Twoo wuv

I’ve noticed lately that my life has been a little busy. Just a touch. So I’ve decided to start getting proactive and evaluating where I spend my time to see if there are any places where I can gain efficiency without losing fun. So, for example, I don’t want to “more efficiently” play with my children, but more efficiently obtaining groceries? That I could do.

I have very, very few hobbies left. I game whenever gaming is held at my house. I possibly cook slightly more extensive meals than the minimum standards. I have this illusion that I make cards that I send to people, but in truth I think that I’ve made 4 cards in six months — and I made two last night. And I document what life is like for me with my camera and my blog posts. This latter part is really one of the more satisfying things I do. The writing part is pretty unavailable for efficiencies, but the picture part is. I have been doing pictures in a very 2003 sort of way. I’d upload them from my camera, scroll through them using a free, trimmed down picture viewing software, delete them from the directory (I usually only “show” one in four pictures), resize them (while maintaining the full size ones), write an html file containing all the links to them, including links to the fullsize picture, and then upload them to the website where I might or might not test them. I often (usually?) made a mistake in uploading the videos. My ftp software is really full of fail for massive uploads, and would often crap out before the videos finished uploading, etc.

This is all done at like 11:15 at night on a Thursday, of course.

Then the other day I thought, “Gee, maybe I’ll see if software for handling pictures has improved in the last decade.”

OMG. Why did no one tell me about Picasa before?

First I fell in love with how it managed the pictures on my hard drive. I spent a rapt hour gazing at lost images from the hard drive of my college computer, buried deep in directories called “Brenda Archive” and “Old Files 2002”.

Then I discovered the great, simple, idiot-proof retouching tools. And the way it allows you to easily make simple edits to videos, like start and stop times.

Then I fell in love with the ease of uploading. Lookee ma! No FTP software!

Then I discovered the face recognition software. If I’d had this when Mike died, it would’ve saved me HOURS scanning the archives for good pictures of him.

At this point I wondered if petitioning the Massachusetts state legislature to permit the marriage between a woman and a really great software product was called for.

Did I mention they have a very good system of permissioning?

Then I discovered the one-click integration to various photo-ordering options (you don’t wanna know my process for buying prints). It’s possible I swooned at that point. I came to with Picasa holding me by the shoulders and administering smelling salts. (Ok, not really, but close!)

As a software engineer, I’m deeply humbled. I have never in my life written anything as close to this powerful, intuitive and useful.

As a user, I’m totally wow’d.

As a mom, I’m extremely grateful that a very precious part of my life just got more fun and less tedious.

So with this tremendous buildup, I present to you:

Late Spring 2009

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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