Mask to Mask Meeting

High School Lion with Mask

When working at a nuclear facility, I frequently had to wear an air particulate respirator. I’m not talking about the N-95 mask that people wear to protect against Covid-19. This was the full-face rubber mask with a filter as big as your fist. We called it ‘sucking rubber’, and it was as unpleasant as it sounds.

I remember wearing one while sitting most of one night shift in winter, outside  on top of a nuclear reactor while the engineers tried to determine if they had a big problem or a little one. (It was little, but we didn’t know it at the time.)

Typical Full Face Respirator

Moisture would condense on the inside of the mask and I would slap the mask so as to make water streaks across the inside of the  mast so that I could see out.

I also remember  when I took the mask off, one of my co-workers burst out laughing. “Do you know what you look like?” “Yes,” I said. “I know.” The mast had left major grooves in my face. Also, the front of my coat looked like a quart of water had been poured done the front—this from my breath’s condensate.

I trained on use of a fireman’s air tank. They had us go up three flights of stairs and back down. I felt like I was breathing through a hose that was one size too small. I have heard that fire fighters in training would play volleyball while wearing air packs. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that. I’m terrible at volleyball.

If you are wearing a respirator and feel like you are fighting to breathe, you are normal. The primary purpose of the training was to get us accustomed to that feeling.

You need to tell yourself to take deep breaths and to remain calm.

Once, I was wearing an N-95 mask around aluminum powder. When I removed the mask, I could see the grey streaks of aluminum powder around my nose. This happened because of a poorly fitting mask. This is what the experts mean when they say that the N-95 mask is not effective. The mask must be  tight against your face.  I will wear an N-95 mask while shopping or while working-out in the gym, though, I admit that I occasionally take it off so I can get a few unrestricted breaths.

If you are uncomfortable with the N-95 mask, then practice. Wear it even when you don’t need.

A few facts about respirators:

  • The N-95 reduces harmful particulates. It doesn’t reduce the risk to zero. The “95” means 95% effective for 1 micron particles, when worn correctly.
  • The mask comes with a metal nose piece which you are expected to shape to fit your face.
  • The Covid-19 virus is small and can go through the filter—HOWEVER, when it bounces off the fibers, it is damaged, thus greatly reducing the risk.
  • Particulate masks with exhaust valves can protect you from others but does nothing to protect them from you.
  • The mask does nothing if you wear it under your nose, which was the situation of about half the people I encountered in the grocery store.
  • Surgical masks are designed to protect the patient from anything you have.
  • These home-made cotton masks are even less effective.
  • Wearing anything is better than wearing nothing.

Finally, an N-95 mask is more comfortable than sucking rubber. 

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How Grandma Watered Her Lawn

This was my grandmother in 1964. She was two years younger than I am right now. She would put on knee high boots and water her lawn with a 4 inch diameter canvas hose. I remember taking the photo and thinking how great it would be, but my camera and my technical failed me. Only recently have I developed the skill to recover the photo and convert it to this drawing.

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Growing My Own Seeds

Last spring, when it was planting time, I found myself confined to my house. Growing a garden was “non essential” and some stores were closed and larger stores had closed their gardening sections. Plus, I was looking at a beautiful green lawn rather than freshly turned soil. I promised myself that I would never be in this situation again.

Now, when possible, I grow and collect my own seeds.

I made sure I was buying only ‘heirloom’ seeds and plants (as opposed to hybrid seeds and plants). With heirloom plants, it is easy to perpetuate your plants from year to year. Seeds from hybrid plants will revert to an unknown parentage and there is no way to know what that might be.

With peas, just collect those over ripe, dried up pods that you missed during your first few pickings.

Tomato seeds are easy to collect but must be fermented for a week before drying. Check on YouTube to see how this is done.

Carrots seed comes from a mature carrot on the second year.

When digging potatoes, I set the small bite size tubers to one side. They are the seed for next year.

When I dead head my ornamental flowers, I’ll allow a small portion to fully mature. These are for next year.

Petunia seeds are so small, you almost can’t see them.

Before planting any of my seeds, I’ll do a germination test.

Finally,  I’ve already ordered and received many of my seeds for next spring.

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Why the Coloring Book Drawings?

So, someone is wondering why I create theses simple coloring book drawing from a photograph—why not just go to the photo? There are three reasons:

  • Sometimes the photo is so poor, so confusing or lacking in aesthetic quality that it should be discarded. However, I might see that it has potential.  I use the line drawing is a way to correct the flaws in the photo.
  • When it is 3 AM and I’m tired but incapable of sleep, making the drawing is easy, relaxing and satisfying.
  • It is good practice and helps me develop my skills.
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We have a beautiful view out our back window. This is what it looked like for a year in 46 seconds.

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Video: Another Day in the Life of a Daylily

I made a more detailed view of a Daylily’s existence, shown at 600 time normal speed.


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Video: A Day in the Life of a Daylily

A Daylily bloom only lasts for one day. This is what the day is like in 34 seconds.

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Coloring Book Pages

2020 07 15 S (5) m6 msn Nicole, RileyWhile visiting our family, Ben Higgins kept wanting me to print pictures so he could color them. He was partial to drawings from How to Train Your Dragon, but I started making my own, based on photos I had taken. It was fun. I got hooked on the idea of reducing a photo to the essential elements.

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Hoe, hoe, hoe

This was the way I spent my summers more than 50 years ago. (It doesn’t seem that long ago.) Thinning, weeding and watering sugar beets. I posed my cousin Lyn, to the left, pulling up a big weed. I had my brother Allen, in the middle, hacking at a weed with a large weed hanging off his hoe. I had my cousin Craig, doing nothing. I was taking the photo. I tell people that as a photographer, I was outstanding in my field. No body laughs.

1964 06, 12 Beet Field EH102C m3 sn

My Grandfather, Oliver, seldom spent time in the field with us kids, but he wasn’t above it. At 74 years of age, I think he could out work any two of us kids together. No– taking into consideration the hours he worked, he could out work any five of us kids.
He taught us that if two people were at opposite ends of the field and happened to start on the same row, that when they met, they could just hop over to the next row and keep going. It sounds obvious to us now, but it wasn’t obvious to us then.

1967 05 (31) m2 sn Allen (16) & Oliver (74) hoeing sugar beets

These photos were taken as black and white. I’ve added the color.

A spud cellar is to the left. The barn is center and an irrigation canal we between us and the barn.

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Enhanced Photos

The Haroldsen Family has seen these two photos on many occasion, but if they look more closely, there are details that were not visible on previous versions. With the help of modern software, I was able to recover details that are not normally visible, even if you had the original photographs.

1901 Eleanor, George, Christian, Morgan, Anna, Reuben, Oliver, Annie, Ancel OH16-2 P68m Christian, Anna, Children

The original Haroldsen house was painted in bright colors and was called the Kerr Candy Box. Note the end of the upper gable. The house was built on a foundation of large cobble stones. It was designed to be heated with 4 wood-coal burning stoves and had three chimneys. It wasn’t air tight and someone suggested that you always knew in the morning if the wind had been blowing because your hair would be messed up. It was built without electrical wiring or plumbing. In the attic, there are the remains of an acetylene lighting system.

Anna, Annie, Alice, Morgan, Eva, Eleanor, George EH106A enhanced 03How many of us knew that there were also two dogs in the photo?

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