Or maybe it was thrown away for me, sort of. Regardless, it’s the end of
Saturday, and while I guess I could say I got some stuff done, I’m not
100% sure that much of it was worth doing.
My mom came over to help out and watch Phoenix while Jenn worked on her
Halloween costume and I got errands done. I definitely appreciate that
help because, while I love Phoe with all my heart, she gets to be a
handful and it gets hard to really get anything done when you have to
watch her, too.
Jenn and I headed over to Jo-Ann, where we both
picked up some additional materials for costumes. This is actually where
things started to go awry. Jenn had a non-trivial amount of stuff to get
and needed help picking things out, while I had like three things to
get. This trip lasted close to two hours, all told, which ate up a bit
of the day I wasn’t really anticipating getting eaten. Not Jenn’s fault,
just that’s how it happened.
Then it was lunchtime, which normally I’ll skip if I’m out or get
something on the run, but I had to take Jenn back home so we stopped and
got some food, went home and ate… which was another, say, hour down.
At that point Jenn went upstairs to work on her costume and I finally
left to get my errands done. I stopped at the dry cleaner to get a shirt
cleaned, stopped at the comic store (which was a good point of the day),
and then went to a couple of stores to get a little bit more for our
costumes. Then - home.
By this time, we’re well into the afternoon. Jenn’s upstairs taking over
the only baby-off-limits room up there with her work, so, since I can’t
get my costume done, I decide to take care of comic book inventory since
I’d been neglecting it.
I love collecting comics, truly. I have a great time reading the fun
stories and love the art. There are two problems, though.
First, I don’t get much time to read them anymore. I can’t do it
when Phoenix is around, and when I’m home, she’s around. So I get a
pretty big backlog of comics to read and end up eating a full day
catching up, which makes the reading feel more like a chore than the
recreation it really should be.
Second, since the comics are actually worth something, I have them
covered by insurance. But in order to keep the insurance up, I have to
have a current inventory. I keep mine in
ComicsPriceGuide.com. Problem is,
it’s sort of a manual inventory process. No bar code scanner or any of
that - it’s search for a title, find the issue, click the “add” button,
enter some price data in. For each comic. This is where I get that “my
stuff owns me” sort of a vibe and I’m not sure what to do about it.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time doing inventory because I bought each of
the 52 new DC #1 issues and with the manual inventory process, looking
up and adding each issue takes about a minute. Given I had about 80 or
so comics, I stopped to get a glass of water… we’re looking at another
two hours of inventory.
Once I finished that, I noticed that I still had a ton of photos I
haven’t filed yet all sitting on my computer desktop. We took advantage
of a Groupon that let us send 1000 photos in
to get scanned. It turns out doing this is both a blessing and a curse.
It is nice - really nice - to have our photos in digital format. We can
look at them, back them up, share them, and so on. However, physical
photos don’t scan and magically get the right date metadata embedded.
You have to name them, or set that data, or whatever all by yourself.
And if the photos aren’t written on (or imprinted with a timestamp) you
realize that you really don’t remember much beyond maybe a
five-year-window around when some photos were taken. This turns filing
the photos and/or naming them so you can find them again…
So I work, iteratively, on filing these things so eventually they’ll all
be done. I wish I could get Jenn’s help with that, but she’s still got
photos sitting on her computer desktop from several months ago that she
keeps promising me she’ll get to. So it’s all me. Since I was sitting
here, I decided to do a few photos.
After putting them in the right folders on our Windows Home Server, I
fired up Picasa so it could
auto-discover them and scan for people in the photos, etc. Here’s where
the real clusterfuck hit.
As the new photos were being scanned, I noticed that Jenn had two
entries in the list of people. What that means is that Picasa thinks
there are two different Jennifer Illig people and it was splitting the
pictures of her between the two people. Try as I might, I couldn’t unify
them. Every time I did, other, different pictures would pop into this
odd doppelganger contact.
Ignoring that, I saw that Picasa had some suggestions for face tags. It
has this nice feature where it “learns” everyone’s face and can give
intelligent recommendations on tagging. “Is this Travis Illig?” Usually
Anyway, I saw the suggestions and I clicked to accept them. The
suggestions were accepted… then reverted back to suggestions again.
I tried several times to accept the suggestions to no avail.
This was very weird, so I researched what I could do to fix it. Several
places in the help forums, you see that if Picasa is doing weird things
or behaving oddly, you’re supposed to uninistall/reinstall so it can
re-build its internal database. Fine. I took a backup of everything, did
First problem I found is that about half of my albums were lost. It
appeared to be arbitrary which half, but half. I followed several
suggestions on how to restore these from backup, but none of them
worked. Every time I tried to restore the albums, Picasa would delete
them for me again. Thanks, Picasa. This caused me to have to manually
recreate all of the missing albums.
Once I recreated the albums, I noticed that the synchronization with
Picasa Web Albums was broken. Figuring all I needed to do was turn it on
again, I clicked the button to enable sync… and it turns out this
creates a duplicate copy of the web album. Fantastic.
The way you re-attach an album is:
- Re-create the album with the exact same name, date, etc.
- Put the pictures into the album, ideally in the right order.
- Right-click on the album and select “Upload to web albums.”
- When the dialog pops up, scroll down to find the existing album
that’s already been uploaded. Select that.
- Click OK and the upload should happen pretty quickly because Picasa
will see the photos are already there.
- Now click the sync button and things should sync up right. Should.
Let me tell you the ridiculous amount of trial and error that went
I had Picasa back up, I had my albums attached… but now I had facial
Any faces I had marked to be ignored had to be marked ignored again.
Thousands and thousands of faces. All over again.
Some people in the pictures it basically forgot. It put “unknown person”
for several people who used to be named. All of those had to be
And remember the original issues? Where I couldn’t accept suggestions
and I couldn’t get Jenn to unify?Still fucking there.
Doing a bunch more searching, I find a help
where, it turns out, all of this appears to have started recently and
is somehow tied to synchronizing albums with Picasa Web Albums. All
that work I did to get it re-syncing? Turn that off.
After I turned off synchronizing, sure enough, I could get things filed
right. After I had them filed right, I thought I’d be smart and turn
synchronization back on. Big mistake. It broke everything again.
That means the last, say,three or four hours fighting with Picasa was
basically all for nothing. I’m still at square one.
And that’s where my Saturday went.
I’m at the “my stuff owns me” point with these photos, too. Kind of,
“who cares if we ever look at these pieces of shit ever again?” style. I
mean, I know academically that they are important, but my mood is
saying, “fuck it.”
Now it’s close to midnight and I’m beat. Jenn went to bed a couple of
hours ago. I’m at a stalemate with Picasa so I’m abandoning that for
now… and I would love to do something fun before going to bed, but
really, I’m so tired. Mentally drained, emotionally drained. If I sat to
watch some TV or something I’d fall asleep. I don’t think I have the
concentration to read a book or play a game. So I’ll just go to bed,
Tomorrow Jenn will be up super early because Phoenix can’t sleep past
5:00a and I just don’t hear her. Once I finally come out of my coma,
I’ll be watching her while Jenn continues on her costume all day. Which
means tomorrow I won’t really get to do anything relaxing, either.
I guess there goes the weekend.