60 Years -HUH? Ramblings and thoughts

60 Years! = Who would’ve thunk?

No make up, no fussing – just me. In my pj’s and relaxing.

Yes- some self reflection.

I turn 60 on November 3, 2017. Amazing! and not ashamed to claim it either.

I don’t feel like 60 years on this earth – in many ways I feel like I am just starting. I have so many things I still want to do and accomplish. What I do know now is to take it in and enjoy every minute while it is happening – no wishing time away.

And yet – so much has happened over the last 60 years.

  • Elementary school
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Band, extra curricular activities
  • Bowling
  • Jobs
  • PEOPLE! So many who were and are and always will be a critical piece of my puzzle even if they are already in place and I don’t see anymore. Thank you! Each of you has been a part of my story.
  • People and connections in each of those stages
  • Family-  added and lost
  • Love, marriage, children, grandchild
  • Learning, creating
  • Making a difference
  • Working hard and hardly working….
  • Doing stupid things
  • Doing very smart things
  • Adding many new people to my circle and yet losing so many
  • so much!!!! I can’t even begin to bullet list it.

I can say every stage of life has been spectacular. Memories of all I have been a part of are strong and meaningful. There are no regrets. And while there is at times a feeling of loss – it is overcome by the feeling of knowing I had the experience or connection and it was a so important at the time. I look at not losing, but fortunate to have had the opportunity and the chance to be in a time and place when it was.

We can’t have things forever – so why not keep adding while not grieving, but rejoicing that we had something even if it was an instant.

What I have learned. Accepting others for who they are, rejoicing in their uniqueness and passions. Care and love is stronger than hate. No one should suffer and never suffer alone. Listening is important. The world does not revolve around ourselves. Sometimes others don’t have it figured out. Chocolate and turtle sundaes – and vodka are good. Hugs and snuggles are priceless. Family is number 1. Worry is wasted energy, but sometimes something that you have to do. Be happy with what you have.

Maintenance, upkeep and care go a long way. One act can change everything you know. There is no easy way to do anything and no one will do it for you. We are all better when just do it.

Health is important. Illness sucks.

So much yet to come….

enough reflection – it has been – looking ahead and not at my shoes….

Here’s to the next 60 years (or at least 30!) Hoping anyone reading this is a part of the journey….

yeah  – just beginning to realize how fortunate I have been and still am. Thank you to all who have been a part of it and to those yet to be added. The best gift of all – what others bring to my world and heart. Thank you.

New Journey -IPhone Photography with IPA and Personalizing for Me

I am going thru an online course IPhone Academy. The first course is based on using the iPhone as your primary camera vs a DSLR.

I do not have any intention of discontinuing use of my Canon Rebel. I love it and have some investments in it with lenses etc. But many times I am without it. In 2009, I always had my small point and shoot with me and had begun the photo a day routine. Jump ahead 8 years and carrying around a point and shoot is like getting the daily paper  – it is falling into oblivion. My phone is with me more than not. The quality of the phone camera has improved so much it is truly hard to not use it. The challenge is to use it well and with the features it has to get good photos and photos that will be good for processing later. Anyone can point and shoot – but to use the phone as a camera and art takes some practice and learning.

When I think about a phone that costs $600 or more – why wouldn’t I be using it for more than texting and communication? The phone costs more than my DSLR beginner kit did!

As a self directed learner – there are many ways to accomplish the goal of learning to better use the iPhone camera. The Internet has many communities and groups who share. You can find and piece together all that you need to improve.

BUT – in a social media feed I stumbled across Emil from iPhone Academy. A young business man who has capitalized on his proficient use of the iPhone and iPhone camera. I watched a few of the click and tease videos. Emil has a nicely paced delivery style which was easy for me to follow.

As someone who has had a life in instructional design and online delivery – it was great to see the polish of Emil’s instruction. He takes it seriously – and seems to have the energy to get all the details done. Questions are anticipated. Video and audio and written –  (multi modal) are provided. Feedback is built in and automated in to provide instant validation. Moderation is provided and modeled to establish community. All the things we know as educators are important for good instructional design implemented and in place. It is an instance of making learning a business service. The learner does not have voice in direction, but does have consistent structures in which to rely for making progress. He is a business man who has taken his interest and now markets it.

Well – I grabbed the hook. While I could follow and assemble tutorials and videos and pick a little here and there from many awesome and sharing individuals I decided to take the route of purchasing Emil’s IPhone Academy course at the 80% discount promotion (and still higher cost than I am usually comfortable). Besides learning some new things about my iPhone camera – I am fascinated in seeing and reviewing how the course is put together and how  it holds up. Definitely a ready made example for others to learn from in creating online instruction. (if one is in need of creating some somewhat traditional delivery in the cover of technology tools).

I am impressed. It is a well oiled machine and evident that it is a focus because it is to create business. Many learning paths I have taken before have either been institutional places that can be somewhat rigid and steeped in academia and get stuck in explaining the theory of learning within context of whatever course you are in or the open format (still my favorite) in which I design and personalize my own learning path.

But there very much is a need for some of the learning pie to have a slice of what Emil offers. Not everyone finds the same energy or interest in how and why we learn when learning themselves – they just want to learn and need “services” that provide direction and flow. His target audience is not in creating learners, it is giving topics of interest to those who want to learn the topic.

Some have criticized and said IPA is out to just sell apps and make money. I think that is capitalism right? No one has to buy it.

So far – I am okay with the price I paid. The format and the pace are good for me. The IPA staff have created a dynamic flow of interaction I have rarely seen in education institution offerings. It seems to attract individuals who are not associated in any way with education. Maybe that is what it is – just people who have an interest and want to pursue. Hmnnn-  I think that is the product outcome we have wanted as educators.

I am thru the first of 7 modules. I think I will make it thru all of them. The pacing, the hooks to the next level are all there and designed not only in pedagogy – but social media and consumerism. I am intrigued equally in how the delivery and flow, the kinds of participation and interactions, as well as with the content of learning things about my iPhone camera.

To the dismay of Emil – I probably won’t sign up for the next course (but who knows?) – Editing iPhone Photos. For that I will continue with what I know and take the open learning route. It is a topic and direction in which I want multiple views and ideas vs. producing trendy or similar art. But I can see where many individuals will take on things they may not have on their own and develop skills because they will have the opportunity. So in that sense I think it is great that it is offered and available. And yes- good for Emil and his business for being successful. They are not after the whole pie – just a slice they can manage.

The parts I bring to the IPA course for myself are seeing photos as stories. As documentation of lives. As art and as more art.

In this video that came across one of my feeds, Charlie explains photography as art. I like his thoughts. They resonate. And guess what – Charlie was a techy before he retired – how about that?

Here is an article that goes along with the video:

A Message To Photographers | Direct Advice On Making Truly Great Images

Even with a purchased path of learning – one always can and will personalize (or should). IPA is my content and a resource – but not my total learning experience. I will grow more by taking what I learn and discover into other places and applying, tweaking, expanding. It is my prep and research to contribute in other places at a higher level.

I will be following my #ds106 format of blogging as I learn. I have added a category for IPA.

#4life – #ds106: Still the method that helps my learning mean more to me and to make me accountable to self -but also in increasing my wealth thru sharing.

 

Fiscal Year Change Remnants=Create Surge!

Not sure what it is. When working June 30 was the end of the fiscal year and July 1 was the new year. The time for new beginnings and a chance to maybe get it right for once. It seems to be hope.

While I am now no longer a retiree rookie and starting year 4 (where did that time go?) there still is that sense of new year and hope. New goals, new energy.

I have been active – just not public.  Following a 13 month old and trying to capture family memories, the everlasting challenge of trying to organize workflow and photos/videos!

I am headstrong – making inroads to photo/video management. I have started a weekly family update in a private section of the family blog to capture our history as it happens. That is going well. It will allow me to keep up as well as have the opportunity to better do the main events of our lives.

I also realized I had become functional vs creative. Things were getting done – but not really creating. So I have signed up for an iPhone Photo Academy online course to improve my use of that camera because it is the one that is always with me. OMG! The talent in the participants! This is a good thing. It will push me and inspire me.

Part of this is getting back to creating each day – so a photo post a day will be the goal. I have also come out of my room at Hotel DS106 (you can check out but never leave) and reaching out to have some playtime with others in creating things. I missed the 30 day Daily Create Challenge in June 2017 when energy was high – hopefully there are still a few who are running fast and will hang around for a while longer.

Time to get back with others again.

Here is my photo for today – July 3, 2017. Pig Wash and Dry. This was mostly practice in how to hold the phone in a better way for pictures. Simple but important.

Pig Wash

 

#ds106 #4Life is Real – it transfers

My ds106 journey started in January 2015 fast and furious!

RECAP: I decided to take the open course plunge because I wanted to begin the storytelling of my family in digital form for my kids and grandkids to have instead of a room full of photographs and momentos that would seem like just old stuff to them.

While I still continue the ds106 routines because they have become #4life – I am really seeing how “education” can turn into “life” and be useful.

Much like in high school, wondering when one would ever use algebra in real life – I trusted the ds106 non-rule rules for success. Many of which have been restated and re-emphasized by students in the traditional ds106 courses as advice to newbies. 

Big lesson learned: Start your weekly summary early in the week as you complete tasks and you will be set at the end of the week and not miss as much or feel overwhelmed.

YES!

That habit has helped me in now doing some weekly updates of family events and news. I keep a post in draft form and add to it as the week goes on. Just like ds106 where dailys, assignments, etc. all have a place, I have created the same type of organization for each section of the family. Some weeks get video summaries, some get photos, some get GIFs, etc. I seem to be coming up with a halfway decent outcome and the work is distributed over the week so I am keeping up with it.

So many of the non-rule rules transfer to life. The marker of a true artist environment of innovation, exploration, and creating, backed up by constant practice of skills and building skills, commitment to self and discipline.

It is that we are our own toughest judge – so just do it. Doing your own part without entitlement or expectations will bring others to begin to add and contribute making whatever you are doing even better.

Thanks #ds106 and the #ds106 community of #4Life….

(Due to some of the information and the comfort level of family members about info on the internet – the majority of my family documentation is in closed or private formats – I keep a separate WP setup just for family memories – otherwise I’d be glad to share)

Photo Avalanches and Hocus Pocus

tdc1427-2

Digital life brings file management hell! It is SO necessary. I find the longer you have been in this the more you have to change…..those just starting are able to leap ahead from our lessons learned. Clean up is tedious – but necessary. In some ways it is like our new home – we have lots of things that are important to us or have history and still in great condition -but it would be so much easier to start from scratch than try and work with what we have.

But you can’t escape – so it is figuring out how to make what you have work and improve on it. Much like collaboration on creative pieces – building and tweaking on what is already there…..hmmnnn – another DS106 thread of life.

I embarked on the DS106 path in January of 2015- 6 months after retirement. My goal was to organize myself and learn in order to document family. As I have gone thru iterations, I have found wealth. As I approach my 3 year mark, it is time to reflect.

I have improved my skills and learned new things. I have met new people. I have expanded my global view.

While DS106 is many things- it has made me think about learning and teaching.

I have always been one to think learning is personalized. You get out what you put in. I never quite figure out how others do it differently. How can you not want to put things in order and figure out how they work?

Part of my personal journey is to keep family first. Figuring out how to make sure my kids and their kids know who we are, where we came from, and how great they are in carrying us into the future.

I have inherited the family photo albums. We have 30K in digital pics! We have our first grandchild who prompts us to create even more to document!

After 2+ years of trying to figure out Lightroom I fell into a format by accident.

I have been following and reading bloggers by the numbers on how to organize and manage. I saw a common thread of saving by date and then using collections. It all sound great- but how.

I deleted what I had set up in Lightroom. I was working with only current photos. On a lazy Sunday, I started a new catalog from all of my photos that were on my hard drive. I didn’t realize I had set up Lightroom for certain import specs. By accident I got it right. All my photos imported by date!

This did create MANY folders. but it was okay. It was better than going photo by photo.

I began reorganizing by year to make the tree structure smaller. This was also a time to get rid of all the duplicates. It actually went smoother than I would have expected.

The other plus was the work I had done previously in Lightroom or in tagging etc. all carried forward!

The first thought was to get my catalog smaller in case Lightroom would start to freeze etc because the catalog had 30K+ photos. But more research points towards the fact that it is a database and not actual storage and many have not yet found the breaking point.

Next steps will be to go in and create the collections. I now know to keep folders with originals and dates move forward from there. With tagging I can create collections for special events or times.

I am almost finished up to the current date. Ironic in that 2017 is the most difficult. Seems I was saving and making sure I had pictures so I have 5-6 of the same picture to go thru. My sister also scanned all her hard photos and shared them with me so I have 1K that say 2017 when they are really the last 30 years. They are all tagged by her name – so I will create a collection and a folder that says Sandy’s Pics to separate them.

There are also all the ones I have downloaded from family via Facebook, messenger, texts. Those don’t always come thru with good metadata – so there is now a folder of Unsorted that will need attention.

All in all – so far it is feeling a whole lot more manageable. I found my notes from more than a year ago a workflow. I have changed it up a little to actually be less tedious.

  1. only download on desktop and directly into Apple Photos
  2. Title, tag, add descriptions etc. in Apple Photos
  3. Export to an auto import folder on my desktop so when LR opens they import with all the tags and metadata. (at least once a week or as needed)
  4. Optimize SmartFolders for Collections to pull in by tags.
  5. Set Time Machine up to back up hard drive so that Photos and Pictures folder are backed up. I know I have pictures in two places – but now I can back up the photos library and and the hard drive in two different places so that I know I will have redundancy.
  6. Set up Flickr for album uploads to share with family (also another back up)

Along with this new workflow I am also doing a weekly update in a private family blog. My first direction was to create the stories – but with so much coming in and limited time – I have been missing milestones and become buried in content. The weekly updates will offer a slice and still allow me to do the creations for events and milestones – but hopefully have more organized and ready to use. Plus it eliminates the urge to include everything in a creation – because now the content is still somewhere and available as narrative.

As I was cleaning up these files I also cleaned up my music files. Two older iPods are now music only and have all of our music on them. New music can be added easily now. It is backed up as well. Two years to get to this point – including ripping all of our CDs!

Can you see me doing a happy dance? It has made sticking to a walking regimen easier too. Just hope the new neighbors don’t laugh too hard if I start singing out loud while walking.

Yes – I guess Spring is the time to get organized!

The photo is from a ds106 Daily Create. It is a self portrait in a mirror and using photo editing to eliminate the camera. It took a little longer than 20 minutes but was a great creation process. #TDC1427

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