Father’s Day

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a Father’s Day project – creating a photo book filled with old photos from the time when Dad was a little boy to just a few weeks ago.  Many of the photos that are included in the book were taken by Dad many years ago; however, he hasn’t seen most of them in over 35 years.  (Along with me, Mom got the photos and negatives in the divorce.) 

Since my stepmother did call me out on this, I suppose I’ll admit that my only goal for Father’s Day these past few years is to find presents for Dad that “get” to him.  He can have anything he wants off his Amazon Wishlist for his birthday or for Christmas, but I claim this one holiday to remind him why I’m his favorite (shhh, he doesn’t realize he has very limited choices).

Unfortunately, as I was selecting the photos for scanning, I discovered several of them were damaged.  In those kinds of tough situations, I did the thing I know best, I panicked.  (I am truly the chicken little among my steady-handed friends.)  That’s when my cousin Chris called out of the blue and, as a graphic designer, found that he had volunteered to clean-up several photos.  Holes magically disappeared, a tiger’s stripes returned and odd stains no longer waved at me from the surface of the photos.  The images looked better than new.

I also want to thank a few others, most notably Drew Klausner from Pixl Fixl.  I had an extremely low resolution image that had previously been fixed, but I couldn’t get it to work for the book .  I needed the image not only repaired, but I needed to be able to print it in the photo book at its original size, which was 8″x10″ and without any grainy-ness.  Drew to the rescue!  He had the image cleaned up and shipped to me in no time.  He also provided me with a digital download of the photo and thanks to his speed, Dad’s book is arriving on time.  (WHEW! It was a close one.)  Many thanks to Drew for patiently working with me and for getting the photo to me so quickly; he did a beautiful job.

Another thanks to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, which is more thanks to Seth.  After talking to him on a day I was having a photo resolution meltdown (which involved a small amount of screaming at my monitor for it daring to suggest a photo’s resolution was once again too low), I purchased the software.  Seth pointed me in the right direction to find the tool I needed to do some basic photo repairs.  It’s not pretty, but no one but me can easily find it.  I have to say, I did feel pretty empowered fixing the photo on my own – so much so that I tried a photo that was more challenging.  Ummm… let’s just say, “hooray Undo command!” (Ctrl+Z x30 and everything is all good again. Catastrophe avoided!) I’m now practicing “Save as”.  One of us may have the finesse of a sledge-hammer.

Thanks to everyone for all your help on this project and to Jay for putting up with my insanity.

Now it’s just a waiting game to see how the present is received.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed until then.

Father’s Day

While some of you have “fathers”, “pops”, “old mans”, “dads”, I happen to have a “Daddy”. Despite some raised eyebrows because I’m many decades old, this is the name I have always called him and that he answers to, although it sounds more like “daddaa” than “da-dee”. (Look, I come by this honestly – my family hails from the South, and I’m not the only old gal out there addressing her father in this way. For that matter, my grandmother went by “Grandbuddi”, which sounds like “Grandbudda” and there was my great grandmother “Ol’ Mama”, so really Daddy hardly seems like anything. Yet still, there are those that treat you like an unsophisticated hillbilly (as opposed to their distant sophisticated hillbilly cousins) and we pity them because they never had Daddy’s – they likely had “fathers” and that’s a shame. Everyone should have a Daddy.)

A few days ago, I called Dad up (he’s “Dad” in stories – hey, I’m not talking to the man, I’m talking about the man – subtle but important difference).

Me: Dad, I heard on the radio there’s only one gift that truly shows you care about your father on Father’s Day.

Dad: What’s that kid? (Yes, I’m still “kid”.)

Me: A gift certificate for a CT Heart scan from the Austin Heart Hospital.

Dad: …

Me: So, I was calling to find out if that’s what you really want.

Dad: Well, not NOW. I already know what you’re getting me. Although, I was kind of hoping for a colonoscopy.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the appropriate gift certificate that truly expressed how I feel about my Dad. I mean sure, there was the heart scan that the Austin Heart hospital assured me was the very best, but Dad already knew it might be coming. And there was that colonoscopy option, but maybe a prostate screen was a better choice… I mean, it’s always in the news. Well, not Dad’s prostate per se – that would be a bit weird, but prostates in general. I finally settled on a mixed CD (because nothing screams cheese like mixed CDs) of all the songs we used to sing together growing up with maybe an extra song or two. (Note to Charla: Dad doesn’t read this. I wouldn’t point it out until he gets a package in the mail.) Thanks to Seth for helping me track down one of the songs when Amazon and iTunes failed. I’m hoping he’s not too let down since he can’t really present the CD to any health care professional and expect too much in the way of service.

To Dad: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I’m sorry I don’t love you enough to get you one of those fine gift certficates. I still think you’re alright. I mean, I don’t make mixed CDs for just everyone so that’s kind of special. The last one was for Mom’s funeral and hey, you’re still alive. That’s noticeable improvement for me in the CD making department.

You’re still my favorite Dad, although I’m sure my real father was kind of special, too. You have kind of grown on me.

You know what’s great, Daddy? I probably just horrified a few people and knowing that, I’m pretty sure I made you smile.

Your favorite daughter,