Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do I take Too Many Pictures?

Picasa (one of my photo browsing programs) reports that I have some 96,000 pictures on my hard disk. At least 90,000 are ones I took myself... and I have hardly begun to scan in my slides and black and white negatives..
No wonder I have trouble finding pictures I know I have stored somewhere on my computer.
Must figure out some way to sort them out so that the ones that might be of interest to my children are separated from those that should expire with me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Trash Pictures

080412_ 0811-09

I have no idea if the things I am finding are valuable or not, it doesn't bother me, they have to be useful or pretty.

080412_ 0810-30

My Addiction to Rubbish

Heather reminded me about one of the things I love about Germany: Sperrmüll.
Literally translated this means Bulky Trash, but denotes the German tradition of putting unused household items on the street at designated times to be collected by special tours of the sanitation engineers. It replaces the American tradition of garage sales, or the English one of Car Boot sales. Only difference (and this is the crucial one for me) is that here no money is expected. According to German law, if something is put out on the street, it is for anyone to take.
In Constance (my first domicile in Germany) I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I witnessed this-- one day a month the streets were suddenly blooming with an abundance of exquisite found items, most all in pristine condition (these people are, after all, Allemans, living right on the Swiss border and have nearly Swiss standards of perfection).
Tables, chairs, bicycles, pottery, clothing, radios, TVs-- in short, all the things that I was used to finding in antique shops and junk shops in America-- only difference being the lack of price tags.
When I bought my apartment in Cologne, and was faced with furnishing a 3 story dwelling without much cash (up till then we had lived in furnished apartments) Sperrmüll was the perfect solution. For years nearly everything here had been scrounged from the streets.
OK, so over the years there has been an insideous influx of Ikea into the apartment, a result of a certain embarassment at the often obvious provenance of the furnishings.. the odd snide remark from girlfriends making me regretfully push out the tacky 60s chairs or the blatently multi-pre-owned carpets.
But I have stubbornly held on to quite a few items, the pictures illustrate just a tiny random sample of the objects trouvées in my downstairs rooms...

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