Media handoff

Tim hiked a High Peak today and I was left home alone. It’s a good thing because it was cold outside and I had plenty to do. I wanted to finish my two rainbow blankets. Naturally there’s a problem. First I didn’t have enough yarn to keep weaving and took a trip to the not big city (mostly small haven) 45 minutes a way and bought one skein of eight colors to finish my project. Oops. So much for my weaving calculations. Then I became so enthusiastic about the first blanket, I didn’t leave enough warp for the second blanket. So the first blanket is 46 or 48 inches long and the second is 21″. Good for a newborn baby for a few days. I now have to bind it to make it. They are beautiful though. One is a twill and the other is plain weave.

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While I wove, I had another project to keep me busy (in addition to keep the wood stove going). I am converting my VHS tapes to digital format. To do it, I bought a video converter, the Diamond One Touch.
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After working through a couple of kinks, it worked great. I plugged RCA wires into the VHS player and connected to Tim’s computer with a USB. Not exactly one touch, but close to it. I had a couple of glitches. Tim’s computer kept not quite going to sleep, but would lock down despite power settings, which said never sleep. After a search, I found the solutions. I had to disable the setting which said, on resume, display the unlock screen. Voila. I no longer had to sit at the computer swiping the touch pad every five minutes. There was initially some terrible audio static, which went away, perhaps because I moved the VHS and computer apart.

I had a chance to watch my old family videos in the process. First let me say I have the absolute cutest and sweetest kids in the world. Just sayin’. We were mostly a Christmas, birthday and sports video family. I learned a few things I the process. My kids got way too much stuff for Christmas, or I let them down big time this year with only a white elephant exchange. Audio recording should not be on during football games. I have a 90 minute graduation film, bought from the school, with about 10 minutes of footage I really want to see. My son’s swimming coach critique gave me a few pointers I may incorporate.

What really struck me though, was the responsibility I have to my family. At some point, my father converted all his old 8mm tapes affectionately known as the Lynne Bahlkow story, to VHS and gave the tapes to his three kids. As the oldest, I had the most footage by far. My younger sister was a newborn, next she graduated from high school and then became a parent herself. Now it’s my job to get the VHS to a format that my kids can use and look at in the future and then ultimately convert to the next generation to keep our family film history alive. I’m going with MPEG 4 for now.

Whoa, what just happened?

First of all, Christmas has already come and gone in my house. Kids live afar, families are complicated, so we celebrated with the whole famn damily thus weekend. It was a blast.

But, how did this weekend pop up so fast? I look forward to it all year long and suddenly it was here. It arrived in the middle of an ice storm, during which our county was in a state of emergency and travel was strongly discouraged due to iced roads and fallen trees and power lines.

As a result, we stayed inside for 36 hours before we broke out and went skeet shooting and sledding, wearing microspikes and snowshoes. And a good time was had by all.

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To keep things simple we had our first white elephant gift exchange. I supplemented it with a white elephant knitting exchange. I included four hats, two woven scarves and a rope trivet. Gifts were stolen, trades were made, everyone was happy and it warmed my heart.
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We spent three nights (short for me since I went to bed after 2) in the cabin to make room in the house and I slept like a baby. The wood stove kept us warm in the loft, while I heard trees cracking outside and coyotes howling in the woods.
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And now they’ve headed off to other family gatherings, the house is quiet and only the ice remains.

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I’m happy I received a digital photo frame, which already has this year’s pictures to make me smile.