Friday, August 3, 2018

A Jersey Tiger, and Cuteness

It's time for my nearly annual garden sighting of a Jersey Tiger moth. On Wednesday, this one flew past in a blur of color (its underwings are orange) and landed in a tree near our patio. I've seen Jersey Tigers at this time of year in four of the last five years -- supposedly they're only established in the southernmost parts of England, including London.

I am happy to report that my four-year project to transcribe all my handwritten journals (from 1989 to 2010) into a private online blog is FINISHED! Woo hoo! I realize this means nothing to anyone except me, but it's a huge relief to have it done. I've edited them to remove the embarrassing or super-private stuff that I probably shouldn't have written down anyway, while striving to keep them honest. Also, I used to glue all my old ticket stubs from movies, shows and events into the pages of my journal, and I even scanned all that stuff and included it with the transcriptions. So now I really could destroy the paper ones, which is probably the next step. I'm not even sure how to go about it. How does one destroy a big box of spiral notebooks? Burning or shredding would take ages.

On Wednesday's post, some of you asked how old our avocado tree is. I think I first blogged a picture of it here, when it was just a wee sprout. (Apparently I've turned it into a Scottish avocado.) So it's six years old now.

When Dave and I were in Cambodia and Vietnam, I picked up this plastic bag somewhere along the way. (I mean I literally picked it up, though I can't remember where.) I kept it because I thought it was amusing, illustrating that Asian obsession with cuteness.

Oh, and I mailed in my overseas ballot for the Florida primary elections in late August. (I still vote in Florida, as it's my family home.) These aren't the crucial elections, which come later, but this first round helps narrow the field by selecting the Democratic candidates for each office, and I try to participate in every step of the process. I had to do some reading to decide who to support, but the trusty Tampa Bay Times helped me out. My world view is certainly consistent with that newspaper's!


Frances said...

I don't think I have ever seen one of those Jersey Tiger moths.....I shall keep a look out as we are only about 25 miles north of you here in Harpenden! One might just stray this far!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Some of the embarrassing parts you decided to edit out have been found in a wheelie bin in West Hampstead. I understand that they have been sent to "The Sun" newspaper who are currently planning a sensational series called "Americans Abroad - Sin, Sex and Surprises". The first instalment will be "Donald Trump in Russia" then "Bill Clinton in Oxford", followed by "Steve Reed in Morocco". It's all about selling more papers.

Alphie Soup said...

I'm currently having a personal drive against plastic bags. In spite of that I agree it is a cute bag and undeniably Asian.

David said...

Oh, you can't shred, burn or in any way destroy the originals, even if you have scanned every page and transcribed every word! I still have the original family photographs dating back nearly 100 years - even though I have scanned them in high-res and the files reside in multiple places, I could not bring myself to simply discard the originals! Yes, I know all about clutter, but I think I will leave the decision to someone else less emotionally attached to these things - preferably after I am dead (which will be a long time yet). Meanwhile I continue to store them in boxes). Just call me romantic...

jenny_o said...

I don't know if this would be any less time-consuming, but this is how my mother-in-law got rid of sensitive documents before she bought a shredder. She filled the kitchen sink with water, immersed the paper in it, and waited until it was soggy, stirred, squeezed out the water, and set the paper to dry. Then she disposed of it. Maybe you could take up a new hobby - papier mache folk art or some such :D

Seriously, I admire your self-discipline in your projects. You just keep plugging away at it until you're done. I could use some of that dedication.

I laughed at the Scottish avocado bit :)

Red said...

I think I see a book coming from your journals!

ellen abbott said...

well done! my intent is to get my blog printed out and bound. so far I've only managed to purchase the first two years as a pdf.

utahDOG! said...

Tampa Bay Times needs to end their reader comment capabilities. If somebody wants to submit a letter to the editor then that should be the standard for response to a published article, as was the standard for years. The Times has waded into murky water by allowing for readers to barf up one liners about people needing to be hung in public.

Ms. Moon said...

So- what is your NEXT project going to be? I can't wait to find out because I know you will find something to accomplish. And what I really admire is that you finish these projects whether they involve photography, walking, or journals. You don't just get an idea and get all excited and start it and then let it dwindle until you stop. You get it done!

Sharon said...

Congratulations on finishing that transcription job. I love the "cute" pattern on that bag. And most of all, thank you for voting. There is a large segment of our society who don't vote and think it doesn't make a difference. And we see where that has gotten us.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that part of me thought, "Oh no, don't get rid of the paper documents!" It's great to have a private online backup, but in years to come, you may want to hold some of those treasures in your hands and read the old-fashioned way. Put them in a big box and tape them up. In 20 years open the box. Absolutely love that moth. Truly beautiful!

Marty said...

Good for you for still participating in elections here back in the states!!
We need every rational person we can lay our hands on - rationality being a dying commodity nowadays.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad to hear that you continue to vote! Thank you. And we'll done on the journals!

Linda Sue said...

your tenacity is admirable! I would LOVE to read all of that grand project, including the cuttings on the floor, I suspect that they would be the most interesting and human.
I will likely never forgive myself for not voting last is all my fault as my one vote would have tipped everything. My mail in ballot arrived late, I was already out of the country and could not vote. Haunted forever! Anyway, November is the big one this time, I will be here!

Lesley UK said...

Don't get rid of the original journals. How are you going to access them when we are all back living in caves? Because unless lots more people like you vote, by my reckoning it will be the third Wednesday in June next year! (Probably at 4.30 pm)

37paddington said...

I think you should keep the paper journals. There is something about seeing your handwriting from those years, and having those private moments that you chose not to transcribe. Put them away somewhere and take them down every so often. It must be a relief to have the virtual document as a backup.

Catalyst said...

The question is, do you have, or will you ever have someone who would appreciate seeing those journals when you're gone? I have a file cabinet, or two, full of paper that I've got to go through one of these days and cull it.

crafty cat corner said...

Not sure if I would throw those notebooks out, we all know technology sometimes goes wrong, imagine if you lost all of that work.
Never seen one of those Jersey Tigers down this way. Pretty little thing.

John Going Gently said...

As someone who has thrown stuff out in the past


Steve Reed said...

Frances: Yeah, I don't know how far north they go! With our warming climate it's entirely possible they'll make their way up to you!

YP: You laugh, but I did read a book recently that was based on boxes of handwritten journals someone found in a bin. It happens!

Alphie: Oh, absolutely, me too. If I can avoid getting a bag in a shop I always do.

David: Well, with old family photographs, there's no private or embarrassing content to worry about. With my journals, though, I'd rather NOT have anyone else reading them, particularly after I am dead. I mean, there's nothing TERRIBLE in there, but some of them are just too raw and personal.

Jenny-O: That is the most interesting method for paper disposal that I've ever heard! It definitely sounds effective!

Red: Oh, I don't know. Just me blathering on about daily life. Not sure it's really book material!

Ellen: I considered getting my journals blog printed and bound, but it seems like it would be incredibly long. I may look into it.

Utah: This is a minefield for EVERY newspaper in the country. You may remember that a major focus of my job at the NYT was to arrange and coordinate reader comment management on our newspaper websites. Most newspapers feel it is an essential part of reader engagement to allow readers to comment on stories (which also encourages readers to register on the web sites, thereby providing demographic and marketing data), but I agree that most of the time the comments are worthless -- just people being snarky and in many cases obscene. The NYT only allows comments on certain stories, and they screen each and every one to make sure what gets posted has value. That takes a lot of resources, though, and the TBT probably doesn't screen on that level (if they do at all). I too wish we could go back to the letter-to-the-editor days, but I think those days are gone.

Ms Moon: God only knows what I'll get up to next! Let me think on it. LOL

Sharon: I don't understand people who don't vote. It's the one chance we have to make a difference.

Robin: They're in a box now, but as I said, if I were to drop dead tomorrow, I wouldn't want to leave them behind. I'm thinking more about protecting my privacy in the long term.

Marty: I've been saying for years that we are living in the Age of the Death of Reason. Which is terrifying to contemplate!

Jennifer: Absolutely! I literally never miss an election.

Linda Sue: And I'll be voting in November, you can be on that!

Lesley: Ha! I have contemplated that -- what happens if the Internet dies or we lose electrical power? But if that happens, I suspect reading my old journals will be the LAST of my worries.

37P: The thing is, many of those private moments are painful to read about. They're me worrying about this or that, or having my heart broken, and I just don't want a record of that. I don't want to read it and, more importantly, I don't want anyone else to read it!

Catalyst: I don't WANT anyone to see them when I'm gone. Honestly, that's one of the main underlying reasons for the whole transcribing project.

Briony: I can't see how I'd lose it forever. I don't think Blogger is going to collapse, at least not without allowing those of us with blogs to export and save them in some way, or move them to some other platform. There's way too much content here affecting too many people's lives.

John: I've thrown out stuff too, with mixed results. But I think in this case it really IS the best option. Anyway, everything is in a box at the moment and we'll see what I decide to do.