Thursday, July 26, 2012

Catching up -- Little X, Loki, and a Video Tour of Chicago 1930s

Is anyone still there? I have thought about catching up with you, dear readers, many times in the past year. I miss you and this blog.

What have I been up to, you may wonder?

Mostly chasing after Little X, who turns 3 in a few weeks. He's a curious, active little guy who keeps me on my toes. Especially since he stopped taking naps in March. I mean he stopped cold turkey. He doesn't even fall asleep in the car. He refuses to waste daylight hours on a nap. The bright spot, though, is that his bedtime has moved up.

Loki: 2002-2011
Another major thing, and this was deserving of a post all its own, is that we lost Loki in November to an undetermined cancer. She was 9 1/2 years old and a wonderful dog who is greatly missed. Little X still says sometimes, "Loki died. She's not coming back. Let's go get her."

My letters project blog is still going strong -- News From Home: A Father's Letters to His Son, 1931-1940 (Melbourne to Chicago). I have posted 22 letters so far. It's mostly family reading it, but a few academics have found it and sent me encouraging comments about it being a wonderful example of community history.

I've also gotten some old family 8mm video digitized (through ScanDigital), and have posted them to YouTube. There is one video in particular that has caught some attention, with more than 1,300 views so far. It's a video tour of Chicago that my grandfather put together in about 1936. I think he intended to use it on his return to Australia so that he could give lectures about Chicago.

I think it's fun to see the city as it was. If you click through to YouTube, I've put in a table of contents in the caption information with shortcut links to the various sites shown in the video. My favorites are the "The Ghetto on Maxwell Street" at 9:07 and a shot of my grandparents at about 6:22.

What I especially like about the video is that many of the major sites shown in the video are still must-see sites on a tour of Chicago 75 years later, such as the museums and parks.

It's also been fun to see people discover the video and repost it in various places. It's thrown me back into social media as I've had reason to discover reddit and tumblr now. For my own future reference, here are direct links to places where the video has been posted:

Calumet412 on Tumblr
Chicago Architecture Blog
Chicago Screen Shots
Skyscraper City Forums
Thrift and Shout! on Tumblr
Chicago Magazine Blog

I have more old 8 mm videos to post with some fun footage in them. I'll share them once they are on YouTube.

I hope not to be a stranger to this site. I'm a dedicated blogger, even if I take a vacation now and then.


  1. I am still reading! I have loved seeing Little X and his escapades over on FB, can't quite believe he is three already!

    Was very very sad about Loki :(

    and the letters project is fascinating! Wish more people documented their family history like this! Next year I am going to start the humongous task of scanning all my grandparents photographs. My dad has already took over as the family tree expert, so hoping he writes it all up properly too!

    I am awful at blogging myself lately, so need to update my blog this weekend!

    1. Hi Claire! Thanks for the tip on embedding the comments. See what happens when I step a way from blogging for a while? I lose track of the newest tips and tricks on Blogger.

      With all the new social media out there, it's hard to keep focused on writing a blog. The random thoughts have other outlets.

      Scanning all those old photos is a huge project. I've inherited boxes of them, and will probably bring them to a service to get scanned, as money and time allow.

      I've been loving watching your evolution as a doodle artist. You have a lot of very cool projects.

    2. At least with Blogger they don't change much!

      So true about all the social media outlets diluting what would be good blog content. By the time I even get round to thinking about blogging about something, I am off onto another idea.

      I am very tempted to send them to a service, but my dad is not keen at all, he thinks something will happen to them. Although I tried telling him that they are getting enough damage sat in box gathering dust! We shall see what happens with that.

      Thank you so much, it has been a lot of fun going down the doodle route, with all the ups and downs that have happened with the mum and her health. I just wanted to do something fun :)


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