Saturday was the most hectic day I can remember since I retired just over a year ago. When I checked my e-mail, I found two offers from Walgreens I couldn’t refuse.
The first offer was for a 20 page, five by seven inch photo book which is normally $10. But with this offer it was…free! Not even a shipping a charge, since I could pick it up at a store about a mile from my house.
Last week, I took them up on an offer for a larger ( 8 1/2 by 11 inch) 20 page photo book at 75% off the regular $20 price. Depending on how you want to size the photos, a page can hold as many as 15 photos. Even though I used mostly a “two photos per page” format, that’s still 39 photos. (The first page allows only one photo in the center because the cover has a cut out to display it.)
Walgreens advertises “same day pickup” for photo books at some stores, including the one I use. But this 75% discount offer was so popular the store ran out of paper and they couldn’t complete my order for four days. So I can imagine what response this “free” offer will bring…
The second offer was for an 8 1/2 by 11 inch photo calendar at a 50% discount off the regular $20 price. These calendars can have up to three photos per month.
Now I know many folks use their computer instead of a paper calendar but I’m “old school.” I like to look at the month and see at a glance what’s coming up. And my calendar is above the kitchen trash box (and it is a wood box) so I see it quite a few times a day.
These offers were excellent but had one condition: the order had to be placed by midnight. So I had about twelve hours to pick out the photos I wanted to use, scan them if they predated my using a digital camera or find them on the CD archives if they were digital, upload them to Walgreens, design the photo book and calendar (including sizing the photos and adding captions), review each page and make any corrections, and then complete the ordering process.
When I was working, I was cool under pressure. I knew how to pace myself and I also knew that getting into a panic as a deadline approaches only worsens the situation. Even though I’m retired, I found that I still have that coolness. Because when I clicked “complete order” on the final of the two deals, it was 11:46 PM. Fourteen minutes to spare!
I ran into trouble with the calendar because I originally planned to use just one photo for each month. But when I began to place the photos, the site warned me that half my photos were too low resolution for such a large picture and would look grainy.
I had suspected this might be an issue because I had pulled some photos off my travel photo website and I resample those photos to 800 x 600 resolution since a monitor cannot display high resolutions. The smaller size take less time to upload, less time to appear on the screen and uses less space on the server. Rather than try to find the high resolution photos in the CD archives, I decided to find six more photos to use so I could put two lower resolution photos on a page and they wouldn’t appear grainy.
Since I spent the whole day on the Walgreens offers, I didn’t have time to review and edit a post I’d been working on during the week that I had planned to use today. I decided it’d be faster to just write a “stream of consciousness” post about my experience.
And since it’s summer and travel season, I’ll share a few of the photos I used for the calendar and photo book. Both have the same theme: my wife Susie in a travel photo.
In 1988, we spent three weeks in Italy. Those photos are part of a large retirement project to scan all non-digital photos. It’ll be a huge undertaking because I have lots of them and I’ll have remove the photos from the “magnetic” style photo albums and then return them. (I hope that after these years the plastic hasn’t become stuck to the photo…)
Here’s Susie in Rome:
Our last international trip was in 2006, when we spent three weeks in Spain. I could retire there! Here’s Susie at the bottom of the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, which we visited on a day trip by train from Madrid:
At the Royal Palace in Madrid, which you can visit:
The west is our favorite destination, especially the national parks in southern Utah and the four corners area. And it’s not just because the logical jump off and return city is…Las Vegas. 😉
Here’s Susie on the trail into Bryce Canyon, Utah:
We also like ocean views and have driven the coasts of Washington, Oregon and the California coast from Eureka to just past Big Sur. The California coast is very scenic.
Here’s Susie at Pigeon Point, 50 miles south of San Francisco on the drive to Monterey and Big Sur:
At Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Pensinsula and where one of my former bosses grew up:
Further west is Hawaii, where we spent three weeks on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. Here’s Susie at the entrance to Hanauma Bay, just north of Honolulu and a favorite snorkeling site due to very shallow water even very far out:
Here’s Susie on the Sliding Sands trail in Haleakala Volcano, Maui:
And west of Hawaii of course is my backyard: Southeast Asia, where we spent three weeks in 1995 for our honeymoon and visited the Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Here’s Susie at the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Macau, which at the time was a Portuguese territory but has since been returned to China:
It’s almost 3 AM..time for bed!