Friday, December 31, 2010

Pile O' Negatives Reduced


All because of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project I started with the above. That's 18 plastic 3 ring negative carriers or notebooks full of negatives or slides or 4 x 5 transparencies or medium format film.

[You may be saying "Jeez, why don't you just go digital?" Well, I did from 2007 onward but time existed before then. Plus I did an extended tour of duty and lots of work using processes from the 1800s. No digital there then.]

Four hours later I'm down to this. 

Honestly, it doesn't look much better. But, it is. There are only 12 negative carriers now along with the same amount of other stuff on top. There's hope.

The big strides were:
  1. I'm returning one whole negative carrier of images of people or their work back to them. What a hoot to get back in touch after 8 years or so for some. 
  2. I took loads of images as part of various experiments and while I got the learning I no longer need the meticulous record of the experiments themselves.
I still need to manage this mischief down a bit more but this is as good as it's going to get today. Next steps are to:
  1. Move my medium format negatives to the 8 x 10 negative binder. Both have lots of room.
  2. See if I can consolidate my impressive collection of unused copy slides.
Maybe tomorrow. The biggest consolation was finding work I wanted to scan and edit and the fact that culling my 2010 digital image bank just took 30 mins. I need a run now!

Blogoversary Today

Today is my second blogoversary! Thank you for reading, visiting, commenting and bearing witness to this blog. I appreciate you!

After 2 years of writing about whatever suits, I can see some themes emerge that work for both you and for me. Thinking about the year ahead I looked back over the posts that you commented on the most and they seem to fall roughly in 3 topic areas: photography, faith and blogging.  And, not surprisingly, the things I write about the most are photography, faith and blogging. I'm updating my blog description to state this new condensed focus.

Sometimes, it takes awhile to come to the self knowledge you need to hone in on a direction. But it's well worth the work and the wait. Thanks for your part in that process and for showing me where my skills intersect your interests and needs.

NOTE: Blogoversary.com  provides a cool little widget that helps keep track of the number of days until the next blogoversary. And, on their site, you can also see who else has a blogoversary on the same day.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year in Review

Seth had a great post today on what did you ship this year. Got me thinking, what did I "ship"?

Running
Ran 870 miles in 5 countries and 6 states
Ran 7 races in 2 countries
Reduced my race times from 10 min/mile to 8 min/mile
Burned 548 donuts in the process
Ran the whole year injury free
Got myself into and implemented recommendations from the RunSafe Clinic

Photography
Made 365 photos
Made 4 family calendars and 12 calendars for friends
Sold 27 greeting cards to individuals and another ~10 to a distributor
Bought and learned a new camera

Work
Traveled to 4 countries and 5 states
Brought 8 distributors in US and EU up on a new process
Renewed my PMP (Project Management Professional ) certification and added BOST (Business, Operations, Systems, Process) certification
Reached for risk and started a new project

Home
Countless loads of laundry
Remodeled the kitchen and installed a new ceiling fan
Celebrated our 20th anniversary with a trip to Barcelona in June
Visited family in August

Spiritual
Some things are easier to quantify than others and this one is not easy.
Continued with daily devotional practice
Volunteered as co-lead of the Budget Coach Ministry
Provided budget coaching to 2 families
Rejoined a women's bible study for community

Writing
137 blog posts

This makes it easier to see what holes I'd like to fill in 2011, the places where I didn't ship something. I'll do some thinking about what I'd like to "ship" in 2011. Feel free to share your shipments too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pile O' Negatives

I have just started the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin who studied happiness for a year. I've made it through Chapter 1 where she works on de-cluttering her life and getting more rest.  Enthused, I started de-cluttering mine by taking 5 bags to Goodwill and Freecycling about 5 more bags.  However, despite the fact that this is big progress, I am overwhelmed by what remains to be addressed.  This picture is symbolic:

Can you say "pile o' negatives"? And this was before I went digital in about 2006. I couldn't face going through these so I went through my digital 2010 folder and got rid of 4.5GB of photos that weren't any good or were those duplicate files with all the detailed info that Canon gives you that I can't open for some reason.

Tomorrow, I'm giving myself one hour to work on consolidating this enormous batch before I put them in boxes off to storage.

Some negatives you keep because they are "work", some you keep because they are memories and some you just keep because they're too hard to find to throw away. I'm hoping to find the work that I'm not done with and the memories I want to keep and to toss the rest or much of the rest.

Just working on consolidating all the prints I have was an enormous task. Looking that "the work" brings back the feelings and the memories associated.  It's just so much.

At times like these when I'm pretty far down the discouragement path, I have to remember, this ability to take photos that I have is a gift that God gave me and one that I need to steward just like all the other abundant gifts that he gave me.  I throw my hand out and ask for God to help me through this because, seriously, it's just a stack of negative holders, but it is way too much for me right now and I need help. I can't wait to see what happens now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Project 365: The End


Project 365: The End
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
I finally finished Project 365 Year One. I got the idea from a Blissfully Domestic group on Flickr. They had embarked on the journey of taking one photo a day for a whole year. I learned 4 things from the process:

1. Perfect execution isn't required.
Technically to do this "right" I should have taken a photo a day for 365 straight days. But I didn't. Some days I took zero, some days tens. Some days I processed or made and posted photos but didn't take any. And it took me longer than 365 days. More like 444. Those last 90 days were the hardest. But, I did it.

2. Just focus on the purpose - to make work.
The intent of the rules of the game are to make me make work and if I'm making work I can't help but grow in skill and ability. Some of the photos were really not up to my standards. But, I made work. And if I hadn't been making work, some of those really good photos wouldn't have happened.

3. The impact is something you get by doing.
By doing Project 365, I developed habits that support making work. I carry my tools with me at all times (Can't wait for my new ONA camera purse/bag to make that easier). I pay attention more, looking for opportunities and small worlds at the grocery store, walking to the mailbox, sitting at a table in a restaurant.

4. Little by little, daily discipline moves me toward big goals.
I have 365 more photos that I would have had I not tried this project and stuck with it. Plus several greeting cards which have sold, Christmas cards that I sent out, a family calendar, a calendar for friends and several images I've posted on my blog, all from this project.

Project 365 is something I would like to do for every year for the next 10 years (that's 30,650 photos!) for exactly these benefits.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Presidential Lady Pearls

What do Barbara Bush, Jackie Onassis and Michelle Obama have in common? Pearls!

My husband bought me a new set of pearls for Christmas and they are lovely! They replace a set my parents gave me that I've worn for the last quarter of a century. I've learned on that set, through mistakes, how to better appreciate and care for  my new ones.

I have committed every sin against those pearls known to woman except soaking them in port wine or swimming with them in chlorinated water. I've worn them to bed, to dance class, jogging, gardening, in the shower, while spraying on perfume and hairspray. I expected them to hold up regardless of their material frailties - much like I expect my body and mind to hold up to repeated overuse despite their physical limitations. Anyone who understands material science understands that each material, sand, ash, oak, marble all have different strengths and different limitations under cold, heat, gravity, stress and pressure.

And anyone who's smart should treat that material accordingly. If I got a new body now, like this new strand of pearls, I'd treat it much better, appreciate it more, baby it.  For now, I am where I am. As I get ready for bed, I put my new pearls in a soft cloth bag for safe overnight rest from my tossing and turning. I wait to spray on my nighttime perfume until after they are protected. With smart regard for their material qualities, I hope these pearls will last me another 25 years.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Four by Six for Trade


Four by Six for Trade
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
As you know from my post about my new Canon printer, I'm no longer able to use the HP Photo Paper soooooo, if you use this paper, I have 400 in 4" x 6" size, glossy. Ideally, I'd like to trade for some Canon paper, but if that's not in the cards, I'm open to ideas. The 100 pack on the left is Premium Plus. The rest are regular. Let me know if you're interested.

Happy Boxing Day!

Jennifer

Postscript: Thanks to my husband's help I was able to Freecycle these to an excited recipient!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Canon PIXMA MG8120

My husband did an amazingly wonderful thing and got me a new Canon PIXMA MG8120 printer for Christmas! It replaces a squeeky HP Photosmart 7960 which has done its service valiantly for about 6 or 8 years give or take.

After reconfiguring the office to get rid of a scanner (which the MG also has) and my old printer and getting the new one set up I got busy with experiments on print quality to determine the exact character of my newfound friend.

From left to right (in geek speak):
  1. Paper: Canon PhotoPaper Plus Glossy II, Selections: Printer Manages Color Space, Perceptual, High Quality
  2. Paper: Canon PhotoPaper Plus Glossy II, Selections: Photoshop Manages Color Space, Adobe RGB (1998) Color Profile, Perceptual, High Quality
  3. Paper: HP Photo Paper Glossy, Selections: Printer Manages Color Space, Perceptual, High Quality
  4. Paper: Canon PhotoPaper Plus Glossy II, Selections, Printer Manages Color Space, Perceptual, Standard Quality
My plainspoken observations from all this:
  1. The third one is clearly darker and grayer. So, out with the HP paper, alas.
  2. The differences between the other 3 are not as extreme but on closer examination, some do exist. 
    • When the Canon manages the colors the orange in the gingerbread house doors has more pop in both Standard (#4) and High Quality (#1)  than when Photoshop uses Adobe RGB (1998) to manage colors (#2). 
    • When comparing the High Quality (#1)  with the Standard (#4), the Standard is slightly lighter which can be an advantage sometimes.
Key Takeaway: While #4 is a close second, #1 takes the prize!

Postscript: I also have this posted on flickr where I've received the opinions and feedback of other photographers if you're interested.

Christmas Day

We bring ornaments to a tree and decorate with symmetry around a central gathering force. Each ornament takes on even more splendor when nestled in sparkling array
with the others.

Though decorating a tree may have originally been a pagan ritual, what a picture of our souls, brought as a gift, ornamented and arranged around Christ, better together and with Him.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve


Christmas Cards
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
I wish you a wonderful Christmas Eve surrounded by warmth and love. Jennifer

Thursday, December 23, 2010

5 Years From Today


5 Years From Today
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
This is a great book!
It's perfect for anyone who goes cross-eyed at the mere though of vision and mission exercises and who hasn't a clue for how to answer the dreaded question, "Where will you be 5 years from today."
At only 1/2" thick, it's not intimidating. And even better, it's filled with fun exercises like Thank God It's Monday. Over the next 5 years you'll have 260 Mondays. What can you do to make them as special and fun as Friday's?
I used to think that you had to do the Vision and Mission exercises perfectly, but now, going through this book and getting some good ideas of things I want to do from only a couple of pages, I realize I still get value even if I don't have 5 years from now defined.
I've even given myself permission to be totally non-committal. Rather than ink or even pencil in my answers, I put them on small post -it notes that I can change 5 years from now or tomorrow.
While I still don't have my mission or vision figured out, I do have some concrete ideas about things I want to do. That's enough clarity for me. Even small movements will generate new possibilities. It's being stagnant that doesn't create opportunities.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Future Self

Reverb10 Day 21: Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?

  1. Be as beautiful as you can every day because someday you'll be less so.
  2. Run every mile you can because someday you may be unable to.
  3. Go everywhere you can because someday you may not be able to.
  4. Read everything you can because......
  5. Enjoy your parents because someday, they'll be gone.
  6. Love your husband fiercely and fully because he's a big part of your ballast.
  7. Do not stop and do not give up no matter what. Every time you fight again you're training for the next thing.
  8. Take way more time for joy and enjoyment.
  9. Pamper yourself. You work hard, very hard.
  10. Drink your vegetables. They don't taste so good otherwise.
  11. Don't forget, the Lord hasn't forgotten you.  Look for evidence of his love and care and you will find it.






Beyond Avoidance

Reverb10: Day 20 What should I have done this year but didn't because I was too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?

  1. Facing up to the fact that my office is going mobile and getting a home or other virtual office setup.  This change has caused me to question everything from where I live to why I put certain things in my office.  If there's no one there to see them, do they need to be there anymore?
  2. I was too busy working hard and having fun on my job to do career planning so that's on tap for 2011.
  3. Active management of retirement planning makes me panic. I cannot hide my head for another year. The dog can see me and it will bite.
  4. Creating a photo book (I did however get to creating my first photo calendar which requires similar steps on a smaller scale.) This will entail developing a theme or a plan for the book and pursuing that theme over the year.

Do you suppose I can catch up on all of that over Christmas break?  :)




A Seth Start to the Day

After having a really tough couple of weeks at work, when everything looks like "It's China Town, Jake", Seth's post on The First Rule of Doing Work That Matters really helped my morning.

It reminded me of a saying, "Get up, dress up, show up" even when it looks like you've just done a permanent face plant, just keep going. Eventually, things will change. Circumstances aren't what makes your character. It's the choices you make in those circumstances that are crucial.

So, I got up, dressed up and now I'm going to show up in my day and keep plugging.  Have a great one!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Healing Reverb10

What healed you this year? Was it a sudden or drip by drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

  1. Getting my remodeled kitchen with working appliances healed my concept of myself as a bad cook.  Turns out you can work miracles with an oven that stays at a constant temperature!
  2. Physically, I was able to run all year long injury free because I spent time in the basics - core work, stretches, flexibility exercises.
  3. Spiritually, it took the whole year to heal from our pastor's sudden departure.  But a year later, I can still see that God is in the house and He has not forgotten his children.
  4. For other areas of healing, I hang onto God's grace to take me over the bridge to new behaviours.

For 2011, I'd like to be healed in my ability to

  1. to envision and plan a future 5 years out and to take steps toward it.
  2. to be at peace with people without giving up self
  3. to have deep friendships that are mutual
  4. to make decisions quickly, wisely and accepting the consequences.
  5. to methodically and thoughtfully move throughout my day, life and world without hurry

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lesson Learned Reverb10

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I can and do bounce back. I have grit, true grit. I may get knocked for a loop for a day or a month, but with my faith, I am able to stand back up, get back in the game and trust God for my future.




Thursday, December 16, 2010

Setting the Lonely in Families

This verse has been on my mind for a few weeks now:

God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6a)

I decided recently to rejoin my women's bible study - the same one I went to for  2 or 3 years ten years ago. They have given me much. Each one cares immensely about her children, now grown, and follows their travails and triumphs avidly. Those without have more attention span for others. I see this in them:

Sing barren woman, you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband (Isaiah 54:1)

There are 2 different kinds of lonely (at least). The kind in Psalm 25:16, the kind under duress:

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

And the kind under eustress Luke 5:16:

But Jesus often withdrew to the lonely places and prayed.

It's the first kind that God sets the lonely in families for.

Friendship Reverb10

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?


My friends have made me much happier.  Each one gives me someone to look forward to seeing, someone to brighten my day, someone to laugh with and care about.  In the up times and the down times they make me rich.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Appreciate Reverb10

I'm a bit late to the 31 day Reverb10 conversation but Lucrecer over at Art  Slam inspired me to do so with this Reverb10 post - Move Forward in Boldness and Faith. So, late or not, I decided I lay down some more e-tracks in internet space and join in.

Today's prompt is: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

This year is the first year that I have been able to run injury free.  I have expressed my appreciation for the ability to move by:
1. taking more steps to ensure I can such as stretching and strengthening
2. studying how best to train to get the maximum benefit from the running I do get to do
3. carrying a camera with me to photograph all the beauty I get to see out on a run

Have a great day!

Curiousity Quotes

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ~Walt Disney

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Blog Header


I have so enjoyed changing my blog header every month with the seasons, with the mood, with what I've photographed lately.  In all other cases I've used only photos from 2010 but in this case, I dipped back to one cell phone photo I took of The Golden Gate Express Special Exhibit at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2008. That exhibit formed the subject of my first post ever.

This is also my first all vertical blog header. I realized that I have more horizontals than verticals to chose from.  Something to work on in the new year.  More verticals.

Here's the year in review:
February, March, April and May
July and August
Missed September
October
November

If you'd like to try it yourself it's fairly easy, once you have all the material to work with.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Regrets

Last night I watched the Bones episode the Doctor in the Photo and Brennan's regret over not having accepted Booth's overtures got me thinking.

What would I regret in the future if I didn't do it and became unable to do it?

  • If I became physically disabled I would regret not having run more.
  • If I became poor I would regret not having enjoyed my current state more.
  • If I became blind I would regret not having taken more pictures.
  • If I lost my husband, I would regret not having enjoyed him more.
  • When my parents pass away, I would regret not having told them I love them more.

The list goes on but you get the idea.  The remedy for each of these is enjoying where I am more and more fully. This flies in the face of the statement, "I'll be happy when....."

Let's be happy now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

UCSF RunSafe Healthy Runners Clinic

This month, for the first time in about 5 years, I was able to celebrate running injury free for a whole year. Last week, in hopes of keeping this trend going, I visited the UCSF RunSafe Healthy Runners Clinic profiled in the November issue of Runner's World.

Over a two hour period four specialists, a dietitian, podiatrist, physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon, run participants through a battery of assessments one-on-one. Then as a team they review your case and video of your form to discover potential causes of future injuries. In the wrap up of the session, they show you the video of your running form to identify muscle weaknesses and tightness that may result in injury.

The following day you receive (in my case) a 17 page document showing you the test name, the results for each side, the corrective exercise name along with a description and instructional photographs. In my case, the short summary is weak gluteals causing knock knees. I have 10 strengthening exercises, 5 stretching exercises and 3 things to focus on while running. Six weeks of strengthening and 12 weeks of strengthening and I'll be able to safely increase my mileage.

I was so excited to do this that I even took my November issue of Runner's World and asked the folks there to sign the article. And, that excitement was justified. The people who run the clinic are super nice. You just could not meet a nicer group of folks whose competence makes you trust them.  The writeup I received afterwards was a bit hard to understand because of the lack of information design, use of jargon (just looked it up on the web) and the resistance created by the fact that I wasn't prepared for the disconnect between what I was told at the clinic and the information in the document.

On a personal level, I had to work a bit to get over the additional resistance to being told that I needed to change my form. True, this is exactly what I went there to discover. I just needed some time to get over it and get on with it.

I would highly recommend this experience.  People fly in from all over the country to benefit. My sincere hope is that the information from the UCSF RunSafe Healthy Runners Clinic and my use of it enables me to run another year injury free.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4 Things That Changed My 2010

It's not that reflective time of year yet but during Thanksgiving I had time to reflect on what the big changes were for the year. You know, the things that have the biggest impact on you. Here's my list so far:

1. Kitchen Remodel - This by far has increased my joy most on a daily basis.  I like operating my kitchen plainly put.  As a result, I cook more and more of what I cook tastes good! Recent Beef Burgundy experience is proof.  Rolling my own pie and quiche crusts is more proof!

2. Pastor Change - at my church, the pastor, a wonderful funny man, left suddenly and under suspicious circumstances. While it rocked me quite a bit and made me question whom I was following, a pastor, a church or my God, ultimately, the whole mess has strengthened my faith.

3. 20th Anniversary Vacation! - I am so proud to have reached our 20th anniversary and I'm thankful to God. We celebrated by visiting Barcelona in large part to see Gaudi's works but it also turned out to be fun just to be there.  The Barcelonians know how to relax, eat and slow down.

4. New Job - Lastly, I got a new job at the same company in February and I have really enjoyed the opportunities to learn and grow that have been afforded to me there.

I did the same sort of reflecting last year and found it helpful in providing perspective.  What changed for you?