Johnny Turns 2 Months; Photo Caption Contest!

Johnny is 2 months old tomorrow (Wednesday). It seems like longer than 2 months to me; time has not exactly flown by. That’s likely because I’ve been awake more in the last 2 months than ever before. But that’s not to say we aren’t enjoying every second with our little tot.  Here are some 2-month fun facts!

  • He’s mostly been a very good night sleeper and a poor napper during the day, but that has gotten better the past couple weeks.
  • He can’t turn away from lights and ceiling fans.
  • He doesn’t mind big brother Baxter licking his face too much, or he’s at least oblivious to it.
  • He likes to be propped up on my lap while I’m sitting on the couch and listen to me make funny noises and gurgling sounds.
  • He likes lying on the changing table but hates lying in his co-sleeper despite them being so similar.
  • He likes going outside, which calms him down if he’s fussy.
  • He likes going for walks in the stroller around the neighborhood; usually it puts him to sleep.
  • He tends to fall asleep to me singing to him rather loudly. The Cheers theme song and George Strait’s “The Chair” seem to work best.
  • Changing diapers is easy.
  • Putting baby clothes on him is somewhat difficult.
  • The Vikings are 3-2 when he wears a team onesie; 0-3 when he does not.
  • He has had his first kiss from a girl his age; Lexi Mego has given him a couple smooches on the face.
  • He falls asleep pretty quickly in his Mei Tai baby wrap. Of the 6 various wraps we have, it’s the one that works best right now.
  • He has been to several bars including Whole Foods and Easy Tiger; he was kicked out of Little Woodrow’s.

In other news, I purchased a military-grade 1TB (1,000GB, to the layperson; or, 100x as big as the hard drive on my original Macbook from ’01) external hard drive that is ultra-resistant to water, fire, drops, surges, etc. On this hard drive shall go the master photo archive I’ve been busy working on. And once I am finished, it will go into our safe. I have taken a break from the scanning this week just to start filing things and gathering some other of my digital photos from more recent years. I have merely grazed the surface and I’ve already worked with over 16,000 photos. I wonder who but me would appreciate having such a thing organized so tactfully? Who else would enjoy sitting there and looking through thousands of photos? Jason, I could see enjoying that. It has been a little too nostalgic going through all these pictures, maybe. I’ve found myself wishing we were back in Minneapolis too many times.

Caption Contest!
Here’s my Throwback Photo of the Day for today from 1987. What must be going on in this photo? Caption this photo in the comments section and one winner will receive a very special prize from me!

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Northward Bound!

Dang it man, I really miss that crisp fall weather! Even in Texas we’ve gotten some cooler weather this time of year. But this year that has not been the case. There’s a chance we’ll break the all-time high today as we push 90 degrees. We had thoughts of taking Johnny out to the local pumpkin patch for some fall fun, but the idea of it being 90+ degrees makes that very unappealing. But, our lack of cool weather is soon to change as we head north for 10 days o’ fun.

Friday morning we’ll depart Austin for Minneapolis. It obviously will be Johnny’s first time on a plane and first time leaving the state. We’ll pick up a rental car, make a few stops, and hit the highway for South Dakota. It may be very late in the afternoon when we arrive, but the plan is to hit up the Willow Lake Halloween carnival with all of Johnny’s cousins on my side of the family. We’ll hang out on the farm all day Saturday and Sunday, and at some point early in the week we’ll return to Minneapolis where we’ll spend the rest of the trip.

I of course grew up with essentially one cousin, Katie Wilkins. Johnny already has Peyton, Emerson, Hudson, Colton, Hadley, Adrienne, Abby, Owen, Annika, and now Theodore as first cousins… already he’s not the youngest of the bunch! He’ll get to meet them all on the trip. Well, maybe not “meet” since he’ll be two months old, but there will be photos of him and his cousins posing together anyway.

Other highlights of the trip will just be visiting friends and Lauren’s family in Minnesota. Perhaps we’ll hit up a couple old favorite restaurants or something, but it won’t be the same as past visits where we go on beer binges. If we time things right, we might even be in town when Baby Walshichetti arrives!

Baxter, meanwhile, will be setting up shop at DogBoys, where he’ll have to spend 11 nights! It will cost more than a plane ticket, but it’s for his own damn good. After all the times friends have watched him for free, we can afford to splurge this once.

I don’t have any PTO left, so I had to take Baby Bonding leave and don’t get paid a dime for the 6 days of work I’ll miss. But, such is life.

Ahhhh... it's about time I get to kick back and take it easy for a few days. Vacation, woooooo!

Ahhhh… it’s about time I get to kick back and take it easy for a few days. Vacation, woooooo!

Photo Reenactments, Re-Creations, and More!

As my scanning project has finally taken me to the Baby Ryan albums, I’ve been overcome with the urge to break out my creative juices and do something with these photos that have been hidden from the public eye for years! What good do these photos do if they’re just boxed up in someone’s house, and maybe once every few years someone thumbs through them? I decided I would reinvent a few of these photos that I starred in, with various approaches.

As you see below, here’s a perfectly easy photo to recreate, since Johnny is virtually the same age as I was here. Ideally I would have taken the photo in the same place and used the same background as it looks today… unfortunately the trailer house is no longer in the family, and as far as I know, sits mostly vacant at the Missouri River as a summertime fishing retreat for someone. Even so, odds are the inside has been changed. If the house is still standing, I would imagine the kitchen wallpaper would be in tact. The table we’re sitting at was in our Minneapolis apartment until the time we moved, leaving it to Lauren’s brother, who we presume left it with his roommate. So a full recreation would have been impossible. However, I decided to dress like Dad, dress Johnny like me, and attempt to get Baxter to pose just like Puppy, all while sitting in our current dining area. I did wind up Photoshopping the tint onto the glasses, and snuck in part of the old table into the corner. Otherwise it was realistic. Thanks to Lauren for taking about 24 shots… believe it or not Johnny and Baxter were the easiest to pose. I kept laughing and ruining many of the shots.

That's of course me as a 2-month-old baby in October 1982, with young chihuahua terrier Puppy, and a 22-year-old Dick Glanzer... My attempt to reproduce this classic moment features nearly-2-month-old Johnny, 32-year-old me, and 3-year-old beagle Baxter.

That’s of course me as a 2-month-old baby in October 1982, with young chihuahua terrier Puppy, and a 22-year-old Dick Glanzer… My attempt to reproduce this classic moment features nearly-2-month-old Johnny, 32-year-old me, and 3-year-old beagle Baxter.

In the second shot, I am seen as a 3-year-old (maybe even 4?) posing with a baby lion cub at the Huron Mall. Mom, you were right, there was a photo of Dusty Hovde holding a monkey but that must be in the Hovde collection. I actually remember this happening! You may not know it to look at my face, but I do recall being rather scared to hold that lion. I wonder what the circumstances of that trip to the Mall were? Did Mom and Lori go to the mall with me and Dusty because they were aware of a zoo animal photo shoot, or did they just stumble upon it? I decided to re-enact the photo in the present day as it may look with the lion at the age of 30. (Lions don’t live that long–a more accurate representation would have been a lion skeleton). It was meant to appear Photoshopped. I never intended anyone to believe I was posing with a real lion. People were supposed to see it and laugh and say, “Oh, that Ryan!” But my humor continues to be lost on some, who pointed out “I can totally tell that’s Photoshopped, you aren’t fooling me you big stupid jerk!” Old college friend Matt Hanson and his wife Gillian are constantly quick to point out flaws in such things. Dude, it was intended to look a little Photoshopped… you think I’d attempt to make people actually believe I would be able to track down and then pose for a photo with the same lion and put my hand over its mouth? And in the deserted Huron Mall, no less? Come on, man!

I took a different approach with this timeless photo of me with a lion (ca. 1985) from the Huron Mall and just showed the modern-day reunion. The idea was that it would be intentionally crudely Photoshopped.

I took a different approach with this timeless photo of me with a lion (ca. 1985) from the Huron Mall and just showed the modern-day reunion. The idea was that it would be intentionally crudely Photoshopped.

If you think this is a 2-and-done series of reenactments, you are sadly mistaken. There is plenty more where this came from!

Sleeping, Anniversary, Baxter, Royals

Our lives have been pretty ho-hum around here lately, hence the lack of updates. Ho-hum in the sense that we’ve basically just been on the same routine every day for the past few weeks, ever since the Glanzers departed. We’ve got John on a pretty darn good sleeping routine at night where we can get at least a solid 4-hour block of sleep in. The only downside, of course, is that he’s still sleeping on top of us, but it’s such a minor inconvenience compared to him screaming! We usually head to bed at 11, Lauren nurses Johnny to sleep, he wakes up for a feeding around 3 and is back asleep by 4, and he wakes up again when I get up for work around 7.

This past Saturday, Lauren and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a night out. It was our first time leaving the baby with a sitter, so Lauren was a little teared up. But the Megos did a fantastic job watching the little guy (and the beagle). We enjoyed pre-dinner wine at Wink, and then a quality steak dinner at Austin Land & Cattle. It was expensive, but when you take into account that we don’t eat out ever anymore, it was affordable! We forgot to take a picture of ourselves all gussied up. My gift to Lauren is pictured below. She got me a book.

Baxter continues to be ignored greatly and has been acting out with peeing on the floor, digging in the yard, destroying his bed, and tearing through the house with muddy feet, but we caught wind of a “Paws & Pucks” promo at the Texas Stars minor-league hockey game on Saturday and may venture out to the game with the whole clan.

In other news, we’ve watched a ton of sports on TV of late. At least 3 NFL games on Sunday (12, 3, and 7:30) as well as Monday and Thursday nights, plus most all of the American League playoffs. I am truly surprised the Kansas City Royals are going to the World Series. If the Twins can’t make it, I guess they are the next best team to root for. Midwest, low payroll, small market, perennial losers…

My anniversary gift to Lauren was this framed print of one of Jordan's photos from her trip.

My anniversary gift to Lauren was this framed print of one of Jordan’s photos from her trip.

Johnny wakes up in the morning with a big stretch!

Johnny wakes up in the morning with a big stretch!

Oh, why hello, I'm a tiny baby and I didn't see you there at first but now I do!

Oh, why hello, I’m a tiny baby and I didn’t see you there at first but now I do!

More Scans, Baby Update, 5-Year Anniversary

The last time I posted I was in the middle of the big scanning project… and I’m still in the middle of the big scanning project. I just worked through a pile of old little tiny 1″ x 1″ square photos from Dad’s side of the family. It certainly is interesting trying to imagine what was going on in certain pictures. Here’s one that is certainly from Granny’s (Dad’s mom) family. I am fairly sure that is a teenage Granny in the center in the dress. What sort of celebration might this have been? Hard to say.

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In other non-scanning news, we are busy raising our little Johnny Colfax. He turns 6 weeks old tomorrow. Lauren has been doing an admirable job of getting through the day with him one-on-one. They’re mostly confined to the house, but Lauren has made it out a couple times lately. I’m getting home from work and am sure to get my share of baby time as well. For posterity’s sake, here’s what’s going on with the baby right now.

  • He’s sleeping through the night pretty well most nights. Lauren nurses him to sleep, usually around midnight. He typically lays on top of me, as I’m a back sleeper and rarely move or jostle at all. He is up every 3 hours during the night for a feeding, and then I go make a bottle of supplement and feed him and then we all go back to sleep.
  • He’s not much of a napper. As I mentioned on Facebook, I will swaddle him and carry him around the house, bouncing him while singing country songs and TV theme songs. He typically will fall asleep and nap briefly after my performances.
  • Most of the “tricks” we have used to get him to sleep were either flukes or he’s too smart to fall for them. The blow dryer, vibration on the swing, radio static, clothes dryer… those things don’t usually do anything for him. The 5 S’s described in Happiest Baby On The Block… nope, nothing.
  • He’s been flashing a little smile here and there. Lauren brought him to my office last Friday and he took an immense liking to one female co-worker and just stared and smiled at her. I’ve got him to smile a few times by making crazy noises or whistling.

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In non-baby news, Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary! Lauren and I plan to go out and celebrate a little bit on Saturday with a dinner out. Our friends the Megos have graciously volunteered to babysit and dogsit for several hours.

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“Best” Photos of Massive Scanning Project Revealed

I’ve got thousands of digital photos I’ve taken and they’re not organized very well. I have lost quite a few digital photos over the years also, whether it was because a hard drive crashed or I misplaced some CDs or what. It kills me that I have nothing to show from my first digital camera in 2003! So many memories vanished!

One external hard drive at home has many digital photos, another flash drive has a few, my work laptop strangely has a bunch. I have long been meaning to sit down and consolidate everything into one master archive, which sounds like a pain in the ass but I’ll be glad I did.

I figured while I’m at that, why not go a step further and digitize the entire Glanzer family archives too and add them to the collection? So when the family visited last week, I had them bring all the photo albums they could fit. I got a free scanner recently courtesy a friend’s business giving stuff away. And I have been scanning like a madman.

So far, the project has been much less entertaining than I envisioned. I made the mistake (I even said aloud that it was a mistake at the time) of going through all the pictures first. Now when I’m scanning them they aren’t new and exciting… it’s something I just saw last week. Boring. Secondly, the vast majority of the photos I’ve scanned so far have been Jordan-related. Stuff she took in high school, largely involving her friends Alese and Amy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a photo in my archive of Jordan’s friend sitting on the toilet in the high school gym, or various blurry shots of the bottom half of our dog’s legs. But they aren’t like some amazing collection of photos that I forgot all about and am like “Wow! I’ve been looking everywhere for these photos!”

No matter. I plan to continue onward until every photo is scanned. But scanning is only half the battle.

  1. I put four photos on the scan bed at a time, wait a minute or two for the photos to finish scanning.
  2. Open the file in Photoshop.
  3. Crop each photo out individually.
  4. Rotate each photo so it’s upright.
  5. Do a quick auto-level color adjustment.
  6. Save with a unique 4-digit number.
  7. Repeat again and again and again.

And then once I have an album or box of photos scanned comes the trickiest part… trying to decide how to sort them. Do I go by year? Person? Event? I decided that events would take precedence… if there was a family trip to Colorado, that would be an album regardless. If a photo wasn’t part of a collection from a particular event, I’d have to decide if there was one person or a group of people and sort by person. So I have a folder for pictures primarily of me. If it’s me and Alex, then that goes in a Glanzer Kids folder. If Mom is in the photo, then it would have to go in a Glanzer Family folder. If Granny was also in the photo, then there’s yet another folder for Extended Family. Within those folders I’ve decided to break it down by time period. And then what to do with photos of various friends, a building, a tree, a pet, a high school basketball game… so many folders. So this is a very intricate system of filing with the hope that whenever someone wants to track down a particular photo, it will be fairly intuitive of where to look.

I originally estimated there were probably 5,000 photos to scan and I think that’s pretty accurate. I’ve already done nearly 1,000. Here are a few of my absolute favorites so far.

Obviously someone's failed attempt to make a chocolate cake.

To be fair, this failed cake looked a lot worse before the blur effect.

A Christmas card we received from a family friend of a baby in a puffy snowsuit, possibly around 2000 or so.

Our family friends’ baby in a puffy snowsuit. That’s what I’ll remember best about Christmas 1999!

Part of the family farm, ca. 1999. And at an odd angle. I think this was from one of Alex's disposable camera projects.

Alex always had a knack for capturing the moment. I think this angled farm landscape really takes you back to that random day and feel what Alex was feeling.

The bottom part of family pooch Cooper (?) on a boat at the lake.

Who needs to remember what the dog’s ears looked like. Just remember the way he calmly sat in the boat.

Some random unidentified members of the community eagerly scooping up food to fill their gullets at a celebration.

Celebrate good times, come on! What says “happy graduation” like strangers cramming their gullets with sandwiches and potato salad?

Our high school science teacher (and by all I mean all-Mom, Dad, me, Jordan, and Alex) Mr. Meyer sitting at a picnic table enjoying a paper cup of Coke.

When I think of carefree summer days, I think of Mr. Meyer and this woman chilling in the sunshine, drinking paper cups of Coke at a picnic table at some sort of event.

Baby Peyton... Jordan's newborn photography skills had to start somewhere!

Jordan is now an accomplished newborn photographer… but I bet she’d cringe at some of her early work with baby Peyton!

Alex watching someone (probably me) dance around the house with a sleeping bag over my head.

There were some good times we shan’t forget, like the time I paraded around the house with a sleeping bag over my head.

Unidentifiable people peering over a balcony at an unidentifiable hotel.

I know the family will always cherish the time these unidentifiable people were peering over a balcony at an unidentifiable hotel.

A wildly poor attempt at a 2000 selfie of me under the Gateway Arch.

A wildly poor attempt at a 2000 selfie of me under the Gateway Arch.

Who could forget the time we visited this hill?

Who could forget the time we visited this hill?

Johnny Meets Grandparents and Aunt

This past week Johnny met dad’s side of the family, when his Grandpa Dick, Grandma Marcie, and Aunt Jordan made the day-long drive down from South Dakota. The crew left at midnight on Tuesday morning, drove all night long, and arrived at our house around 7pm that evening. Everyone was excited to meet the newest addition to the family. Johnny is grandkid #7 for the Glanzers, and third grandson. Everyone was pretty tired and sick of sitting in a car by the time they arrived, but I thought ahead and bought everyone’s favorite drinks–brandy, cider, and Moscato. We cooked burgers, veggie kabobs, and potatoes on the grill and everyone was merry.

Nearly out of PTO for the year, I wanted badly to save my last 2.5 days for other things, so I received permission to work from home Wednesday through Friday. But Wednesday was a big product launch and I had a ton to do, so I went into the office for a few hours in the morning. Dad decided to see what I did for a living and rode along. Co-worker Eddie gave Dad the big tour of the company and sent him away with a souvenir cap. We met up with the girls and Johnny for lunch at Whole Foods, and wound up spending 3 hours there as I brought my computer along and worked from the Whole Foods wi-fi.

Other highlights from the big visit included an outing to the new BBQ joint Slab, pedicures for the girls, walks for Baxter, help with lots of work around the house, and a newborn photo session courtesy Jordan Krogman Photography. By Saturday morning it was time for the family to hit the long road back north. Everyone got plenty of baby time over the 3+ days and we appreciated them taking time off to come visit and offer their assistance! It won’t be long before we cross paths again, as we’re visiting Carpenter over Halloween weekend. Johnny will get to spend his first Halloween with 6 of his cousins at the Willow Lake carnival.

The family is welcomed back to Austin with a meal hot off the grill.

The family is welcomed back to Austin with a meal hot off the grill.

Lauren, Dad, and Johnny hang out at Whole Foods Domain.

Lauren, Dad, and Johnny hang out at Whole Foods Domain.

Aunt Jordan proved to have the magical touch when calming a baby. Maybe has something to do with mothering four kids.

Aunt Jordan proved to have the magical touch when calming a baby. Maybe has something to do with mothering four kids.

Will Johnny grow up and stand at the right and tower over me?  Time will tell.

Will Johnny grow up and stand at the right and tower over me? Time will tell.

Even Baxter got to have some fun, riding along to Home Depot to buy some wasp spray, tire filler, plywood, and a ladder.

Even Baxter got to have some fun, riding along to Home Depot to buy some wasp spray, tire filler, plywood, and a ladder.