(This was written last year but never posted)
I spent a hundred bucks on my next book last week.
Each story had an illustration at the beginning, except one: ďWatch Your Language, Young Man!Ē I could find no suitable old women on Google Images, so I figured Iíd have to either find an old woman at a bar who would want to be the illustration of a shrewish old lady, or just get out my pencil and make one.
Rust never sleeps! And boy, but my fingers seemed to be solid rust. Of course, when I was young I drew every day, or at least almost every day. I was damned good.
Not any more. I havenít drawn a single thing since my kids were born three decades ago. So of course when I sat down with pencil and paper, nothing was produced but offal.
Damn. It was late and Iíd had a few beers, so maybe I was drunk? I set it aside for the next morning.
Several days and a lot of paper later and I finally had a cartoon drawing of an angry old crone. I figured Iíd digitize her the same way I digitized my slidesóIíd use my phoneís camera. With an eight by ten image to photograph, it should work fine. After all, the cover of The Paxil Diaries is a photo of one of my paintings I painted when I still had talent, and it turned out all right.
Not Mrs. Ferguson. The white paper was a neutral gray in the digital image. ďGIMPíll fix it,Ē I thought.
Nope. Adjusting the brightness and contrast removed some of the details. Actually, a lot of them.
Several tries later I gave up, and decided to just scan it. I went down to the basement, where the scannerís been since I moved in here, and realized that first, it probably wouldnít work any more, and even if it did it used a parallel port to get the image in a computer, and when was the last time you saw a parallel port? So I drove to Staples, where all the scanners were attached to printers!
I finally found a sales guy, who found a couple without printers that cost more than the ones with printers attached. He said they always put printers on cheap scanners, so I bought one of the expensive ones, an Epson Perfection V39.
I took it home and scanned Mrs. Ferguson, put her at the top of the story, printed her out, and shrunk down like that, again a lot of the details were gone. So I thickened some lines and rescanned. Itís fine now.
I wasnít going to mention it because when I bought the scanner I had the idea of scanning all the photo albums for Patty, but thatís taking a long time, they wonít be done by Christmas, and Leila says she canít come this year, anyway.
I have one album scanned, and half its photos straightened out and separated from each other, but Iíll be at it for a while. Iím also going to scan the book my uncle co-write, and if I get permission from my aunt to publish it Iíll do so. Of course, it would only be of interest to family since itís about family history, some of it ancient, fifteenth century ancient.
I really like that scanner! Itís a lot smaller than the old one in the basement; that oneís four or five inches thick and a foot and a half by two feet, and has a thick power cord with a big box in the middle, and a parallel port. The new one is smaller than my big laptop and needs no power cable, as it gets its power from the USB port. It uses the same kind of USB cable as your phone (unless you have an Apple, which is compatible with nothing) and it will scan the same size images as the old one.
At any rate, I havenít written much lately...