- scan at the highest resolution possible while maintaining a reasonable file size and downsample for display now. this machine has only 128Kb of RAM and a 500MHz P3 processor (probably 6 yrs old now), and i'm pushing the physical components to their limits to accomplish my task. furthermore, all the pictures then need to be cropped out of the initial image, in some cases edited for rotation. the finished product needs to be captioned and placed in chronological order in the group of pictures and in the context of my album as a whole. this is, to say the least, a daunting task. many of the pictures can't be easily identified to a specific time, and i'm having to make adjustments to my filing system in order to accomodate pictures that i can only make educated guesses as to when they were taken. regardless, i'll do the best i can in a reasonably exhaustive effort. i'm sure the results will be good.
the process of going through old photographs is like a forced trip through the past. combined with the fact that my slow computer doesn't accomplish most of the editing functions quickly, i'm looking at each picture for longer than i otherwise might. i feel like i'm reliving my youth. i've started from the oldest (and in many cases the most degraded) source material first, so at the moment i'm immersed in my teenage years. looking closely at these pictures i find i'm remembering things i'd forgotten about completely, and noticing things captured on film incidentally (aside from the main subject of the pictures) that were preserved accidently. it makes me want to take pictures of everything, since i'm one of those annoying people who think every little detail is important. the writing on a shirt my mother was wearing, or a memento long since lost that everyone thought important at the time, the way my moustache used to grow, the pictures i had on my wall of my bedroom in my youth, a stuffed animal on the dashboard of a car, a pair of shades i clearly remember sitting on and breaking 18 years ago, a logo i drew for a band still sitting in my friend's parents' garage a year and half after the band was dissolved. i'm also noticing things i don't have a record of but should, such as pictures of some band members not present when all else are, pictures of people who's names i can't recall.
things i'm proud of accomplishing and things that might have turned out differently and things i regret....i find i have a lot of those. i wonder how much of the things i remember fondly were less idyllic than i remember, and i wonder how many things i regret now, i had good reasons for at the time.
all this from what remains, essentially, a rather uneventful, unremarkable life thus far. i wonder if i have the time left, or the energy, to mount enough effort to accomplish things comparable to those i achieved in the past. is this what a midlife crisis is? coming to the realization that your best days are behind you, and fearing you've squandered your opportunity to achieve the heights you set for yourself in your youth? is it simply realizing that the expectations i had in my youth were unrealistic? in 20 years will i look back at this period of my life in the same way i look back 20 yrs ago?
that's a lot of unanswered questions. if i find any of the answers i'm certain they'll be reflected in future entries, assuming this blog survives that long. i guess i have no reason to assume it won't; it's the longest-running log i've managed to keep (i've tried several times before).
so, here's to the future....may we all be around long enough- and have the presence of mind at the time- to enjoy it.
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