The Age Of The Mouse & The Pressure WasherWednesday, July 02, 2014
|Ale, Arboledas, Mexico 1971|
As a young boy in Buenos Aires and then in Mexico City I took shop in school. They taught me to turn wood to make salad bowls and even how to French polish. I became a not so bad carpenter. I improved on this in the early 70s when from a departing American I purchased a very nice bench saw, an electric orbital sander and a craftsman electric drill. Since I had no jig saw I had no way of making curvy furniture so I settled in modern stuff which I then lacquered with automobile paint using an electric sprayer.
Once in Vancouver my carpentry declined and I resorted to re-finishing some of our tables with varathane.
Our brief cycle of buying stuff from either Ikea or New Look Interiors stopped when one night a bookcase holding my collection of National Geographics collapsed. From then on we scoured Maple Ridge, Fort Langley and New Westminster for good antique lawyer’s book cases and other furniture.
This concept of the well-made crept into my purchase of good but expensive photographic equipment and studio lights. Rosemary insisted in having Audis. Our home stereo is quality and the linear tracking turntable a gem.
I hold on to old technology for the same reason. I want to have stuff that lasts, that has value and if it can be repaired I will spend the money to do so.
Our Sony Trinitron TV had to be repaired three years ago. We still have it and only recently with the World Cup did my visiting Lillooet daughter Ale say, “Papi you need a new TV. Your image is blurred and I cannot tell what the score is.”
This computer on which I am writing this faces a very good (in its time) Dell (Sony) CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor. It serves me well in dealing with my plant scans and my film scans. I do not spend a fortune calibrating it as many photographers of my generation do. I know my web page and blog is backed by a gray colour which I, every two months, check for any shifts into other colours. That’s how I calibrate my monitor! I have noticed that my scans of my portraits in which I use a phenomenal Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner and with an 8 or 9 year old Photoshop look exactly the same on my monitor as in Grant Simmons’s (DISC) Mac monitor. Simmons prints my digital files into beautiful giclées. But when I place those scans in my Blogger blog they go yellow/red. The colour of these pictures in facebook and in Twitter is also different. There is obviously no standard for colour in the internet.
The proof of accurate colour will always be (and can only be) in a print. And even then, those of us who are perfectionists (I sort of exclude myself from that category) will argue that the print will have to be seen in a particular type of chosen light. Colour prints will vary under incandescents, fluorescents, daylight on sunny days, daylight on cloudy days and with the latitude of the city where you view them.
But we now live in an era of easy opening packaging (not so if you suffer from arthritis as I do) and almost anything is a mouse click away. We no longer get lost as our car (not my 2007 Malibu) tells us exactly where we are and where we are going. Digital cameras become ever more perfect and up-to-date with firmware you are supposed to download.
I would call this the era of the pressure washer. Most museum conservationists know that a powerful vacuum cleaner can damage or destroy antique carpets, etc. So we would also suspect that an industrial pressure washer can do the same to old framing and trimming in an old house.
For reasons that escape me, my wife has decided to have our house painted in sections. The young College Pros in the era of the mouse thought they could use their pressure washer to strip old paint and clean it all up. Having no knowledge of gardens they place their ladders with no thought of botanical damage.
So in this age of the mouse and the quickie (in every meaning that word has) I am inside my house and I will not look outside. If I don’t the problem does not exist. Like the overdue library book kept inside my desk, if I cannot see it, it is not overdue. But I should know better. Long ago I learned that noises in cars did not miraculously go away. They got worse.