Monday, February 22, 2016

Scrapping the scrap books

It's early on a Monday morning and I'm busy taking photographs of my scrapbook, page by page. I'm doing this so that I can keep it on my computer as a compilation of JPG files and file it under "Scrapbook", of course. I love scrapbooks and photo albums. And this scrapbook in particular. I may have mentioned it before; it's a scrapbook that contains all sorts of business cards. I saved business cards, starting back in the 1980's. I have a vague memory of one like that that my Dad had and I really wish I had it now, even though it was quite small. But I don't; What I do have are a lot of current business cards as well as old ones and all the expired credit cards I once used. I have all my old drivers licenses. Fishing and hunting licenses. Plastic room keys for hotels I stayed at. Cards from all of my doctors and dentists. Hospitals. I think you get the idea. I have almost filled this very large album and I'm ready to start shopping for a new one. If I have 3 or 4 of any one item, I will begin to collect more. I'm not an active collector of solid objects. I don't sniff out the items I want on Ebay or Craigslist. If they come to me, I take them. That's all.

I have Autism Spectrum Disorder and so collecting comes naturally to me. I'm lucky; I have a wonderful wife and she keeps me and my collections under control and mostly invisible. The collections are invisible, not me. Every once in awhile, she will insist that some items must go and she gives me a good argument as to why they should go...and with some sadness, I will pack them up and take them away. When I was the IT guy for our local branch office I collected electronics. Lots and lots of electronics. Keyboards, monitors, mice and everything in between, plus all the cables that made them work. I was persuaded to surrender them to a local salvage group that was turning the junk into working computers, printers and scanners for the local high school district. I'm down to 2 small boxes now, mostly cables.

The computer has become a wonderful tool for me as a collector. I have folder after folder filled with images of things. I have 67,000 plus images on my Flickr account. Close to the same on my Amazon Prime account. Then there are Google Photos and Dropbox, plus my Apple Cloud account. All filled with thousands upon thousands of images. Did I mention that I also have these images saved on 3 portable hard drives and a couple of 'jump' drives? All of these images help in keeping my collecting under control. A photograph of something is almost as good as having the real thing. Besides, lately I've been collecting images of old steam locomotives; where would I keep one of those? In the backyard? Nope, but I do have over 1,000 images of these beautiful steam driven wonders.

And talk about how easy it is to collect! All I have to do is decide on what I want to collect and then let Google be my guide. Fruit box labels? I have hundreds already but I can always use a few more. And one of my latest; complimentary ash trays. Every hotel room had them. Every bar and restaurant. Every casino. Now I have hundreds of them and I'm looking for more; via Google. My mom and dad had a very small match book cover collection; maybe 50 covers. When it became mine, it was down to half that number. I'm beginning my own collection and it will be huge; maybe 500 MB. Yes, I have car collections. And auto advertising. And auto accessories. Get the idea?

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