Friday, May 27, 2011

If only our brains came with a memory chip...

A question I get asked again and again is - 'What is the ultimate format to store digital photographs and files on?' Unfortunately there is no pat answer to that. The technology hasn't been invented yet that won't go obsolete in a few years and while that doesn't bode well with our plans for organizing and preserving our personal archives for posterity in one swift, effortless swoop, the good news is that there's always a bridge.

The photographs of my parents that began with their honeymoon were Polaroid. There were many that were black and white. Then came color. Then matte and glossy. Then they turned digital. Today, one can even store 30-40 digital photographs on a keychain the size of a folded dollar bill. When the trend began to move toward digital, my father invested in a scanner the size of a coffee table - maybe even a little bigger. First we stored them on floppy disks. Then came CDs and DVDs. Today the scanners themselves are compact, with a processing time of less than half that it took six years ago.

The question was posed to me again at a recent presentation in Round Rock, TX - what is the next big thing and how can we stay a step ahead. I gave the most honest answer I could - there's no knowing what the next thing is going to be. Or the one after it. Maybe it will be 3-D holograms. Maybe our memories will be digitized and stored in our brain's archive the moment they take place. Maybe human beings will have chips implanted in our minds. Who is to say? What is reassuring is that there is always a technological bridge that enables the continuation of our archives. From paper to digital and then who knows what.

The real question is - will we take the time to do the transfer? Till recently, my own family was guilty of hoarding home movies on VCR cassettes. And I bet you anything there are young adults today who have never seen one! It took the dedication and single-minded focus of my husband to transfer those home videos onto DVDS, and then also store a copy online... just in case!

It seemed like an intimidating and impossible task before we sat down to tackle it, but after a few evenings over a few days, we now had digital legacies of his childhood, and with that, all the crazy things little boys do when they're growing up. Climbing on to the roof of the house, imaginary sword fights, terrorizing innocent cats on the prowl... the most endearing part was watching my husband's mother watch these videos for the first time in 25 years. "You did that?"

It's a wonder how little boys survive their childhoods to become men.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

What's Love Got To Do With It? Everything!

With Mother’s Day upon us, I find myself thinking about how lucky I was to have a mother who indeed was worth celebrating. Though she passed away a few months ago, the example of her behavior and love has had and will continue to have a great influence on me. And that legacy directly affected how I raised my own children. I am so grateful that the path she followed has helped make my own journey such a joyful one.

It wasn’t that she was a perfect mother. She did a few things that a psychologist might have raised an eyebrow at but considering she and my father had ten children, a few mistakes were bound to be made when raising us. What she did seem to be perfect at was how she made all of us feel equally loved.

One thing that is very comforting to me is that I have several hours of audio and video interviews of her sharing stories of her life. I conducted most of these interviews before I began creating video biographies professionally. These are now such a wonderful link to memories of her. For instance some of my sibling would sometimes tease her about how she couldn’t carry a tune but that never stopped her from singing in church or singing to us. Now I have video proof that though her pitch might not have been perfect, her intent was.

Mom, we were truly blessed to have you in our lives.

Bridget Poizner