More Blasts from the Past – 47 Years Together

Posted in Humor on July 7th, 2009 by MadDog
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Eunie and I met the week before the first day of classes at college. It was 1962. JFK was president. The world was a calmer place, except for the pesky Russians. School started in September. By December, I’d asked Eunie to marry me. She turned me down. I believe that she thought that I was insane.

This is how we looked in Springfield at her parents’ house in 1963:

Did I really look this goofy?

That Christmas, I decided that I wanted to send cards to my friends showing what a lucky guy I was. It was pretty presumptuous, considering there was no “Yes” yet on the marriage issue. Eunie’s mother was disconcerted that her daughter was sending Christmas cards picturing her being fondled by a madman:

Merry Christmas from the kids

Or, rather, (worse?) a mad teenager.

The Big Yes finally came through and in June of 1964 this child bride was wed to the crazy person:

Eunie - the Child Bride

I like to call this shot “Children Getting Married”:

Children Getting Married

Settling into married life was surprisingly easy. I think that we had so much fun playing at being all grown up that we missed a lot of the troubles that were lurking in the corners. Fortunately, Eunie was the typical young woman – way ahead of the average male her age in terms of maturity. I was bouncing off the walls while she made a home for us.

Here’s another shot taken at her sister’s house:

Happiness is a groovy chick and cowboy boots

Note particularly the cowboy boots. I’d never been anywhere near a horse in my life, but I needed those cowboy boots.

Playing adult was fun. Somehow, I missed the actual transition and my development stopped somewhere in my early twenties. I sometimes seriously contemplate how I got so old. I don’t feel  65. This is how I still look inside:

Spelunkers

We were ambitious spelunkers. I can remember many cold winter weekends when we escaped the weather to explore the caves of southern Indiana.

Because, after all these years, she’s still so nice to me and still my best friend, I’m plagiarising here for your entertainment E. E. Cummings famously erotic poem She Being Brand. (complete with Cummings’ original idiosyncratic punctuation and phrasing)

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good

(it

was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

the
internalexpanding
&
externalcontracting
brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
-ling
to a:dead.

stand-
;Still)

Enough said.

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Anniversary Mosaic – Yet Another Goofy Experiment

Posted in Photography Tricks on July 1st, 2009 by MadDog
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Waiting for some gigantic files to download for work today bored me into fooling around on the boss’s time a bit more than usual.

Have you ever noticed the mosaic images that are sometimes featured in magazines? They are made up of thousands of small pictures. Each small picture must match pretty closely the general colour of the spot where it is positioned on the big image. I wondered if it was possible to do this on a PC.

I found a free program called AnderaMosaic which does exactly what I wanted. As I looked around for an image to try I reckoned that I’d best stick with something that fits the goofy nature of the experiment. Why not a crop of the shot of Eunie and me cutting our anniversary cake? It looks a little blurry (partly because everybody was getting a little blurry by that time), but that’s because it’s made up of 3,000 tiny images of pictures that you have seen on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi:

Mosaic of about 2000 images from Madang - Ples Bilong Mi

The program is very easy to use. You just choose a big image to ‘mosaicify’ and the build a library of all the images that you want to use to make the mosaic. You could easily use all of the images that you have in My Photos or wherever you store your pictures.

You can tell it how many images you want to use, what physical size you want the finished mosaic to be (A3, A4, etc.), how many times an image is allowed to be repeated and about a dozen other parameters that you can fiddle with.  If you just take the default on everything, you’ll get a pleasing effect. Then you can fine tune it, if you like.

Try clicking on the image above to open it in a new window in your browser. It’s a 1.8 megabyte file, so it may take a while according to the speed of your connection. However, once it downloads to its full size, you can view it with your browser, or better yet, do a “Save Image As” to your desktop and the open it with Photoshop or whatever image editor program that you prefer; it’s just a JPEG file, so anything should open it.

It’s quite interesting to see how all of the tiny images go together to make the big one. I had to compress the file pretty severely to get it down to 1.8 megabytes. The original was about 12 megabytes – way to big to send to a browser.

Let me know if you play with this. I’d like to see your finished mosaics. I’ll probably do some better ones later. I can see already that the lower the detail level of the big image is, the better it’s going to look as a mosaic.

A very cool project would be to make a mosaic the same shape as a wall. You could choose a large image (photo of the kids?), build the mosiac using  hundreds of family images with the free program, then make prints of it in sections and glue it to the wall. A coat of varnish would finish it off nicely.

Of course, you must have a big enough room so that you can stand back to see the larger image. Up close it is completely invisible. It only becomes visible when you move away from it.

Pretty cool, eh?

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45 Years Is a Long Time

Posted in Mixed Nuts on June 28th, 2009 by MadDog
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I can’t let a milestone event pass without comment. As life goes, it’s a rather small milestone, considering the others that have gone before it. Nevertheless, two people living in the same house together for 45 years without either suffering violence from the other is not to be sneezed at.

Saturday night we celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary with some of our best friends. Those who were there were but a small sample of the many wonderful friends we’ve enjoyed over nearly thirty years in Papua New Guinea.

There were several notable highlights during the evening, but I’ll show only a couple of them. Our lovely Scottish lass Laura Carse is back in Madang for a few weeks. Laura worked with the Creative Self- Help Centre when she was here before. She brought us a lovely silver quaich as an anniversary gift. When we first came to Madang, there was a chapter of the Caledonian Society here, because there were quite a few Scottish folk around town. Since their numbers were small, they invited us to become associate members, as we have no Scottish blood. We remember many evenings when the ‘cup of friendship’ filled with the finest single malt passed around the room. Laura got us going with her wonderful gift. Putting a foot on the table or standing on a chair while sipping is considered good form, but becomes more difficult with each round:

Starting to pass the quaich around the room - the foot on the table is traditionalI recommend very small sips, as it is likely that you’ll be holding it again in a few minutes, depending on the size of the crowd. It’s considered very dashing to “quaff the quaich” (meaning tossing back whatever is left), but that, I do not recommend. It can lead to serious imbalance and memory loss. As with most things that are fun, moderation is the key to enjoyment.

Just to give an example of how silly the whole shebang got, here’s a shot of us cutting the cake. Nobody can say that we worry much about looking goofy in public:

Two clowns cutting a cake

The cake was a bit of a mystery object. We’d ordered a cake from one place, but the oven wasn’t working. Then Eunie ordered a cake from Coastwatcher’s Hotel, but they failed to tell her that they wouldn’t actually make the cake until she came in and paid for it, so when she went to pick it up, of course, it wasn’t there. GRRRRRRR! How much effort would it have taken for them to say, “You have to pay for it before we’ll make it.” Coastwatchers gets a FAIL mark for that one.

Then, as if by magic, Maureen Hill produced a cake, seemingly from thin air.

Madang is that kind of place.

Thanks to the wonderful mob of characters who made our anniversary so much fun.

CHEERS!

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