Category Archives: tools

Trouble with Scanner

The great pho­to dig­i­tiz­ing project has hit a snag.

I start­ed work­ing on “fix­ing up” the pho­tos that I had scanned in last week. First up was this pic­ture of Jim’s par­ents Bill and Bet­ty on their wed­ding day. (Too cute, no?)

Bill and Betty Harriger wedding photo

A care­ful look at the orig­i­nal file (all 1040x768of it) revealed a nasty yel­low stripe down the left side.

nasty yellow stripe

I worked for while try­ing to build enough lay­ers and mask enough stuff and what ever to get rid of it. I’m not a graph­ics tool wiz­ard. I got tired and decid­ed to move on to anoth­er pho­to — some­thing in black and white.

bill harriger and betty reynolds

This one didn’t need work. I was goof­ing around see­ing what I could do with it. And then I noticed it — a lit­tle *Yel­low Stripe* down the left hand side.

A bit of scrap­ing around and look­ing at some oth­er things that I had scanned recent­ly (like the HoMC pan­els) and there it was — that annoy­ing lit­tle stripe on the left edge of the images (on the right side of the scan­ner bed.) Damn…

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

new toys

I’ve been busy acquir­ing, set­ting up, and occa­sion­al­ly curs­ing a batch of new toys.

The dread­ed yel­low line scan­ner has been evict­ed and in it’s place is a new Microtek i900.


So far it and I are get­ting along pret­ty well. Though it’s a right hulk­ing bit of equip­ment.

Can’t say as much for the soft­ware. I have two scan­ning con­trol pro­grams. The native Microtek soft­ware and Sil­ver­Fast Ai. Every­thing I read about Sil­ver­Fast is true. It’s amaz­ing­ly pow­er­ful and a *total* bitch to fig­ure out.

We bought the Microtek specif­i­cal­ly to scan in DH’s col­lec­tion of 35mm slides. After the first hun­dred or so I think I’ve got the soft­ware fig­ured out and I’m get­ting pret­ty nice results.

The oth­er new toy is a Wacom Intuos3 table. Very sweet. Pain­less set­up, works as adver­tised out of the box.
Most­ly. Once in a while (after an unplanned reboot — thank you very much Micr­soft) Vista gets a lit­tle con­fused and thinks that it’s a tablet PC rather than a graph­ic tablet and the express keys stop work­ing. Hard­ly the fault of the device. Sigh.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

Trivia I Need

ColourLovers post­ed a list of all 120 Cray­ola cray­on col­ors and their (approx­i­mate) hex and RGB codes. The list was com­plied by Aaron at Col​orSchemer​.com.
1930’s box of Crayola Crayons

I am now going to waste sev­er­al hours cre­at­ing a cus­tom Pho­to­shop palette of these col­ors.


BTW When did the Cray­ola site change so much? I remem­ber it as being a much sweet­er and less loud­ly mar­ket­ing dri­ven place. They do still pro­vide nice images of their prod­ucts.


A few months ago I moved some things — includ­ing the files for this blog — around on the servers. It all seemed to go just fine — until…

I upgrad­ed the word­press installs. All the old­er image links broke. Luck­i­ly I fig­ured out just how they broke. It’s tak­en a cou­ple of hours but all the images and links in the old­er posts and gallery pages should work again.


Word clouds are a fun way of find­ing out what’s real­ly on your (blog’s) mind. The Gen­er­a­tor Blog point­ed to Wor­dle this morn­ing and I’ve been hav­ing fun mak­ing clouds for var­i­ous blogs I read/write.

Here’s one based on ms. shoes:

ms, shoes to date (july 2008)

I think I spend a lit­tle too much time writ­ing about the chick­ens. Though I do like the idea that beads and dan­ger get about equal play in my life.

New Tools, Continuing Upholstry and No More Room

I got tools from Rio Grande this after­noon.

new tools

new tools

Clock­wise from the top. Ring man­drel — very pleased with the qual­i­ty and heft. Par­al­lel pli­ers — thank you Sarah L. for get­ting me addict­ed to those expen­sive lit­tle dears. Raw hide mal­let for bang­ing on met­al. Ring clamp for hold­ing onto things and not sand­ing my fin­gers, and a pair of tiny pointy snips for get­ting into tight spaces.

But there is no way that I’ll be doing any work at the bench for the next cou­ple of days.

there's a bench under there somewhere

there’s a bench under there some­where

I have to fin­ish the patio fur­ni­ture cush­ions first. (They are gonna be great!)

new cushions in the making

new cush­ions in the mak­ing

Garden Report — August 30

It’s been hot and dry for much of the sum­mer. That’s hard on the plants and I know that I’m going to have to move some things that haven’t han­dled the heat well come fall.

Mean­while I’ve been replac­ing some of the things that we lost in last winter’s deep freeze.

Rose­mary is some­thing that I regard as hardy around here. It rarely suf­fers until the temps fall into the teens. Sin­gle dig­its are too cold so I lost three sprawl­ing rose­marys that lived at the back of the herb gar­den tum­bling down the rock wall. I replaced two of them.

trailing rosemary in the herb garden

trail­ing rose­mary in the herb gar­den

We also lost all of our cul­ti­vars of bud­dleia. Some of the wild­ings sur­vived but those have to be pulled out as they are now clasi­fied as inva­sive weeds. I can’t find any­more of the dark pur­ple one that I liked. sigh.

So in the place of the but­ter­fly bush that used to live in the cor­ner of the bed fac­ing the barn I put a smoke tree. Well actu­al­ly more of a shrub.

smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria)

smoke tree (Cot­i­nus cog­gy­gria)

There may not have been much rain recent­ly but the sprin­klers run every cou­ple of days. This is the result of leav­ing your Fel­cos in the buck­et next to the bird bath.

almost ruined

almost ruined

The nice thing about Fel­cos is that you can buy parts. I’ll refurb these over the win­ter. mean­while to sup­pli­ment my old­er (thrice refurbed) Fel­cos I bought a pair of Fiskars pruners.

little fiskar pruners slide nicely into your pocket.

lit­tle fiskar pruners slide nice­ly into your pock­et.

They have an inter­est­ing com­pound cut­ting action.

they fit well in my hands

they fit well in my hands

They are small­er and more agile that the Fel­cos. I don’t think they can han­dle as much of the brute force cut­ting work but they are sweet to use for dead­head­ing and oth­er more pre­cise tasks.

Not every­thing is suf­fer­ing in the heat. The lilies went nuts this year. The last of the Stargaz­ers are just now going over.

stargazer lilies

stargaz­er lilies

The Things You See in the Woods

For Christ­mas this year we got our­selves a cou­ple of game cama­ras so that we could get a bet­ter look at the ani­mals ( includ­ing neigh­bors) who are using the net­work of trails that goes through our woods. (Peo­ple out here in the West usu­al­ly call what we’ve got for­est. But I’m old school and from the East, where the 20 acres that we’ve got would be called a Woods. So Woods it is for me.)

The cam­eras are a pair of Brown­ing Strike Force (BTC-5). We got a two pack on sale. They take day­light col­or pho­tos and night­time infra-red. They can also shoot video but we haven’t exper­i­ment­ed with that yet.

Each pho­to comes with a bunch of data at the bot­tom. Tem­per­a­ture, moon­phase (use­ful at night) date and time, as well as a set­table cam­era name. We have one that’s unnamed and one that’s named BDF TWO.

Pret­ty typ­i­cal in the day­time pho­tos are the deer. This was tak­en at the inter­sec­tion of the two main paths to the imme­di­ate south of the log­ging road.

This spot at is at the intersection of two main paths.

Typ­i­cal Deer Shot

We also get oth­er people’s dogs. Any­one know this fel­low?

run, run, they're coming

Run­ning Dog

The night pic­tures can be pret­ty —  shots of the deer brows­ing or trav­el­ing to sleep­ing spots. I’m think­ing that the next time we move the cam­eras I’ll try to find a fre­quent­ly used sleep­ing spot for one of them.

This spot is off of the path back to the garage. It’s at the junc­tion of two deer trails that can’t eas­i­ly be walked by humans.

Maybe she stepped on a slug?

Tiny Steps

Who's there?

Look­ing Up

A few min­utes lat­er anoth­er deer comes by.

Yummy fern shoots

Night Brows­er

Late in April we had a new night vis­i­tor.

It’s the first sight­ing of the bob­cat that we thought might be hang­ing around. (Look at the low­er cen­ter of the frame.)

well hello kitty.


Note the short tail with the dark tip.

padding along in the night

Cat Butt


Part­ing Shot

We’ve had no sign of the bear that was here last win­ter. Maybe he and the bob­cat aren’t amenable to shar­ing turf?

Well, we did find this Bear.

Jim on a trials bike.

The Papa Bear Out Rid­ing

And here Jim is walk­ing the dog in the morn­ing before it’s light enough for the cam­era to switch to day­time. (Yeah, it says 8:45 but I think the cam­era missed day­light sav­ings time — besides it stays dark in the woods.)

hurry up Dad

Are You Com­ing?

For some rea­son (cam­era tim­ing?) we get lots of butts.

tails up!

Lots of These Butts.

Jim on the trials bike.

Moto Butt

The two most com­mon butts in the woods. Me and the Big G.

oof, not flattering.

Let’s Go!