Saturday, March 12, 2016

Upgrading to Windows 10 and Other Chores

I have 5 entries written up for my book blog so I am about 3 weeks ahead there so I figured I better throw a bone to my readers who couldn't care less about books!

Last week I backed up my computer data and my son Thor helped me to install Windows 10. He recommended doing a "clean install" where it's like having a new computer. This meant I needed to re-install all my software and data. And everything went fine except for the fact that I forgot to back up my address list in my e-mail program. Oh well.

I am going traveling in a few weeks visiting my sister-in-law Hennrietta in Southern California. (My brother Everest will be there too of course.) We are going to talk and scrapbook and just have a good time. I have been working to get organized so I bring down just the right amount of scrapbook stuff.

This has involved going through photos and tossing a bunch of them. I have a box that I will put the "tossed" pictures into and then I will store it for a few months before actually tossing it just to make sure I don't want them.

It's kind of like our CD collection: about 6 or 7 years ago we took all the discs out of the plastic jewel cases and put them into 4 zipper cases that take up much less space than all those jewel cases. As we bought new CDs we kept having to buy new shelving to store them and as we were mostly listening to iPods and the like we barely touched the CDs themselves.

I kept all of the cover art and booklets that came with the CDs. They have been stored in a box next to the zipper cases. We NEVER touch them and they are going to be tossed this week.

One of the casualties of my Windows 10 upgrade was that my iTunes backup didn't actually seem to work and I didn't find out until after it was done. All my music from CDs is gone from my hard drive and I need to reinstall everything. Luckily my iPod is separate and has most stuff. I need to see if I can copy from iPod to PC before I tackle the CDs.

Back to photos, so far the stack I am getting rid of is about 3 feet tall (imagine a stack of 4x6 photos). I still need to go through a bunch more but I think I will ultimately get rid of at least a yard-and-a-half of photos! For the events that are already in photo albums I have whittled down the remaining loose pictures to  the best left over, maybe 20 or so for each year.

As I come across photos of CPA Boy and me I am gathering them all together in one place. I didn't know there were so many! I also have a nice pile of pictures of Lady Chardonnay and me, as I've mentioned in an earlier post. I also have pictures of the three of us: me, CPA Boy and Thor.

Things are moving along as I go through stuff and get rid of it. And I keep stumbling across MORE stuff. I forgot about the cedar trunk I have in the closet. It has my (yellowing) wedding dress, and some other sentimental things in it. Hmm, time to dump some of it on Everest or K2, heh heh! (NOT the wedding dress though.)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Throwing Away Photographs: What's the Answer?

I have several boxes of photographs. As part of my GETTING THINGS DONE™ tour I am currently going through and sorting them, mainly chronologically but with some subsidiary categories. (More on this below.)

But I need to thin the herd of photos. Choose the ones that are scrapbook/photo album worthy and then what shall I do with the rest?

To the Internet! I searched "Should I throw duplicate photos away?"

The answers fell on both sides of the debate;
  • YES! As long as you keep the negatives safe somewhere in case of disaster, toss any photos you don't use.
  • NO! You'll regret it!
Many people feel guilty when they toss old pictures. I have mainly found it difficult to throw away pictures of my son. It always felt like I was throwing HIM away somehow. But I have a zillion pictures of him and I am over this issue. Once you throw one away and nothing happens you are emotionally freed to toss more!

I don't see how I will regret tossing bad photos. In any case I have the negatives from my camera in our safe deposit box and my brother Everest has the negatives from my mom's camera so they are recoverable if necessary.

There are SO MANY pictures!

For instance, my mom took a LOT of pictures of Thor, who was her only grandchild for several years until granddaughter Shenanigans came along. Almost weekly, Mom would take an entire roll of 24 pictures of him posing in the backyard or eating lunch or whatever. Then she had duplicate prints made, giving me one set and keeping the other. At some point she gave me the box with all her copies too. So I have two copies of a ZILLION pictures of my son and they are all undated and mixed up.

What I have decided to do is this: Go through the boxes and pick out the pictures I like, tossing the ones I don't. Then I think I will be down to a manageable amount of pictures.

I have created scrapbooks from Thor's grade school years but I still have dozens of school-related pictures in storage. I will go through and toss these too. I already went through and picked out the best shots from 6th Grade Camp, for instance. They are in the scrapbook. Why keep the ones that didn't make the cut?

Same with vacation stuff. The scrapbook is done. The extras can go. Extra pictures of the pet rats? Scrapbook's on the shelf. Bye bye, extra pictures! 

As I sort I am mainly sticking to chronological order as that is how my brain works. But there are special categories that I am picking out as I go. I already have a folder with a bunch of pictures of me and my best friend Lady Chardonnay. I would never part with a single one of those pix!

I am pulling out any pictures of Thor and HIS best friend too. And I need to have a good pile of pictures with me and CPA Boy, love o' my life! Then there are things like cars, school pictures from family and friends, junior high and high school, scouts and a few others.

Now this particular photo project covers the years of my life with CPA Boy (since 1989). I also have the pictures from my childhood and college years but they are already sorted by place I lived (I moved every few years in those days) and they just need to be placed in albums.

And I am still working on figuring out the best way to store digital pictures. Right now they are copied to CDs and DVDs as well as on my computer's hard drive but I also need to get some into the Cloud. Apple, Google and Amazon (and other smaller companies like Dropbox) all have some sort of photo storage but I need to do more research first.

I need to get back to sorting. That's right, I am GETTING THINGS DONE™!