Lazy Luddite Log

25.7.06

Blogging Wish List

There are things I want to do at some time with this blog but they may still be sometime off. I find "getting around to it" always takes time. More specifically if it is something new or different or fiddly then it will take ages for me to get the whatever-it-takes together to do it.

One thing that I need is photos. This may be simplicity itself or it may take a bit of looking into. One challenge is that a lot of my best photos are film camera photos so then there is the whole process of scanning. I would never want to have more space dedicated to photos than to text but sometimes images can help tell a story. To start with I need a mug shot. A nice one. Possibly one that is black-and-white so that it will fit better with my special purpose blogs as well. Then there are other things like my best-ever Lego spaceship. Or before-and-after shots of the construction of the Monash Synchrotron. Or some of my recent humans-as-landscapes drawings.

Another thing I want to do is interview my parents and provide transcriptions of those interviews on-line. Why? There is nothing particularly exceptional in the life history of my parents. And yet every life has things that make it interesting even if only to illustrate life in general. My parents are war-era children (older than the 'baby-boomer' parents of most of my peers) and have experienced and observed a lot since their childhood in the 1940s. I have some past experience in recording oral history so it will be an interesting thing to do and may help me understand them better. The thing I need most to get this done is a tape recorder with mircophone (something very few modern stereos have) so I will have to look into finding and borrowing one.

I am sure there are other things I could do with this blog in future as life becomes more and more 'multimedia' (on-screen scratch-and-sniff recipes anyone?). I also need to be writing lists of things to do in my life beyond the Internet but I think winter is inhibiting my motivation. Off now to prepare a list of correspondents that need my recent change-of-address.

Update

Hey - I am now using Flickr to put photos on the Internet so that I can then link to them from here. As of writing this on 14 November I have a mugshot in my profile.

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4 Comments:

  • silly luddite ;-) tape recorders are so last milenium!

    My tiny (but expensive) digital camera has the abilty to record approx 1/2 hr of voice with inbuilt microphone at fairly decent quality.

    I remember a mutual friend with interests in the live music industry recording concerts on a fairly state of the art mp3 player 8 years ago. (he may still own this setup).

    I suspect that what you need to look at are the digital storage devices of your friends - mp3 players, memory sticks, phones, cameras, palm pilots, modern dictaphones (people do occasionally get them for lectures) etc. A laptop with attached mic may also be an option. Microphones are so cheap that it's easy to record at sufficient quality to provide a transcript later.

    Or, if you can get a slightly better setup, possibly with separate mic, you may wish to store the interview. And if you record digitally, you won't have trouble with 10th generation tapes - it can be easily cut to CD as an audio CD or mp3, and any copies will be as good a quality as the first, and easier to produce more quickly. Sure a homemade CD has a short lifetime, but so does a tape, and if you make several copies, you have better chances of one surviving 50 years, and whichever one it is, will still be as good a quality as the day you recorded it.

    Tiffany
    (whose family has several old tapes of family interviews in the early 1980's that we haven't dared play yet to see if they still work or not)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 26 July, 2006  

  • Here's something that will do the trick - the Griffin iFM (cut and paste the link):
    http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=143_145&products_id=3650

    It includes a microphone, and it will work with your ipod (although your ipod is dodgy, so you may want to borrow one of mine). You also get an FM radio tuner/recorder. I'm sure there are plenty of other brands out there as well.

    By Blogger Polly, At 27 July, 2006  

  • To Tiffany

    Thanks for all the suggestions of digital recording methods. In particular digital storage would be most useful.

    My expectation of needing a tape recorder comes from the last time I did anything like this: I interviewed an elderly neighbour on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II (an interview which is now over a decade old serving only to make me feel old). At the time I utilised a device borrowed from the Monash University Education Faculty.

    Now that was an interesting interview. My neighbour responded to my original request for interview with the following: "My story is boring. I never went to war. I broke my neck during training and once I recovered the only thing they would let me do was be a prison guard at a prison camp for German and Italian POWs".

    Wow. As you can imagine that only made me more interested in interviewing him. I still have the casssette to this day (as well as having given a copy to the archives at Monash Uni).

    To Polly

    There is so much cool stuff out there! Mind you for just two isolated interviews I think I am better off borrowing rather than buying anything right now. I may have to consult with that live music fan that Tiff refers to...

    By Blogger Daniel, At 31 July, 2006  

  • So I have a record of my interview outline safely recorded in the Ether I shall put them here...

    MUM

    1. You were born in 1942. What is your earliest memory?

    2. You spent your childhood till 8 years of age in the 40s. Do you have any personal memories relating to either World War II or its aftermath?

    3. How old were you when your brother Leon was born? What do you remember of the change in life circumstances from only child to having a sibling?

    4. Tell us a bit about your father - his background, personality, relationship to you.

    5. Tell us a bit about your mother - her background, personality, relationship to you.

    6. What schools did you go to? What was your school life like?

    7. What memory do you have of school friends, or other friends from your days as a student?

    8. We have moved now well-and-truly into the 1950s, during which time you were between the ages of 8 and 18. which means you were a teenager in the era that the teenager was allegedly 'invented'. Was your experience of adolescence anything like that depicted in movies from that time or since?

    9. As you grew older, what sort of interests or hobbies did you develop?

    10. You were involved in the predecessor to the Australian Ballet. What was it called and what was it like in those days? What do you remember from that experience?

    11. One thing that happened while you were with the ballet is that you got some opportunities to travel. What were your modes of transportation? What were your destinations? What did you think of all this?

    12. What sort of work did you get once you left school?

    13. Now we move into the 60s, during which you were between the ages of 18 and 28. This was an interesting era with lots of things happening worldwide. Consider the Cold War, Vietnam, the Beatles, the Supremes, TV, garish fashions, hippies. What impact did any of these things have on your life? Is there anything major I have overlooked in my short list of things characterising that era?

    14. Now as a young adult what was family life like for you?

    15. How did you make friends and meet different people as a young adult? What was the nature of dating at that time?

    16. You would have travelled a bit as a young adult to the City. What was Melbourne like at that time? What other things can you say about the metropolitan and surrounding area?

    17. You married in 1969? Was it only then that you moved out of home? What was your experience of the change in living circumstances?

    18. I was born in 1972, and Lukas in 1977, by which time you had a house and mortgage, and lived far away from the area in which you had grown up. How did you find this change of surrounds?

    19. What changes have you observed of the world in the 80s and 90s?

    20. What do you think are the most interesting things happening in the world today?

    DAD

    1. You were born in 1939. What is your earliest memory?

    2. What personal memories do you have of your experience of WWII as a child in Germany?

    3. By the end of the 1940s you were 11. What recollections do you have of life in the aftermath of WWII?

    4. Tell us a bit about your father - his background, personality, relationship to you.

    5. Tell us a bit about your mother - her background, personality, relationship to you.

    6. How different in age from you were your brother and sister? What things do you remember about them from your childhood and youth?

    7. What schools did you go to? What was your school life like?

    8. What memory do you have of school friends, or other friends from your days as a student?

    9. As you grew older, what sort of interests or hobbies did you develop?

    10. We have moved now well-and-truly into the 1950s, during which time you were between the ages of 12 and 21. In that time you lived in the German Democratic Republic. What was life like for a young person living in the Eastern Bloc?

    11. You also spent some time working in the Federal Republic of Germany. What was that like and why did you go there?

    12. Then you came to Australia (I think it was in 1959).How did that happen and why did you decide to do that?

    13. The GDR never wanted you to go. How did living on opposite sides of the 'Iron Curtain' affect your lives?

    14. You came to Australia at a time in which it is very different from now and also very different from Europe. What were your first impressions of Australia in the 1960s?

    15. Once here you had to find work and accomodation. How did that go?

    16. You also had to learn English and get to know new people. How do you manage to do that? Who did you get to know at that time?

    17. You have travelled a bit in Australia in your time. I think you even worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. What impact did that experience have on you?

    18. You were married in 1969, I was born in 1972, and Lukas in 1977, by which time you had a house and mortgage. As far back as I can remember you were driving a green Volkswagen and working at Heinz. We had black-and-white TV and played vinyl records. What changes have been most significant to you from then to now?

    19. I remember us exchanging letters with our German cousins. I even very vaguely remember Oma visiting Australia. And then in 1989 the GDR collapsed paving the way for Reunification. How did this change affect you? At the time did you ever expect it to happen?

    20. A lot has happened since then and you have been back and forth to Germany a number of times now. What has changed both here and there in the time since you were allowed to travel in both Germany and Australia?

    By Blogger Daniel, At 13 February, 2009  

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