Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Word Association

Walgreen’s charges 75 cents per strip of negatives to turn them into digital images, plus another $6 or so for each CD needed to hold them. After spending $600 in the last few months turning our old family Super8 video’s into DVD I decided to take a less expensive route this time and scan them all into our home network while working.

The upside is obvious- it doesn’t cost me anything. The downside? It's costing me time and attention (continually loading new photos while I am trying to get work done), and the quality is not near as good.

During this process I have had many long-forgotten memories pop into my head- sort of like the old word-association game, but using images instead. I guess more like a Rorschach Inkblot Test but with old family photos. One of the pictures I loaded yesterday was of Michelle and me standing next to our first ‘family’ car. Gone was the 1974 Midnight Blue Nova 350 small block of my single years, and in was the Chevy Geo Spectrum for the married years (it was actually Michelle’s car, but I adopted it).

The instant I looked at that car one thing popped into my head. Turtle pee.

I wouldn’t say I am an animal person, though at times I am moved by the plight of ducklings without a mother, injured birds and the like. Something about their helplessness motivates me to help out. On one day, driving to work on a hilly and winding road, I saw a baby turtle, not more than 8 inches long, slowly making his way across the road while cars whizzed overhead at 50MPH. I barely missed him, and after seeing the little thing still alive in my rearview mirror, decided to pull over and move him off the road.

I was able to safely pull to the side, and walked the distance back to where the turtle was. Fortunately the road was very wide with a nice shoulder- good for me- not for the turtle.

The area was riddled with roads, so I decided to take him to a nearby lake that I knew was full of other turtles and various wildlife, and far away from high speed roads. I walked back to my car, placed him on the passenger side floor board and headed to Lake Whetstone in Montgomery Village MD to drop him off.

As I pulled onto the road, I noticed that the turtle was making a move on where the gas and brake pedals are, instinctively looking for a dark cave like area to hide. I picked him up, turned him around so I could look at his face and belly (while driving), and out poured a surprisingly yellow stream of turtle pee right into my face.

I turned him around quickly, almost ran off the road, and watched as he sprayed out a nice even flow of pee all over my dashboard, radio, glove compartment and windshield. I was so shocked and clueless what to do, and still trying to keep my eye on the road, that I kept pointing him in different directions allowing him to paint the entire front of the car. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pattern spelled out t-u-r-t-l-e in cursive.

I pulled over, yelled at him, rolled down the window and tossed him into the bushes on the side of the road.

When Michelle and I had our first child we needed to get a mini-van, so out with the Chevy Spectrum and in with the Plymouth Voyager (Baby vomit).

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