Month: November 2006

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Here’s some more photos from Utah – this time these photos are from my trip in June 2002 to Bryce Canyon. This photo is taken at Bryce Point of the Hoodoos:


This next two were taken from Yovimpa Point:


And here’s the Natural Bridge:


If I remember correctly, we were up at an elevation of 10,000 feet! I love Bryce Canyon and would like to go back there sometime to hike.


. . . Title Removed . . .

The title applies to how hard I worked today – phew! I was at OHA today, originally thinking I would finalize the Powerpoint presentation for the upcoming Christmas events, and work with Sarah on the image database. That’s it – that would have been enough. NOPE! I worked with Mike to switch the display case tops on two display cabinets (the one top was cracked because it was screwed down too hard). Cool thing – I didn’t know that the screws that hold these babies on are different than a regular screw – they have two holes in them and you have to have a special screwdriver so no Tom, Dick or Harry off the street can steal the museum’s stuff. Pretty cool. I also dismantled the curiosities mini-exhibition that I put together a few weeks ago and put all of the items back in their proper places in storage – this exhibition included, among many cool things, a mummy hand and a cremation casket – it was for their Halloween Ghost Walk – and yes, those two items really creeped me out big time. I worked on a couple of deaccessioning spreadsheets for Tom – filling in the details of the items they would like to sell. I took photos of Onondaga Pottery / Syracuse China dishes for Dennis’ lecture Syracuse China Rides the Rails! coming up on Dec. 10. Wanna see the photos – look here. And I cut eight more CD’s of images that Sarah has scanned in so I can slowly add them to the OHA online images database which will be announced in the very near future. Hokay! So after I was done I got to the 7th floor of the Fayette Parking Garage at 4:27 PM:


It was a glorious 61 degrees F:


And the sky was beautiful!


The building with the time and temperature on it is the MONY building (Mutual of New York) in Syracuse, and it’s really cool, because it also displays when it is about to precipate or precipating (in case you didn’t know it by getting all wet or getting snowed on) by intermittent lights going down the pole that is holding the X-Mas star. The lights are a different color depending on the type of precipitation. You can pretty much see this from anywhere in the city and surrounding areas.

4 Responses to “. . . Title Removed . . .”

  1. Susan Gets Native on 29 Nov 2006 at 10:29 pm # edit this

    Okay, I didn’t understand a single thing you said until you started talking about the screws. But it sounds like a busy day, anyway.

    The MONY building: We have something sort of like that here in Cincinnati. The Chiquita building (yeah, the banana people) have different colored lights on the roof that change to tell people what weather is coming. (Which only works when it’s dark and if you live close enough to the Chiquita building to see it)

  2. Pam on 30 Nov 2006 at 2:21 pm # edit this

    Susan, the powerpoint presentation is like what you see at the movies (except better) with trivia questions and pertinent photos in between the questions and answers. It’s fun to put together.
    Cool – I didn’t know if other cities had buildings that did this! Too bad you can’t see it. You can see the MONY tower day or night, near or far – because Syracuse is in a valley (which used to be a swamp, but that’s going back quite a few years).

  3. Sandy on 30 Nov 2006 at 5:34 pm # edit this

    What exactly is your job title, Pam? I agree with Susan, I didn’t understand most of what you did, but sounds like you do something with artifacts. Do you work at a museum or a library?

    Warm here too, I was out this afternoon trimming grass along the front of the house, on the last day of November!

  4. Pam on 30 Nov 2006 at 5:41 pm # edit this

    Hi Sandy, I work at the Onondaga Historical Ass’n Museum & Research Center. I don’t really have a job title – yet – I just do whatever they ask me to do! I really enjoy working with all types of artifacts. It was fun going through their railroad china yesterday, since I love china.
    The rain is coming this way – I just had to close most of the windows!

Mt. Ogden, Trapper’s Loop, Utah

I just found the following photos on one of the mailing lists I’m on – the person who sent them did not take them. I was so awestruck with the beauty I had to share them with you. I wish I knew who took them so I could give them credit (and ask if I could post them), but I don’t, so here they are. My understanding is this is Mt. Ogden from the Trapper’s Loop on September 17, 2006. I don’t know anything else about them.
Mt Ogden-Trappers Loop - 09172006-01

I took a week-long class in Utah back in June of 2002, in the mountains, and they looked just like this. I’m not sure what that mountain is though, and I didn’t capture photos (stupid – I should have known I was going to blog someday)! Mt Ogden-Trappers Loop - 09172006-02

Are these gorgeous, or what? Mt Ogden-Trappers Loop - 09172006-03

Simply amazing!

Mt Ogden-Trappers Loop - 09172006-04

I think we live in such an amazingly beautiful country!

Moon, More on “My Parents I”

Here’s another moon photo I took last night. The light around the moon was really intense, and shows in the photo:


This is part of Susan’s comment from yesterday’s post, in response to the My Parents I painting: “I googled Henry Koerner, and I learned the term “magic realism”. And that much of his work is coming from the guilt he carried being the only survivor of his family.” Thanks for the comment Susan. I can’t even imagine being in this man’s shoes. I asked my Mom the significance of the string around the chandelier – it represents Henry Koerner’s ties to his home and family. This painting is still getting to me. I’ve done extensive reading about the Jewish during World War II and the concentration camps over the years, and there are no words adequate to describe how I feel.

It was yet another gorgeous day – I actually have been opening my windows during the day (they’re open at night – the only way for me to sleep good). This weather makes it hard to realize I need to call and arrange for a snow plow person for the impending winter!

Georgia O’Keefe, My America

Today Mom and I went back to the Georgia O’Keefe Color and Conservation exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery, which was as excellent as it was the first time.

Another exhibition opened at the Memorial Art Gallery between the last time we saw the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition and today entitled My America which is artwork from The Jewish Museum Collection done between 1900-1955. This painting by Henry Koerner ripped my heart out of my chest and I haven’t been able to get it back in yet:

Koerner Henry - My Parents EX2006.GG4.31

It is a entitled My Parents I, done in 1944, a tempera on masonite painting of the artist’s parents done three years after they were murdered in a concentration camp. The ball of yarn winding around the chandelier represents something, damned if I remember exactly what because I was too emotional about this painting to remember what the label said. Which is another reason for museums to put their musuem exhibitions online.

On a much happier note, it was another gorgeous day today. It’s hard to believe it’s the end of November!

Moon, The Nutcracker, The Gym

So last night I took my dinner dishes to the kitchen and saw a sliver of the moon at dusk so I had to take a photo for you through the window:

Mom and I went to see The Nutcracker ballet at the Eastman Theatre last night First, let me say I *love* old theatres – there’s nothing being built like these old theatres today. The photos in the link don’t do it justice at all. We sat in the Mezzanine right in the front – in my opinion these are perfect seats. And each seat was a chair all by itself, so you have your own armrest. Now that’s a theatre. I thought for sure I could find some awesome photos of this theatre online. I guess I’ll have to take some photos sometime.

Second, I love watching a good ballet. I love watching not only the dancing, but seeing the flexibility of the dancers and the beautiful costumes. And I love the orchestra. I think Tchaikovsky’s (try spelling that three times right) compositions are amazing. Mom and I see The Nutcracker every few years, and it changes every time we see it, so it never gets boring.

I saw a quick interview of Lauren Bacall because her latest autobiography just came out in paperback, and when asked what her secret to her radiance and youthfulness are, she replied “Remain curious, interested, and go to the gym.” GO. TO. THE. GYM. Cool, not spa, fitness center, but GYM. Say it like it is Lauren – how cool is that? I hope if I make it to 82 I’m still weight training at the GYM. I plan on it. My Mom just started working out at the gym and she *loves* it. She wonders why she didn’t listen to me before – telling her she would love it. I’m already seeing muscle definition on her just after two weeks.

It is such a beautiful day here, and it has been beautiful for the past few days, that I’ve got to get outside. I hope you enjoy your day!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving has a happy day! This holiday is one of my favorites! Before I became a vegeterian, Turkey was my most favorite meat (well, it still is).


My Aunt Ruth and I used to go to Plainville Turkey Farm Restaurant every Thursday night. In my opinion, this restaurant in Cicero NY is the best restaurant around because it is as close to a homemade meal as you can get besides making dinner at home. Unfortunately Aunt Ruth (and Great Aunt Ruth) was killed in a car accident over ten years ago, and I still miss her terribly. Aunt Ruth used to go to my parents’ home every Thanksgiving and we would play games until the wee hours of the morning. Two of our favorite games were Jenga and Bingo. I don’t mean to get maudlin on this happy day! Here’s a photo of my Grandmother and Great Grandmother and someone else at Plymouth Rock (I haven’t fixed this in Photoshop yet):


I hope everyone enjoys this holiday, and gives thanks for their family, even though some of them can be a pain in the butt, because life is way too short. Enjoy!


Please bear with me, I’ll get back to nature – I just have this other stuff on my mind, too. Well see, I’ve been sewing quite a bit lately – baby stuff and I’ve just started putting it on my website. Years ago my Mom advised me not to use Coats & Clark Thread, for reasons I can’t quite remember. The other day I read a post by someone I respect about Coats & Clark Thread wherein she said this thread is now known to ruin sewing machines. Don’t know how, but it does (if someone can enlighten me, that would be great)! This is quite unfortunate, because I can match Coats & Clark Thread the best to any material I’m using.

So of course, I had to run an experiment. I used an old spool of Coats & Clark Thread to sew up the raw edges of my new material so I could preshrink it without it ravelling. No problem. I used a new spool of Coats & Clark Thread to start working on said material to make some quilts. People, after a while my sewing machine starting making the most horrible clickety clackety sound from the bobbin area I thought it was going to give up the ghost. So I switched over to Gutermann Thread (a good thread). And the noise went away. I moved onto another project, put in another spool of new Coats & Clark Thread, and this time after a few minutes of use a wicked clickety clackety noise started coming from the cams area (I have an old electro-mechanical sewing machine that I wouldn’t give up for nothing). So back to Gutermann Thread and the noise went away. I’m not making this up. I love doing experiments, and this one proved to me that if I continue using Coats & Clark Thread, I will be taking my sewing machine in for an overhaul.

Here I have three Coats & Clark Thread spools. The left one is one from the early 80’s when you could buy a honkin’ huge spool of thread for $1.09, and it was made in the good ole US of A. The middle spool is from the mid 80’s when a smaller spool of thread cost $1.09, and still made in the good ole US of A. The spool to the right is way more than $1.09, but now it is made in Mexico.

I have spools of thread when wood was used for spools from my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother – mostly Coats & Clark (or J.P. Coats, I’d have to get them out) and the thread feels wonderful! In the present day thread, the thread feels icky and has fibers sticking out of it.

Sorry Coats & Clark Thread now manufactured in Mexico, I will no longer be using you – I’m on to Gutermann for now – unless and until I discover something even better – something that won’t require me to spring for a new sewing machine. It’s too bad, and so sad, to see a once known good product from an original US of A company go down the tubes.

‘The Digital Ice Age’

Interesting, I was reading through Archivists’ Blogs, and found a link to this Popular Mechanics article, December 2006 The Digital Ice Age. Just more to consider in thinking digitization is cool. It certainly is for the moment, but not for the long haul. Now to decide what to do with my 9,000 plus personal photos, hmmmm. Like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind when Rhett left her at the end of the movie, ‘I’ll think about it tomorrow.’ Oh, wait, that might be too late.

Digitization, hmmmm.

I am all for digitizing everything, photos, letters, anything that interests me, etc. to reduce the amount of albums and things around my home. I am even for digitizing old photos, postcards, etc. at OHA, and the thought of the “ancient” art of analog microfilm really grosses me out.


And then I attended a seminar given by Toya Dubin of Hudson Microimaging, Inc. At first I wasn’t totally convinced about microfilm and microfiche (who likes to go the library and be told they have to search an entire roll of microfilm to *maybe* find what they’re looking for anyway) until she showed us these numbers:

1 pixel at 600 dpi is 1/600th of an inch wide, or 40 microns wide.

1 silver halide crystal is 0.1 micron wide so 160,000 silver halide crystals will fit inside a 600 dpi pixel.

Holy Silver Halide, Batman! Not only this, but microfilm / microfiche has an expected lifetime of 500 years, with a known lifetime of 140 years – there’s some French microfilm that is still readable from 140 years ago.

Digitization is *not* considered a long term preservation method in most cases. Case in point, do you own any 5.25″ disks, and if so, do you have a computer that can read them? Remember the 3.5″ disks? My laptop doesn’t even have a 3.5″ disk drive – not only that, my previous laptop didn’t either, because I opt for CD / DVD. And speaking of DVD’s, you know that all of your DVD’s are considered old technology, right? While we race to keep our digital storage up to date, microfilm is still hanging around as the best preservation technology.

So the optimal solution is to scan the original documents from 600-3600 dpi and save them as tiff files, then use OCR to attempt to get as many words correct on each page as possible, manually correct the words that are wrong, and wah-la, you’ll end up with an index of your documents. The next step is to film the digital index onto the beginning or end of the microfilm, then film the original documents using 8-bit grayscale, especially if there are B&W photos. The end result? You’ll have an online, searchable index of the items that you are putting on microfilm / microfiche! And a roll of high-quality microfilm from which you can make a hardcopy.

Once you have your completed microfilm / microfiche, the next ideal situation is to store a second copy of all of your microfilm / microfiche in a storage location meant to store this type of thing (60 degrees F, 40% humidity) – ideally at a location not in the same flood plain where you have your original microfilm / microfiche.

One of the drawbacks of microfilming is you can’t do it in color for preservation purposes because color doesn’t last.

I also found out I should be scanning my Grandparents’ slides at 3600 dpi. I’ve been scanning them at 600 dpi. At least I knew to save them as tiff images. Sigh.

This doesn’t mean that I like microfilm any more than I did before, I guess I have respect for it now. I’m still going to digitize everything in sight.