Lately, I have been trying to find ways to transfer my weblog entries and digital pictures that are stored on my site to a more permanent website. I’m doing this on the off-chance that someone might actually want to see them on a future date, long after I am not around.
You see, my web domain and server are only paid up for a few years into the future. If I should die today, my personal history would die shortly thereafter. I don’t know why this is so important for me, because I really haven’t done anything noteworthy in my life. It is, though. I guess I just figure that there already are oodles of time-wasting media put out there by others, and they will be around long after I am dead and buried. So, why not my story, too?
When I think of how many stupid movies I have watched, how many stupid books I have read, how many stupid songs I have listened to, and how many stupid pictures I have seen, my desire to put something out there about me that will have longevity doesn’t seem so, well, stupid. Logic tells me that nobody will care about my life after I die, just as nobody has cared about it while I have been living, but I can fantasize, can’t I?
To that end, I searched around for a place (or places, rather) on the internet where I could store my documentation. For my weblog entries, I decided to go with Blogger. I copied all my entries to a new weblog there. Also, I installed a program that will enable me to post any new entries I make to both my website and Blogger from within the program. So, Blogger essentially mirrors my website’s weblog, except that I am unable to publish any entries with a timestamp prior to 1970 there. That’s not a major problem, as there is currently only one entry in that timeframe on my website.
I uploaded all of my digital pictures to Picasa. I played around a bit with Flickr before doing that, as it seems to be the current favorite right now for websites dedicated to image storage and presentation. However, the free account there really doesn’t provide for much, and I’m not looking for something I have to pay for. It isn’t the pay services that I mind. It is the fact that when I die the services will cancel my account, because no one will be paying the bills. Google owns Picasa, as they do Blogger, and it appears to me that they aren’t going away any time soon.
I recently began uploading recordings to my weblog as podcasts. They are just recordings of my voice reading the weblog entries. For this, I am using Odeo, as it includes free storage and an online audio recorder. This gives me the freedom to use it from anywhere there is a computer with internet access and a microphone. I got the idea of recording my voice from remembering about an experience I had with Pa, my grandfather from my mother’s side of the family.
Shortly before Pa’s death, I sat down with him and asked him some questions about his life. I don’t recall specifically what questions I asked him, but I’m sure there was nothing profound as I was a very young boy at the time. Still, there may have been some nuggets of wisdom Pa shared with me, as he was a man with plenty of it. I used a cassette tape recorder to record the interview.
I do remember a portion of the conversation being about a picture that hung on the wall in Pa’s TV room, where the interview was taking place. The picture, a print of a painting, was of various men engaged in harvesting wheat. It portrayed the process as it was done when Pa was a young man. He described a bit about it on the tape and how hard work on the farm was back then. After Pa passed away, I got that same picture and it is now hanging on the wall in my home office.
Pa had lost a portion of his feet while working in the farm years before that. As I recall being told, he was trying to unclog a machine like the one depicted in the wheat harvesting picture, when something happened and his feet were badly injured.
I believe that tape of my conversation with Pa may still exist. If it does exist, it is in a box of memorabilia at my parents’ house. I will check on it this summer, when I visit them in America. If it is, I will get it and put it online. If it still exists, it will be the only recording of Pa there is.
I’m not saying that having voice recordings of me can compare in any way to a recording of Pa, for he was truly a remarkable man. Indeed, I have come to personally know of no better a role model than Pa. Through his trials and tribulations, he always maintained an upbeat and vibrant demeanor. I often ponder upon his memory for inspiration in my life.
My recordings exist for the sheer reason that there might be some redeeming value learned in them, no matter how slight and/or accidental it might be. For that reason alone, I think it is a noble effort. However, the recording project won’t happen overnight. Slowly, one-by-one, I will record my weblog entries and post them online. It will take a very long time to get caught up.